The Sinocism China Newsletter 08.28.13

The Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress will convene sometime in November, according to the official announcement after Tuesday’s politburo meeting. A November meeting will be the latest for a Third Plenum in twenty years, though at this point there is no evidence of a “delay”, given that prior to yesterday there had been no official announcement of a date, just lots of speculation. Reform is on the meeting’s agenda, but whatever is decided will take years to implement and will not be a panacea for the current economic challenges.

Three more CNPC executives are under investigation. So in two days we have learned that four senior officials in the petrochemical complex are under investigation. The timing may be coincidental with the conclusion of the Bo Xilai trial, but how common are these kinds of coincidences? The news is leading to all sorts of speculation about the real target. Tiger and all its associated parts may on the menu at the CDIC.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

CPC’s November meeting to discuss deepening of reform – Xinhua  Deepening reform in an all-round way concerns the overall work of the Party and the government, and is the requirement for building a moderately prosperous society, speeding up socialist modernization drive, developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, addressing prominent challenges in the development, and achieving sustainable, healthy development of the economy and society, said the statement. “Reform and opening up serve as a critical strategy to determine modern China’s destiny and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. There should never be an end to the practice and development, emancipation of the mind, and reform and opening up,” said the statement.

Related: 政治局会议决定11月召开十八届三中全会–新华网 新华网北京8月27日电 中共中央政治局8月27日召开会议,决定今年11月在北京召开中国共产党第十八届中央委员会第三次全体会议,主要议程是,中共中央政治局向中央委员会报告工作,研究全面深化改革重大问题。会议审议通过了《建立健全惩治和预防腐败体系2013-2017年工作规划》、《关于地方政府职能转变和机构改革的意见》,听取了中国(上海)自由贸易试验区筹备工作汇报。中共中央总书记习近平主持会议…会议指出,建立中国(上海)自由贸易试验区,是党中央从国内外发展大势出发,统筹国内国际两个大局,在新形势下推进改革开放的重大举措,对加快政府职能转变、积极探索管理模式创新、促进贸易和投资便利化,为全面深化改革和扩大开放探索新途径、积累新经验,具有重要意义。国务院要加强领导,上海市要精心组织实施,有关部门要大力支持,努力把试验区建设好、管理好,发挥示范带动、服务全国的积极作用。 //the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone gets a nice plug in the official Xinhua report on the latest Politburo meeting…so much for those reports that Li Keqiang didn’t have the juice or support to get it done…wonder what those who opposed him are thinking now? And does anyone have evidence there is daylight between Xi and Li on economic reforms?

Related: 十八届三中全会将于11月召开 系20年来最晚一次(全文)_网易新闻中心 November date is the latest for a Third Plenum in 20 years //  根据昨日中央政治局会议的决定,十八届三中全会将于今年11月召开。自1993年11月11日举行的“十四届三中全会”后,三中全会基本都选在10月举行,本次三中全会是20年来最晚的一次,若具体召开日期晚于1993年的11月11日,则其可能成为改革开放以来最晚的一次。 值得注意的是,本次会议提前两到三个月公布召开的时间。对此,北京大学政府管理学院李成言分析,这可能是由于三中全会最重要的是要解决经济方面的方针政策,提前三个月,使得各方对于目前的经济与改革现状有个预期,另外也有安抚民心的作用。 而对于本届三中全会为20年来最晚一次,中央党校谢春涛则认为,这可能与会议前的资料准备或调研情况汇总程度有关。国家行政学院汪玉凯则认为,通常在10月举行,而本次则定为11月,或许与领导层此前有其他重要事务相关。

China investigates more top PetroChina executives over corruption | Reuters SASAC said CNPC group deputy general manager Li Hualin, vice-president of listed unit PetroChina Ran Xinquan, and PetroChina chief geologist Wang Daofu are all under investigation. It did not detail the accusations against them….Li once served as secretary of Zhou Yongkang, who until last year was the country’s domestic security tsar and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the top echelon of power within the Communist Party. Zhou served as general manager of CNPC from 1996-98. Three of Zhou’s other allies are currently under investigation, including the deputy party boss of Sichuan province, Li Chuncheng, who had for many years overseen development of the province’s prosperous capital, Chengdu.

