China Readings for October 1st

  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma at Stanford: “We Are Very Interested” in Buying Yahoo – Kara Swisher – News – AllThingsD
  • The Jamestown Foundation: Non-Commissioned Officers and the Creation of a Volunteer Force – The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting a major reform of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) corps in recognition of the key role NCOs can play supporting force modernization, warfighting and new missions. Since 1999, quality improvements and a significant expansion of the NCO corps are creating a more professional and volunteer military force with a decreasing reliance on two-year conscripts, recruits and volunteers (Xinhua, March 23, 2005) This year's white paper “China’s National Defense in 2010,” as well as a series of PLA press reports marking the new guidelines for NCO management over the last few months have highlighted the importance of developing a quality NCO corps, as well as problems in attracting and training skilled personnel [1]. This article examines the development of a professional NCO corps and its impact on PLA modernization and warfighting capabilities.
  • The Jamestown Foundation: Fear and Loathing in Beijing? Chinese Suspicion of U.S. Intentions – Recently, a number of Chinese analysts have argued U.S. diplomatic and military actions in the region—including Washington’s efforts to assure allies in response to North Korean attacks, its engagement with Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia, and its statements about resolving competing claims in the South China Sea—reflect what they see as a desire to ensure that China’s emergence will not challenge U.S. interests. According to Shen Dingli of Fudan University, Washington is exploiting regional tensions and urging some countries to “hedge against China’s rise” (“A Chinese Assessment of China’s External Environment,” China Brief, March 25). Such comments appear to reflect growing concern about U.S. intentions, at least among some Chinese scholars and security analysts. The United States repeatedly has indicated it welcomes the emergence of a more prosperous and powerful China, one that is capable of playing a larger and more constructive role on the international stage, but many in China are concerned that Washington is becoming increasingly uneasy about the implications of China’s arrival as a great power.
  • The Jamestown Foundation: Public Security Officially Joins the Blogosphere – moe evidence that while the government may neuter weibo they will not shut it down. they still think they can co-opt, channel and exploit it//

    On September 27, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced the national launch of "police microblogging construction" (gong’an weibo jianshe) as the newest element in its social management toolkit and public security informationization (MPS.gov.cn, September 27; People’s Daily, September 27). To prepare the national launch of police microblogging, the MPS convened a special seminar on September 25 and 26 to help establish the “normalization” of police microblogging with informed research and lessons from a trial period for the MPS program that took place over the last 18 months at sub-national levels. MPS Vice Minister Huang Ming presided over this launch seminar and said the results so far have been very promising (China Police Daily, September 27).

    Part transparency, part opinion shaping and part two-way information service, police microblogging aims to achieve a number of objectives. The primary objective is related to improving the relationship between the people and MPS elements at every level.

  • Rail contractors forced to suspend projects as govt’s payments dry up|Business|chinadaily.com.cn – China's two biggest railway construction contractors have been forced to suspend some of their projects after the Ministry of Railways delayed payments to them, local media reported on Thursday.

    Wang Mengshu, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was quoted by the Economic Information Daily as saying that the ministry is holding back 60 billion yuan ($9.38 billion) in payments to China Railway Group Ltd (CRGL) and China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCCL).
    The report is the latest sign that the ministry is under increasing financial pressure after a series of problems on China's high-speed rail system this year, including a major fatal collision in July, hit investor confidence and forced the nation to reconsider its high-speed rail investment.

  • Aulaqi is first hit for new drone base – Checkpoint Washington – The Washington Post – Friday’s lethal strike on Anwar al-Aulaqi was carried out by a CIA drone operating from a new agency base on the Arabian peninsula, U.S. officials said. It marks the first time that the CIA has launched a drone strike in Yemen since 2002, and the first indication that the new base is operational.