The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.15.13

Just links today, Snowden’s Hong Kong Snow Crash is still ongoing. Feel free to join the discussion over at the Sinocism LinkedIn Group.

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Snowden’s U.S. hacking claim captures Chinese attention – The Washington Post Ken Lieberthal…said there is a major difference between typical cyber-espionage in which countries try to learn about each other’s military operations, for instance, and the cyberattacks on American companies coming from China. The former, he said, is widely understood to be practiced by many countries—and is not what President Obama has been discussing with China. Instead, Lieberthal said, the administration’s concern centers on cyberattacks on U.S. industry that result in the loss of valuable intellectual property. “There’s a difference between normal espionage and commercial espionage,” said Lieberthal. The fact that Snowden did not make the distinction, he said, “either shows his ignorance, or he’s trying to up his value [with his hosts].”

Related: Ex-N.S.A. Contractor’s Disclosures Could Complicate His Fate – NYTimes.com Kevin Egan, a former prosecutor here who has represented people fighting extradition to the United States, said that Mr. Snowden’s latest disclosures would make it harder for him to fight an expected request by the United States for him to be turned over to American law enforcement. “He’s digging his own grave with a very large spade,” he said. But a person with longstanding ties to mainland Chinese military and intelligence agencies said that Mr. Snowden’s latest disclosures showed that he and his accumulated documents could be valuable to China, particularly if Mr. Snowden chooses to cooperate with mainland authorities.

Related: Could Edward Snowden Defect to China? | Video – ABC News U.S. officials worry alleged NSA leaker may take documents, knowledge to Asian powerhouse.

Related: Former CIA chief of staff: Snowden is “delusional” and could be “aiding our enemies”  – Yahoo! News Jeremy Bash told Politics Confidential that Snowden had access to “very sensitive information” in his job as a government contractor and could do “tremendous damage.” He said the government’s concern goes beyond the documents that were leaked – extending to the knowledge that Snowden still stores in his head. “If a foreign government learned everything that was in Edward Snowden’s brain, they would have a good window into the way we collect signals intelligence,” Bash said. “He has information in his head, he’s making threats, he’s on the loose,” Bash added. “We don’t know what other documents he copied, and we don’t know who else he’s talking to.

Related: This Isn’t How to Stop Hacking – NYTimes–Joe Nocera Instead, this has become one of the trademarks of the Obama administration: decry human rights abuses abroad, but hold men in prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who have never been accused of a crime. Say all the right things about freedom of the press — even as you’re subpoenaing reporters’ phone records. And express outrage over Chinese hacking while carrying on a sophisticated spying operation of your own citizens. It may seem to us a false equivalence, but the existence of Prism will make it far more difficult to force the Chinese to get serious about stopping their own hacking. Maybe America’s new motto should be: Do As We Say, Not As We Do.

Related: Whistleblower welcome in China – Xinhua Worth clicking through just to see the very creative cartoon at the top of the story // Perhaps the most confusing issue revolves around the hypocrisy of those who preach about Internet freedom abroad while they stifle it at home. The Fudan University students who listened intently to President Obama’s speech about Internet freedom and censorship at a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai in 2009 certainly took his remarks seriously. How must they be feeling now that it is obvious that President Obama himself does not believe his own Internet rhetoric? In the same vein, many like-minded young Chinese once presented flowers to Google’s Beijing headquarters to pay tribute to its “brave” and outspoken challenge to perceived state surveillance by the Chinese government. How must they be feeling in light of Google’s involvement in PRISM and with the knowledge that Google’s action against China is only part of its commercial strategy? An increasing number of Chinese people will come to understand that the democratization of domestic Chinese media is entirely different from that which happens abroad. // Snowden has delivered propaganda gold to China

U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms – Bloomberg This must be part of why the US government is worried about Huawei, these leaks likely very bad news for Cisco and other US telecom gear makers, and not just in China// Makers of hardware and software, banks, Internet security providers, satellite telecommunications companies and many other companies also participate in the government programs. In some cases, the information gathered may be used not just to defend the nation but to help infiltrate computers of its adversaries.

