The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.21.13

Sunday morning we should learn the verdict and sentence for Bo Xilai. Sunday is actually a work day in China, the first day back from the recent Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday, so scheduling the verdict for tomorrow does not look to be an attempt by the government to “bury the news”.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that Bo will receive a jail term of 15-20 years. The last two Politburo members prosecuted, Chen Xitong and Cheng Liangyu, were sentenced to 16 and 18 years, respectively.

If you have a guess, take this one question survey on Google and share your view (anonymously) with the community.

Does the conventional wisdom underestimate the likely sentence? Given the extent of Bo’s machinations against Beijing, his refusal to plead guilty, the apparent moves against Zhou Yongkang, the need to encourage local officials to more faithfully abide by the center’s policies, the challenge of convincing a cynical populace that “no one is above the law” as well as Xi Jinping’s faster-than-expected consolidation of power, I would not rule out the possibility of a much harsher sentence.

As usual this is just speculation, and we will only know when they tell us.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China Focus: Chinese court to announce verdict on Bo’s case on Sept. 22 – Xinhua At the trial, prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence for Bo, while he denied most of the charges. At their summarizing statement, prosecutors said the evidence presented in court and during cross-examination fully demonstrated clear facts and evidence is sufficient to charge Bo with the crimes. Although the country’s legal system has a principle of tempering justice with mercy, a heavy sentence in line with the law should be handed to Bo, as he committed very serious crimes, refused to plead guilty and was not subject to any terms of leniency by law, they said.

Related: 薄熙来受贿、贪污、滥用职权案将于9月22日一审宣判–时政–人民网 经过法庭调查和法庭辩论,济南市人民检察院在公诉意见书中向法庭提出,根据“宽严相济”的刑事政策和中华人民共和国法律,被告人罪行极其严重,又拒不认罪,被告人没有自首、坦白、检举揭发的情节,不具有法定从轻处罚情节,必须依法从严惩处。

Related: John Garnaut–Purge and renewal in China: the importance of Bo Xilai’s day in court | East Asia Forum The rise of Bo Xilai showed that extreme measures may well be necessary to get anything done in an ageing one-party system. His demise, however, shows that Maoist political methods don’t sit easily with a modern economy, an increasingly fragmented political elite and a society that is empowered by prosperity and informed by new networks of information. Several of Xi’s supporters within the elite say it is too early to rule out the possibility that Xi wants to leave China with something closer to a credible legal system than the one he has inherited. Many say he is blasting a path through webs of patronage and a hopelessly self-interested political-bureaucracy to enable urgent economic reforms.  Whatever Xi’s plans, it is ironic, and potentially dangerous, that he first has to borrow from Bo’s playbook in order to give himself a chance.

Chinese oil refinery investigation reaches top of Communist Party – Telegraph A £4 billion oil refinery and chemical plant outside the small Chinese city of Pengzhou has become the focus of an investigation that reaches to the highest levels of the Communist party, writes Malcolm Moore…”It was Zhou Bin who acted as the middleman and helped the local government to land this project,” the first source said. As a reward, a firm which the 37-year-old secretly controlled, Wison Engineering, was chosen to build the plant.

Related: PetroChina supplier Wison says records seized, can’t contact chairman | Reuters Wison Engineering Services Co Ltd (2236.HK), a supplier to PetroChina (601857.SS)(0857.HK), said Chinese authorities had taken company records and temporarily frozen some its bank accounts amid a widening probe into the giant oil producer and its parent, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

Related: 明鏡新聞網: 明鏡獨家:周永康之子周濱被中共人員控制  FWIW, Mingjing reports that Zhou Bin has been detained in Singapore // 即將出版的《中國密報》披露:前中共政治局常委周永康之子周濱未能如外傳逃到美國,而在新加坡被中共國安人員控制。北京知情人士對明鏡新聞網說,因周濱可能持有包括美國、新加坡等多國護照,加之复雜的國際引渡法,周濱仍在新加坡,既未被捕,也沒有自由,不能離境。 明鏡新聞網獲得中紀委書記王岐山就此案作出指示:1,24小時監控未捕的周案人員,沒收他們的護照;2,將已捕、拘,雙規的周案人員集中關押北京西看;3,未经中纪委专案组组长和公安部副部长兼北京巿公安局局长傅政华共同鉴字,任何人不得接触被押人员。

Related: Chinese media links Zhou Yongkang family names to corruption probe | South China Morning Post Some mainland media outlets appear to be drawing links between relatives of former public security tsar Zhou Yongkang and the subjects of corruption investigations involving his former powerbases in Sichuan and the state petroleum industry. The stories, which have appeared in some of the mainland’s major business news publications, have detailed a web of lucrative business relationships involving the state oil giant and people believed to be members of Zhou’s family.

