THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. China Focus: Xi calls for improved religious work – Xinhua | Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on authorities to stick to the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s religious policies and improve religious work. Addressing a conference on religions that concluded on Saturday, Xi said religious affairs carry “special importance” in the work of the CPC and the central government, and that the CPC’s religious policies and theories had been proven right through past practices…”We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means and prevent ideological infringement by extremists,” Xi said, adding that authorities should also focus on religious issues on the Internet and disseminate the Party’s religious policies and theories online…In particular, CPC members must act as “unyielding Marxist atheists, consolidate their faith, and bear in mind the Party’s tenets.” They must not seek their own values and beliefs from religions, Xi said, adding that efforts should also be made to help teenagers form a scientific outlook of the world, and guide them to believe in science, study science and promote science. // how many of the detained/harassed rights lawyers are Christians? If a large percentage of them are, did that fact focus the security services even more on what the Party sees as the subversive potential of religion?
Related: 人民日报评论员：全面提高新形势下宗教工作水平–评论-人民网 “宗教问题始终是我们党治国理政必须处理好的重大问题，宗教工作在党和国家工作全局中具有特殊重要性，关系中国特色社会主义事业发展，关系党同人民群众的血肉联系，关系社会和谐、民族团结，关系国家安全和祖国统一”。习近平总书记在全国宗教工作会议发表重要讲话，着眼党和国家事业发展全局，科学分析了我国宗教工作面临的形势和任务，明确提出了中国特色社会主义宗教理论，对做好宗教领域重点工作作出重要部署，标志着我们党对宗教问题和宗教工作的认识达到新高度，是指导我们做好新形势下宗教工作的纲领性文献。
Related: [视频]习近平在全国宗教工作会议上强调 发展中国特色社会主义宗教理论 全面提高新形势下宗教工作水平CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1央视网(cctv.com) 习近平指出，在爱国主义、社会主义旗帜下，同宗教界结成统一战线，是我们党处理宗教问题的鲜明特色和政治优势。要坚持政治上团结合作、信仰上相互尊重，多接触、多谈心、多帮助，以理服人，以情感人，通过解决实际困难吸引人、团结人。
2. CPC requires study of national security outlook – Xinhua The organization and publicity departments of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee have urged the study of overall national security outlook among Party members. The two departments on Thursday jointly published a circular requiring relevant authorities to hold forums, lectures, discussions and other activities among CPC members to promote their understanding of the core tenet of the overall national security outlook. CPC officials and members should also be educated to act in line with the CPC Central Committee and perform their duties in safeguarding national security, according to the circular.
Related: 两部门：认真组织学习《总体国家安全观干部读本》-新华网 学习好贯彻好总体国家安全观，是全党的一项重大政治任务。根据中央要求，为推动总体国家安全观的学习贯彻，我们组织有关部门编写了《总体国家安全观干部读本》（以下简称《读本》）。《读本》深入贯彻习近平总书记系列重要讲话精神，收录了习近平总书记关于首个全民国家安全教育日的重要批示，全面介绍了总体国家安全观的丰富内涵、道路依托、领域任务、法治保障和实践要求，是广大党员干部学习领会总体国家安全观的重要辅助材料，是新形势下国家安全相关工作人员的必备学习教材。
Related: 四川落马副省长包养多名情妇 一人系双料间谍-凤凰新闻 李成云曾包养多名情妇，他2011年被免去副省长职务，是因涉及一桩“双料女间谍”案。该女子曾是李成云在四川省机械工业厅的同事，后辞职出国，案发前回到中国，自称经商。然而，她却是一个为至少两个国家和地区“服务”的“双料间谍”。中国反间谍机构将之抓捕，李成云也随之事发。 // Report-Now detained Sichuan vice governor had a mistress who was a foreign spy
3. China to build up atoll in contested South China Sea, source says | South China Morning Post China will start reclamation at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea later this year and may add an airstrip to extend its air force’s reach over the contested waters, a military source and mainland maritime experts say. A source close to the PLA Navy said Beijing would ramp up work to establish a new outpost 230km off the coast of the Philippines as the US and Manila drew their militaries closer together. // Been rumored in DC for a while, very inflammatory if the PRC does this. Has the US already prepared a response, beyond “stern” expressions of dissatisfaction?
