The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.15.15

If you like Sinocism please recommend it friends and colleagues using this link, or just send them here to subscribe. Thanks.

Today’s Links: 

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. China Focus: Senior officials, state firms, fugitives to be anti-graft priorities in 2015 – Xinhua A communique, issued after the fifth plenary session of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), which ended on Wednesday, listed the priorities as follows: — The top task for 2015 will be the tightening up of internal management and ensuring central leadership policies are implemented. The CCDI demanded that senior officials “toe the line” and that cronyism, fakery and sycophancy would not be tolerated. — All state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the care of the central government will be subject to inspections and supervision will be tightened on SOEs across the board. — The heads of Party and government departments, and state-owned enterprises will be held accountable for any serious corruption cases that happen under their charge. — The rooting out of harmful working practices, including abuse of public money and bureaucracy, will continue. — Officials in key positions who use their influence in infrastructure projects and public land deals, embezzle state-owned assets, or buy and sell government posts will face serious penalties. — Disciplinary inspection organs will strengthen international cooperation in the hunt for fugitive officials and asset recovery. — The CCDI will build a loyal, clean, responsible discipline inspection team. Incompetent inspectors will be replaced and those who look the other way would be punished.

Related: 中国共产党第十八届中央纪律检查委员会第五次全体会议公报————头条——中央纪委监察部网站 communique from the 18th CCDI 5th Plenary session. Just me or was there surprisingly little Western media coverage of this meeting? It is certainly far more important than what you’d think given the thin foreign coverage.

Related: Corruption fight needs public support: CCDI – Xinhua China’s top anti-graft authority has called for more public participation in the fight against corruption but said it will not tolerate anything that disrupts social order. // But only through official, controlled channels

Related: China to inspect all major state-owned enterprises – Xinhua Following an important review meeting on corruption efforts that concluded on Wednesday, anti-graft authorities have been set the task of inspecting all major state-owned enterprises (SOE) this year, a communique issued after the meeting said. The communique was released after the three-day fifth plenary session of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) 18th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Inspectors must also step up supervision on SOEs across the board, the document said. The document did not explicitly define the SOEs to be inspected. Normally the term is used to refer to 153 state-owned enterprises supervised by the State Council’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, as well as state-owned banks and other financial institutions supervised by State Council commissions.

Related: State Council implements anti-corruption instructions – Xinhua At the meeting, the State Council ordered authorities to advance the frugality campaign and strengthen management over the funds used for public vehicles, receptions and trips. Further cuts in administrative approval are planned along with clarification of the rights of various departments to clean “the soil breeding corruption.” Government affairs should be more transparent and audits on public funds should ensure the funds’ safety. The meeting decided to quickly prepare a third State Council work conference on clean government.

Related: 媒体解析中纪委全会公报细节:邀请军纪委成员参加|责任|中纪委_凤凰资讯 True as this report says that this was the first CCDI Plenary session that has PLA discipline inspection commission members in attendance? PLA corruption crackdown seems to be just getting started  //  列举一下数据:十八届中央纪委一次全会,应到130人,出席129人;二次,出席129人,列席295人;三次,出席128人,列席299人;四次,出席123人;五次,出席125人,列席365人。 出席人数中减少的,有两个是因为落马——申维辰和梁滨,之前都是中纪委委员,在本次全会上被确认开除党籍。而列席的人数则大幅增加,比此前列席最多的一次还多了66人。 大幅增加的列席人数从哪儿来?今天参会的“党报评论君”透露了消息——“在开会的京西宾馆大厅里,人来人往之中,多了些身着戎装的军人,他们显得格外醒目。工作人员表示,这次的中纪委全会邀请了军纪委成员参加,而此前并未出现类似情况。”

Related: 人民日报评论员:党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争永远在路上–观点–人民网 page 1 People’s Daily commentary on the “never-ending journey” for clean governance construction and the struggle against corruption  //  中国共产党与腐败水火不容。在反腐败斗争的关键阶段,按照习近平总书记的要求,把严明政治纪律和政治规矩作为从严治党的基础来强化,把推进反腐倡廉制度建设作为长期保障来推进,把强化党风廉政建设主体责任和监督责任作为“牛鼻子”来落实,全党上下齐心协力,人民群众鼎力支持,我们就一定能够打赢党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争这场攻坚战、持久战,迎来海晏河清的那一天。《 人民日报 》( 2015年01月15日 01 版)

Related: Senior Party officials warned against collusion – Xinhua The top task in 2015 for the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be tightening up internal management and ensuring implementation of the policies and decisions of the central leadership, according to a communique issued after the fifth plenary session of the CCDI. Stressing that Party rules are the bottom line, the CCDI demanded senior officials toe the line and warned that the CPC will not tolerate cronyism nor allow fakery and sycophancy. This year the CCDI will check up on the legal reform adopted at the fourth plenary session of the CPC Central Committee in October last year.

