The Sinocism China Newsletter 07.12.13

Just links today. Apologies to everyone who sent me an email about internships or a dinner in DC, you will get a response once we are getting proper sleep, which should be this weekend.

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Chinese economy not to take hard landing: finance minister – Xinhua  Did Lou Jiwei just disclose a downgraded 2013 GDP target to 7% from 7.5%? And if the target is now 7% for the full year, wouldn’t Q3 and Q4 GDP growth have a 6 handle at best? // China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said here Thursday that his country’s economy will not take a hard landing and a slower economic growth rate is a necessary phenomenon from economic restructuring. “Despite the slowdown of China’s economic growth rate, the structural reform is paying off,” Lou told the press after a session on reform and sustainable development on the second day of the two-day China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)….He added that China’s expected GDP growth rate this year is seven percent. In the first quarter the growth rate was 7.7 percent, and the rate in the first half of this year will be slightly lower than 7.7 percent. There is no doubt that China can achieve the growth target, though the seven-percent goal should not be considered as the bottom line. 

Related: 楼继伟称中国经济不会硬着陆 结构调整必然痛苦–时政–人民网 Lou’s comments in Chinese, the 7% expected GDP language is in these, the “though the seven-percent goal should not be considered as the bottom line.” is not, stress is on how hard the structural transformation will be. Anyone hear what he said, to help figure out where the disconnect may be?// 楼继伟指出,2013年中国经济预期增长7%,截至目前,一季度的增长率是7.7%,二季度的增长率将稍后公布,估计比7.7%低一点,但不会低太多,因此,中国经济“实现今年的增长预期应该不会有多大问题”。..最后,他话锋一转,“有一点我要提醒大家,结构调整是痛苦的事,想要非常舒服、保持非常高的增长,对于结构调整是不可能的。

Related: China Finance Chief Lou Says 6.5% Growth Wouldn’t Pose Problem – Bloomberg  Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said a 6.5 percent economic-growth rate wouldn’t be a “big problem,” signaling the government may tolerate a slower pace of expansion than officials have previously indicated. Lou, speaking yesterday at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, also said he’s confident in achieving a 7 percent growth rate this year. That’s lower than the government’s 2013 target of 7.5 percent, given in March. First-half expansion was probably below 7.7 percent “but not too far from it,” he said.

Related: Analysts Debate Li’s Remarks on Economy’s ‘Floor’ and ‘Ceiling’ – Caixin HSBC said this was the central government signaling it may soon fine tune policies to shore up the economy, which has been under stress as exports shrink. However, some think otherwise. Fan Jianping, chief economist at the State Information Center, a think-tank, said this was the government restating that it will continue emphasizing reform and structural upgrading as long as economic conditions are reasonably healthy.

Related: “温和刺激”还靠投资 铁路、棚改或成重点_财经频道_一财网 First Financial on what a “gentle stimulus” might look like…// 以目前形势看,政府下半年会出台一些温和刺激政策,政策主要集中在投资领域,铁路建设、棚户改造等将是重点,对中西部而言是一大利好。

US says China Reversing Course, Opening On Many Levels | MNI how many years will it take to negotiate? Is this the “big win” from the talks? // U.S. officials Thursday said China has signaled a major change in its approach to market access and is resuming key talks on a long-delayed bilateral investment treaty, a major turnaround that could provide big benefits to U.S. firms in financial services and more generally. As the fifth round of U.S.-China talks were concluding in Washington, the hints of major potential concessions first reported by MNI early in the afternoon were confirmed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who called the turnabout “a significant breakthrough.”

Related: P071113PS-0457 | Flickr – Photo Sharing! President Barack Obama meets with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi in the Oval Office, July 11, 2013.

