The Sinocism China Newsletter 08.01.13

Chris Buckley of the New York Times has a terrific interview with Wang Lin, the “Qigong Master” who has fled to Hong Kong in the wake of a coordinated media assault (Sinocism 7.29) on his activities. It looks like the interview was in a suite in the Upper House hotel, per this Beijing News report (王林香港公司曾投宜春建设重点工程_中国_新京报网) on Wang’s alleged business dealings in Yichun, Jiangxi. Buckley reports in Success Brings Scrutiny to Chinese Mystic that:

Hiding in Hong Kong, where he fled to avoid possible arrest, Mr. Wang said Tuesday in an interview that he was the innocent victim of a political vendetta that has rippled outward from a business dispute in his hometown in Jiangxi Province in southern China. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China with considerable legal autonomy….

“The likes of Wang Lin are spiritual opium for some officials,” The People’s Daily said. “He is also a mirror that has exposed the unchecked avarice and ugly souls of certain officials.”…

A diminutive 61-year-old whose sculptured eyebrows and slicked-back hair are reminiscent of Liberace’s, Mr. Wang has attracted a following among businessmen, officials and others, according to Chinese news reports. His recent downfall started with a burst of publicity about his meeting Jack Ma, one of China’s richest entrepreneurs, and Liu Zhijun, the former railways minister recently jailed for graft.

Yup, he does look like a bit like Liberace, without the sequins.

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has retreated from his earlier China boosterism in his recent column Revenge of the Mistresses:

When I visited China in September, I wrote that I heard a new meme from Chinese businesspeople whom I met: “Make your money and get out.” More than ever, I heard a lack of confidence in the Chinese economic model. We should hope that China can make a stable transition from one-party Communism to a more consensual, multiparty system — and a stable diversification of its low-wage, high-export, state-led command economy — the way South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore have done. Its huge savings will help.

The world can ill afford a chaotic transition in China.

I missed the announcement. What transition?

Friedman is clearly still having visions of a Chinese Gorbachev hiding somewhere, anywhere, inside Zhongnanhai.

My money is on Xi Jinping, to use a Tom Friedman-ism, being Deng Xiaoping 2.0.

Thanks to the 60+ readers who attended the Sinocism DC dinner. It was great to meet so many smart people.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

政府性债务交叉审计:要“见人、见账、见物”_财经频道_一财网  First Financial says there will be “overlapping audits” down to the village government level, will want to see the people, accounts and tangible projects funded…Report to be delivered to the State Council by the middle of October, so right before what we assume is the opening of the Third Plenum…kitchen sink writedown coming, along with huge fodder for mass corruption-related Party expulsions and in some cases arrests? This is likely as much a political as it is economic effort // 备受关注的全国政府性债务审计工作今天正式展开。审计范围扩至五级政府,10月中旬向国务院提交审计报告…地方审计部门人士向《第一财经日报》记者确认,此轮审计范围较2011年的三级政府扩大至“中央、省、市、县、乡”五级政府

Related政府性债务审计今日全面展开 专家阐释背后深意–时政–人民网 People’s Daily talks to experts about the government debt audit that starts today, says it shows the resolve of the new leadership to gain control of the problem, is also a move in the anti-corruption fight…anyone know what % of local debt issued disappeared through corruption? likely a huge issue, and part of the incentive for local governments’ profligacy// 人民网北京8月1日电(记者常红 刘茸 李叶)一场对全国政府性债务进行审计的“审计风暴”今日将全面展开,国家审计署网站通知:“近日,根据国务院要求,审计署将组织全国审计机关对政府性债务进行审计。”据媒体报道,此次审计将对中央、省、市、县、乡五级政府性债务进行彻底摸底和测评。 此举究竟传递出什么信号?专家向人民网记者表示,此举表明中央政府非常重视国家整体金融风险,传递出新班子对经济政策全盘摸底的决心,并将成为反腐败的一步先行棋。

RelatedExpert warns local govts unaware of true debt level|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn Local governments’ debt is an issue that should draw “great concern”, as the governments “have no idea” how large the debt exactly is, Yu Yongding, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China, warned on Wednesday. “Why I am so concerned about the debt issue? Because based on my experience of dealing with local governments, I am skeptical whether they are willing and are able to repay the debts,” Yu said at the Netease Annual Economist Conference.

RelatedGuangzhou Nears Debt Red Line, Its Figures Show – Caixin Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province with a GDP that ranked third last year among all Chinese cities, said on July 30 that it needs to pay loans worth almost 26.1 billion yuan this year. That is 19.37 percent of the city government’s projected income for this year. The internationally accepted red line for this ratio is 20 percent. It also announced figures that show its outstanding loans will exceed 134 billion yuan in December, up 17.3 percent from the end of last year. The city’s forecasted income for this year is 134.7 billion yuan, in which case the ratio of its outstanding loans to income this year will be 99.5 percent. By both its own and international standards this ratio must not exceed 100 percent.