2. Article alleges Zhou Yongkang linked with Bo Xilai – People’s Daily Online Zhou Yongkang, China’s ex-security chief who is under investigation on allegations of seriously violating Party political, organizational and confidentiality discipline, once formed a clique with Bo Xilai, the former Party chief of Chongqing who was sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption, according to a report by Phoenix Weekly, a magazine run by Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix Television. An article in the latest edition of the magazine said Zhou and Bo, both former members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the top Chinese leadership body, had an off-the-record talk in Chongqing. During the talk, the article said, Zhou and Bo agreed that a theory proposed by Chairman Mao Zedong that the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is the principal contradiction in Chinese society is correct and that the policy of reform and opening-up, proposed by the former top leader Deng Xiaoping, should be adjusted.// this has gotten a fair amount of play in Chinese media

3. ‘It’s better than nothing’: British Foreign Office backs Beijing’s reform framework for Hong Kong this should make for a smooth visit by Xi  //  Britain’s Foreign Office says it believes Beijing’s framework for electoral reform offers a “genuine choice” in the 2017 chief executive election. Stephen Lillie, the Foreign Office Asia-Pacific director, said the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress meant a fair choice of candidates could emerge from the proposed 1,200-member nominating committee. “Is it possible to devise detailed arrangements within the terms of the [committee’s] decision that allow up to three candidates to emerge from the nominating committee, who do not all look exactly the same with the same range of policies and the same political affiliation, from the pan-democrats to pro-Beijing parties?” he asked the British parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. “Our assessment is that it is still possible to come up with arrangements that would allow that.”

Related: 媒体:香港激进分子幻想将驻军缴械 勾结美日独立|香港| 学苑_凤凰资讯 近年来,香港一些思潮打着“本土价值观”和“民主”旗号,甚至公开宣称要“在香港建立一个独立国家”,已经成为扰乱香港秩序、迟滞香港发展的重要原因。当天报告宣读也因泛民议员搅局而暂停。香港《大公报》14日称,港人社会刚经历了一场“占中”冲击,亦正面对2017年特首普选的第二轮政改咨询,无论是政治生态、社会环境以至市民诉求,都出现了一些新的情况和变化,预示了特首和政府未来的施政将会面临更大的挑战。 //  Chinese media going with reports of Occupy HK leader’s ties with foreign governments

Related: 占中发起人与多国领事随约随见 寻求英美支持新闻腾讯网 据观察者网援引《文汇报》报道 “占中”告一段落,但巨大风波背后的推动力量仍然有待揭露。香港特首梁振英1月12日重申,从“占中”可看到外国势力的“端倪”。港媒《文汇报》1月6日发布长篇报道,揭露“占中”发起人之一的戴耀廷与英、德、加、澳、日领事“随约随见”,与英国领事更是一年四度见面。

4. Financing the Next Stage of China’s Development with Consumer Credit Written by Tom Orlik, Bloomberg’s North Asia economist based in Beijing, and Fielding Chen, a Bloomberg economist based in Hong Kong, this memo surveys the state of China’s consumer credit markets and explains why a better system could yield opportunities, both for households and for China’s overall economy. In its last section, the memo makes topline policy recommendations to Chinese regulators and policymakers concerned with financial sector reform, aiming to maximize the growth potential of consumer credit while tamping down financial risks.

5. China Unveils Measures to Unify Pension System China has unveiled new measures to unify the country’s pension system in a bid to level out the massive pension gap between the public sector and those working in enterprises. Under the new scheme, about 40 million staff in the public sector will now have to start paying for their pension plans. Employees in government agencies and public institutions will pay 8 percent of their monthly salaries into the plan. Their employers will pay 20 percent of the employee’s total salary each month.