Related:  Lew Calls Progress on China Investment Treaty a ‘Breakthrough’ – Bloomberg China will negotiate a bilateral investment agreement with the U.S., the first time the world’s second-largest economy has agreed to include all sectors in an accord with another country. An investment treaty with China “is a priority for the United States and would work to level the playing field for American workers and businesses by opening markets for fair competition,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement today.// recent Paulson Institute Paper Calling for US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (PDF) 

Related: Commentary: Mutual understanding key to success of top China-U.S. dialogue – Xinhua  No mater how many differences exist at the talks, both sides should always keep in mind that Beijing and Washington, as two major stakeholders in world peace and development, have more and more converging interests. The overriding theme of building new-type China-U.S. ties, an unprecedented, historic undertaking that was already set in motion by Presidents Xi and Obama, calls for mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Related: 土共匪遇到洋老外 中美对话汪洋暗藏机锋_中国_多维新闻网 汪洋在对话开幕式上所作的讲话题目为《中美建立新型大国关系惠及全球》,也在第一时间被中国媒体报道,其中汪洋关于美国“身体还是比我们壮,鼻子还是比我们长,没有太大变化”的表述、“我们那时候大概是骂美帝国主义,美国骂我们是什么不知道,大概是共匪之类的话”的笑谈、对习近平“兔子急了也踹鹰”的借引以及“对那些可能会动摇我们基本制度,损害我们国家利益的意见,这一点我们和美国是一样的,无论什么样的对话,我们都不可能接受,我们会守住自己的底线”的表态,都似乎在提供给外界一个重新在外交舞台上认识这位中国“改革派”官员的机会。相比之下,杨洁篪虽然一直被美国人所喜欢,但是他在此次谈话中的表现似乎却让了汪洋一头,略显紧张。

NSA’s Snowden case review focuses on possible access to China espionage files, officials say – The Washington Post A National Security Agency internal review of damage caused by the former contractor Edward Snowden has focused on a particular area of concern: the possibility that he gained access to sensitive files that outline espionage operations against Chinese leaders and other critical targets, according to people familiar with aspects of the assessment…But the release of information on how the NSA has penetrated Chinese networks would be especially damaging. “It’s not in the interests of the United States for the Chinese to know exactly how we do it,” said a former intelligence official. “It’s sources and methods.”

Related: U.S., China disagree sharply over handling of Snowden case | Reuters ”We were disappointed with how the authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong handled the Snowden case, which undermined our effort to build the trust needed to manage difficult issues,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said. China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi said Hong Kong’s actions were in accordance with the law. “Its approach is beyond reproach,” he said about the decision to not detain Snowden. The disagreement soured the two-day U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings in Washington.

Xi brings ‘mass line’ message to home of revolution | South China Morning Post President and Communist Party chief Xi Jinping visited the hallowed revolutionary ground of Xibaibo yesterday just three weeks after urging Politburo members to adhere to his “mass line” campaign to bolster public support. In Xibaibo – the headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army before its 1949 victory in the civil war – Xi cited the famous “two musts” speech by late party leader Mao Zedong , who developed the mass line leadership doctrine, state media said. Xi reminded cadres of Mao’s order to preserve modesty and prudence, while sticking to a plain lifestyle and keeping up the struggle. He said the remarks were Mao’s insights on how a new ruling party could maintain a long and peaceful reign.

Related: 习近平参观西柏坡:毛泽东“两个务必”意义深远_网易新闻中心【习近平:“两个务必”意义深远】习近平在西柏坡说,毛泽东同志当年提出的“两个务必”,包含着对我国几千年历史治乱规律的深刻借鉴,包含着对我们党艰苦卓绝奋斗历程的深刻总结,包含着对胜利了的政党永葆先进性和纯洁性、对即将诞生的人民政权实现长治久安的深刻忧思,思想意义和历史意义十分深远。

China at the Tipping Point? | ChinaFile–Carl Minzer China may indeed be at a tipping point. But it is not clear which way it will tip. Authorities may restart legal reform as part of a comprehensive program of political and institutional transformation. Or they may refuse, risking an escalating spiral of social and political turmoil.

Golf in China Is Younger Than Tiger Woods, but Growing Up Fast – NYTimes.com Chinese wunderkinds are now beginning to infiltrate some of the highest levels of golf. First came 14-year-old Andy Zhang, who played in last year’s U.S. Open. Then, in April, Guan Tianlang, also 14, dazzled at the Masters. The boy in popsicle-colored pants — the youngest ever to tee off at the tournament — made the cut despite a rare slow-play penalty that angered his new fans (the rapper Lil Wayne tweeted: “Shame on the Masters”). With disarming maturity, the eighth-grader never scored worse than a bogey in four rounds and became the toast of the tournament. Gary Player said: “Mark my words: we are witnessing the most historic moment golf has experienced in my lifetime.”

