The Sinocism China Newsletter 03.13.15

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. US attacks UK’s ‘constant accommodation’ with China – FT.com $$ The Obama administration accused the UK of a “constant accommodation” of China after Britain decided to join a new China-led financial institution that could rival the World Bank. The rare rebuke of one of the US’s closest allies came as Britain prepared to announce that it will become a founding member of the $50bn Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, making it the first country in the G7 group of leading economies to join an institution launched by China last October.// seems like it would be more constructive if the US had an alternative to offer for regional infrastructure funding, and/or realized that the bank is going to happen regardless so it is much wiser to participate and influence from within…now the White House not only looks foolish in the face of this Chinese initiative but also has caused problems with several allies…and for what gain? 

Related: US anger at Britain joining Chinese-led investment bank AIIB | US news | The Guardian “I think the US has had its questions about the UK posture towards China on other issues and I suppose this announcement probably triggered renewed concern in Washington about overall British politics vis-à-vis China. But [we] don’t normally arbitrate these things in public and I’m a little unsure as to why the US has chosen to pick a fight with the UK on this bank at this time, because I thought it had somewhat softened its posture on the bank. It’s a bit surprising to me,” said Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Related: With Plan to Join China-Led Bank, Britain Opens Door for Others – NYTimes South Korea and Australia, both of which count China as their largest trading partner, have seriously considered membership but have held back, largely because of forceful warnings from Washington, including a specific appeal to Australia by President Obama. Peter Drysdale, a professor of economics at Australian National University who has advised Australian governments, said the British decision would probably lead Australia to join. “I think it will play into the decision by Australia which should be made over the next few weeks,” Mr. Drysdale said Friday. He added that Australia, with its close economic ties to China, had more reason to join the bank than Britain and other European countries had.

2. Is China Really Cracking Up? | ChinaFile Conversation Howard French reminds us why you can’t just dismiss Shambaugh out of hand. I think Shambaugh’s prediction has a <10% probability of being right in the near to medium term, but he is a serious scholar with decades of experience in China, so he is far from some of the multi-decade “China collapsists” out there…too bad that Shambaugh’s WSJ piece was poorly argued, perhaps he will offer something longer and more convincing in another venue.. //  perhaps the first thing to be said is that it is impossible to appreciate Shambaugh’s perspective without understanding where he “comes from.” Few among the first wave of critics have credited him for his scholarship, other than to note that he is prominent or respected within the academy. Few have explored the actual nature of his work over the years, or the findings he has made in previous writings, such as China’s Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation, a careful study of how the Party responded to the shock of the demise of the Soviet Union and began reinventing itself. Shambaugh gives enormous credit to the C.C.P. for these efforts, but it is clear by the time he published his subsequent book, China Goes Global: The Partial Power, that the scholar had come to the view that in many ways we have overestimated China’s strengths and underestimated its weaknesses. This is all worth spelling out because even if Shambaugh’s “crackup” theory surprised you, it has clearly not come out of thin air; rather, it is the latest wrinkle in the evolving views of an earnest scholar.

Related: 分析:英国申请加入“亚投行” 是重要的战略支持全球一财网 中国人民大学国家发展与战略研究院研究员李巍对《第一财经日报》记者表示,英国加入亚投行对中国的意义非常大。美国一直劝说韩国、澳大利亚、日本三个亚洲盟友不要加入亚投行,韩国刚刚松动要加入。而现在,美国最亲密的盟友英国也要宣布加入,这意味着美国可能完全没有办法阻止中国成立亚投行的步伐。 “如果英国加入,德国其他欧洲国家都可以加入。这样亚投行就能真诚成为一个由全球股东参与的重要开发性银行”,李巍说。

Related: dpa news – Chinese debate potential collapse of Communist Party President Xi Jinping is indeed “facing a big crisis as he tries to consolidate power and continue his anti-corruption campaign,” Beijing-based independent commentator Zhang Lifan told dpa.  “If he fails, the regime will not be able to handle the consequences.” Zhang Ming, a political scientist at People’s University in Beijing, disagreed, saying the leadership clarified their aims during the congress and will be able to implement their goals. Both men were responding to a controversial essay published Saturday by US scholar David Shambaugh, professor of international affairs at George Washington University.

