The Sinocism China Newsletter 02.22.14

We are back to Beijing but I have lost the plot and am struggling even more than usual to come up with something interesting to say, so just links in this issue.

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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

十八大以来习近平同志关于经济工作的重要论述-高层动态-新华网 Xi Jinping expounds on economic work since the 18th party congress // 从国内经济大势来说,以习近平为总书记的党中央对经济形势做出了经济增长速度换挡期、结构调整阵痛期、前期刺激政策消化期三期叠加的重要判断: 所谓增长速度换挡期,就是我国经济已处于从高速换挡到中高速的发展时期;所谓结构调整阵痛期,就是说结构调整刻不容缓,不调就不能实现进一步的发展;所谓前期刺激政策消化期,主要是指在国际金融危机爆发初期,我们实施了一揽子经济刺激计划,现在这些政策还处于消化期.  “三期叠加”的重要判断,为我们制定正确的经济政策提供了依据。

US v China: is this the new cold war? – FT.com By Geoff Dyer–The new era of military competition in the Pacific will become the defining geopolitical contest of the 21st century // I have started Dyer’s new book The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China–and How America Can Win, looks excellent

Related: How China and America See Each Other | Foreign Affairs Minxin Pei// As a result, as China continues to grow stronger, it will seek either to modify the existing order or, if such an endeavor proves too risky or too costly, to construct a parallel order more to its liking. Such an order would not necessarily stand in direct conflict with the U.S.-led order, in the way that the Soviet bloc did, but it would have its own rules, exclude the West, and allow China to play a dominant role. Indeed, Beijing’s investments in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the planned BRICS development bank (a joint financial institution to be established by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) suggest that China is already moving down this path. China’s controversial establishment last November of an air defense identification zone that overlaps with those of Japan and South Korea dramatically raised the risks of conflict with the United States and its allies. And it has further vindicated the realists’ warning that China will not hesitate to challenge the Western order once it has the ability to do so.

New PBOC Research Head Is Rising Star in Field – Caixin The central bank’s Communist Party committee has named as director of its research bureau Lu Lei, the president of the Guangdong University of Finance, sources with knowledge of the matter said. The nomination needs the approval of the party’s Organization Department, which handles personnel matters, and may be announced in a month, the sources said….Shortly before Lu’s appointment, the central bank named Ma Jun, chief China economist at Deutsche Bank AG, as its chief economist, a document seen by Caixin shows. Ma, 50, is considered one of the most bullish economists among analysts in China. Sources close to the situation said the two appointments were surprising in that the central bank often fills those positions by promoting insiders. Efforts have continued throughout recent years to bring in talents with more diversified backgrounds, but they were not always successful.

Corruption Inquiry Focuses on China’s Top Security Officials – NYTimes.com Liang Ke, the director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of State Security, was taken into custody last month by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s arm for investigating official misconduct, according to three people who cited information from leaders notified of the decision. They said the allegations against Mr. Liang involved corruption as well as his ties to Mr. Zhou, whose former portfolio included the Ministry of State Security. On Friday, the Beijing government announced that Mr. Liang had been replaced, but did not say what had happened to him.

Related: 北京国安局长易主 傅政华副手李东接替_中国_多维新闻网 值得注意的是,从2010年傅政华升任北京市公安局局长开始,傅政华、李东这一正一副就开展了一系列的打谣、扫黄的默契活动。公开资料显示,傅政华升任北京市公安局局长74天以后,北京市公安局就查封了天上人间夜总会。2013年下半年,中国展开2013年集中打击整治网络违法犯罪专项行动。8月下旬,这场行动变得非常猛烈。这时的著名案件包括秦火火造谣集团一案,薛蛮子因嫖娼被抓一案也被认为是这场行动的一部分。一些媒体认为,这与此时傅政华新进兼任公安部副部长有关。2014年2月下旬,傅政华还主导了全国范围内大扫黄行动。//The new head of the Beijing MSS worked closely with Fu Zhenghua, cracking down on both Internet rumors and vice (and perhaps Charles Xue was two birds with one stone…?) One of the first things Fu Zhenghua did upon becoming head of the Beijing PSB was shut down the famous and connected nightclub Passion and launch a crackdown on prostitution. The nationwide campaign that started in Dongguan should be looked more in the light of Fu’s background and a cleanup/reordering of the politics and law system than an attack on specific politicians on Guangdong, as some guessed recently

Xinhua Insight: Details of suspected crimes by gangster-turned billionaire – Xinhua  Famous for his philanthropy, Liu was elected political advisor in Sichuan Province three times in a row, and has over 20 honorary titles. His best known charitable act was the building of a rural elementary school complex which withstood the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He is chairman of the boards of the Hanlong Group, the biggest private enterprise in Sichuan Province, and the listed Jinlu Group. He owns tens of subsidiary companies involved in electricity, energy, finance, mining, real estate and securities. Estimates put his worth in tens of billions of yuan. Acting on the orders of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), in March last year the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) commanded police in Beijing, Hubei and Sichuan to investigate Liu, and bring to justice the alleged leader of a mafia-style criminal group which lurked behind Lui’s glamorous facade.

