THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. 王岐山：党中央对问责是动真格的-搜狐新闻 京华时报讯日前，中共中央政治局常委、中央纪委书记王岐山在京主持召开部分中央部委负责同志座谈会，并到辽宁省召开座谈会，就制定中国共产党问责条例征求意见。王岐山指出，制定问责条例就是要把利剑高悬起来，告诫和警示全党，党中央对问责是动真格的，党的领导干部不担当、不负责就要被追责。这是中央首次透露条例制定进展。今年1月14日发布的十八届中纪委六次全会公报提出，今年要制定党内问责条例，让失责必问成为常态。 // the CCP party member accountability rules that Wang Qishan is working on may institutionalize ability to punish party members for not implementing party center policies, which potentially could help with Xi’s mooted reform program
Related: 王岐山出手解中共困境 中纪委“权杖”加持_中国-多维新闻网 其实除了这些之外，诸多迹象中还暗示着另一个非常重要的政治动向。简单来说，2015年印发的《中国共产党廉洁自律准则》与《中国共产党纪律处分条例》，分别是关于“哪些不得做”和“做了之后怎么办”。而“中国共产党问责条例”，则是关于“应该做什么”，或许还有“没有做会怎么办”的内容。 结合当下政治形势来看，“问责条例”的制定，应该是针对近年来的制度性顽疾“政令不出中南海”和“为官不为”现象。因此也是对全面深化改革开放事业，以及破解当下经济发展乏力困境的精准助力。
Related: 问责条例剑指为官乱象 习近平刻画党员担当底线新闻频道中国青年网 中国青年网北京6月13日电（记者 李拓）日前，制定中国共产党问责条例征求意见的座谈会先后在北京和辽宁召开。会上强调，问责条例是全面从严治党重要的制度笼子，制定条例的过程就是统一思想认识、释放失责必问强烈信号的过程。 有权就有责，权责要对等。在习近平心中，只有担当起该担当的责任，才是合格的党员领导干部。对于为官不为、为官乱为，习近平则直接指出，要以问责常态化促进履职到位，促进党的纪律执行到位。 // more on the impending CCP party member accountability rules
2. China spent $470bn to maintain confidence in renminbi – FT.com The People’s Bank of China has spent about $473bn in foreign exchange reserves since it surprised global markets last August by changing the way it sets its daily guidance rate for the currency, according to Financial Times estimates based on official data. The August move sparked fears that China would permit or even actively encourage a sharp devaluation, leading to a wave of renminbi selling. “The most important factor is confidence, both globally and within China,” said one central bank official. “The cost of intervention in terms of reserves has been high but this policy can’t be evaluated just in terms of numbers. Once confidence is lost it can’t be easily restored. Then a lot of bad things can happen.”
3. Chinese government attacks own propaganda department | News | DW.COM After a two-month investigation into the work of the ruling Communist party’s Propaganda department, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) posted an article on its website on Thursday criticizing its work. “[The propaganda department] lacks depth in its research into developing contemporary China’s Marxism,” the report read. // The original- 中央第一巡视组向中央宣传部反馈专项巡视情况 Will culture be on the agenda for the upcoming 6th Plenum, as it was for the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress in October 2011? If so, what new restrictions and regulations may be on the table?
4. China’s $10bn propaganda push spreads Down Under – FT.com China’s “soft power” strategy has for years funded Chinese language lessons in schools and supported local think-tanks. But now, as Beijing is raising hackles over territorial claims at sea, it is extending its propaganda tentacles into independent media. The Australian deals — which follow similar pacts with Washington Post, the UK’s Daily Telegraph and Le Figaro in France — illustrate that reach. China Watch, the new monthly pullout in Fairfax Media newspapers, marked its inaugural issue with favourable coverage of China, including an article backing Beijing in its stand-off over contested waters in the South China Sea.
5. Under new chief, China’s securities regulator pushes fixes ahead of MSCI deadline | Reuters The New York-based index provider will announce on June 14 if China has done enough to overcome investor concerns, which were heightened by its heavy-handed response last year to a stock market crash. A decision to allow yuan-denominated shares – or A shares – into its widely used Emerging Markets Index, could draw $400 billion into Chinese shares in the next decade, MSCI estimates show. Still, while China has met some key requirements of the MSCI, other concerns remain unaddressed, investors and people familiar with the discussions said, making the widely anticipated decision far from certain. // Seems premature for MSCI to include given what has happened over the last year. China has to prove it is ready with a consistent track record, not just more reform promises, and ones made in just the last few months at that.