Related: 公务员称养老金并轨应涨工资 担忧养老待遇降低新闻腾讯网 中新网北京1月15日电(记者 李金磊) 随着改革方案公布,中国养老“双轨制”正式终结,近四千万机关事业单位人员将告别“免缴费”时代,开始按工资的8%缴纳养老保险,按工资的4%缴纳职业年金。改革后,机关事业单位人员的养老待遇是否下降?工资水平是否会上涨?企事业职工“待遇差”是否会缩小?并轨的钱又从哪里来?一系列问题引发关注。

Related: 财政不再保,公务员咋养老(民生三问)–时政–人民网 日前,国务院发布《关于机关事业单位工作人员养老保险制度改革的决定》,破除养老保险“双轨制”迈出关键一步。《决定》的出台背景是什么?会带来哪些变化?1月14日,记者采访了人力资源和社会保障部有关负责人。

6. China’s Xiaomi challenges iPhone 6 Plus with new flagship Mi Note | Technology | Reuters Lei also laid out Xiaomi’s strategy to connect its smartphones with Xiaomi-branded home appliances, allowing phone users to remotely control washing machines, air purifiers and surveillance cameras. “In five to 10 years all devices will become smart devices,” he said. “If every smart device and every device at home can be seamlessly connected to the cloud, what could our life be like? It would be beautiful and easy.”  // Amazing job by Lei Jun & Xiaomi PR, seems like every headline says Xiaomi Note is “/challenging/taking on the iPhone 6 plus”. It is clearly a terrific phone but Xiaomi and Apple buyers so far have represented very different market segments here, hard to see that changing given the lust the iPhone 6 Plus has ignited. But Lei creates the “challenge” narrative by mentioning Apple over and over and the tech media eats it up. Brilliant

Related: Xiaomi’s Ambition | stratechery by Ben Thompson Instead, the way to understand Xiaomi and why exactly they are so valuable is to more deeply understand what Lei Jun means by “services”, and, in the end, why Xiaomi actually is a lot like Apple after all.

Related: CELLPHONES: Xiaomi Sued In Shanghai, Wooed By Facebook | Young’s China Business Blog the more amusing and revealing part of this story is the reason for Ms Liu’s lawsuit, namely her feeling that she was duped by Xiaomi’s claims in some of its marketing materials. Among those were claims that its phones are “the best” among models using Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) free Android operating system. The woman says there’s no basis for the “best” claim, and goes on to cite problems with her phone, including the fact that it often reset itself. I had lunch recently with another former Xiaomi fan who made similar comments. After becoming a big fan of the brand, he quickly discovered his Xiaomi phone had many problems and discarded it after a year, switching to an Apple iPhone.

Related: Xiaomi introduces Hi-Fi headphones and new streaming TV box Xiaomi’s Mi Hi-Fi Headphones come in at RMB 499 (US$80), sporting 50mm Beryllium speakers that are 25 percent bigger than the average headset, according to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. The 32-ohm impedance headphones boast silver plated wires to reduce interference and maintain high fidelity sound. The headphones come in black leather with shiny gold metal. Notable Chinese musicians including James Li helped fine-tune the sound. The headphones are designed to work especially well with the new Xiaomi Note’s HiFi playback hardware.

7. Strikes by Taxi Drivers Spread Across China – NYTimes.com The strikes seem to be having the desired effect, and a number of newspapers have recently published commentaries supporting the drivers. In an editorial published on Jan. 6, the official People’s Daily described the current system as “deformed” and called for an end to the monopoly enjoyed by cab companies, many of which are owned by well-connected businessmen. “The drivers are in an absolutely weak position,” the editorial said. “It’s time to reform the taxi system. The matters of the market should be left for the market to decide.”

8. The Chinese Guide to Buying Real Estate in New York – WNYC The Brooklyn waterfront is chockablock with new condominium towers and construction sites, but one new project stands out. The Oosten. Filling an entire city block, it’s the first large building erected by a Chinese company in America, without a local partner. And when it opens in 2016, the 216 unit, 7-story Oosten (the name means “East” in Dutch) will include some distinctively Chinese features, like kitchen ranges which vent outside of the building, the better for cooking with a wok.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China’s Credit Growth Surges; Shadow Banking Stages a Comeback – Bloomberg Aggregate financing was 1.69 trillion yuan ($273 billion), the People’s Bank of China said in Beijing today, topping the 1.2 trillion yuan median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. While new yuan loans missed economists’ forecasts, shadow lending rose to the highest in monthly records that began in 2012.

China Widens Definition of Loan-to-Deposit Ratio, News Reports – Bloomberg Expectations that the People’s Bank of China will ease its loan-to-deposit calculation rose after Premier Li Keqiang said on Nov. 19 at a State Council meeting that the government will make the ratio more flexible and improve loan management. China International Capital Corp. estimated in a report the day after after Li’s comments that potential changes to the ratio’s calculation could see an extra 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) of funds classified as deposits. The government will temporarily waive a requirement for banks to set aside reserves for the additional deposits included as part of the change, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. // 央行盛松成:央行为什么要调整存贷款统计口径?

