The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.13.13

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China to cut coal use, shut polluters, in bid to clear the air | Reuters China published the plan on its official website (www.gov.cn), also promising to boost nuclear power and natural gas use. Environmentalists welcomed the plan but were skeptical about its effective implementation. “The coal consumption reduction targets for key industrial areas are a good sign they are taking air pollution and public health more seriously, but to make those targets happen, the action plan is a bit disappointing and there are loopholes,” said Huang Wei, a campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing.

Related: 国务院关于印发大气污染防治行动计划的通知 full text of the plan // 各省、自治区、直辖市人民政府,国务院各部委、各直属机构: 现将《大气污染防治行动计划》印发给你们,请认真贯彻执行。  国务院 2013年9月10日

Related: China’s Plan to Curb Air Pollution Sets Limits on Coal Use and Vehicles – NYTimes.com “The plan successfully identifies the root cause of air pollution in China: China’s industrial structure,” said Ma Jun, a prominent environmental advocate. “Industrialization determines the structure of energy consumption. If China does not upgrade its coal-dependent industries, coal consumption can never be curbed.” he said. “The key to preventing air pollution is to curb coal burning — China burns half of all the coal consumed in the world.” Under the new plan, concentrations of fine particulate matter must be reduced by 25 percent in the Beijing-Tianjian-Hebei area in the north, 20 percent in the Yangtze River Delta in the east and 15 percent in the Pearl River Delta in the south, compared with 2012 levels.

Related: massive new state council air pollution control plan « livefrombeijing I’m deeply disappointed that the plan doesn’t call for any new vehicle emission standards. In this respect, the plan is much weaker than the plan Beijing released less than two weeks ago. Fuel quality improvements are critical because they enable more stringent standards to take effect. Scrappage programs are great, but they are most effective when the replacement vehicles are as clean as possible. Why would the State Council release such a comprehensive plan that doesn’t include any mention of upgrading vehicle emission standards? It is a strange and glaring omission to me.

Doubts Rise as China Touts Upturn – WSJ.com Some economists and business leaders say Beijing is pulling the same levers it has used in the past to produce growth, leaving untouched a reliance on exports abroad and credit-fueled investment in large infrastructure projects at home—the very model China says it wants to scrap. Over the past two months, China’s industrial output, electricity production and exports have posted solid gains, buoying global markets and easing fears the country would join other emerging economies reeling in anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will curb bond-buying.

Related:  Goldman Sees China’s Commodity Demand Rebounding to Yearend – Bloomberg Commodity demand in China, the world’s largest user of iron ore, copper and tin, will rebound through the end of the year as infrastructure projects gather pace and users restock, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The key demand driver is infrastructure and fixed-asset investment, analyst Julian Zhu told reporters at a briefing in Singapore today. Steel prices in the world’s largest producer were seen higher through the end of December, Zhu said.

Related:  Chinese Commodity Demand Is Exploding Again – Business Insider must be painful for anyone who jumped on the “China collapse” bandwagon in late June/early July…in retrospect, perhaps the Paul Krugman post on Pettis and the inevitable crash was a sign the short trade was overstretched, at least in the near-term? certainly may be a chance to reload, but there seems to be momentum between now and the Third Plenum…but whatever is announced at the Third Plenum will probably be seen “as not enough”…so buy on the expectations, sell on the Plenum?  // Chinese demand for commodities is surging again, per this chart from Morgan Stanley. Of late, Chinese data has come in much better than expected, and there’s a general sense that the country is stepping on the gas pedal again, investing in infrastructure and so forth to rev up GDP.

Related:  China’s Yuan Seen Resuming Uptrend – WSJ.com Even as Beijing holds the tightly controlled yuan steady, derivatives show sentiment toward the currency is becoming more bullish as the Chinese economy improves. After rising 1.8% in the first half of the year, the yuan ground to a halt in June when a liquidity squeeze rocked China’s banking system and global funds started pulling out of Asia. But a raft of stronger economic data out of China over the past two months has bolstered Chinese stocks and is spilling over into the offshore currency markets in Hong Kong, where the yuan is allowed to trade more freely.

