Apologies for the lack of a newsletter over the last few days. Some people have bad hair days, in China you occasionally have bad Internet days. Wednesday and Thursday my Internet was near unusable.
I am a guest on this month’s “On China” show hosted by the always awesome Kristie Lu Stout. The topic is Internet censorship and innovation. It airs later today and then several more times in the next few days on CNN International.
My Internet problems long predate the CNN show.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Chinese leaders push for “greenization” – Xinhua China’s top leadership backed a “conservation culture” Tuesday and, for the first time, adopted the idea of “greenization.” Henceforth, conservation culture should be considered in all aspects of government work — economic, political, social and cultural — in pursuit of “industrialization, urbanization, informationization, agricultural modernization and greenization,” according to a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. The meeting, presided over by CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping, approved a guideline on conservation culture and highlighted “greenization” of production, the economy and lifestyles: lowering resource consumption, boosting green industries and promoting a low-carbon, thrifty lifestyle. // 人民日报今日谈：“绿色化”呼唤参与感
Related: [视频]中共中央政治局召开会议新闻频道央视网 央视网消息(新闻联播)：中共中央政治局3月24日召开会议，审议通过《关于加快推进生态文明建设的意见》，审议通过广东、天津、福建自由贸易试验区总体方案、进一步深化上海自由贸易试验区改革开放方案。中共中央总书记习近平主持会议。 会议指出，生态文明建设事关实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标，事关中华民族永续发展，是建设美丽中国的必然要求，对于满足人民群众对良好生态环境新期待、形成人与自然和谐发展现代化建设新格局，具有十分重要的意义。
Related: 重大信号！“四化”变“五化”，政治局会议首提“绿色化”-2015-03-25人民日报 之所以这么说，是因为这个概念是首次在中央政治局会议上提出。而更深一层的意义在于，这是十八大提出的“新四化”概念的提升——在“新型工业化、城镇化、信息化、农业现代化”之外，又加入了“绿色化”，并且将其定性为“政治任务”。换句话说，这是“四化”变“五化”。 那么，“绿色化”究竟是什么意思？内涵和外延是什么？习近平为何如此看重这个概念，它又将如何影响中国的走势呢？
2. Does Internet censorship kill innovation in China? – CNN Video CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout explores with Bill Bishop, author of the Sinocism China Newsletter, and Lokman Tsui, former Head of Free Expression at Google Asia Pacific. //trailer for the On China show
Related: China’s Great Firewall and Internet censorship – CNN.com It wasn’t supposed to work. But China’s Great Firewall — a massive Internet surveillance and content control system — has, in many respects, been an unparalleled success.
Related: Sequoia’s Moritz joins warning chorus over Silicon Valley valuations – Fortune he argued that money splashed on Silicon Valley companies could probably be put to better use in China, which he described as “the most vibrant setting for start-ups in the world.” Seven of the world’s 20 most valuable startups are Chinese-based, he said, including mobile phone maker Xiaomi, the most valuable of all with a $46 billion price tag after its latest round of financing. “Everybody in the west is in denial” about China’s increasing tech strength, Moritz said. “The balance of power is shifting.”
3. China Said to Plan Sweeping Shift From Foreign Technology to Own – Bloomberg Business China is aiming to purge most foreign technology from banks, the military, state-owned enterprises and key government agencies by 2020, stepping up efforts to shift to Chinese suppliers, according to people familiar with the effort. The push comes after a test of domestic alternatives in the northeastern city of Siping that was deemed a success, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. Workers there replaced Microsoft Corp.’s Windows with a homegrown operating system called NeoKylin and swapped foreign servers for ones made by China’s Inspur Group Ltd., they said.
Related: U.S. questions China at WTO on banking technology restrictions | Reuters “Could China explain what ‘controllable’ means?,” the U.S. filing asked. “Do the guidelines apply to foreign-owned banks operating in China?” Although it did not question China’s right to improve cybersecurity, it said the definition of “secure and controllable” would severely limit access to the commercial banking sector for many foreign products and services and dictate the business decisions of financial institutions.
4. Xi stresses boosting public confidence in judicial system – Xinhua The president was speaking during a collective study session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Political Bureau on deepening judicial reform on Tuesday afternoon. Xi said that building a fair, efficient and authoritative judicial system is integral to the modernization of the state governance and governance capabilities. He acknowledged that malpractice still existed, citing injustice and wrongful convictions. He added that if these problems were not addressed in a timely manner, they would hinder the progress of the rule of law, and damage social fairness and justice. The country will not falter in advancing judicial reform and realizing social justice, he said. The people have the final say on the effectiveness of judicial reform, Xi said, adding that the reform was supposed to boost public confidence and to solve problems. Public confidence and satisfaction are the evaluation criteria. Xi identified the judicial accountability system as being crucial to reform. Judges and prosecutors must be held accountable for cases they handle for their entire lifetime, and their power should be checked and supervised.
