The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.02.13

The big news over the weekend is the investigation of Jiang Jiemin, head of SASAC, the regulator that oversees the central State-Owned Enterprises. Jiang has only been at SASAC for a few months; before that he was chairman of one of the largest energy SOEs, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC). Rumors have swirled around Jiang for the last year, and the fact that when he was made head of SASAC he was not also “double-hatted” as Party Secretary of the body, as his predecessors had been, was noted by some at the time (including Sinocism) as a sign of future troubles for him.

A takedown of Jiang Jiemin and many senior officials in the petroleum complex is a very big deal. It appears to say a lot about Xi Jinping’s willingness and ability to go after tigers, the leadership’s resolve to rein in the most powerful Central State-Owned Enterprises, and the scope of the neutralization of whatever powerful allies Bo Xilai may have once had. It is difficult to see how it is possibly a coincidence that this current “Petro Purge” went into high gear the day the Bo Xilai trial concluded and the week Xi was on an inspection tour to Liaoning Province that included a visit to Dalian, Bo’s former base, and a viewing of the “Liaoning” aircraft carrier and a photo opp in the cockpit of a J-15 fighter.

It looks to be a very interesting Fall.

Friday’s edition ended up in a lot of spam folders. If you did not receive it please check there. Also, Gmail users may find the newsletter in the new “Promotions” tab.

Happy Labor Day!

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China’s state asset regulator and Zhou Yongkang protege under corruption probe | South China Morning Post China is investigating Jiang Jiemin, head of the national assets regulator, for “serious discipline violation”, state news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday, in what would appear to be another step in Beijing’s widening anti-graft campaign. Jiang, who became head of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac) in March, was previously chairman of top energy group China National Petroleum Company, or CNPC.

Related:  Senior Chinese Official Is Investigated for Graft – NYTimes.com The four people who spoke to The New York Times — a former senior anticorruption investigator, a Chinese businessman with high-level connections, a political analyst with ties to senior officials and a businesswoman with family ties to Chinese elites — spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the risk of recriminations for discussing secretive political decisions….“The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has established a case group to deal with Zhou Yongkang,” said the former anticorruption official, who cited a conversation in recent days with a central government security official… “They’re getting closer and closer to him, one step at a time,” said the former official… “I don’t think they’ve reached a decision yet whether to take down Zhou Yongkang himself.”

Related: Fallen Official’s Defense – He Was Obeying Orders – NYTimes.com Mr. Bo’s argument that he was obeying orders was detailed in one of two documents written by a court observer that were obtained Thursday by The New York Times. It is perhaps the most explosive element to have emerged in the courtroom because Mr. Bo was linking central party officials to the abuse of power charge. The party has tried to isolate the murder scandal that brought down Mr. Bo last year by keeping from the public any hint of party leaders’ direct involvement in the events or power struggles among themselves. The party agency that Mr. Bo said had issued the cover-up order, the Central Politics and Law Commission, was led for most of last year by Zhou Yongkang, an ally of Mr. Bo who was on the Politburo Standing Committee, which rules China. Party insiders say that Mr. Zhou was maneuvering in early 2012 to protect Mr. Bo, his potential successor, and that he was later weakened by Mr. Bo’s fall. //Are we in part witnessing the smashing of the “Zhou-Bo Clique”, with Jiang Zemin signaling his support via publicized comments to Kissinger at their dinner in July? Given Zeng Qinghong’s role in the creation of the “oil faction” hard to see how Jiang’s views could have been ignored.

Related: China’s hardline ex-security chief: praised by party, reviled by activists | Reuters Zhou’s troubles began last year. He was implicated in rumors that he hesitated in moving against Bo Xilai, once the high-flying party boss of the city of Chongqing, who was ousted in the wake of a scandal in which his wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman who had been a family friend. Before Bo’s downfall, Zhou had recommended that Bo succeed him as domestic security chief, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter or ties to the leadership have said

Related:  蒋洁敏落马_政经频道_财新网   Caixin on the Jiang Jiemin case, says a result of the normal audit that occurs after every SOE leaders leaves post, though this one was extended for a longer period than normal. the report says cryptically that the audit touched on issues related to a “sensitive incident” that has been subjected of rumors and reported on in overseas press…sounds like the alleged hush payments related to the Ling Gu car crash…// 有接近高层的消息人士告诉财新,8月26日和27日先后落马的王永春及李华林、冉新权、王道富等四位中石油集团和股份公司副总级高管,均早已被纪委部门调查,此次集中爆发,“是被蒋洁敏的离任审计所牵发”…今年3月蒋洁敏离开中石油集团高升国务院国资委主任,央企领导人离任后应对其任期内进行离任审计,蒋洁敏自2006年11月接任中石油集团公司总经理,依惯例,相关离任审计的时间是2006年—2013年,但该消息人士透露,对于蒋的离任审计时间延长至10年。上述消息人士说,“审计时间的延长与蒋洁敏本人也沟通过,但审计涉及的范围却很广“…上述人士说,对蒋洁敏的审计还涉及到一些传闻中和海外报道出来的敏感事件。

Related: 中石油反腐撒网(更新)_公司频道_财新网 Caixin has excellent coverage of the Jiang Jiemin/petro complex corruption investigations, calls the strength of the current campaign against SOE corruption “unprecedented” // 国资委主任蒋洁敏和中石油集团及股份公司四高管同时落马,央企反腐整治力度史无前例

