The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.02.14

It increasingly appears that China has both misjudged US resolve and overstated America’s decline. The US changed its messaging and actions in the last few months to a much more coordinated, harder line. Perhaps Beijing really thought the US was all talk, and now it is enraged to realize that the US is serious when it says not leaving Asia.

This is getting very dangerous, and not just due to the risk of accidents, but I do not believe China wants a fight with a US. It may have abandoned “hide your strength, bide your time” but it must realize that any conflict in China’s near seas right now would be very damaging to an already struggling Chinese economy, and, if the PLA loses, could destroy any remaining legitimacy for the Party.

China may have a strategy, rather than just a series of reactive moves, for its near seas, but that does not mean it has a good strategy. Its behavior was already driving Asian countries towards new alliances and closer to US, and the weekend performance at the Shangri-La Dialogue should accelerate those moves. China is talking about “Asia for Asians” but countries in the region do not want the US gone, to be replaced by a China with a vision of a “neo-tributary system”. They want peace and trade with both the US and China, though some US-China tensions will allow them to play one off the other to their benefit.

So where is the offramp, and how can Xi appear to compromise now? He looks to be the strongest leader in decades but his control over the PLA is unclear, he is pushing a harsh corruption crackdown through the ranks, and many more than just the “angry youth” nationalists believe that China’s near seas policies are correct and necessary to protect its sovereignty. Backing down now could pose real legitimacy risk. 

I am far more worried about these issues than a slowdown in the property market, or even real estate crashes in some cities around China.

I am heading to DC for a week for some family things and not sure when I will send out another issue. The tech upgrade is almost done so once I have returned the newsletter should be back to a more regular, almost daily schedule.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

U.S. Sway in Asia Is Imperiled as China Challenges Alliances – NYTimes.com At another conference, in Beijing, Adm. Sun Jianguo, the deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, expanded on Mr. Xi’s ideas, describing the American alliance system as an antiquated relic of the Cold War that should be replaced by an Asia-centric security architecture, participants said. As word filtered through the region about Mr. Xi’s new concept — so far, only sketched in a bare-bones outline — it was referred to as “ ‘Asia for Asians,’ which means China decides as the biggest guy on the block,” said a senior Asian diplomat from a country allied with the United States, who declined to be named for fear of alienating China. // any mention of Co-Prosperity?

Related: China Accuses U.S. and Japan of Sowing Discord in Asia-Pacific – NYTimes.com Speaking to reporters at a conference here of senior military officials from around the region, Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhoung, the People’s Liberation Army’s deputy chief of staff, characterized a speech Saturday morning by Mr. Hagel, which followed one by Mr. Abe Friday night, as “full of threats and intimidating language,” according to Chinese news media outlets. General Wang seemed especially annoyed that Mr. Hagel, who accused China of coercive tactics in its very many maritime disputes with its neighbors, had made his accusations at a conference about regional cooperation.//Wang’s comments in Chinese 王冠中:哈格尔讲话充满恐吓 过分程度超出想象

Related: Shangri-La Dialogue: General Wang Guanzhong returns fire at Abe and Hagel This conference is taking place a time when regional confidence in America’s pivot to Asia is diminishing. Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove distilled this mood yesterday when he asked Secretary Hagel why President Obama had never defended the pivot to an American audience. As Michael later told Bloomberg News, ‘if (the pivot is) a serious strategic doctrine it needs to have domestic underpinnings, that weight you get from talking about it in the state of the union or the West Point speech.’ I agree and I think the region is right to doubt American resolve, particularly when it comes to disputes in the South China Sea which fall below the American threshold of issues for which they would be prepared to risk war with China. But if General Wang’s speech is any indication, perhaps the Chinese do not share these doubts about American staying power.

Related:  Freedom of navigation more important to China: Fu Ying – Xinhua | China has benefited from the peaceful environment over the past decades and has been undertaking more responsibilities in recent years in ensuring a peaceful environment at the sea…Fu, formerly vice minister of foreign affairs, also said that the freedom of navigation has often been used as an excuse in the South China Sea “as if sky is falling.” “Actually we have strong cooperation ensuring continued freedom and safety of navigation in this region,” she said.

