I am taking our kids to DC tonight for a few weeks of American summer. The newsletter may slow down a bit over the next week or so as we deal with the joys of jet lag.
You should have received a separate email discussing the spam problems many subscribers are having. If you did not see that email you can read it here, though if you did not receive it you probably also did not get this email. I am trying to work with Mailchimp, the email service provider that sends the newsletter, to find a fix.
Xi’s efforts to rein in corruption have surprised many and there is much speculation about what is really going in with the crackdown. Among the key questions:
1. Is it a political purge, is it a broader, unprecedented in recent years effort to seriously tackle corruption, or is a combination of both?
2. Is the crackdown also a tool to weaken vested interests and set the stage for the comprehensive reforms mooted at the Third Plenum?
3. Is it a campaign that will soon run its course, or are Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan trying to build an institutional framework that will allow for ongoing, more consistent efforts to fight corruption?
4. What is clean enough, as no one can really believe corruption can be eradicated?
5. Can Beijing really be serious about fighting corruption without broader reforms that allow more independent oversight?
I wish I knew the answers, and certainly lots of us have opinions and hypotheses.
I am sticking with what I wrote in the January 2013 Chinafile conversation Is Xi Jinping’s Fight Against Corruption For Real?:
…Few outside observers believe corruption can be rooted out without broader political changes, but Mr. Xi appears determined to push this current crackdown farther than most believed…
I know, it may be too late, and many are convinced this is just a lot of thunder without the rain. But do not underestimate how serious he is, and how much personal prestige he is investing. The recent Politburo meeting deserves more attention than it has gotten outside of official media.
The comment that this latest meeting signals an upgrading of the “eight rules” is interesting. The corruption crackdown and austerity may in fact deepen.”
Eighteen months on, the odds of the crackdown continuing to deepen look high.
Happy Independence Day to the American and British members of the Sinocism community!
Presidents of China and South Korea Reaffirm Push for North Korean Denuclearization – NYTimes.com The leaders of China and South Korea sent a strong message to North Korea on Thursday saying they were united in their opposition to the development of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, but they fell short of announcing how they would pursue that goal. After a three-hour meeting, China’s president, Xi Jinping, and South Korea’s leader, Park Geun-hye, issued a joint statement that smoothed over the differences in approach that have stalled a more aggressive stance toward the unabated development of nuclear weapons by North Korea, and its leader, Kim Jong-un, China’s ally.//anything actually new in this language?
Related: [Interview] Chinese expert on South Korea and China’s growing partnership : International : Home Jin Canrong says this week’s visit to Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping shows how the bilateral relationship is developing
Related: South Korean Attitudes on ChinaThe Asan Institute for Policy Studies | The Asan Institute for Policy Studies The Korean public now views China more positively than at any time since Asan began tracking this across a range of metrics. The favorability of China is currently at its highest point, and the 2014 summit will drive that number higher. Perceptions of China as a cooperative partner have also steadily increased through the first half of 2014, and will climb higher following the summit. But as this report will show, wariness of China lingers just below the surface.
Related: Commentary: China and S. Korea for richer and safer Asia – Xinhua The pair have become each other’s major trading partner and investor, with two-way trade shooting up to more than 270 billion U.S. dollars in 2013. Yet they can do more and better…Meanwhile, without a stable and favorable environment, advancement on the economic track would be unsustainable — a stark reality that demands the two heavyweight players live up to their shared and inescapable responsibility in maintaining regional tranquility. The task is daunting. Despite vehement domestic opposition and pronounced international concern, Japan’s nationalist prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has just gutted his country’s pacifist constitution and betrayed his nation’s pacifist soul with a constitutional reinterpretation that allows Japanese forces to fight abroad.
Related: Beijing, Seoul agree to directly trade currencies – China Daily An RMB clearing facility is expected to be set up in Seoul to further boost yuan trading in the country, where deposits of the Chinese currency have surged this year. The statement didn’t specify when the two plans will be implemented.
Related: On China-Korea Economic Agenda: FX, Free Trade Talks – Korea Real Time – WSJ Free trade talks between the two sides began in 2012 but have made slow progress due to difficulties in reaching agreement on removing tariffs on sensitive items–agricultural and fishery products for Seoul, and petrochemical, steel and machinery goods for Beijing–according to people familiar with the matter. “Though it won’t produce a free trade agreement, the summit will help the negotiators speed up their work to strike a deal,” said a Korean presidential aide. South Korea officials hope a deal can be done by the end of the year.
