The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.14.15

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. Officials: Second hack exposed military and intel data-AP This tells the Chinese the identities of almost everybody who has got a United States security clearance,” said Joel Brenner, a former top U.S. counterintelligence official. “That makes it very hard for any of those people to function as an intelligence officer. The database also tells the Chinese an enormous amount of information about almost everyone with a security clearance. That’s a gold mine. It helps you approach and recruit spies.”..Nearly all of the millions of security clearance holders, including some CIA, National Security Agency and military special operations personnel, are potentially exposed in the security clearance breach, the officials said…The newer estimate puts the number of compromised records between 9 million and 14 million going back to the 1980s, said one congressional official and one former U.S. official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity  //sounds devastating…how do you say jackpot in Chinese?

Related: White House Weighs Sanctions After Second Breach of a Computer System – NYTimes At the White House, officials said that Mr. Obama was weighing the use of an executive order he signed in April that allows the Treasury secretary to impose sanctions on individuals or groups that engage in malicious cyberattacks, or people who benefit from them. “This newly available option is one that is on the table,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. // If the White House calls this a cyber attack and not cyber espionage doesn’t that undermine its arguments that the US engages in “legitimate” cyber espionage? If China is behind this, how is this not “legitimate” cyber espionage according to way the US has defined it?

2. Zhou Yongkang, Ex-Security Chief in China, Gets Life Sentence for Graft – NYTimes “This is the point of decision, when he decides whether Zhou Yongkang is the last or the first great tiger,” Roderick MacFarquhar, a professor at Harvard University who focuses on Chinese elite politics, said of Mr. Xi. “I think it’s too early to tell.” // This looks to be a clear win for Xi Jinping. There was no need to execute Zhou Yongkang as he is already politically dead, his network has known for a while resistance is futile and killing him would likely be politically difficult when capital is needed for other battles. Remember though that Xi had to have had consensus to launch the takedown of Zhou and his network; Li Chuncheng was detained three weeks after Xi became General Secretary and it is highly unlikely Xi had enough power so early his tenure to go after such a senior Zhou crony on his own. It may also be worth noting the relative speed of the Zhou takedown, less than 11 months from announcement of investigation to sentencing, far shorter than the processes for Politburo members Chen Xitong, Chen Liangyu and Bo Xilai. Has the corruption crackdown climaxed? I would not bet on it, though there are not many people left at Zhou’s rank or above

Related: Zhou Yongkang sentenced to life in prison, no limits for anti-corruption – Xinhua The People’s Daily, the CPC newspaper, applauded Zhou’s trial and conviction in its editorial [ 任何人都没有超越宪法法律的特权 ]. “There are no privileged members in front of CPC discipline. There is no privileged citizen in front of the law,” the editorial read. “No matter how much power one holds or how high one’s position, one will surely be severely punished for violating Party discipline and state laws.”…”The handling of my case in accordance with Party rules and the law reflects the authorities’ determination to govern the Party strictly and advance the rule of law,” Zhou added. // In his script Zhou mentioned two of the four comprehensives.. the Xinhua release in Chinese-周永康一审被判处无期徒刑

Related: China Security Head’s Secret Trial Shows Limits of Xi’s Push – Bloomberg More awkward moments could’ve unfolded if Zhou’s trial was public, said Zhang, the Beijing-based historian. Xi couldn’t afford having Zhou drag in more senior officials, further undermining the party after an anti-corruption campaign that has struck the upper echelons of power. “Here’s a strong indication that Xi’s big-tiger hunting campaign is drawing to a close,” Zhang said.  // Maybe I am missing something but I do not understand the guesses that holding a secret trial means that the tiger hunt is winding down…there are other reasons for making it secret, need much more evidence I think before concluding that this has climaxed. I continue to believe the opposite.

3. Top China General Tells U.S. Sea Dispute Shouldn’t Hinder Ties – Bloomberg General Fan Changlong — second only to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Central Military Commission — said during a visit to the Pentagon on Thursday that the territorial spat represented “just one episode in Sino-U.S. relations,” according to a statement posted on the Ministry of National Defense website. The meeting between the defense chiefs helps pave the way for Xi’s planned state visit in September.

Related: Commentary: Row over South China Sea only an episode, not a flashpoint, in U.S.-China relations – Xinhua At a time when the futures and fortunes of China and the United States are more closely intertwined than they have ever been, it is imperative for them to always look for the bigger picture, and prevent such solvable tensions evolving into dangerous tinderbox. As Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, has said, the two nations “should take the higher ground to look into the far future by paying more attention to other, more important regional and international issues.”

Related: China to work with U.S. to ensure success of President Xi’s state visit: general – Xinhua In a meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice at the White House on Friday, Fan Chonglong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, said both China and the United States attach great importance to Xi’s visit, which he called the most important event in the development of the China-U.S. ties this year. The general, who is satisfied with the generally steady development of the bilateral ties, pledged that China will make joint efforts with the U.S. to create “a positive atmosphere” so as to ensure Xi’s visit a great success. He commended the progress made in varied areas of the China-U.S. military ties, while proposing the two sides actively seek to build up a new type of military relationship based on “mutual trust, cooperation, non-conflict and sustainability” through increasing exchanges, conducting pragmatic cooperation and managing risks as well as crises.

