This weekend’s links:
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
President Xi stresses efforts to revolutionize energy sector – Xinhua While presiding over a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, Xi, head of the group, acknowledged that China faces challenges to cope with rising energy demand, supply restraints, huge environmental costs and backward technology. To ensure national energy security, the country needs to take steps to rein in irrational energy consumption and build a diversified supply system that is based on secure supply from multiple channels, clean and efficient use of coal, and the development of non-coal energy, Xi noted….// the Friday CCTV Evening News report does not identify all the members but shows everyone sitting around the round table 习近平：积极推动能源生产和消费革命 This is the first time he is officially identified as chair of the group…the last two premiers–Wen Jiabao and Zhu Rongji–chaired the group but Jiang Zemin was chairman when he was General Secretary..Li Keqiang and Zhang Gaoli are vice chairman…not a surprise Xi chairs the group, been known if not publicized for a while..I do not assume this is a sign of daylight between Xi and Li; rather that Xi is taking everything on is shoulders, which carries huge risk for Xi if reforms fail but may actually be a positive sign for progress on economic reform..to use a facile Americanism, Xi looks to be the “decider”, Li the implementer (in the economic realm)
Related: 梳理中央财经领导小组成员 习近平李克强任正副组长-时政频道-新华网
“北京治理择校，前所未有的重大突破。”_21世纪网 21st Century Herald interviews an education policy expert on school reforms…the primary school allocation for Beijing was completed over the weekend, big changes to the existing system, much harder for kids to go to schools in different districts, should even out educational opportunities as well as remove a significant amount of corruption in the school enrollment process. In a blow to entrenched special interests, the reforms did away with 共建, or the allocation of spots at top schools for children of powerful SOEs and government departments…of course implementation will not be perfect and there will not be total eradication of corruption, but this looks to be a significant improvement…the reforms have spiked home prices in the catchment areas of the top schools, and left some parents who thought they had found a way into a top school scrambling… // 北京市在4月18日正式发布了“京版”的《
Related: 北京小升初电脑派位首公开 京籍非京籍待遇同等_网易新闻中心
Related: 北京个别小区楼房划片被遗漏 适龄儿童无法入学_网易新闻中心 but a couple of neighborhoods were forgotten in the new Beijing school districting, a few dozen kids did not get places and now have to be accommodated // 对此朝阳区教委回应称，
央视“大管家”郭振玺折戟_杂志频道_财新网 new issue of Caixin has a long story on the downfall of Guo Zhenxi, head of the CCTV Finance Channel who was recently detained. There are rumors going around Beijing and overseas Chinese media that at least 100 CCTV employees have been questioned, either by CCDI or the State Audit Bureau, and that the head of CCTV, Hu Zhanfan, is also in trouble…hard to know, though the general reaction to the rumors seems to be “just 100”?..Guo oversaw the 3.15 Consumer Day expose show for several years…lots of opportunity for payoffs from companies desperate to stay off the show…the article also discusses the four day CCTV Finance Channel attack on Baidu in 2011…says there was a directive on high about cleaning up the Internet but also that Guo had asked Baidu to delete search links to a certain company and was refused, so he wanted revenge… // 郭承认央视的资源垄断，又自喜于垄断产生的价值，
UglyGorilla Hack of U.S. Utility Exposes Cyberwar Threat – Bloomberg UglyGorilla’s surveillance sortie was one of dozens conducted on natural gas pipelines and electric utilities by People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398 over at least 14 months in 2012 and 2013, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News and people involved in the investigations but who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Unit members appeared to be performing the digital equivalent of mapping the dams or airfields or fuel routes of a potential enemy, what’s known in military jargon as preparation of the battlefield. While that kind of spying has been standard practice for centuries, technology is scrambling traditional rules of war, blurring the distinction between intelligence-gathering and aggression.
Arrested Chinese Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Speaks from Prison | ChinaFile Earlier this week, on June 9, Pu’s defense lawyer, the 86-year-old Zhang Sizhi (who has also defended prominent dissidents) visited Pu in detention. What follows is a translation of Zhang’s notes from that meeting, which were circulated online in China this week.
