The Sinocism China Newsletter 02.15.16

Happy Year of The Monkey. Remember that if you were born in a money year this is your 本命年 and per Chinese tradition you should wear red every day to help prevent what can be a difficult year. I am wearing lots of red…

Apologies if you see any formatting issues, trying to figure out what has changed in the template at Mailchimp, figured better to get an issue out than delay for a fix.

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. As U.S. pressure mounts, China talks up prospect of N. Korea sanctions that ‘bite’ – The Washington Post Beijing has reacted angrily to the prospect of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system being deployed in South Korea, but a tougher line from Washington and Seoul seems to be having some effect on Beijing’s calculations, experts said. At the very least, Beijing is now talking up the prospect of stiffer sanctions against North Korea. // US-ROK talks should proceed full speed ahead until China demonstrates sincerity and real change in its DPRK policies, not just more rhetoric aimed at stalling and perpetuating the status quo. To paraphrase Robert Gates, how many times are foreigners going to buy the same horse from China’s diplomats? And Beijing’s reaction to the THAAD possibility clearly shows how worried they are about it, which means it is very likely a good idea to deploy

Related: China calls for steps to ease tensions on Korean Peninsula – Xinhua China has serious concerns over a sophisticated U.S. anti-missile system on the peninsula, said Hong at a regular press briefing. THAAD goes far beyond the defense needs of the peninsula and the coverage would penetrate deep inside the continental Asia, he said. “It will cause immediate damage to the strategic security interests of China and other Asian countries,” he added. China firmly opposes use of Korean Peninsula nuclear issue to undermine China’s national security interests, said Hong.

Related: 社评:越来越多中国人正在转变对朝鲜看法评论环球网 诚然,中国民众“厌朝”并非根深蒂固的,与“厌日”不一样,前者相对容易化解。但是大部分中国人如今失去了“为朝鲜担待”的耐心和兴趣,如果平壤拒不改变自己的核政策,中国民间对朝鲜的积怨只会越来越重。 由于西方舆论的长期宣传,所谓朝核问题解决不了是因为“中国不肯制裁”,中国对平壤“太软了”等等说法影响了中国不少人。国内一些公知夸大中国对朝援助的规模,宣扬中国“输血养了个自己的对立面”,也影响了部分国人。由于官方在对朝问题上讲得不多,不少似是而非的论述常常成为舆论场上的抢手货。

Related: North Korea’s Rocket Launch Frays Ties Between South Korea and China – The New York Times “President Park was very disappointed and upset with Xi’s inaction and silence against North Korea when she desperately needed Xi’s help,” said Kim Heung-kyu, director of the China Policy Institute at Ajou University in Suwon, South Korea. Mr. Xi was then embarrassed domestically by Ms. Park’s rush to accept the American defense system, Mr. Kim said. “Xi Jinping’s efforts to enlist President Park as a friend have not gone as well as he hoped,” he said, “and she was certainly disappointed in his efforts to control Kim Jong-un.”

Related: What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea? | ChinaFile Conversation Zhu Feng: Washington should stop scapegoating China for its failed North Korea policy and respect China’s wide-ranging security concerns in the Asia-Pacific. For the moment, suspending THAAD deployment talks between Washington and Seoul would be helpful. Beijing, equally stuck in North Korean purgatory for two decades, needs to end its indecision and think about completely cutting-off the supply of oil it sends to Pyongyang, following the mandate of a new United Nations Security Council resolution.  

2. Transcript of Governor Zhou Xiaochuan’s Exclusive Interview with Caixin Weekly Recently Governor Zhou Xiaochuan had an interview with the Caixin Weekly…China has the largest volume of foreign exchange reserves in the world, and we will not let speculative forces dominate market sentiment. The scope of usage for foreign exchange reserves covers not only international payments, but also financial stability. China’s foreign exchange reserves are more than enough for international payments, and its role in safeguarding financial stability is a key function.  China’s capability in this regard is beyond question. As capital flows in and out, the foreign exchange reserves may decline now and increase later. As long as there’s no problem in the economic fundamentals, rises and falls of reserves are perfectly normal. Nevertheless, not letting speculative forces dominate market sentiment doesn’t mean we will engage in a head-on fight as long as there is a sign of speculation. We also need to consider effective use of ammunitions to minimize costs // original Chinese, wonder if this will be the week the PBoC tries to go medieval on RMB shorts.

