The Sinocism China Newsletter 05.02.15

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. In Washington, a Strategic Shift on China—Toward Containment-Newseek there’s little question that any measure of trust between Beijing and Washington has diminished; a foreign ministry official late last year told Newsweek that there is “no question” that relations between the two countries were “better when George W. Bush was president than they are today.” The question is, to what extent does that matter to Beijing? Foreign diplomats there seem increasingly to think it’s not that big a deal to Xi & Co.; Beijing is increasingly suspicious of the U.S. as a rival in Asia and increasingly convinced that its own ascendancy is irreversible. The quest for supremacy in the Pacific, therefore, is likely to intensify. If true, those attitudes will have consequences…If China, in fact, doesn’t care that it’s “losing Washington,” that only makes it more likely that it will lose it. And at the moment, that appears to be the road Beijing is on. // Can Beijing sway the US business lobby, a key pillar of support in DC over the decades, after a year+ of making their lives more difficult in China? There are indications that people close to Xi understand the risk and are working to undo some of the damage…Is that one of the reasons for the seeming increase in public profile of Li Keqiang since the NPC, to put a softer face on things? Or is Premier Li, as one reader suggested, “leading from the chin” as part of of an orchestration to have him take the fall for the struggling economy and not last past the 2017 19th Party Congress?

Related: A frosty peace beckons for the US and China – FT.com Washington is giving up on Beijing becoming a stakeholder in the present global order

2. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Addresses Congress | Video | C-SPAN.org and transcript of his address

Related: Shinzo Abe’s Speech to Congress Brings Military Alliance Closer – WSJ Mr. Abe’s comments on history in the speech to Congress drew mixed reactions. He said he had “deep repentance in my heart” when thinking of Americans who lost their lives in Pearl Harbor and other World War II battlegrounds. He also said Japan’s wartime actions “brought suffering to the peoples in Asian countries.” However, he didn’t apologize. South Korea criticized Mr. Abe for not offering his own apology for Japan’s wartime aggression.

Related: Commentary: Abe’s speech in U.S. Congress disappoints Asian neighbors again – Xinhua In such a well-prepared speech delivered to U.S. lawmakers, Abe, however, unveiled his historical revisionism ideology by using ” actions” instead of “aggression and colonial rule,” and “deep remorse” rather than “heartfelt apology,” in an apparent effort to dilute the country’s wartime atrocities. Abe’s planned statement on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII this summer has already triggered concerns from neighboring China and South Korea since the hawkish leader hinted that he will not repeat such key words used by his predecessors. It is also giving clearer clues about what Abe will talk about months later at home. With applause in the U.S. Capitol, Abe believes he has got Washington’s acquiescence in his high-profile address to cripple the much-recognized 1995 Murayama Statement.

Related: Abe Triumphs Put Wrench in Beijing’s Agenda – WSJ   despite all these efforts, Beijing hasn’t been able to pick apart the American alliances in East Asia that stand in the way of its geopolitical ambitions. China views this network as Cold War containment. First, Mr. Xi tried to get President Obama to agree to a “New Model of Great Power Relations,” which implied, at least to the Americans, an arrangement by which Washington would acknowledge a Chinese sphere of influence in East Asia. Japan and India bristled at the suggestion they weren’t themselves “great powers.” Mr. Obama hasn’t taken up China’s suggestion. Second, China has sought to erode America’s credibility as a reliable friend and ally by pushing around smaller countries in Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam. The U.S. has countered by deepening its defense commitments around the region. // rare to see such praise for Obama Administration policy in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages

3. China’s Politburo approves tax cuts to boost growth | South China Morning Post The Politburo meeting yesterday, chaired by party general secretary and President Xi Jinping, also approved a blueprint to develop a new megalopolis, integrating Beijing and Tianjin, and the neighbouring province of Hebei. In a statement released through Xinhua, the Politburo said: “The proactive fiscal policy means that [we] need to increase public spending, further cut taxes and reduce [government] fees and charges.” It said there should be no changes to reforms of state-owned enterprises, protection of private enterprises’ assets, or policies to attract foreign investment. It also said the government must ensure more funds went into the real economy.

