The Sinocism China Newsletter 05.22.14

A tech upgrade is underway and when that is done (no ETA yet) the newsletter will return to a more regular schedule. Lots of change in a week; the world looks like a more dangerous place than it did at the time of the last issue.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Explosions at Urumqi market cause deaths, injuries – Xinhua Witnesses said two cross-country vehicles driving from north to south ploughed into people in the market at 7:50 a.m. Explosives were thrown out of the vehicles. One of the vehicles exploded in the market..// SUVs, hope just crude incendiary devices and not sign of increased sophisitication

Related: 于宇空: 乌鲁木齐人民公园后面的早市又发生爆炸了,现场惨不忍睹,多人死亡! pictures (some graphic) from explosion (s) this morning in Urumqi. Sounds like a terror attack from reports coming in via weibo

Related: ‘Multiple explosions’ rock capital of restive Xinjiang region | South China Morning Post  Two unknown vehicles rushed into a morning market in Urumqi this morning causing several explosions, according to Weibo users who claimed to be from the city. The incident happened about 8.20am when the vehicles rammed into the early-morning crowds and stalls at the market in North Gongyuan Street, according to an as yet unverified Weibo posting.

Related: Xinjiang jails 39 for ‘inciting holy war, spreading terrorism’ | South China Morning Post Courts in Xinjiang have jailed dozens of people in a special operation to curb the spread of audios and videos inciting terrorism, the Xinjiang Higher People’s Court said yesterday.

Xi defines new Asian security vision at CICA – Global Times In his speech, President Xi proposed making CICA a platform for security dialogue and cooperation that covers the whole of Asia and exploring the establishment of a new regional security cooperation architecture. “China believes that it is advisable to increase the frequency of CICA foreign minister meetings and even summits,” he said, while also proposing the establishment of a defense consultation mechanism. Currently, CICA is not an international organization, and the leaders meet every four years.

Related: China calls for new Asian security structure –AP China’s president called Wednesday for the creation of a new Asian structure for security cooperation based on a regional group that includes Russia and Iran and excludes the United States.//something that China has been talking about for many years, finally coming to fruition? Xi is clearly no Deng Xiaoping when it comes to foreign policy, making many public moves that seem to indicate he has little interest in a positive US-China relationship

Is This the Best Response to China’s Cyber-Attacks?  | ChinaFile Good Chinafile Conversation, this decision on its face is a head-scratcher, clearly these guys will never see a US court room and it carries many risks. There has been a coordinated change of messaging about China by US officials across the bureaucracies over the last couple of months. The White House must be aware of the futility and damage from this move (I had heard some indictments were prepared before Sunnylands but tabled in the hopes of building a good relationship with Xi). Perhaps this is an indication the White House has decided China does not want to work with the US on any substantive issues and so is in effect throwing up its hands and signaling that now it is going to increasingly play hardball? Will we now see more than rhetoric and unenforceable indictments?

Related: Hacking Charges Threaten Further Damage to Chinese-American Relations – NYTimes.com President Obama was not involved in the decision to indict five members of the People’s Liberation Army, an administration official said on Wednesday. But bringing the charges, the official said, was consistent with Mr. Obama’s belief that the United States needed to adopt tougher measures after President Xi Jinping brushed off Mr. Obama’s repeated demands that the Chinese government curb the hacking of American companies…For now, however, the administration said the indictments would serve a purpose. “We have found that it’s important to set those limits and boundaries,” a senior official said. “Sometimes friction is useful.”//but then article quotes administration officials on why this is a smart move…so Obama was not briefed at all, or now messaging to China to give Obama cover?

Related: Washington plays victim of espionage – Global Times Beijing has published US computer attacks on China’s networks, which, however, lack detailed information except figures. We should encourage organizations and individuals whose rights have been infringed to stand up and sue Washington. Regarding the issue of network security, the US is such a mincing rascal that we must stop developing any illusions about it.

Related: Fine Line Seen in U.S. Spying on Companies – NYTimes.com American officials insist, when speaking off the record, that the United States was never acting on behalf of specific American companies. But the government does not deny it routinely spies to advance American economic advantage, which is part of its broad definition of how it protects American national security. In short, the officials say, while the N.S.A. cannot spy on Airbus and give the results to Boeing, it is free to spy on European or Asian trade negotiators and use the results to help American trade officials — and, by extension, the American industries and workers they are trying to bolster.//very people see this distinction, and not just in China

Related: Chinese ambassador hits back on hacking-CNN kind of embarrassing how Amanpour mangles Cui’s name // CNN’s Christiane Amanpour speaks with Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai about U.S. hacking allegations.