Chinese Twitter and the Big-V Takedown–Sinica Podcast excellent Podcast with Paul Mozur of the Wall Street Journal and Rachel Lu and David Wertime, founders of Tea Leaf Nation. Mark Rowswell, AKA Dashan, has written a very important comment about this podcast, excerpted below// In the three years I’ve been on Weibo, I have been a front-row witness to the Weibo boom and subsequent decline as users increasingly migrate to WeChat. In talking with friends, fans and acquaintances, the main reason people give is that Weibo is too depressing and the online discussion is too angry. It’s still a great place to follow celebrities, but most users are frankly not that interested in the debate over constitutionalism or the endless exposition of social evils and corruption. Political junkies love that stuff, can’t get enough, but ordinary grassroots Weibo users gradually tune out. It’s depressing and they feel it’s irrelevant to their daily lives. This is what I feel is missing from the Western discussion of Weibo, whether in this podcast or on sites like Tea Leaf Nation in general. We only ever discuss the political slice of the big pie, and then only from the perspective of activists who are (to say the least) out of favor with the Chinese state. This only helps reinforce the perception that Weibo is all about the people vs. the state, to repeat the grossly-overused analogy: a cat and mouse game. It’s a very limited and facile view that distorts our Western understanding of social media in China.

Related: China Intensifies Social-Media Crackdown – WSJ.com Inklings of Beijing’s intention to target Sina Weibo’s most influential users appeared as far back as February, when Lu Wei, one of China’s top officials in charge of Internet monitoring and censorship, invited a number of so-called Big V’s—influential Weibo users with verified accounts—out to dinner at Capital M, a posh Western-style restaurant located just south of Tiananmen Square, people with knowledge of the dinner said. A similar dinner followed in May. The atmosphere at both gatherings was congenial and Mr. Lu seemed intent on making friends with his guests, these people said. The mood changed in the following months as propaganda officials began to talk more frequently about the need to quell online rumors // one attendee I know was very clear they saw it as a polite warning, not really about “making friends”

Related: Tech investors unfazed by China crackdown – FT.com “New platforms and new media really are the majority of people’s main channels for getting information, so the effort to control them is logical,” said one prominent academic in Beijing. “The crackdown’s aim is to effectively curb all major internet platforms. The attack on Weibo is a sign that the next one will probably be WeChat.”

Related: China detains teenager over web post amid social media crackdown | World news | theguardian.com Purge of ‘internet rumours’ and ‘fabricated facts’ continues after 16-year-old blamed ‘corrupt police’ for man’s death on Weibo

Related: 甘肃警方称被拘初中生煽动游行 律师称需拿证据_新闻_腾讯网 Gansu police now say the 17 year old was inciting protests // 京华时报讯(记者怀若谷)昨天凌晨,甘肃省张家川回族自治县公安局官方微博发布说明,称9月17日被刑拘的该县初中生杨某散布谣言、煽动群众游行,严重妨害了社会管理秩序,给警方在处理高某非正常死亡一案过程中带来极大被动,造成恶劣影响,警方据此依法对杨某涉嫌寻衅滋事立案侦查,并于9月17日将杨某依法刑事拘留。昨天下午,北京市中闻律师事务所律师王誓华已接受杨某父亲杨牛胡委托,成为杨某的代理律师

Related Translation: “Clear up the Atmosphere in Cyberspace”, Seeking Truth | An Optimist’s Guide to China One’s fan-count and repost-count decide one’s influence on Weibo. In theory, every weibo user has the right to speak out and the right to spread information, but in reality this right is extremely unequal. The Big V’s with their many fans spread their message like the splitting of an atom: one spreads it to ten, ten spread it to 100, 100 spread it to a trillion. In a short period of time it can create a cluster propagation effect (集群传播效应). Weibo fans also display a very strong “Matthew Effect”: the more fans someone has the more quickly their fan base will grow. In contrast, an independent Weibo user without fans to repost their material will see their words quickly evaporate without a trace, like a drop of water falling into the ocean. You can easily imagine the danger if the internet’s Big V’s become rumor mongers…Even greater responsibility for the chaos on the internet has to be borne by websites, especially the main portal websites. Commercial websites have taken up the “traffic is king” operating concept. Some websites rely on news that diverges from the official discourse to increase traffic to their site. Going beyond a website’s media function has caused some commercial portal sites to in fact become information portal sites. Actually, offering up e-commerce and practical information services is the correct business of commercial portal web sites. Over-developing their media functions is a misallocation of resources.

