THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Chinese Man’s Death in Custody Prompts Suspicion of Police Brutality – The New York Times The death of a well-educated environmentalist after plainclothes officers detained him outside a Beijing foot massage parlor last Saturday is rattling nerves in China and causing its growing middle class to wonder: How safe are we from our own police? A deluge of articles, online comments and petitions for justice suggests that many suspect that unjustified police violence was at fault in the death of the environmentalist, Lei Yang, 29, who, according to Chinese news media, held a master’s degree in environmental science from the prestigious Renmin University and worked for the China Association of Circular Economy, an environmental organization affiliated with the government. // This awful Lei Yang case reinforcing view of many in China that nothing and no one is safe in today’s China…And the despair and cynicism over the Wei Zexi case, the murder of the retired Guangdong dentist, the Lei Yang case, the Zhengzhou demolition murders this week (see the Society section) and the general atmosphere nicely captured in this ditty going around Wechat, concluding that people with foresight are emigrating, those without are still shouting “protect the Diaoyu Islands!”…: “这是一个悲催的初夏，看病的死了，治病的也死了。嫖娼的死了，强拆的死了，被强拆的也死了！ 在这个奇葩的体制下，先知先觉的移民了，后知后觉的还在高喊“保卫钓鱼岛”！ 点评: 晚饭没吃好……”
Related: 一日两评“雷洋案”，新华社主张什么？- 2016-05-12 新华社 12日，新华社连发两篇评论，呼吁以有力的信息公开取信于民，强调权威发布不能落在舆情后面。// Xinhua had two pieces Thursday on the case
Related: 独家|陈有西等京衡所律师已代理雷洋案政经频道财新网 律师将申请北京市检察机关立案侦查此案，希望最高检督办；并代表家属作出三点澄清：雷洋未参与常州外语学校土地污染案调查；雷妻此前说不在意丈夫是否嫖娼，并非认为丈夫真有嫖娼事实，而是指明此案关注重点不容掩盖，着重追究雷洋死因；网上流传的所谓电击雷洋的视频巳经雷洋家属审看，被击人不是雷洋 // Chen Youxi has signed on to represent Lei’s family
Related: 警方回应“雷某涉嫖死亡事件”质疑–法制网 伤痕或在最初抓捕时形成避孕套DNA鉴定可证实嫖娼
Related: 雷洋事件：“打飞机”戴套是种罕见性癖好 答：一般情况下，得抓现行，即行为人在性交易的过程中被抓获才可能认定是 ” 嫖娼 “。如果没有抓到现行，那么将很难认定。不过，只要警方控制一切，那么要 ” 认定 ” 任意行为人 ” 嫖娼 ” 就易如反掌。当事人口供可以屈打成招，毕竟 ” 嫖娼 ” 又不是多么严重的犯罪，承认了也就罚款、拘留、通知单位家庭，最多再收容教育半年，相比于被持续地残酷暴打虐待，违心地承认 ” 嫖娼 ” 要避免多少皮肉之苦，何况在威逼利诱下，对方承诺承认了只需要缴纳罚款就行。//and leading to some absurd “analysis” of the police claims…can’t translate this one without triggering spam filters but has to do with claims of DNA discovered
Related: 【独家深度】北京雷某案:为何又是一场全民“福尔摩斯”-2016-05-12 人民网舆情监测室 截至目前，在“北京男子雷某涉嫖被抓死亡”事件的舆情应对中，官方在基础性工作上未有缺位，公安机关前后两次主动通报了案件进展、北京检方及时介入监督，昌平警方还接受《人民日报》采访回答“十问”等等。但核心舆情“痛点”——执法视频至今仍缺位，公安在多个关键疑点上“说得慢”以及“由谁来说更合适”等问题，或多或少地影响了官方应对的效果。而在此次雷洋事件中，包括雷洋人大同窗、亲属、媒体和自媒体、网民在内的多方力量，通过网络公开信、媒体受访、跟帖评论等多种发声渠道，呼吁真相早日浮出水面。相比民间舆论场的“立场先行”和“舆论审判”，雷某事件中的主流媒体截至目前未有明显失衡的报道倾向，较之李某某强奸案时更显专业与中立。不过，继朱令案后，雷某案中再现的全民“福尔摩斯”现象背后，仍是对官方在新媒体时代平衡办案独立性与舆论知情权能力的拷问。
Related: 雷洋真的害怕警察吗？ 曾有一个广为传播的分析：名校毕业、体制内工作、结婚纪念日、初为人父的雷洋，激烈反抗并试图逃跑，主要是不想让自己嫖娼的事情暴露。 但是，从雷洋高呼围观群众打110来看，这一点，并不能成立。真警察来了之后，雷洋嫖娼的事实，也无法掩盖。 这群便衣究竟干了什么，让雷洋坚信他们是假警察，并拼死反抗？ 在这一个小时里，一个身体健康、风华正茂的青年死了。舆论关注这事，既不是为涉嫌嫖娼的雷洋开脱，也不是跟抓嫖的警察过不去，而是一个人，不能就这么不明不白死了。这个问题不说清楚，所有人都不会有安全感。
Related: China’s Middle-Class Anxieties – The New York Times – Murong Xuecun OpEd Middle-class worries may accelerate the outward flow of capital and people, and further isolate the government, but they are unlikely to lead to meaningful change. Ultimately, too many middle-class people benefit from the system. Nearly half of the urban middle class are employed by government organizations or state-owned enterprises. Their misgivings with the government come from something they can’t divest: their identity. This cognitive dissonance is typical of nearly everyone I know.