Related: 明鏡新聞網: 明鏡獨家:圍剿周永康石油幫,涉案千億 Mingjing speculation the CNPC detentions and tiger hunting…// 北京政界人士指出,儘管習近平在是否最後收拾周永康這個難題上猶豫不決,但周永康的各路嫡系被蠶食已是鐵板釘釘。《明鏡月刊》長篇文章揭露:居住在美國洛杉磯的周永康兒媳家族從俄羅斯、南非為中石油購買石油和煉油設備,蔣潔敏(現國資委主任,如今也成了驚弓之鳥,已數星期沒有露面)時期的中石油(2004年-2013年)再以高出一倍的價格從周斌妻子的父母手中買過來。

Document #9 – All Things Nuclear While it is possible the political rectification effort promoted in Xi Jinping’s Document #9 signals a significant shift to the left in China’s domestic politics, it resembles similar efforts launched by all of his predecessors in the post-Mao era. Each one was accompanied by arrests of dissidents, measures to restrict the media and well organized programs to rectify ideological trends the Party found threatening. The “spiritual pollution” campaign was a response to the “Democracy Wall” movement.  The assault on “bourgeoise liberalization” followed several years of massive nationwide protests the CCP finally chose to repress with lethal military force.  Hu Jintao presided over the conviction and sentencing of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo for organizing support for a charter calling for democratic reform. None of these campaigns, however, led to a return to the leftist politics of the Maoist era. Xi Jinping’s Document #9 is not likely to either.

Related: Document No.9: The Party Attacks Western Democratic Ideals – China Real Time Report – WSJ Apart from suppressing advocacy of constitutionalism, other implications of Document No. 9 and its implementation seem clear. The Bo Xilai trial, regardless of the outcome, gives convincing proof of the Party-state’s continuing intention to control the procedure and outcome of any criminal or civil proceeding that it deems to have political significance. This includes reporting on legal matters on the Internet, illustrated by the prosecution’s use of Weibo to disseminate carefully edited transcripts of each day’s proceedings during the trial. Taken together, the trial and the campaign against constitutionalism suggest that meaningful reform of legal institutions will continue to be postponed, and that if anything the Party is intent on asserting its control in this arena.

Related: Look Who’s Afraid of Democracy – NYTimes.com But China is deep into an economic transformation that depends on integration with the rest of the world. And the future success of China’s economy depends on a steadily more open society of the sort that Chinese liberals and moderates are pushing for. No matter how many reactionary memos the government produces, Mr. Xi and his successors will not be able to deny those forces forever. //the NYT Editorial Board just proved the point, at least in Beijing’s eyes...

Xinhua Insight: Details of Bo Xilai’s trial – Xinhua very long official summary // Prosecutors stressed that the facts of the crimes are objective and will not be altered by the defendant’s own will. The fact are based on evidence, not the defendant’s testimony. Although the country’s legal system has a principle of tempering justice with mercy, a heavy sentence in line with the law should be handed to Bo, as he committed very serious crimes and refused to plead guilty. Considering that the accused did not turn himself in or disclose another person’s crimes, he is not subject to any terms of leniency by law,” prosecutors said. // 新华社:薄熙来受贿、贪污、滥用职权案庭审纪实-财经网 http://politics.caijing.com.cn/2013-08-27/113224879.html

Related: Xinhua Insight: Details of Bo Xilai’s trial – Xinhua | English.news.cnBogu Kailai testified that Bo Guagua had frequently traveled between China and abroad while he studied overseas, and the whole family of his teacher had come to Beijing. In addition, more than 40 of his foreign friends and classmates had traveled to Beijing. It was her idea to ask Xu Ming to pay all the flight and accommodation expenses. Xu readily agreed and arranged for his company staff to make the payments. //Bo Guagua’s classmates deny that anyone else paid for their trip to China. So this official testimony is wrong?