Related: 中石油反腐案关键人与四川落马高官属”胜利系”_网易新闻中心 The “Shengli Oilfield Faction” and the corruption investigation roiling CNPC // 多个独立消息源向《中国经营报》记者证实,中石油昆仑天然气利用有限公司(下称“昆仑利用”)原总经理陶玉春目前仍处在有关部门的控制之下,并仍在接受调查。在“中石油四高管”接受组织审查之前,从2013年上半年开始,陶玉春就已开始配合有关部门的调查工作,业界认为陶玉春为相关调查提供了重要线索。 陶玉春和其后接受组织审查的四川省人大原副主任郭永祥、中石油原副总经理李华林均曾任职中石油胜利油田。而随着中石油反腐大网的撒开,在石油石化系统内部十分熟知的“胜利油田系”逐步开始走入公众的视野。

Related: 中石油系统“连震” 国资委主任蒋洁敏被查_财经频道_一财网 First Financial reports that Petro investigation been going on for a while, some implicated were given the chance to repent and come over to the right side but they refused…if Xi can take on Zhou Yongkang and his power base, who now will dare think they can ignore what Xi says? // 有知情人士对本报记者表示,这是一场布局已久的战役,其间也给了部分人士悔过的机会,但是很多人并未迷途知返。

Related: China to investigate fearsome former security chief – Telegraph Two sources said Zhou Bin secretly headed an oil services firm called Wison. The company’s offices in both Hong Kong and Shanghai denied that he was an employee. According to one source in the petroleum industry, Mr Zhou is currently living in Langfang in Hebei province. Zhou Benshun, who worked under Mr Zhou for five years in the Central Politics and Law Commission, is currently the party chief of Hebei.

Related: 明鏡新聞網: 明鏡獨家:周永康被軟禁 Mingjing claims that Zhou Yongkang is under house arrest, that the CDIC official in charge of his case is Ms. Liu Jianhua // 負責周永康專案的是前中紀委駐財政部紀檢組組長、中紀委二室主任劉建華,她和負責調查薄熙來案的前中紀委副書記馬馼一樣,也是一名女性。 4月22日時,中共中央政治局常委、中央紀委書記王岐山在中南海親自約談劉建華。

Related: Detained top official Jiang Jiemin was probed over Ferrari crash in Beijing | South China Morning Post Sources had told the Post that the probe over Jiang focused on a large sum of money – several tens of millions of yuan – that was transferred from state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) to the families of two women injured in the single-vehicle accident.

Related: China Probes Former Oil Company Head – WSJ.com By discrediting rivals, Mr. Xi appears to be consolidating his position and may be emerging as the single strongest leader China has seen since Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s economic reforms who died in 1997, the insiders and experts say. On the party’s agenda is reforming the powerful, but inefficient state-owned enterprises as the government tries to move away from export- and investment-fed growth to put the economy on a sustainable path.

Related: China Probes State-Assets Director as Anti-Graft Campaign Widens – Bloomberg An investigation of Zhou, which hasn’t been confirmed, would indicate that Xi has amassed enough power to push through economic policies aimed at maintaining 7 percent annual growth, including controlled financial liberalization and more competition for state-owned companies, said Arthur Kroeber, Beijing-based managing director of GaveKal Dragonomics, an economic analysis firm. “A takedown of Zhou, who was usually seen as a proponent of state enterprises and political repression, would make clear that Xi does have the power to push through difficult changes,” Kroeber wrote in an Aug. 30 note. //several economists see this news as “bullish”. So how bullish would a death sentence for Bo Xilai be viewed as?

[视频]习近平在辽宁考察时强调 深入实施创新驱动发展战略 为振兴老工业基地增添原动力_新闻频道_央视网 nearly ten minute packaged summary of Xi’s inspection tour of Liaoning the top CCTV Evening News story Sunday… video of posing with shipyard workers in the rain without an umbrella…then at 6:22 he holds a baby…// 央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平8月28日至31日在辽宁考察时强调,全面振兴东北地区等老工业基地是国家既定战略,要总结经验、完善政策,深入实施创新驱动发展战略,增强工业核心竞争力,形成战略性新兴产业和传统制造业并驾齐驱、现代服务业和传统服务业相互促进、信息化和工业化深度融合的产业发展新格局,为全面振兴老工业基地增添原动力。

Related:  习近平考察沈飞集团 坐进歼-15战机机舱查看(图)_资讯频道_凤凰网 picture of Xi Jinping in the cockpit of a J-15 during his Liaoning trip

Related:  Xi Jinping sends signal to neighbours with high-profile tour of Liaoning aircraft carrier | South China Morning Post President Xi Jinping is given a guard of honour on his first visit to the country’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning in Dalian. During the visit, revealed by state media yesterday, Xi went below deck to talk to seamen. The visit came amid naval advances by neighbours, including Japan’s launch of its largest military vessel since the second world war, the carrier Izumo. //and perhaps at least as strong a domestic message as well, that he has the PLA at his back, defy him at your peril?

Xinhua Insight: Why the CPC’s third plenary session is important. – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chi Fulin, director of the China Institute for Reform and Development, told Xinhua that the discussion of reform in Tuesday’s meeting showed the Party has a sober and profound view of the country’s situation. It also showed the Party’s determination and courage to succeed. The meeting proposed innovation in theory, system, science, technology and culture with wholesale reform across the board. “Besides the economic sector, the Third Plenary Session will promote administrative reform, ” Chi added. “It is quite clear that the session will map out the route for all-encompassing, deepened reform, with major breakthroughs in significant fields,” Chi said.

