The Sinocism China Newsletter 04.02.15

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World, Became A Celebrity In China, And Found A Friend For Life what an awesome story, can’t wait to watch the documentary  //  I’ve broken this story up into three chapters. It should never have gone this far, but the internet works in mysterious ways. None of this should have ever happened. It makes absolutely no sense at all. It’s truly crazy.

2. Xi highlights “Four Comprehensives” in reform drive – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for the country’s deepening reform to be carried out based on the “Four Comprehensives”, his new political mantras. Speaking at the 11th meeting of the central reform leading group, Xi called on authorities to “show courage and guts” in reform. The meeting deliberated and approved a plan to support rural teachers over the next five years and guidelines on reforming urban public hospitals.

Related: China pledges education, hospital, juror system reforms – Xinhua China’s central authorities on Wednesday rolled out plans to support rural teachers, overhaul public hospitals and improve public supervision of court cases. The plans were adopted at the 11th meeting of the central leading group for deepening overall reform on Wednesday, during which President Xi Jinping, who is also head of the group, called on authorities to “show courage and guts” in reform. Deputy group heads Li Keqiang, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli were also present. The meeting approved a plan to support rural teachers over the next five years and guidelines on reforming urban public hospitals. Group members attending the meeting noted that education in remote and poor areas in the central and western regions is the weakest link in the modernization of education.

Related: 习近平主持召开中央全面深化改革领导小组第十一次会议-新华网 新华网北京4月1日电 中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席、中央全面深化改革领导小组组长习近平4月1日下午主持召开中央全面深化改革领导小组第十一次会议并发表重要讲话。他强调,必须从贯彻落实“四个全面”战略布局的高度,深刻把握全面深化改革的关键地位和重要作用,拿出勇气和魄力,自觉运用改革思维谋划和推动工作,不断提高领导、谋划、推动、落实改革的能力和水平,切实做到人民有所呼、改革有所应。

3. As China Expands Its Navy, the U.S. Grows Wary – WSJ Officially, the Pentagon says defense ties between the two nations continue to improve based on the commitments made by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi during their first summit in 2013. Privately, though, some Pentagon officials say they are waiting to see if Adm. Wu’s promises, especially on avoiding dangerous sea and air encounters, translate into action. Adm. Wu isn’t scheduled to meet with his U.S. counterpart this year. Asked at a conference this month about what naval exchanges with China were planned in 2015, Adm. Greenert said: “Not a lot. Not as much as I would hope.”

Related: American Admiral flexing muscles-Sydney Morning Herald After United States Admiral Harry Harris took rhetorical aim at the “Great Wall of Sand” that he said China was erecting across disputed waters in the South China Sea, in his remarkably blunt speech against Chinese “provocations” on Tuesday night, he began the much harder task of working out what to do about it. After a morning with Australian diplomats in Canberra, where he had the chance to discuss the prospects of united regional dissuasion, the US Pacific Fleet commander flew to Adelaide to inspect the next generation of Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers which, he hinted, might form part of a more muscular solution.

Related: Meet the Chinese Maritime Militia Waging a ‘People’s War at Sea’ – WSJ China’s force, which was formed in the early years of the People’s Republic, is drawn from the world’s largest fishing fleet. In recent years, it has grown in sophistication and importance, performing a range of tasks from supplying building materials to collecting intelligence. The most advanced units are even training to confront foreign ships, if necessary, in a guerrilla-style “People’s War at Sea” with sea mines and anti-air missiles. It now essentially functions as Beijing’s first line of surveillance, support and pressure in promoting the country’s claims and interests in East and South China seas

Related: China detains, fines person for military graft rumors | Reuters Chinese authorities have detained and fined a person for spreading rumors on the Internet that several high-ranking naval officers are being investigated for corruption, an official news website reported.  //  his rumor included Wu Shengli

Related: Hanoi Takes Resistance to Beijing Underwater – WSJ Vietnam’s largest-ever arms purchase is a multibillion-dollar deal for six Russian submarines. The third arrived a few weeks ago, according to Vietnamese press reports. Superstealthy, the Kilo-class vessels are known in U.S. naval circles as “black holes.” The subs, like the Viet Cong tunnels, are a prime example of asymmetrical warfare: They allow a weaker force to create uncertainty in the mind of a powerful opponent.