人民日报评论部:“造城”虚火症该治了–观点–人民网 People’s Daily page 5 commentary takes on ghost cities/districts, the mad rush to build for GDP…more and more in official media along these lines, perhaps a reflection of the direction of the forthcoming urbanization plan? this one has video, of a ghost district that has yet to hit the western media I believe // “造城”之风,根源还是用“GDP至上”的旧思维想问题,靠行政推动的老办法谋发展,也闪现着“四风”的影子。 最近,国家发改委的一个课题组对12个省区的调查显示,平均每个地级市要建约1.5个新城新区,144个地级城市竟然要建200余个新城新区。这些数字,加上各地频现的“国际化大都市”规划,不时曝光的“空城”“鬼城”问题,让人们忧虑,“造城”运动会带给城市怎样的未来?

Over News of Clash, a Shroud of Silence in Xinjiang – NYTimes.com in interviews with rights advocates, exile groups and residents in Hotan, the prefectural capital, a fuller picture has emerged of what many here have described as one of the most serious outbreaks of violence since ethnic rioting four years ago claimed nearly 200 lives in Urumqi, the regional capital. Although the state media said that no one died during the confrontation between villagers and armed police officers, numerous sources say that dozens were shot dead on the highway that connects Hanerik to Hotan, which the Chinese call Hetian.

Related: Senior official urges “unremitting” antiterrorism efforts – Xinhua Guo Shengkun, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, made the call at the first plenary meeting of the country’s antiterrorism leading group, pledging to propel the country’s antiterrorism work to a new level.

Related: 新疆喀什8月20日发生暴力恐怖案 1名特警身亡_网易新闻中心 police officer killed in Kashgar August 20

China’s antitrust probes not just aimed at foreign firms: official media | Reuters “There is no such thing as specially targeting foreign companies. Our investigations focus on monopolistic conduct, not the entities behind it,” the China Daily quoted an unidentified official from the NDRC as saying. The NDRC, which regulates prices, was investigating other sectors but it was too early to release details because of the complexity of enforcing the anti-monopoly law, the official said.

Related: China’s Top Telecom Operators to Cut Fees with Upcoming Anti-Trust Probe -Caijing China’s top telecom operators may further cut mobile and Internet service fees after the lucrative industry became one of the latest targets by the county’s economic planner in its antitrust campaigns. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will work together with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to push downward the country’s telecom charges in the rest months of the year, the Economic Information Daily reported. // it really is not just foreign firms

弄潮儿王岐山 Southern People magazine cover story on Wang Qishan // 王岐山被分配到康坪生产大队,同来的还有女朋友姚明珊。在时任康坪村村支书尹治海的记忆里,王与姚的关系,当地人是听北京娃娃们说的,“他们在北京就认识”。队里的北京知青,男娃奔着王岐山,女娃跟着姚明珊,一起来到康坪。 “知识青年来了,吃也吃不上,就是吃玉米、高粱。也不会吃,囫囵地吃,粮食的壳儿还留着,没有磨成面,就那么煮着吃。饭也不会做。最后我们派了一个老婆儿,给他们做了大概半年。陕北那些杂粮,乱七八糟的做法,他们不会(做)。城里是炒菜,这里一锅烩。”尹治海说。。。尹大才也记得王岐山跟他说过自己和习近平的友情,“我知道他们好。”王曾问尹:习仲勋你知道吗?尹答:知道,西北局第一书记,国务院副总理。王:他儿子也在延川,他们那边如果请你过去你去吗?尹:我去你给我挣工分啊?

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Quietly Launches “Mini Stimulus” Plan-Caijing Various signs indicate a new round of investment planning has quietly begun. “The ‘4 trillion yuan’ investment stimulus plan launched in 2008 was made public; this round of investment has not been publicized, but it is quietly being pushed forward,” said a source close to the State Development and Reform Commission. The negative effects of the 4 trillion yuan investment stimulus plan in 2008, such as high levels of local government debt, inefficient investment, and worsened overcapacity, have become more prominent in recent years. In the current round of investment, policymakers will be more concerned with efficient investment and structural adjustment. They will opt for projects that can optimize the economic structure in the long-term but also play a role in stimulating investment and economic growth in the short-term, such as shantytown reconstruction, Midwest Region railway construction, municipal infrastructure and public transportation construction.

