The Sinocism China Newsletter 02.04.15

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. China cuts RRR by 50 basis points – Xinhua China will lower banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points starting Feb. 5, the country’s central bank said Wednesday. Meanwhile, to step up financial support to some targeted areas, the central bank decided to cut the RRR by an extra 50 basis points for certain commercial banks engaged in proportionate lending to small and micro-sized enterprises, the farming sector as well as major water projects. The Agricultural Development Bank of China, the sole policy lender for agriculture, gets a RRR reduction of 4 percentage points.

Related: Chinese-Stock Index Futures Surge After Reserve-Ratio Cut – Bloomberg Business FTSE China A50 Index futures traded in Singapore surged 5.7 percent as of 7:24 p.m. local time. Contracts on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.7 percent, while those on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares rallied 3.2 percent

2. Internet User Account Name Management Regulations | China Copyright and Media Article 5: Internet information service providers shall, according to the principle of “real name backstage, voluntary choice front stage”, demand Internet information service users to register accounts after undergoing real identity information authentication. //  互联网用户账号名称管理规定/ This is not a new idea but rather a continuation of efforts over the years, and especially ones that took on more force after the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress in October 2011. But this time expect the regulators to enforce real real-name implementation, instead of the loophole-ridden version companies successfully lobbied for in 2011 and 2012. The Feichang Dao blog has a good history of real name efforts here. This may be positive for Chinese Internet firms’ bottom lines as it could clear out the zombie and spam accounts and allow for better advertiser confidence and targeting but there could be a cost–years ago Baidu paid something like 4 RMB per query for authenticating registered users against the PSB ID database–and so it is hard to gauge the financial impact until more details are released. But make no mistake, the tech to make this happen exists, the likelihood that companies can water this down as they did earlier is much lower under Xi, and employees at the affected firms probably just had their Chinese New Year holidays ruined…

Related: INTERNET: Internet Sees Messaging Surge, Microblog Retreat | Young’s China Business Blog A newly released annual government report on China’s Internet is full of good news for the online business community, with most sectors posting double-digit growth as overall penetration neared the 50 percent mark. But a few sectors stood out as distinctive losers in the report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), led by the microblogging space that saw a sharp decline in users.

3. Education minister warns against “wrong Western values” – Xinhua Yuan Guiren’s article was carried by Monday’s edition of China Education Daily, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Education, and comes after Yuan told college officials last week to “never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes” and asked them to have more oversight of textbooks and materials directly taken from Western countries. Ideological and publicity work in universities concerns cultivating future generations to help develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and consolidating the guiding role of Marxism in ideology, the article said. The article, which was earlier published in Seeking Truth, a magazine run by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, highlighted a guideline issued by central authorities in mid-January.// his article 把握大势 着眼大事 努力做好新形势下高校宣传思想工作 

Related:  Enemy infiltrators targeting China’s students and teachers, education chief says | South China Morning Post Young university teachers and students have been targeted by foreign infiltrators, posing a growing problem on the country’s ideological front line. So wrote Education Minister Yuan Guiren in the latest edition of influential Communist Party journal Qiushi, just days after igniting controversy by insisting that textbooks that promote Western values should be kept out of classrooms.

Related: 为办好中国特色社会主义大学提供根本保证_求是网-重要文章-求是网 来源:北京日报 –所以,在高校宣传思想工作的公众意识和传播理念已初具形态的推进中,需要与时俱进的,仍然是关注变化、直面问题、站在前沿、引领潮流的自身创新性。我们要用大众化分享共识以强化知觉,用朋辈化消弭隔膜以深化感觉,用情感化建构价值以内化悟觉,来提升宣传思想工作的温度;进而使鲜活生动的形象感受,深化为师生自觉内省的心理感动;将即时短暂的体验感受,升华为大家知行合一的情理感佩;让灵活参与的互动感受,扩展为高校群体仿效的哲理感染,以强化宣传思想工作的深度。惟有做好这两个重要取向的传导设计,我们才能更好地实现高校宣传思想工作的使命担当。     (作者为北京第二外国语学院党委书记)

