The Sinocism China Newsletter 08.02.13

Just links today:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

County in Shaanxi in a Deep Hole as Mining Bubble Pops – Caixin Housing elder sister from Shenmu, no? // No data is available to explain the scale of this private lending. However, local media reports that several high-profile private financiers who disappeared had borrowed a total of 20 billion yuan. The owner of one pawnshop said most unregistered pawnshops have also disappeared, “meaning more than 30 billion yuan simply evaporated.” On July 29, dozens of people who had lent to the pawnshops gathered in front of a local court to ask for their money back. A chicken farmer held an IOU note with simple information scribbled on it: “Receiving 3 million yuan, interest 3 percent per month. Zhang Xiaochang, September 18, 2011.” The farmer, who did not make clear how she got the money in the first place, said she used her connections to approach Zhang, a famous pawnshop owner, to lend the money. Both he and the money have disappeared.

Related: Top Depleted Cities – Caixin Shenmu is one // The State Council lists 69 cities in China as officially “resource-depleted” in 2011. Here’s a look at the cities that made it to the top of the list. Slideshow

World Bank Mulling Sweeping Proposals for China Reform – WSJ.com Is it a bad sign that Premier Li needs some kind of help and/or validation from the World Bank? // The World Bank is putting together sweeping proposals for China to privatize a major bank and allow farmers to sell their land, changes that could upend decades-old Communist Party ideology, according to officials familiar with the plans. The recommendations are part of a reform agenda the World Bank is hammering out with one of the Chinese government’s top think tanks, the Development Research Center, at the request of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Their work will feed into a Chinese governmentwide effort to create a reform plan in time for a Communist party conclave expected by the end of the year.

Related李铁:土地制度改革再不推出部分城市会崩盘_网易财经 NDRC City and Small Township Reform and Development Center head Li Tie said at the netease economic forum that if the land system is not reformed some cities will collapse…video of his comments…any foreigners attend the netease conference? // 网易财经7月31日讯 2013网易经济学家夏季论坛今日在京召开,在论坛上,国家发改委城市和小城镇改革发展中心主任李铁表示,土地制度改革,虽然在研究,但不继续推出,可能有一些城市会崩盘,到那个时候就会倒逼机制改革,可能会使改革的步伐迈得更大。

Japan looking for ways to restart top-level meetings with China – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun “The engagement distance between Japan and China is gradually narrowing,” a close aide to the prime minister said. But the situation could all depend on Abe’s itinerary for Aug. 15. Abe instructed a close confidante, Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki, to visit China for the first official vice-ministerial level talks between the two countries since September 2012. Saiki not only talked with his Chinese counterpart, Liu Zhenmin, on July 29, but he also exchanged views with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for 90 minutes at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on July 30….However, China would likely nix such talks if Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the anniversary of the end of World War II. “If the prime minister doesn’t visit Yasukuni in August, China will feel easy, and this will promote dialogue,” a close aide to Abe said. // and if he does visit the shrine the US needs to privately rip him a new one

Related日本无权频频突破底线–钟 声 -人民日报 Zhong Sheng not happy w Aso’s recent Nazi constitution comments // 日前,日本副首相麻生太郎公然主张效仿当年德国纳粹做法,推动修宪进程。作为担任日本政府要职的政治人物,麻生太郎如此言论,既是对日本国民权利的践踏,也是对世界反法西斯战争胜利成果的公然否定,对战后国际秩序的挑衅。不论麻生太郎本人是否收回这番话,其对人类公理与良知的冲击难以撤销,世人对进一步走向右倾的日本的警惕也不会减少。

Related: 中方:日方一边口头上唱高调一边示强挑衅|日方|中方|中日关系_新浪新闻 外交部发言人华春莹就日方有关涉华言论答记者问

Related: The seven most ridiculous statements of Taro Aso, Japan’s debonair gaffe machine – Quartz Aso is renowned for his nationalism, his snappy dress and, above all, for putting his foot in his mouth. Here’s a roundup of the top seven Aso-isms

Inside the Washington Sexual Assault Scandal Rocking a Chinese Media Empire | Mother Jones A lawsuit alleges that the onetime DC bureau chief of Phoenix Television, which is part-owned by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, routinely harassed and assaulted employees.

