The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.01.15

Written in the lovely United lounge at Dulles Airport, apologies in advance for any errors or omissions, been a long week back here in DC. Things should return to normal later this week.

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. China’s Missed Opportunity at the Shangri-La Dialogue | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative Chinese PLA officers and civilian scholars whom I canvassed following the speech all described Carter’s remarks as “balanced” and “moderate.” Even the publicized flight by the U.S. defense secretary the day before over the Malacca Strait in a V-22 Osprey, which Carter mentioned in his speech, did not ruffle feathers. A retired Chinese PLA General said that the flight could be interpreted as showing concern for maintaining open sea lines of communication, which, he said, is a concern that China shares. While it is true that the tone of Carter’s speech was somewhat less harsh than Hagel’s the year before, in my view, the difference was not as stark as the Chinese maintained. This year, however, China came determined to avoid a confrontation and possible setback in U.S.-China relations. With a visit to DC by Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Fang Fenghui less than two weeks away followed by the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and a summit between Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping planned for September, the Chinese wanted to keep the relationship on an even keel.

Related: The United States and Challenges of Asia-Pacific Security: Ashton Carter | IISS the United States will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight – principles that have ensured security and prosperity in this region for decades. There should be no mistake: the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as U.S. forces do all around the world. America, alongside its allies and partners in the regional architecture, will not be deterred from exercising these rights – the rights of all nations. After all, turning an underwater rock into an airfield simply does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit. Finally, with its actions in the South China Sea, China is out of step with both the international rules and norms that underscore the Asia-Pacific’s security architecture, and the regional consensus that favors diplomacy and opposes coercion. These actions are spurring nations to respond together in new ways: in settings as varied as the East Asia Summit to the G-7, countries are speaking up for the importance of stability in the South China Sea. Indonesia and the Philippines are putting aside maritime disputes and resolving their claims peacefully. And in venues like the ADMM-Plus and the East Asia Maritime Forum, nations are seeking new protocols and procedures to build maritime cooperation.

Related: Jointly Safeguard Peace and Build A Secure Asia-Pacific Region – Speech at the 14th Shangri-La Dialogue  by ADMIRAL Sun Jianguo Deputy Chief of General Staff, People’s Liberation Army

Related: 【时局】南海的“四种谬论”,该消停了 人民日报客户端  李建广 蒋波 在南海建设岛礁,是中国主权范围内的事,一没招惹别人、二不违反国际法,本无可指摘,却被部分国家和媒体闹得沸沸扬扬。 有人高举所谓“航行自由”论,说什么中国的南海建设威胁着该地区的航行安全;有人搬出《南海各方行为宣言》,认为中国的举动违背了对东盟的承诺;还有一些人担心,中国的岛礁建设是要“重划边界”,预示着中国要改变现行的南海政策。 事实上,这些年来,拿南海问题说事儿并不新鲜。但这次,美国终于从幕后走向了前台。如此高频率地卖力抹黑中国,小则混淆视听,大则影响南海的和平局面。看来,有必要廓清中国在南海进行岛礁建设的事实,来看看这种种质疑为啥站不住脚。

Related: China cares little for other countries’ territorial claims | World news | The Guardian By transforming rocks into islands, the Chinese government is creating a reality on the ground in asserting its sovereignty over these disputed rocks and laying the ground to claim the territorial waters around them. The Chinese statement that they will eventually allow others to use facilities on the islands for disaster relief or rescue operations is significant. To take advantage of them, users will no doubt need to acknowledge Chinese sovereignty. The fact that the United Nations convention on the law of the sea is clear on what constitutes an island with territorial water – which should exclude such man-made structures – is not deemed an insurmountable obstacle in China. The ruling Communist party has never allowed the law to restrict what it can do. Even in the international community it has a record of successfully imposing its will on other states, notwithstanding the norm. The classic case is Taiwan’s international status.

Related: China Voice: South China Sea issue should not hinder China-U.S. ties – Xinhua  On the whole, the China-U.S. relationship is developing on a steady track, the stability brooks no disturbance or troublemaking. More importantly, both sides should properly handle disputes so as not to distract the overall direction of the bilateral ties. The world’s most important bilateral relationship deserves to be cherished. The South China Sea issue will not and should not become an obstacle of the China-U.S. ties. Washington should be aware of this and be discreet in its words and deeds.

Related: 美国不要给南海稳定添乱(钟声) People’s Daily Zhongsheng on the US and the South China Sea // 当前,中美关系总体稳定发展,但这种稳定是容不得生事、添乱的。尤其重要的是,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。南海问题不是也不应成为中美之间的问题。华盛顿亟须加强这个意识,谨言慎行,停止任何有损南海地区和平稳定和中美关系的言行。

Related: The Ultimate Irony: Is China the ‘America’ of Asia? | The National Interest – Doug Bandow Beijing will like this piece  //  Beijing’s claims in Asia look extravagant, however, they are as valid as those made by the United States against Mexico and Great Britain in the mid-19th century.