Related: Formal Arrest of Chinese Rights Lawyer Announced – NYTimes.com In an announcement Friday night on its microblog account, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said Mr. Pu [Zhiqiang] would face charges of creating a public disturbance, most likely the result of his participation in the seminar. Although the May 3 meeting was held at a private home, a photograph of the attendees was posted online at time when the government was deeply unnerved by the possibility that activists would try to publicly commemorate the 25th anniversary of the crackdown.
China and Japan Face Off Over Documentation of Wartime Atrocities – NYTimes.com While Japan has protested the submission of documents related to the Nanjing massacre and forced prostitution, it has considered other aspects of its wartime record for Unesco recognition. This spring the southern Japanese city of Minamikyushu in Kagoshima Prefecture proposed submitting the last letters of kamikaze pilots who embarked on suicide missions to destroy Allied navy ships. And the city of Maizuru in Kyoto Prefecture proposed including documentation related to Japanese prisoners of war held by the Soviet Union. Japan’s National Commission for Unesco rejected the kamikaze letters, but will include the P.O.W. documents along with records from the Toji Temple in Kyoto in its next submission
Related: Spotlight: Japan’s accusation against China only excuse for military build-up–Xinhua-So all is forgiven with Chanos, if China ever cared about what he said? Now no reason for him not to visit… // As a Chinese proverb goes: “On-lookers see most of the game.” James Chanos, a prominent U.S. hedge fund manager, called Abe the most dangerous figure in Asia at a conference in Las Vegas last month, saying the Japanese prime minister was an “ultranationalist” due to his plan to rearm his country. In an editorial, The New York Times also described Abe’s historical revisionism and nationalism as a “dangerous” complex, setting off alarm bells for the United States. Chanos’ judgement on Abe is a warning not only for investors, but also for international observers who pay close attention to the security situation in the Asia-Pacific.
China’s Retiring Migrant Workers Find They Have No Place to Call Home – Caixin A generation of Chinese people from rural areas who moved to the big cities to find work is reaching retirement age, but many are finding they have been left outside the country’s urban pension system despite extensive reforms in recent years.
Behind media articles lies a hidden agenda | China Daily It is rare for a world-renowned newspaper like the New York Times to repeatedly lambaste Hong Kong’s political development. It is even more amazing that the INYT has printed approximately 130 news items relating to “Hong Kong democracy” in less than six months. Common sense and logic tell us the NYT, as one of the world’s most prominent newspapers, should have more pressing issues then poking its nose into the affairs of a tiny place like Hong Kong. Does Hong Kong really carry so much weight in geopolitics that it requires intensive global media coverage? Or do the NYT and its Western peers have a hidden agenda? Our clear-minded readers have their own answers.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
Caixin-Regulator Mulls New Approach to Banks’ Loan-to-Deposit Ratio – The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) will change the rules for figuring the loan-to-deposit ratio so banks can have more money to lend to businesses, an official with the regulator says. The requirement that the ratio not exceed 75 percent – meaning banks cannot lend more than 75 percent of their deposits out – would remain the same, but the way ratio is calculated would be adjusted, Wang Zhaoxing, deputy chairman of the CBRC, said June 6. The regulator would consider broadening the scope of deposits to include “relatively stable” funds that are not now used to calculate the ratio, he said.
Chinese Cities Quietly Loosening Shackles on Housing – China Real Time Report – WSJ “The local governments are given more flexibility to adjust the curbs, but they prefer to wait and see,” says Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Securities. “When there is a move from central planning to autonomy, the local governments are not sure how soon they should show their hand.” Nationally, local authorities have generally avoided completely revoking property curbs. Instead, they’ve been making gradual adjustments—for example, by allowing more homebuyers to buy homes in other districts.
Boeing Wins Biggest Ever Order From Chinese Airline – Bloomberg Boeing Co. (BA) won its biggest order from a Chinese carrier as China Eastern Airlines Corp. (670) agreed to buy 80 737 jets valued at $7.4 billion.//this a positive sign for US-China relations, or is Boeing no longer a bellweather?
