THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Why Did Pro-Beijing Lawmakers Walk Out of the Hong Kong Vote? – – WSJ what an embarrassment for the Hong Kong government and the pro-Beijing legislators. What is Cantonese for “clown car”? // Just after voting began, Jeffrey Lam, a pro-establishment lawmaker, asked for a 15-minute recess. Mr. Tsang – who is a veteran pro-Beijing politician but as president remains neutral during legislative debate — denied Mr. Lam’s request, as voting had already begun. Regardless, Mr. Lam’s colleagues started to file out of the chamber en masse. Pro-democracy lawmakers looked puzzled as most of their opponents left the room. Cyd Ho, a member of the opposition Labour Party, motioned for a quorum call – but her colleagues quickly quieted her, out of apparent concern that such a move might spur the entire pro-Beijing side to leave, thus delaying the vote..Had all of the lawmakers voted, the final count would have recorded 42 “yeas” and 28 “nays” – still short of the two-thirds necessary for passage, but a tad more favorable to Beijing in the eyes of history than Thursday’s stinging 28-8 defeat.
Related: 社评：政改被否是香港反对派的历史之耻评论环球网 政改被否决非常令人遗憾。国家围绕香港政改该做的都做了，这决非国家的尴尬，而是香港极端反对派的耻辱。那么从现在起重新画一条起跑线，让过去的都过去，让未来有一个统一的清晰目标，它应当是香港的繁荣与稳定，而决不应是香港越来越严重的撕裂和无穷无尽的折腾。
Related: 香港特区行政长官普选法案因少数议员阻挠未获通过-新华网 全国人大常委会办公厅发言人在发表谈话时表示，香港特区立法会的少数议员顽固坚持与中央对抗的立场，置广大香港市民对普选的殷切期盼于不顾，诋毁全国人大常委会的有关决定，极力阻挠行政长官普选法案通过，致使香港民主发展进程止步不前，充分暴露了他们为了一己私利，阻碍香港民主发展，损害香港繁荣稳定的本质。 发言人强调，全国人大常委会关于香港特别行政区行政长官普选问题的决定合宪、合法、合情、合理，具有不可动摇的法律效力。虽然香港特区政府此次依法提出的普选法案未能在立法会获得通过，但全国人大常委会决定所确定的普选制度的方向和各项法律原则，必须在推动行政长官普选的进程中继续贯彻执行，香港未来落实行政长官普选仍然必须以此作为宪制依据，其法律效力不容置疑。
2. [视频]习近平在贵州调研时强调 看清形势适应趋势发挥优势 善于运用辩证思维谋划发展新闻频道央视网 Xi Jinping’s inspection tour of Guizhou, starting with a visit to the revolutionary holy site of Zunyi, gets the first 18+ minutes of Thursday CCTV Evening news
Related: Xi emphasizes innovation on Guizhou Province tour – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the government of southwest China’s Guizhou Province to pursue economic development through innovation during a tour of the province between Tuesday and Thursday. Visiting an exhibition on big data in Guiyang City on Wednesday, Xi stressed the need for more investment and research into this field as China’s big data industry is still in its infancy.