Alibaba announces collaboration with Sina Weibo for Taobao users to buy products directly on Weibo – The Next Web The collaboration basically allows users to buy products directly on the Twitter-like microblogging platform. A new type of display for Taobao products is being launched on Sina Weibo — a “name card” of sorts that shows more details instead of just a link to the listing, including pricing, store credit rating, and the popularity of the product. To make it even more convenient to purchase products from Taobao directly on Sina Weibo, there will also be a “Buy” button on the virtual card. The new collaboration also includes integrating both account systems so users can bundle their Sina Weibo and Taobao accounts togther and use either account to log on to both platforms.

Related: Alibaba Blocks Services Related to Tencent’s WeChat – Bloomberg A function that allowed sellers to subscribe to WeChat applications through Alibaba has been temporarily disabled, Alibaba spokeswoman Florence Shih said in an e-mailed statement today. The block ensures sellers “conduct their marketing activities in a safe and legitimate manner,” she said. Alibaba is developing its mobile e-commerce business as more Chinese shoppers use smartphones and tablets to buy goods. WeChat had 194 million monthly active users as of May and plans new services to commercialize the application in the second half, according to Tencent

Related: Huxiu.me — Alibaba vs Tencent On Social Commerce: Cut Out The Traffic From WeChat Is Just A Beginning Yesterday, the Sina Weibo disclosed a piece of news, “Alibaba will cut off all wechat sources from the data port.” Subsequently, Alibaba confirmed this news. Alibaba indicated to the media that it had suspended the third-party application service towards WeChat and the purpose was to control the risk of Taobao transactions. This means that the dream of service providers, that is, to serve Taobao sellers through WeChat, a third party port, is broken. Meanwhile it declares that the fairy tale of a large number of Taobao sellers trying to “get out of Taobao” to tap new traffic entrance has also been torn to pieces.

Is This China’s SECOND Aircraft Carrier? — War is Boring — Medium With this apparent evidence of a new carrier, China’s future naval plan is becoming clearer. The new flattop could carry the latest warplanes, possibly including a sea-based version of the Chinese J-31 stealth fighter prototype, unveiled last fall. The J-31 features the heavy-duty twin nose wheels that are typical of flattop-based planes.

Related Alfred Thayer Mahan With Chinese Characteristics | Flashpoints | The Diplomat Astute readers of the Naval Diplomat are no doubt thinking, the broad importance Xi attributes to the seas has striking parallels to America’s most famous naval theorist, Alfred Thayer Mahan. As Jim Holmes recently noted on his blog, while Mahan’s writings on “the mechanics of naval warfare” may read their age, his “meditations on the logic of sea power — a logic founded on commerce, bases, and ships, and on commercial, political, and military access to important theaters — appear everlasting.” The truth in this statement was on full display when Xi gave his speech this week.

Related China sails through ‘first island chain’|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn Passages show navy capable of patrolling waters far from home. The Chinese navy has fulfilled its long-held dream of breaking through the “first island chain blockade”, and its vessels have gained access to the Pacific Ocean through various waterways along the route, military observers said on Thursday. They made the remarks in interviews with China Daily to mark the 86th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.

网络不应成为美国霸权新工具_2013/15_求是理论网 Qiushi on Snowden and “Prism-gate”–The Internet should not become a new tool of American Hegemony// 一直以来,美国在国际社会高举“网络自由”的旗帜,极力反对别国的网络监管。2002年开始,美国国会每年都会推出关于网络自由的提案。2006年,美国国务院发布《国别人权报告》,网络自由正式列入美国外交议程。号称“互联网总统”的奥巴马更是将网络自由作为互联网时代的重要法则,要全世界予以承认。2007年美国国会《全球网络自由法案》,要求使用一切适当工具来支持信息的自由传播。2012年美国国会通过法案,要求国务院列出“限制互联网使用国家”清单,禁止向这些国家出口网络审查和监视技术。另据美国《纽约时报》报道,美国政府投入巨资研发推广“影子互联网”等破网技术,来帮助伊朗、叙利亚、利比亚等国的反对派避开本国的网络监控或封锁。