Scrambles against Chinese aircraft drop markedly – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The number of scrambles made by Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets against Chinese aircraft that approached Japan in the second quarter of the year dropped by half compared with the previous quarter, according to the Defense Ministry. The figure decreased to 69 in the April-June period from 146 during January-March, officials said July 10.

Related: 人民日报-就日本渲染“中国军事威胁” 中国军队表示强烈不满和坚决反对 PLA not happy with Japan’s defense white paper

Related: China says gas development does not violate agreement – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun China rejected a Japanese government protest over the development of a new gas field close to the median line between the two countries in the East China Sea, officials in Tokyo said July 10. China made its position known on June 27 when then administrative vice foreign minister Chikao Kawai discussed the matter with the Chinese ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua.

Related: Japanese Public’s Mood Rebounding, Abe Highly Popular | Pew Global Attitudes Project However, anti-Japan sentiment is quite strong in China, where 90% of the public has an unfavorable opinion of Japan, and in South Korea (77% unfavorable). Moreover, sentiment about Japan has worsened over time in both countries. Favorability of Japan is down 25 percentage points in South Korea since 2008 and it has fallen 17 points in China since 2006. There is a notable generation gap in attitudes toward Japan in South Korea. Koreans 50 years of age and older (82% negative) are far more likely to see Japan unfavorably than are Koreans under the age of 30 (66%).

Toxic China Lake Incites Next Generation as Xi Eases GDP Focus – Bloomberg Ian Chen recalls his father quietly accepting he could no longer wade into a lake near their home in southern China where he’d swum his whole life. The raw sewage and agricultural waste spilling into the water meant it wasn’t safe anymore. Twenty years later, Chen worries a new source of pollution may be about to envelop his hometown of Kunming. Silence wasn’t an option for the 29-year-old who sold flat-screen televisions on London’s Oxford Street before returning to Kunming, where he now owns three cake shops. He took to the Internet to drum up opposition to a refinery planned on the edge of town that residents fear will spew toxic particles…“We want to trust the government but look at what happened — Dianchi Lake happened and something is happening right now,” Chen said. “We want them to do what they say, not just talk.”

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Mead Johnson to Danone Threatened in China Price Probe – Bloomberg It’s also impossible to know if the government’s crackdown on foreign milk producers is really about high prices or supporting local milk producers. China’s government is looking to improve its domestic industry, analysts from Wells Fargo (WFC) wrote in a July note. The government has said it will strengthen entry requirements and provide financial incentives for producers to own their raw material supply chain. It is also encouraging mergers between local producers to make them more competitive.

发改委证实中国将再打造10个区域性城市群(名单)_证券时报网 NDRC confirms China will create 10 regional city clusters, as part of new urbanization planning, as way to relieve some of the stresses/constraints on existing large cities…no word on details of the plan, which at this point is expected by year end // 在近日刚刚结束的十二届全国人大常委会第三次会议上,发改委主任徐绍史对大会作了 《国务院关于城镇化建设工作情况的报告》(以下简称《报告》),通过这个报告,未来即将出台的规划雏形已经展现在公众面前。 目前由于城市承载能力有限,一些城市面临无序开发、人口过度集聚、重经济轻环境等“城市病”问题。《每日经济新闻》记者了解到,有研究人士指出,解决“城市病”最好的办法就是建设城市群。在《报告》中,城市群的相关发展战略已经被列为城镇化健康发展的重点之一。

再融资审批缝隙渐开 哪些公司会捷足先登?-上市公司-中国证券网 据上证报资讯独家统计,从2009年1月1日至2011年12月31日间,共有68家房企上报再融资或资产重组方案,其中19家企业获批通过。其中包括保利地产、金地集团、荣盛发展等单纯的再融资方案,也包括如中弘股份、金科股份这样的借壳上市方案。不过,由于2010年开启的房产调控大幕,有逾40家企业的定增预案宣告停止。

开发商缺钱 多地“地王”被收回 | 每经网 some of the “land kings” can’t pay for the land, cities taking the plots back, perhaps why they, and the local governments, need the reopening of the financing channel discussed above?  // 近段时间以来,南京、杭州、北京、武汉等地先后收回多块曾经风光无限的“地王”,引发市场一片欷歔。

Regulatory Questions over Online Investment Service Linger – Caixin The market loves Alibaba’s Yu E Bao option, but some have doubts over how funds are managed and whether investors know the risks