Related: Rare Direct Appeal to Xi Jinping Appears, Then Disappears, Online – NYTimes State news outlets showed enthusiastic crowds greeting President Xi Jinping as he toured the southwestern province of Guizhou this week. They carried the usual images of Mr. Xi leading his identically dressed entourage, as he shook hands and waved to well-wishing bystanders. Photos and videos seemingly shared by onlookers on Weibo, the microblogging platform, did not diverge from the script. However, one video clip by a bystander captured a very different scene: a woman running toward the presidential convoy, quickly subdued as she yelled to get Mr. Xi’s attention
3. 抹黑英雄是祸国乱军廉价手段 Page 1 PLA Daily Thursday…they have no doubt they are in an ideological war // 军事防线不稳固一打就垮，思想防线不稳固不打自垮。捍卫英雄，就是捍卫我们的思想阵地和精神家园。现在，网络已成为意识形态斗争的主战场、成为人心争夺的主阵地。敌对势力利用互联网“扳倒中国”的企图昭然若揭，通过诋毁英雄实施“颜色革命”的伎俩路人皆知，而且随着我国走向世界舞台的中心，这种情势会越来越严峻。捍卫英雄，已经成为摆在我们面前的重要课题。捍卫英雄与抹黑英雄，是一场固根与拔根、铸魂与蛀魂的生死战。我们不能输也输不起，不能退也退不得。只有传承红色基因，赓续红色血脉，常补红色营养，争当红色传人，才能打赢意识形态斗争的“上甘岭战役”。
Related: 戴旭论信息思想战：守牢心防，巩固我们的文化版图 – 中国军网 发生在意识形态主阵地上的网络舆论斗争，其本质是敌对势力与我党、我国争夺人心的生死博弈，我们应该如何掌握网络舆论斗争主动权呢？本期《国防参考》继续独家专访戴旭，让我们从思想信仰层面巡视政治队伍，认真检视我党文化版图。
Related: 纯洁我们的思想文化阵地 – 中国军网 筑牢网络战场防火墙。随着形势的发展，网络已经成为没有疆界、没有硝烟的舆论斗争主战场。敌对势力利用互联网极力宣扬“宪政民主”“普世价值”等西方价值观。少数别有用心的人，在网上与敌对势力遥相呼应，对此我们决不能含糊其辞，更不能退避三舍，必须像当年坚守上甘岭那样守住网络阵地，严密防范和抵制网上敌对势力破坏捣乱。面对当今社会各种思想交融交锋、价值观多元多样的现实，我们要有明察秋毫、辨别是非的能力，在各种风浪考验面前不盲信、不迷惑，提高政治敏锐性和政治鉴别力。要保持清醒头脑，善于从政治上观察思考问题，不被支流所支配，不被阴暗面所遮蔽，不被表面现象所迷惑。要深入研究把握信息网络时代思想文化工作的内在规律，掌握思想舆论动态，把握官兵的关注点和困惑点，找准工作的切入点和着力点，结合思想文化工作实际，筑牢官兵思想防线，把广大官兵的积极性创造力引导到实现强军目标上来。
4. CPC issues rules to regulate leading Party members’ groups – Xinhua The regulation is the first of its kind targeting these groups since their inception 70 years ago. China now has more than 86,000 such groups at all levels. “History proves that the CPC enjoyed smooth progress whenever the role of leading Party members’ groups was valued. On the other hand, difficulties emerged whenever their role was overlooked or weakened,” Xie Chuntao with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee told Xinhua. However, only three articles in the CPC constitution offer general stipulations on the groups prior to the new rules, with the absence of specific functions and operation standards. The new regulation offers fresh guidelines for the establishment, function, principles and decision-making procedures of such a group, stressing supervision over operations and a system to pursue liabilities in case of errors.
Related: 中国共产党党组工作条例（试行）中央有关文件政策_中国政府网 The Party Group regulations
5. Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Mao Era? | ChinaFile Orville Schell: Well, we should get to foreign policy for a quick drive-by. But before then, let me ask you, Rod, and maybe others will have some thoughts too: What’s happened to the conventional wisdom by which we used to operate, that open markets lead to open societies, you know? Francis Fukuyama land, the end of history, just keep educating them at Harvard. Roderick MacFarquhar: I miss that. Orville Schell: Yeah, you miss that. But in fact, that was really common wisdom and the presumption of almost everything that the Western countries were doing in regard to China. Have we come to the end of that? Roderick MacFarquhar: I hope so. It was common foolishness. It wasn’t common wisdom. And it was a justification by the government of various countries to explain why they didn’t raise things like human rights, because they wanted to get their businessmen in there. And it was a justification by businessmen who said they want to make money, and they wanted to say they were part of the process of changing China. They were, but not changing it in the way that they claimed.
