The Sinocism China Newsletter 07.29.13

GlaxoSmithKline’s corruption and Bo Xilai’s impending trial have for good reasons been the focus of the Western press over the last week. The takedown of an apparent charlatan masquerading as a “Qigong Master” to stars and officials has gotten at least as much attention in Chinese media and on Weibo in the last few days.

AFP has some background in Chinese Qigong master Wang Lin threatens reporter who says he does not have supernatural powers:

BILLIONAIRES, movie stars, snakes and curses all figure in a scandal swirling around a Chinese spiritual adviser after he allegedly threatened a reporter who questioned his powers with death.

Wang Lin, 61, a self-proclaimed master of Qigong, a spiritual martial art, claims to be able to conjure up snakes from thin air, cure disease and retrieve an incinerated banknote intact from an orange.

He came to public attention in recent weeks when he was reportedly visited by Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, for reasons unknown.

Pictures soon circulated on Chinese social media of Mr Wang with former railways minister Liu Zhijun, convicted earlier this month of corruption and given a suspended death sentence, martial arts star Jet Li, and various senior officials.

Wang is now the subject of a well-orchestrated, public dismembering. The Beijing News ran an interview with him last week, along with skeptical commentary, leading to his threats against the reporter. The pictures of his tacky mansion hit the Internet, followed by a story claiming he had sold a disciple several million Renminbi worth of fake Moutai.

Now CCTV Evening has moved in for the kill with a feature on Wang during the Sunday Evening 焦点访谈 show, which was advertised with a mention on the CCTV Evening News–“神功大师”的真面目. The show called out his snake conjuring “miracle” as a cheap vaudeville magic act and, more seriously, accused Wang of practicing medicine without a license, an offense that could lead to jail time. A propaganda official in Wang Lin’s hometown of Luxi, Jiangxi responded to the CCTV report by saying they do not yet have enough evidence to detain him but will investigate the CCTV claims that he has practiced medicine without a license.

Wang is toast and I will be very surprised if he does not end up back in jail (He claims he did time several decades go.)

What is more interesting than another Qigong charlatan is why the central propaganda authorities have decided to destroy him. It likely has something to do with what authorities learned about him during the Liu Zhijun investigation, which led to an initial charge of “belief in feudal superstitions”, as well as the general trend of officials looking to traditional superstitions and practices like geomancy, as the New York Times documented in the May 2013 article China Officials Seek Career Shortcut With Feng Shui.

Mao Zedong tried to root out the “Four Olds” with the Cultural Revolution. Despite the incalculable damage, he failed. The attack on Wang Lin may destroy him but is unlikely to have a lasting effect on things so deeply ingrained in Chinese culture.

In the last issue I wrote that July contributions were behind plan, and several people suggested I should give up the free service and just make it subscription-only. That is something I am considering, more seriously than before.

However, the primary reason I keep Sinocism free is that a lot of students read it, I wish there had been something like it when I was doing my China academic work, and I believe we are ultimately all better off if we know more about China.

So my (perhaps naive) hope is that there are enough people who value the service and can afford to help subsidize it. If you are one of those people, please consider contributing here.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China to start nationwide audit of government debt – Xinhua  The NAO has previously conducted two rounds of audit over local government debt. A nationwide audit conducted in 2011 found that China’s local governments’ debt totaled 10.7 trillion yuan (1.73 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of 2010. In early June this year, the NAO said that a follow-up audit found liabilities of 3.85 trillion yuan owed by 36 local governments by the end of 2012. The debt amount was 12.94 percent higher compared with that at the end of 2010, according to the office. Combined debt of the 36 local governments accounted for 31.79 percent of the 10.7 trillion yuan back then.

Related: China to Audit Government Borrowings as Risks to Growth Increase – Bloomberg China will begin a nationwide audit of government borrowings, as the nation’s growth slowdown puts pressure on the new leadership to determine the extent of potential bad debts weighing down the economy. The State Council, under Premier Li Keqiang, requested the National Audit Office to conduct a review, according to today’s statement from the audit office’s website, without providing any more details. The first audit of local government debt found liabilities of 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion) at the end of 2010, the National Audit Office said in June 2011.

Related: 财政赤字率“硬杠杠”:不得超过3%_财经频道_一财网 First Financial says it has learned the central government has ordered that the budget defecit be kept below 3% of GDP, to avoid downgrades by international ratings agencies. This is an interesting March 2010 WSJ article about how the then-government changed the accounting methodology to stay below 3% // 知情人士表示,中央高层已经明确表态,要将未来的财政赤字率控制在3%这条“硬杠杠”之内,以防国际评级机构降低中国的评级,引发类似欧债危机的财政风险。

INNER SANCTUM (1): At secretive Zhongnanhai, decisions are made that can change the world – The Asahi Shimbun This is the first part of our fifth series on the inner workings of the Chinese Communist Party….The latest series, “Inner sanctum,” focuses on Zhongnanhai// this article has some very interesting reporting about North Korea policy // “That signifies that the China-North Korea relationship is no longer the special one of the past,” said a source with a Chinese government-affiliated think tank. “North Korea will be treated just like any other foreign nation.” That shift was decided by the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party…A source with a Chinese government-affiliated think tank said: “Everything was decided by the central leading group. Policy toward the Korean Peninsula will likely change further in the future.”

