The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.05.15 [Updated May 4, 2015]

Happy New Year!

I am only making three predictions for 2015 (it’s a sucker’s game) but those who want to see how I did for 2014 can read this post from a year ago, updated with what was right and what was wrong.

  1. The corruption crackdown will intensify and at least one more Zhou Yongkang-level tiger will down, as will at least one member of the “red nobility”;
     
  2. China’s economy will have another rough year but it won’t collapse and the Shanghai Composite will at some point hit 4500 in this “Xi Jinping bull market”, though probably not this month; [MAY 4, 2015 UPDATE: The Shanghai Composite hit 4500 in the last week of April. The market move has been ridiculous from any fundamental perspective, but the animal and propaganda spirits driving the rally still seem strong. That said, people are getting nervous and I will guess the market corrects to closer to 4000 before hitting 5000 later in 2015…Just another guess, as are everyone’s about where the market is headed. END UPDATE]
     

  3. Xi Jinping will still be in charge at the end of 2015 and will make significant progress on economic reforms.

I am planning some changes for the newsletter, starting with a weekend edition featuring expert guest commentary. I am hoping to send the first of those this weekend or next, and would love to feature writing from subscribers. I am looking for non-ideological, fact/research-based work on important topics that are either ignored or “under-covered” in mainstream media. I can’t pay but your work will go out to more than 17,300 readers, including some of the most influential China watchers around the globe. If you are interested please get in touch.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. China’s Maoists Are Revived as Thought Police – NYTimes.com The latest directive, Document No. 30, demands cleansing Western-inspired liberal ideas from universities and other cultural institutions, according to Song Fangmin, a retired major-general, who discussed it with dozens of veteran party officials and hard-left activists at a meeting in Beijing in November. The directive formed a sequel to Document No. 9, which Mr. Xi authorized in April 2013, launching an offensive against ideas such as “civil society,” General Song said. “These two documents are extremely important, and both summarize speeches by the general secretary,” he said, referring to Mr. Xi by his party title. “They identify targets so we can train our eyes on the targets of struggle.”…Now, however, leftist voices are back in vogue. Analysts say it is unlikely Mr. Xi wants to take China back to Mao’s puritanical era, but doctrinaire Communists see him as a useful ally, and his directives as a license to attack liberal critics of the party. //  FWIW, didn’t Deng Xiaoping also oversee phases of significant ideological retrenchment? Regardless, things are grim and getting grimmer.

Related: [视频]宋方敏:当今中国意识形态领域状况 – 乌有之乡网刊 Video of Song Fangmin in November discusses the ideological environment in China, and documents 9 and 30  //  十八大以来,总书记高度重识意识形态工作,做了一系列的重要工作指示。我想,我们今天讨论这个意识形态领域的形势和任务,还是要从总书记指出的一些指导思想来考虑问题。首先我理解,总书记关于意识形态斗争的一系列指示,是为中国特色社会主义在世界上列于不败,迎得成功,为了这个重大历史使命,总结汲取了前苏联的教训,深刻研判我国的思想形势、思想现状,对抓好意识形态工作,作出了一整套的战略部署。为什么说是一整套的战略部署?我捋了一下,表现在五个方面。 一是看准了斗争目标。特别是通过中办9号文件和30号文件,这两个文件分析了意识形态领域严峻的形势,抓住了主要错误思潮,树起了靶子。意识形态斗争斗什么?实际上这两个文件非常重要,都是总书记讲话的概括,捋出头绪来,把靶子树起来了,这是看准了斗争目标。

Related: Reading Chinese politics in 2014 – China Media Project As we come to the end of 2014, we can say that this year has brought a “hardening” (板结) of China’s political discourse. It’s been a year of cleansing in the ideological sphere, and we find now that virtually all of the terms related to political reform, ones we might previously have classified as “light blue” (浅蓝) — not part of the official Chinese Communist Party discourse but still tolerated — have entered the taboo zone of the “dark blue” (深蓝). Meanwhile, the “light red” terms (浅红) favored by those in power have undergone a complete shake-up (全面重组). To top it all off, a number of “deep red” keywords associated with the Maoist pre-reform era have made a comeback.

2. Witnesses: Sequence of errors led to Shanghai stampede-AP On New Year’s Eve of 2013, Shanghai authorities sent about 6,000 city police officers and requested help from military police to manage a 300,000-strong crowd that filled the city’s famed riverfront for the annual midnight light show. According to state media, police choked off access to an elevated viewing platform reachable through staircases and closed the nearest subway station to rein in the crowd. On Wednesday night, just as many revelers showed up to ring in 2015, but the venue was guarded by only 700 police officers with no traffic control, state media reported. People were free to walk up and down the staircases, and the closest subway station was left open. // tragedy an opportunity for Xi to make personnel changes in Shanghai?

Related: Censors suppress Shanghai stampede coverage as blame game begins | South China Morning Post Shanghai authorities have brought down a wall of strict censorship on local coverage of Wednesday night’s deadly stampede, as questions mount over how such a tragedy could have occurred in the mainland’s wealthiest and best-managed city. Local sources said the censorship was “unprecedented and harsh” and officials were worried that they could be blamed for the stampede that killed at least 36 people.

3. Party Opens an Inquiry Into a Onetime Aide to China’s Ex-Leader – NYTimes [Ling Jihua’s] downfall on Monday came in the same manner as those of several other senior officials who had been recently toppled on corruption allegations: A tightening circle of investigations targets the official’s family and associates, and then the official is removed with a brief announcement from the party’s anticorruption agency. The party’s investigation is usually followed by a criminal inquiry and a trial that ends in a guilty verdict and a prison sentence dealt out by a party-run court. In Mr. Ling’s case, that termination was particularly precipitous. Just last week, his essay lauding Mr. Xi’s policies toward ethnic minorities was published in Qiushi (Seeking Truth), the party’s premier doctrinal journal. Mr. Ling said he was sure that “under the staunch leadership of the party center with Comrade Xi Jinping as general secretary,” China’s Tibetans, Uighurs and other ethnic minorities would have a bright future. // Chinese and overseas media then unloaded will all sorts of reports about his deeds. The announcement came on a Tuesday, seemingly out of step with the CCDI’s preference for big announcements on Fridays. One unverifiable report claimed official hands were forced to move earlier than planned because his wife was caught trying to flee…

Related: Heilongjiang Officer Nabbed in Graft Crackdown – Caixin A senior public security official close to Ling Jihua, a disgraced former vice chairman of the country’s top political advisory body, has been placed under investigation in China’s far northeast, a source has told Caixin. Gu Yuanxu, the public security department deputy chief in Heilongjiang Province, was taken away by authorities from Beijing after state media reported December 22 that the Communist Party’s graft fighters had targeted Ling, the source said. Ling had served on the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Gu is the younger brother of Ling’s wife, Gu Liping. The source did not say which agency is investigating him, nor why.

