China Readings for February 5th

  • China Has Too Many Bachelors – Population Reference Bureau – (January 2012) Dudley Poston is fascinated by China's "demographic exceptionalism." The country has the world's largest population, and in the 1970s managed to achieve one of the fastest fertility declines in human history. China's "one-child" population policy has resulted in a number of unique demographic events and transitions, including an imbalance of the sex ratio at birth. Millions of "extra" boys have been born: Already, 41 million bachelors will not have women to marry. If nothing is done to change this trend, Poston noted, by 2020 there will be 55 million extra boys in China.

    As part of PRB's 2011-2012 Policy Seminar series, Poston discussed China's fertility control policies. He is a professor of sociology and director of the Asian Studies Program at Texas A&M University.

  • Book Review: The Fat Years – WSJ.com – But "The Fat Years," an inventive and highly topical novel by Chan Koonchung, is among the first to explore a scenario that much of the world is speculating about today: What happens once China can boast having the world's top economy? His descriptions of the excesses of contemporary China—the book is set in the very near future of 2013—are so vivid that the book was banned in China when it was first published in 2009, and the background of world economic crisis has the immediacy of journalism, a setup to which Mr. Chan adds a speculative dystopian twist.
  • Supreme Court’s verdict on telcos scorches Chinese gear makers Huawei and ZTE – The Economic Times – The Supreme Court's call to cancel all 122 licences awarded by tainted former telecom minister A Raja could hit Chinese equipment vendors like Huawei and ZTE the most as they are tipped to have sold over $1 billion of 2G network gear to the companies that went mobile after January 2008.

    While Huawei and ZTE are still weighing the business fallout of Thursday's apex court judgement, executives familiar with the matter are not ruling out problems on the dues recovery front in the short run. Nearly all new entrants – from Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Uninor to Tata DoCoMo, Videocon, Loop Mobile and STel – have chosen to partner with Chinese companies to roll out their mobile networks.