Related: China Spurs Biggest Yuan Rally Since 2005 as Zhou Voices Support – Bloomberg Business The currency appreciated 1.2 percent, the most since July 2005, to 6.4962 a dollar as of 11:29 p.m. in Shanghai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The offshore yuan rose 0.08 percent to 6.5035, broadly in line with the onshore rate. The People’s Bank of China raised its daily fixing against the greenback by 0.3 percent, the most since November. A gauge of dollar strength declined 0.8 percent last week, while the yen climbed 3 percent and the euro advanced 0.9 percent.

Related: China Favors Flexibility in Managing Yuan-WSJ Since mid-January, the People’s Bank of China had quietly rehitched the yuan’s value to a weakening dollar, despite vowing just a month earlier to use multiple currencies as the currency’s reference points.

3. 近17年全国卖地收入超27万亿 资金去向鲜有公开新闻腾讯网 2015年土地出让收入的下降,直接原因是非一线城市楼市销售的疲软,开发商因此减少了拿地开支。但一线城市的土地市场依然火爆,如北京2015年土地出让收入达到1983亿元,再度创下历史新高。 然而,对于巨额土地收入的使用去向,由于鲜有城市政府对外公开,公众难以知晓。加之近年来频频有政府官员因在“土地出让”环节上贪腐涉案,“土地钱”的监管争论一直存在。 //  CBN-27 Trillion RMB in land sales in 17 years, use of funds rarely disclosed

4. Wary of China’s rise, Obama turns strategic focus to Southeast Asia – The Washington Post The summit is the culmination of a years-long initiative by the Obama administration to help develop ASEAN into an institution capable of exerting greater influence to solve regional challenges — economic development, counterterrorism and climate change, to name a few. Underpinning the effort is the White House’s concern that without U.S. leadership, the diverse mix of nations will fail to coalesce around a common agenda and that some of them may be drawn closer to China, which also has sought to expand its influence in the region.

Related: U.S.-ASEAN Relations: Hiding in Plain Sight – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace U.S. President Barack Obama will host the leaders of the ten countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in an unprecedented U.S.-ASEAN summit meeting on February 15 and 16 at Sunnylands in California. Since 2013, shorter meetings have taken place annually in Southeast Asia on the sidelines of broader East Asia summits. Obama took the unusual step of inviting all of the ASEAN leaders for this two-day gathering in the United States at the 2015 ASEAN summit meeting in Malaysia, during which they agreed to elevate their relationship to an “ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership.”

5. Brother of ex-Chinese official sharing golf secrets in U.S., not state secrets – attorney | Reuters Gregory S. Smith, a Washington attorney and former associate White House counsel to President Bill Clinton, told Reuters he has been retained by Ling Wancheng. He said that Ling Wancheng is in the United States but declined to say whether his client has applied for asylum and whether he is talking to U.S. authorities…Smith said he had been authorized by Ling Wancheng to make the following statement: “The absurd rumours that he is in possession of a large number of secrets, including keyboard nuclear codes, and rumours that he has handed over state secrets to the U.S. government, reported by media outlets, is a baseless lie and a groundless defamation, and he reserves his right through me to take action as appropriate.”

6. China Says Its Students, Even Those Abroad, Need More ‘Patriotic Education’ – The New York Times Chinese students, already immersed in classes and textbooks that promote nationalist loyalty to the Communist Party as a bedrock value, must be made even more patriotic and devoted to the party, even when they are studying in universities abroad, according to a new directive sent to education officials. The directive, issued by the Communist Party organization of the Ministry of Education, calls for “patriotic education” to suffuse each stage and aspect of schooling, through textbooks, student assessments, museum visits and the Internet, which is the chief source of information for many young Chinese. // 教育部:把爱国主义融入各级教育各环节|爱国主义|否定党史_新浪新闻-the circular. So how this be implemented overseas, with communist party cells on foreign campuses?

Related: Leave China, Study in America, Find Jesus | Foreign Policy Why a growing number of Chinese students at U.S. universities are coming home with Christian beliefs.