4. 国企改革步入“落实年”新华社——经济参考网 中国企业改革与发展研究会副会长李锦表示,从国资委负责牵头的改革任务来看,有三项改革举措已经国资委审议,包括央企功能界定分类、布局结构调整以及深化国有企业改革指导意见。“三项清单”和“四个一批”的表述,表明分类改革的思路已经清晰,也发出大规模重组的信号。 “2015年,在分类改革完成的基础上,企业必然会迎来大分化、大调整、大改组的过程。”李锦表示,由国资委监管的112户央企可能会重组为30到50户左右。// Economic Information says 2015 to be the year of SOE reform implementation, quotes Li Jin ofChina Enterprise Reform & Development Society saying that SASAC may cut number of central SOEs under its purview from 112 to 30-50

5. 洪晃:母亲的肾移植与聂案无关_网易新闻中心-网易新闻客户端 Hong Huang on the claims online that her mother’s Kidney transplant came from Nie Shubin (It did not), the question of where organs come from (she did not want to know), what that says about the state of society // 因为有这种群氓,法治的公民社会总是跟中国社会擦肩而过。群氓的社会对公正不敢兴趣,他们对所谓公正的关心是伪的,是一种发泄和自我安慰。群氓的社会是自私的,愚蠢的。在承受了长时间的不公之后,这种群体只需要找几个“罪魁祸首”出来,让大家发泄一下,批斗鞭尸,这种群众运动实际上是一群长期受虐者的变态的狂欢。 这种狂欢在中国有随时爆发的可能。狂欢后,这个社会可以立刻回到打酱油的状态,沉默地忍耐着下一轮的暴力和不公,一直到下一个“罪魁祸首”的诞生。中国要依法治国,每个人必须从受虐者变成公民,这不是单靠政府就能完成的,而是这个社会每一个人都要自我完成的—我们作为社会的一员都必须开始关注我们的权益,包括死囚的权益。 这个权益,好像叫人权。

6. BBC News – Confucius institute: The hard side of China’s soft power Xu Lin is an unusual kind of Chinese official. For starters she accepted a request for a BBC interview. Admittedly she came quickly to regret it, demanding that we delete a large section of our recording. But given that unelected Chinese officials do not need to court their own domestic media, let alone the international press, it is rare to be invited in at all. And it is even rarer to find an official who is prepared to be interviewed in English. // quite a remarkable video

Related: Stockholm University terminating its Confucius Institute | H-Asia | H-Net Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden, has scrapped its Confucius Institute, in place since 2005. It was one of the first installed anywhere, and the first in Europe. The university’s chancellor Söderbergh Widding told the Swedish press that the reason was that other China links now fulfilled the need — suggesting that the CI had become obsolete. Moreover, she concluded (in a turnaround of opinion) that “Generally it is questionable to have, within the framework of the university, institutes that are financed by another country.”

7. Rural China’s economic model limps on | East Asia Forum– by Graeme Smith// As the Chinese economy has slowed, with structural issues unaddressed, old China hands are foretelling economic and possibly even political disaster. Yet in the counties of ‘middle China’ the informal, private economy — both the local state and local business — is thriving. Informal solutions are being found to problems that the central state is unable, or unwilling, to address. Notions of ‘predatory’ and ‘developmental’ states are simplistic. In practice, the formal local state is both prey and predator of the informal, or shadow state. When a mid-level official complains that his brother, who owns a computer shop, has to hand out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of supermarket cards every year to ensure that contracts from the official’s department continue to flow, is there a victim? Moral categorisations make little sense. Moreover, a large part of the local party apparatus is quietly engaged in enabling local enterprises to get things done, often for their own benefit, either through the revenue from taxes levelled on service industries or from their own indirect involvement in business.// the full article, don’t have access–Getting Ahead in Rural China: the elite–cadre divide and its implications for rural governance – Journal of Contemporary China –

Related: The Yueqing Incident and Graeme Smith’s Essay “Political Machinations in a Rural County” | The Sinocism China Newsletter 2011 In 2009 Graeme Smith published “Political Machinations in a Rural County” in The China Journal. Almost exactly a year ago John Garnaut summarized Smith’s article in The Sydney Morning Herald. As Garnaut wrote: Benghai is the made-up name for a real and thriving county in Anhui province. A year ago I toured Benghai with Graeme Smith, a scholar at the University of Technology, Sydney. Since then, Beijing’s regular corruption crackdowns have appeared to me to be little more than pantomime, designed to reassure the public and defeat the odd political adversary.

8. Four decades in China: Jaime FlorCruz signs off – CNN.com CNN Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz is the longest serving foreign correspondent in China; he’s lived and worked in China since 1971. He studied history at Peking University (1977-81) and was TIME Magazine’s Beijing correspondent and bureau chief (1982-2000). Jaime retires from CNN on December 31, 2014. As a tribute to Jaime, we’ve added some of his favorite stories to the sidebar of this piece.

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China’s Cities Face Judgment Day on Debts as Costs Soar – Bloomberg Borrowing costs soared by a record amount last month before today’s deadline for classifying liabilities, on speculation some local government financing vehicles will lose government support after the finance ministry starts reviewing regional authorities’ debt reports. Yield premiums on one-year AA notes, the most common ranking for such issuers, jumped a record 98 basis points in December.

Explanation of China’s new shadow margin lending, made possible by a Jack Ma owned company | chiecon According to Caixin, “this margin trading has already reached 800 billion yuan, doubling in July, and will soon be worth over 1 trillion yuan”. But they remark “after 4 years, margin trading has already become quite common, so brokers now have a new tool to offer their high net worth and institutional clients, which has a market size of 300 billion yuan. And the portion of that used for direct margin lending and trade leverage is worth 10 billion yuan”. This new margin lending (in Chinese ‘peizi’ 配资) does not face any of the usual margin trading restrictions. ‘Peizi’ is a runaround of the regulations that provides greater leverage of up to 5 times, and the borrowed money used for this trading goes unreported, creating an oversight problem for the CSRC.  // market soared on first day of trading of 2015, closed at 3350

Macau Casinos Drop $75 Billion as China’s Crackdown Continues – Bloomberg As Xi Jinping makes his first visit to Macau as China’s president this week, the city’s casinos would like to hear a reassuring word that might revive their tumbling stock prices. They’re not likely to get it. Xi, who arrived today to mark the 15th anniversary of the former Portuguese enclave’s return to Chinese rule, is the man responsible for the two-year campaign against corruption in China, scaring away high rollers who have helped make Macau the world’s largest casino gambling hub and wiping out $75 billion of casino operators’ market value — bigger than the entire economy of Luxembourg.