Related: 地方财政寅吃卯粮恐引爆风险 新华社——经济参考网 地上半年财政收支数据近日相继出炉。据《经济参考报》记者不完全统计,截至7月30日,已公布数据的20多个省份公共财政收入均完成半年预算任务,但13%左右的平均增速较前几年有所放缓。业内人士表示,展望下半年,受经济回升缓慢、进一步扩大营改增试点加大减税力度、后期房地产相关税收增幅可能有较大回落等因素影响,地方财政仍较为艰难。与此同时,长期依靠土地出让收入偿还债务的地方政府也面临着更为严峻的风险考验。

Related: Chinese Banks’ Outstanding Bad Loans Reach 539.5 Billion Yuan – Bloomberg Chinese banks’ outstanding bad loans stood at 539.5 billion yuan ($88 billion) at the end of June, at a ratio of 0.96 percent, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said. China’s local government financing vehicles’ combined outstanding loans gained 6.2 percent to total 9.7 trillion yuan at the end of June, according to a statement that was posted on the commission’s website.

Overcapacity is economy’s biggest problem: survey–China Daily China’s biggest problem for its economy, according to economists surveyed by the Netease Annual Economist Conference, is “overcapacity”. Half of economists surveyed said overcapacity is the most daunting problem while they said the second biggest concern is the nation’s property bubble, according to the survey released on Wednesday. Of the economists surveyed, 71.25 percent are “cautiously optimistic” about the new leadership’s reform efforts, while 23.75 percent said they are “optimistic”. More than 80 percent predicted this year’s GDP will grow by 7 to 8 percent. No one believed this year’s GDP will surpass 8 percent.

Related: As solar panels pile up, China takes axe to polysilicon producers – Yahoo! News People in the polysilicon industry say the moves will halve China’s production capacity to 100,000 metric tons (110231 tons) a year, leaving around 10 relatively strong firms with better technology and cost efficiency. “Most producers will be eliminated rather than acquired. This may sound cruel, but is the reality as they are technologically uncompetitive,” Lu Jinbiao, a senior official at China’s top polysilicon producer GCL-Poly Energy, told Reuters.

Related:  Overcapacity sends China’s steel sector into loss – Xinhua China’s iron and steel industry reported a loss of 699 million yuan (about 113 million U.S. dollars) in June, the first monthly deficit that the overcapacity-troubled industry has seen this year. For the first half, the profits of members of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) hit 2.27 billion yuan, with an average profit margin of 0.13 percent, the lowest among all industries, said the CISA on Wednesday.

Xi shaping up to be an influential PLA commander | South China Morning PostAs China celebrates Army Day, marking the anniversary of the founding in 1927 of the People’s Liberation Army, President Xi Jinping is making his presence felt as commander in chief, earning favourable comparisons with his two predecessors for his handling of military matters. Indeed, analysts say Xi’s performance in his dual role as chairman of the party’s and its Central Military Commission has been more significant than the administrative changes he has introduced as president.

Related中央军委举行晋升上将军衔仪式 习近平颁发命令状-高层动态-新华网 Xi appoints 6 new Generals // 7月31日,中央军委在北京八一大楼隆重举行晋升上将军衔仪式。中央军委主席习近平向晋升上将军衔的同志颁发命令状。这次晋升上将军衔的6位高级军官是:总政治部副主任吴昌德、总装备部政治委员王洪尧、军事科学院政治委员孙思敬、北京军区政治委员刘福连、南京军区司令员蔡英挺、广州军区司令员徐粉林。这是仪式结束后,习近平等领导同志与晋升上将军衔的军官合影留念

July 2013 issue of CSIS “Thoughts from the Chairman” newsletter-PDF. This month’s feature essay, “Xi Looking Strong, Determined Heading to the Beach,” examines President Xi Jinping’s recent moves to strengthen his hand politically ahead of the senior leadership’s annual summer retreat at Beidaihe. We argue that, while Xi has made substantial progress consolidating power in the early months of his tenure, his administration faces an early test of its credibility as it seeks to push through ambitious economic reform proposals at a key plenum this fall. A recent weeklong blitz of media releases, public appearances, and policy pronouncements seems designed to showcase Xi’s authority within the leadership and his control over shaping the Party’s policy agenda as he seeks to forge a consensus on reform at the Beidaihe conclave.