Spy agencies ban Lenovo PCs on security grounds–Australian Financial Review Computers manufactured by the world’s biggest personal computer maker, Lenovo, have been banned from the “secret” and ‘‘top secret” ­networks of the intelligence and defence services of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand, because of concerns they are vulnerable to being hacked. Multiple intelligence and defence sources in Britain and Australia confirmed there is a written ban on computers made by the Chinese company being used in “classified” networks.

Related:  The door to hacking hardware–Australian Financial Review One of the world’s top authorities on hardware and firmware back-doors, Professor Farinaz Koushanfar at Rice University’s Adaptive Computing and Embedded Systems Lab, says she knows from her “interactions with the NSA that there have been multiple instances of malicious circuitry found in chips”. Koushanfar’s research on how to detect embedded implants is supported by America’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research, and the US Defence Department.

北京五环房价超3万元 白领称买房像”白日梦”_网易新闻中心 interesting piece from Xinhua on how home prices in Beijing keep rising in spite of all the real estate repression regulations. The last paragraph seems to hint, as other recent stories have, at a change in the way the government may approach the market // 这个时候,不管是政府,还是百姓,真正的关注点应该是以廉租房、公租房为代表的保障性住房。“怎么样扩大它的面积?扩大它的供给量?更加公平地惠及更多人?这才是人们真正关心的”。 或许,有关住房,换一种发展和调控思路,会呈现完全不一样的结果。而对于实现“安居梦”,作为这个城市里新的一员,小刘依然心存期待。

Related: 地产调控新意思 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 is Beijing changing its approach to real estate repression rules? there are signs of a rethink // 对于房地产市场,与刷新“地王”纪录同样鼓舞人心的词是放行。在认为调控最严的北京市,近日开始对一些高端楼盘预售价格放行。

Central Bank Governor Vows to Expand Credit Further to Small Companies-Caijing Credit to the so-called small and micro enterprises will be expanded further by encouraging financial innovations, and foster smaller financial institutions, the governor wrote in an article published on the People’s Daily. His remarks came days after China’s State Council, the cabinet, unveiled a three-pronged plan to support the slowing economy, including a tax cut for small companies. The cabinet said it will scrap all value-added and operating taxes on businesses with monthly sales of less than CNY20, 000 ($3,250), effective in August. The move is quite small in scale, but analysts hail it as a sign that Beijing is paying more attention to the vulnerable group, who can’t get as easy credit as their state-owned peers.

Related: Central Bank Policies Will Support Small Businesses, PBOC Head Writes – Caixin The central bank will fine-tune policies to create a favorable financial environment for small and family businesses while keeping the overall supply of money at a reasonable level, the bank’s governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, wrote in an article. Zhou outlined seven principles the bank will follow to realize these goals, starting with emphasizing the importance of small and family businesses in maintaining economic growth and creating employment. The article was published by People’s Daily on July 26.

Chinese Search for Infant Formula Goes Global – NYTimes.com Chinese are buying up infant milk powder everywhere they can get it, outside of China. And that has led to shortages in at least a half-dozen countries, from the Netherlands to New Zealand. The lack of supply is a reminder of how the consumption patterns of Chinese — and their rising food and environmental safety concerns — can have far-reaching impacts on critical daily goods around the world.

Related: The Baby Formula Barometer – NYTimes.com Joe Nocera // In the United States, of course, it has become religion among conservatives to denounce regulation, saying it stifles business and hinders economic growth. But consider: At the turn of the last century, America was as riddled with scam artists as China is today. Snake oil salesmen — literally — abounded. Food safety was a huge issue. In 1906, however, Upton Sinclair published “The Jungle,” his exposé-novel about the meatpacking industry. That book, pointed out Stanley Lubman, a longtime expert in Chinese law, in a recent blog post in The Wall Street Journal, is what propelled Theodore Roosevelt to propose the Food and Drug Administration. Which, in turn, reformed meat-processing — among many other things — and gave consumers confidence in the food they ate and the products they bought. That’s what China needs now. Infant formula just scratches the surface.

China’s Rural Pollution Problem – WSJ.com The experiences of these farmers in Dapu, in central China’s Hunan province, highlight an emerging and critical front in China’s intensifying battle with pollution. For years, public attention has focused on the choking air and contaminated water that plague China’s ever-expanding cities. But a series of recent cases have highlighted the spread of pollution outside of urban areas, now encompassing vast swaths of countryside, including the agricultural heartland. Estimates from state-affiliated researchers say that anywhere between 8% and 20% of China’s arable land, some 25 to 60 million acres, may now be contaminated with heavy metals. A loss of even 5% could be disastrous, taking China below the “red line” of 296 million acres of arable land that are currently needed, according to the government, to feed the country’s 1.35 billion people.

Related: Closer Look: Guangdong Officials Wisely Came Clean on Soil Pollution – Caixin  On July 10, land and resources officials in the southern province of Guangdong gave the local people’s congress a report on a survey of soil pollution in the Pearl River Delta region. This was the first time in China such information was made public. The report was astonishing. It said that 28 percent of the soil in the delta region was affected by heavy metal pollution. Equally astonishing to the public was the decision to release the data.

China to spend trillions on pollution battle – Xinhua The Chinese government will spend more than 3 trillion yuan (489.3 billion U.S. dollars) to enhance air and water pollution prevention and treatment, environmental officials told an environmental protection industry forum on Sunday. An airborne pollution prevention and control action plan, which will be released soon, will be backed by 1.7 trillion yuan in investment from the central government, according to Wang Tao, an official with the pollution prevention department under the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). Wang added that an estimated 2 trillion yuan will be put in to enhance monitoring of drinking water sources and control poisonous contaminants as was required by a water pollution prevention and control action plan in formulation.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Growth amid Painful Readjustment – Economic Observer translation of July 18 article // Premier Li has demonstrated a dedication to painful economic restructuring at the expense of economic growth, but he’s now signaling that he won’t let growth slip too far. The NDRC, along with other agencies, has compiled a plan to achieve this while still refraining from reckless stimulus.