6. China’s Ridiculously Weak Legal Argument Against Complying with the South China Sea Arbitration Award-Dr. Julian Ku-Lawfare To weaken the legitimacy of any negative arbitral award, China has launched an impressive diplomatic and global public relations campaign denigrating the legal basis for the tribunal’s award. The Philippines has launched a much less impressive campaign in defense of the award that has mostly just asserted that China should “follow international law” without actually explaining why China’s legal arguments are wrong. While I have expressed strong criticism of the Philippines’ use of arbitration (and the U.S. role in supporting it) from a strategic perspective, I don’t have any such criticism of their legal arguments. China’s claim that it can legally ignore the pending arbitral award is not only wrong, it is legally insupportable. But because this claim is repeated again and again by Chinese diplomats, scholars, and journalists, outside observers might find China’s legal arguments persuasive or at least plausible. Indeed, a former Singaporean foreign minister has said so just this week. So as a public service to journalists, policy analysts, and other non-lawyers, I offer a simple legal primer on why China has a very weak, or even ridiculous, argument for why it is allowed to legally boycott the South China Sea arbitration.
Related: The Tribunal’s Award in the “South China Sea Arbitration” Initiated by the Philippines Is Null and Void – People’s Daily Online Chinese Society of International Law 10 June 2016
Related: Picking sides: A world of opinions on South China Sea case – AP a look at where dozens of countries stand
Related: The dangerous arbitration of Beijing-Manila dispute – The Jakarta Post Xie Feng China’s ambassador to Indonesia…seems like every PRC ambassador has to write an oped about this issue
Related: Musings on the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Opinion News & Top Stories – The Straits Times There was a third undercurrent. This was that the US would make a lot of noise but back off ultimately from taking any decisive action against China, should the arbitral panel rule overwhelmingly for the Philippines, and China ignores the decision. Indeed, in private conversation some Chinese were sure that their aggressive tailing of US patrol craft in the air and in the sea had already begun to have an impact on Washington, which did not wish to provoke an incident. But that, too, may be a miscalculation.
7. What China’s Big Nation Complex Means for the Future of Asia-War on the Rocks The past decade in the South China Sea (whether conceptualized in China as such or not) can also be seen as a giant experiment — a test of the international system. We should consider what lessons China takes from its experience. First, you are strongest when you change the facts on the ground (or on the seas). The map of the South China Sea is physically different now due to China’s extensive reclamation efforts. Other claimants are building, too, but the scale of their construction is miniscule in comparison. Second, you must be willing to lose in other areas in order to accomplish priority goals. China calculates that whatever punitive measures coming its way (if any) are tolerable in comparison to the value it attaches to its South China Sea claims. Third, being the number one trading partner, by far, with neighboring countries provides for significant leverage. And fourth, the international community may organize and may speak out with one voice, but then the years pass and actions, or lack thereof, speak louder than words. A consideration of these lessons is in order when we contemplate, as France’s defense minister advised, what might come next. Though his statements apply to the international legal system writ large, China’s actions were clearly the focus. China is not rushed. It is deliberate. As it gains strength and capability, and as its interests expand, it has pushed outward. China has core interests, of which the South China Sea is one, but so are Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan. It has been describing them as such for many years. Observing the South China Sea, we see forward motion from China, permitted by the current international system. Why stop when no one is stopping you?
