The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.05.14

Monday is the Mid-Autumn Festival and a national holiday in China. Thankfully the government has cracked down on mooncake gifting and so there are only a couple of boxes in our kitchen.

We never got the good kind of mooncake gifts, the ones that came in fancy packaging but were stuffed not with some inedible treat but rather with bundles of cash. As a friend once told me, “never re-gift your mooncakes without opening the box first”.

See you next week.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

China to strengthen supervision on discipline violations during holidays – Xinhua Minister of Supervision Huang Shuxian has warned they will publicize the names of officials who violate the central authorities’ thrifty regulations during upcoming holidays, urging officials to abide. Huang made the remarks when being interviewed on Wednesday night at the official website of the ministry and the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Huang said that during the upcoming Mid-autumn Festival and National Day holiday, anti-graft bodies will supervise gift-giving and mooncake ceremonies, extravagant dinners with public funds and bonus funds among governments, public institutions and state-owned enterprises. // original on the CCDI site 中央纪委副书记、监察部部长、国家预防腐败局局长黄树贤做客本网在线访谈 

Related: 中央纪委:及时查处微信红包等隐蔽送礼_政经频道_财新网 CCDI gets new media, warns against using Weixin “red envelopes” to hide gifting  //  今年前7个月违反中央八项规定的数据,已超过去年全年总数;即将到来的“两节”期间,纪检监察干部的“四风”问题将一律点名道姓曝光

Related: 中纪委通报11起中秋腐败 多公务员称福利归零|中纪委|中秋腐败_新浪新闻 China Youth Daily-CCDI has already reported 11 cases of “Mid-Autumn Festival Corruption”…many government workers claim they are getting nothing around this holiday now…definitely see it at home, we used to get all sorts of overflow gifts from in-laws, but since last year zip…

中央强力反腐,为深化改革清扫障碍_国内_新京报网 The Beijing News says “powerful corruption crackdown” is to help remove obstacles to deepening reform…experts say the upcoming 4th Plenum will be a key turning point from only treating the symptoms of corruption to treating the causes…the 4th Plenum propaganda buildup looks to be starting // 十八大以来的21个月里,已经有近50名省部级以上官员落马。近两年的强力反腐,除了“震动”官场,清除积弊,也为“近年来最具雄心的改革计划”扫除障碍。专家表示,即将举行的十八届四中全会,或成为反腐从治标到治本的节点。

Related: 四中全会临近 法治渐成舆论最强音_新浪新闻 China Youth Daily publishes is August public opinion index, says “rule of law/rule by law” increasingly important term  //  今天,中国青年报社中青舆情监测室发布2014年8月“中青月度舆情指数”(总第14期)。  习近平总书记首次访问蒙古国、山西多名省级干部涉嫌严重违纪违法被查、云南鲁甸发生6.5级地震分别位居舆情满意度前3名。江苏昆山工厂爆炸,则成为8月舆情满意度最差事件。   纵观8月的20起重大公共舆情事件,在全国范围内具有较大影响力的案件,就有6起,占全部事件的近三分之一。其中包括柯震东、房祖名涉毒案,念斌疑罪从无案,山东招远邪教杀人案公开庭审等。可以说,四中全会前夕,“法治”这一关键词,已经开始在舆论场中凸显力量。

The missing speech – China Media Project Generally, all of the speeches Xi Jinping has made since the 18th National Congress in November 2012 should be eligible for inclusion, excepting of course those that cannot be included for reasons of sensitivity. But for some reason, the volume has passed over Xi Jinping’s speech on “ruling the nation in accord with the constitution” (依宪治国) and “governing in accord with the constitution” (依宪执政). On December 4, 2012, Xi Jinping made a speech in Beijing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the promulgation and implementation of China’s constitution. This speech attracted a great deal of attention both inside and outside China. In the speech, Xi Jinping said: “Rule of the nation by law means, first and foremost, ruling the nation in accord with the constitution; the crux in governing by laws is to govern in accord with the constitution” (People’s Daily, December 5, 2012). For Xi Jinping to use the words “first and foremost” and “crux” in these remarks represented a marked departure from the language of his predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