China Frees Up Capital Flows and Lifts IPO Ban – Barrons.com Analysts like China’s four big banks for their balance-sheet resilience to nonperforming loans and implicit “too big to fail” government backing. Based on liberalized capital rules, ICBC (1398.Hong Kong) and Bank of China (3988.Hong Kong) are the best bets. ICBC, which trades at just 5.6 times 2013 earnings, was appointed as the settlement bank for Singapore; Bank of China, trading at five times, will handle the Taiwanese clearing business for China. Analysts’ consensus is that each bank’s shares are worth 20% more than recent levels.

Regulator to Open Fundraising Spigot for Developers, Experts Say – Caixin Some companies said to be allowed to seek capital though mergers and acquisitions, while others may be returning to bond market

China’s Industrial Profits Growth Moderates as Economy Cools – Bloomberg China’s stocks fell for a third day yesterday on concern the nation’s growth will slow further after the government ordered cuts to production capacity in 19 industries to tackle oversupply that’s hurting prices and profits. At the same time, the State Council this week offered limited support for the world’s second-biggest economy, saying the nation will accelerate railway construction, give tax breaks for small companies and cut fees for exports. “In terms of policy, one thing is clear — there will be no stimulus package,” Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. The government is trying to make fiscal policy more effective by using savings from curbs on administrative spending and extravagance for “stimulus-style fiscal policies such as tax cuts for small companies and expanding VAT reform,” he said.

Analysis: Oversold China catches the eye of investors | Reuters ”We’re comfortable with China growing between 7.0-7.5 percent, and we approve the small actions taken by the government to target a more sustainable growth,” said Andrew Wilson, the London-based chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International. However, Goldman, which oversees more than $500 billion in assets, has taken a short position on the Chinese yuan’s non-deliverable forwards on the expectation that the currency will soften due to China’s slowdown, Wilson said.

China’s land market picks up again: report – Xinhua The Q2 composite index for China Land Index (CLI), released by the MLR’s center of land and mineral legal affairs to gauge the health of the overall land market, increased 17.4 percent from the previous quarter, or 19 percent from the same period last year, the report showed. It marked a rebound from the first three months, when the CLI witnessed a fall in major indices after the central government rolled out a string of measures to cool the country’s red-hot property market at the beginning of the year.

专访国土部:“空城”与“地王”并存背后 新华社——经济参考网 Ministry of Land official talks to Economic Information about the latest release of the China Land Index, discusses the dichotomy between surging prices in tier 1 cities and “empty cities” in second tier and below cities // 新华网北京7月28日电  国土资源部28日发布中国土地市场指数(CLI)显示,在经济下行压力明显情况下,地产景气指数进入红灯状态。经济“平行”甚至“下行”,何以地产“上行”;一线城市“地王”与三四线城市所谓“空城”何以并存?就这些问题,国土资源部法律中心主任孙英辉接受了本社记者专访。

史上最大老鼠仓:10个亿共舞博时精选|老鼠仓|博时基金_21世纪网 Bosera fund manager Ma Le involved in 1B RMB “rat trading” scheme? // 近日,资产管理规模业内排名第5的博时基金,被爆出前基金经理马乐涉及两个规模为10亿元资金和3千万资金的巨额“老鼠仓”,而牵涉的基金则是有着71.88亿的博时精选基金。

北京5年内预计投入5000多亿改造四环内棚户区_新闻_腾讯网 Beijing says it will spend 500B RMB in next five years to clean up and redevelop “shantytowns” within the fourth ring road // 北京启动中心城区棚户区改造,5年内预计投入5000多亿元,将全面改造四环路内的棚户区,这是记者近日从北京市住房和城乡建设委员会了解到的信息。

A more expensive Chinese lunch for Australia?–Lowy Interpreter One consequence is that we might be coming to the end of what has until recently been something of a free (Chinese) lunch for Australia. Think of it this way. Back at the tail end of the previous century, we might have expected that deepening trade ties with China would deliver stronger growth (and higher incomes) but at the price of increased volatility. This would reflect the stylized fact that emerging market growth typically tends to be both higher than that of our developed country trading partners, but also more variable.

工信部公布淘汰落后产能名单 十九家上市公司上榜_证券时报网 工信部昨日公布了今年首批工业行业淘汰落后产能企业名单,产能淘汰名单共包括19个工业行业,其中水泥、纸业等行业涉及公司较多,分别为140家与274家。细察目录可发现,有19家上市公司在列。按照工信部的要求,力争在2013年9月底前关停列入公告名单内企业的落后产能,确保在2013年年底前彻底拆除淘汰,不得向其他地区转移。

有理财产品收益率急升近20%_证券时报网广州日报记者获悉,本周以来,不少交易员都明显感觉资金面趋紧,这种紧张也从银行理财产品收益率上调有所反映,比如广州某城商行本周发行的7天滚动保本型理财产品收益率紧急上调了近20%。 但与此同时,SHIBOR利率虽然本周以来持续攀升,但仍远远低于上月“钱荒”时的利率,看起来仍处于可控范围内。

China is not due a ‘hard landing’ – Telegraph Returning to London, I still think there is a risk that growth might slow further as a result of government-inspired policy changes, but given the leadership’s determination, I am more confident that the decade ambition of 7.5pc is likely to be achieved. For the rest of us, including here in the UK, that is going to remain a fantastic business opportunity, especially for those that can provide want they want to consume.–Jim O’Neill is former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Ordos: A Land of Modest Millionaires – Economic Observer After that first class of millionaires emerged, they became their own economic engine and made millionaires out of those bringing industries catering to them; like hotels, luxury cars and real estate. It’s now estimated the number of millionaires in the city has surpassed 7,000. // even after the crash?