2. U.S. Destroyer Passes Near Chinese Artificial Island in South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operation – USNI News The FON op was conducted to, “challenge excessive maritime claims by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam which were seeking to restrict navigation rights in the South China Sea. This operation challenged attempts by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam to restrict navigation rights around the features they claim, specifically that these three claimants purport to require prior permission or notification of transits through the territorial sea, contrary to international law,” Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban told USNI News.
Related: Commentary: U.S. patrols increase risk of misjudgement in South China Sea – Xinhua The only freedom in question is the United States’ freedom to do as it pleases with impunity. Article 30 of the UNCLOS states that warships must comply with the law of the coastal state concerning passage through territorial waters. If a request for compliance is made and disregarded, the coastal state may require it to leave immediately. China in 1992 enacted the Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, stipulating that foreign military ships shall be subject to approval by the Chinese government before entering the waters.
Related: Beijing Vows to Increase South China Sea Defenses-USNI News Chinese officials took a rhetorical hard line this week calling U.S. military actions in the South China Sea the “greatest threat” to stability in the region and vowed to increase its own military presence in the region, according to a Wednesday statement from the Chinese military. “China will intensify sea and air patrol and enhance construction of defense capabilities in the area as needed, firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security and resolutely maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea,” read a Wednesday statement from the Ministry of National Defense.
Related: China values free navigation in South China Sea more than any other country: senior military official – Xinhua China values the freedom of navigation and peace and stability in the South China Sea more than any other country in the world, said Fang Fenghui, a member of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), on Thursday. Fang, who is also chief of the newly-established Joint Staff Department under the CMC, made the remarks during a video conversation with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford.
Related: How America Picks Its Next Move in the South China Sea | The National Interest the White House may be waiting to operate within twelve nautical miles of Mischief Reef until the Arbitral Tribunal issues its decision in the case the Philippines has brought against China. The tribunal may rule that Mischief Reef is a low-tide elevation, rather than an island or a rock. This would make it more difficult for China to claim that a U.S. FONOP that includes the conduct of a military activity near Mischief Reef is provocative. Therefore, some U.S. leaders may believe that delaying a Mischief Reef FONOP until the legal case is resolved ensures that Washington is on the right side of international law, and gives the United States an opportunity to reinforce the tribunal’s decision.
Related: ‘Minimalist’ U.S. sail-bys in South China Sea could reinforce Beijing’s claims | The Japan Times The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea allows warships to enter another country’s 12-nautical-mile territorial waters without notice. However, they can only do it under certain conditions, including that the passage is continuous and quick, and that there is no use of onboard weapons, aircraft or “any act aimed at interfering with any systems of communication or any other facilities or installations of the coastal State.” Some analysts say that by behaving in such a manner, Washington may have unintentionally acknowledged the territorial sea around Fiery Cross, where China has built an airfield and other potential military facilities.
Related: US destroyer’s South China Sea show an insipid affair – People’s Daily Online China and the US have different focus for their South China Sea acts – China focuses on island-building and the US on putting on a performance. As long as the two do not aim at a direct confrontation, a military clash is unlikely. The US has sent warships time and again, but their effect is diminishing. What is unpredictable is how the ruling on the South China Sea arbitration will paralyze the situation. What is predictable, though, is that it will bring China more public opinion pressure from the US and Japan, but it won’t generate any real impact. It seems Duterte’s new administration will have less interest in the arbitration and countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam are not expected to take any concrete actions.
Related: China brands international court hearings passing judgement on its claims in South China Sea an ‘orchestrated show’ | South China Morning Post Xu Hong, the director-general of the treaty and law department at China’s Foreign Ministry, lashed out at the Philippines and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which is considering its ruling after Manila brought the highly-charged against China.
Related: U.S. warships abusing FON operations in South China Sea: PLA newspaper – Xinhua Yet, the United States does not recognize such a balance, deeming it harmful to its maritime supremacy, said the paper. “The United State has not, to this day, ratified UNCLOS and is not willing to see any kind of constraint on its deployment of warships.” The article noted that UNCLOS does not have a universal standard on whether warships can enjoy innocent passage in a country’s territorial waters, yet what the United States has been advocating is exactly the freedom to willfully conduct military activities.
