THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Russia and China Sign Cooperation Pacts – NYTimes.com President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Xi Jinping of China presided over a signing ceremony that included a road map to balancing their regional interests in Central Asia, secured more than $6 billion in Chinese investment in a Russian intercity rail line and established an information security agreement heralded as a “nonaggression pact” between the countries in cyberspace. Yet amid the warm words and declarations of shared intent from the two leaders, there were also signs of tense, behind-the-scenes negotiations. Notably absent from the agreements signed Friday was a compromise on a price for gas to be sold by Russia to China through a new, multibillion-dollar pipeline from the fields of Western Siberia to the Chinese border.
Related: 习近平出席俄罗斯纪念卫国战争胜利70周年庆典-新华网 CCTV Evening News Saturday on Xi’s visit to Russia and the parade
Related: Spotlight: Xi’s presence in Moscow’s V-Day celebrations highlights shared resolve to safeguard world peace – Xinhua In a signed article published in the Russian Gazette recently, Xi recalled the sacrifices and contributions China and Russia made in WWII, reaffirmed the two countries’ joint determination to uphold the outcome of the war, and called for win-win cooperation in dealing with international affairs. “Xi said the peoples of China and Russia will stand together with all peace-loving nations and peoples firmly against any attempt to deny, distort or tamper with WWII history,” said Pavel Negoitsa, director-general of the Russian Gazette. “This is important because it is what the Russians are now concerned about, and our closest neighbor pointed it out clearly,” Negoitsa said. In his article, Xi quoted Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky as saying that “If we lost the memory of our past, our mind and soul would be lost in the darkness,” in a bid to show the determination of peoples of China and Russia to fight against attempts to rewrite the wartime history.
Related: As Russia Remembers War in Europe, Guest of Honor Is From China – NYTimes “There is a clear tactical convergence of interests between Russia and China but whether this is a long-term strategic convergence of interests is unlikely,” said Bilahari Kausikan, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore. “The present trajectory will end up with Russia becoming the junior partner to China. Will Russians put up with this forever? I doubt it.”
2. Regulator Said to Hear Ways to Rein in Borrowed Money for Stock Buys – Caixin The securities regulator recently met with representatives of bourses and major brokerage firms to gather opinions on how to manage the risk of leveraged stock purchases – a meeting that was held as the market continued to fall from a seven-year high. Sources who attended the meeting on May 6 told Caixin that Nie Qingping, general manager of China Securities Finance Corp. Ltd., said the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) could cap the amount of money securities firms can lend to clients for margin trading. Nie, whose company lends capital and shares to securities firms, said another option for the regulator to consider is tighter risk management measures for securities firms, including higher requirements for collateral in margin trading.
Related: 人民日报：管理层治理旨在慢牛 长牛势头未变 _《人民日报海外版》( 2015年05月08日第02版) A股市场在本周经历了此轮牛市以来最大幅度调整，沪指连续3个交易日累计跌幅超过8%。股市暴跌引发市场恐慌，各种言论、猜测漫天飞。对此，专家认为，此次调整是对“疯牛”过快上涨的估值修复，仍属于正常调整范畴。管理层近期对两融业务和伞形信托的规范治理，旨在维护健康的“慢牛”格局，市场不必做过度解读。随着我经济改革的各项政策逐渐发挥成效，我国股市未来保持长期牛市的势头不会改变。// Friday People’s Daily Overseas edition comment on regulators goal for stock market being a “slow bull market” and reiterating that the long-term trend of a bull market is still intact
3. New China Security Bill Calls for Protecting ‘Cyber Sovereignty’ – Bloomberg Business The provision on “cyber sovereignty” was added to the second draft of the security law, which also stressed the need to safeguard the security of “industries and key areas important to the national economy,” according to a text of the document posted Wednesday on the website of the National People’s Congress. The new proposal, which was reviewed last month by the body’s Standing Committee, also adds language about protecting the country from risks to the financial system. // 中华人民共和国国家安全法（草案）（二次审议稿）征求意见
Related: U.S. asks China to investigate cyber attack targeting U.S. sites | Reuters re the “Great Cannon” // “We are concerned by reports that China has used a new cyber capability to interfere with the ability of worldwide Internet users to access content hosted outside of China,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said. “The cyber attack manipulated international web traffic intended for one of China’s biggest web services companies and turned it into malicious traffic directed at U.S. sites,” Rathke told a news briefing. He said the United States asked Chinese authorities to investigate the cyber attack and report its findings.