Rhodium Group » US-China Economic Relations: An Update Daniel Rosen prepared and delivered these remarks as a briefing for the President of a leading Chinese international relations thinktank on September 9, 2013 in New York.—The present environment of US-China economic relations is superficially positive, despite negative political shocks to the bilateral relationship such as the Snowden NSA revelations. Going forward, there will inherently be more sources of “normal” state-to-state frictions in the economic relationship as China’s external engagement grows beyond trade and inward foreign direct investment (FDI) to include new channels of global interaction. But fundamentally, the potential for positive economic relations should increase significantly as a result of the transformational economic and political reforms being implemented by the Xi-Li government in Beijing. Successful reforms will pave the way for US-China cooperation, which currently seems unrealistic.

南方周末 – 大V近黄昏? Southern Weekend–“The nightfall of the Big Vs”. Excellent story on the campaign to rein in the big Vs and the real impact it is having on behavior and activity. This time feels different than the previous campaigns // 拥有广泛影响力的“大V”(微博认证用户),在最近一个月成了最重要的警诫及批评对象。这个中国互联网深具标志意义的新生群体,正面临诞生4年来所未曾有过的挑战。短短两周内,这场网络清理来势汹汹:数以百计网民因“造谣传谣”被处理在前,“大V的冬天来了。”一篇时评这样说。 8月末,网络推手“秦火火”等人被捕,微博红人薛蛮子则因涉嫌嫖娼被拘留,互联网随之掀起一场“打谣”风潮并引发连锁效应。新华社刊发评论《谨防大V变大谣》,呼吁大V们要“发出‘好声音’”,切勿“给谣言插上隐形的翅膀”;《求是》杂志子刊《红旗文稿》发表评论:“整治网络谣言必须出重拳,要敢于打‘老虎’、管网站。”… 商人特有的敏锐嗅觉滋长了现实层面的担忧。王瑛加入的十余个主要由企业家组成的微信群,过去热衷谈论读书心得、社会热点乃至罗伯特议事规则。半个月来,情况却急转直下,所有人都开始疑虑重重:企业家还要不要讨论公共事务?

Related:  Is anti-rumour crackdown silencing voices of online dissent at Weibo? | South China Morning Post activity in my stream looks way down, and not just because Xue Manzi has not posted in three weeks // Big-hitting Weibo users are scaling back their activity on the microblog and deleting previous posts as Beijing’s drive to keep online rumours in check takes effect…Data provided to the South China Morning Post by Weiboreach, a firm based in Harbin providing social-media-data analysis, shows the number of posts by influential microbloggers was, on average, 11.2 per cent lower per day last month than it was in days earlier in the year…Weiboreach found that the anti-rumour campaign has been effective. Many internet celebrities have not only scaled down their punditry, but also increasingly censored themselves by deleting contentious old posts.

Related:  人民日报评论员:用法治营造清朗的网络空间–观点–人民网 more from People’s daily on using the rule of law to create a cleaner Internet…with CCTV Evening News segment interviewing “netizens on the street” who support the government’s move

Related:  Blogger foretold his own arrest after criticising rumour crackdown | South China Morning Post Dong Rubin was detained on Tuesday on charges of misstating his company’s registered capital in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, his lawyer Xiao Dongzhi said. Dong, whose internet alias is “bianmin” or person living on the frontier, was running an internet consulting company, which has operated in China, but also among Chinese ethnic militias in Myanmar, just across the border from Yunnan.