China’s Transparency Standards, U.S. Investor Expectations Collide – WSJ.com  How many Chinese companies listed in the U.S. enjoy political ties is unknown. That makes it all but impossible to quantify whether and how such relationships might dictate a business’s performance. Yet signs that companies work hard to keep associations with political families hush-hush tells some analysts they matter. “If they did disclose relationships it would suggest a relevance to investors; they don’t want to admit that,” said David Webb, a Hong Kong investor-rights activist.

China companies feel the investment hangover – FT.com part 2 of the FT’s 3 part series on chinese debt

北京各银行全部取消房贷利率优惠 部分上浮20%_网易财经 Beijing banks ending mortgage loan discounts, harder to get mortgage loans in general now // 最近,微博上盛传多地银行房贷额度收紧、批贷困难。上午记者走访京城多家银行发现,房款利率优惠基本全部取消,广发银行部分支行的二套房贷,更是在基准利率基础上上浮了20%。

Tiffany’s strong China sales offset tepid Americas business | Reuters Tiffany & Co’s (TIF.N) strong sales in China and higher prices made up for some disappointing business in its home market in the latest quarter, leading the U.S. jeweler on Tuesday to raise its profit forecast for the year. There were fears this summer that luxury spending in China might slow as the economy there weakened, but Tiffany is the latest Western brand to report good sales there. Prada SpA (1913.HK) and Coach Inc (COH.N) recently posted big gains in the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury goods.

China Trainmakers’ Profits Decline on Lack of New Orders – Bloomberg China CNR expects a “steady growth” in the second half as state-run China Railway Corp. has opened a tender for 91 bullet trains, ending a two-year order hiatus. The purchase comes after the government pledged last month to speed up rail investment to promote urbanization and help boost economic growth. “The trainmakers were adversely affected by the lack of new orders in the first half,” said Xu Minle, a Shanghai-based analyst at Bank of China International Ltd. “Looking ahead, things will be better as the tenders for trains have begun and the government has voiced its support for the rail system.”

Everbright Accused of Insider Trading -Caijing what about the rumors that they were illegally handling money from Taiwan to put on the huge trade? // The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) launched an official investigation into this incident, which may prove far more complicated than the regulator had anticipated. Everbright short sold 6,877 lots of index futures Aug. 16, with total transaction volume amounting to 4.74 billion yuan, as it sought to hedge against the risks posed by its net-long position. The question of whether Everbright’s hedging operations constitute insider trading and market manipulation has been the subject of heated debate among industry insiders. Regulatory authorities are investigating the matter, though no substantial evidence has been found as of Aug. 22, according to sources close to the regulator.

China to Transform Affordable Housing System -Caijing The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has dispatched several inspection teams to look into affordable housing projects across the nation. This move is seen as an attempt to find out about vacancy rates among and misallocation of affordable homes, which indicates that systemic reforms are in the pipeline. The effort may allow affordable housing projects nationwide to be sorted through or even cleaned up.

Tesla’s Chinese Wall – Economic Observer Tesla seems to have overestimated the speed with which it could drive through China’s approval process. ….When an EO reporter called Tesla’s China office, a staffer said, “Headquarters underestimated the difficulty of registering a company in China.”

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China to streamline local gov’t: Political Bureau – Xinhua The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Tuesday vowed to transform local government and push forward institutional reform. The 25-member political bureau met on Tuesday, chaired by Xi Jinping, Chinese President and general secretary of the CPC Central Committee….The core of the proposed reform is to transform government functions,with the emphasis on further reforming the administrative approval system with the view of continuing to streamline government and delegate power to the lower levels. The institutional reform should focus on prominent issues concerning people’s livelihood.

政治局通过反腐5年规划:建不敢腐的惩戒机制_网易新闻中心 Politburo also passed a 5 year plan to build a corruption prevention and punishment system // 当前,腐败现象依然多发,滋生腐败的土壤依然存在,反腐败斗争形势依然严峻复杂。必须坚持党要管党、从严治党,加大惩治腐败力度,坚持标本兼治、综合治理、惩防并举、注重预防的方针,在坚决惩治腐败的同时更加科学有效地防治腐败。——中共中央政治局. 据新华社电 昨天的政治局会议还审议通过了《建立健全惩治和预防腐败体系2013-2017年工作规划》、《关于地方政府职能转变和机构改革的意见》,听取了中国(上海)自由贸易试验区筹备工作汇报。

China’s “seven base lines” for a clean internet – China Media Project The “Seven Base Lines” are meant to provide all internet users, but particularly internet industry participants and online personalities (网络名人), with a set of guidelines for what constitutes acceptable online conduct and leads to a “healthy online environment.” Run down the list of the “Seven Base Lines” and it is painfully obvious that this is part of a new government initiative to assert stronger control over online speech. What we are witnessing is yet another internet tightening in China ostensibly carried out to combat online “rumors.”