4. New Chinese Cyberattacks: What’s to Be Done? | ChinaFile Conversation The attacks that drastically slowed the anti-censorship services of San Francisco-based GitHub and China-based GreatFire.org emanated from computers around the world. Unbeknownst to their owners, attacking computers apparently were infected by code triggered by using the advertising or analytics tools of Baidu, China’s largest search engine—a company whose shares are traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Baidu has said it has found no security breaches and is working with other organizations to get to the bottom of the attacks. Have the latest cyberattacks, as some coverage has suggested, “weaponized” the computers of unsuspecting global netizens? What should governments, businesses, and individuals do about this apparent spread of China’s official command-and-control vision of the Internet beyond its borders

Related: China’s Man-on-the-Side Attack on GitHub – NETRESEC Blog This attack demonstrates how the vast passive and active network filtering infrastructure in China, known as the Great Firewall of China or “GFW”, can be used in order to perform powerful DDoS attacks. Hence, the GFW cannot be considered just a technology for inspecting and censoring the Internet traffic of Chinese citizens, but also a platform for conducting DDoS attacks against targets world wide with help of innocent users visiting Chinese websites.

Related: Google Online Security Blog: Maintaining digital certificate security Update – April 1: As a result of a joint investigation of the events surrounding this incident by Google and CNNIC, we have decided that the CNNIC Root and EV CAs will no longer be recognized in Google products. This will take effect in a future Chrome update. To assist customers affected by this decision, for a limited time we will allow CNNIC’s existing certificates to continue to be marked as trusted in Chrome, through the use of a publicly disclosed whitelist. While neither we nor CNNIC believe any further unauthorized digital certificates have been issued, nor do we believe the misissued certificates were used outside the limited scope of MCS Holdings’ test network, CNNIC will be working to prevent any future incidents. CNNIC will implement Certificate Transparency for all of their certificates prior to any request for reinclusion. We applaud CNNIC on their proactive steps, and welcome them to reapply once suitable technical and procedural controls are in place.

Related: Obama Expands Options for Retaliating Against Foreign Hackers – NYTimes The order authorizes financial and travel sanctions against anyone involved in attacks originating or directed from outside the country that pose “a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy or economic health or financial stability of the United States.” No targets for these measures were named. // odds they will be used against China if attribution can be confirmed?

5. On the lookout: China puts elite graft watchers on duty at key Communist Party agencies | South China Morning Post This week, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced it had sent seven teams, each with its own leader, to act as in-house monitors on the lookout for corruption at several key Communist Party organisations and the nation’s two main political bodies. According to mainland media, Wang personally chose the team leaders taking up residence in the Central Committee’s General Office, the State Council Secretariat, the Organisation Department, the propaganda department, the United Front Work Department, the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Related: 中央反腐“全覆盖” 强力清理“避风港”-新华网 本周二传出消息,中央纪委近日首次向党的工作部门和全国人大机关、国务院办公厅、全国政协机关派驻纪检组。从4月1日起,代号为“天网”的2015年反腐败国际追逃追赃工作正式启动。而针对国有企业的今年首轮中央专项巡视已在进行中。中央组织部近期透露,副处级以上领导干部已基本完成个人有关事项集中填报工作。据悉,其中涉及家事、家产等事项内容之多和抽查核实力度之大前所未有。从党政核心部门到重点企业,从海外追逃到探索建立中国特色的领导干部个人有关事项报告制度,中国的反腐行动正在多条战线铺开,以“全覆盖”之势,大幅清理腐败分子的“避风港”。

Related:【侠客岛】王岐山看中的纪检组长-评论-海外网 年前,老王就发话过,要面向中央国家机关全面铺开派驻纪检组长,当时在中办、中组部、中宣部、统战部、全国人大、国办、全国政协这7个中央国家机关先设立了7个纪检组长岗位,还轰动一时。 侠客岛(ID:xiake_island)做过分析,这当然是中央延伸纪检监察触角的重要布局。面对上百个中央国家机关,中纪委派驻机构的空白要填满,还需假以时日。但选择这中国政治生活中堪称最重要的7个部门入手,是中共历史上的第一次,可以说示范效应非常明显。