8. Xi Jinping’s economic inner circle comes under the spotlight | South China Morning Post A semi-official magazine has shone the light on President Xi Jinping’s inner circle of economic advisors, publishing long profiles of the officials yesterday ahead of a key party meeting this summer. The China Newsweek profiles of economist Liu He and his team from the General Office of the Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs highlighted the body’s influence as it presses ahead with the tough task of shifting the economy onto a sustainable and healthier track. It comes a month after Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily published an interview with an unnamed authoritative source on the future direction of the mainland’s economy and reform. // the original 中财办掌门人刘鹤：中国经济转型必然成功
Related: 中南海智囊释信 北京给富人吃定心丸_中国-多维新闻网 作为公认的习近平的首席经济智囊，拥有多重身份的刘鹤，日前在发改委会议上再度强调产权保护法治化。这无疑释放出重要政治信号，此举被认为展现北京对促进民企发展、推动创业创新的重视，观察人士认为，更为重要的是，中南海的意图是给中国社会的富裕阶层吃“定心丸”。 据中国发改委网站6月6日的消息，北京时间5月31日，国家发展改革委党组副书记、副主任、中央财经领导小组办公室主任刘鹤，主持召开委内改革专题会议，研究推动今年中央交办改革任务，研究审议改革方案。会议研究审议的一项重要改革方案是产权保护法治化、促进创业投资发展。
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
Merkel says EU doesn′t want trade war with China | News | DW.COM German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged China to speed up reforms in the steel industry and other economic sectors to avoid a further rift with Brussels. Beijing is waiting for the EU to give it market economy status. // sounds like Germany is showing some backbone to Beijing
European Business Keen to do More in China if Reforms are Implemented Beijing, 7th June, 2016 – The European Chamber, in cooperation with Roland Berger, today released its annual Business Confidence Survey 2016. The survey finds that Beijing’s failure so far to deliver on promises that foreign-invested enterprises will enjoy a more open, competitive market has fostered mounting pessimism: a significant 41% of European companies are now re-evaluating their China operations and planning to cut costs, including through headcount reduction. Although 47% also report that they plan to expand their operations in China, this represents a thirty-nine point decrease from 2013, when an overwhelming 86% of European companies were intending to do so. However, a clear majority of European business would likely increase their investment in China in the event of market access barriers being removed.
China Home Sales Rose at Slowest Pace This Year Amid Cooling – Bloomberg Property-development investment growth, which expanded at the slowest pace in 15 years in December, was 7 percent in the first five months of the year. That’s slower than the 7.2 percent increase in the first four months. Developers bought 5.8 percent less land in May compared with a year earlier. New construction starts slowed, expanding 10.6 percent last month at the slowest pace this year.
国资委：国企重大决策须由党委讨论后董事会决定 no surprise, SOE boards have to have big decisions first approved by SOE party committee–Qiushi
Document 82 and slapping down China’s shadow loan market | FT Alphaville The whack-a-mole game that is China’s shadow loans market just gotten some new rules. Or, as UBS put it, regulators are closing the shadow loan loophole. A whole new Document is out that could see China’s banks having to raise over Rmb1tn in new capital. Specifically, it’s the recently released Document 82 which is aimed at curbing excesses in those shadow loans, particularly in banks’ trust beneficiary rights products (TBRs) and directional asset management plans (DAMPs).
Chinese physicist settles U.S. SEC insider charges over tech buyout | Reuters A Chinese optical physicist who did consulting work for two Chinese private equity firms agreed to pay nearly $757,000 to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission insider trading charges over a proposed buyout of a Silicon Valley company, the regulator said on Thursday. Guolin Ma was accused of buying 39,373 shares of OmniVision Technologies Inc in the spring of 2014 based on confidential information he learned from the two firms, as they pursued a takeover of the Santa Clara, California-based maker of optical semiconductor devices used in mobile phones and webcams.
IMF Warns China of Risks of Mounting Corporate Debt – WSJ While China’s total debt of around 225% of gross domestic product isn’t particularly high by global standards, its corporate debt at approximately 145% of GDP is high by any measure, the multilateral lending agency said. “Mounting corporate debt is a key fault line in the Chinese economy,” David Lipton, the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director, said in remarks prepared for delivery at a conference in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Saturday. “Corporate debt remains a serious—and growing—problem that must be addressed immediately and with a commitment to serious reforms.”
China Official Says A Shares in MSCI ‘Historical Certainty’ – Bloomberg The comments marked the first time an official of the securities regulator has spoken out ahead of next week’s review by New York-based MSCI on whether yuan-denominated A shares will be added. The decision, to be announced June 14, could attract billions of dollars in inflows to buyers into Chinese stocks and bolster a market that’s been the world’s worst performer this year.
China’s Market Economy Status and Antidumping: A $100 Billion, $10 Billion, or $1 Billion Dispute? Part 1 | PIIE The evidence presented here shows that as of the end of 2013, 7 percent of China’s exports to the G-20 economies, or roughly $100 billion of China’s exports in nominal terms, were subject to antidumping duties or related import restrictions known as temporary trade barriers (TTBs). On the other hand, it is less clear that granting China MES would necessarily bring about a major change in trade volumes given the myriad of other TTB policy tools that the United States, EU, and other economies already have at their disposal. This two-part blog assesses the scale of trade that is affected by the use of antidumping strategies, highlighting why China is focusing so much on the issue. The first part introduces the policy issue and the market access at stake for Chinese exporters in antidumping cases. Part 2 will examine the extent to which China’s exports may increase if the United States, EU and other major economies granted it MES.