China to overhaul exam, enrollment system by 2020 – Xinhua Plans hinting at a complete overhaul of China’s exam and enrollment system for high schools and colleges by 2020 were outlined in a circular released by the State Council on Thursday. The reforms will be aimed at easing pressure, promoting fairness and increasing supervision, Vice Education Minister Du Yubo said during a news conference at the State Council Information Office. One measure will see portions of the college entrance exam taken throughout high school years, rather than upon graduation, creating a more staggered approach. Pilot programs will begin this year and the reform efforts will be expanded nationwide three years later, according to the circular. // near the top of the news on many Chinese media sites,and on page 1 of People’s Daily, big deal. 2017年高考不再分文理科 专家称减轻学业负担

Related: China’s Education Gap – NYTimes.com China’s state education system, which offers nine years of compulsory schooling and admits students to colleges strictly through exam scores, is often hailed abroad as a paradigm for educational equity. The impression is reinforced by Chinese students’ consistently stellar performance in international standardized tests. But this reputation is a myth. While China has phenomenally expanded basic education for its people, quadrupling its output of college graduates in the past decade, it has also created a system that discriminates against its less wealthy and poorly connected citizens, thwarting social mobility at every step with bureaucratic and financial barriers.

Related: 国务院关于深化考试招生制度改革的实施意见_政府信息公开专栏 State Council Document on plans to overhaul of China’s exam and enrollment system for high schools and colleges

5 Reasons China’s Fiscal Fix Matters – WSJ On Sunday the government unveiled amendments to China’s fiscal law that it hopes will increase transparency in how local governments borrow and spend. The announcement came at the same time officials unveiled new election rules for Hong Kong, which dominated the attention. Even Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei sounded surprised when asked to comment on the 1995 budget law’s first amendment. Still, China’s attempted budget fix is important, both because of what it might accomplish and where it might fall short. China Real Time spoke with researchers and economists and dug out five reasons why we should care about the amendment lauded by some as the latest breakthrough in China’s fiscal reform.

Vice Premier presides over 3rd meeting of leading group of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development plan – Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (L front) hears an introduction on the coordinated development of the neighboring Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei prior to the third meeting of the leading group of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development program in Beijing, China, Sept. 4, 2014. Zhang presided over the meeting and delivered a speech here on Thursday// made P1 of Friday’s People’s Daily 张高丽主持召开京津冀协同发展领导小组第三次会议 

Related: 积极推进京津冀协同发展和京津双城联动发展--时政–人民网 Tianjin Party Secretary Sun Chunlan on page 7 of Friday People’s Daily on the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration plans…keep hearing this is a very important project to Xi Jinping, sure looks like it is really going to happen this time

Related: Beijing, surrounding areas to intensify car pollution treatment – Xinhua Chinese capital Beijing and its surrounding areas are planning a surveillance network to deal with car exhaust fumes and reduce smog. The regional platform will realize data sharing in different places and strengthen coordinated law enforcement to improve the vehicle emission monitoring, said Li Kunsheng, a vehicle exhaust administration official of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau. “It is an important move for regional air pollution treatment,”said Li at a meeting on joint air pollution treatment for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas, in Beijing on Thursday.

Commentary: U.S. should reaffirm commitment to China amid disputes, noises – Xinhua The national security advisor to President Barack Obama will meet with a host of Chinese officials during her three-day stay here to underscore the U.S. commitment to “building a productive relationship” with China, according to a statement of U.S. National Security Council. The visit is also seen as an effort to pave the way for the potential meetings between presidents of the two countries in the coming months. Rice, in her capacity as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations prior to her current post, drew much controversy for her harsh criticism of China over the Syrian issue in 2012. However, now as the core designer of Obama administration’s security policies, the former hard-line diplomat has apparently come to realize the utmost significance of a normal and constructive China-U.S. relationship.  //  but will she get mooncakes?