When a Wave of Protest Swamped a Nuclear Fuel Project – Caixin In mid-July, officials in Jiangmen, a city in the southern province of Guangdong, found it impossible to stop a protest against a massive nuclear fuel project planned for the western part of the Pearl River Delta. Officials had carefully planned their every step to avoid angering the public, including a using new mechanism to evaluate the risk to social stability that a project poses, but the facility still ran into a storm of public protest…Privately, Heshan and Jiangmen officials lament the loss of a project that would have been a major generator of tax revenue. They had a litany of reasons for what went wrong. Some blamed old bureaucratic habits for alienating the public. Another pointed to the fact officials and party committees lacked Sina Weibo accounts that could have been used to get their side of the story across. Some were at loss to explain what the scope of the social stability assessment should be.

人民网舆情监测室发布《2013年上半年新浪政务微博报告》–舆情频道–人民网 People’s Daily Online’s Public Opinion Monitoring Office releases 1H 2013 Weibo Government Affairs Report, on government organs/officials’ weibo activities …seizure of the Weibo commanding heights ( 制高点), as was made a clear goal (see Digicha 10.26.11 ) in the communique from 6th plenum of 17th Party Congress, is near? All part of presenting a more accountable face while ensuring proper channeling and containment of issues that burst onto Weibo// 7月30日,人民网舆情监测室联合新浪微博共同发布《2013上半年新浪政务微博报告》(以下简称“报告”)。报告显示,新浪认证的政务微博总数已超7.9万,发博总数超过6000万条,被网友转评总数约3.6亿次。相比去年年底,发博数和被网友转评数增长率分别高达73%、177%,显示出今年上半年新浪政务微博活跃度、传播力、影响力仍继续高速增长。 报告指出,政务微博有力推动了当前社会“公共协商”机制的形成,政府和官员通过微博主动回应和参与热点事件,形成有效的政民沟通平台。 报告显示,在2013上半年,全国司法系统和环保系统微博的发展尤为突出。上半年共有包括北京、湖南、四川、广西等在内的7个省市自治区开通省级法院微博。人民法院通过微博“展现司法公正、提升司法公信”的思路已然清晰可见。 目前全国省市、区县主政干部的认证微博超过60余个,上半年中,以昆明市长微博为代表的多位主政干部利用微博平台体察民情、服务社会、优化管理模式和管理手段,开启了“微博问政”的新局面。 报告同时公布了上半年十大党政机构、十大公职人员、影响力飞跃奖、十佳应用奖等政务微博系列榜单,并首次公布了十大部委微博、十大司法和十大环保机构微博。// full report in PDF 

Xiaomi shifts into low end of mobile sector|Photos|chinadaily.com.cn Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp launched a sub-brand “Hongmi” (red rice) on Wednesday that targets the country’s entry-level smartphone buyers. With rumors circulating that Apple Inc will introduce cheaper iPhones for Chinese clients in the second half, Beijing-based Xiaomi aims to beat its rival to the punch in the lower-end market. // any low-end iPhone in China will be at least a year too late for Apple to recapture its momentum here

Related: Xiaomi Buddies Up With Tencent, Launches New Budget Smartphone For Just $129 TechInAsia–After lots of rumors that Chinese web giant Tencent might invest in Xiaomi – thought to be as much as $2 billion – it turns out that’s not happening. At least not yet. But today it’s apparent that Xiaomi and Tencent (HKG:0700) have partnered to sell and promote the new Xiaomi Red Rice through QZone, Tencent’s huge (but rather web 1.0) social network that has 712 million registered users, making it China’s biggest (if not coolest) social site. There’s now a dedicated Xiaomi QZone page here (pictured above).

Beijing reels in ‘unsafe’ air every other day | South China Morning Post Air quality in 74 major cities was deemed unsafe for nearly half of the days in the first six months of this year, with the area comprising Beijing Tianjin-Hebei area found to be the most polluted region, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on its website yesterday…The ministry statement also for the first time talked about ground-level ozone pollution, which it called a major problem that had yet to catch the public’s attention to same degree as PM2.5 levels. Ozone pollution is a powerful respiratory irritant that can be harmful to people’s lungs, especially children and the elderly. It can also make smog worse // This week’s Caixin has a story on the ozone pollution problem  臭氧警报 , still paywalled

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China July Manufacturing PMI Preview – Business Insider China will release it’s official PMI at 9 p.m. ET. Economists polled by Bloomberg are looking for manufacturing to slow to 49.8 in July, from 50.1 the previous month. If PMI falls below the contractionary  level of 50, this will be the first time it has done so since September 2012. This is followed by HSBC manufacturing PMI at 9:45 p.m. ET. Economists are looking for PMI to slide to 47.7, from 48.2.

7.5% GDP growth ‘in reach’|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn Xu Shanda, former deputy director of the State Administration of Taxation, said at the conference he was glad to see the Political Bureau meeting held on Tuesday emphasize the key areas for reforms, but it did not mention “curbing the property market” as it always had done before. “This is a very important message. Instead of restricting home purchasing, the meeting mentioned ‘unleashing’ demand, which showed a new and different approach,” Xu said.