Related:  U.S. Making ‘Important’ Mistakes, Chinese General Says – WSJ Rebutting Mr. Hagel’s remarks, offered in a speech Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security summit in Singapore, Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu told The Wall Street Journal that the charges are “groundless” and that “the Americans are making very, very important strategic mistakes right now” in their approach to China. Gen. Zhu, who is a professor at China’s National Defense University, accused Mr. Hagel of hypocrisy in his assessment of the region’s security landscape, suggesting that in his view “whatever the Chinese do is illegal, and whatever the Americans do is right.” // And the Chinese think whatever they do is right. General Zhu also told Phoenix TV that the US military has an issue with virility 少将:美国军事介入亚太冲突存在“勃起障碍”[the original article has been removed from Phoenix TV’s web site). I can’t use the exact term as it will trigger the spam filter but it sounds similar to projectile dysfunction…a very unprofessional comment…”朱成虎少将(国防大学教授、军事战略专家):美国这么做,它是有一个非常大的背景,就是在美国国力衰退的情况下,它要实现遏制中国发展的这样一个目标,它需要利用盟国,借用盟国的力量,但是一旦中国与周边国家有领土争端的国家发生冲突的时候,它会不会介入或者是直接的军事介入,那是另外一个问题了。因为这就涉及到美国延伸战略的有效性,延伸战略的缩写叫ED,从乌克兰事件上来看,它那个ED已经成了男人的ED了,勃起障碍,所以我觉得对美国是不是有这个决心和能力介入在这一地区的冲突,可能还有待观察…第三,引发了这一地区新一轮的军备竞赛,而且这样军备竞赛可能是全方位的,从太空到网络空间,从核领域到常规领域,从海洋到空中,从传统安全领域到非传统安全领域都有。”

Related: China on Wrong Path, Warns U.S. Commander – WSJ While agreeing that Asia needs Chinese leadership, Adm. Samuel Locklear, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told The Wall Street Journal that Chinese leaders “will have to make a decision on how they will help the region, and help lead the region through these issues,” rather than posing challenges to regional stability. “The path they’re on dealing with [territorial disputes] now is not productive for the region,” said Adm. Locklear, speaking on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security summit in Singapore, on Saturday.

China Voice: Cult’s horror calls for further crackdown – Xinhua In a horrendous video that has shocked China, six members of an evil cult beat a woman to death at a McDonald’s restaurant, prompting public calls to severely punish the perpetrators. In a cyber age when people have seen pretty much everything, the video spread through the Chinese Internet due to the unusually cruel nature of the crime. The victim was struck to the last bit of her life, simply because she refused to give her phone number to the six cult members who were trying to recruit her

Related: [视频]山东招远“5·28”故意杀人案告破:犯罪嫌疑人系邪教组织成员_新闻频道_央视网(cctv.com) The Zhaoyuan, Shandong McDonald’s murder makes the Saturday CCTV Evening News…has triggered a new anti-cult campaign, expect lots of arrests…The father of the group does a prison interview, says he is not afraid of the law because he believes in God

Related: Eastern Lightning – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Eastern Lightning (Chinese: 东方闪电; pinyin: Dōngfāng Shǎndiàn) is a doomsday cult offshoot of Christianity in China. The official name for the group is the Church of Almighty God (Chinese: 全能神教会; pinyin: Quánnéng Shén Jiàohuì).[1] The Protestant group China for Jesus has estimated that Eastern Lightning adherents may number upwards of 1 million.[2] Provincial security officials in China have characterized the church as “a social cancer and a plague on humankind.”[3]

Related: The Cult Who Kidnaps Christians and Is at War with the Chinese Government | VICE United States Eastern Lightning started in the 90s when their founder, Zhao Weishan, met a woman in Zhengzhou, Henan province. The woman called herself “Lightning Deng” and had written a book, Lightning from the Orient, which restyled the Christian narrative in Chinese terms. It’s unclear whether the two are in on the plot together or if Zhao is taking advantage of Deng, but what’s certain is that it was Zhao who declared her to be the reincarnation of Christ and started gathering followers with her as the spiritual leader.

Church-State Clash in China Coalesces Around a Toppled Spire – NYTimes.com Officials argued that the church violated zoning rules, but the provincial policy paper suggests that argument was a tactical cover. The paper, called “Working Document Concerning the Realization of Handling of Illegal Religious Buildings,” said the policy would face international scrutiny so officials should be careful to cloak their effort under the guise of cracking down on building codes. “Be particular about tactics, be careful about methods,” it said, urging officials to focus on the idea of “illegal construction.” “This is crucial to investigate and prosecute from the perspective of laws and regulations to avoid inviting heavy criticism.”

American Businesses in China Feel Heat of a Cyberdispute – NYTimes.com Some Chinese companies are stepping forward as the official backlash against American technology grows. Alibaba Group, one of China’s biggest technology firms, announced Wednesday that it hoped its cloud computing products would replace storage services that big American companies had sold to Chinese financial institutions.  // wonder if anyone in Congress will start asking why Chinese tech firms are allowing to harvest billions from US capital markets now?