Related: Defense.gov: Carter, Chinese Official Discuss Military Relationship Carter is pleased that Fan and Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, will witness the signing the U.S.-China Army-to-Army Dialogue Mechanism framework document tomorrow, the statement said. This framework will open a new channel for leaders in the two armies to raise and discuss issues of mutual concern, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response practices, they added. The two sides have agreed to renew efforts to account for missing U.S. military personnel in China, the statement said, noting that a 2008 agreement to search for information relating to U.S. military personnel missing in action before, during and after the Korean War will now be expanded to include personnel from the World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.// and the US has scored an invite to China’s September 3 parade to commemorate the end of the war, wonder who it will send

Related: America’s contribution, sacrifice in China’s anti-fascism war remembered – Xinhua Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong (R, center) meets with 91-year-old Flying Tiger’s veteran J.V. Vinyard, grand-daughter of General Chennault Nell Calloway, the son and daughter of Captain Paul C. Domke John B. Domke and Paula D. Sterling, in Washington D.C., the United States, June 12, 2015. China always remembers the contribution and sacrifice made to it by the United States and the American people during the World War II, said Fan Changlong here Friday

4. In a fundamental shift, China and the US are now engaged in all-out competition | South China Morning Post-David Shambaugh OpEd Strangely Shambaugh makes no mention of what happens to the relationship when, as he recently predicted, the Party collapses. // This has given impetus to an unprecedented outpouring of commentary and reports by Washington think tanks in recent months. I have lived and worked there a long time, and cannot recall such a tsunami of publications on US-China relations – and they are all, with one exception (Kevin Rudd’s Asia Society report), negative in nature, calling for a re-evaluation of US policy towards China, as well as a hardening of policy towards China across the board. A qualitative shift in American thinking about China is occurring. In essence, the “engagement” strategy pursued since Nixon across eight administrations, that was premised on three pillars, is unravelling …This disillusion with China in America probably says much more about America than it does about China…Thus, these two great nations are likely to find it increasingly difficult to coexist – yet they must. However fraught, this is a marriage in which divorce is not an option. Divorce means war. // And expect the DC commentariat echo chamber to get much louder and more negative between now and the 2016 Presidential election…perhaps Xi and his advisers are picking up on what does seem to be a real shift back in DC, perhaps that partially explains some of the nice noises from the Fan trip…I do not agree with the conclusion that “divorce means war”. For all the bluster I still believe Beijing does not believe that a conflict with the US has any benefits for the Party, the country or the individuals running it.

Related: Can China Be Contained? – WSJAndrew Browne in a similar vein. This is clearly now a serious issue in the relationship//  The mood shift in Washington may end up being every bit as consequential as the one that came over the U.S. immediately after World War II, when it dawned on America that the Soviet Union wasn’t going to continue to be an ally. That is when the legendary U.S. diplomat and policy thinker George F. Kennan formulated his plan for containment…trying to contain China would be immensely costly: Neither country can succeed economically without the other. Kennan’s containment strategy worked against the Soviet Union because it was economically weak, with almost no commercial ties to America. But today’s China is an economic powerhouse, and its double-digit military budgets are supported by a deep and diversified industrial base.

5. Chinese Hackers Circumvent Popular Web Privacy Tools – NYTimes As long as visitors to those websites were also logged into one of 15 Chinese Internet portals — including those run by Baidu, Alibaba and RenRen — the hackers were able to steal names, addresses, sex, birth dates, email addresses, phone numbers and even the so-called Internet cookies that track other websites viewed by a user. To get around the Tor and VPN technology, the attackers relied on a server software vulnerability that China’s top companies apparently didn’t patch, Mr. Blasco said.// how embarrassing for the firms whose services were used in this effort. Either they have really bad security practices or they were complicit? Given that several of them are getting more active in the US, amidst the deterioration in US-China relations, should we be surprised if US regulators start paying more attention to their US efforts?

6. China’s Hot Stock Market Beckons Chinese Firms Home – WSJ the delisting/relisting should take a least a year for these firms, they better hope the Chinese market stays hot, though for the most part the Chinese tech firms listed in the US are of far better quality than the crappy ones on Chinext…Good for the investors and funders; they made a mint listing in the US and now they have a shot at making another mint by selling the same thing twice, this time to Chinese punters  //  “The primary motivation is the valuation gap between the U.S. market and the A-share market,” said Bao Fan, founder of China Renaissance, China’s top boutique-investment bank focused on technology companies. “Historically, Chinese capital markets weren’t sophisticated enough to evaluate and invest in these companies,” he said. “That’s changed.”