Related: Media’s heavy hints signal endgame in the pursuit of Zhou Yongkang | South China Morning Post The Communist Party’s main mouthpiece has pointed the finger at party and law enforcement officials for protecting a Sichuan billionaire who allegedly ran a mafia-type gang. The security apparatus was the power base of Zhou Yongkang when he was in charge of law and order on the Politburo Standing Committee, the top decision-making body.

央视评论员:余额宝是“吸血鬼” 应该取缔_网易财经 Executive editor of CCTV Stocks Channel calls Alibaba’s Yu’e Bao a “vampire”,says it should be banned because of the pain it is causing banks and companies//央视证券资讯频道执行总编辑兼首席新闻评论员钮文新发表博文称,余额宝是趴在银行身上的“吸血鬼”,典型的“金融寄生虫”。它们并未创造价值,而是通过拉高全社会的经济成本并从中渔利。

Related: 支付宝回应吸血鬼评论:余额宝收入仅0.63%|支付宝|吸血鬼|老板_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 Alibaba responds to the claims that Yu’e Bao is a vampire damaging banks, companies and the real economy

Related: 央视谈网络理财风险:黑客能够篡改移动端软件-搜狐IT CCTV program talks about the security risks of Internet Finance//2月22日消息,央视《新闻1+1》2014年2月21日播出“互联网理财:新势力会有新未来吗?”称,余额宝,理财通,零钱宝,现金宝,各种各样理财神器陆续推出,鼓励互联网金融发展和创新,与传统金融体系相互渗透,相互促进,方向虽好,但投资者权益能否得到保障?却打上一个问号。报道称,手机遭遇病毒和木马,黑客能够篡改移动端软件,存在潜在风险。

Related:  Chinese Banks’ Four-Front Online Battle – WSJ.com Shanghai Chongyang Investment Management Co. founder Qiu Guogeng, whose firm oversees $2 billion in assets, has told his investors that what banks should be most worried about is new competition from Internet players Alibaba Group and Tencent.

Related: Baidu Hopes Subsidizing E-Investments Opens Door to Mobile Payment Payday – Caixin Net search giant used its own money to make sure its Bai Fa product would offer high returns, a move aimed at bigger things

China’s war with the media–CNN On China Kristie Lu Stout talks to veteran China media experts about the measures the government uses to pressure journalists.

Nationalistic Remarks From Japan Lead to Warnings of Chill With U.S. – NYTimes.com A series of defiantly nationalistic comments, including remarks critical of the United States, by close political associates of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has led analysts to warn of a growing chill between his right-wing government and the Obama administration, which views Japan as a linchpin of its strategic pivot to Asia.

Related: Japan may make another provocative move over WWII sex slavery | The Japan Times Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized by South Korea and China for backpedaling from Tokyo’s apologies and past acknowledgement over its wartime atrocities. Members of his nationalist administration have been increasingly frustrated by South Korea’s recent efforts to enlist the support of the United States for Washington to put pressure on Japan to stick to its 1993 apology.

Related: China angered by Japan’s U.N. bid for kamikaze pilot letters ‹ Japan Today how many Americans did Kamikazes kill? // China condemned on Monday plans by a Japanese city to ask the U.N. world heritage organization to register letters by World War Two kamikaze suicide pilots alongside documents that include the diaries of Anne Frank and the Magna Carta.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

Hand of Central Bank Seen behind Sudden Weakening of Yuan -Caixin The yuan has weakened since the Spring Festival, and it should be the central bank’s will at work because the U.S. dollar has strengthened,” a forex trader at a state-owned bank said. He also said the central bank may be trying to break foreign speculators’ expectation of guaranteed profit from a more expensive yuan.

严控总量 有银行暂停房地产夹层和供应链融资_21世纪网 今年以来,其他各家银行也在全面收紧房地产企业的授信,不少房地产开发商反映,很难拿到银行贷款,个人住房贷款也未出现松动。

China accuses Qualcomm of overcharging, abusing dominance | Reuters China’s anti-monopoly regulator on Wednesday said Qualcomm Inc. was suspected of overcharging and abusing its market position, allegations which could see the U.S. chip giant hit with record fines of more than $1 billion. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also said it was in talks with another U.S. technology firm, InterDigital Inc, about a possible settlement to a separate anti-monopoly probe as the regulator focuses on the rapidly evolving information technology market.

NDRC to Rule on Broadband Monopoly-Caijing China Telecom and China Unicom // The two operators, which together account for 90 percent of China’s broadband business, could face fines of up to 10 percent of their annual revenues from Internet services, the NDRC said.

China auto lobby, policymakers collide over foreign investment | Reuters China’s auto lobby has urged Beijing to support local carmakers after the regulator said it was considering further opening up the market to outside investment amid a deepening row between policymakers and state-owned car firms.

Even China’s Economists Are Singing the Blues – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s state media have long accused foreign analysts of being too bearish on the Chinese economy. Those analysts looking in from the outside are often said to be too eager to be “chanting decline”—chang shuai—when it comes to the economy’s prospects. This time around, China’s own economists seem to be chanting a pessimistic tune about growth prospects. Perhaps they are not quite as negative as those pesky foreign counterparts—who according to at least one report China’s state media are being told to avoid—but they are increasingly outspoken about slowing growth and rising financial risk.