Related: The United States and a Rising China: Strategic and Military Implications | RAND From 1999 congagement… // China has been embarked on a process of reform and modernization that has led to unprecedented economic development. The goal is to make China a developed country, which would, among other things, raise the standard of living and prepare the base for a strong military. The Chinese leadership considers good relations with the United States to be strongly advisable, if not absolutely necessary, but sovereignty concerns (especially with regard to Taiwan) could cause tensions in the Sino-U.S. relationship. China could emerge, by 2015, as a formidable power, one that might offer an alternative to the current U.S. role as the region’s preferred security partner and its ultimate security manager. At present, the best U.S. response appears to be a combination of engagement and containment, a congagement policy that would continue to try to bring China into the current international system while both preparing for a possible Chinese challenge to it and seeking to convince the Chinese leadership that a challenge would be difficult and extremely risky to pursue.
6. Encryption “would not have helped” at OPM, says DHS official | Ars Technica people from the US government need to lose jobs if not go to jail over this negligence/incompetence // Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People’s Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is ‘so what’s new?'”
7. Ultimate Frisbee’s Hippie-Go-Lucky Culture Hooks Chinese Youth-WorldPost These are not the Chinese athletes you’ve seen on TV, those scarily synchronized divers or the gymnasts plucked from preschools for their bone structure. The Ultimate Frisbee players running and diving all over these fields are too scrappy, too goofy and having way too much fun. Ultimate Frisbee (often called just Ultimate as “Frisbee” is a trademarked brand) is growing in China, and 17 teams gathered here in Beijing for the national championship in late May.
8. Is Chinese autocracy outperforming western democracy? | openDemocracy The experience in question is ‘the crisis of governance in Western democracy’ and ‘the success of meritocracy in China.’ The book is The China Model (Princeton University Press). Its author is Daniel A. Bell, a Canadian political scientist who for about ten years has been teaching at one of China’s élite universities, Tsinghua in Beijing, and who has become known as an original thinker about today’s China. ..There is a tradition of respect for authoritarian effectiveness that leads both to an exaggeration of delivery and a glossing over of the human costs, articulated for example in Beatrice and Sidney Webb’s idea in the 1930s and 40s of Soviet communism as a ‘new civilisation.’ This book falls into that tradition. It imposes on China a theoretical construct and sees through that prism an empirical panorama to fit. There is a tradition in China of foreign observers who see it from inside and find what they want, conspicuously so during Maoism, and who are less prescient in their descriptions than some of those who have kept their distance and observed with a colder eye. This book falls into that tradition. Its attempts at empirical description are baffling, superficial and distortive.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China Banks Turning Net Foreign-Exchange Buyers Stabilize Flows – Bloomberg Business Lenders purchased 24.5 billion yuan ($3.95 billion) more overseas currencies than they sold last month, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement on Thursday. A net $20 billion of capital flowed into China in the first five months of the year, a SAFE official said at a media briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
China May Home Prices Drop in Fewer Cities as Demand Returns – Bloomberg Business New-home prices declined in May in 41 of the 70 cities tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics, compared with declines in 47 in April, according to data on Thursday. They rose in 20 cities, two more than in April, led by gains in the first-tier hubs, including Shanghai and Beijing.
“长沙男子炒股赔170万跳楼”或系假新闻-手机和讯网 然而，6月16日，死者的岳父、岳母接受澎湃新闻的独家采访时表示，“侯先生”本姓何，他并非因为炒股失利而跳楼。 负责处理此事的长沙市开福区芙蓉北路派出所副所长何颂也称，根据警方的调查，死者跳楼是因为“工作、生活压力大”。没有确凿证据显示，死者因为炒股失败而跳楼。 // story of the margined Changsha punter who killed himself after losing everything turns out to be false?
北京银监局紧急摸底伞形信托 聚焦配资来源金融频道财新网 Beijing Banking Regulatory Bureau orders urgent check of umbrella trusts to determine how much flowing from them into sock market // 北京银监局近日紧急下发通知，要求辖内信托公司上报证券投资信托及伞式信托的规模、期限、杠杆率、资金来源等。据财新记者了解，这次摸底调研尚未推向全国，调研聚焦于伞形信托的配资情况
China’s Qihoo 360 Moves To Delist From NYSE Via A $9 Billion Buyout | TechCrunch these smart money backers must be very confident the chinese stock market not going to collapse in the next year+ // The company, which started out providing anti-virus solutions but offers a range of mobile and internet services, this week announced a proposed buyout led by chairman and CEO Zhou Hongyi. At $77 per share, the offer is worth around $9 billion and represents a 17 percent premium on the company’s valuation as of end of day Tuesday.
