THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Despite tension, Xi says U.S.-China relations are stable | Reuters “I look forward to continuing to develop this relationship with President Obama and to bring China-U.S. relations to a new height along a track of a new model of major country relationship,” Xi told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the end of Kerry’s two-day trip to China. Kerry’s trip has been dominated by deepening security concerns about Beijing’s maritime ambitions in the South China Sea. China’s rapid reclamation effort around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam. Xi told Kerry that China and the United States should handle disputes in a way that would not damage bilateral ties.
Related: 习近平会见美国国务卿克里-新华网 Sunday CCTV Evening News on Kerry meeting with Xi // 习近平指出，当前中美关系总体稳定发展，中美新型大国关系建设取得不少“早期收获”。两国贸易、投资及人员往来去年均创历史新高，双方在能源、两军、人文等重要领域合作取得新进展，就重大国际地区和全球性问题保持了密切沟通与协调。新形势下，中美构建新型大国关系要多积累成果。双方要不断拓展务实合作，打造合作亮点。同时，双方要妥善管控和处理好分歧，避免两国关系大方向受到干扰。习近平指出，我曾多次讲过，宽广的太平洋有足够的空间容纳中美两个大国。希望中美双方相向而行，多沟通多对话，增信释疑，深化合作，确保中美关系始终沿着构建新型大国关系的正确轨道向前发展。
Related: US mulls larger role near disputed South China Sea territory – Stars & Stripes On Wednesday, 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Robert Thomas declined to discuss specifics of Fort Worth’s patrol near the Spratly Islands, but described patrols in the disputed region as relatively normal. “It’s routine for U.S. 7th fleet ships to operate in the South China Sea and also routine for [Chinese] PLAN ships to operate at visual range of us,” Thomas said. “Not a day goes by that the U.S. 7th Fleet and the PLAN are not talking to each other.”
2. Share and Be Nice | ChinaFile – Orville Schell A recent trip to Washington with two colleagues gave a chance to take the temperature of U.S.-China relations as seen from the White House, Department of State, and U.S. Congress. Everywhere we found officials still committed to finding ways for the two countries to work together, but all evinced a beleaguered perplexity about why China was deporting itself so pugnaciously. Indeed, almost every official expressed deep concern over the way China’s new assertiveness—some described it as “truculence”— was thwarting a more cooperative relationship, even of achieving some version of the very goal Beijing purports to desire, namely, what Xi Jinping has called a “new type of great power relationship.”…As the head of one prominent U.S. academic China center ruefully put it, “It is strangely the people who are closest to China who feel most alienated.” // the more you know/the more you think you know…?
Related: The Worrying Rise of Anti-China Discourse in the US | The Diplomat The third and most disturbing new discourse is the ‘punishing China’ discourse…Maybe this is indeed a ‘tipping point’ for China-U.S. relations, after more than 30 years of engagement. Is the U.S. adopting a containment strategy toward China now? One cannot say that with confidence. But if this radical anti-China discourse is allowed to grow, we might enter a new era of containment politics in China-U.S. relations. That, as John Mearsheimer famously put it, is indeed a tragedy in great power politics. // perhaps Chen Dingding, the author, should also examine what Beijing may be doing to encourage this very real shift in sentiment
3. China orders banks to keep lending to insolvent state projects – FT.com The “suggestions on properly handling the issue of follow-up financing for existing projects undertaken by local government financing vehicles” was published on Friday by China’s cabinet, the State Council. It explicitly banned financial institutions from cutting off or delaying funding to any local government project started before the end of last year and said any projects that are unable to repay existing loans should have their debt renegotiated and extended.
Related: 经济参考网 – 融资平台获输血恐致地方“加杠杆” 合规条件下可动用国库库款用于资金周转，严禁银行盲目抽贷压贷停贷 国务院办公厅日前转发财政部、人民银行、银监会《关于妥善解决地方政府融资平台公司在建项目后续融资问题的意见》（下称《意见》），旨在支持融资平台公司在建项目后续融资，确保在建项目有序推进，切实满足实体经济的合理融资需求，防范和化解财政金融风险。有市场人士分析认为，市场需要关注政策重心切换可能带来的影响，《意见》的出台有可能成为地方政府扩大融资规模加杠杆的开始。
Related: China gets serious about reflation | Gavyn Davies The battle to defeat deflationary forces in China has now been well and truly joined. The world will watch with bated breath as the authorities struggle to overcome the threat. They have sufficient ammunition to succeed.
Related: Sinology by Andy Rothman – Diagnosing China’s Debt Disease In two new working papers, economists at the IMF and HKMA reach similar conclusions: China’s debt problem is an SOE problem. “On average, private firms have steadily deleveraged over time while SOEs have increased their leverage,” according to the IMF. The HKMA economists agree: “By ownership, it is mainly SOEs that have increased leverage, while private enterprises have deleveraged in recent years.” The buildup in SOE debt has been “policy-driven leveraging,” according to the HKMA economists, as the state-controlled banking system “may have been skewed towards SOEs out of policy priority and implicit guarantees by governments. . . It is clear that SOEs would have borrowed less if they had done so on a market-driven basis.”