Related: 以培育和弘扬社会主义核心价值观为引领 扎实抓好新形势下高校宣传思想工作–教育–人民网 Peking University Party Secretary joins in with his support, expect the leadership at all the universities to do so. Wonder what the leadership of Western institutions that have partnerships with these schools think, or if they are even paying attention // 北京大学党委书记 朱善璐 –《关于进一步加强和改进新形势下高校宣传思想工作的意见》是党中央、国务院从全局和战略的高度做出的一项重要部署。《意见》的下发,充分体现了以习近平同志为总书记的党中央对意识形态工作和高等教育工作的高度重视,充分体现了高校宣传思想工作在党和国家意识形态工作中的重要地位和作用,充分体现了当前加强和改进高校宣传思想工作的重要性和紧迫性。《意见》深入阐述了为什么要做好高校宣传思想工作、怎样做好高校宣传思想工作、怎样加强和改进党对高校宣传思想工作的领导等重要问题,进一步明确了高校宣传思想工作的指导思想、基本原则和主要任务,是高校宣传思想工作的总纲,为做好高校宣传思想工作提供了根本遵循。

Related: 张维迎:中国是主动全球化的赢家_共识网 Zhang Weiying on the dangers to China of closing back up against Western ideas. Wonder if he is on the rumored list of 100 or so intellectuals and academics targeted for “special attention”  //  在全球化时代,如果我们不能够按照世界通行的游戏规则来行动,也就是不接受人类的普遍价值,就不可能全面享受人类合作带来的好处,就相当于开车上路人家靠右行,你非要靠左行,马上就死定了。

Related: 韩喜平:学术自由并不等于“任性” 大学课堂不是“秀场”–理论-人民网 学习西方的知识,其目的是为我所用 而不是被西方知识特别是其中的价值观所操纵

4. Chinese troops warned on espionage – Xinhua And lots more than that in this “Outline for Army Grassroots Construction” 中央军委印发新修订的《军队基层建设纲要》// The People’s Liberation Army Daily (PLA Daily) on Wednesday carried the full text of a guideline issued by the Central Military Commission (CMC) stressing the need to run political background checks on officers and soldiers to “prevent penetration, sabotage by hostile forces or erosion by corrupt ideas and cultures.” The guideline encouraged other measures to improve management of servicemen, including better psychological services. Psychological evaluation and counseling should be conducted regularly, and officers and soldiers suffering severe psychological problems need to get timely treatment, it said. The CMC also ordered tighter management over mobile phones and the Internet, forbidding personnel from blogging, online chatting or job hunting in an official capacity. The guideline banned officers from imposing corporal punishments on soldiers, encroaching on soldiers’ interests and taking bribes from them.

Related: China to toughen military checks to fight internet spying | Reuters The guideline issued by China’s powerful Central Military Commission and carried by the official People’s Liberation Army Daily said military personnel were forbidden from blogging and using online chat programmes. “Some Western countries have intensified plotting against our country with ‘colour revolutions’, an online ‘cultural Cold War’ … trying in vain to uproot the spirit of our military officers and soldiers,” a commentary in the PLA Daily said.

5. This currency would be great if it wasn’t for the market, RMB edition | FT Alphaville Fundamentally, there is no reason why the current system could not be scrapped altogether, with FX policy adopting a managed float as in other emerging markets or managing the currency against a NEER basket. China has sufficient reserves to steer the RMB toward appreciation or depreciation if it so chooses, and this would achieve maximum opaqueness, which would alleviate the focus on the reference rate as a signalling mechanism. This is likely the medium-term target of FX policy, but we assign a low probability of the PBoC getting there in the near term given its usual preference for gradualism, particularly in volatile times.

Related: China Sees Biggest Outflow of Capital Since at Least 1998 – Bloomberg Business The capital account shortfall was $91.2 billion in the three months ended December, the Beijing-based State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on its website Tuesday. The current account surplus shrank to $61.1 billion, it said.

6. CDB Told to Return to Policy Bank Role It Left Years Ago – Caixin Eight years after embarking on a road to becoming a commercial bank, China Development Bank (CDB) has returned to its old mandate as a policy bank that lends on government orders and enjoys favorable treatment. A recent meeting of the State Council’s Standing Committee redefined the bank as “a financial institution for development” that enjoys the same treatment as a policy bank, people close to the situation said. As a result of the change, bonds issued by the bank will have the highest possible credit rating because their repayment will be guaranteed by the central government.