Why BofA’s Global Bond Guru Is Fixated on Chinese Equities – Bloomberg Business “Normally, when I come into the office, the first thing I look at is where 10-year Treasury yields are trading, where euro-dollar is trading,” David Woo, the head of global rates and currencies research at Bank of America, said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio in New York. “These days, the first thing I look at on the Bloomberg terminal is where the Shanghai Composite is trading.” Woo said China’s rally has become so big — he called it the world’s largest bubble since dot-com boom of the late 1990s — that the eventual collapse will have consequences for markets around the world. // the consensus is now that the market must collapse?
China stocks slump as huge IPO wave lands | Reuters plus banks are scrambling for cash ahead of quarter end and half year bank inspections // companies – including brokerage giant Guotai Junan Securities – started taking investor subscriptions for their initial public offerings, and nine will follow suit on Friday, tying up more liquidity. “Today is a particularly IPO-heavy day,” wrote Gerry Alfonso, director at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities Co. “This was clearly going to have an impact on the market.”
The long march to the China FTA | Business Spectator Apart from major breakthroughs in the agricultural sector, China is also set to grant Australian companies unprecedented access to the country’s booming services sector. The deal has surprised many people including Professor Hugh White, an academic at the Australian National University and a former deputy secretary at the Department of Defence, who has been a vocal critic of the government’s foreign policy towards China.
Banks Balk at China Commodities Deals – Bloomberg Business you mean they are actually asking questions and doing real due diligence now? // Traders in the world’s biggest consumer of metals are finding it harder to get credit from lenders after the probe at the eastern ports of Qingdao and Penglai, according to Guotai & Junan Futures Co. and Everbright Futures Co., Chinese commodity brokers whose clients include trading companies and financial institutions. Banks are still trying to recover raw materials held in the ports, where officials say the same commodities may have been pledged multiple times as collateral for loans.
China deports British investigator in GSK corruption case – Telegraph Chinese authorities on Wednesday deported a British investigator and his wife linked to a corruption case involving pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), after releasing them from jail over a week ago, family sources said. British national Peter Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng, a naturalised US citizen, had departed on a flight to London from Shanghai, their son and a family friend said. The couple had served time for illegally obtaining the personal information of Chinese citizens.
Outbound Online Shopping – From China Chinese shoppers are rushing online to buy products from Overseas – A trend called “Hai Tao.” Increasing support for domestic consumption has lead to the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ which makes cross-border ecommerce easier and cheaper. And increasing liberalisation of global credit cards (and online payment systems) has further improved the prospect of going outbound to shop. Its a very high growth space, with forecasts of RMB1.0 Trillion in Chinese outbound shopping by 2018.
Half of Country’s Housing Fund Goes Unused, Official Report Says-Caixin The total amount of money contributed to China’s housing fund since it was launched in the late 1990s hit 7.4 trillion yuan by the end of last year, but half of that is going unused, a government report says. The report, the first that the central bank and ministries of financing and housing have published, said the fund had 3.7 trillion yuan sitting idle at the end of 2014, 17 percent more than a year earlier
Alibaba Ant Arm Said to Raise Funds Above $40 Billion Value – Bloomberg Business Ant Financial sold stakes to external investors, including China Development Bank Capital Co., one of the people said. China’s National Social Security Fund has become a strategic investor, the finance arm said on its official microblog account, without giving details of the investment. The pension fund acquired about 5 percent, Wang Zhongmin, a vice chairman of the fund, was cited as having said in a Caixin.com report.
China’s Bocom sets template for reform at state-owned banks – FT.com China has given its fifth-largest bank the green light to pursue a market-based reform plan as Beijing seeks to improve efficiency at state-owned companies and counteract a far-reaching economic slowdown. But privatisation will play only a limited role in the shake-up, the latest sign that the Communist party has no intention of relinquishing control of “strategic sectors” such as finance, energy and telecommunications.