Why Land Reform Efforts Remain on the Back Burner – Caixin Cover Story Despite recent optimism a breakthrough had been made on rural land, disagreements among policymakers continue to stall progress

中国决战钓鱼岛CG爆红 精确导弹炸毁靖国神社 – 高清在线观看 – 腾讯视频 Animated short film online of PLA forces taking back the Diaoyus and then nuking the Yasukuni Shrine, nearly 10 million views so far, posted on the evening of 9.18 // 中国决战钓鱼岛CG爆红 精确导弹炸毁靖国神社 发布于 2013-09-18 21:38,来源于 腾讯视频–  日前网络上面一款名为“决战钓鱼岛CG”的视频突然爆红。有知情人士表示该款视频是由网友精心制作的以假想以中日双方在钓鱼岛发生战争为背景的激烈战斗。中国解放军与日本自卫队同时派出了最为尖端的武装力量展开相关的激烈战斗,最后通过中国绝强实力的战斗,成功的收复了钓鱼岛,并且用导弹车发射精确导弹将供奉有日本二战期间的甲级战犯的靖国神社给予了炸毁。

Marketizing China’s Elder Care Conundrum – Caixin Weaving market forces into the complex tapestry of health care services for China’s growing population of senior citizens – including the poor and feeble – has emerged as a definitive goal for government policymakers. “Marketization” was stressed by the State Council, China’s cabinet, in a policy document released in mid-September that focused on the need to “accelerate development of the senior care service industry.” In seeking to match words with action, the State Council delegated dozens of related tasks – with timetables for completion – to social service offices, tax bureaus, land management departments and health care organizations at various government levels nationwide.

Environmental Concerns on the Rise in China | Pew Global Attitudes Project The Chinese public has high expectations for the country’s economy. In the short term, 80% said they expect the national economic situation to improve in next 12 months, the highest percentage among 39 countries polled by Pew Research in spring 2013. And in the long run, 82% believe that when Chinese children grow up, they will be better off than their parents – again, the highest percentage registered in the survey….However, this optimism coexists with a growing set of concerns

How long can the Communist party survive in China? – FT.com “In the past two centuries, the last 30 years has been the only extended period without war, famine or mass persecution, a period in which everyone’s lives have been getting better and better,” says Mao Yushi, the 84-year-old economist regarded as the godfather of modern Chinese macroeconomics. “The legitimacy of the regime comes mainly from the success of economic reform but the big problem is that expectations are now very high.”…Mao predicts China will face an “unavoidable” financial crisis in the next one to three years thanks to a huge build-up of bad debt and an enormous property bubble but he thinks this could in turn push the country toward democracy. //long piece, sounds like Jamil Anderlini thinks we are near the end game. Part of an FT Magazine China special, all outside the FT paywall

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

Analysis: Bribery scandal dents Big Pharma sales in China, GSK hardest hit | Reuters A crackdown on corruption in China’s pharmaceutical sector has hurt sales at international and local firms, with many doctors at Chinese hospitals refusing to see drug representatives for fear of being caught up in the widening scandal. Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the group at the center of the furore, has suffered the most. Industry insiders expect its China drug sales growth to slow sharply or even reverse in the third quarter after a 14 percent year-on-year rise in the three months to end-June.

Fitch: China’s credit is not just big, it’s growing way too fast | beyondbrics Leverage continues to rise rapidly in China’s economy. The rolling 12- month sum of net new credit hit CNY 21trn in August 2013, based on Fitch Ratings’ measure of broad credit (2012: CNY19trn), marking the fifth year that net new credit will exceed a third of GDP. Certain forms of credit are shrinking, but overall extension remains high, a substantial portion of which is appearing in channels excluded from official data. Talk of deleveraging, or contracting credit, is misplaced, with the stock on pace to rise 20% in 2013.

Still Time to Avoid a Crisis – Caixin In conclusion, auditing is the first step to rebalancing the financial conditions of local governments. Although debts can be as high as 40 to 60 percent of GDP, this is still manageable given their enormous revenues and assets. Debt-ridden cities need to take measures to deleverage rapidly and gradually adopt the suggested long-term solutions to achieve sustainable growth. The solutions to the debt problem present great possibilities for deepening economic reform.–Hu Yifan is the chief economist at Haitong International Securities Group Ltd.

China Has Problems, but Household Consumption Isn’t One – Caixin Daniel Rosen and Bao Beibei of Rhodium Group // A quick look at the real annual growth of household consumption in a dozen major economies shows that China has outperformed in both the five- and 10-year periods. Most other nations have been sluggish by comparison. From 2008 to 2012, China sustained real consumption growth averaging more than 9 percent, while India turned in 7 percent and Brazil less than 5 percent, data from the Economist Intelligence Unit and World Bank shows. More developed economies, including the United States and Japan, grew much slower, near the 1 percent mark. China is one of very few countries that saw faster consumption growth after the financial crisis than the average between 2003 and 2012. Developed economies and its closer peers in Asia almost unanimously suffered a slowdown.

China property developers pull down shutters, hoard cash | Reuters Companies including Shimao Property Holdings Ltd (0813.HK) and Greentown China Holdings Ltd (3900.HK) raised more than $16 billion in offshore bonds and loans over the first eight months of 2013 – about 36 percent more than in all of 2012. But they have turned more cautious about investing, leaving much of that money on their balance sheets.

Six Foreign Hedge Funds to Gain Foothold in China – NYTimes.com Regulators in the city of Shanghai have agreed to let a group of American and British hedge funds operate in China as part of a pilot program, according to people briefed on the program. The funds are expected to be able to raise $50 million each from Chinese institutions to invest around the world, these people said.