Related: U.S. announces first charges against foreign country in connection with cyberspying – The Washington Post Although the indictment does not name the state-owned enterprises that may have benefited from the espionage, according to open-source literature, they are State Nuclear Power Technology, the Baosteel Group and the Aluminum Corporation of China, which is commonly known as Chinalco.

Related: Chinese Lash Out at U.S. Spying Indictment-Foreign Policy On the Chinese web, users largely dismissed the U.S. accusations as a case of “a thief crying ‘stop the thief!'” and wondered whether China shouldn’t pursue charges of its own against U.S. officials for government-sponsored cyber spying.

Related: Lawfare › Why Did DOJ Indict the Chinese Military Officers? Jack Goldsmith-Viewed in this (admittedly charitable) way, the indictments can be seen as a calculated escalation of pressure designed to demonstrate  United States’ resolve to clamp down on corporate cybertheft.  This strategy can only work, I think, if the United States is willing to maintain resolve by continuing to ratchet up the stakes, and if the various costs the United States is willing to impose on China at some point outweigh the benefits to China of its current levels and types of cybertheft.

Related: Spy Charges Ratchet Up Fears for Multinationals in China – Bloomberg  . Google’s e-mail warning to employees traveling in China states that “to protect you and our customers, we may have placed some restrictions on your account,”

Related: Chinese general tours U.S. carrier as maritime tensions fester | Reuters “We are in the best cycle in decades in terms of military-to-military relations with the PLA, and we should sustain the momentum to make ourselves smarter about China’s progress,” said Douglas Paal of at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank in Washington.// Did the US give Gen. Fang a heads up about the coming indictments during his US trip last week?

Exclusive: Vietnam PM says considering legal action against China over disputed waters | Reuters  Dung’s comments, given in a written response to questions from Reuters, are the first time he has suggested Vietnam would take legal measures, a threat that is likely to infuriate Beijing. “Vietnam is considering various defense options, including legal actions in accordance with international law,” Dung said in an email sent while on a visit to Manila late on Wednesday.

Related: Vietnam, Philippines jointly denounce China’s maritime moves | Reuters Carl Thayer, an expert on Vietnam at the Australian Defense Force Academy in Canberra, said Vietnam had to play what cards it had as it was clear the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was not going to stand up to China. “It’s unprecedented for Vietnam to join a U.S. ally and appeal directly for international support,” he said. “It is an admission that ASEAN is not going to go to the mat on this one, so Vietnam has got to play some of the only options it has got left.”

Related: Chinese Company Puts Death Toll in Vietnam Riots at 4 – NYTimes.com Chinese government officials had originally said that two workers were killed in the violence and that more than 100 others were injured. But on Tuesday night, the China Metallurgical Group Corporation said that four of its employees had died at the Formosa Plastics steel plant it was building in Ha Tinh Province, in central Vietnam.//Vietnam has promised compensation to Chinese firms for their losses. That will be a fun negotiation

Related: Xi Jinping’s Excellent Adventure: A Calibrated Takeover of the South China Sea | Nayan Chanda Nayan Chanda // As far as Xi Jinping can see, the situation is indeed an excellent one in which to establish Chinese hegemony over the South China Sea.

Putin Tilts to Asia With $400 Billion China Gas Deal – Bloomberg Gazprom supplies about 30 percent of Europe’s gas, at an average price of $380.5 per thousand cubic meters last year. The price in the contract with China is more than $350, Interfax reported, citing a person it didn’t identify.

Related: Russia and China Agree on Long-Sought Natural Gas Contract – WSJ.com  “This will be the biggest construction project in the world for the next four years, without exaggeration,” Mr. Putin said during his trip to Shanghai. “Our Chinese friends are complicated, difficult negotiators,” he said after marathon negotiations on the deal, which also calls for at least $75 billion in spending on pipelines and other infrastructure on both sides of the Russia-China border.

Tiananmen Massacre escape: speed boats, smugglers and safe houses – Telegraph In the days after the Tiananmen massacre, some of the leaders of the student protests chose to stay and face the vengeance of the Communist party and others chose to flee. Four of those who successfully slipped out from the mainland, first to Hong Kong and then onwards to the West, tell the story of their great escapes.