Related: PH fishermen put up fight vs China | Inquirer News Filipino fishermen last week fought off a Chinese Coast Guard vessel that was driving them away from the Scarborough Shoal, according to a crew member of a fishing vessel that had just arrived from the shoal. The crew of FB Leslie May struck the approaching rubber boat deployed by the Chinese on April 15 after the Chinese patrol threatened to cut off the vessel’s anchor, said Joely Saligan, 36, a fisherman from Barangay Calapandayan here.
Related: U.S. says China’s intentions in South China Sea raise tension and questions | Reuters On a visit to Vietnam, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would continue to play a constructive role in supporting its regional allies but was not looking to set up bases for its troops. “United States and Vietnam are sharing interest in maintaining peace and stability in the region, so is China,” Blinken said in a speech at a Hanoi university. “But its massive land reclamation projects in the South China Sea and the increasing militarization of these outposts fuels regional tension and raises serious questions about China’s intention,” Blinken said.
Related: Forecasting the Aftermath of a Ruling on China’s Nine-Dash Line | Foreign Policy-Jerome Cohen A tribunal is likely to rule on China’s hazy claims to South China Sea sovereignty. How Beijing and others react isn’t set in stone…this is preeminently about politics, not only law. Beijing’s opposition reflects the current primacy of highly nationalistic elements within China’s military and political leadershipBeijing’s opposition reflects the current primacy of highly nationalistic elements within China’s military and political leadership over those Chinese international law experts, both within and outside government, who believe that China should test its challenges to the tribunal’s jurisdiction and to the Philippine claims before the tribunal itself — regardless of whether or not it’s legally obligated to do so. Under the fear-inspiring command of President Xi Jinping, it requires an act of courage for any international law or foreign relations specialist within the government to contradict prevailing policy, although academic debate continues to be allowed.
Related: Reefs, Rocks, and the Rule of Law: After the Arbitration in the South China Sea | Center for a New American Security As the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea under the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague prepares to issue a ruling in the case commonly known as Philippines v. China, CNAS experts Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper and Harry Krejsa look ahead of the Tribunal’s ruling to assess the range of prospective decisions and evaluate their broader implications.
Related: Get Ready, China: Lethal A-10 Warthogs are Patrolling the South China Sea | The National Interest Blog The U.S. Air Force’s venerable A-10 Warthog has been a lot of things. A Cold-War Soviet tank-killer. A slow-flying escort for rescue helicopters. A heavily-armed counter-insurgency plane. Even a specialized hunter of rotorcraft. Now add “maritime patrol plane” to the twin-engine attacker’s resume. That’s because the Pentagon has sent four A-10s and their crews and maintainers to fly sea patrols west of The Philippines, in a mineral-rich region of the South China Seas that Manila and Beijing both claim.
Related: Turnbull’s trip to China: A dereliction of duty?-Hugh White This all suggests that things are heading for some kind of showdown over the next couple of months. It seems the Court will find against China. If they do, China will probably react with some further provocation. And if that happens, Washington faces an ever-starker choice between responding militarily or taking a big blow to its strategic credibility in Asia. And so, in Churchill’s plangent phrase, ‘The terrible “ifs” accumulate’.
Related: China cautions U.S. to be discreet on South China Sea – Xinhua “Does the United States mean freedom of navigation enjoyed by ordinary ships in line with international law or freedom of intrusion by U.S. military planes and vessels?” she said. “The United States has repeatedly questioned China’s intentions, but will the U.S. explain its real motive in stoking tensions and increasing military presence in the area?” Hua said. // lawfare
4. Reject Parochial Nationalism for Sake of Continued Progress-Caixin Our relationship with the rest of the world is far different than it was in the past. We cannot develop without the rest of the world, and the prosperity and stability of the world can hardly be sustained without our involvement. This is the big picture that none of us can ignore. If groups espousing parochial nationalism get their way by obstructing the policies of reform and opening up and our engagement with the rest of the world, they will only make China an inward-looking country again. If that happens, we will only fall behind again. This means that if we want to continue prospering, we must continue with reform and opening up and reject narrow-minded nationalism. Wu Jianmin is China’s former ambassador to France and a former president of China Foreign Affairs University // the original Chinese 外交家吴建民：狭隘的民族主义害人害己, excerpted from Wu’s recent book 本文节选自吴建民《如何做大国：世界秩序与中国角色》，中信出版社授权发表。Anyone in power listen to Wu Jianmin these days?