Related: 以提高司法公信力为根本尺度坚定不移深化司法体制改革–时政–人民网 新华社北京3月25日电 中共中央政治局3月24日下午就深化司法体制改革、保证司法公正进行第二十一次集体学习。中共中央总书记习近平在主持学习时强调，深化司法体制改革，建设公正高效权威的社会主义司法制度，是推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化的重要举措。公正司法事关人民切身利益，事关社会公平正义，事关全面推进依法治国。要坚持司法体制改革的正确政治方向，坚持以提高司法公信力为根本尺度，坚持符合国情和遵循司法规律相结合，坚持问题导向、勇于攻坚克难，坚定信心，凝聚共识，锐意进取，破解难题，坚定不移深化司法体制改革，不断促进社会公平正义。吉林省社会科学院黄文艺教授就这个问题进行讲解，并谈了意见和建议。
Related: China’s Master Plan for Remaking Its Courts | The Diplomat The Court Reform Plan Outline needs to be recognized for what it is — part of President Xi Jinping’s comprehensive reforms of the current political system, and, in particular, part of his comprehensive reforms of the justice system. The aim is to raise the quality of Chinese justice (under Party leadership). As the head of the office of the Central Judicial Reform Leading Group (the Communist Party group in charge of judicial reform) said, “an unjust judiciary would have lethal damage effects on social justice [and, by implication, social stability].”
5. Taiwan Lobbyist Wrote Republican Party Resolution Calling for More Weapons for Taiwan – The Intercept When the Republican National Committee convened in Chicago last August for its annual summer meeting, it unanimously approved a resolution urging the White House to supply a host of weapons, ranging from submarines to advanced warplanes, to the island nation of Taiwan. However, Justice Department records show the resolution was not written by any of the RNC’s members, but by Marshall Harris, a lobbyist who had been hired by the Taiwanese government to further its interests in Washington.
6. 【特稿】郭文贵围猎高官记：从结盟到反目政经频道财新网 以扳倒刘志华、夺回盘古大观为开端，郭文贵和以马建为代表的少数国家强力部门官员结成攫财同盟。一个潘多拉盒子由此打开，郭文贵用它裹挟了越来越多的公权力为其牟取不正当利益，上演了多场对财富和公权力的围猎 // Tycoon Said to Bring Down a Deputy Mayor, Control Key Beijing Land Deal Caixin’s official translation. Its original Chinese story is much more interesting…some interesting revelations in here, including about detained former MSS vice minister Ma Jian
7. An NPR Reporter Chauffeurs A Chinese Couple 500 Miles To Their Rural Wedding : NPR love this story, and the pictures. What a great idea by Frank Langfitt // In this, the second installment in the series, I decided to drive two men and one of their fiancees back home to Hubei province in central China for Chinese New Year, and to attend their weddings. Here we are at a rest stop along the Shanghai-Chongqing highway — a smooth, four-lane road that was finished just five years ago.
8. World’s largest hydropower project planned for Tibetan Plateau | Yang Yong – China Dialogue The cascade of dams planned for the Yarlung Tsangpo river and its tributaries – including one three times the size of the Three Gorges Dam – threatens an already fragile environment
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
No capital flight problem: Beijing | Dow Jones “We are not seeing capital outflows,” said Wang Yungui of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. “We did see some net capital outflows between August and December last year. But we have net capital inflows now.” The official, who heads SAFE’s comprehensive management department, told a news briefing that the problem for the currency was that exporters were holding on to more of their foreign-currency earnings. Companies and individuals increased their foreign-exchange deposits at the nation’s banks by $US63.9 billion in the first two months of the year compared with the same period in 2014, he added.