LinkedIn Abides By Chinese Censorship Laws — But Is It Consistent? It is this stipulation that has drawn so much criticism — and has led LinkedIn to publicly consider a reversal. But if Bishop’s experience is any indication, the company’s policies appear to be even more restrictive than advertised: LinkedIn censored an article written by a US citizen from an American IP address to users around the world. In the explanation for why it blocked Bishop’s July 9 newsletter: “However, we only block content globally if it is posted from China IP addresses. We have decided to do so in this situation to protect the safety of our members in China.” When reached about Bishop’s case, Hani Durzy, LinkedIn’s director of communication, confirmed that the company has occasionally blocked Sinocism within China, but did not explain why Bishop’s link to the Washington Post story triggered the global blockage.  //  “occasionally blocked Sinocism”…so how many times LinkedIn? I have only received one single notice of censorship from the company’s “Trust & Safety” team

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Foreigners Set to Get Greater Access to Chinese Shares – WSJ Starting in October, overseas money managers will be able to buy Chinese companies listed in Shanghai via Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Investors have poured money into funds that track these so-called A-shares in anticipation of the rule change, while some brokerage firms that operate in the region say they are hiring new staff to handle added trading. The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks A-shares, is up 12% since early June. China’s decision to open its stock market to outsiders goes hand in hand with recent initiatives to liberalize the currency, the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi, and to boost the nation’s influence on the global financial stage. The move will allow mainland Chinese firms to raise money from a wider pool of investors.

Boeing raises China plane demand forecast 8 percent as overseas travel grows | Reuters Boeing Co said on Thursday it expects China to need more than 6,020 aircraft in the next 20 years, an 8 percent rise over last year’s two-decade estimate, as growing overseas leisure travel drives demand for single-aisle and wide body planes. The aircraft maker’s new estimate of 6,020 planes, valued at $870 billion (528.91 billion pounds), is up from the 5,580 it estimated last year and represents a near tripling of China’s current fleet. The country, the world’s second-biggest aircraft market, is essential to Boeing’s long-term global strategy.

China’s State Companies Begin Hunt for Investors – WSJ The offering of a stake in Sinopec Sales to private businesses is also a small but potentially significant step in the country’s attempt to shake up its sprawling state-owned enterprises, which employ millions of workers and control vital segments of the economy but operate so inefficiently that many economists warn they are dragging down growth. Chinese leaders called for an overhaul of the SOEs in the Communist party’s blueprint for economic change, released in November. In July, the government said it had chosen six SOEs for pilot programs that would introduce more private investors and improve management.

一汽集团:狠刹“四风” 公布举报电话和信箱——要闻——中央纪委监察部网站 CCDI is crawling all over First Automotive Works (FAW), issues notice demanding FAW employees to the “seven strictly prohibits” when it comes to their behavior, lists phone number and email address for people to submit tips on violators

China holds meeting on 13th five-year plan – Xinhua | English.news.cn The State Council, China’s cabinet, has held a meeting on compiling the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for economic and social development, according to a document released Thursday. “It is the last five-year plan for the country to complete the construction of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 and for achieving decisive results in deepening reforms,” said Premier Li Keqiang, who presided over the meeting.

News Analysis: Trans-Pacific secrets may cost Trans-Pacific trust – China.org.cn Hidden within the infrastructure of the TPP is the nuts and bolts of a machine that can establish a U.S.-style regional regulatory framework according to the needs and indeed whims of its major export industries — industries that commit millions to election funds aimed at securing preferential outcomes. The major players are a list of industries that stand to benefit the most and include U.S. pharmaceutical giants, trans- national media, American information technology businesses, the mid-west’s highly-subsidized agribusiness and, naturally, the financial services industries that have made a habit of carving up whatever economic pies land on their table. In cahoots with the government, these powerful players are lobbying hard, inside and out of Washington, to garner changes to other governments’domestic regulation.