5. Beijing auditions foreign agencies to polish China brand | Reuters Five global public relations firms have made pitches to the Chinese government for a potential new campaign, four sources said, as Beijing tries to communicate more effectively with the West. The competition by the leading Western PR companies comes amid intensifying scrutiny of Chinese companies abroad, a crackdown on dissent at home and rising tensions in the South China Sea. The State Council Information Office (SCIO), the government’s information and propaganda arm, has heard presentations from Hill+Knowlton, Ketchum, and Ogilvy Public Relations, according to four people and company communications seen by Reuters. FleishmanHillard and Edelman also participated in the audition, one source said. //nice to see these PR firms again so eager to help the Communist Party with its external propaganda efforts
6. Iron ore headed for best week ever after China steel rally | Reuters Shanghai steel futures retreated on Friday after a four-day climb that has pushed their year-to-date gain to 60 percent. Dalian iron ore futures extended their gains by 1.8 percent but came off session highs. The rally in steel prices has fattened profit margins among Chinese producers, boosting buying interest in spot iron ore cargoes. Iron ore for immediate delivery to China’s Tianjin port .IO62-CNI=SI jumped 6.8 percent to $68.70 a tonne on Thursday, the highest since Jan. 9, 2015, according to The Steel Index (TSI).
Related: China’s Great Ball of Money Is Rushing Into Commodities Futures – Bloomberg Trading in futures on everything from steel reinforcement bars and hot-rolled coils to cotton and polyvinyl chloride has soared this week, prompting exchanges in Shanghai, Dalian and Zhengzhou to boost fees or issue warnings to investors. While the underlying products may be anything but glamorous, the numbers are eye-popping: contracts on more than 223 million metric tons of rebar changed hands on Thursday, more than China’s full-year production of the material used to strengthen concrete. “The great ball of China money is moving away from bonds and stocks to commodities,” said Zhang Guoyu, a Shanghai-based analyst at Tebon Securities Co. “We’ve seen a lot of people opening accounts for commodities futures recently.”
Related: China commodity exchanges crack down on speculation as rebar volumes soar | Reuters To slow the trading pace China’s two main commodities exchanges announced late on Thursday that they would raise transaction fees from Monday for some contracts, including iron ore and steel. The Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) said late on Thursday it will increase the trading margin for iron ore futures to 8 percent from 7 percent. It will also raise transaction fees and daily movement limit for some products.
Related: Iron ore rally hits the other big Australian short | afr.com Here’s a question for the big global investors who used Australian stocks as a proxy for their bets on a Chinese slowdown: How’s that big short treating you now? The remarkable resources rally shows little sign of stopping, with yet another surge in the iron price on Wednesday night – up yet another 3.1 per cent to a 10-month high of $64.77 a tonne – setting another fire under the share prices of Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group.
Related: 从“蒜你贱”到“蒜你狠”：莫让农民收益的小船说翻就翻-新华网 prices of garlic have also been soaring… // 近期“蒜你狠”备受各界关注，有“世界大蒜看中国，中国大蒜看金乡”之称的山东省金乡县自然成了焦点，金乡县委宣传部的工作人员告诉记者，近期已有十几家媒体来过。 “为什么大蒜涨的时候大家关注、议论，大蒜跌的时候就少有人关注呢？”记者采访蒜农、蒜商以及政府部门人员时，不少人都有这样的疑问，他们表示蒜价下跌时的社会关注度很低，“只有一两家媒体来”。
7. [视频]【互联网企业热议习近平总书记讲话】适应人民需求 互联网大有作为CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1央视网(cctv.com) CCTV interviews tech/internet CEOs praising Xi’s talk on Internet, tech innovation at the cyber work conference. The report features expressions of support (表态) from Jack Ma, Robin Li, Lei Jun, Zhou Hongyi among others. The work conference was as much about developing indigenous cyber technologies as about Internet management.
Related: China needs better Internet technology – Xinhua Yao Hongyu, CEO of Yoyo Systems, said China needs to develop core technology in fields such as cloud computing and big data. Government and military agencies should develop their own products, as this could be vital to information security and the growth of related domestic industries, Yao said. Tong Liqiang, director of the Beijing cyberspace information office, holds similar views. China need to master core technology in Internet infrastructure, he said.