Orders climb at China’s shipyards, but rebound favours a few | Reuters While Chinese shipbuilders have won more business so far this year than in the whole of 2012, just 4 percent of the country’s more than 1,600 yards have scored new contracts. Most had the backing of two shipping “policy banks”, which are responsible for state-directed spending and trade development, leading to a suspicion that Beijing is using the lenders as a tool to force consolidation in the bloated sector.

Police Detain Two Bond-Trading Executives at Hongyuan – Caixin Chen Zhijun is the general manager of Hongyuan’s bond sales and trading department, and Ye Fan is the vice general manager. The department contributed 80 percent of the 1.1 billion yuan profit the securities firm made last year. The pair was arrested on September 10, possibly due to a tip from a company insider early this year that accused them of maneuvering corporate investments for personal gain, a source close to the situation said. It is unclear who the whistleblower is and what the two managers are accused of doing.

The rise and rise of Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man – Telegraph As he remarked in a recent interview: “If Wanda can control more than 20 per cent of the world’s three most important film markets – the United States, Europe and China – then it will have an empire with great voice in the industry.” So far, Mr Wang has kept the details of his £3 billion investment closely guarded. But as well as a giant new film studio, his spokesman has confirmed that the money will pay for the construction of a theme park like the Universal Studios complex in Orlando, Florida.

Herbal drink giant’s recipe for home-grown success | South China Morning Post all about the distribution// Coca-Cola is our role model,” said Wang Yuegui, a deputy general manager of JDB’s brand management department. “Our goal is to build a world-class beverage brand originating in China.” JDB, formerly known as Guangdong Jiaduobao Drink & Food, was founded by Hong Kong businessman Chan Hung-to in Guangzhou in 1995 after he acquired the licensing rights to Wong Lo Kat, a herbal tea brand established in Guangzhou more than 150 years ago.

China Inc’s balance sheet is flashing danger signals | South China Morning Post how many of the 1200 firms in this sample are SOEs? // Meanwhile, leverage is rising and overcapacity mounting, especially in the state-owned heavy industrial sector. At the same time the state of China’s accounts receivable is deteriorating, as payment times have almost doubled from 30 to nearly 60 days. With command of the banking system and control of China’s capital account, Beijing can postpone the reckoning for a year or two, but only at the cost of exacerbating the depth of the eventual slump.

工信部否认组建乳企“国家队” 一些品牌将被扶持推介-财经网 more support for domestic milk powder firms// 高伏同时证实,近期确实将有一些高端乳粉品牌将被扶持并集中推介,至于哪些品牌将入选,主要由乳制品工业协会主导。“是乳制品工业协会,而不是政府部门,市场行为的事,政府部门是不能来做的。”高伏强调。

郭树清山东金改:金融系官员空降 欲收编城商行_网易财经 Guo Shuqing pursuing financial cleanup/financial reforms in Shandong? // 《中国经营报》记者获悉,目前,从中央金融机构空降到山东各市的副市长已基本到位,他们在当地主要分管金融,将直接参与各市的金融改革。山东省政协委员、山东财经大学经济研究中心主任陈华则向记者透露,山东下一步将重组各地城商行,目标是成立大型金融控股公司,争取上市。

Coase’s Chinese Legacy by Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng – Project Syndicate The recent death of Ronald H. Coase, the founding father of new institutional economics, is a great loss to Chinese economists who are seeking an effective framework for understanding China’s ongoing economic transformation. His legacy – insights into the role of firms, financial institutions, and the state in shaping the market and driving economic development – will prove crucial as China works to achieve high-income status…

Local dry bulk shippers’ future brightening: Yuanta – Taipei Times The outlook for Taiwanese dry bulk shippers will likely brighten due to Chinese steel mills’ iron ore restocking and improving industry fundamentals, Yuanta Securities Corp (元大證券) said yesterday.

The Mooncake Economy: Inside China’s Most Crooked Confection – TLN This year, Chinese media have reported that President Xi Jinping’s new austerity campaign—which calls for the Chinese Communist Party to eschew luxury and graft—has taken a toll on the mooncake industry. But how much of a dent will it make? Last year, Sohu Business published the following graphic on the galactic size of the mooncake trade. We publish the translation here, in partnership with ChinaFile.

