The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.12.14

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

Beijing’s ‘White Paper’ Sets Off a Firestorm in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com Reacting to the white paper, the Hong Kong Bar Association said that judges “are not to be regarded as part of ‘Hong Kong’s administrators’ or part of the governance team upon whom a political requirement is imposed.” It warned that imposing political litmus tests on judges would undermine Hong Kong’s respect for the rule of law.

Related: Is Now The Time For Hong Kong To Stand Up To Beijing? – NYTimes.com interview with Anson Chan

Decoding China’s Emerging “Great Power” Strategy in Asia | Center for Strategic and International Studies China’s reemergence as a great power over the next few decades represents the primary strategic challenge for the U.S.-Japan security alliance and for the East Asian security landscape writ large. A clearer understanding of the fundamental underpinnings and trajectory of China’s foreign policy and security strategies toward the region is necessary to navigate these challenges and assure stability and prosperity in Asia. As such, this report seeks to illuminate the new Chinese leadership’s preoccupations, priorities, and policy predilections so that key stakeholders in East and Southeast Asia can determine how they can contribute both individually and collectively to keeping Asia safe and prosperous in a period of great uncertainty and diminishing resources.

Related: Xi of Two Minds: Be a Good Neighbor, or Assert China’s Power? – NYTimes.com Mr. Johnson parts company from experts who believe that China’s external policy is at the mercy of factional divisions between, say, diplomatic moderates and military hard-liners. Mr. Xi has accumulated positions and authority with striking speed, suggesting that internal opposition is not a serious threat, the report says. China’s foreign policy uncertainties instead center on how Mr. Xi intends to hone his broad ideas for ascendancy while maintaining China’s self-assigned image as a paternal provider of economic good will, trade agreements, concessional loans and Confucius Institutes for language instruction.

任贤良:推动网络新媒体形成客观理性的网络生态_网易新闻中心 SIIO’s Ren Xianliang has lead essay in the latest issue of Red Flag Journal: promote objective, rational internet ecology 4 internet new media. Ren was promoted last Fall from Shaanxi. Ren’s April 2013 Red Flag Essay signaled start of Weibo/Big V crackdown. CMP-Party must grab the agenda, says official…wonder what will happen as an intensifying “Socialist Values” campaign meets the Internet //培养网络文明素养非一日之功。相关部门要把网络文化法治和道德教育纳入构建社会主义核心价值体系的实践中,提高公民自觉维护网络文化健康有序发展的意愿。既要实施“网络安全知识进校园”行动,也要在学校日常教育管理中,发挥思想政治教育类课程、互联网专业课等主渠道作用,将学生网络道德教育纳入课程教学,努力实现未成年人网上自我教育、自我约束和自我保护。 (任贤良 国家互联网信息办公室副主任)

Revealed: Wen Jiabao’s family is behind Cambridge University professorship – Telegraph The donation from the Chong Hua Foundation in January 2012 raises serious questions over whether Beijing is buying influence at one of Britain’s most important universities, with one academic accusing it of allowing the Chinese government “to appoint a professor at Cambridge”. Cambridge University had previously denied that Chong Hua has links to the Chinese government, but new information recently received by The Telegraph indicates that the foundation is controlled by Wen Ruchun, the daughter of China’s former prime minister.

Post reporter Lana Lam tells of her journey into the secret world of Edward Snowden | South China Morning Post Snowden went straight to the reason we were both there. “The United States government has committed a tremendous number of crimes against Hong Kong,” he said. “The PRC as well.”

Caixin–Official Says Regulators Striking Flexible Pose on Use of Foreign IT Products – Chinese financial institutions have not been barred from using IBM, Oracle and EMC services but have been asked to slowly unwind from reliance, says PBOC official…”Policy wise, (products and services from) IBM and the IOE are not banned, because abandoning them altogether means huge replacement costs,” an official with the central bank’s technology department said. “An accurate way to put this is that the government deliberately wants to reduce the reliance on foreign IT companies, and there is a wish that it can at the same time encourage the development of the industry at home,” he said.

