Vacation is almost over and we are returning to Beijing this week. The newsletter is not yet back on a normal schedule but there should be a couple of more issues this week, though between packing and jet lag the timing may be a bit erratic.
The big news this week is that Bo Xilai goes on trial Thursday. The trial will likely conclude in one or two days, with sentencing a few weeks later. Chris Buckley of the New York Times has some good quotes in his Chinese Politician to Stand Trial for Corruption:
“Politics will determine how Bo Xilai is tried,” said Chen Ziming, a commentator in Beijing who closely follows Communist Party affairs. “How much evidence they present will depend on how severely they want to punish him, not vice versa.”
China’s courts are controlled by the Communist Party, and there is little doubt that Mr. Bo will be found guilty. But experts have offered competing views about the likely severity of the punishment. A death penalty appears very unlikely, but a prison sentence of 15 years or longer is almost certain, Mr. Chen said.
Reuters pre-trial coverage includes a comment from Li Zhuang and a poke at the Wall Street Journal:
“I hope he does not get the death penalty, as this is a method of punishment we should be using less off. But I would expect a strong punishment,” said Li Zhuang, a lawyer and prominent opponent of Bo during his time as Chongqing party boss.
The Wall Street Journal said that Bo’s wife would be the key witness for the prosecution.
But a source familiar with the situation, who declined to be identified citing the sensitivity of the matter, said Gu would not testify.
It is not clear if she has provided any evidence already to the prosecution.
There is some speculation that Bo has cut a deal with prosecutors in exchange for protecting his son Bo Guagua. Perhaps, though why Bo would trust any alleged deal is strange given that he apparently reneged on a 2009 plea arrangement with Li Zhuang in Chongqing. Li’s December 2012 article What Really Happened in Chongqing in the Economic Observer is worth another read before the trial.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jeremy Page reported Friday that Xi Embraces Mao as He Tightens Grip:
The new Chinese leadership has sent clear signals that it plans to unveil a package of economic reforms this year to stimulate domestic consumption as an alternative growth engine to the investment and exports that have powered the economy for the past 30 years…
On the political front, however, Mr. Xi has shown no sign of considering even limited liberalization, party insiders say. “Xi is really starting to show his true colors,” said one childhood friend who recalls Mr. Xi spending hours reading books on Marxist and Maoist theory as a teenager. “I think this is just the beginning.”
Bo’s sentence may give an indication of the extent of any embrace of Mao, who was not known for lenient treatment of political rivals.
The government has upgraded its campaign to rein in social media. Last week authorities again called on celebrities to take up social responsibilities (Xinhua):
Internet celebrities, who have notable influence on public opinions in virtual society, should deliver more positive and constructive messages to Chinese netizens, said Lu Wei, director of the State Internet Information Office, at the meeting held in Beijing on Saturday.
The government expects them to uphold law and order as well as promote virtues and trust, said Lu, cited by a statement issued after the meeting.
“They shall set an example of protecting the legal rights of citizens and denouncing any activities that harm the reputation and interests of other people,” he said.
China’s social networks have developed fast in recent years with more than 1.2 billion accounts opened on about 103 microblogging networks.
On Sina Weibo and t.qq.com, two leading social networks, the number of accounts, having the minimum 1 million followers, reached 3,300 and those having the minimum 10 million followers totaled about 200.
AP reports in China in Big Push Against Opinion-Leading Blogs that the top microbloggers, known as “Big Vs” because of their verified account status on the leading social networks, have agreed to seven standards:
Popular microbloggers, including real estate mogul Pan Shiyi, who helped force new government air quality standards through his campaign of posting daily pollution indexes, were asked at a meeting in Beijing to agree to seven standards: obey the law, uphold the socialist system, guard the national interest, protect individual rights, keep social order, respect morals and ensure factuality.
CCTV’s “Dialog” (Chinese) program held “The Forum of Social Responsibilities of Internet Celebrities” and broadcast it Sunday evening–《对话》 20130818 网络名人社会责任论坛_经济_央视网. The forum featured several of the top “Big Vs”, along with some prominent Internet CEOs in the audience. The message to get in line could not be clearer, and the next Internet celebrity to get out of line may be invited to something more than tea.
This is not a new campaign, as I wrote my May 6 in China’s Changing Internet Landscape:
On May 2, China’s State Internet Information Office declared war against online rumors because they “have impaired the credibility of online media, disrupted normal communication order, and aroused great aversion among the public.” One report suggests the regulators have some of the most influential users of Sina Weibo, those with millions or tens of millions of followers, in their sights. Online rumors have been a real problem, but crackdowns against them can be used for broader goals.
Last week’s announcement follows a new rule to tighten media controls, especially in regards to Weibo, issued in April, and an essay titled “How Is the Party to Manage the Media Well in the New Era?” by a propaganda official who in 2010 wrote the influential book “The Art of Guiding Public Opinion.”
There have been campaigns against online rumors before. The most concerted efforts to reign in Weibo began after the sixth plenum of the 17th Party Congress in October 2011 when official media declared that “Internet rumors are like drugs” and propaganda work should focus on “strengthening the channeling and control of social media and real-time communication tools.” That campaign was followed by the December 2011 requirement for real name registration of Weibo users.
Strict implementation does not always follow rule promulgation in China, and the real name registration requirement was largely ignored. Sina admitted as much in its 2011 and 2012 20-F annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here is what the company wrote in the recent 2012 filing:
We are required to, but have not, verified the identities of all of our users who post on Weibo, and our noncompliance exposes us to potentially severe penalty by the Chinese government.
The regulators may not always succeed the first time, but it would be a mistake to assume they will not keep pushing the issue, especially when propaganda work and ideology are so core to the party’s control. At the end of March, the State Council released its task list for the next five years, and one of the items is an Internet real name registration system by June 30, 2014.
