The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.14.13

Will Edward Snowden turn out to be one of the biggest American gifts to the PRC in recent memory?

I have added a special section on all the news about him, along with a few highlights in the commentary below.

The South China Morning Post has more from its interview with him, including claims by Snowden that classified US data shows Hong Kong hacking targets:

The detailed records – which cannot be independently verified – show specific dates and the IP addresses of computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland hacked by the National Security Agency over a four-year period.

They also include information indicating whether an attack on a computer was ongoing or had been completed, along with an amount of additional operational information.

The small sample data suggests secret and illegal NSA attacks on Hong Kong computers had a success rate of more than 75 per cent, according to the documents. The information only pertains to attacks on civilian computers with no reference to Chinese military operations, Snowden said.

Congress is now on the case and Snowden’s ties to China will be probed:

Without presenting any evidence, the top two lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee raised questions about whether Mr. Snowden, 29, has defected to Hong Kong and has any ties to China. “Clearly, we’re going to make sure that there’s a thorough scrub of what his China connections are,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.)….

“He’s obviously now decided that he wants to relay information about collection for foreign type collections which goes beyond his original, at least stated, intention,” Mr. Rogers said. “There is a long list of questions we have to get answered about does he have a relationship with a foreign government and is there more to this story?”

In an interview with Bloomberg Lee Kai-Fu made an important comment:

The incident “seriously discredits” the U.S. over previous claims about human rights, privacy and due process, Lee Kai-Fu, the former head of Google Inc.’s China division, said in a phone interview. Lee, who has 43.9 million Weibo followers, wrote a microblog post on June 11 saying he admires Snowden’s “principles and values.”

“Most discussion on Weibo is ‘Wow, you are are not really different from the others,’” Lee, now chairman and chief executive officer of Innovation Works, said of the U.S. in the interview. “It’s potentially a massive confidence crisis.”

It is unlikely Snowden’s leaks are revelations to Beijing. But they are now public and appear to be of significant propaganda and diplomatic value. It may also dampen any good feeling that Presidents Obama and Xi generated at the Sunnylands Summit.

Beijing is letting the story run. Here are some examples of how the Snowden story is playing in Chinese media and on the Chinese Internet:

CCTV Evening News Thursday had a segment–美国“监控风波”持续发酵–on Snowden and his claims of US hacking in China and Hong Kong, as well as a description of the Foreign Policy story Inside the NSA’s Ultra-Secret China Hacking Group (who leaked that?).

Xinhua has a special page on  his revelations and how he exposed the truth about the “Hacker Empire”– “叛国者”曝美”黑客帝国”真相_寰球立方体_国际频道_新华网.

Snowden “斯诺登 ” is the top topic on Sina Weibo–斯诺登 | 微话题-一起聊聊吧!–this morning.

Sina has a special page on him–美国情报部门监视公众隐私事件曝光_新闻中心_新浪网.

QQ News has a special page on Snowden–美国情报部门监控公众隐私被曝光_腾讯新闻_腾讯网

Is there any risk to Beijing that the extensive coverage of Snowden will inspire a Great Firewall technician to offer revelations about how that works?

James Bamford, a long-time chronicler of the National Security Agency, has a long story about the NSA in the latest issue of Wired Magazine. Beijing will also find NSA Snooping Was Only the Beginning. Meet the Spy Chief Leading Us Into Cyberwar very interesting:

In its tightly controlled public relations, the NSA has focused attention on the threat of cyberattack against the US—the vulnerability of critical infrastructure like power plants and water systems, the susceptibility of the military’s command and control structure, the dependence of the economy on the Internet’s smooth functioning. Defense against these threats was the paramount mission trumpeted by NSA brass at congressional hearings and hashed over at security conferences. But there is a flip side to this equation that is rarely mentioned: The military has for years been developing offensive capabilities, giving it the power not just to defend the US but to assail its foes. Using so-called cyber-kinetic attacks, Alexander and his forces now have the capability to physically destroy an adversary’s equipment and infrastructure, and potentially even to kill.

Is it possible to have an Internet Cold War, or is this one already warm?