Survey Finds Higher Unemployment in China, Wide Wealth Gap and High Inequality – China Real Time Report – WSJ That gives China a gini coefficient — a widely used measure of inequality — of 0.49, which Yu Xie, a professor at the University of Michigan and one of the lead authors of the study, says is lower than findings from other recent surveys….The survey also finds that house prices are more closely aligned with income than talk of China’s housing bubble suggests. On average, house prices are 6.3 times annual income, although that figure disguises some significant variations between regions — Shanghai prices are 16.4 times average income.//something for everyone in this survey

China Wealth Fund CIC Posts 10.6% Return as Equity Rally – Bloomberg China Investment Corp., created to manage part of the nation’s $3.5 trillion of foreign-currency reserves, reported a 10.6 percent return on its overseas investments last year as global equities rallied. Net income at the $575 billion sovereign wealth fund, which also holds the government’s stakes in China’s biggest banks, rose to $77.4 billion from $48.4 billion in 2011, Beijing-based CIC said in its annual report yesterday. Its overseas investment returns compared with a 4.3 percent loss in 2011 amid declines in global commodity prices.

China, EU Come to Initial Understanding over Disputed Solar Panel Prices-Caijing Based on the latest agreement the two sides have reached, Chinese solar products will be sold at 5%-10% higher than current prices in the EU in the following two years

Is China’s debt nightmare a province called Jiangsu? | Reuters The nightmare scenario for China’s leaders as they try to wean the country off a diet of easy credit and breakneck expansion is a local government buckling under the weight of its own debt. Few provinces fit that bill quite like Jiangsu, home to China’s most indebted local government.
Hefty borrowings through banks, investment trusts and the bond market by Jiangsu’s provincial, city and county governments have saddled the province north of Shanghai with debt far higher than its peers, public records show.

Fitch: China’s Money Market Saw ‘Unprecedented’ Outflows Last Month – WSJ.com ”The outflows, unprecedented in the market’s relatively short history, were driven by volatile interbank market conditions and tight liquidity during June,” Fitch Ratings said in a report Friday. The redemptions were spurred by concerns that the funds may run out of cash if investors raced to yank money out at once, or that restrictions could be placed on withdrawals, Fitch said. Investors also sought to take advantage of the crisis as cash-strapped banks hiked rates on wealth-management products to keep deposits up.

POLITICS AND LAW

Wang Xiangwei–Jiang Zemin’s backing of Xi not coincidence | South China Morning Post China is at a similar critical juncture now. Is Jiang signalling that he would lend Xi a hand in the same way Deng helped him? The day after Jiang’s remarks were made public, Xinhua quoted Xi as saying that China must deepen reforms with “ever more political courage and wisdom”. Probably not a coincidence, but as always, China’s leaders keep us guessing.

Xinhua Insight: Xi’s speech underlines commitment to reform – Xinhua  The president urged authorities to carry out comprehensive and in-depth research before drawing up any schemes of further reform. He said they must look at six areas in particular: fostering an integrated national market system; boosting up economic development vitality; improving macro-control level; boosting social development vitality; guaranteeing social fairness and justice; as well as improving the Party’s art of leadership and governance capability. According to Zhou Tianyong, Xi’s remarks made it clear that China’s reform will be market-oriented, rather than simply backing from central planning or development methods determined by the government. Chinese authorities have so far refrained from initiating a massive stimulus program to lift the economy to allow leeway to proceed with structural reforms for long-term good.

How Much Slowdown Can Beijing Tolerate? | The Diplomat What this analysis shows is that many factors, some of them intangible, determine Beijing’s tolerance of slow growth. No magic number will make Chinese leaders think or behave differently.

Luxury watch prices fall as Beijing continues frugality drive|WantChinaTimes Appraiser Liu Chao said that the presence of secondhand luxury goods in the market has increased by 20%, with most of the items for sale being watches. “The original price for high-end watches range between 30,000 yuan to more than 100,000 yuan ((US$4,900- US$16,300). Some of the secondhand watches now on sale have never even been worn,” Liu said, adding that the watches are usually sold at a 50-70% discount compared to their original prices. However, an unnamed owner of a pawn shop in Guangzhou said the number of watches brought to his shop have declined, particularly those from luxury brands. After researching the decline, he found that some individuals have started to sell their expensive watches overseas to be cautious in the face of Beijing’s ban on luxury spending.

