"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. 中宣部负责同志就印发《培育和践行社会主义核心价值观行动方案》答记者问–时政–人民网 Ministry of Propaganda/Central “Civilization” Office official(s) answer Xinhua questions about the 4.16 released action plan on cultivating and practicing Socialist Core Values. How does a plan to rebuild a society’s value system get implemented? // 问：请介绍一下《行动方案》主要有哪些活动安排？ 答：《行动方案》着眼践行、立足行动，强调要在深化拓展爱国、敬业、诚信、友善公民层面活动的基础上，向国家层面和社会层面延伸，进一步围绕富强、民主、文明、和谐的价值目标，围绕自由、平等、公正、法治的价值取向，设计工作抓手，组织开展活动，着力把培育和践行社会主义核心价值观的要求具体化。《行动方案》提出了15项重点活动项目，主要有：爱国主义教育活动、群众性精神文明创建活动、学雷锋志愿服务活动、诚信建设制度化、节俭养德全民节约行动、公正文明执法司法活动、平安中国建设活动、民族团结进步创建活动、文明旅游活动、全民科学素质行动、扶贫济困活动、爱国卫生运动、文明办网文明上网活动、公众人物“重品行树形象做榜样”活动、“三严三实”教育。这些活动项目都是从实践中来的，是经验的提炼，是各行各业长期开展的品牌项目。开展好这些活动，既是对社会主义核心价值观建设的推动，也是对各行各业工作的推动。要把这些活动紧紧抓在手上，持续不断地向前推进，在企业、农村、社区、机关、学校广泛展开，形成社会主义核心价值观建设人人参与、全民行动的生动局面。同时，《行动方案》在加强法规导向、深化推广普及、注重典型示范、开展文化培育等方面也都提出了明确具体的要求。
Related: 推动全民自觉践行社会主义核心价值观–观点–人民网 more from 4.17 People’s Daily Online about the action plan on cultivating and practicing Socialist Core Values, have yet to find a full copy online // 中央宣传部、中央文明办近日印发《培育和践行社会主义核心价值观行动方案》，提出要坚持以理想信念教育为核心，深入学习宣传贯彻习近平总书记系列重要讲话精神，深化中国特色社会主义、中国梦和中国道路学习宣传教育，引导人们坚定理想信念，增强道路自信、理论自信、制度自信。（人民网 4月17日） 从党的十六大提出社会主义核心价值观，到十八大首次用“富强、民主、文明、和谐，自由、平等、公正、法治，爱国、敬业、诚信、友善”12个词对其进行概括，再到现在印发《培育和践行社会主义核心价值观行动方案》，体现出党中央持续加强精神文明建设的积极信号。而培育和践行社会主义核心价值观正是加强精神文明建设的“路基”。
Related: 人民日报任仲平：凝聚当代中国的价值公约数–观点–人民网 very long page 1 essay by Ren Zhongping in 4.20.15 People’s Daily on building Socialist Core Values, follow up to the recently released action plan.
2. China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative | Foreign Affairs One Belt, One Road serves foreign policy goals as well by deepening relationships with China’s neighbors. The dual plans will also expand Beijing’s ties to major developing countries, and build support for a reshaped international system that puts China at the center of world power. China’s growth has prompted the nation to reluctantly embrace its foreign policy obligations, and the trade program will allow Xi to pursue his “community of common destiny” program, a vision for shared Asian growth in the coming decades. Strengthened bilateral ties with nations along the dual trade routes will support China’s ambitions to build a network of non-Western international organizations in which China plays the main, if not dominant, role. Organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia would allow China to pursue international diplomatic primacy outside of Beijing’s relationship with Washington. // And it should also be a boon for PRC arms merchants..The general theme (hope?) among the Western/American punditocracy seems to be that 1B1R is unlikely to be successful. I would be careful making that assumption and instead suggest serious people make credible plans to respond to this very significant strategy. I certainly hope people in DC at least have learned something after the self-inflicted AIIB debacle, which I think surprised even Beijing with its success. And given how successful the AIIB push has been so far, expect China to try to push even more AIIB-type choices on the US and the West in the twilight of what Beijing appears to view as a disengaged, easily outmaneuvered Obama Administration and a generally dysfunctional DC…
Related: China backs up silk road ambitions with $62bn capital injection – FT.com Respected financial magazine Caixin reported on its website on Monday that the cabinet’s plan involves the central bank injecting $32bn in forex reserves into CDB and an additional $30bn into Ex-Im Bank. The capital injections will come in the form of entrusted loans that convert to equity, the magazine reported. The Ministry of Finance will inject a further unspecified amount directly into Agricultural Development Bank. “For CDB and Ex-Im Bank to support ‘One Belt, One Road’ they need a source of stable foreign-exchange funding,” Caixin quoted a senior CDB source as saying. China’s boost to its export credit agency stands in stark contrast to the US where the US Export-Import Bank is fighting for survival amid a push by some Republicans to shut it down once funding runs out in June.