Newly-opened share accounts in China hit 8 yrs high – Xinhua About 1.14 million yuan denominated A-share trading accounts were opened between March 16 and 20, the China Securities Depository and Clearing Co. Ltd. said in a statement on Tuesday. This is a week-on-week increase of 58 percent, the highest since May 2007. There were 31.2 million investors making transactions, a 34 percent week-on-week increase…By March 20, 55.1 million investors held A shares
楼市新政出手了？国土部官媒称有关房地产重要消息两天内发布地产界澎湃新闻-The Paper sounds like new property support measures are imminent , according to a MOHURD Weibo account // 3月26日晚上18时23分，经认证的中国国土资源报社官方微博@中国国土资源报 发布微博，称“有关房地产的重要消息一会发布”。 当晚19时28分，该微博更新内容称，“最新消息，由于某部委原因，今天消息暂不发布，预计近两天内发布，请大家耐心等待。” 认证信息显示，中国国土资源报社是国土资源部机关报。 澎湃新闻尚未从国土资源部获得官方确认消息。 但在此之前，关于住建部等部门稳楼市新政的消息流传已近一周时间。
多地松绑公积金贷款挺楼市 一线城市现放松迹象新闻腾讯网 more signs of loosening of real estate policies // 两会后，房地产放松政策接踵而至，公积金贷款松绑最为明显。《经济参考报》记者获悉，除国管公积金、福建、济南、宁波等地已出台稳楼市政策外，山东、惠州、上海、广州等省市也正在酝酿出台政策。这意味着，近一年来未有动作的一线城市也将加入放松大军。 对此，业内人士表示，当前中央管理层对房地产政策的态度是释放合理的自住和改善住房需求，促进房地产市场平稳健康发展，地方政府应势而为，除已发布新政的省市外，预计后续会有10个左右的省市发布类似政策。
China to boost “Made in China 2025” strategy – Xinhua no shortage of plans…more like a surplus // The “Made in China 2025” strategy proposed in this year’s government work report can empower the manufacturing sector, while boosting “innovated in China,” it said, adding that this will help the country achieve a medium-high-level economic growth. On March 5, Premier Li said China will implement the “Made in China 2025” strategy alongside an “Internet Plus” plan, based on innovation, smart technology, the mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things. Following this, informatization and industrialization will be unified and priority will be given to the development of ten particular fields, including information technology, new materials and agricultural machinery, the statement said.
Party Carries out Leadership Reshuffle at State-Owned Shipbuilders – Caixin A reshuffle of top leaders at the country’s two state-owned shipbuilders has followed reports that the government wants a merge similar to what happened with railroad equipment manufacturers.
Express delivery sector posts massive growth – Xinhua SPB chief Ma Junsheng said the express delivery sector has maintained robust and healthy development, with services and coverage both improving. The number of parcels received by express delivery in China last year reached 14 billion, the biggest volume around the world. The sector’s market value hit 204 billion yuan (33 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 42 percent year on year. Ma promised earlier that China will help domestic express delivery firms expand overseas this year to support booming cross-border online shopping.
深圳地产反腐风暴袭来：多家民企遣散项目团队新浪房产新浪网 more pain for Shenzhen real estate developers due to corruption investigations // 提要：在佳兆业事件的冲击下，深圳旧改正在迎来一场变局。深圳市邦恒投资顾问公司总经理尹香武向记者透露，深圳多家民营房企已遣散旧改拓展团队，加上旧改项目销售审批日趋严格，之前在谈判的旧改项目大多已搁浅。
Foxconn leads fight to save business tax breaks in China | WSJ hope they got the promises in writing // The push to clean up investment incentives affects domestic as well as foreign companies, experts say. China’s State Council, or cabinet, issued guidelines in December asking local governments to assess and eliminate many incentives ranging from tax reductions to discounted land pricing. It is aimed at stopping what Beijing regards as disorderly and harmful bidding wars by local governments to attract foreign and domestic investment.
POLITICS AND LAW
Politics: The devil, or Mr Wang | The Economist nice piece by Economist Beijing bureau chief Gady Epstein// It is certain that some in the elite are resentful, though the threat they may pose to Mr Xi is hard to calculate. The inner debates of China’s leadership are cloaked in intense secrecy. Last autumn sources close to the party leadership said they expected the anti-corruption campaign to wind down soon because of bad morale in the bureaucracy. That may have been wishful thinking: if anything, the campaign is intensifying. In the seven months to March 20th, 24 more ministerial-level officials have been detained for corruption, bringing the total to 69 in 28 months—more than double the number than in the previous five years under Mr Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao. More than twice as many senior officials were investigated by prosecutors for corruption last year than in 2013
China’s local gov’ts urged to implement power list system – Xinhua According to a guideline issued by the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the General Office of the State Council, local governments should publicize their administrative powers and processes to facilitate public supervision. The power list system is an important step towards the modernization of state governance system and governance capabilities, says the guideline, adding it will prevent governments from executing excessive power or shying away from their responsibilities. // 中办国办印发《关于推行地方各级政府工作部门权力清单制度的指导意见》–时政–人民网
Ex-Police Chief Held for Murder Said to Be Linked to Graft Case – Caixin The sources said Zhao is involved in a corruption case involving Du Wen, the former deputy director of the advisory office of the Inner Mongolia government’s legal department. Du is accused of paying millions of yuan worth of bribes to officials in Shenzhen and Beijing in exchange for support in the regional government’s land deals in 2008. In a court hearing last year, Du said that 1.3 million yuan of the bribes was related to Zhao.
