The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.07.13

Just links today, have added a special section for the Sunnylands Summit:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China’s Search for a “New Type of Great Power Relationship” | The Jamestown Foundation The most problematic aspect of Beijing’s vision of a “new type” of U.S.-China relationship is that it appears to require Washington to accommodate China’s interests and to do so largely on Beijing’s terms—apparently without reciprocal adjustments. Although some of the language that suggests it is the United States alone that needs to change its approach is perhaps intended, at least partly, for domestic consumption, it also seems to reflect China’s estimation of its growing leverage in the relationship. Such an approach will make it much more difficult for Washington to embrace the concept in spite of many shared interests. Seeking a stable and healthy relationship and trying to enhance mutual trust are laudable goals, but suggesting this must take place largely on China’s terms risks making it much harder to realize the “new type of great power relationship” Beijing has proposed.

Chinese hacked Obama, McCain campaigns, took internal documents, officials say – NBCNews The U.S. secretly traced a massive cyberespionage operation against the 2008 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain to hacking  units backed by the People’s Republic of China, prompting  high level warnings to Chinese officials to stop such activities,  U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News…In one incident that caused concern among U.S. intelligence officials, the Chinese hackers appeared to have gotten access to private correspondence between McCain, then the GOP presidential candidate, and Ma Ying-jeou, the newly elected president of Taiwan. On July 25, 2008, McCain had signed a personal letter — drafted on campaign computers — pledging his support for the U.S. –Taiwanese relationship and Ma’s efforts to modernize the country’s military…But before the letter had even been delivered, a top McCain foreign policy adviser got a phone call from a senior Chinese diplomat in Washington complaining about the correspondence. //does the US try to access communications of Chinese politicians on the eve of major political events like a Party Congress? I assume so, so why shouldn’t the Chinese? Spying on politicians is very different from pilfering industrial secrets. The onus is on US organizations to stop being so blase about infosec. The sooner we come to terms with that the better it will be for all of us..nice timing for this disclosure, and the Bloomberg piece below..

Secret Intelligence Fuels U.S. Hacking Fight With China – Bloomberg Although public information about the breach at Google and almost three dozen other companies was sketchy, that wasn’t the case for the U.S. government, according to a person familiar with the investigation….The Justice Department’s national security division is now considering criminal indictments against some of those individuals, according to a second person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it wasn’t public….Prosecutors have virtually no chance of getting China’s spies into a U.S. courtroom. Instead, a criminal indictment would lay out the detailed evidence of China’s involvement in trade secrets theft — a far more significant step than any the U.S. has taken so far.

Related: U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program – The Washington Post The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war. // Beijing will love this..and further validates their decision to block US internet firms from the Chinese market. 

Wide China Push Is Seen to Obtain Industry Secrets – NYTimes.com Though considerable attention has been focused on Chinese cyberespionage efforts, the institute is at the vanguard of a related push to bolster China’s competitiveness by acquiring overseas technology directly from Chinese scientists working in the United States and other developed countries, say American officials and analysts. Those scientists are heavily recruited to return to China or, in some instances, to share their knowledge while remaining overseas, according to the federal court case and a book released last month by three experts who do China research for the United States government. // Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernisation-Amazon

US teacher held for sex abuse in Shanghai |Society |chinadaily.com.cn A US teacher at an international school in Shanghai is being held on suspicion of sexually assaulting at least seven children, Procuratorial Daily reported Thursday. Seven families filed formal accusations against the teacher, alleging sexual abuse and rape of students of both sexes. The teacher was arrested by Chinese police on May 13, 2013. The campus, shared by a French school and a German school, has 1,600 students, ranging in age from 3 to 18…Last December, a former instructor at the school, also an American, was extradited to the US on similar charges, the school said. The two teachers were friends.// no word if any Chinese kids victimized. police to treat foreigner on foreigner molestation differently?