中国会发生政府债务危机吗_杂志频道_财新网 实际上,中央政府已经意识到了问题的严重性,因此采取措施限制了地方融资平台贷款余额的增长。但地方政府通过债务市场、信托和理财产品获得了新的融资,结果这导致城投企业的总借款额依然在上升,而投资者之所以敢借款给地方融资平台,其背后的假设恐怕也有部分是基于地方和中央政府的隐性担保 综上所述,我们可以对中国的政府债务前景做如下判断:中国中央政府的债务风险不大,但是,除非中国经济继续高速增长(不确定),否则部分地方债务违约是可以预期的,而且这实际上已经大面积发生了(即展期)。这些违约所造成的损失未来如何埋单,将是银行、投资者、地方和中央政府博弈的结果。从这些角度而言,惠誉对中国信用的降级以及张克副会长的话,也就不难理解了。■ 作者为长江商学院副院长、金融学教授

国资委官员:央企亏损并非自身不努力_财经频道_一财网 针对去年A股十大亏损企业中有4家央企的说法,国务院国资委财务监督与考核评价局副局长廖家生昨日在“2013年中国资本高峰论坛”上回应,业绩不佳并非央企不努力,原因在于多数央企集中在利润率较低的传统行业,而钢铁等传统行业产能严重过剩。不过,他也承认,亏损的根本仍在央企自身。面对外部环境变化时,央企缺乏灵活有效的应对措施,导致在产业、技术、管理等方面积累的问题集中显现。

葛兰素史克高管们的潜规则:行贿医生,也行贿自己_财经频道_一财网 由于中国医院药品销售占据整体市场份额的80%,因此,在制药公司的销售网络中,进入重点城市的重点医院一直是销售最重要的环节所在。 “外企强调的是学术营销,也就是通过和医生分享我们的药物在学术上的优势打动医生,让他们用我们的药,但光有这个还是不够的,”昨日,某外企医药代表向记者表示,“我们必须得和医生、药剂科主任建立稳固的关系,一些人情世故还是要讲的,更何况,现在各家竞争都这么激烈,医院却是固定的。”

新白领失业潮:结构失衡引发就业难_财经频道_一财网 first financial on changing labor market for white collar workers as economy shifts and slows // 在全球裁员潮之下,中国人力资源市场则面临着结构失衡而引发的就业困境,一方面战略新兴产业求贤若渴,另一方面,传统产业岗位需求在持续减少。

茅台告别“批条”抢酒时代 动员全体职工卖酒 新华社——经济参考网 Moutai struggling in the new environment of slowing economy and Xi frugality // 近日,有业内人士向《证券日报》记者透露,近段时间在对酒企进行实地考察时得知,茅台现在已经动员全部职工卖酒。依靠关系拿条子买茅台的日子已经过去。“在经济上行时,大家都看好白酒行业发展,因此,存茅台酒的人很多,这就造成了库存虚高。如今,经济增速放缓,茅台受限制三公消费政策的影响较大,销售遇阻也是可能的。”资深白酒专家铁犁接受《证券日报》记者采访时表示。

China Economic Watch | The Misallocation of Credit in China There has been some progress made on increasing deposit rates. Last June the PBoC increased flexibility around the benchmark rate by 10 percent, leading most banks to quickly increase deposit rates to this new maximum. Moving forward, however, is a delicate task. The experience with the interbank market shows that the financial system is prone to significant liquidity stresses and that the PBoC has difficulty conveying its expectations to market participants. If deposit rates are liberalized hastily, the financial turmoil seen last month could be magnified many times over. The way to avoid this is for much greater transparency on the path interest rate liberalization will take going forward. Rather than an abrupt shift which could lead to market dislocation, the PBoC should communicate with greater specificity the plan for achieving interest rate liberalization in China.

China revives plans for world’s longest sea tunnel – Telegraph The plan, which was originally proposed in 1994, would see the port city of Dalian in northeastern Liaoning province to Yantai city in eastern Shandong, running across the Bohai strait. At 76.4 miles, it would eclipse the 33.46 mile Seikan tunnel in Japan, which is currently the world’s longest undersea tunnel, as well as the Channel tunnel, which at 31.4 miles, linked England and France.