How would Mao have managed social media?
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
China PBOC’s Zhou Says Will Fine-Tune Policy As Needed | MNI Despite the evidence of turmoil in the market, Zhou said overall economic growth remains “sound”, given the weak global situation, and ruled out the possibility of a “continued economic slowdown” because of the country’s “internal momentum.” He also said China is making preparations to liberalize deposit rates. The PBOC scrapped the floor on lending rates in July in what was seen as a largely symbolic move, but one pointing the way to the more complicated removal of the ceiling on deposit rates. Zhou repeated the government’s long-standing formulation to keep the yuan “basically stable” at an equilibrium level but added that he hopes to see more two-way movements in the exchange rate which can be “more directly decided by market forces”.// [视频]【部长访谈录】周小川：下半年执行稳健货币政策_新闻频道_央视网 Zhou Xiaochuan comments on Monday CCTV Evening News
Glaxo Trips for Chinese Doctors Played to Overburdened Medical System – WSJ.com Glaxo HQ still claiming they are “shocked”? // Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with doctors and sales representatives in China show a hard-driving sales culture. Influential physicians who prescribe medicine and can sway the orders of their hospitals’ pharmacies are targeted individually. To find the powerful doctors, pharmaceutical companies use marketing departments and industry events, according to physicians. The drug companies then obtain personal data, such as mobile-phone numbers, and share them with sales staff. According to the documents, once Glaxo had cemented relationships with doctors, sales staff struck deals with them, offering them payments of 100 yuan per prescription and special “rewards” for those doctors who sold the highest amount of drugs in a quarter
Related: Well-behaved int’l firms welcomed in China|Opinion|chinadaily.com.cn The Western media have been making a fuss about China’s investigations into some international companies for business malpractices. For instance, media reports said China is to investigate America’s IBM, Oracle and EMC for security reasons. GSK and several other pharma companies were probed for bribery, while foreign automakers were targeted for price-rigging as they sold their products in the Chinese market several times more expensive than those abroad. These investigations were regular practices in a market-oriented economy and international companies were not specially-selected targets.
Related: China to probe IBM, Oracle, EMC for security concerns: paper | Reuters “At present, thanks to their technological superiority, many of our core information technology systems are basically dominated by foreign hardware and software firms, but the Prism scandal implies security problems,” the newspaper quoted an anonymous source as saying.
Hiring in China By JPMorgan Under Scrutiny – NYTimes.com Federal authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business in the booming nation, according to a confidential United States government document. In one instance, the bank hired the son of a former Chinese banking regulator who is now the chairman of the China Everbright Group, a state-controlled financial conglomerate, according to the document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, as well as public records. After the chairman’s son came on board, JPMorgan secured multiple coveted assignments from the Chinese conglomerate, including advising a subsidiary of the company on a stock offering, records show. // Why JP Morgan? Tipster? Something to do with the Zhang family US assets?
Related: JPMorgan China probe sends chill through investment banks | Reuters The distinction between hiring a relative of a foreign official who may be well connected, and offering employment to such a person in the express hope of winning specific business is key to proving FCPA violations, according to a report on the FCPA published last October by law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. “DOJ and the SEC will examine the circumstances of the engagement to determine whether the purpose of the relative’s hiring is to improperly influence the foreign official,” the report noted, adding that in such cases FCPA violations may occur even if the employee is otherwise qualified for the job.
Related: How to Get Hired in China: The JPMorgan Case : The New Yorker But, as we’ve seen with the case of Bo Xilai, and other high-profile corruption investigations, there is a difference between “knowing” something exists and seeing it laid out in the black and white of court files. The JPMorgan case—and any others that follow—will be acutely uncomfortable for the Communist Party, which recognizes, correctly, that one of its greatest vulnerabilities lies in the privileges accorded to the sons and daughters of government officials or state-owned company executives. The credibility of the Chinese political and economic system has always rested partly on its assertion that it is a well-functioning meritocracy; in effect, the Party says, You don’t need the vote if the system is designed to promote and reward the nation’s top talent.
Related: Most youths pin hopes on parents for success: survey – People’s Daily Online The Social Survey Center of China Youth Daily surveyed 3,809 people through minyi.net.cn and sohu.com. Of those surveyed, 80.4 percent believe young people who achieve career success in China are all winners in the “competition of family background,” and 83.5 percent believe their peers hope to join the “competition of family background”.
China bans more New Zealand dairy products on new contamination scare | Reuters More New Zealand milk products sold to China have been banned after elevated levels of nitrates were found, raising further concerns over quality and testing in the world’s largest dairy exporter in the wake of a contamination scare earlier this month. New Zealand’s agricultural regulator said on Monday it has revoked export certificates for four China-bound consignments of lactoferrin manufactured by Westland Milk Products after higher- than-acceptable nitrate levels were found by tests in China.
Everbright Gets China Proprietary Trading Ban After Error – Bloomberg Everbright Securities Co. (601788)’s woes worsened after erroneous trades that sparked the wildest Chinese stock swings in four years as the firm was banned from proprietary trading and said it today mispriced a bond sale. State-controlled Everbright said yesterday it placed 23.4 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) of incorrect buy orders on Aug. 16, prompting the three-month ban and an investigation by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The company gave the wrong price for 10 million yuan of government bonds today, it said on its website.
Property Mogul Wang Emerges as China’s Richest Person – Bloomberg The chairman of closely held conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which became the world’s largest movie theater chain after acquiring AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. last year for $2.6 billion, has a net worth of $14.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is $3.2 billion richer than Zong Qinghou, founder of Hangzhou Wahaha Group, China’s No. 3 beverage maker. Zong is the country’s second-wealthiest person.