Related: Japan to lift 3 sanctions against N. Korea; abduction reinvestigation to start – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The three sanctions are: restrictions on the flow of people between Japan and North Korea, including the entry ban imposed on North Korean officials; the requirement to report the taking out of Japan of 100,000 yen ($985) or more in currency or the transfer of 3 million yen or more to North Korea; and the embargo on North Korean registered ships involved in humanitarian activities. Other sanctions will remain in place, including the ban into Japanese ports of the Man Gyong Bong-92 cargo-passenger ship as well as the ban on charter flights from North Korea to Japanese airports.
Related: China cites Japan wartime ‘confessions’ in propaganda push | Reuters China has posted documents online it says are personal accounts of wartime atrocities committed by Japan in China, the latest in a wave of anti-Japan propaganda efforts that comes after Tokyo ended a ban on its military from fighting abroad…China’s Central Archives plans to post one “confession” per day on its website…In an effort to appeal to Western countries in its propaganda offensive, English translations would accompany the postings.
CPC sets timetable for anti-corruption system – Xinhua The plan was announced at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Monday, just as four formerly high-ranking officials were expelled from the Party, including Xu Caihou, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. The reform will focus on tightening checks and supervision of leaders, Huang Shuxian, minister of supervision, told Xinhua on Thursday. A dual leadership scheme will grant more power to discipline inspection agencies, Huang said. Local discipline inspection agencies will report not only to the CPC, but to superior inspection agencies when investigating cases. The Party will also sharpen the efficiency of inspectors dispatched to discover malpractice and harmful work styles in provincial governments, state-owned enterprises and public institutions. Last year, 10 teams of inspectors made 20 visits and came back with information that helped bring down a number of corrupt officials. More inspection agencies at the central level and new laws and regulations concerning corruption will be announced soon.
Related: 深入贯彻落实三中全会精神 推进党的纪律检查体制改革创新–访中央纪委副书记、
Related: Why China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Will Be Successful | The Diplomat author an assistant professor at University of Macau // The good news for China is that the current leadership under Xi Jinping is very serious about institution building in fighting corruption. On the same day that Gen. Xu was expelled from the Party, the Party also announced a new reform on the system of discipline inspection. The key of the new reform is to establish a more autonomous and more powerful institution of discipline inspection. Whether this will be effective will be tested in time, but for now we have good reason to believe that China’s anti-corruption campaigns are serious and will be successful.
Related: Why China’s anti-graft war may eventually fail | Offbeat China State censors (监察御史) have been part of China’s government system ever since the Qin Dynasty, the country’s first imperial dynasty. These censors had nothing to do with information filtering, but were government organs that supervise and control the entire officialdom. Officials work as censors were allowed to indicate corrupt or illegal practices of other officials or to investigate officials charged of misdoings. Sounds familiar? That’s exactly the job of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party in today’s China…As an old Chinese saying goes: a new chief brings in new aides. Many people believe that the current sweeping anti-graft campaign will eventually hit a dead end.
Related: 贾康：房地产税就是抽肥补瘦 2016年前后见眉目_新浪地产网 CCTV discusses the upcoming fiscal and tax reform with Jia Kang, Ministry of Finance research center director. Jia says property tax likely around 2016
Related: Coal, electricity prices expected to rise – China Daily The prices for coal, electricity and other resources in China are expected to rise as a result of the upcoming reform of the resource tax, the finance ministry’s head researcher said Thursday. “Despite controversies and difficulties, the reform of the resource tax has been put on this year’s work agenda. Let’s wait and see,” Jia Kang, head of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), wrote in an article published in the Shanghai Securities News.
New SCMP study puts July 1 protest number at 140,000, well below organiser estimates | South China Morning Post A study commissioned by the South China Morning Post estimates 140,000 people took part in the July 1 march. The result – calculated through computerised area-density analysis – is similar to separate estimates by two University of Hong Kong academics but falls way below the organisers’ figure of 510,000. The police did not offer a total but estimated the largest number of marchers at any one time at 98,600.