China ramps up spending to spur economy, central bank sees stable policy | Reuters Total fiscal spending in May rose to 1.3 trillion yuan ($208.75 billion), quickening sharply from a 9.6 percent rise in the first four months of the year. China’s cabinet also revealed on Wednesday that it was now planning more big infrastructure projects, including highways, train networks and oil and gas distribution and storage facilities, as part of its efforts to keep the economy growing at a stable rate.

Related: China’s New Loans Top Estimates in Boost for Economic Growth – Bloomberg China’s new yuan loans and money-supply topped estimates in May as the government supports economic growth while trying to limit shadow banking risks. Local-currency loans were 870.8 billion yuan ($140 billion), the People’s Bank of China said on its website today, exceeding the 750 billion yuan median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. M2, the broadest measure of money supply rose 13.4 percent, compared with a median projection for 13.1 percent.

China’s Clean-Fuel Focus Tests U.S. Coal-Export Lifeline – Bloomberg Intense opposition on the U.S. West Coast, over climate change, rail congestion and damage to Native American fisheries, already is blocking new export terminals designed to ship coal across the Pacific Ocean. Now, China — which consumes almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined — is accelerating a planned switch to cleaner fuels, including a possible cap on carbon emissions and limits on new coal-fired plants.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Hong Kong Regulators Tense About China Loans – NYTimes.com The credit analysis firm Fitch Ratings, which looked at a wider range of transactions, particularly trade finance, said on Monday that local and foreign banks in Hong Kong had an even bigger exposure to mainland China, totaling $798 billion. By comparison, banks elsewhere in Asia and the Pacific — mainly Australia, Japan, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan — have lent roughly $400 billion to mainland China, according to Fitch, which used data from the Bank of International Settlements. “A ‘hard landing’ for China’s economy is a low-probability — but high-impact — downside risk to banks in Hong Kong,” Fitch said in a statement.

SEC Says Investor Accused of Fake Gold Bid Fled to China – Bloomberg Luis Chang and Everbright Development Overseas Ltd., a company he controls, “furtively” bought Allied Nevada stock while disseminating false information about the company, the SEC said in a complaint filed June 9 in federal court in New York. Everbright then sold the shares into a “falsely inflated market” for a profit of more than $7 million, the SEC said. Chang, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is now in China, according to the SEC, which is seeking the return of profits from the alleged scheme and unspecified monetary penalties.

神华榆林千亿煤化工项目搁浅:园区荒芜一片_新闻_腾讯网  Is Dow Chemical stuck with a huge white elephant coal project in Yulin?//上述两方公开明确表态的背后,更凸显了这一被视为“改变陕西面貌的核心重大项目”于陕西和神华集团的重要性。公开资料显示,神华陶氏榆林循环经济煤炭综合利用项目预期总投资1216亿元,为世界上单体投资最大的煤化工项目,这一项目初始的承建方为神华集团和另一世界500强企业—美国陶氏化学公司。神华集团一方承建该项目的是旗下煤化工板块公司中国神华煤制油化工公司 (以下简称神华煤制油)。

Banks Fear Missing Collateral In China – NYTimes.com As Citigroup assesses any damage, it is zeroing in on commodities loans to the Mercuria Energy Group, a Swiss commodities trading firm. Citigroup lent money to Mercuria secured with copper and aluminum apparently stored in Qingdao. On May 28, Mercuria informed Citigroup that improprieties might have taken place at the metals warehouses, according to a person briefed on the loans who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Why Chinese Officials Are Resigning From Company Boards Left and Right – China Real Time Report – WSJ In concept, a company’s independent directors serve to check abuse of power and protect shareholders. In practice here in China, they’re often seen as a vehicle for corruption, as companies stack their boards with government officials who accept handsome compensation for the post and do an indifferent job. China’s central authorities have been cracking down on the phenomenon, with the Communist Party issuing a circular last October banning officials and college professors from holding second jobs. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, as of this week, more than 200 listed companies have reported independent director resignations.