7. What’s Driving Insurer Anbang’s Big Bang? – Caixin Those sources say Wu married and divorced a daughter of a former deputy governor of Zhejiang. He later married Zhuo Ran, a granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping. Zhuo is also a daughter of a former deputy minister of technology Deng Nan. Wu and Zhuo have a son but are separated, the sources familiar with Wu said. It is unclear whether they have divorced. Media reports implying Anbang is linked to the Deng clan prompted a meeting of relatives of China’s author of reform and opening up late last year, a person close to the family said. At the meeting, the Deng family concluded that no member had links to Anbang, the person said. Nevertheless, according to business registration documents, Zhuo was a stakeholder in two of the 31 investors that bought into Anbang in 2014. She had sold those stakes as of December, registration records show.

8. Evan A. Feigenbaum | The New Pan-Asian Order | Foreign Affairs Yet Americans should not be so surprised. Heavy symbolism aside, such meetings are the outgrowth of trends that date at least to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Indeed, they are not new, nor were they invented by Beijing—although China, it is true, has sought to leverage them to its advantage. They will remain a lasting feature of political and economic reality in Asia. And they are almost certain to pose a growing competitive challenge to U.S. leadership in the Pacific. Washington should not shy away from this competition. The United States can and should adapt and compete. But doing so will require, first, a clear understanding of the depths and origins of change in Asia. Put simply, the United States cannot succeed, in either geopolitics or business, unless it properly understands the sources of its competition in the first place.

 

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BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

State-Backed Automaker ‘Spent Millions to Buy Land, Build Villas’ – Caixin The CDIC’s notice also said that FAW Group executives were found to be engaging in corrupt practices in the sales sector. Company leaders illegally owned or held shares in dealerships, and some helped relatives do business with the automaker. A person with knowledge of the matter said a company that wanted to open a dealership had to pay an executive at FAW Group a bribe of 2 million yuan. The CDIC said in August that it was investigating three executives at FAW Group. The three – deputy general managers An Dewu and Li Wu, and Zhou Chun, deputy general manager of the Audi sales department – have all left the company.

Shimao reopens bond market for China’s junk-rated developers Shimao Properties has become the first Chinese property developer to launch a high yield bond since the sector was rocked by problems at Kaisa Group. Shimao attracted a $6 billion order book within hours of launching its seven-year bonds on Tuesday. However the indicated yield of about 8.5 percent is estimated to be 100 basis points higher than what it would have paid in early December, suggesting the sector is set for significantly higher funding costs.

Trade — Can Obama get it done? | WashingtonExaminer.com During the State of the Union speech, the president raised the specter of competition with China as a reason to pass trade legislation. “China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region,” he said. It may have been a message intended only for the Hill — fodder for the China paranoia that sometimes drives legislation. But the administration has for years been trying to convince China that the TPP and the “pivot to Asia” were not about containing China’s rise. The State of the Union speech complicated that message, and official and unofficial Chinese reactions were blistering. The White House will have to smooth over those ruffled feathers to manage that most important strategic relationship, even if it is very likely that anti-China rhetoric will be an important part of the overall narrative behind the whip votes on Capitol Hill. Momentum behind a TPA bill could pick up quickly.

Shanghai Disneyland Opening Pushed Into 2016 – China Real Time Report – WSJ The precise reasons aren’t clear why Shanghai Disneyland won’t open as expected at the tail end of 2015. People close to the deal say the new timetable for the long-planned project mostly reflects efforts by Disney and its local government-run partners to ensure that the venue is built at standards that have made the entertainment giant’s theme parks big hits in other countries.

韩沂出任银监会现场检查局局长金融频道财新网 CBRC sets up new unit for onsite bank inspections  // 此番银监会架构大调整,一大进步是将分散在各部门的现场检查力量整合,单设现场检查局,而现场检查是一个特殊领域,不需要标准化的程序方法,但需要很高的职业标准

Plans to overhaul tax regime will see all Chinese taxpayers given permanent tax ID number | South China Morning Post China’s tax authorities plan to assign one permanent taxation identification number to each individual taxpayer as it overhauls its individual tax regime. Local media suggested the revived proposal, first mooted in 2005, could pave the way for the country to integrate its taxation and credit database, which could greatly affect people’s daily lives.