Related: Cherish Status in Handling Yuan, Two Officials Tell Hong Kong – Caixin Former British colony reminded the business of dealing in collections and payments is growing elsewhere, so its future success is not guaranteed
With one eye on Washington, China plots its own Asia ‘pivot’ | Reuters The Silk Road, an obscure Kazakh-inspired security forum and a $50 billion Asian infrastructure bank are just some of the disparate elements in an evolving Chinese strategy to try to counter Washington’s “pivot” to the region. While Chinese leaders have not given the government’s growing list of initiatives a label or said they had an overall purpose, Chinese experts and diplomats said Beijing appeared set on shaping Asia’s security and financial architecture more to its liking. “China is trying to work out its own counterbalance strategy,” said Sun Zhe, director of the Centre for U.S.-China Relations at Beijing’s Tsinghua University and who has advised China’s government on its foreign policy.
Related: Shanghai leads race for Brics bank HQ – FT.com $$ Shanghai is leading a race to host the headquarters of a new “Brics” development bank that will challenge for the first time the US postwar dominance of multilateral lending institutions, people familiar with the matter in Brasília and Washington said. The bank, to be controlled by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is expected to start with capital of $50bn and to be officially launched by the Brics heads of state at a summit in Brazil on July 15.
Related: Senior Chinese official calls for Silk Road media cooperation – Xinhua Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Yunshan on Thursday called on media organizations along the Silk Road Economic Belt to work more closely to deepen people’s understanding and mutual trust. Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, made the call in the meeting with more than 30 foreign representatives attending the Silk Road Economic Belt Media Cooperation Forum.
How Climate Change Could Foil China’s Smog-Fighting Efforts – NYTimes.com Here’s the climate hypothesis (warning, necessarily simplified): As the earth warms, the high-pressure system of cold air known as the Siberian High that influences many places, including China, weakens. That means there is less wind to blow away the smog and stagnant air where pollutants accumulate and interact. That leads to increased haze, cutting sunlight’s access to the ground, leaving it cooler. The effect reduces the heat that produces convectional rainfall that could clear the air. It’s not so much a vicious circle as a vicious pretzel, or even knot. So, however much money a government may spend on local measures, the realities of chemistry, meteorology and climate mean that it might not solve the problem. Mr. Nielsen cautioned that for now, the “climate hypothesis” is just that — a hypothesis.
Related: When Air Quality in Beijing and Shanghai is Least Awful – China Real Time Report – WSJ “Meteorology plays a big role,” says Renyi Zhang, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. Mr. Zhang says Beijing’s fall and spring often ushers in winds from the north that blow away air pollutants. Meanwhile, “the air is kind of stagnant in the winter and summer,” he says. Another factor could be emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industrial activities, according to Mr. Zhang. Both summer and winter coincide with higher emissions from the burning of coal for heat and the use of electricity from coal-fired power plants for air conditioning, he says.
BBC News – Systematic bribery at GlaxoSmithKline China ‘credible’ – investigator One of the most extraordinary aspects of the case is that Mr Humphrey was not shown the whistleblower’s email allegations against GSK when he was hired to investigate Vivian Shi. In a statement dictated from prison, Mr Humphrey said that when he offered to look into the allegations, GSK told him they had already found them to be untrue. But when he finally saw the whistleblower’s email, just weeks before his own arrest, he made it clear that he believed the allegations were credible. In an email to colleagues he said: “I can only assume that they didn’t give them to us because they were afraid we would find the allegations credible and start verifying them… Actually I do believe every word of these allegations. They are totally credible.”
Hard Choices for Family Planners and Parents – Caixin Now that China has relaxed its one-child policy, family-planning agencies and parents are clashing, while demographers see new challenges
Related: Graphic: The Growing Pains that Come with Changing One-Child Policy – Caixin The legislature amended family-planning rules, meaning provinces around the country have to implement the changes. That’s when it gets complicated
China Trust ‘Timebomb’ Ticks as Credit Suisse Sees Rejig – Bloomberg Credit Suisse Group AG, analyzing figures from Chinese data provider Wind Information Co., estimates policies are due to repay 1.5 trillion yuan ($241 billion) in the first quarter of next year, compared with the about 1.3 trillion yuan this quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. also predicts the maturity peak, at about 1 trillion yuan, is now more likely to come in 2015 than this quarter
佳木斯城投公司以“假地”融资数十亿_深度_新京报网 The Beijing News reports on allegations that the Jiamusi city investment firm raised billions of RMB off of faked land collateral..the chairman of the firm is also the mayor…only Jiamusi? unlikely… // 佳木斯市原国土局长宋学英在狱中提到，他曾在市领导的指示下，
China frees retail yuan exchange rate in move toward convertibility | Reuters Under the new policy, effective immediately, banks can price OTC yuan/dollar exchange rates “in line with market supply and demand and without any restrictions”, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement published late on Wednesday. The move “is aimed at further perfecting the mechanisms to establish market-oriented exchange rate for the yuan,” the central bank said in the statement. However, the wholesale market that the banks trade in must still abide by the midpoint guidance rate. Because that primary market is an enormous source of forex supply and demand, posting around $15 billion in transactions every day, it will continue to exercise a strong influence on the retail market.