President Xi Jinping’s long-time colleague appointed new Beijing police chief | South China Morning Post Wang Xiaohong, 57, succeeds Fu Zhenghua, who had been doubling as a vice-minister of public security. The new chief of Beijing police started his career in Fujian province , where he remained until August 2013, when he moved on to head Henan province’s police force. He has also been police chief of the two Fujian cities of Fuzhou and Xiamen , his public profile states…It remains unclear whether Fu will be handed a new portfolio within the ministry.
高起点高水平建设中国特色新型智库–时政–人民网 新华社北京3月25日电 3月25日，中共中央政治局委员、中央书记处书记、中宣部部长刘奇葆出席高端智库建设专家座谈会，强调要深入学习贯彻习近平总书记关于智库建设的重要指示精神，认真落实《关于加强中国特色新型智库建设的意见》，坚持高起点推进、高水平建设，打造一批直接为党和政府决策服务、综合研判和战略谋划能力强、国内外影响力大的高端智库，为协调推进“四个全面”战略布局、坚持和发展中国特色社会主义提供强大智力支持。 // Xinhua-Liu Qibao attends symposium on high-level think tank building in Beijing
China’s moon mission chief Ma Xingrui named party chief of high-tech hub Shenzhen | South China Morning Post wonder what Wang Rong knew about all the real estate corruption in Shenzhen? And how safe he is now that he has been apparently shhunted aside, even if he is as some suggest the nephew of Jiang Zemin’s wife? // Ma Xingrui took office yesterday afternoon without making any formal comments. He replaces Wang Rong, who was made chairman of the Guangdong Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference last month, the government-run Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported on its microblog. Ma (pictured) has an extensive background in the aerospace industry – he was chief commander of the Chang’e-3 lunar programme – and experts in the city government’s think tanks said he could help Shenzhen accelerate its shift towards an innovation-based economy.
《焦点访谈》 20150324 钞票岂能换选票新闻频道央视网(cctv.com) CCTV looks at vote buying in village elections // 东台社区是崂山脚下的一个农村社区，全村860多户，2004年经上级政府批准，东台村委会改为东台社区居委会。名字虽然改了，但是在组织管理上跟以前的村委会没有太大不同，居委会选举依然参照的是《村委会组织法》，由居民们直接选举产生。选举的会场设在村子里的这片空地上，选民在临时搭建的半封闭式的秘密写票区填选票，现场的工作人员及监督员有近百人。此外街道“选举办”还进行了全程监督及录像，整个选举过程看起来并没有什么异常。那么东台社区居委会的这次换届选举为何会引起争议?贿选的说法从何而来?选举期间到底发生了什么?为此记者进行了走访调查。
One more senior CCTV anchorwoman goes off camera｜WantChinaTimes Following her two colleagues, renowned CCTV anchorwoman Li Xiuping of the long-lived newscast Xinwen Lianbo has reportedly retired to the backstage, reports our Chinese language sister paper Want Daily. Li’s husband, Zhang Chunxian, is the party secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and a CPC Politburo member. // Zhang is her husband?
Liu Weigao: The Developer Behind Qiu He’s Curtain – East by Southeast The following translation is a detailed exposé of Liu Weigao, the Suqian businessman whose exploits brought down Qiu He, the Vice-Party Secretary of Yunnan Province. The smartly crafted article written by Southern Weekend reporter Liu Jun was published on March 19 on the Phoenix News site. The author is careful not to directly connect Qiu He to Liu Weigao, but the implications are extremely salient. Moreover, the report links both Qiu and Liu to the deaths of two villagers.
习近平博鳌动画视频：复兴路上工作室又一力作，更短更轻更萌中国政库澎湃新闻-The Paper Thepaper looks at the studio behind some of the catchy Xi Jinping cartoons // 神秘的“复兴路上工作室”再推动画视频，这一次，是讲述习近平与博鳌亚洲论坛的故事。 在这部名为《跟着大大走之博鳌篇》的视频中，习近平“硬气、暖心、温情”的形象再次得到展现，“习大大”和“彭麻麻”也成为一种特殊而亲切的语言称呼。 今年的博鳌论坛将于3月26日召开，“复兴路上工作室”于开幕前两天（3月24日）推出这一视频，为这一盛会预热。 澎湃新闻（www.thepaper.cn）注意到，这部视频由一个名为“复兴路上工作室”的制作团队完成。它低调且神秘，几乎没有任何背景介绍。
China Raids Offices of Rights Group as Crackdown on Activism Continues – NYTimes Employees say about two dozen police officers on Tuesday raided the Beijing Yirenping Center, which champions gender equality and employs litigation to fight discrimination against people with H.I.V., hepatitis and physical disabilities. Lu Jun, a founder of the group, said the raid was probably related to the group’s efforts to publicize the recent detentions of five female activists that have prompted international criticism.
