Just links again today, lots of family obligations this week:
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
China Sees 7% as Bottom-Line Growth Tolerable in Slowdown – Bloomberg Readers of Sinocism not surprised, as this was the top item in the 7.22 newsletter, also discussed yesterday // Expansion below 7 percent won’t be accepted because China needs to achieve a moderately prosperous society by 2020, according to a commentary published July 21 by the official Xinhua News Agency and credited to reporter Wang Yuewei. Li said at a recent meeting with economists that 7 percent is the “bottom line” and the nation can’t allow growth below that, the Beijing News reported today.
Related: China Stocks Rise Most in 2 Weeks as Li Report Spurs Growth Bets – Bloomberg “Li’s comment about having a growth bottom line is reassuring to investors because this means they need not be especially worried about a severe economic downturn and the economy is still manageable,” said Qian Weihai, an analyst at Shanghai Securities Co.
习近平：坚定不移全面深化改革开放 脚踏实地推动经济社会发展–时政–人民网 People’s Daily on Xi’s Hubei inspection tour and his reform comments. Article embeds video of the nearly 8 minute CCTV Evening News report, kills two propaganda birds w one stone…it is the packaged summary of his recent trip, with longer video of him in the rain holding his own umbrella….based on comments about the economy, hard to discern any daylight between him and Li Keqiang on economic policies, as some have suggested…// 新华网武汉7月23日电 中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平7月21日至23日在湖北调研全面深化改革问题和当前经济运行情况。他强调，全面深化改革是党的十八大提出的一项战略部署，也是我们实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标必须解决好的重大问题，一定要始终把改革创新精神贯彻到治国理政各个环节，推动经济持续健康发展，更好实现党的十八大确定的奋斗目标和工作部署。
Related: Xi Jinping calls for deeper reforms to meet economic challenges | South China Morning Post The official Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying during a trip to the central province of Hubei this week that officials must hold high the spirit of reform and innovation when managing the world’s second biggest economy to propel its sustainable and healthy development. “To address the series of problems and challenges facing our country’s development, the key is to deepen reforms in all aspects,” Xi was quoted as saying.
Gov’t Plans to Spend 1.7 Tln Yuan on Plan to Fight Air Pollution – Caixin The central government will spend 1.7 trillion yuan to combat air pollution, environmental minister Zhou Shengxian said while visiting the southwestern province of Guizhou on July 20. The plan will be released to the public no later than mid-August. In early July, ministry spokesman Tao Detian called it “the strictest” in history. Zhou said a key task of the plan will be reducing the amount of PM2.5 in the air. Experts consider PM2.5, fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, to be one of the most dangerous pollutants. They can become lodged deep in the lungs and lead to health problems.
The Chinese Professor X: Money, power and absurdity | Offbeat China Much of Wang’s success can be attributed to the fact that he has remained pretty much unknown to the public in the past 20 years. His low-key life was broken by a recent visit by Jet Li, world-known kung fu star; Zhao Wei, popular Chinese movie star; and Ma Yun, founder and former chairman and CEO of China’s ecommerce giants Taobao and Alibaba. When netizens saw pictures from the visit, they started to wonder: “What’s so special about this particular Qigong master that one of China’s richest men wants to seek wisdom from him?”
Related: “气功大师”王林与名人合影照曝光_1视觉_一财网 slideshow of wang lin with famous people, starting with liu zhijun
Alibaba: Jack Ma digs himself deeper but investors don’t care | beyondbrics A person familiar with Alibaba said the company would tell investors Alibaba was better than Amazon and eBay, better than Facebook and even better than Google and Baidu. The person said Alibaba estimated its market value at $69bn, much lower than estimates by investment banks, which put it as high as $120bn. The person said Alibaba would adopt more conservative valuations to avoid a price drop like that experienced by Facebook.
Related: Alibaba Offers Smart TV Operating System to Lure More Users – Bloomberg Jack Ma in your living room // Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest e-commerce company, has designed a smart television operating system and set-top box to win more users by offering services on a wider spectrum of devices. Alibaba’s system will run a set-top box developed in collaboration with Wasu Media Holding Co. (000156) that will link TVs to the Internet, Yu Ce, vice president of Alibaba, said at a press conference in Beijing today. Other manufacturers will also incorporate the system, which will include online shopping, and integrate its payment system Alipay in their TVs, Yu said.