First lady Peng Liyuan makes Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list | South China Morning Post Peng is not the first Chinese leading lady to make the list, but she has raised plenty of eyebrows by beating America’s first lady, Michelle Obama. Seventy years ago Soong May-ling, wife of Chiang Kai-shek, also made the cut. But since the dawn of the People’s Republic, Chinese presidents’ wives have never had a popular profile. // Photos: The 2013 International Best-Dressed List | Vanity Fair Peng Liyuan gets two photos

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Wealth Management Money in Non-Standard Assets ‘Dips in June’ – Caixin Such assets made up almost one-third of all outstanding bank wealth management products, which by the end of June was 9.08 trillion yuan, the regulator said. On July 18, a CBRC official said at a forum that the value of bank wealth management plans was 9.85 trillion yuan at the end of June. The meeting also published a number of key indicators for the banking industry, including bad loans, reserves against possible losses and loan-to-deposit ratio.

China Trust Industry Growth to Slow by Half, Huabao Says – Bloomberg China’s trust industry, whose funds under management have risen as much as 60 percent a year thanks to returns five times those of bank deposits, may see growth cut in half by competition, said Huabao Trust & Investment Co. Growth in funds managed at the trusts, which cater to clients with at least 1 million yuan ($163,200) for investment, may slow to 20 percent to 30 percent a year from an “unsustainable” 50 percent to 60 percent pace now, Chief Executive Officer Qian Jun said in an interview in Shanghai yesterday. Huabao, a unit of Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp., has 230 billion yuan of assets under management, he said.

China Big Four Banks’ New Loans Drop Sharply in July -Caijing New loans extended by China’s four largest banks dropped sharply in the four weeks of July, following reports of around CNY1 trillion losses of deposits at the four banks and sparking fears over another liquidity squeeze in the banking system. The big four banks, Bank of China (BoC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Construction Bank of China (CBC), have extended CNY196billion of new loans in the month as of July 28th, said 21st Century Business Herald citing an unnamed authoritative source.

Revitalizing China’s Liquidity – Economic Observer A sudden interbank liquidity crunch in June sent a ripple through the market and showed that the Central Bank is tightening monetary policy on banks and exhibiting its intolerance for off-balance sheet financing.   Government leaders are now frequently mentioning the slogan, “Use new capital well and revitalize existing assets” (用好增量、盘活存量). The Economic Observer interviewed Wen Zongyu (文宗瑜), director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science at the Ministry of Finance, for insight into China’s economic situation and the goals of decision makers.

Guangdong Lawmakers Cast Doubt on Official Figures for Growth – Caixin In a meeting of the standing committee of the provincial people’s congress on July 31, representatives from the congress’ finance office released a survey on economic conditions in Guangdong in the first half of 2013 that included facts contradicting official data. The survey shows that electricity consumption of industries dropped 0.1 percent in the first five months compared to the same period last year, but the official GDP figure rose 12.9 percent over the same period. GDP growth usually moves in tandem with industrial power consumption, an official from the congress’ finance team said. “Whether statistics truly reflect the economic condition is worth debating,” the survey concluded.

Economists React: China’s Mixed Manufacturing Picture – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Again, with the China PMIs divergence | FT Alphaville She also writes that HSBC/Markit’s sample, which has a relatively bigger share of SMEs than the official survey, might have been hurting more from the June liquidity squeeze. BAML’s Lu and Zhi make a similar argument, and they think the state-owned enterprises that get bigger representation in the official survey have probably been more comforted by the recent stimulus-y declarations than smaller, private manufacturers. The BAML pair also argue that the declining role of exports in Chinese growth makes the HSBC sample — who are more export-oriented — less relevant.