7. Subculture Hegemony | Chublic Opinion From a more macro perspective that locates the ascendence of the Diba subculture in the tectonic shift of China’s online opinion geology, the recent incident is a strong signal that the political pendulum of the Chinese internet is swaying momentously to the left after years of domination by liberal values. Insulated from the major battles on Weibo that decided China’s online sentiments in the fast few years, the generation that has grown up chatting about ACG in obscure online communities using their own language begins to assert its own political values disregarding rules set by any established camps. The fact that they climbed over China’s notorious internet firewall to wage a patriotic campaign highlights the rebellion/allegiance contradiction in their action. The later shutdown of their VPN services reflects the authority’s uneasiness in handling this new force, and the intrinsic difficulty in co-opting it.// And why those in the West who think if the CCP just went away then all would be right with China and they would get “on board with the program” are likely dangerously misinformed…this nationalism outside of the ccp is what I saw more and more of in the last two years and which frankly started to scare me living in Beijing…

8. How Xi Jinping sees the world … and why | Brookings Institution new report by Jeff Bader.

Related: Xi Jinping Assuming New Status as China’s ‘Core’ Leader – The New York Times “Such sudden, unabashed references to Xi’s dominance in the leadership suggest he finally has turned the page on crushing the cabal of senior officials who opposed his ascension and remains a man in a hurry when it comes to fully consolidating his political power,” said Christopher K. Johnson, an expert on Chinese politics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

Chinese premier says economy faces great challenges, new uncertainties | Reuters Li’s comments were published in state media in an article picked up by China’s official government website. // 2016年政策工具箱将现组合拳 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站

China Jan new yuan loans surge to 2.51 trln yuan, well above forecasts | Reuters Chinese banks extended 2.51 trillion yuan ($385.6 billion) in net new yuan loans in January, far above analysts’ expectations and December’s 597.8 billion yuan. The central bank said on Tuesday that broad M2 money supply (M2) grew 14 percent from a year earlier, also beating forecasts. // when in doubt, open the taps. Probably won’t end well but so far this morning Chinese stocks like this…

Home on the Range, Chinese Style – China Real Time Report – WSJ It’s a small step in the right direction, driven more by necessity than enlightened policy. That’s the view from economists on China’s move this year to put forward a range for its economic growth target rather than a single number. The head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency, said early this month that the 2016 target is likely to be “6.5% to 7%,” the first time in recent memory that China has used such a band. The target is set to be officially released early next month when China’s parliament convenes.

China Bad-Loan Issue Not as Bad as Bass Makes Out, CICC Says – Bloomberg Business China’s bad-loan problems are “not as serious as” Hayman Capital Management’s Kyle Bass claimed earlier this month, according to China International Capital Corp., the investment bank Morgan Stanley helped create in 1995.  // Bass also may have math problems with his calculation of both China’s liquid reserves and the level of reserves below which it can no longer defend the currency. But he is winning the propaganda war for sure…

Offshore Yuan Forwards Show Bears’ Confidence Has Been Shaken – Bloomberg Business Twelve-month forwards for the offshore yuan rallied 2.3 percent so far this month in Hong Kong, outperforming the exchange rate’s 1.4 percent gain, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The contracts are about 3.4 percent weaker than the spot rate, a gap that reached a one-month low of 3.3 percent on Thursday after widening to a record 5 percent in January. All of the Group of 10 currencies have gained ground on the dollar in February as prospects for a U.S. interest-rate increase dimmed.

China’s Bad Loans Rise to Highest in a Decade as Economy Slows – Bloomberg Business Nonperforming loans jumped 51 percent from a year earlier to 1.27 trillion yuan ($196 billion) by December, data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission showed on Monday. The bad-loan ratio climbed to 1.67 percent from 1.25 percent, while the industry’s bad-loan coverage ratio, a measure of its ability to absorb potential losses from soured credit, weakened to 181 percent from more than 200 percent a year earlier. The lenders’ core Tier-1 capital ratio improved to 10.91 percent from 10.56 percent, the data show.