Related: Bias brings shame to Shambaugh- China Daily – Chen Weihua In the 1990s, some American scholars and journalists indulged themselves in forecasting a China collapse into several republics, like the Soviet Union. Some based their arguments on the growing regionalism in the country, others bet on the passing away of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. To their disappointment, China has not disintegrated into six or seven republics. Instead it has become the world’s second-largest economy and it is well on its way to being No 1. Yet the rise of China has not discouraged some in the United States from continuing to fantasize about the breakup of China. // Chen is a Chinafile contributor, wonder if he will contribute this to the current conversation

Related: 中国政治制度有明显的优越性(国际论坛)–国际–人民网 Meanwhile, Martin Jacques takes to People’s Daily to praise the “obvious superiority” of the Chinese political system

Related: Obama Comes Out as an NK Collapsist | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea Aidan Foster-Carter on his 20 years about being wrong about an impending DPRK collapse…makes interesting reading for China watchers too… //  Mr. President, I too was a DPRK collapsist. And look, I have 20-plus years of encrusted egg on my face to prove it. Take it from me: Don’t go there. Think again. Indeed, think outside the box. North Korea will do anything for money. Why not hire a KPA brigade to go kick ISIS ass? A wild idea, sure, but no crazier than some of what’s going around in Washington.

3. China’s Carbon Emissions Drop for the First Time Since 2001 – Bloomberg Business Total carbon emissions in the world’s second-biggest economy dropped 2 percent in 2014 compared with the previous year, the first drop since 2001, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate based on preliminary energy demand data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. “Coal demand is slowing” while all other fuels, including oil, gas and renewables, are being consumed more, said Sophie Lu, a Beijing-based analyst at BNEF.

Related: BBC News – China eyes fundamental shift in energy policy “There are priorities driving Chinese policy makers to move faster than they are used to,” says Li Yan, head of climate and energy campaign for Greenpeace East Asia. “I think that the environmental crisis we’re facing right now, especially the air pollution – no-one expected this to be a top political priority four years ago but look at where we are now,” she says. “The issue is shaping energy policy, economic policy and even local agendas in the most polluted regions.” Here, she says, the public simply “cannot bear the air quality the way it is any longer”.

Related: Planning agency’s Zhang Yong to lead China in crucial climate talks in Paris | South China Morning Post The National Development and Reform Commission’s new deputy director Zhang Yong will succeed retired top negotiator Xie Zhenhua to lead China to reach an international climate change deal in Paris in December. “Zhang has already been appointed. He will oversee the climate change issues and lead the negotiation,” Xie confirmed exclusively with the South China Morning Post at the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the annual Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference session on Friday.

4. 刘源:自己在抓徐才厚、谷俊山时起了点小作用新闻腾讯网 video of interview with Gen. Liu Yuan, says Xi was instrumental in pressing the corruption investigations against Xu Caihou and Gu Junshan  //  刘源表示,古今中外,各个国家的政府和军队都有腐败,关键看如何反腐!大家知道,军队是要完成急难险重多样化任务、需要出生入死的武装集团,必须有严密的组织、严格的纪律和严厉的军法。我们军队的反腐是严格在体制内进行的。抓出徐才厚、谷俊山这样的大贪巨奸,是习近平主席决定、督办的,没有习主席的魄力、胆识和担当精神,军队可真没救了!所以首先是感佩习主席!感谢党中央!我个人即使起了点小作用,也是在履行职责,尽点本份,应该做的。

Related: 军方将领驳斥“买官卖官明码标价波及全军”-新闻频道-和讯网 Luo Yuan, Global Tines, others not happy with WSJ report on PLA corruption  //  继不久前外媒指摘中国反腐败斗争具有政治动机,近日,又有针对解放军反腐的异样声音。 3月11日,美国《华尔街日报(博客,微博)》刊文炮轰中国军队军衔买卖成风,且已形成恶性循环波及全军。 对此,军队多位人士发声给予驳斥此种“怪论”。3月13日出版的《环球时报》发出了军事战略问题专家彭光谦少将和中国战略文化促进会常务副会长兼秘书长罗援少将的批驳声音。

Related: 天子治军旧规尽破 30名“军虎”名单背后_中国-多维新闻网 徐才厚的倒下似乎是遵循了同周永康、令计划类似的策略,也就是由外而内的剪裙边式围剿,直到最终收缚其核心人物。表面看来,郭伯雄势力被剪除没有跳出这一路径,儿子、秘书、兄弟都已经陷入漩涡,本人也呼之欲出。不过也可能有所调整,也即在大势已定的情况下已经“擒贼先擒王”,因为缺乏合适的时机,暂时只是分割、包围、消灭其“党羽”、涉案亲属等相关群体。 当具体到个人的调动处理,又有一套不同的操作技巧。徐才厚是退休人员,但打虎两榜中的绝大多数都是在职时被拿下。其中多位是被巧妙地被升迁或平调至边缘化位置之后,才被顺利调查。如此既能减少阻力,又不至于产生太大的负面影响。这在出身总政的刘洪杰、于大清、马向东三人身上体现得最为明显。