XpressWest, seeking to build U.S. high-speed rail, ends deal with China group | Reuters China’s official Xinhua news agency cited an unnamed manager at CRI as saying XpressWest was “irresponsible” to make such a statement while its talks with CRI were still going on. The “unilateral” announcement also violated the cooperation framework agreement signed by the two sides, which stipulates that one side should not release related information without approval by the other, Xinhua mentioned the executive as saying
How New Balance Ran Into A Trademark Wall In China – Fortune New Balance stands out, though, for the sheer amount of time it has spent litigating in Chinese courtrooms—almost two decades. And despite all that history, it now finds itself fresh off its biggest court loss. The case illustrates both how far a foreign brand can go in protecting its name and the downside of an aggressive strategy in China. Other brands might want to pay attention…the rise of Alibaba’s Taobao shopping site has made earlier counterfeiting efforts in China look quaint. As many as 90% of the New Balance listings on the huge bazaar are for counterfeit or dubious goods, New Balance estimates. In fact, New Balance says it doesn’t have any authorized retailers on Taobao
It once was lost | The Economist These days, Wenzhou is quietly getting back to work. Housing prices have started to rise again. The city’s economic growth topped 8% last year, the fastest since 2011. But with bad loans still clogging its bank system, many of the city’s scars remain unhealed. Wenzhou is an outlier at the wild end of the Chinese economy. Yet its trajectory—from painful downturn to halting recovery—may suggest what lies ahead for the most debt-laden parts of the country.
Spanish prosecutors detail money laundering accusations against Chinese bank | Reuters The Madrid branch of Chinese bank ICBC received cash in rucksacks and boxes from Chinese criminal groups in Spain and wired the money to accounts in China under a $100-million money-laundering scheme, Spanish prosecutors say. Details of the allegations against ICBC are made public for the first time in a court document summarising an investigation into the alleged scam, nearly four months after police raided the state-owned bank’s Madrid office and arrested six directors.
Berlin and Brussels wary of Chinese robotics bid – FT.com “We really need to think about whether we want to give such a key enterprise to the Chinese, or try to keep it in European hands,” Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament, told the FT. “My concern is that as a result of deals like this, the cars of the future will be no longer be built in Stuttgart and Wolfsburg but in China.”
POLITICS AND LAW
中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《关于深化律师制度改革的意见》-新华网 Central Party General Office/State Council Office Opinion on deepening reform of “lawyer system”, of course calls for greater obedience to the Party.
China Set to Prosecute Top Lawyer Amid Ongoing Crackdown-RFA Authorities in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin have moved to prosecute the head of a top Beijing law firm on subversion charges amid a nationwide crackdown on the country’s human rights lawyers. Tianjin police have passed the case of Zhou Shifeng, the detained head of the Beijing Fengrui law firm, to state prosecutors in the city, fellow rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan told RFA on Monday. “His family told me this, and they were told by the lawyer appointed for him by the Tianjin authorities, so this is reliable information,” Liu said.
Deng Xiaoping was an outstanding Chinese nationalist | Andrew Batson’s Blog There’s little question that nationalism has become the dominant political theme in China since Xi Jinping took over the top positions in 2012. While a lot of commentary has emphasized how Xi is breaking with recent precedents, the continuities with previous leaders, particularly Deng, are still quite strong. Xi’s nationalism may be another, underappreciated way in which he is building on Deng’s legacy.
Xinjiang Residents Must Give DNA, Voice-Print For Passports-RFA Applicants for passports, police-issued exit permits, and travel passes to Taiwan and Hong Kong will now have to supply a DNA sample, fingerprints, a voice-print sample, and a 3D body scan image to receive their documents, the paper said. Nobody will be issued with a travel document in Ili without the new biometrics, it said. While the new rules are ostensibly universal, restrictions on passports have targeted ethnic minority groups in the past, making it harder for Uyghurs to book overseas vacations or go on the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, travel agents in the region have told RFA.