Related: National Security Agency: The net rips apart – FT.com Far from being seen as the guardian of a free and open online medium, the US has been painted as an oppressor, cynically using its privileged position to spy on foreign nationals. The result, warn analysts, could well be an acceleration of a process that has been under way for some time as other countries ringfence their networks to protect their citizens’ data and limit the flow of information. “It is difficult to imagine the internet not becoming more compartmentalised and Balkanised,” says Rebecca MacKinnon, an expert on online censorship. “Ten years from now, we will look back on the free and open internet” with nostalgia, she adds.

China’s Foreign Ministry sets up cyber security office – Xinhua China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up an office to deal with cyber security issues, a ministry spokeswoman announced Friday. The cyber affairs office is responsible for diplomatic activities regarding cyber affairs, spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.

Cabinet introduces tough measures to curb air pollution – Xinhua  The government should incorporate optimizing the country’s economic structure and intensifying innovation into its environmental protection efforts, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council that was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. China will strictly control high energy-consuming and polluting industries, adjust its energy structure and enhance control of PM2.5, airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter that can pose health risks, in populated regions and metropolises, it said. During periods of heavy pollution, local governments should enact emergency response measures, such as implementing traffic restrictions or instituting emissions limits for polluting industries, according to the statement.

Related: 10 steps taken to curb air pollution| China Daily Topping the 10 measures is a target to reduce pollution emissions per unit of GDP by at least 30 percent in heavy-polluting industries before the end of 2017.

Related: China to Aid Solar Industry by Easier Financing: Cabinet – Bloomberg China must aid the industry’s “healthy development” through the current sluggish global market and slow domestic demand, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, said in an online statement after a meeting yesterday, without elaborating. China will encourage mergers and acquisitions among solar companies and curb blind expansion of capacity, the State Council said. China will also “strictly control” expansion of energy-intensive production to curb pollution, accelerating the reduction of excess capacity in industries like steel, cement, electrolytic aluminum and plate glass, the Cabinet said.

Millennials become the ‘smartphone generation’| China Daily Chinese millennials are heavy users of technology, with most owning smartphones and preferring the Internet for communication, a survey has found. About 92 percent of Chinese aged 18 to 30 own smartphones, well above the global average of 67 percent, said the joint survey by Spain-based telecommunications giant Telefonica SA and the Financial Times newspaper.

Beijing’s Luxury Home Prices Jump to 17-Month-High, Realtor Says – Bloomberg “The super-rich buyers now like bigger, high-end properties more” as the government curbs make it more difficult to buy a second home, Gao Shan, Yahao’s deputy general manager, said in the report. “The scarcity of core urban land resources is driving up the value of luxury homes.”

Related: Revelation that 6,000 ‘super landlords’ each own 300 flats in Beijing sparks controversy | South China Morning Post While many remain sceptical about the number, others consider it proof of how polarised China is today.  Cha shared the shocking discovery that “cannot be found in any property market report” in his recent column “Don’t misread mobile internet investment.” He talked about how he finds talented entrepreneurs with potentially valuable projects in a piece published on the Economic Observer  website. “At least 5,000 to 6,000 people in Beijing own 300 flats each,” he wrote. “When an entrepreneur told me this number, I couldn’t believe it myself. ”

A Briton’s Bitter Farewell to China Echoes Loudly – NYTimes.com Mark Kitto, the endless departure…// “One of my main points was: Look at the history of foreigners in China,” he said. “The only foreigners who have made a fortune in China are the traders. Buy and sell. It’s what the Chinese do, too. Everything’s short term.”

China’s tyranny of uniqueness – China Media Project This latest theoretical rant, written by Yu Zhong (喻中), the head of the School of Law at Capital University of Economics and Business, is called, “‘The Chinese Dream’ and the Choosing of a Road to Democratic Politics.” The basic gist of the piece is that constitutionalism — the recent bugbear of China’s leadership — is a notion inferior and subordinate to the Chinese dream. The logic that equates the Chinese dream with the “dream of constitutionalism” just as the American dream is associated with constitutionalism, says Yu, is “far too much of an oversimplification.”