王占阳:当前改革需要攻克七大难关_共识网 应当看到,当前的改革实际就是化解危机的改革。能够开始从根本上扭转政经形势逐步下滑趋势的改革就是适当力度的改革。适度的标准就是能否扭转危局。展望未来,关键就是要看下一步改革的力度如何。不同力度的改革的效果大不一样。改革的机会已经流失得太多了,再无足够力度的改革可能也就没有机会了。——访中央社会主义学院教授 王占阳

Officers suspended after alleged beating|Society|chinadaily the girl’s screams in the video were chilling. // About 10 government officers were suspended on Sunday as an investigation continued into allegations the father of a 9-year-old girl was beaten because they sold lamps on the street as the girl’s summer holiday project in Beijing’s Shichahai area. A joint investigation team has been set up by legal affairs, supervision and police departments as well as lawmakers and political advisers. On Sunday the Xicheng district government released an initial report of the case on Sina Weibo, a micro blog platform. //北京“带女练摊”事件当事人田予冬发表声明_资讯频道_凤凰网

Fei Chang Dao: Baidu Censors “Xinhua Reporter Exposes Minister Accepted Bribes and Drank Human Milk” According to a report in the Ta Kung Pao, some officials are vicious beyond measure, and Xinhua correspondent has published a post stating that several years ago a minister-level official participated in expensive parties thrown by wealthy businessmen at a time when he was still a deputy-minister. One of the dishes was the breast milk of a beautiful woman, and that every guest was accompanied by a young, beautiful, naked girl. //who is writing the “Plum in the Golden Vase“, the novel documenting late Ming debauchery and corruption, for this era?

Ji Yingnan and other jilted mistresses expose Chinese officials’ corruption – The Washington Post The latest is a 26-year-old named Ji Yingnan, who says she discovered at the end of last year that her fiance, a powerful Communist Party official in Beijing, had been married with a teenage son the entire time they were together… “I never imagined that the one I loved so much, the one I gave so much love to, the one who lived four years with me, would become my enemy one day,” said Ji on a recent rainy evening at a 24-hour KFC near her apartment, where she says she stays holed up for days at a time.//  Video–Chinese Communist party official proposes to his girlfriend – The Washington Post // they both deserve jail just for their bad taste

Decoding Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ – CSMonitor.com If that sounds contradictory, says Liu Shangying, a political analyst at the China Academy of Social Sciences, it shouldn’t. “Xi Jinping is a reformist, but not in the Western sense,” Professor Liu explains. “He doesn’t think Western theories of democracy and modernization can help solve China’s problems.” Rather, Xi believes in the Communist Party and in its unchallenged rule. But the party he has inherited – bloated, bureaucratic, and corrupt – has largely lost the trust of ordinary Chinese citizens. To rectify that problem, Xi has girded his reformist loins.

Chinese Politicians Undergoing Indoctrination – Business Insider After a two-week visit to China and Hong Kong, Arthur Dong, professor of strategy and economics at Georgetown University told Business Insider that he is seeing more party indoctrination: ”I met with a party member, who happens to be a high ranking member of the party. I had lunch with him and what he expressed to me, was all senior level party members are being sent to an essentially re-education. They’re being sent to the equivalent of their West Point and they’re undergoing more party indoctrination, where they have to wear uniform. ”He showed me a picture where they’re donning their uniforms of Mao’s long march. They’re all being required to partake in this sort of party cleansing exercise, where they have to be reminded of the roots of their past, wear the uniforms of the long march, go through this sort of reeducation process to remind them about party loyalty, and also to be faithful to the party’s ideals.”

雷正西不再任神木书记 去职传言曾引群体事件_网易新闻中心 So the Shenmu Party Secretary did transfer out // 中新网7月26日电 据神木县人民政府网站消息,7月26日,经中共陕西省委、中共榆林市委研究决定,尉俊东担任中共神木县委委员、常委、书记,雷正西不再担任神木县委委员、常委、书记一职。

薄熙来案当用重典 不死难树反腐权威_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei says Bo Xilai needs to be executed to show Xi Jinping is serious about corruption crackdown // 乱世用重典,在今天中国官民矛盾激化,民众对官员腐败现状深恶痛绝的现状之下,虽然习近平和王岐山等中共新一代领导层认识到需要打击贪腐来赢得民心,保证中共执政基础,喊出“整风”、“治贪”的口号,但是如果不给这些罪大恶极的贪官以应有的惩罚,将难以树立新一届中央的权威,也会让民众对中共再一次失望。

罗昌平《打铁记》第九章:专机自证书_UGC精选 Chapter 9 of Luo Changping’s online serialized tale of taking down Liu Tienan, some interesting details about Wang Qishan as well as Hu Shuli and Caijing // 多个消息源表示,刘铁男在专机上获得不低于一个新闻联播的时机,他出具了一份亲笔拟定的自证书,从三个方面对我的微博举报进行了反击。

西藏党政军高官频调整_政经频道_财新网

各地暂停劳教审批 改革方向仍未明_政经频道_财新网 目前各地的做法都是暂不接受新的劳教对象,让它自然萎缩,但对于劳教的替代方案、怎样纳入社区矫正等问题,还没有进一步措施

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

U.S. to Push China for South China Sea Conduct Code, Biden Says – Bloomberg  “We’re doing everything to encourage that to be done, but it has to be done,” Biden said in a Bloomberg Television interview on July 27, as he wrapped up a six-day trip to India and Singapore. “It’s in everyone’s interest, including China’s, to have it happen that way, through negotiating a settlement.” Biden is the third senior Obama administration official to visit Asia — following Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry — since May, as the U.S. seeks to assure its allies it is committed to a pledge to build its military and economic presence in the region.

Philippines to move air force, navy near disputed sea – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base north of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said July 28 that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.

India offers Vietnam credit for military ware – The Hindu In a first, India has offered a $ 100-million credit line to Vietnam to purchase military equipment. It will be used for purchasing four patrol boats. The credit line was agreed upon around the time India once again expressed its resolve to remain involved in oil exploration activity in the Phu Kanh basin of the South China Sea.