经济参考网 – 新华社-国家要求各省试编政府资产负债表 地方债将被关进“政府财报”的铁笼 State council requests that provincial governments draft balance sheets–Economic Information.

Media, PR Executives ‘Arrested over IPO Blackmail Schemes’ – Caixin The report by the Communist Party mouthpiece said Liu, Zhou and several other editorial employees at the website have been accused of blackmailing more than 10 companies that were preparing for their initial public offering or a major event such as a restructuring that would affect their share price. Roya Investment Services Ltd. and NuKirin Investment Consultant Co., Ltd. were named as participants in the extortion by acting as a go-between. Their executives were also arrested.

房地产营改增或明年推行 分析称将助涨房价_地产政策_地产频道首页_财经网 – CAIJING.COM.CN 这将促使房企成本上升并导致房价上涨,一位注册税务师表示,房地产业涉及向个人出售房产,但在个人环节无法抵扣,税制设计时肯定会考虑到居民的承受能力,因为增值税实际上也是具有转嫁效应的,最终甚至可能会助涨房价

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

中共中央纪委举办”走进中央纪委”活动 向境内外知名学者介绍 党风廉政建设和反腐败工作情况——新闻头条——中央纪委监察部网站 CCDI holds an event for domestic and foreign scholars to learn more about China’s corruption crackdown

哈尔滨3名犯人杀警越狱过程监控视频曝光_新闻_腾讯网 surveillance video of 3 harbin prisoners killing a guard, escaping…lots of questions about why this video leaked, and why security so lapse

吴英父亲未被批捕 向副市长道歉:是个误会_财经_新京报网 the very strange, nasty case of Wu Ying’s father and her lawyer…now apparently released on bail after charges of slandering the local mayor couldn’t stick  //  因涉嫌诬告陷害东阳市副市长陈军而被刑事拘留的吴英父亲及其代理人因证据不足,不予批捕。目前,两人的刑事强制措施已经变更为取保候审。当天,吴永正表示,自己没有诬告陈军,但对给陈军造成影响表示非常抱歉。

Chinese officials are fleeing the public sector for the private sector | The Australian Data is hard to find on officials defecting to the private sector, but examples are piling up. In March, Liu Zhenghua–51 years old and a former official at China’s banking regulator–left his job as deputy mayor of Wuhu, a city of two million people, to be a senior vice president at Nanjing retail and properties conglomerate Sanpower Group Co.  //  but that “lack of data” didn’t prevent a hyperbolic headline

Graphics: Graft Net in Shanxi – Caixin The party’s crackdown on graft has hit the province of Shanxi hard. Here is a look at the major investigation targets

太原警界乱象 用人混乱疑案丛生_政经频道_财新网 Caixin on the corruption in the Taiyuan, Shanxi Public Security Bureau

河北邢台落马市委书记曾称:房企投资赔了算我们的|王爱民|1975年_凤凰资讯 Xingtai, Hebei Party Secretary under investigation

吴伟:很多扣给华国锋的罪名是子虚乌有_共识网 有人把“两个凡是”的帽子扣在华国锋身上,实际上那都是当时管宣传的汪东兴指挥人搞的。有人说华国锋阻碍邓小平复出,有人说他阻碍平反冤假错案,后来看来都是子虚乌有。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

The Myth of a Friendless China-War on the Rocks An article of faith that pervades many policy briefings on the growing tensions in the South and East China Seas is that “China has no friends.” China, we keep hearing, is a bully, constantly seeking out nasty confrontations over various shoals and rocks in the seas it shares with its neighbors. A common corollary position is that the United States has lots of friends. Of course, the United States has every right to take pride in its history of alliances, particularly NATO. ASEAN and other Western Pacific nations have also encouraged the U.S. Navy to engage more vigorously against China’s increasingly expansive claims, independently affirming its claim to be “a global force for good.” The idea of a friendless China has some validity, to a point, but the notion will prove dangerous if it fosters complacency among American strategic thinkers. Indeed, a number of recent developments call this comfortable myth into question.