Charlene Barshefsky and Long Yongtu: A Win-Win Possibility for China-U.S. Trade – WSJ how many years away? hear going very slowly// By CHARLENE BARSHEFSKY And LONG YONGTU-We do not underestimate the difficulties of reaching a final agreement. But the WTO talks, which covered a vastly larger set of legal obligations, were harder still…A bilateral investment treaty will expand upon those benefits in real and immediate ways. We urge the leaders and negotiators of both countries to seize the opportunities at hand as creatively and quickly as possible to conclude an agreement.
World’s ‘tallest’ tower a watermelon field| China Daily A year ago, a local company in Central China’s Changsha city, Hunan province, shook the world by announcing that they were going to be the first city on the planet to actually build a “Sky City” – a 838-meter-tall skyscraper large enough to house an entire city. If the project is approved and completed as planned, it would become the tallest building in the world with 202 floors, 10 meters taller than the current record holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, nobody in the city seems to have seen any work on the site as pre-construction activities were halted in August 2013 after government regulators required additional approvals. Now the land has become a watermelon field and there is still no sign of construction, which was scheduled to be completed in April 2014.
U.S. Arrests Second Chinese Citizen in Seed-Theft Case – WSJ Mo Yun was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday and charged in an indictment Wednesday with participating in a five-year scheme to dig up seeds and steal ears of corn developed by Monsanto Co. MON -0.13% , DuPont Co. DD +0.54% and LG Seeds and ship them back to Beijing for the benefit of a Chinese seed company, according to U.S. officials….Ms. Mo, 41, is the wife of Dr. Shao Genhuo, who is founder and chairman of Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co., or DBN, a Chinese conglomerate that owns a corn-seed business, according to charges filed against her in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.// 大北农董事长之妻在美被捕 5员工上演种业谍战片
CRC Climbs aboard E-Commerce Boom with Dedicated Cargo Trains – Caixin The operator of the country’s railroads has started running special express trains carrying e-commerce deliveries, motivated by the boom in online shopping and a decline in traditional cargo volumes. The China Railway Corp. (CRC) launched its first e-commerce express train, which connects Shanghai and Shenzhen, on June 30. It will soon run express trains linking Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The courier industry has long had demand for rail transport services because of its large capacity and efficiency, but in the past talks with the CRC went nowhere, said a source from the China Express Association, which represents the industry.
业内称30个以上城市将在年内取消限购_新闻_腾讯网 21st Century Business Herald reports that industry insiders expect at least 30 cities to remove housing purchase restrictions by year end
$92B later, Alibaba’s massive mutual fund starts to stagnate–TechInAsia Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba’s premiere mutual fund savings product Yuebao turned one year old this week, and announced it now holds RMB 574 billion (US$92 billion) in assets. That makes it the fourth-largest money market fund in the world, according to the company’s official blog. That’s pretty impressive, but those assets are growing at a much slower clip now than they were in the first quarter of this year. This is due to a variety of reasons.
北京“限价令”松绑 9.7万元/平米豪宅下半年入市-财经网 new development in Beijing soon to go on sale for 97000 RMB/m…Poly Hyde Park..another sign that Beijing municipal authorities have relaxed price controls on new developments hitting the market
CEO of China Resources Group Subsidiary Resigns – Caixin The CEO of China Resources Medication Group (CRM), a pioneer in China’s experiments in public hospital investment, has resigned amid an anti-corruption storm at its parent company, adding uncertainties to its business outlook. Zhang Haipeng confirmed that he submitted his resignation two weeks ago and is in the process of undergoing a resignation audit….Zhang is a well-known writer who uses the pen name of Feng Tang. He was a global partner at McKinsey & Company in 2007, and later joined China Resources Holdings as a general manager in its strategic management department. Zhang graduated from the Peking Union Medical College, and went to the United States for his Master of Business Administration.