6. China restarts study on ‘green GDP’ | Liu Jianqiang – China Dialogue China’s environment ministry is to consider whether the performance of provincial officials should take account of Green GDP – which measures the environmental damage caused by economic growth.   China’s environmental crisis has been blamed in part on performance targets that have measured success on the pace of economic growth, meaning that officials have raced to build new roads, factories, power plants and housing without consideration of the environmental consequences.// 绿色GDP研究搁置11年后重启 明后年试点“2.0版” 

Related: 学习时报-生态兴则文明兴 生态衰则文明衰 main article in latest Study Times on building “ecological culture”, “Green-isation” concept now being pushed//  作者:黄浩涛 –党的十八大和十八届三中、四中全会对生态文明建设作出了顶层设计和总体部署。近日,习近平总书记又主持召开中央政治局会议,审议通过《关于加快推进生态文明建设的意见》,首次提出协同推进新型工业化、城镇化、信息化、农业现代化和绿色化,号召全党上下把生态文明建设作为一项重要政治任务,努力开创社会主义生态文明新时代。习近平同志高度重视生态文明建设,无论是在中央还是在地方工作期间,都对生态文明建设发表过许多重要论述,这些论述成为他关于治国理政思想的重要内容。认真学习习近平同志关于生态文明建设的系列论述,对于深刻理解我国现代化建设过程中生态文明理论创新和实践探索的历史演进,准确把握生态文明建设的战略方向,指导我们搞好当代中国的生态文明建设,具有重要意义。

7. Slowly, China Prepares to Raise Retirement Age – Caixin The Chinese government plans to take pressure off the nation’s increasingly strained pension system by gradually raising retirement ages for the nation’s millions of workers between 2017 and 2022. Eligibility ages for men, women, urban workers and farmers will be raised step-by-step by adding “several months every year” to the age when pension payments can begin, said Yin Weimin, who heads the nation’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Speaking to the media recently on the sidelines of a National People’s Congress session in Beijing, Yin said a complete plan for raising the retirement age would be drafted by his ministry in 2015 and submitted to the State Council next year. The first eligibility adjustment is likely to come in 2017.

8. US official criticizes China for delaying plans to open up economy | Dow Jones China needs to remain committed to liberalizing its economy to help ensure global growth and a healthy relationship with the world’s largest economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Tuesday. Signs that Chinese authorities may not deliver on promises to allow markets to play a decisive role in the country’s economy, as well as Beijing’s flexing of its burgeoning global political clout in ways that challenge U.S. economic power, has renewed tensions between the two countries.  //  text of Lew’s speech

 

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Ackman Report on Herbalife in China Figures in Probe – WSJ The criminal investigation into potential market manipulation is pursuing multiple lines of inquiry. One area of focus, however, is the work of a consultant, Aaron Smith-Levin, who helped with the March presentation, people familiar with the matter said. He was commissioned by Mr. Ackman and his fund to scrutinize Herbalife’s business in China. Prosecutors have reviewed documents prepared by a researcher in China contracted by Mr. Smith-Levin that were later used during the two-hour webcast organized by Mr. Ackman last March, examining whether false information was spread about Herbalife in the presentation, the people familiar with the matter said.

Factory worker turned Apple supplier now China’s richest woman – AFP The wealth of Zhou Qunfei, chairwoman and president of Hunan-based Lens Technology, soared after the firm’s debut on the Shenzhen stock exchange last month, after which its shares surged by their daily limit for 10 consecutive days. She claimed the title on Tuesday, Forbes reported. Zhou worked as a factory girl at a different glass company before starting her own business in 2003. Now 45, she owns an 89 percent stake in the firm, which had more than 80,000 employees and revenue of $3.3 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg.