China Regulators Watching Online Loans as Risks Multiply – Bloomberg The swift expansion of online peer-to-peer lending, which Yingcan estimates grew almost 300 percent to $17 billion last year, is part of a wave of financial innovation in China. For now, the government is leaving the industry largely unregulated, betting that the economic gains from extra channels for funding outweigh the potential for investor losses. “Regulators are in a dilemma,” said Xu Hongwei, chief executive officer of Shanghai-based Yingcan. “If they introduce regulations that are too harsh, it may lead to widespread failures of P2P websites. If regulations are too lenient, the government will be blamed when things go wrong.”

China’s $1.8 Trillion Stock Surge: What More Gains Mean – Bloomberg Should the bull market be sustained, analysts see at least six implications for finance and the economy. 1. China’s Deleveraging Gets Easier  // A Shares up over 100 points today

China’s Dirty Laundry Points Path to Next Metal Winners – Bloomberg Those materials include bauxite — the ore that’s used to make aluminum — and the zinc, copper, natural gas and uranium used to make or power the millions more washing machines, air conditioners and cars that China’s 1.4 billion consumers are forecast to demand. “We are seeing a transition,” Michael Elliott, sector leader for Ernst & Young LLP’s global mining practice, said by phone from Sydney. “We’ll see aluminum make a bit of a resurgence, copper will clearly be there and probably zinc will continue to rise.”

Rural China: The Next Battlefield for Domestic E-commerce – TechNode Nearly 50% of the country’s 1.36 billion population lives in rural areas; however, less than 30% of rural residents are online and only 10% have bought things online, according to iResearch. AliResearch, the research arm of Alibaba, has estimated that China’s rural e-commerce market will reach RMB180 billion (around US$29 billion) by 2014 and exceed RMB460 billion by 2016.

McKinsey Greater China – China Has Four Times As Many Trademarks In Force As Any Other Country According to a recent report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China has almost four times as many trademarks in force as any other country, including the US and Japan: 7.2 million trademarks in force in China, compared with less than 2 million trademarks in any other country. Moreover in 2013, China saw 1.8 million applications for trademark registration (mostly made by resident firms)—a 16% increase over 2012—versus 600,000 applications in the US.

Tycoon’s asset move causes needless worry – Global Times Rumors are running wild that Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing is set to move his assets out of Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, with some considering this as an indication of a vast devaluation to yuan denominated assets. This comes after Li announced a restructuring of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa and registered them in the Cayman Islands. Before this, Li had also sold some of his land and real estate assets in the mainland and increased his holdings in Europe. Hailed as top of Asia’s rich list, Li has prestige in investment circles and is even nicknamed “Superman.” His moves are usually taken as a reference for future trends.

Bank of China Sues Kaisa Unit as Legal Challenges Mount – Bloomberg The Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court said in a notice on its website that it will hear the case brought by China’s third-largest lender by market value from March 24. The court accepted the case against a unit of Kaisa and two other defendants on Jan. 7, according to the statement, which didn’t provide any further details.

PBOC Hits Back at Criticism of Currency Swap Deal with Russia – Caixin The bank took to Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, on December 19 to explain why it says the arrangement does not put China at a disadvantage. The deal is only a reserve of foreign exchange that both sides could tap into and each transaction must be arranged individually, the Weibo post says. “We do not face any exchange rate risk because what we send out and receive are all in yuan,” the post says. “The amount of capital to be exchanged is calculated by the exchange rate on the day a swap is initiated … and the amount of domestic currency both sides will receive (when the swap matures) is the same as the amount they sent out.” In other words, a currency swap deal is like a credit line a commercial bank gives to its borrowers, a source close to the central bank who is familiar with the operation said. “It gives both sides the right to undertake an exchange of currencies, but how much is exchanged is a different matter,” he said.