Related: China, U.S. Race to Woo Supporters Before South China Sea Ruling – Bloomberg Chinese and U.S. diplomats are crisscrossing the region. Wang met leaders of Brunei, Cambodia and Laos and this week top diplomat Yang Jiechi visited Malaysia and Indonesia. Daniel Russel, the senior U.S. diplomat for East Asia, finished a swing through Laos, Vietnam, and Malaysia on May 12. President Barack Obama visits Vietnam this month before traveling to Japan for a Group of Seven summit, where he may seek endorsement of the tribunal’s legitimacy.
Related: South China Sea: How We Got to This Stage | The National Interest the PRC view, from Fu Ying // This paper provides an overview of the chain of events contributing to the escalation of tensions in the South China Sea, as well as the context in which they occurred and potential connections they have. It is hoped this paper will help those concerned about the disputes see the bigger picture and get to the heart of why things have happened that way. It also serves as a warning against further deepening of misunderstanding and spiraling of tensions for all countries concerned.–Ms FU Ying is Chairperson of Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress; Chairperson of Academic Committee of China’s Institute of International Strategy, CASS; and Specially Invited Vice Chairperson of China Center for International Economic Exchanges. Mr. WU Shicun is Ph.D Senior Research fellow and President of the National Institute of the South China Sea Studies.
3. Academic Sources: Victor Shih at the Journal of East Asian Studies on Chinese Elites | PIIE As editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies, I was pleased to review a special issue pulled together by Victor Shih of some exciting new research on elite politics in China. The collection has now appeared as the inaugural issue (link is external) of the journal at Cambridge University Press, The project is timely. Recent purges in China have dismissed former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang and former Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Xu Caihou as well as scores of other high level officials in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Has Chinese politics shifted in a fundamental way?
Related: Journal of East Asian Studies – Cambridge Journals Online Special Issue 01 (Contentious Elite in China: New Evidence and Approaches) – March 2016
Related: The Eclipse of the Communist Youth League and the Rise of the Zhejiang Clique | The Jamestown Foundation Willy Lam runs with many of the juiciest rumors swirling around // The Ling affair—and Xi’s heavy criticism of the CYL—has cast a shadow over the political fortunes of PBSC member and Premier Li Keqiang as well as ordinary Politburo members such as Li Yuanchao; Vice-Premiers Liu Yandong and Wang Yang; Director of the CCP Department Liu Qibao; and Guangdong Party Secretary Hu Chunhua (unrelated to former president Hu). Premier Li has been sidelined by Xi and no longer has authority over economic policy. While he might retain his PBSC membership at the 19 Party Congress, it is possible that he would move over to head the National People’s Congress…Of perhaps more significance is the political fortune of Hu Chunhua. Hu and Chongqing Party Secretary Sun Zhengcai, both born in 1963, were put into the Politburo by the out-going PBSC led by former president Hu Jintao and former premier Wen Jiabao. They are the only two Sixth-Generation cadres (those born in the 1960s) in the current Politburo. Similar to the older Hu, Hu Chunhua served as First Secretary of the CYL; like Hu, a former party secretary of Tibet, the younger Hu built up his career in the autonomous region. It is well understood, however, that Xi has a low assessment of Hu’s ability. And the possibility of Hu Chunhua making the PBSC next year is deemed very slim
4. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Extreme Makeover – WSJ His dominance, combined with police sweeps against activist lawyers, the silencing of liberal social-media personalities and warnings about foreign spies, has unnerved some Chinese. Some have likened the political climate to the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s radical movement launched 50 years ago this Monday that led to violent persecutions and the deaths of some 1.5 million people. Today, a critical difference, according to historians and people who lived through the period, is that Mr. Xi wants popular support, not mass participation. Instead, Mr. Xi is being packaged as a new can-do leader, not as dictatorial as Mao but firmer than the consensus-driven collective leadership the party turned to as an antidote to his one-person rule.
Related: The Corruption Crackdown | The Sinocism China Newsletter from July 2014 // I find most of the comparisons of Xi to Mao to be quite facile. Of course Xi was influenced by Mao, everyone of his generation was. But so far there is no evidence that Xi wants a redux of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. The Party now aggressively blocks mass citizen participation in the corruption crackdown outside of very structured channels managed by the CCDI, after cracking down on Weibo and dramatically reducing the use of Weibo as a channel for individuals to out misbehaving officials. The Mass Line Education Campaign, scheduled to run through September 2014, is not evidence of a throwback to Maoism, as Dr. Alice Miller clearly explained in a 2013 paper. Nor is the ongoing ideological retrenchment evidence of Maoism. There were several ideological crackdowns in the Deng Xiaoping era, including intense campaigns against things like “bourgeois liberalization” and “spiritual pollution”. Xi can’t both achieve the “great renewal of the Chinese nation” and launch a new Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution was an abject disaster that set China back decades, and Xi knows that better than most people.