Fed’s decision not to cut stimulus ‘prudent’ – China’s Xinhua | Reuters “The QE may have helped the U.S. to reduce the impact of the latest financial crisis and contributed to sustaining the economic recovery, but clearly, it is no panacea,” Xinhua said. “It is the hope of the emerging markets that the U.S. and other advanced economies could step up coordination and communication with the rest of the world on the timing and steps of the so-called tapering, so that the markets could have reasonable expectations,” the agency said.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

王岐山主政中纪委十月:有班子专搜网络反腐信息(全文)_网易新闻中心 On Wang Qishan’s embrace of the Internet in the anti-corruption campaign// 王岐山对网络在反腐中的作用早有认知。《财经》杂志副主编罗昌平(微博)告诉南方周末记者,他通过微博实名举报原国家能源局局长刘铁男,王岐山没过多久就知道这个事情了。接近中纪委的人士告诉罗昌平,王岐山本人并没有时间用微博,但他有一个班子,专门搜集网络反腐的信息,“这些信息不光给他,同时也给其他领导”。 2013年3、4月间,北航廉政研究所副所长杜治洲参加了中纪委研究室组织的小范围座谈会,讨论党风廉政建设的方向。“中央很看重下一步以什么方式反腐。”杜治洲对南方周末记者说,“反腐走到了一个困境,打击力度很大,同时贪污腐败现象也层出不穷。网络是中央领导非常看重的一个方面。”在座谈会上,中纪委一位高层领导提出,“网络反腐必须破题,这个工作一定要有突破”。

China’s Fallen Mighty | ChinaFile Because the number of lower-level Party officials ousted during that time is too great, our timeline includes only members of the Politburo, the nation’s most powerful political body—the one that controls the Party, the People’s Liberation Army (P.L.A.), and the government.

Three foreigners detained in Beijing for theft – Xinhua Police refused to disclose the suspects’ nationality but said they were from an East Asian country. “They dressed like tourists. But they were looking at others’ bags rather than taking pictures,” said a plain clothes policeman in the Summer Palace, where the three suspects were arrested. The suspects stole a wallet from an Australian tourist but were later caught by the plain clothes officers, police said. //DPRK?

揭腐败浸淫全社会 中共动手扫民风尘垢_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】自7月份跨国药企巨头葛兰素史克被揭露在华涉嫌商业贿赂后,中国媒体此后连续曝光大批涉嫌医疗腐败的企业和医院,甚至连婴儿“第一口奶”都暗藏着奶粉商与医院的利益勾兑。有声音批判中国腐败“文化”已经浸淫社会的各个角落,又岂止上述医疗腐败。身为铁道部原工程师的张曙光在日前的庭审中自曝竟为竞选中科院院士抛两千多万元运作,令神圣的学术体面暴露了肮脏的一面。迹象显示,近期社会腐败案的集中曝光,显现中共正在将原来针对官场的反腐败动作扩大为扫除全社会腐败暗尘、一洗社会风气的全面动作。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Chinese FM calls for greater efforts to build new model of China-U.S. relations – Xinhua In a speech to the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution, Wang hailed the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama at their June summit at the Annenberg Estate in California on building a new model of major-country relations as “strategic, constructive and path-breaking.” “It has charted the future course for our relations. It will surely produce a positive and profound impact on the Asia-Pacific and, indeed, the evolution of the international landscape,” the Chinese minister said. Wang elaborated on the essential features of the new model of major-country relations, which include “no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”

Chinese FM, Hagel applaud steady improvement of China-U.S. military ties – Xinhua Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday hailed the recent progress made in improving the China-U.S. military relations, vowing to keep promoting mutual military exchanges and strategic trust. During his talks with Hagel at the Pentagon, Wang described the recent steady improvement in the bilateral military ties as a “bright spot” in the China-U.S. relations.

Defense.gov News Release: Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Completes Successful Intercept Flight Test This test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System, capable of engaging longer range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles. This was an operationally realistic test, in which the target’s launch time and bearing are not known in advance, and the target complex was the most difficult target engaged to date. Today’s event, designated Flight Test-Standard Missile-21 (FTM-21), was the fourth consecutive successful intercept test of the SM-3 Block IB guided missile with the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System.

Hacking U.S. Secrets, China Pushes for Drones – NYTimes.com In recent years, China has continued to acquire foreign drone technology and is especially focused on studying American models. “American U.A.V. technology is very sophisticated,” Mr. Xu said. “We can only envy their technology. Right now, we’re learning from them.” For the Obama administration and American business executives, no method of Chinese technology acquisition is more worrisome than cyberespionage. An American official confirmed that drone technology had been stolen by hackers.

Predator Drones ‘Useless’ in Most Wars, Top Air Force General Says | Killer Apps The drones that have proved so useful at hunting al Qaeda are “useless” in nearly every other battlefield scenario, says a top Air Force general. So, for the first time, the Air Force is proposing culling the fleet of little, propeller-driven MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones in favor of stealthier, faster aircraft. This is because the slow, low-flying drones that killed terrorists in the last decade’s wars have little chance of surviving against an enemy armed with even basic air defenses. Faced with declining defense budgets, Air Force officials want to retire many of the low-tech drones.

ZTE Device Called American Spurned After China Spy Angst – Bloomberg The U.S. government stripped a videoconferencing system contract from a Maryland company after a federal agency said the device marketed as American-made is really Chinese. The technology is produced by Shenzhen-based ZTE Corp. (000063), China’s No. 2 phone-equipment maker. It worked with CyberPoint International LLC, a small business based in Baltimore, to make its videoconferencing device available to U.S. agencies via contract. CyberPoint’s Prescient unit built and installed firewalls in the system, which it said “substantially transformed” the product. // how much video conferencing market share do Cisco and Polycom have in China? Or how much did they have?