Staying Afloat | ChinaFile In “Staying Afloat: Life on a Disappearing Lake,” Chinese filmmakers Lynn Zhang and Shirley Han Ying train their camera on the people who have been both perpetrators and victims of Baiyangdian’s decline. They show us not just how its current predicament came to pass, but also the urgency of making sure Baiyangdian does not follow the region’s rivers into history

25 Years Later, Details Emerge of Army’s Chaos Before Tiananmen Square – NYTimes.com In a stunning rebuke to his superiors, Maj. Gen. Xu Qinxian, leader of the mighty 38th Group Army, said the protests were a political problem, and should be settled through negotiations, not force, according to new accounts of his actions from researchers who interviewed him. “I’d rather be beheaded than be a criminal in the eyes of history,” he told Yang Jisheng, a historian. Although General Xu was soon arrested, his defiance sent shudders through the party establishment

Related: China’s Fear of Contagion: Tiananmen Square and the Power of the European Example – Harvard – Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs …These new sources, combined with older ones, show the extent to which Chinese political leaders were obsessed with the democratic changes in Eastern Europe and were willing to take violent action to prevent similar events on their territory…These sources also show that the CCP knew it had little to fear from reprisals by the United States, which it predicted would take “no real countermeasures.”//Interesting paper, argues Deng never believed George H.W. Bush and the US would be tough on China…and he was right

Remembering Tiananmen: The lessons of history | The Economist James Miles is leaving China. Congrats to Gady Epstein who will take over as Beijing Bureau Chief for The Economist  //  Your correspondent leaves China believing that the party has a good chance of maintaining its grip on power during Mr Xi’s remaining eight years at the top. But the risks—political, economic and international—are growing. The party has proved unexpectedly adept at tackling a series of crises since 1989. But it will need to be even more agile if it is to remain in power for another 25 years.

Cental leadership pledges better governance, lasting peace in Xinjiang – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for “nets spread from the earth to the sky” to defend against terrorist acts in Xinjiang, stressing long-term stability as the main goal for the region. Xi made the remarks at the second central work conference on northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a two-day meeting which closed on Thursday. While urging strengthened precautions and international anti-terrorism cooperation, Xi called for “walls made of copper and steel” and “nets spread from the earth to the sky” to capture terrorists…The president urged all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to “show mutual understanding, respect, tolerance and appreciation among themselves, and learn and help each other,” so that they could be united together “like seeds of a pomegranate.”// 习近平:要在各族群众中牢固树立正确的祖国观、民族观 

Related: China Moves to Calm Restive Xinjiang Region – NYTimes.com Security officials in Xinjiang have also been taking new measures. According to an article on Thursday in Caixin, a respected newsmagazine, security forces were taking “temporary control” of popular online messaging services. Officials have said such tools can spread dissident thoughts. Citing a police official who was not named, the magazine said that officers would monitor and censor messaging platforms, including WeChat and QQ, as well as mobile phone texting. After riots in 2009, officials in Xinjiang blocked access to most websites for about a year and closely monitored and censored text messages.

Related: State enterprises in Xinjiang ordered to hire 25pc of new staff from local minorities | South China Morning Post State enterprises in Xinjiang are required to hire at least 70 per cent of new staff locally, Xinhua reported yesterday. At least 25 per cent must be from ethnic minorities.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China to Cut Reserve Requirement Ratio for Some Banks – Bloomberg Policy makers will “appropriately” lower the reserve requirement for banks that have extended a certain amount of loans to rural borrowers and smaller companies, the cabinet said yesterday after a regular meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang, without giving more details about the reduction. The State Council also pledged to fine-tune policy when needed, while reiterating it will maintain a prudent monetary stance.

【舒立观察】“全面降准”不是良方_杂志频道_财新网 无论政策会出现什么样的“随机扰动”,正视中国经济“三期叠加”的严峻现实,以积极而有序的一揽子改革努力消除金融抑制,方是治本之策 //Hu Shuli on why cutting RRR across the board is a bad idea

China Manufacturing Gauge Rises to Five-Month High – Bloomberg The Purchasing Managers’ Index (CPMINDX) rose to 50.8 in May, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday in Beijing, compared with the 50.7 median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. April’s reading was 50.4, with numbers above 50 indicating expansion.

China’s home prices inch down in May: surveys | Reuters Prices of new homes in 288 cities fell 0.03 percent in May from April, marking the second month-on-month drop in a row, a poll by real estate services firm E-House China Holdings Ltd showed. Compared to the same period a year ago, home prices rose 5.8 percent in May, easing from a rise of 6.9 percent in April and marking the seventh consecutive month of slowing annual property inflation. A separate survey by China Real Estate Index System(CREIS) showed average prices in the 100 biggest cities fell 0.32 percent in May from April, snapping a 23-month-long streak of monthly rise.