Related: Tiananmen Massacre 25th anniversary: how Chinese triads enabled the Great Escape – Telegraph Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, a Hong Kong triad speaks fully for the first time about how he smuggled 133 students and intellectuals out of the clutches of the Communist party

Amid Headwinds, State Council Takes Baby Steps on Land Reform – Caixin Cabinet gives green light to pilots, but a ministry and some local governments make sure the changes are incremental //土改降温_杂志频道_财新网

How the F.B.I. Caught a Chinese Spy : The New Yorker While reporting the story, I learned a great deal about an earlier investigation involving another Chinese-American engineer, named Chi Mak, who led F.B.I. agents to Greg Chung. The Mak case, which began in 2004, was among the F.B.I.’s biggest counterintelligence investigations, involving intense surveillance that went on for more than a year.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China Manufacturing Gauge Rises in Sign of Stabilization – Bloomberg A preliminary purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 49.7, exceeding the 48.3 median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and a final reading of 48.1 in April. The number remained below the expansion-contraction line of 50.

Former Top China JPMorgan Banker Said to Be Arrested in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com Fang Fang, 48, has been released but is restricted from leaving Hong Kong after he was recently arrested by the city’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, or I.C.A.C., according to a report in Caixin, a respected Chinese-language financial news outlet based in Beijing, the contents of which were affirmed by a person with knowledge of the matter.

新华社:上海楼市无崩盘之忧有调整之痛_财经频道_一财网 Xinhua says the Shanghai property market is not collapsing but going through a painful adjustment

“空头”瑞信:中国楼市进入长寒冰期_21世纪网 “the rich are selling, the banks are scared, the government not stepping in, real estate developers are desperate” says CS’ Du Jinsong in interview with 21st Century Business Herald // 21世纪经济报道 富人卖了,银行怕了,政府不救了,开发商急了。如今,这不啻为中国房地产市场当下尴尬境地的最佳写照。 作为最早(2013年10月)看空中国楼市的投行人,瑞士信贷董事总经理、亚洲房地产研究主管杜劲松在接受21世纪经济报道记者专访时表示,以往每次下行周期都是政府主动调控的结果,当调控不再,库存高企,尤其整个市场预期开始逆转,中国房地产市场将维持相当长时间的下行周期。

楼市逢低必闹退房模式再启:华润置地遭业主维权|退房现象|楼市逢低必闹|华润置地_新浪财经_新浪网 existing homeowners protesting price cuts at a China Resources project in Harbin…real social stability implications of significant housing price declines…//据媒体昨日报道,华润置地哈尔滨房地产公司开发的“欢乐颂”楼盘近日遭业主举报,称该项目存在虚假宣传。目前华润已经承诺将对700余户业主进行相关补偿和退房处理,消息一出立即引发上百名业主退房。

北京郊区多楼盘降价超10% 下半年跌幅或将扩大_房地产_中证网  real estate developers cutting prices 10% for some projects in Beijing suburbs like Daxing, Tongzhou and Fangshan //

Goldman: Prepare for Chinese property bust | | MacroBusiness With demand poised to slow given a tepid economic backdrop, weaker household affordability, rising mortgage rates and developer cash flow weakness, we believe current construction capacity of the domestic property industry may be excessive. We estimate an inventory adjustment cycle of two years for developers, driving 10%-15% price cuts in most cities with 15% volume contraction from 2013 levels in 2014E-15E.

China Lets Local Governments Repay Debt to Expand Muni Trial – Bloomberg The finance ministry asked local governments to get credit-rating companies to assess their debt and disclose “basic information” about the securities as well as the fiscal and economic conditions, according to the statement. It also changed the permitted maturities for potential municipal bond sales to five, seven and 10 years, from three, five and seven years earlier.

发改委:2014年推进房地产税立法_政经频道_财新网 发改委提出2014年深化经济体制改革的七项重点任务,涉及政府职能转变、户籍和土地体制改革等

Update: China Labor Min: Don’t Need 8% Growth To Create Jobs | MNI The development of the services sector means the Chinese economy doesn’t need to grow at 8% to produce enough jobs, a senior labor ministry official said Wednesday. Xin Changxing, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, also said services sector development has helped the economy produce 4.73 million jobs during the first four months of the year, 30,000 more than during the same period last year.