Related: “红二代”集中现身解局 郭伯雄形势危急_中国-多维新闻网 Duowei on the recent comments by several Red Nobility PLA officers supporting the PLA corruption crackdown…expect it to intensify  //  观察人士表示,除王洪光之外,刘源、朱和平、刘建、罗援等红色后代也都在两会中密集发声,并且或间接或直接地点到郭伯雄,几乎已经明言郭伯雄有问题,而且将要步徐才厚后尘。鉴于“打虎榜”中,郭伯雄之子郭正钢、出身总政的刘洪杰和出身兰州军区的范长秘均与郭伯雄有所关联,郭伯雄确属岌岌可危。

5. U.S. students losing interest in China as dream jobs prove elusive | Reuters Enrolment in entry level Chinese is almost half the level of 2007 at Middlebury College, a private liberal arts college in Vermont renowned for its language instruction. Last year’s total Chinese enrolment was “the lowest in a decade”, said Professor Thomas Moran, chair of Middlebury’s Chinese department.

6. China Said to Hold War Military Parade at Japan Attack Site – Bloomberg Business The September parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat will probably be held at a square next to Beijing’s Marco Polo bridge, rather than at Tiananmen Square, where military processions are traditionally held, said the officials, who asked not to be named as the plan isn’t public…“It’s a way of showing that they have absolutely no interest in improving relations with Japan,” said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan Campus. “Rather than symbolizing the defeat of the Fascists, the Axis, it would commemorate the victory over Japan because Marco Polo bridge has nothing to do with the Fuhrer or Mussolini.”

7. Toxic manure lagoons spark battle over Chinese-owned pigs in the US | Reveal What do China, its rapidly growing middle class and toxic manure lagoons in North Carolina have in common? Absolutely nothing. And even if they did, don’t mention it. So say attorneys for the Chinese company that now owns America’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods. They have asked a federal judge to forbid people who live near these manure lagoons from mentioning the new Chinese owners – or the country of China or pork exports to China – in court. The attorneys are defending the company against at least 25 nuisance lawsuits

8. 官员“非正常死亡”:有人被脱光放入冰桶中闷死-手机凤凰网 Caijing looks at 99 cases of suicide or suspected suicide by officials since the 18th Party Congress  //  《财经》记者 王丽娜 实习记者 邬川/文 -2015年2月7日晚21时许,广东佛山市南海狮山一处停车场,一名中年男子从高处坠落致死。随后,警方证实死者是时年51岁的佛山市体育局副局长刘慧芳,死因暂无可疑,排除他杀。据称,刘慧芳生前有抑郁症表现。 刘慧芳之死给日益引起关注的官员非正常死亡现象又增一例。 利用公开信息,《财经》记者搜集整理了一份官员非正常死亡情况表,主要统计对象是经认定为自杀的案例或疑似自杀案例,少数案例属于未经证实是自杀或他杀等意外导致的非正常死亡。统计时间是自中共“十八大”后的2012年12月至2015年2月7日,共收集整理了99个案例。因无法掌握全面情况,这是一份不完全统计表。

 

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China PBOC Governor Puts Brave Face on Fed, Big Smile for Stocks – Bloomberg Business Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, played down risks from a potential interest-rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year and provided words of support to China’s stock market when he spoke at a rare press conference. Here are five takeaways from Zhou’s comments in Beijing at the National People’s Congress:

央行行长周小川发布会干货版(25条)_网易财经 Netease summary of the 25 key takeaways from Zhou Xiaochuan’s NPC press conference

Rongsheng Boss: Problems Linked to Blind Expansion, Gov’t Policies – Caixin Over a decade, Rongsheng grew into China’s largest privately owned shipbuilder, but then to the edge of the bankruptcy abyss. Two bailout attempts have failed, and it is still unclear how the company will move forward. The company’s 42-year-old founder and former chairman, Zhang Zhirong, blames the problems on blind expansion and unclear government policies. He started Rongsheng in 2005 after spending more than a decade in the real estate business. His hope was to ride the wave he was sure would roll through the shipping industry. In an interview with Caixin on March 9, Zhang said he is looking for new shareholders to revive Rongsheng, saying the restructuring will be launched on the condition that bank loans are repaid in full, and that the company’s team, production capacity and brand are maintained.