坚持和完善民主生活会制度 _中国经济网——国家经济门户 Vice Minister of Organization Department Wang Qinfeng on page 7 of Friday’s People’s Daily–Persevere with and perfect the democratic life meeting system…
传万庆良事发缘于前妻告御状_中国_多维新闻网 was Guangzhou Party Secretary Wan Qingliang taken down over allegations made by his ex-wife, the niece of Ye Jianying’s daughter-in-law? so goes one rumor making the rounds // 【多维新闻】对于广州市委书记万庆良的落马的原因，
Tale of abuse and revenge behind fall of China “tiger” – Channel NewsAsia BEIJING: When Chinese official Zhou Jianhua refused to tell Communist Party investigators he had received massive bribes, he says they beat him and forced him to drink toilet water until he confessed. As a crackdown on corruption pushed by Chinese President Xi Jinping ensnares a growing list of senior officials, Zhou’s account — in a recording obtained by AFP — offers a rare glimpse inside the ruling Party’s opaque internal disciplinary system…”He felt that because he reported Su Rong’s wife, he was being targeted as revenge,” said Zhou Ze, one of China’s most outspoken human rights lawyers, who now represents the former bureaucrat.
26,500 investigated for duty-related crimes – Xinhua They include 1,577 officials at or above county levels, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) revealed on Thursday. The figure is 33 percent more than that of 2013, when China’s new leadership launched the sweeping anti-graft battle to trap “tigers” and “flies.” The number of people investigated for offering and taking bribes increased by seven percent.
Brace for more tensions in Asia: Chinese analyst–Sydney Morning Herald A leading Chinese analyst says political leaders in Beijing are committed to a strategy that will cause territorial disputes to get worse. His comments are significant because Chinese officials have repeatedly absolved themselves from responsibility for dangerous territorial disputes that have flared with Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and India. China has blamed the United States for causing trouble with its neighbours in order to try to “contain” China’s rise. But asked about a Fairfax report about Australia and India drawing closer together, Shi Yinhong, Professor of International Relations at People’s University, said it was “natural” for those nations to form a “strategic coalition” with others including Japan and the US in response to the strengthening of China and expansion of Chinese naval activity.
F-22 Raptors deployed to confront China – Washington Times According to U.S. officials, the Chinese viewed the F-22s in Malaysia as an opportunity to learn the war-fighting characteristics of Malaysia’s Russian-made Su-30s that are similar to Chinese Su-30s that would be encountered in any future conflict with China. The Chinese also believed the exercises allowed the Air Force to operate its F-22s in strategic locations near China’s coasts. F-22s have been based temporarily in Northeast Asia but the deployment in the southeast is new. Chinese press reports also charged that the U.S. F-22s in Malaysia — operating from the Royal Malaysian Air Base at Butterworth about 218 miles north of the capital — improved U.S. combat readiness for a future attack on China.
China’s Strategic Rocket Force: Sharpening the Sword (Part 1 of 2) | The Jamestown Foundation The Second Artillery has made significant progress, particularly in modernizing its hardware, but also operations and training. Its main mission remains deterrence, especially toward U.S. intervention in a regional conflict. This deterrence mission increasingly emphasizes conventional capabilities, but nuclear weapons have also been modernized to ensure their continued effectiveness.
China’s RIMPAC Debut: What’s in It for America? | The National Interest “Despite concerns that Beijing’s participation constitutes a net loss for Washington, the U.S. can in fact derive substantial value from including China while building global maritime security partnerships.”
Why China Will Reclaim Siberia – Frank Jacobs- NYTimes.com certainly many Chinese think Siberia is theirs…and there is all that water and arable land, which should increase with global warming… // The border, all 2,738 miles of it, is the legacy of the Convention of Peking of 1860 and other unequal pacts between a strong, expanding Russia and a weakened China after the Second Opium War.