Related: China opposes Carter’s comments on construction in South China Sea – Xinhua “China’s construction in the South China Sea is within China’s sovereign rights and its activities are lawful, reasonable and justified,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, following Carter’s comments on Saturday at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Hua urged the United States to keep its promise of a neutral position on the sovereignty issue and to stop harming regional peace and stability. The South China Sea is not a U.S. concern, so it should act prudently and respect efforts by countries in the region to maintain peace and stability, Hua said.

2. Villa Del Mare: Lola Wang Li and the secretive web of Chinese wealth-Sydney Morning Herald The elder Wang is famous in China for marrying one of the country’s best known television stars, 41-year-old actor Wang Yan, who is currently headlining a citywide anti-smoking ad campaign in Beijing. They live under the radar in a luxury apartment in Kirribilli’s Craiglea complex. The younger Wang had become as famous as his stepmother, but for wholly different reasons. Already dubbed one of Beijing’s four “capital playboys”, his notoriety peaked when he pulled a gun on one of the other three and reared his station wagon into the friend’s Audi, causing both a tabloid sensation and a flaming car wreck. Vicky Wang is also a shareholder of an Australian company called Fruit Master International, along with Chinese shopping centre tycoon Dai Yong’ge – son of a former head of the Chinese central bank – and his wife Zhang Xingmei, who bought a Dumaresq Road Rose Bay mansion for $17.7 million in 2008. And there is an even bigger name on the Fruit Master share registry: Zeng Wei, the former vice president’s son.

3. New CPC regulation stresses role of leading Party members’ groups – Xinhua A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday passed a regulation stressing the need to strengthen the Party’s role in state organs and non-Party units. “Leading Party members’ groups” in state organs, organizations and non-Party units are important channels to guarantee the implementation of the line and policies of the Party and the system must be strengthened and improved, according to a statement released after the meeting presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. According to the CPC constitution, such groups may be formed in state organs, organizations or other non-Party units to ensure the Party line and policies are properly implemented. Such organizations cover a broad spectrum, but include the State Council, the Supreme People’s Court, ministries, state-owned enterprises and organizations like the China Writers Association.

Related: 习近平主持审议中共党组工作条例(试行)新闻腾讯网 会议强调,各级党委要从全面从严治党、制度治党、依规治党的战略高度,充分认识加强和改进党组工作的极端重要性和现实紧迫性,加强对《条例》实施的组织领导。要抓好《条例》的宣传解读和学习培训,使各级党组织和广大党员干部特别是领导干部深刻理解《条例》精神,准确掌握《条例》主要内容,增强做好党组工作的能力。要加强督促落实,确保《条例》各项规定要求落到实处。 会议还研究了其他事项

4. Communist Party seeks to bolster authority with new rule for branches across China | South China Morning Post Beijing University of Technology economist Hu Xingdou said the requirement of having a branch in every organisation had been made into a regulation because the party felt corruption had become an extremely serious issue that needed to be addressed. Hu said many cadres blatantly flouted party rules and regulations and the party wanted to reassert its authority. “But how one could overcome the system’s shortcomings, to breakthrough this situation of cadres just doing things according to their own will is a difficult task indeed,” Hu said.

5. Washington is targeting Chinese scientists in America, and so is Beijing-Lowy Interpreter Beijing’s own actions may be fueling Washington’s suspicions. Xi Jinping has been amping up the United Front appeals to Chinese technology leaders and overseas communities and students, exhorting them to ‘build a pro-socialist coalition outside the country.’ Appeals to patriotic scientists to ‘contribute to the motherland’ or return home grow louder. China’s concern for its diaspora is understandable, but the more Beijing trumpets its involvement in overseas ‘bamboo networks’, the more nervous other countries will become about ‘fifth columns.’ Almost half a million Chinese go abroad for study annually, and the conveyor belt of knowledge moves steadily in China’s net direction (which may explain Shen’s sangfroid and America’s ‘anxiety’). Cross-border scientific collaboration is a good thing collectively but John Mearsheimer (among others) has long foreseen the day when Washington sees a need to restrict Chinese nationals from studying and working in sensitive strategic fields. Mearsheimer writes a lot about tragedies, and here is one. By asserting ethnic solidarity with Chinese abroad, Xi calls their loyalty out and may disenfranchise them instead

6. Rescue in the Works for Indebted Sinosteel-Caixin China’s economic slowdown and slumping iron ore prices have intensified what’s now a 2-year-old financial crisis at one of the country’s biggest resource-trading companies, Sinosteel Corp. But sources from banks recently told Caixin that new, unnamed investors are poised to rescue Sinosteel as part of a broad restructuring plan. The plan was expected to be announced by the end of June. The proposed restructuring could include a debt-relief plan that caps painful negotiations between state-owned Sinosteel and its state-owned creditors. The talks began in January, shortly after the State Council got the ball rolling by ordering the China Banking Regulatory Commission to arrange meetings between Sinosteel executives and bankers.