First U.S. citizen detained as China pharma probe spreads | Reuters The unnamed American is the first U.S. citizen to be detained in connection with the investigations, and the second foreign national, after a British risk consultant linked with GlaxoSmithKline was held last week.
Related: Drug Research in China Falls Under a Cloud – NYTimes.com Executives at the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline were warned nearly two years ago about critical problems with the way the company conducted research at its drug development center in China, exposing it to potential financial risk and regulatory action, an internal audit found.
Related: Police crack down on drugmakers |News |chinadaily.com.cn Media reported on Tuesday that the National Development and Reform Commission has launched an investigation into 60 drugmakers, including foreign companies and more than 10 listed domestic companies…The NDRC said the list of enterprises was drawn randomly, and it aimed to find out the costs and pricing in medicine production and logistics so that it can adjust prices. But industry insiders worried that more measures are to follow
Forecasting China | McKinsey & Company McKinsey’s Gordon Orr has been publishing predictions about China for nearly five years. Join him for a review of the good guesses, major misses, and lessons he’s learned from both.
Unbalanced growth will help China avoid a slump | The A-List Yukon Huang disagrees with Paul Krugman and Michael Pettis// Motivated by the view that imbalance is bad and consumption is being repressed, many commentators then mistakenly recommend that China’s growth needs to be more consumption-driven. There is no such concept in economic theory as consumption-driven growth. Sustained growth can only come from increasing factors of production – labour or capital – and productivity. China’s labour force is now shrinking (although its quality can be improved) and its investment rates have reached their limits (although its composition must change). Thus the challenge for the country’s new leadership is pushing forward with reforms that would increase productivity
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Fighting the taper in China | FT Alphaville We do not want to overemphasize the effect that high US rates had on the money-market squeeze in China in June, but we also believe it would be a mistake to ignore the effect of the Fed tapering its stimulus program on China’s onshore liquidity (Chart 3). There is a solid economic mechanism at work here. As the Fed’s tapering program helps the USD to gain its strength, reserve accumulation will slow down significantly and may even drop, running the PBoC’s money creation machine out of fuel as there will be less dollar to buy and less RMB to be put to work.
China’s Economic Goals In One Chart – Business Insider Restructuring to stabilize growth, a small fiscal expansion –On policy, Mr. Li recognizes that growth is approaching the 7.5% floor at the moment, but he sees no room on monetary easing and he will use supply-side measures to bolster growth without worsening existing structural problems. But from his policy details we reckon that he could introduce a small scale fiscal expansion by tapping the central government coffer to support social housing, railway, environment related urban infrastructure such as sewage and IT infrastructure such as broadband and 4G.
China’s NDRC Probes Old Veteran Jewellery Stores in Shanghai -Caijing Following a sweep on baby formula makers and parametrical giants, the powerful National Development and Reform Commission accused gold jewellery association, Lao Fengxiang (600612.SH) and other famous jeweler stores in Shanghai of fixing prices in the latest antitrust probe.
PBoC Denies a Ban on Lending to Industries with Overcapacity-Caijing too bad // Cement, steel and iron, chemical fiber, aluminum and coal are among the industries being cut from banks lending, according to market hearsay, citing an internal central bank document. Rumor also had it that companies in the sectors were not allowed to access to short-term securities loans, medium-term notes, convertible bonds and new corporate debts, but they would get deductions in interests of loans, if they suspend production. A central bank official said he/she did not even “hear about” such a document, according to online news portal Netease. The news was confirmed by a state-owned bank official, for not receiving such a paper.
CRC Needs 3.5 Tln Yuan to Complete Projects Underway, Insider Says – Caixin At least 3.5 trillion yuan is needed to complete railway projects that are underway, an insider at China Railway Corp. (CRC), the spin-off of the former Ministry of Railways, says. He did not say how much of the investment needs to be made this year. However, to ensure adequate funding for the projects, he said, the CRC had limited the pace at which new projects were started in the first half.