China’s New Inflation Constraint by Yu Yongding – Project Syndicate The question now is whether China’s leaders will tolerate higher inflation in order to maintain an annual growth rate of more than 8%. The answer seems to be no. As a result, China’s growth has reached a new plateau. The era of growth rates above 8% is over, at least for the foreseeable future. After three decades of breakneck growth, the Chinese economic juggernaut needs to slow down somewhat so that the machine can be fixed; only then can it return to the fast lane and accelerate anew. But no one should bet on a Chinese crash anytime soon. China has faced much worse on numerous occasions; each time, it muddled through. There is still no compelling reason why this time should be different. //brave are those betting on a crash into the 3rd plenum…sentiment can snap back quickly. nor are we likely to see a Q3-end liquidity crunch like we saw in June, as Beijing unlikely to want another similar mess right before the National Day Holiday

Home Prices Rise Despite Policies – Economic Observer Central government bureaus have enacted at least 43 different policies aimed at controlling housing prices in China since 2003. But since then, prices have continued rapid growth. Increasing costs of capital and land coupled with surging demand have neutralized most of these attempts. //and corruption has so far made a property tax with teeth politically impossible

China Property Developers Rally After Beijing’s Remarks – MoneyBeat – WSJ Shares of China’s property developers rallied Wednesday morning, as concerns over further tightening measures for the country’s real estate sector eased after Beijing’s latest remarks on property market.

New Siemens Chief Sees Weakness in China – NYTimes.com Only hours after his predecessor was toppled because of operational problems and declining profit at the German industrial giant, Joe Kaeser, a Siemens insider promoted to the top job on Wednesday, warned that China could take longer than expected to resume its rapid growth. China is a crucial market for Siemens and hundreds of other European companies, and a continued slowdown there could delay recovery of the euro zone.

China Winds up Price-Fixing Probes Against Baby Formula Products: Xinhua-Caijing An investigation on baby formula producers over their alleged price-fixing activities has come to an end, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said today. Results of the month-lasting investigation will soon be released, Xinhua said in its verified microblog on the twitter-like Weibo today, citing Xu Kunlin, Director General of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of NDRC.

Translation: Li Zuojun (李佐军) interview with Sanlian Life Weekly | An Optimist’s Guide to China translation of an interview that Li Zuojun (李佐军) gave to the Sanlian Life Weekly (三联生活周刊)…In this and other recent interviews Li has articulated a new framework for analyzing the challenges to the Chinese economy. He makes a case for a number of shifts in macro-economic analysis: away from demand-focused/Keynesian analysis and toward supply/productivity-focused analysis; away from the “three-horse carriage” (三驾马车) paradigm (exports, investment and consumption), and toward a focus on the “three engines” (三大发动机) of productivity, which he defines as institutional change, structural optimization and factor upgrades (制度变革, 结构优化, 要素升级).

BMW Denied in China May Signal Dimmer Automaker Outlook – Bloomberg Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)’s failure to win government approval to expand a factory in China is fueling concern global carmakers could find it increasingly hard to get projects approved by regulators in the country. Shares of BMW partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. (1114) fell the most in almost four weeks in Hong Kong yesterday after China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said it sent back an application, citing inadequate wastewater analysis and the plan’s failure to meet government anti-pollution targets. BMW rose 0.7 percent in Frankfurt trading.

US failures could teach China’s automakers how to succeed | China Economic Review China’s 170 automakers appear to be on the same path, said John Zeng, Asia Pacific Director at LMC Automotive in Shanghai. “We have already seen some tiny, local manufacturer dying at the moment.” While in most markets these automakers would merely disappear, the production license held by Chinese manufacturers makes them far too valuable to simply go out of business, Zeng said. He pointed to the example of Jiangnan Auto. The struggling company, which made rebranded Suzuki-model cars, was bought by Zoyte Auto, rather than being allowed to fail. Zoyte now sells the same rebadged Suzukis under its own brand as the Zoyte TT.

Beijing to fund infrastructure construction with private capital – Xinhua Beijing plans to introduce 130 billion yuan (21 billion U.S. dollars) of private capital to build 126 infrastructure projects, the municipal development and reform commission said Wednesday. The projects include subways, roads, communication hubs and water and waste treatment centers, as well as heating facilities, according to a plan announced by the commission at an ongoing investment fair.

