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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Chinese President to visit U.S. in Sept. – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held phone talks with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama and accepted the latter’s invitation to pay a state visit to the United States in September. Both sides agreed to make full preparations to ensure the success of the trip. Exchanging New Year greetings, the two leaders agreed to work together to facilitate a steady and healthy growth of China-U.S. relations while promoting a greater development in building their new type of major-country relationship. During the conversation, Xi said “over the past year, we have had a series of in-depth talks, reaching important consensus on China-U.S. ties as well as significant issues concerning regional and international peace and development.”
Related: President Xi Jinping to Visit U.S. in September, Chinese Agency Reports – NYTimes In addition to visiting the White House, Mr. Xi will attend events in New York commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Xinhua reported. The timing of the visit is potentially significant because it comes three months before a United Nations-sponsored climate summit meeting in Paris.
2. Xi stresses implementing central economic policies – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a key economic meeting on Tuesday, calling for central policies in this field to be carried out to ensure positive effects. The policies discussed at the ninth meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs included urbanization, innovation, development of Asian trade infrastructure, as well as food, water and energy security. Xi demanded stable urbanization, saying that the priority of this process is to attract suitable people to urban areas. They must be capable of maintaining steady jobs and comfortable in cities, he said.
Related: 习近平:真抓实干主动作为形成合力 确保中央重大经济决策落地见效-新华网 新华网北京2月10日电 中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席、
3. Tesla CEO threatens firings after dismal China sales – sources | Reuters As brilliant as Musk obviously is, he made the classic foreign CEO launching in China mistake: loudly overpromising about their nascent business // Tesla sold about 120 cars in China last month, one of the sources told Reuters, well below the company’s aggressive targets. Musk has previously said he expected China sales could rival those in the United States as early as 2015. Two top China managers left the company in 2014, Tesla said last year. Musk indicated other country managers who are not meeting targets may lose their jobs, the sources said.
Related: Lurching Start for Tesla in China – NYTimes For $104,000, Yu Hangmei expected a car that could, at the very least, be driven. What Ms. Yu said she got instead was a new electric Tesla Model S sedan and a malfunctioning charging station.
Related: Beijing to double charging stations before 2016 – Xinhua The number of electric-vehicle charging stations in Beijing will be doubled by the end of 2015 to encourage the use of new-energy vehicles, local authorities said on Wednesday. Beijing currently has 1,425 public charging stations at 188 sites. They are expected to be open to the public ahead of the Spring Festival on Feb. 19, said Xu Xinchao, head of the new energy and materials department with the municipal science and technology commission.
4. China quality watchdog tells Alibaba fakes threaten China’s reputation | Reuters Alibaba Group Holding Ltd must pay more attention to product quality and step up the fight against fake goods sold online, China’s product quality watchdog chief told company executive chairman Jack Ma, according to a statement on Tuesday. The proliferation of shoddy goods online was a threat to China’s reputation, and the ruling Communist Party and government took the issue seriously, Zhi Shuping, director-general of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), said in the meeting on Monday.
Related: Alibaba ‘Not Too Big to Fail,’ Jack Ma Tells Regulator – Bloomberg Business Ma said during a speech at the China Securities Regulatory Commission in Beijing that he knows Alibaba must pay closer attention to employee behavior as it grows, according to a transcript posted on Sina.com. The Alibaba chairman and founder even alluded to ousted Politburo members Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai — both taken down for graft — to show how seriously he takes the issue.
Related: First Round of Fundraising Values Ant Financial at US$ 30 Billion – Caixin National Council for Social Security Fund, Postal Savings Bank of China and CDB Capital are all negotiating for stake in Alibaba’s financial services arm
5. Grass Mud Horse • furbo.org written by a developer whose US site has been under attack. China’s Cyber Administration is talking a big game about cyber sovereignty, so why are they messing with US sites? // The Chinese government is not only being deceitful with IP addresses, they’ve also begun cracking down on a mechanism that lets its citizens avoid the bullshit: VPN. Grass Mud Horse! This action, combined with the DDoS floods, is beneficial to a government that’s intent on isolating its citizens from the free and open Internet. They make it hard to get a packet out of China, but even if you succeed, it’s likely to be blocked by a server that’s been victim of their DDoS. On the surface, this seems like a good strategy for creating your own private Internet: a network where no packets can enter the west or leave the east.