Related: Renren Receives “Going Private” Proposal From CEO, COO – NASDAQ an absolute steal for the buyers if they get this price, Renren has a growing portfolio of fintech venture investments that could dwarf its current valuation ex cash. I bought the stock about a month ago because I thought the investment portfolio was under appreciated, hope some activist investors take a look and force them to pay a better price though that is probably unlikely  //  Renren Inc. ( RENN ) said Wednesday that its Board of Directors has received a non-binding proposal letter, dated June 10, from Joseph Chen, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the company, and James Jian Liu, a member of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of the company, proposing a “going-private” deal to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares of the company not already owned by Chen or Liu for US$4.20 in cash per American depositary share

Related: China’s Bona Film in Go Private Deal Offer From Founder, Investors – Hollywood Reporter – The Hollywood Reporter also own shares in this one, happy at this price  //  The buyer group offers a “going-private” transaction, which would end the company’s stock market listing and see the group buy all the stock it doesn’t already own for $13.70 in cash per American depositary share, or approximately $27.40 per ordinary share. That would amount to $830 million-$860 million.

7. Q. and A.: Zhang Weiwei on Why China Will Succeed Under the Communist Party – NYTimes Mr. Zhang, 57, who as a teenager spent three years in a Shanghai factory carving jade and in his 20s served as an English interpreter for Deng Xiaoping, is now a professor of politics at Fudan University in Shanghai, where he directs the Center for China Development Model Research, and a leading theorist of the “China model” of political and economic development. This holds that China under the Communist Party is on the right path and is destined to succeed. His most recent book, “The China Horizon: Glory and Dream of a Civilizational State,” which is due out in English this year, continues that theme. Western critics need to get over their gloomy predictions about China, Mr. Zhang says, which have been wrong for decades. China is not going to collapse; polls show that most people are happier than ever; and the country’s economy is certain one day to overtake that of the United States

8. Why I Publish in China | ChinaFile – Peter Hessler Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a problem with the coverage of the issue of Chinese censorship of foreign books. Last year, when I was interviewed for a feature in the South China Morning Post, the story felt imbalanced—it took more than a thousand words to reach a comment by a writer who noted any benefits to making more material available in China, even if it suffers some censorship. My colleague and friend Michael Meyer, who has written two books on China, including one, The Last Days of Old Beijing, that has been published on the mainland, has complained that journalists seem to avoid mentioning that foreign China specialists who work closely with their publishers are often able to include material in their books that otherwise isn’t available in China. “The focus in these articles is always on monetary, not intellectual, exchange, and on what has been cut, not what has been preserved,” he told me recently. His book is highly critical of the redevelopment of Beijing, and yet less than one page, total, was removed from the mainland edition. “More surprising than the three passages that were sliced was all the material that remained intact,” he says. // Is there some score-settling going on behind the scenes?

 

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

肖钢:改革牛成立 市场不差钱 rumored bullish remarks by CSRC chairman Xiao Gang at a speech at the Central Party School making the rounds of social media, have punters excited. If true certainly looks to be a re-confirmation of the constructive stance the government continues to take towards the stock market  //  微博、微信朋友圈等自媒体渠道昨天转载率最高的一条财经新闻是,证监会主席肖钢当天在中央党校的讲座摘要,关于股市,肖钢主席提出:1.改革牛理论成立。2.市场不差钱。3.实体经济越差股市越涨的判断没道理,牛市建立在政府有能力保7%的预期基础上。而且,有人推论:月底要密切关注二季度数据。

Uber nears 1m trips every day in China – FT awesome success by Uber, drivers love it right now because it is paying them huge subsidies, though this kind public discussion of success by a foreign firm is probably bad for the company’s prospects in China//  The figures and investment plans were disclosed in an email, obtained by the FT, which was sent to Uber’s investors by chief executive Travis Kalanick this week. The email highlights the scale and growth of Uber’s business in its 11 cities in China despite the strength of local rival Didi Kuaidi, which is backed by Chinese internet leaders Alibaba and Tencent. However, it also shows the massive costs involved in expanding to new cities and subsidising rides to attract customers. Mr Kalanick said in the email Uber plans to launch in 50 of the more than 80 cities with more than 5m residents over the next year, after first arriving in China in February 2014.

Uber orders China drivers to avoid confrontations – FT this recent Hangzhou incident very dangerous for Uber  //  There has been a recent upsurge of cases in which taxi drivers or plainclothes police pose as passengers seeking rides from Uber or other ride-hailing services, and then detain the driver and his vehicle. Some drivers caught in such stings have responded by appealing to other private car operators to rush to their aid. “Please don’t wreck the good urban environment you have all worked so hard to help build,” Uber warned its drivers in Hangzhou. “If you are at the scene, leave immediately.” The company added that it would cancel the contracts of drivers whose GPS coordinates showed that they had not left the area.