把握世界大势 提高开放水平_求是网 MOFCOM Minister Gao Hucheng in latest “Qiushi” on importance of increasing economic openness, and the importance of increased openness in helping push through domestic reforms //  来源:《求是》2015/02 作者:高虎城…全面深化改革亟须开放这一动力。习近平总书记指出,我国改革已进入攻坚期和深水区,刻舟求剑不行,闭门造车不行。回顾改革开放历程,改革与开放是我国发展的两大动力,是孪生兄弟,改革为开放创造体制基础和内在条件,开放也是改革,为改革提供经验借鉴和活力源泉。面对改革中难啃的“硬骨头”,需要更高水平的开放增加改革动力。党的十八届三中全会《决定》提出的改革任务需要通过开放来推动,如促进国家治理现代化、增强市场的决定作用、转变政府职能、建设法治中国、促进公平竞争、建设国家创新体系等。全面审视中国改革发展大势,我国的开放不是被动之举,而是自身的内在要求。不开放没有出路,开放止步不前也没有出路。

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

Party Plans Governance Training for County Leaders, State Media Says – Caixin The Communist Party plans to have government and party leaders of all of the country’s county-level governments undergo special governance training by the end of 2017, state media says. The training will focus on cultivating allegiance to the party via systemic study of its theories, the reports by CCTV and the official Xinhua News Agency say. Top party leaders have expressed concern about the influence they have over lower-level officials amid rampant corruption, abuse of power and the blind pursuit of economic growth.

探访首期县委书记研修班–时政–人民网 People’s Daily on what the county chiefs have been studying at the Central Party School  //  记者看到,在研修班教学目标上写道:高举中国特色社会主义旗帜,深入贯彻十八大和三中、四中全会精神,学习习近平总书记系列重要讲话,深入研究县域经济社会发展和党的建设中重大理论与实践问题,通过学习讨论,进一步增强中国特色社会主义道路自信、理论自信、制度自信,增强县委书记的党性修养,提高领导能力水平。课程主要包括中国特色社会主义理论体系,县域经济发展和县域经济体制改革,县域依法行政、依法治县以及县域基层党组织建设和县委党建等内容。 除了课堂教学,研修班还包括理论讲座、社会实践、学员论坛、双向交流、学员讨论等。在为期两个月的时间里已举办了5期学员讨论,讨论分支部进行,各个学员逐一发言,其他人进行点评。

人民网评:别让政府“求情函”伤害法治颜面–观点–人民网 备受关注的太原“复旦博士生之父遭强拆致死”一案于去年8月作出二审判决。但直到12月初,死者孟福贵之子孟建伟才拿到该案的终审判决。除一审被告人高海东维持死刑判决外,多名被告人均量刑减轻。1月4日,孟建伟向最高人民法院提起申诉,目前还在审查中。 从法理上说,二审时量刑减轻并不罕见。但多名被告人均量刑减轻,且幅度明显,不能不令人大感意外。特别是所谓的“事出有因”,一笔带过,显得过于俭省,更让人觉得其中必有蹊跷。

中办、国办印发《关于加快构建现代公共文化服务体系的意见》–时政–人民网 新华社北京1月14日电 中共中央办公厅、国务院办公厅日前印发《关于加快构建现代公共文化服务体系的意见》,对加快构建现代公共文化服务体系,推进基本公共文化服务标准化均等化,保障人民群众基本文化权益作了全面部署。 意见强调,要按照全面建成小康社会的总体要求,构建体现时代发展趋势、适应社会主义初级阶段基本国情和市场经济要求,符合文化发展规律、具有中国特色的现代公共文化服务体系,为实现中华民族伟大复兴中国梦提供强大精神动力和文化支撑。要以人民为中心,以社会主义核心价值观为引领,坚持正确导向,坚持政府主导、社会参与、共建共享、改革创新的原则,到2020年,基本建成覆盖城乡、便捷高效、保基本、促公平的现代公共文化服务体系。

人民日报人民要论:遵义会议 党的历史上的转折点–观点–人民网 今年是遵义会议80周年。对遵义会议的历史地位,中共中央在1945年的历史问题决议中有明确的论断:它“是中国党内最有历史意义的转变”;在1981年的历史问题决议中又指出:“这在党的历史上是一个生死攸关的转折点”。任何重要历史事件都必须把它放在整个历史发展进程中来考察,才能真正理解它的意义。既然遵义会议是党的历史上的转折点,就要用长时段的眼光,从中国共产党整个历史发展进程来考察,对遵义会议以前和以后党的状况进行比较,看发生了怎样的根本性变化,才能更清晰更深刻地认识这次会议的历史地位。

China to enhance court trial openness: official – Xinhua Courts should actively innovate the manner of publicizing trials and trial processes through video, audio, pictures, text and microblogs, Liu Xuewen, a senior official of the Supreme People’s Court, said at a meeting. Videos of trials should be comprehensively promoted, he added.