New Asian bank to go into operation by year end – Xinhua MOF said that the founding nations of the bank are expected to complete negotiations over and subscription of the bank’s charter and regulations before June this year. A MOF statement also said that the Maldives has become the latest prospective founding member of the bank after a consensus was reached among the 22 existing members on Dec. 31.

天弘基金股东翻脸 蚂蚁金服愤起仲裁公司频道财新网 【财新网】(记者 屈运栩)阿里巴巴的金融业务遇到了意料之外的麻烦。1月4日,多家媒体报道天弘基金两大股东蚂蚁金服(原阿里巴巴小微金融集团)和内蒙君正(601216.SH)因增资事宜闹到仲裁委。蚂蚁金服向财新记者确认,针对内蒙君正签署协议后拒不履行增资义务一事,已提起仲裁。//Alibaba’s Ant Financial taking shareholder in Tianhong to arbitration over delay in effecting share change

China frees prices of commodities, services in fresh reforms | Reuters The official Xinhua news agency in a report said that China began to liberalize the farm produce market in 1978, and the government has now only retained its regulatory role through state storage programs, by maintaining minimum prices and giving subsidies on some products. The NDRC announcement showed that prices of railway bulk cargo, parcels and privately-funded cargo and passenger transport had also been allowed to freely float. Among others in the latest reforms, prices of domestic air cargo, passenger transport of some airlines, port service fees, such as fees on container loading, ship rubbish treatment and water supply, were also allowed to be set by the market.

Jack Ma to create business school at former exclusive club|WantChinaTimes Among the 30 closed facilities was this Jiangnan Club, a luxurious private members’ club formed by Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group, and other businesspeople in Zhejiang province. Alibaba plans to turn the now defunct club into Lakeside University, a school offering classes for entrepreneurs. Speaking on the reason for the change, Zhang Zhenyi, an Alibaba employee, said there aren’t enough universities focused on entrepreneurs in China

Anbang Insurance Becomes China Minsheng’s Largest Shareholder – Caixin Privately held Anbang Insurance Group Co., Ltd. increased its stake in China Minsheng Banking Corp. to 17.16 percent with a series of purchases in December, becoming its largest shareholder. The money for the purchases came primarily from the sales of Anbang’s and its subsidiaries’ insurance products, open materials for the transactions show. The purchases, which Caixin estimates involved 40 billion yuan, are the latest in a string the insurance firm has made over the past few months to diversify and strengthen its operations in and beyond the financial industry.

SFC wants US short-seller probed on false Evergrande report Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has called for an investigation into US-based stock market analyst Citron Research for possible market misconduct. The SFC said the research institution, headed by short-seller Andrew Edward Left, issued a report in June 2012 accusing Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. (03333.HK) of fraud in financial reporting. The property developer’s share price plunged as much as 19.6 percent as a result of the report, which was allegedly based on false information. Left took a short position on the stock before issuing the report and later pocketed HK$1.7 million profit from the deal.

BMW to Pay $820 Million to China Car Dealers, Group Says – Bloomberg The subsidies are the largest by an automaker to its retailers in China and will be paid by the end of February, said Song Tao, a deputy secretary general of the China Automobile Dealers Association, which represented the BMW distributors in the negotiations. The dealers are still in talks with the Munich-based carmaker over this year’s sales targets, he said.

李克强:对微众银行充满期待视频频道财新网 【李克强视察微众银行 寄望倒逼金融改革】1月4日下午,国务院总理李克强率财政部、发改委、工信部、银监会、证监会等多个部委一把手视察深圳前海微众银行,并称希望互联网金融银行用自己的方式来倒逼传统金融机构的改革,同时与传统金融机构互相合作。//Premier Li Keqiang “launched” first loan by China’s firstst Internet based WeBank

Academics Hail State Council’s Plan to Unify Pension Programs – Caixin The State Council has proposed unifying the pension systems for civil servants and those working in the private sector. Under the revamp, civil servants would be required to contribute to pension fund just like employees in the private sector. A unified pension plan would also close the gap between pension payment levels for civil servants and those in public sectors such as teachers with that for employees in private businesses, a difference that has been a source of public grievances for years.

Inner Mongolia, Shanxi Beset by Bad Loans, Banking Sources Say – Caixin Coal prices have fallen this year to half of what they were during a 2011 peak due to oversupply caused by improved production capacity in recent years and weakened demand. Ordos, city in Inner Mongolia, has a total of 10 billion yuan in bad loans, amounting to one-third of the region’s total, one employee of a city bank said. Bad loans accounted for 3.8 percent of total bank loans in the city. The ratio in Inner Mongolia as a whole was 2.2 percent. Shanxi had a ratio of 5 percent, said another industry source. The person could not put a value figure on the province’s bad loans.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

加快建设社会主义法治国家 同志们,全面推进依法治国是一个系统工程,是国家治理领域一场广泛而深刻的革命,必须加强党对法治工作的组织领导。各级党委要健全党领导依法治国的制度和工作机制,履行对本地区本部门法治工作的领导责任,找准工作着力点,抓紧制定贯彻落实全会精神的具体意见和实施方案。要把全面推进依法治国的工作重点放在基层,发挥基层党组织在全面推进依法治国中的战斗堡垒作用,加强基层法治机构和法治队伍建设,教育引导基层广大党员、干部增强法治观念、提高依法办事能力,努力把全会提出的各项工作和举措落实到基层。     (这是习近平同志2014年10月23日在党的十八届四中全会第二次全体会议上的讲话的第二部分和第三部分。)// lead essay in latest Qiushi excerpts from Xi’s speech at the 4th Plenum

China takes rare step of naming Communist Party factions tied to disgraced top cadres | South China Morning Post Xinhua has made a rare acknowledgment of factions within the Communist Party, and named key members who are tied to disgraced top cadres Zhou Yongkang and Ling Jihua. But President Xi Jinping had weighed the risks in going after such “tigers”, the state mouthpiece said. “Tigers” refer to leading national figures targeted in the anti-corruption campaign. In an article carried on its affiliated news portal over the weekend, Xinhua named several fallen senior officials as connected to the so-called Shanxi Gang, Secretary Gang and Petroleum Gang.

Nanjing Party Boss Latest to Run Afoul of Corruption Busters – In December 2000, Yang was transferred to Suzhou to become its acting mayor and deputy general secretary of its party committee. He became the party boss of the Wuxi government in November 2004, and two years later, he joined the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu party committee. He was appointed Nanjing’s party chief in March 2011. During his stint in Wuxi, Yang frequently visited the hometown of Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee and now the focus of a graft investigation, people who lived in the area said. Many officials used these visits as a pretext for establishing and strengthening connections with Zhou’s family in hopes of advancing their careers.