Steelmaker Powerless as Iron Mines Sink Abroad – Caixin A Chinese steelmaker digging for its own iron to save money may have hit a rock by investing heavily in overseas mines. Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corp. (WISCO), a state-owned and Shanghai-listed conglomerate that’s also one of China’s largest steel producers, is grappling with the consequences of financial trouble at Brazilian and Canadian mines in which it invested.

CSRC Team Heads to United States to Tout China’s Stock Market – Caixin A team from the securities regulator recently headed to the United States to invite 30 major institutional investors to put their money into the Chinese stock market in the hopes their involvement gets A-shares included in global benchmark indices. Qi Bin, head of the regulator’s Department of International Affairs, said on March 3 during a speech at Harvard University in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, that he is leading the team of officials from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on the trip and its mission was to persuade major global investors to join the Chinese market.

Australia secures key China-Aust FTA clause | Business Spectator Mr Robb said the clause will apply to most of the major services sector as well as investment.  The clause will put Australia on the same footing as the EU and the US in terms of trade with China.

Citi-linked China broker’s IPO 90 times oversubscribed in $150 bln investor rush Orient Securities Co’s $1.6 billion initial public offering, the largest mainland China listing since 2011, was oversubscribed by a factor of over 90 as investors scrambled for a sale boosted by new rules capping IPO prices and soaring industry profits. Under Chinese rules, the process involved in the firm’s roughly 10 billion yuan sale means the more than 930 billion yuan ($148.59 billion) put forward to buy shares is now “frozen” for three days until a lottery takes place to decide who gets the stock. The number was disclosed in a company statement posted on the Shanghai stock exchange on Friday.

China Lifts Decade-Old Ban on Foreign Control Over Steelmakers – Bloomberg Business Today’s move may have come too late, said Hu Yanping, a Beijing-based analyst with Custeel.com “I don’t think this policy change would prove very attractive for foreign investors as China’s steel industry has passed its golden years and has many problems to solve,” she said by phone. “The nation’s steel companies are also quite expensive to buy.”

Pimco Warns on China Steel as Goldman Sees Output Declining – Bloomberg Business “The years of huge growth in China’s housing development market are over, spelling tough times over the long-term horizon for global steel-making,” Raja Mukherji, head of Asian credit research, and analyst Emily Au-Yeung wrote in an e-mailed report received on Friday. At best, steel demand in the country may expand in the low single digits this year, they wrote.

Apple pies and iPads sweeten China’s dreaded TV expose | Reuters From cut-price apple pies to free iPads, companies in China are transforming Sunday’s dreaded consumer rights day into a shopping frenzy, to blunt the impact of being named and shamed in state broadcaster CCTV’s annual expose. McDonald’s Corp is discounting pies three years after food safety lapses made it a one-time target of the broadcaster’s “3.15” show, while e-commerce giant JD.com Inc is giving away tablet computers over four days of “crazy sales” ending Sunday.

A Windfall for China as Commodity Prices Plunge – WSJ By some estimates, China is enjoying annual headline savings of as much as $250 billion from stepped-up purchases of discounted oil, copper and iron ore–much of it arriving aboard dented bulk carriers and greasy tankers at northeastern Dalian port and other trade gateways. “China is the mega winner from the drop in industrial commodity prices,” said Kenneth Courtis, chairman of Starfort Holdings, an investment, private equity and commodity group. He estimates that China is saving over $600 million on its daily 12-million-barrel import bill, or over $200 billion a year, following the halving in oil prices since last summer.

Ping An Unit Put on Rating Agency’s ‘Blacklist’ for Disclosure – Bloomberg Business Lufax.com, run by a unit of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., is suspected of “building an enormous credit platform” and “adding uncertainties to the Internet finance market,” Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. said in an e-mailed statement late Thursday. The 354 companies on the blacklist have significant credit risks, Xu Zhipeng, president of Dagong’s data arm, said through a spokesman. It is very risky to invest using such companies, he added. A Lufax spokeswoman declined to comment when contacted by phone.