China Economic Watch | Getting Used to Slower Growth in China: Quality over Quantity This week, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) laid out the administration’s argument for slower growth expectations quite clearly in two papers concerning – “maintaining the right speed, realizing quality growth” (坚持正确速度观 实现有质量有效益增长).  The main message for both outside observers and local government officials is to get comfortable with the number 7. Economic forecasters are beginning to agree. Most forecasters have slashed Chinese 2013 growth rates lower and lower. Consensus Economics surveys of 180 different Asia Pacific forecasters show the mean forecast for China’s 2013 real GDP growth has fallen from 8.5 percent in May 2012 to 7.9 percent last month

Related: China likely to tolerate 7 percent growth before hitting stimulus button | Reuters Government economists at top think tanks involved in policy discussions say that line is likely to be 7 percent, compared with their predecessors who implicitly observed a level of 7.5 percent to 8 percent. “The new leaders’ tolerance of economic slowdown is definitely higher than their predecessors,” said Zhang Yongjun, senior economist at China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), a well-connected think-tank in Beijing. “They understand that China’s potential growth rate has been falling.

How the Gaokao Make or Break Chinese Lives | Vericant On June 7th, around 9 million Chinese high school students will begin the three-day-long Gaokao college entrance exam. Despite the massive scale of the test and the seemingly glacial pace of reform in Chinese education, some interesting developments have affected this year’s test takers – and by extension, prospective applicants to schools abroad.

Related: Businesses benefit from “gaokao economy” – Xinhua | English.news.cn Ahead of this year’s exam, on Friday and Saturday, hotels near test sites are fully booked, restaurants are offering free drinks and healthy “brain food”, online stores are selling out of lucky charms, and parents are swarming to temples to pray – and in many cases make donations – for their children to score high marks. Observers have dubbed the effect “the gaokao economy”.

Related: Crunchtime for China’s High School Seniors – NYTimes.com

Beijing Raises Cab Fares as Taxis Disappear During Rush Hours – Bloomberg Starting from June 10, the base fare will be increased 30 percent to 13 yuan ($2.12) for the first 3 kilometers (1.86 miles), the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform said in a statement posted on its website. Each additional kilometer will cost 2.3 yuan, up from 2 yuan currently, according to the statement…Even after the fare increase, it remains cheaper to hail a cab in China than many other countries. Costs start at the equivalent of $7 in Tokyo, $3.30 in London and $3 in Washington.

 

THE SUNNYLANDS SUMMIT

Chinese president arrives in California for summit with Obama – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in California Thursday for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, which analysts say will help promote the long-term, sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations. Xi was greeted by local officials at Ontario International Airport, in Ontario, California, after his arrival by special plane.

China’s yuan strengthens to new high against USD Friday – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Chinese currency Renminbi, or yuan, strengthened 117 basis points to a new high of 6.1620 against the U.S. dollar on Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

Moving Beyond the Script at the U.S.-China Summit-Carnegie-Tsinghua Center – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace In a Q&A, Paul Haenle argues that genuine personal diplomacy can lay the groundwork for the new type of great-power relationship that Xi wants. But success depends on Obama and Xi moving beyond scripted talking points and openly discussing all issues and concerns to find areas of mutual interest where real progress is possible.

North Korea is China’s problem now – Global Public Square – CNN.com Blogs Paul Haenle // China’s security interests have evolved over the past three decades as the country has prospered and achieved feats of development unparalleled in modern history. Xi has spoken about an enhanced Chinese leadership role in the Asia-Pacific, but this goal will be hard to achieve if China is unable to rein in the reckless behavior of its unruly neighbor. Efforts to boost China’s soft power and international image are undermined every time North Korea defies China’s pleas. And if North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities continue to advance, China should expect an enhanced U.S. security posture in the region – not something Beijing wants.

Obama and Xi Jinping’s Summit in the Desert : The New Yorker–Osnos– The comparison to Kennedy and Khrushchev can sound melodramatic; the stakes this time are lower in the short term. But they are just as high in the long term. I am optimistic about the chances for success. Both sides know they cannot afford to insult or bully—and neither man is known for it. More importantly, they know that history has been unkind to great powers who fail to come to an accommodation. Neither side wants conflict, but, as of today, neither can exclude the possibility. That is a powerful motivator.

