China Readings for October 18th

  • 二号首长:当官是一门技术活/黄晓阳-图书-卓越亚马逊 [二号首长第二部] – "#2 Boss" on Amazon.cn
  • China’s Ministry of Railways debt: Three ways out of the mess | Institute for New Economic Thinking – A huge debt of RMB 2.1 trillion (330 billion USD) as well as serious funding problems—how will the Ministry of Railways handle it? Or more precisely, how will the behind-the-scenes decision-maker, China’s central government deal with this issue? We think there are three ways out of the debt mess.
  • China Economics Seminar | Institute for New Economic Thinking – blog by pettis students//

    On China Economics Seminar, graduate students in economics and finance at China's Peking University analyze and discuss China's monetary and macroeconomic issues.

  • Taobao Mall to Spend 1.8 Billion Yuan to Appease Angry Merchants | iChinaStock
  • Hong Kong Exchange Urges Self-Exams by Some China Firms – WSJ.com – Hong Kong's stock-exchange operator has asked some companies to examine themselves to satisfy regulatory concerns, as the stock-market operator battles a crisis of confidence in overseas-listed Chinese companies.

    Recent fraud allegations involving some overseas-listed Chinese businesses, particularly in the U.S., has reduced investors' confidence in Hong Kong-listed companies, too, even though the city has tougher listing standards, Mark Dickens, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.'s head of listing, said in an interview on Monday.

  • Heard on the Street: China’s Bond Markets Flash a Warning – WSJ.com – China's domestic bond market is a murky work in progress. But investors ignore its current gloomy message at their peril.

    The market still is small in terms of size and turnover, and prices are distorted because bank interest rates in China are regulated. But bond prices reflect the views of some serious in-the-know investors, such as the traders at China's state-owned banks. Right now, they are signaling troubled times ahead.

  • Too Close For Comfort – U.S. To Inspect Cuban Rig | gCaptain – Maritime & Offshore – U.S. officials are trying to make sure the American coastline will be protected as Cuba begins drilling a deep water oil well later this year about 60 miles off the Florida Keys.

    Administration officials will tell nervous congressmen this week that the U.S. will inspect the China-made drilling rig before the Spanish energy company in charge of the project, Repsol YPF SA, moves the rig into Cuban territory.

  • Wal-Mart China CEO Steps Down – WSJ.com – SOMEONE SHOULD DIG INTO THE PREVIOUS CFO AND COO DEPARTURES//

    Wal-Mart also announced the resignation of Clara Wong, its senior vice president for human resources in China. She also couldn't be reached.

    The division already had gone through management turmoil. Roland Lawrence, Wal-Mart's chief financial officer for China, and Rob Cissell, its chief operating officer in the country, resigned in May. Wal-Mart cited personal reasons for their departures, as well.

  • Of Blind Men and Elephants – Grasping China’s Economy – China Real Time Report – WSJ – How healthy – or otherwise – is China’s economy? Like the proverbial blind men grasping an elephant, the answer likely depends on where you’re standing.

    That seemed to be the message Monday when China Real Time put a property developer, a private equity executive, a former ambassador and newly minted resource firm director, and a senior local financial journalist on a panel in Beijing.

  • RAND: China and India, 2025: A Comparative Assessment – Council on Foreign Relations – RAND provides a comparative assessment between the progress China and India are likely to make by 2025 in the domains of demography, macroeconomics, science and technology, and defense spending and procurement.
  • 人民网评:文化改革为"深水区"探路–观点–人民网 – 中国共产党第十七届中央委员会第六次全体会议10月15日至18日在北京召开。此次会议将审议有关深化文化体制改革、推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣的文件。连日来,“文化”话题,备受媒体和公众关注。

      正如“改革”是30多年来中国现代化建设的关键词,在文化领域,“改革”二字同样举足轻重。只有在中国波澜壮阔的改革图景中,才能更深刻地理解文化体制改革的意义。哪里有改革,哪里就有新发展;哪里有改革,哪里就有新局面。

  • Experienced Japanese seek new jobs in China – FT.com – Mr Seijo is among a growing number of Japanese, many of them approaching retirement age, who are finding work in fast-growing China, where their years of experience or technical knowhow have helped them to find new opportunities rather than retire in Japan.
    As Japan’s sluggish economy, high corporate tax rate and strong yen force companies to seek production sites and new markets overseas, jobseekers are also being forced to look beyond Japan’s shores for opportunities that are lacking at home.
  • 消息人士称鄂尔多斯将出台针对民间借贷市场的救市措施-《财经网》 – Ordos also has underground bank problem, CHina bears will have field day with it even though not nearly as important as wenzhou
  • Inside-Out China: China’s Officialdom Novels: Translators Pay Attention! – There is a rumor on the Chinese internet that, at various government levels, Party bosses are requiring their secretaries and subordinates to make a new novel their "must-read." This novel, which I'm reading right now, is titled "No. 2 Boss." (By the way, the Chinese word "首长" is a bit difficult to translate precisely in this context.  I'm using "boss" for the moment.  If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm all ears.)
  • How a smoggy Chinese city turned green | Environment | guardian.co.uk – Shenyang – once a key in Mao Zedong's push to industrialize China – has begun to emerge from its smoggy past, cleaning up its factories and expanding its green spaces
  • Fulcrum of the axis of anxiety shifts to China – FT.com – International exposure, these days, means China.