Sinopec Sinks as Jefferies Says China SOE Reform Bets Misplaced – Bloomberg Sinopec led gains by state-owned energy companies including PetroChina (601857) Ltd. yesterday amid speculation the plan to sell as much as 30 percent in its oil-retail unit was the start of reforms to loosen the government’s grip on major industries. That optimism was misplaced because Sinopec will probably just use the proceeds to buy assets from its parent, Jefferies said. “The market interpreted this as SOE reform,” Laban Yu, an analyst at Jefferies, wrote in a report dated yesterday. “To us, it appears more like stealth capital raising.”

Provinces Work on Plans to Enhance Farmers’ Land Rights – Caixin Hebei mulls Zhejiang experiment that sees ownership in collectively owned plots and other assets converted into shares in collectives

王石:反腐是最大的调控 – 网易财经视频 Vanke CEO Wang Shi: corruption crackdown the biggest real estate price control measure, prices near a top

Wall Street Girds for China Bribery Probe as IPOs Beckon – Bloomberg this the other Bloomberg story that was reportedly delayed in the Fall? // Goldman Sachs also has extensive business ties to New China Life, working on several deals for the company and employing the son of its top executive. Goldman Sachs was one of three global coordinators on the Hong Kong portion of its $1.9 billion initial public offering in 2011. A few months before the offering, Goldman Sachs hired Kang Kai, the son of the company’s chairman, Kang Dian, who has since added the title of CEO at the Bejing-based insurer.

China slowdown? FDI inflows confound the sceptics | beyondbrics January was the 12th consecutive month to show an FDI increase, following a stretch of eight straight months of year-on-year declines until January 2013. Total FDI inflows into China in 2013 rose to a record $117.6bn. The turnaround has been largely due to the growing interest among multinationals toward the service industry. In January, services attracted $6.33bn, up 57 per cent from a year earlier – representing 58.8 per cent of total FDI. Manufacturing pulled in $3.47bn, down 21.7 per cent from a year earlier and representing just 32.2 per cent of the total.

What If China Does Land Hard? – China Real Time Report – WSJ A Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of fund managers found the biggest perceived risk to international markets was a hard landing in China that triggers a collapse in commodities prices. The proportion of fund managers fingering China as a risk rose to 46% in February, up from 37% in January and 26% in December

China Sets New Rules for Bank Liquidity – WSJ.com The new rules require banks to keep what is called a liquidity coverage ratio—a measurement comparing liquid assets to total net cash outflows over a 30-day period—at a level of 60% by the end of this year and at 100% by the end of 2018. Banks currently aren’t subject to such a requirement. The regulator said the calculation will include banks’ off-balance-sheet business, such as some wealth-management products. The products are popular high-yielding alternatives to standard bank deposits in China, but carry higher risk.

China Trust Defaults Seen as Coal Maturities Quadruple – Bloomberg The number of such redemptions will jump to 19 this year from five in 2013, according to Cnbenefit, a consulting firm based in the southwest city of Chengdu. The yield premium on the June 2014 securities of China Shenhua Energy Co. (1088), the country’s largest coal producer, over similar-maturity government notes surged to a record 231 basis points on Feb. 8. That compares with 152 basis points for energy debt globally, Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes show.

Is China at Risk of a Debt Crisis? Not Really,Bank Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ “It’s legitimate for people to worry about different kinds of financial risk in China,” Louis Kuijs, RBS’ chief economist for greater China, told reporters in Hong Kong this week. “But I still don’t really see a lot of room for the kind of macro meltdown or the type of serious financial crisis that we typically associate with emerging markets.” That being said, Mr. Kuijs said investors can expect to see more defaults or near-defaults — like the one that rocked markets in January until the trust product in question was bailed out in fairly opaque circumstances.

Bad Debts Are Good Opportunity for Country’s AMCs – Caixin Leading expansion into other sectors, Cinda now handles toxic assets from not only banks and non-bank financial institutions but also industrial enterprises. The other three AMCs do not have permission yet to dispose of industrial companies’ bad loans. There are abundant opportunities to acquire bad loans in “areas of excessive production capacity, industries of environmental protection that need to be upgraded, steel trade and cement production, and the real estate sector,” Zang said. Also, he said non-financial enterprises’ demand for asset restructuring was on the rise, as they get more account receivables that put a strain on cash flow. This would continue as reform deepens to rebalance the economic structure, he said.

Still waiting for that China copper unwind… | FT Alphaville In short, it seems commodity prices don’t always converge with supposed efficient market fundamental reality particularly quickly. After all, this particular dark inventory stock has been rising for more than five years now. That’s a long time for markets to stay irrational. And a long time for potential imbalances to be accumulated, without any episodic self-correction. Yes, things will one day probably converge with the fundamental reality. If that’s because demand has finally been revitalised to a level matching the expectations of speculators funding all this carry, all will be well. If, however, they converge because cheap carry funding is no longer available then the disruption could be immense.

Tesla Generates Buzz before Its Cars Even Arrive in the Country – Caixin best story on Tesla’s China plans I have read // Tesla is working with banks so buyers can pay in installments, Wu said. It will also need to work with the government. “We hope our cars can get on the list of new energy cars, so that customers can enjoy subsidies and get license plates,” she said. The central government keeps a list of approved electric car companies and gives a subsidy of 60,000 yuan to buyers. Local governments keep their own versions of the list. In the case of the capital, car companies need to their names on the local government list so their autos can get license plates.