7. Chinese Security Laws Elevate the Party and Stifle Dissent. Mao Would Approve. – NYTimes Analysts say the laws are aimed at giving the security forces and courts greater leeway in muzzling Chinese civil society and corralling the influence of Western institutions and ideas, which Mr. Xi views as a threat. Continue reading the main story. Deploying the kind of retro-nationalist language that has become standard fare under Mr. Xi, the national security law says security must be maintained in all aspects of society, from culture to education to technology, “to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” “This draft focuses on politics, ideology and culture,” said Zhang Xuezhong, a civil rights lawyer and former law professor at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.

8. 媒体揭秘北京“朝阳群众”组织 Beijing Youth Daily on the “Chaoyang Masses’, the network of watchers and informers who have help Beijing police  //  “朝阳群众很神秘,因为警方会保护举报人的隐私,因此就不要刨根问底了;朝阳群众很可爱,因为他们嫉恶如仇,耳聪目明;警方工作离不开大家的支持和配合,不论是案件线索收集还是交通、消防、治安隐患排查,大家都可以来做朝阳群众。”——摘自北京警方官方微博“平安北京”对朝阳群众的评价。

 

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China’s key stock index posts biggest one-day rise in 2 1/2 yrs The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 4.9 percent, to 5,076.18, the biggest one-day rise since December 2012. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 4.7 percent, to 4,828.74 points, its biggest rise in more than four months.

新华网提示慢牛逻辑未变 震荡调整拉长牛市时间轴-手机和讯网 on Sunday Xinhua said the recent stock market drop created a good buying opportunity as the bull market trend is still intact // 另有机构指出,下月大盘或将不会单边上涨或下跌,而倾向震荡分化。由于改革仍是贯穿全年的主题,因此诸如国央企改革等概念仍大有可为;又因为中央继续着力稳增长促转型,因此诸如一带一路、部分补涨蓝筹,以及互联网+等主题,也有望在震荡中崛起,投资者不妨择优挖掘。 正如广州万隆指出,最高层深化改革意图明显,只要股市承担的激活资本市场、支持实体带动经济转型脱困的目标任务尚未完成,那么大的上涨格局也不会因短期调整而改变,且目前市场的赚钱效应深入人心,短期非理性下跌,将激发抄底资金进场,回调反而是低吸良机。

What Happens When Everyone Is a Chinese Stock Market Genius | Foreign Policy The latest bull market began with the cooperation of China’s massive, state-controlled media apparatus. An April 17 retrospective from Beijing Youth Daily, itself state owned, is instructive. Public opinion always “leads the markets,” the article wrote, a phenomenon particularly “prominent,” “targeted,” and “frequent” in the latest bull incarnation. It found the rumblings traced back to August 2014. With the index hovering around 2,400 points — a figure scarcely higher than that in August 2013 or August 2012 — state agency Xinhua released a series of articles called “China Urges a Quality Bull Market.” (One Xinhua headline in September 2014 quoted a 45-year-old investor in Guangzhou stating, “I believe that a historic opportunity is coming.”) In early September, observers noted, Xinhua published eight articles on the stock market in the space of three days. By March 2015, with the index around 3,800, the Beijing Youth Daily opined, the market was suffering from “acrophobia,” which prompted state mouthpiece People’s Daily to issue a three article series, “A Share Volatility [Is Part of] a Slow Bull; [Index] Expected to Challenge 4,000.” A shares are the stocks sold to Chinese investors. It crossed that threshold on the second day of April.

Foreigners pile into China stocks as red flags loom – FT.com Chinese equity funds took in $4.6bn from overseas investors in the past week, according to data from EPFR released on Friday, more than double the previous high set in the second quarter of 2008. At that time, Chinese stocks were in the middle of a long and painful downturn after the popping of the 2007 stock market bubble.
China allocations within pan-Asian and global emerging market funds have also risen to a record high, EPFR data show.

China’s retail investors don’t care what you think about their stock market | CER These so-called retail traders, often stereotyped as inexperienced gamblers and hailing from every age bracket, aren’t concerned with traditional investment metrics like price-to-earnings ratios. Instead they’re keeping an eye on policy announcements and banking on further easing measures like bank reserve requirement cuts and stimulus rollouts commonly viewed as good for listed companies, regardless of whether they help China’s flagging economy. In fact, the worse the economy gets, the more government support expands, and China’s individual investors have thus far responded by plowing yet more money into stocks, driving prices even higher.

Hanergy Plants Appear Busy Despite Market Turmoil – China Real Time Report – WSJ As investors question the business model of Chinese solar products company Hanergy Thin Film Power Group 0566.HK -46.95%, factory workers at two of its plants say work there hasn’t been impacted by the stock-market turmoil. The Wall Street Journal this week interviewed people who work inside two Hanergy plants in the Yangtze Delta region near Shanghai. Their view: the factories are busy and Hanergy is hiring.

China’s Shadow Banking Slowing Less Than Advertised – China Real Time Report – WSJ The PBOC’s move is a welcome change than better reflects the creation of new credit in China’s economy. But in the meantime it makes it more difficult to determine the extent to which overall credit is expanding.