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

State Grid expects more summer power demand – Xinhua  The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the country’s biggest power distributor, said Saturday that electricity demand is expected to increase 8.4 percent year on year this summer in the regions it covers. The growth is 5.3 percentage points higher than that of last summer, said the company, which supplies power to 80 percent of China’s territory.

China Debt Sale Fails for First Time in 23 Months on Cash Crunch – Bloomberg Banks are hoarding money to meet quarter-end capital requirements at the same time as capital inflows are easing amid a worsening economic outlook and speculation the Federal Reserve will rein in monetary stimulus. The seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability, has more than doubled in the past month and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of shares slid today for a record 12th day in Hong Kong.

NDRC to Release Urbanization Plan Next Month – Economic Observer  The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will release a long-awaited urbanization plan next month, according to domestic media reports citing a report in the Hong Kong Economic Times (香港经济日报) that attributed the prediction to Yao Yang (姚洋), the recently-appointed dean of the National School of Development at Peking University.

Smithfield profit plunges after China blocks imports | Reuters Smithfield Foods Inc (SFD.N), subject of a $4.7 billion bid from China’s Shuanghui International, posted a 63 percent drop in quarterly profit as costs rose and exports to China fell due to a ban on an additive it feeds to pigs to produce lean meat. Smithfield has already started to wind down its use of the additive, ractopamine, and resumed shipments to China in March.

Beijing Snubs Johnson & Johnson over Double Standard in Recalls-Caijing According to the statement, officials with the CFDA have held “talks” with Johnson and Johnson, a way commonly used by Chinese authorities to reproach companies or deliver instructions. The watchdog’s censure comes amid public’s complaint that Chinese consumers are treated as second-class by the pharmaceutical giant in the giant market. China has for 48 times been excluded from a combined of 51 recalls by the company since 2005, local media said.

Hard Realities in Private Equity – Caixin A pioneer in China’s private equity industry, Yan Yan, managing partner of SAIF Partners, has witnessed the industry from its inception nearly two decades ago to its current role as an integral part of the financial system. The first 10 years were generally clean and had less competition, Yan said in an interview with Caixin. Since then, many PE funds have cropped up and corruption is more common, he said.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

中共官媒淡化腐败 王岐山反腐遇两难_中国_多维新闻网 有分析认为,鉴于腐败的严重形势,尤其是对中共合法执政造成的现实危机,中共新领导层在上任初期的一系列表态和动作都表明,他们对于反腐的确是有目标、有决心、有规划也有行动,但是反腐同时又会造成利益集团的反对和民间的质疑,两者也会导致中共执政危机。因此,王岐山在进行攻坚战的同时还面临着一个两难选择:反腐过慢会引起到人民群众的不满,并将对中共执政造成难以逆转的持久伤害;过快也可能对中共执政造成较难控制的冲击。在此情况下,如何把握反腐的方式和程度,这对于中共高层尤其是王岐山来说将是一项极大的考验。

中共禁“舌尖腐败”引发“蝴蝶效应” – 新华时政 – 新华网 “限公消费”引发的“蝴蝶效应”仍在继续。中共整治“舌尖腐败”打造清明政治的改革举措,与民众期盼限制公款吃喝、遏制腐败的愿望找到了“共鸣点”。相关专家指出,这种“上下联动、广泛参与”的改革推进模式具有借鉴意义。

南宁两车追尾引发聚集事件 肇事车内搜出假军牌-财经网 what is the difference between a 聚集事件 and a 群体事件?

Liu Xia’s Letter to Xi Jinping « China change

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Feature: A letter to China’s first space teacher from U.S. predecessor – Xinhua | English.news.cn While China’s first space teacher Wang Yaping is orbiting the earth, Barbara Morgan, the world’s first astronaut who ever taught in space, was signing her name on a letter to greet the Chinese newcomer. “I wish you could see smiles on my face, I am just really, really happy,” Morgan told Xinhua via telephone when she was asked to comment on the launch of China’s Shenzhou-10 spacecraft. To Morgan, distance cannot separate Americans and Chinese, and teaching seems to have no boundary. “All over the world, we are really very exited,” Morgan said.