Related: 习近平主持政治局会议 分析研究当前经济形势和经济工作-新华网 Official Xinhua report on the recent Politburo meeting

Related: 经济参考网 – 中央政治局会议开稳增长“药方” 释放7大信号 7 signs for economic policy from the Politburo meeting this week //  信号一: 经济下行压力仍然较大; 信号二:财政政策会更加积极; 信号三:货币政策更重“疗效”;  信号四:投资不能做无用功; 信号五:房地产要建立长效机制;  信号六:强调三个“没有变”; 信号七:干部要掌握五大新本领

Related: 京津冀协同发展规划纲要获通过–时政–人民网 Politburo meeting approved the “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Coordinated Development Plan Outline” //

Related: 千龙网–千龙财经–京津冀顶层设计将发布 规划超出很多人想象 the “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Coordinated Development Plan Outline” sounds quite detailed per this report from mid-April quoting someone who has seen it  // 看过《规划纲要》的人士告诉瞭望智库,“纲要出台将会超出很多人的想象。从来没有哪一个规划纲要如此细致,力度如此之大。细致到哪些企业搬到哪个区域、每一条路修到哪里都写的清清楚楚,而且有每年完成进度的时间表,有问责举措。”

4. Footloose and Falun Gong | Foreign Policy Shen Yun, which ended its annual run at the Kennedy Center on April 26 and has performed in dozens of cities across the world since its founding in 2006, is not about the arts…Around 2000, Falun Gong practitioners decided to set up media organizations in the United States, including the broadcaster New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD TV) and the newspaper Epoch Times in part “to speak as the voice of Falun Gong,” as NTD TV’s then president, Zhong Lee, told the Wall Street Journal in a 2007 interview. The media outlets — which also cover a wide variety of general-interest news — seem to function as megaphones to amplify the persecution that Falun Gong practitioners have faced and continue to face in mainland China. But the aim is also to discredit the CCP. Representatives from Falun Gong downplay the link between their organization, their media outlets, and Shen Yun. Dong Xiang, a practitioner and the executive director of the Falun Dafa Association of Washington, D.C., which put on the Kennedy Center show, emphasized in an interview that “Shen Yun is not a Falun Gong show, even though many of the artists practice Falun Gong.”

5. China Rethinks Safety Net for Its Banking System – NYTimes With the introduction of deposit insurance on Friday, Beijing is looking to shake the public’s faith, namely the long-held belief that the government will bail out troubled banks. In short, China is trying to introduce risk into the system. As China moves to restructure its state-run economy, such banking reform is considered critical. To help bolster consumer demand and wean itself off growth fueled by cheap credit, China needs banks to take a more market-driven approach. That means making smarter loans to companies and individuals — and accepting the consequences when they don’t work out.

6. The Man Who Stayed Behind—At Chinese Central Television » The LARB Blog I am a fan of Bai Yansong 白岩松  // In the midst of this tumult, when every month seems to bring more upheaval, it is worth taking stock of which people at CCTV aren’t being accused of crimes or misdeeds. Approaching the topic from this angle almost immediately leads to the figure of anchorman Bai Yansong who has been a mainstay on CCTV for nearly of two decades. That type of longevity might lead you to believe that Bai owes his position to simply being a Communist Party flunky who produces unwatchable shows that incessantly regurgitate the party line. In fact, the opposite is true. Bai’s programs, particularly his most recent, Xinwen 1+1, are about the only things you run across while surfing across various CCTV channels that might cause you to say: “I’m surprised he just said that on TV.”

7. What Happened to Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Movement? | Foreign Policy Still riven over strategy, tactics, and core values, many now consider the 2014 protests a failure

8. Gov’t Announces Grand Plans for Cleaning up Nation’s Polluted Water – Caixin Sources close to policymakers said the drafting of the plan took about two years and underwent 30 revisions. Dubbed “10 measures for water,” the plan is the latest official effort to tackle China’s pollution problems, following a similar version targeting air pollution in 2013. The latest plan says that by 2020 some 70 percent of seven major rivers, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Pearl and Huai, will be in good condition. The figures will rise to 75 percent by 2030. Overall improvement of water quality nationwide and of aquatic ecosystems can be expected by 2050, it says. Wu Shunze, deputy director of the environmental ministry’s Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning who participated in the drafting of the plan, said the plan contains 26 detailed requirements and 238 measures to help meet the 2020 targets. Each measure is assigned to specific government departments to implement, said Wu.