发改委反垄断官员跳槽美律所 曾参与反垄断调查新闻腾讯网 NDRC price supervision & anti-monopoly bureau offical quits to join Jones Day law firm  //  新京报讯 (记者刘素宏)3月12日,新京报记者从美国众达律师事务所获悉,发改委价格监督与反垄断局原法制工作处副处长薛强已作为高级顾问加入了该所反垄断和竞争法业务部,常驻众达北京代表处。这是公开报道显示的一个月之内,发改委价格监督与反垄断局(下称反垄断局)的第二次人事变动,此前,反垄断局局长由许昆林更换为张汉东。

 

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

China Top Judge Apologizes for Wrongful Convictions – WSJ Chinese courts revised more than 1,300 criminal decisions in 2014, including a number of major wrongful judgments, said Zhou Qiang, chief justice of China’s Supreme People’s Court, Thursday as he delivered the court’s annual work report to the national legislature. “With regard to wrongful convictions, we feel a deep sense of self-blame and demand that courts at all levels draw a profound lesson,” he said.

《点赞“四个全面”》火爆网络舆论场_2015全国两会 quite the new media propaganda work for the “Four Comprehensives”  //  随着全国两会的召开,“四个全面”迅速成为网上热词,尤其是在网络舆论场,一个名为《点赞“四个全面”》的专题栏目脱颖而出,引发网民关注和热议。 据了解,该栏目是由国家网信办指导,12家网站联合推出的,旨在系统深入解读习近平总书记提出的“四个全面”战略布局。各网站制作统一的栏目图标,各施所长,利用专题、GIF动图、微视频、图解、多媒体知识问答、微信、微博等新媒体传播方式,推出各类解读报道、产品。截至3月12日21时,《点赞“四个全面”》共刊发稿件约2600篇,在新浪微博开设的“点赞四个全面”微话题中,阅读量突破6353万次,讨论数达33.1万次。

U.S. calls on China to release detained women’s rights activists | Reuters U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, described the detention of the women in a tweet as a “sad reflection on ‘women’s rights are human rights.'” The women were planning demonstrations in Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou on the weekend of International Women’s Day, March 8. They were initially detained late on March 6 along with other rights activists who were subsequently released after being questioned.

China to hold ‘open trial’ for felled domestic security tsar | Reuters Asked whether the trial of Zhou Yongkang and other felled senior officials would be open, Zhou Qiang, president of China’s Supreme People’s Court, answered that it would be “open in accordance with the law”. Zhou Qiang, who is not related to Zhou Yongkang, made the remarks in an interview with state television carried by the website of the official Xinhua news agency.

中国将开启高官审判季 “老虎”或将陆续受审新闻腾讯网 CCTV says “tiger” trial season may be about to start

山西忻州一村支书杀死4村民后潜逃 曾被怀疑贪污新闻腾讯网 Shanxi village official on the run after killing 4 villagers…shanxi sounds like it is ripe for a “Sopranos” style show…the Shanpranos?

In China, Only Leaders Are Allowed To Battle Corruption-Huffington Post Here in Tianmu Village outside the northern metropolis of Tianjin, hundreds of villagers are staging daily protests demanding that anti-corruption investigators swat at a man they accuse of being one of Xi’s “flies”: Communist Party Secretary Mu Xiangyou. For weeks, citizens in the predominantly Muslim village have gathered in front of the local government headquarters, holding up banners and making speeches accusing Mu of selling off village land and pocketing the profits.

Chinese novelist and ex-provincial vice-governor uses real-life graft as inspiration for new book | South China Morning Post “Really interesting stories about corrupt officials have been going on around me in real life in recent years, “ Zhang Ping, the former Shanxi official, who is now vice-chairman of the party-aligned Chinese Writers’ Association, told the Beijing Times.

Anti-Graft Legislation Could Take Five Years to Work Out, Expert Says -Caixin Zhou Guangquan, a law professor at Tsinghua University, described 2015 as the starting point for China’s anti-corruption legislation. The NPC is expected to launch studies and researches for drafting the law soon, he said. He said that if concrete progress is made it will take about five years to develop anti-corruption legislation. Zhou, a member of the NPC Law Committee, proposed accelerating the pace of work on an anti-graft law during this year’s meeting. Calls for a national law dedicated to corruption matter were heard in China as early as the 1980s. In 1999, former NPC deputy Zhang Zhongli submitted a proposal that echoed the ideas of many other deputies and legal experts, but little progress was made.