国务院列城建清单民资将分享数万亿蛋糕 | 每经网 State Council issues list of infrastructure investment areas open to private investment, total projects could need several trillion RMB// 在加强城市基础设施建设方面,会议确定了市政地下管网、污水处理、地铁轻轨等几大重要投资方向,并强调“在保障政府投入,加强非经营性城市基础设施建设的同时,推进投融资体制改革,发挥市场机制作用,同等对待各类投资主体,利用特许经营、投资补助、政府购买服务等方式吸引民间资本参与经营性项目建设与运营,促进改善城市基础设施薄弱环节”。 有专家向《每日经济新闻》记者表示,会议确定的这几大领域,至少会拉动数万亿的投资,国务院强调吸引社会资本参与,预计民资在这轮市政建设中,分得的蛋糕有望进一步加大。

China to Boost Construction of Urban Infrastructure for Growth – Bloomberg  China will boost construction of urban infrastructure such as public transportation facilities as part of its plans to press on with economic reforms and maintain steady second-half expansion. Building works will include subway and light rail, the State Council said in a statement issued after a regular meeting in Beijing today.

New Siemens Chief Sees Weakness in China – NYTimes.com Only hours after his predecessor was toppled because of operational problems and declining profit at the German industrial giant, Joe Kaeser, a Siemens insider promoted to the top job on Wednesday, warned that China could take longer than expected to resume its rapid growth. China is a crucial market for Siemens and hundreds of other European companies, and a continued slowdown there could delay recovery of the euro zone.

China Winds up Price-Fixing Probes Against Baby Formula Products: Xinhua-Caijing An investigation on baby formula producers over their alleged price-fixing activities has come to an end, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said today. Results of the month-lasting investigation will soon be released, Xinhua said in its verified microblog on the twitter-like Weibo today, citing Xu Kunlin, Director General of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of NDRC.

China Stocks World’s Worst Losing $748 Billion on Slump – Bloomberg The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP), which doubled in 10 months through August 2009 as the government poured $652 billion of stimulus into building roads, railways and housing, has tumbled 43 percent from its high, destroying $748 billion in market value. Only Greece’s ASE Index (ASE) has fallen more in percentage terms. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the benchmark gauge of American equity, erased all of the losses from the worst recession since the Great Depression and has gained 68 percent since the China peak, reaching a record this month.

Jim Cramer: There Are Two Chinas – TheStreet There are two Chinas. There is the China that we hear is imploding by the hour, and then there’s the China that we hear about on the conference calls. Just today we heard from Cummins (CMI) and from Chart Industries (GTLS), and they joined the endless parade — save Cat (CAT) — that says there’s a ton of business to be had in China and they are spending like crazy. Truck orders for Cummins were really strong. Orders for equipment to turn natural gas into a liquid fuel are booming. It’s almost other-worldly. // guesses part of spend to clean up the economy

 

POLITICS AND LAW

INNER SANCTUM (2): For top party officials, decisions must be unanimous – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Disappointing part 2 // Qinzhengdian (hall of industrious government) is located on a narrow strip of land sandwiched between two artificial ponds in the Zhongnanhai compound. Inside is a drab room where the Politburo Standing Committee meetings are held—and where the most important decisions are made. In these meetings, one principle rises about the rest: Decisions must be unanimous. This is the description given by Bao Tong, 80, who served as a political aide to Zhao Ziyang when he was general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1980s.

Corporate investigators on edge after China detains foreign consultants | South China Morning Post Two industry executives said investigators from other companies were being “invited for tea” by Shanghai authorities, a euphemism for informal questioning in China. Some investigators, worried they are under surveillance, have scaled back their use of email. Some declined to speak to reporters over the phone, afraid that authorities were listening in to their conversations.

网曝中海油子公司高管性爱艳照:包养情妇荒淫无度(4)_国内_图片频道_中国时刻网 Very very NSFW, compromising pictures allegedly of China National Offshore Oil Corp’s Hainan Subsidiaries seniorr exec with his mistresses (yes, plural) released online, very explicit, almost didn’t link to it …interesting that over the last few weeks there has been an uptick in unofficial exposes online of badly behaving officials and cadres, after a period where those claims were clearly unwelcome // 昨天下午,有匿名人士在网上举报一位名叫文伟的中海油海南分公司负责人贪污腐败、包养情妇、生活荒淫等,网帖配发大量艳照佐证。中海油气电集团表示已经注意到网络上的传闻,初步核实照片中男子并不是文伟本人,同时文伟本人已向当地公安机关报案。

中海油回应子公司高管包养情妇生活荒淫及贪腐|中海油|艳照|当事人_新浪财经_新浪网 The Weibo that alleged the oil exec having a bit too much fun for a clean cadre

中海油回应子公司高管包养情妇生活荒淫传闻_中国江苏网 China National Offshore Oil Corp says man in the picture not the Hainan sub exec, that he has filed a complaint with the PSB //  昨日下午开始有自称“小三”的匿名人士在网上举报一位名叫文伟的中海油海南分公司负责人贪污腐败、包养情妇、生活荒淫等,网帖配发大量艳照佐证。 今天下午中国网能源频道记者电话采访了中海油气电集团负责人。该人士表示公司已经注意到网络上的传闻,初步核实照片中男子并不是文伟本人,同时文伟本人已向当地公安机关报案。