Related: “水十条”的牙齿在哪儿财新周刊频道财新网 “老百姓有最大的发言权。”吴舜泽说,“水十条”的要求也很直观,“于2017年底前实现河面无大面积漂浮物,河岸无垃圾,无违法排污口。” 另一位参编专家也告诉财新记者,黑臭水体的排查其实很简单,各级政府发动公众参与排查、举报,一个月内就能查清。 虽然全国要在2020年前将黑臭水体控制在10%之内,但“水十条”对直辖市、省会城市、计划单列市建成区提出更高要求,要于2017年底前基本消除黑臭水体。 关于黑臭水体的界定标准,吴舜泽说,接下来应该会制定,但到底是针对黑臭水体的单行文件,还是在综合类的考核办法中予以明确,仍然未定。

 

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China’s Slowing New Normal by Michael Spence – Project Syndicate Chinese households’ relatively low leverage means that the kind of balance-sheet damage that occurred in some advanced countries during the crisis, leading to a huge drop in demand, is unlikely, even if real-estate prices continue to decline. It also means that there remains some space for expanding consumer credit to boost demand. That is not the only source of hope. Wages are rising, deposit insurance will be introduced, and deposit rates are being liberalized. Internet investment vehicles are growing. New businesses in the services sector – 3.6 million of which were started just last year – are generating incremental employment, thanks partly to a new streamlined licensing framework. And online platforms are facilitating increased consumption, while expanding market access and financing for smaller businesses. China’s leaders should aim to accelerate and build upon these trends, rather than pursuing additional fiscal and monetary stimulus.

China unveils measures to shore up job market – Xinhua China’s State Council (cabinet) rolled out four measures in a circular on Friday, demanding governments at various levels to facilitate entrepreneurship and innovation and create more jobs. The circular — Guidelines over doing work on employment and entrepreneurship under new situation — admitted pressure in creating more jobs and said it is necessary to implement more pro-active employment policies.

Chinese Factory Gauge Suggests Economy Stabilized on Easing – Bloomberg Business A Chinese manufacturing gauge for April suggested that growth may be starting to stabilize in the nation’s economy after the government spurred infrastructure investment and eased monetary policy. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 50.1 in April, according to the statistics bureau and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing in Beijing. That compared with a 50.0 median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Numbers above 50 signal expansion.

Gov’t Raids Uber’s Office in Guangzhou over ‘Unlicensed Business’ – Caixin Transport officials in southern city say car-hire services involving private drivers are illegal and crackdowns will continue

Lawsuit Points to Car-Hire’s Long Legal Ride – Caixin Chen Chao, a 28-year-old pharmaceutical company sales representative who moonlights as a chauffeur, is at the center of a contentious debate over regulating China’s car-hire industry. By suing a local government’s transportation department in Jinan, in the eastern province of Shandong, Chen has drawn national attention. He’s challenging the department’s right to slap him with a 20,000 yuan fine simply for driving two travelers to a train station. Chen is suing to have the fine reversed.

SEC Charges Two with Insider Trading On Chinese Internet Company 58.Com Merger News-Xiaoyu Xia and Yanting Hu (Release No. LR-23249; April 29, 2015) Anyone know Chinese names of Xia Xiaoyu and Hu Yanting? Heard from someone close to this that the deal fell apart twice before final agreement. Rumors about a deal had been going around since March, so it is key that the SEC found them buying in the window between deal signing an announcement…and they get a prize for stupidity for using options, activity the SEC looks for around every deal //  The SEC alleges that Dr. Xiaoyu Xia and Ms. Yanting Hu, residents of Beijing, China, each purchased out-of-the-money call options in 58.com in the time period between when 58.com, ganji.com, and 58.com’s largest shareholder, Tencent Holdings, agreed to the merger and when the merger was first reported on April 14, 2015. The defendants each traded through U.S. brokerage accounts and their purchase of speculative, out-of-the-money call options in 58.com resulted in combined realized and unrealized profits totaling over $2 million. Defendants are both connected to the financial industry in China.

Wall Street Pushes Back on Foreign Bribery Probe – WSJ Wall Street banks are embroiled in an intense dispute with the U.S. government over its “aggressive” interpretation of foreign-bribery laws, a flurry of legal wrangling in a probe with broad implications for how corporations do business overseas, according to people familiar with the matter. The previously unreported campaign by banks goes to the heart of a wide-ranging inquiry into whether they ran afoul of U.S. antibribery laws by giving jobs to relatives of managers of state-owned companies and other well-connected officials, including the kin of high-ranking Chinese government officials known as “princelings,” allegedly to curry favor in getting deals.