4. Common destiny, an option for long-term world peace: People’s Daily – Xinhua Proposing “a community of common destiny” for countries, regions and the entire human world, China has expressed its wish for peaceful development and presented its own strategy for win-win cooperation, according to a People’s Daily article. The article, titled “Promise of a Better Future for the World,” will be published, under the byline of Guo Jiping, on Monday’s People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC). According to the article, President Xi Jinping has mentioned “a community of common destiny” 62 times in public since the notion was first raised in a report approved by the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, expressing the hope of the Chinese people to build a better world on Earth together with people from other countries. // It is a long one 国纪平：为世界许诺一个更好的未来——论迈向人类命运共同体
5. Greening China’s Financial System by Ma Jun and Simon Zadek – Project Syndicate Consider China, where a task force created by the Peoples’ Bank of China has just unveiled 14 ambitious proposals to green the country’s financial system. The so-called “green finance task force” – co-convened by the PBOC’s Research Bureau and the UNEP Inquiry into Design Options for a Sustainable Financial System – initially comprised 40 ministers, regulators, academics, and financial actors, supported by international experts. It was recently expanded to include more than 100 institutions, which are working together to create detailed execution plans for each proposal…According to Pan Gongsheng, the PBOC’s deputy governor, green finance will be a “key element” of “the 13th Five-Year Plan for the reform and development of China’s financial sector.”
6. Charged With Graft in China, Some Fugitives Are Finding Luxury in U.S. – NYTimes If American law enforcement agencies can determine that a person is in the country illegally or had lied on an immigration form, he can be deported, though the legal process is time-consuming, and in the case of China, often subject to an evaluation of potential political persecution and the use of torture. In a statement, a State Department spokesman, Scott C. Lueders, said the United States welcomed increased law enforcement cooperation with China, within limitations. “The United States does not have an interest in serving as a safe haven for fugitives from any country, including China, and will work within the bounds of existing U.S. law to effectuate removals of such individuals,” he said.
Related: How a Florida Shopping Mall Ended Up in the Hands of a Chinese Fugitive – WSJ Busted plans to redevelop the dilapidated mall have featured in a lawsuit between its Chinese investors. Du Zhenzeng, a steel baron from northern China, sued his naturalized American business partner, Wei Chen, for using their business “as his personal piggy-bank” to fund a flashy lifestyle that includes a Bentley and yacht trips, according to testimony in that lawsuit. In a court hearing in October in Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Du’s lawyers said he invested nearly $160 million in the mall development project. Mr. Chen said the funds Mr. Du promised never materialized. Then, last month, new troubles arose. Back in China, Mr. Chen is known as He Yejun, according to court and immigration records, and that name appeared on an Interpol list released by Chinese investigators of 100 wanted fugitives
7. Want a Green Card? Invest in Real Estate – NYTimes 500k threshold is way too low and the US government should require a very strict “source of funds” check. Immigration agents who peddle these should also be held liable if their clients are found to have committed fraud // Mr. Lin and Mr. Lai are typical of the investors in this program, said Daniel Chang, the head of the Asia desk for the Nikki Field team at Sotheby’s International Realty. “It is really for middle-class and upper-middle-class Chinese, and many are doing it for their children,” Mr. Chang said. “This program is not for the very rich in China, because the superwealthy do not want to pay U.S. taxes.” Instead, he said, the wealthiest Chinese prefer to have their legal residences in low tax jurisdictions like Hong Kong or Singapore, and then take advantage of 10-year tourist visas to the United States.
8. At The Genghis Khan Grand Prix In China’s Most Famous ‘Ghost City’-Huffington Post The man running the Genghis Khan Grand Prix fits the bill. With a healthy paunch of a belly and a bearded face always threatening to break into a smile, Max Chou looks like a cross between depictions of Genghis Khan and Santa Claus. The mullet, tightly braided in back, really ties the look together. He swaggers around the control room of the Ordos International Circuit, joking with his team and keeping one eye on the wall of monitors as motorcycles jump from screen to screen. This weekend’s races are a gathering of the tribes in Chinese amateur motorsports, and as one of the godfathers of Chinese racing, Chou is in his element. Riders and drivers have come from around the country to race in the grand prix and party in the city of Ordos, a place where all proportions are a bit off-kilter.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
国务院批转《关于2015年深化经济体制改革重点工作的意见》-新华网 新华网北京5月18日电 经李克强总理签批，国务院日前批转发展改革委《关于2015年深化经济体制改革重点工作的意见》（以下简称《意见》）。 《意见》指出，今年是全面深化改革的关键之年，经济体制改革任务更加艰巨。要按照党中央、国务院决策部署和全面深化改革总目标，主动适应和引领经济发展新常态，紧紧围绕当前经济社会发展中存在的问题，以政府自身革命带动重要领域改革，着力抓好已出台改革方案的落地实施，抓紧推出一批激活市场、释放活力、有利于稳增长保就业增效益的改革新举措，使改革新红利转化为发展新动力。要牢牢把握问题导向，坚持顶层设计与基层创新相结合，自觉运用法治思维和法治方式推进改革，推动改革尽早有收获、尽快见成效。
China cuts red tape on non-administrative reviews – Xinhua In a decision signed by Premier Li Keqiang, the State Council said it would remove 48 non-administrative review items and move another 84 items into an internal review category. “As of today, the category of non-administrative review and approval no longer exists,” read the statement urging further streamlining and delegation. Fighting red tape has taken on extra urgency as growth slows and the economy is steered away from an unsustainable model powered by state investment toward one driven by private consumption and services. Non-administrative reviews date back to 2004, one year after China published its Law on Administrative Approval. According to Li Zhangze, spokesman for the team clearing up review items, most items back then involved only government internal reviews and approvals. More items were added in the following years covering areas ranging from local tourism to tax breaks. The system gradually became a hotbed for corruption as the process is not strictly standardized. Business creation, innovation and employment were stifled.