国家机关查不动产信息需有单位证明新闻腾讯网 新京报讯 （记者李丹丹）《不动产登记暂行条例》（以下简称《条例》）已于3月1日起实施。昨日，与《条例》配套的《不动产登记暂行条例实施细则》（以下简称《细则》）正式对外公布，向社会征求意见。 根据细则规定，权利人、利害关系人依法查询、复制不动产登记资料的，应当到具体办理不动产登记的机构申请；有关国家机关查询的，应当提供本单位出具的协助查询证明材料、工作人员的工作证。 该《细则》共8章137条，对登记程序中可能出现的不同情况逐一细化，如共用不动产登记如何申请、委托申请的具体程序等。
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China ramps up global manhunt for corrupt officials with operation ‘Skynet’ | South China Morning Post China is ramping up its international manhunt of fugitive corrupt officials with a new multi-agency operation, codenamed Skynet, aimed at restricting their financial channels. Operation Skynet will go further than last year’s international manhunt led by national police, Operation Foxhunt, by coordinating various government departments in a multi-pronged attack on both the fugitives and those who help them. // 中国启动“天网”行动开抓海外贪官 美国表支持
China gives ‘priority list’ of wanted officials to U.S. | Reuters Xu Jinhui, head of the anti-graft bureau at the state prosecutor, told the official China Daily that “a priority list of alleged Chinese corrupt officials” believed to be at large in the United States has been provided to U.S. authorities. Most suspected corrupt officials overseas either worked for the government or state-owned enterprises and took bribes or embezzled public funds, Xu said.
Chinese Foreign Policy Comes of Age – NYTimes OpEd Andrew Small China’s public offer to mediate peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government marks a notable departure in Chinese foreign policy. It is the first time Beijing is taking a genuine leadership role, on its own initiative, on a geopolitical issue both sensitive and significant.
Chinese diplomats run rings around Australia-John Garnaut Australia has no Kissinger but it does have ambitious businessmen with prime ministerial connections. Today, CAIFC is hosting mining tycoon Andrew Forrest and a selection of his high-wealth friends at the opening day of the Bo’ao Forum on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan. Forrest’s people no longer deny that CAIFC is a military intelligence front organisation, as they did to me two years ago. And since my earlier report they say they have been proceeding “with eyes wide open” and kept the Australian government informed of all dealings.
Reports on AIIB veto right denied – People’s Daily Online China on Wednesday denied reports that it had given up the veto power in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, saying it is premature to discuss the matter. “Participant countries are still negotiating the articles of the association … as the number of participants grows, it is natural that every country’s share in the organization will decline. It is pointless to discuss the issue before the articles have been formulated,” Shi Yaobin, vice-minister of finance, said in a written question-and-answer format published on the ministry’s website.
What Went Wrong With U.S. Strategy on China’s New Bank and What Should Washington Do Now? | ChinaFile Conversation Although joining the AIIB was not an option since Congress would not have allocated the funds, the U.S. could have adopted the posture of a friendly outside voice. Instead, it discouraged others from joining in the hope the initiative would collapse or leave China with a small “coalition of the willing.” They argued that the bank would not follow international best practices, but in reality it appears the U.S. opposed the AIIB simply because it was a Chinese initiative, full stop. Such knee-jerk antagonism gives life to arguments that the U.S. opposes China’s rise and is bent on containing it. Even more important, American bungling fuels the perception that China can drive a wedge between the U.S. and its allies and that U.S. leadership in Asia is on the wane just when it is needed more than ever.