Beijing, Shanghai Now Asia’s 3rd and 4th Priciest Cities – China Real Time Report – WSJ After Tokyo, Seoul is the second-most expensive Asian city with a global rank of 16. Shanghai and Beijing follow with 18th and 20th ranks respectively. Singapore, ranked the world’s most expensive city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Cost of Living Survey in March, is a distant 31st on the ECA list.

Tian Huiyu: Navigator for Banking’s Next Era – Caixin In a rare interview, the president of China Merchants Bank describes strategic plans and changing with the times

沈阳恢复原有房产限购政策 限购松绑仅维持一天_网易新闻中心 Shenyang gets rid of all housing purchase restrictions…for a day. Now reinstated

楼市下行成定局 中原地产被开发商拖佣近30亿_财经频道_一财网 real estate developers have so much trouble with cash flow that they owe Centaline Real Estate Agency 3B RMB in commissions?  //  事实上,现在一些销售额上千亿的房企的资金链都已经出现了绷紧的情况,很多开发商更愿意用房子抵佣金。”

任志强再发招:空置房有5000万套?不可能!_网易广州房产频道 Ren Zhiqiang calls BS on Gan Li’s claim that 22% of homes in urban areas are vacant

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

新华社调分社职责杜绝“有偿新闻”_新浪安徽新闻_新浪安徽 CCDI forces Xinhua’s Shanghai branch to return 3.5m RMB it took from Bank of Communications it took for paid reports // 新华社通报称,针对“有偿新闻”“有偿不闻”问题,该社对违反新闻职业道德及社内有关规定的人员,视情节轻重给予纪律处分直至开除公职,涉嫌犯罪的移送司法机关依法处理。上海分社已终止与交通银行合作协议,并退回交通银行尚未执行合同金额350万元。

Police Fished for Charges then Took 20 Mln Yuan from Me, Businessman Says – Caixin He said later that police were trying to find leads for a corruption case involving officials, but they instead turned up tax evasion at his company. A year later, a district court in Jilin City, the province’s second-largest town, found him guilty of tax evasion, a charge Mou later admitted to. But the case did not end there, Mou said. The businessman spent the next eight years trying to get back some 20 million yuan he said the police illegally confiscated during their investigation. Over the years, Mou managed to get the attention of a provincial-level official, the province’s anti-corruption watchdog and even an official in the central government, but has yet to get the money back or even find out where it went.

平定县委书记被查 晋多地主要领导空缺_政经频道_财新网 Another Shanxi official under investigation for corruption…Wang Yinwang, party head of Pingding County

A Harsh Sentence Feared for Detained Rights Lawyer – NYTimes.com In an account of a meeting Monday that was posted online Wednesday, the lawyer, Zhang Sizhi, wrote that Mr. Pu said he was being interrogated up to 10 hours a day. Mr. Zhang, 86, a veteran defense lawyer, said that Mr. Pu asked him not to disclose details of the subjects he was questioned about, except to say that they were wide-ranging. Although Mr. Zhang’s discussion of the case was reserved, he hinted at his concern that Mr. Pu could face a prison sentence.

瓦解苏共的思想杀手-《红旗文稿》2014/11 作者: 孙 铭 Red Flag on Alexander Yakovlev’s role in the collapse of the USSR //    通过评析雅科夫列夫,我们可以看出,苏共被瓦解始于意识形态演变,意识形态演变是先导,党和政权变质是关键,而党的队伍的纯洁性是抓好意识形态工作的基石。

04年习近平专访 十余年每天给妻子打电话-20140612凤凰视频-凤凰视频-最具媒体品质的综合视频门户-凤凰网 Video of a relaxed Xi Jinping in 2004, discusses some of his experiences being “sent down” in the Cultural Revolution

Xinhua Insight: CPC requires “prudent” recruitment of new members – Xinhua Original: 媒体解读中共党员细则:入党标准更高难度更大|中共党员细则|入党_新浪新闻 // Revamped rules on recruitment of Communist Party of China (CPC) members will apply more stringent standards to management of Party members, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee vowed on Wednesday.