Is China Outgrowing Hollywood Film, TV Industry? | Variety Country’s evolving movie biz shows an increasing sophistication and diversity that challenges U.S. studios to rethink their approach

消息称腾讯银行申请方案获广东省批准 已上报银监会_科技频道_凤凰网 Southern Metropolis reports that Guangdong has approved Tencent’s plan to sapple for a banking license, application sent to the CBRC // 早在7月下旬银监会副主席阎庆民一行来广东调研时,在会见广东省主要领导时,曾特别问及广东民营银行的筹备和申报情况。当时广东省金融办在汇报时只提及揭阳和香江方案,并没有提及腾讯。然而1个多月后,腾讯方案后来居上,获得省政府同意并上报银监会。南都记者昨天就此向腾讯咨询相关情况,但截至发稿时,未获任何回应。有接近监管机构的人士昨天表示,腾讯的突然入围更大可能得益于其注册地落在前海,以及腾讯在科技金融方面的突出优势等。

Huawei accuses NSA of “illegal practices” after spying revelation. Huawei is well-aware that our systems and networks are under regular attack—this is the case with most large, multinational companies, which present an attractive target for industrial espionage. While Huawei has not detected any U.S. Government intrusions into our systems, we are very disturbed to hear that the NSA has attempted to penetrate and compromise our networks and information. Needless to say, we utterly object to such illegal practices and, out of concern for any related industrial espionage by the NSA or others, we will redouble our efforts to prevent and expose such intrusive activity in the future.

Related:  Chinese hi-tech firms urged to advance IC technology – Xinhua More efforts should be made to boost innovations in technologies, mechanisms, management, as well as the sector’s business mode so as to make it stronger, Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai said. The vice premier made the remarks on Thursday during visits to several Beijing-based companies, including Baidu and China Datang Corporation…He added that the IC industry also serves as an important guarantee for China’s economic transformation, restructuring of the information industry, expansion of information consumption and national security.

Anti-graft probe hits shares of Chinese drug firm | South China Morning Post In an announcement, Sino Biopharmaceutical said it was not aware of any of its executive being investigated by the Chinese authorities. Its management said the crackdown would hurt staff morale, sales and profits. The company is the first big Chinese name in an industrywide probe that has so far featured multinationals like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Sino Biopharmaceutical said it expected the campaign against the drug sector to last longer than previously thought.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

Li Keqiang to focus on smart and green urbanisation | South China Morning Post this has been the message for months//  Investors advised to temper their expectations for a spate of massive construction projects

China should pursue ‘high-quality’ urbanization: top economic planning body | Reuters Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also said China’s urbanization level, at about 52 percent of the population, still has a long way to catch up with that of developed economies and even some Asian countries. “Our urbanization should embody the concepts of green, intensive, intelligent and low-carbon and it does not mean simply building things or enclosing land,” he said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in the northeastern port city of Dalian that was posted on the NDRC’s website.

Nestle Says Chinese Consumption May Show Second-Half Recovery – Bloomberg Nestle SA (NESN), the world’s biggest food maker, said it expects Chinese consumption to recover in the second half as the government encourages domestic spending and urbanization fuels growth. “They are not growing as fast as they used to be,” Roland Decorvet, the company’s Greater China chairman and chief executive officer, said yesterday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. “If you combine wage increases and urbanization, for food manufacturing companies it’s still an amazing opportunity.”

No property bubble in sight: planning official |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn The property market is still doing fine despite some regional problems,” said Li Tie, director of the China Center for Urban Development under the National Development and Reform Commission….China is still some distance away from a property bubble, Li assured an audience at a breakfast meeting on Thursday….Li said some administrative regulations should be revoked….Some regulations have made it more difficult to get home loans, and failed to curb price rises, according to media reports. “The government can curb property speculation by using market forces just as well,” he said.

Rebar Declines in Shanghai as Property Curbs Damp Demand Outlook – Bloomberg Chinese banks including large state-owned lenders temporarily halted mortgage loan in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to avoid risks from property “bubbles,” according to a commentary in the Securities Times. “We’re closely watching for more policy signals in the property sector,” said Wang Yongliang, an analyst at Beijing Cifco Futures Co. in Tianjin. “Although high production costs are providing some support, rebar futures may have further to fall in the short-term.”