Related: 彭博富豪榜：王健林超宗庆后成新首富 身家142亿美元–陕西频道–人民网 People’s Daily Online coverage of the Bloomberg reporting the Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin is the richest man in China…PD credits Bloomberg
Struggling Immigrant Artist Tied to $80 Million New York Fraud – NYTimes.com Parts of the mystery became clearer on Friday as neighbors learned that Mr. Qian, a quiet 73-year-old immigrant from China in a paint-flecked smock, is suspected of having fooled the art world by creating dozens of works that were modeled after America’s Modernist masters and were later sold as their handiwork for more than $80 million. Mr. Qian, who came here more than four decades ago and struggled to sell his own works in this country, earned just a few thousand dollars for each of his imitations. //shades of Zhang Daqian, but not as talented?
The economy: A bubble in pessimism | The Economist China is no stranger to economic restructuring. Over the past decade, the share of workers in agriculture fell from half to about a third. Exports have fallen from 38% of GDP in 2007 to 26% last year, while services now contribute as much to the economy as industry. And this enormous shake-up of employment and production took place in an economy that was growing by about 10% a year. China’s economy can, it seems, evolve and expand at the same time.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
House Prices Rise Fast in China – WSJ.com Prices rose an average 6.7% year-over-year in July, up from 6.1% in June, calculations by The Wall Street Journal based on official data released Sunday showed. On a month-to-month basis, the increase in prices moderated slightly. In a statement, National Bureau of Statistics analyst Liu Jianwei said the continued rise in prices is due to genuine home buyer demand as well as recent land price gains. A sharp increase in lending in the first half of 2013, combined with a quiet relaxation of strict controls on home purchases in some cities, also played a part in boosting sales and pushing prices higher.
China July month-on-month home prices slow for fourth month | Reuters China’s monthly property inflation moderated for a fourth straight month in July, although annual gains were the strongest this year, complicating policymakers’ task of trying to cool the sector without stifling growth elsewhere. Real estate, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be one of the crucial drivers of activity in the world’s second-largest economy.
传京大户型现集中抛售:富人怕政策官员怕反腐_房产资讯_北京搜房网 经过调查，近期集中抛售大户型房产的业主，并非对北京市乃至对国家宏观经济失去信心，而是强烈担心中央将在近期强制推行房地产新政，其中包含房产税、个税、遗产税等有力措施，并且很有可能在采取上述措施后，全面放开房产限购，这将强烈冲击已趋于饱和的房地产市场，必将使地产市场价格逆转。 大户型的居住者大致分为富翁、为官者两类人。前者怕调控新政，后者则在极力规避反腐。他们抛售大户型房产，既有无奈，又表现出较大的坚定成份。所以，在房产出手的交易谈判中，为富者杀价较为缓慢，寸金寸移——挂单观望居多；为官者杀价较为凶狠，甚至想一步达成交易
China’s Wenzhou Lifts Restrictions on Purchases of Second Homes-Caijing Wenzhou, a city in eastern China, has become the first of 46 cities in the country to lift restrictions on purchases of second homes, sending a signal of easing property regulations by the Chinese government to boost economy amid a slowdown. First home buyers, whether local or not, are now allowed to purchase a second house in the city, reversing restrictions introduced in 2011 in the central government’s toughest property regulation to curb sizzling home prices in Chinese cities, the Shanghai Securities News reported.
Time to Lift the Veil on SOEs – Economic Observer Editorial The 2012 performance review of SOEs conveniently left out the under-performers. The SASAC has no reason to help these enterprises save face. It’s time to disclose detailed performance assessments on all SOEs.
China to Ease Foreign Investment Rules for New Trade Zones – Bloomberg The State Council will submit a draft document to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the legislature, according to yesterday’s statement. If approved, the State Council will be allowed to suspend some laws on foreign investment, Sino-foreign joint ventures and cooperative enterprises in the free trade areas, it said. The statement didn’t give a time frame or additional details about the changes, which will apply to the proposed zone in Shanghai and any potential new ones.
China’s Reform Anxiety by Yao Yang – Project Syndicate China’s leaders know what is wrong with the country’s economy. But, as their efforts over the last several months have highlighted, they are uncertain as to how to go about fixing it – a fact that is generating significant anxiety in financial markets and among the general public. As senior Chinese officials gather for their annual summer meeting in Beidaihe, a coastal resort near Beijing, they must recognize the need for a bold plan for genuine structural reform. Otherwise, anxiety will eventually give rise to mistrust, making a comprehensive reform strategy even more difficult to implement.
China’s Corporate Landscape: From Economic Capital to Political Capital – The China Track 与中国接轨–Scott Kennedy–In sum, the private sector is growing, in absolute and relative terms, while SOEs are shrinking in numbers of companies but growing in terms of average size. And multinationals are on average large, but their relative significance in the economy is dropping. How do trends in economic capital translate into policy or political capital? Beijing is clearly trying to protect SOEs and their role in certain segments of the economy, particularly strategic sectors. At the same time, the private sector is gradually being allowed to expand its footprint across regions and in previously blocked sectors, and we can expect such policies to be gradually widened still further.
A new development in the China bad bank story | FT Alphaville Now, two of those AMCs, Cinda and Huarong, are raising fresh private capital in order to play a much bigger role in the next round of bad debts that are expected to emerge from the huge expansion in lending that has taken place in China since 2008.
No Power Outages Despite Heat Wave – Economic Observe “Electricity consumption in the manufacturing sector is usually a key indicator of whether economic conditions are effecting power consumption. The data from January to June shows that electricity consumed by the manufacturing sector has not fallen,” an official from the data and information department of the China Electricity Council (中电联统计信息部) told the EO. Data from China Electricity Council shows that over the first half of the year electricity consumed by the manufacturing sector increased by 4.8 percent year-on-year, 2.3 percentage points higher than the rate of growth registered in the first half of 2012. Data also revealed that the manufacturing sector was using a record amount of electricity in the month of June 2013.