Related: 鼎新三中全会-财经网 interesting Caijing cover story this week on the process leading to the hugely important third plenum of the 14th party congress twenty years ago…and the need for more reform at the upcoming one // 从十四届三中全会到十八届三中全会的20年间,中国发生了翻天覆地的变化,也积累了重重问题。重温社会主义市场经济体制胎动和诞生时的风风雨雨,剖析完善市场经济体制所必须迈过的重重关隘,有利于我们鼓足勇气再度出发,坚定推进改革深化

China official PMI hits 16-month high in August | Reuters  China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than a year in August with a jump in new orders, official data showed on Sunday, raising hopes that a rapid economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy may have been arrested.  The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figure, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, rose to 51.0 in August from 50.3 in July, the highest level since last April and ahead of market expectations of 50.6 in a Reuters poll.

Related:  HSBC PMI release–50.1 for August–PDF Monday’s release of the HSBC PMI, which matches the official number // After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) – a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy – posted at 50.1 in August, signalling that operating conditions were relatively unchanged from the previous month. This was up from an 11-month low of 47.7 in July, and ended a three-month period of deterioration.

Related: Ditch the stats: China retailers don’t buy signs of recovery | Reuters Consultancy China Market Research Group recently polled 1,000 middle-class consumers who earn $6,000-$15,000 a year and found that most people were worried about the future. “Their sentiment and confidence is very negative from what we found and so that is going to hurt some of the mid-tier consumer retail brands,” senior analyst James Roy said. “Their confidence is sort of negative from the standpoint of low overall investment in the economy, feeling negative about slowing growth and uncertainties about the future.”

China Imposes Record Penalty on Everbright After Insider Trading – Bloomberg Fines and the confiscation of illicit gains will total 523 million yuan ($85 million), the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing a China Securities Regulatory Commission press official it didn’t name. Four people including ex-President Xu Haoming will be banned from markets for life and the brokerage was barred from most proprietary trading, it said.

Related: “8·16”内幕交易案谁来赔付 光大集团拒绝设立补偿基金_股票频道_一财网 Everbright group refuses a “suggestion” to set up a compensation fund for investor losses from Everbright Securities 8.16 trading mess…another SOE that thinks it is above the regulators, doubt this will end well // 据光大集团内部人士透露,在证监会上周五召开通气会公布调查结果和处罚之前,有关方面曾尝试与光大集团沟通,建议其效仿平安证券在万福生科案件上的处理方式,主动提出设立专项的投资者补偿基金,对在光大证券内幕交易案中利益受损的投资者进行补偿,专项基金的金额高于平安证券的3亿元。但光大集团拒绝了上述建议。

Official Justice – Economic Observer Summary:Trials for high-level Communist Party officials are sensitive affairs for everyone involved. The EO takes an inside look at what happens behind the scenes.

Eurasian nations focus on Net | China Daily How to effectively regulate content on the Internet and manage new media have become major issues for China and other Eurasian countries, the director of the State Council Information Office said on Sunday. “With the emergence of new media, profound changes are taking place in the traditional ways of spreading information. China’s 300 million micro-blogging service users can actively express their opinions on the Internet and enjoy a rich online life,” said Cai Mingzhao, director of the State Council Information Office during a forum of Eurasian ministers responsible for information. “At the same time, we have come to realize that the Internet has also affected social stability to such an extent that it can’t be ignored.” // and China is the most sophisticated in the world at doing this…if the technology is now all indigenous then probably some good export opportunities, and even more now in the wake of Snowden’s exposes

Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions – NYTimes.com Jiang Kejun may be one of the few Beijing residents who see a ray of hope in the smog engulfing the city. A researcher in a state energy institute, he is an outspoken advocate of swiftly cutting China’s greenhouse gas output, and he says public anger about noxious air has jolted the government, which long dismissed pollution as the necessary price of prosperity.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Guo Shuqing Gives Shandong ‘New Deal’ – Caixin In the past, few local government officials have had systematic knowledge in economics and finance. Among the cities’ deputy mayors, who usually oversee regional economics, many did not go through academic training in relevant fields. With neither theoretical knowledge nor industry experience, these officials are not capable of providing forward-looking, regionally applicable policies. Allocating a deputy mayor who understands finance to each city is no doubt a groundbreaking advance, although its implications and effects remain unclear. Nonetheless, Guo’s New Deal has brought fresh air to the political sphere. Finance and economics are essential to a region’s development, so having governors with real understanding in these fields can decrease inefficiencies caused by policymakers’ lack of knowledge.

The Average Day for Big Four Banks in H1? Combined Net Profits of 2.4 Bln Yuan – Caixin The Big Four state-owned banks made more than 431.5 billion yuan in net profits in the first half of the year, calculations based on their financial statements show. This means they earned about 2.4 billion yuan a day on average.

Xinhua Insight: Top companies should adapt to slower growth: experts – Xinhua | English.news.cn Sinopec Group took the lead for a ninth year with total revenues of 2.83 trillion yuan (458.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012, according to a press release. China National Petroleum Corporation, the parent company of China’s top oil and gas producer, PetroChina, followed closely in second place with revenues reaching 2.68 trillion yuan last year. The two were joined by eight other state-owned companies to dominate the top 10: State Grid, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Mobile, China State Construction and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. A total of 123 companies, including 16 private enterprises, reported revenues of more than 100 billion yuan last year, up from 107 companies a year earlier.