国务院:关于2014年深化经济体制改革重点任务意见 nice infographic of key tasks outlined for deepening structural economic reform in 2014

China’s Debt Risks Come to Fore in Housing Project – WSJ.com The convoluted financing of the Laodong Road housing project, pieced together through stock-exchange filings and information on corporate websites, shows the deepening connections among three of the fastest-growing and most worrisome parts of the Chinese financial system: local-government debt, corporate borrowing and shadow banking.

Pulled pork IPO shows China private equity not yet ready for world stage | Reuters China’s biggest buyout firm, CDH Investments, is known as “The Blackstone of China” for its savvy deal making and spread of businesses, but last month’s pulled IPO of pork producer WH Group Ltd is a setback to its global ambitions.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Sisters in the Shadows of a Shanxi Graft Probe – Caixin Two sisters with business savvy and important friends in high places are now the standout figures in the mysterious case of a former Shanxi Province government official, Jin Daoming, charged with corruption…The sisters from the central Shanxi city of Jinzhong – Hu Xin and her younger sister Hu Lei – built a business empire that may have helped Jin launder money and hide illegal activity before authorities caught on to the scheme, according to sources and official records obtained by Caixin. The Hu sisters were apparently Jin’s “white gloves,” which means they ran businesses created expressly to cover up official corruption that looked white-glove clean. // interactive graphic of their empire 

知情人士:山西本土干部常常既抱团又内斗-搜狐新闻 “Honesty Outlook” 廉政瞭望 on corrupt Shanxi officials…interesting in light of Wang Qishan’s recommendation of a book about a clean official from Shanxi in the early Qing (a good book btw, though have not finished it)

CPC disciplinary official highlights responsibility, oversight – Xinhua Wang Qishan (back, 2nd R), secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC), holds a symposium attended by leaders of some central enterprises in Beijing, capital of China, May 6, 2014. Wang held four meetings with heads of some central state organs, central enterprises and state-owned financial institutions from May 6 to 12.//and detaining several people inside the CCDI system. SOEs going to see a lot more investigations

能源局”家藏亿元”官员被立案 平日骑自行车上班_网易新闻中心 detained National Energy Adninistration official Wei Pengyuan, the one who had 100 million RMB cash in one of his many flats (this flat reportedly was only occupied by his cash; does that count as empty?), often rode his bike to work and was known as a low key official…The NEA is a target rich environment for Wang Qishan, starting with Liu Tienan, then Hao Weiping (whose detention was triggered when his wife was discovered at Beijing airport trying to fly overseas…guess official spouses, at least above a certain rank, are on lists too), then Wei, then at least one more of his colleagues

网易新闻-河南”被精神病”上访农妇胜诉 曾被钢针插头通电 Henan high court rules in favor of petitioner plaintiff, says Zhoukou city illegally had her committed to a mental institution for 132 days //曾因上访“被精神病”132天的河南农妇吴春霞,状告周口市公安局行政违法。昨天,河南省高院对此案做出终审判决,认定公安机关将吴春霞送往河南省精神病院,没有相应的精神病司法医学鉴定,属违法。

薄熙来案主审法官将调任最高法院 一审成名(图)-搜狐新闻 promotion to the Supreme People’s court for the chief judge in the Bo Xilai case

Under Pressure, ‘Naked Official’ Chooses Early Retirement – NYTimes.com But the details of Mr. Fang’s forced retirement, revealed by Caixin citing internal sources, offer a glimpse into how China is dealing with its longstanding problem of “naked officials” — those who have packed off their family and, often, ill-gotten wealth abroad.

山西运城征地引暴力冲突 60余名村民被打伤_网易新闻中心 nasty battle over land reclamation in Yuncheng, Shanxi. 60 injured, vehicles torched and smashed. pics

China says internet security necessary to counter ‘hostile forces’ | South China Morning Post Wang Xiujun, the deputy director of the China National Internet Information Office, said political security is fundamental, reported the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Tibet propaganda boss vows to ‘seal’ internet to stop separatists | Reuters Dong Yunhu, Tibet’s propaganda department head, made the remarks at a meeting on Monday, the State Council’s information office said…”We must bring down pressure from the sky, find and confiscate materials on the ground, and seal and stifle the internet – the holy trinity of supervision and control of the system,” Dong said. “(This is) to cut off Tibetan separatist propaganda from infiltrating and destroying all manner of communication.”