China’s Yuan Posts Biggest Monthly Advance Since December 2011 – Bloomberg Business The yuan rose 0.13 percent to close at 6.1996 a dollar in Shanghai, extending its March rally to 1.13 percent, China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices show. That’s the best performance in Asia this month and follows four straight months of losses for the currency. “A stable exchange-rate, if not an appreciating one, is instrumental for bolstering yuan’s case as a reserve currency,” said Tommy Ong, managing director for treasury and markets at DBS Bank Hong Kong Ltd. China’s latest measures “have also eased concerns over risks in the financial system,” he said.

China to Insure Deposits in Move Toward Scrapping Rate Curbs – Bloomberg Business China said an insurance system for bank deposits will start on May 1, a step toward scrapping remaining controls on interest rates and allowing lenders to fail in a more market-driven economy. Deposits and interest up to 500,000 yuan ($81,000) will be fully covered, the State Council said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. Over that level, compensation would be according to the amount available from a bank’s liquidated assets, it said.

Economists React: China’s Factories Gain in March, But Still Weak –  – WSJ China’s official gauge of factory activity edged higher in March, offering up a modest sign of improvement in the manufacturing sector of the world’s second largest economy. But the good news was offset by a somewhat weaker reading from a private-sector measure, which was down from February and stuck in contractionary territory. More troublesome for policy makers, the data all pointed to less robust employment – a challenge to the government’s targets for job creation.

Navigating Choppy Waters: China’s Economic Decision-Making at a Time of Transition | Center for Strategic and International Studies video of the discussion //  The Simon Chair has recently completed a two-year study of China’s economic decision-making designed to shed light on this important topic and help inform U.S. economic strategy towards a rapidly changing China. We hope you will join us for the rollout of the results of this study and a stimulating discussion of China’s political economy.

发改委:需提高简政放权质量经济频道财新网 (见习记者 黄文辉)本届政府成立之初提出的行政审批数量减少目标提前完成,但简政放权仍有空间。国家发改委固定投资司副司长罗国三表示,不能光看数量,简政放权的质量还需要提高,下一步改革要更多关注质量。

China’s home price decline slows in March: surveys – China Daily Prices of new homes in 288 cities fell 0.01 percent in March, the 12th consecutive drop on a monthly basis, a poll by property services provider Real Estate Information Corporation (CRIC) showed. The drop slowed from a 0.06 percent decline in February. But home prices were 1.71 percent lower compared to a year ago, from 1.62 percent in the previous month.

China broadens investment scope for social security fund – Xinhua China’s State Council, the cabinet, announced on Wednesday that it will broaden the investment scope of the nation’s social security fund in order to disperse risks and increase the fund’s investment returns. The fund will be allowed to invest in local government bonds and corporate bonds, meanwhile, the maximum share of investment on these two kinds of bonds will be raised to 20 percent from 10 percent previously, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

 

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

From stashes of gold to ‘pistol-shaped house’: Chinese document details depths of officials’ corruption | South China Morning Post Disgraced former general Gu Junshan allegedly embezzled more than 20 billion yuan (HK$25 billion) in public money, according to a government document containing details of several recent corruption cases. The document – a transcript of a Hebei prosecutor’s lecture to local officials in January, which was reported by Caijing magazine – is available on the Hebei Federation of Trade Unions’ website. // Hebei Procuratorate denies the authenticity of this document, says it was “found in an online search”  河北检察院回应检察官授课涉谷俊山刘铁男言论

原天津公安局长武长顺案情曝光:涉案金额74亿新闻腾讯网 corruption amount in case of former Tianjin Police Chief Wu Changshun is 7.4 Billion. Huh, who was running Tianjin when he was the police chief…// 其中个人贪污4亿多元,卖官收入8400万元,行贿1000多万元,挪用公款1亿多元。被称为“白天当公安局长,晚上当董事长”。

涉朱明国案 粤省纪委副书记钟世坚被查政经频道财新网 Guangdong CCDi Deputy Secretary Zhong Shijian under investigation