Chinese court orders New Balance to pay US$15.8m for trademark infringement|WantChinaTimes New Balance is an internationally renowned footware brand that set up an official affiliate in Shanghai in 2006 to sell its products across mainland China. The affiliate company chose the name “Xin Bai Lun” to market the shoes and also used “Xin Bai Lun New Balance” on its online store in China. In Chinese, “Xin” means “new”, while “Bai Lun” is a rough transliteration of “balance.” However, the trademarks for “Bai Lun” and “Xin Bai Lun” were already registered by Guangzhou businessman Zhou Moulun for use on items such as shoes and sports apparel. The “Xin Bai Lun” mark was registered by Zhou in January 2008, while the “Bai Lun” mark was registered back in 1996 and acquired by Zhou in April 2004.

China rivals vie for state backing to buy HP unit | Reuters The bidding for a controlling stake in Hewlett-Packard Co’s (HPQ.N) data-networking business in China, worth more than $2 billion, has thrown up a rare tussle between two Chinese state-backed firms who are wrangling over which has Beijing’s backing. The spat involving China Huaxin Post and Telecommunication Economy Development Center and Tsinghua Unigroup could prolong the sale negotiations, and highlights the complexity of cross-border investment policies that China has sought to streamline.

Vale, Chinese Shipbuilders in Talks Over 50 Giant Bulk Carriers – WSJ A Vale spokeswoman denied the company was in talks to have the new vessels built, but the people involved said Chinese shipping company China Cosco Holdings Co. may build around 20 of the ships, while ship financier Shandong Shipping Corp., ICBC International Leasing Ltd. and China Merchants Energy Shipping Co. may build 10 ships each. “The ships will be on 20-year leases, and it’s a good time to buy them now because of lower construction prices,” one of the people said.

总理放狠话:根治“政令不出海”顽疾 7日内须印发要闻一财网 国务院办公厅印发《国务院办公厅关于贯彻落实国务院常务会议精神有关事项的通知》,明确“国字头”文件须在会议结束后7个工作日内印发;有重大修改意见需要协调的,须在10个工作日内印发。

李锦:大规模的“央企合并潮”近期内不可能出现观察宏观频道首页_财经网 – CAIJING.COM.CN 中央政府、国资委一再强调强强联合要遵循市场规律,因此,一些人炒作的成规模的“央企合并潮”是不会出现的,至少在近期内不可能出现。要等国企改革的大政方针出来,才知道未来是何局势。

河北融投危机推倒“多米诺骨牌” 国民信托1.2亿信托计划兑付延后金融一财网 根据国民信托相关人士对投资者的表态,金色博宝信托延期6个月后,如果依旧无法兑付,将参照平安信托“平安财富*汇利8号集合资金信托计划”的处理办法。

傅成玉结束超期服役 正部级王玉普接任公司频道财新网 Fu Chengyu retires from Sinopec, replaced by Wang Yu  //  傅已年满63岁。接替他的是从大庆油田出来的王玉普,王此前为中国工程院副院长(正部级)。业界普遍认为傅退休是三大油人事大变动的开始

Matthews Asia Weekly – China’s Coming IPO Reform Like many mature markets, China will adopt the so-called “registration” system. The rationale is that the government should not be eligible to make decisions on whether a particular firm is allowed to be listed on public markets or on how the IPO should be priced. The CSRC will only make sure the IPO application meets all necessary disclosure rules, and should leave pricing matters to the market to decide. Profitability requirements will also be eliminated.  The core of this change is that the regulator will not pass judgment on the investment value of the listing company but instead shift the supervisory focus to the secondary market

 

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW

Foreign NGOs Under Increasing Pressure in China – NYTimes.com When the Beijing Public Security Bureau recommended that prosecutors charge Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun of the Transition Institute, an economic and social policy think tank, with conducting “illegal business activity” by publishing books and periodicals, it named four foreign nongovernmental organizations that it said had helped finance the alleged crime. It is not illegal in China for international NGOs to provide grants to Chinese nongovernmental organizations.

西安市公安局副局长王安群接受调查政经频道财新网 Deputy police chief of Xian, Shaanxi under investigation  //  王安群在西安市公安局副局长中排名第一。此次被查,据称与天津博华报称陷“诈骗投资案”有关

Chinese graft fugitive Cheng Muyang, now a Canada property mogul, seeks refugee status | South China Morning Post abusing the refugee process in Canada, making it harder for real ones  //  Chinese corruption fugitive Cheng Muyang – who has been identified as Vancouver property developer Michael Ching Mo Yeung – is seeking refugee status in Canada as he seeks to evade mainland authorities. Federal Court documents show that rejected refugee claimant Ching Mo Yeung has hired renowned human rights lawyer David Matas, who also represented smuggler Lai Changxing. Michael Ching uses “Mo Yeung” as his Chinese given name, according to documents related to land redevelopment in British Columbia and is the president and founder of Mo Yeung International Enterprise Ltd, a major Vancouver real estate firm. “Ching Mo Yeung” is the Cantonese variant of “Cheng Muyang”, the name under which he is being sought by Interpol.