中南海为“憋屈”企业家开门要闻一财网 “摊上大事儿”的正是桔子水晶酒店CEO吴海。“我今天第一次进中南海，说明政府真的重视这个事。”5月14日，在吴海发出致克强总理公开信——《对企业好才能真的对人民好》后的第54天，他被请到了中南海诉说委屈与建议。中国政法大学民商经济法学院副教授翟继光作为公众代表，也讲述了许多百姓为办证“跑断腿”的案例。//Orange Hotel’s Wu Hai gets invited to Zhongnanhai to discuss the bureaucratic challenges businesses face…how open letter a few months ago made waves
王冉：拥抱“A股活”财新周刊频道财新网 e-Capital’s Wang Ran in Caixin on how Chinese Internet firms are trying to undo the VIE structures they used to raise foreign capital/list overseas so they can list on the booming domestic exchanges
China Home Prices Fall in Fewer Cities in Slight Recovery – Bloomberg Business New-home prices fell in 47 of the 70 cities tracked by the government from a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday, compared with declines in 49 in March. Prices rose in 18 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, six more than last month, and were unchanged in five, according to the statement on the website.
Chinese shares to ‘become 20% of portfolios’ – FT.com China’s $6tn onshore A-shares market is just two to three years away from being included in the major emerging market indices, Mark Makepeace, chief executive of the FTSE Group, has said. China’s inclusion in global benchmarks would probably herald a huge inflow of capital, as most institutional investors currently have little exposure to the world’s largest emerging market.
China’s PBOC Asks Banks to Hold Steady on Deposit Rates – WSJ In meetings this week, officials with the People’s Bank of China have called on commercial banks to hold maximum deposit rates at levels set in February and not raise them to a new, higher ceiling the central bank set on Sunday, said two bankers with direct knowledge with the matter. Central bank officials also told the banks that institutions that failed to comply with the instructions would face unspecified punishment, one banker said.
Silvercorp Short Seller Carnes Cleared of Fraud Allegations – Bloomberg Business Carnes, operator of the alfredlittle.com financial blog, had raised questions on the veracity of the Vancouver-based company’s estimated metal reserves in China. “I feel very relieved,” Carnes said in a brief telephone interview, declining to say more until he has reviewed the ruling with his lawyer.
Shorting China’s Priciest Stocks Just Got Easier With CSOP ETF – Bloomberg Business The CSOP SZSE ChiNext ETF will become the first exchange-traded fund in Hong Kong to track the ChiNext index of small-company shares when it starts trading Friday, according to Jack Wang, managing director at CSOP. The ChiNext has surged 113 percent in Shenzhen this year, versus a 35 percent gain for the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index.
Small change in China’s mobile data services shows big power struggle in reform | South China Morning Post For sure, Li won more public popularity, especially among the tech-savvy younger generation, with his order for cheaper and faster internet services, but the Big Three’s insincere response to the premier’s call may make him appear weaker. Rather than an ending, with some small changes to mobile data services, this looks like just the beginning of a new battle to restructure bureaucratic state-owned firms.
Vipshop short seller: Numbers don’t add up – CNBC interesting discussion, good questions from the host. VIPS is a high-flying Chinese ecommerce stock, hit by short attacks last week from J-Capital and the anonymous Mithra Capital…full disclosure I bought some cheap, long-dated puts after these reports came out, you never know…// John Fichthorn of Dialectic Capital, explains why he has been shorting Vipshop Holdings for more than a year. Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray senior analyst, shares the bull case.
Vipshop Responds to Additional Allegations – NASDAQ Vipshop responds to the J Capital report, says the research firm missed a major China subsidiary and so one of the core claims in its report, that Vipshop massively overstates revenue, is wrong. The J capital report is not public so I do not know how they have responded but if they missed this very material subsidiary it may cast doubt on the integrity of the entire report // Vipshop believes the allegations are based upon unsupported speculation and contain numerous errors, representing a general misunderstanding of the Company’s business model and are entirely groundless. In particular, these allegations attempt to cite publicly available filings with local bureaus of the PRC State Administration For Industry & Commerce (“SAIC”) made by the Company’s subsidiaries in China. However, the alleged low SAIC financial numbers used to support these allegations deviate substantially from the Company’s actual SAIC filings in all of the cited regions. For example, one of the allegations is that the Company’s revenue in 2014 is US$354,077,936 according to the “Consolidated SAIC Financials,” but even the revenue of Vipshop (China) Co., Ltd., one of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Company, is approximately RMB 11.1 billion (US$1.79 billion) for 2014 as reported in its publicly available SAIC filing.
Vipshop – gross vs. net | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis Two research reports came out recently against Vipshop Holdings (VIPS), a Chinese e-commerce company listed on NYSE. One report, from Beijing based J Capital, apparently focuses on differences between US regulatory filings and Chinese statutory filings. The J Capital report has not been made public, and my observations are based on the press reports. The company has pushed back on this report saying J Capital read the wrong statutory filings. I don’t put much faith in these types of analyses, since there are many reasons why those filings might be different that don’t point to fraud in the US filings.