中央纪委全会怎么开?我们带您走进会场(图)—要闻—中央纪委监察部网站 CCDI posts pics from the Plenary Meeting

深化党的建设制度改革与推进国家治理现代化_求是网 来源:《求是》2015/02 作者:中共中央组织部党建研究所     党的十八届三中全会提出了全面深化改革的总目标,即“完善和发展中国特色社会主义制度,推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化”,十八届四中全会对全面推进依法治国作出部署,体现了我们党对治国理政规律的深刻认识和系统把握。推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化,规定了全面深化改革的鲜明指向,同时也为新时期深化党的建设制度改革,加强和改善党的领导指明了方向。

China investigates 32 for graft linked to Xinjiang Muslim pilgrims | Reuters The China Daily, the country’s official English-language newspaper, said 14,000 such pilgrimages were organized in 2014 though some of the people who went to Mecca were “unqualified”. It did not explain what that meant. “In addition to arranging pilgrimages for unqualified people, the investigated officials were found to have asked for and received bribes or neglected the inspection and management of pilgrimage work,” the China Daily said, citing the anti-graft watchdog.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Xi Jinping’s vision of new type of Sino-US relations ‘too ambitious’ | South China Morning Post President Xi Jinping’s vision for a new type of Sino-US relations, laid out at a summit with his US counterpart Barack Obama two years ago, has proven overly ambitious, a prominent expert on foreign relations has said. A more realistic framework was needed, said Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University.

开创中国特色大国外交新局面_求是网 lead essay in latest “Qiushi” from “commentator from this publication” on “Starting New Phase of Major Power Foreign Affairs With Chinese Characteristics”  //  我国已经进入实现中华民族伟大复兴的关键阶段。中国与世界的关系在发生深刻变化。我国同国际社会的互联互动也已变得空前紧密,我国对世界的依靠、对国际事务的参与在不断加深,世界对我国的依靠、对我国的影响也在不断加深。国际社会对我国有许多新要求新期待,希望我国在国际事务中发挥更大作用。我们的最大机遇就是自身不断发展壮大,同时也要善于化危为机、转危为安。因此,我们要创新对外工作理念,着力建设中国特色大国外交,更好地维护国家主权、安全、发展利益,为我国和平发展营造更加有利的国际环境,维护和延长我国发展的重要战略机遇期,维护世界和平稳定,促进共同发展。

PLA vows to beef up corruption crackdown; pledges ‘absolute loyalty’ to Xi | South China Morning Post The People’s Liberation Army has vowed to beef up its efforts against corruption this year under “absolute loyalty” to the Communist Party leadership. Commissars, regiment commanders and more senior officers as well as those in corruption-prone sectors within the PLA would be the key targets in its crackdown this year, the PLA Daily on Thursday quoted Central Military Commission vice-chairman General Xu Qiliang as saying in a meeting on Wednesday.

2014年军队查处军级以上干部重大贪腐案件情况 – 中国军网 a look at investigations of 14 PLA officers in 2014

军事法院院长刘季幸晋升 继续担反腐重任-搜狐军事频道 1月14日晚间的央视七套《军事报道》报道,全军纪律检查工作会议1月14日召开,中央军委四总部、驻京各大单位、军委办公厅领导,军队中的中央纪委委员、军委纪委成员,各大单位纪委书记、纪检部长,军委巡视工作领导小组成员、巡视专员等出席会议。视频显示,现任解放军军事法院院长刘季幸少将佩戴了副大军区职级别资历章出席会议。这意味着,刘季幸已由此前的正军级晋升为副大军区级。// promotion for head of the PLA Military Court

肩负强军报国的使命担当_求是网 Wu Shengli and Mio Hua in latest “Qiushi” on learning from the heroes of PLAN submarine 372. China Daily report last month on the incident wonder what really happened.

China and the Lethal Drone Option | The Diplomat Liu Yuejin told Global Times the capture of Naw Kham “sent a clear message around the world that the interests of Chinese citizens overseas and the Chinese State could not be violated.” If Beijing had decided a physical raid was not feasible, for reasons of terrain or distance, drones could easily have been sent in to deliver the same message. To be sure, a lethal drone strike on foreign soil is not an action Beijing would take likely – but given the long-running use of similar measures by the U.S., there is enough political cover in place to allow China to do so. The possible use of drones on foreign soil is complicated somewhat by the fact that China enjoys a very close relationship with the country that is reported to host the largest number of Chinese terrorists – Pakistan. Beijing would be unlikely to carry out missions on Pakistani soil without Islamabad’s consent, but it is possible that Pakistan might allow Chinese drones strikes against select targets, particularly if Beijing made use of economic or political pressure.