China anti-graft watchdog reports corruption problems – Xinhua The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) carried out its third round of special inspection for 2014 from November to December, covering 13 state organizations, including the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Culture, China State Shipbuilding Corp., China Unicom and Sinopec. Inspectors found problems that harmed public interests for private benefits, violated the eight-point frugality rules, and malpractice, according to a CCDI statement. Senior Party leaders in these units were deemed “weak” in fulfilling their responsibility to the building of a clean Party, according to the statement.

Former manager sells state assets for personal profit – Xinhua China’s anti-corruption authorities have publicized a corruption case concerning a former state firm chief, who allegedly sold state assets for personal gain. Gong Mingcheng, former general manager of Dalian Beiliang Co. Ltd. under China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp. (COFCO), caused state asset losses of “hundreds of millions of yuan” through illegally selling shares and state property, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said Wednesday in a statement. The CCDI launched an inspection targeting COFCO at the end of March last year, which led to the exposure of Gong’s case. // 国企在反腐败中重获新生中央巡视挽回经济损失2.4亿元

维新闻网-令计划被查后 胡锦涛首次“现身” Duowei says Hu Jintao made an appearance at a Tsinghua event but media did not cover it  //  清华大学新闻网报道,清华大学校庆期间,校方举办了一系列的校友返校活动,多个系的1965届、1955届校友都有举办毕业50、60周年庆祝班会。该校的官网显示,已退休的中央政治局前常委兼中纪委书记吴官正参加了热能系1965届校友毕业50周年庆祝班会,清华大学校长邱勇、校党委书记陈旭等均有陪同出席。具有半官方媒体性质的北京《新京报》也作了报道。 但与此形成鲜明对比的是,中国互联网也流传清华另一名著名校友胡锦涛在活动留名本上的签字照片。留念本的题目为《清华大学水利系65届校友毕业50周年座谈签名留念》,胡锦涛及其夫人刘永清的签名赫然在列,位于签名本的正中央。胡的笔迹也与他在其他场合的题字吻合。而在该留言本上签名的校友中,不乏在各大高校的水利专家学者,例如长期担任福州大学水利工程系主任的程心恕。 这一照片由在新浪微博经过身份认证的“必宜华CEO”的孙巍发出,认证信息显示,孙也是清华大学的校友。此外,另一名清华校友对香港《明报》透露,回校期间也从校方得知胡锦涛夫妇在校庆期间曾回母校的消息。

China’s army declares war on ‘historic nihilism’ – FT.com In the latest eruption of sensitivity over China’s communist heritage, a mysterious barbecue restaurant chain is under fire from the military over an advertising campaign launched two years ago that mocked a hero of the Korean war who was burnt to death by napalm. “The war has already begun,” declared a sombre Wednesday headline in the Peoples’ Liberation Army Daily, the army’s official mouthpiece. “At present, historical nihilism is spreading from the academic realm into online culture, and capricious ideas are warping historical thoughts and leading discourse astray,” read the editorial below. “We must be on our guard.”

7000万嫁女煤老板垮塌的政商朋友圈时政一财网 2013年年底的那次“惊呆”联盛债权人的重整闹剧终于收场。彼时的背后推手包括邢利斌和时任吕梁市柳林县县委书记王宁。邢利斌已经于去年3月被带走调查。当年11月,山西省纪委宣布王宁因涉嫌严重违纪违法接受组织调查。

中纪委办案人员揭秘:如何发现老虎的线索_网易新闻中心 《中国纪检监察》,中纪委和监察部主办主管的杂志。这一期,叫做“巡视专刊”。内容顾名思义了。更让岛叔感兴趣的是其中的一组文章,又巡视组的人员口述,再经记者改写,讲述巡视中老虎的尾巴是怎么露出来的。

Q. and A.: Francis Fukuyama on China’s Political Development – NYTimes This is the problem of traditional Chinese government. You had an emperor and a bureaucracy. The bureaucracy was supposed to implement what the emperor wanted, but then the bureaucracy became so autonomous that the emperor couldn’t control the bureaucracy. So he relied on the eunuch court in the palace to watch over the bureaucracy. But then you couldn’t trust the eunuchs either, so there’s a Eunuch Rectification Office. You keep piling on these monitoring organizations in order to check the power of the subordinate bodies from the top. I think China suffers from similar problems now. You have the government, and then the party to look over the government, and then you have the department looking over the party, and, in the end, who watches the department?