ETIM terrorist behind Xinjiang railway station attack – Xinhua According to the region’s publicity department, the attack was planned by ETIM member Ismail Yusup outside China. On April 22, he ordered 10 partners in Xinjiang to prepare to strike. The 10 set off explosives and slashed people with knives at the exit of the South Railway Station of Urumqi at around 7:10 p.m. on April 30. Two members of the mob, Saderdin Sawut and Memetabudula Ete, were killed by the explosion, and the eight others were caught by police.

Two Uyghurs Shot Dead After Bombing Raid on Xinjiang Police Station Two police officers were injured in the attack on the police station in the Muji township in the south-western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Muji police chief Memet Niyaz said. He accused the trio of staging the attack at 1.15 a.m., saying they fled after lobbing two explosives into the station’s premises. They hurled the bombs from outside after they were unable to break open the station’s “sturdy” doors, he told RFA’s Uyghur Service. “The attackers threw two explosives one after another and retreated,” he said.

Three Han Chinese Officials Murdered in Xinjiang During President Xi’s Trip The killing of the trio—two of whom had their throats slit and the third who had been stabbed 31 times—occurred on April 27, the first day of Xi’s four-day regional visit, which ended with a deadly blast at a railway station in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the officials said.

Islamist group claims Urumqi bombing | | theguardian.com Site, which tracks Islamist militant statements, said TIP had released a 10-minute video (‫ئۈرۈمچى جەنۇبى ۋوگزال پىدائىيلىق ئەمەلىيىتى باياناتى‬‎ – YouTube) in the Uighur language showing the construction of a briefcase bomb it said was used in the station attack. “A fighter is shown placing the explosive material and shrapnel of bolts inside a box, then inserting the detonation device in a briefcase with the explosive, and leaving the trigger exposed in an outside pocket,” Site said of the video.

Interview: ‘Shift in Attack Target Signals Increasing Uyghur Desperation’ Exiled Uyghur commentator Mehmet Tohti, a former youth leader who in 1985 helped to launch a student rally against Chinese rule in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi, spoke to RFA’s Uyghur Service about why Uyghurs are increasingly shifting their targets from official sites to public spaces…In these circumstances, Uyghurs will find a way to express their anger and discontent to the government one way or another. It may be a train station today, but it could be another vulnerable institution of the Chinese state tomorrow. We can expect more attacks on civilian and infrastructure targets in the coming years.

Zeng Qinghong steps back into the spotlight, visiting Shanghai museum | South China Morning Post The rare public appearance by Zeng, 74, comes amid speculation about whether corruption investigations will expand to other former senior leaders or their protégés. Zeng visited the Han Tianheng Art Museum in Shanghai and was joined by Jiang Mianheng, the son of former president Jiang Zemin, and the city’s Communist Party chief, Han Zheng .

China sets up organ for income distribution reform – Xinhua The State Council, China’s cabinet, said on Wednesday that it has approved the establishment of an inter-ministry joint conference mechanism to coordinate income distribution reform. // 收入分配改革实质性启动 国务院设部际联席会议制度_财经频道_一财网

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China’s Grand Strategy Disaster | The National Interest-Brad Glosserman Why, then, does China stick to this course? Either no one in the upper echelons of the Chinese leadership sees the big picture—which is a very disturbing scenario—or no one in that leadership is prepared to question the wisdom of current policies, because the price of dissent is potentially too high. If true, that should be extremely worrying. That logic implies the momentum of current decisions cannot be diverted and confrontation, if not clashes, will follow.

‘Not Forgetting Old Friends’: Putin Meets with Jiang Zemin – China Real Time Report – WSJ Photos of Mr. Putin visiting with retired Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who served as Chinese president between 1993 and 2003, surfaced Tuesday on social media. Chinese were intrigued by Mr. Jiang’s reappearance. “Not forgetting old friends,” wrote Zhan Guoshu, a former editor of the People’s Daily overseas edition, on his Weibo account.

Japan plans ‘to set up military bases near Diaoyus’ amid row with China | South China Morning Post Tokyo is now planning to set up new outposts on three islands, including Amamioshima, some 150 kilometres south of the Senkakus, the Yomiuri said, citing unnamed senior defence ministry officials.