胡耀邦之女否认拥豪宅:长期租住组织安排单元房_网易新闻中心 Hu Yaobang’s daughter issues statement denying ownership of luxury home, recent involvement with GSK // 新京报讯 针对近期网上有关胡耀邦之女李恒(满妹)涉及葛兰素史克行贿事件的传言,李恒近日发表声明进行回应,否认涉及葛兰素史克案,否认拥有豪宅等。

GSK denial by daughter of former Party chief–Shanghai Daily  THE daughter of former Chinese leader Hu Yaobang has denied any connection to an investigation into bribery by UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline. Li Heng, the daughter of Hu, Party chief for most the 1980s, issued a statement following online posts about her alleged involvement in the ongoing investigation.

Fei Chang Dao: China’s State Run Media Publishes English Language Reports on Book/Internet Censorship (Again)

王林香港公司曾投宜春建设重点工程_中国_新京报网 昨日,记者查询到王林在香港拥有两家公司。其中一家公司曾与江西省宜春市袁州区政府签约兴建五星级酒店。昨日该区副区长称,这个项目属于袁州区重点工程。当时之所以选择王林,是因为当时有领导称他很有实力。王林与宜春关系密切,曾在当地宜丰县下放多年。有知情人称,“他在宜春有着深厚的关系网”

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Xi advocates efforts to boost China’s maritime power – Xinhua President Xi Jinping has championed efforts to build China into a maritime power, adding that the country will pursue “converging interests” with other countries in oceanic development. At a study session with members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Tuesday, Xi called for efforts to learn more about and further manage maritime development.// 习近平:进一步关心海洋认识海洋经略海洋 推动海洋强国建设不断取得新成就-高层动态-新华网

China’s Xi says seeks peace in sea disputes but must be alert – AP China will “use peaceful means and negotiations to settle disputes and strive to safeguard peace and stability”, Xi was quoted as saying, without naming any countries. His comments were the most high-level remarks on the subject in weeks.

Ties With Japan Face ‘Grim Test,’ China Naval Researcher Writes – Bloomberg The holding of regular U.S.-Japanese military exercises, deployment of troops to the southwest of the country and improvements in military intelligence indicate Japan is preparing to occupy the Diaoyu islands, Xing Guangmei, a law researcher with the Naval Research Institute of the People’s Liberation Army, wrote in the China Daily newspaper.

The Chosun Ilbo  – New Chauvinist Wave in Japan as Minister Slams Koreans Members of Japan’s Cabinet have upped the ante in a war of words between the neighbors by reviving ancient slurs against Koreans as uncivilized. Meanwhile the government in Tokyo continues to lurch to the far right, with one senior politician recommending Nazi tactics to change the country’s pacifist postwar constitution.

Aso’s Nazi-inspired quip rubs Seoul the wrong way | The Japan Times Outspoken Finance Minister Taro Aso has caused another international stir by urging Japanese politicians bent on revising the Constitution to learn from the way Germany under the Nazis amended the Weimar charter.

新华时评:麻生“失言”露出日本当权者“狐狸尾巴”-新华国际-新华网 Aso’s Nazi constitution quip not well-received in China either. Was he misunderstood?

Chinese man stands trial for poisoning dumplings – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun A former food plant worker in China confessed in court on July 30 to poisoning frozen dumplings that sickened 10 people in Japan in 2008, a scandal that strained Beijing-Tokyo relations just months before China hosted the Olympic Games. The official Xinhua News Agency said July 30 that 39-year-old Lu Yueting went on trial in Shijiazhuang in northern China’s Hebei province and that Japanese officials were present.

Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer builds Japan ties as it eyes arms exports – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The U.S. Defense Department’s chief weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, is set to meet officials in Tokyo on Aug. 1 overseeing Japan’s defense contractors, his first visit with industry regulators reviewing the pacifist nation’s decades-old ban on overseas arms sales. The undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics will meet officials at the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, a spokesman for the U.S. military said. He will also visit the foreign affairs and defense ministries.

Military online game to open to public in China|Society|chinadaily.com.cn An online game co-developed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and a game company will be available for the public on Thursday, its developers said Tuesday. Glorious Mission Online, a military-themed computer game developed by the Nanjing Military Area Command of the PLA and Giant Interactive Group Inc.,

Africa’s Big Brother Lives in Beijing – By John Reed | Foreign Policy Huawei can’t get a PR break// Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei may have been all-but-barred from doing business in the U.S. over allegations that it’s basically an intelligence agency masquerading as a tech business. In Africa, however, Huawei is thriving.