Related: New draft of China’s national security law for first time highlights Hong Kong’s responsibilities | South China Morning Post Article 11 of the draft states: “China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division. Safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, including people in Hong Kong and Macau as well as Taiwan.” Article 36 goes on to say: “The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and the Special Administrative Region of Macau must fulfil their responsibility to safeguard national security.”
4. Defense.gov News Release: DoD Release of the Report of Military and Security Developments in China Department of Defense released the “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China”. This annual report informs Congress of the Department of Defense’s assessment of military and security developments involving China. As stipulated by law, the report is a DoD product and is transmitted to Congress by the secretary of defense. It is coordinated with other agencies and departments across the U.S. government and is the authoritative assessment from the United States government on military and security developments involving China. The report is available here
Related: Images show Vietnam’s South China Sea reclamation, China defends own | Reuters The photographs, shared with Reuters by Washington’s Centerfor Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), show anexpansion of the land area of Vietnamese-controlled Sand Cay and West London Reef in the Spratly archipelago and the addition of buildings. Mira Rapp-Hooper, director of CSIS’s Asia MaritimeTransparency Initiative (amti.csis.org/), said the work included military installations and appeared to have started before China began a flurry of reclamation projects last year.
Related: China accelerates land reclamation in disputed islands: Pentagon | Reuters Beijing’s activity in the South China Sea was one of several security issues raised on Friday in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments. The report, which covered the 2014 calendar year, also raised concerns about cyber intrusions, a growing submarine force and China’s lack of transparency about its military intentions.
Related: Clear Strengths, Fuzzy Weaknesses In China’s Massive Military Build-Up – WSJ – Andrew Erickson Despite those deficiencies, the new report contributes to vital public knowledge of China’s military-security development. Chinese officials will likely denounce its findings but won’t address specifics, underscoring a likely inability to disprove anything more than a few technicalities. What apparently bothers Beijing far more than any facts revealed is the very notion that Washington would seek to bring transparency and open discussion to the state and trajectory of what is now the world’s second military by many measures — all the more reason why the report’s imperfect yet irreplaceable contribution is invaluable.
Related: China opposes US annual report on Chinese military – China Daily The Defense Ministry on Saturday expressed firm opposition to a Pentagon report on China’s military development and security. The report played up “China’s military threat” in disregard of facts and make groundless accusations of China’s defense and military building, said Defense Ministry spokesperson Geng Yansheng in a statement. He said China was firmly opposed to the US accusations on issues such as the direction of China’s defense policies and the so-called lack of transparency.
5. China’s plan to deal with its debt mountain | FT Alphaville interesting note from Chen Long, I believe a former student of Michael Pettis, now at Gavekal // This time around, China faces a much higher stock of debt and much lower rates of nominal GDP growth, meaning the debt-shrinking machine cannot easily work its magic again. Without its assistance, the solvency- problem approach to debt management looks unnecessarily risky from Beijing’s perspective. And the previous administration’s strategy of ignoring the problem altogether—refusing to even choose between the solvency and liquidity approaches—was also becoming untenable. Corporate profitability has deteriorated as the economic slowdown since 2012 has deepened, leading to more and more problems for borrowers— evidenced by a steady rise in banks’ nonperforming loans and a greater incidence of defaults and near-defaults in the corporate bond market. As a result, we believe China has now clearly chosen to treat its debt as a liquidity problem, and has developed a three-part strategy.
Related: Why China Can Avoid a Local Fiscal Crisis | Paulson Institute – Song Houze there are encouraging signs that Beijing is taking measures to deal with the problem before a crisis unfolds. In recent months, Beijing has issued a series of new policies aimed at building a sustainable and stable local government fiscal system. In my opinion, these new policies should reduce the risk embedded in the current system. Ultimately, local fiscal reform could help stabilize and boost China’s growth.
6. Accused of Spying for China, Until She Wasn’t – NYTimes “They came across a person of Chinese descent and a little bit of evidence that they may have been trying to benefit the Chinese government, but it’s clear there was a little bit of Red Scare and racism involved,” said Peter J. Toren, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in computer crimes and industrial espionage. He is now a partner at Weisbrod Matteis & Copley in Washington, and the author of “Intellectual Property and Computer Crimes.” Interviews with Mrs. Chen and her former colleagues and a review of court filings, which include a year’s worth of Mrs. Chen’s work and personal emails, suggest that prosecutors hunted for evidence of espionage, failed and settled on lesser charges that they eventually dropped.