Unintended consequences made the PBOC’s strategy fail to work | The Institute for New Economic Thinking Given all these unintended consequences, I am very sceptical whether the PBOC’s strategy had worked at all. The scale of wealth management products did not fall; all banks learned that the PBOC had to save them in the end and big banks even made some money. The only hope is that banks, especially smaller banks, would cut their interbank leverage to some degree because they did lose a lot of money during the rate spike, but if the central bank has to inject liquidity in the end, why would any bank cut leverage? Moral hazard was clearly not reduced if not lifted.

Shadow financing charted in China, and a property catch-up | FT Alphaville A basic run through the balance sheet of 127 property developers listed on the Shanghai Sock Exchange reveals that short term debt is on average 40-50% of their total debts, and cast rarely ever covers these commitments. If banks start to play hard-ball as the PBOC may want them to, or more worryingly, if trust funding is a big component of their debts (as is suggested) and if issuance retreats, then refinancing pressure would increase. Clearly, much depends on regulatory action/ inaction.

The China slowdown effect | beyondbrics if China does slow down further and harder than the government would like, what would be the effects for other emerging markets? Capital Economics outlined the likely scenarios in a note, and the results aren’t necessarily what you might expect.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

人民日报-法治中国,通往良法善治之路 江必新 “法治中国”的提出,标志着中国的法治实践迈入崭新的征程——法治中国作为全体中国人民的高度共识和行动宣言,已不再是可望而不可即的梦想,也决不是一个时髦的口号,而是有着丰富内涵的现实目标…法治中国建设是实现中国梦的重要组成部分与有力保障,司法公正与公信是建成法治中国的关键指标和本质要求。人民法院作为法治中国的建设者、维护者和捍卫者,应当主动树立宪法和法律的极大权威,坚决落实依法独立公正行使审判权的原则,深化司法体制和机制改革,坚持公正司法,切实保障人权和维护人民群众的合法权益,不断提高司法公信力,充分发挥审判职能作用,为建成公平公正、良法善治、平安和谐的法治中国而履职尽责。(作者为最高人民法院副院长)

“两高”高层密集发声:冤假错案强调疑罪从无_财经频道_一财网 但佘祥林、浙江叔侄强奸杀人等冤案的陆续曝光,使得如何处理冤假错案成为司法是否公正的一个重要评价标准。

人民日报-怎样把“好干部”用好(人民观点) ——新的历史特点下“好干部”思考之四 本报评论部 刘邦用韩信,“连百万之众,战必胜,攻必取”,终得天下。赵孝成王用赵括,错用一人,败绩连连。历朝历代,能否选贤任能、知人善任是决定兴亡的关键一环。国以人兴、政以才治,更是我们党治党兴国的经验昭示。从毛泽东倡导“五湖四海”、“干部决定一切”,到邓小平改革人事制度,强调选拔干部“只要选得好,选得准,我们的事业就大有希望”,再到今天习近平提出“选什么人就是风向标,就有什么样的干部作风,乃至就有什么样的党风”,“用什么人,不用什么人”,始终都被我们党视为关乎千秋基业的核心问题。

人民日报-热衷“特供”与“特权思维”(人民论坛) 赵畅 诚然,加强市场监管,让那些打着特供旗号进行不正当竞争的商家得不偿失,让那些利用特供标签谋取不法利润的企业受到相应惩处,能够显著整治“特供”现象。但从根本上说,还是要制约和监督权力,根除特权思想。唯有公权力首先规范自己的行为,在秉公用权上作出表率,莫敢越雷池一步,才能逐渐消除社会上的特权思维。反对特权思想、特权现象,是中央的要求,群众的期盼。尽管取消“特供”标签易,去掉“特供”心理难,去除特权思维更难,但再深的水也要趟,开弓没有回头箭。

刘锋:从革命年代到改革年代的整风-财经网 从自由民主的角度看,整风运动也滋生了很多弊病。整风运动的结果造成了一个党、一个领袖、一个主义,直接压制了追求自由的思想,导致了严重的个人崇拜,侵犯了许多人的基本人权。何方教授认为,个人崇拜其实就是个人迷信

China to step up building legal service network – Xinhua China will step up the construction of a legal service network that covers both urban and rural areas, especially underdeveloped places, the justice ministry said Thursday. The country has 230,000 practicing lawyers and more than 20,000 law offices but 164 counties still have no lawyers working there. At a conference of senior justice officials held in Beijing, the ministry urged local departments to solve the lack of lawyers in underdeveloped areas.