Party official in E China committed suicide – Xinhua Jiang Hongliang, a senior Party official in Wuxi city in east China’s Jiangsu Province committed suicide on Tuesday noon, the local publicity department announced. Jiang, deputy secretary of Wuxi City Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) jumped from a tower in a local forest park. He was taken to hospital immediately but died at 1:50 p.m. According to initial investigation, Jiang was suffering from depression. Further investigation is underway. // 4 officials have suicided in 3 recent days 我国3天内四名官员坠楼身亡 . This report says that between August 2003 and April 2014 112 officials confirmed to have committed suicide 近10年官方认定百余官员自杀. Wang “Grim Reaper” Qishan seems to have accelerated the trend

Taken: How China’s anti-graft agents catch targets off guard|WantChinaTimes Officials are often detained at meetings for the sake of convenience, according to an article published by the official WeChat account of the Beijing Youth Daily. The article said some meetings are traps set up by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) expressly for this purpose in the style of the legendary Hongmen Banquet or Feast of Hong Gate [鸿门宴] — a dinner which took place in 206 CE during which Xiang Yu, a rebel against the Qin, attempted to kill another rebel Liu Bang — who would later defeat him to establish the Han Dynasty — while playing host to him.

国企反腐,清除“蛀虫”护航改革(2015反腐前瞻⑥)–贵州频道–人民网 2015年全国两会刚刚闭幕,中央纪委监察部网站即发布消息:“一汽”董事长徐建一接受组织调查。随后,中石油总经理廖永远接受组织调查,广东电网原党委书记黄建军、国家电网直流建设分公司副总经理于志刚被立案侦查并采取强制措施,南方电网副总经理祁达才接受组织调查……国企“老虎”的接连落马,拉开了2015年国企反腐的帷幕。

China Baosteel executive under investigation for corruption | Reuters The graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, named the Baosteel official as Vice President Cui Jian, but gave no further details in a short statement. A spokesman for Baosteel, China’s second-largest steelmaker and the world’s fourth largest, said the company was aware of the investigation and was watching developments but had no further immediate comment. Cui could not be reached for comment.

习近平对话梁晓声:我跟你笔下的那些知识青年不一样_澎湃新闻-The Paper 习近平当过知青,作家梁晓声也当过。去年的文艺工作座谈会,梁晓声参加了。会上,习近平和梁晓声有个简短交流。“晓声,我跟你笔下写的那些知识青年是不一样的。”这是习近平的第一句话。习近平所说的“不一样”,指什么?他们还聊了什么?梁晓声为何对中国未来充满信心?3月31日,微信公号“学习小组”推荐《秘书工作》杂志刊发的《使更多青年都有精神上的故乡——访著名作家梁晓声》一文。    梁晓声认为,习近平所说的“不一样”,是指精神层面的不同,书籍是习近平的“第二故乡”,使他在各种磨难中变得坚强。他表示,面对现实状况的变化,尤其是反腐败及转作风,其成效是明显的,作为知识分子,不能在此时装聋作哑。专访内容如下:

Xi Jinping Forever | Foreign Policy Willy Lam’s speculations always interesting to read. Certainly plausible in this case, though more likely he plays a Deng role after 2022  //  The three anonymous party sources indicate that at least three fifth-generation candidates who are confidants of Xi — Li Zhanshu (born 1950), Wang Huning (born 1955), and Zhao Leji (born 1957) — will likely ascend to the PBSC in 2017. More significantly, current PBSC member Wang Qishan (born 1948), the nation’s top graft-buster, would likely get a second term. This is even though Wang, a fellow princeling who has known Xi since the 1950s, will be 69 years old at the 19th Party Congress in 2017. That fifth-generation leaders will likely remain the bulwark of the party leadership until the 20th Party Congress in 2022 is another indication, the sources say, that Xi will try to stay on at least until the 21st Party Congress in 2027.