诺贝尔经济学奖得主:北京房价不会大规模下跌_证券时报网 Nobel laureate Robert Mundel does not expect any significant drops in Beijing real estate prices // 蒙代尔称,对于北京这样一个人口集中的大都市来说,对商品房的需求空间是十分大的。房地产开发商为了建房就需要购买土地,而现在的土地供应价格上涨,造成商品房价格也在上涨。他表示,北京的价不会出现大规模下跌。正在快速发展的北京作为中国的首都,出现房价忽然大跌的情况基本不太可能。因为在将来,政府只会逐步收紧土地供应,伴随而来的必然是土地价格的上涨,在需求并没有发生明显变化的情况下,这直接影响到建立在土地价格之上的商品房价格。

San Francisco Said to Discuss Making City Offshore Yuan Center – Bloomberg San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee discussed ways to make the city an offshore yuan hub in a meeting with Bank of China Ltd.executives this week, said two people with knowledge of the matter. The Sept. 9 meeting in San Francisco also included officials from the city’s Chinese consulate and was a preliminary discussion, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. State-owned Bank of China clears yuan transactions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, enabling companies in those locations to use the Chinese currency in trade and financ

The Fight for China’s Robots – Economic Observer Summary:It’s only a matter of time before China overtakes the United States and Japan to become home to the most robots in the world. The world’s largest robot maker hopes to overtake ABB to become the biggest supplier of robots to this expanding market.

China Turns to US Sorghum for Animal Feed-Caijing In China, sorghum is traditionally used to produce liquor, such as the potent baijiu rice wine. Now China is using the grain to help formulate animal feed. China’s large private feed mills are increasingly buying sorghum from the US after using up their import allocations for corn

 

POLITICS AND LAW

给全国少儿一个承诺 向天下父母有个交代 本报评论员 《 人民日报 》 next sector targeted for a clean up is children’s publishing…this from page 1 of today’s People’s Daily // 内容低俗、质量低劣、包装豪华、价格虚高……近年来,一些少儿出版物存在着许多突出问题,社会各界特别是广大家长教师反映强烈。日前,中宣部等五部门联合发出通知,要求加强少儿出版管理和市场整治。这是落实中央关于改进作风“八项规定”的重要举措,是宣传文化系统开展党的群众路线教育实践活动、边学边查边改、以实际举措反对“四风”的又一次“亮剑”。

A Postcard from Bo Xilai’s Chongqing – Tea Leaf Nation how much of Bo’s support, local, academic and foreign, and fawning media coverage was actually paid for as part of a sophisticated propaganda effort run by Bo? // A few days later, our department secretary gave me a gift card for about thirty dollars to a downtown department store, in gratitude for attending the Red Song event. I protested at the special treatment, but she waved me off and said “Everyone who attended got those.” In the end, I accepted the card and chased Chongqing’s Maoist nostalgia with a shopping spree, just like everyone else.

Legal Reform in China: An Empty Ritual | The Jamestown Foundation Even more noteworthy were the statements made by President Xi Jinping about the rule of law with Chinese characteristics. Xi has on at least two occasions after becoming party chief at the 18th CCP Congress last November underscored the imperative of upholding the Constitution and the law. “We must seriously implement the law,” he said at a Politburo meeting devoted to legal and judicial issues. “There must be a fair judicial system, and all citizens must abide by the law.” He noted that “all organizations and individuals must conduct themselves within the parameters of the law.” And in a late 2012 speech marking the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the 1982 Constitution, Xi said that “no organization or individuals has the special privilege of overriding the Constitution and the law,” “All actions that run counter to the Constitution and the law must be held to account,” he added (Xinhua, February 24; China News Service, December 4, 2012). A closer examination of Xi’s statements, however, shows that he is hardly an advocate of decoupling law from politics. While taking about the Constitution, Xi stressed that “safeguarding the authority of the Constitution means safeguarding the authority of the joint will of the party and the people.” Following the long-standing principle that it is the party that provides guidance in formulating the Constitution and the law, Xi ended his talk on the Constitution by indicating that “we must insist upon the correct political orientation” and “we must insist upon the Party’s leadership” (Xinhua, December 4, 2012).