经济增长已换挡 根本出路在改革– 地方政府不会出现底特律式破产-人民日报 People’s Daily page 1 quotes Wang Yiming, vice president of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC), and Song Li, deputy director of the Institute of Economic Research, NDRC at their Thursday press conference saying China’s economy has already shifted gears, the fundamental way out is through reform, and that no local governments will follow Detroit and go bankrupt // 本报北京8月1日电 (记者陆娅楠)在8月1日国务院新闻办公室举行的新闻吹风会上,国家发改委宏观经济研究院副院长王一鸣表示,当前中国经济运行总体平稳,下半年如果稳增长措施到位,经济增速能达到7.5%。中国经济增长已经换挡,但换挡不能失速,既不能盲目刺激经济增长,也不能放任经济减速跌出合理区间。

Press conference about China’s current economy situation and prospect held – Xinhua  Journalist ask questions during a press conference about China’s current economy situation and prospect held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 1, 2013. Wang Yiming, vice president of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC), and Song Li, deputy director of the Institute of Economic Research, NDRC, attended the conference.

Property prices rise again| China Daily The central government’s measures to cool down the property market were confronted with the recent challenge of rising housing prices in July, the eighth-consecutive month with faster growth. Statistics provided by the China Real Estate Index System on Wednesday showed that the average price of the new homes rose 7.9 percent year-on-year in the 100 monitored cities in July, while the year-on-year growth rate in June was 7.4 percent.

各地财报出炉:地方财收继续下滑 房地产成增长中坚_财经频道_一财网 基于全国经济下行的大环境,地方财政收入增幅均出现不同程度的下滑,尤其是去年税收增幅较大的省份,下降幅度比较大。

多地运动式征“零散税”合法性遭质疑 | 每经网 National Business Daily on how some local government are basically making up tax items to get businesses to hand over more money // 经济下行,税收增速自然随之下降,不过进入8月,多地税收“双过半”的任务还是漂亮完成。松了一口气的地方政府,开始总结经验。在增收乏力的困境之下,各地强化零散税源清查成为一条门路。地方税务部门网站显示,为保证税收增长,各地税部门高度重视“零散税”征收,并在此基础上成立了零散税收领导小组,开展了运动式征收工作。 在接受 《每日经济新闻》记者采访的税务专家看来,他们根本没有听说过所谓的“零散税”,这样征收也没有任何法律依据。如果“零散税”是地方政府依靠行政征税,会对经济运行产生不利影响。

多地城投临审仍顶风作案 财政兜底模式死灰复燃_网易财经 事实上,或因此前的流动性紧缩和监管指导所致,目前不少银行、信托等金融机构面对政府平台的融资项目时,已选择“绕道而行”。 在举债需求无法满足之下,有越来越多的地方政府选择与银信以外的机构合作,诸如券商、基金子公司等,而亦有融资平台从私募机构处高息举债。记者在调查中发现,在前述不少项目的募资推介中,“项目还款纳入财政预算”、“政府出函溢价回购”等财政兜底类措施再次浮现。该举措或涉嫌违反国务院关于地方政府融资平台的相关规定。

AstraZeneca Ups China Investment as Rivals Face Scrutiny – Bloomberg The U.K.’s second-biggest drugmaker has added more sales people in China as the country’s medical coverage expands, even as prices have declined, AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot told journalists yesterday on a conference call to discuss earnings. Chinese authorities are investigating AstraZeneca’s larger U.K. rival, GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), over allegations of 3 billion yuan ($489 million) in spurious travel and meeting expenses. Sanofi (SAN) and Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) said yesterday they had received visits from Chinese regulators. An AstraZeneca sales representative remains detained in Shanghai as police examine an individual case, Soriot said.

The benefits and perils of riding China’s coat-tails – FT.com Many Latin American nations have bet the mine on an economy that is now slowing

Johnson & Johnson ordered to compensate Chinese dealer over monopoly – Xinhua A Shanghai court on Thursday ordered two Chinese Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries to pay a pharmaceutical distributor 530,000 yuan (85,800 U.S. dollars) in compensation for monopolistic practices. In the final verdict, the Shanghai Municipal Higher People’s Court revoked a previous verdict issued by a municipal intermediate court and demanded that Johnson & Johnson Medical China Ltd. and Johnson & Johnson Medical Shanghai Ltd. compensate Rainbow Medical Equipment & Supply Company, a former distributor of the pharmaceutical giant’s equipment.