中央高层关注反腐风暴中“懒政”抬头问题-搜狐评论 十八大以来掀起的“反腐风暴”举世瞩目,其实与此相辅相成的还有另外一场风暴—治理“庸官懒政”—如果说“反腐风暴”主要是针对“乱作为”,而“治懒风暴”则更多的是针对“不作为”。过去的一年里,各地频频曝光因官员懒散、不作为、慢作为而受到各类处分的案例。廉洁已不足以成为评判官员好坏的标准,相反,“廉而不勤”同样会让仕途就此搁浅。 这场“治懒风暴”虽然没有大批贪官落马那样“震撼人心”,力度却也是“前所未见”。十八届四中全会上,“治懒”被写进了《中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定》:“坚决纠正不作为、乱作为,坚决克服懒政、怠政。”

巩固良好势头再接再厉乘势而上推动全面深化改革不断取得新成效--时政–人民网 会议还就构建开放型经济新体制、全面深化公安改革等问题进行了研究。 中央全面深化改革领导小组成员出席,中央和国家有关部门负责同志列席会议。

China replaces head of state news agency Xinhua – Channel NewsAsia The appointment of Cai Mingzhao, a vice director of the propaganda department, is the latest of several replacements in the party’s key information and media agencies over the past year. Cai, 59, replaced Li Congjun, who turned 65 in October and reached the age limit for ministerial-level posts, the agency said in a statement. Cai is “politically sober and firm, keeps an appropriate grasp in guiding public opinion and conscientiously aligns himself with the party’s central committee”, the statement quoted Pan Ligang, a deputy head of the party’s Organisation Department, as saying.

Xinhua Insight: CPC trains next-generation politicians with Marxism belief – Xinhua | Xu, now a junior at Wuhan University in central China’s Hubei Province, had only a vague idea of communism three years ago when joining the Communist Party of China (CPC) in high school. But she consolidated her Marxism belief after attending a “Young Marxist Training Program” that was initiated by the CPC Hubei provincial committee in July 2014 and will last till her graduation. She said she was inspired by studying classical works, including the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. A one-month work experience at a township government made her better understand the leading role of the CPC, which considers Marxism as a guiding ideology in the world’s most populous developing nation.

Xi’s speeches on reform published in foreign languages – Xinhua Another book gathering Xi’s important remarks organized by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has sold more than 15 million copies to date. The publishers announced total sales have reached 15.11 million, including 95,000 copies in ethnic minority languages.  //  so less than 20% of Party members have bought? Or they get it for free

贵州教育厅回应“要求在大学课堂装监控”:尚存争议,将修改法治中国澎湃新闻-The Paper 针对有律师申请公开“在大学课堂里装监控”的法律依据,贵州省教育厅12月19日回应称,相关文件内容存在争议,将修改完善。         11月20日,贵州省教育厅向各普通本科高等学校下发了《关于进一步加强高等学校教学评价工作的意见》(下称《意见》),要求各校“建立全覆盖的课堂教学视频监控系统、教师授课全程跟踪系统”。杨名跨等4名律师就此向贵州省教育厅申请公开相关法律依据和权力来源。 12月19日,贵州省教育厅对4位律师回复称,考虑到文件有关内容尚存有争议,经研究,拟对文件有关内容作进一步调解论证、修改完善。

Cautionary tales on the risks of doing business in China from freed Australian Charlotte Chou In a story of a similar vein to numerous others, one American woman, an office secretary in her 30s, was told she had won a prize but had to travel to Guangzhou to collect it. After waiting for nearly two weeks, she was told she then had to go to Sydney to collect it, and was provided with extra suitcases to help with the load. Unable to detect anything suspicious with the naked eye, she was arrested at airport customs two months ago – bags of ice were concealed in the lining of the luggage. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a travel advisory in September warning “travellers have been asked to carry goods concealing narcotics out of China”, and that in recent months authorities had executed foreigners found guilty of smuggling drugs.

习近平《求是》系列文章:用权讲官德交往有原则新闻腾讯网 历年来,习近平总书记在《求是》上发表了一系列重要文章,涉及深化改革、群众路线、改进文风、社会主义等多个方面,提出了许多新思想、新观点、新概括、新论断。习近平总书记在《求是》上谈过些什么?求是网从历年来刊发的文章中,摘编改革、反腐、历史重任等多个方面的重要论述,以飨读者。

中央多个部委发放车补 公务出行打车加油费自理新闻腾讯网 新京报讯 2014年12月31日是中央机关单位公车改革的“大限”:按照2014年7月17日《中央和国家机关公务用车制度改革方案》的要求,去年年底前,中央和国家机关应力争基本完成公车改革。昨日,新京报记者采访了民政部、卫计委、国家食品药品监督管理总局、国土资源部、环保部等近10个中央机关单位,多数单位车改方案已基本到位,个别单位公车改革方案还在报批中

新一年 人民日报有哪些新变化 People’s Daily on its layout changes for 2015  //  新年伊始,人民日报以崭新的面貌与广大读者见面了。在今天头版的右下方,近400字的《新年致读者》介绍了人民日报的新变化:

“习大大”的隐喻–陈杰人的博客–凤凰网博客 习近平的父辈是陕西人,在陕西话中,“大大”的意思,就是“大伯、大爷”之谓,这是家庭成员或者关系亲近的人之间一种亲昵的称呼。人们愿意称呼总书记为“习大大”,也表明民众对他的信任和亲近。    当然,一声“习大大”,其实也不只是俏皮而亲昵的称谓,在“杰人观察”看来,这个生活化的昵称,其实还融入了更多的内容,具体而言,“习大大”之谓,至少有五个方面的暗喻。

曝广厦老板楼忠福被中纪委带走 疑涉嫌令计划案_网易体育-网易新闻客户端 随着令计划正式被调查,与之家族生意交往紧密的企业界人士也成为政府反腐机构的调查对象。12月27日,浙江广厦集团创始人、现董事局荣誉主席楼忠福从澳大利亚过完圣诞节返回国内时被中纪委直接从广州白云机场带走

上面害病,基层吃药!“误杀”的四种基层福利,你的单位有没有? 中央果真从谏如流啊!“八项规定”实施以来,一些单位做法太左,简单一刀切,把职工正当福利都改掉了,导致一些基层职工满腹怨言,直喊“上面害病,基层吃药”。 今年中秋节期间,人民日报客户端率先振臂一呼,发表《反腐不应该反职工福利》,文中说