A Leviathan Turns Philippine Fishermen Into Desperate Darters – NYTimes.com “In Scarborough, you don’t have to catch the fish,” Jerry Escape, the town’s fisheries officer, said with a grin. “They just swim up to you and greet you and let you take them out of the water.” Fish tales aside, the beleaguered boatmen here in Masinloc have found themselves caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight that their country appears to be losing, at least for now. For the past two years, the shoal has been controlled by the Chinese Coast Guard, and the Philippine fishermen who made their livings there find themselves mostly shut out of fisheries they depended on for decades.

Into Africa: China’s Wild Rush – NYTimes.com As someone who recently spent a year traveling widely in Africa to research a book about Beijing’s relations with the continent, I find Mr. Sanusi’s assessment too pessimistic. Yet a dose of caution for Africa, and of public scrutiny about the high-level deal-making underway, was clearly long overdue…The best way for the United States and other rich countries that have economic and political interests in Africa to respond is not by warning Africans about the advance of China — but rather, helping to strengthen African civil society and, thereby, governance. //China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa –on Amazon

Judicial Watch Sues Office of the Director of National Intelligence Over Adviser’s Controversial China Ties | Reuters Judicial Watch announced today that on April 24, 2014, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to obtain records regarding the activities of Theodore H. Moran (Judicial Watch v Office of the Director of National Intelligence (No. 1:14-cv-00719)). Moran served as a top ODNI advisor while also working as a paid consultant to Huawei Technologies Ltd., a Chinese company cited by the House Intelligence Committee as a potential espionage threat. Moran was a member of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) before resigning from both positions in December 2013.

The U.S.-Japan Alliance in East Asia (Part I)-Carnegie-Tsinghua Center In this podcast, hosted by Carnegie-Tsinghua’s Paul Haenle, Carnegie’s Michael Swaine explains why he believes that despite the escalating tensions, mistrust, and shortage of communication between Beijing and Tokyo, the risk of full-scale military conflict between China and Japan or the United States remains relatively low.

U.S. navy renews call for ship visits to Vietnam as tensions worsen | Reuters The U.S. navy is also keen for more extensive exercises with Vietnam’s expanding navy, which now includes state-of-the-art Russian-built ships and Kilo-class submarines. A search-and-rescue exercise off Vietnam’s central coast last year marked the first time ships from the two navies had maneuvered together.

Philippines may offer U.S. naval base on western Palawan island | Reuters Oyster Bay is only 160 km (100 miles) from the disputed Spratly islands, where China has been reclaiming a reef known as Johnson South Reef, and building what appears to be an airstrip on it.

China Puts Brass On Trial In Fight Against Military Corruption | WBUR & NPR Li Yongzhong, vice director of the China Discipline Inspection & Supervision Institute, a training ground for China’s graft busters, says that corruption in the Chinese military is systemic in nature, and people like Gen. Gu tend to thrive in that system.

2013-Conflict of interest or media quarrel? The Nation and the Free Beacon continue their feud | The Lookout – Yahoo News On July 26th, The Nation’s blog posted an article by Lee Fang entitled “Conservative ‘Free Beacon’ Fronts for Taiwan Lobby.” The post claimed that “a lobbyist for a firm dedicated to helping Taiwan advance its policy agenda” is the the key sponsor behind the right-leaning Washington Free Beacon. Fang charged that Michael Goldfarb, the Beacon’s founder and chairman of the 501(c) group which sponsors the paper, is also a partner at Orion Strategies, a lobbying and public relations firm which contracted with Taiwan’s ambassador. Orion’s consulting, Fang wrote, “has centered on promoting US authorization to sell Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.”//Washington Free Beacon could do a better job of disclosure

The Washington Free Beacon – SourceWatch The Free Beacon has multiple posts calling for more F-16 fighter jet sales to the island nation, and has branded skeptics of militarization as “pro-China” activists, according to The Nation. The site, however, fails to disclose the fact that its sponsor is a lobbyist for a firm dedicated to helping Taiwan advance its policy agenda. There is no disclosure on the Free Beacon website that its chairman, Michael Goldfarb, is paid to lobby for Taiwan and other interest groups.[2]

Foreign Influence Explorer The China-US Exchange Foundation Payments from the client in 2013: $817,717.17…also backs the China-US Focus site, as the site discloses

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Baidu Hires Coursera Founder Andrew Ng to Start Massive Research Lab | Re/code  Ng’s long-time collaborator and grad student Adam Coates will also join Baidu. He recently published a paper on the world’s largest trainable neural network, with more than 11 billion parameters made by just 16 machines.//wonder if DC will start to pay attention to Baidu over this

China’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Friend Circles-Foreign Policy What happens in WeChat’s private chats isn’t staying there, and it has the government worried.