华夏基金微信平台上线 “互联网金融”持续升温_财经频道_一财网 Huaxia funds launches a Wechat platform, internet-based financial innovation still tiny but very interesting and growing rapidly // 通过跟“小夏”的对话,微信用户可以直接下达交易指令,完成从银行转账到华夏活期通账户购买货币基金,或者使用货币基金做支付等各项操作。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

中国若动荡,只会比苏联更惨-新华国际-新华网 Another attack on the Weibo “Big Vs” and public intellectuals, this time from Xinhua, saying that if there is a unrest in China it could end much worse than it did for the Soviet Union, blames these types for stirring up trouble, says they are slaves of the West…attacks on Big Vs going on for a while now//  微博上的天使、导师、公知们天天造谣传谣制造社会负面新闻,营造一种中国即将崩溃的末世景象,诋毁现有的社会主义体制,宣扬欧美的资本主义宪政模式。在此过程中不断煽动民众怨恨现政权,并痛骂中国人奴性十足,赤裸裸地煽动民众当炮灰引发中国社会动荡。

中国官媒炮轰“西奴公知”:若动荡比苏联更惨_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei on the above Xinhua piece// 文章斥责道,冷眼看叫嚣推翻现体制的西奴公知,那些成天在网上忽悠的带路党们,你们诱使中国走向被人欺负、贫国弱兵、给米国人当狗、给中国带来耻辱的灾难时代。苏联休克崩塌给俄国人惨烈十年,虽最终觉悟并呼唤民族主义强人普京上台勉强镇住场面,却再也无法止住颓势。中国人均资源的现实,决定中国惨烈会数倍于俄罗斯 ,所以收起你们鼓吹的所谓觉醒,中国人自己选择的社会主义制度虽然不是最好的,但肯定比欧美强加给中国的要好,至少我们现在在发展前进,这就是中国人的觉醒!文章还称,欧美那一套资本主义政治模式从袁世凯死后一直到蒋介石掌权就一直在中国尝试,但带来了几十年灾荒饿死上亿人,带来了军阀割据土匪横行,带来了日本趁乱侵华屠杀,直到毛泽东平定了天下,中国才进入了真正和平稳定与独立自主发展的正轨。文章警告“居心叵测的天使、导师、公知们”称,“你们若想在中国通过掌控舆论煽动乱局,就必须在我身体上踩过去,我若有一口气,都要让你们功败垂成!

The death penalty: Strike less hard | The Economist LAST year China is thought to have executed about 3,000 people, or roughly four times more than the rest of the world put together (excluding Egypt and Syria, where numbers are hard to assess). It is a grim distinction. But consider a brighter, even astonishing, trend: over the past decade, the number of people China executes has fallen precipitously. According to the Dui Hua Foundation, an American NGO that tracks these things, the 2012 figure is down from 12,000 people executed in 2002—a fall of three-quarters. In other words, though China remains the world’s chief executioner, it is also largely responsible for a marked worldwide fall in the number of executions.

王林紧急声明:坚决拥护中国共产党 热爱祖国热爱家乡_资讯频道_凤凰网 Wang Lin issues “emergency statement” on his Tencent Weibo account, says he supports the Communist Party, loves the Motherland, loves his hometown…he starting to crack yet? // 昨日18时41分,王林在腾讯微博的实名认证微博“王林大师”再度更新,出现一条“声明”:“我王林坚决拥护中国共产党,热爱祖国、热爱家乡!我与邹勇的关系仅仅是经济纠纷,张成茂律师叫某些新闻媒体所写的文章不是我王林的言论,对他们的言论保留追究法律责任的权利!声明人:王林”。

China’s Efforts to Chart Officials’ Assets Suffer Backlash – WSJ.com Amid China’s once-a-decade leadership change that concluded this spring, a handful of officials said they would make public disclosures of their assets. The pledges, spurred by extensive coverage in state-run media, fostered belief among some academics and others that Mr. Xi would increase government transparency and accountability. White-collar workers hope asset disclosures will ensure officials pay their fair share of taxes. But a Wall Street Journal examination of the modest asset-declaration programs announced in four provinces indicates details that may once have been available are again hidden.