Party discipline agency vows timely exposure of corruption – Xinhua A section of the website will report cases being investigated by disciplinary authorities of all levels, especially serious ones handled by the CCDI’s supervision department, said Cui Shaopeng, general secretary of the commission. The website was launched upon the proposal of Wang Qishan, head of the commission, said Cui during an online interview on the website. The website is smart phone and tablet friendly. Mobile application services will be introduced so that the public can get access more easily, said Cui. “The website is preparing to open an official microblog and Wechat service (a social networking platform) when the situation is ripe,” he said. //if an iOS app will Apple approve it, as there could be some “offensive” content uploaded?

China to protect online whistleblowers, but only via official site | Reuters Speaking on a webcast on the party anti-corruption watchdog’s recently unveiled website, the agency’s secretary general, Cui Shaopeng, tried to set such concerns aside. “Many internet users have said ‘if I report a case then how will I be protected?’ They fear that if they do report then they will be subject to revenge attacks,” Cui said. I can tell everyone in a responsible way, all reports logged on the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s website will receive legal protection, and we will severely deal with revenge attacks. Our attitude is very clear on this,” he added. Cui said they wanted people to provide their real names and contact details, and such reports would be given priority.

Mr Clean catches China’s graft tigers by the tail | Reuters For example, it was Wang who proposed the party scrap a decades-old unwritten rule that exempted incumbent and retired members of the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, of which he belongs, from investigation for corruption, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. That landmark move was approved earlier this year by the Standing Committee, China’s top political decision-making body, sources who have ties to the leadership or direct knowledge of the matter have told Reuters. Wang has also reorganised parts of the discipline inspection commission and added two offices so the body can deepen its investigations into provincial leaders.

3 sentenced to death for Xinjiang terror attack |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn A court in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday sentenced three men to death and one man to 25 years in jail for a violent terrorist attack which left 24 people dead in the region’s Shanshan County on June 26.

The China Quarterly – Abstract – Relational Repression in China: Using Social Ties to Demobilize Protesters looks interesting // Abstract–Chinese local officials frequently employ relational repression to demobilize protesters. When popular action occurs, they investigate activists’ social ties, locate individuals who might be willing to help stop the protest, assemble a work team and dispatch it to conduct thought work. Work team members are then expected to use their personal influence to persuade relatives, friends and fellow townspeople to stand down. Those who fail are subject to punishment, including suspension of salary, removal from office and prosecution. Relational repression sometimes works. When local authorities have considerable say over work team members and bonds with protesters are strong, relational repression can help demobilize protesters and halt popular action. Even if relational repression does not end a protest entirely, it can limit its length and scope by reducing tension at times of high strain and providing a channel for negotiation.

Two more senior executives investigated in major corruption probe | South China Morning Post Two more senior executives of state-owned enterprises have been placed under Communist Party investigation as a major corruption probe widens. Both investigations appear to be linked to China’s highest level graft probe in recent history centring on Zhou Yongkang, who until earlier this year served on the party’s top decision making body, the Politburo Standing Committee

长庆油田揭盖井乱象:打点关系需50多万|长庆油田|偷油|揭盖井_21世纪网 Chinese media fairly aggressive in reporting petro corruption now // “现在风声很紧,但揭盖井抽油还没停,没人管,以后能不能干还不知道。”9月初,戴着金项链,大腹便便的定边县揭盖井油老板陈国富(化名)压低声音说。 定边是中石油长庆油田多个采油厂所在地。长庆油田一位内部人士称,一般一口生产井出油量达到90%就不抽了,这样的井被当作废弃井封起来,如果重新揭开再开采的话,就叫揭盖井。 尽管中石油长庆油田前后两任总经理王道富、冉兴权相继落马,但陕北这个石油大县的揭盖井并未因此停产,偷油也未受影响,黑油仍在源源不断地输送到与定边县相邻的盐池某一大型炼油厂。