Xi, Putin discuss bilateral ties, Korean Peninsula – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula in a telephone conversation Saturday.Xi said the current China-Russia relationship is advancing to a higher level. The two sides are actively implementing the important consensus and agreements reached at the leaders’ summit in Moscow in March, Xi said.

In pictures: joint training of Chinese, Russian special forces – People’s Daily Online

金正恩向习近平致生日贺电:盼巩固中朝传统友谊_资讯频道_凤凰网 Kim Jung-un sends Xi Jinping a birthday telegram

习奥会钓鱼岛问题谈崩 中国发起舆论反击_国际_多维新闻网 Duowei posits that several articles in People’s Daily last week criticizing Japan and US (though not by name) over the Diaoyu islands a sign that the Sunnylands discussions ver the disputed islands were not sunny, or productive // “钟声”是《人民日报》阐明国际问题立场的评论署名,“望海楼”是《人民日报·海外版》发表国际问题评论的的重要栏目,二者直接代表的是中国政府在有关问题上的风向。习奥会后,《人民日报》针锋相对地发表文章对美国的立场进行反击也表明中美在日前的会谈中就钓鱼岛问题不欢而散。

统领国防和军队建设的根本遵循——一论深入学习贯彻党在新形势下的强军目标 – 新华时政 – 新华网 兵者,国之大事,攸关治国理政、发展图强。习近平主席站在实现中华民族伟大复兴的时代高度,鲜明提出党在新形势下的强军目标,号召建设一支听党指挥、能打胜仗、作风优良的人民军队。这一强军目标,寄托着党和人民的期望和重托,体现了新的形势和任务对军队建设的新要求,回答了为什么要强军、强军目标是什么、怎样走中国特色强军之路的重大课题,为在新的历史起点上加快推进国防和军队现代化,指明了努力方向,提供了根本遵循。全军要牢牢把握党在新形势下的强军目标,坚持用以统一思想和行动,统领军队建设、改革和军事斗争准备,努力把国防和军队建设提高到一个新水平。

人民日报-我国征兵时间调整到夏秋季 学生毕业时间衔接征兵时间

A Wider View of India’s Foreign Policy Reveals Clear Strategy – NYTimes.com An absence of further liberalization promises to jeopardize India’s international clout, while providing real constraints on its ability to acquire the tools required of a great power. A further change may be brought about by China’s behavior as it continues its rapid evolution into a global superpower. As the incursion in April by a few dozen Chinese soldiers into disputed territory along the border showed, indications of China’s aggressive intent could galvanize Indian public opinion, push New Delhi towards adopting harder positions with Beijing and compel India to cooperate more closely with other countries that share its concerns about China’s rise.

Inside China: Carrier’s engineers worked to death – Washington Times At least 15 Chinese were worked to death in response to leaders’ orders to finish refurbishing the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier. A senior military engineer revealed the deaths in noting that the work was finished far ahead of schedule. Wang Zhiguo, a systems engineer for the Liaoning project, disclosed the deaths in discussing statistics on the refurbishment in the May 31 online edition of China Youth Daily.

Chinese diplomats threaten French journalist after Tibet report – Reporters Without Borders The embassy then stepped up its harassment of Payen, who received several anonymous calls and many texts. A message left yesterday by a female member of the embassy’s staff was openly threatening. Listen to the audio message in English

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Messaging platform WeChat under security scanner in India | Business Line What does the NSA think of WeChat in the US? // Like WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger, WeChat is also a messaging platform that uses the Internet to allow users to exchange text or voice messages. The security agencies had earlier raised concerns over BlackBerry Messenger, which has since been resolved after the Canadian company agreed to set up a server in Mumbai. The security agencies have been given access to data flowing through the BlackBerry Messenger platform. But in the case of WeChat, the security agencies are more worried because it is a Chinese company. Earlier the Department of Telecom had come close to banning Chinese telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE over similar concerns. Security agencies are worried that Chinese establishment could be using the services and equipment offered by these companies to snoop into India’s communication networks

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

China in Images and Words–Sinica Podcast This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are delighted to host Matthew Niederhauser. A photographer focusing on urban development in China, Matthew has been published in various journals including The New Yorker, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, and Time Magazine among others. As Jeremy describes it, his visuals of Beijing and other parts of modern China capture the feeling of a society that operates on a scale both “beautiful and horrifying” at the same time.