【红旗文稿】我国独立公正司法与西方国家“司法独立” 的根本区别 来源:《红旗文稿》2014/24 作者:刘瑞复 党的十八大和十八届四中全会提出的司法改革的重点之一,是人民法院和人民检察院“依法独立公正行使审判权和检察权”,这同西方国家司法制度核心的“司法独立”,具有完全不同的性质和内容。

焦点 | 再一次“支持孙海英”  (关于环球时报:孙海英们属于美“扳倒中国”第三种武器) 为什么说是再一次呢?因为在7年前,我就写过一篇文章《支持孙海英》。那是一篇关于同性恋的文章,引起很大反响。基督徒都知道吧。 近日,《环球时报》发表奇文:《孙海英成美“扳倒中国”的第三种武器》。称美国使用意识形态心战,亮出的第三种武器,就是披着基督教外衣、传播扩散美国的政治理念和价值观的中共党员——孙海英。

Quora-Why do many people feel that Chinese can’t possibly be basically ok with their government or society? – Quora I believe that China is only a generation or two from being able to fundamentally change in the direction of more pluralistic politics, greater freedoms of expression, of faith, of assembly. // always hopeful

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Japan, China had agreement to maintain Senkaku status quo, Suzuki-Thatcher files show | The Japan Times Japan and China agreed to maintain a status quo on the Senkaku Islands and avoid any discussion over their respective sovereignty claims, the late Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki was quoted as saying in a 1982 conversation with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, according to British government files released this week. The comment was reportedly made during a private conversation on Sept. 20 of that year.

钓鱼岛_钓鱼岛是中国的固有领土 钓鱼岛,亦称钓鱼台、钓鱼屿、钓鱼山,位于北纬25°44.6′,东经123°28.4′,长约3641米,宽约1905米,面积约3.91平方公里,最高海拔约362米,地势北部较平坦,东南侧山岩陡峭,东侧岩礁颇似尖塔,中央山脉横贯东西。钓鱼岛盛产山茶、棕榈、仙人掌、海芙蓉及珍贵中药材,栖息着大批海鸟,有“花鸟岛”的美称。

China Overhauls Diplomacy to Consolidate Regional Leadership, Outline Strategy for Superpower Ascent | The Jamestown Foundation At the Central Work Conference on Foreign Relations held on November 29, China’s leaders outlined the most sweeping changes in decades to longstanding guidance on foreign policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined instructions to consolidate China’s leadership of Asia and strengthen international support for Chinese power. While Xi’s direction to increase the country’s contributions to address global problems offers the welcome prospect of cooperation with the United States on pressing problems, the conference’s outcomes also point to an increasing competition for leadership and influence at the regional and global level. With its options for constraining Beijing’s power receding, Washington will find itself under pressure to step up competitive and cooperative policies to protect U.S. interests in a manner that avoids escalating tensions to the point of a destabilizing rivalry.

China’s deep-sea sub explores Indian Ocean seabed – Xinhua Jiaolong is on a four-month mission to research polymetallic sulfides, biological diversity, hydrothermal microbes and genetic resources in the southwest Indian Ocean

Naval base builds 22m-high wall to hide from neighbors- China.org.cn A naval base in Dalian city, Liaoning province, built an 800-meter-long, 22-meter-high wall to keep from being spied on. At an investment of more than 10 million yuan ($1.61 million), the wall was erected because a group of European-style villas nearby were too tall.

Deputy chiefs named in China’s latest power reshuffle in government and military | South China Morning Post The Chengdu command’s chief of staff and princeling general Zhou Xiaozhou was also appointed to become its deputy commander, online news outlet ThePaper.cn cited Zhanqibao as saying. Zhou is the son of Zhou Yibing, former commander of the Beijing Military Area Command. The senior Zhou headed the Beijing command during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Venezuela’s Maduro to visit China, OPEC nations amid cash crunch | Reuters His first stop will be China, which has become Venezuela’s principal financier through oil-for-loan agreements in which Venezuela receives cash up front in exchange for future deliveries of crude and fuel. “Also, I’m going to visit other OPEC countries to continue high-level efforts (to create) a strategy for a recovery of oil prices, a strengthening of OPEC,” Maduro said. He provided no other details.

Chinese Special Operations Forces: Not Like “Back at Bragg”-Dennis Blasko This essay outlines the structure and doctrine of the Chinese armed forces involved in special operations and discusses their capabilities in each of the ten core activities based solely on information from Chinese sources. But first it is necessary to put the Chinese armed forces into the context of the entire government security structure.

Francis Fukuyama: ‘In recently democratised countries I’m still a rock star’ | Books | The Guardian The Origins of Political Order, which narrates the emergence and growth of the state “From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution”, engages respectfully with Chinese history and culture, and features an overarching version of national history that the Chinese themselves no longer teach or learn. Enough of his account of the country’s enormous historic strengths and equally enormous historic weaknesses survived the censor’s scalpel to make the work valuable to the Chinese reading public. Fukuyama goes on to say that a friend in Beijing had learned that the Communist party would translate that book’s recently published companion volume, Political Order and Political Decay for publication in a private edition for its senior leadership. “They take the analysis seriously,” he said.//his analysis sounds very useful for Beijing

Suspected North Korean army deserter kills four Chinese: Yonhap | Reuters A suspected North Korean army deserter has been detained in China after killing four Chinese during a robbery in the border city of Helong late last month, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday. The incident occurred on Dec. 28 just across the Tumen River dividing China and North Korea, the report quoted unidentified sources as saying.

Typist sentenced to death in China for leaking military secrets | South China Morning Post A young typist who worked at a Chinese military manufacturer’s research centre that was developing a secret weapons system has been sentenced to death for spying for a foreign intelligence agency, according to a state-run media report. Yu Hongyang, a member of staff at an unnamed research office, was said to have damaged national security by leaking state secrets, the news website of the Global Times newspaper reported. // 打字员出卖制胜武器机密被判死 

Full Text of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Speech on China’s Diplomacy in 2014(1) – China.org.cn Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday attended the opening ceremony of the Symposium on the International Development and China’s Diplomacy in 2014 co-hosted by China Institute of International Studies and China Foundation for International Studies and delivered an address titled “2014 in Review: A Successful Year for China’s Diplomacy”.

Chinese warships come closest to Senkaku Islands – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Two Chinese warships came within about 70 kilometers of the Senkaku Islands in mid-December, the closest approach since the Tokyo-Beijing feud erupted in 2012 over sovereignty of the islets in the East China Sea, sources said.

Sweeping change of China’s top military guard | South China Morning Post A military observer said the changes were tied to the ongoing push against corruption but the defence ministry insisted they were simply routine. The winter reshuffle, apparent from indirect references in state and military media reports, comes as President Xi Jinping’s graft crackdown rolls its way through the military, a campaign epitomised by the arrest of Xu Caihou , once the military’s second-in-command.