Bo Xilai to stand trial in Jinan: Duowei|WantChinaTimes no date, we’ll see if duowei any more reliable than boxun. skeptical// Reports from Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese, say the corruption trial of disgraced former Chongqing Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai will take place at the Jinan Intermediate People’s Court in eastern China’s Shandong province and that he is most likely to be indicted for taking bribes. The court has reportedly conducted a rehearsal for the trial and has been making the security arrangements and considering how to handle an audience and the media for the eagerly anticipated trial of the fallen political star. The authorities have yet to confirm the time and location of Bo’s trial, however.

李天一案受害人:案发后多次受到恐吓和威胁_网易新闻中心 some real nastiness in the Li Tianyi case. US have him on a visa blacklist yet? // 新京报讯 继昨天质疑李某其中一名代理律师身份后,今晨,李某涉嫌强奸案被害人杨女士代理律师田参军,通过个人微博发布声明称,杨女士对李某新律师欲做无罪辩护“感到极其震惊、愤怒和悲哀”;并透露,杨女士在案发后,多次受到李某某恐吓和威胁,极力阻止受害人将此事张扬出去。声明还称,案发时,受害人“被李某某等人肆意殴打,侮辱,并轮番施暴,身体和心灵都受到极度摧残”。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

After Epic Escape From China, Exile Is Mired in Partisan U.S. – NYTimes rapidly becoming another irrelevant dissident, why doesn’t Beijing just send them all abroad? //  His sponsors at New York University cautioned Mr. Chen to stay clear of a partisan minefield he did not understand. “I told Chen there was a presidential election coming up and he should spend a year studying the American political landscape before wading in,” said Jerome A. Cohen, a law professor and close confidant. That advice, friends say, never really sank in, and Mr. Chen, 41, has found himself enmeshed in controversy.

China calls for resumed Kaesong complex operations – Xinhua  The joint industrial zone was suspended in April when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) banned around 54,000 of its workers from reporting to work amid escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula. The Republic of Korea (ROK) also withdrew its personnel in response。Hua’s remarks came after the DPRK and the ROK reportedly held talks recently on resuming operation of the Kaesong industrial zone but failed to reach any agreement.

Japan may press China on slowdown, shadow banking at G20 | Reuters ”The situation in China is not necessarily clear, and it would be desirable to clarify various data and issues,” Furusawa told Reuters in an interview. “Everyone is not necessarily sharing information on regional shadow banking, and we are paying close attention to see what the real picture is in China,” said Furusawa, who acts as Finance Minister Taro Aso’s “sherpa” at global financial gatherings.

National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) Issues 2013 “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat” Report | Andrew S. Erickson “China has the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world. It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Henry Tang’s Wife Admits Guilt Over Illegal Basement – Bloomberg Lisa Kuo, the wife of former Hong Kong chief executive candidate Henry Tang, pleaded guilty to one charge of building an illegal basement that contributed to his losing in the city’s leadership race last year.

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TECH AND MEDIA

Chinese move to gaming in the home, but don’t expect government to approve game consoles | GamesBeat Niko Partners’ founder Lisa Cosmas Hanson said that it is “unlikely that China’s long-standing ban on consoles will be overturned in the near future.”

Foreign game console ban to be lifted|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn Sources from China’s Ministry of Culture confirmed on Thursday that the country is about to allow foreign game console companies to sell products in China if they register in Shanghai’s new free trade zone, but denied lifting a decade-long ban on the video game hardware market in the country anytime soon.

The People’s Money: Online Education a New Frontier in China – WSJ.com Unlike in the U.S., a clear business model hasn’t emerged in China’s online education. Eric He, chief financial officer at YY, says people should be more willing to pay if education companies offer more than just lectures. Mr. He said an education-content provider on its site raked in $10 million in revenue last year, but YY hasn’t started taking a cut from content providers. Chinese Internet and education companies can’t afford to miss out on this trend. Internet companies are building platforms. Netease Inc., NTES +0.06% a Chinese Internet company, opened an online classroom, which, like Coursera in the U.S., provides users with free classroom courses. Shanghai Taomi Network Technology offers educational online books and videos for children.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Rare Record of Chinese Classics Discovered – NYTimes.com Five years ago this month, a precious cargo of muddy bamboo strips arrived at the Old Library at Tsinghua University in Beijing, donated by a graduate who had acquired them in the Hong Kong art market…Exhibit A: From the English Global Times/Xinhua, “Archaeologists push back origin of Chinese characters by 1,000 years,” July 10, 2013:

bokane.org – 5,000 Years Is Not Enough Exhibit A: From the English Global Times/Xinhua, “Archaeologists push back origin of Chinese characters by 1,000 years,” July 10, 2013:… Basically this looks like one of those news stories that could have been avoided if the journalist had talked to someone who knew their stuff. I am not that person, and I bet I’ll feel really dumb if archaeologists end up finding a massive underground cache of inscribed axe-heads, proving conclusively that the Liangzhu culture had both writing and a lot of time on its hands. But this doesn’t look like writing to me.

China slashes National Games budget by 78pc | South China Morning Post Sporting powerhouse China has slashed the budget for its National Games by 78 per cent amid dramatically slowing economic growth and a government campaign to rein in public spending. Spending on the 12th games, to be held on August 31 to September 12 in the northeastern province of Liaoning, will be kept to a maximum of 800 million yuan (HK$1.01 billion), the deputy director of the organising committee, He Min, was quoted as saying by state media on Thursday. That’s down from the original figure of 3.6 billion yuan ($4.55 billion).

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
国家应对气候变化及节能减排工作领导小组成员调整–新闻报道-人民网  Li Keqiang now chairs leading small group on climate change and energy efficiency and emissions reduction..US does not have one of these, it would be anathema in Congress, no? Seems like a good idea to have top level focus on these issues // 据中国政府网9日发布的消息,根据国务院机构设置及人员变动情况和工作需要,国务院决定对国家应对气候变化及节能减排工作领导小组组成单位和人员进行调整。

Prioritize saving lives in rescue work: Premier Li – Xinhua  Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders have ordered relevant authorities to prioritize lifesaving efforts while conducting rescue work following rain-triggered natural disasters that have wreaked havoc across the country since Sunday, leaving 30 dead and 67 others missing. Floods and landslides caused by the downpours have affected about 3.73 million people in 17 provincial-level regions, as well as forced the relocation of 212,000 residents, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Thursday.

深度调查:云南水电弃水或因难以消纳|云南省|水电|水电站_新浪财经_新浪网 是什么让奔腾的江水横遭截断后又被平白放掉?云南水电弃水怪象背后有着怎样的利益纠结?谁将为这场旷日持久的对峙买单?本刊深度调查——云南弃水调查:真相与谎言。

3亿吨进口煤冲击真相:国内运费高过跨国运输_财经频道_一财网 即便有17%的增值税,进口煤的价格仍然低,而这主要是由于进口煤的税费、运输成本以及生产成本较低造成的。

Post-Boom Blowdown for Wind Energy’s Sinovel – Caixin Wei Wenyuan’s sudden resignation stunned his colleagues at Sinovel Wind Group but started making sense two weeks later when securities regulators announced a financial fraud investigation targeting the company. Wei’s departure May 13 after just two months as chairman and eight months as acting president also mirrored the turbulent atmosphere at Sinovel, one of China’s largest wind turbine manufacturers as well as a developer of wind farms locally and overseas.

国务院调整国家能源委员会组成人员 新华社——经济参考网 Li Keqiang now head of the National Energy Commission // 根据中国政府网11日发布的消息,国务院办公厅近日发布通知,根据国务院机构设置及人员变动情况和工作需要,国务院决定对国家能源委员会组成部门和人员进行调整。 根据通知公布的调整后的名单,国务院总理李克强任主任,国务院副总理张高丽任副主任。委员为:国务院副秘书长肖捷、中央财办主任刘 鹤、外交部部长王毅、发展改革委主任徐绍史、科技部部长万钢、工业和信息化部部长苗圩、安全部部长耿惠昌、财政部部长楼继伟、国土资源部部长姜大明、环境保护部部长周生贤、交通运输部部长杨传堂、水利部部长陈雷、商务部部长高虎城、人民银行副行长刘士余、国资委主任蒋洁敏、税务总局局长王军、安全监管总局局长杨栋梁、银监会主席尚福林、解放军副总参谋长王冠中、发展改革委副主任兼能源局局长吴新雄。