Related: Net regulator to meet US ambassador on WeChat| China Daily At a Chinese New Year reception held by the Cyberspace Administration Office of China, Lu told Baucus that he would welcome an exchange of views on Internet regulation via WeChat, a social networking tool developed by Tencent Holdings that boasts more than 400 million users worldwide. “WeChat will be a very normal channel to exchange ideas for me and Baucus,” Lu said. China is imposing tougher Internet regulatory policies because of fears an unfettered Internet could damage information security and social stability.
6. China Fuels Concern for Planning Tougher Security Reviews – Bloomberg Business Under the Chinese proposal, which is subject to feedback from the public until Feb. 17, the State Council would create a inter-ministerial body to review investments that may threaten national security, just as the U.S. does with its Committee on Foreign Investment, which is also known as CFIUS. Like CFIUS, China can block incoming foreign acquisitions through the Commerce Ministry. Unlike CFIUS, the new Chinese body would be able to scrutinize cases involving incremental investments or sales of minority stakes.
Related: 解放军开展一年财务清查 严查过去两年财务状况新闻腾讯网 据国防部网站消息，
8. Goldman Pushes China Investment Deal as Silicon Valley Wary – Bloomberg Business good luck getting anything but a good deal for the US ratified by the Senate, and good luck getting a good deal with the Chinese in this environment. Call me a pessimist but I think the BIT is a very long way away // “The opportunity is now,” Mark Schwartz, the chairman of Goldman Sachs’s Asia Pacific business, said in an interview. “After 35 years in the business, one of the things I’ve learned is that there is a time and moment to do a deal. And that moment is now.” Schwartz said he’s “not certain” that state-owned firms are “something we have to be worried about” in a treaty. “Just being a state-owned enterprise itself doesn’t confer advantages,” he said.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
China’s policy dilemma deepens on record trade surplus | beyondbrics Paul Mackel, head of Asian FX research at HSBC, takes a different view. “China is unlikely to purposely weaken the renminbi, as it would go against the authorities’ commitment to economic rebalancing and structural reforms,” Mackel wrote in a report on Monday. “The renminbi is not immune to broad US dollar strength, and we foresee higher two-way volatility in the US dollar to renminbi spot market,” Mackel added. “However, the renminbi should be a relative outperformer in a strong US dollar environment and a source of stability for the region.”
Chinese premier vows devolution to limit graft – Xinhua The Chinese government will devolve some powers to lower levels in order to reduce scope for officials bargaining for benefits, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday, putting forward requirements for anti-corruption work in 2015. Li made the remarks during the third meeting on clean governance, which focused on strictly managing public assets and limiting misuse of power as China’s campaign against corruption continues. The pre-approval process of investment projects will be significantly slashed this year, while all examinations for non-administrative permission will be canceled, the premier said. He also urged the government to clean intermediary service sectors, breaking monopolies and strengthening regulation so as to eradicate the “grey zone” of administrative examinations and approvals.
China Deal Squeezes Royalty Cuts from Qualcomm | EE Times Some analysts view the deal favorably as “an outcome that could have been worse.” After all, Qualcomm will be still receiving a 3.25% royalty rate on every 3G phone sold in China, and 2.275 percent for every 4G device. However, Qualcomm’s existing customers outside China continue to pay a royalty fee based on 100 percent of the net selling price. What if Qualcomm’s non-Chinese customers starting asking for the same deal? Qualcomm simply asserts that the resolution “requires no licensing changes outside China.”
A close-read of Qualcomm’s China press release – DIGITS to DOLLARS Overall, I think this is a positive development for Qualcomm, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which makes me think there are still more developments to come. And in anything this complex there are always unforeseen effects. I think today’s announcement also deserves attention because it sheds a lot of light on Qualcomm’s Technology Licensing (QTL) business which is usually shrouded in secrecy and confidentiality clauses.
China Voice: Qualcomm fine augurs fairer market in China – Xinhua Associated with other anti-monopoly or anti-corruption probes against big foreign names, the fine, the largest ever in China, has made some foreign firms to conclude that they are “less welcome in China than before.” Released on Wednesday, the results of the Business Climate Survey by the American Chamber of Commerce show that about half of the respondents feel less welcome in China. However, a closer look at the cases will prove their concerns are misplaced.