If you would to continue the discussion, please visit the Sinocism group on LinkedIn.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China Govt Paper Hints At Rate, Reserve Cut On Debt, Outflows | MNI The China Securities Journal said in its front page editorial Friday that heavy corporate debt loads and the threat of large capital outflows could create the conditions for the kind of policy steps that the market has all but ruled out for now. “A rate cut can help ease company debt burdens. A reserve cut can help to maintain a relatively ease monetary environment,” the newspaper said. “There is room to cut interest rates and the reserve ratio in the second half.” // 中国证券报:降息与否取决于经济减速容忍度

红旗文稿:“中国梦”高于“宪政梦”_网易新闻中心 Red Flag: “Chinese Dream” is greater than than the “Constitution Dream”. Netease running it with that headline. Headline in the journal is “中国梦”与民主政治道路的选择” // 核心提示:《红旗文稿》近日再刊文批判“宪政”理论。文章称,“中国梦”显然不是“宪政”一词可以概括的,不是“宪政梦”可以指代的,“中国梦”高于“宪政梦”。“中国梦”或中华文明的未来图景也绝不是福山的“文明终结论”所能够解释的。

Suga denies Xi called Senkakus ‘core interest’ | The Japan Times Tokyo denied Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping termed the Senkaku islets “a core interest” of China in his informal summit with U.S. President Barack Obama last week in California, as Japanese media reported. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga brushed aside the reports during a Wednesday news conference, indicating Tokyo was briefed otherwise by U.S. officials about the Xi-Obama meeting.

Related: 警惕制造“新冷战”图谋–观点–人民网 part 2 of Zhong Sheng in People’s Daily about Japan (part 1 was Thursday), warning to be on guard against Japanese ultra-rightists conspiring to create a new cold war //在世界经济增长乏力、国际合作错综复杂背景下,国际社会尤需对日本极右势力制造“新冷战”图谋保持高度警惕,防止种种不识相之举毒化国际关系氛围。亚洲国家面临难得的历史性发展机遇,更应识破日本极右势力的不良用心,自觉抵制其分裂亚洲的所谓“价值观外交”,共同维护地区合作共赢、共同发展的良好态势。

Related: Commentary: Abe’s plot to contain China is doomed to fail – Xinhua | English.news.cn Although some exceptional Southeast Asian countries collaborate with Japan due to their territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea, the majority of the countries in the region agree to solve the problems by negotiation, and no country has given public support to Japan over the Diaoyu Islands. What’s more important is that China is no longer the weak and poverty-stricken country in the first Sino-Japanese War in 1894, nor the disunited nation in the September 18th incident in 1931. With its national power greatly promoted, China can by no means be contained by Japan.

地价猛涨 房企融资创十年新高 新华社——经济参考网 land prices soaring, fundraising for real estate firms at 10 year high. is the government funneling money to local governments via cheap loans to real estate firms that then give the money to cash-strapped local governments via high prices for land? Local governments still need to sell land to raise revenue, especially when so many have large amounts of debt coming due // 5月的土地市场在住宅成交回暖的背景下异常火热,众房企抢拍、溢价率飙升、地王频出的现象连番出现。因此,顺势而上的6月土地市场也频现高价地。《经济参考报》记者获悉,在土地市场热情高涨背景下,房企融资额也达到近10年新高。业内人士表示,在关注地价高企的同时,还应注意到地价高企引起房企集中融资所带来的风险;同时,也应注意到在目前经济形势不乐观背景下,地方政府仍寄希望于以“卖地”来缓解财政压力,促使土地出让价格大幅增加。

Related: Local Governments Face Severe Debt Pressure – Economic Observer 2013 and 2014 will be the peak repayment periods for these debts. A research report released by BOC International says that under the worst case scenario, the proportion of loans from government-controlled platforms that go bad could reach 30 percent. This would mean that China’s overall bad loan ratio would increase to 3.9 percent from the current 1.16 percent. That in turn would mean listed banks’ net profits would drop 55 percent compared to 2010.

Related: Beijing’s Blocked Doorways – Caixin Stopgap measures to keep property prices in Beijing at levels equivalent to a year ago are being averted by highly resilient demand…Meanwhile, housing inventory for new homes has hit a historical low. By the end of May 28, there were a total of 63,000 homes available for sale, the lowest since January 2010, according to statistics by Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. “There’s no doubt that housing prices in Beijing will not go down this year,” said Chen Xiaotian, chief analyst at a Shanghai-based industry think tank.