Emerging trends in Chinese studies and the role of the party – Xinhua | Eric X. Li In the modern era, Chinese studies in the West have gone through two main generations: the generation of the historic school and the generation of the ideological school. Contemporary Western perceptions and understanding of China, in both the academic world and popular press, have been informed by the methods and aims of these two schools. I would like to suggest that we are at the beginning of a new phase. A third generation is emerging. This new generation is approaching China with new methods and different aims within different contexts. This development has placed the fundamental frameworks of Chinese studies in transition. How this evolves will have decisive impacts on the world’s interpretations of China. As such, the contemporary CCP, the party, as China’s central governing institution, is in a position to exercise significant influence over the future landscape and conditions of Chinese studies and thereby China’s image in the eyes of the world.

Xinhua Insight: Chinese think-tanks cut administrative interference – Xinhua The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) have redrafted their charters to cut administrative interference in their operations. The amended charters, which also vie to rectify a tendency to chase profits, have been ratified during the biennial conference of China’s top two think tanks, which started on Monday and will close on Friday.

部分公车司机涉贪成腐败“新变种”_国内_新京报网 近日,河南新安一名公车司机在不到一年间骗取公款47万被判10年6个月的消息,使该群体引发关注。有报道称,一些专车司机凭借其为领导服务的特殊身份,逐渐分享部分权力资源,开始参与甚至主导某些腐败犯罪,成为新的腐败群体。

97岁中共元老宋平在京参加慈善活动 97 year old Song Ping makes an appearance at a charity event in Beijing

Campaign to Crack Down on Fringe Sects in China Worries Mainstream Churches – NYTimes.com In addition to adherents of the Church of Almighty God, the agency said, those arrested included members of another Christian group known as Disciples Sect. But other news accounts said that many of the 1,500 arrests took place in 2012, during a previous drive against Almighty God that began after its members frightened the public with warnings of a coming apocalypse.

传徐才厚收受谷俊山贿赂侦结送检_中国_多维新闻网 several verified Weibo accounts claim that Gen. Xu Caihou has been turned over to the Procuratorial Organs in the corruption case against him

‘Tank Man’ Googled in China as Hackers Bypass Censors – Bloomberg why isn’t Google doing this itself?  //  Greatfire.org, a group opposed to Internet censorship in China, said it created the mirror website to enable searches for sensitive content, and the number of visitors today exceeded 100,000. Users in Beijing and Shanghai were able to see text and image results for “Tank Man,” the iconic protester at Tiananmen Square in 1989, that usually are prohibited in China.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Regional Telephone Conference in Rangoon, Burma–Remarks by Daniel R. Russel Good evening everyone. Thank you for joining us. This is Paul Watzlavick at the U.S. Department of State Media Hub in Tokyo. Today we have with us Assistant Secretary Daniel Russel, who is in Rangoon attending the ASEAN Senior Official Meetings. He will be talking to us from there to discuss his feedback from the meetings and outcomes of the various events of that day. Sir, I invite you to make opening statements and callers when the assistant secretary finishes if you would like to ask a question, please dial 91 on your hand set to ask a question. Assistant Secretary Russel, if you would like to continue.

Thai army delegation visits China amid Western reproach of coup | Reuters The bid by Thailand’s military rulers to strengthen ties with China comes after Western powers, including old ally the United States, criticised the May 22 coup and called for a speedy return to democracy. The junta has said it has China’s support.

Is a Declining U.S. Good for China? | ChinaFile Cinversation

Ratner: A Plan to Counter Chinese Aggression – WSJ OpEd – Ely Ratner The U.S. should reverse course and make clear that it does not accept China’s illegal occupation of Scarborough Reef. This would include calling for China to withdraw, sharing satellite and reconnaissance imagery of China’s occupation with media and government officials in the region, and sending the U.S. Navy to conduct freedom-of-navigation operations around the reef. A similar suite of policies could be applied to other areas where China is bullying its neighbors. The success of China’s might-makes-right approach is by no means a fait accompli in the South China Sea. To prevent it from becoming a reality, the U.S. will have to do more than keep its policy on autopilot and hope for the region to coalesce and push back. American leadership is sorely needed. Should the U.S. choose to respond, there is no shortage of options for decisive action.