Chinese Military Capable of Jamming U.S. Communications System | Washington Free Beacon Gertz// According to court papers, Gregg Bergersen, a weapons system analyst with the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, sold secrets on a JTIDS variant known as Po Sheng that was sold to Taiwan in the early 2000s. An FBI affidavit in the case revealed that Bergersen “discussed Po Sheng and communications security” during a dinner meeting on March 3, 2007 with a Chinese agent identified as Tai Shenkuo. The affidavit said the talks involved disclosure of classified information. Bergersen was director of command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence programs for the Navy. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of disclosing national defense secrets to China. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Spy Drones, Disputed Islands, and Diplomatic Firestorms – By Isaac Stone Fish | Foreign Policy In early September, Foreign Policy spoke with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in his massive and faded office in Tokyo, under a map of the Korean Peninsula. But it’s China that dominates…Foreign Policy and Onodera discussed the possibility of using drones to guard the Senkakus, whether his country will get involved with U.S. efforts in Syria, and how the Edward Snowden affair played in Tokyo. The interview was conducted through an interpreter and has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Beijing increasingly critical of Abe’s security moves – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Sept. 18 marked the anniversary of the bombing of Japan’s South Manchurian Railway in Liutiaohu, setting off the Manchurian Incident and the subsequent occupation of Manchuria by Japanese forces. The state-run China Central Television not only broadcast specials marking the incident, but it also repeatedly showed video of the Sept. 17 meeting of a Japanese advisory panel debating the merits of allowing Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

Russia’s Growing Ties with Vietnam | The Diplomat If this is indeed the case, Russo-Chinese ties may not be as dangerous for the U.S. as some have feared. Of course, complacency would be ill advised since the two governments will clearly collude to block numerous American initiatives globally. In Asia, though, we might see added jockeying and competition for support and influence, both by major actors like Russia and China as well as by increasingly capable middle powers like Vietnam, something that will only add a further layer of complexity to Asia’s already tangled security agendas–Dr. Stephen Blank is Senior Fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council.

胡锡进的微博|新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿 Global Times editor Hu Xijin has started a tour of Africa. first stop Egypt, sending out lots of Weibos

Was An American College Student Kidnapped By North Korea–Buzzfeed In 2004, David Sneddon disappeared while hiking in China. But what seemed at first like a tragic accident may be something far more sinister: His family believes he is among the thousands of civilians who have been mysteriously abducted and imprisoned by North Korean agents. //crazy story, sad for everyone involved, but zero evidence of DPRK involvement. but it is on Buzzfeed so will get lots of reads

China to Invest $28 Billion in Venezuelan Oil | Pacific Money | The Diplomat China and Venezuela concluded two large oil investment deals ahead of the Venezuelan President’s visit to China this weekend.

A wave of repression in China – The Washington Post will editorials like this hurt Amazon’s business prospects in China, now that Jeff Bezos own the Washington Post // Mr. Xi’s turn to repression has gone almost entirely unremarked upon by the Obama administration, which has concentrated on cultivating relations with the new leader. This, too, is shortsighted. It’s in the interest of the United States that China continue on a path of stable development, and intensified repression is more likely to crack open an increasingly restless society than to contain it. As Mr. Wang told The Post’s Simon Denyer recently, “If the government does not open society, it will cause more hurt and more violence, which is not in the government’s interest, either.” President Obama should be making that point to Mr. Xi — and letting the country’s reformers know the United States is on their side. //What reformers would those be? How would “letting [them] know the United States is on their side” be at all helpful to them, even if they do exist and the US could find them? If Bezos wants to turn around WaPo one of the first of many things he needs to do is gut the rotting editorial page. I grew up with the paper, sad what it has become

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Will there be a ‘gold rush’ for latest iPhone in China?–USA Today In China, iPhone sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 will outpace the previous three, “but in the next first quarter sales may drop quickly, because consumers’ feeling of freshness will disappear,” said Wang Jun, a telecoms researcher at Analysys International, who also predicts low sales volumes compared to the iPhone 4 and 4s. “I don’t think there will be many people queuing outside stores to buy the new iPhones on the 20th,” Wang said. “For high-end users, 5S and 5C are almost the same, and the new functions of 5S such as fingerprint identification are not an absolute demand for them. So I predict their sales volumes are similar.

Xiaomi’s budget smartphone redefines what you get for just $130 (REVIEW) –TechInAsia

App Annie Scores $15 Million Series C From Sequoia & Others For Further Global Expansion | TechCrunch The company attributes its revenue growth to the business intelligence platform, noting that it has doubled its user base and tripled its revenue over the past year. While the company declined to provide specific numbers in terms of revenue or paid customer base, it does have a number of large customers who buy its data, including Tencent, Google, Microsoft, Baidu, EA, King.com, Shazam, GREE, Kayak, Ubisoft, Konami, Hearst, Dropbox, Activision, Big Fish, DeNA, Storm8, KakaoTalk and Glu. The average deal size for enterprise customers clocks in at around six figures, with a minimum subscription price of $15,000 per year.