视频:谁是进口车垄断调查幕后推手 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 Economic Observer looks at what/who is behind the AML investigation into imported cars // 导语:调查背后真正的推手很可能是部分授权进口车经销商,但后者始料未及的是,在媒体过度解读的推波助澜下,事件已经朝着不受协会掌控的态势发展,尤其是目标直指《办法》制定者商务部。

鄂尔多斯“鬼城”幻影下双重危机_核心目击_新京报电子报 楼市危机与煤炭经济持续萎缩并存,大量房地产项目停工;政府拟3年化解债务 //detailed report on the aftermath of the Ordos bust

China Money Week: The Cash Crunch Becomes The Stuff Of Fiction | MNI If nothing else, there’s no traditional scramble for funding as the banking system nears this month-end. Traders say that’s because market participants heeded the PBOC’s call to shape up back in June. “One good lesson we learned from the end-of-June liquidity crunch is the need to deleverage,” said a trader with a city commercial bank based in eastern China. “If you stop taking opium, you find life is so much easier.” Banks are so flush with cash that money rates actually fell this week, despite signs of the PBOC’s reluctance to provide more funding.

Beijing Land Sales Exceed CNY100Bln in First Eight Months -CaijingThe figure in the first eight months has already outperformed the 64.8 billion yuan ($10.6billion) reported for the twelve months of 2012. Analysts expect Beijing’s full-year land revenue to top 140billion yuan, higher than the 2011 figure but still lagged behind that of 2010.  Beijing sold lands for as much as 164.2billion yuan ($26.8billion) in 2010, the highest ever recorded in history.

China’s big banks: Giant reality-check | The Economist Put all of these trends together and the future looks less than rosy for the Big Four. Wen Jiabao, China’s former prime minister, declared last year that they “make profits far too easily…we have to break up their monopoly.” Recent proclamations from the PBOC talk of boosting “private capital” in banking. On August 9th the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the industry’s main regulator, unveiled draft rules for banking licences that are designed to encourage the entry of private capital into the industry.

经济转型期的金融监管—— 专访银监会主席尚福林_2013/17_求是理论网 Interview with CBRC head Shang Fulin in latest “Seeking Truth” //尚福林:6月份发生的流动性紧张问题是多种因素叠加引发的。一方面是新增外汇占款下降、节假日现金备付增加、法定存款准备金补缴等外部因素,造成银行流动性压力。另一方面是由于市场对流动性紧张的预期不断增强,即使有富余头寸的机构在对外融出资金时也更为谨慎,从而加剧了市场资金紧张状况。特别是随着银行业务日趋复杂,流动性风险的复杂性、隐蔽性增强,银行流动性风险管理能力还需要根据业务模式和风险状况的变化进一步提高…这次流动性紧张再次提醒我们,无论什么时候,银行的经营管理都应当遵从审慎原则,不能把风险管理建立在过度乐观的预期基础上。很多人可能会注意到,1995年的《商业银行法》规定,商业银行应以“效益性、流动性、安全性”为经营原则;2003年修订的《商业银行法》将“三性”顺序调整为“安全性、流动性、效益性”,把安全性放在了首位。不论是1995年,还是2003年的《商业银行法》,都把流动性放在了中间位置,足见流动性的重要性。我们要时刻牢记,安全性和流动性始终是银行和整个金融体系的生命线。

北京: 量涨价升高位迎接“金九银十”_财经频道_一财网 Beijing real estate prices and sales surging into the “gold September, silver October” sales period // 与老孙的观点相伴的,是8月北京楼市成交量价的又一次全面上扬。“目前北京住宅市场已经进入了不分区域、不分产品、不分价格的全面热销阶段。”有业内人士如此描述。

Sinopec to Acquire $3.1 Billion Stake in Apache Egypt Assets – Bloomberg China Petrochemical Corp., Asia’s largest refiner, agreed to pay $3.1 billion for a 33 percent stake in Apache Corp. (APA)’s Egyptian oil and gas business, marking the state-owned company’s biggest purchase in the Middle East. Buying the stake in the operations located in the Western Desert, away from the centers of political unrest in Egypt, will increase the company’s annual production by about 9 percent, according to Bloomberg calculations. The deal, which coincides with a potential move by PetroChina Co. (857) into Iraq, signals China’s increasing investment in the region as it secures energy investments.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

【舒立观察】中石油案、反腐风暴和全面改革_杂志频道_财新网 新一届领导人在三中全会之前先行推出未来五年《反腐工作规划》,足证反腐之迫切。全面深化改革,特别是行政体制和政治体制改革,可以有效地防止腐败

TV confessions in China an unsettling new trend for executives | Reuters A series of confessions by foreign and local executives on China’s state-controlled television has spurred anxiety among the business community about a trend that some lawyers say makes a mockery of due process. Confessions have long been part of China’s legal landscape, with petty criminals routinely admitting their guilt on television. But rarely have senior business figures been put on television in orange prison jumpsuits to confess.

关键时刻敢于“亮剑”(人民观点) ——创新我们的宣传思想工作之四 本报评论部 苟利国家生死以,岂因祸福避趋之。电视剧《亮剑》中,主人公李云龙曾以狭路相逢勇者胜来解释“亮剑精神”。在意识形态领域,领导干部是畏手畏脚、左右摇摆,还是敢抓敢管、积极作为,这是我们党检验领导干部是否具备担当精神的重要方面。说到底,舆论引导水准,宣传思想水平,是执政能力的体现,也是党性原则的反映。

构建全党动手的大宣传格局–观点–人民网 今天,我们党已经有8500多万名党员,420多万个基层党组织,每一位党员,每一个党组织都成为大宣传格局的一个环节,节节发力、节节作为、节节精彩,就一定能凝聚起推进宣传思想工作的强大合力,党的群众基础就会更加巩固,党的执政基础就会更加牢固。

人民日报:客观认识当代中国与外部世界-时政频道-新华网鲁迅先生说:“惟有民魂是值得宝贵的,惟有他发扬起来,中国才有真进步。”全面把握中国的历史与现实,客观认识当代中国与外部世界,才能更好地汲取我们的民族精神、民族魂,更好地走向并融入世界,凝聚起实现中华民族伟大复兴“中国梦”的磅礴力量。