Related: 丝路基金“首单”：携手三峡集团斥资百亿投巴基斯坦水电 自贸区连线澎湃新闻-The Paper first deal for the Silk Road Fund is a 10B RMB investment in which it is working with the Three Gorges Group to build a Pakistan Dam
3. China Focus: China defines overall national security outlook in draft law – Xinhua The draft law included more clauses pertaining to important industries and sectors deemed vital to the economy, which would prevent financial risks through the development of financial infrastructure and capabilities, and a grain security system. The draft law called for reinforced education and dissemination of socialist core values, to prevent the infiltration of harmful moral standards. The establishment of systems for cyber and information security, and national sovereignty in cyber space were also addressed.
Related: “维护国家网络空间主权”拟入法_京华时报 昨天，全国人大常委会审议了国家安全法草案、种子法草案等。其中，国家安全法草案提请了会议二次审议，根据维护国家安全的需要，增加了一些重要领域的安全任务。在网络与信息安全中，二审稿增加了国家“建设国家网络与信息安全保障体系，提升网络与信息安全保护能力”“维护国家网络空间主权”的规定。
4. Curbs on foreign investment cut for four FTZs – China Daily Assistant Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Monday all such zones will implement a unified and friendlier business environment for foreign investment. To increase transparency, the central government has made public a “negative list” of foreign investment applicable to the four zones. For the Shanghai zone, the number of restricted items on the list has been cut to 122 from 139 last year. A master plan has been unveiled for the zones in Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian and the development plan for the Shanghai zone has been upgraded to create a wider platform for economic reform and opening-up. Wang said at a news conference, “The three new zones have duplicated the successful experience of the Shanghai zone.”
Related: China airs pilot free-trade zone national security rules for foreign investment | South China Morning Post China’s CFIUS? // The pilot vetting rules, which will be effective early next month in the four FTZs, come as the government drafts a Foreign Investment Law, which would empower the government to broaden its ability to review incoming foreign investments for national security threats. Under the FTZ pilot rules, investments by foreign companies will be strictly reviewed if they involve a controlling stake of any business deemed vital to national defence, the economy, social order, culture, the internet and other sensitive technological research areas. A joint committee with representatives from the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Commerce and other agencies will be established to conduct the reviews, according to the measures published by the State Council on its website.