With ‘My Lucky Star,’ American Director Dennie Gordon Takes on Rom-Com Scene in China With Zhang Ziyi – China Real Time Report – WSJ another Zhang Ziyi flop, seems to now be box office poison in China?// The film, which is distributed by Bona Film Group and debuted in mainland China on Tuesday, has so far taken in a little over 10 million yuan ($1.63 million), according to Entgroup. It will hit U.S. theaters Friday.

The Inventory: Fan Bingbing – FT.com ‘I apply two nourishing facial masks every day. In a year that’s more than 700,’ says one of the world’s most successful actors //Fan Bingbing must drive Zhang Ziyi crazy

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

China Goes Postal for Stamp Collecting – WSJ.com But the new stars of the collection have little to do with British history or even the U.S., long one of the biggest philatelic markets. Many of the most exciting new acquisitions, he says, are from the East, especially China. Indeed, the sample includes a set of 1967 stamps featuring communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong greeting crowds with quotes from his “Little Red Book”—worth $53,000. Then there is a faded orange-and-white stamp from 1897, dubbed the “golden dragon,” which features a pair of coiled dragons along with Chinese characters giving the stamp’s face value in the old imperial currency of “candarins.” Overlaid above the images is a black-ink marking in both English and Chinese that says “10 cents,” a reminder that the British by that time controlled many of China’s ports. Only 14 unused versions are known in the collecting world, and the stamp’s rarity is reflected in its price—$151,000.

Body of US stunt pilot found in China lake | South China Morning Post Divers have found the body of a missing stunt pilot from the US whose plane crashed into a lake in northeast China while attempting a tricky manoeuvre in the rain, the head of the team searching for him said on Friday. David Riggs, whose US pilot’s license had been suspended, had been missing since Tuesday’s accident outside the city of Shenyang in which his young female Chinese translator died. Riggs was in China to take part in an air show and was apparently rehearsing one of his tricks when the accident occurred.

“Singapore brings us great potential,” says China art pioneer Pearl Lam | The Muse Drawn to Singapore’s potential as a new art destination, Pearl Lam Galleries will soon open a major space in the city-state, joining the slew of international galleries that have set up at the Gillman Barracks, a government-funded art precinct which just celebrated its first anniversary this month. Ahead of the the gallery’s Singapore debut in November 2013, Pearl Lam took time off from her busy schedule to share with The Muse her vision for the Singapore outpost and her thoughts on the local visual arts scene.

Christie’s Tests China Waters With Shanghai Auction of Art From the West – China Real Time Report – WSJ Christie’s is slated to hold its first sale in China on Sept. 26, when the auction house will test mainland collectors’ appetite for artworks from the West. The one-day evening sale in Shanghai will be a relatively modest affair, with a total estimated value of $16 million. Absent from the sale are Chinese ceramics, antiques and traditional ink paintings. As a foreign auction house, Christie’s is barred from trading in historical works and artifacts, even though those categories are the most popular among collectors at auctions in both mainland China and Hong Kong.

Former herder reveals perils of being a shaman in atheist China | World news | theguardian.com w video // Erdemt, a Mongolian shaman, tells of his life and work in the mining boom-town of Xi Wuqi

After Google China Chief’s Health Disclosure, Some Chinese Executives Embrace Better Work-Life Balance – WSJ.com this article only about the internationalized execs…the people mentioned may in fact all hold foreign citizenship. what about the more local execs, the ones who may have more than one family/multiple children? how they balance things even more interesting // With so many opportunities available in China and so many people working tirelessly to get them, many Chinese executives have grappled with the balance among career, health, family and the pursuit of wealth.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China to publish monthly list of 10 worst polluted cities | Reuters Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said the move would help cities meet targets for cleaning up their air and promote more environmentally-friendly economic growth, the central government said on its website (www.gov.cn). It did not say when publication of the lists would start.

The politics of dam-building: Opening the floodgates | The Economist The problems begin with the planning for China’s rivers, which are divided into fiefs by the state-owned power companies that build dams in much the same way as the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation divided up American rivers in the early 20th century. Though the staff of the water-resources ministry in Beijing know a lot about the environment, they have no say. “Big hydro projects are designed and approved by everybody but the ministry of water resources,” says Mr Magee. // nor does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs…and some of the damns on the drawing board may cause huge problems downstream in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia…those countries are very concerned by China’s dam plans

Ministry Issues Market Entry Requirements for Solar Product Industry – Caixin The ministry set requirements in terms of technology standards, production capacity, energy consumption, environmental protection, capital ratio and research capacities. Analysts predicted the standards will trigger a reshuffle in the suffering solar industry. The industry’s expansion of production capacity will be limited, the ministry said, while projects designed to upgrade technology and reduce costs can be approved. New projects must have a capital ratio higher than 20 percent.