Police Launch Website to Help Investors Caught in Ezubo Fraud-Caixin Ministry of Public Security says information it collects will help it return money to the 900,000 investors bilked in Ponzi scheme

First ‘Silk Road’ train arrives in Tehran from China – Yahoo News The train, carrying 32 containers of commercial products from eastern Zhejiang province, took 14 days to make the 9,500-kilometre (5,900-mile) journey through Kazakstan and Turkmenistan.

The Plot to Steal the Color White From DuPont-Bloomberg A handful of other companies produce TiO2, including Kronos Worldwide in Dallas and Tronox of Stamford, Conn. Chemours and these others will churn out more than 5 million tons of TiO2 powder in 2016. China also produces large amounts of the pigment, and its industries consume about a quarter of the world’s supply. Most of China’s TiO2 plants, however, use a less efficient and more hazardous process than the one developed at DuPont. Starting in the 1990s, if not earlier, China’s government and Chinese state-run businesses began seeking ways to adopt DuPont’s methods. Only they didn’t approach the company to make a formal deal. According to U.S. law enforcement officials, they set out to rip off DuPont

Should we worry about China’s economy? | Brookings Institution-Arthur Kroeber Doubts are amplified by the government’s failure to communicate its intentions. During the last several months of confusion on foreign exchange markets, no senior official came forth to explain the goals of the new currency policy. No other country would have executed such a fundamental shift in a key economic policy without clear and detailed statements by a top policymaker. As China prepares for its presidency of the G-20, the government owes it both to its own people and to the global community of which it is now such an important member to more clearly articulate its commitment to market-oriented reforms and sustainable growth.

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW

Strike Two: Communist Youth League ‘aristocracy’ under fire again | South China Morning Post High-flying former and serving Communist Youth League officials have again come under attack, with a party mouthpiece describing them on Tuesday as a group of ambitious aristocrats without the calibre to lead the country. Capitalnews, a WeChat account operated by Beijing Daily, the official newspaper of the party’s Beijing municipal committee, warned cadres with youth league backgrounds that they would face “rough weather” after several scandals compounded the leadership’s resentment over their “self-serving” attitude.  // hear at least one DC-based think tanker is now saying he expects the 19th party congress to see the largest turnover in the central committee since the 9th party congress in 1969. This same analyst just a couple of years ago was saying that one of Xi’s big challenges for the 19th party congress was that the majority of current central committee members were CYL folks so he would have a hard time with preferred personnel moves for the standing committee and politburo…

Chinese journalist banned from flying to US to accept a prize for his work | World news | The Guardian Yang Jisheng has been honoured by Harvard for his ‘fearless reporting’ on China’s 1958-61 famine that left at least 36 million people dead  //  any chance the most repressive period since post 6.4.19 will cause Harvard and its academics/administrators to reevaluate their ties with China?

让文艺上的历史虚无主义没有藏身之地 我们目前谈论的历史虚无主义,是指通过各种方式重新解读历史,通过否定马克思主义的指导地位和中国走向社会主义的历史必然性,来否定中国共产党执政合理性的一种社会思潮。历史虚无主义往往通过否定历史主体,颠覆唯物史观,强调用所谓的个体性叙事及个案和细节的展示,来演绎整体历史。它从丑化、妖魔化中国共产党领导的革命、建设和改革的历史开始,发展到贬损和否定近现代中国一切进步的、革命的运动的程度。文艺上的历史虚无主义思潮,同政治学、历史学、法学、经济学等领域的历史虚无主义思潮是互为表里、彼此相通的。// more on the evils of “historical nihilism

习近平治国理政思想是当代中国马克思主义的新发展–观点–人民网 中共中央党校 严书翰-2016年02月10日14:34 来源:《红旗文稿》

“老虎屁股摸不得是不行的”————要闻——中央纪委监察部网站 编者按:由中共中央纪律检查委员会、中共中央文献研究室编辑的《习近平关于严明党的纪律和规矩论述摘编》近日出版发行。为深入学习习近平总书记关于严明党的纪律和规矩的重要论述,本网摘登书中内容,敬请关注。

China’s young reporters give up on journalism: ‘You can’t write what you want’ | World news | The Guardian The ever greater constraints placed on news reporting by Xi Jinping mean many Chinese journalists see no point in pursuing a media career