5. How political hatred during Cultural Revolution led to murder and cannibalism in a small town in China | South China Morning Post At least 38 people were eaten in Wuxuan, a high-ranking member of an early 1980s official investigation told AFP, asking not to be named for fear of repercussions. “All the cannibalism was due to class struggle being whipped up and was used to express a kind of hatred,” he said. “The murder was ghastly, worse than beasts.” Scholars say the violence resulted from Wuxuan’s remote location, the ruthless regional Communist leader, poverty and bitter factionalism. “In 10 years of catastrophe, Guangxi not only saw numerous deaths, they were also of appalling cruelty and viciousness,” the retired cadre wrote in an unpublished manuscript seen by AFP.
Related: 紫禁城来鸿：人民大会堂“红歌会”习近平震怒 消息人士对博闻社透露，习近平对人民大会堂红歌会事件以及近期左派们的做法十分恼怒，批示中办“严肃查处”，中办则以事件“违反了党的十一届六中全会精神、违反党纪”进行调查，调查事件背后是否涉及有政治阴谋，是否有人故意策划，动机和目的等。 // FWIW Boxun says Xi was enraged by the May 2nd show with Cultural Revolution songs at the Great Hall of The People, has ordered the CCP General Office to conduct an investigation…In the 20,000 character January 18 speech just released Xi mentions the Cultural Revolution twice, calls it a calamity…overlooked in the discussion of the “authoritative person” economics piece…
Related: Cultural Revolution concert fuels China power struggle rumours | World news | The Guardian Some claim the decision to stage the show in such a politically symbolic venue is part of a high-level conspiracy designed to damage Xi. “This is a political trap to frame the top leader,” Ma Xiaoli, the daughter of one party veteran who was persecuted and purged during the Cultural Revolution, claimed this week. She blamed “anti-Xi” forces who wanted to portray the president’s leadership as a Mao-style personality cult. Others suspect Xi, who has praised Mao and sought to stifle criticism of his own rule since taking power in 2012, might have had a hand in organising the show, which took place on 2 May. “I do not think others have set a trap for Xi; I think he has set the trap for himself,” said Zhang Lifan, an outspoken historian and critic of China’s president. “Given Xi’s personality, it is the kind of thing he would do.”
6. President Xi’s stance on China’s economy laid bare as he distances hallmark policy from Western-style supply-side economics | South China Morning Post Xi’s explanation – a 20,000-character transcript of a speech that occupied two pages in the newspaper – was the most comprehensive elaboration of the president’s thinking on the Chinese economy’s past, present and future and its role in the global economy since he became the country’s leader more than three years ago. Xi made the speech in January to principal ministerial and provincial officials. “I need to be clear, the supply-side structural reform we are talking about is not the same as the supply-side economics school in the West,” Xi said. “[We] must prevent some people from using their interpretations [of supply-side reform] to promote ‘neo-liberalism’,” he continued, drawing a line between his policy and those of Ronald Reagan of the United States or Margaret Thatcher of Britain in the 1980s.
Related: 在省部级主要领导干部学习贯彻党的十八届五中全会精神专题研讨班上的讲话–时政–人民网 the speech, again (was in the essential eight of the last issue, lots more in here than just about the economy
7. China’s Newest Challenge Is Adapting to Its Aging Population – The Atlantic “It really doesn’t matter what happens now with the fertility rate,” a demographer at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told me. “The old people of tomorrow are already here.” She predicted that in another decade or two, the social and fiscal pressures created by aging in China will force what many Chinese find inconceivable for the world’s most populous nation: a mounting need to attract immigrants. “When China is old, though, all the countries we could import workers from will also be old,” she said. “Where are we to get them from? Africa would be the only place, and I can’t imagine that.”
8. China’s Synthetic Drug Makers High on Defiance–Caixin Cover Story Staying one step ahead of the law has been a successful strategy for clandestine chemists who produce synthetics for the world’s recreational drug users
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
Buyout Group Shelves $2.5 Billion Offer for China’s YY – WSJ A group that includes Lei Jun, the founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., has stopped working on an offer for Nasdaq-listed online karaoke site YY Inc., as regulators in China step up scrutiny of such companies returning to home markets, according to people familiar with the situation. The investor group could revive the offer later and doesn’t plan to publicly announce an end to the bid, they said.
Hedge Fund Managers Ditch Decorum in Shouting Match Over China – Bloomberg The clash Wednesday at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, where 1,800 hedge fund industry executives are gathering, contrasts with last year’s meeting, where many money managers expressed confidence in China. Last May, Passport Capital’s John Burbank — now a China bear — predicted that China would come through its economic slowdown “strong and positive.” Michael Novogratz, who at the time ran Fortress Investment Group LLC’s macro fund business, predicted that the country was on the brink of “one of the greatest bull markets we’ve seen.”