Rumble in the Jungle – By Michael Sainsbury | Foreign Policy Last June, when Cambodia chaired ASEAN’s annual meeting, it refused to sign a communiqué that would have expressed a unified stance on China’s jaw-dropping claim to the entire South China Sea — where it is in dispute with seven of its neighbors but refuses to engage in multilateral negotiations. Cambodia is not a party to the disputes itself, but its rulers are increasingly reliant on China’s largesse. By kyboshing the communiqué, it has put itself squarely in China’s corner against its neighbors and the United States, ratcheting up security concerns and adding fuel to the region’s already alarming arms race. In December, Cambodia joined that race in its own small way: taking delivery of 100 tanks and 40 armed personnel carriers.

Chinese, With Revamped Force, Make Presence Known in East China Sea – NYTimes.com At a conference on maritime safety in Beijing last week, four retired American admirals, three retired American defense attachés and a group of American maritime experts met with Chinese officials to discuss the ramifications of the strengthened Chinese Coast Guard. The new coast guard is a “positive development,” said Susan L. Shirk, a former deputy assistant secretary of state, who organized the conference for the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Vessels belonging to the fisheries law enforcement agency have been particularly aggressive in the South China Sea over the past few years, and this kind of behavior may be modified under the new structure, she said.

Japan, Philippines to Tighten Links as Maritime Disputes Fester – Bloomberg Japan and the Philippines agreed to boost maritime cooperation and pledged to seek “responsible action” on territorial disputes from other nations. “We reviewed the security challenges that confront our nations, and pledged to cooperate in advancing our common advocacy for responsible action from international players,” Philippine President Benigno Aquino said in a briefing in Manila today after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japanese Minister Proposes More Active Military Presence in Region – NYTimes.com Japan is considering acquiring offensive weapons and drones and will assume a more active role in regional security, the country’s defense minister said Friday, giving an early glimpse of how the new conservative government could lead the nation further than ever from its postwar pacifism.

Japan’s PM calls for high-level talks with China | Reuters Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Friday for a leaders’ summit or a foreign ministers’ meeting between his country and China as soon as possible, drawing a cool reaction from Beijing which accused Japan of lacking sincerity.

China Ships Ply Disputed Waters as Japan Mulls Marine Forces – Bloomberg Four Chinese vessels ordered Japanese ships to leave waters around disputed islands known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, China’s State Oceanic Administration said on its website. China’s strengthened coast guard began operations on July 22, and the action appeared to mark an escalation as previous maneuvers generally involved three vessels. “I can see the China Coast Guard being able to draw upon many more ships than before,” said Gary Li, a senior analyst for IHS Maritime in Beijing, adding that the increase in capabilities brings China onto an “equal footing” with Japan.

China’s Greenland Enters U.S. in $1 Billion Los Angeles Project – Bloomberg Shanghai Greenland Group Co., the developer building one of China’s tallest towers, is investing $1 billion in a downtown Los Angeles project, the latest Chinese builder to venture overseas. Shanghai Greenland signed an agreement to acquire a stake in the project from California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the state-owned Chinese developer said in an e-mailed statement. It is the biggest deal of its kind by a Chinese developer in the U.S., Shanghai Greenland said.

More Chinese Women Joining US Army for Citizenship – All China Women’s Federation The United States (US) has been seeing an increasing number of female Chinese nationals in Southern California applying to join the army so that they can achieve citizenship under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program. According to a military officer named Wang Qiang from the military enlistment processing station in Puente Hills Mall, eight Chinese women have signed up at the station, twice last year’s number. He believes that acquiring citizenship is the main reason they applied for the program.

China’s Home Buyers in a New York State of Mind – China Real Time Report – WSJ The U.S. ranks tops among mainland Chinese looking to buy homes outside their country, with New York being the most popular city, according to a survey of searches on Chinese-language property portal website Juwai.

BBC News – Chinese firm Huawei controls net filter praised by PM The pornography filtering system praised by David Cameron is controlled by the controversial Chinese company Huawei, the BBC has learned…Initially, TalkTalk told the BBC that it was US security firm Symantec that was responsible for maintaining its blacklist, and that Huawei only provided the hardware, as previously reported. However, Symantec said that while it had been in a joint venture with Huawei to run Homesafe in its early stages, it had not been involved for over a year.

China’s vice president urges North Korea’s Kim to enter talks | Reuters China’s vice president told North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that Beijing will push for talks on ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, as he led a delegation to Pyongyang to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Li Yuanchao is a member of China’s 25-member Politburo and the talks are the highest-level contact between China and North Korea since Kim assumed power in December 2011 upon the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.

New Chinese Thinking on Sino-U.S. Relations? | The Jamestown Foundation The leadership transition in Beijing and the subsequent high-level China-U.S. meetings have yet to achieve a major conceptual or policy breakthrough in overcoming bilateral tensions. The meetings have certainly not established a “New Type of Great Power Relationship”—the declared goal of Chinese diplomacy. The new Chinese thinking has occurred, but has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. For example, previously Chinese analysts warned that the United States was using the pivot to embolden China’s neighbors to confront Beijing, now they warn that Washington naively is allowing Japanese rightists and other local nationalists to manipulate the United States into confronting China on their behalf. In addition, while many Chinese view North Korea less favorably in the past, and some would like to dump Pyongyang for Seoul, Chinese analysts see the main regional security as Japan’s remilitarization rather than North Korean provocations.