 

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China says U.S. welcome to use civilian facilities in South China Sea | Reuters The United States and other countries will be welcome to use civilian facilities China is building in the South China Sea for search and rescue and weather forecasting “when conditions are right”, China’s navy chief has told a senior U.S. officer. // 中国海军司令:欢迎美国利用中方在南沙设施 

China Confirms Killings on Border With North Korea – NYTimes The authorities in Helong, in Jilin Province, announced on a government microblog that a 55-year-old man, his 26-year-old daughter and a 67-year-old man had all been killed, without giving further details. The South Korean broadcaster KBS reported on Tuesday that the three had been killed by three North Korean soldiers. Quoting local residents, KBS said the soldiers fled and were being pursued by the Chinese police in a large-scale manhunt.

报告析中国网络安全挑战:需防外部“温水煮青蛙”战略-中新网 这份报告全称为《中国网络空间安全发展报告(2015)》,由上海社科院信息研究所和社科文献出版社共同发布。全书汇集了中国20余位相关专家学者的最新研究成果,全面分析了中国网络安全的总体现状与发展对策。 报告在论及当前全球网络空间治理的现状时,用了“不对称性”和“相互依赖性”进行总结。 报告称,网络空间国际治理体系的基本现状,是美国占据显著优势位置下的不均衡发展。以美国为代表的欧美发达国家连同那些掌握在它们手中的公司与组织,在全球网络空间治理中占据中心位置。

More cyber security breaches detected in China in 2014: Report – Xinhua China’s cyber security is blighted by information leakage, according to a report released Thursday by a national computer monitoring center. Cyber attacks and security system breaches faced by telecommunication companies are becoming increasingly serious due to technological advances, the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center (CNCERT) said in the report, drawing particular attention to cloud computing and big data analysis.

The South China Sea: Making waves | The Economist It opened a think-tank in Arlington, Virginia—an outpost of its National Institute for South China Sea Studies on Hainan, a tropical (and indisputably Chinese) island on the sea’s northern shore. One role for the new think-tank is to make an academic case for China’s vaguely backed assertion that most of the strategically vital waters are within its domain—despite rival claims by South-East Asian countries.    On April 16th the Institute for China-America Studies, as the Virginia-based centre is called, held a conference at a hotel in Washington. Its Chinese-government connections clearly had pull. Henry Kissinger, a former secretary of state whom Chinese leaders much revere, spoke in a pre-recorded video about the importance of ties between Beijing and Washington. Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to America, attended in person.

Banyan: Shield and spear | The Economist Some suspect that it is for symbolic reasons that China has decided to pick a fight—to show that in the emerging Asia which China expects to dominate, it wants a say in decisions that it reckons affect its own security. If so, it seems to have overplayed its hand, antagonising South Korea by bullying it—just as America blundered when it tried to stop its allies joining the AIIB. The moral seems to be that China’s economic clout can win it commercial acquiescence, but that when it comes to arm-wrestling over matters of national security, America still has the muscle.

军地依法查处一批网上编造传播涉军谣言人员新闻腾讯网 10 detained for spreading rumors online about military corruption  //  近日,军队保卫部门会同公安机关联合整治网上涉军谣言信息,10名编造传播谣言人员依法受到查处。 这段时间以来,一些人在微博、微信、论坛编造散布“部队惊天黑幕”“军队高层内斗”“军中黑社会保护伞”等涉军谣言,转帖境外网站虚假信息,严重损害军队形象声誉,造成恶劣影响。经调查取证,公安机关依法对邓某、王某、郝某等10名在网上编造散布涉军谣言人员,分别作出行政拘留和教育训诫处理,邓某等人对编造传播谣言的事实供认不讳,对违法行为表示悔过。

China Passes Mexico as the Top Source of New U.S. Immigrants – WSJ China was the country of origin for 147,000 recent U.S. immigrants in 2013, while Mexico sent just 125,000, according to a Census Bureau study by researcher Eric Jensen and others presented Friday. India, with 129,000 immigrants, also beat Mexico, though the two countries’ results weren’t statistically different from each other.