U.S. business lobby survey warns of China protectionism | Reuters Fifty-seven percent of the 477 respondents included in an annual survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said they believed recent government investigations “singled out” foreign companies. The survey results, published on Wednesday, also said increasing protectionism had become the fifth greatest concern for businesses in China for the first time since 2010. Labor costs, unclear laws and regulations, and shortages of qualified staff and managers, remained atop the list of business challenges.
China says ‘knows nothing’ about aid offer for Greece | Reuters China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday it had no knowledge of any offer by Beijing for aid to Greece after Greece’s deputy foreign minister said China had offered economic support even though Athens had not requested it.
The Long March to a Mixed Economy_Caixin Having capital investment companies play a larger role in SOE reform will bring about a sea change in China’s economy–By He Fan
Chinese Billionaire Is Ready for His Hollywood Close-Up – Bloomberg Business not Bloomberg’s original Wang Jianlin’s piece that was scandalously spiked…this one puffier than the popcorn at one of Wang’s theaters // China’s commercial real estate king, who was once a boy soldier, has it all scripted out: He’s going to be the biggest name in the global movie industry.
50 Shades of Shadow Banking: China Risks Reined In – Bloomberg Business The central bank has published a more granular look at credit expansion that shows it’s getting a lid on that murky world of shadow banking.
Ministry Said to Allow Larger Iron Ore Ships to Enter Chinese Ports – Caixin Change prompts speculation that huge vessels owned by Brazilian miner Vale SA will be allowed to dock in the country
POLITICS AND LAW *
Under pressure: Graft campaign weighs heavily on Wang Qishan｜Politics｜WantChinaTimes
University President Sees Echoes of Cultural Revolution in New Campaign – NYTimes Gong Ke, the president of Nankai University in the northern port city of Tianjin, told the People’s Daily website that the allegations that universities were infested with subversion evoked dangerous parallels to the two worst purges of intellectuals in the People’s Republic of China: the Anti-Rightist Movement of 1957 and the Cultural Revolution a decade later. “Recently, I’ve read people on the Internet saying that the ranks of academics must be cleansed, purified and rectified,” Mr. Gong said. “I can’t agree with this. This was the mentality of 1957 or 1966.”
In Sharp Words From Xi, Ominous Implications for China’s Legal Reforms – WSJ In the current political atmosphere, some incremental law reforms may progress, within strict limits, by regularizing procedure in the courts and improving transparency in cases not deemed to be politically significant. But the most recent message is chillingly clear: The grasp of the Party will not be loosened, and as a result, changes needed for deep reform of China’s legal system will remain out of reach.
China’s strange fear of a colour revolution – FT.com It may be that Mr Xi is so perfectly in control of the political system that he can afford to take on powerful interest groups. But well-connected people in Beijing now speculate openly about the possibility of an attempt to remove the president. Some note that previous bouts of popular unrest in China, for example in 1989, coincided with divisions at the top of the Communist party. // no doubt those whispering to Rachman are hoping that is the case
CPC proposes developing “consultative democracy” – Xinhua The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday published a document proposing to promote “consultative democracy”, the country’s own brand of democracy. Approved in the sixth meeting of the Leading Group for Overall Reform in late December, the document says socialist consultative democracy embodies the Party’s “mass line” policy, and that developing it is essential to deepening reform of the political system. Consultative democracy is defined as a democratic pattern in which, led by the CPC, all sections of society are consulted on major issues before and during policy-making processes.
经济参考网 – 中石化被限两月整改领导层或换血 多领域存利益输送和交换“黑洞” 2月9日，
经济参考网 – 中粮紧急调查奢侈品酒会事件 据中国之声《新闻晚高峰》报道，
China: Inventing a Crime by Perry Link | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books In late January, Chinese authorities announced that they are considering formal charges against Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who has been in detention since last May. Pu’s friends fear that even a life sentence is possible. The crime? “Picking fights and causing trouble,” and other related offenses, on his microblog.