中央第十巡视组向国家民委党组反馈专项巡视情况–时政–人民网 CCDI criticizes State Ethnic Affairs Commission for failure to correctly implement ethnic policies
网络大V任国企纪委书记 还有哪些大V得到重用？新闻腾讯网 据媒体6月11日报道，网名为“御史在途”的湖南省纪委预防腐败室原副主任陆群已经出任湖南财信金融控股集团纪委书记，并分管监察和审计工作。 “深读”注意到，网络大V中并不乏官员身影，这些“官员大V”通过微博主政地方，接地气儿，不仅通过网络解决了民众关切的问题，也顺道儿推介了当地的产品和旅游，树立了官员亲民爱民的形象。
President Xi calls late forestry professor role model for CPC members – Xinhua President Xi Jinping has praised the deeds of a late forestry professor, who championed poverty alleviation through afforestation, saying he should be a role model for members of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Xi made the remarks in an instruction in praise of Li Baoguo, who taught at Hebei Agricultural University. Xi called him an excellent intellectual and likened him to the “foolish old man on the Taihang Mountains,” a character in a Chinese fable who relentlessly tried to remove the mountains in front of his house. Xi urged party members, cadres, educators and scientists to learn from Li, whose tireless, selfless work and spirit was for the masses.
Senior Official in Southern Chinese Province Commits Suicide, Police Say_Caixin A deputy chief of staff to the governor of Guangdong has hung himself in his apartment in the provincial capital Guangzhou on June 12, police said. Liu Xiaohua, 57, was appointed as deputy secretary general of the General Office of Guangdong’s government, in-charge of coordinating activities of all senior provincial officials, in late March.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track 120 items/outcomes, PRC version here: 第八轮中美战略与经济对话框架下战略对话具体成果清单（全文） Better to talk than not, unclear how this really moves the needle now in US-China relations, in spite of the hard work on both sides. This week’s cybercrime dialogue downgraded to deputies as Attorney General Lynch and DHS Secretary Johnson canceled their Beijing trip to deal with aftermath of Orlando massacre
China Garden at the US National Arboretum — Home 1 of the 120 outcomes // The China Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum will offer a place to find peace, tranquility and classical Chinese culture in our nation’s capital. A joint project between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the People’s Republic of China Academy of Forestry, the China Garden promises to become an important destination in Washington, D.C. As a living classroom, it will help to foster a better understanding of Chinese culture, provide research opportunities in Asian gardens and plants, and symbolize a commitment to continued friendship between the United States and China.
Kerry says China’s Xi believes NGO law will be applied fairly | Reuters China intends to remain open and does not believe a new law on foreign non-government bodies will affect its ability to do so, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying during talks. //did Secretary Kerry also bid on a bridge in Beijing?
Xi stresses employment of demobilized military officers – Xinhua Xi made the comments during a speech given to a recent top leadership meeting, which was conveyed by Zhao Leji, head of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s organization department, at the 2016 national conference on employment of demobilized officers on Tuesday. Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), called for greater support and care for demobilized military officers and an improved working mechanism, which would help transfer them to civilian posts and assist the ongoing reform push. Xi said military-civilian cooperation should be strengthened in carrying out the work.
Chinese Drones Make Key Breakthrough, Firing on Command by Satellite | Popular Science The official Xinhua News Agency reported that China has conducted live fire tests with two CH-4 UAVs. The CH-4 itself, already purchased by Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is a 1300kg UAV with a 345 kg payload, 35 hour flight endurance at 4,000m altitude, comparable to the US MQ-9 Reaper. In the test, the drones fired their missiles on command from pilots over 1,000km away. This proof of concept, along with China’s constellation of communications satellites means that Chinese pilots on Chinese soil could fire missiles from a drone anywhere in the world, much as US pilots are able to control a drone over Afghanistan from a base in Nevada. And similar to US offerings of the capability to close allies like the UK, Italy, and UAE, the same capability could be provided to Chinese allies and operators of its drones.