中纪委通报：协会违规接受外资药企赞助 政经频道财新网 中央纪委监察部网站发布《国家发展和改革委员会通报4起违反中央八项规定精神案件》，国家发改委在通报中表示，2013年5月，国家发改委主管的一家协会医药价格咨询服务部违反国务院有关规定，未向国家发改委主管部门报告并且未经审查批准，接受并使用某国在华医药企业赞助。详细如下：// CCDI says an unnamed foreign pharma firm gave money to an NDRC-related association in 2013, NDRC officials in trouble for not reporting it…that count as a bribe?
Ready for Primetime? As China Opens, the PBOC Remains a Mystery – Bloomberg Business Noise was found in abundance on the Internet on May 10, however, two and a half hours before the PBOC announced its rate cut and deposit-ceiling changes. That’s when a statement foreshadowing the decision began circulating on WeChat, a popular messaging app. “It is a concern for me that such market-sensitive information appears to be known by a group of people first,” said Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS Group AG in Hong Kong. “One reason is perhaps that multiple government bodies have a say or are informed of the decision first. It would have been better for PBOC to be more independent in such decision making and release the information to banks and the public at the same time.”
China’s yuan strengthens to 15-month high against USD – Xinhua China’s yuan strengthened to its strongest level in 15 months against the U.S. dollar on Monday after the greenback depreciated amid concerns about the economy. The central parity rate of the yuan strengthened by six basis points to 6.1079 against the greenback, the strongest level since Feb. 19, 2014, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.
China’s Yuan May Draw $1 Trillion on Getting IMF Reserve Status – Bloomberg Business An inclusion could spur as much as 6.2 trillion yuan ($999 billion) of net purchases of China’s onshore bonds by end-2020, Standard Chartered estimates. AXA Investment Managers says about 10 percent of the $11.6 trillion of global reserves will flow into yuan assets. It didn’t give a timeframe.
Chinese housing inventories: a threat to growth? – FT.com analysis by China Confidential, an FT research service, suggests that developer inventories are not a significant cause for concern, with much of the oversupply in the Chinese real estate sector in fact sitting outside of the market. China’s housing inventory statistics are less straightforward then they may initially appear.
Why Xinjiang’s Economy Is Sputtering-Caixin The central government’s plan for SOEs to bring prosperity to the region troubled by unrest has failed. New options involving smaller businesses should be tried-Anbound Researcher
Wesley Clark, Penny-Stock General – Bloomberg Business A West Point valedictorian and Rhodes scholar, Clark retired from the Army in 2000 after serving as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the war in Kosovo. He ran for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, dropping out after losing early primaries. His immersion in the world of penny stocks followed. By 2007 he was chairman of investment bank Rodman & Renshaw and had joined the boards of some of its penny-stock clients, including a shipper that went bankrupt and a rice-bran company whose CEO was later indicted for fraud. Clark says he helped force out the CEO. Rodman closed its securities business after many of the Chinese firms it took public in the U.S. turned out to be frauds.
POLITICS AND LAW *
China: Massive Protest in Linshui Intense Repression and Resistance–Photos and Video The residents want (need) to have a proposed railway linking Dazhou to Chongqing pass through their county in the centre of Sichuan. The county currently has no railway, waterway, or airport. Rage built up last week after residents found out that the authorities favor another plan – that the railway stretching more than 200km will instead by-pass Linshui and be routed through the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s hometown Guangan , to the west of Linshui.
Official in E China probed for graft – Xinhua An official in east China’s Fujian Province is being investigated for suspected bribe-taking, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) announced Monday. Xu Rongyong, head of the publicity department of Putian Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is under investigation by the Fujian provincial procuratorate, said the SPP
China Clears Police Officer in Death of Unarmed Man, but Controversy Isn’t Over – NYTimes Commenters on Sina Weibo continued to call for the release of the complete surveillance videos, and for the authorities to explain why Mr. Xu and his family were prevented from boarding a train. Si Weijiang, a lawyer, posted a commentary in which he wrote, “Unedited video is the king of evidence.” Zhao Xiao, an economist, wrote: “The best part of this case is that surveillance video is available to establish the truth. Publish the original video — why not do it?” Another commenter, Hao Jinsong, asked: “Why did CCTV delete the part when the policeman beat Xu Chunhe with the baton?”
Former Chinese party chief ‘received 100 million yuan in return for approving real estate deals’ | South China Morning Post Xu Gang, 56, a deputy governor of Quanzhou city, in Fujian province, who is being investigated by anti-graft officials, was accused in March of “seriously violating discipline and law” – a standard euphemism for corruption. He is the first official from Fujian province – one of President Xi Jinping’s power bases – to become ensnared in Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.
南方周末 – 为“虎”辩护 google cache version of now deleted southern weekend article about lawyers who defend “tigers” on trial for corruption // 自己不委托，而接受指定律师，这种现象非常普遍。有的官员甚至自己从“里面”递出话，把家属请好的律师给“解雇”了。 代理刘志军案，律师钱列阳和助理共拿到了两千块钱。一些律师更喜欢为被高官牵连的商人辩护，有的案子收入上百万。 在全面推进依法治国的大背景下，律师独立行使辩护权，正是“法治化反腐”的必然选择。 最常见的辩护方式是：官员认罪或部分认罪，希望通过一个好的态度，获得法庭的宽大；至于辩解的部分，都交给律师来做。 官员贿赂案件，大部分时候，都是侦查基本结束的时候让见一次，这时马上就审查起诉了。 “那些喜欢宣传的律师，（高官的）家属可能就不会考虑。”不过，有的官员需要——主要是一些“小老虎”。
Cabinet Said to Approve Study for Law on Public’s Gripes against Gov’t-Caixin Petitions official says research into legislation for how individuals can file complaints against official abuses is extension of Communist Party’s new desire for rule of law
The Future of NGOs in China | ChinaFile Conversation We asked participants in this ChinaFile Conversation to comment on whether the law is likely to be enacted and if it were enacted, what that would mean for both foreign and Chinese NGOs, think tanks, and academic exchanges as well as for philanthropy and civil society in China more broadly
Fugitive Real Estate Mogul Seeks Asylum in Canada – China Digital Times (CDT) Xinhua published a searing criticism of Canada yesterday for its alleged inaction on the case of Cheng Muyang, a Vancouver real estate magnate who is wanted by Interpol. On April 30 the South China Morning Post identified Michael Ching Mo Yeung as Cheng Muyang.