【“两高”报告观察】2014无罪率趋零创新低专题频道财新网 最高法报告显示,2014年,各级法院发挥庭审对查明事实、认定证据、保护诉权、公正裁判的决定性作用,落实罪刑法定、疑罪从无等法律原则,各级法院对518名公诉案件被告人和260名自诉案件被告人宣告无罪。 报告还披露,各级法院审计一审刑事案件102.3万件,判处罪犯118.4万人。由此计算,2014年的无罪率仅为0.066%,低于2013年的0.07%,创历史新低。

Chinese Police Jail Activist For Two Weeks Over Smog Protest Retweet Guangzhou-based rights activist Guo Chunping was handed a 14-day administrative sentence for suspicion of “planning to hold an illegal gathering” last week after he retweeted a message calling for a “face-mask gathering” on March 8.

【特稿】孙善武案背后的栾川钼矿争夺战政经频道财新网 从2003年到2010年,一座世界级的特大型钼矿先是被3000万元卖走,七年后洛阳市国资又以26.23亿元回购,这座城市当年的市委书记则从“保卫国资的英雄”沦为阶下囚,七年间究竟发生了什么?

《“四个全面”党员干部学习读本》出版-新华网 study guide to “Four Comprehensives” for cadres goes on sale

 

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Raids Hurt ‘Anchor Baby’ Business in U.S., Operators from China Say – Caixin “Some might just call it quits because many live in the United States as a permanent resident and don’t want to take a chance with the law,” the man surnamed Ma said. “Others want to stay quiet for a while and then wait and see before deciding what to do.” Another person who moved to the United States from China and runs a maternity tourism business said he is having trouble getting clients, and many who paid deposits had cancelled their plans to have a child in the country. Police also warned the man, who gave his family name as Yu, that more raids were possible.

China’s US$40-billion Silk Road Fund will be driven by profit, says its chief | South China Morning Post Jin Qi said market-oriented principles would apply in the operation of the US$40 billion (HK$310 billion) fund and shareholders’ interests would be considered when making investment decisions. “The fund is not an aid agency,” she said on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress. “We will seek reasonable mid- and long-term investment returns and protect the rights of the shareholders.”

China’s Xi calls for closer civil-military integration to boost army combativeness – Xinhua Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while joining a plenary meeting of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) delegation at the ongoing legislative session. The armed forces should fully implement the strategic layout of “Four Comprehensives” and the development strategy of civil-military integration in order to break new grounds in the PLA’s capability building, Xi said. The “Four Comprehensives,” a political concept unveiled by Xi last year which was elevated as a main theme of this year’s parliamentary session, refers to comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and strictly governing the Party. Xi noted that over the past year, the PLA had redoubled efforts to carry out real combat-like military trainings, improve the Party’s work style and fight corruption, and to contemplate advancing military reforms. Remarkable achievements have been made in the PLA’s capacity-building. // 习近平出席解放军代表团会议 肯定反腐斗争-搜狐军事频道

China’s Long March Space Rocket 5 Takes Another Big Step Forward | Popular Science On sunny, tropical Hainan Island, China is assembling its largest ever space rocket, the Long March LM-5. Chinese authorities state that this LM-5 prototype will launch in early 2016 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center. The LM-5 is a 62 meter tall, 800 ton rocket which can carry up to 25 tons into low earth orbit, or a 14 ton spacecraft bound for Mars or the Moon.

 

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Taiwan’s new political voices want more openness on China ties | Reuters The number of new political parties and advocacy groups has surged following advances by the pro-independence Democratic progressive Party (DPP) in November elections that routed the ruling pro-China Nationalist party from positions in local government. The victory of Taiwan’s main opposition party was preceded by a massive protest by thousands of students in March last year over a trade pact with China. More groups are likely to emerge before next year’s presidential and legislative elections. Such political fragmentation will make it harder for China to strike the deals it has been pushing for to pull Taiwan closer into its economic orbit.

Public sentiment in Hong Kong worst in 16 months Hong Kong people are increasingly unhappy with the city and its government, an index released by the University of Hong Kong shows, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday. The Public Sentiment Index compiled by HKU’s Public Opinion Program (POP) fell to 61.8 points on March 8, down 5.9 points from the previous survey at the end of February and its lowest level since November 2013.