Has China got an external-debt problem? Not likely – – WSJ China’s foreign-exchange regulator puts the country’s total outstanding foreign debt at $863.2 billion, about 9% of the country’s gross domestic product, much lower than Thailand, Mexico or South Africa. That makes a debt blowout less of a possibility if the yuan currency continues to weaken. China’s $3.95 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves are currently more than four times external debt, according to Citigroup. T
Chinese Payments Association Wants Banks to Identify, Eliminate Bitcoin Activity This latest article reports claims of a statement from the Payments and Clearing Association of China (PCAC), a national non-profit organization operating under the business guidance and oversight from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
POLITICS AND LAW *
CPPCC vice-chairman Su Rong probed for ‘disciplinary violations’: state media | South China Morning Post Su is one of 23 vice chairs of the CPPCC, a debating chamber that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure. He took the post during a power handover in March last year which saw President Xi Jinping and many other new government leaders take office.
Who Lectures China’s Leaders?-Foreign Policy The report estimates that lecturers usually take three months to prepare for a typical session. But some controversial ones, like a presentation made some time in 2010 called “how to correctly handle contradictions among the people in the modern age” — party code-speak for mass protests in recent years — apparently took lecturers about three years to prepare.
China frees artist held for Tiananmen anniversary – Yahoo News Singapore Soldier-turned-
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Hillary Clinton writes of China’s aloof and evasive leaders｜Politics｜News｜
How Obama, Clinton crashed a ‘secret’ meet between China, India | Firstpost When they arrived outside the meeting room, there was a jumble of arguing aides and nervous security agents, she says. Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, got tangled up with a Chinese guard, she adds. In the commotion the President slipped through the door and yelled, ‘Mr. Premier!’ really loudly, which got everyone’s attention. “The Chinese guards put their arms up against the door again, but I ducked under and made it through,” Clinton writes recounting the incident.
China army recruitment eyes high-quality young – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Ministry of National Defense has told recruitment authorities to take in more college students and relax age restrictions for “high-quality” applicants, following a meeting held on Thursday. For people with bachelor degrees or higher, the age limit has been lifted from 23 to 24. The army will only recruit female soldiers with high school or higher education backgrounds this year. In municipalities and provincial capitals, applicants without high school diplomas will not be accepted.
FACT SHEET: The United States and Australia: An Alliance for the Future | The White House Regarding maritime disputes, the United States and Australia share an abiding interest in peaceful resolution of disputes; respect for international law and unimpeded lawful commerce; and preserving freedom of navigation and overflight. Both countries oppose the use of intimidation, coercion, or force to advance maritime claims in the East and South China Seas. The United States and Australia have both called on claimants to clarify and pursue claims in accordance with international law, including the Law of the Sea Convention, and expressed support for the rights of claimants to seek peaceful resolution of disputes through legal mechanisms, including arbitration, under the Convention. Both countries continue to call for ASEAN and China to reach early agreement on a meaningful Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
Chinese ‘Breaking Bad’ fans tried to smuggle U.S. military sensors | KOB.com Two Chinese nationals face federal charges for trying to buy military sensors from an Albuquerque company and take them to China, according to a search warrant obtained exclusively by the investigative team at KOB Eyewitness News 4. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations worked undercover to catch Wentong and Bo Cai in mid-December. The agency’s investigation lasted for weeks after the company contacted them.
China says will never send military to oil rig spat with Vietnam | Reuters Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit. A senior U.S. official in Washington dismissed the Chinese statement as “patently ridiculous” and said Beijing had been using air force and navy as well as coastguard assets “to intimidate others.”
Philippines protests over Chinese reef “reclamation” – Channel NewsAsia The Philippines said on Saturday it had filed a protest with Beijing for reclaiming land on a disputed South China Sea reef, the fourth such complaint in three months.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
China’s top Taiwan official to make first visit to island | Reuters Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, will become the first head of the body ever to visit the self-ruled island, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday. He will spend four days in Taiwan, Xinhua said, and apart from visiting capital Taipei will also go to three other places, including Kaohsiung in the heavily pro-independence south of the island. China says it will not countenance an independent Taiwan.