China Unlikely to Have a Debt Crisis in Near Future: Gov. Report-Caijing A government report backed by the State Council said the China has “small” chances of encoutering a debt crisis with the government’s liability ratio at middle levels among its peers in the world. The Chinese government has a net liability of 11.3 trillion yuan at the end of 2010, the report issued by the Development Research Center of the State Council said.
Probe Launched over Insurance Dealer for Sales Fraud – Caixin The Shanghai branch of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said on August 15 that insurance sales agent Shanghai Fanxin Insurance Agency Co. was found selling unauthorized fixed-income financial agreements. Shanghai police have launched a formal investigation into the company’s alleged misconduct, said the regulator. Rumors have circulated in the market since August 14 that Chen Yi, general manager of Fanxin has fled to Canada with 500 million yuan. Caixin learned from a source close to the company that Chen is no longer the legal representative of the company and has left the country as the company is facing financial turmoil.
China’s Coming Wave of Privatization-Caijing Joe Zhang-This inevitable wave of privatization will bring with it the added benefit of unleashing a corresponding wave of restructuring in what has become a grossly inefficient and bloated economy.
Trust Company Forced to Repay Investors Out of Own Pockets – Caixin- Shaanxi International Trust Co. Ltd. (SIT) said on August 12 it spent 597.9 million yuan acquiring outstanding units of a trust product sold in two phases by Henan Yufeng Compound Fertilizer Co. Ltd. in 2012. Yufeng started falling behind on payments in December. The final payment of the first phase, which had an interest rate of 18 percent, was due in April. The second phase (16.2 percent) came due in July. SIT said it asked Xian Intermediate People’s Court to seize Yufeng’s assets, including land and office buildings it used as collateral to issue the trust product. It is unclear how SIT will dispose of the assets.
专访张维迎： 国企改革出现倒退 亟待重启_思想频道_一财网 由于牵涉多方利益博弈和意识思辨，国企改革堪称中国改革过程中最为艰难的改革。随着中国市场经济的不断深化，国际化程度日益提高，国企改革已经成为影响全局改革推进的掣肘领域。
China Fines Shanghai-based Gold Shops for Price Manipulation – Bloomberg Shanghai Laofengxiang Co., Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart Co.’s two units and an industry body were among those given a combined fine of 10.59 million yuan ($1.7 million), the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement. Chow Tai Fook Jewelery Group Ltd., the world’s largest listed jewelry chain, and Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd., which were listed by People’s Daily last month as among companies under investigation, weren’t included in the statement.
China Poised to Gain Control as Shipyard Shakeout Looms – Bloomberg China grew into the world’s leading shipbuilder over the last decade as hundreds of private yards opened to compete with state-run companies. Now, the government is poised to regain control as the industry heads for consolidation. The number of shipyards in China has swollen to 1,647, contributing to a global capacity glut. To stabilize the industry, one third to a half of the yards will probably have to disappear through acquisitions and closings, according to executives and analysts.
刘明康警告企业要重视现金流动性管理|刘明康|流动性管理|金融危机_21世纪网 Liu Mingkang warns companies to pay attention to cash flow and liquidity // 银监会前主席刘明康表示，中国未来经济增长的机遇大于挑战;而在微观上，近两年内包括金融机构在内的各类企业要提升管理和风险控制水平，其中最重要的任务之一是要做好现金流动性管理。
Is China Hukou System Reform the Key to Reviving Its Economy? Some Advisers Say Yes. – China Real Time Report – WSJ As China’s growth slows toward a 20-year low, leaders are searching for a way to revive the economy’s flagging fortunes. The suggestion from some of China’s top policy wonks: reform the hukou system. That was the message that came through loud and clear from a meeting of top academics and policy advisers at a conference hosted by the government’s Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Friday.
China’s Economists Find Local Debt, Property Market Worrisome – China Real Time Report – WSJ A survey of Chinese economists released Sunday shows that many see troubles ahead, with mounting government debt, burgeoning overcapacity and a swelling property bubble among their chief concerns. The survey of 43 senior government and academic economists by Xinhua News Agency and Xiamen University showed that 63% see local government debt as the country’s top challenge.
受访国外官员和专家驳斥有关“唱衰中国经济”论调，认为—— 中国经济表现出色 People’s Daily interviews foreign economists who think China’s economy is doing just fine, reject the China bear arguments..Stephen Roach gets top billing…
POLITICS AND LAW
Seventy police make graft claims against top Shanghai judge | South China Morning Post The acting president of the Shanghai High Court has been accused of corruption and abuse of power during his time as a provincial police chief. The accusations levelled at Cui Yadong were contained in a letter signed by 70 police officers, who said that, while head of the police in Guizhou province, he used his position to enrich himself through kickbacks and private business schemes.
Liu Tienan investigated for taking bribes – Xinhua Liu Tienan, a former deputy chief of China’s top economic planning body, has been put under judicial investigation, suspected of taking bribes, authorities said on Sunday. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate has decided to open an investigation into the case of Liu and has imposed “compulsory measures” on him.
Liu Tienan Case Exposes Flaws in Administrative Approval-Caijing Liu abused his approval authority for major projects to make profits for himself and his associates. The case highlights a number of institutional factors that allowed him to trade power for profit.
Leading Chinese forensic scientist quits just days ahead of Bo Xilai – Telegraph Wang Xuemei posted a video on Youtube resigning both her position as a forensic expert at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s top prosecutors’ office, and her vice-chairmanship of the Chinese Forensic Medicine Association. “I cannot stand my name being mixed up with an academic body that presents such ridiculous and irresponsible forensic evidence,” she said.