学习时报刊文:薄熙来案公开审理让某些官员少些张狂_资讯频道_凤凰网 Study Times on the Bo Xilai trial and its lessons for officials //  薄熙来案件的公开审理,不仅彰显了司法公开对公正司法及司法公信力提升的极大促进作用,而且体现了新一届中央领导集体在推进廉洁政府建设方面的高度自信和“用法治思维和法治方式反对腐败”的鲜明态度和坚定决心,向13亿中国人民兑现了“打苍蝇,更要打老虎”的庄严承诺,是深得民心之举。同时直播又是一堂生动的法治课,让那些自诩职位高、“有背景”、想以身试法的官员,少些邪念、少些张狂。同时也为广大党员干部敲响了警钟,要求党员干部要坚决破除“四风”,要坚决维护党纪国法的权威,要筑牢反腐防线,自觉保持“为民务实清廉”的本色

[视频]刘复之同志遗体在京火化_新闻频道_央视网 entire standing committee plus Hu Jintao attend the memorial servie at babaoshan for Liu Fuzhi…// 央视网消息(新闻联播):中国共产党的优秀党员,久经考验的忠诚的共产主义战士,无产阶级革命家,我国政法战线的杰出领导人,原中共中央顾问委员会委员,最高人民检察院原检察长刘复之同志的遗体,9月1日在北京八宝山革命公墓火化。

China moves to chill interest in independent films | Asian Correspondent “They just want us to make films about food, clothes, entertainment. They don’t want people to think, they don’t want people to have the freedom to express themselves, they don’t want people to have independent and free ideas,” said Yang Lina, an independent documentary maker whose first fictional film — about urban Chinese women — debuted at Rotterdam’s international film festival this year.

西式民主制度在全球范围内呈衰退趋势_2013/17_求是理论网 Seeking Truth essay on decline of democracy around the world, inspired by Joshua Kurlantzick’s book “Democracy in Retreat” with a very interesting conclusion… // 需要指出的是,柯兰齐克虽然在书中指出了美国海外民主输出的败笔,但其出发点并不是为了驳斥美国“民主促进”行动本身,而是为美国更有效地输出民主“出谋划策”。为此,柯兰齐克书中开出了拯救西式民主制度衰退浪潮的处方。其中包括:实行期望值管理。作者认为,民主制度走到今天这步田地,部分原因在于新兴民主国家民众对社会和政治自由有着更高的诉求。他们对民主有着很高期望,希望民主制度带来发展和公平。新兴民主国家有必要对公众期望值进行管理与疏导。避免发展陷入停滞状态。当前全球经济危机对民主政府的信仰产生了较为深远的影响。作者认为,发展停滞是民主制度面临的最大威胁。保证中产阶级地位。中产阶级担心民主制度或许会削弱自己曾经拥有的经济与社会权力,一旦丧失信心,便会离开故国转而选择到他国投资。这会直接导致国家经济陷入不景气。向贪腐行为宣战。作者认为,贪污腐败是民主国家面临的最严重问题,对商业信心指数和公众对民主的看法具有巨大腐蚀作用。作者建议新兴民主国家通过提高公务员收入水平,并结合独立的反腐监督机制来减少政府官员的腐败行为。

密切联系群众 全力整肃“四风”_2013/17_求是理论网 Beijing Party secretary Guo Jinlong has the lead essay in the latest issue of “Seeking truth”, on combatting the four bad elements and the mass education campaign // 我们深刻认识到,“四风”问题在北京也不同程度地存在,有的方面还比较严重。我们不能等闲视之、漠然置之,要痛下决心、加快整改,正风肃纪、解决问题。我们坚持开门搞活动,通过召开座谈会、当面征求意见、开展问卷调查等多种形式,认真查找并梳理了群众反映突出的作风问题。对群众反映的问题,我们坚持不回避矛盾,不避重就轻,不藏着、掖着、护着,做到原汁原味反馈,作为查摆的重点,避免以形式主义反对形式主义,出现“夹生饭”;坚持边学习、边查找、边改进,使解决问题贯穿教育实践活动始终,什么问题突出就着重解决什么问题,什么问题紧迫就抓紧解决什么问题,让群众不断看到变化、见到成效。同时,我们要按照中央的要求,坚持标本兼治,以改革的精神、创新的办法建立健全制度,努力形成推动作风建设的长效机制。

罗昌平《打铁记》第12章: 贪腐投名状_UGC精选 编者按:在《打铁记》第12章,罗昌平提到,刘铁男与倪日涛,跟薄熙来与徐明一样,是典型的中国合伙人,裙带资本主义的意外出局者。每一名官员对应着一名红顶商人,后者就是前者的私人银行、地下钱庄。

[视频]节俭办晚会 各地出台措施严控文艺演出数量规模_新闻频道_央视网 another industry getting hit by Xi’s austerity…gala planners and all the related sectors…no more extravagant galas // 央视网消息(新闻联播):各地近期紧急叫停、调整了一批文艺晚会及文艺活动,并出台各种管理措施,严格控制文艺演出的数量和规模。

曝薛蛮子娇妻曾是贪官儿媳携款逃美[图集]_中国_多维新闻网 now people are digging up the history of Charles Xue’s wife // 随着网络红人“薛蛮子”嫖娼被抓一事曝光,他的妻子家人也被各路网友发掘出来。近日,一组薛蛮子妻子丁玮的靓丽照片曝光。丁玮为前贵州贪官阎建宏的儿媳妇,东窗事发时携巨款远逃美国创立珠宝品牌欧致宝,与薛蛮子在美国相识,后嫁予薛蛮子,成为薛蛮子的第二任妻子。目前丁玮还没有就薛蛮子嫖娼一事对公众发表任何看法。