Detained Sichuan Businessman’s Company a Major Supplier to CNPC – Caixin The detention of Sichuan industrialist Wu Bing in the capital city’s Beijing West Railway Station on August 1 has shed light on the business dealings of an energy company that counted top state-owned oil companies as major contractors. The 50-year-old Wu, who also used the names Wu Yongfu and Li Ruochen, controls Zhongxu Investment Co. Ltd., which was established in 2001 with 100 million yuan in registered capital. The company’s businesses covered a wide range of industries including hydropower station construction, real estate development and filmmaking. Wu was chairman of Zhongxu (Hong Kong) Limited, a branch of Zhongxu Investment. The Beijing branch of Zhongxu was set up in 2004, under the name Beijing Zhongxu Yangguang Petroleum and Natural Gas Technology Ltd. and with 5 million yuan in registered capital. The company saw frequent changes to shareholders in recent years, and much of its business has focused on the highly monopolized energy sector….Three years after it was created, Beijing Zhongxu pumped up its registration capital to 20 million yuan. From 2007, frequent changes were made to the company’s share-holding structures, legal representatives and its address. In December 2009, Zhan transferred his company shares worth 16 million yuan to a then 37-year-old Beijing man named Zhou Bin [周滨]. // 吴兵“中旭阳光”股东迷雾 

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Xi welcomes talks on Iran nuclear issue |Asia-Pacific |chinadaily.com.cn Xi made the remarks in talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first meeting between the two since they took office earlier this year. The two leaders are in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on Friday.

Chinese, Tajik presidents agree to accelerate gas pipeline construction – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon met here Thursday and agreed to accelerate the construction of Line D of the China-Central Asia gas pipeline. Recalling that the two countries established a strategic partnership during Rakhmon’s visit to China in May, Xi urged both countries to continue to be each other’s good neighbors, good friends and good partners.

Media agenda: China buys newsrooms, influence in Africa – The Globe and Mail When one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp. A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China’s media empire across Africa. // and Naspers owns about 30% of Tencent

Japan’s Companies Shun China for Southeast Asia – WSJ.com Japanese investment in Southeast Asia jumped 55% in the first six months of 2013 from the year before, to $10.29 billion, while outlays in China tumbled 31% to $4.93 billion, according to statistics from the Japan External Trade Organization, a government agency.

INTERVIEW/ G. John Ikenberry: Liberal international order should be strengthened to integrate rising China – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun China will seek more authority, but not to overturn the existing liberal international order, said G. John Ikenberry, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo. A well-known liberal theorist of international relations, Ikenberry describes China as the only possible “peer competitor” for the United States in terms of global influence, but it will not offer a different vision of the international order, because “China’s mercantilist capitalism requires a system of global free trade to be successful.”

Chinese Buying Sydney Homes at Unprecedented Rate, McGrath Says – Bloomberg will the social media crackdown drive even more outflow and emigration, kind of a “last straw” effect for some? // As much as 80 percent of homes in parts of Sydney are being sold to Chinese buyers, John McGrath, chief executive officer of the company that recorded A$7 billion ($6.5 billion) of property sales in the year to June 30, said in an interview in Sydney yesterday. Record-low interest rates and the biggest influx of investors in almost a decade are also fueling prices.

独家视频:辽宁舰舰长随吴胜利访美 用英语介绍航母_资讯频道_凤凰网 Adm. Wu Shengli, captain of China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier, visiting the US, gives interview in English…video

How China’s Relations With Peru Explain its Approach to Diplomacy – Nathaniel Parish Flannery – The Atlantic The dynamic of China’s relationship with Peru—Beijing’s need of raw materials and Lima’s desire to boost exports—provide a framework for how China approaches ties with Latin America as a whole. As China’s diplomatic and economic clout grows in Latin America, Chinese business leaders are learning to tailor their approach based on the political dynamics and conditions in each town where they operate—a separate approach than one that China has taken with other parts of the world.