Chengdu’s Commercial Property Market Falls on Hard Times-Caixin Developers and property owners call for government help as oversupply becomes a problem and rents fall

Online Property Insurance Firm Zhong An Raises Nearly 6 Bln Yuan-Caixin Ant Financial Services Group, which is affiliated with New York-listed Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., will continue to be the single largest shareholder of Zhong An, although its holdings will be reduced to 16 percent from 19.9 percent, documents show. Tencent Holdings Ltd., an online gaming and social networking service developer, will hold 12 percent of the insurer, down from 15 percent. Another major investor in Zhong An, Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., will also hold 12 percent of the insurer after the investment, down from 15 percent.

Ant Financial Gets Approval to Open Equity Crowdfunding Company-Caixin Alibaba’s financial arm can open company selling shares in startups to small investors, but is still waiting for regulator to publish rules on industry

South China Sea island-maker seeks foreign flotation – FT would love suggestions from financially savvy readers on how to build a portfolio around China’s growing military industrial complex and the spooking of China’s neighbors  //  Global investors with an appetite for geopolitical intrigue will have the chance to put their money into Beijing’s land-reclamation projects in the South China Sea, as the dredging company doing much of the work prepares to go public. China Communications Construction Company, a large state-owned infrastructure group, announced in March that it was integrating its three dredging assets into a new company, CCCC Dredging, which it would eventually list overseas. That entity was set up in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone on Wednesday.

China central bank admits defeat in war on deflation – FT China’s consumer price inflation fell to an annual rate of 1.2 per cent in May, down from 1.5 per cent in and well below the government’s official target of “around 3 per cent” for 2015. Wholesale prices have already been in deflationary territory for more than three years. This week researchers at the People’s Bank of China — led by Ma Jun, the former Deutsche Bank economist who now heads the central bank’s research bureau — cut its full-year CPI forecast to 1.4 per cent, down from the 2.2 per cent projection published in December.

Reviving oversight concerns, China port says iron ore stocks missing | Reuters Tianjin Port No. 5 Stevedoring Co., a unit of the listed port operator, Tianjin Port Holdings Co. Ltd, said in a memo sent to clients and dated May 29, 2015, that an unnamed logistics agent had acted with a trading firm, also not named, to release cargoes without authority or paying port fees. “This matter was caused completely by the illegal operations of the agent and a related downstream trader and the port company did not itself sign…or participate in any unauthorised cargo release,” Tianjin Port No. 5 said in the memo, seen by Reuters. “Hence, the port company was not involved in any transgression. Furthermore, to protect its legal rights, the port company has already initiated legal proceedings,” it said.

How Tony Blair built a business empire in China – Telegraph don’t expect Beijing respects him much, even if they find him useful  //  Tony Blair has been courting influential Chinese leaders – and then introducing them to the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund he works for

Investing in Chinese Stocks—投资大中华地区股市: Margin Assisted Suicide; Changsha Man Jumps After Losing Everything Mr. Hou, a 32-year old man from Changsha, levered up to 4 times his capital and put it all in a single stock. Shares were limit down for two days straight and his 1,700,000 yuan in capital was wiped out. After several days of fighting with his wife and dealing with the psychological pain, he leapt from his 22nd floor apartment. Besides his wife, he left behind a 6-year old child.

改革攻坚,必须发展与完善国有经济 People’s University professor Wei Xinghua in Red Flag Manuscript on the importance of developing and perfecting the state-owned economy  //  今年以来,一位学者发表了很多文章,其某些理论观点确有可取之处,但是,其有关深化改革的理论观点,尤其是关于国有企业改革的言论,却须与新自由主义划清界限。

 

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW

赵晋“房产帝国”调查|保护伞名单:何家成、王敏、武长顺打虎记澎湃新闻-The Paper those looking for a next possible tiger might find the coverage of Zhao Jin case interesting. First Caixin did a multi-part series on his corruption and ties to the Communist Youth League, and activities in Jiangsu, Tianjin, Beijing, Hebei among other places. Now Thepaper is out with much more. Zhao’s father Zhao Shaolin, also detained, was once a senior Jiangsu provincial official who worked under, as Caixin noted by names, Li Yuanchao and Hui Liangyu…this kind of aggressive coverage in not one but two very well-connected media outlets is very interesting… // 过去一年,长长的反腐名单上,赵晋并不显眼。    他40岁出头,身材微胖,身份是房地产公司老板。  他有一个曾担任江苏省委常委、秘书长的父亲,但已退休8年。   他也有许多政界朋友,官商勾结还是政商合作,有时只是一种说辞的把握。   但随着中国反腐风暴劲刮,清点其财富,勾勒赵晋的朋友圈,又会看到一份长长的、令人咋舌的名单。  名单上,有他的父亲赵少麟,国家行政学院原常务副院长何家成,山东省委原常委、济南市委原书记王敏,江苏省委原常委、南京市委原书记杨卫泽,天津市政协原副主席、天津市公安局原局长武长顺以及包括沈东海、崔志勇、杜娜丽在内的天津城建系统一众官员。  还有很多我们暂时未能看到的名字。   你会发现,这场反腐风暴中,赵晋是典型,但又绝非个例。他的发迹有偶然性,他的坠落也有必然。   2015年6月,赵晋案远未结束。