Chinese Retailers Play Poker in Empty Malls as Shoppers Go Online – Bloomberg Business “It’s dying,” says Wang, shaking his head as he looks out at abandoned stores and torn promotional posters in what was once the busiest market in the Zhongguancun district, known as China’s silicon valley. “There are more sales staff than customers around here. Everyone buys online now.”

Why Did the Chinese Executive Disappear? It’s ‘Personal’ – Bloomberg Business Chinese companies struggling with how to disclose the departure of top executives amid a nationwide crackdown on corruption are adopting the favored euphemism of U.S. corporations: personal reasons.

World Bank Probes $1 Billion China Loan – China Real Time Report – WSJ The bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, hired a top law firm on behalf of the institution in late December to conduct the review after senior finance officials flagged the transaction to external auditors, according to these people. At issue is whether management created a conflict of interest when one of the bank’s units helped China lend cash to another of the bank’s arms.

Hedge Fund Guide to China Bull Markets Shows Rally Just Starting – Bloomberg Business Yet for the Chinese stock strategist who helped deliver the best returns among Asian hedge funds with at least $1 billion of assets last year, the bears are short-sighted. Joseph Zeng, who helps run the Golden China Fund with Greenwoods Asset Management founder George Jiang, says the $5.1 trillion market is only in the first phase of a three-part rally. While Zeng declined to put a target on how high the CSI 300 index of locally traded A shares will climb and says there will be corrections along the way, his forecast that the gauge may trade at a multiple of as much as 30 times earnings gives an idea of what may be in store. That estimate implies an additional 100 percent gain, even if corporate profits flat-line at current levels. Here’s how Zeng sees the rally playing out:

China jails former Agricultural Bank VP for life for taking bribes | Reuters loans to Beijing Solana Mall developer involved, Yang was detained before Xi took power  //  Between 2005 and 2012, Yang used his positions of power, including authority over loan approvals, management and IT, to take bribes in U.S. dollars, HK dollars, gold bars, rosewood furniture and paintings by famous artists, the court said, adding that his wife’s brother was involved.

Provinces plan to boost economy with US$2.4 trillion spend on infrastructure | South China Morning Post Fourteen Chinese provinces plan to invest a combined 15 trillion yuan (US$2.4 trillion) in infrastructure and other projects starting this year as part of their effort to help set a bottom on a slowdown in the economy, an official newspaper said on Wednesday.

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

坚定不移走中国特色反腐败之路_求是网 来源:《求是》2015/03作者:中国反腐败司法研究中心–核心要点:■ 坚持中国特色反腐败道路,必须始终保持惩治腐败的高压态势,善于用法治思维和法治方式,以“零容忍”态度彻底反腐败,不断以反腐败的实际成效推进廉洁政治建设,做到干部清正、政府清廉、政治清明。 ■ 反腐败斗争是以惩治为基本特征的执纪执法活动,其内在逻辑是以惩促罚,以防固惩。反腐治标与反腐治本是惩与防的关系,只有充分发挥查办案件的治标功能,制度建设等治本措施才能落到实处。 ■ 要切实加强自身监督制约机制建设,着力解决执法办案不文明、不规范问题,严肃查处关系案、人情案、金钱案,切实做到自身正、自身硬、自身净,确保执纪执法权依法规范行使,违纪必惩、违法必究,权益得到保护,正义得到伸张。 ■ 增强惩治腐败的必然性,坚持制度面前人人平等,制度面前没有特权,不管什么人,“出笼”必受惩,“老虎”、“苍蝇”一起打,不搞“网开一面”和“下不为例”。增强惩治腐败的及时性,对“出笼”行为露头就打,快速处理,及时纠正。

媒体揭秘中纪委“诱捕”违纪官员:要抓活的|中纪委|官员_凤凰资讯 对于某些特殊对象,中纪委还会对其“私人定制”一场高规格的会议。这种情况下,他们请假缺席的可能性低,且容易因身处其间的“优越感”而麻痹大意。待会议召开后,办案人员守候在外,通过场内传出的短信、监控画面等信息,实时了解会议进度,再借机行事。

Jinan party chief in corruption probe ‘had ties with Bo Xilai’: report | South China Morning Post Wang Min, 58, the party chief in Jinan in Shandong province was detained in December for violations of party discipline and law, the form of words often used by the authorities to describe graft. Wang has known Bo for years and arranged for his family to stay at a four-star hotel in Jinan during the former Chongqing party chief’s trial for corruption, according to Honesty Outlook, a magazine under the control of the Sichuan Daily newspaper group.