【独家】证监会三位局级干部提出离职金融频道财新网 对于监管机关大部分官员,一面是体制内逼仄的上升空间,繁重的工作与相对有限的待遇,另一面是如果凭借自身专业和人脉背景能够在市场机构中获得较合适的位置,再三权衡后,不再排除下海的机会和可能。 接近证监会的人士告诉财新记者,下半年证监会有可能进行新一轮轮岗,已经下发了调查问卷。目前证监会内有些人心浮动可能与此相关。

China’s Workers Earned More in 2014, but Percent Raises Shrank-Caixin The average annual salary for Chinese workers rose by about 9 percent to nearly 50,000 yuan last year, the National Bureau of Statistics says, the lowest year-on-year increase since 2011. The average annual salary for employees in the public sector and at state-owned companies rose by 7.1 percent to 56,000 yuan, if inflation is factored in, the central government’s statistics department said. The average salary for private sector workers was 36,000 yuan, up 9 percent. The statistics bureau provided the information in a report published on May 27. It said it sampled surveyed 910,000 public and private companies in 16 sectors.

Does this plan for tackling China’s excess capacity have a chance? | Andrew Batson’s Blog Recently Liu Shijin, an economist and senior official at the Development Research Center, a government think tank, stepped in with a proposal cleverly designed to appeal to both sides. Because I think his proposal is both interesting and realistic in the Chinese context, I have translated here the relevant section of interview in which it appears. The key point is that he proposes using government debt to fund a restructuring plan to shut down excess capacity–which, because it will have real money behind it, will be more effective than previous such plans. I think he is right that direct government funding will be more effective than indirect measures like subsidies, and that there is a public interest in getting the market to clear sooner rather than later

China factories scrabble for growth in May, export demand shrinks | Reuters The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged up to 50.2 from April’s 50.1, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website, in line with analysts’ forecast for a 50.2 reading. A reading above 50 points indicates growth on a monthly basis, while one below that points to contraction. The non-manufacturing PMI, on the other hand, slipped to 53.2, a trough not seen since December 2008 and compared with April’s 53.4, the NBS said.

Reading China’s economic tea leaves | Business Spectator People’s Daily might be the Chinese Communist Party’s principal mouthpiece but ignore its editorials at your peril. Seasoned China watchers read it carefully to gauge which way the political wind is blowing. Last Monday, it published a front page story about an interview with a mysterious senior official about the state of the Chinese economy. The piece also directed readers to a full page Q&A with the same unnamed “authority”.  The move is highly unusual and has sparked widespread speculation about the identity of the highly placed official. More importantly, people are trying to decipher the message behind the front page story.

China Considers Doubling Its Local Bond-Swap Program – Bloomberg Business Chinese policy makers are considering plans to as much as double the size of a clean-up program for shaky local government finances, according to people familiar with the discussions. In what would be the second stage of the program, a further 500 billion yuan ($81 billion) to 1 trillion yuan of local-government loans would be authorized to be swapped into bonds issued by provinces and cities, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private. The first stage of the bond swap, currently under way, is 1 trillion yuan.

Cinda, Alibaba Agree to Auction Off Bad Debt via Taobao-Caixin China Cinda Asset Management Co. Ltd. said on May 28 it had reached an agreement with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to auction 4 billion yuan worth of non-performing assets on the shopping site Taobao starting from June 20. Cinda is one of four asset management companies (AMCs) established in 1999 to take over bad loans from big state-owned banks. The cooperation will let Cinda find more buyers for the huge amount of bad assets it purchased since 2012 amid an economic downturn, a person close to the company said. After three years of sorting out what it bought, Cinda has started selling the toxic assets, the source said, and next year will see a big wave of them unloaded.

Stock Market Executives Said to Take Big Pay Cuts-Caixin Top executives at six stock, commodity and futures exchanges in China, including the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses, have apparently taken a pay cut of up to two-thirds to bring their salaries in line with those at other state-owned institutions. The pay cuts, which have not been made public, were backdated to January, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The other four markets were the Shanghai Futures Exchange, China Financial Futures Exchange, and the Zhengzhou and Dalian commodity exchanges.

Head of Central Huijin Investment Steps Down, CIC Says-Caixin he announcement said Xie also left his position as president and executive director of Central Huijin Investment Ltd., CIC’s wholly owned subsidiary, which primarily invests in financial institutions. Xie will teach at a university and help launch an equity investment fund linked to the central government’s Silk Road initiatives, which refer to the New Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a CIC employee said. He did not elaborate. Xie, 57, asked to resign in February and received permission recently, a person close to Huijin said. The decision had nothing to do with Huijin announcing on May 28 that it had sold some of its holdings in two state-owned banks, he said, a move that has been widely associated with a fall of 6.5 percent in the A-share market’s benchmark index that day.