China Reiterates Gradual Stance on Loosening Yuan Controls – WSJ China offered a reminder Wednesday that it plans to lift capital controls gradually, even after it hosted International Monetary Fund officials this week who were looking for indications that Beijing will loosen curbs on its currency. China has no immediate plans to announce full capital-account convertibility of the yuan, a senior Chinese foreign-exchange regulator said Wednesday. Such yuan convertibility would allow freer cross-border fund flows for financial transactions.
China securities firm chief dismissed over graft allegations | Reuters The chairman of China Investment Securities, a brokerage owned by China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, has been removed from his post following a corruption investigation, the communist party’s graft watchdog said on Wednesday. Long Zenglai is the first senior executive at a securities firm to be caught up in China’s wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign.
Time to Get eHi on China Ride-Sharing – WSJ Hitch a ride with Chinese car-rental company eHi Car Services to capture the booming Chinese ride-hailing market. The core car-rental business comes at a good price, too. // I am a happy shareholder
Chinese Now Top Foreign Buyers of U.S. Homes – China Real Time Report – WSJ The Chinese also dominated dollar volume of properties sold. Buyers from China purchased $28.6 billion of properties in the U.S. in the year ending in March 2015. That compares to $11.2 billion of properties that were purchased by Canadians and $7.9 billion by buyers from India.
POLITICS AND LAW
Foreign Groups Fear China Oversight Plan – The New York Times If the government adopts the legislation unchanged — a prospect many experts say is likely given the party’s approach to lawmaking — foreign groups working in China will have to find a government sponsor and seek police approval for all “activities.” With few exceptions, they will be barred from accepting donations inside China and will be required to hire Chinese citizens for at least half of all staff positions. And professional associations, whether for scientists or insurance brokers, will be prohibited from accepting Chinese members.
China Prepares ‘Traditional Culture’ Textbooks for Its Officials-Caixin The 11 volumes include one on the “international comparative advantage” of Chinese culture, and seven on the proper methods and useful tactics of governance gleaned from the country’s history. The other three textbooks discuss how to become a clean official and a person of integrity, and how to find inner peace by interacting with nature. The academy and all civil servant schools in the provinces will teach required classes using the textbooks starting in September, said Zhang Jian, the books’ deputy chief editor. This is the first systematic push the government has made to have senior officials and cadres trained in “guoxue,” or national studies, Zhang said.
China’s Anti-Graft Investigator Keeps Oil Giants in Its Sights – Bloomberg Business The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s top anti-graft agency, said officials at China National Petroleum Corp. used their power to help friends and family win contracts and promotions, according to a statement yesterday. Officials at China’s biggest oil and gas company also used company money for private purposes, the Commission said, adding that it had found similar problems at China National Offshore Oil Corp., the country’s biggest offshore explorer.
China Unveils Anti-Corruption App, Asks Public To Upload Pictures Of Corrupt Officials not actually a new app but an update to the existing ccdi app…the interface is very easy to use, nightmare for officials going into the holiday weekend // China’s top anti-corruption watchdog has set up a new app, which allows members of the public to upload pictures or other evidence of officials misusing public funds or vehicles, or breaking Communist Party rules on lavish entertainment. The move — which comes amid a deepening crackdown on corruption that officials have said is vital for the survival of the party — appears designed to convince citizens that the system is taking their concerns seriously. // Thepaper on the new app 拍照随时上传、匿名一键举报，中纪委客户端祭出反四风利器
秋石｜重在全面从严治党 锻造坚强领导核心 在十八届中共中央政治局常委同中外记者见面会上，习近平总书记掷地有声地提出：“打铁还需自身硬。我们的责任，就是同全党同志一道，坚持党要管党、从严治党，切实解决自身存在的突出问题，切实改进工作作风，密切联系群众，使我们党始终成为中国特色社会主义事业的坚强领导核心。”从此，全面从严治党扬帆启航，成为习近平总书记治国理政方略的最大亮点，成为全面建成小康社会、全面深化改革、全面依法治国的根本保障。全面从严治党，大振党心、大得民心，极大地提高了中国共产党在全国各族人民中的崇高威望。
法学专家反对“人贩子一律判死刑”：或致被拐儿童陷险境法治中国澎湃新闻-The Paper Thepaper looks at the recent social media campaign demanding the death penalty for child traffickers…it was all over my Wechat moments feed yesterday and today