A Chinese Paper Maker Commits to Green Production in Virginia – Paulson Institute This case tells the story of the effort by Tranlin, a pulp and paper manufacturer based in Shandong province, to invest $2 billion to build an advanced manufacturing facility on an 850 acre campus in Chesterfield County, Virginia. When complete and operating at full capacity by 2020, the firm expects the plant to generate more than 2,000 local jobs.
Nevada state treasurer expresses concern over Faraday Future deal | KRNV The State Treasurer says he is concerned about issuing $175 million in bonds to car manufacturer Faraday Future because his office has not received the necessary documentation to move forward. In a statement released Wednesday, Treasurer Dan Schwartz said his office has not received requested documentation indicating the proposed $1 billion facility to build electric cars in Las Vegas remains on schedule. // Nevada would be irresponsible to do this right now, far too many questions about Jia Yueting, the state of his finances, and his political fortunes
Billionaire behind Faraday Future taking risks – Business Insider Because LeEco is a strategic partner of Faraday Future — Jia said he is among the investors backing the company — the now five-month suspension has caught the attention of Nevada’s state treasurer, Dan Schwartz, who is responsible for overseeing millions of dollars in tax incentives that are helping Faraday Future build its factory. Schwartz has repeatedly raised concerns about Jia’s association with Faraday Future. Earlier this year, Schwartz traveled to China on unrelated business and attempted to meet with executives at Jia’s company, to no avail.
China ploughs cash into struggling north-east – FT.com The cash, equivalent to $250bn and earmarked for about 130 separate projects, could be dispensed over the next three years, according to Zhou Jianping, director of the office in charge of transforming the north-east’s economy at the National Development and Reform Commission. He did not identify the projects or clarify whether any had already been incorporated under other initiatives.
Gov’t Forces Big Pharma to Swallow a Bitter Pill-Caixin China’s latest round of health care market controls could be a bitter pill for multinational pharmaceutical companies that now, after years of what some call easy profits, are adapting to a tougher business climate. The National Health and Family Planning Commission is demanding that multinationals cut prices on five types of drugs used for treating major ailments including cancer. Negotiations between the two sides, which started late last year, could reduce prices for these drugs by more than half, the commission says.
29省市地方债规模超2.2万亿 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 进入二季度之后，地方债发行明显提速。截至目前，已经有包括四川、青岛、宁波、湖南等在内的29个省市发行了地方债，大部分省市都集中在4月之后发行，5月之后更加密集，至今总规模已经超过2.2万亿元，其中超过九成是置换债，其规模超过2万亿元。
China capital outflows persist despite FX reserves rebound – FT.com if inflows from trade and foreign direct investment are also stripped out, China suffered portfolio outflows of about $45bn in both March and April, according to RBS. While a far less alarming figure than outflows of roughly $200bn last August, this figure shows that sentiment-driven capital is still leaving China.
Chinese state entities argue they have ‘sovereign immunity’ in U.S. courts | Reuters The legal argument concerns whether companies controlled by the Chinese government can be protected under the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which was passed by Congress in 1976, even when their U.S. subsidiaries are involved in commercial disputes.
Why China Won’t Devalue the Yuan – WSJ China’s central-bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, consistently denies that the country can devalue its way to faster growth, arguing that a falling yuan would harm the economy. From a purely economic point of view, Mr. Zhou is right. But that hasn’t stopped a growing number of analysts from calling for a substantially weaker currency. // Pettis OpEd
POLITICS AND LAW
Mixed signals on Chinese economy from the ‘authoritative’ figures at the top | South China Morning Post Just hours after an “authoritative” figure quoted in People’s Daily criticised debt-fuelled growth in China’s economy, a statement appeared on the cabinet’s website in which Premier Li Keqiang said his government had refrained from “strong stimulus”. Li said his government had been focused on structural reforms in recent years to address the slowdown in growth.
Senior Chinese diplomat Zhang Kunsheng sacked for corruption: foreign ministry | South China Morning Post Assistant foreign minister Zhang Kunsheng under investigation, the first of the ministry’s elite to be swept up in President Xi Jinping’s crackdown
China’s radical leftists call for vocal critics of the Party to be jailed for treason – Global Times China’s hard-line leftists are Increasingly calling for the government to launch a campaign against hanjian, or traitors to China, a term which many worry is simply used to bash anyone who disagrees with their views.
Most ministerial-level agencies start latest CPC campaign – Xinhua The year-long campaign, aiming to instill the values CPC wants in its 88 million members, is the latest in a series of educational campaigns. The previous campaign — “three stricts and three honests” — referred to being strict in morals, power and self-discipline, along with honesty in decisions, business and behavior
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Railway, Port cooperation to label China-Arab relations: Chinese FM – Xinhua Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized on Thursday that railways and ports are key symbols of the China-Arab relations during his attendance to the seventh ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF). “Camels and sailing boats marked the ancient Silk Road,” Wang said, adding that “nowadays, the China-Arab cooperative relations can be labeled by railway and port under the Belt and Road Initiative framework.”