China Looks to U.N. in Vietnam Spat Over Oil Rig – WSJ In a sign that the criticism is starting to hurt China—which had worked hard to convince its Asian neighbors of its “peaceful rise” before taking a more assertive approach to territorial issues in recent months— Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the U.N., requested that Mr. Ban distribute the paper among the U.N.’s 193 member states, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.

日2架战机危险接近中国军机_新闻_腾讯网 video of the Japanese F-15s and PLA Tu-154’s close encounter over E China Sea // China denounces Japan protest over military jets’ close brush-Reuters

Chinese PM demands audience with Queen on visit to Britain – Telegraph Wen Jiabao met with her when he was Prime Minister, no?  //  Li Keqiang insisted on meeting Her Majesty during a three-day trip that is due to start on Tuesday and issued a “direct threat of cancellation” unless that wish was granted, The Times reported on Thursday.

China applies for UNESCO listing of Nanjing documents – Xinhua | English.news.cn Japan upset, though last year it applied to have UNESCO enshrine a set of kamikaze letters in the Memory of the World Register  //  China is applying to UNESCO to list 11 sets of documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre on the Memory of the World Register. The documents are first-hand materials that recorded the massacre, and are of historical importance, said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall of the victims, on Wednesday.

Altered trade route strikes provincialism chord – The Express Tribune As Pakistan decides to change the Pak-China Economic Corridor route by cutting off restive areas en route to Gwadar port, the Senate joint opposition has demanded the government seek approval of the new alignment from the Council of Common Interests (CCI). The reason behind changing the route is aimed at ensuring security for Chinese convoys and so most of the route will go through Punjab, which has irked lawmakers from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

China’s expanding cyberspace | European Council on Foreign Relations The latest edition of China Analysis by ECFR and Asia Centre focuses on China’s Expanding Cyberspace

周强:做好信息化条件下法院保密工作–新闻报道-人民网 Zhou Qiang on secrecy work in wake of Xi Jinping’s recent speech on the topic, a speech that does not seem to be online // 最高人民法院党组中心组今天召开学习(扩大)会,学习贯彻习近平总书记关于加强国家安全和保密工作的重要讲话精神,对加强新形势下人民法院保密和网络监管工作进行研究部署。最高人民法院党组书记、院长周强在会上强调,最高人民法院和地方各级人民法院要切实增强忧患意识,进一步以高度的政治责任感和政治敏锐性,加强人民法院保密工作,坚决维护党和国家秘密的绝对安全。

DTN/The Progressive Farmer: A Long Row to Hoe on Trade Deals Rep Eric Cantor’s defeat mean no fast track trade authority this year, so no TPP? Very bad for Obama’s Asia rebalancing  //  Losses such as Eric Cantor’s and the possible loss by Sen. Thad Cochran in a couple of weeks risk pulling Congress farther away from a legislative body that would adopt TPA in 2015 or 2016.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Hong Kong Media Worries Over China’s Reach as Ads Disappear – NYTimes.com Next Media Limited, a newspaper, television and Internet company based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, is known for its strong advocacy of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong. Mr. Simon, the company’s commercial director, said a representative from HSBC told him that the decision to stop advertising came after the deputy director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Yang Jian, told the bank to end its advertising relationship.

罗昌平:寻找“余则成” 小林是福建人,与台湾相隔“一湾浅浅的海峡”,那是余光中笔下一代人的乡愁。他提到的“余则成”,是电视剧《潜伏》的主角,不管职供军统还是效忠共党,都展现了间谍的优秀技能,他自己开枪动手只有三次,更多时候是在用头脑工作。但余则成们不只活在电视剧中,半个世纪前还是这个岛屿的特殊住户。说其特殊,是因为他们不是原住民,亦非旅行者,而是服刑人…

 

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

阿里腐败丑闻不断 中层受贿260万获刑八年半_财经频道_一财网 a former HR VP of Alibaba gets 8 years in jail in a bribery case…took kickbacks from a buddy for giving him contracts with Alibaba

Alibaba Buys Rest of the Mobile Browser UCWeb – NYTimes.com Alibaba already owns two-thirds of UCWeb after having made investments in 2009 and last year. While it didn’t disclose how much it would pay, Alibaba plans to offer both stock and cash in the transaction.