Former senior Chinese leader dies – Xinhua Former senior Chinese leader Deng Liqun passed away in Beijing at 4:56 p.m. on Tuesday, according to a statement from the central authorities of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Deng, 100, was praised in the statement as an excellent Party member, a time-tested and loyal communist soldier, a proletarian revolutionist, an outstanding leader in the Party’s ideological and theoretical publicity work, and a Marxist theorist. // brief CCTV Evening News Wednesday report on his death
Chinese Corruption, Now Officially Hilarious | Foreign Policy The Paper, a state-run, Shanghai-based news site, reported that CCTV asked Miao Fu and Wang Sheng, two young performers of crosstalk, a form of comedic dialogue, to write the script for an anti-corruption skit in October 2014. The propaganda department arranged for Miao and Wang to meet with the party’s disciplinary commission to discuss real-life cases of corrupt officials as inspiration. The party mouthpiece People’s Daily claimed, to online sneers, that CCTV’s directors were “most generous” in giving the skit leeway in their censorship process. Wen Wei Po, a party-owned newspaper based in Hong Kong, reported that as many as three skits about corruption were shown at the Gala’s dress rehearsal on Feb. 8. This does not mean anything goes. Miao told Huashangbao, a local paper in his native Shaanxi province, that the script had been revised more than 70 times, and “many things could not be mentioned” because of censorship requirements.
Draft law aims to improve counter-terrorism intelligence – Xinhua The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) will meet from Feb. 25 to 27, said a statement issued after the meeting of chairman and vice chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee on Wednesday. The draft law is targeted at boosting information sharing across government bodies and among the military, armed police and militia, and stipulates measures on Internet security, the examination of transport, dangerous materials, prevention of terrorism financing, and border controls.
王荣去职话别本本分分 笑而不语入冷宫_中国-多维新闻网 Wang Rong’s promotion to head of Guangdong CPPCC actually a demotion?
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
U.S., China to discuss repatriation of Chinese fugitives | Reuters Senior U.S. officials will meet in August with their Chinese counterparts to discuss the possibility of repatriating Chinese officials who have fled to America with billions of dollars of allegedly stolen government assets, according to a State Department official.
‘Patriotic Fish’ Sell Out in Southern China – NYTimes.com Photos of shoppers in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province, thronging around cases of frozen fish and sea urchins circulated in China on Wednesday. This was no ordinary seafood, however. It was from Mischief Reef, which has been controlled by China since 1994 but is part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Chinese Navy officers return from US tour| China Daily The delegation of 29 PLA Navy officers, most of who were born during the 1980s, included commanding officers, executive officers, operations specialists, submariners and aviators. The visit was meant to increase communication between new generations of naval officers from China and the United States. The Chinese delegation visited Washington, Newport, Rhode Island, and New York; they toured the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and held seminars with students there before returning on Feb 6.
The Hundred Year Marathon excerpt – Business Insider BI reads Pillsbury’s book, highlights 5 “false assumptions” // #1: Engagement brings complete cooperation; #2: China is on the road to democracy; #3: China, the fragile flower; #4: China wants to be — and is — just like us; #5: China’s hawks are weak
China, Russia pledge closer security cooperation – Xinhua Commenting on developments in law enforcement and security cooperation between China and Russia, Guo said the two countries should make full use their established mechanisms and expand cooperation on anti-terrorism, border management and the fight against trans-border crime. China and Russia should enhance coordination in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to make it more security focused, Guo said.
Large S China Sea gas field discovered south of Hainan–WantChinaTimes Over 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas has been discovered at the Lingshui 17-2 gas field in the South China Sea, China’s largest producer of offshore oil and gas announced on Monday.
北京观察：郭伯雄凶兆_中国-多维新闻网 Guo Boxiong does not attend a New Year’s event, Duowei speculates this is a sign of his troubles // “反腐打虎雷声急，难测风云话离奇。潜伏玄机藏奥妙，
求是网-中国周边战略新构建 来源：《求是》 作者：中央党校中国特色社会主义理论体系研究中心 –党的十八大以来，
Transcript: Madeleine K. Albright and Jon Huntsman on U.S.-China Relations – Council on Foreign Relations Speakers: Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group, Jin-Yong Cai, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, International Finance Corporation, David M. Cote, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Honeywell, and Jon Huntsman, Chairman, Atlantic Council Introductory Speaker: Henry M. Paulson, Chairman, Paulson Institute
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Prosecutors file charges against 118 Sunflowers – Taipei Times Several Sunflower movement activists indicted yesterday questioned the lack of action against police for alleged acts of violence during the March occupation
Taiwan’s top official handling ties with mainland quits over ‘spying’ row | South China Morning Post The head of the government body in Taiwan that oversees policy towards the mainland has resigned over a spying row. Wang Yu-chi, the chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, quit after prosecutors rejected his allegations that his former deputy had leaked classified information to the mainland authorities in Beijing.