Well-Known Dissident Is Detained in Southern China – NYTimes.com Yang Maodong, who is better known by his pen name, Guo Feixiong, was detained on Aug. 8, but the police notified his family only Saturday, his lawyer, Sui Muqing, said by telephone from the city of Guangzhou, where Mr. Yang also lives. Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an international advocacy group, also reported Mr. Yang’s detention on its Web site, and posted a copy of the police notice on charges of “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.”
自觉坚持马克思主义新闻观_2013/16_求是理论网 新闻观是关于新闻现象、新闻活动的总体看法和根本观点。我们党主张用马克思主义新闻观指导新闻工作实践，这在当前有很强的现实针对性。本文就大家关注的几个问题谈一些看法…总之，讨论新闻观问题，最重要的是理性务实。我们如果真的希望国家好、人民好，如果这个立场一致，那就应该自觉坚持马克思主义新闻观，精心维护国家改革发展稳定的大局。//Seeking Truth on the importance of doing news the Marxist way
China grapples with rash of fake officials – The Washington Post But Li Guangnian was not quite as he seemed. In a country that has perfected the art of imitation, from fake iPhones to a life-size replica of London’s Tower Bridge, from a faux Manhattan financial district to a museum filled with fake exhibits, Li was just another copy: a fake official with a fake organization peddling a false promise — of credibility and contacts, according to people who worked with and encountered him.
独家近距航拍工人拆除北京楼顶别墅现场|北京|楼顶|别墅|拆除|航拍_新浪视频 awesome drone footage of the illegal beijing rooftop lair…looks like a private drone–新浪视频和FlyCam航拍工作室联合拍摄。
‘Unresolved Issues’ Stopped Creation of Energy Ministry, Ex-NEA Head Says – Caixin (Beijing) – The former head of the National Energy Administration (NEA) says the failure to set up an energy ministry during the latest round of government reform was due to “practical difficulties and other unsolved issues.” In an August 12 interview with state-backed People’s Daily Online, Zhang Guobao, spoke about why an energy ministry was not included in the recent efforts to restructure the government, despite the hopes of many in the public that such an entity would strengthen supervision of the massive sector.
China to tone down new year TV galas in anti-graft push | Reuters so no more crazy bad 3D graphics and host costumes? // (Reuters) – China will tone down and simplify the glitzy, kitsch and widely watched television galas beamed across the country over the traditional Lunar New Year festival, state media said on Friday, as part of government efforts to fight graft.
朱镕基在上海 ——读《朱镕基上海讲话实录》 为民 《 人民日报 》 excerpts from zhu rongji’s book of speeches gets 2/3 of page 6 in friday’s people’s daily
Reform should be profound: People’s Daily – Xinhua | English.news.cn A key issue in balancing relationships between reform, development and stability is to manage the intensity, speed and social acceptance of the reform, the editorial said. “Reform should not be shallow or tinkering around, but a profound revolution; it should not be slow, rather, moving forward in a sustained manner; nor should it be rash, but a gradual one,” the editorial said. “Looking around the world, social turmoil and political instability costs many countries the opportunities to develop and plunge their people into abysmal catastrophes,” it warned.
实现改革发展稳定有机统一 ——五论准确把握全面深化改革重大关系 本报评论员– 《 人民日报 》 Fifth in a series // 发展是解决经济社会一切问题的关键，改革是经济社会发展的主要动力，稳定是改革发展的前提和保证，没有这三者的有机统一，就难有社会的进步、人民的福祉。放眼世界风云，政局动荡、社会动乱，让许多国家失去发展机遇，人民陷入深重灾难。回顾中国故事，改革开放的航船之所以能够乘风破浪，中国现代化的事业之所以能够顺利推进，正是由于我们正确把握了改革发展稳定的关系。保持社会稳定，改革发展才能不断推进；改革发展不断推进，社会稳定才能获得现实基础，这是历史与实践给我们的深刻结论。
中共整风运动升级 从党内延至党外_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】十八大后接续习近平执掌党建大权的中共政治局常委刘云山，8月14日现身北京，部署中共整风运动的下阶段任务——查摆问题、开展批评环节。不同于之前局限于党内批评与自我批评，刘云山此次要求中共官员“开门纳谏”，接受群众监督，将整风延至党外。 在14日的会议中，刘云山称，坚持开门搞活动、开门听意见是教育实践活动的一个重要原则，只有敞开大门、开门纳谏，才能听到真心话、找到真问题。开门听意见、找问题要有诚恳的态度，欢迎提意见、敢于听意见，听不到意见、找不出问题本身就是问题。要引导党员干部开阔胸襟、放下思想包袱，真心诚意欢迎别人挑毛病，真心诚意让群众提意见，让群众评头品足。要把“面对面”和“背靠背”结合起来，既注重领导干部当面听取意见，也要让群众有“背靠背”给领导干部提意见的机会。同时还要防止似是而非、大而化之、不痛不痒。
胡耀邦之子警告中共 不改革有大革命_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】近日胡耀邦儿子胡德平撰长文大谈读了《旧制度与大革命》后感想——《破解<旧制度与大革命>之问》，中共各大党媒也纷纷转载，引起外界强烈关注。胡德平素来被外界视为改革派的代表性人物，此文被外界认为是胡德平加入目前宪政论战的战团，在北戴河会议期间发出一语双关之言，明着是警告当局绝不可忘记过去革命，实际是警告当局如不改革会有“大革命”再发生。
胡德平：破解《旧制度与大革命》之问 – 经济观察网 － 专业财经新闻网站 导语：今天中国又有人重读此书，我觉得也是对那种“告别革命”思潮的一种反省和考问。记忆加创造等于社会变革，为了不再发生革命，我们要以前辈的勇气、决心和智慧，参加今日中国的改革。
Xi’s Mass Line Campaign: Realigning Party Politics to New Realities | The Jamestown Foundation The CCP led by Xi has shown no interest in liberal reforms that could impair the exercise of party rule. Nor does the party appear likely to ease any time soon the extensive surveillance and control so essential to the regime’s survival. Nevertheless, the trends represented by the mass line campaign point to a recognition that the regime’s long-term prospects hinge on reforms to accommodate the growing clout of its citizenry. With the collapse of the decades-old export and investment driven growth model, China’s future development will depend much more on consumer spending by a large body of prosperous citizens, who are likely to be well educated. With their spending power as leverage, these citizens are likely to demand a far higher level of goods, services and competent governance than authorities have hitherto provided. Through the mass line campaign, institutional and systemic reforms as well as other measures to buttress and improve the regime’s performance, Xi and his colleagues are seeking to align the party’s politics and ideology to better accord with the new realities. The task is tremendous and probably will take years of work. For this reason, the mass line education campaign represents the fundamental concerns and themes that are likely to dominate political thought and policy through the rest of the Xi administration.