China Cuts Treasury Holdings Most Since 2011 Amid Taper – Bloomberg The Communist nation reduced its position in U.S. government bonds by $47.8 billion, or 3.6 percent, to $1.27 trillion, the largest decline since December 2011, according to U.S. Treasury Department data released yesterday. At the same time, international investors increased holdings by 1.4 percent, or by $78 billion, in December, pushing foreign holdings to a record $5.79 trillion.

Fosun to Acquire China Hospitals Operator Chindex With TPG – Bloomberg Chindex, founded by Americans Roberta Lipson and Elyse Beth Silverberg who moved to China in the late 1970s, runs the United Family Healthcare chain of high-end hospitals and clinics in cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to the Bethesda, Maryland-based company’s website.

Forbes Won’t Get Asking Price as Fosun Close to $250 Million Deal – TheStreet When money management magazine and website Forbes Media LLC is sold, likely to Fosun International Ltd., the Chinese conglomerate that has taken the front-runner position in the company’s auction, sources said, it will be for a much lower price than private equity minority stakeholder Elevation Partners LP was hoping to receive. Two sources said it is likely Fosun will acquire Forbes, and that it will pay less than $250 million for the magazine.

Chinese brand equity makes for stock hits | beyondbrics Research from WPP, the advertising and public relations company, shows that a group of “Top 10″ Chinese brands – ranked by what they call “brand contribution” – sharply outperformed market indices (see chart).

国务院推进注册资本登记改革 开公司无需验资报告-手机和讯网 new rules that should hugely simplify new company formation go into effect March 1. News got a ton of play in Chinese media

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Senior officials told to promote reform – Xinhua Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at the concluding ceremony of a workshop at the CPC Central Committee Party School on the comprehensive advancement of the reform. The workshop was attended by principal officials at provincial and ministerial levels. He called on officials to learn the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s speech at the workshop, which ran from Monday to Friday. Officials should understand each specific policy in the context of the overall policy arrangement and explore new solutions of reform while adopting successful experiences, he said.

习近平首提政策五关系 推动全面深化改革 新华社——经济参考网 这是继去年7月在湖北调研时首次提出把握全面深化改革的五个重大关系后,习近平又就理解全面深化改革政策首次提出了五个辩证关系。     去年7月在湖北调研期间,习近平指出,要把握全面深化改革的重大关系,处理好解放思想和实事求是的关系、整体推进和重点突破的关系、顶层设计和摸着石头过河的关系、胆子要大和步子要稳的关系、改革发展稳定的关系。

中央深改小组高层为省部级干部讲“改革”_网易新闻中心 provincial leaders attended a seminar by the new reform leading group at the central party school // 省部级主要领导干部学习贯彻十八届三中全会精神全面深化改革专题研讨班21日下午在中共中央党校结业。此次专题研讨班为期五天,七常委出席开班式,除了兼任中央深化改革领导小组组长的习近平作重要讲话,兼任副组长的李克强、刘云山、张高丽也悉数到场,为各部门、各省区市一把手作专题报告。省部级主要领导干部分为10个小组研讨,根据央视新闻联播画面显示,学员们除了集中听取报告外,还分组进行研讨。// CCTV Evening news Friday on the meeting 

周永康已是死老虎 中共重在拔暗钉_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei on the detention of Ji Wenlin and Zhou Yongkang as a “dead tiger”// 冀文林落马的消息一出,立刻占据了大陆各大新闻网站的头条。这位海南省副省长之所以如此受到关注,恰是因为他与周永康的密切关系,他曾经有10年担任过周的贴身秘书。多维新闻曾在《观察站:梳理周永康五大心腹高官》中分析,对从2013年1月起与周永康有关的一系列落马官员进行盘点,可以发现一个很清晰的脉络——从四川的李春城、郭永祥,到中石油的蒋洁敏,都证明周已经“有事”,但证据仍不充足。如果时任公安部副部长的李东生和海南省副省长的冀文林落马,那就意味着习近平、王岐山“杀虎”的刀已经举了起来。

媒体:中油国际党委书记沈定成“失去联系” |沈定成|中石油_凤凰资讯 another Petro China exec detained

公安部:三年内实现户口和身份号码唯一性_新闻_腾讯网 PSB will eliminate fake Hukous within three yeas, will link hukou and ID number

江泽民之子江绵恒出任上海科技大学校长_中国_多维新闻网 Jiang Zemin’s son Jiang Mianheng takes over as president of Shanghai Science and Technology University//【多维新闻】在上海科技大学2月19日的招生信息中,中共前领导人江泽民之子——江绵恒,首次以该校校长的身份出现。稍早前江绵恒担任上海科技大学筹建工作小组组长、中科院上海分院院长等职务。作为领导人之子,江绵恒一直被“高干子弟”、“大树底下好乘凉”这样的观念所笼罩而备受争议。2011年,江绵恒辞去中国科学院副院长(副部级)一职引发外界不少关注。但按照惯例,中共副省部级及以下的官员,60岁是退休年龄,也就是说江绵恒此次属于正常退休。

Government to publicize administrative approval items – Xinhua  China’s central departments have been ordered to make public catalogues of their administrative approval items, in a bid to make government power more transparent. According to a circular issued by the State Council on Thursday, all central government departments should publish their remaining administrative approval items on their official websites in the coming days, so they can be viewed by the public. The move came amid the country’s drive to slash red tape.