中共中央关于深化文化体制改革推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣若干重大问题的决定-财经网 Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Decision Concerning the Major Issues of Deepening Cultural System Reforms, Promoting the Great Development and Prosperity of Socialist Culture”, the official document released after the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress. I encourage everyone commenting on the current Internet crackdown to read it, especially this section. nearly two years on, very consistent, do not look at current campaign as an isolated or sudden event // (五)发展健康向上的网络文化。加强网上思想文化阵地建设,是社会主义文化建设的迫切任务。要认真贯彻积极利用、科学发展、依法管理、确保安全的方针,加强和改进网络文化建设和管理,加强网上舆论引导,唱响网上思想文化主旋律。实施网络内容建设工程,推动优秀传统文化瑰宝和当代文化精品网络传播,制作适合互联网和手机等新兴媒体传播的精品佳作,鼓励网民创作格调健康的网络文化作品。支持重点新闻网站加快发展,打造一批在国内外有较强影响力的综合性网站和特色网站,发挥主要商业网站建设性作用,培育一批网络内容生产和服务骨干企业。发展网络新技术新业态,占领网络信息传播制高点。广泛开展文明网站创建,推动文明办网、文明上网,督促网络运营服务企业履行法律义务和社会责任,不为有害信息提供传播渠道。加强网络法制建设,加快形成法律规范、行政监管、行业自律、技术保障、公众监督、社会教育相结合的互联网管理体系。加强对社交网络和即时通信工具等的引导和管理,规范网上信息传播秩序,培育文明理性的网络环境。依法惩处传播有害信息行为,深入推进整治网络淫秽色情和低俗信息专项行动,严厉打击网络违法犯罪。加大网上个人信息保护力度,建立网络安全评估机制,维护公共利益和国家信息安全。

Will the detention of prominent Weibo celebrity Xue Manzi shut China’s “big V” bloggers up? | Offbeat China The crackdown is raging on. In a recent clip of CCTV News, careful netizens found that the profile of Wang Shi, another real estate tycoon and vocal social commentator online, seemed to be shown as an example of a “promoter of online rumors.” And just earlier this month, Wang Shi openly defended the rights of businessmen like himself to speak up on political issues. Will more “big V” microbloggers be arrested or disciplined? Will more online opinion leaders self-censor to stay away from troubles? What will Weibo become without dynamic discussions of current social and political issues in China? There is no answer. All we know is that China’s active social media won’t be the same after Xue’s arrest.

Spreading rumors on WeChat is a crime, say Chinese internet police–TechInAsia Recently we’ve seen a couple stories about police cracking down on Sina Weibo rumor-spreaders. But Weibo isn’t the only platform you can spread rumors on, and Tencent’s uber-popular mobile chat app WeChat is apparently being watched by the police, too. In an Oriental Daily report, a representative of China’s internet police told reporters that spreading rumors on WeChat is also a crime:

Beijing gets serious about real-name registration, old numbers no longer exempt–TechInAsia China has required real-name registration when users buy phones for years now, but nobody seemed to take the requirements all that seriously. Personally, I set up several phone numbers in China well after the real-name system was implemented without ever actually giving anyone my real name. But now it appears that at least for Beijingers, the system may finally be getting serious, as China’s three major telecom carriers have announced that starting September 1, everyone who uses their services needs to register with their real name and ID number.