Australia Denies Lenovo Ban; Lenovo Without Knowledge-Caijing The Australian Department of Defence has denied reports that it had banned the use of Lenovo computers over concerns that they contained backdoor vulnerabilities. A report from the Australian Financial Review reported last week that the ban, which applied to top secret networks run by the intelligence and defence services of “Five Eyes” allies-US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, has lasted for years.

With Pipeline, China’s Launches Burma Charm Offensive | China Power | The Diplomat Amid the onslaught of good news about the pipeline from China, the state media support was tempered by editorials blaming any current or future criticism of the pipeline on Western interference, decrying a conspiracy theory that the U.S. had paid NGO’s to get involved in past infrastructure snafus. The People’s Daily, in an editorial entitled “No More Irresponsible Remarks on China-Myanmar Pipeline” opined, “Why do some Western critics make irresponsible remarks on the project? It stems from their shady mentality.”

China’s Evolving Relationship with North Korea: Talks at IISS and RUSI, London « SINO-NK What are China’s options when it comes to North Korea? And how should the United States and the international community look at the Sino-North Korean relationship? This past month, two Sino-NK writers formed the core of a panel exploring these issues at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, one of Great Britain’s top think-tanks.

Chinese entrepreneur reveals route for Nicaraguan canal – Telegraph For hundreds of years, men have dreamed of building a canal across Nicaragua, conquering this volatile land of volcanos and rain forests and breaking Panama’s monopoly on global shipping.

China to start military recruitment – Xinhua China’s annual military recruitment will run from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, for the first time since the season was moved from October, military sources announced on Wednesday. The recruitment will mainly target young people educated to levels above senior high school and vocational school, and highly educated candidates will be given priority, said a circular issued by the State Council and the Central Military Commission.

Chinese Woman charged with DC vandalism had can with green paint – WTOP.com A woman charged with defacing the Washington National Cathedral was carrying what appeared to be a soda can containing green paint when she was arrested, and she has been linked to at least four other incidents of vandalism, including at the Lincoln Memorial, according to prosecutors and court documents. Jiamei Tian, 58, appeared in D.C. Superior Court Tuesday alongside a Mandarin translator… The woman, who has a Chinese passport, arrived in Washington a few days ago and was traveling on an expired visa, prosecutors said. Police said she had no fixed address but that she told officers she lived in Los Angeles

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Hong Kong watchdog cracks down on China Metal Recycling; bankers wary | Reuters Hong Kong’s securities regulator has taken one of its most draconian actions ever and asked the courts to liquidate a listed company, a move that could be the first of several as the watchdog hardens its stance against alleged market misconduct. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) says it has evidence that China Metal Recycling, a $1.43 billion company that describes itself as China’s largest recycler of scrap metal, exaggerated its financial position when it listed in Hong Kong in 2009.

Hong Kong June Bank Loan Growth Is Fastest in 3 Years, HKMA Says – Bloomberg June bank loans expanded 3.3 percent, almost double May’s 1.7 percent growth, according to data posted on the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s website today. That’s the fastest pace since a 4.75 percent rate in September 2010. A cash crunch in China’s interbank lending market last month, the worst in at least 10 years, tightened fund availability on the mainland, making Hong Kong more attractive to borrowers, the HKMA said last week. The wave of lending prompted the regulator to summon banks for meetings to assess system risks and determine whether the pace will continue.

Trade Fight Over Solar Benefits a Bystander – NYTimes.com But one country not involved in the disputes has already benefited from them and, with Saturday’s agreement between China and the European Union, stands to benefit again: Taiwan. Last October, after finding that Chinese companies were receiving unfair government subsidies and selling their merchandise below the cost of production, the United States imposed tariffs of roughly 24 to 36 percent on imported Chinese panels. But the ruling included a major loophole; it applied only to panels made from Chinese solar cells, the final major components that are assembled into finished modules.

Taiwan’s Economy Grew More-Than-Estimated 2.27% Last Quarter – Bloomberg Gross domestic product rose 2.27 percent from a year earlier after increasing 1.67 percent in the first quarter, the statistics bureau said in a preliminary report in Taipei today. The median estimate of 23 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was 2.1 percent.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China Cracks Down on Televised Singing Competitions — WSJ  The statement didn’t name “The Voice of China,” the reality show broadcast by Zhejiang province’s satellite broadcaster and based on the Dutch program “The Voice of Holland.” But then, it didn’t have to. The immensely popular TV show has spawned a slew of imitators since it premiered last year. The show has broken records and, according to the government broadcasting agency’s research center, has been watched online over 2.6 billion times.

Pricing for WeChat Subscription Pilot in Guangdong Unveiled – Caixin China Unicom and Tencent will offer package that gives users 300 megabits of data on the popular app for 10 yuan

WeChat—Not Weibo—Is the Chinese Social Network to Watch – The Atlantic  “If you didn’t know WeChat was from China, you wouldn’t be aware of that fact. It has transcended its Chinese-ness.”