Chinese and Russian Navies to Hold Joint Drills in Mediterranean – NYTimes Nine ships from the two countries will participate in the drills, including Chinese vessels now on United Nations antipiracy patrols in waters off the Horn of Africa, the Defense Ministry spokesman, Geng Yansheng, said at a monthly news briefing in Beijing. The drills will focus on navigation safety, at-sea replenishment, escort missions and live-fire exercises, he said.

 

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Hong Kong politics: X marks the spot | The Economist Despite their stated resolve to stand united against the proposals, the pan-democrats will face considerable pressure in the coming weeks. Officials’ warnings that political reform will be frozen if the measures fail to pass will give some of them pause. It would mean that reforms in the election of Legco members, which officials have said may be introduced in 2020, would also be shelved (and in any case it remains unclear what these would involve). The government will try assiduously to court pan-democrat waverers. It worries about failing to carry out the Communist Party’s wishes, which are for the creation of a new political model: “universal suffrage”, under the party’s firm control.

 

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA

中国移动广东公司副总经理温乃粘涉严重违纪被查政经频道财新网 Deputy GM of China Mobile Guangdong under investigation

Tencent pushes further in U.S. gaming with Glu Mobile stake buy | Reuters Tencent Holdings Ltd, the dominant social networking and online entertainment company in China, has agreed to buy 14.6 percent of mobile game developer Glu Mobile Inc for $126 million to expand in the U.S. gaming market. Shares of Glu Mobile, which developed Deer Hunter and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood games, rose about 24 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.

Chinese Firm Tests Balloon for a Wireless High – Caixin A Chinese aerospace supplier is following the lead of American search engine Google by preparing to test a WiFi transmission system that relies on high-altitude balloons to reach remote areas. Shenzhen-based and Hong Kong-listed Kuang-Chi Science Ltd. plans to test the balloons in the skies above New Zealand before July, some two years after Google’s Project Loon sent 30 balloons sailing into the stratosphere over that country as part of a WiFi service experiment.

Regulators shut down Chinese media outlets involved in blackmail|WantChinaTimes China’s press regulator announced Thursday that it has revoked the publishing licenses of a business news website and a weekly newspaper that were caught blackmailing. The website of Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald newspaper and the weekly publication Money Week were penalized after they were found to have forced clients to sign advertisement and service contracts by threatening to publish negative news about them, said the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television in a statement.

Alibaba Smartphone To Help Chinese Police Combat Foreign Spies, Play Games And Shop Online A new smartphone developed jointly by China’s police ministry and Internet giant Alibaba will allow officers to play games and shop online, as well as deploy a safe mode designed to combat data theft and foreign spying, according to Chinese media reports. The handset has been developed over the last 18 months by the Number One Research Institute of China’s Ministry of Public Security and technicians from Hangzhou-based Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce provider, Chinese news website Pengpai reported.

 

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

The marriage squeeze in India and China: Bare branches, redundant males | The Economist If China had had a normal sex ratio at birth, according to a report in 2012 by the UN Population Fund it would have had 721m girls and women in 2010. In fact it had only 655m—a difference of 66m, or 10% of the female population. India’s ratio is not quite so bad. Had it been normal, the country would have had 43m more women, or 7% more, than it actually did. Other countries practise sex selection at birth, but Asia’s giants overshadow all others. Together they account for 109m of the 117m “missing” girls and women globally in 2010. Calculations by Christophe Guilmoto of the Institute of Development Research, a think-tank in Paris, show that marriage patterns in India and China were still normal in 2010. But they will become badly distorted by 2020

 

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Eight Hospital Heads Said to Be Found Taking Bribes – Caixin just 8?  //  One, Wang Tianchao, the 57-year-old president of the First People’s Hospital of Yunnan in Kunming, capital of the southwestern province, took bribes totaling more than 35 million yuan in cash, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on April 27. Wang also netted 100 properties and as many parking places from 2005 to last year that combined are worth 80 million yuan. The country’s top prosecutor’s office said Wang was also suspected of abusing his power regarding the hospital’s building projects, in the procurement of medical equipment and in the management of personnel. Also, seven presidents and one deputy head of six public hospitals in the cities of Xianyang, Ankang and Hanzhong, all in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, were found to have taken more than 2.6 million yuan from three medical equipment and drug companies, the prosecutor’s office in Xianyang said on April 28.

Record pollution fine for Beijing McDonald’s supplier – Xinhua A Beijing company that supplies fries to McDonald’s has been fined a record 3.9 million yuan (655,000 U.S. dollars) for water pollution, the city’s environmental watchdog said on Wednesday. The penalty imposed on Beijing Simplot Food Processing Co. Ltd. — a joint venture between U.S. agribusiness giant J.R. Simplot Company, McDonald’s and the Beijing Agricultural, Industrial and Commerce General Company — is the largest fine ever meted out by Beijing for pollution.