Buffett-Style Dinner Auctions Lure Chinese Seeking Just Society – Bloomberg The Meat Shop is hosted inside Taobao Marketplace, run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest e-commerce company. A notice to buyers says, “This Taobao shop is different!” It explains that every penny will go to humanitarian aid, followed by names of dissidents or activists who have received assistance in earlier meal delivery fund-raising efforts. Each 120,000 yuan raised is distributed. A randomly selected committee of nine Meat Shop customers chooses the recipient from a shortlist put forward by a citizens’ rights advocate. The money is enough to support a typical Beijing family for about one year. So far, three people have received aid, with enough left to help at least six more. // 首页–肉铺–淘宝网
危则思变反四风 郭声琨要求绝对忠诚_中国_多维新闻网 Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun calls for absolue loyalty to Xi Jinping//【多维新闻】近日，中国公安部网站刊发一篇题为《郭声琨与公安现役部队新任军师职干部集体谈话时强调 坚定理想信念永葆忠诚本色 用新的业绩回报党和人民的信任与重托》的文章，称国务委员、公安部党委书记、部长郭声琨8月14日与公安现役部队新任军师职干部集体谈话时强调，“要切实增强政治定力和政治敏锐性，在事关全局、事关政治方向、事关根本原则等重大问题上，要立场坚定、旗帜鲜明，始终在思想上、政治上、行动上与以习近平同志为总书记的党中央保持高度一致，确保绝对忠诚、绝对纯洁、绝对可靠。要毫不动摇地坚持党的绝对领导，严格遵守党的纪律特别是党的政治纪律，坚决服从命令、听从指挥，确保政令警令畅通。” 这番要求公安部现役高级干部明确政治方向，确保对习近平绝对忠诚的讲话在一经发出后备受外界注意。有分析认为，这番着重强调“政治忠诚”或许另有深意
Police officer investigated for throwing baby|Society|chinadaily.com.cn One month after a Beijing man was accused of throwing a young girl to the ground, a similar case in Henan province has sparked public outrage, not least of all because the alleged perpetrator is a police officer. Guo Zengxi, a policeman in Linzhou, Henan province, is being investigated on suspicion of taking a 7-month-old girl from her father’s arms and throwing her to the ground, according to a report in the Legal Evening News.
风水术现状调查：风水先生称我接的生意大都是官员的 – 延展阅读-新华网 Xinhua on fengshui, says much of the business for fengshui masters comes from officials…// 曾被视为封建迷信的风水术，近年打着“传统文化”旗号重新浮出水面。一些地方官员迷信风水，为求官运亨通、平安无事，请所谓的大师高人“指点迷津”。记者在多地采访发现，官员迷信风水已成了官场公开的秘密。部分党政官员价值观迷失，不在勤政为民上下工夫，却在风水问题上绞尽脑汁，引起群众极大反感。
中共领导人用过什么笔名，发表过哪些文章？-中国新闻周刊网 中共早期，几乎每个领导人都有多个笔名，比如毛泽东就曾使用“泽东”、“润之”、“二十八画生”等笔名。十八大后，总书记习近平的笔名“哲欣”被披露。领导人的笔名都有何变化?都曾发表过哪些文章?又有何深意? //the pen names of Chinese leaders
朱令铊中毒案律师启动对清华大学追责程序_网易新闻中心 都市时报讯 19年前，因两次摄入致死剂量的重金属铊盐，让当时仅有21岁的清华女大学生朱令令几成植物人。接受委托代理该案的云南凌云律师事务所李春光证实，他和另一代理人把共同签署的《律师函》，已经妥投至清华大学，意味着对该校法律责任追究程序正式启动。//Zhu Ling’s family started the legal process to try to get compensation from Qinghua
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China defense chief in DC|Top Stories|chinadaily.com.cnChinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan will meet with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Monday in a bid to strengthen bilateral military ties, a pledge made by top leaders of the two nations in early June.
Senior military official urges “mass line” implementation – Xinhua Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks recently while inspecting troops in northeast China’s Liaoning Province. “Mass line” refers to a guideline under which the Communist Party of China (CPC) is required to prioritize the interests of the people. Fan urged senior military officials to clarify their personal housing, vehicle use, use of public funds, and employment of their relatives.