Related: Rule of law crucial in cyberspace: People’s Daily – Xinhua | English.news.cn Echoing Xi’s remarks, the commentary warned that without rule of law, the Internet would be riddled with rumors and scams, saying these are especially harmful to young Internet users. The People’s Daily said enterprises, website operators, online stores, social platforms and search engines, as well as the Communist Party of China and the government, must shoulder their responsibilities for cyberspace management. // 人民日报评论员：让网络空间天朗气清
8. Drinking the Northwest Wind | ChinaFile Most environmentalists see the South-to-North Water Transfer Project as a necessary, though not sufficient, solution to the severe water shortages suffered in China’s capital and surrounding areas—a situation that owes much to weather and climate but which has been compounded by the over-damming of the region’s rivers (another of Mao’s enthusiasms) and the severe pollution of its already small supply. Without comparably ambitious plans for regulation and conservation, experts like Ma Jun have been saying for more than a decade, those 45 billion cubic meters are just a drop in the bucket. And the project has put its own stresses on the environment, even as it has alleviated others. // as one of the smartest China watchers I know (and a loyal Sinocism reader) often argues, the water crisis may be the biggest threat to CCP rule and China’s future
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
国家统计局原局长邱晓华:2016年中国经济内外交困，期待新政治周期推动发展 interesting comments on the Chinese economy from Qiu Xiaohua, former head of the national bureau of statistics // 政策因素的改变也影响了市场的销售，政策的因素表现在两方面： 第一，近些年的住房制度改革、医疗制度改革、教育制度改革，使得城市人的收入中很大一部分要用于住房消费、教育消费、医疗消费。在这10余年的时间里面，高房价、高学费、高医疗费用，像一个黑洞一样把一部分城市人的收入给吸走了，造成了城市的相对贫困人口增加。本来我们从低收入迈入到中等收入，应该有一个消费质量提升、消费水平提升的“消费井喷”的时期，但是中国并没有完全地出现。 第二，反腐败、八项规定等政策性的调整，虽然有历史性的进步意义，但是一定会对当期的发展造成一定的影响，这是不可忽视的。因为中国是一个公款消费占有相当比重的国家，高档香烟、高档酒、高档的奢侈品，真正消费的主体不都是公款吗？大多数都是公款。反腐政策将这条路堵上了，因此高档商品、高档餐饮、高档服务业的市场迅速降温，这些消费没有了。
China’s About to Start Its Biggest Tax Overhaul in Two Decades – Bloomberg The plan will ease corporate payments by 500 billion yuan ($77 billion) this year, with much of that total coming at the expense of local governments. The central government plans to further expand its budget deficit to help cover the shortfall and may redistribute some VAT revenue back to provinces. The new plan mixes fiscal stimulus in the form of an effective tax cut for some businesses — especially those in services and retail — with structural change aimed at helping low-end manufacturers upgrade and retool factories and research new technologies seen as key to China’s economic future.
Market Jitters as Bonds Edge toward Toxic-Caixin What may have been the first bond trading halt by a central government-run company has fanned investor fears and forced financial regulators to rethink their supervisory framework. China Railway Materials Co. (CRM), the nation’s largest supplier of railroad construction wares such as iron rails, stunned the interbank bond market on April 10 by indefinitely suspending trades for all of its 16.8 billion yuan worth of bonds. CRM, whose bonds trade on a platform for non-financial companies managed by the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII), said in a statement the suspension affected notes worth a total of 6.8 billion yuan that were scheduled to mature from May to December.
What’s in a Name? If It’s ‘P2P Lender,’ Gov’t Says Don’t Open-Caixin Government of big cities tell companies with names suggesting they’ll be involved in Internet finance to delay launch over risk worries
China unveils plan to connect Internet, distribution – Xinhua | Investment in broadband Internet in rural areas, support for development of virtual reality (VR) and encouragement of the sharing economy are highlights of an action plan drawn by the State Council for integrating online and offline commerce. The government will support more use of mobile Internet, the Internet of Things and big data in marketing, payment and after-sale services to meet consumer needs and reduce consumption costs, according to the plan released on Thursday.
Q. and A.: Ning Zhu on the ‘Guaranteed Bubble’ in China’s Economy – The New York Times In his new book, “China’s Guaranteed Bubble,” Ning Zhu, a professor at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, dissects the risks accumulating in China’s economy, especially in its financial sector. In an interview, he explained his argument that the Chinese government’s implicit guarantees to banks, state-owned corporations, local governments and investment areas such as the housing and stock markets have encouraged levels of leverage that are increasingly hazardous as the country’s economy slows.