宁波楼市库存逼近警戒线 开发商割肉求生存_网易财经-网易新闻客户端 CCTV on the grim real estate market in Ningbo

China’s property loan risk within control: banking regulator – Xinhua Outstanding non-performing loans in the property sector amounted to 21.44 billion yuan (3.47 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of last year, with the bad loan ratio at 0.48 percent, according to a report released on Friday by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). The share of property loans in total banking lending is not high, which means risks from the sector are under control, said Wang Junshou, an official from the general office of the CBRC.

Regulator Ready to Roll out New Rules for P2P Lending, Sources Say – Caixin The banking regulator is working on the country’s first regulations for the peer-to-peer (P2P) loan industry by treating it as a type of private lending, sources with knowledge of the matter say. That means P2P lending websites will not be regulated as financial institutions. The new rules are expected to be introduced by the end of the year, a source close to the regulator said.

Bad news for the Big Four in China | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis The future does not look bright for the Big Four in China. I expect capital markets to continue to migrate to the Chinese stock exchanges, meaning fewer U.S. and Hong Kong IPOs that the Big Four historically dominate. Other than dual listed companies, the Big Four have a nearly insignificant market share of domestically listed companies. Multinationals, which the Big Four dominate, are also taking a beating in China, likely making it harder for the Big Four to make up the difference from their core international clients.

A parallel Chinese financial order–Lowy Interpreter Foreigners may doubt Beijing’s ability to create a fundamentally different global discourse. Yet there is reason to believe that in the economic realm, its endeavour will succeed. The finance industry abides by a cynical principle called the ‘golden rule’: he who has the gold makes the rules. If China continues its rise in relative economic power yet is frustrated by the international ABCs (accountants, bankers and consultants), it will replace them with its own.

Expected monthly salary of college graduates drops to its lowest in 4 years – People’s Daily Online This year’s report on the employment pressure of Chinese college graduates shows that in spite of the growing number of graduates, job pressure has not worsened, but rather eased. On the other hand, the expected monthly salary has dropped to its lowest in 4 years – an average of 3680 yuan, a decrease of 2000 yuan compared with that of three years ago

外资企业在华频“出事” 无序“江湖”时代将结束-财经频道-新华网 Xinhua says days of Wild West for foreign firms in China are over. Expect more legal woes for foreign firms… // 商务部研究院世界经济研究所研究员周密表示,中国对于外资一直持开放态度,但未来在管理模式上还应更加成熟和法制化。他建议,中国应考虑出台相关法律,将引进外商投资与保护国家安全、反垄断相结合,使外资管理工作更具指导性、可预见性,更加常态化、法制化。

As Ties With China Unravel, U.S. Companies Head to Mexico – NYTimes.com With labor costs rising rapidly in China, American manufacturers of all sizes are looking south to Mexico with what economists describe as an eagerness not seen since the early years of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s. From border cities like Tijuana to the central plains where new factories are filling farmland, Mexican workers are increasingly in demand. American trade with Mexico has grown by nearly 30 percent since 2010, to $507 billion annually, and foreign direct investment in Mexico last year hit a record $35 billion.

Alibaba IPO Sparks Talk of Chinese Dot-Com Stock Glut – Bloomberg “Dedicated portfolio managers may have to sell some holdings to buy Alibaba if they think the IPO price is attractive,” Tony Hann, the head of emerging-market equities who helps manage $300 million at the London-based firm, said by phone on May 19. “It adds a bit more selling pressure and people are paring back their enthusiasm.”//I’ve talked to a few fund managers who said they are not worried about this…perhaps hedge funds have more flexibility

Renminbi bulls offered glimmer of hope – FT.com $$ Building evidence of an economic turnround could give renminbi bears pause for thought. Dariusz Kowalczyk, strategist at Crédit Agricole CIB, said that now is the time to bet on a rebound. “Technical negatives in the renminbi have played themselves out already while fundamentals are turning round,” he wrote in a recent report.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

CCTV senior producers suspected of bribery: procuratorate – Xinhua Two senior producers of the China Central Television (CCTV) have been taken compulsory measures for being suspected of bribery, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said Sunday. The two suspects are Guo Zhenxi, director-general of CCTV finance and economics channel and advertising director concurrently, and Tian Liwu, a producer of the channel.// 央视财经频道总监郭振玺被带走_政经频道_财新网  Guo also had responsibility for the CCTV 3.15 Consumer Day program