Related: 经济参考网 – 四个自贸区共用一张负面清单 共计71项改革创新任务，外资开放新增18个领域 The Four FTZs-Shanghai, Guangdong, Fujian and Tinajin-now using the same negative list. Will this the negative list China gives to the Us for the Bilateral Investment Treaty? // 《经济参考报》记者多方了解到，粤津闽三地将在21日上午统一挂牌，并召开新闻发布会和政策说明会，向各界解读推介相关政策。上海没有挂牌仪式但会召开动员大会。《经济参考报》记者初步统计，四大自贸试验区方案共计71项改革创新任务，其中上海25项，天津和福建各16项，广东14项，在此基础上还分解出多项细分任务. 从总体方案来看，相比起原有的上海自贸区，四大自贸试验区将新推出多项机制体制创新举措。商务部部长助理王受文表示，新设的自贸试验区复制了上海自贸试验区的成功经验，在投资管理制度、贸易监管、金融制度和事中事后监管等4个领域改革创新，并且进一步提出了行政咨询体系、审管分离、审批归口等一些新的做法。扩展区域之后的上海自贸试验区也进一步增加试点内容。
Related: China “uncomfortable with” U.S. negative list for investment treaty talks: Lou – Xinhua Hope we hear from a senior US official once China sends over its BIT negative list. No BIT deal is better than a bad BIT deal // China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has said his country is “uncomfortable with” the negative list provided by the United States, which is a key part of the ongoing negotiation of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the world’s two largest economies. Lou made China’s stance known in an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the just-concluded World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings. In the interview, the Chinese finance official said that the U. S. government outlined key infrastructure, important technology and national security into its negative list where Chinese investment is not allowed.
5. Shinzo Abe and Japan’s History – NYTimes Editorial Many Japanese right-wingers believe their country was wrongly maligned by America and its allies after the war. Mr. Abe has given the impression that he believes Japan has already done enough to make amends for its militarism and atrocities. He says he prefers to get on with more firmly establishing his country as a 21st-century leader that can help the United States counter China in Asia and take on other global responsibilities. But Japan cannot credibly fill that broader role if it seeks to repudiate criticism of its past. Emperor Akihito of Japan and his family have set a much better example; in an apparent rebuke of Mr. Abe, Crown Prince Naruhito has been outspoken about the need to “correctly pass down history” to future generations.
Related: U.S. newspaper blames Abe for Japan’s failure to settle wartime history – Xinhua so the New York Times is not always seen as bad here, though I doubt this will help towards the untying of the bell… // The New York Times on Monday blamed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his country’s failure to settle its wartime history, one week before he sets foot on U.S. soil for a visit. The newspaper, in an editorial, linked the success of Abe’s upcoming visit partly to his efforts to “confront Japan’s wartime history, including its decision to wage war, its brutal occupation of China and Korea, its atrocities and its enslavement of thousands of women forced to work as sex slaves or comfort women in wartime brothels.”
Related: 靖国神社春祭安倍拟不参拜 或因忧影响访美大计国际新闻环球网 中新网4月21日电 靖国神社本月21日起举行为期三天的春季例行大祭，因担忧会对月底的“美国之行”造成负面影响，招致批评，此前曾参拜靖国神社或奉上供品的日本首相安倍晋三已基本决定，此次不去参拜。尽管如此，纵观安倍及其领导的日本政府近期对待历史问题的言行，仍释放出危险信号。
6. China seeks homegrown expertise as U.S. bans supercomputer chip sales – Xinhua Zhang Yunquan from the Institute of Computing Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the ban may encourage China to make better use of homegrown technology. “From a long-term perspective, it is good for the development of Chinese supercomputing.” In 2012, China launched the Sunway Bluelight, a supercomputer that uses processors designed and built in China. It was ranked No. 14 on the Top 500 list that year. China also has the FT-1500 CPU, which was used in Tianhe-2 but only has processing prowess equal to Intel CPUs from back in the Tianhe-1 era. “Independent acquisition of key technology is a national strategy,” said Lu, adding the U.S. ban won’t change the goal.
7. Beijing’s Air: Now Slightly Less Deadly | Mother Jones It’s getting a bit cleaner, according to a new analysis released by Greenpeace today. Pollution levels in the Chinese capital have shown significant improvements, due in part to strict new pollution controls, says the environmental group, which based its analysis on new government numbers.
8. This Chart Explains Everything You Need to Know About Chinese Internet Censorship | Foreign Policy China’s web users now have a strong incentive to stick to entertainment and e-commerce, rather than using the web as a platform for speech and debate on the major issues shaping their country’s future.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
The 80% BlackRock ETF Return That Shortchanged China Stock Bulls – Bloomberg Business ETFs such as BlackRock’s, which popularized the use of complex derivatives as a way for foreigners to tap into China’s growth potential, are now becoming unintended casualties as the nation opens up its capital markets. As more foreigners are able to trade mainland stocks known as A shares, demand for the derivatives has plunged. That’s unmoored the ETFs from their benchmarks and robbed investors of returns.