Statement on the Sealing of Zenith Holdings’ Weibo – China Digital Times (CDT) deep waters here  //  Amid the row between Caixin Media founding editor Hu Shuli and the controlling shareholder of Beijing Zenith Holdings and Beijing Pangu Investment Guo Wengui, Zenith posted an official statement to their website on the morning of April 1, 2015:

坚持党中央集中统一领导 坚定不移走中国特色社会主义法治道路_求是网 2015年03月31日 08:00:00 来源:《求是》2015/07 作者:周 强 // Zhou Qiang has the lead essay in the latst Seeking Truth

人民日报刊文:“党大还是法大”是个伪命题|党的领导|共产党员_凤凰资讯 Li Lin of CASS in People’s Daily says “Is the Party Above the Law or is the Law Above the Party” is a “false proposition  //  党的领导与法治的关系问题,不仅是一个法学问题,更是一个政治问题;不仅是一个理论问题,更是一个实践问题。习近平同志指出:党和法的关系是一个根本问题,处理得好,则法治兴、党兴、国家兴;处理得不好,则法治衰、党衰、国家衰。党的领导是中国特色社会主义法治之魂。建设中国特色社会主义法治体系,建设社会主义法治国家,必须站在党和国家兴衰存亡的高度,从理论与实践、历史与现实的结合上全面正确回答党的领导与法治的关系问题,这样才能在全面推进依法治国的伟大实践中更加自觉地坚持和实现党的领导。

政府信息公开第三方评估报告–舆情频道–人民网 《政府信息公开条例》实施以来,政府信息公开的效果如何,政府将不再是“自说自话”。3月30日,政府信息公开第三方机构评估报告正式出炉。此次受国务院办公厅政府信息与政务公开办公室委托,对政府信息公开工作开展第三方评估的是中国社会科学院法学研究所,他们曾经连续6年独立开展政府透明度指数评估工作。此次,该所对56家国务院部门、31家省级政府和5家计划单列市政府,就主动公开、依申请公开、政策解读与热点回应3个板块的内容进行了评估。通过科学的指标体系和考核标准,在对政府信息公开工作给出独立、客观评价的同时,也为政府科学决策和实现精细化管理提供了重要的参考依据。

 

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

China Is Coming Closer to Ditching Its Corrupt Regime, and the U.S. Can Help Bruce Gilley–The party may not be about to collapse. When and how China will transition to a more pluralistic and competitive regime cannot be guessed. But its current behavior tells us that it believes that a transition is a real threat. With each passing year, China’s elites are growing frustrated and humiliated by a party that has given them a taste of freedom and dignity but now wants to take it all back. This is an opportunity for the U.S.: We need policies that will help make China’s transition easier and more successful.  //  The US also needs policies to deal with a China that does not “transition” 

China’s complicated foreign policy | European Council on Foreign Relations – Shi Yinhong Broadly speaking, China uses two categories of major policy instruments to serve the objective of increasing its influence at America’s expense: “strategic military” and “strategic economy”. Since China’s 18th Party Congress, Xi Jinping mostly used “strategic military” instruments, engaging quite intensively in strategic/military rivalry and competition with the US, conducting severe confrontation against Japan, taking an assertive and hardliner approach in the South China and East China Seas disputes, and carrying out intensive military and paramilitary activities. These activities strengthened China’s “hard power” and extended its strategic presence. However, they also damaged the country’s international “soft power” and further complicated its peripheral diplomatic/strategic situation, at the same time as increasing the risk of conflict. Therefore, strategic review has probably led to the decision to favour the use of “strategic economy” tools. It is very likely that, from now on, China will focus on “strategic economy” in its foreign policy, based on its enormous economic and financial strength and its broader diplomacy in the region and on the world stage

Israel applies to join China-backed AIIB investment bank | Reuters Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signed a letter of application for Israel to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. More than 40 countries, including Australia, South Korea, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, have said they would sign up to the AIIB, with Japan and the United States the two notable absentees.

Japan Holds Out on Joining China-Led AIIB as Deadline Arrives – Bloomberg Business Japan remains cautious about the prospect of becoming part of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and has yet to get answers from China on questions about the governance of the institution, Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida rejected one report that cited Japan’s ambassador in Beijing as saying the nation may join within a few months

China Sharply Boosts Cyber Warfare Funding | Washington Free Beacon According to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, the major increase in Chinese efforts was set off after the Chinese concluded that their military cyber programs lag behind U.S. strategic cyber warfare efforts in significant ways. The increased investment highlights China’s aggressive cyber activities that have been highlighted by both government and private sector security reports in the U.S. Details of the amount being spent on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cyber program could not be learned. But private analysts said the up to one-third percentage funding increase could be valued anywhere from the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.