弘扬主旋律 传播正能量 ——五论学习贯彻习近平总书记8·19重要讲话精神 本报评论员 《 人民日报 》 潮平两岸阔,风正一帆悬。在全面建成小康社会、实现中国梦的新航程上,唱响时代主旋律,提振全社会的精气神,汇聚起推动改革发展的强大正能量,“中华号”巨轮就一定能乘风破浪、奋力前行。

China orders nation’s journalists to take Marxism classes | South China Morning Post China has ordered its entire press corps back to school in an effort to shore up ideological unity. The nation’s 307,000 reporters, producers and editors will soon have to sit through at least two days of Marxism classes, the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department has announced along with the press association and the state press regulator.

Ai Weiwei on China’s Trial of the Century – Bloomberg The result is that no Chinese leader, from the village level to the Politburo, enjoys any sense of security. With its arbitrary rule, the party nurtures an official mentality that undermines constructive decision making and the possibility of change. It is a sad position in China to be a politician.

李庄谈薄案:我曾经是他的粉丝_UGC精选 Netease “Truth Channel” interview with Li Zhuang on the Bo Xilai trial. Very interesting comments // 问:薄熙来在庭上什么都不承认,翻供对他来说有什么样的风险? 李庄:通过他在法庭上的陈述,我分析他的心情,很忐忑,很纠结。他有一个矛盾解不开,他既想逃避法律对他的制裁,又不想背翻供的骂名。他说我在侦查阶段压力大,就招了。我要是公诉人,当即就得问:被告人,你明知道某人受贿几百万都判死刑了,你为何还要承认几千万呢?你到底是有压力还是没压力?你可以说我想争取认罪态度好,我马上还会质问他,你现在翻供就是认罪态度好吗?所以说,他纠结,前后矛盾的地方太多。 再比如,前面说的大连星港湾那个事,他说“那些事,都是市长管的”,后面又说,下午我们跟这个副市长那个副市长到现场去了,你前面说不管,后面你又亲自去管,你到底是管还是不管?我要是公诉人,马上就得追问,被告人,你哪句话是真的?法庭还是对他比较客气,没有弄得他太难堪。

Li Zhuang, Attorney Bo Xilai Punished in Chongqing: Trial Performance ‘Remarkable’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ About the openness of the trial, it goes without saying that this has never happened before. It’s unprecedented in the history of the Chinese legal system, but I still dare not say if it will happen again. In terms of the importance of this trial, I think this is a bellwether or milestone that could be a good start for people’s courts at every level. It could be a symbolic signal of new judicial reforms following the appointment of Zhou Qiang as supreme court chief.

杜润生7月过101岁生日 温家宝王岐山等看望_网易新闻中心

Chinese entrepreneurs, unsettled, speak out for reform – The Washington Post “In the eyes of some people we are dogs,” businessman Sun Dawu told a small group of entrepreneurs, economists and lawyers who met in Beijing last week to discuss Zeng’s death. “In the eyes of government officials, we are pigs. In our own eyes, we are sheep — sheep for slaughter.”

Investigator Tells Media He Regrets Trafficking In Personal Information – China Real Time Report – WSJ Almost seven weeks after China-based investigator Peter Humphrey disappeared into China’s criminal justice system, he appeared Tuesday on China Central Television sounding contrite over allegations that he illegally profited in personal information. China’s major government-run media, including the Xinhua news agency and CCTV, on Tuesday published reports alleging Mr. Humphrey and his business partner-wife, Yu Yingzeng, on more than 10 occasions broke the law regarding personal information about unnamed Chinese people. // so what about the customers who hired them for investigations? the authorities have all the reports and the customer list…and the folks who sold them the information?

Snowden stayed at Russia’s Hong Kong consulate for two days | South China Morning Post It is likely that “Russians themselves invited Snowden, passing the invitation on to him via the Chinese who were happy to get rid of him”, the Western source was quoted as saying. A source in the Russian government confirmed to Kommersant that Snowden was at the Russian consulate in Hong Kong for two days until he left for Moscow. But the source said Snowden turned up uninvited in Moscow, intending to fly to Latin America and asked for help, citing international conventions on the rights of refugees.

Son of Chinese general faces rape trial; raises anger over top families | Reuters Li Tianyi, 17, is among five men accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Beijing hotel in February, according to state media. His father is General Li Shuangjiang of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who is a singer known for performing patriotic songs on television shows and at official events. Li’s mother, Meng Ge, is a famous singer in the PLA.