Related: FBI Alleges Former PPG Employee Gave Trade Secrets to Chinese Firm – WSJ A retired PPG Industries Inc. employee, apparently resentful at his departure three years ago, stole trade secrets worth “hundreds of millions of dollars” for plastic windows used on aircraft and high-speed trains and shared some of the information with a Chinese firm, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a criminal complaint. The suspect, Thomas Rukavina, 62 years old, retired from coatings-and-paint manufacturer PPG in July 2012 and had been in contact with J.T.M.G. Co. of Jiangsu, China, since at least March 2013, according to emails detailed in the complaint. They were seized by the FBI under a federal search warrant obtained in February.
7. [Postcard] | The Barracks Are Cast of Iron, by R.W. McMorrow | Harper’s Magazine author worked in this factory as part of his Fulbright scholarship // On September 3, 2013, I arrived at a worker’s dormitory in Guangdong, China, to find my new roommate sprawled out on a plywood bunk in the corner of the small and musty room. He was wearing a hot-pink uniform emblazoned with the letters EPS—for expanded polystyrene, a material used to make foam packaging, bicycle helmets, and a slew of other products sold abroad. He and 269 other workers at the JinBao Foam Factory1 manufactured roughly 130,000 foam pieces and 9,000 helmet baskets a day. JinBao is one of 208,900 companies in the city of Dongguan, which, with a GDP of $94 billion, is among China’s preeminent manufacturing hubs.
8. AP: Chinese banks a haven for web counterfeits At least three prominent Chinese banks serve as safe havens for counterfeiters, who use them to process credit card payments or move their money around the globe, The Associated Press has found. A review of hundreds of pages of court documents — along with interviews with lawyers, investigators, government officials and industry groups — shows that a lack of legal cooperation between the West and China is allowing counterfeiters to use Chinese banks as financial shelters. Five lawsuits filed in the United States against counterfeiters reveal a pattern: Counterfeiters sold fakes online in the U.S., using credit cards or PayPal. Then, records show, they transferred millions to accounts at two of China’s largest, state-owned banks — the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China — as well as China Merchants Bank.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
China Exports Drop in April, Compounding Pressure on Economy – Bloomberg Business Overseas shipments fell 6.2 percent from a year earlier in yuan value, the customs administration said in Beijing on Friday. That compared with the median estimate for a 0.9 percent rise in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Imports slid 16.1 percent — the fourth straight double-digit decline — leaving a trade surplus of 210.21 billion yuan ($33.9 billion). Stronger demand from a recovering U.S. economy is being offset by sluggishness in Europe and a slide in shipments to Japan, compounding challenges for an economy that last quarter expanded at the slowest pace since 2009. The central bank has cut benchmark interest rates and banks’ reserve ratios twice in the last six months to cushion the slowdown.
Subdued April inflation presages more monetary easing – Xinhua Despite improving consumer inflation and stabilizing producer deflation in April, analysts said China may still need further monetary loosening measures to boost market vitality. The consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, grew 1.5 percent year on year in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Saturday. The reading slightly rebounded from 1.4 percent in March and 0.8 percent in January, the lowest level in more than five years.
Premier Li cheers start-ups at China’s Silicon Valley – Xinhua Pictures of Premier Li Keqiang holding a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and chatting with young crowds at a start-up cluster in northwestern Beijing went viral online on Thursday, sending another heartening message to China’s budding entrepreneurs. In a visit to 3W Coffee, a cafe frequented by young IT engineers for seminars and brainstorming sessions at Zhongguancun, a technology hub dubbed as China’s Silicon Valley, Li listened to youngsters’ ideas and stories, and encouraged them in a fresh demonstration of support for entrepreneurship and innovation. After hearing how job-listings website Lagou.com has helped over 1 million IT workers land jobs, Li said the aim of stable growth is to ensure employment, and innovation has served as an important tool for that end. He called for further efforts to create conditions to allow the flowering of such innovation.