Party Urged to Perform ‘Integrity Checks’ before Promoting Officials-Caixin Zhuang Deshui, vice director of the Research Center for Government Integrity Building at Peking University, said that the party’s anti-corruption office has done a good job in cracking down on graft, and should expand on that by establishing a mechanism for ensuring officials are clean. So-called integrity checks of character and diligence would keep corrupt officials from rising through the ranks, the expert said, and would also give the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the party’s corruption buster, veto power over promotions. In an article published on May 9, the CCDI lashed out at how China’s officials are promoted, an approach that allows dirty civil servants to rise to prominent positions. It added that some officials could be corrupt for decades before their misdeeds were uncovered.
江西南昌县纪委副书记坠亡 曾被曝索贿50万元要闻一财网 2013年，闵红妹曾被外地媒体报道，被指索贿。5月16日，记者多番联系到闵红妹的同事和朋友，根据有关要求，他们不便对闵红妹跳楼一事作出评价。// another official jumps to his death, this one in Jiangxi
令计划遗祸 “中南海副都”高官传跳楼_中国-多维新闻网 中共前统战部部长、前中办主任令计划落马前后，中办已经历过一场人事动荡，被认为是令计划亲信的中办秘书局局长霍克更是早已落马。近日有传言，被称为“中南海副都”的西郊玉泉山管理局一名正师级负责人跳楼自杀，据称是因为令计划延祸。// Duowei on overseas media rumors of a suicide by a PLA officer in the Yuquanshan compound in western Beijing, related to Ling Jihua case.
识别历史虚无主义要透过现象看本质_求是网 反对历史虚无主义是当前我国意识形态领域斗争的一个重要课题。近年来，有些宣扬历史虚无主义的人变换手法，在对“历史虚无主义”概念的解释上做文章，企图把水搅混。我们反对历史虚无主义，必须透过现象揭示它的实质，确立正确的评判标准，明确回答“什么是历史虚无主义”的问题。- （作者单位：教育部高等学校社会科学发展研究中心）// Ministry of Education official in latest Red Flag on historical nihilism
苏联亡党亡国过程中的几次法治改革陷阱及警示_求是网 自从党的十八届四中全会作出了全面推进依法治国的重大部署，围绕如何推进法治改革的争论就一直没有停息过。最近，有些人竟然呼吁通过修改宪法，取消公有制的主体地位、人民民主专政等；还有些人呼吁尽快推出《新闻法》，以促进在中国实行西方所谓的“新闻自由”、言论自由；也有些人建议应该通过立法加快国企私有化的步伐等。这一切不禁让我们想起苏联解体过程中的几次法治改革陷阱：通过修改宪法取消了原来宪法中关于党的领导地位的决定，剥夺了苏共领导和指挥苏联军队的最高权力；通过推出《新闻出版法》等推行西方的“新闻自由”、言论自由；通过出台《私有化法》等全面推行国有企业私有化改革。历史为何如此惊人地相似？以史为鉴，我国在推进依法治国的进程中怎样做才能够不重蹈苏共的覆辙？这是我们必须认真面对和回答的重大问题。因此，我们要认真总结和反思苏共亡党、苏联解体进程中的法治改革教训，确保我国始终沿着中国特色社会主义的正确方向和道路全面推进依法治国。- （作者：中国社会科学院国家文化安全与意识形态建设研究中心副主任兼秘书长，清华大学马克思主义理论博士后流动站博士后）//CASS Scholar in Red Flag on lessons from the USSR’s attempts at legal system reform
北大教授驳“五四导致传统断裂”论调：肤浅，完全是危言耸听舆论场澎湃新闻-The Paper “有一点不能含糊，就是要尊重历史，不要虚无主义。” 温儒敏强调，那种对五四的颠覆，就是历史虚无主义。有些人脱离了历史语境来讨论问题，认为20世纪中国文化出现“断裂”，起头就是新文化运动的“激进”。而那种认为《新青年》和五四一代造成了中国文化“断裂”的观点，是肤浅的，完全属于危言耸听。
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Chinese premier leaves Beijing for official visits to Latin American nations – Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing on Sunday morning for official visits to Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Li will visit the four Latin American countries at the invitation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Jeria.
Modi sets a new China agenda, minus Panchsheel – India Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beijing laid out a new agenda for India’s ties with its biggest neighbour, calling on China to “reconsider its approach” on thorny issues such as the boundary question. Modi and Premier Li Keqiang in a joint statement on Friday called for expanded defence ties including increasing the number border personnel meeting points, closer economic cooperation especially on railways, and through the setting up of a state leaders’ forum a greater role for states and provinces in ties usually decided by Delhi and Beijing. Among 24 agreements was the decision to open a new Indian consulate in Chengdu in Sichuan province – a first in western China in a province bordering Tibet – while China would open its first consulate in south India in Chennai.