World Bank Cuts Global Outlook as China Slows; Asian Stocks Fall – Bloomberg China’s growth outlook was cut to 7.7 percent from 8.4 percent, according to the World Bank’s report. The 6.1 percent forecast for India was reduced to 5.7 percent and Brazil’s was lowered to 2.9 percent from 3.4 percent. While China’s slowdown was expected, “it is the timing, that it happened a bit quickly that caught people by surprise,” Basu said. “Given that China used to grow at 10 percent and it was pulling so much of the world along with that, that is indeed a concern,” especially in regions that benefited from Chinese investment such as sub-Saharan Africa, he said.

Related: Morgan Stanley to UBS Cut China Growth Forecasts After May Data – Bloomberg Morgan Stanley lowered its estimate for an increase in 2013 gross domestic product to 7.6 percent from 8.2 percent, economists led by Hong Kong-based Helen Qiao wrote in a note today. UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc this week pared their forecasts to 7.5 percent while Barclays now sees 7.4 percent, which would be the slowest pace since 1990. //would like to get on these distribution lists

Related: Goldman Strategist’s 6% Call for China Growth – China Real Time Report – WSJ “China has basically said goodbye to 8% GDP growth in spirit if not in statistics and will have to embrace slower growth, with the average annual growth rate in the next seven years to 2020 perhaps falling to the vicinity of 6%,” wrote Goldman Sachs GS -0.89% China strategist Jiming Ha in a June 10 research report.

James Palmer – Traditional Chinese medicine–Aeon Magazine–I am a big believer in acupuncture, try to avoid TCM herbal compounds//  The combination of traditional medicine and hospital setting, of pseudoscience and life-saving treatment, might seem strange. But in modern China, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is not the realm of private enthusiasts, spiritual advisers or folk healers. It’s been institutionalised, incorporated into the state medical system, given full backing in universities, and is administered by the state. In 2012, TCM institutes and firms received an extra $1 billion in government money, outside the regular budget. TCM as a whole is a $60 billion dollar industry in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Related: 暴利催生中药黑色产业链 新华社——经济参考网 huge profits in traditional Chinese medicine products leading to all sorts of sketchiness and couterfeiting // 近年来,中药材市场价格不断上涨,与之而来的是中药材造假现象也日趋增多。《经济参考报》记者近日调研并实地暗访了解到,暴利催生中药黑色产业链,制假售假不仅从过去的名贵药材向普通药材扩散,而且造假手段翻新增多,甚至用淬取后的药渣“鱼目混珠”,非专业人员难以辨别。

Urbanization and the Chinese Dream – Caixin A gradual approach to reforming the hukou system – say, over 15 years – would be a driver for the economy and help build a fair society–By Chen Jinyong…Exactly how much financial burden is on the government for promoting the urbanization of migrant workers? In recent years, there have been several estimates using detailed, comprehensive and publicly available statistical data. The results show that the cost of “urbanizing” each person is approximately 20,000 yuan in a small city and 100,000 yuan in a large city. In 2010, the State Council Research Office conducted detailed survey and analysis in four medium-sized and large cities. The results showed that the urbanization of a typical migrant worker, including their children, requires total public spending of about 80,000 yuan.

A tale of two systems: Eric X. Li at TEDGlobal 2013 | TED Blog Apparently he got a standing ovation. Or does everyone at TED get a standing ovation, to make sure every feels good and TED-dy? // What he found punches holes in our assumptions about China’s limitations. People think that the one-party system must be operationally rigid, politically closed, morally illegitimate. In fact, he argues, the opposite is true: what defines China’s one-party system are adaptability, meritocracy and legitimacy.

 

SNOWDEN’S REVELATIONS

Asset or liability? Beijing’s decision on whistle-blower could seal Snowden’s fate | South China Morning Post Beijing would prefer to extract as much information from Snowden as it could, as early as possible, and then leave the matter to be settled through Hong Kong’s judicial system, He said. Peking University international relations professor Jia Qingguo said Beijing would prefer that Snowden stay in Hong Kong for the time being, so that it could verify his intelligence and determine whether it posed a threat to China’s national security.