[视频]李克强在中国科学院和中关村创业大街考察时强调 着力推动大众创业万众创新 汇聚经济社会发展强大新动能新闻频道央视网(cctv.com) Thursday CCTV Evening News on Li Keqiang’s visits to CAS and Zhongguancun
李克强赴中科院及中关村调研：让科学家生活体面新闻腾讯网 “大家拿的手机很多是外国品牌啊” “我看大家拿的手机，很多都是外国品牌啊！”看着科研人员争相高举拍照的手机，李克强笑着说。 大家都笑了。一位女生马上喊道：“总理，我用的是国产手机！” 李克强说：“没错，你的手机是‘Made in China’（中国制造），但它的操作系统，包括源代码，都还不是中国研发的，还称不上‘Created in China’（中国创造）啊！” 他进一步阐释，中国是世界最大的手机供应国，有巨大的市场，更有巨大的行业提升潜力。“这更需要基础研究作为支撑，让更多‘Made in China’（中国制造）变成‘Created in China’（中国创造）！”
China to cut e-commerce red tape, back entrepreneurship and ease market access | South China Morning Post The move came as Premier Li Keqiang made a tour of Zhongguancun, Beijing’s high-tech business hub, to applaud innovation and encourage entrepreneurship. The State Council paper promised to abandon strict registry requirements for e-commerce businesses, encourage more venture capital to enter the sector, reduce share-holding restrictions on foreign investments and lower the tax burden. It also plans to reduce logistical costs, strengthen financing and infrastructure, and turn bricks-and-mortar stores into click-and-mortar – both online and offline – platforms.
国务院力推电商:将鼓励互联网企业境内上市|电商|互联网企业|上市新浪财经新浪网 信息时报综合报道 (记者 王文佳)昨日，国务院发布《国务院关于大力发展电子商务加快培育经济新动力的意见》(下称《意见》)，明确要大力发展电子商务，降低电子商务准入门槛，加大金融服务支持，建立健全适应电子商务发展的多元化、多渠道投融资机制。有关部门按职责分工分别负责研究鼓励符合条件的互联网企业在境内上市等相关政策。
Paulson Institute Think Tank welcomes Andrew Batson as Nonresident Senior Fellow Andrew Batson, a leading expert on macroeconomic trends and developments in China, has joined the Paulson Institute’s think tank as a Nonresident Senior Fellow. Announcing Batson’s appointment, Paulson Institute Vice Chairman Evan Feigenbaum said, “Andrew Batson has proven himself to be one of the sharpest and most astute observers of the Chinese economy.” // good choice by the Paulson Institute…and must be nice to have an affiliation with a good think tank
Another Chinese Firm Defaults on Its Dollar Bond – Bloomberg Business “Coal prices have been falling sharply over the years and credit quality will have deteriorated as a result,” Sandra Chow, a Singapore-based analyst at independent research firm CreditSights Inc. said by phone Thursday. “It’s inevitable that one or two will feel more financial stress than others, depending on their cash reserves.” Winsway said in the filing Friday that “discussions with potential equity investors in connection with a potential equity investment” by issuing new shares are continuing. Winsway said it “will make a further announcement regarding its discussions with bondholders and potential equity investors when appropriate.”
城市、城乡之间存供需错位 部分城市房地产市场供远大于求-新华网 中国社会科学院7日发布《中国房地产发展报告（2015）》（以下简称报告）称，2014年中国房地产待售面积首次突破6亿平方米，达到6.22亿平方米，房地产市场总体供远大于求。供求不均衡的现状意味着2015年市场将继续去库存。 报告预测，2015年房价存在上涨的可能性，但不会大幅上涨。为加速去库存，各地政府将出台回购商品房作为保障性住房政策，以及一系列鼓励住房消费的政策，金融政策也将进一步放松。
Former Banker Said to Be Detained amid Corruption Inquiry – Caixin A former executive at Beijing Rural Commercial Bank (BRCB) and Huaxia Bank has been detained by Communist Party graft fighters, people with knowledge of the situation say. Qiao Rui, 60, currently serves as a deputy director of the Financial and Economic Office under the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress.
不动产登记将不与房地产税挂钩 国土部要求加快推进 – 经济观察网 － 专业财经新闻网站 Economic Observer says the fixed asset registration system will not in the near-term be linked with property tax initiative // 经济观察网记者从多个权威渠道获悉，不动产登记政策的制定者近期明确：不动产登记工作不与房地产税挂钩，而突出其保护不动产权利人合法权的核心功能，要加快推进该项工作的全面推开。
Alibaba Boosts Its Stake in Online Retailer Zulily to 9.3% – Bloomberg Business Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s biggest e-commerce company that held its initial public offering last year, bought $56.2 million of stock in U.S. online retailer Zulily Inc. this week, according to a regulatory filing. The purchases brought Alibaba’s holdings of Seattle-based Zulily to 11.5 million shares, or a 9.3 percent stake, according to regulatory filings and data compiled by Bloomberg. Alibaba’s Zulily holdings were worth $152.9 million at Friday’s closing price of $13.30.