Former senior Chinese military leader dies – Xinhua Former senior Chinese military leader Zhang Wannian passed away on Wednesday in Beijing at the age of 87. Zhang, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, died after an illness at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. He joined the army in 1944 and the Communist Party of China (CPC) a year later. He was promoted to the rank of a general in 1993. Zhang was also a member of the Political Bureau and Secretariat of the 15th CPC Central Committee.

China enlists citizens to patrol border with North Korea – state media | Reuters The China Defence News said on Wednesday the government had established a civilian-military defense system in the Yanbian prefecture of Jilin province. Yanbian shares a border of about 500 km (310 miles) with North Korea.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

After Criticism From Hong Kong’s Leader, Publisher Raises Book’s Print Run – NYTimes.com an article by Mr. Leung, published in a monthly publication called Undergrad, that prompted a stern warning from Hong Kong’s chief executive on Wednesday. “It advocates that Hong Kong should find a way to self-reliance and self-determination,” the chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, who is not related to the 20-year-old student, said of the article in his annual policy address. “We must stay alert. We also ask political figures with close ties to the leaders of the student movement to advise them against putting forward such fallacies.”

Hong Kong Leader Says Yielding to Protesters Could Stir Chaos – NYTimes.com On the economic concerns, Mr. Leung called housing “the most critical of all livelihood issues in Hong Kong” and said, “Sustained economic development will provide our young people with more and better employment opportunities and chances of upward mobility.” But supporters of the recent demonstrations were skeptical that Mr. Leung could make good on his promises.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

China to launch $US6.5bn tech fund | Business Spectator The fund will be financed by the central government, financial institutions and private investors, the State Council said on its website.  The fund will be managed by several fund-management companies selected via a bidding process, China’s cabinet said, adding that private investors will be given priority to the proceeds.

Sony scores with “Museum,” strikes out with “Annie” in China | chinafilmbiz 中国电影业务 The first full box office week of 2015 saw Sony release two films that spanned the spectrum of rankings from top to bottom: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb snagged the top spot with $26.5 million, while Annie came in last among new releases with a hair-curling $355,000, possibly the poorest opening ever for a major Hollywood studio film in China.

Media Watch: Witness to First Shot in Charlie Hebdo Killings Angry at CCTV – Caixin Wang lived to tell his story. But he said the Chinese version of it, which aired on China Central Television (CCTV), made him appear to be a coward. Wang’s complaint centers on how he was introduced. He says a CCTV anchor made him seem to be too scared to speak publicly until the gunmen were dead, and that a reporter incorrectly claims that she had to persuade him to give an interview. In fact, he had already spoken to French journalists. These distortions hurt his reputation, Wang says, and they have been repeated by other Chinese news outlets. Wang’s complaint is not trivial. The version of this article on Caixin Media Co.’s Chinese website has received more reader comments than any story we have ever published. Our readers have taken the opportunity to do some venting about CCTV and state media in general for not faithfully adhering to the facts in their reporting.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

In Remote Thai Villages, Legacy of China’s Lost Army Endures – NYTimes In the mid-1980s, with the Communist threat essentially extinguished, the Kuomintang soldiers agreed to put down their arms and take up farming. In exchange, the Thai government began to grant them and their families Thai citizenship. Today, 64 of these so-called Kuomintang villages, including Ban Rak Thai — or Mae Aw, as locals call it — remain in northern Thailand, according to statistics published by the Taiwan government last year. Assimilation is a work in progress. In Ban Rak Thai, many villagers still prefer to converse in Chinese, though many of the younger generation can speak at least a little Thai.

Breaking the ice – Global Times Considering the rumors that famed Huangmei Opera singer Ma Lan disappeared from the stage due to demands from her husband Yu Qiuyu, it comes as no surprise that after publishing a novel centered on a love story, that Yu would inevitably be swarmed with a ton of questions. Engulfed in a storm of controversies such as those about the cultural and historical mistakes found in his works, as well as his relationship with his much-younger wife, Yu hasn’t had an easy time over the years since hitting his peak during the 1990s. Maintaining a low-profile since these controversies began, Yu broke his silence at the beginning of this year at a press conference for his new book, Ice River, his first attempt at a novel that came out at the beginning of this month.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

China Forecast to Start Building Five Nuclear Reactors This Year – Bloomberg China is expected to start construction on at least five nuclear reactors this year, underscoring the country’s commitment to atomic energy as a means to help control pollution and fuel growth. Combined, the projects represent more than 5 gigawatts of capacity, Shen Lixin, deputy secretary general of the Chinese Nuclear Society, said in an interview in Beijing today.