学生自发组织高中毕业舞会 中学生开豪车参加_新闻_腾讯网 “Prom” night in Zhengzhou…these Chinese high school grads know how to party…pictures

Has China exaggerated the “Leftover Women” problem? | ChinaHush Now, the threat of becoming an unwanted, yellowed old pearl could be enough to incite serious marriage-panic in anybody, but is such anxiety warranted? Several factors make me wonder if the “crisis” facing China’s best and brightest single ladies might be a bit overblown. For starters, there simply aren’t as many of these “yellowed pearls” as one would expect, given all the fuss this issue has caused. According to recent national statistics reported by the All-China Federation of Women, there are 5.8 million unmarried women aged 30-39 in China today. While six million single women might sound like a lot, in the vast context of China, it really isn’t. According to UN World Marriage Data, fewer than 5% of women in their thirties are unmarried, and most of them are 30-34 years old…. In Singapore and the US, by contrast, 25% of early-thirties women are still single, in Japan, 35% of them are unwed, and in the UK, it’s nearly half. Compared to the rest of the developed world, women over thirty are much more likely to be married in China than almost anywhere else.

Chinese publisher, Yale jointly launch Chinese program – Xinhua | English.news.cn A multimedia Chinese teaching program, jointly produced by the China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Yale University, was officially launched here on Friday. The program, Encounters, targets foreign high school and university students and others interested in learning Chinese. It contains an array of multimedia learning materials. Centered around a 20-episode TV series of theatrical quality, the program also includes books, DVDs, a website, podcasts and rap songs.

Mao in the Middle – NYTimes.com “Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal” is the largest collection of the artist’s works ever to appear in Asia. The two-year tour, which has already had stops in Hong Kong and Singapore, is now showing in Shanghai at the recently opened state-run Power Station of Art — minus Warhol’s iconic silkscreen paintings of Mao. It’s unclear whether those portraits were kept out of the exhibit at the authorities’ explicit request or because of self-censorship on the organizers’ part

Chinese college threatens libel suit against US author Ping Fu | South China Morning Post Chinese-American author Ping Fu may soon be hit by international lawsuits for her controversial memoir Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds, which has been debunked by Chinese academics and critics. Fu’s alma mater, Soochow University in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, said on Friday that anecdotes in her memoirs, in which she makes claims that during her time at the university she was arrested for her college research, were “falsehoods” and called on the author to participate in a public debate to clarify the details.

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ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

China’s Zhejiang Province Proposes to Let Cities Limit Vehicles – Bloomberg The plan, if approved, will pave the way for cities such as Hangzhou and Ningbo to follow Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Guiyang in limiting auto purchases. China is grappling with air pollution and worsening traffic congestion in its major cities as the number of vehicles surged with government subsidies in 2009 to spur domestic demand during the global financial crisis.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Watermelon weighing 50 kilograms takes the crown – Xinhua | English.news.cn People watch a watermelon of about 50 kilograms during a watermelon contest beside the Daminghu Lake in Jinan, capital of east China’s Shandong Province, June 15, 2013. A watermelon contest was held here on Saturday, with the biggest watermelon weighing about 50 kilograms.

Politics Checks in for China Hotel Industry – China Real Time Report – WSJ hotel chains like IHG are looking to the long-term and say there is still plenty of room for growth, especially in China’s inland cities, including a massive 1,300-room luxury hotel in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. More than 30% of its planned new hotels globally will be in China, and around two thirds of these will be in cities in China’s rapidly developing interior regions. “That’s why China is so important,” said Mr. Barr.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace DATE Wednesday, June 19, 2013, TIME 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., LOCATION Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

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