China proposes ‘Underwater Great Wall’ that could erode US, Russian submarine advantages | IHS Jane’s 360 Details of the network of sensors, called the ‘Underwater Great Wall Project’, were revealed in a CSSC booth at a public exhibition in China in late 2015. A translated copy of the descriptions was obtained by IHS Jane’s from a government official. The text was confirmed by a source from a second government on condition of anonymity. While some elements of this network have been known for some time, CSSC is now in effect proposing an improved Chinese version of the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) that for a time gave the US a significant advantage in countering Soviet submarines during the Cold War
Japan Summons Chinese Envoy After Naval Ship Nears Disputed Islands – The New York Times China regularly sends nonmilitary patrol vessels to the area, where they engage in cat-and-mouse chases with the Japanese Coast Guard. But it was the first time in the long and sometimes tense dispute over the islands and their surrounding waters that China has used a naval ship to so directly challenge Japan’s control, the officials said. “China’s actions unilaterally escalate tensions in the area, and we are seriously concerned,” Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese chief cabinet secretary, said at a news briefing.
U.S. woman convicted of conspiracy to export jet engines to China | Reuters Wenxia Man, 45, of San Diego, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for violating the Arms Export Control Act, the department said in a statement. The engines are used in F-35, F-22 and F-16 U.S. fighter jets, and a drone capable of firing Hellfire missiles through a third country, it added.
The Chinese Hackers in the Back Office – The New York Times The owners of Cate Machine & Welding say that living with Chinese attackers in your office can be a strange feeling. Recently, Area 1 executives visited the shop and showed them some of what they had learned from watching their computer. The C0d0s0 group had used their server to pilfer a law firm’s due diligence on an impending acquisition, a financial services firm’s confidential trading plans, a mobile payment start-up’s proprietary source code, some blueprints and loan applications at a mortgage company. Hearing that, Mr. Cate expressed pride — and maybe even a hint of schadenfreude. For years, the welding business that is his family’s bread and butter has been migrating to China
Chinese TV reporter accuses US embassy van of hit-and-run | South China Morning Post A van belonging to the embassy was involved in a crash with a car at a busy junction on the capital’s Third Ring Road on Wednesday, during the evening rush hour, traffic police confirmed on Sunday. The owner of the car, Chen Lin, a reporter for Phoenix TV, said that after hitting her car, the driver of the van ignored her protests and drove away from the scene. “I got out of my car and tried to stop the van but was dragged dozens of metres into the traffic. I was badly hurt but it just drove off,” Chen wrote on her microblog. “A policeman told me the driver probably had diplomatic immunity and we could not do anything about it even on our own territory.”
Xi’s selected remarks on military issues published – Xinhua The book selects 29 of Xi’s statements from January 2015 to February 2016…The Political Work Department under the CMC led the compilation of the book. The department has issued a circular urging all officers and soldiers to study the book.
Xi to visit Serbia, Poland, Uzbekistan, attend SCO summit – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan from June 17 to 22, the Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.
Filipino nationalists say flag-planting on disputed shoal halted by China | Reuters The incident between the coast guard and the Kalayaan Atin Ito (Freedom It’s Ours) group took place at the disputed Scarborough Shoal on Sunday, just as foreign ministers from Southeast Asian countries and China prepared for a meeting in Kunming to discuss territorial rows in the hotly contested waters.
Why Malcolm Turnbull says China won’t get what it wants-SMH “Is China doing anything more reckless than imitating our venerated Monroe Doctrine?” poses a US constitutional lawyer, Bruce Fein, writing in the Huffington Post. It is typical of the genre. The Monroe Doctrine was the 1823 declaration by the fifth US president, James Monroe, that the western hemisphere was the special strategic preserve of the US. Other powers be warned. Malcolm Turnbull has a very different view. In his first remarks on the subject, the Australian Prime Minister has completely rejected the argument that the Monroe Doctrine is any kind of precedent for China to follow. “Some people write about China, talk about China, as though it could declare some kind of Monroe Doctrine in the Western Pacific,” Turnbull said in an interview with Fairfax Media last week. “It is a very inapt analogy.”
探访火箭军建巢铸盾部队 身居闹市斗室，心系国家全局。半个多世纪风雨征程，火箭军某所工程设计研究创新团队一默如雷，用数百项驰名全国全军的创新奖项，铺就一条为导弹筑巢、为祖国铸盾的强军之路，被表彰为“全国杰出专业技术人才先进集体”。 初夏时节，记者走进位于皇城根下的一座军营，领略这支“国家队”的战斗风采。
The U.S. FON Program in the South China Sea | Brookings Institution U.S. freedom of navigation (FON) operations have recently come under scrutiny with assertions near contested features in the South China Sea. While some question whether they are necessary, there are strong legal and practical imperatives supporting their conduct.