China Can’t Be Contained; It Has to Be Accommodated : The New Yorker–Cassidy–So what is the US willing to concede, and how can any us politician concede anything given the politics of DC, even if that were the right strategy? // History demonstrates that economic strength eventually brings with it military and diplomatic clout. According to a new study from the McKinsey Global Institute, which the Financial Times cited Wednesday, the Chinese economic transformation is happening at a hundred times the scale and ten times the pace of the industrial revolution that gave rise to Britain’s preëminence. One way or another, China is going to be a superpower. With the centenary of the start of the First World War almost upon us, we shouldn’t need reminding how imperative it is to make sure that the transformation from the current unipolar system is an amicable and peaceful one.

What Would the Best U.S.-China Joint Statement Say? | ChinaFile As we approach the meeting in California this weekend of U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping we are holding a small contest. We have asked ChinaFile Conversation regulars and a few guests to envision their ideal Sunnylands summit and then write the joint statement such a summit would produce. When everyone has filed, we will put up a poll and invite readers to vote on the best statement.

Cui Tiankai, China’s Envoy to U.S., Aims to Allay Tensions – NYTimes.com The Chinese diplomat with perhaps the deepest knowledge of the United States, Cui Tiankai, the country’s ambassador in Washington, is its chief behind-the-scenes facilitator for the meeting that will bring together Mr. Xi and President Obama at Sunnylands, the Walter H. Annenberg desert estate, starting Friday.

China Matters: Humble pie for on menu for Xi Jinping at Sunnylands All these initiatives add up to a message of conciliation from the PRC to the United States. Are these simply the cynical machinations of a hostile regime determined to disguise its motives and shield its actions? A low-cost diplomatic strategy to grease the wheels for an otherwise meaningless friendly photo-op with President Obama to boost Xi Jinping’s domestic stature? Or is Xi prepared to execute as well as offer some genuine concessions in order to obtain, if not the unlikely “US China partnership”, more of a tilt toward China and away from the pivot coalition in Pacific affairs? Probably a key indicator will be how the “cyber-outrage” narrative plays out.

Video – As Xi Jinping and Barack Obama Meet in California, Michelle Obama Stays in Washington – WSJ.com U.S. first lady Michelle Obama cited family matters in announcing she won’t be joining her husband at a meeting with China’s president and first lady Peng Liyuan. The WSJ’s Li Yuan tells Wei Gu why some of China’s bloggers are disappointed.

The Middle East at the U.S.-China Summit – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Over the past week, the authors held extensive discussions with senior Chinese officials and foreign policy analysts in Beijing and Shanghai under the auspices of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. These consultations indicated that China is eager for more cooperation with the United States on the Middle East. If grounded in realistic expectations, such cooperation could yield real results; if too ambitious or theoretical, however, it will yield only disappointment. The key to success is for Beijing and Washington to understand each other’s interests.

The Economist goes with Brokeback mountain for the Obama-Xi cover

The Head of China’s Petitioning Office – By Sophie Richardson | Foreign Policy Why Barack Obama can’t afford to take human rights off the agenda when he meets with Xi Jinping.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

资金告急 银行间利率周四创年内新高_金融频道_财新网 市场人士表示,近期人民币升值预期调整致使热钱流出、季末流动性收窄以及昨日存款准备金清算补缴等因素相继收敛市场流动性,而债市监管发力又叠加了资金面的紧张效应

Luxury goods in China: Beyond bling | The Economist It seems that China remains the biggest prize in the luxury industry, but the low-hanging fruit is gone. Luxury firms must now venture beyond the coastal cities where they have made easy fortunes, cultivate new types of customers and market niches, and experiment with new business models. It will be worth the effort. Despite the recent troubles, Bruno Lannes of Bain & Company, a consultancy, insists that “Chinese have become, and will remain for a long time, the most important luxury consumers.” His firm estimates that luxury sales in greater China (which includes Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) will grow by 6-8% this year, to exceed $35 billion, making it a luxury market second only to America

BHP boss ‘reassured’ about Chinese demand–Fairfax media – John Garnaut New BHP Billiton boss Andrew Mackenzie has emerged from a rare meeting with the Chinese Premier with confidence that the Middle Kingdom will continue to drive global demand for natural resources. Mr Mackenzie was one of 14 top business leaders invited to break bread with Li Keqiang in Beijing earlier this week, in the first gathering of a regular forum the Chinese Government has dubbed the ‘‘Global CEO Advisory Council’’.