As Tencent’s WeChat Goes Global, Plan for Profitability Comes into Focus | contextChina Earlier this month, Tencent unveiled the first of its WeChat games, which are free, but also include special features that users can pay to obtain. They are also reportedly developing an online payment service that will be released with upcoming versions of the app

Chinese mobile games: fit to burst? | beyondbrics No matter what the fate of game developers, distribution channels and platforms such as Tencent, Qihoo and 91 Mobile Assistant will mostly benefited from the explosive growth of mobile games. Tencent, for example, is preparing to launch a mobile game platform with WeChat, an online instant message service similar to WhatsApp. Its share price has surged 16 per cent this month to a record high. // and Qihoo closed today at $65. remember this Citron Research hit job slapping a $5 target on Qihoo? whoops, can’t win them all

Huxiu.me — Things You Would Never Know About Taobao and Rural E-commerce in China In 2012, the per-capita average spending on online shopping in county-level regions reached near 6000 yuan, compared with only 4700 yuan in first- and second-tier cities. People living in county-level regions, on average, bought 388 items of 54 times in a year, much more than 349 items of 39 times of the first- and second-tier city residents. They appeared to be a lot more crazy about major international brands, with women paying 765 yuan per person a year for products of Estee Lauder. Residents in first- and second-tier cities would spend only 652 yuan on them.

Apple CEO met China Mobile head, discussed cooperation | Reuters The meeting with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing was to discuss matters of cooperation, the Chinese firm told Reuters in an emailed statement. It gave no further details. // too bad for Apple they now have very little leverage, if they ever even had any, with China Mobile now that they no longer have the “hot” phone

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

China’s New Migrant Workers Want More – Businessweek Beijing’s Daxing district lies outside the Sixth Ring Road, a 90-minute drive from the city center. The local government has made a push to attract garment factories ranging in size from those with a few hundred employees to those with less than a dozen. The workers who come here are mostly in their late teens and twenties. Like previous generations, they have come to start a new life with little savings and a lot of gumption. But they are more tech-savvy, fashion-conscious, and educated than their parents. Most significant, they expect to integrate permanently into city life—putting more urgent pressure on the government to change China’s current system of allocating social services (including schooling and health care) only to those with difficult-to-obtain city residence permits.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China Works on Carbon Tax; Rate > $1.63 Per Ton:Source-Caijing China is working on a carbon tax as a part of efforts to curb carbon emissions from the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter.  A plan on details of a carbon tax reform is under discussion at the National People’s Congress, the nation’s top legislator, the National Business Daily said, citing an unnamed source familiar with the case.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

China Arrests Two for Selling Horse Meat as Beef, Xinhua Reports – Bloomberg The suspects, two brothers, had operated in a county in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi and began passing off horse as beef because the profit from beef sales was low, according to Xinhua. They collected more than 1.28 million yuan ($209,000) in sales, according to the report. Another accomplice remains at large, Xinhua reported, without citing anyone.

 

BEIJING

通州区称严防死守杜绝污泥倾倒_政经频道_财新网 sludge dumped in some fields in a couple of Tongzhou, Beijing villages, proar ensues, Tongzou promises no more sludge in fields// 【财新网】(记者 任重远)7月30日下午,财新记者从北京市通州区环保局了解到,自7月1日接到举报发现枣林村、胡家村有污泥倾倒以来,已组织协调各部门及时处理。区政府的态度是,无论这些污泥是否能做肥料,“通州区一滴也不要”,并已通知各乡镇严防死守。

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

August 7 – Speaker Series with Michelle Garnaut (北京) | ATLAS-China Beijing Please join us on Wednesday evening, August 7th for a special Speaker Series event featuring restaurateur and community driver Michelle Garnaut. Michelle’s main project in Beijing is her famed Capital M restaurant, but her career includes cultural and business accomplishments throughout Greater China:

 

CORRECTIONS

This should have read “daylight between Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang”. Any readers have an informed view about this, that does not include the princeling vs CYL construct? //   [视频]中共中央政治局召开会议 讨论研究当前经济形势和下半年经济工作 中共中央总书记习近平主持会议_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV report on the meeting, does not appear to be any daylight between Xi Jinping and Xi Jinping, a question I keep hearing. Any readers have better insight on what, if any, differences there may be between the two in economic policy? // 会议指出,下半年经济工作要全面贯彻党的十八大精神,按照中央经济工作会议总体部署,坚持稳中求进,坚持以提高经济发展质量和效益为中心,坚持宏观经济政策连续性、稳定性,提高针对性、协调性,根据经济形势变化,适时适度进行预调和微调,稳中有为。要统筹稳增长、调结构、促改革,积极扩大有效需求,着力推进转型升级,不断深化改革开放,着力保障和改善民生,确保完成全年经济社会发展主要任务。

Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.