New docketing procedures come to the Chinese courts | Supreme People’s Court Monitor New docketing procedures (case filing) (立案) have come to the Chinese courts. Chinese courts have a separate case filing divisions, which up until 1 May of this year acted as gatekeepers to courts. They exercised their approval authority over cases in a non-transparent manner, which meant for litigants in Chinese courts that their cases could be and were rejected without having the opportunity to argue why they should be accepted. Case filing divisions also were known to put troublesome filings aside, without issuing a rejection, or repeatedly asked for supplementary documents, seeking to drive away litigants by repeated formalistic demands.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Why Congress Must Pass the TPP | The National Interest President Obama’s own party last week defeated his central foreign policy initiative in Asia – the legislative package for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement— and rendered U.S. policy in the region as unserious. If America is to save its leading role in Asian politics, diplomacy and security, which it has enjoyed since the end of World War II, it has to modernize the economic underpinnings of that role or suffer marginalization. Congress voted for marginalization. It needs to correct that immediately.
Failure of Obama’s Trade Deal Could Hurt U.S. Influence in Asia – The New York Times “If this collapses, Pacific Rim countries will be aghast,” said Shunpei Takemori, a professor at Keio University in Japan, the largest economy in the would-be trade zone after the United States. “China is pushing, and if the U.S. just stands aside, it would be a tragedy.” The White House and its Republican free-trade allies in Congress are searching for ways to revive a bill that would extend aid to workers displaced by global trade agreements. By rejecting that measure on Friday, Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrats in the House effectively scuttled legislation granting him the power to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended or filibustered by Congress.
The making of Michael Chan – The Globe and Mail Michael Chan is a rare politician. Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade considers himself a middleman between domestic and foreign interests, a commercial conduit between his province and the Middle Kingdom. “For me, it is how I am able to bridge Canada and China,” he told The Globe and Mail in an interview in his Queen’s Park office. “I can be in a position to promote both jurisdictions for the benefit of the people. I think that’s important.” But Mr. Chan’s bridge-building mission once troubled the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. As The Globe reported on Tuesday, CSIS was concerned the minister was too close to the Chinese consulate, prompting a senior official to formally caution the province about the minister’s alleged conduct in a briefing that took place in the weeks around August, 2010.
CSIS warned this cabinet minister could be a threat. Ontario disagreed – The Globe and Mail A Globe and Mail investigation reveals Michael Chan was the focus of a briefing by security officials over fears he was under the influence of China – a case that exposes a deep divide between the spy agency and the province on the question of foreign influence.
China approves plan for civilian ships to be used by military could this help with all the shipyard overcapacity? // The Chinese government has approved a plan requiring civilian shipbuilders to ensure that new ships can be used by the military during an emergency, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday. The plan will “enable China to convert the considerable potential of its civilian fleet into military strength”, said the China Classification Society, a shipping industry association, reported the official China Daily. It will also improve the People’s Liberation Army’s “strategic projection and maritime support capabilities”, the report added.
China plans civil facilities in Nansha Islands – Xinhua China is planning to construct new civil facilities such as lighthouses and radio navigation stations in the Nansha Islands. Facilities used for environmental observation, disaster prevention and alleviation, transportation and logistical support are also on the cards, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, told Xinhua on Wednesday
U.S. diplomats to skip Chinese-owned Waldorf for U.N. General Assembly; security concerns cited | The Japan Times so how does the US get all the bugs out of the walls before the renovation? // officials pointed to Hilton Worldwide’s sale of the Waldorf-Astoria to China’s Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group for $1.95 billion last year, a deal that prompted security concerns. Terms of the sale allow Hilton to run the hotel for the next 100 years but also call for “a major renovation” that officials say has raised eyebrows in Washington, where fears of Chinese eavesdropping and cyberespionage run high.