新型城镇化要破解哪些重点难点？–金融时报 Chinese Financial News on 6 difficulties need to be resolved for urbanization // 业内专家认为，从国内外城镇化的历史经验看，城镇化的推进，除了中央和地方的财政资金支持外，确实离不开金融服务的支持，而新型城镇化的顺利开展，必须探索建立强健可持续的金融服务体系。 新时期我国新型城镇化的开展，需要探索和建立健全适应其多元化需求的金融服务体系，这包括政策性金融与商业性金融并存、城市金融与农村金融并存、间接融资与直接融资并存、正规金融与民间金融并存的既有分工又有合作的统一金融服务体系。
两部委酝酿政策 钢铁过剩产能化解可期？ – 经济观察网 Two Ministries working a plan to clean up steel overcapacity….implementation will be politically painful in the extreme // 据悉，工信部目前正在酝酿调整钢铁行业准入门槛。与以往的政策不同，新门槛将不再按照钢铁企业高炉或电炉的规模标准单纯淘汰落后设备和生产线，新政策将转向淘汰落后企业。此外，工信部和国家发改委还将推进河北、江苏、山东等钢铁大省，进行存量调整下的兼并重组。 国务院已经明确严禁对银行为钢铁企业违规新上项目提供贷款，但却酝酿拿出专门的并购贷款来推动钢铁企业进行存量调整下的兼并重组。此外，国务院鼓励国内有实力钢铁企业“走出去”，转移一批过剩产能。这是国务院为化解中国过剩产能提供的方向：即国内消化一批；向海外转移一批；整合一批；淘汰一批。
应对下行_杂志频道_财新网 短期内，祝宝良认为，国务院近期强调“盘活存量、用好增量”，实际上就是把改革跟稳定的政策结合在一起，现在很可能改革从金融领域就开始突破了。“逻辑关系很清楚，行政审批权下放后，必须加快金融改革，减少地方政府对金融部门的干预”。 目前看来，牵一发而动全身的利率市场化改革有望提速，相配套的存款保险制度可能推出，民营资本进入金融领域有望实质性突破。
Questions as Developers Spend Big on Land Deals – Caixin Property firms have been aggressively pursuing new plots, but a slowdown in home sales has raised concerns about their prospects
孙河地块刷新北京单价地王 中粮地产助周边高价地解套_财经频道_一财网 COFCO the new land king in Beijing after winning the bidding for a plot in Sunhe, Beijing // “感谢大家的关注，我们一定会按照国土局的要求去做。”昨日，中粮地产（北京）有限公司相关负责人留下这一句话后，便匆匆离开了北京市国土局的拍地现场。正是这家公司，刷新了北京的单价地王纪录——昨日，上述中粮地产子公司以23.6亿元并配建3.3万平方米公租房的代价，竞得了北京市朝阳区孙河乡西甸村HIJ地块二类居住、托幼、医院用地，扣除保障房面积后，折合楼面价约4.84万元/平方米。
朱兴良家族套现金螳螂12亿元 马云旗下基金“踩雷”_财经频道_一财网 possible big loss, embarrassment for Jack Ma and the Yunfeng Fund. The CEO of Gold Mantis , one of their investee companies has been taken away for investigation, reports first financial // 《第一财经日报》获悉，金螳螂实际控制人朱兴良目前已经被相关部门带走协助调查。金螳螂公告则强调，该公司经营情况目前一切正常。尽管如此，金螳螂股价近期大跌，此前入股该公司的云锋基金不幸踩到地雷，云锋基金主要持股方包括阿里巴巴董事局主席马云。而在更早的时候，朱兴良家族已经从金螳螂套现超过12亿元。
洋镜片中国控价术：踢降价者出局，涉嫌暴利垄断|眼镜|暴利|反垄断法_21世纪网 21st Century Business Herald says some foreign eyeglass lens firms are monopolistic, making too much profit…// 目前，包括法国依视路、德国蔡司、日本豪雅等在内的多个国际品牌，均在中国制定全国统一零售价体系，除了各门店自身的特殊要求外，可适当有8.5折的打折权限外，正常情况下，不能打折销售。
Former Bank Employees Protest in Beijing – NYTimes.com It is not the first time the former bank tellers, accountants and branch managers have sought to publicize their grievances, which stem from a restructuring of China’s four largest banks as they prepared to go public, forcing out about 400,000 people during the decade-long purge. Many of those fired were over 40, and some were nearing retirement.