Remain resolute on Senkakus in face of China’s provocations – The Japan News Xi’s administration has sought to stir nationalistic sentiment among the Chinese in trying to unite his people and gain popular support. This means he cannot adopt what his people may perceive as “a weak-kneed approach” in dealing with Japan. With this in mind, the Japanese government must be prepared to see China’s threatening and provocative conduct in waters around the Senkaku Islands continue for some time to come. (From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 11, 2013)

PLA garrison ordinance revised to enforce discipline – CHINA – Globaltimes.cn The new document, which is focused on improvements to PLA work styles and enforcement of discipline, is meant to cater to new circumstances regarding the activities of servicemen and military vehicles outside barracks, the CMC said, without elaborating. The ordinance further clarifies the functions and major tasks of the PLA garrison as well as procedures and methods that the garrison will follow in guarding the area in which they are based, the CMC said.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Richard Bush Named Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at Brookings | Brookings Institution Brookings President Strobe Talbott today announced the creation of the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at Brookings. The Chair is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Mr. Leslie C. Koo on behalf of the Koo family, and was launched today at a ceremony in Taipei. Senior Fellow Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) at Brookings, was named the inaugural holder of the Chair.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Apple’s low-end phone price disappointing[1]|chinadaily.com.cn Almost 90 percent of Chinese users in an online survey complained the iPhone 5C, which Apple Inc launched on Sept 10 to target low-end users in countries such as China, is still too expensive and said they have no interest in the new gadget.

Cheap Chinese-Made Smartphones Challenge Apple, Samsung – Digits – WSJ Research firm Sanford Bernstein estimates that nearly half of global smartphone sales in 2014 will be priced below $200. That means smaller profit margins for all smartphone makers.

Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Left Google – Kara Swisher – Mobile – AllThingsD Talks started in the summer of 2012, just as Xiaomi was getting traction with a major release of its second phone, the Mi2s. “At first, their questions were, ‘How do you think we should go about expanding internationally?’ And that evolved into, ‘Maybe you should come help us,’” recalled Barra. What was most compelling to Barra was that Lin wanted a product person to lead Xiaomi’s global expansion. “I am not the business guy, but he wanted someone with deep user insight to lead that effort,” said Barra.

Alibaba in no rush to float in Hong Kong this year | South China Morning Post Founder and chairman Jack Ma Yun and his long-time friend and executive vice-chairman, Joe Tsai, have persuaded the company’s top management that an initial public offering should not be rushed, despite a determined push in recent weeks to set the listing wheels in motion, sources familiar with the discussions told the Post. “It’s not about money. In fact, Alibaba isn’t short of cash. Jack Ma cares more about retaining control of the company than how much money he can raise from the IPO,” a banker with knowledge of the situation said.

China Mobile Executive Bemoans Competition Posed by Tencent’s WeChat Messaging App – China Real Time Report – WSJ “Many people claim there’s a monopoly,” Mr. Li said Thursday in response to a comment by Peking University economist Zhang Weiying at a panel during the World Economic Forum in Dalian. During a discussion about Tencent Holdings Ltd.s wildly successful WeChat mobile-messaging application, Mr. Zhang said the monopoly of China’s telecom sector needs to be broken up to spur more innovation. “But there are more than three [competitors]—China Telecom, China Unicom and…,” Mr. Li said, drifting off without coming up with any names of Internet services other than WeChat that offer real competition to China Mobile and its state-run rivals.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Podcasts offer lessons in Chinese history – and American slang | South China Morning Post American businessman Laszlo Montgomery’s passion for China goes beyond perfecting his command of the language, both simplified and traditional. He is eager to narrate China’s 5,000-year history and culture to a worldwide audience. When Laszlo, 54, launched his educational show on ChinaHistoryPodcast.com in 2010, the idea was to explain the country to his fellow Americans and “spread goodwill between China and the United States”.