Rumor: Alibaba Takes 20% in 21st Century Media | Marbridge Consulting – China Internet News According to an industry insider, an investment group led by Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group has invested RMB 500 mln in Guangdong-based media group 21st Century Media, with Alibaba holding a 20% stake in the post-diluted share capital of the company. In addition to Alibaba, China National Building Material Group and two other companies participated in investment.

Zhang Yimou on Failure, ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Coming Home’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ Days after returning from the Cannes Film Festival, at which “Coming Home” screened out of competition, Mr. Zhang sat down with China Real Time at his Beijing workshop. He talked about his love for martial arts, the challenge of making art-house films in China and his favorite American TV shows. Edited excerpts:

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

TV executive arrested for allegedly raping dinner guest then taking nude photos | South China Morning Post Chang Kailin, said to be in his 50s, was accused of forcing the woman into a bedroom at a gallery, in a traditional Chinese house in Beijing’s Daxing district, where he allegedly raped her. Chang is the vice-president of a commercial TV station and chief editor of its international calligraphy and painting channel. He is also a noted art patron, being a member of several galleries and calligraphy associations, and contributing to art magazines.

A Jesuit Astronomer in a Qing Emperor’s Court | ChinaFile But while Ricci is the role model to whom our better selves might all aspire, Father Johann Adam Schall von Bell (Tang Ruowang) is perhaps the Jesuit it would have been most fun to be. Schall lived a life so epic—spanning the Ming and the Qing, encompassing war, charges of sexual impropriety, a death sentence—that it cries out for a Hollywood or Beijing film studio biopic.

北大的保安非常有素质—专辑:《老外骂人遭北大保安怒呛说脏话是没教养的表现 video of idiot foreigner w bad Chinese berating a very restrained Peking University security guard now has 1.2m views on Youku. Pathetic

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

我国将出台水十条治理水污染 计划投资超两万亿_南报网 MEP submits 2 Trillion RMB water pollution cleanup plan to State council // 继“大气十条”(《大气污染防治行动计划》)之后,我国又一项重大污染防治计划——《水污染防治行动计划》(下称“水十条”)即将全面实施。《第一财经日报》记者从环境保护部了解到,这项总投资预计超过2万亿元的计划草案已报请国务院审议。2万亿的市场盛宴也即将开启。 6月4日,在国务院新闻办举行的新闻发布会上,环保部副部长李干杰表示,环保部将抓紧制定出台“水十条”,切实打好水污染防治的重大战役。

Flawed planning process partly to blame for mass protests, admits MEP official | Luna Lin – China Dialogue Speaking at the launch of the 2013 Report on the State of the Environment in China last Wednesday, vice environment minister Li Ganjie said environmental concerns had fuelled an increasing number of  “mass incidents” – the official term for protests – partly because “the planning process in some areas and some departments may not be as scientific and rational as it should be”. He added that some projects “don’t share enough information with the public”. “If the public doesn’t participate in the process, and is unable to get explanations and timely answers to their questions, this generates mistrust and suspicion,” Li said.

U.S. fracking giant goes to China: Kemp | Reuters State-of-the-art American fracking technology is coming to China’s vast shale deposits as a result of a joint venture between FTS International and Sinopec announced on Tuesday. SinoFTS, as the joint venture will be called, marks an important milestone on the road to exporting the North American shale revolution around the world.

 

BEIJING *

京城记忆:总政文化部和黄寺大院1号楼曾是文革”阎王殿”

 

JOBS AND EVENTS *

New Media, the Internet, and a Changing China 新媒体、互联网与变动中的中国 | cscc.sas.upenn.edu Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9am -5pm Auditorium, Peking University Law School Kaiyuan Building 1st Floor


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