CPC reshuffles political commissars of four armed services|WantChinaTimes.com As part of the reshuffle, Zhang Haiyang, political commissar of the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps, Liu Xiaojiang, political commissar of the PLA Navy, and Liu Chengjun, head of the PLA’s Academy of Military of Military Science, are all stepping into retirement after reaching the age of 65.

A Chinese View of the World’s Most Important Relationship | Foreign Policy In any case, the upper echelons of Chinese power share something with the country’s grassroots: Both understand that China is not the superpower that the United States is, and cannot become one without radical changes to the status quo at home and abroad. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang put it bluntly and humbly in Chicago on Dec. 17, when he told the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade that Beijing is neither willing nor able to challenge U.S. dominance of the global economic order, and that “in the process of cooperation, China hopes the United States would come to understand Chinese ideas more.” Chinese netizens across the political spectrum accept this strategy. Self-proclaimed democracy advocates such as Jing Yunchuan, a Beijing-based head lawyer, stress the necessity to cooperate with the U.S. and not resist it, while even hawkish observers like Gary Su, who edits a popular military website, welcome the strategy, believing it will buy China more time to rise as American supremacy falls

Cover Story – American Review – Global Perspectives on America Don’t presume that tensions between China, a rising state, and the United States, the status quo power, will lead to conflict By Karl Eikenberry

U.S. Ambassador in Beijing on Getting It Right – Caixin In an interview, Ambassador Max Baucus commends the Chinese and U.S. presidents for talking, and urges more

China lodges protest after Obama approves Taiwan frigate sale | Reuters China said on Friday it had lodged a protest with the United States after President Barack Obama signed into law legislation authorizing the sale of up to four Perry-class guided missile frigates to Taiwan. Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the Taiwan issue was one of China’s core interests and remained the most important and most sensitive issue in Sino-U.S. ties.

Chinese Maritime Activism: Strategy Or Vagary? | The Diplomat Notwithstanding these criticisms, there is still much good in Jakobson’s work. If she has not produced a viable alternative to the old theory, she has at least laid down a challenge to the “salami-slicing” camp, forcing them to shore up their arguments. If their interpretation is to be validated, they’ll also need to quote “interlocutors” in Beijing and cite articles published in Ocean Development and Management. It is no longer enough to say China has a master plan; people now need to show their evidence. And it is important that they do. For dueling theories of Chinese state behavior are not just recondite contests between professors. Statesmen decide policies with these “frames” in mind.

红旗文稿:敌对势力千方百计研究”翻墙”技术_网易新闻中心 2014年第24期《红旗文稿》以《信息技术发展趋势与意识形态安全》为题刊文提出,当前需要高度关注互联网搭建技术、大数据技术、微电子技术、信息传输技术、“破网”技术和无线网络攻击技术领域的最新发展及其对意识形态安全的影响。 “破网”也称“翻墙”。我国境内的“东突”暴力恐怖分子、法轮功分子就是利用“破网”软件,获取作案技术、进行联络及筹措经费的。敌对势力千方百计地研究“破网”技术,并大力推广,美国国务院曾专门拨款150万美元对相关项目予以支持。还有一些人出于经济利益,在网上大肆贩卖“破网”软件,贩卖加载了相关功能的路由器,勾连国外提供有偿代理服务。

China raises Nepal aid five-fold in regional diplomacy push | Reuters – China will increase official aid to Nepal by more than five times from fiscal 2015-16, officials said on Friday, to develop infrastructure in the landlocked nation where regional rival India has long wielded political influence. The jump in assistance was announced after talks between visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Nepali counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, part of a deepening engagement which is expected to lead to a visit by President Xi Jinping next year.

The Year the Training Wheels Came Off China | Foreign Policy China agrees with that sentiment. Now indisputably an economic behemoth, it paradoxically no longer wants to be defined by GDP growth. Instead, it is pivoting to focus on a set of post-growth problems — basically, how to meet the changing expectations of a wealthier middle class and how to behave as a legitimate global power. Indeed, this is the year that the training wheels came off China. But here’s the rub: An active global player will now be endlessly judged in the court of global public opinion. If China wants to play in every corner of the globe, it had better get used to the world watching and judging its every move.// and China’s response is that global public opinion is biased and so it needs to increase its share of voice and influence.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Taiwan Approves Medical Parole for Imprisoned Ex-Leader – NYTimes.com Chen Shui-bian, the imprisoned former president of Taiwan, was expected to be released on medical parole on Monday, after Justice Ministry officials accepted the recommendation of a panel of medical experts that his failing health could be better treated at home.

Special Report: The mainland’s colonization of the Hong Kong economy | Reuters it is here, in the city’s business sector, that China is inexorably tightening its grip on the former British colony. Even as Beijing struggles to tame Hong Kong politically, Chinese companies are consuming ever bigger chunks of the city’s key sectors including real estate, finance, power, construction and the stock market. Many of these industries have for decades been dominated by the business titans who attended the meeting with Xi. Men like Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, casino and hospitality billionaire Lui Che-woo and palm oil magnate Robert Kuok. Now they are witnessing a mainland business invasion of the city.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China’s box office sales surge 36 pct in 2014 – Xinhua China’s box office sales totaled 29.6 billion yuan (about 4.84 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, up 36 percent year on year, the country’s film bureau said on Thursday. Domestic films raked in more than 16.15 billion yuan, accounting for 54.5 percent of last year’s box office revenues in the Chinese mainland, said Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television…China gained 1,015 cinemas and 5,397 screens last year, bringing the total number of screens to 23,600.

China’s “Server Sinification” Campaign for Import Substitution: Strategy and Snowden (Part 1) | The Jamestown Foundation The spearhead of China’s server sinification effort is the Tiansuo K1 server. The K1 was jointly developed by Inspur Group, a Chinese SOE IT company, and MOST as part of China’s 11th Five-Year Plan, under the “high-end and fault-tolerant computer” program. [3] The server campaign also received substantial support from the Chinese government’s national high-technology development plan (also known as the 863 Program), which invested 750 million RMB ($122 million) in the program (Guangming Daily, January 22, 2013). [4] Since development of the Tiansuo K1 began in 2009, the project has advanced with astonishing rapidity, in large part due to assistance from the Chinese government and multiple SOEs.