Two top China graft suspects sick, may not be tried: sources – Yahoo News UK Reuters again with the nebulous “sources with ties to the leadership”…take with a large grain of salt, Reuters reporting on elite Chinese politics seems no more reliable than HK Chinese media reporting…some times they are right, you have to read it, but need other sources before believing  //  Two sources with ties to the leadership said separately that Ling Jihua, 59, who was a top aide to Xi’s immediate predecessor Hu Jintao, had apparently suffered a nervous breakdown, while Guo Boxiong, a former senior general, was very sick with cancer. Both cases present dilemmas for Beijing – Ling’s position is particularly sensitive because of his close connection with former President Hu, while the sources said there were concerns in the secrecy-obsessed leadership that if Guo died while under investigation it could ignite rumours he had been murdered.

Six large SOEs criticized for discipline violation – Xinhua no detentions announced yet, but clearly they are coming  //  Six centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOE) have been publicly criticized for violating the anti-graft regulations, China’s chief graft-buster said on Friday. These SOEs include China Huaneng Group, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, COSCO Group, Baosteel Group and Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation. The Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) started in March the first round of disciplinary inspection for 2015 which covered 26 centrally-administered SOEs.

Chinese students in LA kidnap, torture fellow study-abroad student: Shanghaiist they should spend many years in US prisons…in China of course they could get out of this with payments and wrist-slaps…no wonder daddy thought he could pay someone to make it go away…whoops  //  A group of Chinese study-abroad students in Los Angeles, California are standing trial for the alleged abduction and torture of a fellow Chinese student, according to media reports. The victim, surnamed Liu, claims that a group of students stripped her naked, forced her to eat sand, shaved her head and burned her. It is revealed that the dispute arose from jealousy between the victim and the defendants. Among the six arrested defendants, three are are minors. It is reported that four other accomplices involved in the case are still at large…More controversy ensued when the father of one of the defendants tried to pay off a witness, hoping to ‘settle’ the fiasco. He was later arrested for bribery of a witness.

网络平台公然叫卖大麻 卖家:比香烟危害小 无需担心新闻央视网 not quite “Reefer Madness” but CCTV takes a 10 minute look at marijuana smuggling from the US via mail and the dangers of using the drug…never a good idea to use the drug in China, now a really bad idea

统战部:引导中国“富二代”致富思源–时政–人民网 United Front Work department to go to work on “rich second generations”

原中央政治局常委乔石逝世新闻腾讯网 Qiao Shi dies at 91

山东官员10万买官 任上又贪400万–社会–人民网 interesting look at the case of a Shandong grassroots official who spent 100,000 RMB buying a deputy county chief post, turned that investment into 4 million RMB before being arrested

益阳公检法7官员落马指向旧命案:疑因市委书记干扰轻判5年一号专案澎湃新闻-The Paper Thepaper on another case of corruption and judicial injustice, this one in Hunan

You Have a Right to an Attorney. You Have No Chance at Going Free. | Foreign Policy But those intimately familiar with the Chinese legal system and its players say that playing the role of defense lawyer is far from a career killer. Clarke said that even though they are not defending clients in a traditional sense, lawyers still play a role. “If the lawyer is a clever bargainer, perhaps he can achieve something for the client that the client would not have been able to achieve for himself,” Clarke said. Cohen, who says he knows and admires Gu, explained that being selected to defend someone like Zhou doesn’t diminish the defender’s reputation and also can telegraph their clout. “People understand that the lawyer can do little and accepting the task is a type of legal duty as well as a political one,” Cohen said.

Xi commemorates CPC revolutionary veteran, stresses Party unity – Xinhua Xi made the remarks Friday at a symposium to mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of Chen Yun, one such revolutionary. “The bitter and glorious historical period of the 20th century saw the emergence of a huge number of outstanding CPC members. Comrade Chen Yun’s firm belief, strong Party principles, earnest, frugal style and hardworking spirit deserve to be remembered forever,” Xi said. At the meeting, Xi recalled Chen’s outstanding contributions to the revolution, and China’s subsequent construction and reform, hailing him a “great proletarian revolutionary, politician, an outstanding Marxist, the founder of China’s socialist economy and a tested, excellent Party and state leader.”

网络大V宣战五毛被指别有用心_中国-多维新闻网 近日,“荣剑2001”、“陈有西律师”等网络大V公开向五毛宣战,并纷纷在网络上晒出了五毛辱骂他人的言论。他们表示,“五毛是中国特有的怪物”、“毫无疑问,网络上谩骂之风是因为五毛这个群体的存在而愈演愈烈,网管部门对此坐视不管难咎其责”。

 

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China Opens Agency to Clean up Space Junk Circling Earth-Caixin China has established a national agency to boost efforts aimed at tackling the growing threat that space junk poses to its space programs. The new organization was formed by China’s space agency, known as the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a government research body. It is to research space debris, including non-functional spacecraft, abandoned parts of launch vehicles and other debris.