Edward Snowden’s Chinese Fans : The New Yorker A popular Chinese comment making the rounds on Thursday said, “If Edward Snowden was Chinese and worked for the Chinese National Security Agency, Obama probably would already have had him to dinner at the White House and nominated him for the next Nobel Peace Prize.” A contingent of Chinese Internet users was arguing for the need, as one put it, to “extract information from the ‘hero’ Snowden before sending him off to Russia” or to “grant political asylum to Snowden” as a “demonstration of state power.”

In first response to Snowden, China skirts direct comment | Reuters “China will not take a clear-cut stand now,” said a source with ties to China’s leadership, noting that the presidents of the two nations held a successful summit less than a week ago. “China will not become involved at this stage and will wait for things to develop,” the source told Reuters, requesting anonymity to avoid political repercussions for speaking to a foreign reporter. “China is likely to refrain from using harsh words against the United States now. Americans and the rest of the world are already criticizing the United States.”

Who’d You Rather Be Watched By: China or the U.S.? | ChinaFile Tai Ming Cheung–The Chinese and U.S. approaches to surveillance and how each of their security apparatuses go about organizing and carrying out such activities are fundamentally different in nature. It might be useful to label them into two distinct models: the U.S. approach can be described as the democratic security state model and the Chinese version is the authoritarian surveillance state model….I do think, though, that the wide gap between the U.S. democratic and Chinese authoritarian approaches to domestic surveillance has narrowed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

China deserves explanation of PRISM – OP-ED – Globaltimes.cn Snowden is a political offender against the US, but what he is doing benefits the world. His actions test, rather than disturb, the bilateral ties. Public opinion will turn against China’s central government and the Hong Kong SAR government if they choose to send him back. Snowden’s exposure has upgraded our understanding of cyberspace, especially cyber attacks from the US, which is probably a much sharper weapon than its traditional military force. This weapon has demonstrated the US’ hypocrisy and arrogance. Besides Snowden’s disclosure, it is still unknown what else the US, a country which once condemned China for cyber attacks, has done to China. The US is accumulating all the advanced powers of the Internet to forge a state-level “fist” in order to launch cyber attacks on other countries. The unparalleled power of this “fist” is beyond our imagination, which should be an alarm bell for us to catch up with the development of the Internet. Our focus should be fixed on grasping the core technology of the Internet industry in the future.

Can N.S.A. Surveillance Be Likened to Chinese Spying? – NYTimes.com A U.S. intelligence employee, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the two situations — China’s stealing of trade and military secrets and N.S.A. surveillance to track possible terrorist attacks-are not comparable, calling them “apples and oranges.” // wait, this implies that the NSA/US does not steal military secretas but only tracks terrorists? Really?

‘What a hypocrite’: Chinese bloggers lash out at US after Snowden revelations | South China Morning Post Revelations by whistle-blower Edward Snowden that Washington has been hacking mainland China and Hong Kong for years triggered scathing criticism from Sina Weibo users on Thursday, many of whom up until now have held the US government as a role model for protecting human rights and freedom of speech.

NSA case means open season on foreign news use – China Media ProjectT he Snowden case has climbed the news charts rapidly in China over the past 72 hours. On Monday, June 10, there was just one story logged for the keyword “Snowden” (斯诺登) in mainland Chinese newspapers and newswires (WiseNews Database). That story, from China News Service — the country’s number two official newswire after Xinhua — ran under the headline, “American Intelligence Surveillance Case Whistleblower is Hiding in Hong Kong, Fears Capture.” Today, June 13, there are 64 stories in China called up by the keyword “Snowden.”

 

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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China to scrap iron ore import licensing system to open up trade-source | Reuters It could also mark the end of years of efforts by China, alarmed by its growing dependence on imports and the dominant role played by the likes of Rio Tinto and Vale , to wrest pricing power away from the big miners by strictly regulating trade.

China to Let Private Investors into Subway Construction This Year: Media-Caijing Railway construction is likely to become the first monopolistic area open to China’s private investors, as part of a broader largesse for private investment. Several subway lines will be among the first batch of traditionally state-controlled businesses to attract private investors this year, aastocks.com said, citing a senior official with the National Development and Reform Commission, the county’s top economic planner.