PLA urges to curb extravagance in official galas – Xinhua  The notice required government agencies to bring luxurious and extravagant galas to a halt and encourage frugal event planning. The circular urged the armed forces to seriously restrict gala expenses and excessive gala arrangements. The PLA will also tighten the approval of galas, as well as individuals participating in public welfare performances, according to the circular. Military performers are asked not to perform in privately-funded performances and casinos, and not to take part in local TV talent shows, the circular said. They are also urged not to perform outside the Chinese mainland without approval, and not to set up companies or studios for personal financial purposes.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Japan Could Be ‘Main Player’ in Asia Conflict: Minister | Defense News | defensenews.com Japan could be a key participant if conflict breaks out in Asia, the defense minister said Monday, warning China is seeking to exploit difficulties between allies. The comments by Itsuno Onodera, who said Japan needs new equipment and must reconfigure its defense, come as Tokyo is embroiled in an ongoing spat with Beijing over disputed territory that has sparked warnings of a possible armed skirmish.

China sees no basis for talks with Japan over islands dispute | Reuters Moves by some Japanese politicians to deny the country’s wartime past do not help, Li added. “Under these conditions, how can we organize the kind of leaders’ summit that Japan wants?” Li said. China reacted with fury this month after Abe sent an offering to a shrine for war dead, which also honors war criminals, while cabinet members visited it in person.

Today’s Alarming Japan-China Charts – James Fallows – The Atlantic Here’s an unpleasant bit of new evidence, from a respectable Japanese think tank. The rising red line above shows Japanese people who don’t like China. The rising purple line is Chinese people who don’t like Japan. The plummeting blue and green lines are people in each country who like the other.

President Xi to expound Central Asia policies in visit – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese President Xi Jinping will expound China’s foreign policy towards Central Asia in a speech he is scheduled to deliver in Kazakhstan. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping on Tuesday told a press briefing that Xi’s upcoming Central Asia visit, his first since taking office, is of great importance.

上海自贸区暂停“外资三法” 离TPP更近一步 _中国经济网——国家经济门户 The Shanghai Free trade Zone a step towards TPP? // 接受记者采访的业内人士均认为,此轮自贸区试验是通向跨太平洋伙伴关系协议(TPP)的局部开放,最终目标是向TPP靠拢。上海自贸区是一块“境内关外”的地方,将不受中国关内的制度影响,按照国际惯例建立和经营企业。

President Xi bestows military honors – Xinhua what does unit 92730 do? // The 90th branch of Unit 92730 was awarded the first-class merit citation, and the Unit 91550 was awarded the second-class merit citation, for excellent achievements and performance. Li Wenbo, a senior engineer of the marine meteorological division of Unit 91431; Lou Fuqiang, head of electronic and mechanical facilities for China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning; and Zhang Jixiang, a senior engineer with the Beijing Military Area Command, were awarded first-class merit citations.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Alipay Stops POS Service Cornered by UnionPay-Caijing “Alipay will stop all offline POS (point-of-sale) businesses because of some reasons as everybody knows,” Alipay said in a post today on its official microblog account on Sina Weibo, “We are sorry for the inconvenience to users and partners, however, we’ll never here in the exploration of innovative payment.” Alipay said last month it will invest 500 million yuan (79.4 billion U.S. dollars) over three years to boost a cash-on-delivery service to e-commerce merchants and courier firms which will enjoy lower costs. The firm eyes 60,000 POS terminals in three years. Today’s statement has brought an end to the firm’s POS strategy. The company did not elaborate reasons for the adjustment. But watchers have a good reason to associate with UnionPay.