A Chilling Phone Call Adds to Hurdles of Publishing Xi Jinping Book – NYTimes.com Many books about Communist Party politics published in Hong Kong are bought by mainland visitors who sneak them back to the mainland, despite the censorship and customs checks the ruling Communist Party uses to maintain an overwhelmingly positive view of leaders. If Mr. Yu’s book does appear, readers will find an unsparingly negative report card for Mr. Xi. The title was inspired by Mr. Xi’s comment that as a young man he watched “The Godfather,” Francis Ford Coppola’s famed depiction of a New York crime boss and his family.

中央禁令致领导司机无”灰色收入” 引发辞职潮 drivers for officials resigning in large numbers because they no longer get any “grey income” because of the corruption crackdown…and perhaps they hope to get away before they get taken into custody too….

Corruption crackdown must include reform of China’s oft-abused parole system | South China Morning Post Corrupt officials and others sometimes serve only a fraction of their jail sentences because loopholes have not been closed

机关文秘爆“红头文件”出台内幕 an insider discusses the drafting process for a “red-topped” document // “红头文件”在国家治理中被视为拥有绝对权威,甚至其出台过程还带着几分神秘感。那么“红头文件”到底是怎么写出来的呢?要经历哪些环节呢?写作过程中要注意什么呢?写出来又怎么公布呢? 笔者从事政府文秘工作多年,在实际工作中,制定出台“红头文件”一直是其主要工作内容,在此结合工作实际,谈谈红头文件是怎么写出来的。

舆情监测被列为政府购买服务的对象_政经频道_财新网 专家表示,舆情监测服务对很多地方政府而言,往往是基于维稳的目的,希望对地方负面新闻进行控制,过去传统的办法已经很难摆平一些事宜

湖北阳新县暗访纠正“四风” 违纪者受严处-20140217新闻联播-凤凰视频-最具媒体品质的综合视频门户-凤凰网 Hubei officials caught misbehaving,colleagues made 2 watch video, discuss appropriate punishments

‘House of Cards’ finds avid audience in China – The Washington Post  “As corrupt as D.C. may now be, it’s not nearly as bad as the show depicts it,” said Bill Bishop, editor of an influential newsletter called Sinocism. “But now millions of Chinese may come away thinking that U.S. politics are not that much cleaner than those systems closer to home.” Comments on the Chinese version of Twitter indicate that some Chinese viewers already have. // enjoyed season two even though the China plot line was a bit absurd. Chinafile has a conversation up about what the show gets right and wrong about China

Cheng Li Named Director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings | Brookings Institution Li has served in the center as a senior fellow since 2007 and as director of research since 2009. His areas of expertise include the Chinese middle class, elite politics, public health and tobacco control, Sino-U.S. educational exchanges, the role of think tanks and the Chinese telecommunications industry. He has also spearheaded the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series, a set of volumes that introduces prominent Chinese thinkers to English language readers.// his Princelings/Communist Youth League framework for analyzing elite Chinese politics looks in need of updating

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

U.S. Army to Increase Ties With China’s Military, General Says – NYTimes.com A top United States military commander said Saturday that the U.S. Army is working on starting a formal dialogue and exchange program with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army before the end of the year. The commander, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the U.S. Army chief of staff, told reporters at a news conference in Beijing that the program was aimed at expanding cooperation and “managing differences constructively.”

Pentagon plays down intelligence officer’s provocative China assessment | Reuters The Pentagon’s top spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, declined to comment on whether it was appropriate for Fanell to publicly offer such a blunt assessment, but said the Pentagon wanted closer ties with China’s military. “Those were his views to express,” Kirby told a Pentagon news conference.

China summons U.S. official over meeting between Obama and Dalai Lama – Yahoo News China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summoned on Friday a senior U.S. embassy official in China after U.S. President Barack Obama held low-key talks with the Dalai Lama at the White House despite warnings from Beijing the meeting would damage ties.

Christopher R. Hill explains why China has gone from soft-power juggernaut to neighborhood bully. – Project Syndicate Nor will China get very far with the spurious argument that the US is somehow stirring up regional hostility against it, as if such mischief would be in the long-term interest of an America that already has enough on its plate. Instead, China should encourage the development of multilateral structures – again, beginning with ASEAN – that can manage the economic benefits of disputed territories. Good fences, as the saying goes, make good neighbors.

Filipino military chief: China claims are nonsense The Philippines military chief vowed Thursday to defend the country’s fishermen against any Chinese “terror or intimidation” in the South China Sea, the latest sign of sharpening tensions in what is a potential global flash point. In an interview with The Associated Press, Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said Chinese claims to islands just off the Philippine coast are “of course absolute nonsense. Just take a look at the map.” // which navy boat would the Philippines use? 

Chinese president meets ROK lawmakers – Xinhua  Chinese President Xi Jinping met here on Friday with a delegation from the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The ROK delegation was led by Chung Mong-joon, a seven-term lawmaker, chairman of the world’s biggest shipyard, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., and head of the Korea-China legislators’ association for foreign affairs.