消息人士称郭振玺被查在央视内部毫无征兆(图)_网易新闻中心 Investigators held their cards close, no advance warning of detention of Guo Zhenxi…hearing this in more and more cases. Wang Qishan has things much more locked down, much harder for the targets to try to call in favors

原三峡集团董事长曹广晶出任湖北省副省长_网易新闻中心 former chairman of Three gorges Corp gets new job as Hubei vice governor

人大原招生处长受贿被捕 学生称曾花10万买加分 former head of People’s University enrollment office arrested for taking 10m in bribes. He was caught in November 2013 with a fake passport trying to board an international flight in Shenzhen

华润宋林的重庆伙伴_21世纪网 A Chongqing real estate developer has been detained as part of the Song Lin/China Resources investigation  //  重庆市第三大地产商协信集团的老板吴旭被传接受调查。该公司没有确认这一消息。21世纪经济报道记者调查显示,吴旭及其旗下的协信集团,与华润集团原董事长宋林等人,有复杂的股权及业务交集。

中央纪委调集7部门向外逃贪官“宣战”_滚动读报_光明网 5月29日,中央纪委主持召开中央国家机关有关部门国际追逃追赃工作座谈会,中央纪委副书记、监察部部长黄树贤表示,各有关部门要把思想和行动统一到中央的要求和部署上来,把追逃追赃工作作为一项政治任务。他说,国际追逃追赃工作是一项复杂的系统工程,既要坚决打好攻坚战,也要有打持久战的准备。

China indicts eight for Tiananmen car attack: Xinhua | Reuters Prosecutors in western China have indicted eight people over an attack on the edge of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last October when a car ploughed into a crowd and caught fire, state media reported on Saturday. Three people in the car and two bystanders were killed in the attack which the government blamed on separatist militants from the western region of Xinjiang. Forty people were hurt in the attack.

网曝浙江台州官员餐厅吃穿山甲 打8000元白条_网易新闻中心 Zhejiang official exposed online for stiffing a restaurant 8000 RMB on a meal that included pangolin  //  近日,有网友在浙江在线民情巷论坛发帖,称台州市仙居县公安某领导,在一家酒店吃了一餐8000元的“土菜”,其中有国家二级保护动物穿山甲。网友反映,这个领导饭后打了白条,至今未付。另外,网友还称,该领导还有其他违纪行为,希望有关部门予以监督。

Xi urges socialist values for children – Xinhua Xi visited a primary school in Haidian district in northern Beijing on Friday morning, attending school activities and meeting students, their parents and teachers. While wishing children across the country a happy holiday, Xi stressed that children are the future of the country and the hope of Chinese people. “All sectors of society should work together to nurture the seeds of socialist values in their heart so that the values can take root and germinate,” he said at the meeting. To move forward, China needs to inherit and develop its traditions, especially virtues cherished by generations, Xi said. The “socialist core values” that the country now upholds embody the thoughts of ancient masters, the aspirations of the nation’s role models, ideals of revolutionary martyrs and expectation of all Chinese people, he said.

U.S. Teacher: I Did 7 Months Of Forced Labor In A Chinese Jail : Parallels : NPR Stories about forced labor have trickled out of China over the years, but what makes Prisoner 1741’s so remarkable is that he isn’t Chinese. He’s American. In fact, he’s a middle-aged, American sociology professor from South Carolina. Stuart Foster’s odyssey inside the Chinese penal system began in April of last year, when police in the city of Guangzhou took him to jail on theft charges. Foster had confessed to taking a large sum of money from an American colleague at a local university.

How a private commemoration of the Tiananmen protests riled Chinese police | Reuters Police told Liu Di, the blogger, that distributing the photograph on the Internet “caused great impact globally and domestically”, said Ma Gangquan, one of Liu’s lawyers. “The police said if you hold this forum at home and no one knows about it, that’s no problem,” Ma said. “But the problem is you have put this on the Internet … so the impact is very, very big.” Zhang Sizhi, an 87-year-old lawyer representing Pu, said he believed some of the five would be convicted.

Australian artist detained by Chinese authorities ahead of Tiananmen anniversary Prominent Australian artist Guo Jian has been detained in China amid a heightened security operation in central Beijing aimed at preventing the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Concerned friends and fellow artists say the 52-year-old Chinese-born Australian, a former soldier and Tiananmen Square protester, was taken away on Sunday night from his home in Songzhuang, an art colony on the eastern fringe of Beijing.