China Has Even More Megacities Than You Thought – Bloomberg Business How many megacities does China have? The United Nations puts it at six. Try 15. China is urbanizing at a staggering rate—in 35 years, it has added more than 500 million people to its cities. As a result, it looks like the world has vastly underestimated the size and scope of growth in China’s megacities, defined as those with more than 10 million people, according to a new report by the Paris-based Organiz
Property register to come under one roof – China Daily Currently, a wide range of government bodies registers properties such as real estate and farmland. “So far, 27 out of 32 provincial level regions on the mainland have consolidated their provincial registration departments,” the Ministry of Land and Resources’ Property Registration Bureau said in a statement. “But when it comes to lower level places, only 151 out of 3,100 cities and counties have done the work, which means more than 95 percent of them have yet to begin the consolidation.” It urged local government to speed up the process of combining registration agencies and duties.
李稻葵：中国经济见底为时过早 稳经济应为官员提供正面激励–强国社区–人民网 Li Daokui says it is too early to say China’s economy has bottomed
宁吉喆：以全面深化改革推动提质增效升级–理论-人民网 Ning Jizhe, Director of the Research Office of the State Council, on p7 of today’s People’s Daily // 突出改革开放，推动全面发展，是今年政府工作部署的基本线索。《报告》分四个部分阐述了2015年政府工作的主要任务。 深化改革，扩大开放。这是《报告》特别强调的重点工作。改革开放是推动发展的制胜法宝。必须以经济体制改革为重点全面深化改革，在牵动全局的改革上取得新突破。加大简政放权、放管结合改革力度，多管齐下改革投融资体制，不失时机加快价格改革，推动财税体制改革取得新进展。围绕服务实体经济推进金融改革，深化国企国资改革，增强各类所有制经济活力。继续推进科技、教育、文化、医药卫生、养老保险、事业单位、住房公积金等领域改革。开放也是改革。要实施新一轮高水平对外开放，加快构建开放型经济新体制，以开放的主动赢得发展的主动。推动外贸转型升级，更加积极有效利用外资，加快实施走出去战略，构建全方位对外开放新格局，统筹多双边和区域开放合作。
Does the Collapse of a Chinese Developer Signal the Start of More Defaults? – Bloomberg Business Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. captivated Wall Street by minting fortunes from troubled real estate in China. Now the developer is in trouble itself — and the question is how far the pain will spread. On Monday, the news came that many had been dreading for months: The company, caught up in an anti-corruption probe, is buckling under its debts as a slumping real estate market drags down the entire Chinese economy. After missing $52 million in interest payments, Kaisa, once a stock market darling, now confronts an uncertain future.
逾300银行理财产品未达收益预期 二季度情况可能更糟 – 经济观察网 － 专业财经新闻网站 Economic Observer says more than 300 bank WMPs did not it their expected returns in Q1
China Auto Sales to Rise Less Than 7% Forecast, Association Says – Bloomberg Business China’s vehicle sales will expand less in 2015 than the 7 percent forecast at the start of the year, as the economy slows and more cities impose restrictions on vehicle registrations, according to the state-backed auto association. “Even though we don’t like it, it will become a new norm that more cities will start limiting vehicle purchases every year,” Dong Yang, secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said at a conference in Shanghai. He said the group will give a revised forecast later this year.
Cirque du Soleil Being Sold to TPG-Led Private Equity Group – NYTimes On Monday, a consortium of private equity investors led by TPG agreed to buy Cirque du Soleil for 1.5 billion Canadian dollars, a purchase that will pave the way for the company to expand into China. One of the buyers, Fosun of China, is heavily invested in entertainment and travel businesses, including the recent purchase of Club Med. The plan is to open a Cirque office in China.