If China Builds It, Will the Arab World Come? | ChinaFile Yinchuan, situated on the loess-covered floodplain of the Yellow River in the autonomous region of Ningxia, nearly 600 miles west of Beijing and far from China’s booming coastal cities, is a peculiar destination for international tourists. But that remoteness has not deterred Chinese officials from pouring resources into a quixotic plan to turn the city into a “cultural tourism destination” for wealthy Arabs.
Riyadh hails Beijing’s stance on South China Sea – Xinhua Dr. Nizar Bin Obaid Madani, minister of State for Foreign Affairs to Saudi Arabia, said his country appreciates China’s adherence to peaceful means in settling disputes concerning the South China Sea during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the Qatari capital of Doha. For his part, Wang said China and Saudi Arabia have established comprehensive strategic partnership, and both sides should implement what the two countries have agreed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country earlier this year.
Chinese media to British media: Learn some manners, you narcissistic barbarians – The Washington Post “The reckless gossip-fiends in the media there, narcissistic and baring their fangs, seemingly retain vestiges of the inelegance of barbarians,” the paper said. “But with constant exposure to 5,000 years of continuous Eastern civilization, we believe they will make progress,” it said in an editorial published in Chinese, but not in the paper’s English-language edition. // Global Times
Staying the Course: Maintaining Momentum in U.S.-China Relation | CHINA US Focus The following is the text of the prepared speech by C.H. Tung, chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC on May 11,2016.
Malaysia, China agree to settle South China Sea dispute via conduct declaration | Malay Mail Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the agreement was reached at his meeting with visiting China State Councillor Yang Jiechi after the latter called on him at Wisma Putra here today. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Anifah said the issues discussed at their meeting included the encroachment of Chinese fishermen into Malaysian waters. “We raised our concern and he (Yang) said he will look into it. We believe that between friends we should be able to find solutions.
Pentagon Turns to Silicon Valley for Edge in Artificial Intelligence – The New York Times On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter made his fourth trip to the tech industry’s heartland since being named to his post last year. Before that, it had been 20 years since a defense secretary had visited the area, he noted in a speech at a Defense Department research facility near Google’s headquarters. The Pentagon’s intense interest in A.I. — and by connection the Silicon Valley companies specializing in that technology — has grown out of the “Third Offset” strategy articulated by Mr. Carter last fall. Concerned about the re-emergence of China and Russia as military competitors, he stated that computer-based, high-tech weapons would give the American military an edge in the future. // Are the Pentagon or other agencies paying attention to Baidu’s research facility in San Jose that is also working on AI? Any idea if any of the employees in that Baidu facility received US government grants at any time during their education or career? If they did, is it problematic that they are now working on AI research for one of the PRC’s Internet national champions?
学生军训内容或增加轻武器模拟射击和战术仿真对抗 – 中国军网 今年学生军训工作将重点围绕推进五个体系建设、创新制度机制、加强质量监测、全面提升质量效益展开。这是5月10日中央军委国防动员部组织召开的学生军事训练改革专题调研座谈会传出的信息。
中央军委颁发《军队建设发展“十三五”规划纲要》 – 中国军网 中国军网北京5月12日电 中央军委日前颁发《军队建设发展“十三五”规划纲要》。规划纲要根据党和国家战略部署，围绕实现党在新形势下的强军目标，贯彻新形势下军事战略方针，对“十三五”时期军队建设发展作出总体部署，是军队筹划组织各项建设和工作的基本依据。
Navy fighter crashes in east China – Xinhua increasing frequency of crashes? A sign of more intense, realistic training?
Communist Symbolism, Debates Spring Up on Social Media and Streets | Jakarta Globe More than 50 years after the 1965 anti-communist purge, Indonesia has seen a reemergence of communist symbolism and debate through social media, pushing authorities to take serious action in preventing the propagation of communist ideas in the country. The National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said law enforcers are aware of the growing phenomenon and reminded the public that anyone found propagating the forbidden ideology — communism, marxism and leninism — by law could face a maximum 12-years imprisonment sentence.
The Stakes in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – Council on Foreign Relations The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is part development scheme, part strategic gambit. Although Beijing and Islamabad have been close partners for decades, the CPEC is a reflection of intensified and expanded bilateral cooperation at a time of rising Chinese geopolitical ambition and persistent concerns about Pakistan’s security and development.
Shen Yun Show Cancelled After Pressure From Beijing – China Digital Times (CDT) Shen Yun—a New York-based performance group founded in 2006 by adherents of the banned spiritual practice Falun Gong—has long claimed that Beijing has regularly attempted to disrupt their global performances… Last weekend, a performance in Seoul, South Korea was cancelled in what seems to be a clear case of Beijing’s successfully leveraging of economic clout to censor art abroad
ABC admits its Chinese web portal breached editorial policies | Media | The Guardian The ABC has admitted its international web portal AustraliaPlus.cn failed to abide by the ABC’s own editorial policies when a journalist removed content critical of China from several news stories. ABC management is investigating why key facts were removed from the Chinese version of ABC Online content, an act that is in breach of the ABC’s editorial policies and the guidelines that producers at ABC International are governed by.