China’s Ideological ‘Soft War’: Offense is the Best Defense | The Jamestown Foundation Neoliberal ideology will thus continue to be seen as an enemy of the Chinese state, in terms of its infiltration both of China and of the non-Western world. China’s efforts will focus on (i) pursuing agenda-setting strategies aimed at the West in order to break the perceived dominance of neoliberalism within Western political discourse, media and cultural production; and (ii) defending the non-West against the export of ideology by the West by continuing to cultivate support for Chinese culture and ideology in the developing world. China’s soft war is thus a battle on two fronts: domestically in defense against foreign ideological infiltration, and externally in its export of ideology.

Chinese Paper Links Ukraine Strife to Rapid Political Reform – NYTimes.com // unrest in Ukraine gotten huge play in Chinese media

Chinese Naval Patrol Prompts Conflicting Regional Response – WSJ.com Australian security analysts widely believe the fleet was on a mission to flex China’s growing naval muscle despite strains with the new conservative government in Canberra, which has been critical of Beijing’s decision to establish an air-defense zone in the East China Sea late last year. “The Chinese wanted to send a message that they will go where they want, and the message has been received that way here,” said security analyst Hugh White, a former senior Australian defense department official.

American Flags Made In China Now Banned In U.S. Military « CBS San Francisco While the military flag rule passed, a similar bill requiring all government-purchased flags be made in the U.S. has repeatedly failed. The change isn’t cheap. Chinese-made flags cost significantly less than all-American ones.

China rejects U.N. criticism in North Korea report, no comment on veto | Reuters China rejected what it said was “unreasonable criticism” of Beijing in a new U.N. report on human rights abuses in North Korea, but it would not be drawn on whether it would veto any proceedings in the Security Council to bring Pyongyang to book. North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Kim Jong Un, the leader of the country, should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, U.N. investigators said on Monday.

Lee Hsien Loong on What Singapore Can – and Can’t – Teach China – Caixin Prime minister discusses the city-state’s efforts to fight graft, build institutions and set economic policy – and the ways it is and isn’t an example for China

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Tencent Buys 20% Stake in China Review Website Dianping at a USD $2 Billion valuation say the rumors

OZY.com: How China plans to go global Born into a family of bamboo cutters in rural Xiang Yang, China, Hesong Tang had never taken a shower or used a toilet before he was accepted into Tsinghua University, considered the Chinese MIT. And while that must have been a lot for a freshman-year roommate to deal with, Tang, who now oversees all corporate development at Baidu, China’s version of Google, says “everything” has changed in China in the last two decades.

Apple Gains Some Ground in China Smartphone Market – Digits – WSJ Still, the latest quarterly ranking was yet another reminder that China’s smartphone market consists mainly of Android models that are much cheaper than the iPhone. With its 7% share, Apple was the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in China. Samsung, which sells smartphones at various price points from high-end to low-end, held onto its No. 1 position in China with a 19% share in the fourth quarter, followed by Lenovo Group0992.HK -0.12% with a 13% share. Coolpad — the smartphone brand of Shenzhen-based Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific — and Huawei Technologies came third and fourth, taking up 11% and 10% respectively.

China Shines Regulatory Spotlight on E-Commerce – China Real Time Report – WSJ In part the new e-commerce law calls for real-name registration for individuals selling on third-party marketplaces like Alibaba Group Holding Inc.’s Taobao e-commerce site. It also stipulates a mandatory seven-day return policy for most goods and says online-payment platforms must safeguard users’ data privacy. For most major e-commerce players, the law is unlikely to have a big impact. Alibaba itself already has a seven-day return policy and uses real-name registration for its major e-commerce sites.

China’s Mobile Payment Transactions Worth $1.6 Trillion In 2013 In 2013, the central bank handled a total of 1.67 billion mobile payment transactions worth a whopping CNY9.64 trillion ($1.6 trillion), according to the latest statistics. In an indication of the skyrocketing popularity of mobile payments in China, the number of transactions soared 213 percent year-on-year while the transaction value leaped by 317 percent.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Tencent article on China’s superiority complex withdrawn|WantChinaTimes An article about the “patronizing” attitude of Chinese people has been removed from the web portal Tencent which implied that government and propaganda combined with China’s historic and political relationship with other countries have contributed to the reemergence of a superiority complex last seen in the days of the imperial dynasties. Since Wednesday noon, the web address of the article entitled “Today’s topic: Where does Chinese’s patronizing attitude come from?” has become invalid but it was still available on the web portal’s mobile site.

Chinese National Free On Bail After High-Speed Chase Into Malibu « CBS Los Angeles Yuan Zhou, 18, who is reportedly a student at UC Irvine, was arrested about 9:15 p.m. Thursday and booked on suspicion of felony evading a peace officer and reckless driving, California Highway Patrol officials said. Zhou was released at 5:35 a.m. Friday after posting $75,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 21, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

China in Focus #15: A View from the Chinese Street – All Things Nuclear My view of the Chinese street affords a steady stream of new information and perspectives that often call into question my assumptions about China. To be regularly reminded of how much I don’t know, even after thirty years of effort, is humbling. But it does entitle me to make one observation with a measure of confidence. When my U.S. colleagues in the press, academia and government approach their own efforts to explain what is happening in China with a measure of humility, the gap between American portrayal and Chinese reality shrinks, and U.S.—China relations are better for it.