Portfolio Assessment of the Department of State Internet Freedom Program | RAND The struggle between those promoting Internet freedom and those trying to control and monitor the Internet is a fast-paced game of cat and mouse, and the DRL Internet freedom program seeks to fund projects that promote preserving the open character of the Internet. Employing portfolio analysis techniques, the authors assessed DRL’s Internet freedom portfolio for fiscal year 2012–2013. The assessment showed good alignment between the State Department’s strategy and the cumulative effect of the 18 funded projects. Additionally, the portfolio was assessed to be well balanced with an unrealized potential for supporting emergent State Department needs in enlarging political space within authoritarian regimes. The assessment revealed that the investment in developing Internet freedom capacity and capabilities would likely have residual value beyond the portfolio’s funded lifespan, with positive, but indirect, connections to civic freedom. Moreover, promoting Internet freedom appears to be a cost-imposing strategy that simultaneously aligns well with both U.S. values and interests, pressuring authoritarian rivals to either accept a free and open Internet or devote additional security resources to control or repress Internet activities.

美式“搭便车论”的偏隘(钟声)–观点–人民网 People’s Daily’s Zhong Sheng is not happy with the US claims of China free-riding // 美国因当初对伊拉克发动战争而深陷泥潭,如今麻烦缠身自有其因果,不是其“搭便车论”可以障人耳目的 美国总统奥巴马不久前抛出所谓“中国免费搭便车”一说,暴露了不少心迹,引发了不少议论。人们由此不禁要问,美国究竟在以怎样的态度同世界相处?

Presidents of China, Russia, Mongolia likely to hold three-party meeting – Xinhua China and Mongolia are calling for a three-party meeting among presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia in the near future, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday. The consensus was reached during President Xi Jinping’s Mongolia visit last month, Qin told a daily press briefing, adding the three countries are maintaining close communication. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Ulan Bator Wednesday for a one-day working visit and held talks with his Mongolian counterpart Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to promote bilateral cooperation.

What Does China Really Think about the Ukraine Crisis? | The National Interest Chinese writings about the on-going crisis are voluminous. Nevertheless, a “dip-stick” test regarding the tone of internal Chinese discussions may be attempted by summarizing a lengthy interview concerning the Ukraine Crisis, published in the July 2014 issue of Ordnance Science and Technology [兵工科技] with Senior Colonel Fang Bing [房兵大校], a professor at Chinese National Defense University in Beijing.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Democracy in China: The struggle for Hong Kong | The Economist Xi Jinping, the party chief and president, had the opportunity to use Hong Kong as a test-bed for political change in China. Had he taken this opportunity, he might have gone down in history as a true reformer. Instead, he has squandered it.  //  Seems a stretch to assume he ever wanted that kind of “test-bed”…If Beijing cares about this leader they will probably ask if the Economist ever called for democracy in Hong Kong when it was a British colony

Hong Kong leader questions British contribution to city’s democracy | Reuters “First, before Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, all governors of Hong Kong were not elected by Hong Kong people,” a spokesman for Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said in a statement. “Second, the Sino-British Joint Declaration does not provide for universal suffrage at all,” he added, referring to the agreement signed in 1984 that set out arrangements for the transfer of sovereignty under a “one country, two systems” formula. Britain made no mention of democracy for Hong Kong until the dying days of about 150 years of colonial rule.