If you value Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Chinese Province Issues Draft Regulation on Church Crosses – NYTimes Fan Yafeng, director of the Zhongfu Shengshan Research Institute, a Beijing-based nonprofit group that studies Chinese Christianity, said the new rules in Zhejiang fit well with calls from the central government to emphasize “Christianity with Chinese characteristics” — a bid to tamp down what are seen as foreign influences within the church that support democratization in China. “Through limiting Christianity’s impact in social, public and political realms in China,” the government “wants to destroy the relationship between Christianity and Chinese democratization,” said Mr. Fan, who was formerly a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government research institute.
明鏡新聞網 明鏡月刊》(第64期)：反貪大剎車 停打大老虎 // The latest issue of Mingjing says that the tiger corruption investigations are on hold due to resistance from elders and senior officials. There were similar claims in overseas in late 2013/early 2014 that Zhou Yongkang would basically get off because of similar pressure, but those reports turned out to be wrong. This time, who knows, and Mingjing’s recent track record means you can’t ignore it. There clearly has been a lull in at least public announcements of CCDI tiger-related activities in recent weeks, the crackdown clearly has affected many powerful interests and is a short-term drag on the economy and so this report is certainly plausible. If it is true it is terrible for the prospects for reform. It could also be wrong, planted by either worried parties who want to use the overseas Chinese media to sow doubt and confusion, or planted by people who want potential targets to think the pressure is off and start relaxing. One near-term indicator may be whether or not Guo Boxiong is put under investigation. His son and daughter-in-law have been detained and the media exposed all sorts of embarrassing details about their corruption a few weeks ago. If there is not a Guo-related announcement by late June that is probably a decent indicator that this Mingjing report has real merit.
Daddy Issues: Corruption in New York and Shanghai – The New Yorker – Evan Osnos The awkward fact is that cases of “princeling” corruption in the Communist Party, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party have more in common with each other than any of them would care to admit. Americans enjoy the notion that our commitment to transparency and accountability is a self-correcting constraint against the sort of clannish looting that infects authoritarian systems; Chinese officials prefer to imagine that the Party’s devotion to sacrifice and fairness checks the culture of greed and self-dealing that infects capitalist political culture. But both beliefs run thin today. In an unusual acknowledgment of the similarities, certain Wall Street banks are in a dispute with the U.S. government over its effort to use foreign-bribery laws to punish them for giving jobs to the princeling relatives of Chinese officials and state-owned company managers, in the hope of getting deals. (J.P. had to close down a program called “sons and daughters.”) Certain banks, according to the Wall Street Journal, object to the investigation not because they deny such things happen but because they believe it is “threatening to criminalize standard business practices in some countries.” // but far easier to report on the corruption in the US than in China, though many American media outlets are not as aggressive about American political corruption as they probably should be
CDB English Translation of The Overseas NGO Management Law (Second Draft) – China Development Brief CDB has translated the second draft of the Overseas NGO Management Law of the People’s Republic of China. The draft has been released online on the NPC website for public consultation
近思录：追杀炎黄春秋_中国-多维新闻网 “决不许《炎黄春秋》挟持司法向红色地带反扑！”5月6日中国社会科学院一篇署名“吴鹰蕉”的文章列数《炎黄春秋》“七大罪状”，宣称“如果任其这样发展下去，将会严重影响到党的执政安全。该杂志应该进行整顿。”是什么深仇大恨，令作者必欲置《炎黄春秋》于死地？// Yanhuang Chunqiu is getting squeezed harder by regulators
全国1年至少38名县委书记落马 其中1人牵出百官新闻腾讯网 甘肃省华亭县原县委书记任增禄收受贿赂991万元，另有411万元巨额财产来源不明。该案牵涉129名华亭县官员，几乎覆盖了该县县委、县政府以及各乡镇政府机关。// on corruption among county chiefs…downfall of one county chief in Gansu exposed 100 corrupt local officials
China repatriates No 2 ‘Sky Net’ fugitive official who fled to Singapore after alleged 94m yuan fraud | South China Morning Post Li Huabo, who fled to Singapore in 2011 after alleged fraud involving 94 million yuan, later jailed in city state for receiving stolen funds
Chinese judicial departments to better handle petitions – Xinhua The Ministry of Justice on Friday released a guideline on the petition system, which underscored the rule of law and protection of petitioners’ rights. The guideline stipulates that authorities must resolve conflicts and disputes legally, and any practice that limits public petitioning must be rectified. //司法部：明确司法行政涉诉信访事项终结退出机制
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
U.S. Congressman says engagement with China has diminished under Xi | Reuters “I think it has diminished,” Congressman Matt Salmon said of China’s engagement with U.S. lawmakers under President Xi. “This president has a whole different philosophy. In fact I think if anything, this president is moving in the other direction, (away) from constructive engagement from the past two presidents.” Salmon is chairman of the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific under the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Republican representative from Arizona is in the middle of his fifth term in Congress. Salmon was in Hong Kong as the head of a U.S. Congressional delegation, which also visited Vietnam and discussed political, trade and economic issues.