谷俊山中将网传 Acerbic Phoenix Weekly piece on the Gen Gujunshan case
Get ready for roll call|chinadaily.com.cn He’s one of a rising number of college students lured by China’s first summer and autumn recruitment program, which has replaced the winter recruitment campaign that had been in place for 23 years. This year, national recruitment has been in full swing since August 1, following hot on the heels of graduation in July, in a bid to entice more highly educated students to join China’s increasingly modern military. As the PLA accelerates its modernization drive, the use of technically sophisticated weaponry – including China’s first aircraft carrier, J-10 jet fighters, Z-10 attack helicopters and DF-21 missiles – means there’s a greater need for better-educated recruits, according to a senior officer at the National Recruitment Office of the National Defense Ministry, who declined to be named.
PLA aerobatic team’s overseas debut| Military The Bayi Aerobatic Team of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force left for Moscow on Aug 18, 2013 to stage its first overseas airshow with J-10 jet fighters. The team will join its Russian counterpart at the 11th Moscow Airshow at the Ramenskoye Airport between Aug 27 and Sept 1. Since it was established 51 years ago, the team has performed for 668 delegations from 166 countries and regions, but the Moscow tour marks the team’s first show abroad.
Xi Jinping’s Overlooked Revelation on China’s Maritime Disputes | The Diplomat–Taylor Fravel Although unnoticed by foreign analysts, Xi Jinping recently signaled a desire to dial back tensions in the South and East China Seas.
Signed article: Innovations in China’s diplomatic theory and practice under new conditions – Xinhua The flagship magazine of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Qiushi (Seeking Truth), on Friday carried an article on China’s diplomacy written by State Councilor Yang Jiech The following is the full text of the English version of the article, which was provided by the Foreign Ministry:
Chinese try to derail India-US tyre deal – FT.com Chinese workers have stepped up their campaign to scupper India’s largest acquisition of a US company, warning of continuing disruption at a joint venture that is a central element of the $2.5bn cross-border deal. The Chengshan Group operates a large factory in Shandong province with Ohio-based Cooper Tire, which accepted a buyout offer from India’s Apollo Tyres in June.
[视频]本台记者被埃及警方扣押四小时_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV indignant about the 4 hour detention of one of its reporters in Egypt…
The Prime Minister, The Past, The War, The Shrine and What Is Said In The Unsaid : Japan Subculture Research Center This also marked the first year in over a decade that the current Prime Minister did not apologize for Japan’s aggression in Asia nor solemnly swear that Japan would never wage war again. As often is the case in Japan, it’s in what is unsaid that speaks the loudest.
China Video Tools for U.S. With American Help Spurs Spy Anxiety – Bloomberg The collaboration between Shenzhen-based ZTE and Prescient, a five-employee unit of closely held CyberPoint International LLC, comes amid warnings about China’s military hacking into U.S. computers. A U.S. House committee report advised federal agencies and contractors last October to bypass ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co. products because they might help China spy.
Visitors from China targets of wiretapping by US spy agency | South China Morning Post A surge in Chinese visitors to the United States during Lunar New Year celebrations last year offers a clue to the scale of American spies’ wiretapping of citizens in China. According to a report on privacy breaches by the US National Security Agency, leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden and published by The Washington Post yesterday, an 11 per cent rise in “roamer” incidents in the first quarter of last year may have been caused by the annual Chinese holiday.
TECH AND MEDIA
Another China Mobile Exec Investigated on Suspicion of Corruption -Caixin China Mobile’s head in Guangdong Province is under investigation for alleged abuse of power, Caixin learned, marking the latest development in the ongoing corruption saga of the country’s largest telecom company. Xu Long, chairman of China Mobile’s Guangdong branch, was under the company’s internal investigation since late 2012. Sources told Caixin that Xu’s alleged misconducts relate to the 20 billion yuan in annual purchases made by the regional telecom branch under his eight-year tenure. Li Xinze, general manager of China Mobile Guangdong has been under party investigation since April, and Sun Lian, the purchase department head for the Guangdong branch was questioned prior to the probe of Xu.
In China smartphone market, cheap rules – and Apple suffers | Video | Reuters.com Apple’s seen its market share in China dwindle as homegrown smartphone makers crank out feature-packed budget models. Could the launch of a cheaper iPhone restore its flagging fortunes?
China market: iPhone loses ground as local brands poised for growth, says TrendForce The iPhone now leads Samsung Electronics in the “brand recognition” category by only 1% in China’s smartphone market, according to the most recent survey conducted by Avanti, a research division of TrendForce. In the “most anticipated smartphone purchase” and “most used smartphone brand” categories, Apple is shown to be vastly behind the Korean giant, and reveals a continuously declining popularity.
Yixin, Jointly Launched by NetEase and China Telecom, Is More than A WeChat Clone Apart from what WeChat can do, Yixin supports sending voice messages to mobile or fixed-line numbers for free. Tencent’s WeChat previously partnered with China Unicom that rolled out WeChat Wo, a custom SIM card. China Telecom goes even farther as the feature must have impact on its existing revenue generators, text messages and calls. China Telecom and NetEase established a company, Yixin Technology, with a team from both of the companies.
China expects nationwide broadband by 2020 |Industries |chinadaily.com.cn The State Council elevated national broadband development as as a national strategy and announced a implementation timetable for its development over the coming eight years. The strategy aims to achieve WiFi coverage in key public urban areas by 2013 and fixed broadband coverage for half of Chinese households by 2015, the announcement said. Families in some developed cities will enjoy a broadband speed of one gigabits per second in 2020, the announcement added.