State media hint Bo Xilai to dodge death penalty|Politics|News|WantChinaTimes.com The timing of a recent article published in China’s state media highlighting the dangers of imposing the death penalty for controversial political figures could be the Communist Party’s way of sending a subtle message about the upcoming criminal trial of disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese. On July 22, three days before Bo was officially charged with taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power in Jinan, the capital of east China’s Shandong province, the official Xinhua news agency and party mouthpiece People’s Daily both published an article on party history, detailing how party elder Chen Yun warned against executing Jiang Qing, the wife of Mao Zedong and leader of the “Gang of Four” which was held responsible for the Cultural Revolution.

Singer’s Arrest in China Fires Free Speech Debate | TIME.com Hours after a man with long-running grievances against officialdom set off a homemade explosive at Beijing’s airport, a singer-songwriter turned to the Internet to release her own sarcastic wish list of to-be-bombed targets. By the next day, Wu Hongfei — known for her activism and whimsical songs — was in police detention on a criminal charge that prompted an outcry and an outpouring of public discussion on the boundaries of China‘s free speech laws in the new era of social media. In a rare backtrack by local authorities, Wu will apparently be released Friday without further prosecution.

周其仁:为什么中国的体制改起来特别难?-财经网 改革本来就难,站在当下这个时点,改起来更难,但拖延改革不是出路。现实的局面,改革不但要跟腐败或溃败赛跑,还要和越来越年轻的社会主体的期望值赛跑,并有能耐把大量法外世界的活动吸纳到体制里来。

Beijing launches platform for debunking online rumors – Xinhua Six Chinese websites jointly launched a platform on Thursday to refute online rumors, a move that an official has termed Beijing’s latest endeavor to clean up the “Internet environment.” The platform is a website that collects statements from Twitter-like services, news portals and China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to refute online rumors and expose the scams of phishing websites. The platform operates under the instruction of the Beijing Internet Information Office (BIIO) and the Beijing Internet Association, a non-profit social organization.

多名官员问责免职后合规复出被指成带薪休假|带薪休假|官员|免职_新浪新闻 on the return of officials who have been removed from their posts, and who got their salaries while they were on “vacation”// 据新华社电 近日有媒体报道,在山西襄汾溃坝事故中被撤销党内职务的原临汾市委书记夏振贵,以山西省委统战部副部长的身份出席了一个公开活动,这一消息也得到了山西省委统战部官员的证实。从2009年开始,舆论对官员问责制度的关注焦点从“下台”转为“上台”。许多落马官员悄然复出,甚至官级得到提升。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

朝鲜最高人民会议委员长金永南今日突访北京_网易新闻中心 DPRK’s Kim Jong nam is visiting Beijing

为建设一支听党指挥能打胜仗作风优良的人民军队而奋斗_2013/15_求是理论网 Fan Changlong has the lead essay in the latest issue of Seeking Truth/ / —— 学习贯彻习主席关于党在新形势下的强军目标重要思想–范长龙

Jerome Cohen–How Dangerous Are Sino-Japanese Tensions? | ChinaFile There is a pragmatic as well as nationalist side to contemporary China’s leaders. On that same 1972 first visit to China, when I asked my highly intelligent escort, Li Mingde, about the then already hotly-contested Diaoyu-Senkaku issue, he first launched into an emotional tirade about how China would fight to the death to prevent Japanese occupation of sacred Chinese soil. But, when I pointed out that Japan had just regained possession of the territory from the U.S., he relaxed, smiled and said that there was no rush and that the matter could be settled any time in the next 500 years! This is a different world today but one in which the PRC will have to be more practical and take more seriously the expectations of other countries that rely on international law and the possibilities that international law offers as an aid to settling important disputes.

China condemns U.S. Senate over sea dispute resolution | Reuters China said on Thursday it had lodged a formal complaint with the United States after the U.S. Senate passed a resolution expressing concern about Chinese actions in the disputed East and South China Seas. The U.S. resolution, passed on Monday, listed several examples of worrying Chinese behavior, including China’s issuing of an official map defining the contested South China Sea as within its national border and of Chinese surveillance ships entering waters disputed with Japan in the East China Sea.