Mainland censorship: authors cut their losses | South China Morning Post “WESTERNERS LIKE TO point out how brave they are for either publishing in China or not, but no one talks about the Chinese publishers who are taking these risks, trying to show Chinese readers a wider view of their country,” says Meyer. “There’s nothing heroic about a foreigner publishing in China, just as there’s nothing heroic about a foreigner not publishing in China,” says Hessler. “But some of the Chinese who work in this field take risks and they can be punished for what they do.”

金道铭与山西一宗命案 the latest issue of Caijing on a 2011 Shanxi murder that was ruled a suicide, after intervention by Jin Daoming…It is a long catalog of coal corruption in China’s West Virginia //  目前,因涉及金道铭案,山西焦煤集团国际贸易公司原董事长胡建伟、山西煤运集团副总姚海平被查。胡建伟被抓时已调任山西焦煤集团金土地开发公司董事长,对其的免职文件已在集团内部传达。山西煤运集团对姚海平的免职文件则是在2014年5月初下达。

It was 1989 | the Anthill my interest was piqued when in September I stumbled upon an exhibit at the Military History Museum honouring the soldiers who had crushed the protests in Beijing. Inside the main entrance were burnt-out tanks and rusted skeletons of military vehicles that had been torched by Molotov cocktails – each standing as proof of the misguided rage of the unruly mob. All of the plaques told the same tale, that a small group of “hooligans” (baotu 暴徒) and “people who don’t know the truth” (bu ming zhenxiang de ren 不明真相的人) had been duped by scurrilous foreign elements who had clouded people’s minds and instigated a “counter-revolutionary rebellion” (fangeming baoluan 反革命暴乱).

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Japan’s Abe plays with international law in thinly-veiled move – Xinhua | Scholars at the forum said that it was not difficult to sense the consistent aggressiveness of Abe despite his rhetoric of advancing regional peace and respect for international law. “Abe is going against the spirit of peace that is fundamental to international law by using it as an excuse to move in the opposite direction,” said Xu Qiyu, a senior researcher with the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army.

INSIGHT: China approved South China Sea oil drilling in early 2014 – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun China National Offshore Oil Corp., a major state-run Chinese petroleum company, had long pushed for drilling in the South China Sea. However, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials had resisted the move due to concerns that relations would worsen with neighboring nations with territorial claims in the area. “No decision on drilling could have been made by China National Offshore Oil alone. Consent was given by top party leadership at the start of this year,” said a researcher who has submitted policy proposals to the Chinese government.

Xi says China won’t stir trouble in South China Sea | Reuters “We will never stir up trouble, but will react in the necessary way to the provocations of countries involved,” Xinhua quoted Xi late on Friday as saying in a meeting with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, which is also embroiled in a long-running maritime dispute with China.

China Balks at Foreign Calls to Release Prisoners – WSJ When European and Chinese diplomats met last year for their annual, often fraught discussion on human rights, the European Union side presented a list of Chinese political prisoners whose cases it thought should be reviewed, as it had done at previous meetings. But this time, the Chinese refused to accept it. It was a blunt loss of face for the EU diplomats, people familiar with the event said, and illustrated a hardening of China’s position on human rights and the diplomacy around it.

China decries call in U.S. to name street after jailed Tiananmen dissident | Reuters “A few members of the U.S. Congress doing this, first, is to look down upon and disrespect Chinese law. Secondly, this is very provocative and ignorant behavior,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. “What kind of person is Liu Xiaobo? He is someone who violated Chinese law and he has been sentenced according to law by China’s judicial bodies,” Qin told reporters at a regular press briefing.

Japan Talks of Extending Security Umbrella to Southeast Asia – China Real Time Report – WSJ Even so, some Asean countries have appeared cautious about taking sides in the China-Japan rivalry, appealing instead for more multilateral cooperation between Southeast Asia and major external powers. “We want Japan and China to compete in our region. We want all extra-regional powers to compete in our region,” Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told the Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday. “But we want them to compete for peace and prosperity.”

PM Nguyen Tan Dung grants interview to Bloomberg — Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus) Following is the full text of the interview

S. Korea, China set to unveil monument honoring Korean independence fighters South Korea and China will unveil a stone monument this week honoring Korean soldiers who fought for the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule, an official at the South Korean Embassy in Beijing said Wednesday. China has been putting up the commemorative stone monument in its ancient city of Xian where the Korean independence fighters were based

Lawfare or Warfare? Let Impartial Tribunals Cool Asia’s Maritime Disputes | The Diplomat The following is a May 28, 2014 draft of a speech Jerome A. Cohen will deliver on June 20, 2014 in Danang, Vietnam at an international workshop on the South China Sea co-organized by Pham Van Dong University and Danang University. The title of the speech is “Lawfare or Warfare? Let Impartial Tribunals Help Cool East Asia’s Law of the Sea Crisis.” The draft will be amended in light of subsequent events, but is released now with the consent of the conference’s organizers.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