中共领导北戴河休假或休养成新制度_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】取消集中办公,不代表中央领导不再到北戴河去,作为休养场所与避暑胜地,北戴河也并未淡出中国政治版图,这里仍然是夏季中国政治上最受关注的地方之一。据悉,取消暑期办公后,中共中央对领导同志前往北戴河休假或休养逐渐形成新的制度。

习仲勋:文化大革命没有一点好处_共识网 Xi Zhongxun: “Nothing good about the Cultural Revolution”–from part two of his biography, just published//  习仲勋亲历文革,曾遭遇游行示众及各种批斗,其复出后对文革的认知和态度,无疑很引人关注。《习仲勋传》(下卷)对此有所披露,据该书记载,1984年5月25日,习仲勋在上海的一次座谈会上,曾明确表示文革“没有一点好处”:“当有人谈到经过工作较好地解决了否定‘文化大革命’的问题时,习仲勋说,毛主席过去讲对‘文化大革命’要三七开。七好在哪里?‘文化大革命’没有一点好处,当时是对形势估计错了,运动发动错了。”(P521)

An Inside Look at China’s Censorship Tools – China Real Time Report – WSJ Thanks to their software acquisition—purchased from a company that Mr. King declined to name—the Harvard team found a diverse array of tools at their disposal, which allowed them to screen and delete posts according to different keywords and categories, as well as block posts based on user, length of post or time of day. The team’s research also helps shed light on a persistent question in China—namely, just how many censors are employed in the country. In Mr. King’s experience, the company recommended that his team hire two to three full-time censors for every 50,000 users. If that same formula was used at Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging platform, the company would employ somewhere between 2,160 and 3,240 censors to cover its 54 million daily active users.

A Randomized Experimental Study of Censorship in China | Gary King we supplement the current approach of confidential interviews by setting up our own social media site in China, contracting with Chinese firms to install the same censoring technologies as existing sites, and reverse engineering how it all works. Our results offer unambiguous support for, and clarification of, the emerging view that criticism of the state, its leaders, and their policies are routinely published whereas posts with collective action potential are much more likely to be censored. We are also able to clarify the internal mechanisms of the Chinese censorship apparatus and show that local social media sites have far more flexibility than was previously understood in how (but not what) they censor. // interesting but allowance of criticism is only an “emerging view” to those who have not been paying attention and/or who don’t use Chinese social media services but like to comment/write about them…will the related coverage of this report be helpful to the sales team at King’s software company Crimson Hexagon?

The Trial of the Century–Sinica Podcast This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy host two guests: Ed Wong from the New York Times and James Miles of The Economist for a closer look at what some Chinese commentators are calling China’s “trial of the century”. Join us for an in-depth discussion to the trial which looks not only at what this means for media transparency in China, but also extends to historical comparisons with previous political purges, including the famous case against Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four following the Cultural Revolution.

China’s Rich Want Their Say on Policy Reform – Businessweek Unlike Xue, the Boyuan Foundation tries to engage the government rather than antagonize it. Because of the pedigrees of founders He Di and Qin Xiao, Boyuan has access to high officials and a network of academics who supply it with original research about China. The foundation got its start in 2007 when two prominent bankers decided they wanted a forum where officials could discuss public policy with outside experts. He Di, ex-head of Swiss bank UBS’s (UBS) China operations, and Qin Xiao, ex-chairman of China Merchants Group, are part of the in crowd. Their childhood friends are some of China’s most powerful men, including Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, and Wang Qishan, the Politburo member running the anticorruption drive. Boyuan’s board includes Gao Xiqing, head of China’s sovereign wealth fund, and former U.S. National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft.

The “Cult” of Buddha : The Dui Hua Foundation “Do not listen, do not read, do not believe, do not disseminate” is a widely circulated anti-cult slogan. China’s central government began labeling and banning religious groups as “cults” (邪教) in 1995—four years before the proscription of Falun Gong. In 2000, the Ministry of Public Security issued a notice describing 14 groups identified as cults by central authorities. A decade later, 22 “cults” had been identified, according to an article on the China Anti-Cult Association website. Among them were qigong-based Falun Gong, the largest and most vocal group; 18 Protestant sects; and three variants of Buddhism: True Buddha School, Guanyin Famen, and Yuandun Famen.

JPMorgan Hiring Put China’s Elite on an Easy Track – NYTimes.com It is unclear why and when the “Sons and Daughters” program shifted from a safeguard into a liability. But the results were clear: Children with elite pedigrees faced lower standards. In one instance, according to the interviews, the bank continued to employ the son of Tang Shuangning, the chairman of a state-controlled financial conglomerate, even though some JPMorgan officials questioned the younger Mr. Tang’s financial expertise.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

美国,靠战争维护国际准则? 钟 声 《 人民日报 》 Zhong Sheng on the US and Syria // 无论是谁使用了化学武器,都将遭到严厉谴责和制裁。在这一问题上,国际社会没有什么分歧。弄清事实是采取行动的前提和条件。在事关战与和的重大问题上,各方应采取慎重和对历史负责任的态度。如果美国彻底失去究竟是在维护还是破坏国际关系基本准则的辨别力,失去等待联合国权威调查结果的耐心,这不仅是世界的悲哀,更是美国自身的悲哀。历史上,失去辨别力和耐心的强国不胜枚举,兴盛衰败的法则耐人寻味。

Syrian Strikes Would Battle-Test Chinese Radars | Defense News | defensenews.com If the US strikes Syria, China would get to see just how well some of its radars and electronic warfare (EW) emitters perform in combat. Among the Chinese systems deployed by the Syrian military are the JYL-1 3-D long-range surveillance radar, Type 120 (LLQ120) 2D low-altitude acquisition radar, and JY-27 VHF long-range surveillance radar, according to Richard Fisher, a senior fellow with the US-based International Assessment and Strategy Center.