The Red Chains of Bureaucracy That ‘Torture’ Chinese – NYTimes.com In the southern city of Guangzhou, Cao Zhiwei caused a stir this week when he demonstrated the scale of bureaucracy in China by unrolling a meters-long scroll at a meeting of the local committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a government advisory body to which he belongs. On the horizontal scroll, he listed 103 official documents needed by the average Chinese over a lifetime, The Nanfang Daily reported.

James Cahill, Scholar of Chinese Art, Dies at 87 – NYTimes.com Professor Cahill, who taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965 until his retirement in 1994, was among a group of eminent art historians who, from the late 1950s to the 1970s, researched and cataloged Chinese painting. At the time, Western interest in Chinese art was far less than it is today, said Patricia Berger, professor of Chinese art at Berkeley and one of his former students.

征地“暴富”后的隐忧–财经–人民网 People’s Daily on a different China urbanization problem.how to responsibly spend cash windfall from land requisition compensation… actually is a real issue. but i don’t think have ever seen foreign media discuss it, only the many who get screwed //征地拆迁补偿是国家的一个好政策,美好预期也的确能让生活充满希望,但像耕地补偿这样的一锤子买卖,果真可以当作坚实稳固的未来预期?看着那一家老小开新车兜风的满面春风,听着那街头巷尾麻将扑克中的欢声笑语,我的心中五味杂陈。生活重压因为一夜暴富而突然消释,早前的人地矛盾、征地冲突早已被抛诸脑后,怎能不让人逍遥快活?然而,在不少地方,因拆迁补偿致富的人们当中,也出现了斗富挥霍、短短几年就浪费掉财富的现象,结果是,这些人重新回到甚至比以前更差的“贫穷”状态,更严重的是,失地农民一旦因为挥霍拆迁款返贫,往往会诱发其他种种问题,催生新的纠纷和矛盾。

曝中国富豪赴西雅图扫楼:网上看楼盘影片即买_网易新闻中心 rich Chinese have started buying up homes in Seattle // 据报道,有华裔地产经纪表示,近几天他手上的订单接个不停,很多都是数百万美元计的豪宅。西雅图地产女经纪人邹子捷称,最近许多华裔地产经纪人忙得要命。有卖方经纪人接到一口气签下五幢豪宅的生意,它们是中国某开发商买给公司董事居住的,每幢豪宅都价值200万美元以上。最近几周,邹子捷已成功帮助四幢豪宅易手,目前还在协助两名中国“土豪”竞价豪宅。她说,最受中国富豪热捧的是华盛顿大学区,及微软始创人盖茨也有置业的梅迪纳(Medina)富人区。也有经纪人指,一座逾千万元的豪宅推出市场仅两日,已有70多人前往看楼,其中九成是亚裔。

The Disabled in China–Sinica Podcast This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by James Palmer and John Giszczack for a discussion of the disabled in China. Join us as we discuss how the Chinese language defines the concept of disability, what public attitudes are prevalent about the disabled, and what resources the Chinese government makes — and doesn’t make — available to help those with disabilities integrate themselves into society.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Red flags in China’s disease control | East Asia Forum Does that mean China has successfully bridged the normative gap with the international society in disease prevention and control? A closer look at China’s response to the H7N9 outbreak raises alarming questions on its ability to effectively manage a public health emergency of international concern.

农业部否认粮食自给自足政策改变:不会大量进口_中国经济网——国家经济门户 The Ministry of Agriculture denies that China has changed its grain self sufficiency policy

Industrialized Meat | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy IATP’s Global Meat Complex: The China Series looks in depth at China’s feed, pork, poultry and dairy sectors, the past and future trajectory of the industry, and global impacts of China’s efforts to balance grain self-sufficiency and the desire to provide cheap meat.

China dumps grain policy to boost meat production – latimes.com “The decision last week signals a clear intent by the Chinese government to facilitate more and cheaper imports of corn, wheat and other grains for its meat industry,” said Shefali Sharma, director of agricultural commodities at the Washington-based Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). “China has become a critical actor in the global industrial meat complex, a move that carries significant weight for global grain and meat production.”

First ‘orange’ pollution alert as smog rolls into Beijing | Reuters The orange level, the second highest, advises schools and kindergartens to cancel outside sports classes, but falls short of ordering school to close and keeping government vehicles off the road, provisions which come into force with the “red” level.

组图:我国北方多地重度雾霾持续_新闻_腾讯网 slideshow of the latest smog storm hitting Northern China, including Beijing. Not nice out there today, here is a real time view from my study…4 more days of this toxic cloud say the weather forecasters

专家解北京雾霾”橙色预警” 污染物来自城市活动_网易新闻中心 “橙色预警”背后的此轮雾霾有何特点、因何所致?污染物从哪里来?缘何2月雾霾多发?空气重污染预报能力如何?新华社记者采访环保、气象业内人士作答。

The socioeconomic drivers of China’s primary PM2.5 emissions – Abstract – Environmental Research Letters – IOPscience Primary PM2.5 emissions contributed significantly to poor air quality in China. We present an interdisciplinary study to measure the magnitudes of socioeconomic factors in driving primary PM2.5 emission changes in China between 1997–2010, by using a regional emission inventory as input into an environmentally extended input–output framework and applying structural decomposition analysis. Our results show that China’s significant efficiency gains fully offset emissions growth triggered by economic growth and other drivers. Capital formation is the largest final demand category in contributing annual PM2.5 emissions, but the associated emission level is steadily declining. Exports is the only final demand category that drives emission growth between 1997–2010. The production of exports led to emissions of 638 thousand tonnes of PM2.5, half of the EU27 annual total, and six times that of Germany. Embodied emissions in Chinese exports are largely driven by consumption in OECD countries.