China debt load reaches record high as risk to economy mounts – FT.com “A financial crisis is by no means preordained but in our view, if losses don’t manifest on financial institution balance sheets, they will do so via slowing growth and deflation, à la Japan, a path China arguably already is on,” Charlene Chu, senior partner at Autonomous Research Asia, wrote recently.
Hangzhou money manager goes missing with bln yuan – Xinhua Police in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou are hunting the boss of a wealth management company who disappeared with about a billion yuan (153 million U.S. dollars) of investors’ money. Investors in Wangzhou Fortune have been reporting problems with the company’s cash flow since April 18. More than 20,000 people have invested a total of about 2.2 billion yuan in the company, which has dozens of branches in major Chinese cities, Hangzhou police told Xinhua on Sunday.
POLITICS AND LAW *
China targets offshore accounts in renewed Skynet crackdown on fugitive corrupt officials | South China Morning Post According to a statement by the Communist Party’s top anti-graft agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Skynet umbrella covers a joint crackdown led by the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Public Security on transfers of illicit financial assets abroad through offshore companies and underground banks. It also covers a campaign headed by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to hunt for fugitives who committed work-related crimes, as well as Operation Foxhunt headed by the Ministry of Public Security. // the CCDI statement “天网2016″行动启动反腐败国际追逃追赃一刻不放松
President Xi stresses protecting people’s interests in petitioning – Xinhua All government departments and localities must attach great importance to the work and properly address the people’s legitimate and lawful petitioning through legal, policy, economic and administrative means, said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. He called on authorities at all levels to strengthen analysis of risks as well as the management of sources of conflicts and disputes, making efforts to “nip conflicts and disputes in the bud”. // 习近平就信访工作作出重要指示
Ex-propaganda chief in eastern China upbraided for comments critical of Communist Party | South China Morning Post Mu Yifei, who was a deputy propaganda department chief and a section head of the party school in Wenling, Zhejiang province, has been issued a severe warning, according to a statement issued on the website of the city’s commission for discipline inspection. He was reprimanded for “publicly publishing and forwarding remarks that are not consistent with party strategies and policies [and] that severely damaged the party’s image”, the statement said. Mu, who retired in February, forwarded messages on social media that advocated constitutionalism. His account has since been deleted. He also published critical articles.
网曝多省公务员笔试泄题 江西省已开始核实(图)新闻腾讯网 今天，有多位网友反映，2016年多省公务员省考笔试泄题，其中包括江西省考在内。申论一考完，[email protected] 表示对此事高度重视，正在对有关情况进行核实。 // civil service exam for several provinces leaked…one way to improve your chances at meritocratic advancement
Deleted Xinjiang ‘Heroes’ List Revealed Details of Unconfirmed Clashes-RFA The list, titled “Our Heroes” and published online on April 1 by China’s Ministry of Public Security, was taken down shortly after it became clear that many of those named had not been killed in the line of duty, but had died in traffic or drowning accidents or of heart attacks while under stress and in poor health. However, one of those named was described as having been killed in a June 2015 clash in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Kashgar city reported by RFA but unconfirmed by official Chinese sources, with two other officers also said to have died in connection with a previously unreported incident in November.
Minister who saw patriots in Hong Kong’s ‘mob’: Tao Siju dies in Beijing at 81 | South China Morning Post Senior leaders including President Xi Jinping and former president Hu Jintao sent wreaths to Tao’s memorial on Friday. An official statement on the ministry of public security’s website said Tao had been an “excellent” member of the party and praised him for remaining consistent with its central leadership. // for those trying to pick through the tea leaves, no mention in Chinese media reports of Jiang Zemin sending anything 公安部原部长陶驷驹逝世 习近平胡锦涛等送花圈
China’s top legislature announces tasks for 2016 – Xinhua Chinese lawmakers will review draft laws on international criminal judicial assistance and national defense transportation this year, according to the plan released Friday by the top legislature. The national defense transportation draft law aims to improve coordination between different departments. Laws on environmental protection tax, public culture services, community correction will also be tabled this year to the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for first reading. The top legislature will also review amendments to laws on the Red Cross Society, maritime environmental protection, water pollution and small- and medium-sized enterprises. Meanwhile, the NPC Standing Committee will continue deliberating laws on deep sea resource exploration, charities, administration of overseas non-governmental organizations and cyber security.