The CIC Hot Potato – Economic Observer A person close to CIC told the EO that “It’s become an open secret among executives working in China’s financial industry.” Not long ago, decision makers decided to appoint Tu Guangshao as the next Chairman of CIC, but it seems that Tu turned down the position. Those in charge of filling the position began to look for alternative candidates among current employees of the Central Bank, China Development Bank and ICBC, but it seems nobody was really keen to take up the position.

Tragedy at Dehui Factory – Caixin A history of workplace accidents, no safety training and few firefighting resources – how the Dehui fire became one of the deadliest workplace disasters in recent Chinese history

Star analyst sacked after Hong Kong IPO is pulled | South China Morning Post A top-rated analyst has been axed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch from its Hong Kong health care and pharmaceuticals research team after a US$150 million share deal the bank was working on stalled. Tong Shaojing told the South China Morning Post he was fired from his job within days of a proposed Hong Kong listing of shares in the mainland-based Triplex Biosciences being put on hold.

VIE结构风险再现 安博被临时托管_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 VIE risk back due to Ambow mess? // 中国公司海外上市的VIE(Variable Interest Entity)结构,其存在的天然风险越来越接近于现实。此前,支付宝VIE事件和新东方遭浑水做空等几件中概股的大事都曾经让VIE结构的风险问题遭遇争议。

人民日报:不能指望房产税成降房价利器 – 新华时政 – 新华网 作为一项与普通百姓生活密切相关的税收制度,房产税改革的一举一动始终引发社会的高度关注。那么,我国当前的房产税改革将会怎样进行?房产税将带来房地产市场怎样的变化?又将如何影响普通人的生活?本报记者进行了调查。

人民日报-中国不会落入城镇化陷阱(国际论坛)- 迈克尔·斯宾塞 Michael Spence on page 3 of today’s People’s Daily on why China will not fall into an urbanization trap

人民日报-发展决不能以牺牲人的生命为代价 本报评论员一些人总以为,安全生产事故有偶然性,不可避免。这实际上是推脱责任。现代安全生产理念认为,安全生产是通过合理的制度安排,使人和物在生产过程中处于安全状态,本质的安全生产完全可以实现。历次安全生产事故的原因调查也显示,基本上都是责任事故。当前抓安全生产,必须狠抓落实,敢于碰硬。不论是安全生产的主体单位,还是安全生产的监管部门,只要发现问题,该整改的迅速整改,该停工的立刻停工,该停用的坚决停用,不姑息任何借口,不放过任何隐患,更不能因为某个项目贡献了多少GDP、某个企业上缴了多少税收而有半点手软。 安全无小事,人命大于天。发展决不能以牺牲人的生命为代价——让我们牢牢守住这条红线,努力实现科学发展、安全发展。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

A Biographical and Factional Analysis of the Post-2012 Politburo | Hoover Institution Cheng Li–This essay assesses the new Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party—the 25 highest-ranking leaders in the party, government, and military in present-day China—using biographical data regarding age, gender, birthplace, educational and occupational credentials, bureaucratic portfolio and career patterns, and political affiliations and factional backgrounds. Norms of elite selection may be inferred from such data, which allows a broad-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of the changes in the top leadership. Findings include the ascendancy of leaders with experience as provincial party secretaries, the swift decline of technocrats, and the appearance of a new form of the factional balance of power. The essay concludes with a preview of the leading contenders for the next Politburo and its supreme Standing Committee.

Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng to Leave NYU After Year – BloombergChen’s departure isn’t a result of pressure from the Chinese government, as reported in a New York Post article yesterday, Beckman said. NYU received permission from the Chinese government to open a campus in Shanghai, and its first class begins in September. “The plain fact is that these are unrelated matters,” Beckman said in the statement. “In countless hours of conversations involving the establishment of our Shanghai campus, this matter has never come up.”

Tibetan self-immolations having little effect, Dalai Lama says | Reuters has he ever said that Tibetans should stop self-immolating? would that end it, or is his influence weakened? // Tibetans setting themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule are having little effect on Beijing’s policies, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Thursday, while urging China to look harder at the reasons behind the incidents.

中央八项规定满半载两千余名官员受处理_网易新闻中心 去年12月4日,中央政治局召开会议,审议通过关于改进工作作风、密切联系群众的“八项规定”。“八项规定”出台后,立即在全国刮起一阵新风。而今,新风吹拂全国已满半年,各地落实新规的情况如何?