中国外事系统高官密集调整 学科背景多元化_网易新闻中心 中国新一届政府执政近半年,外事系统人事调整尤为频繁,涉及中央外办、中联部、外交部等多个部门。纵观此轮人事调整可以发现,跨部门交叉任职、内外兼修、多专业并进是目前涉外系统官员的最大特色,逐渐改变此前外交官多为语言学出身的传统模式。专家认为,外事系统全方位复合型人才的增加,与中国致力于发展全方位、开放型的新型大国关系有着莫大的关系。

Chinese executive who wants to build Nicaraguan trans-ocean canal has spotty global record – The Washington Post …an examination of those claims by The Associated Press around the world paints a different picture. While at least some of Xinwei’s domestic enterprises appear to be successful, outside of China, promises to build revolutionary new telecom networks have yet to materialize. And deals with local partners have been marred by false starts and poor performance. In 12 of the 20 countries where Wang’s Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group and associated companies say they’ve done business, the AP found no evidence of a successful, large-scale project up and running.

INTERVIEW: Actor Koji Yano says comeback represents hope for Japan-China relations – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Yano said that Japanese actors and talents are banned from TV variety shows in China even now. Some of his Japanese colleagues have returned to Japan or moved to Taiwan in search of job opportunities, he added. At times, Yano gave into despair and thought about giving up on his acting career in China. But it soon became clear that his accomplishments would help him withstand even the worse period of Japan-China relations…To his great relief, he was told in January that he would be filming a new Chinese history action drama starting in April, titled “Fenghuo Shuangxiong” (two heroes of the war), in which he plays one of the main characters.

China’s new-type guided missile frigate in live fire training – Xinhua China’s first independently-developed new-generation guided missile frigate “Bengbu” in the live guided missile fire training in a certain sea area of the East China Sea

In ‘Treasury’s War,’ Missiles for a Financial Battlefield – NYTimes.com Then, he says, something amazing happened. Despite its government’s support of North Korea, the Chinese central bank refused to approve this solution, indicating that it, too, wanted nothing to do with a bank hit by a 311. “Perhaps the most important lesson was that the Chinese could in fact be moved to follow the U.S. Treasury’s lead and act against their own stated foreign policy and political interests,” he writes. “The predominance of American market dominance had leapfrogged traditional notions of financial sanctions.” //Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare: Juan Zarate: Amazon…China hates that the US has so much control over the global financial system

Pentagon analyzes potential China-India tensions The Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment is continuing its focus on China as one of the nation’s primary future trouble spots, and it has commissioned two studies of Chinese relations and intentions, military contract records show… In recent weeks, the office has commissioned studies on “Mining the Gaps in Chinese Strategic Discourse” for $199,800 from a Georgia company called Joint Management Services, which is run by Georgia Tech professor Michael Salomone, and a $220,000 contract to the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington think-tank, for a study on issues in the strategic contest between China and India….The Hudson Institute, which contains several ONA alumni, has a long record of viewing China’s activities with concern and skepticism.

Liberal Education in Authoritarian Places – NYTimes.com OpEd-Jim Sleeper Universities’ mad scramble to expand reflects not so much grasping, imperialistic overreach as fundamental weakness: not only financial and market pressures, but also a drift in purpose and mission. University presidents have bought into an incorrect premise, espoused by thinkers like Fareed Zakaria and Kishore Mahbubani, that countries that liberalize economically will also liberalize politically. Universities need to recover a more “missionary,” freedom-seeking approach to their host countries, pedagogically and even politically. Or they should follow the model of Columbia and other universities that have created learning centers with much lighter footprints, not full-fledged campuses.

 

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TECH AND MEDIA

Taiwan probes HTC staff over secrets theft – Yahoo! Finance UK Taiwanese prosecutors are investigating allegations that three employees at leading smartphone maker HTC stole trade secrets to sell to Chinese firms, reports said Saturday. Investigators Friday searched HTC’s research and development centre as well as the suspects’ offices and homes after the company accused them of stealing key interface technology, according to the Taipei-based China Times newspaper.

Real name registration starts for mobile phone network – Xinhua Starting on September 1, all new mobile phone users and those looking to change internet providers have to register their real names in order to use these services. Customers who did not register before have to provide accurate personal information if they switch mobile phone plans. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that, if mobile networks operators do not cooperate with the new mobile phone identification policy, they will be fined anywhere from 10,000 yuan (1636 USD) to 30,000 yuan (4910 USD).

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

New York Times apologises to tennis superstar Li Na for steroid use allegation | South China Morning Post News of the alleged steroid pill use spread throughout Chinese media shortly after The New York Times piece was published, and after looking into the matter, officials from the Tennis Management Centre of China’s State General Administration of Sports denied that Li had ever taken steroids. Reporter Larmer later revealed that the article’s background information had been pieced together from interviews with Li and parts of her Chinese-language biography Fighting Alone. The term “steroid pills” had been a mis-translation of the Chinese term for “hormone medication,” and The New York Times issued an official apology to Li’s agent Max Eisenbud.