 

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

China’s Aliyun American Data Center Highlights Double Standards – ChinaTechNews the creation of the American data center shows a double standard between Chinese and American laws and business practices. The Chinese offshoot of Alibaba can easily open a data center in the United States with limited worries about regulation, but a competitor like Amazon cannot participate in the same type of Internet Service Provider business in China because of China’s anti-foreign business environment, its exclusion of foreigners in the ISP sector, and laws omitting Amazon and other non-Chinese businesses from engaging in the same type of Cloud Computing business. In fact, Amazon recently setup small cloud computing operations in China, but it did so via a third-party company, ChinaNetCenter.

 

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Chinese Businesses Eye Purchasing Power of LGBT Community – Caixin Chinese businesses are starting to show interest in the purchasing power of the LGBT consumer market – often referred to as the “pink dollar”– a trend led by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

 

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

China’s Polluted Soil and Water Will Drive up World Food Prices | ChinaFile Yields of crops and fish have risen over the past 60 years at several locations we studied in Anhui, Jiangsu, and Shanghai provinces in eastern China. But these are accompanied by parallel long-term trends in poorer air and water quality, and reduced soil stability. You may ask if this a bad thing. After all, increasing agricultural productivity has been one of the factors responsible for lifting millions of rural Chinese out of poverty. Does it really matter that the natural environment has taken a bit of a hit? Well, yes.

China Focus: Voluntary organ donation surges – Xinhua “Nearly 1,000 body parts were donated by 381 citizens in the first two months of this year, which is double the number donated during the same period in 2014,” said Huang Jiefu, head of a national human organ donation and transplant committee, at a press conference Wednesday on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session in Beijing. China banned harvesting organs from prisoners at the start of the year, and has only developed a regulated system of voluntary organ donation in recent years. // can death row prisoners volunteer?

China’s Yutu rover finds layers inside the moon | Reuters Compared to NASA’s 1969-1972 Apollo landing sites and other locations visited by Soviet-era landers, the northeast region of the Imbrium basis is younger, with complex subsurface structures, lead researcher Long Xiao, with the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, wrote in a paper published in this week’s issue of the journal Science. “There is more complex geological history than we had thought,” the scientists wrote.

国家医保目录大调在即:超八成药品价格或下降|医保目录|药价改革|政府定价新浪财经新浪网 big adjustment coming to medical insurance catalog, Economic Information says perhaps 80% of medicines will see price cuts  //  《经济参考报》记者日前从权威人士处获悉,国家医保目录调整已进入窗口期,相关部门正统筹考虑药品价格机制改革,研究新的医保目录制定办法。 “医保目录调整呼声很高。新药开发和医疗技术都在不断进步,因此目录确有调整需要。但是现在遇到一个新情况,就是药品的价格决定机制要改革,这就提出了新的问题。”上述权威人士告诉《经济参考报》记者,在此背景下医保药品支付目录和标准的修订,就不再是简单地扩容,因为它和医疗价格是连在一起的,“药品价格不再行政定价了,医保目录的问题就需要统筹考虑,我们正在和有关部门深入研究,将来可能会有很大变化,会有新的办法”。

China drug approval backlog jumped by a third last year | Reuters China had more than 18,500 drugs waiting for approval at the end of 2014, up by a third from a year before, the official Center for Drug Evaluation said on Friday, reflecting industry concern that it is getting harder to get medicines approved in the China market. Drug company executives say China has toughened the approval process, with companies forced to go through six to eight-year wait times in the world’s second biggest pharmaceutical market, where spending is set to hit as much as $185 billion by 2018, according to IMS Health.

Changes to Wildlife Protection Law on Horizon, NPC Deputy Says – Caixin Luo Shenglian, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said on March 11 that the legislature’s Standing Committee has put the changes on this year’s agenda. That committee runs the NPC between its full annual meetings every March. Luo, a deputy dean at Nanchang Hangkong University, in the eastern province of Jiangxi, first started submitting proposals to amend the law in 2013, and this year another 35 deputies joined him. The changes aim to better define the responsibilities of government departments, impose harsher punishments of lawbreakers and protect more animals.

Central Gov’t Takes Aim at Industry’s Use of ‘Evaporation Ponds’ in Desert Areas – Caixin Many industrial companies in Inner Mongolia and other northern and western regions have built the high-salt-content evaporation ponds approved by environmental protection authorities, a Caixin investigation last year found. The idea is that by exposing the discharge to the air and sunlight, the water will evaporate, leaving behind salt and toxins that can be processed. That’s the theory, but the ponds have never functioned as planned. The reality is unprocessed wastewater is spewed into the ponds without proper treatment and pollutants leech into the soil and underground water, creating a terrible pollution problem in many parts of northern China.