人民日报-现有国家标准滞后,广东相关部门表示 土壤污染“账本”理不清(政策聚焦) 本报记者 邓圩

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

民航局:航班延误引群体事件或被“停飞”-时政频道-新华网

Beijing airport scores as worst for flight delays globally in H1 — Shanghai Daily ONLY Beijing was worse than Shanghai for flight delays in the first six months of the year, according to a survey of 35 major airports around the world. Pudong International Airport had a punctuality rate of less than 30 percent, US-based aviation data provider FlightStats said yesterday, while Beijing Capital International Airport was the world’s worst at just 18.3 percent.

Air China launches nonstop flights between Beijing and Houston – Xinhua  Yao Ming (L), former Chinese basketball superstar and goodwill ambassador for the U.S. city of Houston, boards on a plane to experience Air China’s first direct flight to Houston, the United States, from Beijing, in Beijing, China, July 11, 2013. Air China, China’s flagship air carrier, launched nonstop flights between Beijing and Houston on July 11, and is scheduled to operate four roundtrip flights every week

Border War: Chinese Fight for Russian Brew | Buy Buy China The controversy takes place between Wahaha, a national food and beverage giant, and Qiulin, a local player in Harbin, Heilongjiang. The point of contention is kvass, a soda-like drink brought across Heilongjiang’s provincial border with Russia during the late 19th century. Local brand Qiulin is actually named after late-19th century Russian trader Ivan Churin, whose company survives to the present day and still produces specialty meats and breads. Kvass continues to be popular in chilly Harbin: nowhere in China drinks more kvass than the country’s great northeast. But Wahaha means to change all that. // never had kvass, tasty?

Don’t judge China food safety on international standards, says official | South China Morning Post “If we were to take European Union air quality standards and apply them to Beijing, we would fail every day,” Wang Zhutian, assistant to the director at the National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment, told China National Radio on Wednesday. Wang stressed China was “still developing” and thus needed to base its own food safety standards on “national conditions” rather than blindly following international ones.

Asia Unbound » Fatal Misperception: How Unsafe Is Chinese Food? Is China’s food safety problem exaggerated? Why is there such a perception gap between elites and the general public? Some government officials and scholars attribute the gap to information asymmetry in the food industry (food manufacturers know much more about the quality and safety of their products than ordinary consumers) as well as the relatively low “ignition point” of public reaction to food safety due to the potentially dangerous consequences of unknowingly consuming unsafe food. And according to Luo Yunbo, because many consumers get information on food safety from media reports, which are sometimes “not objective or reasonable,” an isolated food safety scandal could easily be “emotionally magnified.” But this line of reasoning is flawed because it implies that similar perception gap would also exist in other countries, given that information asymmetry problem is inherent in any country’s food production and marketing process. It also cannot explain why in recent years centers for “special food supply” [Chinese] have been established across China to provide organic food to government officials.

Colin Flahive opened a restaurant in China that’s a beacon of enlightened management – CSMonitor.com Colorado native Colin Flahive sits at the bar of Salvador’s Coffee House in Kunming, the capital of China’s southwestern Yunnan Province. Employing young women from rural areas led him to take a number of steps to help his employees and the community.

 

BEIJING

Life expectancy for Beijing residents increases |Society |chinadaily.com.cn what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? // The life expectancy of Beijing’s residents was 81.35 years last year, 7.85 years more than the national average, and in 2003, the life expectancy was 79.62 years, according to the report.

北京首次公布治安地图 19处最不安全_政经频道_财新网 北京警方发布治安状况,曝光地铁1、2、10号线及公交快1路为扒窃案高发路线,并公布19处安全问题重点整治区域

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Paleontologist Zhe-xi Luo | The University of Chicago Center in Beijing Zhe-Xi Luo, Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, will speak at the Center in Beijing on August 6. Luo is a paleontologist with research interest in the evolutionary biology of vertebrates. By studying mammal fossils of the Mesozoic—the age of dinosaurs—his work seeks to decipher the origins of mammalian biological adaptations, the evolutionary relationship of major lineages, their ecological diversification, and their developmental patterns. In his fieldwork to search for dinosaurs and fossil mammals, he has worked in many parts of the United States and China.

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