“Public opinion warfare to smear military commentators”: my plot to contain China | southseaconversations 讨论南海 In my most surreal foray into the Chinese media since winning a “second-class prize” in a television language competition heavily rigged in my favour, the previous post was picked up by mainland online media on Tuesday, and run under the headlines, ‘America claims PLA hawkish faction mostly propaganda‘ (Global Times Online & People’s Daily Online), ‘U.S. media: China’s hawks and doves a carefully orchestrated show‘ (NetEase), and ‘U.S. media examine PLA hawkish faction: Luo, Dai etc. may have high-level support‘ (Sina).

Defence confirms UK ban on Lenovo–AFR A senior defence official has confirmed that there has been a ban on the use of Lenovo computer products on classified networks in the United Kingdom, as previously disclosed by The Australian Financial Review. Defence officials verified the formal ban with UK counterparts following a report in Weekend AFR on July 27.

Huawei Strikes Back at Ex-CIA Head – Digits – WSJ previously a Huawei exec had said Hayden defamed them, a serious charge. So where is the lawsuit? Otherwise just talk // Eric Xu, Huawei’s deputy chairman and one of the three senior executives who rotate through the company’s CEO post, said in a written statement that Mr. Hayden’s comments are “baseless,” calling  his claims “political noise.”

GCHQ: inside the top secret world of Britain’s biggest spy agency | theguardian.com The government has consistently maintained it is too difficult to point the finger at any particular country when it comes to cyber attacks. The 33-page report written by GCHQ’s Cyber Security Operations Centre makes a nonsense of that. Beijing is to blame, it says. “China has a capable and very wide-ranging cyber programme targeting the full spectrum of governmental, military, and commercial targets. The Chinese mount a large number of relatively unsophisticated attacks, often using publicly known vulnerabilities and have successfully compromised networks globally. “This assessment is based only on the attacks that have been detected, and does not preclude more sophisticated and targeted attacks from China.”

Cash-Strapped Nations Race to Attract Chinese Immigrants – WSJ.com While investor immigration programs are technically open to all, immigration lawyers say that governments are targeting anxious Chinese who are looking for potential escape plans for their families and protection for their assets in case of turmoil at home. “There is an all-out immigration war emerging for the Chinese,” said Jean-Francois Harvey, an immigration lawyer at Harvey Law Group in Hong Kong.

山东斥资上亿元仿造航母 无人光顾成”水泥疙瘩”_网易新闻中心 the 100 million+ rmb concrete replica aircraft carrier in shandong that is now known as a “concrete pimple”…queue references to late qing, cixi and the stone navy…which would be incorrect

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

China’s Proposed Art Museum Looks Like A Giant Stingray – DesignTAXI.com Located on Pingtang island, this museum will mimic the stingray-like shape of the island itself and will have an area of over 40,000-square-meters. This museum, which is part of China’s “Comprehensive Experimental Zone” project, will house all of the nation’s prized artifacts and will be part of a hub which serves to facilitate trade and cultural relations between Taiwan.

Pacific Partners Outlook: ANZTEC and Taiwan’s Quest for Economic Integration | Center for Strategic and International Studies The carefully titled Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC), signed on July 10, represents a diplomatic coup for Taipei and a win for New Zealand

 

TECH AND MEDIA

New China Internet ETF on Nasdaq would have been better before the nearly 50% move in last few months // Krane Funds Advisors, which specializes in developing China-focused Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), has launched on NASDAQ the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB). The new ETF is designed to provide exposure to Chinese Internet and Internet-related companies.

Kindle Enters China, and the Plot Thickens – Caixin After a long period of waiting, a Kindle product, the Paperwhite, is now available on Amazon’s Chinese website for 849 yuan. This marks official recognition of the company by policy-makers, but the question is how it will be receive in the market. Industry insiders are not optimistic, and a considerable number of people have expressed pessimism about the Kindle’s introduction to the Chinese market. There are a few reasons for this. First, the price is too high. On Taobao, the country’s largest online marketplace, the version of the Paperwhite made for the Japanese market is available for about 600 yuan. Second, the iPad mini is more powerful and has already penetrated the market. Last, I fear that Amazon will have difficulties in sourcing content. However, in my opinion, these problems are not important.