A Historical Drama Shows Too Much Cleavage for China’s Censors – NYTimes.com “I really hate SAPPRFT!” wrote one user on Sina Weibo, referring to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, China’s top broadcast regulator. “The show was so beautiful! It’s the Tang dynasty — the characters are supposed to have plump bosoms! Now you’ve cut it so all that’s left is a big head. Thumbs down.”// Have watched up to episode 11 so far on Tencent Video which offers the option of the “uncensored version”. Enjoyable, gotta love Fan Bingbing

Xiaomi Confirms It Sold 61M Phones In 2014, Has Plans To Expand To More Countries | TechCrunch Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker that raised $1.1 billion last month, has confirmed that it sold 61.12 million phones last year, bringing in an apparent revenues of 74.3 billion CNY ($12 billion) in the process. The new figures were released by CEO Lei Jun on Weibo and are right in line with the company’s expectation for the year. Xiaomi sold 18.7 million devices in 2013, and 7.2 million in 2012, so the four-year-old company is continuing to grow its business at a rapid rate — its recent funding round valued it at $45 billion and it is now the world’s third largest smartphone maker.

Who killed Shooter.cn: was it the anti-piracy MPAA, or is censorship to blame? According to Techweb, China’s copyright authorities released a report yesterday that claims that the Shooter.cn takedown was a response to a complaint from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). It’s a claim that does make some sense: the MPAA is perpetually on an anti-piracy crusade, and while Shooter.cn did not host any video files, it did apparently offer a premium service to users selling hard drives pre-installed with lots of HD movies – movies that Shooter.cn did not have the rights for. That service wasn’t at all popular – the company sold less than 100 hard drives a year – but it could have been enough for the notoriously unforgiving MPAA and China’s own copyright authorities.

China Lures Fresh ‘Internet Monitor’ Informants With Bonuses One of the state agencies involved in suppressing undesirable online content, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, placed a job advertisement on Thursday calling for fresh recruits to its team of monitors, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The center, which aims to “maintain order” on China’s tightly controlled Internet, to “safeguard the interests” of users and to “build a healthy, orderly civilization in cyberspace,” is looking for applicants aged 18 and above who are committed to the development of a healthy online environment. Applicants should have “a high level of social responsibility” and already have carried out such work “in their spare time,” it said.

Exiled Chinese writer faces web wrath over picture showing Chairman Mao’s image on naked protester – Telegraph A more likely explanation is that China’s legions of pro-government wumaoding – or 50-cent army – are exploiting Facebook’s complaints system to target users who post critical or controversial content about China. Both Mr Woeser and Mr Liao said they had had had no difficulties with the site until this week.

CNNIC leadership change coincides with blocking of Gmail | GreatFire.org On December 26, 2014, in an announcement posted on their website, a new chairperson for CNNIC was directly appointed by the Cyberspace Administration of China. The announcement of this appointment coincided with the complete blocking of Gmail. Cyberspace Administration of China (中央网信办) is chaired by Lu Wei, “China’s web doorkeeper”. Lu Wei is also the vice chair of the Central Propaganda Department, according to his official resume.

Hacked emails reveal China’s elaborate and absurd internet propaganda machine – Quartz Zhanggong’s propaganda department comes across as surprisingly large, yet comically unsophisticated. To get a sense of its inner workings, Quartz examined emails related to a single event: an online Q&A with the local Communist Party secretary earlier this year. What we found was a Potemkin online village of adoring citizens posting favorable messages and easy questions—all manufactured by the propaganda department.

互联网协会网络信息技术安全专业委员会召开会议_网易新闻中心 千龙网北京讯 12月16日下午,首都互联网协会网络信息技术安全专业委员会召开2014年第一次会议,会议邀请了北京市网信办、市通管局、市公安局及市工商局的10余位专家参加,对百度移动互联网应用程序分发市场情况进行了评议。 会议介绍了首都互联网协会网络信息技术安全专业委员会相关情况,讨论了当前移动互联网和移动互联网应用程序(以下称APP)发展趋势,并听取了百度公司安全审核部门负责人对该公司APP分发市场安全管理及履行《北京市移动互联网应用程序公众信息服务自律公约》的工作情况汇报。

微博大V活躍度明顯下降 反腐輿情進入官方主導–北京頻道–人民網 2014年度網上輿情形勢分析會前日召開。這一年最大的變化是,微博上“意見領袖”即“大V”群體的活躍度明顯下降。境內網上輿情總體向好,正能量充沛。

维护微博意识形态安全必须纠正的几种倾向 近年来,兼具大众媒体与社交网络双重性质的微博飞速发展,已跻身获取信息、发表观点、社会交往的主要渠道。开放式的微博舆论场上,各种意识形态观点竞相博弈,一些抹黑中国、否定党的领导和社会主义制度的观点在微博平台上扩张传播,不仅制造了各种话语暴力和谣言,而且对社会主义主流意识形态形成严重冲击,维护微博意识形态安全特别是警惕和纠正以下几种倾向已经成为当务之急。

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Q. and A.: Jeremy Wallace on China’s Rush to Urbanize – NYTimes.com Jeremy Wallace, 35, is a political scientist at Ohio State University. His new book, “Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China” (Oxford University Press), is a look at how China has avoided the instability that urbanization has brought to many other countries around the world. Photo Jeremy WallaceCredit Courtesy of Jeremy Wallace In an interview, Mr. Wallace discussed why big cities pose a danger for authoritarian governments, what China has done to undercut those threats

Education Ministry Cuts Scope of Gaokao Bonus-Points Program – Caixin The Ministry of Education has said that most students will no longer be eligible for a program that awarded bonus points on the national college entrance exam for extracurricular activities. The overhaul of the controversial bonus-points system was announced on December 17 and will come into effect on January 1. The ministry said students from minority groups, overseas Chinese families or whose parents served in the military or died in a war would still be eligible for the extra points, but ordered regional education authorities to tighten oversight of their programs.

Gov’t Fleshes Out Reform to Gaokao System – Caixin so more pressure even younger?  //  The ministry provided details for a plan it announced on September 3 in which it vowed to reduce the weight that the “gaokao,” the annual national college entrance exam taken every June, carries for university enrollment. Under the reform plan, the university admissions process will also include evaluations of a student’s performance in tests taken during the three years of high school. Students can choose three subjects to be tested on from among a range of fields, including politics, history, geography, physics, chemistry and biology.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Lawsuit Triggers Debate over Medical Mistakes – Caixin Beatings and even killings of doctors by angry patients have been reported in recent years, and now doctors have been targeted in a debate over whether they and their hospitals should face criminal charges for medical mishaps. Triggering the debate was a lawsuit filed by the husband of Ma Li, a comatose woman who was disconnected from life support and died in 2011 at Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing. The lawsuit, the first of its kind in the capital and based on legal arguments rarely heard anywhere in China, claims Ma’s doctor should be held criminally liable for botched treatment before the death.