The Mystery of China’s Gold Stash May Soon Be Solved – Bloomberg Business China may be preparing to update its disclosed holdings because policy makers are pressing to add the yuan to the International Monetary Fund’s currency basket, known as the Special Drawing Right, which includes the dollar, euro, yen and British pound. The tally may come before the IMF’s meetings on the SDR next month or in October, Nomura Holdings Inc. said in an April 8 report.
POLITICS AND LAW
China Jury Trial Plan Would Appoint Citizens to Help Weigh Cases – Bloomberg Business China will appoint citizens to help judges decide some local court cases, in the Communist Party’s broadest yet experiment with jury trials. The nation’s highest court has submitted a legislative proposal to create “people’s juries” in 50 courts across 10 provinces, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday. The jurors would be selected every five years from local residents older than 28 years, according to a summary of the proposal posted on the website of the Supreme People’s Court.
China tightens graft watch ahead of holiday – Xinhua The disciplinary watchdog of the Communist Party of China (CPC) launched a weekly anti-graft report on Monday ahead of the May Day holiday. In the report, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) named officials involved in 112 cases of illegal subsidies, lavish spending at weddings and funerals, use of public funds for banquets, running private errands with official cars, among others.
“福建首虎”徐钢的政商道深度新京报网 The Beijing News with more details on the downfall of “Fujian’s First Tiger” Xu Gang // 3月20日，福建副省长徐钢涉嫌严重违纪违法接受调查，成为十八大后福建首位落马的副省级官员。据知情人透露，徐钢任泉州市委书记期间与商人“走太近”，推行基建项目时涉利益交换，涉嫌为亲属谋利，还被指涉官员贪腐案。
Kunming party chief falls to corruption probe; held post for less than 8 months – East by Southeast Gao’s investigation marks a new direction for the current anti-corruption drive. When Gao was announced as the replacement for the disgraced Zhang Tianxin in August 2014, many locals thought him to be a safe choice. It was assumed that the central government had properly vetted him and that his term as party secretary would last longer than eight months. It’s obvious now that something went wrong.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China, Pakistan elevate relations, commit to long-lasting friendship – Xinhua Xi called on the two countries to strengthen security cooperation. He stressed that China commends Pakistan’s contribution to the international counter-terrorism efforts, and will continue to support Pakistan in implementing its counter-terrorism strategy in accordance with its national conditions and enhancing counter-terrorism capacity building. The president suggested that two countries jointly hold events to celebrate the China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges in 2015, and make best use of such platforms as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to enhance policy coordination and strategic collaboration on major international and regions issues. China supports Pakistan in improving relations with neighboring countries and welcomes Pakistan to join the SCO as a full member, Xi said. China values Pakistan’s unique role on Afghanistan and stands ready to make joint efforts with Pakistan to push the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, he said.
China is investing $46 billion to carve out a route through one of the world’s most dangerous regions – Quartz “The project faces daunting challenges” because of the security situation, writes analyst Ghulam Ali for the Central Asia Caucuses Analyst. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan provinces, where the corridor will be located, “face a low-scale insurgency,” he writes, and some Baluch tribes oppose the work. Until these local challenges are addressed, the project “will remain a dream.”
S-400 Strengthens China’s Hand in the Skies-DefenseNews A deal between Russia and China for procurement of the new S-400 air defense system will serve as a force multiplier for Beijing in its quest to dominate the skies along its borders, experts said. The 400-kilometer-range system will, for the first time, allow China to strike any aerial target on the island of Taiwan, in addition to reaching air targets as far as New Delhi, Calcutta, Hanoi and Seoul. The Yellow Sea and China’s new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea will also be protected. The system will permit China, if need be, to strike any air target within North Korea.