Worries linger despite apology on GM rice test – Xinhua Parents of students in central China who took part in a joint China-U.S. test of genetically modified (GM) rice said they still worry about possible negative impacts of the GM food on their children despite an apology from the U.S. side. Tufts University said in an email to Xinhua Wednesday that it apologized for the “Golden Rice” test on primary school students in a township in Hengnan county, Hunan province, which was conducted by its research team led by the university’s researcher Tang Guangwen..Several Chinese disease control and prevention officials and researchers were punished for certified the research as ethical and concealing information on the GM food test to relevant parties. Tang has been banned from conducting human body research in the following two years, according to Tufts Universit. //how did Tufts not fire Tang?

Tufts ‘apologises’ over Hunan GM rice trial, says Chinese media | South China Morning Post Tufts University announced on Wednesday in an official statement that one of its researchers had broken ethical rules while conducting a study on genetically modified “Golden Rice” in China’s  Hunan province. Curiously enough, while Tufts said it “regrets” the study’s deviations from certain protocols, Chinese state media reported that the university had “apologised” for the study

Super typhoon Usagi to hit S China – Xinhua China’s national observatory on Saturday issued the highest level of alert for super typhoon Usagi which was expected to bring gales and rainfall to the coastal areas and land in Guangdong Province between Sept. 22-23. The National Meteorological Center (NMC) upgraded the warning to the red alert, the highest level, from the previous yellow-coded one issued on Friday afternoon.

At last, the US and China—the world’s biggest carbon emitters—move to cut coal – Quartz The two biggest carbon emitters—the US and China—are now both acting to sharply reduce coal smoke. Two days after Beijing announced large cuts in coal consumption, the Obama Administration today will propose a 40% reduction in average emissions from advanced coal-fired power plants.

China’s Jiaolong submersible ends 2-month Pacific voyage – Xinhua Jiaolong, China’s first manned deep-sea submersible, ended a 2-month trial and exploration voyage in the Pacific Ocean as it entered the Yangtze River estuary on Wednesday. Since the submersible’s carrier, Xiangyanghong 09, set sail on June 10 from the southeast China port city Xiamen, Jiaolong has explored the South China Sea and the northeast and northwest Pacific Ocean, accomplishing 21 dives and carrying 10 scientists. Scientists brought back a total of 390 creatures from the seafloor representing 71 species, including coral, sea cucumbers and sea anemones, as well as a number of samples including 161 polymetallic nodules, 32 rocks, and 180 kg of sediment.

China begins building marine life germplasm bank – Xinhua China on Thursday announced to construct a state-level germplasm bank of marine medicinal plants and animals in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen. “Our germplasm bank is very much like a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for marine life,” said Lin Xiangzhi, a researcher with the State Oceanic Administration and also head scientist of the germplasm bank. With a storage area of 2,000 square meters, the bank will be used to preserve more than 20,000 seed and gene samples from marine medicinal plants, animals and microorganisms, Lin said.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Eight Questions: Damien Ma and William Adams, ‘In Line Behind a Billion People’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ rather than limit their analysis to primary goods like food, energy and iron ore, they extend the concept of scarcity to include social and political issues: How does China meet the demands of a growing middle class for greater access to quality education or  provide well-paying jobs for university graduates? How does it control spiraling housing prices when a generation of young people are priced out of the market, undermining their marriage prospects? // the book at Amazon, I got a free copy, a good read

An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics: Perry Link:: Amazon During the Cultural Revolution, Mao exhorted the Chinese people to “smash the four olds”: old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas. Yet when the Red Guards in Tiananmen Square chanted “We want to see Chairman Mao,” they unknowingly used a classical rhythm that dates back to the Han period and is the very embodiment of the four olds. An Anatomy of Chinese reveals how rhythms, conceptual metaphors, and political language convey time-honored meanings of which Chinese speakers themselves may not be consciously aware, and contributes to the ongoing debate over whether language shapes thought, or vice versa. Perry Link’s inquiry into the workings of Chinese reveals convergences and divergences with English, most strikingly in the area of conceptual metaphor. Different spatial metaphors for consciousness, for instance, mean that English speakers wake up while speakers of Chinese wake across. Other underlying metaphors in the two languages are similar, lending support to theories that locate the origins of language in the brain. The distinction between daily-life language and official language has been unusually significant in contemporary China, and Link explores how ordinary citizens learn to play language games, artfully wielding officialese to advance their interests or defend themselves from others.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

EVENT: A Fireside Chat with Kaiser Kuo | Project Pengyou DATE: Tuesday, September 24th TIME: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM VENUE: Golden Bridges Courtyard (map is attached) 65 Xiaojingchang Hutong, Gulou Dong Dajie, Dongcheng District 北京市东城区鼓楼东大街小经厂胡同65号

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