Mao’s rampages a driving force of regional growth–Fairfax Media – John Garnaut Research by economist Victor Shih and Chinese colleagues, who do not wish to be named, suggests that China’s enviable 35-year economic record has been shaped by historical forces and patterns that are much greater than the leaders who have traditionally taken credit. They show how the underlying dynamism of the economy has waxed and waned in inverse relationship with the strength of the Communist Party’s central apparatus. When party central is weak, local economies have thrived, and when the centre is strong the regions have suffered // have not read the underlying paper. curious how it accounts for the hitoric, multi-ynasty dynamism of places like wenzhou..clearly the government needs to get out of the way, getting sclerotic here

The end game | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis The important event will be the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, scheduled to take place in Washington the week of July 8 -12. I expect that one of the outcomes of this dialogue will be an agreement to provide working papers to the SEC and to allow joint inspections of accounting firms by the PCAOB.   That agreement should allow the accounting firms to turn over their working papers to the SEC and, in turn, I expect the SEC will drop the cases against the firms. That, together with an agreement on joint inspections, eliminates the risk of a mass delisting of Chinese stocks by U.S. exchanges.

Is China Facing A Minsky Moment – Business Insider And is China facing it’s own Minsky moment — a phenomenon that refers to periods of speculation that lead to crisis and that was named after economist Hyman Minsky who wrote about the inherent instability of bull markets. In a new note, Bank of America’s Ting Lu writes that this has raised questions about whether the non-performing loan ratios are higher than expected, if there are more artificially propped up investment projects that are using new credit for interest payments, is there more speculation than people realize

S.E.C. Freezes Assets of Thai Trader in Smithfield Inquiry – NYTimes.com In a complaint filed in Federal District Court in Chicago, the S.E.C. contended that illicit trades were made by Badin Rungruangnavarat, a 30-year-old employee of a plastics company in Thailand. He made the trades on May 21 to May 28, before the deal was announced on May 29, and made $3.2 million in paper gains….Behind the S.E.C.’s actions is the agency’s belief that Mr. Badin was tipped off to a potential sale of Smithfield. The regulator noted in its complaint that one of the defendant’s Facebook friends is an employee of a Thai investment bank that was advising Charoen Pokphand Foods, a large food conglomerate that had held discussions with Smithfield.

SOEs Told to Hire More Graduates – Economic Observer Online – In-depth and Independent Almost 7 million students are set to graduate from China’s higher education institutions this year. In recent weeks domestic media has been full of reports about how grim the employment outlook is. Yesterday’s Beijing Times however carried a report that could offer some hope to those searching for work. The paper reported that the offices of China’s Ministry of Education and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) recently issued a notice instructing state-owned enterprises to recruit more university graduates than in previous years.

Closer Look: Paying High Prices for Food Security Sacrifice – Caixin  Current national policy gives the China Grain Reserves Corp. (CGRC) great incentive to stock grain, the more the better. The CGRC buys grain from farmers and pays them with loans from the Agricultural Development Bank, a policy bank. For each ton of grain put into its barns, the CGRC gets a 500 yuan subsidy from the Ministry of Finance, which also provides funds for it to cover the interest on its loans. If the CGRC is lucky, the market price will be high when it sells the grain, meaning it can turn a profit. All these benefits encourage the CGRC to hoard. If quantity exceeds capacity, some grain is left in the open under lax fire prevention measures, as was the case in Heilongjiang.