海外版望海楼：美菲高调军演意欲何为？–观点–人民网 People’s Daily Overseas Edition “Gazing Overseas Tower” column not happy with US-Philippines military excersize
美海军第7舰队旗舰蓝岭号访问湛江 – 中国军网 US 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge on a 5 day friendship visit to Zhanjiang. More pics/video on the US 7th Fleet’s Facebook page. It does not appear to have a Wechat/Weibo account…// 本报湛江4月20日电 曾行贱、特约记者高毅报道：20日上午，美国海军第七舰队旗舰“蓝岭”号两栖指挥舰抵靠湛江某军港码头，开始对湛江进行为期5天的友好访问。 据悉，此次来访的“蓝岭”号两栖指挥舰共有1000多名官兵。访问期间，中美两国海军官兵将相互参观军舰，举办舰艇开放日活动，举行拔河、足球、篮球等体育比赛，举办甲板招待会，举行军官座谈交流和海上联合演习等活动。
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Hong Kong University Official Backtracks on Mandatory China Visits – NYTimes Ian Holliday, a vice president of the university and a professor of politic science, said he had told students at a dinner on Friday: “If students do not wish to go to China, they should not come to Hong Kong U.” The statement drew criticisms from students who have misgivings about China’s growing influence on Hong Kong.
TECH AND MEDIA
Inside a Chinese Startup’s Smartwatch Hackathon-Huffington Post Sitting at the front of the bus are Zhifei Li and Xin Lei, the CEO and CTO of Mobvoi. After earning doctorates from U.S. universities, both Li and Lei began working at Google on the same day in 2010, conducting research in machine translation and natural language processing. Li was a rising talent in Google’s translation team, but returned to China to found Mobvoi in late 2012. Eighteen months later, Lei joined the company as Chief Technology Officer. “I’m Chinese, so I wanted to do a startup that had influence in China,” Li told The WorldPost. “Doing a startup requires raising money, building a team, doing public relations, knowing your customer. All of those things are really difficult for foreigners in the U.S. Language is one of the biggest problems, but also culture and that connection.” Mobvoi created voice search tools for mandarin Chinese, including an app similar to Apple’s Siri (Chumen Wenwen) and applications for Google Glass. As smartwatches take center stage in the world of wearable tech, Mobvoi is applying its expertise to the new field. Having debuted the Ticwear operating system last December, the company is on a mission to populate it with smartwatch apps that make it attractive to users.
The Chinese Hackers Who Are Actually Not Trying to Hack You | Motherboard Until recently, The Keen Team’s members’ names were not made public and I’ve been granted their first major English-language interview. But despite their air of mystery The Keen Team is not an underground or criminal organisation. Nor is it comprised of members of the Chinese government’s hacking army, which was recently suspected of crippling anti-censorship site Greatfire.org and fortifying the Great Firewall to keep the likes of Facebook and Twitter outside China’s borders. Fully above-board and legal, The Keen Team is part of a growing cadre of security research groups hired by the world’s biggest tech firms to find holes in their systems so they can be plugged before they sink. Others include China’s 360Vulcan team, which hacked Internet Explorer at this year’s Pwn2Own.
一个电视台的窝案及兴衰浮沉财新周刊频道财新网 Caixin on corruption “nest” at Anhui Provincial Tv that so far has led to the detention of 7 senior managers
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
学者评“新清史”：“新帝国主义”史学标本-中国社会科学网 CASS newspaper denounces American scholars of “New Qing History” by name…nasty piece // 【编者按】学术是时代精神的精致表达。任何一种学术，只有深深植根于它所处的时代，回应重大时代命题和关切，才会焕发勃勃生机，才能产生广泛影响。问题在于，倘若学术研究者站错了立场，服务错了对象，即使回应了重大的时代命题和关切，其取得的成果再多，叫嚷的声音再大，也只能是噪音杂音，也只能是历史的阻碍者而不是推动者。近些年兴起的“新清史”，到底属于哪一种，中国社会科学报本期“争鸣”版推出的这篇文章，有助于诸君作出判断。
Migrant life may lead to youth crime – China Daily The structure of migrant families is more likely to cause juvenile crimes, an education report said. “There were important links between family factors and juvenile crime. Bad family structure, an improper method of family education, and a poor family economic and cultural environment were the key factors causing delinquent minors,” said the report, released by the 21st Century Education Research Institute on Monday.
人民日报批奇葩建筑：责任应当三七开，决策者七，建筑师三舆论场澎湃新闻-The Paper More criticism in People’s Daily of “weird” architecture
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