People’s Daily calls for enhancing legal system – Xinhua | English.news.cn Strengthening the construction of the legal system should be a primary task in promoting reforms for the current economic system, according to a bylined article published by the newspaper. The article described the task as a serious problem related to development and reform as a whole. In order to push forward the new round of reforms, national affairs should be covered by the legal system, while social affairs should also be institutionalized, according to the article.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Abe, Obama agree on importance of ongoing talks over Senkakus – The Japan News Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in telephone talks Thursday that it is important for Japan and China to continue dialogue over the Senkaku Islands, which are at the center of tensions between Tokyo and Beijing. During the talks which lasted for about 30 minutes, Abe told Obama that doors are always open on the Japanese side for dialogue with China, officials said.

White House ex-official blasts spins on history | The Japan Times Jeffrey Bader, former senior adviser for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, also warned Wednesday that the United States could become more “vocal” if Japan reviews past statements in which it formally apologized for its wartime aggression in other parts of Asia. “The handling of historical issues in the last couple of months by Japanese leaders has not been adroit, to put it mildly,” Bader, who assumed the post during President Barack Obama’s first term, told a Washington symposium.

Sentiment Builds in China to Press Claim for Okinawa – NYTimes.com But almost all the voices in China pressing the Okinawa issue are affiliated in some way with the government. Many of them, including General Luo, are known for spouting nationalistic views that can go beyond the official line — and for being called on to do so when it serves a wider propaganda goal. In this case, the goal may be to strengthen China’s claim on the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, more than 250 miles west of Okinawa.

China in Africa: The New Imperialists? : The New Yorker It happened in Zambia like it could happen elsewhere in Africa. Chinese investors made deals with the government to mine its natural resources, filling federal coffers with billions of dollars. Chinese immigrants moved into cities and rural towns. They started construction companies; opened copper, coal, and gem mines; and built hotels and restaurants, all providing new jobs. They set up schools and hospitals. But then instances of corruption, labor abuse, and criminal coverups began to set the relationship between the Chinese and the Africans aflame.

Rebel Republican: Huntsman on a Harley in China: Video – Bloomberg June 10 (Bloomberg) — Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Hunstman examines U.S.-China relations as he makes a return visit on a motorcycle tour through the nation, riding with Bloomberg’s Stephen Engle. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.”

Untelevised space docking signals focus on Mars and asteroids | South China Morning Post A China Central Television staff member said that they had been told by the authorities to cut back on their coverage of the mission because the increasing number of Chinese space flights would see docking and other procedures become routine and repeated media bombardment would quickly bore the public. “We have been told that CNN and the BBC have not had live broadcasts of routine docking at the International Space Station, and that as the state broadcaster in China shouldn’t make too much of a fuss about docking from now on,” the CCTV staff member said. “The scaling down of media coverage also signals the maturity of the Chinese space programme.”

Super secret base fuels China’s space ambitions – CNN.com Our four-hour drive from Jiuquan in China’s west had taken us past picture postcard fields and fish ponds framed by looming snow-capped peaks, through an oasis of green and finally across the arid Gobi desert.

Inside the Ring: Summit shortcomings – Washington Times Gertz. Really? Or someone wants to make Obama look week and appeasing of the PRC?. “Gen. Peng”? // Last weekend’s summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping fell short on three key outcomes, according to U.S. officials familiar with organizational efforts behind the meeting. The White House and State Department originally hoped to produce a joint statement or communique, but the Chinese said no. Additionally, White House officials wanted a joint press conference for both leaders to showcase progress toward what is being billed as a new model of relations between the two powerful countries. Also, officials wanted Mr. Obama to host a farewell luncheon for Mr. Xi on Saturday at the luxurious Sunnylands estate near Rancho Mirage, Calif.

BBC News – US jails Chinese man guilty of $100m software scam A US judge has sentenced a Chinese national, Xiang Li, to 12 years in prison for selling more than $100m (£62m) of pirated US software. Mr Li is accused of stealing software from 200 US manufacturers and selling it for a fraction of their prices.