 

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

China Policy Institute Blog » Xi Jinping’s ‘Rule of Law’ with Chinese Characteristics The difficulty in transitioning to the ‘rule of law’ is also structural. The rise of the developmental state in China has been the most important factor for rapid economic growth. Laws have been used by the state to promote economic development. Development has pushed the state to impose its own ‘rational order’ on society, instead of following existing laws and rules. In the long term, however, the expectations of many Chinese citizens have been raised – in terms of their constitutional rights and the implementation of the ‘rule of law’ – by official discourses, particularly as a result of  the Fourth Plenum Decision. Consequentially, they may put pressure on the Party to deliver further reforms.–Zheng Yongnian

Developer Probed for Web of Floor Space Fraud-Caixin Prominent real estate developer Zhao Jin is at the center of an extensive graft probe stretching from Nanjing to Tianjin

China’s internet police are coming out of the shadows to purify the web – Quartz China is publicly deploying its cyber police to “purify the internet” of illegal and harmful information. According to China’s ministry of public security this weekend, “internet police” from 50 Chinese cities and locales are opening accounts on various Chinese social media platforms where they will openly patrol the internet for cyber crimes (link in Chinese) from defamation and gambling and selling drugs, to “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

China Wants the World to Understand Its Ruling Party (CPC), Leaders and… — NEW YORK, May 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — China’s latest efforts to inform the world about itself are a weekly primetime CCTV News television series broadcast in English in over 100 countries, including the United States–“Closer to China with R.L.Kuhn”—and an unprecedented outreach by the Communist Party of China (“CPC”), China’s ruling party, at the largest publishing convention in the United States with a new series of books—”Understanding the CPC.”

习近平主持中共中央政治局第二十三次集体学习-新华网 新华网北京5月30日电  中共中央政治局5月29日下午就健全公共安全体系进行第二十三次集体学习。中共中央总书记习近平在主持学习时强调,公共安全连着千家万户,确保公共安全事关人民群众生命财产安全,事关改革发展稳定大局。要牢固树立安全发展理念,自觉把维护公共安全放在维护最广大人民根本利益中来认识,扎实做好公共安全工作,努力为人民安居乐业、社会安定有序、国家长治久安编织全方位、立体化的公共安全网。 学习会上,杨焕宁、陈晓华、李立国、杨栋梁、毕井泉先后发言,他们结合本部门工作谈了公共安全面临的形势、存在的问题和下一步工作打算。

President Xi demands efforts to ensure public safety – Xinhua In a group study of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday, Xi stressed the importance of public safety in a stable social environment, calling for an improved mechanism to avoid and better respond to safety hazards. China should strengthen safety regulations for agricultural products, food and drugs while carrying out targeted campaigns to improve workplace safety, Xi said. He also urged more efforts to improve natural disaster response and prevention. The emphasis on public safety came after a fire killed 38 people at a private rest home in central China’s Henan Province. A preliminary investigation found poor building quality and lax safety management were to blame.

Chen Wenqing appointed state security minister amid reshuffle|WantChinaTimes Chen Wenqing, the former deputy secretary of China’s anti-graft watchdog, appears to have been appointed the country’s minister of state security as part of a post-crackdown personnel reshuffle, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet. While there has been no official announcements from authorities, Chen’s name was removed from the staff list of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) last month and has appeared at State Council functions in Beijing alongside public security and state security officials. There are also reports that he has already been named party secretary of the Ministry of State Security and will soon replace Geng Huichang as minister.

SPIEGEL Interview with Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei – SPIEGEL ONLINE In a SPIEGEL interview, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, 57, discusses the continuing repression faced by civil rights activists in China, why he believes progressive change in the country is inevitable and shameful human rights violations in the United States.

解析:谁是人民日报权威人士 2015-05-27 海外网侠客岛 要人民日报建立至今,已有1605篇文章提到“权威人士”,国共内战期间,权威人士曾多次出镜吐槽蒋介石及美国,而改革开放之前,能被称为权威人士是因身份地位的权威性,开放之后主要是因技能和知识的权威性,而今年权威人士在党报上已出现6次。

Brother of retired head of Chinese military in spotlight over misused disaster relief funds | South China Morning Post The younger brother of retired military chief Guo Boxiong has been put in the hot seat after graft busters in Shaanxi province anti-graft agency discovered that the local civil affairs bureau, which the younger Guo heads, had misused disaster recovery funds to build housing for civil servants.