Urban Castaway – Caixin Slideshow A man with mental disorders has found both despair and freedom as an itinerant garbage picker

Six-year-old Left Blind after Eyes Gouged Out – YouTube In Taiyuan Eye Hospital in North China’s Shanxi Province,a six-year-old boy,Binbin awake after surgery.On August 24, a brutal attack on him that has left him blind has shocked the nation.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

山东环保厅:大V邓飞冤枉企业地下排污应道歉_网易新闻中心 Shandong Environmental department says “Big V” and environmental activist Deng Fei should apologize to this firms wrongly accused of pumping polluted water underground, accusations that came during a Weibo campaign deng started over chinese new year to expose water polluters // “山东企业高压泵深井排污”事件在今年2月份引发网络和媒体高度关注,现已确定为网络谣言,由近期被武汉警方查获的特大网络造谣传谣团伙炒作。此次公布受冤企业名单,@山东环境表示是“顺应网络大V邓先生的要求”。“邓先生”指的是邓飞,是免费午餐的发起人,也是年初转发和爆料“山东企业高压泵地下排污”事件的主要力量。

Earthquake hits Northwestern Yunnan: Information and Implications | East by Southeast Southwestern China, as evidenced by events in the past few years, is an earthquake-prone zone. It also happens to be the home of many major rivers that flow from an extremely high elevation in the Tibetan Plateau to a quick drop in elevation in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, making them ideal for hydropower projects. However, the geography of the region creates an inherent problem – a face off between China’s energy industry and the forces of nature. Up until now, there has not been a case where an earthquake leads to a collapsed dam, causing something like an inland tsunami. These are not the Hollywood disaster scenarios – this is a real threat for a region home to more than 100 million people. This weekend’s earthquake in Benzilan, which itself sits right near the upstream portions of the Yangtze, Nu and Mekong Rivers, is just a reminder of how precarious a position Southwestern China is in.

China to charge more on power to subsidize green energy – Xinhua China will raise tarrifs on power to collect subsidies for renewable energy from September 25 in a bid for better quality air, the country’s economic planner said on Friday. The price adjustment will exclude residential and agricultural power, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said. The additional charge on power for clean energy will be 0.015 yuan (0.0024 U.S. cents) per kilowatt-hour from current 0.008 yuan per kilowatt-hour.

To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America’s Trash Is Treasure – Businessweek Just before 8 a.m., Johnson Zeng eases his rented Chevrolet into a space in front of Cash’s Scrap Metal & Iron in St. Louis. He’s in the market to buy scrap metal he can ship to China, and this is the first stop of the day in the middle of a two-and-a-half-week road trip to regular suppliers that started in Albuquerque and will end in Spartanburg, S.C. But that, Zeng says, is nothing. “My last trip with Homer,” he recalls, referring to Homer Lai, the scrap importer in China’s Guangdong Province who provides him with most of his business, “we drove 9,600 miles in 26 days.” The result? Millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars left the U.S. for China.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

China bans two Korean Air pilots over improper landing in Xian China’s aviation authority said Friday it has banned two pilots of Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s flag carrier, for one year for “mistakenly” landing their passenger jet on the wrong runway at Xian Xianyang International Airport…The CAAC called for Korean Air to encourage its pilots to improve their level of English, according to the statement.

北京药店下月开售品牌奶粉 专家称能让价格更低_资讯频道_凤凰网 Brand name milk powder/baby formula to go on sale in Beijing pharmacies // 目前我国的婴儿奶粉销售渠道主要是商场、超市、母婴店、网店、食品店,而药店的加入无疑又增加了一个相对可信的渠道。据许京介绍,奶粉企业给药店专供奶粉,由国际品牌管理中心统一采购、配送,“从生产企业到进入药店是全封闭供应链”。 这些“进驻”药店销售的奶粉,主要采用专柜销售模式,部分药店还会试点使用ATM自动售货机销售奶粉。“使用自动售货机减少渠道成本,还能通过数据端显示奶粉的销售信息,直接定点到每罐奶粉的去向”。

Drugstores ready to sell milk powder From October to Spring Festival, which falls in late January 2014, trial sales of milk powder at vending machines in drugstores will begin in Beijing and Jiangsu according to the government’s related regulations. All the milk powders will be purchased and delivered by an international brand management center. The vending machines will also be able to authenticate milk powders to guarantee safety.

BON蓝海电视 Amazing China – CCSweets创意蛋糕—在线播放—优酷网,视频高清在线观看 BON TV interview, in English

 

BEIJING

Audio Archaeology: Concrete Flux’s Beijing Design Week Project – Kapipal Our project seeks to reawaken these observations of urban environments in the ancient and rapidly changing city of Beijing, and in so doing raise an awareness of the complex reality of the city in all its grime and glory. Audio Archaeology will be an event which focuses participants’ attention on the sounds of the city. The participatory event will form part of 2013’s Beijing Design Week, which runs from Thursday 26th September until Saturday 5th October. On registering, participants will be provided with a dictaphone recording device (covered by a 50RMB deposit) and a kit which will include instructions and a set of five interpretable themes. Participants will then, whilst travelling through the alleyways and avenues of Beijing, attempt to find or notice sounds which they believe relate in some manner to the themes. // I donated

北京30所名校分校开学 刚挂牌学区房坐涨50万-地方频道-新华网 Beijing suburban housing prices around nearly opened branches of famous beijing schools are surging…no surprise // 史家胡同小学、清华附中、人大附中、人大附小……最近两天,3O所城区名校在偏远地区或城乡接合部设立的新学校将开学,当地4万多中小学生将就近入学。北青报记者昨日采访发现,这些集中在城乡接合部地区的名校分校一开学,以往外流城区的学生就大批返回,周边房价也开始疯涨。

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