Xi Jinping’s High-Risk Policy Needs A National Security Commission-David Lampton This YaleGlobal article is based on a longer academic article in the Journal of Contemporary China. In January 2014, China took a step in coordinating national security policy with the establishment of China’s National Security Commission, developed after officials studied models from other nations. The commission is naturally shrouded in secrecy. The chain of command for advisers is unknown, and Lampton cautions that foreign-policy responsibilities that are too segmented could pose challenges in meeting security threats.
New Chinese Submarine Simulator Provides Clues To Future Naval Power | Popular Science The Type 095 nuclear attack submarine (SSN) will be China’s stealthiest nuclear submarine when it enters service in 2017-2019. The Chinese Navy (PLAN) can’t wait for their new boat; they’ve already built a simulator to train future Type 095 crewers. The PLAN’s willingness to build a submarine simulator at this early stage suggests that not only will the Type 095 SSN be a significant improvement over its predecessor, but that its systems, such as a quieter reactor, and improved sonar, are likely progressing as well.
In Sri Lanka, China’s Foreign Policy Meets Rare Setback – Bloomberg Business Two visits by Chinese submarines last year highlighted China’s success in elbowing out India. But the Sri Lanka adventure has since soured. President Maithripala Sirisena has put the new city on hold, saying the government needs to investigate whether the Chinese-backed project violated rules protecting the environment and preventing corruption. “China discounted the possibility of regime change,” says Deshal De Mel, senior economist at Hayleys, a Sri Lankan conglomerate. The airport that was so closely associated with Rajapaksa “is one example of a project they may have thought twice about financing.” China’s rivals have rushed to capitalize on Beijing’s unpopularity with the new government. Both India and the U.S. had a stormy relationship with Rajapaksa, who crushed a decades-long rebellion by the Tamil minority in 2009.
Stirring up the South China Sea (III): A Fleeting Opportunity for Calm – International Crisis Group Beijing’s revision to its tactics offers an opportunity to break the debilitating cycle of tension spikes followed by relative calm. Overtures to secure the region’s cooperation for its 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, a Xi Jinping priority, may provide further scope for multilateral diplomacy at a time when Beijing is verbally endorsing ASEAN’s lead role in maintaining South China Sea peace and stability – even if it does so mainly to block U.S. influence and rein in the Philippines. Indonesia is still resolved to guide the formulation of a maritime Code of Conduct, which would commit claimants to a set of consensus-based behavioural norms. Vietnam and the Philippines are also still invested in that ASEAN-driven process. The 2015 ASEAN chair, Malaysia, is well positioned to lead, as a claimant country that has amicable relations with China and is one of the more diplomatically capable members. The region thus stands a credible chance to experience a more durable calm in the troubled waters.
China ‘negotiates military base’ in Djibouti – Al Jazeera English “Discussions are ongoing,” President Ismail Omar Guelleh said in an interview in Djibouti, saying Beijing’s presence would be “welcome”. The AFP did not say when the interview was conducted. Djibouti is already home to Camp Lemonnier, the US military headquarters on the continent, used for covert, anti-terror and other operations in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere across Africa.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Student Protest Derails Chinese Military Visit to Hong Kong Campus – NYTimes “On June 4, 1989, the People’s Liberation Army bloodily cracked down on the students’ democratic movement, massacring the people with tanks and live ammunition,” the university’s student union said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the military suppression of student-led demonstrations around Tiananmen Square that left hundreds, perhaps thousands, dead. “To let an army serving a totalitarian regime enter our campus is to set a precedent of working with the People’s Liberation Army.”