做实陪审改制财新周刊频道财新网 日前,新一轮人民陪审员制度改革进入实施阶段,相关方案及试点工作陆续铺开。这项改革由习近平担任组长的中央深改小组研究决定,被官方评价为中国司法改革的又一大重要举措。方案显示,本轮人民陪审员制度改革试点主要工作包括改革陪审员选任条件、完善陪审员选任程序、扩大陪审员参审范围、完善陪审员参审案件机制、探索陪审员参审案件职权改革、完善陪审员的退出和惩戒机制、完善陪审员履职保障制度等七方面内容。

深圳规定律师禁用炒作扰审判 深圳市司法局和深圳市律师协会29日共同发布了《关于规范律师在法院诉讼行为及律师与法官关系的指导意见》,规范律师执业行为,并明确规定律师不得利用媒体、互联网炒作案件干扰审判。 记者从深圳市司法局和深圳市中级人民法院29日联合举行的新闻发布会上获悉,该指导意见在律师与法官关系方面,规定律师行为“7不准”,非常细致的规范了律师与法官之间可能存在的猫腻行为。

Moving Violations: China’s Antigraft Tips Fly as Tiger Hunt Changes Stripes – WSJ Almost daily, the Communist Party’s antigraft body publishes data that show the number of officials investigated and punished is rising, including the detention of 19 top executives from state-run companies between March and April. Less noticed is the flood of new allegations that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection says it is receiving from members of the public.

 

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland. – The Washington Post China is so big and so diverse you can find just about whatever you are looking for  //  And when we treat China as a fantasyland of instruction for ourselves, we end up ignoring the Chinese. Like Voltaire’s mandarins or the happy peasants of Maoist propaganda, they cease to be real people and become perfect puppets deployed for rhetorical ends. The Chinese can be just as dumb, lazy and pig-headed as anyone else. They can also be just as smart, determined and empathic. They deserve better than to be reduced to examples.

Divine Eagle, China’s Enormous Stealth Hunting Drone, Takes Shape | Popular Science Photos have emerged of the Divine Eagle, perhaps China’s most ambitious drone design. Planned to hunt stealth planes from afar, it could turn out to be not just the world’s largest drone, but one of the most important to the future of war.

China’s most-wanted fugitive set to be extradited by US – China Daily China’s most-wanted fugitive, an official accused of embezzling more than $40 million, is in US custody and waiting for extradition, Lou Martinez, the spokesman at New York office of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, told chinanews.com on Thursday. Yang Xiuzhu, who fled China in 2003, was detained after entering the US using a fake Dutch passport last year, according to the Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Dennis J. Blasko-The 2015 Chinese Defense White Paper on Strategy in Perspective: Maritime Missions Require a Change in the PLA Mindset | The Jamestown Foundation This year’s white paper does not provide specifics about the impending changes the PLA is soon to undertake. It does, however, provide a general outline of topics to monitor as the force undergoes a complex modernization and transformation. Based on the call for a greater maritime orientation in the force, we can expect to see reductions in the number of Army personnel and Army units in coming years, which will automatically raise the percentage of the other services’ personnel in the total force (currently Army and Second Artillery personnel make up over 70 percent of the 2.3 million active duty PLA, while the Navy consists of about 10 percent and the Air Force about 17 percent). A major question is whether the other services will be expanded by receiving some of the personnel billets from the reductions in the Army. Will more Navy admirals and Air Force generals be elevated to the Central Military Commission? Will Navy admirals and Air Force generals be tasked to command operations away from China’s shores? Will logistics forces be created or expanded to support extended operations outside of China? How will the PLA education system be adjusted to prepare officers and noncommissioned officers for the new tasks and mental outlook ahead?

China’s Strong Arm: Protecting Citizens and Assets Abroad | IISS looks like an interesting new book  //  China has long adhered to a principle of ‘non-interference’ in other states’ affairs. However, as more of its companies have been investing in projects overseas, and millions of its nationals are travelling abroad, Beijing is finding itself progressively involved in other countries – through the need to protect these interests and citizens.

PLA Says Two More Senior Officers Probed for Corruption-Caixin Zhou Minggui, the deputy director of the Nanjing command’s politics department, is the latest officer to have his graft case handed to military prosecutors. He was placed under investigation by the PLA’s graft watchdog in January. Zhou, a 58 year old who joined the PLA in 1976, holds the rank of major general. He was named the political commissar of the logistics department of the Nanjing command in June 2010 and was promoted to the command’s political chief early last year. Zhou is the third highest-ranking officer sacked for graft this year in the Nanjing command, which covers five provinces and the city of Shanghai, in eastern China. The PLA also confirmed on May 29 that Fu Yi, former commander of the Zhejiang military command who also holds major general ranking, is being investigated. The case involving Fu, 62, was handed to military prosecutors in April.

腾讯新闻-谷俊山邻居受其刺激写出小说 周大新:谷俊山一案对我刺激很大。据说从他家里搜出来好多茅台酒、很多钱和黄金。我们就在一个大院里住。这么大的一个官,不考虑国家和民族利益,只管自己享受,这很触目惊心 // Gu Junshan’s neighbor inspired to write a novel

 

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

Editor’s Suspension Highlights Rampant Graft in China’s State Media An editor working for a web portal with close ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party is under investigation for blackmail, according to a media report that was later deleted from the country’s tightly controlled Internet. Xu Hui, a deputy editor at People.cn, is under investigation amid allegations that he approached various companies and threatened to publish negative news stories about them if they didn’t buy advertising on the site, according to a news story that appeared on the NetEase news portal late on Wednesday.