China’s manned sub collects mysterious deep-see living beings in Indian Ocean – Xinhua “This might be a special kind of sea cucumber, but we need to make sure after further analysis in labs,” said Lu Bo, a scientist with the Second Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration. Looking like a small pink snake, the second weird creature, which is 330 centimeters long and three centimeters wide, is completely unknown for the scientists. // pictures. No word on how they will be prepared in Guangdong…

Graphics: China’s Warmer 2014 – Caixin The average temperature in China last year was 10.1 degrees Celsius, a report from China Meteorological Administration published on January 9 says, half a degree higher than during the period from 1981-2010. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby province of Shandong all saw average temperatures rise by at least a degree. The report said the country as a whole suffered through fewer smoggy days, but again the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was an exception, choking through 25 more.

Official blames smoked bacon for smog – Xinhua While experts point to car emissions and city construction for causing foul air, a government official in a southwest China city has laid the blame on people making smoked bacon. The city of Dazhou in Sichuan Province has endured heavy smog since the new year began, with the PM 2.5 reading frequently exceeding healthy levels. Rao Bing, deputy head of Dazhou Environment Protection Bureau, said on January 4 that one of the causes of the city’s lingering smog is smoking bacon, a traditional method of preserving pork by local residents.

China approves new polio vaccine, shows innovative muscle | Reuters The development drew praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday who said the vaccine, which will be given to Chinese children as part of routine disease prevention, would help the global fight against the polio virus.

 

AGRICULTURE *

Foot-and-mouth disease confirmed in Hubei Province – Xinhua Foot-and-mouth disease has infected 54 cattle in a district of Wuhan City in central China’s Hubei Province, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Wednesday. The outbreak was first reported on Jan. 8 in Huangbei District and confirmed by the national foot-and-mouth disease reference laboratory on Wednesday.

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Livestock Waiting for Rebound isease is contributing to the drop in animal inventories. In December, China Central TV reported that a large outbreak of foot and mouth disease occurred in Jiangxi Province. It was also reported that pork from the diseased pigs was sold in at least seven provinces. The Ministry of Agriculture announced that a district of Ma’anshan in Anhui Province had the first detected type-A foot and mouth disease. FMD outbreaks have been reported in Hubei, Hunan, Tianjin, and Liaoning. Chinese analysts think these reports may be “the tip of the iceberg”; they think disease problems may be spiking due to winter weather and cash-poor farmers skimping on disease control.

今年中央一号文件月内或公布宏观中证网 上证报记者从权威人士处获悉,今年中央一号文件或将于1月底公布,目前文件已在内部下发,所涉相关部委已开始分工。按以往惯例,每年一号文件都是1月中下旬公布,最晚2月初。去年一号文件以“全面深化农村改革,加快推进农业现代化”为主题,对农村改革进行全面部署,而今年一号文件延续深化改革的思路,将主题定为《关于进一步深化农村改革加快推进农业现代化的若干意见》。结合此前中央农村工作会议及农业部年终工作会议内容,今年一号文件将重点推进以土地制度改革为主的农村改革和农业现代化等方面内容。

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL *

Anthony Bourdain Boosts Xi’an Famous Foods – China Real Time Report – WSJ Celebrity chef, best-selling author and then-host of Travel Channel’sNo Reservations, Bourdain was at Xi’an Famous Foods to film part of an episode on New York City’s outer boroughs, and as the title suggests, he had dropped by without warning. He wasn’t expecting much from the Chinese restaurant, but after sampling its surprisingly bold and spicy flavors, “It was love at first sight,” he says. When the episode aired a year later, Wang says he felt a tingle as he watched Bourdain biting into the burger and exclaiming, “I’ve never had anything like this before!”

Delta to start daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Shanghai – Xinhua Delta Airlines announced Wednesday that it plans to start daily nonstop service on July 9 between Los Angeles International Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport. The plan still needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Chinese government, the U.S. company said.

 

BEIJING *

Pollution soars in Beijing amid winter smog – Channel NewsAsia Levels of PM2.5 particulates – the smallest and most dangerous, with a diameter small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs – were recorded at 568 microgrammes per cubic metre by the US embassy during the afternoon. An even worse reading of 631 was recorded at a municipal monitoring station in the east of the city. // a grim day, everything was in Beijing Brown with a hint of yellow. Winds are supposed to be pick up tonight, Friday may be nice, in Beijing if not Korea/Japan. He is a picture from my office I posted to Twitter this afternoon.

Follow me on Twitter @Niubi

Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.