TECH AND MEDIA *
马化腾到中央网信办说了啥： “互联网+”如何连接一切安徽频道凤凰网 导语：5月5日，马化腾受邀到中央网信办作关于“互联网+”的专题报告，为互联网管理者妙解“互联网+”带来的新机遇、新挑战、新纪元。中央网信办主任、国家互联网信息办公室主任鲁炜亲临现场，感慨这个比他还忙的人让现场座无虚席、“站”无虚位。不过还好传播君有幸抢到了一个小板凳，现在就跟小编一起来看马化腾所理解的“互联网+”如何“连接一切”吧 // On Pony Ma’s talk at the CAC about “Internet+”
LinkedIn CEO On Chinese Censorship: “It’s Gut-Wrenching” – BuzzFeed News Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, said that his company’s introduction of a Chinese-language version has involved “compromises that are far from ideal and can be very painful” in a conversation with BuzzFeed San Francisco Bureau Chief Mat Honan tonight in New York.
Alibaba Names New Chief Executive and Reports Revenue Rise – NYTimesThough analysts generally agree that Alibaba’s long-term growth potential still lives up to the hopes that surrounded its listing last year, many have become more cautious about how much the company can increase earnings in the coming months. One issue, they say, is that Alibaba makes less money from advertising on smartphones than it does on computers, yet more of its traffic comes via phones.
China Media Website Whitelist Targets ‘False Information’ – RFA The whitelist features many of the country’s best-known official media outlets, all of which are subject to close censorship by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and the majority of which are traditional print and broadcast media with an online presence. Just over a quarter of the places on the list are taken up by media outlets under the direct control of party or government departments, including party stalwarts the People’s Daily Online and the online version of the People’s Liberation Army newspaper, the Cyberspace Administration said in a statement on its website. The rest are given over to provincial and regional media, out of which just 20 slots are allocated to online-only news media, and limited to regional government websites like Anhui Online. Cutting-edge media like the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper and the 21st Century Business Herald don’t appear on the list, meaning that they can’t syndicate their news content to other sites.
Alibaba in talks to buy $1.2 billion stake in India phone maker Micromax: sources | Reuters Xiaomi and Lei Jun must be driving Jack Ma nuts // The deal, if completed, would see Alibaba investing as much as $1.2 billion in Micromax, the second-largest smartphone brand in India by sales, at up to $6 billion, two of the people said. India is the world’s third largest smartphone market and was the fastest growing in the Asia Pacific region in the third quarter of last year, according to industry research firm International Data Corporation.
网络论坛遭遇移动媒体逼宫 突围之路“移动起来”–舆情频道–人民网 日前，艺龙旅行网以7650万元人民币的价格将南京西祠胡同社区论坛90%的股权以及所有相关资产转让给了江苏紫金汇文传媒投资有限公司，而这次转让也令西祠胡同这个曾经号称“华人社区第一门户网站”的传统网络论坛迎来了第三任主人。几乎就在同时，另一家曾盛极一时的论坛天涯社区传出了寻求在新三板挂牌上市的消息，希望借此获得重生。网络论坛作为在我国最早落地生根的互联网产品之一，将互联网所代表的平等、互动、分享等精神带给了广大网民，承载了一代网民的激情与梦想。但是，如今说起网络论坛，很多人的记忆似乎还停留在上世纪末和本世纪初。昔日繁华今已凋零，很多网民唏嘘不已。在互联网迭代更新令人眼花缭乱的今天，网络论坛是否气数已尽，转型突围之路的方向又在哪里？
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
为什么国共双方和日本人都批判过《何日君再来》？文化课澎湃新闻-The Paper hard to believe it has been 20 years since Deng Lijun died
But Who IS Brother Orange? Meet The Chinese Man Who Ended Up With A Buzzfeed Editor’s Phone He’s a serial entrepreneur, a middle school dropout and a self-conscious celebrity. He’s proud of his hometown culture, terrified of flying and unsure about what to do with the pile of fame that’s been dumped in his lap. The past three months have in many ways turned his life upside down, but he’s stayed grounded by surrounding himself with family and friends — many of whom have known him since he was just a boy growing up in one of the poorest counties in southern China.