Pakistan Wants to Become China’s Newest Superhighway to Europe – Bloomberg Business Pakistan and China will announce more than two dozen deals when President Xi Jinping visits this year, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview. The 3,000-kilometer economic corridor will start in China’s western region of Xinjiang and run to Gwadar, a Chinese-funded port on the Arabian Sea. “For the first time China is going to become a strategic economic partner of Pakistan,” Iqbal, who traveled to China last month, said on March 30 at his office in Islamabad. “Gwadar is the shortest link to Europe, Africa and Middle East,” he added, calling it “a very attractive proposition for China and for its competitiveness.”

China’s Xi Finds Eight Good Reasons to Host Uganda’s President – Bloomberg Business Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni oversaw the signing of eight agreements to cooperate in communications, infrastructure, and other spheres, deals that will help further broaden China’s reach on the African continent.

China rips Japan’s draft policy report – World – China Daily The Foreign Ministry rebutted on Wednesday the latest Japanese accusation that China had “unilaterally” changed the status quo in the East China Sea. The accusation is part of a draft of the Japanese government’s 2015 foreign policy report, known as the blue book, set to be published by Tokyo. Its contents were revealed by Kyodo News.

军报:西方敌对势力把我军作为分化重点,想方设法搞破坏舆论场澎湃新闻-The Paper 4月2日,解放军报头版刊文《固根铸魂才能防蛀防蚀》指出,西方敌对势力把我军作为西化、分化的重点,想方设法进行渗透和破坏,加紧对我们搞“和平演变”“颜色革命”,加紧实施网上“文化冷战”和“政治转基因”工程,妄图对我军官兵拔根去魂,把军队从党的旗帜下拉出去。   文章强调,“一个政权的瓦解往往是从思想领域开始的。思想防线破了,其他防线就难守住。”东欧剧变、苏联解体的教训说明:精神上的东西不能丢,丢掉了就会变质变色;灵魂上的坚持要守住,守不住就会失魂落魄。在不见硝烟的暗战中,在不断涌动的暗流前,广大官兵必须始终拥有“定盘星”和“主心骨”,始终保持政治清醒和政治定力。 全文如下:

 

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Macau’s Glitter Fades as Beijing Takes Firmer Hand – WSJ Beijing has been tightening visa rules for mainland Chinese visitors to Macau and increasing oversight of the UnionPay debit cards many gamblers use to access funds in the territory. In November, Macau’s quasi-central bank said it was working with China’s Ministry of Public Security to help prevent Macau from being used for money laundering and capital flight. This week, the deputy chief of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection urged Macau’s top anticorruption official to help the mainland track down any fugitives fleeing the antigraft crusade, according to an account of their meeting posted on the commission’s website.

China says Taiwan welcome to join AIIB with appropriate name | Reuters China welcomes Taiwan’s decision to apply to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as long as the self-ruled island uses an appropriate name, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

 

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

State Council vows measures to boost e-commerce – Xinhua The State Council, China’s cabinet, has promised policies to boost e-commerce, including through cutting red tape and liberalizing investment rules covering a sector it recognizes as very important to the economy. E-commerce is significant in integrating traditional and emerging industries, reducing logistical costs, encouraging entrepreneurship, creating jobs and lifting consumption, while its development will also help industrial upgrading, said a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. To smooth the way for e-commerce to grow, the government will abandon rigid registry requirements on e-commerce businesses, encourage venture capital to enter the sector and reduce share-holding restrictions on foreign investment, the statement said.