萧功秦：如何看待新一波的“中国崩溃论”_共识网 Xiao Gongqin on Shambaugh’s oped and the new round of “China Collapsism” going around // 另一方面，新的“中国崩溃论”再次出现，仍然值得中国人反思，加强社会管控，对于维持稳定，防范政治风险是十分必要的，然而，如果我们在加强社会管控时，却被误认为是在向左的方向回潮，如果我们强化意识形态话语权时，却让鼓吹“再来一次文革”的“毛左”在社会上趁机兴起，(我就在某权威网上读到过一篇通篇使用文革用语写成的极左文章。)如果我们被外界误以为是让外来文明所有的价值都处于被批判与排斥之列，如果有人别出心裁地重提“阶级斗争为纲论”，却被外界误以为整个中国都正在为恢复文革旧秩序探路，如果我们的意识形态在强化管理权的同时，却没有具有想象力的生气勃勃的创新，如果我们对经由强政府走向中国式的民主与宪制的路线图，缺乏明确的方向感与解释力，那么，外国人中产生的“中国正在从改革开放倒退”的疑虑，就很难消除。
China experts ‘cracking up’ | China Daily Show After decades of impressive, double-digit growth, some now believe the market for theories about China’s future has entered its endgame. “Entire schools of thought about its impending supremacy or collapse may no longer be effective click-bait,” eminent Sinologist, philanthropist and basket-weaver Sir William Buckfast warned on Facebook. Since as far back as the 1950s, foreign experts could climb to the top of Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak, take a long squint toward the mainland, and accurately pronounce the impending fate of China. Today, many spend up to three weeks in a Shanghai hotel, bonding with local officials, before casting their oracle bones.
Japan: Abe bids to end economic burden – FT.com Asked about Japan’s near-neighbour, Mr Abe consults his notes and takes special care. In November, he met Xi Jinping, China’s president, for the first time since taking power in 2012. While their handshake looked grudging, it has calmed bilateral relations, which had fallen to their worst state in years as China pushed territorial claims in the East China Sea. Mr Abe frames his thoughts now as a careful one-two. Relations have improved, he says, pointing to progress on a mechanism for managing crises at sea. That would reduce the chances of an accidental confrontation around the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which China calls the Diaoyu. “I originally proposed this when I was prime minister in 2007,” says Mr Abe. “Subsequently there have been five Japanese prime ministers but China did not implement the mechanism.”
Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson | The Need for Immediate Diplomacy in the South China Sea | Foreign Affairs While neither side wants a conflict, in this volatile reality of increasingly crowded waters and airspace, the risk that a miscalculation or accident could escalate into a major crisis is far too high for comfort. Indeed, the reality is sobering: institutional deficiencies undermine each government’s ability to rapidly and effectively coordinate internally in the event of a crisis. Worse yet, despite seven years of negotiations, Tokyo and Beijing have failed to formally agree to—much less implement reliably—any bilateral crisis management mechanism. In short, the ability of China or Japan to prevent a low-level incident from escalating to a full-blown crisis is questionable. To ameliorate the risk of an avoidable catastrophe in the East China Sea, then, true statesmanship must be matched with expeditious institutional reforms on both sides.
Indonesia Gets Cozy With Japan – The American Interest New Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was in Japan this week for high level security meetings about maritime security in Asia. Top of the agenda: China’s territorial ambitions in the East and South China Seas.
China, Indonesia pledge closer strategic partnership – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo Thursday and they pledged to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. “China and Indonesia are strategically interdependent on, and economically complementary to, each other and there is immense potential for reciprocal cooperation between the two countries,” Xi said as he talked with the Indonesian president at the Great Hall of the People. // 中国印尼联合声明
Indonesia to throw open doors to Chinese investment; seeks details on maritime Silk road | South China Morning Post Indonesia is determined to open its doors to Chinese investments and significantly strengthen bilateral economic ties, even as it seeks clarity on China’s vision of a Maritime Silk Road, President Joko Widodo said. In an interview with the South China Morning Post ahead of his state visit to Beijing today , he said it was time for his country to get serious about deepening bilateral trade, investment and infrastructure links.
Philippines says to resume works in disputed South China Sea | Reuters “We are taking the position that we can proceed with the repair and maintenance,” Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario told diplomats, military officers and foreign correspondents on Thursday. He said the works, including repairs to an airstrip, did not violate an informal code of conduct in the South China Sea because they would not alter the status quo in the disputed area. The 2002 code was signed by China and 10 Southeast Asian states in Phnom Penh.
Xi Moves to Boost China Sway in Sri Lanka to Counter India Shift – Bloomberg Business Xi signed four agreements with Sirisena on the Sri Lankan leader’s first trip to China since winning elections in January. The pacts include cooperation on health and urban development. “We will continue to make efforts toward building the relationship toward a new era,” Xi said at a joint briefing with Sirisena in Beijing on Thursday.
China markets attack drone to foreign customers – Washington Times A catalog obtained by the U.S. government from China Aerospace Long-March International reveals details of the CH-3 and a missile-firing variant called the CH-3A. The catalog provides a rare inside look at China’s drone arsenal. The CH-3 is one of nine drones being offered for sale around the world, ranging in size from very small to large-scale unmanned aerial vehicles. Several drones appear to be knockoffs of U.S.-designed remotely piloted aircraft, including the Predator strike drone and Global Hawk long-range spy drone.