Japan’s lessons for China | FT Alphaville Diana Choyleva predicts China, having adopted many of the same approaches to creating and maintaining growth, will attempt to deal with various challenges with stop-start reforms and so far has “just gone down the route of the three temporary solutions that Japan tried and which failed.” As she says, “the personal wealth and political muscle of a large number of those in power” will make it difficult to proceed in a linear fashion with broad reforms such as interest and exchange rate liberalisation, opening the capital account, cleaning up banks and changing the hukou system.
POLITICS AND LAW
探访北京藏身六百年古寺内的高档会所_图片频道_新华网 Xinhua finds two temples in Beijing that are now private clubs. Slideshow, they look nice // 2013年初，“市级文保单位嵩祝寺及智珠寺变身高档餐饮会所”的消息引发热议，将北京北沙滩胡同两座原本并不算知名的寺庙推向舆论的风口浪尖。7月20日，记者再次探访这里发现，嵩祝寺及智珠寺内的西餐厅和私人会所仍在照常营业。居住在周边的老人们说，这里早就不对外开放参观了，但每天夜幕降临后，有不少很贵的车出入寺庙，有的甚至第二天一早才离去，小时候还可以进去玩，现在里面什么样早就不记得了。
习近平执政遇瓶颈 群众路线遭各方质疑_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei says local officials going through the motions in the mass line education campaign // 对于整顿作风，几乎所有的基层官员回应称，顶多是党政机关的一把手召集会议，然后照本宣科讲一下整风文稿就结束了，顶多再组织开个“和谐”的讨论会。到如今，整了半年风，除了喝酒有所收敛，其他照旧。还有不少官员在密集地讨论最高层究竟想干什么？退回到文革，谁会跟他走？改革又没有具体措施。上面空转，下面彷徨。有不少官员用“一场闹剧”来形容群众路线。
舆论场：江泽民的“赞美”_中国_多维新闻网 interesting Duowei analysis of the messages from the Jiang-Kissinger meeting..and my mother in law used to cook Peking Duck for Kissinger in New York City..too bad that guanxi went cold…// 外界浮想联翩并不在于江泽民如何不吝溢美之词赞扬习近平上，而在于赞扬之前的那句“不久前我与习近平主席通电话”，以及外交部这篇首发报道文章的诸多惊奇之处。首先来看通电话隐含的诸多讯息。“不久前”，恰逢整风运动高潮迭起之际，新华社报道曾明确表示习曾就群众路线问题向中共党内元老咨询，所以两人通电话算得上是一次隔空通气会。“通电话”后，习近平获得江泽民力挺，故而整风运动即便饱受质疑也底气十足一路高歌猛进。这一点，从基辛格随后接受《华尔街日报》采访时对习近平“有能力挑战腐败”的评价中也得以验证。毕竟，不管是整风运动，还是群众路线实践教育活动，一大核心目标即是惩治腐败。基辛格唯独将“有能力挑战腐败”单拎出来，最可能的解释便是在稍早前与江泽民进行庄园式会面时，两人促膝长谈了整风运动这个“很重要”的话题。
China cracks down on building projects in anti-graft move | Reuters China on Tuesday ordered a five-year suspension of the construction of new official buildings, state media reported, in the latest move by President Xi Jinping to crack down on extravagance and pervasive corruption. The decision was “made in accordance with the country’s frugality campaign”, official news agency Xinhua said.
Inside the Minds of China’s ‘Weiquan’ Super-Lawyers | TLN I traveled to Beijing last Christmas to meet Liang Xiaojun, a 12-year veteran of criminal defense law. We had been introduced several months earlier by a British NGO that works to strengthen rule of law and increase access to justice in China. Mr. Liang is known for defending members of the Falun Gong, a religion that earned itself “illegal” status in China when members spoke out against the Party. As one of the charity’s most active “men on the ground,” he was simultaneously involved in a handful of projects, including one (rather long-term) to abolish the death penalty in China.