农村土地抵押贷款在粤试点 相关法律障碍尚待突破_财经频道_一财网 experiments in Guangdong to allow rural residents to get loans w land as collateral…could be a big deal // 由于国鑫公司的政府背景,银行对资金安全增加了信心,但宅基地抵押贷款终究是银行与农户之间的市场行为,政府支持能否存在延续性是个问号。

收入分配改革进展缓慢 亟待多领域共同突破_财经频道_一财网 年内能否突破存疑–近年来,收入分配改革成为社会持续关注的焦点,但也是最难推进和深化的改革领域之一。历经8年“难产”,国务院于今年2月批转了国家发改委、财政部、人社部三部委制定的《关于深化收入分配制度改革的若干意见》,但这份意见却并没得到普遍肯定。

利率市场化改革的重要经验和启示–金融时报 从1993年我国开启利率市场化改革进程以来,中国利率市场化取得了丰硕成果,形成不少重要经验。这些经验将对进一步推进利率市场化改革产生积极影响和重要作用。日前,本报记者连线长江学者、山东大学经济研究院院长、山东发展研究院常务副院长黄少安,中央财经大学金融学院院长张礼卿及本报专家组成员、国际金融论坛(IFF)副秘书长王元龙,请他们就利率市场化改革经验和启示发表见解。

多地探索建立宅基地流转制度 新华社——经济参考网 在我国推进城镇化的大背景下,土地制度改革被认为是推进城镇化的突破口。《经济参考报》记者获悉,国土部已经考虑在加快完善农村医疗、养老等保障制度的前提下,逐步放开宅基地使用权流转. 国土部日前召开内部研讨会,研究新型城镇化背景下的土地制度改革。与会人士表示,由于我国存在城乡二元结构,农村集体建设用地难以自由流转。“其结果是,城市建设用地日渐短缺的同时,城乡建设用地却利用粗放,造成大量空闲用地。”

北京限价令重挫高端住宅市场 新华社——经济参考网 one way for officials to hit their targets of slowing housing price growth is to just ban sales of new units above a certain price, as Beijing munipal officials appear to be doing // 北京楼市调控中的“限价令”出台已经两月,在住建委对销售价格的严厉监管之下,高端住宅项目普遍陷入“被限”的尴尬境地。《经济参考报》记者查询北京市住建委网站统计数据发现,自4月份北京落实调控政策以来,截至6月5日,共有28个项目取得了预售许可证,其中定价在4万元/平方米以上的高端项目仅有两个入市,其余项目大多处于单价一万元至三万元之间。

World Trade Center Developer Plans China Expansion – Bloomberg Larry Silverstein, redeveloper of towers at New York’s World Trade Center site, said he will expand investment in China and enter Israel for the first time to capture rising demand from wealth built on natural resources. The company currently is focused on building mixed-used development including office, residential and retail properties in the Qianhai district of China’s southern city of Shenzhen, the chairman of New York-based Silverstein Properties Inc. said.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

About « China change China Change is a website devoted to news and commentary related to civil society, rule of law, and rights activities in China. It is designed to let English speakers place a finger on the pulse of dissidents, liberal intellectuals and activists making a difference in the field. The website has its roots in the popular blog Seeing Red in China, which started in 2011 and has been cited by the New York Times, the Economist, the Guardian, and many more media outlets and fellow blogs.

The Communist Party’s Process Problem – China Real Time Report – WSJ Recently, the new government under Xi Jinping has taken a few tentative steps toward giving the public a sense of process, notably in addressing the problem of corruption. Earlier this year, the top official in charge of anti-corruption, Wang Qishan, remarked that while “both symptoms and the disease” must be cured, anti-corruption efforts should focus on “curing the symptoms” as a way to buy time for “curing the disease” (in Chinese). In other words, Wang was admitting that the government would not be able to remove the root causes of corruption in the short term. Though hardly earth shattering, such candid admission of the gravity of China’s corruption problem is far more conducive to giving the public a sense of process than denying or downplaying the extent of corruption or making promises to eradicate it that the government cannot fulfill. When the government is unable to solve all problems quickly, a bit more honesty may well help ameliorate the public’s sense of problems.