South Korean Movie Studios Beef Up Co-Productions With China – Scene Asia – WSJ Hollywood isn’t the only foreign player eyeing China. Two major South Korean studios are strengthening cooperation with local players to grab a foothold in the world’s second-largest movie market.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Chinese netizens stunned by the brutal murder of a good-hearted young girl in Heilongjiang province | Offbeat China The 17-year-old girl was an intern nurse at a local hospital in the city of Jiamusi in China’s eastern province of Heilongjiang. On the afternoon of July 24, Xiao Xuan ran into a pregnant woman surnamed Tan on her way to run some errands. Tan told Xiao Xuan that she felt very uncomfortable and asked for help to get back home. Xiao Xuan said yes, and that’s the beginning of her end. At Tan’s home, Xiao Xuan was first drugged, then raped by Tan’s husband, and eventually murdered. The surveillance camera in Tan’s residential community successfully captured the moment when Xiao Xuan accompanied Tan home, and when, after dark, Tan and her husband carried a big black suitcase of Xiao Xuan’s body to a red car and drove away.

Abdulla, King Of Uyghur Women, The Leonard Cohen Of NW China | Beijing Cream The Uyghur version of “face,” or yuzluq, as exemplified by Abdulla here is similar yet different. Where saving face in the Han context often involves an absolute denial of fallibility (“it never happened” or “so what if it did”), in Abdulla’s Uyghur context saving face functions simultaneously as an acknowledgement of potential wrongdoing and a denial that it happened. Like Leonard Cohen, not only is Abdulla an adept poet and moral authority, the connotative impression one gets through his masculine projection is that Abdulla is a slightly dangerous, potentially dark, socially adept person who nevertheless successfully controls his bad impulses, making him the best kind of ladies’ man there is – the most responsible yet ravishing man who walks the Uyghur line.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

LED腐败背后:吃“财政鸦片”步光伏后尘_财经频道_一财网 more on corruption in the LED subsidies world, apparently led to recent detention of hed of scitech bureau of guangdong province// 广东省科技厅厅长李兴华被查后,四处打探消息的各界人士中,少不了很多LED企业。 李兴华与LED产业的关系是如此密切,以至于人们纷纷揣测之后的行业震荡会有多大。而今年5月,广州市科信局局长等多名干部被纪检部门带走调查。事实上,由于掌握着产业补助资金与科研经费的发放大权,科技信息系统已成腐败高发区。这一系统与企业的密切关系也成为关注的焦点。

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Airlines Told to Send Planes Regardless of Destination’s Conditions – Caixin Civil aviation officials are telling airlines to have flights depart despite the conditions at destination airports in a bid to improve punctuality, but one expert says the changes are inefficient and unsafe. An industry newspaper reported on July 29 that a bureau under the Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) enacted ten measures to improve air traffic management, including easing controls on departures at eight major airports. // what could go wrong?

Move over Bordeaux: French premium winemakers eye China vintage | Reuters In three far-flung provinces, a world away from Beijing’s allegations of European wine dumping, makers of such lofty French brands as Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Dom Perignon champagne are investing millions of dollars to produce vintages they hope will put Chinese wine on the world map. In a country where cheap plonk and overpriced mediocre wines still define the domestic industry, the French are partnering with Chinese investors to produce super-premium wines for increasingly discerning drinkers at the market’s top end.

 

BEIJING

Living will registration stirs dignified death debate – Xinhua A newly-established association advocating living will registration has triggered debate on death with dignity, with many hoping the organization can help preserve patients’ rights in terms of receiving life-prolonging treatments. “The Beijing Living Will Promotion Association,” which was approved by the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau in June, gathered more than 20 medical experts on Wednesday to discuss the necessity of living wills and how to promote the idea of death with dignity in China.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

China’s “Age of Ascendancy”: A Q&A with Chan Koonchung by Alec Ash The novel alludes to contemporary China very closely, and is banned in the mainland. It has been accused of “telling not showing”, but I would still highly recommend it as a literary exaggeration of China’s political truths, in the same vein as Brave New World. I sat down with Chan Koonchung in a Beijing Starbucks, to ask him some pointed questions about what he meant by the book, and what he really thinks about today’s China.

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