人事调动南来北往 省级政府副职将调整补齐_财经频道_一财网 省级组织部长从异地选任，是为了防止人事任免上任人唯亲，减少当地“圈子”因素的影响。
卫计委官网刊登短片“美丽使者彭丽媛”_网易新闻中心 State Population Planning Commission post short film on Peng Liyuan..”The Beautiful Emissary Peng Liyuan”
何燕遭查拷问资本原罪 国腾系陷侵吞国资漩涡|何燕|国腾系|资本_21世纪网 The investigation of He Yan sounds like a big deal // 作为涉事官员覆盖的国资领域，则成为案件多发地。而国腾系的国资流失问题也由来已久，多年来相安无事，则与涉事官员的庇护密切有关。
Open letter calls for Xu Zhiyong release – China Media Project An open “protest letter” signed today by more than 400 Chinese citizens — including well-known journalists, lawyers, academics and businesspeople — called on Chinese authorities to release Xu Zhiyong, a prominent lawyer and rights campaigner who was detained on July 16. This latest domestic action over the Xu Zhiyong case was initiated by liberal economist Mao Yushi (茅于轼), Chinese venture capitalist Wang Gongquan (王功权), and veteran journalists Xiao Shu (笑蜀) and He Sanwei (何三畏).
习近平考察武汉时与市民握手打招呼：美女你好_网易新闻中心 Xi Jinping to woman he meets in Hubei: “Hello, beautiful”. She of course loves it// 【美女，你好！】7月22日上午，习大大视察武汉市民之家 ，与市民郭婷婷握手时，竟然来了一句：“美女，你好！” 周围的人都笑了：没想到，习大大还真会聊天！回到单位后，郭婷婷对着同事高喊：“看你们以后谁还敢说我不是美女，习大大都说我是美女了！”
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Chinese warships make circuit of Japanese archipelago – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun In a show of strength, Chinese Navy warships for the first time made a circuit of the Japanese archipelago this month, sources in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces said July 22. The vessels entered the Sea of Okhotsk, also for the first time, on July 14 through the Soya Strait, located between Hokkaido and Sakhalin, and then went out into the Pacific Ocean
China Unveils Coast Guard To Handle Sea Conflict | Defense News | defensenews.com The China Coast Guard integrates the functions of marine surveillance, the existing coast guard that came under the police, fisheries law enforcement and Customs’ anti-smuggling maritime police. The divisions “that were not allowed to be equipped with weapons can be armed now,” Yang Mian, professor of international relations at the Communication University of China, was quoted as saying by the Global Times newspaper. “The new agency will also make our law enforcement more powerful.”
PacNet #55 – China Debates DPRK Policy | Center for Strategic and International Studies Policy toward the DPRK is one of the few foreign affairs issues that has triggered great debate in China. Over the years, China’s policy toward North Korea has been driven by inertia. There was a clear ideological element that regarded the DPRK as a “socialist country.” The Chinese used an idiom “kukou poxin” – basically meaning to urge somebody repeatedly with good intentions – to describe efforts to persuade Pyongyang to constrain itself with respect to nuclear development and to take a new path of reform and opening-up.
英国大使吴思田的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿 UK Ambassador to China Sebastian Wood’s Sina Weibo account. Good for him, his Chinese is excellent, assume he writes his own posts
种族问题严重撕裂美国-逾八成非洲裔美国人认为，齐默尔曼枪杀马丁一案审判不公–人民日报 Another People’s Daily report on the Martin-Zimmerman case, this one says racial problems are tearing apart America
Commentary: Indian media hype about China-India border dispute benefits none – Xinhua | English.news.cn Beijing and New Delhi should build on the positive momentum yielded by Premier Li’s visit. After all, the right track forward for the two gaint neighbors is to boost investment, expand trade and strengthen links so that both countries can benefit from the win-win cooperation. As for media from both countries, playing up the border disputes is hardly a constructive way of doing things.
China to deploy new strategic missile class of submarines next year – Washington Times Gertz–China’s navy is expected to begin the first sea patrols next year of a new class of strategic missile submarines, highlighting a new and growing missile threat to the U.S. homeland, according to U.S. defense officials. “We are anticipating that combat patrols of submarines carrying the new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile will begin next year,” said one official familiar with recent intelligence assessments of the Chinese strategic submarine force.
Homeland Security official probed – Yahoo! News President Barack Obama’s choice to be the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department is under investigation for his role in helping a company secure an international investor visa for a Chinese executive, The Associated Press has learned…The email said the primary complaint against Mayorkas was that he helped a financing company run by Anthony Rodham, the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to win approval for an investor visa, even after the application was denied and an appeal was rejected…
North Korea Halts Construction of New Long-Range Rocket Launch Facilities | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea New commercial satellite imagery confirms that major construction projects at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground have been halted. These projects—the building of a new launch pad, missile assembly building and launch control center—are designed to handle larger rockets than the Unha-3 space launch vehicle (SLV) able to handle heavier payloads and to fly greater distances. Work slowed and stopped at the end of 2012. While it was expected that construction would continue this spring, new imagery indicates that work had not resumed as of late May 2013, almost eight months later.