Kerry says U.S., China discussing further sanctions on North Korea | Reuters The United States and China are discussing further sanctions on North Korea as it has “not even come close” to taking steps to rein in its nuclear weapons program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. Speaking in the South Korean capital, Kerry said Washington had offered the isolated North the chance for an improved relationship in return for signs of a genuine willingness to end its nuclear program.
Chinese Hackers Force Penn State to Unplug Engineering Computers – Bloomberg Business Penn State University, which develops sensitive technology for the U.S. Navy, disclosed Friday that Chinese hackers have been sifting through the computers of its engineering school for more than two years. One of the country’s largest and most productive research universities, Penn State offers a potential treasure trove of technology that’s already being developed with partners for commercial applications. The breach suggests that foreign spies could be using universities as a backdoor to U.S. commercial and defense secrets. The hackers are so deeply embedded that the engineering college’s computer network will be taken offline for several days while investigators work to eject the intruders.
China Making Some Missiles More Powerful – NYTimes The calculus shifted in 2004, when the Bush administration began deploying a ground-based antimissile system in Alaska and California. Early in 2013, the Obama administration, worrying about North Korean nuclear advances, ordered an upgrade. It called for the interceptors to increase in number to 44 from 30. While administration officials emphasized that Chinese missiles were not in the system’s cross hairs, they acknowledged that the growing number of interceptors might shatter at least some of Beijing’s warheads. Today, analysts see China’s addition of multiple warheads as at least partly a response to Washington’s antimissile strides. “They’re doing it,” Mr. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists said, “to make sure they could get through the ballistic missile defenses.”
Army Newspaper: We Can Absolutely Not Allow the Internet Become a List Territory of People’s Minds « China Copyright and Media In the present and future periods, it will be difficult to fundamentally change the situation of Western monopolization of online hegemony, and its occupancy of the superior position in online information dissemination. The circumstances of online struggle are grave, complex and long-term, it is still generally the case that the enemy is strong and we are weak, the enemy is attacking and we are defending. Are we “mid-stream water” or is “the current flowing East”; are we “silent lambs” or are we “valiant warriors”, a time has come to choose, and a time where we must counterattack firmly. The “main force” must be brought onto the “main battlefield”. Only if our Army keeps close pace and stands in the front ranks, and counterattacks well, will it be possible to defend “online sovereignty” and build an “online Great Wall”!
China’s army banned from wearing smartwatches – Telegraph Sources in the Chinese army confirmed to NBC, a news website, that smartwatches and other wearable smart devices are now banned in the military. “The use of wearables with Internet access, location information, and voice-calling functions should be considered a violation of national security regulations when used by military personnel,” the report said, without mentioning specific brands.
U.S. Marines look to nurture integrated Asia-Pacific amphibious forces, China excluded | Reuters The U.S. Marine Corps is bringing together foreign commanders from amphibious forces deployed mostly in the Asia-Pacific for a conference aimed at taking steps to integrate operations, with China excluded from the event, according to officials and planning documents. The effort centers on a first-of-its-kind conference between the Marine Corps and military officials from 23 countries that opens in Hawaii on Monday. More than half the nations attending are from Asia, including some embroiled in territorial disputes with China such as Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
China, the new Silk Road, loud thunder and small raindrops | George Magnus China’s westward pivot, so to speak, is simply a commercial but truculent riposte to America’s pivot to Asia. While the latter speaks to an assertion by the US of fgeo-strategic national interests, China’s pivot has the cover of being a ‘natural’ development reflecting the world of yesteryear. Except that there is no difference. We used to talk about the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as an era when trade followed the flag – a world in which political and military conquest gave rise to trade and globalisation. Nowadays, it’s the other way round. The flag follows trade. The rules that characterised the Bretton Woods world are weaker or being flouted. New and competitive institutions are being set up, ostensibly to promote trade, economic cooperation and integration, but close behind is the political influence and leverage that the sponsors hope to capitalise upon. As the US historian and father of geo-economics, Edward Luttwak’s, says, this is ‘the logic of war in the grammar of commerce’. // think this strategic initiative underestimated in most western quarters
Vietnam opposes Chinese fishing ban in disputed sea | Reuters The ban on all fishing activities between May 16 and August 1 violates international law and Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdictional rights, the foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website late on Saturday. China launched the annual fishing ban in 1999 “to promote the sustainable development of the fishing industry in the South China Sea and protect the fundamental interests of fishermen”, according to state news agency Xinhua. Authorities have threatened violators with fines, license revocations, confiscations and possible criminal charges.