China to spend $330 billion to fight water pollution -paper | Reuters The plan is still being finalized but the budget has been set, exceeding the 1.7 trillion yuan ($277 billion) China plans to spend battling its more-publicized air pollution crisis, the China Securities Journal reported, citing the Ministry of Environmental Protection. It will aim to improve the quality of China’s water by 30 to 50 percent, the paper said, through investments in technologies such as waste water treatment, recycling and membrane technology.

China’s water pollution will be more difficult to fix than its dirty air | Luna Lin – China Dialogue Although China’s air pollution keeps making headlines, its water pollution is just as urgent a problem. One-fifth of the country’s rivers are toxic, while two-fifths are classified as seriously polluted. In 2012 more than half of China’s cities had water that was “poor” or “very poor”. Last week China’s ministry of environmental protection announced a trillion-yuan (US$163 billion) plan to start dealing with this urgent issue.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

空军迁10个机场关457个训练空域以减少影响民航_网易新闻中心 PLAF moving 10 airports, closing 457 air training zones to improve civilian air traffic flow//为支持民航事业发展,申进科称目前军队已经迁建机场10个、移交民航使用机场13个、与民航合用机场63个,关闭训练空域457个,新辟航路航线5.6万公里,加大空域灵活使用改革,采取有效措施减少军事活动对航班的影响,有力支撑了民用航空以年均10%以上的速度发展。

 

BEIJING

北京单日卖地吸金超百亿_公司频道_财新网 Beijing nets >10B RMB in 1 day of land sales, even after canceling (北京准地王华嘉胡同被叫停 市场指或忧高价房开闸-财经网) auction of plot that would have been new land king//国五条在抑制房价上涨方面的收效甚微,每拍出一块地,都会抬高商品房价格

北京第二批自住型商品房仍“僧多粥少”_公司频道_财新网 不少业内人士认为,2014年随着自住型商品房供应量开始加大,将会拉低北京整体房价平均水平。但由于政府在土地出让时,经常绑定一定数量的自住型商品房“任务”,开发商损失的利润无疑将从商品房部分找回,这无疑将在客观上推高商品房的价格

北京市拟将优质高中30%名额分给所在区初中校_网易新闻中心 big changes in how Beijing students get into public schools, more emphasis on kids in the catchment areas // 据北京市教委新闻发言人李奕介绍,北京自2006年开始实行将示范高中招生计划的5%-10%分配到本区县相对困难初中校的试验。2012年教育部、国家发展改革委、审计署《关于印发〈治理义务教育阶段择校乱收费的八条措施〉的通知》提出“要将优质普通高中的招生名额按不低于30%的比例合理分配到区域内各初中,现在已高于30%的要巩固提高并逐步扩大分配比例”。2013年,按照中央要求,为逐步实现30%的目标,北京市将示范高中名额分配比例再次调整,提高到12%-15%。今年拟在全市优质高中进一步提高名额分配比例,即将区域内各优质高中招生总计划的30%分配到区域内所有初中。

“小升初”新政落地 各大城市忙落实_政经频道_财新网 【财新网】(记者 石睿)2月17日,教育部公布19个重点大城市义务教育就近入学新政,即到2015年,京津沪等19个重点大城市,90%的初中必须划片就近入学,每个初中90%的学位必须就近入学,2016年继续提高上述比例。18日,大多数受涉及的重点大城市做出回应。

北京今年起中考全面取消择校生_网易新闻中心-网易新闻客户端 【北京中考全面取消择校生】18日,北京市教委发布新中考政策称:今年起北京优质高中名额分配不再“推优”,完全按成绩录取。往年中考名额分配由各校根据初三毕业生人数按比例推荐,存在暗箱操作的空间。此外,北京中考将全面取消择校生,并逐年减少各类特长生的招生比例.

北京:举报涉恐涉暴活动线索最高可获4万元奖励|奖励|举报人_凤凰资讯 Beijing police will pay up to 40k RMB in awards for people who provide tips on possible terrorist, other violent criminal activity// 新京报讯(记者郭超)群众举报涉嫌暴力恐怖活动等情况的线索,可获得最低不少于1000元最高不少于4万元的现金奖励。由北京市公安局制定的《群众举报涉恐涉暴线索奖励办法》,将从3月1日起正式实施。

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

A Chinese Spy Novelist’s World of Dark Secrets – NYTimes.com Mai Jia, a top-selling Chinese espionage novelist and former soldier, has been writing about secrets for years…Mr. Mai says his message, available for the first time in English next month when his novel ‘‘Decoded’’ comes out in the United States and Britain, is about more than China; it’s about the world. // the book on Amazon: Decoded

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

USAJOBS – Search Jobs The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade (FDT) Division is seeking an Analyst in Intelligence and National Security to track and analyze policy issues related to intelligence and national security.

 

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