China Tries to Clean Up E-Commerce – WSJ how much of Alibaba’s GMV comes from “brushing”?  //  The Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday it wants to curb the practice of falsely boosting the credibility of merchants—known as “brushing” in China—by faking transactions and customer reviews. As part of a broader draft law, the ministry wants operators of retail platforms to ban vendors that falsify their credibility ratings, and says operators face fines of up to 500,000 yuan ($80,000) for failing to provide relevant information about such practices. During the past several months, Chinese regulators have criticized e-commerce companies for not cracking down harder on the sale of counterfeit goods and other types of unethical behavior. Separately, Beijing is likely to issue a draft law governing online commerce before the end of this year, officials have said.

京东员工被曝安排商户造假刷销量(图)|京东|刷销量互联网新浪科技_新浪网 JD also engages in “brushing”, and caught in the act says this report

Chinese premier meets Financial Times editor – Xinhua So The Financial Times still very much in good graces in Beijing…李克强会见《金融时报》总编巴伯-新华网  that meeting makes the Tuesday CCTV Evening News

A New Wave of Chinese Smartphones Set to Emerge in 2015 – TechNode we’re expecting to see another half a dozen Chinese Android phone brands emerge in 2015. Many of them are already big tech companies in their home sectors.

China’s Passport Selfies Service Hits a Snag – Caixin The Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department said March 27 authorities had not given any company or individual permission to process photos for official documents through the Xingfu-WeChat selfie function. The department recommended instead the use of traditional photo studios for document-ready portrait photos. The app service was designed by Guangzhou-based Xingfu Network Technology Co. and managed in cooperation with Tencent and China Telecom. The service’s operators recommended users snap selfies with 5.0 mega pixel-equipped smartphone cameras. Selfies were then uploaded to China Telecom’s photo center. From there, the photos could be sent directly to local police bureaus that process documents.

Unlicensed foreign shows to be removed from streaming sites – Xinhua Unlicensed foreign films and TV series will be removed from Chinese video streaming websites after Tuesday, which marked the deadline for sites to register overseas titles in accordance with a governmental stipulation. Video streaming sites must apply for publication licenses for imported films and TV series they want to broadcast, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) said in a circular dating back to September of last year.

 

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

暗拍武汉“造钱工厂”–今日要闻–理财–首页 scenes from inside a paper money factory ahead of the Qingming Festival this weekend

Everyday Life in Mao’s China interesting blog

 

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

China to unveil measures to fight water pollution | Reuters The plan, expected to be published this month, will require firms in heavily polluting industries such as paper mills and dye and chemical plants to treat discharged water and it will set higher penalties for those that violate rules on discharging pollutants, according to official media reports. One third of China’s major river basins and 60 percent of its underground water are contaminated, according to official data, posing a major threat to public health and food security.

环保部:京杭广深4城大气首要污染源是机动车国内新京报网 环保部副部长吴晓青昨日披露,北京、杭州、广州、深圳首要污染来源是机动车。这是否意味着越发达的地方,机动车污染越重?专家认为,机动车污染问题与经济水平有关,但更重要的也与当地减排治理进程,产业机构、能源结构调整等有关。

 

AnchorEDUCATION *

人大老校长纪宝成被降低退休待遇,部分社会兼职近日已卸任中国政库澎湃新闻-The Paper People’s University former president Ji Baocheng disciplined, demoted in retirement

 

AnchorBEIJING *

Peking University Report Says Government is Lying about Air Pollution Problem | The Nanfang Titled “Air Quality Assessment Report”, the research group found that the average daily reading of PM 2.5 levels in Beijing last year was 98.57, 15 percent higher than the government statistics that say 85.9. Even more alarming is that the report claims that Beijing has had twice as many days with severe air quality than the government has admitted. This gives us the shocking finding that Beijing has had five polluted days out of every seven for the last two years.

Beijing Tightens Emergency Air Quality Measures but the Rules Remain Unclear | the Beijinger According to CCTV News, a stricter warning system has been put in place as of Tuesday that will result in quicker action to mitigate bad air. Under the previous warning system, instituted in October 2013, the most serious measures – odds and evens car restrictions and factory shutdowns – would kick in when the AQI was forecasted to be over 300 for more than three days in a row. Under the new standard, that limit will be reduced to AQI 200, also for three days or more. Additionally, the new Yellow, Orange, and Red alerts call for a wider shutdown of construction and manufacturing in the city.

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