TECH AND MEDIA
‘Warcraft’ Tops China Box Office With $157 Million Opening Week – Bloomberg Backed by the Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Legendary Entertainment and gaming company Tencent Holdings Ltd., the film took in 1.03 billion yuan ($157 million) in ticket sales since its debut Wednesday, according to industry-data provider Entgroup Inc. “Warcraft” generated this year’s biggest opening-day ticket sales in China, surpassing those of “The Mermaid,” which went on to become the highest-grossing movie in the country ever.
China’s Tencent, Lenovo Buy Into U.S. Augmented Reality Startup – Bloomberg The money will bankroll a more advanced version of Meta’s AR headset that won’t require a PC for use, Chief Executive Officer Meron Gribetz said. Other investors in the Series B round include Horizons Ventures Ltd., Banyan Capital, and Comcast Ventures, the venture arm of Comcast Corp. Backed by Hong Kong’s richest person, Horizons Ventures led the company’s $23 million Series A funding last year.
Startup Aims to Bring Different Perspective to News on China | Media – AdAge Ms. Cheng says she launched the project in part because she believes knowledge of China is crucial for understanding the world, and yet “the average American knows very little about China.” On top of that, “American reporters tend to be quite biased on China, and of course the election doesn’t help because every four years when the election comes around, it’s always China bashing,” she said // Anla Cheng’s bio on the Committee of 100 site
New media startup wants to explain China to the world-TechInAsia Is there a large enough audience for what might seem like such a niche-interest site? Cheng thinks so. In addition to the obvious audience of foreign Sinophiles and China-watchers, Cheng says SupChina will be able to draw readers the 50 million mostly-English-speaking members of the global Chinese diaspora, the 350 million English-speakers in China, the Fortune 500 businesses that work in China, and other curious people. “I think we’ve got a huge audience,” she said. // SupChina acquired Sinica, congrats to Kaiser and Jeremy at Sinica, hope this startup raises of ton of money at a huge valuation, saw an early pitch, know a couple of VCs who passed but expect some to bite, though it is not easy to build a scalable, niche online media business…sadly I know, though maybe Sinocism should raise some dollars too…
Fei Chang Dao: China’s Search Engines (Except One) Stop Notifying Users of Political Censorship The following screenshots show that, at some time between mid-March and the end of May, 2016, China’s three major search engines – Baidu, Sogou, and Qihoo – stopped displaying a censorship notice for the phrase “China’s Last Leader” (中国最后领导人). Instead, Baidu and Qihoo tell users they are unable to find any search results, and Sogou returns a blank page.
TV Show Chronicles Rise and Fall of Chinese Print Media | Sixth Tone Journalism drama “Nu Bu Qiangda Tian Bu Rong,” which translates approximately to “Heaven Cannot Abide Women Without Might,” premiered two weeks ago on satellite TV channels and a handful of online video platforms. The episodes on streaming website iQIYI had been viewed 142 million times as of Sunday. The series centers around a female reporter, Zheng, and spans the 15 years from the heyday of China’s metropolitan newspapers at the turn of the millennium to the present day, when print media faces growing competition from digital media. The late 1990s to the early 2000s is considered the golden age of reporting in China, when state-approved — but not state-run — metropolitan newspapers began to proliferate, with a stronger focus on investigative reporting than party papers.
Quick Read: GIF Kuaishou – Reflection of Rural Young’s Psyche? | China Spoon For fellow China hands or observers, you may be familiar with Wechat, QQ or weibo, but have you heard of GIF Kuaishou(Kwai or 快手，literally means “fast hand” in Chinese)? GIF Kuaishou is a simple gif app in China where typical “post-90s” younger generation posted short videos (maximum length of 17 seconds) of themselves on the app. To one’s surprise, it is one of the most heavily used apps in rural China. During the past few days, an article on some of the explicit contents of this app went viral on the internet, as it displayed the hidden psyche or facts that one wouldn’t ever understand if living in major urban areas in China.