《焦点访谈》 20140512 微波炉的“秘密”?_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV goes after Wechat public accounts for spreading rumors and spam

CCTV: MIIT Hopes Users to Replace Windows XP with Domestic Systems | Huxiu Recently, “Newsroom Live” of CCTV news reported on the issue of the retirement of Windows XP, saying that the MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic China) suggested Chinese users to use domestic computer operation system instead of foreign ones.

China bans use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 on government computers | Reuters The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban on installing Windows 8 on government computers as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products, posted on its website last week. The official Xinhua news agency said the ban was to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system, which was widely used in China.

对视窗8系统说不 国产操作系统机会何在?–时政–人民网 People’s Daily page 9 Thursday on the ban on official procurement of Windows 8, need for domestic OS// 业界普遍表示,希望此次政府采购拒绝视窗8能成为国产操作系统的机会,期待政府对国产操作系统的发展能给予更加明确的支持。“自主可控操作系统亟待发挥效用,至少要尽快部署到关键岗位上。”

Video sharing site Qvod fined 260m yuan for sharing porn, infringing copyright | South China Morning Post

快播现场拒签处罚告知书 2.6亿并非最终罚单|快播|罚款_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 Qvod does not accept Shenzhen administrative fine of 260 million RMB for piracy violations on its online video service, looks to appeal. 260m may be the largest fine ever for online video piracy in China. Several hints out there that online video, along with gaming, may be next areas to see significant regulatory tightening

[视频]快播公司传播淫秽色情信息被查处_新闻频道_央视网 smack down of internet video site Qvod makes CCTV Evening News.

Weibo Loss Widens in Chinese Microblog’s First Results Since IPO – Bloomberg The daily active users of Weibo rose to 66.6 million at the end of March from 48.6 million a year earlier, the company said last month.// has sina tweaked is DAU definition, or that they consider receipt of a weibo notification on your mobile device the threshold of an active user?

China’s JD.com prices IPO above expectations, boding well for Alibaba | Reuters and founder is rumored to be planning to propose to his girlfriend at the exchange before shares start trading // valuing the company at more than $25 billion, according to its underwriters.

Jack Ma’s Latest Speech: Alibaba Wishes to Bring Chinese Society into A New Stage | Huxiu “If Alibaba could contribute something to the Chinese society, we hope it can bring Chinese society onto a new stage where people honor contracts, honor the efficiency in resource distribution, and honor the inspiration of innovation. We are working towards this end.”

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

4 Years After Quake, Some See a Resurrected Chinese City, Others Dashed Dreams – NYTimes.com  Tibetans are not the only ones who feel shortchanged. Han business owners complain about skyrocketing rents, erratic power supplies and a dearth of customers.

Outlasting Dynasties, Now Choked by Soot – NYTimes.com Called the Yungang Grottoes, the relics had survived the rise and fall of dynasties, modern wars and the Cultural Revolution. But the scourge of a more prosperous China — industrial pollution — had been eating away at the sandstone. Chinese officials and preservationists have embarked on an ambitious effort to protect them that could become a model for saving antiquities at other sites.

Initial Impressions: Three First Trips to China, 1970s-1990s | ChinaFile This week on Sinica, we take a nostalgic look back at China in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the decades in which our hosts first visited China. Recorded at the new Australian Centre on China in the World, this is a lovely discussion between Jeremy Goldkorn, Geremie Barme, and Linda Jaivin

The Smooth Path to Pearl Harbor by Rana Mitter | The New York Review of Books The heated rhetoric of recent months suggests that interpreting the behavior of both China and Japan during the war years will become increasingly controversial. Meanwhile, the tensions between the two countries could destabilize the American-dominated postwar order in East Asia. We may be about to witness the most important moment of change in the relations among the powers in the region since the events that led to Pearl Harbor in 1941.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