三问支付宝:为何停止线下POS业务_创业频道_一财网 Alibaba’s decision to withdraw from POS transactions more about killing off a failed strategy, but blaming Unionpay to distract from a failure? // 但有某支付行业业内人士告诉本报记者,“支付宝的线下POS业务根本没有做起来,交易量很少”,因此支付宝趁机关掉业务,终结一个错误的业务策略。“这哪里是‘断腕’,无非是截掉一个‘节外生枝’。”该业内人士认为,对于支付宝而言,真正赚钱的业务还是线上收单和转接清算的大盘子。

A Wechat 5.0 Service Account Operation Guide — China Internet Watch

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

China sets down standards for Chinese characters – Xinhua An official list standardizing the appearance of commonly used Chinese language characters has been published, the Ministry of Education revealed Tuesday. The 8,105 characters included in the list were chosen based on their frequency of use from hundreds of thousands of characters that have emerged since ancient times, according to the expert team that compiled the list. // 专家:《通用规范汉字表》坚持简化原则 没有恢复繁体字-教育频道-新华网

Peta still pushing the idea that animals are ‘skinned alive’ in China: ShanghaiistAs I said at the beginning of this post, it’s more than likely that some animals have been skinned alive in China, but to extrapolate from that that all or even the majority of fur farms in this country do so (without the slightest shred of evidence) is wrong. Faced with a choice between rational argument and sensationalist shock tactics, Peta always chooses the latter. If you want to see an example of animal rights campaigning done right in China, check out Wild Aid.

Another World: China’s Bus Station Bathroom Graffiti – Tea Leaf Nation This summer I have checked every available stall in each public restroom I’ve entered to read and photograph the messages that are scrawled there. The click of my camera phone has raised a few eyebrows among patrons and cleaning staff, but I have persevered in order to answer those questions inspired by the toilet door in Qujing – what are Chinese men writing about on bathroom walls? Just how common is dissenting political commentary? What other ‘conversations’ are taking place?

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Why TCM Products Are Seen as Poison Pills Abroad – Caixin Health authorities around the world are issuing warnings about herbal treatments from China, a problem that will persist until the industry better explains side effects

我国拟在京津冀和长三角等地开展煤炭消费总量控制试点-新闻中心频道-新华网 Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Yangtze & Pearl delta, Shandong city cluster areas to start trials to limit total coal consumption // 新华网北京8月27日电(张晨悦、江国成)记者27日从国家发展和改革委员会获悉,我国将在京津冀、长三角、珠三角和山东城市群开展煤炭消费总量控制试点,加大细颗粒物(PM2.5)治理力度,推进主要污染物减排。这是发展改革委为确保完成今年节能减排工作目标任务所提出的11项举措之一。

The Dark Underbelly of Flood Management-Caijing Even when measured against the current dated low criteria, 340 or 53 percent of cities across China do not meet urban flood control standards.

 

BEIJING

北京交通委:九月将有9天最堵 开车不如骑车快-时政频道-新华网 Beijing Traffic Commission says there will be 9 days of really bad traffic in september, says may be better to ride bikes…so if they say really bad then we are probably looking at world-class gridlock… // 全年最堵月本周日将至,北京交通委昨天正式发布缓堵举措。根据这份《2013年9月缓解交通拥堵专项行动方案》预计,9月中有9天最堵,其中有4天高峰时段的交通拥堵指数有望破9——也就是说,在9月17日、18日、22日和29日这4天,市民出行时间需要翻倍,高峰时间开车出行与骑车速度相当,平均车速将低于每小时18公里。

微博助海关查获24公斤可卡因 嫌疑人绕远路走北京_证券时报网 traveler caught w 24 KGs of cocaine at Beijing airport // 新京报讯 (记者沈玮青)8月20日上午6时23分,一架由巴西圣保罗出发,经停西班牙马德里的飞机抵达北京首都机场。海关旅检关员发现,拟从首都机场转机前往香港的63岁香港籍男子黄某有重大携毒嫌疑。8月27日,北京海关通报,黄某涉嫌非法运输毒品可卡因毛重24.63千克(公斤)。这是北京海关迄今为止查获的最大一起可卡因毒品案。

北京整治黄赌现象不力派出所将被挂“黄牌”_网易新闻中心 新华网北京8月27日电  北京警方27日表示,7月25日启动“夏秋社会治安打击整治百日专项行动”以来,首都接报刑事类警情同比下降18%,环比下降10%,刑事案件破案上升31%。警方表示,整治社会秩序不力的派出所将被挂“黄牌”、约谈。

北京自来水的风险漂流_央视网 CCTV infographic on threats to beijing’s drinking water

JOBS AND EVENTS

Internship – Research Analyst IHS Beijing IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence.

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