Xiaomi looking to establish Android tablet ecosystem to compete against iPad, says CEO Commenting on the company’s plans to join the tablet industry, CEO of China-based Xiaomi Lei Jun has said that the lack of a healthy ecosystem was the main problem holding Xiaomi back, and now Xiaomi is stepping up to try to establish an Android tablet ecosystem that is able to compete against Apple’s iPad.
Weibo Teams Up with CSM Media Research to Release TV Rating Index | TechNode China’s newly-listed microblog service Weibo have entered a partnership with CSM Media Research, a TV & radio audience measurement institute, to collaborate on Weibo TV Measurement Index, a big data analysis system for evaluating TV program impacts based social media stats. Bringing together social TV data from Weibo with the audience research expertise of CSM, the index will calculate on how many times and how many users have mentioned a certain TV program on Weibo platform, as well as to analyze the popularity and demographic patterns of the TV shows.
Urban Chinese Grow Veggies by Proxy Via Innovative Juhuasuan Project | Alizila Now Juhuasuan, China’s largest group-buying website, is exploring a way to help the residents of the country’s giant cities grow their own fresh, eco-friendly produce—by proxy. In a kind of modern-day form of reverse sharecropping, the website has created a program through which farmers can rent spare farmland to urban consumers, contract with them to grow whatever viable crops they desire, and then ship them the goods to eat once they ripen. Called Jutudi (literal translation: group land buying), the online program began in March when Juhuasuan, owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, rented out 77 acres of farmland in Jixi County, Anhui province, to more than 3,500 buyers over several days.
New swathe of online services disrupted in China; activists see HK protest link | Reuters Reuters reporters in China were unable to send messages on Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp, and KakaoTalk, owned by South Korean firm Kakao Corp. Both companies told Reuters they did not know the cause of the disruption or when the services would return to normal. Users and Reuters reporters also could not access Yahoo Inc’s Flickr photo sharing site and Microsoft Corp’s OneDrive cloud storage service.
While Chinese Business Social Apps are Raising New Funding, Big Players like WeChat is Coming in the Market | TechNode Now WeChat is coming in to the market. WeChat Account for Enterprise is under development, as reported by tech industry insider Yang Miao (report in Chinese). As WeChat public accounts have been able to do a lot of things, from pushing content to accept payments, and many businesses have developed sophisticated features, including navigation menu or HTML5-based rich media content, for their accounts, it won’t be surprising to see some features for performance management or other types of interactions for the WeChat Account for Enterprise.
NQ Mobile Sinks 32 Percent as Audit Panel Heads Resigns – Bloomberg looks like a big win for J Capital and Muddy Waters..interesting addition to the board in max Yao..I met him at a dinner last month, friend of a friend, very sharp, successful, wonder why he is taking on this mess; he does not seem to need the money or the hassle// The losses yesterday deepen a rout that has picked up over the past months after the company twice delayed the filing of full-year audited results to U.S. regulators and posted lower-than-estimated earnings. NQ Mobile said in a statement yesterday that Ying Han, chairwoman of its audit panel, will resign and that PwC Zhong Tian needs to widen the scope of its 2013 audit work. It didn’t say why a wider review was needed nor did it provide an estimated date for the report. // NQ Mobile Inc. Announces Changes to its Board of Directors and Provides Status Update of the 2013 Annual Audit
No regrets, say the Chinese women who chose independence over marriage | World news | The Guardian At 85, Liang is a rare survivor of a custom stretching back to the early 19th century in parts of southern Guangdong. Women here could vow to remain a “self-combed woman”, or zishunü, leaving their parents’ home to work without marrying. “If I hadn’t become a ‘self-combed woman’, the landlord would have forced me into marriage,” she said.