中国永暑礁现喜人成果：岛上建蔬菜大棚种果树 slideshow of life on Fiery Cross Reef, complete with cute female soldiers and vegetable gardens
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Fugitive publisher Ma Sik-chun dies in Taiwan Oriental Daily News co-founder Ma Sik-chun died in Taiwan on Monday, 37 years after he fled Hong Kong where he had been charged with drug trafficking, Ming Pao Daily reported on Thursday. He was 77.
TECH AND MEDIA
U.S. tech firm Cisco to invest $10 billion in China expansion desperation // A statement issued by the Silicon Valley company provided the broad outlines of how it planned to invest but did not detail any specific spending or timelines for doing so. It said in a statement it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, to expand investment. This will be used to fund innovation, equity investment, research and development and job creation, Cisco said. It also signed an MoU with the Association of Universities (Colleges) of Applied Science (AUAS) to advance technical training of information and communications engineers.
In Chinese Cinema, Survival of Fittest – NYTimes Now, after several relatively defined generations, there is debate about whether the experiences and the work of young Chinese directors are even cohesive enough to constitute a seventh generation.” “To me, Chinese cinema ends with the sixth generation,” Mr. Xiang said. “There’s just one vast entertainment-driven era before us.”
借壳公司被调查 分众回应与重组无关公司频道财新网 CSRC investigating controlling shareholder of shell company Focus Media taking over to re-list in China, impact on that process unclear // 一位接近分众传媒的人士表示，证监会启动调查由宏达新材此前的商务纠纷引起，现在还不好评估事件影响
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Gov’t Lets Patients Use Its Health Insurance to Pay Private Hospital Bills-Caixin State Council’s announcement removes a major barrier to development of private hospitals in country, analysts say
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES
Growing Grain Stockpiles Spur Gov’t to Plan More Storage Facilities-Caixin The government has invested a huge amount of money to build grain facilities since the 1990s. It built 300 granaries in the 1990s and more than 1,100 national reserve facilities at the beginning of the century. Granaries with total capacity of 34.8 million tons were erected from 2009 to 2014. However, these facilities still fall short of meeting storage demand as a government concerned about food security buys grain from domestic farmers to encourage production and protect their incomes. The country has reported grain production increased in 11 straight years. From fall 2014 to this spring, the authorities have bought 83.2 million tons of corn from domestic farmers to put into national granaries, official data show, an increase of nearly 14 million tons from the same period a year ago. Figures for the purchases of other grains are not known.
卢迈：不可忽视乡村学前教育缺失之弊政经频道财新网 相较于乡村中小学教育，学前教育往往更为人所忽视。农村学前教育、尤其是贫困农村儿童入园率偏低的问题，至今仍未解决 // Lu Mai on the lack of early education for rural kids
农业部力推电商进村 益农信息社成抓手政经频道财新网 接上宽带、配备信息员，可以为农民提供公益服务、电子商务和体验培训等线上服务的“益农信息社”，是政府部署信息进村入户工作的重要抓手。目前在全国信息进村试点地区已建成了4000个益农信息社。互联网元素下沉，可能为农村生态和行政管理带来“颠覆式的创新” // Government pushing hard on bringing ecommerce to rural areas
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
The Real Censors of China – The New York Times What does it take to buck the system? Either you remain forever on the margins, pitching books to editors who have never heard your name, hoping for plaudits from authors whose own work you have never praised. Or, for writers already within the system, you spurn the patrons who made your careers, humiliate the peers who made the same compromises you once did. When you are a Chinese author, being anti-authoritarian means being anti-social: It requires not the courage to speak truth to power, but the courage to be rude to your friends.
Bureau of Statistics: Beijinger Workers Average RMB 6,500 per Month | the Beijinger Earlier this month the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics along with the Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security released a joint report regarding the average yearly income of Beijing residents during 2014. According to the report, the average employee in Beijing makes RMB 77,560 per year, or RMB 6,463 per month, an increase of 11.6 percent over 2013’s figures, which were RMB 69,521 and RMB 5,793, respectively.
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