How the Indian army lost secret op plans against China | StratPost Really? Never can tell with Indian commentary, seems to tend towards the conspiratorial // A blow by blow account of the loss of secret operational documents sent by IV Corps headquarters to 21 Mountain Division, the strange delay in the conduct of the ensuing inquiry, and the promotions and honors that followed.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Xi meets with KMT honorary chairman, calling nat’l rejuvenation a “common goal” – Xinhua | English.news.cn Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Thursday called on the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to “heal the historical trauma” and set the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as their common goal. While meeting with visiting Honorary Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party Wu Poh-Hsiung, Xi offered four proposals on furthering relations across the Taiwan Strait.

人民日报-中共中央总书记习近平会见中国国民党荣誉主席吴伯雄 Xi’s meeting with Wu Boxiong gets top People’s Daily billing // 习近平就坚定不移走两岸关系和平发展道路提出4点意见: 第一,坚持从中华民族整体利益的高度把握两岸关系大局 第二,坚持 认清历史发展趋势中把握两岸关系前途 第三,坚持增进互信、良性互动、求同存异、务实进取 第四,坚持稳步推进两岸关系全面发展

Realpolitik and Spinning the U.S.-China Summit – NYTimes.com In an interview last year, I asked a former high-ranking administration official if the United States would defend Taiwan in the face of a Chinese attack. “That’s what it’s useful for them to believe,” he told me, adding that it was “profoundly important” that the United States manage the relationship to not allow it to reach that point. His answer holds true for the Senkaku as well.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

WeChat Looks to Take on Qihoo as New Security Feature Comes to V5.0 WeChat Bodyguard. Bodyguard, which was confirmed in an interview with Tencent vice-director Ding He on Wednesday, will protect WeChat and its mobile payment feature from hacking and malware. Needless to say, this is being interpreted by many as a first jab at mobile security incumbent Qihoo 360, which currently dominates China’s web and mobile security markets.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch: irretrievable breakdown | Michael Wolff | guardian.co.uk Who gets the Beijing courtyard house, and will she be spending more time in Beijing? Great trade for Wendi Deng, still young, now free. Murdoch ends up with two kids and maybe a house in Beijing from his China adventures, after all those years of deals and investing here. Sounds like my experience, absent the billions and the divorce // Rumors about their relationship dogged them. When the LA Times threatened to go public with a supposed story of infidelity, News Corp had lawyers debrief both husband and wife and convinced the paper to kill its story. Robert Peston, the BBC’s financial correspondent, who is said to be a close friend of Will Lewis, a key Murdoch lieutenant, tweeted that the real facts of the break-up are “jaw-dropping”

Summer Palace – YouTube Wufei plays one of the Guzheng works she composed: Summer Palace

Getting China’s Tower of Babel on Record – China Real Time Report – WSJ Now two Americans have taken on a daunting task: trying to get an audio record of all of the thousands of China’s languages and dialects before they disappear. Linguists Steve Hansen and Kellen Parker are enlisting volunteers to canvass the country to capture both the languages and the stories of all of China’s 2,862 counties and 34 provincial areas. Phonemica, founded last year, now has about 200 Chinese and Chinese-speaking foreign volunteers lined up to record their friends, parents and grandparents, telling a story in fangyan (regional speech).

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

浙江钱塘江沿线出现多个癌症村|癌症村|水污染_新浪新闻 Xinmin Weekly cover story on cancer villages and water pollution

Taylor & Francis Online :: The Health of Immigrants to New York City From Mainland China: Evidence From the New York Health Examination and Nutrition Survey – Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies – Volume 10, Issue 1However, they also have higher blood levels of lead, cadmium, and mercury than either reference group. This article provides the first study of the health needs of New York’s largest and most rapidly growing immigrant group. // this getting play on the Chinese Internet

Major precedent set against polluters |Society |chinadaily.com.cn 90k RMB will dissuade Sinopec…not. Though I guess even a small win against such an SOE is progress?// Environmental authorities in a city in eastern China have hit petrochemical giant Sinopec with a penalty reported to be 90,000 yuan ($14,670) for causing air pollution. The rare move sets a good example in regional governments’ battle against large State-owned polluters, experts said. The Environment Protection Bureau of Anqing, Anhui province, made the decision after a branch of Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, was found late last month to have discharged excessive amounts of polluting materials in the city of 6.2 million people….Experts said the penalty – even if the small figure is accurate – hit the headlines because it marks a victory for local law enforcers in their battle with mammoth State-owned companies, which can have administrative rankings even higher than those of regional governments.