China’s latest hypersonic vehicle test seen as ‘nuclear deterrent’ amid US interference | South China Morning Post The defence ministry on Friday confirmed it had tested a supersonic nuclear delivery vehicle in a move the United States has called an “extreme manoeuvre” amid tensions in the South China Sea. Last Sunday’s launch of the hypersonic glide vehicle – which the US has dubbed the “Wu-14” – was the People Liberation Army’s fourth test of the weapon in 18 months.

China detains nine for spreading rumours about the military The nine “fabricated and spread the rumours” on the Internet, the People’s Liberation Army Daily said. They used Chinese microblogs and mobile messaging apps to “spread military-related rumours, slander military cadres and falsely accuse troops of being involved in ‘mass incidents’,” the newspaper added.

China exports repression beyond its borders – The Washington Post Editorial we are concerned about how China is attempting to punish the ethnic Uighur journalist Shohret Hoshur of Radio Free Asia by imprisoning his three brothers in China. Mr. Hoshur left China in 1994 after he ran into trouble with the authorities because of his reporting. He has since become a U.S. citizen, and his work has provided an important window on events in the largely Muslim province of Xinjiang, beset in the past few years with a violent conflict that China blames on Uighur separatists. Radio Free Asia is funded annually by the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Spotlight: China, South Korea pledge to lift strategic cooperative partnership to new high – Xinhua North Korea-educated Zhang…not stopping in Pyongyang it looks like  //  China and South Korea, on the occasion of top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang’s ongoing visit to South Korea, have pledged to lift the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries to a new high through concerted efforts by both sides. Zhang is currently on an official good-will visit to South Korea from Thursday to Saturday, which marks his first visit to the country since he took office in 2013.

Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar Meets With Xi Jinping in Beijing – NYTimes Mr. Xi and Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi met at the Great Hall of the People, according to Xinhua, the state-run Chinese news agency, which provided few details of the meeting. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was invited to Beijing by the ruling Communist Party, is also expected to meet with Premier Li Keqiang during her five-day visit, U Nyan Win, a spokesman for her party, the National League for Democracy, said before her arrival in Beijing on Wednesday.

How America Should Wage ‘Lawfare’ in the South China Sea | The National Interest The law of sovereignty governs the question of territorial ownership—who owns which islands and reefs. It decides which claimant is entitled to reign over each of the physical features that dot the South China Sea. In contrast, the law of the sea (also known as maritime law) governs the question of maritime entitlements—in other words, which claimant (if any) can lawfully exert jurisdiction over the waters and seabed that are adjacent to any given piece of territory. Although both bodies of law touch on territorial questions, the laws can operate independently from each other. With some limited exceptions, a court could decide on the breadth of an island’s maritime zones without knowing who owns it, and vice versa. The United States has failed to make the most of the difference between the two sets of laws.

菲律宾播放南海纪录片煽动反华情绪 遭中方驳斥新闻腾讯网 China not happy with a new Philippines documentary on the South China Sea

全军财务工作大清查历时近半 官方公布进展及问题-新华网 针对存在的矛盾和问题,全军财务工作大清查领导小组日前发出通知,从坚持全面覆盖、突出清查重点,准确理解政策、实事求是整改,细化规章制度、健全长效机制等方面提出措施要求,确保全军财务工作大清查深入推进、见底见效。通知强调,各级党委是抓好本单位财务工作大清查的责任主体,要真正摆上党委议事日程,严格自查自纠责任,对清查情况、发现问题、纠治措施等实行逐级审核签字,由本单位大清查领导小组办公室建档备案,切实对清查整治内容的真实性、完整性、准确性负责。

House Democrats rebuff Obama on trade, delivering major defeat – The Washington Post a win for China for sure  //  Friday’s setback dimmed hopes at the White House that Obama will be able to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sweeping free-trade and regulatory pact that he has called central to his economic agenda at home and his foreign-policy strategy in Asia. Obama’s loss came after a months-long lobbying blitz in which the president invested significant personal credibility and political capital.

 

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Thousands March in Hong Kong Against China-Backed Election Plan – Bloomberg Business The protesters rallied at the city’s Victoria Park at 3 p.m. Sunday before starting a march that drew increasing numbers as it made its way toward the government headquarters. Organizers of the demonstration, who want to remove proposed restrictions on election nominees, have called on people to congregate outside the Legislative Council building this week to pressure lawmakers. Popular opposition to a bill that will be presented to the legislature Wednesday, which calls for 2017 election candidates to be picked by a nominating committee, has jumped to 43.4 percent of those surveyed by a coalition of universities. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying needs four pro-democracy lawmakers to vote for the bill and provide a two-thirds majority for passage

Hong Kong Soccer Fans Boo Chinese National Anthem – NYTimes Hong Kong won its first World Cup qualifying match in nearly eight years on Thursday, thrashing Bhutan 7-0. But ahead of the match at Mong Kok Stadium in Hong Kong, the sounds of jeers filled the air. The boos of the Hong Kong fans were triggered by the playing of the Chinese national anthem, “March of the Volunteers.”