中宣部指令：不能再称呼习近平为“习大大”|明报 – 明鏡博客 Mingpao reports that the ministry of propaganda has instructed media to stop calling Xi Jinping “Uncle Xi” or “core of the party.”…unconfirmed, take as an interesting rumor for now
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Chinese Hypersonic Weapons Development | The Jamestown Foundation There are clear symbolic and military benefits for the nation that successfully develops a hypersonic weapon. The DF-ZF, though impressive, still has a long way to go before it can truly threaten the security of the United States and its allies. Therefore, China will continue frequent testing of the DF-ZF as a display of its military’s power and advancement. Although in its current form the applications of the DF-ZF are constrained to East Asia, it is likely that China will continue to expand the range and capabilities of this weapon. Given the recent increase in investments in BMD by nations such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, the DF-ZF is a potentially destabilizing capability.
China wants ships to use faster Arctic route opened by global warming | Reuters Asked if China considered the passage an international waterway or Canadian waters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China noted Canada considered that the route crosses its waters, although some countries believed it was open to international navigation. In Ottawa, a spokesman for Foreign Minister Stephane Dion said no automatic right of transit passage existed in the waterways of the Northwest Passage.
First library opened in Sansha in South China Sea – Xinhua The school, which opened in November last year, has 28 students of kindergarten and primary-school age and 10 teachers. Established in July 2012, Sansha administers more than 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha island groups, as well as two million square km of surrounding waters in the South China Sea. // this city is due a visit from Xi
China criticizes Abe’s offering to Yasukuni Shrine – Xinhua China criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s offering to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during the shrine’s spring festival on Thursday. Abe, along with other notable senior politicians, made ritual offerings to the shrine that honors Class-A convicted war criminals of World War II, who were directly responsible for the war of aggression.
China to Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plants – The New York Times A state-owned company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, is planning to build a fleet of the vessels to provide electricity to remote locations including offshore oil platforms and the contentious man-made islands, the state-run newspaper Global Times reported on Friday. The paper quoted an executive at the company, Liu Zhengguo, as saying that “demand is pretty strong” for the floating power stations, which would be built by one of its subsidiaries.
Remarks at “China’s Growing Pains” Conference Daniel R. Russel Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs—Here is the bottom line. This Administration has from the outset worked with determination and in good faith to establish a U.S.-China relationship that is productive and allows for healthy competition. We rejected early on the notion that strategic rivalry was inevitable with a rising China, and I think we have proven that predictions of America’s decline were (to paraphrase Mark Twain) greatly exaggerated. We set out – and I believe have largely succeeded – in establishing a framework that fosters practical cooperation on issues that matter to both nations and the world, but that also helps us solve or at least narrow disagreements wherever we can, and manage them peaceably where we cannot. We have avoided not only the “Thucydides’ trap”, but also the accommodationist trap where accepting China’s “core interests” is the price for trade benefits and global cooperation.
Why China Won’t Overtake the United States | Foreign Affairs Its coffers overflowing, Beijing has used its new wealth to attract friends, deter enemies, modernize its military, and aggressively assert sovereignty claims in its periphery. For many, therefore, the question is not whether China will become a superpower but just how soon. But this is wishful, or fearful, thinking. Economic growth no longer translates as directly into military power as it did in the past, which means that it is now harder than ever for rising powers to rise and established ones to fall. And China—the only country with the raw potential to become a true global peer of the United States—also faces a more daunting challenge than previous rising states because of how far it lags behind technologically. // Certainly possible, but hope US planners don’t take this kind of complacency as their base assumption
Obama’s Cautious And Calibrated Approach To An Assertive China The Obama government’s efforts to counter China are significant. However, they are carefully measured to avoid serious disruption in the US-China relationship. Those circumstances have allowed China to use coercion and disruption to advance its control at neighbors’ expense without serious cost. The recent cordial US-China summit indicates that this overall trend will continue during the remaining months of the US president. Whether or not his successor will have to conduct such a circumspect but resolute policy to deal with the Chinese challenge remains unclear as the China debate among the 2016 candidates thus far has been characterized by positions notably tougher than President Obama’s carefully calibrated approach to China. Robert Sutter is Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University.
Event: Launch for Reports on China’s Belt and Road Initiative PIIE and the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) launched their respective reports on China’s Belt and Road Initiative on April 21, 2016. The PIIE Briefing China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Motives, Scope, and Challenges, edited by Simeon Djankov and Sean Miner, puts the Chinese financial outreach in the context of past multilateral and national development initiatives and presents lessons on best practices that would benefit China, recipient countries, and the world.