Cambridge Journals Online – The China Quarterly – Abstract – Homeowners’ Activism in Beijing: Leaders with Mixed Motivations an interesting topic..some of the most interesting urban democratic exercises occur through homeowner’s committees // It is commonly accepted that leaders play a crucial role in collective action. Existing literature has suggested a number of factors that contribute to the emergence of leaders including, among others, personality, sense of moral responsibility, community pressure, self-interest and institutional exclusion. However, current research tends to suggest that activists are driven by a particular reason to become leaders and that their motivation is static. Based on intensive fieldwork in residential communities in Beijing, this article illustrates that leaders’ motivations can be mixed or multiple and that leaders may re-prioritize or adjust their objectives over the course of collective action. The re-prioritizing tends to alter the leaders’ behaviour and affect group solidarity and interactions with other group members.

Choosing a Chinese name blends traditions, drama – latimes.com It was March, and my brother and his wife were expecting their second boy. The emails began to fly as we conferred about the baby’s Chinese name. There was a bicultural complication. My brother’s wife is Korean, so the name had to sound good in Korean too. One thing was certain — his name would contain the word shi, or “world,” which can also mean “generation.” We are on the sixth word of a couplet that my family has used to name its sons for generations, probably part of a larger poem lost during the Cultural Revolution.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Chinese forgers suspected in Louvre Museum ticket scam | South China Morning Post Museum staff last month began noticing that several dozen Chinese tourists with tour groups held counterfeit tickets “of a strange consistency, [with] poor paper quality and ink that hadn’t set properly”, the daily Le Parisien reported. Later in August better-quality forged items began appearing with serial numbers – exact copies of the museum’s entry tickets. Also last month Belgian customs officials reportedly seized 4,000 counterfeit Louvre tickets hidden in a parcel from China.

Why Szechuan Peppers Make Your Lips Go Numb | Surprising Science If, in the midst of a Szechuan pepper-heavy meal, you have the presence of mind to ignore the searing hot pain that fills your mouth, you might notice a more subtle effect of eating the hot peppers: a tingling, numbing sensation that envelops your lips and tongue. What’s behind this strange phenomenon, scientifically known as paresthesia? Scientists believe that it has something to do with a molecule called hydroxy-alpha-sanshool, naturally present in the peppers.

 

BEIJING

北京别墅“金九银十”供应井喷_财经频道_一财网 种种迹象显示,普通住宅的热销气氛正逐渐向别墅等豪宅项目蔓延。供销两旺之下,北京别墅市场即将在“金九银十”迎来供应井喷。 // lots of new villas going on the market in Beijing, CCSweets catered for one selling 100m RMB villas in Shunyi

北京CBD核心区5栋楼完成设计 “中国尊”已开工建设-财经网 several new skyscrapers coming in Beijing CBD // 其中,最引人注目的Z15地块项目,将建设500多米高的“中国尊”,成为北京第一高楼,总建筑面积约43.7万平方米。据北京市住建委相关负责人介绍,截至2013年7月4日,该项目工程监理及施工招标项目招标投标情况书面报告备案已经完成。而Z6地块的建筑也曾经在去年申请由300米至350米提高到405米,成为继“中国尊”之后的北京第二高建筑。 此外,Z2a地块的建筑高度由180米左右调整为242.75米,Z3地块由160米调整为200米,Z12地块由180米左右调整为269米,Z14地块的两栋建筑由150米至220米均调整为238米。

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Kai Lukoff on Wandoujia, TechRice, and Blogging as a Career Accelerator | ATLAS-China Kai Lukoff, Wandoujia’s international product manager, is one of the most recognizable foreigners in China’s tech industry and does some of the most interesting work.  How did he get to where he is today – without studying Chinese or tech in college?

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