Mainland to lift entry-permit requirements for Taiwan residents – Xinhua The Chinese mainland will remove entry permit requirements for Taiwan residents, as top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng vowed to boost exchanges across the Taiwan Strait on Sunday. Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, announced the plan during a speech at the seventh Straits Forum, the largest annual event for cross-Strait exchanges, in Xiamen in the southeastern province of Fujian. Currently, Taiwan residents must apply for a visa-like entry permit in order to visit the mainland.

 

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA

【姜军访谈录】事关中国网络生态未来的10个问题 interesting interview with an official from the office of the cyberspace affairs leading group on the future “Internet ecology” in China

Xiaomi On Defensive As Momentum Slows | Young’s China Business Blog Xiaomi’s latest moves and remarks reflect attempts to rekindle its fading momentum, as its growth slows and it faces a rising challenge from LeTV and a resurgent Apple. // a different view than what you usually read about Xiaomi, which has been masterful at generating almost uniformly fawning media coverage…another thing they have learned from Apple perhaps?

Baidu fires researcher who told subordinates to break rules in image-recognition competition | VentureBeat | Big Data | by Jordan Novet Chinese search giant Baidu has fired Ren Wu, the lead author of the Deep Image paper documenting the company’s latest image-recognition technology, for breaking the rules in a recent competition, the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge. The news comes one week after the organizers of the competition announced that people affiliated with Baidu used at least 200 submissions when just two per week were permitted. Baidu issued an apology and vowed to conduct a review.

 

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Chinese Premier Urges Officials to Fight Events That Led 4 Children to Drink Pesticide – NYTimes The youths, three sisters and a brother between the ages of 5 and 13, were among the many “left-behind children” in China. Their father was a migrant worker who sought jobs elsewhere and had been away from home for long periods of time, while their mother had also been absent for some reason in recent years. The siblings lived in a house in Guizhou Province, one of the poorest areas in China; their village, Cizhu, is under the administration of the city of Bijie.

12-year-old suspected of fatally poisoning 2 girls in southern China | South China Morning Post A 12-year-old boy was identified as the prime suspect in the fatal poisoning of two sisters in rural southern China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. It was the second tragedy of the week to raise concerns over the well-being of rural Chinese children. The boy told police in Hunan province that the girls, aged 8 and 14, drank cola that he had laced with poison, Xinhua said. The girls died on Wednesday.

The Art of Dissent – Video – NYTimes Laura Poitras documents the dissidents Ai Weiwei and Jacob Appelbaum as they collaborate on an art project. // per the video it looks like they brought a cache of classified documents into the PRC and gave them to a PRC citizen…any legal jeopardy?

Record company denies ‘leaking national secrets’ – Global Times A record company on Tuesday has denied accusations that it has been leaking national secrets through its project of digitizing audio files during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). The project involves 54 original master copies of the speeches of some political figures during the Cultural Revolution, which had been made public at that time, according to a statement released by the China Record Corporation (CRC). Cui Yongyuan, a popular former China Central Television host, said on his Sina Weibo account on Monday that the CRC turned over the master copies, which he said “obviously involved national secrets,” to a Sino-Japanese joint venture company for digitization.

SIM CHI YIN: Thank you to Chinese news portal Tencent More importantly, we have raised 100,000 rmb (US$16,110) via Tencent Charity from within China in a day for dying gold miner He Quangui and his family, buying him some time and them some peace of mind. // Tencent Charity a very interesting service

Skepticism Rises As China Reduces Survivor Count From Sunken Ship – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s state broadcaster China Central Television reported in multiple posts on its verified microblog feed Saturday evening that DNA tests had confirmed the identity of all 442 people who died after the ship, the Eastern Star, capsized in stormy weather on June 1. It also reported that the number of people on the boat had been reduced to 454 from 456 — and the number of survivors to 12 from 14. The revelation that authorities had miscounted the number of survivors for two weeks met with incredulous reponses from many on the Weibo microblogging service.

 

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China promises better environmental protection – Xinhua The Chinese government will take “more forceful” measures in the next five years to protect the environment and promote green development, Environment Minister Chen Jining said on Tuesday. “The Chinese environment is reaching or has reached its limit due to years of sprawling development at the price of environment,” Chen said at a meeting on environment and development in the 13th five-year plan period. Environmental quality has become a bottleneck of progress toward a comprehensively well-off society by 2020, he said.

China Introduces Series of Logging Bans, Forestry Official Says-Caixin The prohibition will be extended to all state-owned forests next year, and logging on privately owned land will be stopped by the end of 2017, he said. The bans will cut timber output by 50 million cubic meters per year – the equivalent of 30 percent of logs, Zhang said. China has about 200 million hectares of old-growth forest. Some 127 million hectares of that are protected under a central government conservation program that started in 1998, but conservationists say the remainder is being depleted of trees by reckless logging. The bans are aimed at the forests that conservationists say are under threat.