西宁清真蛋糕店被砸事件11人被捕 未售猪肉制品新闻腾讯网 本报讯 5月1日下午，西宁爱里食品有限公司在为东关店配送食品原材料时，有人发现独立包装的清真食品与独立包装的非清真食品同车运送，引来部分群众围观、拍照，一些人情绪激动，若干不法分子冲进店内进行打砸。事发后，市委、市政府成立联合调查组，展开了全面调查。目前，事件原因已查清，对相关责任单位、责任人及打砸人员依法依规进行了处理。
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China ‘to Hold Officials Accountable for Life for Environmental Problems’ – Caixin Zhang Yong, a deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, said officials who fail to prevent problems such as pollution of waterways or soil contamination cannot be promoted or hold other positions. They will also be held responsible if problems crop up after they’ve moved on in their careers, he said. “Even if they have been transferred to different jobs or jurisdictions, they will still be held to account over their past failures to safeguard the environment,” Zhang said. He added that officials could be prosecuted if they are found to have been derelict in overseeing the protection of the environment.
环保部专项检查督查大气防治 18家企业被责令整改时政一财网 《第一财经日报》记者5月8日刚刚从环境保护部获悉，环保部近期对京津冀及周边地区开展了大气污染防治专项执法检查和督查，对部分污染排放突出企业加大惩治力度。 环保部有关负责人告诉记者，此次检查重点针对各类重点大气排污企业、燃煤扬尘面源污染、重污染天气应对、群众投诉案件办理等情况。共出动执法人员6.3万人次，检查企业2.5万家次。 同时，环保部还组织10个督查组对北京、天津、河北、山西、内蒙古及河南等地开展大气污染防治专项执法督查。督查发现北京市丰台铁路车辆段检修厂等18家企业(群)环境违法问题较为突出，存在弄虚作假、不正常使用治污设施或治污设施不完善、超标排放以及企业群或区域性污染问题。
China hikes cigarette tax in anti-smoking drive | Reuters China is set to raise the wholesale tax rate for cigarettes to 11 percent from 5 percent, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday, in a move to deter smokers in the world’s biggest maker and consumer of tobacco. China has accelerated a campaign against smoking over the past year, despite persistent opposition from the tobacco industry.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *
Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Scrutinizes Imported Sorghum As shipments of imported sorghum soar, inspectors at Chinese ports are carefully scrutinizing the grain for problems. Inspection and quarantine authorities say they have stepped up inspections and testing to prevent new pathogens and weeds from entering the country, but more cynical observers might suspect that the inspections are a disguised trade barrier.
腾讯新闻-北京朝阳群众举报涉毒再立功 details on the foreign kids busted in Beijing smoking pot last month. 8 arrested in total including dealers, I believe several of the arrested attend (attended?) WAB, and they were ratted out again by the “Chaoyang district masses”. It is a really bad idea for foreigners to be touching drugs in Beijing right now. Would you be doing them if you were living in Singapore? That is Beijing’s model for drug enforcement // 8名外籍人员在京聚众吸食大麻被群众举报后被警方抓获。昨日国家禁毒委员会办公室通报，朝阳警方侦破一起外籍人员吸贩毒案，抓获涉案人员8名，其中5人刑事拘留，3人行政拘留。消息一经披露，“朝阳群众”再次成为热门词汇。据了解，自去年9月以来，全市共接到群众举报线索3000条，同比上升近4倍。
Music Festivals Are Being Stamped out in Beijing | VICE News and there is a new Beijing Police Chief // “Had the events of New Year’s Eve not happened our festival in Beijing would have been fine,” Michael LoJudice, director of international booking affairs for Strawberry Festival, told VICE News. “But you can see where these guys [the public security bureau] are coming from — why would they even think of risking [being blamed for any accidents]?” Archie Hamilton, founder of Split Works, the gig promoters behind Shanghai and Beijing’s multi-venue festival JUE, agrees. “Imagine you work for the Beijing Public Security Bureau and you know the leaders hang out in Chaoyang Park on the holiday weekend,” he said. “You’re going to be a lot more careful about what goes on in that park, whereas four hours from Beijing it’s unlikely that Xi Jinping is going to come strolling past any big crazy festival.”
JOBS AND EVENTS *
Forest Campaigner-Beijing Office-2015 | Greenpeace East Asia We are seeking a cross-disciplinary and dedicated professional to be part of our dynamic Forests Campaign in China. Working together with Greenpeace staff in China and other countries, as well as external partners, the Forests campaigner is directly involved in the development and implementation of exciting and important campaign activities.
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]
Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.