Experts Question Alipay’s Backup Plans after Long Glitch-Caixin A social media account of Alipay Wallet, the smartphone application of the payment service, said at 6 p.m. the glitch was due to cables getting accidentally cut at a construction site in the Xiaoshan District in Hangzhou. Alipay’s headquarters are in that eastern city. The account on Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, said workers from a telecommunications company were repairing the cables and Alipay technicians planned to switch to other servers. The account was updated at 7:30 p.m. to say Alipay was back online. A person close to the banking regulator described a glitch lasting as long as Alipay’s as “a major security incident.” Problems lasting more than 30 minutes must be reported to the regulator.

Spreadtrum Guns for Intel’s 14nm FinFET in 2016 | EE Times Intel’s $1.5 billion investment in Tsinghua Unigroup last fall resulted in the U.S. chip giant owning 20 percent of China’s combined Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. Spreadtrum’s quid pro quo for Intel, under the agreement, is a matter of intense speculation among semiconductor industry observers. Li, during the one-on-one interview, insisted, “I am under no obligation” to use Intel technologies “unless they prove to be competitive on the market.”

China’s Weibo: No More Smut – China Real Time Report – WSJ The chief executive of Sina’s Weibo service said on Sunday it would be asking “modeling agencies” – a loose term for the array of services posting images of scantily clad women online – to yank those pictures from the service. Effective immediately, these agencies “cannot send images of [models] in swimwear or black lace,” Weibo Chief Executive Officer Wang Gaofei wrote on one of his verified blogs on Weibo. Mr. Wang also said these agencies won’t be allowed to use Weibo to publicize their online presence on other platforms.

 

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Napster Founder Sean Parker Pays $4.4 Million for Ai Weiwei Sculpture | 7×7 Parker is the proud new owner of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads (2010), which, as ArtNet reported, he bought at Phillips London in February for a whopping $4.4 million (a public announcement was made today). The stunning gold-plated statues are each 28-inches tall, and depict the Chinese zodiac signs. The piece is the seventh in a series of eight, and based on a set of 18th century sculptures created by Jesuits for a fountain clock in Beijing’s Summer Palace.  The sale also marked a new record for the artist. Ai’s top sale was previously set at $1.2 million for his Map of China in 2014— mere pocket change for Parker.

 

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

China’s first confirmed MERS case arrived from Korea via Hong Kong | Reuters China said on Friday a 44-year-old South Korean man had tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), China’s first confirmed case, but that it had not found any symptoms in 38 people who had been in close contact with him. Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong said it was likely the disease would spread as the patient had taken a bus, crossed a busy border checkpoint from Hong Kong and stayed in a hotel before being taken to hospital.

China’s Hebei to force firms to buy emission permits from 2016 | Reuters China’s biggest steelmaking province, Hebei, will order its big industrial emitters to pay for the pollution they discharge via a regional trading scheme beginning next year, the official Hebei Daily newspaper said on Monday. Last year, seven of China’s 10 smoggiest cities were situated in the northern province and it is under pressure from nearby Beijing to take action to control pollution from heavy industry.

Most glaciers in Mount Everest area will disappear with climate change – study | Environment | The Guardian There is still much uncertainty about how deeply levels of greenhouse gases will affect temperature, snowfall and rainfall, and very few of the region’s glaciers have been measured in detail. However, increasing rates of snow and ice melt are already observable and precipitation is expected to change from snow to rain at critical elevations, where glaciers are concentrated. Farming and hydropower generation downstream of the Himalayan peaks is likely to be greatly affected. Over one billion people in Asia depend on rivers fed by glaciers for their food and livelihoods. While increased glacier melt initially increases water flows, ongoing retreat leads to reduced meltwater from the glaciers during the warmer months.

Closer Look: How a Glass Door Stops Growth of Private Hospitals-Caixin Though much has been made in recent years about the rise of private medical care in China, public hospitals still dominate the system. And this reality says as much about Chinese economic policy as it does about its health care. The 2014 Private Hospitals Bluebook, which tracks the sector, says the number of private hospitals have grown by 17 percent per year, and now total more than 11,500 facilities, or some 46 percent of all Chinese hospitals. And yet, because these facilities tend to be small – 86 percent of the country’s private hospitals have fewer than 100 beds – the report notes they are still far from rivaling the weight of public hospitals.

China Uses Drones to Monitor Pollution Problem from Above-Caixin China’s environmental regulators want to increase the use of drones watching pollution levels, supplementing the existing monitoring system. In the central city of Wuhan, drones were sent up to inspect emissions from chimneys in urban area that are usually linked to the local heating system. In the northeast, environmental officials in Heilongjiang Province used drones to monitor straw burning in rural areas, a source of air pollution. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has also had drones fly over steel mills, refineries and power plants to gather information about possible emission violations. On May 18, the ministry published information on its website regarding penalties imposed on several major industrial companies in Hebei Province, in the north, that drones caught committing emissions violations.