一粒药竟拍出3000元高价,收藏界热捧名贵中成药片仔癀 12月20日,北京歌德盈香秋季拍卖会,在北京燕莎中心凯宾斯基饭店闪亮开拍。其中,产自福建漳州的片仔癀拍出了每粒三千的高价,吸引了众多买家的眼球。 据了解,片仔癀是蜚声中外的传统名贵中成药,是国家一级中药保护品种,其处方、工艺均为国家级绝密级机密,2011年“片仔癀制作技艺”列为国家级非物质文化遗产。 片仔癀是用天然麝香、牛黄、蛇胆、田七等名贵中成药精制而成。因其用料上乘、工艺秘而不宣且产量受天然麝香等原材料所限制,更显珍贵。 此拍品其中一组(2盒20粒片仔癀)以6万元价格成功拍出。据悉,早期片仔癀每粒才卖百来元,这也意味着,价格翻了数十倍。

New Hospital a Springboard for Health Reform Caixin Doors have swung open to welcome up to 10,000 patients a day at the largest hospital in China backed by non-state investors, Peking University International Hospital (PUIH) on Beijing’s north side. The PUIH is wholly invested by PKU Health Care Industry Group, which is 60 percent owned by Founder Group, a conglomerate controlled by Peking University and the group’s management. The rest of PKU Health Care is owned by the Peking University…According to Founder CEO Li You, the group will use the hospital as a platform for pushing its wide array of for-profit, health care businesses.

Falling Through the Cracks of China’s Health-Care System – WSJ The government has spent about 3 trillion yuan on health care since 2009. The effort is crucial, many economists say, to turning China’s notoriously frugal savers into consumers by encouraging them to spend instead of socking the money away for medical emergencies. Still, millions are falling through the cracks, especially migrant workers who drift from China’s villages to work in factories in bigger cities. “Coverage is fragmented and the administration of it is not desirable,” said Dr. Zhang Wei, a health-care expert at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management. Dr. Zhang said that despite the expansion of insurance coverage, the individual economic burden has increased. “It’s still a management problem,” he said

China approves experimental Ebola vaccine for clinical trials | Reuters The Chinese vaccine is being developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Xinhua said, a military research unit which is also involved in developing a drug to treat the disease. “This follows American and Canadian vaccines to become the third Ebola vaccine to enter clinical trials,” the official Chinese state news agency said.

Coastal Sprawl and a Last Stand for Wetlands – Caixin Researchers say half of China’s east coast wetlands have vanished since 1950 and urge more protection

Water From China’s South-North Transfer Project Flows to Beijing – NYTimes.com One scientist with the Department of Water Resources in China said that the new inflow of water would provide some relief to the capital but would hardly compensate for the overexploitation of aquifers. Each year, Beijing consumes about 3.6 billion cubic meters of water — 127 billion cubic feet or 950 billion gallons — about half of which came from underground sources before the central route was completed. Water tables have dropped by about 42 feet since 1998. “Beijing has around six billion cubic meters of overpumped aquifers that need to be replenished,” said the scientist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity

Chinese companies receive massive fine for polluting river – Xinhua Six companies in east China’s Jiangsu Province were ordered to pay 160 million yuan (26 million U.S. dollars) for discharging waste chemical to rivers by a court on Tuesday. It is the highest fine of its kind in China ever imposed. The companies from Taizhou City were ordered to pay the amount to an environmental protection fund within 30 days. They were found guilty of discharging 25,000 tons of waste acid into two rivers, which caused serious pollution, according to Jiangsu Provincial Higher People’s Court.

More Chinese cities to have real-time air quality readings – Xinhua Real-time air quality readings will be available in more Chinese cities from January 1, 2015, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) announced on Tuesday. Air quality will be monitored in 1,436 stations across 338 cities, and real-time readings of density for six pollutants — PM 10, PM 2.5, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide — as well as the air quality index (AQI), will be reported to the public, according to the MEP. China began monitoring air quality in 74 major cities at the beginning of 2013, and later expanded the coverage to 177 cities with 552 surveillance stations in 2014.

 

BEIJING

Beijing pollution levels fall slightly in 2014 | Reuters Data released Sunday showed the city is making slow progress in combating pollution, which reports say ends hundreds of thousands of lives in China prematurely every year. Average concentration of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, known as PM2.5, fell 4 percent from 2013 to 85.9 micrograms per cubic meter, the EPA said. The national standard is 35, although the government does not expect to meet the standard until around 2030. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels fell 17.7 percent, nitrogen dioxide (NOx) 1.3 percent and PM10 7.1 percent, the EPA said, while dust levels rose. As a result, Beijing’s 20 million denizens enjoyed 93 days with “excellent air quality” in 2014, up from 71 days in 2013, the EPA said.// 去年重污染天数少了13天国内新京报网

Is traditional Chinese food under threat as its greatest champion dies? – Telegraph The death of 82-year-old Feng Guangju, one of Beijing’s best-loved restaurateurs, has sparked fears that the traditional “Old Beijing Snacks” he championed could disappear

American at Center of Foster Children Saga Defends Himself | the Beijinger After a flurry of stories hit the Chinese media two weeks ago about a “missing” American man raising 11 orphans in Beijing (and the subsequent death of one of them), one thing was absent: a response from the man himself. Last Friday, we were able to arrange a face-to-face interview with the person at the center of this drama, Ray Wigdal. Over the course of two three-hour meetings last weekend in Beijing, we did our best to gather Wigdal’s side of the story. Inconsistencies in the story remain; in particular some accounts we’ve read in the Chinese news and coming from additional unnamed sources remain contradictory.

Controversial New Fares Barely Dent Beijing Subway Swarm – China Real Time Report – WSJ During the peak rush hours, the number of passengers taking the subway slipped only 5.2% from Monday last week, the Beijing News reported Tuesday, citing figures from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. The commission had estimated that based on historical data following previous price increases, there would be a 10% drop in the number of passengers.

路侧停车收费 谁在层层加价转包?深度新京报网 北京究竟有多少个路侧临时占道停车位?收支情况如何?记者在西坝河调查发现,根据政府惠民政策占道费每年数千,但承包者层层转包利润达数万。备案79个车位,但实划260个。路侧停车费成了谁的蛋糕?

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Beijing Correspondent, Editorial job with GUARDIAN NEWS AND MEDIA expect to lots of turnover among the foreign media this year //  Guardian News & Media are now looking for a Beijing Correspondent to report on China for all Guardian platforms, including daily news and analysis, news features, multi-media material, and material for non-news sections as required.

USAJOBS – Search Jobs CHINA SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, Department: Department of the Navy Agency: Naval Intelligence Command, $120,749.00 to $167,000.00 / Per Year

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