TECH AND MEDIA
India’s Premji and China’s Tencent back Cyanogen’s $80M round-TechInAsia Cyanogen, the US-based maker of an alternative Android-based mobile operating system called Cyanogen OS, announced today it completed a US$80 million series C round of funding. India’s Premji Invest led the round, followed by Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm, Telefonica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries, Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo and other undisclosed investors. Previous investors Benchmark, Andreesen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and Tencent Holdings also participated, according to an announcement on the company’s website
Shrewd Smiles as Online Bankers Test New Tech – Caixin E-commerce giant Alibaba Group has asked regulators for permission to insert biometric identification functions into its mobile online payment services. The company’s latest technological triumph known as “Smile to Pay” – developed by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group and unveiled in March at a trade show in Germany – could be the next leap forward for China’s fast-growing online banking sector. Ant controls the Alipay payment system through which Alibaba clients’ transactions are processed.
网信办再关31家违法网站：严惩虚假网站诈骗 CAC shuts another 31 sites for false information and scams // 新华社北京3月25日电 25日，国家互联网信息办公室公布第二批被依法关闭的“中国新闻热线网”“曝光网”等31家违法违规网站。这是“网络敲诈和有偿删帖”专项整治工作自1月21日启动以来，主管部门在根据群众举报线索深入调查和取证后，依法关闭的第二批违法违规网站。
Google warns of unauthorized TLS certificates trusted by almost all OSes [Updated] | Ars Technica The bogus transport layer security certificates are trusted by all major operating systems and browsers, although a fall-back mechanism known as public key pinning prevented the Chrome and Firefox browsers from accepting those that vouched for the authenticity of Google properties, Google security engineer Adam Langley wrote in a blog post published Monday. The certificates were issued by Egypt-based MCS Holdings, an intermediate certificate authority that operates under the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The Chinese domain registrar and certificate authority, in turn, is included in root stores for virtually all OSes and browsers.
王学兵被抓时尿检呈阴性 证据不足被释放新闻腾讯网 Actor Wang Xuebing released due to lack of evidence, tested negative for drugs // 【王学兵被抓时尿检呈阴性 证据不足被释放】3月9日因涉毒被抓的演员王学兵@王学好 在随后的尿检结果呈阴性，这意味着他近期未吸毒。尽管警方以涉嫌容留他人吸毒将其刑事拘留，但是由于证据不足，王学兵已于昨天回到家中。同时被抓获的演员张博尿检呈冰毒阳性
莆田系对抗百度 决裂与否仍扑朔政经频道财新网 Caixin reports on rumors going around that Putian private hospitals have decided to halt advertising on Baidu…Baidu seems to have a material concentration from pharma adsm still // 莆田系医疗机构与百度激烈对抗，但“真决裂”与“假决裂”的可能性并存。有的医疗机构欲通过此轮对峙压价，缩减竞价排名推广成本；也有机构欲借此摆脱百度钳制，转换投放渠道
Car-Hire Services Compete for the Ride Stuff – Caixin In addition to the Yongda deal, Uber in December signed a car-hire services cooperation agreement with China’s main search engine company, Baidu Inc. Key to the Didi-Kuaidi merger decision was the threat posed by Uber, which launched its China division in July, according to Zhu Xiaohu, the general manager of GSR Ventures, a firm that’s invested in Didi. Uber and Yongda are focusing on businesses that actually handle car-hire services, many of which in China are run by car-rental agencies with hired drivers. Under the deal, said Yongda President Xu Yue, rental agencies will buy millions of yuan worth of Audis and Volkswagens over an unspecified period of time. Xu provided no further details.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Wrath of Dancing Grandmothers Forces Chinese Government to Backtrack-Huffington Post As the outcry intensified, officials with the General Administration of Sport began to backpedal. Although the statement initially posted on the organization’s website had explicitly declared an end to personalized routines and the imposition of a national standard, on Wednesday officials clarified that the twelve model routines were only meant to provide scientifically sound alternatives to existing routines. “We saw that some people on the Internet were worried that the new regulations meant all over China people would only be allowed to dance these twelve routines,” Liu told media. “Of course that’s impossible. It’s a misunderstanding.”