    So, investors want little to do with companies tied to the eurozone, as the debt crisis increases the chances of a renewed recession there. Those who could sell to China made a full recovery from the Lehman crisis; those who could not, did not.

    A year ago, equity strategists at Deutsche Bank started dividing European stocks according to whether their chief exposures lay to the US, Latin America, eastern Europe or China. The result was dramatic. For all the US problems, American-exposed stocks have shed only 9 per cent in the past 12 months. China-exposed stocks have dropped 41 per cent, and were off nearly 50 per cent at one point.

    That rams home the market’s loss of confidence in the Chinese growth story during the past year.

  • Tensions flare over oil in South China Sea – FT.com – China has warned India to halt joint energy projects with Vietnam in the South China Sea even as Beijing takes steps to reduce tensions with Hanoi and co-operate more closely in oil and gas exploration in the disputed waters.
    In a joint statement issued on Saturday at the conclusion of a high-profile visit to China by Nguyen Phu Trong, the head of Vietnam’s ruling Communist party, Beijing and Hanoi said they would “actively boost co-operation” in offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation as well as speed up negotiations to find a peaceful settlement to their long-running dispute.
  • The empire Sino-Forest built and the farmers who paid the price – The Globe and Mail – That didn’t seem to matter. A short time after the forestry officials handed out the little green books, Anjia started seeing more visitors: Next, a trio of slickly dressed men from the nearby city of Ninglang showed up, spinning tales about how those little green books could be sold for cold, hard cash. The village secretary, An Zhashi, was intrigued, particularly by a promised side agreement that would see him paid 50,000 yuan (about $7,500 Canadian, using the average exchange for the past 12 months) to get the whole village on board.

    The deal on offer seemed a simple trade: The brokers would lease all 6,701 mu that had been allocated to the village, in exchange for a one-time payment of 130 yuan per mu. A mu is a Chinese unit of land measurement; 15 mu make up one hectare. So the Anjia agreement involved some 447 hectares for a total payment of about $130,000, or about $292 per hectare.

  • 重庆移动招标黑幕_杂志频道_财新网 – 手握邀标实权,贪腐者将涉嫌行贿的公司纳入邀标范围,并令其最终中标获利
  • Further Details Emerge on China Mobile Corruption Case_From Caixin’s Blog__Blog_English_Caixin – Court documents reveal that former Chongqing China Mobile chairman and president Shen Changfu took 17.47 million yuan in bribes from Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson—more than any other company involved with Shen over the last 15 years. The former executive also admitted to boosting Huawei’s market presence in Chongqing, according to police transcripts released in court.
  • Nearly 20Pct of Local Governments Have a Debt Ratio of over 100Pct: Jia Kang – Nearly 20 percent of city-level local governments have a debt ratio of over 100 percent, which, however, would not necessarily cause a proble, said Jia Kang.
    Nearly 20 percent of city-level local governments have a debt ratio of over 100 percent, which, however, would not necessarily cause a problem, the Oriental Morning Post reported, quoting Jia Kang, head of the research institute for fiscal science under the ministry of finance
  • Apple supplier ordered to shut China plant on environmental concerns | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – As the Japan earthquake and tsunami showed, supply chain disruptions could come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s a new risk for the technology industry: China is getting serious about tightening its environmental regulations.

    In an emergency announcement on Sunday night, Taiwan’s Catcher Technology (2474:TAI), one of the world’s biggest makers of metal casings for notebook PCs, said it had been ordered to close part of its plant in China’s Suzhou province by regulators, after local residents complained of bad odours generated by the plant.

    Few outside of the technology industry will have heard of Catcher, but many consumers globally will be familiar with the sleek, uni-body casing of Apple’s Macbook Air and Macbook Pro laptops – both made by Catcher, according to analysts.

  • Wal-Mart China Chief Resigns as Retailer Faces Pork Probe – Businessweek
  • 精品力作,姹紫嫣红开遍(人民观察·文化改革发展巡礼之三)–文化–人民网
  • Watch: Toddler run over by two vehicles, ignored by all but one trash collector: Shanghaiist – This is the top story on Sina Weibo today, and it's F#### UP to the nth degree. On Thursday afternoon in Foshan, Guangdong province, a two-year-old toddler was run over by a van outside a hardware market. The first passerby, who is very likely to have witnessed what happened, walked around the girl, without even looking down to see what happened to her. Behind him was another man, who apparently also witnessed the accident, but decided to make a u-turn so he wouldn't have to come up close to the girl lying on the road. One cyclist took a brief look at the girl, but decided to cycle away as if nothing happened, and a fourth passerby also walked around the toddler.
    At this moment, another van appeared in the scene, and the driver rolled over the girl for a second time, apparently not realising that there was a body on the ground. Within the next five minutes, a dozen or so bystanders would walk by the girl, who by this time was a bloody mess. They would maybe take a glance or two at her, then walk away. One woman, with her daughter in hand, walked briskly away when she realised there was another little girl lying on the ground.
  • One Loser in U.S. Presidential Polling: China – WSJ.com – It's impossible to know the winner of next year's presidential race, but there is already one clear loser: China.

    One Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, has propelled China into the center of the contest by accusing it of "cheating," and by threatening to shut down U.S. markets to Chinese goods unless China lets its currency appreciate significantly. President Barack Obama has attacked Beijing for "gaming the trading system."

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