Tocqueville in China | Dissent Magazine In the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008, a chorus of pundits joked that China may be the one to save capitalism, and they weren’t so wrong. China finds itself in a position not unlike that of its geopolitical foes at the advent of widespread communist revolution: questions abound about the country’s place in history and foreign values that are anathema to its traditional way of life. China’s elites view liberal democracy with the same wariness and disdain that many Western capitalists felt for communism in the latter’s heyday. The CCP may be quite happy to replicate the outcome of that rivalry.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Chinese premier meets former U.S. treasury secretary – Xinhua | English.news.cn Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday met with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Li said both sides are facing new opportunities for development in light of an upcoming meeting between President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama. // [视频]李克强会见美国客人_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV on Paulson meeting with Li Keqiang

Chinese vice premier meets former U.S. secretary of state – Xinhua | English.news.cn Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Thursday met with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

Smithfield Stoking U.S. Unease Belies Benefit of Chinese Deals – Bloomberg US and China need to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty laying out the acceptable sectors for investment // Over the past decade, U.S. firms have spent more than twice as much on transactions in China as in the other direction, a total of $79 billion, the data show. Critics say that number would be larger still if the Chinese government removed restrictions on foreign investments, according to Michigan’s Gordon.

China-Middle East Energy Relations | Brookings Institution In testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Erica Downs discusses China’s energy trade with and investment in the Middle East, and the implications of the resurgence of oil and natural gas production in the United States for China’s role in the Middle East.

Gabon to Seize Field as Dispute With Sinopec Unit Worsens – Bloomberg Gabon’s oil ministry plans to seize an oil field from China Petrochemical Corp.’s Addax Petroleum as a dispute over production contracts worsens. Gabonese Oil Minister Etienne Ngoubou will not renew Addax’s license at he Tsiengui field because it had breached the law, a ministry official said today. Gabon already seized Addax’s Obangue field. Two other companies face similar actions, the official said, declining to name them.

INTERVIEW/ Michael Swaine: Long-term study suggests Sino-Japanese tensions likely to increase – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Swaine said an “eroding balance” between the United States and China is already happening and that “the United States probably is going to have to accept certain limits on its capacity to operate” in the region over the long term. He also said a significant reduction in U.S primacy along China’s maritime periphery will likely result in movement toward “a more equal leadership position” in Asia between the United States and China. In contrast, Japan tends to be reactive to the actions of the other two powers, he said, in emphasizing the need for Tokyo to “get serious about how significant a role it wants to play with the United States, not just militarily but politically, in Asia.” Excerpts of the interview follow:

Inside the Ring: U.S.-Japan Dawn Blitz – Washington Times The United States and Japan appear set to send a political signal of military solidarity to China, just as Beijing has in the past signaled Washington about its military buildup. The message is in the timing and location of joint U.S.-Japan live-fire exercises next week off the coast of California — four days after President Obama meets in the same area of Southern California with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – U.S. Commander Issues Stern Warning on South China Sea Disputes We will oppose the change of status quo by force by anyone,” Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said during a visit to Malaysia on Wednesday. “We need to retain the status quo until we get to a code of conduct or a solution by party nations that is peacefully accepted.” While Locklear did not mention China by name, China has been aggressively asserting its sovereignty over the disputed areas while some of its neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, are also defending their claims with diplomatic might.

China’s Place in the World – TIME Ai Weiwei designs this issues cover art, too bad story behind a paywall. Anyone know what Ai Weiwei’s depiction is supposed to mean?

House urges Obama address currency manipulation in Asia trade talks | Reuters A majority of the House of Representatives has signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to insist on new rules against currency manipulation in a proposed trade agreement with Japan and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ghana Arrests Chinese in Gold Mining Regions – NYTimes.com The arrests have become an intense topic of discussion among Chinese Internet users, with more than one million posts on the subject on a popular microblogging platform run by Sina, an Internet company. Although the Chinese government has yet to confirm any casualties in the arrests, unverified photos circulating online purport to show Chinese people in Ghana with severe injuries. Whether those photos are accurate or not, they have stoked anger in China.