4,000 plant types face grave danger, experts say|Society|chinadaily.com.cn More than 4,000 types of plants in China face the gravest danger, and 1,000 could become endangered species, a forestry official said on Thursday. Zhao Shucong , director of the State Forestry Administration, made the remarks at the launch ceremony of the Chinese Union of Botanical Gardens, highlighting the importance of using botanical gardens to protect plant diversity. The State Forestry Administration, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly established the union to integrate plant protection plans.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Seafood businesses flounder amid spending cut[1]|chinadaily.com.cn Piles of high-end seafood — including lobsters, crabs and abalone — sat quietly in the small tanks of various vendors, during a visit to one of the largest aquatics markets in northern Beijing this week. Store owners at the market, a major wholesaler for restaurants in the area, said they were disappointed by the sluggish levels of business for expensive aquatic products in recent months, the result of the ongoing decline in luxury catering across the nation…A kilogram of abalone now costs around 80 yuan ($12), against 140 yuan a year ago, and a lobster can be bought for less than 100 yuan, according to Li Jianchao, a restaurant owner in Beijing.

Mollusk-Eating Chinese Fuel Junk-Loan Trawl at Clearwater – Bloomberg  “There is an opportunity to expand consumption of clams in China and that will provide a good solid platform of growth for this third vessel,” Cotie said. “We believe we can grow the market.” Shares of Clearwater, which also harvests lobster, scallops and shrimp, have climbed 72 percent in the past year. “All of Clearwater’s species are certified sustainable and you can sell on that, for sure,” said Michael Mills, an analyst at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who rates Clearwater a buy. “We’re not talking farmed tilapia.”

Pabst Commemorative US Army WWII Beer Shows Up in China A beer can memorializing the US Army’s victory in World War II is not unthinkable. A beer can memorializing the US Army’s victory in World War II targeted solely at the Chinese market is a little less likely. Yet, there it is. “World War Two Edition in memory of US Army” reads the English on the side of a green Pabst Blue Ribbon can now on sale at select groceries in China. Under a stoic photo of a helmet-clad soldier’s face, the exclamation “Yes we can!”

British woman killed in Siberia during China to France vintage car rally | World news | guardian.co.uk Emma Wilkinson, 46, was killed in a head-on collision between her 1970 Chevrolet C10 and a Volkswagen Polo, according to local police. Wilkinson, who had two children, was taking part in the Peking (Beijing) to Paris Motor Challenge, described as the longest and toughest challenge anyone can drive in a vintage or classic car.

 

BEIJING

北京夏家胡同地块下周三复出 起始价高出5000万_中国经济网??国家经济门户 业内人士普遍认为,夏家胡同地块很有可能成为年内北京单价地王。中原地产市场研究部总监张大伟分析认为,预计该地块依然将会超过价格上限,竞争保障房。相比之前的台湖、大兴等区域地块,该地块可以说是年内北京位置最好的住宅地块。按照北京一直以来的惯例,本地块可能在20.4亿元以上开始竞争保障房配套建设面积。也就是说,最后的土地出让金可能在20亿元左右,楼面价在3万元上下。

Beijing set to rein dangerous dogs |Hot Issues |chinadaily.com.cn A rule published by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau on June 2 said dogs 35 cm in height or taller, or that are one of 41 breeds identified as violent such as bulldogs and collies, will be banned in designated areas, including central districts and some rural regions across the capital. District governments and local police have the right to decide where dogs can and cannot be raised, and the city rule is not as simple as saying that huge and dangerous dogs are banned within the Fifth Ring Road.

No Man in the Hole: Beijing Installs 1,000 Safety Nets | the Beijinger Blog | Weibo | Jun 13, 2013 | thebeijinger.com Beijing plans to install 1,000 safety nets and protective devices to prevent cyclists, pedestrians, and the otherwise oblivious from falling into open manhole covers, a report on Weibo indicated. This was once an even bigger problem in Beijing, as manhole covers were often stolen for their value as scrap metal – one estimate suggested that 240,000 of them went missing in 2004.

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