中国一发动机即将量产 三大战机将获可靠动力-凤凰新闻 该观察员认为，在当前的中国国防工业制度下，一款发动机决定批量生产，这显然说明该型发动机已经是有了明确的装机对象。他表示，涡扇-13未来比较合适的装机对象是利剑无人机和歼-31战斗机，此外，涡扇－13的批量生产更是可以彻底解决中国枭龙战机的“心脏病”问题。 // is China about to put the WS-13 (涡扇-13) jet engine into mass production? If so, probably will go into the the Sharp Sward UAV (利剑无人机) and the J-31 (歼－31) fighter.
Xi expects new chapter in aerospace development – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping spurred on the country’s aerospace scientists and engineers to usher in a new chapter in aerospace development on Sunday, China’s first Space Day. In an instruction to the occasion, Xi asked space scientists and engineers to “seize the strategic opportunity and keep innovating to make a greater contribution to the country’s overall growth and the welfare of mankind.” He also saluted all those who have contributed to China’s aerospace development during the past six decades. “Becoming an aerospace power has always been a dream we’ve been striving for,” Xi said.
《焦点访谈》 20160424 中国航天 将走得更远CCTV节目官网-CCTV-13央视网(cctv.com) 央视网消息(焦点访谈)：今天，是首个“中国航天日”，我们昨天的节目已经介绍过。其实确定这个纪念日，原来有3个备选日期，而国务院最终选择了“4月24日”，无疑是有着特别的深意，因为这一天，是中国第一颗人造地球卫星“东方红一号”发射成功的日子，它标志着中国人的航天梦想变成了现实。 2015年4月下旬，几张发布在个人微博上的照片，在网络上被频频转发。照片拍摄的是我国第一颗人造卫星—“东方红一号”，在4月24日，它45岁生日那天，经过北京上空的场景。
China Focus: China open to Sino-U.S. space cooperation – Xinhua The U.S.-dominated International Space Station, which unsurprisingly blocks China, is scheduled to end its service in 2024. China’s space station could be the only operational one in outer space, at least for a while. Commenting on Sino-U.S. space relations earlier this week, Xu Dazhe, the head of China’s National Space Administration, cites Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster “The Martian,” in which a U.S. astronaut gets stranded on Mars and is eventually brought back to Earth by NASA, with help from China. Xu Dazhe noted that China and the United States established a special dialogue mechanism last year and talks would continue this year.
Chinese Spy in Florida Sent Drone Parts to China for Military A Chinese woman living in Florida was a spy who smuggled underwater drone parts from U.S. companies to a state-owned university in China that does military research—the latest example of economic espionage, which the FBI says has increased by over 50 percent—according to federal prosecutors on Thursday.
Chinese president to attend CICA FMs’ meeting – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the fifth regular foreign ministers’ meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) scheduled for next Thursday in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced Friday. Xi will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony, Lu said.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Hong Kong’s Democratic Party opts for young guns as it puts forward seven candidates for Legco polls | South China Morning Post The candidates include two 33 year olds, one of whom will run for a ‘super seat’; party says average age of candidates has dropped from 53 to about 45
Taiwan, in flip-flop, detains suspects in China-linked telecoms scam | Reuters Taiwan prosecutors angered China over the weekend by freeing 20 Taiwanese suspected of defrauding Chinese nationals in a telecoms scam but on Thursday changed their minds, taking most of them into custody on suspicion of committing “serious crime”. The move came as island officials are in Beijing this week to negotiate the return of 45 of its citizens who were forcibly sent to China from Kenya and linked to a similar telephone fraud case abroad against Chinese nationals.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Apple No Longer Immune to China’s Scrutiny of U.S. Tech Firms – The New York Times Last week, Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies were shut down in China, just six months after they were started there. Initially, Apple apparently had the government’s approval to introduce the services. But then a regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, asserted its authority and demanded the closings, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
新闻出版广电总局通报媒体虚假报道查处情况-中国法院网 为深入贯彻落实中央宣传部、国家新闻出版广电总局等九部门通知要求，进一步巩固和扩大打击新闻敲诈和假新闻专项行动成果，各级新闻出版广电行政部门继续保持打击工作高压态势，严肃查处各类新闻违法活动。2016年4月22日，总局公开通报《财经》杂志微信公众号等15家媒体发布虚假失实报道的查办情况。// China Regulator Reprimands 15 Publishers for False Reports: CCTV
Is Alibaba The Real Winner Of This Multi-Million Online Celebrity Ad Auction? – TechNode There’s not doubt that the auction, the first of its kind, will have a great impacts on China’s new media sector, the internet star economy and their commercialization modes, but there’s also another player that will benefit from the case: Alibaba. Local media pointed out that all the parties involved in are related to the internet giant
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
China’s anti-doping lab suspended over results error-AP China’s National Anti-Doping Agency says it is moving to fix problems at its testing laboratory that led the World Anti-Doping Agency to suspend it for a maximum period of four months.