亲历抗美援朝的战地摄影师镜头下那些“最寒冷的冬天”翻书党澎湃新闻-The Paper new book by now famous photographer Meng Zhaorui of his experiences in the Korean war, looks like lots of interesting photos // 孟昭瑞是著名的摄影家，曾拍摄过开国大典、两弹试爆、审判四人帮等重大历史事件，用自己毕生的精力和精确的镜头，记录了历史上无数震撼人心的瞬间。作为战地记者，他深入抗美援朝战争第一线，在鸭绿江畔、上甘岭、板门店，他用影像记录“最寒冷的冬天”，为公众直观了解抗美援朝战争留下了珍贵的历史图片。孟昭瑞先生前最后一部亲自整理的著作《亲历抗美援朝战争》（后浪出版，2015年4月）近日出版，澎湃新闻经授权摘编该书中孟昭瑞主动请缨参加朝鲜战争的相关内容，以及他记录下的珍贵历史瞬间。
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China Electricity Souces Clean and Dirty | The Energy Collective China’s rapid build-out of wind and solar—and nuclear I might add (with some some 30 nuclear plants under construction)—is impressive. As I noted in my own post, China has pledged to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve 20 percent of its primary energy from non-fossil energy sources. Both of these goals will require it to build out over the next 15 years what will amount to the world’s largest low-carbon power system. At the same time, Matthews, Tan, and others celebrating a “greener” Chinese power system downplay the fact that China can still build dozens of new large coal-fired power plants within that constraint and continue to burn simply staggering amounts of coal. Even Greenpeace acknowledges we could be far from a true peak in China’s coal consumption. The graphic below is a projection of China’s electricity generation mix developed by Greenpeace International’s Lauri Myllyvirta, based on China’s pledge to obtain 20% of its total energy from non-fossil sources by 2030. As we can see, China’s coal-fired power generation continues to grow through 2030, even as it expands non-fossil generation four-fold.
China court to hear 30m yuan air pollution lawsuit | Liu Qin – China Dialogue An environmental group has filed a 30 million yuan (US$4.8 million) lawsuit to seek compensation from a Shandong chemical company for pumping out harmful substances, which is thought to be the first public interest litigation for air pollution under China’s new environmental law. On Wednesday, the Intermediate People’s Court in the Shandong city of Dezhou accepted to hear a lawsuit requesting compensation for air pollution from Dezhou Jinghua, which makes chemicals for use in the glass industry.
Environment tax law on fast track – Xinhua Last November, the draft environment tax law was submitted to the State Council for review, which will levy tax on polluters. The bill will not be tabled at the legislature until the State Council approves it. Sun Youhai, an environment expert with the Counselors’ Office of the State Council, told Xinhua earlier this month that the draft law planned to tax sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia nitrogen and fine dust emission as well as activities that cause an increase in chemical oxygen demand, a key index of water quality. The new tax is expected to help deter polluters and fund environmental protection efforts. Also on the fast track are regulations on government investment, affordable urban housing, agricultural irrigation and management of residence permits, the statement said.
Mayors called in as environmental supervision shifts to local governments – Xinhua China’s environmental watchdog summoned another local city government mayor on Wednesday to discuss slack pollution response measures, as it exploits a tougher environmental protection law and aims to change people’s perception of “weak enforcement”. Interviews between a city mayor and senior environmental protection ministry officials are usually tense. In the case of Zhumadian, a city in central China, the ministry official bluntly criticized the city government for not quickly shutting down polluters that did not pass environmental impact assessment.
五省近百名环保局长与公司环评师重名，无红顶接不了敏感项目绿政公署澎湃新闻-The Paper more on the corruption in the environmental impact assessment business, collusion between local environmental protection bureaus and the assessment firms
Cabinet Offers Dwindling Number of Rural Doctors Some Incentives – Caixin The head of a township hospital told Caixin that 12 of the 34 village doctors in his area are over 50 years old and six are over 60. “We have 17 villages, but more than half of them are closed after lunchtime,” he said. The sorry state of rural village medical facilities underscores one aspect of a widening gap in public services between the rural and urban areas – access to basic medical care – that the government has made little progress in closing.
Beijing’s ‘Water 10’ action plan to be released next month｜WantChinaTimes The Water Pollution Prevention & Control Action Plan, also known as Water 10 and already approved by the executive meeting of China’s State Council late last year, is likely to be officially released next month. On paper, the government will be imposing strict supervision and rigid punishment systems against violations in waste water treatment and discharge, among others, reports the Economic Information Daily.
Psychiatry in China: ask a few questions, give a lot of pills-China Medical News The neglected state of psychiatry in China is highlighted in an article published by Xinhua this week. In essence the article says that psychiatrists are overworked, underpaid and undertrained – and thus seldom have the time or inclination to provide any kind of talk therapy to patients with mental health or psychological problems. Just drugs.
【棱镜】郭文贵与他的神秘“盘古会”综合产经频道首页_财经网 – This story was incorrectly identified in the last issue as written by Caijing. It is from Tencent Finance… story on Guo Wengui, the man behind Pangu Plaza and involved in the Founder Group case and apparently the downfall of MSS Vice Minister Ma Jian
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