不能任由历史虚无主义虚无我们的历史根基_求是网 历史是一个民族、一个国家、一个政党盛衰兴亡的真实记录,也是其根脉所系、魂魄所在。尊重历史、牢记历史、以史资政,一直是我们党的优良传统。然而,一段时间以来,历史虚无主义思潮在我国沉渣泛起,甚至一度有蔓延之势。这股思潮不仅在理论上十分荒谬,而且在现实中危害极大。我们在新的起点上坚持和发展中国特色社会主义,必须高度警惕和坚决抵制历史虚无主义思潮,不能任由历史虚无主义虚无我们的历史根基。- (作者:国防大学原副政委)

How to Be a Chinese Democrat: An Interview with Liu Yu by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books Liu Yu is one of China’s best-known America-watchers. A professor of political science at Tsinghua University, she lived in the US from 2000 to 2007 and now researches democratization in developing countries, including her own. The thirty-eight-year-old became famous in China in 2009 with the publication (in Chinese) of Details of Democracy, a collection of her blogs that described how politics works in America. The book earned her the moniker among online fans as “China’s de Toqueville” (she’s quick to reject that as too flattering). She is a popular public speaker, although she has received fewer invitations to speak in recent months, which she attributes to growing pressure in China to silence critical voices. I spoke to her recently in Beijing.

Xie Youshan, liberal editor behind Xi Jinping’s ‘Maoist’ speech|WantChinaTimes The principal drafter of the controversial address delivered by Chinese president and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping at an art symposium in Beijing last year has been identified as Xie Youshun, a former editor of Guangzhou’s liberal Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper.

The shoe that fits: China’s “rule of law” – China Media Project “The Healthy Road of Ruling the Nation in Accord with the Law: How We Should Understand Going Our Own Road in Building Rule of Law” People’s Daily February 3, 2015 “Only when you try it on for yourself do you know if a shoe fits.” Rule of law is a basic method for governing a nation, but as for what rule of law mode a country puts into effect, and what rule of law path it takes, this must be a matter of what suits that country’s national conditions (国情) and social system. [A country] must “wear shoes that fit,” and it must travel its own road.

中办人事调整 丁孝文转岗中联部政经频道财新网 Ding Xiaowen transferred out of CCP Central Office  //  继霍克、陈瑞萍之后,中央办公厅(下称“中办”)调研室原局长丁孝文转任中联部部长助理,成为近期第三位调离的中办局长。自中共十八大以来,中办至少有三名副主任、三名局长离任。2月4日,中共中央对外联络部(下称中联部)网站公布了丁孝文履新的消息,他排名于李军、窦恩勇两位部长助理之后。目前,中联部部长为王家瑞,副部长有五名即陈凤翔、李进军、周力、郭业洲、徐绿平。

Interview: Nick Lardy on the Politics of China’s Economic Reform | Asia Society the Third Plenum reform program could weaken inefficient state monopolies in key sectors, unleash market forces, and “go a long way toward assuring China’s continued rapid economic growth over the medium term.”

Pu’s Video Workshop Exposed Party Abuses | Pu Zhiqiang, the Lawyer Before he was detained in May 2014, human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang made a 36-minutes video exposing the plight of Xiao Yifei, a local Chinese Communist Party member who was held in detention for alleged corruption.  In the video interview, Xiao described how he was physically abused and was forced to admit to his “crimes,”  while in detention. The video, made by Pu Zhiqiang Workshop, has been circulating in China’s online media. It is posted with English subtitles.

刘亚洲:照耀中国梦的思想火炬–理论-人民网 Gen. Liu Yazhou sings the praises of Xi’s book The Governance of China

BEIJING: Torn apart by Tiananmen, father, son still fight for free speech in China | Asia | McClatchy DC Bao Tong writes regular commentaries for Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-funded news operation, that are stridently critical of the party’s policies. His son, Bao Pu, runs a Hong Kong publishing house that specializes in books banned on the mainland, such as memoirs of former party leaders and exposés of the party’s misdeeds. It puts him at risk of arrest when he travels to the mainland to visit his family, perhaps once or twice a year.