Loyalty through links and control: The long history of Chinese diaspora diplomacy In relations with China, Australia is largely concerned with trade and security, ‘fear and greed’ in Tony Abbott’s colourful language. Beijing has other priorities, including a long-standing investment in overseas Chinese affairs that is without parallel in Australian policy circles. The Chinese Communist Party cares deeply about its own values and interests when it reaches out to manage and control Chinese communities and Chinese language media overseas.
Quietly, Vietnam hosts arms gathering attended by U.S. companies | Reuters Vietnam hosts a defense symposium this week attended by top American arms manufacturers, ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama and as Washington weighs whether to lift an arms embargo on its former enemy. Secrecy has surrounded the event staged by the communist country and attended by firms including Boeing (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N). It coincides with the biggest arms buildup in the country since the Vietnam War.
China’s defence chiefs send teams to check up on military training | South China Morning Post The CMC, which is chaired by President Xi Jinping, sent the first batch of teams to five theatre commands and other service troops on Tuesday, the miliary mouthpiece PLA Daily reported on Wednesday…The teams are temporary ones and under the Training Management Department, which is one of 15 new organisations all directly under the CMC.
Chinese ballistic missiles dubbed ‘Guam Killer’ pose increasing threat to U.S. island, report says – The Washington Post While China has long had the ability to strike Guam with long-range nuclear missiles, the Chinese military is expending an increasing amount of resources to hit the key U.S. island with more conventional weapons in the event of a conflict, according to a government report released Tuesday.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Ahead of inauguration, China says Taiwan to blame for any crisis | Reuters Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said it was clear who was “destroying bridges” and trying to change the status quo. “If there are those who are unclear on this point, or are offering encouragement from the wings, this is really not a sensible act,” Ma told a briefing live on state television. “We must repeat, if there is deadlock across the Taiwan Strait, or if there is a crisis, the responsibility will be on the heads of those who change the status quo.”
China, Taiwan add tourists to their squabbles | Reuters “Chinese tourists took about 4,000 tour buses a month this time around last year, but now it’s only 2,800,” said Lu Shiao-ya, chief of the National Joint Association of Tourist Buses. “China is using its tourists as a bargaining chip against Taiwan’s new government,” he added. If Tsai’s inauguration speech next week upsets Beijing, which still claims the island as its territory after the defeated Nationalists fled there at the end of the civil war in 1949, many fear China could really turn the screws on tourist numbers.
Taiwan enters South China Sea legal fray, as group seeks to sway international court | Reuters A Taiwanese group has intervened in the Philippines’ international court case against China’s claims in the South China Sea, pressing Taipei’s position that Taiwan is entitled to a swathe of the disputed waterway as an economic zone. The unusual submission has emerged just as judges at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague are poised to rule on the Philippines’ landmark case, brought under the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
TECH AND MEDIA
Michael Evans: Partnership with brands is key to winning war on counterfeits – Alizila The announcement we made to expand the IACC MarketSafe program is proof of what can happen with this type of cooperation. It is significant because it makes the program available to any brand, at no cost. Equally importantly, it enables participating brands to work with Alibaba to take down suspect listings with a streamlined, expedited procedure. The burden shifts away from the brand, no longer having to produce specific evidence of counterfeiting on each and every notice submission. // Strains credulity until Alibaba publicly commits to taking anti-counterfeiting as seriously as it takes censorship.
Tiffany Leaves Anticounterfeiting Group After Alibaba Joins – WSJ In an email to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition on Wednesday, Tiffany & Co. said it was stepping off the board and withdrawing from the Washington, D.C.-based coalition as a member. The letter, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, didn’t cite a reason for the departure. Gucci and Michael Kors have also withdrawn from the prestigious anticounterfeiting group in the past three weeks
环球时报：“假洋鬼子”撕下斯文外衣时就这模样-凤凰新闻 Global Times goes after Wen Yunchao after he outs personal information of people working on the GFW
网络人士北风发起人肉搜索南京邮电大学的GFW筑墙者 Canyu on Wen Yunchao’s GFW engineer expose
Chinese newspaper Global Times blasted over editorial on Donald Trump and poll on unifying Taiwan by force | South China Morning Post The mainland’s top internet regulator slammed the news portal run by the hawkish Global Times tabloid this week for running sensationalist polls and reports on sensitive issues, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter and a Radio France Internationale report.