Nicaragua: Chinese Company to get Canal Concession | TIME.com A concession to build a canal across Nicaragua linking the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea will be awarded to a Chinese company, the National Assembly president said Wednesday. Legislative leader Rene Nunez said the company will use funds from investors around the world to build the $40 billion project.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

《疯狂原始人》遭紧急下线 影院称已接到通知_网易娱乐-网易新闻客户端 The Croods suddenly pulled from Chinese theaters, 18 days ahead of schedule. Doing too well, worries about competition with Chinese animation films over the upcoming duanwu holiday?// 6月6日下午3点左右,“今晚看啥”官方微博发布了一条消息,消息中写道:“梦工厂动画电影《疯狂原始人》,本来已经延期到6月24日下映,今日却突然通知紧急下片,6月6日以后将不再上映!”随后,北京几家院线相关负责人确认,接到发行方口头紧急通知,称6日晚24点以后不得放映《疯狂原始人》,书面通知将会稍晚补给影院。至于停映的原因,发行方并没有告知,院线方面暂时也不了解情况。记者看到,6日以后的排片表上已经看不到该片的身影。

China surpassing U.S. with 54.9 petaflop supercomputer China has produced a supercomputer capable of 54.9 petaflops, more than twice the speed of any system in the U.S., according to a U.S. researcher who was in China last week and learned the details. China’s latest system was built with Intel chips, but includes indigenously produced Chinese technologies as well. The Chinese government spent about $290 million on it.

LightInTheBox Jumps After First U.S. Chinese IPO in 2013 – Bloomberg LightInTheBox Holding Co. (LITB) surged in New York trading after the Beijing-based online retailer raised $78.9 million in the first initial public offering in the U.S. by a Chinese company this year. The American depositary receipts jumped 22 percent to $11.61 today after being priced at $9.50 each, within the company’s target range of $8.50 to $10.50. The ADRs, each representing two ordinary shares of LightInTheBox, soared as much as 34 percent to $12.69 earlier. LightInTheBox has become the second Chinese e-commerce company to complete a U.S. IPO in 15 months, after Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (VIPS) raised $71.5 million in March 2012.

Credit Suisse seen poised for leading role in Alibaba IPO | Reuters In a sign of how much revenue is at stake, many banks have flown over top executives for the meetings – Citigroup Inc CEO Michael Corbat was recently in China to meet Alibaba executives, according to one person with knowledge of the visit. Alibaba has yet to shortlist or formally mandate any bank for the IPO, but bankers expect the listing to take place in Hong Kong by the end of this year or early 2014.

Alibaba Tries Team Approach in Bid to Build Logistics Network – Caixin Alibaba’s business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com and consumer-to-consumer platform Taobao.com had total sales of 1 trillion yuan in 2012, and an average 12 million orders were received every day. On November 11 – the day of a special sale – Alibaba received 78 million orders, which was good for business but a challenge to delivery companies. Unlike e-commerce rivals such as Jingdong Mall, Suning and Amazon China, Alibaba has never built its own delivery capacity. It has long depended on delivery firms like YTO Express, S.F. Express and ZTO Express for distribution.

International Revenue for Chinese Films Fell by Half in 2012 (Study) – The Hollywood Reporter While domestic productions dominate the local market, their influence abroad “doesn’t match China’s position as a powerful nation,” said the head researcher of an academic survey.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

China’s talent outflow highest in world, says People’s Daily | South China Morning Post China is losing top-notch talent at the highest rate in the world as students who seek degrees abroad opt to remain overseas, the official People’s Daily reported yesterday. An average of 87 per cent of students in science and engineering stay overseas, the newspaper said, citing an official from a government working group on talent

Interview: Online education platform Coursera aims to reach more Chinese – Xinhua | English.news.cn One of the massive online open courses (MOOCs) provider Coursera’s founders, Daphne Koller, says she is hoping to work with more Chinese universities so that they could bring more courses online and help the platform reach more people. In a recent written interview with Xinhua, Koller said that reaching the many people in China who don’t speak English and who could benefit from free access to higher education is an important goal for Coursera.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Press prize for campaigner who dared China officials to swim in pollution | Environment | guardian.co.uk A social media campaigner who challenged government officials to swim in their polluted local rivers was among the winners of this year’s China environmental press awards. The awards, first given out in 2010, are jointly organised by chinadialogue, the Guardian and Sina, the leading Chinese web portal, with this year’s winners covering the most prominent environmental challenges facing China today: polluted drinking water, contaminated land, hazardous air and endangered wildlife.

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