深度 | 习近平的乡愁人民时政人民论坛网 Thepaper looks at what is “home” for Xi Jinping, and his apparent nostalgia

习近平首次集中阐述四个全面:宣示治国新布局新闻腾讯网 中国共产党新闻网北京2月3日电 (朱书缘) 2月2日,省部级主要领导干部学习贯彻十八届四中全会精神全面推进依法治国专题研讨班在中央党校开班,习近平总书记在开班仪式上讲话中集中论述了“四个全面”战略布局的逻辑关系,引发媒体和社会各界关注热议。就此,记者采访了国家行政学院教授许耀桐。许耀桐分析认为,这是习近平首次在正式讲话场合集中阐述四者关系,宣示了“四个全面”已成为以习近平为总书记的党中央治国理政的全新布局。

Supreme People’s Court interprets the Civil Procedure Law | Supreme People’s Court Monitor On 4 February the Supreme People’s Court (Court) issued a comprehensive interpretation of the 2012 Civil Procedure Law, with 552 articles, longer than the 294 articles in the law itself.  It creates a much more sophisticated body of civil procedure law. // 最高法:微博与网聊记录等可视为民事案件证据新闻腾讯网 

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

China Policy Institute Blog » Nationalism and Chinese public opinion by Andrew Chubb. Few terms in public political discourse are as contested, contradictory and downright slippery as nationalism. Deployed to describe an enormous variety of social movements, ideologies, popular attitudes, mass sentiments, elite policy agendas and even consumption patterns, use of the word carries with it a risk of stringing together superficially related phenomena with very different causes under the same label. The recently released results of a survey on the South and East China Sea disputes offer further reason for caution when approaching Chinese public opinion through the lens of nationalism.

SinoShip News – China linked to Thai canal plans With the second decade of this century becoming known for mega canal projects, an old Thai infrastructure plan is being dusted off once again. Expansion works at both the Panama and Suez canals are well underway while a Chinese tycoon plans to carve a waterway through Nicaragua. In Thailand, the 200-plus year old plans to build a canal through its isthmus is once again gaining traction, as it seems to every few years. This time, however, there’s talk that the Chinese would be willing to invest in the project.  The Kra Canal would link the South China Sea with the Andaman Sea.

China: Norway violates rights of Chinese scholar | GlobalPost The University of Agder’s management also saw no grounds for the expulsion of the Chinese student, and his academic supervisor was likewise surprised by the police decision. Norwegian broadcasting company NRK said Norwegian authorities made the move out of fear that the student’s expertise could be used “for military purposes in other countries.”

Ambitious deadline set for China border talks-The Telegraph (India) New Delhi, Feb. 2. India and China have quietly set an ambitious May deadline for their negotiators to hammer out a “breakthrough” in their century-old boundary dispute in time for a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Beijing announced by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday. National security adviser Ajit Doval will soon travel to China for the first of a series of negotiations the two nations have agreed on during Sushma’s ongoing visit to Beijing where she today met President Xi Jinping, senior officials familiar with the plans have told The Telegraph.

‘The Hundred-Year Marathon’ outlines a long-term Chinese strategy to replace the US as world leader – CSMonitor Serving in various senior national security positions in the United States government, Michael Pillsbury has been meeting for decades with Chinese military planners and civilian strategists in an effort to figure out what they think. In the process, Pillsbury says he’s detected a long-term Chinese strategy: First, to acquire Western technology, then to develop a powerful economy, and finally – three to four decades from now – to replace the United States as the world’s superpower. And if Chinese planners get their way, Pillsbury says, China may achieve its ultimate goal without firing a shot. In his book The Hundred-Year Marathon, Pillsbury argues that successive US administrations have been led to believe that as China develops economically, it will embrace a more open economy and liberal democratic ideas. // the book on Amazon…Pillsbury apparently has an interesting history in official circles 

阎学通:整体的“周边”比美国更重要 Yan Xuetong says relations with the neighbors more important than the US-China relationship