Towers of Trash Pile Up at China’s Unregulated Landfills-Caixin Since early June, excavators and trucks have been buzzing around Changdian Village in northern Beijing, clearing away a landfill that sits 20 meters from a major river. Some 45,000 cubic meters of garbage accumulated over the years, reaching five meters into the ground and mixing with groundwater. The Changdian dump is one of the more than 1,000 unregulated landfills scattered around the capital. Environmental experts blame these sites for severe pollution of the soil, air and ground water because garbage is dumped without any treatment.

Pollution trial offers rare glimpse into a Chinese courtroom | Reuters Unless they have been accused of a crime, few foreigners ever see the inside of a courtroom in China. But on Friday a court in Hengdong, a rural town in central China, gave Reuters a rare insight into the Chinese justice system, allowing a reporter to observe the trial of a local factory accused of pollution that allegedly exposed 13 children living nearby to excessive levels of lead.

Uranium supplies: A hitch to China’s nuclear energy plans? Or not? | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists China will triple the number of nuclear power plants it has in operation by 2020 according to official plans, and the country’s nuclear fleet will increase 20-fold by 2050 under some not-yet-approved proposals. But how and where will China get the uranium to fuel them all? Will China need to resort to breeder reactors and reprocessing, with all the proliferation problems they incur? Or is there another way? The author suggests that between China’s domestic uranium mining, uranium purchased on the international market, and uranium mined by Chinese-owned companies overseas, China could meet even the most ambitious target, thus avoiding the troublesome and dangerous path of reprocessing.

 

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: Officials Demand Grain Quantity Over Quality Chinese people are no longer worried about filling their bellies with food; now they want a more diverse diet that’s more healthy and with better taste. However, the Chinese government’s food security policy still views the population as peasants on the brink of starvation. Their policies focus on maximizing the volume of staple grains without regard to market demand, wasting resources and preventing the Chinese grain industry from becoming internationally competitive.

 

AnchorEDUCATION

China-Africa Knowledge Project Research Hub » Researcher Database The Researcher Database is an aggregation of academics, practitioners, and PhD candidates involved in the study of China-Africa, and is comprised of members of the CA/AC Network and other researchers working on the China-Africa relationship. It is searchable by thematic area of interest, region or country of work, name of researcher, and institution

 

AnchorBOOKS AND LITERATURE

A Perfect Crime: A Yi, Anna Holmwood: Books comes recommended, bought but have not yet read  //  On a normal day in provincial China, a bored high-school student goes about his regular business. But he’s planning the brutal murder of his only friend, a talented violinist. He invites her round, strangles her, stuffs her body into a washing machine and flees town. On the run, he is initially anxious, but soon he alerts the police to his whereabouts, surrenders to undercover agents in a pool bar, and sabotages all efforts by China’s judiciary system, a steady stream of psychologists and his family to overturn the death penalty, all without ever showing a shred of remorse.

 

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL

China’s Forbidden City caps visitors at 80,000 daily – Xinhua The Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City, capped the amount of visitors to 80,000 per day on Saturday. The museum also now requires all travel agencies book tickets online and demand the use of ID when purchasing tickets. There were around 50,000 visitors at the museum on Saturday, which marked the country’s 10th Cultural Heritage Day.

 

AnchorBEIJING

传北京党政机关国庆前迁通州 – 新浪移动 reports that as part of the implementation of the Beijing-Tiajin-Hebei integration plan the Beijing city government will be moving to Tongzhou, something long planned/rumored but also long resisted…lots of rumors going around social media after the Beijing government meeting this weekend  //  据《香港文汇报》援引权威人士称,北京市四套班子(市委、市政府、市人大、市政协)将在今年国庆节前夕全部由城区迁往通州区,具体搬迁方案不日即将正式公开。 在此之后,京津冀一体化将有更大动作出台,包括央企、医院、大学迁出核心区,北京、天津同城化管理等重大规划或将启动。 今年4月30日,中共中央政治局会议已审议通过《京津冀协同发展规划纲要》。河北省省长张庆伟本周稍早曾指出,近期《京津冀协同发展规划纲要》将正式颁布实施,这标志着协同发展由“顶层设计”阶段转向“全面实施”阶段,一批专项规划将要出台,一批重要政策将要公布,一批重点合作项目将要实施。

Beijing village houses to make way for government blocks | South China Morning Post Local officials have given the nod for the demolition in Tongzhou district to start, a source with knowledge of the project told the Sunday Morning Post. Construction of the new buildings will begin by the end of the year if the demolition goes according to plan. Staff may be able to move in a year after that.

北京将招控烟协管员 计划给予一定补助新闻腾讯网 Beijing hiring to enforce smoking ban

 

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