网易游戏事业部前高管被警方带走_政经频道_财新网 former senior Netease game developer/executive detained just as Tencent invests in his company  //  此次调查再起,恰逢腾讯大举入股魏剑鸿团队,擎天柱公司方面认为,此举或是网易担忧腾讯在客户端游戏发力,对网易游戏产生实质性影响

Closer Look: Plan to Merge Cable Networks Moves Forward with Company Launch – Caixin The opening ceremony for National Cable Network Co. on May 28 was attended by some of the most important figures in the media industry, including Jiang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the country’s top broadcasting regulator. This fits the company’s status as the choice to oversee the consolidation of all cable networks across the country and become the fourth telecom operator after China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. National Cable will provide access to high-speed Internet, TV and radio, and combine data transfer, cable TV and telecom services.

Tencent Takes on Alibaba by Adding Shops to WeChat App – Bloomberg Tencent introduced an in-app function for holders of public accounts of Weixin, as WeChat is known in Chinese, to upload photos of merchandise, manage orders and communicate with customers, according to a posting on the Shenzhen, China-based company’s website. Shoppers at the so-called little WeChat stores can make purchases with Weixin Payment, Tencent’s third-party payment system.

China Mobile lowers 4G charges after complaints – Xinhua China’a largest telecom provider, China Mobile, announced on Friday that it will lower charges for its 4G plans by as much as 50 percent, in response to wide criticism of its high data fees.

顺丰嘿客:线下的虚拟门店|顺丰|便利店_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 Perhaps Shunfeng Delivery will turn out to be one of Alibaba’s biggest competitors. It has launched a chain of convenience stores were you buy everything online or by scanning bar codes and SF delivers to you within hours//. 5月18日,全国518家顺丰“嘿客”亮相,广州首开15家门店。南都记者前往广州几家“嘿客”门店进行体验… 目前为止,门店还未提供包括火车票代售、机票预订水电缴费、话费充值等服务,店长表示总部正在洽谈,但具体实行的日期还不明确。据了解,“嘿客”未来将上线V T M设备,除了查询、存取款之外,还能办理办卡、销户、挂失、开具存款证明等银行柜面业务。

互联网企业A股上市现曙光 新华社——经济参考网 张晓军表示,目前,我国资本市场仍然处于新兴加转轨阶段,考虑到尚未盈利的互联网和科技创新企业风险较大,拟要求企业在新三板挂牌一年,接受市场和社会监督,提高规范运作水平,之后再行申请到创业板单独层次发行上市。

This $23 Billion Hedge Fund Increased Its Massive Position in Baidu Inc Lone Pine has over 5% of its holdings in Baidu //  Along that vein, let’s investigate why Mandel’s fund has accumulated a huge position in Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU  ) , parent company of China’s largest search engine.

Twitter Is Exploring How to Enter China | Re/code Twitter CEO Dick Costolo doesn’t expect his company’s service to be unblocked in China anytime soon, but he admitted on Wednesday at the inaugural Code Conference that Twitter is working on figuring out what kind of service it could launch there down the road.

Google disrupted prior to Tiananmen Anniversary; Mirror sites enable uncensored access to information | GreatFire.org gmail app on my Xiaomi phone works fine as of this writing  //  It is not clear that the block is a temporary measure around the anniversary or a permanent block. But because the block has lasted for 4 days, it’s more likely that Google will be severely disrupted and barely usable from now on.  We reported the block of Google in 2012 which lasted for 12 hours. Back then, we speculated that the Chinese censorship authority was testing public opinion, or the “block Google” button. Presumably, they have gathered enough information since 2012 to implement a full scale block this time.  It is the strictest censorship ever deployed.

As Movie Market Booms, China Ups Its Game Against Fraud – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s box office has grown about 30% per year on average in the past decade, reaching $3.17 billion last year. Though official numbers are hard to come by, industry insiders estimate to China Real Time that between 10% and 20% of the total box-office receipts each year aren’t included in reported ticket admissions. Theaters engage in the practice in order to evade taxes and to keep profits from the tickets, rather than sharing it with the film’s distributor and production company.

China wants to kick its Android habit in three to five years-TechInAsia At a tech conference sponsored by China’s Ministry of Telecommunications, Ni Guangnan from the Chinese Engineering Academy said China will kick its dependency on foreign mobile OSes in the next three to five years, according to Techweb.