Chinese Modernization Comes to an Isolated People – The New York Times DULONG, China — The narrow valley is one of the most remote and pristine in China. Monkeys, Asian black bears and the rare goatlike takin roam through rain-soaked forests above a river the color of jade. In spring, hillsides are splashed with pink rhododendron blossoms. Until two years ago, snowfall on a mountain pass blocked vehicle access for many months each year. Now, in this sliver of land on the eastern rim of the Himalayas, the government is building new roads, expanding telecommunications and encouraging commercial ventures to alleviate poverty
The Emptiest Nest: Death in One-Child China | Sixth Tone Family planning official uncovers the suffering of families who’ve lost their child in one-child China
戚本禹離世前的訪問 |獨家 那是2016年3月27日，文友施薔生告知，戚本禹病重，在上海住院。征得戚本禹的同意，我便與他約好在30日下午前去探望。 戚本禹住在外科病區。我一進那裏，病區顯得很嘈雜，不僅每間病房裏擺著好多張病床，而且連走廊上也放著病床。走到走廊盡頭，才見到一個單間，放著兩張病床，靠窗口的一張躺著戚本禹，另外一張床則供照料他的女兒以及侄女休息之用。看得出，這已經算是院方給予戚本禹很好的照顧了。當然，如果按照戚本禹當年的級別，他應當住在華東醫院，或者上海這家醫院的特別病房。據他的女兒告訴我，這個房間是外科病區最好的病房。// deathbed interview with Qi Benyu at end of March
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China signs Paris Agreement on climate change – Xinhua Around 11:16 a.m. local time (1516 GMT), Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, ascended the podium in the UN General Assembly Hall to sign the thick and weighty document. “The Chinese people honor our commitments. We will work hard to earnestly implement the Paris Agreement,” said Zhang while addressing the signing ceremony earlier.
Three Gorges Dam discharges more water, braces for flood – Xinhua nflow from the upper streams of the Yangtze River has hit an eight-year high, forcing the Three Gorges Dam to discharge more water and brace for floods. Inflow from the upper streams has been growing since April 16 and shows no sign of relenting, according to a statement from the Three Gorges Corporation.
UConn west campus may be sold to Chinese company – China Daily One of the University of Connecticut’s campuses could be sold to a Chinese education group, which wants to open a private international high school on the site. The West Hartford campus, one of the state university’s five regional campuses, is being sold off as the school prepares to open a new campus in downtown Hartford five miles east next fall. The school has negotiated a tentative agreement to sell the 58-acre campus to Weiming Education Group for $12.6 million, the school told its board of trustees in a March 30 letter.
Beijing rent ranked world’s least affordable – FT.com “From an urban planning perspective, Beijing could be the most inefficient city in China,” said Liang Hong, chief economist of China International Capital Corporation. “The problem is on the land supply side. Central government organisations, such as the military and state-owned enterprises, take up a large portion of land in prime locations.” Beijing rent is nearly twice as expensive as its closest challenger, Abu Dhabi, according to the survey.
JOBS AND EVENTS *
The Atlantic Summit on the Economy – The Atlantic weds April 27 in DC, I am on the China panel in the afternoon // Recession or expansion? Domestic growth or global decline? Government spending or austerity? Europe with or without the UK? Does China’s slowdown matter? Tax reform or more taxes? Stability or volatility? These are some of the questions to be tackled at The Atlantic’s 5th annual Summit on the Economy. We’ll hear from top officials, leading experts and world class economists as we try to answer the major questions of the day on the health of the economy.
Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters
Send comments/tips/complaints to [email protected]
If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.
And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.
Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.