Is Xi Jinping Rethinking Korean Unification? | Brookings Institution On January 20, 2015, Jonathan Pollack gave the following presentation at the 3rd Korea Research Institute for Security-Brookings Joint Conference on “Cooperating for Regional Stability in the Process of Korean Unification: Contingency Preparations with the ROK-U.S. as Anchor” in Seoul, Korea.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Top academic lashes at pro-Beijing media before key appointment A senior Hong Kong academic is hitting back at his pro-Beijing critics ahead of his expected appointment as an executive vice president of the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Professor Johannes Chan called recent attacks by pro-Beijing newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po “crazy”, saying they were timed to derail his impending appointment, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

BBC News – TransAsia crash: Taiwan plane in deadly river crash A plane carrying mostly Chinese tourists has crashed into a river in Taiwan, killing at least 19 people. Dramatic video footage emerged showing the TransAsia Airways plane clipping a bridge as it came down shortly after take-off from a Taipei airport.

Hong Kong Newspaper Staff Protests Editor’s Shifting of Tiananmen Article – NYTimes Journalists at Ming Pao have jousted with the paper’s chief editor this week over his decision to shift the position of an article in Monday’s edition about a cache of documents from the Canadian Embassy in Beijing during the lead-up to the crackdown and the carnage that ensued on June 3-4, 1989. Ming Pao’s staff association denounced the editor’s decision to give more prominent space to a report about a fund for young entrepreneurs in Hong Kong started by Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire who founded Alibaba, the e-commerce company.

Beijing’s 2020 vision for LegCoWebb Report// Given that Beijing seems determined to maintain control while creating the illusion of choice, as it has done with its proposals for 2017, it must also wish to maintain control of LegCo via the tycoon-united front coalition in LegCo, comprising the small-circle FCs, the pro-Beijing DAB/FTU and assorted hangers-on like Regina Ip’s 2-legislator not-so-New People’s Party. So this begs the question, if FCs are not abolished, then how does Beijing plan to rig the 2020 elections, in order to claim that “universal suffrage” has been achieved? Based on the approach taken by Beijing with the Chief Executive election in 2017 and the recent comments, we can now see clearly how this will be done. Before we present the solution, some background.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

微信回应公众号抄袭:接受举报 抄袭五次封号|微信|公众平台|侵权互联网新浪科技_新浪网 中新网2月3日电 腾讯微信今日在其官方公众平台上发布《微信公众平台关于抄袭行为处罚规则的公示》,其中指出,关于微信公共帐号作品抄袭等侵权行为的举报流程,并做出相应的处罚规定,严重者或面临停封。微信公众平台表示支持并鼓励有价值的原创内容,坚决打击和反对抄袭等侵权行为。

富士康对全国总工会点名批评不服 学阿里叫板-手机和讯网 Foxconn to fight government claims it mistreats workers

Not in Holiday Spirit: Alibaba and Tencent Spar over Virtual Hongbao – Caixin Perhaps lacking a bit of holiday spirit, the feature did not allow Alipay users to send hongbao to WeChat or QQ, the messaging and gaming service that Tencent cut its teeth with. This prompted users to complain, said an employee of Ant Financial Service, the Alibaba financial arm that owns Alipay. In response, Alibaba made some changes, offering links to WeChat and QQ on February 2. Then it was Tencent’s turn to play holiday grump. It blocked the links to both platforms right away. Efforts to send an Alipay hongbao to WeChat lead to a page reading: “The content you’re sharing has a safety hazard.” Harrumph, said Alipay, which then removed the hongbao links to WeChat and QQ less than eight hours after offering them.

China cracks down on cartoon and gaming sites, including Tencent, Baidu, and Qihoo 360 sites China’s Ministry of Culture announced Tuesday that in December, it investigated and punished nine cartoon websites, including Tencent’s animation portal site, for containing illegal content like excessive violence, gambling, and “lewd” material. The punishment included fines, confiscation of the offending materials, and an order to clean up their act. Specific columns on some of the sites, including Tencent’s, were also shuttered permanently.