A High School Spat About Taiwan Rocks the Chinese Web | Foreign Policy “We are all volunteers,” the student organizer told FP. The conference “is something we love to run” in order “to teach high school students” about the world. “This has been very sad.”
TECH AND MEDIA *
Grata-WeChat Impact Report To celebrate the fourth anniversary of WeChat’s launch, Tencent Tech shared a 38-slide deck of WeChat user and platform data.
Chinese Phone Upstarts Sell With Personality, Not Product – NYTimes.com “In the old days, everyone wanted branded products and luxury goods,” said Ruby Lu, a partner at the venture capital firm DCM. “But people born later, in the ’80s and especially in the ’90s, have a new desire,” she said. “They want a product that defines them, that speaks to them. They want to reject the mainstream definition of who they are.”
Chinese Authorities Snuff out Last Online Remnants of the New York Times | The Diplomat the publication recently still had a presence on Sina Weibo. But this ended on Monday, when it was taken offline, to the chagrin of its 70,000 followers. This wasn’t the first time this has happened, but it was unusual in that on the same day, two weibo accounts labeled as belonging to New York Times staff were also taken offline – even though one of them had recently left the newspaper. The real-name verified weibo accounts of the paper’s technology writer as well as the former executive editor both disappeared along with the main account. Both journalists had been listed as employees of the New York Times.
China’s Huawei Says Its Ready for Transparency – Caixin translation of recent Caixin cover story // After securing clients in 170 countries and posting record profits, the telecom gear-maker is stepping out of the shadows
Are China’s pro gamers internet addicts? – Gregory Isaacson – Aeon From a vast subculture of gaming addicts in China, only a few go professional and get rich. Is the social cost worth it?
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Beijing Asks Wanda for an Assist With Goal: Hosting the World Cup – WSJ Chinese leaders have urged Dalian Wanda Group, one of China’s biggest conglomerates, to lead the country’s preparations for a World Cup bid, according to a person close to the property and entertainment giant.
China’s Wealthy Parents Are Fed Up With State-Run Education | Foreign Policy Ri Ri Xin and schools like it demonstrate the growing interest among young, middle-class Chinese parents in alternative education, often based on liberal Western ideas, even as state authorities have clamped down more tightly on Western values in Chinese higher education. On Jan. 30, China’s education minister demanded that universities shun “Western values,” in what seems the latest move in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping campaign to tighten up the ideological sphere. But Western pedagogies like Waldorf and Montessori, which a few years ago might have been mistaken for clothing brands, now adorn the fronts of elite kindergartens and elementary schools.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Peru’s maca boom could fall flat if China starts growing its own | Dan Collyns | The Guardian Chinese demand for the Andean crop is getting cash flowing to farmers, but suspicions of biopiracy are leading to calls to protect Peru’s natural resources
Collective Responsibility – Air Pollution in China – Daily and Seasonal Vulnerability Despite increased implementation of measures to reduce pollution levels, cities to the east, such as Beijing, face an issue that traditionally polluted cities such a London and Los Angles did not. This is presence of the jet stream driving air masses from west to east, a phenomenon that incidentally is also more prevalent in winter months. Subsequently, if industry is shifted to the west of the country pollution generated will be driven across the country and contribute to poor air quality in the eastern regions. London and Los Angles have nothing to their west and therefore by shifting industry out of the cities the issue was solved. China is not afforded this “luxury”.
China slates environment ministry after graft probe | Reuters “Some leaders and officials and their relatives poke their fingers into environmental assessment approvals against the rules, or set up companies to contract for environmental assessments to seek profit,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said after an inspection of the ministry.
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