  • Chinese naval drill legitimate|Asia-Pacific|chinadaily.com.cn – China on Friday dismissed Japan's concerns about Chinese naval ships traveling through international waters in the Okinawa Islands, saying it is just a regular drill.
    The Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that the vessels are en route for the western Pacific Ocean as part of a regular training exercise.
    "China enjoys legal rights including sailing through international waters, and the naval exercise has conformed to international laws and regulations," the statement said.
    According to Kyodo News Agency, four Chinese frigates sailed between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island in southern Japan. Japan's coast guard has its surveillance aircraft and ships on alert and monitoring the situation.
  • Pollution costing China dear: report|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – China is paying an increasing price for pollution brought about by economic development, says a report by the country's environmental protection academy.
    The cost of environmental and ecological damage to the country soared to almost 1.4 trillion yuan ($222 billion) in 2009, an increase of 9.2 percent on the previous year. China spent 3.8 percent of that year's GDP to clean up the environment, according to the statistics in the recently released China Green National Accounting Study Report 2009.
  • McDonald’s China: Burgers safe from ‘pink slime’|Companies|chinadaily.com.cn – McDonald's China says its burgers are made of 100 percent beef after the fast food chain announced it will drop use of "pink slime", made from spare beef trimmings, cnr.cn reported Friday.
    Ingredients for McDonald's burgers in the Chinese mainland are different from that in the US, and are free from "pink slime", said a unnamed staff in charge of McDonald's China's public relation department.
  • Award-winning images doctored|Media Digests|chinadaily.com.cn – The ninth "Image China" national photography art exhibition has disqualified 27 out of 52 awards in the documentary category, Beijing Youth Daily reported Friday.
    About 70-80 percent of the 27 disqualified images had been modified in Photoshop, an expert who attended the appraisal meeting said.
  • New iPhone sales begin on mainland with website|Markets|chinadaily.com.cn – In Hong Kong, the official retail price of a 16GB iPhone 4S is HK$5,088 ($660) – compared with 4,988 yuan ($790) in Apple stores on the mainland.
    Hong Kong iPhone buyers now have to log on to Apple's Hong Kong website between 9 am and noon and give their personal information – including a government-issued ID card number – to reserve a set.
    Those selected in the lottery receive an e-mail confirmation of the order before 9 pm the same day and are informed when they can pick up the phone. Those not selected have to try again on a different day.
    Apple did not disclose how many iPhone 4S units are released for sale through the lottery each day.
    "Due to high demand, we are accepting a limited number of iPhone reservations per day," a notice in the Apple Store in Hong Kong said. "Only those who receive e-mail confirmation will be able to purchase an iPhone. We will not be selling the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers."
  • Business Affairs Manager, Greater China at Apple Inc. in Beijing – Job | LinkedIn – Responsible for managing Apple’s Business Affairs function for Greater China. This includes maintaining industry relationships to develop content and secure rights clearances in connection with the marketing of Apps, Music, Movies, Podcasts, iBooks, Safari content, and other third party content. This content is used in global marketing communications including web, direct marketing, packaging, events, retail, and channel partners. 
  • 枪手代笔:名人“写作班子”内幕调查 – 宏观 – 21世纪网
  • 4艘中国军舰通过冲绳近海 国防部称系例行训练_新闻_腾讯网
  • 许单单奋斗记:从小职员到美基金公司分析师_互联网_科技时代_新浪网
  • Quick Iran curbs may obviate need for strike call – Israel – Yahoo! – MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran "will blink" if sanctions aimed at deterring it from building a nuclear bomb are imposed rapidly, meaning outside powers may never need to decide on possible armed action, an Israeli minister said on Friday.
    Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Germany, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon added that the key point of international concern should be the amount of enriched uranium Iran has managed to bury at a deep site at Fordow, its best sheltered nuclear site south of Tehran.
  • Q&A: Rebecca MacKinnon on the Brave New World of the Web | Mother Jones – RM: When you go to China, you talk to a lot of middle class people who aren't very political—because most people in most countries aren't very political unless they get riled up about something—and people are like, all these Americans are going on about how unfree we are, and how repressive our country is, but I can do all this stuff on the internet! I'm doing this that and the other, I feel free! I don't feel oppressed! What are these people talking about? These Americans are just anti-Chinese, they're just making stuff up. Because from their experience, they don't feel so unfree. This is why I called the Chinese model networked authoritarianism, because people do have more give-and-take with the government, they have more freedom than they used to, but it still has limits.

    I think in democracies we're kind of socialized to assume that all the authoritarian countries will eventually evolve and become more like the democracies, and that the Internet will make that more likely, but another possibility is that the authoritarian countries become more like democracies in terms of more public discourse and freewheeling space on the Internet, but it meets in the middle with democracies becoming less free and more manipulated, so we all just become more the same.

  • Iran is the root of all evil – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com – marketing rollout for attack on iran looks similar to one for iraq invasion.
  • Wukan: Inspirational example, or old news? – China Media Project
  • China Economic Watch | Can Affordable Housing Sustain China’s Economic Growth? – As you can see, a drop in the commercial housing loan growth rate has significant implications. If commercial housing loan growth drops to zero, the amount of affordable housing loans will have to more than double to pick up the slack.

    As with China’s stimulus, the central government is assigning large mandates but putting up remarkably little funding to help local governments meet these goals. In 2011, the central government funded less than 10 percent of the total cost, leaving local governments to finance the rest through borrowing and revenues. Local governments are already significantly indebted and facing declining revenues due to lower land sales. This argues for a healthy degree of skepticism when evaluating claims that local governments will be able to offset a declining commercial housing market by further boosting affordable housing.

  • Muslim: Quip led to terror probe | The Chronicle Herald – A casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to "blow away" the competition at a trade show allegedly plunged a Muslim man into a terrorism probe.

    Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami says the innocent message, aimed at pumping up his staff, has had devastating consequences on his life.

    The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the U.S. border because of their connection to him.

    Those are the allegations Allami makes in a lawsuit filed last month.

    The Moroccan native is seeking $100,000 from the Quebec provincial police force, one of its sergeants, and the provincial government. The six-figure sum is being sought for unlawful detention, unlawful arrest, loss of income and damage to his reputation.

    On Jan. 21, 2011, Allami sent a text message to colleagues urging them to "blow away" the competition at a trade show in New York City.

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