A dramatic decline in suicides: Back from the edge | The Economist Two intertwined social forces are driving the reduction: migration and the rise of an urban middle class. Moving to the cities to work, even if to be treated as second-class citizens when they get there, has been the salvation of many rural young women, liberating them from parental pressures, bad marriages, overbearing mothers-in-law and other stresses of poor, rural life. Migrants have also distanced themselves from the easiest form of rural suicide, swallowing pesticides, the chosen method in nearly 60% of rural cases, and often done impulsively. The reduction in toxicity of pesticides has helped as well…Most worrying is that suicides remain high among the fastest-growing segment of society, the elderly, who kill themselves at rates ranging from 9.9 per 100,000 urban men aged 65-69 to 41.7 per 100,000 rural men aged 70-74. // our ayi’s father-in-law killed himself last month in Hubei, hanged from a tree…they think because he was swindled out of his savings
Clubbing with China’s Cocky Young 1 Percenters | VICE United States Club manager Hu Hong gave me some insight into his clientele. “A lot of these young Shanghainese people are second-generation rich, from rich families,” he said. “Some don’t do any work, but some work hard and learn from their parents. They come here and want to show off their success. They’re competitive. Their parents often know one another. Then you have a sexy model with you, and you order 100 bottles… the competition’s started.” Hu builds up strong relationships with his customers, and in return some spend up to 50,000 yuan ($8,000) per table, with the most exclusive spots (in the center, where the dance floor should be) in full view of pretty much everyone in the venue.
Islam in China: Ramadan, Beijing style | The Economist At the Madian mosque, however, the scene was more relaxed. Bitter tensions may be roiling in Xinjiang, but in the cool shade of craggy pine trees and the sweeping eaves of the central courtyard of the Qing-dynasty mosque, diversity and tolerance were on display. Though concentrated in western China, Islam is practiced across the country, with more than 23m adherents.
Photographic Assignment: Zhongnanhai – Du Xiuxian The three images were taken by Xinhua News Agency photographer Du Xiuxian, who passed away on June 11, 2014. Born in 1926, Du grew up in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province and joined the Eighth Route Army in 1944, where he would be trained in photography. In 1960, he received a job as a government photographer in Zhongnanhai and began to document the meetings of Zhou. Ten years later, he was also appointed to become Mao’s official photographer, until the death of Mao and Zhou in 1976.
Gazprom’s China Gas Price Said to Be Near German Level – Bloomberg Keeping parity between Germany and China, which will be Gazprom’s two largest customers after shipments to the Asian country start, may reassure investors that Russia didn’t offer excessive discounts to win a deal that had been sought for more than a decade. The base price for China National Petroleum Corp. is about $360 per 1,000 cubic meters, two government officials in Moscow said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. That’s near the average $366 that Gazprom charged Germany last year, which pays one of the lowest prices in Europe, one of the officials said.
Choking Smog Puts Chinese Driver in Natural Gas Fast Lane – Bloomberg About 3.8 million cars, trucks and buses in China, the world’s biggest energy consumer and emitter of greenhouse gases, will be filling up with compressed or liquefied natural gas by 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s almost double the current number, making Asia’s largest economy the fastest-growing market. The emergence of natural gas as a motor fuel emitting 32 percent less than diesel is buttressed by China’s network of almost 4,900 refueling stations and a $400 billion gas import deal with Russia
Top court advocates new green tribunals – China Daily China’s top court supports hearing environmental and resources cases without regard to the administrative regions where such cases occur, aiming instead to let nature dictate the jurisdictions in a bid to prevent judicial intervention by local governments. A guideline issued by the Supreme People’s Court on Thursday on improving trials involving the environment and resources encourages grassroots courts to set up environmental tribunals based on the location of habitats.
China Denies Killing US Pets with Tainted Dog Food | TheNanfang China has categorically denied that Chinese-made dog food has killed hundreds of pets in the United States, reports the Beijing Morning Post. Lu Chunming, the deputy head of the Bureau of Quality Inspection, said the US Food and Drug Administration has not fully investigated the issue, adding the US agency has criticized Chinese-made products without providing scientific proof.
首都经济圈发展规划即将出台 新华社——经济参考网 Xinhua’s Economic Information reports that that the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei “Capital Economic Zone Development Plan” is about to be released, will include plan for integrating transportation networks in the region..
天通苑小区：因孩子在北京上不了学 小区将搬走一大批人-财经网 a look at parents who both graduated from beijing universities, have good careers and own apartment in Beijing but are leaving because they do not have a Beijing hukou and the new round of Beijing education reforms has made it impossible to get their daughter into primary school…these latest reforms are not just affected migrant worker “underclass”…Beijing looks to be making it harder to get a hukou, part of policy to encourage people to go other cities?// 小谢和爱人上大学、就业、生孩子都在北京，
Beijing polls public opinion on transit fare hikes – China Daily the low-price policy has forced the city to devote a large amount of subsidies each year to offset the losses for transport operators. Local residents can go to http: // www.bjpc.gov.cn/zt/