Propaganda, Not Policy: Explaining the PLA’s “Hawkish Faction” (Part One) | The Jamestown Foundation Hawkish remarks by PLA media figures, therefore, should be seen as propaganda rather than statements of intent or clues to foreign policy debates. They do not necessarily imply divisions within the regime—either between the military and the civilian leadership, or between competing factions. In fact, Luo Yuan has stated the entire appearance of hawks and doves in China’s public discourse should be a carefully coordinated opera in which “some sing the red mask [good cop], others sing the white mask [bad cop]” (Global Times Net, May 4). If the hawks do represent a schism, it is more likely between the imperatives of the CCP-PLA propaganda apparatus and other constituencies, such as military professionals like Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, international relations intelligentsia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“China’s Responses to the Pentagon Report ‘Baseless, Counterproductive’,” China Brief, May 9).

Pushing the “New Type of International Relations” in Latin America | The Jamestown Foundation Although the “New Type of Great Power Relations” is the more commonly known term, Xi gave a speech in Moscow where he expanded the terminology to a “New Kind of International Relations” (People’s Daily, March 24; Wei Wei Po [Shanghai], March 23). The core of the expanded concept was common development, meaning countries must respect each state’s right to pursue its own political and economic development. Xi also said the world’s increasing interdependence and non-traditional security threats meant that states should not pursue security unilaterally, but should rely on cooperative mechanisms to address their security concerns (“Out with the New, In with the Old: Interpreting China’s ‘New Type of International Relations’,” China Brief, April 25; People’s Daily, March 24). This more expansive “New Type” concept allows Beijing to bridge the gap between small or developing countries and great powers, providing a common framework for understanding “core interests” and peaceful development (People’s Daily Online, July 26; Guangming Daily, July 25).

 

TECH AND MEDIA

广电总局“限歌令”细则曝光:引进境外节目将被严格管控-时政频道-新华网 details of rules restricting singing shows in prime time, if implememnted will be a blow to foreign tv show vendors // 前日下午,广电总局召集九家卫视召开了内部工作会议,并公布了歌唱类选拔节目的最终调控细则,除了对数量、播出时段进行调控外,也重申今年各台一律不得再投入制作新的歌唱选拔类节目,同时要求各卫视对参赛选手、导师等做好把关和引导。另外针对引进国外节目模式的现象,总局要求卫视提高原创节目比重,对引进境外的节目模式要严格管理和调控。

互联网给传统产业无限机会(感言)–人民日报 Baidu’s Robin Li gives an interview to People’s Daily about the Internet bringing “unlimited opportunities” to traditional industries

With Purchase of App Store, Big-Spending Baidu Trades Cash for Time – Caixin Other Internet juggernauts, including Alibaba, Tencent and Qihoo360, were keen to buy 91 Wireless. But Baidu had the cash. Its cash equivalent and short-term investments totaled about US$ 5.445 billion. Plus, it had a history of successful mergers, such as the acquisition of website navigator Hao123.com in 2004. Yet, Baidu missed out on several recent acquisition attempts, including Sina Weibo, in which Alibaba bought an 18 percent stake. Early 91 Wireless’ estimated valuation was between US$ 600 million and US$ 800 million, a source close to the company said. But fierce bidding drove up the price. Baidu’s initial offer was reportedly US$ 1.5 billion. Alibaba pushed the price up with a last-minute attempt to snatch the company.  Then Qihoo360 got involved in bidding, further driving up the price.

TechInAsia-App Store Wandoujia Adds 500K Users a Day, About Half of New Android Activations in China CEO and co-founder Wang Junyu, a 27-year-old former employee of Google, says Wandoujia is now seeing 500,000 new users a day opening up its third-party Android app store, which amounts to about half of all new Android activations in China 1. Junyu says his startup is about more than just downloading freemium apps – he wants to help users discover new content. Plus, Wandoujia partners with app publishers for their China launches (as it did with Flipboard) and also has an Android-to-computer syncing tool, a sort of iTunes for Android, that’s available for Windows, Mac, and as a web app.

Insight: How Samsung is beating Apple in China | Reuters Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook believes that “over the arc of time” China is a huge opportunity for his pathbreaking company. But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which has been around far longer and penetrated much deeper into the world’s most populous country. Apple Inc this week said its revenue in Greater China, which also includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, slumped 43 percent to $4.65 billion from the previous quarter. That was also 14 percent lower from the year-ago quarter. Sales were weighed down by a sharp drop in revenues from Hong Kong. “It’s not totally clear why that occurred,” Cook said on a conference call with analysts.

Apple IPhone Share Shrinks as China’s Huawei to ZTE Lure Users – Bloomberg Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s share of the global smartphone market fell to its lowest in three years in the second quarter as more consumers chose inexpensive handsets from Chinese makers over the iPhone. Apple shipped 31.2 million devices for 13.6 percent of the global smartphone market, researcher Strategy Analytics reported yesterday. That’s down from a 16.6 percent share a year earlier and trails market leader Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s 76 million shipments and 33.1 percent market share, Boston, Massachusetts-based Strategy Analytics said.

Huawei Announces CNY1Bn Pay Rise Plan Following Stronger Earnings -Caijing Huawei, China’s largest maker of telecom network equipment is spending as much as 1billion yuan ($163million) on a broad pay rise after it reported another jump in revenue on Wednesday. The company announced large pay rises for its employees at grass-root level. Most of the beneficiaries will get a pay rise of around 30 percent while some will be paid 70% more.

Triangulating China — Benedict Evans China probably has roughly as many iPhones as the USA and a lot more Androids.