China solar expansion needs billions from wary investors | Reuters Beijing last month announced a solar installation target of 17.8 gigawatts (GWs) for 2015, up 70 percent on the previous year, to boost the use of renewable energy and prop up China’s solar panel industry, the world’s largest. Industry experts say that will entail total investment from big state-owned enterprises and debt-laden private businesses of over $23 billion, most of it from state banks, and the domestic debt and equity capital markets. Chinese banks, however, remain wary after writing off billions of dollars via a wave of defaults and plant closures in the sector when European demand for Chinese solar products collapsed during the euro zone debt crisis.

Bat-winged dinosaur fossil discovered in China-USA Today Scientists discovered the fossil of a small dinosaur with batlike wings in China, according to a new report Nature released Wednesday. The new dinosaur is named Yi qi (pronounced “ee chee”) and means “strange wing” in Mandarin. It belongs to the scansoriopterygids, a group of small dinosaurs that have only been found in China.

 

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES

媒体揭”超级稻”绝收背后:资格认证需投10万元_网易新闻中心 安徽万亩超级稻绝收事件的背后,折射出我国种子现行管理制度的种种弊端。《每日经济新闻》记者调查发现,所谓的超级稻只是一个名号而已,和常规稻相比,超级稻在选种育种的工作上并无区别,且超级稻在认定的过程中也存在诸多的不合理。业内人士表示,要通过超极稻认证,需要投入10万元左右,且过程复杂,很多企业为了省去麻烦就放弃了评选。

China adjusts subsidy policy to help farmers – Xinhua China will improve agricultural subsidy policies in an effort to deepen rural reform, promote agricultural modernization and increase peasants’ income, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announced Thursday. A total of 14 billion yuan (2.3 billion U.S.dollars) will be given directly to grain farmers. Another 20.4 billion yuan will go to farmers to promote good crop varieties. A total of 23.4 billion yuan will be used to support the appropriate management scale of grain, with a focus on big professional bodies such as family farms and farmer cooperatives.

Chinese peasants should share fruits of development: Xi – Xinhua President Xi Jinping said China needs to make breakthrough on coordinated development between urban and rural areas, so as to enable farmers to participate in the country’s development process on an equal footing and share fruits of economic growth. The president was speaking during a collective study session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Political Bureau on improving mechanisms and institutions for the integrated development of urban and rural areas on Thursday afternoon. The most arduous task for China to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society lies in the vast rural areas, especially in those impoverished rural areas, Xi said. // 习近平:健全城乡发展一体化体制机制 让广大农民共享改革发展成果

 

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL

Breaking: North Side of Everest Closing | Outside Online Yesterday, Nima Tsering, head of the Tibetan Mountaineering Association, held a meeting at base camp on the north side of Mount Everest and announced that the mountain—and all other mountains in Tibet—are closed for the season. According to Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions, Tsering gave two reasons for this closure: the risk of another high-magnitude earthquake and solidarity with those in Nepal who are still reeling from the impact.

 

AnchorBEIJING

官方调查称“北京法官殴打和指使法警打律师”情况均不存在一号专案澎湃新闻-The Paper 4月30日上午,北京高院、北京律协、通州政法委、通州公安分局共同组成的联合调查组就崔慧律师反映被法官和法警殴打一事在北京高院召开新闻通报会。联合调查组组长,北京高院党组成员、纪检组长高晓陵公布事件调查结果:不存在通州法官赖秀林殴打崔慧和庭长杨宇指使法警殴打崔慧的情况。

Being a Stoner in Beijing Is Expensive, Dangerous, and Complicated | VICE | United States and stupid in the current environment

Three Beijing International School Teens Detained in Drug Investigation | the Beijinger with video of the arrest and reaction of anguished parents  //  Three students from one of Beijing’s major international schools have been detained by police in an ongoing drug investigation over the past week, our sister magazine beijingkids has learned. In total eight students from the school were questioned, and five released. According to an official school announcement sent to school parents Monday, four students, three seniors and one junior, were detained late Friday night at a private residence in the Beijing Riviera villa compound for alleged involvement with marijuana.

In the Gulou days | the Anthill Reminiscence, history and a walking tour of Beijing

 

If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.

Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters

Send comments/tips/complaints to [email protected]

And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.