Q&A on China’s New Exit-Entry Administration Law and Regulations | U.S. and China Visa Law Blog Here’s a Q&A on the new law and regulations. Feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts in the comments section.
Translation: Foreigner Exit-Entry Administration Regulations of the People’s Republic of China | U.S. and China Visa Law Blog The new regulations become effective on September 1. They differ significantly from draft regulations which had been released for public comment by the State Council on May 3, 2013. An unofficial translation by our firm follows.
TECH AND MEDIA
China Has 261M Active Smartphones And Tablets, 65% On Android Analytics firm Flurry has some new stats out for the China market. The company says it measured 261.33 million active smartphones and tablets in China in its most recent survey. Of those, 65 percent are Android devices, while the rest are on iOS .
Weibo Users Worry Taobao.com Was Hacked – Caixin The public is concerned about the safety of user information on Taobao.com amid Internet speculation the popular consumer-to-consumer site was hacked. Starting early July 22, there has been speculation on weibo, the country’s popular Twitter-like service, that Taobao’s database was hacked and user information was stolen. Taobao’s parent company is Alibaba Group. The speculation follows media reports on July 17 that a high-risk vulnerability was found in the open-source web application framework Struts2, which is used to develop websites. The vulnerability would enable Net attackers to tamper with website information and steal data.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Thirsty Coal 2: Shenhua’s Water Grab | ChinaFile This investigation report is a follow-up to the 2012 Greenpeace and the China Academy of Sciences joint study: “Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated By China’s New Mega Coal Bases.” In this report, we focus on the most controversial part of China’s coal strategy: the proposed scaling up of the coal chemical sector. In particular, Greenpeace investigated the largest of nine coal chemical demonstration projects in operation: Shenhua’s Coal-to-Liquid Demonstration Project located in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Given its size and scope, this massive, controversial project is a classic example of the unchecked expansion of coal-reliant industries that is in growing conflict with China’s water resources
Chinese coal company releasing toxic wastewater, Greenpeace says | Environment | guardian.co.uk A project operated by China’s largest coal miner, Shenhua Group, has reduced groundwater levels in an Inner Mongolia region and discharged high levels of toxic wastewater, environmental campaign group Greenpeace said on Tuesday. The report, the first by Greenpeace to single out and publicly challenge one of China’s powerful state-owned companies, comes as the country’s new leadership steps up its focus on pollution amid growing protests over environmental degradation.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
山东生姜价格连涨两月创新高 本轮涨价未见炒家|生姜|价格|姜农_新浪财经_新浪网 Price of ginger is surging…farmers had cut back on planting it as price slumpe over last two years // 据了解，最近两年生姜价格比较低，使得姜农们种姜热情下降，种植面积一部分有压缩的趋向，面积减少加上部分产区受天气因素影响，产量下降，在面对需求旺盛以后，价格势必上升。
韩娟狂想曲 / Ambrose-a-rama: An ever-changing view of China from the Changping Metro Line how quickly things change in Beijing. and be wary of anyone who says the Beijing municipal government has over-invested in transportation infrastructure// the blogger notes that this video illuminates some of what is wrong with China–too many people to get anywhere, too many people for manners, too many people for the government to allow freedoms. When I read that, I remembered that only two years ago that the Changping Line was also highlighted on the website of The Atlantic as an example of what was wrong with China, except then it was based on how empty the subway cars were, rather than on how inhumanely full they were. I took issue with the picture that emerged in that post, partly because I was hoping for a more positive, hopeful portrayal of Changping and the series of urban planning experiments that have shaped the satellite city (if for no other reason, honestly, than we live there). Instead of asking the people on the train what they were doing there, the blogger called around to experts from Tsinghua and U Mass to figure out what iPhone-toting passengers were doing there, getting feedback that supported the blogger’s first impression that the Changping Line lead into the middle of nowhere. There was already a “there” out there when he rode the train, I contended, and it was rapidly going to be more of a “there,” maybe even with a Starbucks (I’m still waiting).
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