Personal Data of Prominent Chinese Posted on Twitter – The New York Times Reporters who investigate the business interests of China’s politically powerful families — and the billionaires who court them — use identification numbers to “bulletproof” their articles, giving them a vital level of certainty difficult to obtain in a country where more than 90 million people share the same last name, Wang. The New York Times was able to verify the accuracy of the identification numbers of several of the people exposed by the @shenfenzheng account, including Mr. Wang; his wife, Lin Ning; his son, Wang Sicong; and Mr. Ma of Alibaba.
China’s Web Celebs Peddle Fame for Fortune | Sixth Tone 网红 // Zhang’s devotion may appear deeply emotional, but for Yu, Zhang’s loyalty — and that of her more than 800,000 other fans — has quantifiable, commercial value. Yu is cultivating a following on social media in order to draw traffic to her clothing line sold online. As such, she has been thrust into a new kind of stardom: Internet celebrities, or, as they are known in Chinese, wanghong. Wanghong — literally “Web reds” — wear Chanel, carry Hermes Birkin bags, and walk in Christian Louboutin high heels, travelling the world to ever more exotic locations to take the best selfies. But many wanghong like Yu use social media to do more than just show off their lunch menus and designer clothes — they harness it to sell their own products, posing in every which way in clothing with their own label.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
郑州强拆爆血案致四死一伤 村民吊唁凶手被拦–财新网 Caixin on deadly demolition in Zhengzhou. three killed by owner, owner then killed. video
Three Men Under One Roof | Sixth Tone For over 15 years, Tan Zhiliang’s parents refused to let his family spend the country’s most important holiday — Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year — with them. Old and conservative, Tan’s parents wouldn’t accept their son’s family. Since 2001, Tan, now 46, has been living with his partner, Chen Dezhou, 42, and Chen’s 18-year-old biological son, Jack. But this year, Tan’s parents finally agreed to allow Chen and Jack to celebrate Spring Festival together at their house. Tan thinks the photos of Jack he regularly sends his parents led to their change of heart.
Undaunted By China’s Rule Book, Lesbian Couple Has Twins Via Surrogacy : Parallels : NPR The birth is seen as a sort of milestone in China, which has become a more tolerant place for gay couples over the past nearly four decades. However, same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in China, where policies and laws still favor traditional families. Only heterosexual, married couples are allowed to have children and, if needed, get access to reproductive services such as surrogacy.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
GPS Tracking Devices Catch Major U.S. Recyclers Exporting Toxic E-Waste Most of this equipment went to Hong Kong. But others were tracked to 10 different countries that include China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia and Kenya. While China has been a major e-waste export destination, the government there has been cracking down on these imports and trying to clean up some former major e-waste sites like Guiyu. Hong Kong’s New Territories region near the Chinese border appears to be the “new ground zero” for e-waste processing, said Puckett.
China’s Pediatricians Left Holding the Baby | Sixth Tone Exhausted, poorly paid, and facing intimidation from parents, children’s doctors want change.
China May Shelve Plans to Build Dams on Its Last Wild River – National Geographic The Nu River, spilling through a scenic gorge sometimes compared to the Grand Canyon, could become a national park, as officials appear to back away from a proposal for multiple dams.
On China’s Coast, Rare Bird Finds Little Room to Rest | Sixth Tone Without the nourishing mudflats of coastal China along the way, especially around the eastern province of Jiangsu, the spoon-billed sandpiper wouldn’t be able to make such an arduous journey. The chances that the bird will still exist in five years are already slim.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES
重心下沉 末梢激活（人民眼·乡村治理）–时政–人民网 广东清远、湖北秭归因地制宜探索村民自治实现形式
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Servers trash customers in private note on check — then forget to delete it – The Washington Post The server told the group that when rice is served to three or more diners at Peter Chang, it comes in a large bowl. The former Beijing resident thought that was odd, considering the family-sized portion ran counter to the personalized bowls he encountered in China. The server then asked if the foursome would like individual rice bowls instead. They declined. “She said, ‘No, no, I can bring it for you,'” Matt related. “He said, ‘No, no, don’t worry about it. It’s fine. Just wanted to let you know that’s the way it’s done in China. It’s not a big deal.’ . . . It just got really awkward.” The diners thought that was the end of the episode until it came time to pay. The group asked to split the check four ways, to which the server apparently said, “That’s totally how they do it in China.” // anyone know who this former Beijing expat is?
Buckets of Rice Abound: China Expert Gets It Wrong at a Chinese Restaurant in the U.S. – Isidor’s Fugue a mouth-watering look at all the places in China where your rice comes to the table in a bucket, in response to the Peter Chang kerfuffle
Chinese Tourists Cover Everest Base Camp with Graffiti – Thatsmags.com In an effort to put a stop to graffiti that litters the path to Mount Everest, Chinese authorities will name and shame tourists who scribble messages on monuments at the world’s highest mountain. According to The Paper, graffiti can routinely be spotted on signs and monuments at Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side of the mountain
If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.
Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters
And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.
Send comments/tips/complaints to [email protected]