Neutralizing Contention: A New Policy for Taiping Island and the South China Sea | The Diplomat Rising tensions in the South China Sea between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and other claimants, and the militarization of those disputes, are making Taiwan’s continued sovereignty claim over the nine-dash line untenable. More than ever, as Beijing intensifies its propaganda campaign to encourage the perception that Taiwan and China are cooperating in the defense of “shared” territory and interests in the region, Taipei must present policies that clearly distinguish its aims and means from those adopted by Beijing.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Instagram grows in China, despite ban on parent Facebook – CNET Since Facebook took Instagram under its wing in 2012, Facebook HQ has been quiet about Instagram’s milestones in the Chinese market. The last time we heard “Instagram” and “China” spoken in the same sentence by an insider was as far back as November 2011, when Instagram founder Kevin Systrom divulged at TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing that his app was picking up 100,000 users in China per week. It’s impossible to exactly identify how Instagram is faring among China’s 700 million smartphone and tablet users, but we can put Instagram’s growth into perspective with the aid of market researcher App Annie. Instagram ranked 312th in Apple’s App Store in China on the day of Systrom’s Disrupt appearance in late 2011 and has since climbed to a 66th overall rank.
Caixin-Closer Look: Alibaba Charges into Mobile Internet by Taking Over Browser Company – What are UCWeb’s major businesses? Its leading business is mobile browsers. UCWeb started developing the UC Browser in 2004. It says the browser now has more than 500 million users. iResearch Consulting Group says 65.9 percent of domestic mobile browsers used it. Despite this, the UC Browser is facing a crisis. Mobile browsers by Tencent Holdings and Baidu Inc. could reshape the market. Also, many people have turned to integrated services on WeChat, Baidu Map and Alipay, and the number of UC Browser users is falling. Users prefer to use direct functions on apps. They download apps with services that connect to life and work, and use them frequently. UC Browser is usually preinstalled on mobile phones by manufacturers. Some people may not even use it. The only reason it is not uninstalled is that this is hard. This means it is difficult to establish its value.
Messaging-App Maker Line Plans China Expansion – WSJ “China is a very strategic and interesting market as it will have hundreds of millions of new smartphone users in the coming two years,” Line’s head of business development Hyunbin Kang told The Wall Street Journal. “China is our target market.” Speaking on the sidelines of the Mobile Asia Expo, Mr. Kang declined to disclose the number of Chinese employees the company plans to hire, but said a local team will focus on communications with users and developing localized services.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Suning’s Barca deal continues Chinese trend | China Sports Insider Suning will set up football camps around China, with the winners able to go to Barcelona and meet some first-team players. It’s also far more likely now that we’ll see Barca travel to China for a preseason friendly – perhaps summer 2015 – which would be a dramatic turnaround after the club cancelled a game in Shanghai last year. David Beckham has said China can qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and while China Sports Insider would bet the house against that happening, deals like this are all steps in the right direction.
郑州举办高中生毕业舞会_网易新闻 Prom, Zhengzhou-style…nice slideshow of kids in the Henan Provincial capital who just finished high school
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Businessman Guilty of Killing and Eating Tigers – NYTimes.com Prosecutors in the city of Qinzhou said the defendant, identified only as Mr. Xu, “has a quirky appetite for eating tiger penis and drinking tiger blood,” Xinhua said. From March to May last year, Mr. Xu, a real estate developer, and several accomplices made three trips to neighboring Guangdong Province, where he bought three live tigers and had them slaughtered, according to the report. The tigers were all smuggled from outside China, Xinhua said, without specifying the source. Another 14 defendants, including a smuggler, were tried with Mr. Xu and they confessed to having killed “more than 10 tigers over the past few years.”
Beijing emitters ignore carbon scheme, question government authority: media | Reuters State-owned enterprises (SOEs) routinely ignore environmental regulations issued by local governments, one of the main reasons why China is struggling to cut soaring pollution levels despite issuing a raft of environmental policies in the last couple of years. A new law mandates all companies to follow environmental regulations regardless of the authority level, but that does not enter into force until next year and it remains to be seen how successful it will be. “They (SOEs) are not just businesses, many have administrative status higher than local governments. It is quite difficult to manage and has not been completely resolved yet,” Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told Reuters.
京津冀一体化方案已初步形成 交通环保将先行_网易新闻中心 Legal Evening News says the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin draft integration plan should be submitted by the end of June // 法制晚报讯 今天，记者从参与京津冀一体化发展规划整体方案的专家处获悉，
煤老板抛售北京99套房 投资8年市值翻5倍_网易新闻中心 Coal boss selling 99 apartments in a Beijing complex (he bought a whole building), up 5x on paper in 8 years // 据了解，“和平里八号”
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