Clearing the air | The Economist On June 1st stricter rules will be enforced on smoking in public places in Beijing, including bars, offices, stadiums and some outdoor areas such as those of hospitals and schools. Fines for failing to keep such places smoke-free could be as high as 10,000 yuan ($1,600); for smokers who break the rules, they could be up to 200 yuan. Cigarette advertising and tobacco-company sponsorships of events will also be banned. Similar measures are included in a draft, published in November, of new national regulations on smoking.

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Acknowledges Excessive Fertilizer Use There is no discussion of eliminating subsidies for chemical fertilizers. The biggest agricultural program in the 2015 catalog–with expenditure of 107 billion yuan ($17 billion)–is the general input subsidy that gives a payment to every grain farmer to offset any increase in input prices–mainly to protect farmers from increases in the cost of chemical fertilizer. This policy has been in place since 2006 and is the largest single subsidy to Chinese farmers. It followed many years of subsidizing the chemical fertilizer industry and controlling prices to promote chemical fertilizer use. Bottom line: China is creating a raft of new subsidies to correct a big problem created by decades of subsidies that induced farmers to use too much fertilizer.

China cools land transfer fever – Xinhua As China encourages farmers to pool their land for better productivity, the country has gone on high alert for illegal seizures and speculation. The latest warning came from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who this week suggested that arable land should be protected “the way we protect pandas”. Most of China’s farmland is owned collectively by the people who work on it. As the rural workforce migrated to better paid jobs in the big cities, China began, in 2008, to allow farmers to rent out, transfer and merge the land they have contracted, amid a reform to bolster modern farming and reuse abandoned land.

Gov’t Switches Subsidy Focus from Small Farmers to Major Growers-Caixin The government has announced a 20 percent cut in the budget for crop-input subsidies available to most farmers across the country this year. A May 22 directive published by the finance and agriculture ministries also says subsidies will jump 20 percent for farming enterprises and other major growers that agree to plant more crops. The government’s subsidy budget has not changed, as the 107 billion yuan set aside to help finance inputs including seed, fertilizer and tractors this year is unchanged from 2014. However, local governments that award the subsidies under Beijing’s orders have been told to adjust spending so that 20 percent goes toward big, high-yield farming enterprises. The changes come as China works toward meeting farm subsidy criteria set by the World Trade Organization

FSI | REAP – Caixin Magazine: Scott Rozelle, Not Just a Spectator “He’s more Chinese than Chinese people,” say those who know him well. He is development economist Scott Rozelle. 2014 marks the 30th year since he first came to China’s mainland. In the last 30 years, he went from being a graduate student to a faculty member at the University of California, Davis and then Stanford University, and was awarded the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ International Science and Technology Collaboration Award and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs’ China Friendship Award. He has spent approximately a third of the last 30 years in China.

 

AnchorEDUCATION *

For American Students in China, Some Risks, No Regrets | Foreign Policy Life in the People’s Republic can be trying — but for a young American, it’s also transformative. FP surveys a rising generation of cross-cultural natives.

China invests heavily on children’s education – Xinhua Conditions for China’s most humble elementary schools have improved significantly since the year’s beginning. These schools, located in remote rural areas, generally faced shortage of teachers and teaching stuff. Things have changed thanks to the completion of a national project to extend digital educational resources to them, 64,000 in total, by the end of 2014. “More than 4 million rural kids will benefit from this project, ” according to statement from the Ministry of Education

 

AnchorBEIJING *

China’s Smoking Ban Sets Restaurants Against Defiant Customers – Bloomberg Business A public smoking ban took effect in China’s capital today, with restaurant owners wincing at the notion of paying a hefty fine for patrons who insist on lighting up. The law uses the threat of fines as high as 10,000 yuan ($1,600) in a bid to succeed where past smoking limits failed and enlist owners of bars and restaurants as enforcers. On day one, several claimed they shouldn’t be held responsible.

Parents in Capital Angry at Recruiting Changes for Top Primary Schools-Caixin Education authorities in six districts in Beijing have started letting some top primary schools take over the management of some less popular schools in a bid to narrow a gap in teaching quality. Education officials also updated the lists of neighborhoods each school can recruit students from, a measure designed to ease pressure on the top schools. Education authorities in Chaoyang District dropped several neighborhoods from a list of areas that Huajidi Experimental Primary School, one of top schools in the area, can recruit students from. Students from these neighborhoods can instead attend the Nanhui Zhongyuan Primary school, which has been designated as an affiliate of Huajiadi school starting this year. Administrators at Huajiadi said that the school has become so crowded that its playground can hardly accommodate the students. The school said it will only recruit seven new classes this year. In previous years it had taken in more than a dozen. The change has angered many parents, particularly those who bought a home near the school so their children can be educated there.

腾讯新闻-北京“地下宫殿”储水池曝光 6月1日-9月中旬是北京的汛期,大雨来袭,如何抵挡?图中这个约3层楼高的地下空间,“藏”在南二环左安门桥下,它的超级“大肚”能“喝”下8026立方米的雨水。 // slideshow of underground catchment chambers for street flooding in Beijing…

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