Rumor: China Unicom to Release Self-Branded Handset | Marbridge Consulting The handset reportedly operates on an Android 4.1.1 system and features a 4.5″ 854×480 display, 1.2GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 2MP rear-facing camera, and 0.3MP front-facing camera.

Xiaomi’s Red Rice phone up for pre-order from July 30 for $160, according to pulled China Mobile ad – The Next WebAccording to an advertisement on the Guangdong branch website of China Mobile spotted by Sina Tech, the Red Rice phone, which will start being carried first by the operator, will retail at a price of RMB999 ($162.80). Pre-orders will apparently start from July 30. However, when we tried accessing the webpage, all mentions of the Red Rice were gone — which makes it likely that China Mobile has accidentally jumped the gun on this.

WeChat took Facebook’s mantle in China and now it’s going global – The Next Web WeChat is expected to pass 400 million registered users within the next few months and it is already accelerating its overseas presence. The service added 20 million users outside of China in the last two months, and a new global advertising campaign — fronted by football star Lionel Messi — is likely to see its presence in markets like Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe surge.

China Outlook new editorial product about China, based in HK, $585 for 15 month subscription

Activision Becomes Independent With Buyout of Vivendi – Bloomberg Netease has the cash, and is the WoW licensee in China. But Tencent did the deal // The maker of “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” will take on debt to purchase shares held by Paris-based Vivendi for $13.60 each, or $5.83 billion in total. Kotick and his partners, who include co-Chairman Brian Kelly, Chinese video-game publisher Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700), Davis Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners, will pay $2.34 billion.

China’s “Silver Surfers” Could Mean Big Business for Online Shopping | Alizila The number of senior citizens in China aged 50 and over is expected to hit 200 million for the first time this year. While much has been written about the country’s rapidly aging demographics and the stress this will put on the economy and social services in coming years, this senior segment—a group larger than population of all but the world’s four largest countries—is also seen as source of growth for China’s booming e-commerce market.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Why I’m Temporarily Not Going to Be Living in China For a Little While But Will Be Back | the Anthill Brendan O’Kane will be a familiar name to many of you. He is a long time Beijing resident, accomplished translator, and “accidental pedagogue” at Popup Chinese and IES. Next month he leaves China to do an MA at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on classical China, but plans to be back around autumn 2014. As he has far too much good sense to write a “Why I’m Leaving China” post, I roped him into doing a Q&A instead, so I could ask about his experiences here over the last dozen years, his thoughts on Chinese literature, and more.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

“Giant panda Channel” to hit Chinese Internet – Xinhua From August, Internet users around the world will be able to watch live round-the-clock broadcasts of giant pandas living in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding announced on Sunday. Twenty-eight high definition video cameras have been installed in the base to record the daily activities of more than 80 giant pandas living there, said sources with the base. Visitors to the “Giant panda channel,” or ipanda.com, can choose from six feeds

Outcry after Chinese tourists pictured hunting rare sea creatures in disputed Paracel Islands | South China Morning Post Concerns have been sparked after a controversial post in which a tourist uploaded photos of his recent trip to the previously unexplored Paracels – often advertised as ”China’s Maldives” – and boasted of hunting sea creatures on the islands. Aside from the more common activities such as fishing, diving and sea-turtle watching, the post bragged about harvesting and feasting on endangered creatures such as giant clam – also known as Tridacna gigas – and nautilidae. Giant clam is protected by the the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

China’s wine boom of little profit to giant pandas and small farmers | Environment | The Guardian In 1985, Li Hua visited a valley in the foothills of the Tibetan plateau. The area was better known for its panda population, but the oenologist realised that its high altitude, hours of sunshine, sandy soil and low precipitation also offered ideal conditions for growing grapes. Li’s findings gave local authorities an idea, and over the past decade they have begun to implement an ambitious plan: to convert Xiaojin, a county in Aba prefecture, Sichuan province, into the Bordeaux of China. //Jiuzhaigou area

Why China pays too much for medicines | Reuters China has a drug problem. While most Western countries spend 10-12 percent of their healthcare budget on medicines, in China it is well over 40 percent, a disparity that goes to the heart of Beijing’s crackdown on the industry. A promise this week by GlaxoSmithKline to make its drugs more affordable in China in the wake of a bribery scandal is an important lever Chinese authorities may now use to start redressing the balance.

Politics Is a Bitter Pill for Glaxo – WSJ.com Prices will likely change faster. In a report this week on foreign drug companies, Xinhua, the Party’s official news agency, abandoned any pretense. “Some believe China may see a nationwide price cut on medicines,” Xinhua predicted. Expect that guidance to resonate with drug makers. In its race to build a consumer-led economy, Beijing will need to reassure its citizens that all this isn’t just theater to mollify the public, trim some costs, but chiefly leave the status quo, and the Party’s control over the economy, intact.

 

BEIJING

Beijing’s ban on ‘big & vicious’ dogs keeps canines on the run – Behind The Wall It is not a new law…it’s why I never bought the golden retriever I wanted, as assumed that living in CBD there was ultimately a real risk of one day having to get rid of the dog, which would have been wrenching to the kids // A local law has put some Beijing residents on the run, as they fight to keep their best friends alive and well.  Yao Wang is a 26-year-old Beijing native who has been hiding from the government since May. She’s moved four times in the last three months to stay ahead of the law. Wang is not moving to protect herself. She is afraid that without her help, the Beijing police will take her dog into custody and execute it…The provision has been on the books since 1994, but only began to be strictly enforced this year.//no it gets enforced every few years

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