Beijing court accepts plagiarism case – Xinhua  A Beijing court accepted the plagiarism case of popular Taiwanese romance novelist Chiung Yao against scriptwriter Yu Zheng and five television companies. Chiung filed a lawsuit at No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing on Tuesday. She claims the plot of TV series “The Palace: The Lost Daughter” has been almost completely copied without permission from her novel “Mei Hua Lao” (Plum Blossom Scar).

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

randian – Ai Weiwei Pulls Work from Hans van Dijk Show “Yesterday [May 23], UCCA Beijing opened an exhibition in memory of my long-time friend and collaborator Dai Han Zhi [ed: this is the Chinese version of Hans van Dijk]. In their public newsletter for the exhibition, they intentionally erased my name and changed the facts regarding our historical collaboration in the foundation of Chinese contemporary art throughout the 1990s. Therefore, to honor the memory of my dear friend, I pulled my work out of the exhibit in defiance of UCCA and the false portrayal of Chinese contemporary art.” (Ai Weiwei posted an image of this text in English. In Chinese, he posted the following, basically a similar tweet: “北京尤伦斯当代艺术中心回顾纪念我的友人、合作者戴汉志的展览中,篡改当代艺术历史史实,再次删除我作为汉志的朋友、合作者的名字。我将参展作品撤出,以表示对汉志的永久怀念,和对中国当代艺术怪象之鄙视。”)

Ai Weiwei Interview with Phil Tinari-Instagram Time: 25th May, 2014 Location: UCCA cafeteria Recording method: Video Participants: Philip Tinari Director of UCCA Ai Weiwei (part one) A: So I’m sorry I didn’t even know you were here. I’m sorry I came because it’s so many things happened, in one month my name has been taken down twice, in two museums. I have to say something about it. P: I totally understand but I need to explain to you some of the reasons..//Part 2 in which Tinari says that 798 management made them pull Ai’s name from the show’s press release

Stanford historian sees new perspectives on Chinese border disputes Through a study of late 19th-century Chinese maps, doctoral student Eric Vanden Bussche has discovered border development origins that offer a new historical perspective on China’s territorial disputes today.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Photos: 7,000-strong Chinese tourist group sweeps through L.A. : Shanghaiist the borg is on the move  //  A total of 86 planes flew a 7,000-person Chinese tour group to California this past Monday in what’s being called the largest tourist group from China to America ever.

Chinese tourists: Quality, not quantity | The Economist This taste for exploring—and for splurging—means Chinese tourists spend four times as much as the average foreign visitor to Britain. Oddly, Britain’s restrictive visas probably encourage this. Gary Grieve, a consultant who teaches companies how to cater for Chinese tourists, believes that if the country were in the Schengen area it would attract more Chinese visitors; but most would stay for only three nights or so, and stick to London, before leaving to tour the rest of Europe.

 

BEIJING

实拍北京街头“反恐大妈”_网易新闻 slideshow of the “anti-terror Aunties” of Beijing

北京长途站加强反恐力度 进京乘客需查身份证_网易新闻中心 passengers arriving in Beijing on long-distance buses now have to have IDs checked before being allowed to leave station

北京教改将改变学区房价格畸形 万柳可降1万元/平米-财经网

北京教委:非京籍儿童“五证”不过关不可入学_网易新闻中心

Is China’s Property Market Headed for a Crash? Beijingers Weigh In – China Real Time Report – WSJ Earlier this week, a Chinese property tycoon made waves when he said the country’s real-estate market is like the Titanic, headed for an iceberg. China Real Time hit the streets to find out what Beijingers make of the property market and whether they’re buying in or cashing out. // except 8 of the 12 people interviewed for this are not Beijingers, talk about the homes they own in their hometowns

Family defend Beijing ‘nail house’ from the wrecking ball – FT.com The family have the deeds to the home purchased by Mr Liu’s grandfather. A court rescinded a demolition order sought by New World after the family refused to move. And yet the house – once 35 rooms – has been reduced to 10. “The court has said so. The deeds, the blueprints, all prove it is ours,” said Mr Liu in an interview in the dark bedroom where his father and grandparents lived and died; it is now piled high with art books, shoes and dusty beer bottles. “We don’t want to leave.” In 2001, New World’s Chongwen district subsidiary paid Rmb590m (then $71m) to develop a kilometre-long stretch just east of the Temple of Heaven.


 

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2 thoughts on “The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.02.14

  1. From your beginning commentary, the Chinese statements about “Asia for Asians” is strikingly reminiscent of Japanese rhetoric in the lead-up to their participation in World War II. Anyone remember the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere? Considering the demonstrated Chinese attitudes toward Japanese actions during that era, it’s more than a little ironic that they would use such terminology in their actions today. And not just a little bit worrying, either.

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