北京:查电商平台 核消费记录 节日纠”四风”不放松————要闻——中央纪委监察部网站 海淀区纪委在节日期间组织联合检查组,对区内的部分电商平台进行了抽查。查阅了自2015年10月至2016年1月底的全部销售数据共计100000余条,将销售发票上的付款单位同海淀区党政机关、区属企业、事业单位及下属二级、三级单位名单进行比对,查看是否存在公款购买、发放、赠送礼品和各种商业预付卡、公款旅游等问题  //  CCDI reports that Beijing discipline/inspection commission to audit ecommerce firms’ records to see if any goods purchased by/shipped to municipal party/government bodies over the holidays in violation of “four work styles”

习近平从严治党语录:职位越高越要毫无私心新闻腾讯网 【学习路上按】由中共中央纪律检查委员会、中共中央文献研究室编辑的《习近平关于严明党的纪律和规矩论述摘编》一书,近日由中央文献出版社、中国方正出版社出版,在全国发行。书中收入200段论述,摘自习近平同志2012年11月16日至2015年10月29日期间的讲话、文章等40多篇重要文献。其中许多论述是第一次公开发表。

黄奇帆成“网红”市长 中央肯定其金融地产改革_网易新闻中心 《中国经济周刊》北京、重庆报道 在中国股市动荡的2015年,黄奇帆的名字爆红于社交媒体的民间舆论场。 这大概因为他所主政的重庆市,在全国经济普遍放缓的大局势下,经济增长依然高歌猛进。据重庆官方最新公布的数据,“十二五”末,重庆市的GDP已经达到1.57万亿元,5年年均增长12.8%。

党员干部在“朋友圈”里也要有政治担当-《红旗文稿》2016/03  近日,某市公安局副局长在微信的“朋友圈”转发了一篇文章,并发表评论大肆抨击、公然否定“一国两制”,其观点被广泛转发,造成恶劣影响。根据中共中央最新颁发的《中国共产党纪律处分条例》,新条例明确规定将“妄议中央大政方针,破坏党的集中统一”列入违反政治纪律的“负面清单”,规定该类行为情节较轻的,给予警告或者严重警告处分;情节较重的,给予撤销党内职务或者留党察看处分;情节严重的,给予开除党籍处分。最终,该官员因为在朋友圈“妄议中央大政方针,破坏党的集中统一”这一行为,受到纪律处理。

坚持四项基本原则、反对资产阶级自由化是党的一项最根本的政治纪律 经过重新修订并于2016年1月1日起施行的《中国共产党纪律处分条例》(以下简称《条例》),其第四十五条是“分则”中“对违反政治纪律行为的处分”一章的第一条。该条规定:“通过信息网络、广播、电视、报刊、书籍、讲座、论坛、报告会、座谈会等方式,公开发表坚持资产阶级自由化立场、反对四项基本原则,反对党的改革开放决策的文章、演说、宣言、声明等的,给予开除党籍处分。”这一规定凸显了坚持四项基本原则和坚持党的改革开放决策这两个基本点,在党的政治纪律中的根本性地位。本文仅就该条中反对资产阶级自由化、坚持四项基本原则的规定谈一点体会。

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

The PLA’s New Organizational Structure: What is Known, Unknown and Speculation (Part 1) | The Jamestown Foundation By: Kenneth Allen, Dennis J. Blasko, John F. Corbett PLA Theater Commands. For a full size image see below. Note: This article is part of a two-part series examining changes to China’s Military organizational structure and personnel. Part 1 examines what is known and unknown

U.S. admiral warns against Chinese fighter flights from South China Sea runways | Reuters Any move by China to fly jet fighters from runways on its new man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea would be destabilizing and would not deter U.S. flights over the area, a senior U.S. naval officer said on Monday. Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, also urged Beijing to be more open over its intentions in the South China Sea, saying it would relieve “some of the angst we are now seeing”.