 

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *

部党组通过“三块地”改革试点领导小组工作规则政经频道财新网 领导小组的主要职责是,指导和统筹农村土地征收、集体经营性建设用地入市、宅基地制度改革试点工作实施,审议和研究推动改革试点工作的重大政策、重大问题、立法建议和年度工作安排等,协调有关部际、部省重要事项,督促检查试点工作的落实情况

陈锡文:农民以为卖房就能进城 那是上了大当-手机和讯网 农民宅基地该不该入市?农村土地规模化经营的前景如何?随着今年中央一号文件出台,农村土地承包经营权确权工作如何开展?昨日,全国政协委员、中央农村工作领导小组副组长陈锡文接受新京报专访。他认为,很多人关心农民宅基地入市,并非真的为农民着想,而是想在农村有第二套房。谈“城镇化” 有人建议宅基地入市不是为农民着想  新京报:你前几年一直反对农民上楼运动,如今你怎么看待此事? 陈锡文:不是我反对或赞成,而是国家是有法律的,按法律办。国家的制度设计中,对土地利用有非常明确的规定。但这个事到底是否侵犯人民群众利益,大多数人都应该有一个基本判断。我认为,有一些媒体是支持农民上楼的,总是报道现在的农村建设得多么漂亮,让很多家不在农村的人以为农民生活改善了,以为农民上楼是个好事。但农民是不愿意的。

四部委发文力推农村物流,龙头企业提前布局_第一财经客户端 交通部、农业部、中华全国供销合作总社、国家邮政局联合发文,提出将积极推广应用先进的农村物流运作模式。

“老乡上网”带出千亿市场-科技频道-新华网 记者近日在北京、天津、山东、江苏等地调研发现,随着城市电商市场竞争日趋激烈,电商巨头普遍开始下沉渠道,布局农村千亿市场。与此同时,随着农村网络基础设施日益改善,“淘宝村”在各地不断涌现,上网开店成为老乡增收致富的新途径。专家认为,挖掘农村电商潜力,激活农村电商消费,对带动我国经济持续增长具有重要意义,宜高度重视农村电商发展中遇到的诸多瓶颈,出台系统政策,加强扶持引导。

刘永好:如何用互联网思维做农业专题频道财新网 下一步,就是要利用互联网技术,来提供互联网农村金融、互联网农村科技支持、互联网农村市场营销,大有可为

 

AnchorEDUCATION *

With Zuckerberg’s Help, China Dean Targets Creativity Over Rote – Bloomberg Business Mark Zuckerberg made global news when he went out on a limb and spoke his newly-learned Mandarin to students at China’s elite Tsinghua University. Behind the headlines, and taking bolder risks, was Qian Yingyi. Dean of the School of Economics and Management, Qian orchestrated the visit and recruited the Harvard dropout as an adviser even though Facebook Inc. is blocked by the communist nation’s censors. Almost nine years after he was hand-picked by former Premier Zhu Rongji to help shake up the school, Qian has boosted the proportion of classes taught in English, recruited overseas academics, teamed with other schools and added to an advisory board that reads like a who’s who of global business.

 

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL *

World Baijiu Day – Celebrating the Planet’s Most Popular Spirit Baijiu is the planet’s most popular spirit but is almost wholly produced and consumed in China. World Baijiu Day aims to introduce it to people around the globe.

老干妈谈维权:凡是带“干”字辣椒酱都要打假新闻腾讯网 “国内确实便宜得多。”老干妈说,但她对价格上到底差多少,却不愿意回应。“我是中国人,我不赚中国人的钱,我要把老干妈卖到外国去,赚外国人的钱。”进电梯前,老干妈陶华碧右手一挥,气定神闲  //  Lao Ganma founder says she doesn’t make money from Chinese consumers but from foreign ones given how cheap her product is in China…Jingoism comes to condiments…

 

AnchorBEIJING *

Where Beijing’s Trash Is Reborn – NYTimes.com One of the places I’ve stumbled upon in these explorations is a cluster of recycling yards in Beijing’s northern suburbs, where the subway’s Line 5 ends. This is where some of Beijing’s heaps of trash go to die — in order to begin a new life, recycled.

北京居住证年内出台 积分入户门槛难降 政经频道财新网 北京出台居住证制度和研究制定积分落户政策将于2015年年底前完成,而同时控人举措也在北京被提到新高度。对于各地抬高的门槛,专家担忧居住证实施效果会打折扣

 

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