Hong Kong’s Piketty problem | Business Spectator Hong Kong capitalism is nothing like the unfettered competition its boosters claim. They mistake low tax rates and no-questions-asked transactions for free enterprise. In fact, almost every sector in the territory – land, retailing, telecoms, media, utilities, and the electoral nomination committee – is dominated by a few families. Anti-trust probes are toothless. The nexus between real estate and politics is dangerous everywhere, but in Hong Kong much more so because huge entry barriers are reinforced by ever-higher land tenders. In this spiral of oligo-capitalism, the big get bigger and customers pay up.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

More Internet TV Content Providers Remove Apps from E-Stores – Caixin LeTV and iQiyi tell e-shops to stop offering their applications, as regulator continues to clamp down on nascent industry

China Said to Limit Streaming-Website Foreign TV Content – Bloomberg China will limit the amount of foreign television programs allowed on Internet video-streaming sites, according to a person familiar with the matter. The regulations, set to be announced as soon as today, will cap the number of foreign shows at 30 percent of content offered by the sites, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the rules haven’t been made public. A cap on foreign content is part of a broader government campaign to tighten Internet controls and limit content for China’s 632 million Web users.

China targets own operating system to take on likes of Microsoft, Google | Reuters probably bug-ridden and a gift to the NSA?  //  The operating system would first appear on desktop devices and later extend to smartphone and other mobile devices, Xinhua said, citing Ni Guangnan who heads an official OS development alliance established in March. Ni’s comments were originally reported by the People’s Post and Telecommunications News, an official trade paper run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). “We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores,” Ni told the trade paper. Some Chinese OS already existed, but there was a large gap between China’s technology and that of developed countries, he added.

Authorities launch man-in-the-middle attack on Google | GreatFire.org From August 28, 2014 reports appeared on Weibo and Google Plus that users in China trying to access google.com and google.com.hk via CERNET, the country’s education network, were receiving warning messages about invalid SSL certificates. The evidence, which we include later in this post, indicates that this was caused by a man-in-the-middle attack.

Apple Reviewing Claims of New Labor Violations in China – Bloomberg nice timing, right ahead of 9.9 Apple launch event  //  A report today by China Labor Watch and Green America found that Tainan Hsien, Taiwan-based Catcher Technology had 22 labor violations. They documented forced, unpaid overtime and improper handling of hazardous materials at a factory in Suqian in eastern China, where about 20,000 workers produce metal casings for Apple and other electronics companies. The investigation was conducted in August.

China to Overtake USA as No.1 4G Market — China Internet Watch China will overtake USA as the number one LTE market in terms of LTE smartphone sales in the second half of 2014, according to Counterpoint Research. China had high smartphone shipments in Q2 2014 with more than 100 million units and it now accounts to more than a third of the global smartphone volumes up from a fourth.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Ghosts of China’s Maoist past haunt present in Venice film | Reuters The Chinese film “Red Amnesia” shown in Venice is partly a ghost story that may or may not have a ghost, but its portrayal of how the Cultural Revolution left a trail of twisted lives that haunts China today is unambiguous and devastating. The film by “Beijing Bicycle” director Wang Xiaoshuai is in competition for the Venice Film Festival’s top Golden Lion prize to be awarded on Saturday.

中戏新生军训照网络走红_社会_图片频道首页_财经网  pictures of good-looking new students at the Beijing Film Academy going viral

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

China tobacco monopoly blocks full ban on tobacco ads: sources | Reuters – Intense lobbying by China’s powerful state tobacco monopoly resulted in the weakening of controversial legislation that had been meant to introduce a complete advertising ban in the world’s largest consumer and producer of tobacco, sources said. The proposed total advertising ban pitted anti-smoking advocates and the health ministry, which blames cigarettes for causing one million deaths in China a year, against the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

China Policy Spurs Rooftop Solar in World’s Top Market – Bloomberg The National Energy Administration asked local authorities to identify projects where power can be delivered to nearby customers, provide extra subsidies for public organizations and in rural areas and allow more projects to qualify for subsidies, according to an agency statement dated Sept. 2. The policy “should encourage the development of distributed generation and alleviate some of the quota concerns,” Patrick Jobin, analyst at Credit Suisse Securities USA in New York, said yesterday in a research note.

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