China’s Military Calls for Putting Its Nuclear Forces on Alert (2016) | Union of Concerned Scientists In contrast with the United States, which keeps hundreds of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, China’s longstanding approach to nuclear deterrence is premised on “survivability”—the idea that some fraction of their 250 or so nuclear warheads could survive a nuclear first strike and retaliate afterwards. Since the strategy doesn’t require rapid launch, China’s warheads aren’t currently attached to missiles or bombs, and instead are hidden away in tunnels and military installations. But this relatively low-risk policy may change. Recent excerpts and quotes from Chinese military sources suggest pressure is building to change China’s nuclear posture away from a focus on survivability, and toward a policy of launch-on-warning and hair-trigger alert. Such a change would dramatically increase the risk of a nuclear exchange or accident—a dangerous shift that the United States could help avert.

Anger as US Senate votes to name square outside Chinese embassy after dissident | World news | The Guardian Communist Party-controlled newspaper says Ted Cruz’s bill to name the Washington plaza after Liu Xiaobo is provocative and petty

Media Library – Munich Security Conference Introduction by Fu Ying (Chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National People’s Congress, China); Panel discussion with Kevin Rudd (Former Prime Minister of Australia; President, Asia Society Policy Institute), Ng Eng Hen (Minister of Defence, Republic of Singapore), Robert Corker (Senator, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, United States of America), Fu Ying (Chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National People’s Congress, China), and Sebastian Heilmann (President, Mercator Institute for China Studies; moderator).  //  25:30 exchange w Sen Corker interesting

That time China censored an art summit — in another country – The Washington Post “We, the six million Tibetans led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, want independence for Tibet,” starts one. “I am setting myself on fire to protest against the Chinese government,” reads another. Copies of the notes were on display for two days at the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh before  the Chinese ambassador stopped by this week and asked the organizers to shut it down. A rep told Agence France-Presse that they felt “intimidated” and “frightened” by the request, which they then took to the artists, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam.

China’s military sets up anti-corruption hotline | Reuters China has set up a hotline for people to report accusations of graft and discipline problems in its military, the Defense Ministry said on Monday, in the latest effort to combat widespread corruption in the ranks. // should report a friend’s former landlord in a Central Park retail space, bought the place in his son’s name, who of course is studying in the US…

Internet Naming Chief Defends Role in Chinese Conference Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; and Mike Lee, R-Utah, last week sent a letter to Fadi Chehadé, chief executive officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), inquiring about an apparent conflict of interest posed by his co-chairmanship of an advisory body for the upcoming World Internet Conference. In their letter, the senators say Chehadé’s affiliation with the annual conference organized by China could represent a conflict of interest because of ICANN’s contractual relationship with the federal government

Ties to Chinese State Media Overshadow an Election Campaign in U.S. – The New York Times CCTV has come under criticism recently for having broadcast a string of confessions by foreigners accused of violating Chinese law. Rights campaigners and scholars in the West have dismissed the broadcasts as part of a propaganda campaign aimed at silencing dissent. On Friday, Mr. Yin, who left CCTV in December, distanced himself from the videos, saying, “You’d have to be a fool to not be a little concerned.” Still, he emphasized that he did not know all the facts, and he was reluctant to criticize the crackdown on civil society under President Xi Jinping. Mr. Yin said he had not experienced censorship at CCTV, though he said that he sometimes had to make compromises

Feng Shui Master: Trump’s Mouth Too Small For Him to Be President | Watch the video – Yahoo Finance A Hong Kong Feng Shui expert predicts the future for U.S. presidential candidates by analyzing their faces and Chinese astrology stars.

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong brands Mong Kok rioters ‘radical separatists inclined to terrorism’ | South China Morning Post Beijing’s top man in Hong Kong broke his silence over the Mong Kok riot on Sunday, branding those who took part as “radical separatists” who were “inclined towards terrorism”. The searing indictment by Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government’s liaison office, was an indication of Beijing’s tougher line on social unrest in Hong Kong, putting the rioters in a similar category with separatists in the Tibet and Xinjiang regions.  // and as “terrorists” then subject to new counter terrorism law?

Home Shan’t Be China-Webb-site Reports Hong Kong is once again living on borrowed time. The promise of no change to HK’s legal system for 50 years from 1997 now has only 31 years to run, and HSBC’s decision had to be a long-term choice in that timeframe. It simply couldn’t take the risk of shifting headquarters to Hong Kong and subsequently being perceived as a “Chinese” bank in its global markets. Its choice of headquarters would also have factored into its global funding costs. Paying a UK levy at the reduced rate of 0.05% to 0.10% (from 2021 onwards) was on balance a better choice than the possible higher funding costs of future “China risk”. For Hong Kong, that is a shame. Unless and until China is perceived as a trustworthy open society with an “internationally respected legal system”, the continued convergence of the two systems limits HK’s role to that of a Chinese service centre rather than the global financial centre that it aspires to be.