Tensions rise between Washington and Beijing over man-made islands – The Washington Post “Reclamation isn’t necessarily a violation of international law, but it’s certainly violating the harmony, the feng shui, of Southeast Asia, and it’s certainly violating China’s claim to be a good neighbor and a benign and non-threatening power,” Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said in a telephone interview. // yes he said this about feng shui in the South China Sea
Q. and A.: Vanessa Hope on Documenting U.S.-China Relations in ‘All Eyes and Ears’ – NYTimes.com want to watch this // In her debut feature-length documentary, Vanessa Hope has taken on one of the most widely discussed topics of our time: United States-China relations. The result is “All Eyes and Ears,” which examines the shifting dynamics between the countries largely through the experiences of a former ambassador, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., through his posting in Beijing from 2009 to 2011 into his campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Wilson Center Digital Archive-Chinese Foreign Policy Database The Chinese Foreign Policy Database enhances the ability of contemporary observers and historians to gain broader perspectives on Chinese policies. Curating 1000s of documents from Chinese and international archives, it offers insights into China’s foreign policy since 1949 and its relationship to ideology, revolution, the economy, and traditional Chinese culture. The Database is generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
China opposes Japan’s bid for wartime facilities’ recognition – Xinhua China on Thursday said it opposed Japan’s bid to have 23 coal mines, shipyards and other early industrial zones recognized as world heritage sites. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, on the list there are some facilities where forced laborers from China, the Korean Peninsula and other Asian countries toiled during World War II. The Republic of Korea (ROK) has condemned Japan’s move as “distortion” and an attempt to gloss over crimes committed during a brutal colonial and wartime past.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Cannes 2015: Taiwanese Anger Over Director Prompts Program Edit – Hollywood Reporter Cannes film festival organizers have updated the official program after Taiwan complained about the description of Hou Hsiao-hsien, whose movie The Assassin is in competition, as being from Mainland China. Officials in self-ruled Taiwan, a bitter rival of mainland China, were angry about the description of Hou as being of “Chinese nationality” in the festival’s official program and the absence of the Taiwanese flag at the festival.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Tencent buys stake in U.S. game maker pocket gems | Dow Jones Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. has taken a roughly 20 per cent stake in U.S. mobile-games startup Pocket Gems Inc., people familiar with the matter said, its latest effort to expand its mobile offerings in China though tie-ups with overseas game developers. Tencent is paying $60 million for the stake, the people said, and will take a seat on the Pocket Gems board.
Alibaba Needs To “Globalize,” Says Its New CEO | TechCrunch “We need to have global talent. We will have employees from all over the world that look different from each other,” said Zhang. “We have to take the time to understand them, to understand their habits, cultural differences, and way of thinking. This is how we become a truly international company.”
Chinese Search Company Baidu Built a Giant Artificial-Intelligence Supercomputer | MIT Technology Review The new computer, called Minwa and located in Beijing, has 72 powerful processors and 144 graphics processors, known as GPUs. Late Monday, Baidu released a paper claiming that the computer had been used to train machine-learning software that set a new record for recognizing images, beating a previous mark set by Google.
Netflix Tops $600 a Share, Said in Talks to Enter China – Bloomberg Business Netflix has held discussions with companies including Wasu Media Holding Co., according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Netflix plans “to be nearly global by the end of 2016,” Anne Marie Squeo, a spokeswoman, said in response to questions about a possible China partnership.
Weibo grows to 198M monthly active users in Q1 2015 – TechinAsia Weibo, the closest thing China has to Twitter, now has 198 million monthly active users, according to the company’s latest earnings report for the first quarter of 2015. That number is up 11.2 percent from 175.7 million in the previous quarter, a rise of 38 percent year-on-year. Weibo hit 89 million daily active users in March, up 34 percent from the same time last year. 86 percent of of Weibo users access the social network via mobile device. Mobile monthly active users grew 57 percent from the same time last year.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Deng Xiaoping and the KKK plot exposed . . . 30-plus years later – FT.com In fact, Mr Deng was approached in a hotel lobby by a white supremacist who planned to spray him with red spray paint. The would-be assailant was punched by a member of Mr Deng’s secret service detail. Mr Deng’s attacker in Texas was Louis Beam, a Vietnam veteran and violent member of the Texas chapter of the KKK, who also organised attacks on Vietnamese immigrants. Charged with assault, he later became a leading figure among violent neo-Nazi groups.
为什么朝阳区盛产仁波切？ fun post on why Beijing’s Chaoyang district has so many fake living Buddhas // 北京朝阳区成了山寨“仁波切”扎堆的圣地。有网友说：“在朝阳区辽阔的大地上，生活着数以千计的仁波切，其中约80%说话带东北口音且长相有浓厚的在《乡村爱情》演员海选第二轮被刷掉的感觉，约90%从来没完整地看过任何一本佛经且对任何佛学相关的问题都会回答这是密法不可说，约100%只有在听到‘供养、双修’的时候会精神振作。” 朝阳区为什么这么多仁波切？因为这里中产阶级多，又是明星和商人扎堆的地方，所以朝阳有“三十万散养仁波切”也就不足为奇了。
It’s Time to Address China’s Juvenile Delinquent Problem-Caixin When authorities in Macao recently uncovered a prostitution ring, the most shocking aspect of the case was that its alleged mastermind was a 16-year-old boy from Chongqing. The teenager represents an extreme example of a larger problem that sees millions of China’s minors not attend school. China is undergoing unprecedented urbanization. As vast as it is, no village in any corner of the country can avoid being swept up in this process. When adults leave their homes in rural areas and head to the cities to work, they either leave their children behind with relatives or bring them along. Because of the household registration system, also known as hukou, which links access to public services to residential status, the children of migrant workers are often refused admission to schools in cities. This means that no matter their origin or ethnicity, the children of migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to delinquency.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China’s Amazonian railway ‘threatens uncontacted tribes’ and the rainforest | The Guardian Environmentalists sound alarm over plans to construct 5,300km route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to cut transport costs
经济参考网 – 青藏高原正由干冷化迈向暖湿化 专家建议提早研究应对措施 中共中央、国务院日前印发《关于加快推进生态文明建设的意见》，明确要保护和修复自然生态系统。加快生态安全屏障建设，形成以青藏高原、黄土高原-川滇、东北森林带、北方防沙带、南方丘陵山地带、近岸近海生态区以及大江大河重要水系为骨架，以其他重点生态功能区为重要支撑，以禁止开发区域为重要组成的生态安全战略格局。多种迹象表明，受全球气候变暖影响，青藏高原正逐步由“干冷化”迈向“暖湿化”，带来冰川退缩、冻土消融等诸多挑战。专家建议有关部门未雨绸缪，加强气象监测研究、完善环保举措、促进国际合作、尽早升级拉萨城区排水系统，多措并举防范应对青藏高原暖湿化带来的威胁。
Glacier collapses in China’s Xinjiang – Global Times The researchers would collect information via remote sensing technologies, said Li Zhongqin, head of CAS Tianshan Mountains Glacier Observation Station. “Climate change is the main reason leading to glacier moves,” Li said. Kongur Tiube, which means in the local language “the mountain with a white cap”, is the second highest peak of the Western Kunlun with elevation of 7,530 meters.