Dismay as Hong Kong TV dramas fall under China’s ‘foreign’ production censorship | South China Morning Post However, many mainlanders have been surprised to discover that Hong Kong dramas – many produced by the free-to-air broadcaster, TVB – have also included in the new regulation

Intel Capital’s Richard Hsu on the rise of China’s startups Richard Hsu has been based in China for just over a decade and has seen some momentous changes in the tech industry in that time. He arrived in Beijing in 2004 as Intel Capital’s managing director for China, moving away from his Silicon Valley role with Intel’s venture capital arm.  //  an excellent VC, and the man can hold his Moutai (he is a good friend)

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

TOEFL questions, answers leaked in China: reviewer – Global Times Questions and answers of the widely-used US exam, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), have allegedly been leaked in China on Saturday, a TOEFL reviewer claimed, saying he received messages of answers being sold before the exam. “I received a message through Sina Weibo Friday, saying that they have the answers for Saturday’s TOEFL exam and asked if I was interested in buying them,” TOEFL reviewer Fu Yingdong based in Beijing  told the Global Times. “I have heard of cheating during the exam, but have never seen a TOEFL exam leak. It was really shocking,” said Fu, adding that early Saturday morning, he received another massage from the same person, who provided the questions of the oral and writing sections.

What the future holds for the game of golf in China | Golf Course Architecture by an American who has designed many golf courses in China  //  It is my understanding that, of the 700 or so courses believed to exist today, some 90 to 100 will disappear by being bulldozed over and converted back to their original state. Some will be very prominent courses with existing memberships, many will be courses that have just finished or may still be in construction. This remedial work and conversion of some land will pose serious issues for many of the courses that are not named on the original hit list. With little or no land left to shift holes, many of these will have no choice but to close. Some may decide to convert their championship scorecards with reductions in par and length, perhaps even in number of holes.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

Measles outbreak hits Beijing office building, prompting emergency vaccinations | South China Morning Post A measles outbreak hit a single Beijing office building, with at least 23 people infected, according to the city’s health authorities. The Beijing Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says it has ordered quarantines and emergency vaccinations at the Kaiheng Centre in downtown Beijing since receiving reports of infections last Thursday.

China warns of festival air pollution caused by fireworks – Xinhua China’s environment watchdog on Tuesday demanded local governments take measures during the lunar New Year celebrations to lessen pollution caused by fireworks. Local governments should limit fireworks displays, expand restricted areas and reinforce check-ups if weather conditions are not suitable for pollutants to disperse, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Air pollution is bigger killer in China than smoking, says new Greenpeace study | South China Morning Post Air pollution is a bigger killer in mainland China than smoking, says a new study released jointly by Greenpeace and Peking University. Tiny smog-inducing pollutants, known as PM2.5, led to about 257,000 premature deaths in 2013 in the mainland’s 31 cities, municipalities and provincial capitals in the study.

厚朴中医网络学堂开学徐文兵新浪博客 Beijing’s Hope Institute launches online education platform for its Traditional Chinese Medicine school

 

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *

Xinhua Insight: China eyes GMO progress amid crop shrinkage, safety concerns – Xinhua The “No.1 Central Document of 2015”, jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and State Council on Sunday, states clearly that more effort will be put into studying GMOs, supervising their safety and educating the public about them. China has seen falling agricultural productivity in recent years thanks to surging production costs, shortage of agricultural resources, excessive exploitation and worsening pollution. The decline has prompted more imported food and raised concerns about future food supply, the document said.X Though controversial, the development of the GMO technology has long been considered an effective way to increase yields on marginal lands. China has only 7 percent of the world’s arable land but has to feed 22 percent of the world’s population.

China’s Upscaling of Potato Production Sprouts Controversy | East by Southeast Besides foreigners, the other factor that gives spuds a bad name is poverty. An unnamed researcher has been widely cited saying that potatoes are the staple food for 75% of China’s officially poor counties, where potatoes are consumed “instead of cereals” up to half of the year. What’s more– a lot of that poverty is concentrated in ethnic minority areas: the backward denizens of supposedly sad places like Yunnan, Guizhou, and Gansu rely on spuds to scrape out a living. The reverse side of the perceived unfortunate overlap between ethnicity, poverty, and potatoes is something that a southern Yunnanese acquaintance imparted over lunch the other day: spuds are grown for oneself.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE *

Guiding Opinions concerning Promoting the Healthy Development of Online Literature | China Copyright and Media Notice concerning Printing and Issuance of the “Guiding Opinions concerning Promoting the Healthy Development of Online Literature”

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