Baidu issues Q2 warning; shares tumble – Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) | Seeking Alpha The Chinese search giant blames: 1) Ongoing regulatory probes of its online ad practices for “medical, pharmaceutical, healthcare and other similar businesses,” and stricter ad regulations for medical organizations. 2) Fewer sponsored links on Baidu’s online ad platform.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Police Uncovers Grisly Series of Mine Murders in Inner Mongolia-Caixin Police in the coal-rich northern region of Inner Mongolia have unraveled a string of crimes, where 17 miners were allegedly killed by their colleagues who then pretended to be their close kin to claim compensation for the deaths that were made to appear as mine accidents. Bayannur Intermediate People’s Procuratorate in Inner Mongolia, a regional court, said it has charged 74 suspects with murder, fraud and blackmail linked to the deaths. The local prosecutor’s office made the announcement on May 31, on its official account on Weibo, a popular micro blog site. The office, however, did not say when these crimes were committed or how much money the accused had taken from mine owners.
Tibet Stands Out in China’s Entries at Shanghai International Film Festival – The New York Times The rugged terrain of China’s Tibetan areas forms the backdrop for two of the country’s three competitors: “De Lan,” by the director Liu Jie, and “Soul on a String,” by Zhang Yang. Together, the films highlight a shift in the cinematic depiction of China’s ethnic minorities, especially of Tibetans.
Road Rage | Chublic Opinion Every introduction of a new measure is interpreted as an indirect acknowledgment of the ineffectiveness of previous policies, which makes the unilateral announcement of new controls almost like a finger in the public’s face. This is the context within which many Chinese policies are judged by their subjects. Debates do not happen in a vacuum, but in a space muddled by a depressing legacy. Frustration piles up as more and more measures are thrown in to solve essentially the same problem. People half-jokingly demand previously paid taxes and fees back to be reimbursed. As Peking University’s Prof. Deng puts it: “the government has never examined ineffective measures that are still in place, nor has it explained for the rationale for the new fee.” When the source of policy-making is considered incompetent and inherently unjust, nobody, no matter the size of the piece he gets, sees himself getting the fair share of the cake. Even if Beijing city’s leaders may find a way to shove the congestion fee down the throat of its citizens, administrators in other parts of China are already “feeling the burn” of public anger: right before China’s annual college entrance exam in June, thousands of parents in Hubei province protested in front of the provincial education authority against rumored reallocation of college entrance quotas
Protests erupt over college enrollment for minorities at Beijing high school – Global Times Beijing parents told the Global Times that they will continue their protest if the policy remains unchanged. Education authorities are in a dilemma, as it is difficult for decision-makers to find a solution that will satisfy all sides when trying to fix problems that involve ethnic and education issues, Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies professor at Minzu University, told the Global Times on Sunday. Especially when it comes to the all-important gaokao, every change is difficult, he added. Many of the protesters, mainly coming from Han parents, do not understand how far some ethnic minority areas lag behind in terms of education resources, said Xiong, citing the example that many of those regions lack teachers and many regions do not provide English classes until high school.
Harmony and Martyrdom Among China’s Hui Muslims – The New Yorker When news emerged that the Kunming attackers had spent time in Shadian, droves of Chinese netizens began criticizing the town’s religious appearance, calling it “China’s Islamic State.” The little Hui town became vilified as an enclave for religious extremism, where too many Muslims were allowed too much freedom. Popular online forums such as Tianya Club and Baidu became filled with Islamophobic vitriol.
Video of Battered Wife in Car Trunk Sparks Outrage | Sixth Tone The 80-second video, posted online on Thursday, shows a man slapping a woman repeatedly while she sits in the trunk of a car at a gas station in Cangzhou, a city in northern China’s Hebei province. The woman puts up strong resistance, but in the end is overpowered by the man, who eventually manages to shut the trunk of what appears to be a Volkswagen sedan. The video shows at least two other people witnessing the fight. One female onlooker appears distraught by what she sees and implores the man not to hit the woman, but her calls go unanswered. None of those standing around physically intervene, and neither did the person taking the video of the violent scene.
World’s biggest Bible factory in China to finish its 150 millionth copy – People’s Daily Online The Nanjing-based Amity Printing Company is close to finishing the printing of 150 million copies of the Holy Bible by June, Qiu Zhonghui, the company’s chairman, was quoted as saying by Christian Times, a Beijing-based news website on Christianity. According to the company website, Bible orders have been roughly on the rise since 2003 up until 2015, the total number of printed Bible copies topped 13.8 million. By this April, the company has printed more than 3 million Bibles.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China’s Tainted Soil Initiative Lacks Pay Plan-Caixin The government’s first comprehensive plan for remediating polluted farm and factory soil still needs funding
Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters
And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.