“土十条”望年内出台 龙头股将率先启航中证看盘中证网 中证网讯 据媒体报道，被称为“土十条”的《土壤环境保护和污染治理行动计划》近日已由环保部提交至国务院审核，预计今年年内或明年初将会出台。分析人士指出，因我国土壤污染日趋严重，国家对污染土地的环境管理也日益重视，在政策刺激下，土壤修复产业将步入“黄金时代”
公立医院改革将全面试点 改制并非主流政经频道财新网 与早前方案比，此次《关于城市公立医院综合改革试点的指导意见》更加精细化和具体化。然而在破除以药养医、分级转诊方面，仍旧面临行政手段的路径依赖，方案仅允许“公立医院资源丰富的城市，可选择部分公立医院引入社会资本进行改制试点”
Universal flu vaccine closer to reality after Chinese-Australian scientific breakthrough – Telegraph Scientists in Australia and China have discovered how the body’s “assassin” immunity cells memorise viruses, raising hopes for a life-long flu jab
Dying to Breathe—A Short Film Shows China’s True Cost of Gold | National Geographic This is the unseen cost of gold mining in China—the world’s top gold producer. In China, silicosis is considered a form of pneumoconiosis, which affects an estimated six million workers who toil in gold, coal, or silver mines or in stone-cutting factories. It’s the country’s most prevalent occupational disease.
Tackling China’s Environmental Health Crisis – Council on Foreign Relations The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) is the designated lead agency for nearly half of the issue areas. For a weak bureaucratic actor such as MEP, this ad hoc, issue-specific institutional arrangement makes effective coordination difficult to attain and let alone sustain. Furthermore, as CFR’s Elizabeth Economy has observed, Beijing’s emphasis on large-scale, top-down initiatives fail to take into account that effective enforcement of environmental health standards occurs at the most micro level. Unlike many other countries, China does not have robust civil society groups to offset its bureaucratic capacity deficit. Instead of embracing social actors, such as NGOs and victims of pollution, as partners and facilitators for positive policy change, the state continues to view them as potential troublemakers and discourages institutionalized social participation in the policy process. This is not an equation for state-society synergy. Coping with the environmental health challenges will require Chinese leaders to undertake more profound reforms.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *
中财办副主任：要纠正土地流转的非农非粮化要闻一财网 韩俊说，我们现在对流转的管制和管理，跟欧盟一些国家相比还要弱，现在这些政策性文件的规定，将来有一些会在修订后的《农村土地承包法》当中得到反映。 2001年，中国加入WTO时，承诺补贴不能够超过农业产值的8.5%。 韩俊说，现在有些产品已经超过这一限制了。不过，我们还有很大的调控余地。比如，欧盟最近这几年就把它的黄箱农业补贴，由700亿欧元降到了70亿欧元，我们也在研究欧盟这个经验。
Bitter harvest | The Economist Some officials appear to understand the need to make self-sufficiency goals more flexible. Li Keqiang, the prime minister, last year said China’s goal was “absolute security” in edible grains. Some saw ambiguity in his wording: public debate ensued about whether buying more on global markets, rather than growing more at home, could provide that security. But the party prides itself on its rural origins. It does not want to stoke unrest in the countryside. So it continues to block imports when it feels domestic producers are threatened. As Chongzuo’s farmers can attest, the government is still only too willing to keep farmers working on otherwise unprofitable fields.
Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters by Outlier Linguistic Solutions — Kickstarter several people I respect have said good things about this, I backed it // Busting myths about Chinese characters by creating a revolutionary, easy-to-use character dictionary based on cutting-edge research.
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
Palace Museum to limit daily visitor number by 80,000-China Daily The Palace Museum in Beijing will launch a pilot scheme to limit the daily visitors’ by 80,000 on June 13, according to the museum’s announcement Sunday. The Palace Museum will also impose a real-name registration system for tickets buying at the same time. All the group tour ticket booking will be carried out online, and the traditional site-ticket purchase booths will be canceled.
Beggars leaving Beijing subway after fare rise and panhandling crackdown | South China Morning Post Beggars in the Beijing subway stations can easily earn about 5,000 yuan (HK$6,340) a month, but a fare increase and crackdown by authorities on panhandling has forced some to try their luck elsewhere, the Beijing Youth Daily reports. Police said that one person who pretended to be disabled bought two houses with the money he collected from begging.
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