土壤多路吸污难治理:每年受污染粮食可养活4千万人 Economic Information takes a look at soil pollution around China // 工业污染、城市污水、过度使用化肥……在种种污染源侵蚀下,万物赖以生存的大地如今满目疮痍,土壤安全正岌岌可危。《经济参考报》记者在吉林、广东、江苏、河北等地调研了解到,土壤污染问题正逐步动摇我国粮食安全根基,在垃圾围城、土壤重金属污染、食品安全等问题愈演愈烈的今天,无好地可用、无好粮可吃等问题正引发民众担忧。

China glaciers shrink 15 percent in warming-Phys.org-China’s glaciers have shrunk by thousands of square kilometres over the past 30 years as a result of climate change, state-run media reported Wednesday.

China’s Pollution Challenge – NYTimes.com  In the end, protecting China’s beleaguered environment will require the government to reach beyond its comfort zone and confront the limits of its economic and political model.

One Man And His Apps Take On China’s Polluters-HuffPo  With masses of data wrested from government records at all levels, and with reports from and about major companies, Ma Jun has created easy-to-use, simply designed real-time apps

Closer Look: Sorting Out Recurring Disputes over Waste-Burning Plants – Caixin Over past decade, batches of government officials have been sent abroad to learn about managing waste incineration projects. These leaders return home to build plants with similar technologies. But the Chinese public’s problem is not with the equipment found inside a waste plant. To start, the current national standards on waste incineration, which date to 2002, are far lower than requirements found in the European Union. Some local standards are even lower. This worries an already skeptical public, which is convinced that even projects that receive government approval will be polluters.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

西藏旅游局关于阿里冈仁波齐转山公告 restrictions on travel to Tibet’s Mt. Kailash this summer given expected surge in pilgrims in this Year of the Horse

PetSmart, Petco to stop selling dog and cat treats made in China–USA Today PetSmart said it will pull from shelves all of its China-made treats by March 2015, and Petco by the end of this year. The two national pet retailers’ decisions came after years of nationwide complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that a jerky treat from China was possibly making pets sick.//how many Trader Joe’s products have ingredients from China?

 

BEIJING

北京近千村民砸门抢房 称谁先入户房子“归谁”_新闻_腾讯网 nearly a 1000 Beijing Tonghzhou peasants angered over delays in getting the housing they had been promised in exchange for giving up their land break down the doors of the buildings housing their new apartments, apparently now squatting in them…30 minutes or so from Beijing CBD 

京随迁子女家长状告教育考试院已立案_政经频道_财新网 9 parents without Beijing hukous sue Beijing Education Commission to get their kids into primary school // 九名非京籍初三学生因无法在京参加中考并获得高中学籍而状告北京市教育考试院,海淀区法院已立案,家长等待开庭。

北京微妙提升非京籍幼升小入学门槛_政经频道_财新网 例如,在通州区,即便按照政府文件的要求开出了“五证”,却仍无法入学

区域大环线概念提出 交通部统筹京津冀交通一体化_21世纪网 Ministry of Transport working on overall transportation plan for Beijing-Tian-Hebei region

发改委酝酿首都经济圈总体布局 新华社——经济参考网 NDRC working on overall plan for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic area // 据《经济参考报》记者了解,国家发改委已经初步草拟了首都经济圈总体布局,即“两核三轴一带三重点”,而环首都经济圈或以北京为中心由津冀“8+2”个地区组成,包括河北省的石家庄、廊坊、承德、张家口、保定、邯郸、邢台、唐山和天津的蓟县、宝坻。

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Jin Porn Mei: Comic Book Adaptations of the Chinese Novel | Nick Stember As part of a guest lecture for a class on the book3 I recently delved into the murky world of comic book adaptations of the great novel.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Business Development Manager/Director, Western Markets at Tencent in Downtown Palo Alto – Job | LinkedIn hiring manager is a friend, great opportunity // Tencent is looking for an experienced and highly motivated business development professional to join its Western Markets team.

Paid Internships in WSJ’s Beijing Bureau – China Real Time Report – WSJ The Wall Street Journal is offering paid internships in its Beijing newsroom to undergraduates and graduate students who intend to pursue a career in journalism. Applicants must be enrolled in a university in China, fluent in Chinese and English and available to work a minimum of 20 hours a week.

Global Food Safety Forum Time: June 14-15, 2014 Location: Beijing, China

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