Go online to reap the harvest|Industries|chinadaily.com.cnAlthough it is a relatively new kid on the block, in terms of size and spread e-commerce has no peers in China. But its real strength, as many foreign companies and brands are discovering now, is its ability to be a matchmaker in the vast and untapped Chinese domestic market. With revenues in excess of $210 billion last year and a steadily growing customer base of more than 500 million, the e-commerce industry in China is fast catching the fancy of big names such as Louis Vuitton, Adidas AG, Samsung Group and The Walt Disney Co. Many others such as the UK-based retailer Marks & Spencer Plc and Mothercare Plc are in talks to be a part of the sunrise industry that deals with the buying and selling of products as diverse as mobiles, fresh vegetables, textiles, dresses, exotic food, machinery and personal care products.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
China’s ‘leftover women’ choosing to stay single – CNN.com Married women also experienced a severe setback to their property rights in 2011, when the Supreme People’s Court amended China’s Marriage Law to state, essentially, that marital property belongs to the person whose name is on the home deed. In China, that person is usually the husband.
Jade Ring Bid at $2.6 Million as Chinese Seek Green Gems – Bloomberg The value of the precious gem is surging with China’s wealthy snapping up jade necklaces, rings and bracelets as long-term investments. They are counting on the stone’s steady ascent to provide safety as Shanghai’s stock market languishes, much of the bond market remains closed to retail investors and even gold prices have plunged.
David Moser interviews Mark Rowswell–Sinica Podcast If you’re a long-timer in China, this is a show that needs no introduction. One of the most famous foreigners in China, Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. Dashan) shot to fame in the early 1990s after a fortuitous break on Chinese television. In this live interview with David Moser conducted at Capital M earlier this month, David and Mark talk a bit about their shared experiences on Chinese television before some light sparring in a deeper discussion of how Chinese media and the Chinese sense of humour have changed over the years.
The Useless Tree: Daoism as the Core of Chinese Culture Those are just some rough thoughts. But perhaps they are enough to begin to fulfill my purpose here: to destabilize an over-simplistic identification of “Confucianism” and “Chinese Culture.” Daoism is just as important; indeed, it might be more central to Chinese culture than Confucianism. And it might have been smarter for the PRC government to name its Chinese language organizations “Laozi Institutes” or “Zhuangzi Institutes”.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Floods, typhoon leave 105 dead, 115 missing in China – Xinhua A total of 105 people died and another 115 are missing after floods ravaged northeast China and a typhoon lashed southern regions, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Monday. Northeastern China’s Liaoning Province and south China’s Guangdong Province have reported the most number of casualties from the disasters, with 54 deaths and 22 deaths respectively as of 9 a.m. Monday.
Climate change: Can China clean up fast enough? | The Economist For the rest of the world, there is an upside as well as a downside to China’s vastness: it cannot shirk its responsibilities. National policy in China, unlike that anywhere else except America, makes a global difference. If China continues to pour emissions into the atmosphere, its own people are likely to suffer along with everybody else. If, on the other hand, it wants to do something about warming, it will have to cut its own emissions—and everybody will benefit.
China and the environment: The East is grey | The Economist–Cover Story–China is the world’s worst polluter but largest investor in green energy. Its rise will have as big an impact on the environment as on the world economy or politics
大气“国十条”将出 京津冀PM2.5浓度要降25% – 经济观察网 － 专业财经新闻网站 导语：《大气污染防治行动计划》已经完成部委会签，将于近日出台。其主要是对2013年到2017年期间在PM2.5治理、淘汰落后产能和煤炭消费比重方面给出具体量化目标。计划对京津冀、长三角和珠三角PM2.5治理提出了更为严格的消减目标，其中京津冀要求到2017年PM2.5浓度下降25%。
Fish Habitat Near Collapse on China’s Upper Yangtze, Study Says – Bloomberg The fish habitat in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River is near collapse from overfishing and the construction of hydropower dams, and China should ban fishing on the river for 10 years, according to a new study. Twenty-five hydropower plants are planned for the Jinsha River, which will make the tributary to the Yangtze a series of reservoirs and disrupt the flow of sediment, the World Wildlife Fund and the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee said in a report released yesterday. “Because the habitat has been broken and lost, the natural resources of the fish in the Jinsha river are already on the edge of collapse,” Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze fishery committee, said in the report.
H7N9 kills 45 in China, vaccine in manufacturing – Xinhua | English.news.cn H7N9 bird flu has killed 45 people on the Chinese mainland since the first human infection was confirmed in late March, a health official said Thursday. A total of 134 cases of H7N9 infection have been confirmed on the Chinese mainland, said Wang Yu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Wang was speaking at an international symposium on the prevention and treatment of new types of influenza.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Infrequent Flying Snarls Civil Aviation Sector – Caixin “Big airports are running out of air space,” said a CAAC official who refused to be named. “Some improvements have to be made by airlines, but fundamentally flight delays are caused by inadequate air space.” Unlike most countries, where most air space is open to civil aviation, China’s is strictly managed by the State Air Administration Committee (SAAC), which is under the State Council, and the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission. Most of the nation’s air space has been assigned by these top Beijing authorities for military use alone, which means civil aviation access is prohibited. CAAC’s head Li Jiaxiang, puts the amount of sky available for passenger and other civil aircraft at only about 20 percent.
From Outsiders to Innkeepers in China’s Sleepy Countryside – NYTimes.com Mr. Linden and other foreign owners of smaller boutique hotels say they would rather offer tourists more distinctive lodging. Like Japan’s ryokans, Italy’s villas and America’s Victorian bed-and-breakfasts, China’s boutique retreats could lure travelers with their link to the past, especially since they have been replaced in major cities by modern buildings.
China Rolls out Detailed Plan to Integrate Baby Formula Industry -Caijing China is poised to boost its fragmented and troubling milk industry by rolling out a nationwide integration which will see the number of home baby formula makers drop sharply in the following five years. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s industry watchdog, has finished drawing up a detailed plan to prompt merges and restructuring among over the country’s 120 baby formula makers, the China Securities Journal reported.