Hong Kong’s business community is ‘freaked out’ over China’s crackdown | World news | The Guardian A crisis of confidence has hit foreign and local-owned companies in Hong Kong following the abduction of five booksellers by Chinese agents

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA

Micklethwait’s Balancing Act, After a Year as Bloomberg Editor in Chief – The New York Times Mr. Micklethwait said that though he was not at Bloomberg when the issue arose, there was not currently a policy to cover China less aggressively. The company has continued to report there, he said. “But let me just be clear on one thing,” Mr. Micklethwait said. “Our license within China is just to be a business and finance wire.”

China Box Office Breaks World Record With $548M in One Week – Hollywood Reporter China’s movie box office has smashed the world’s seven-day revenue record for a single territory, racking up an astonishing $548 million in ticket sales over the Chinese New Year’s holiday period, plus Valentine’s Day on Sunday.

CFI Q&A With Christopher Bremble of Base FX – China Film Insider As the Chinese appetite for big-budget movies grows, special effects services company Base FX, founded in Beijing in 2006 by American Christopher Bremble, finds itself situated right between those films’ traditional suppliers, the Hollywood studios, and the moviegoers they’re trying to reach harder than ever before. Bremble talked with CFI Editor Jonathan Landreth about learning to work in China’s intensely political environment, the making of the homegrown blockbuster Monster Hunt, his hopes for The Great Wall, director Zhang Yimou’s monster movie starring Matt Damon, due out in November, and about his new backer, China Media Capital, and their mutual dream of helping Chinese tastes shape the films of the future

Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser – The New York Times The Chinese group is led by Golden Brick Silk Road Fund Management of China and includes Yonglian Investment, an affiliate of Golden Brick Silk Road Fund Management, Kunlun Tech and the Chinese antivirus and search company Qihoo 360

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Philip A. Kuhn – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia sad to hear he passed away last week.  //  September 9, 1933 – February 11, 2016…A pioneer of social history in Chinese history, Kuhn also helped re-evaluate the “impact-response” school of Western scholarship on China associated with his mentor, John Fairbank. Frederic Wakeman in a review of Soulstealers in The New York Review of Books described Kuhn as “one of the West’s premier China historians.”[6]

‘The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature,’ Edited by Yunte Huang – NYTimes.com Drawing on the work of numerous translators, “The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature is divided into three parts, devoted to the Republican Era (1911-49), the Revolutionary Era (1949-76) and the Post-Mao Era (1976 to the present).// buy on Amazon 

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Proposed Changes to Wildlife Protection Law Called a Step Backward-Caixin Amendment fails to change view of animals as “natural resource” or rein in penchant for public shows, critics say

What You Get When You Mix Chickens, China and Climate Change – The New York Times The poultry enclosures are open to the air. Droppings from the birds in cages as well as the birds flying overhead coat the floor. Stony-faced women with shovels push the mess into reeking, shoulder-height heaps of wet mush. Any virus that lurks in those piles can easily spread to the birds and the people who tend them. Up to 10 percent of poultry workers in Hong Kong, a study has found, have been exposed to bird flu. A fine dust of desiccated bird waste permeates the air. It settles on the leaves of the workers’ makeshift vegetable plots behind the cages and on the window panes of their nearby flats. These markets and the unique viral ecology they enable are not new, as Malik Peiris, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, points out. But “now the situation is very different,” he said. “This is being done on a much bigger scale than it was years ago.”

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES

河南粮食收储调查财新周刊频道财新网 十年托市收购未能解决农民卖粮难,僵化的政策将产业链锁成死结

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China’s Wheat Inventory Pressure Grows Chinese authorities announced the minimum price for the 2016 wheat crop last October, nine months ahead of the marketing season. Their decision to hold the wheat price steady at RMB 2360 /metric ton — the same level as the last two years — may result in a serious glut of low-quality wheat this year.

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