The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.29.14

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. CCP Central Committee Decision concerning Some Major Questions in Comprehensively Moving Governing the Country According to the law Forward | China Copyright and Media full, unofficial translation. Original: 授权发布:中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定 Comment: Releasing the 4th plenum decision, making such a big deal about it and promising to educate them on their rights in the Constitution may significantly raise citizens’ expectations. Citizens with raised expectations will put pressure on local officials to behave better, and not delivering on at least some of what is in the document will only increase tensions in society. Xi and the leadership obviously understand this and perhaps see this as one way to change behavior of resistant officials? Either governance and accountability improve or there will continue to be a large gap between rhetoric and reality that further exacerbates social tensions. The Decision is explicitly not a roadmap for a liberal democracy (nor could anyone paying attention have expected it to be), but it appears to be one for a more accountable, authoritarian one-party state with a modern governance system. Will it work? And is pushing hard on improving governance/rule by law a way for Xi to start making real progress on the broader reform roadmap laid out at the 3rd plenum in November 2013, because clearly that plan has met a lot of resistance?

Related: Ties between Party, rule of law the core issue: Xi – Xinhua Xi, also General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made an interpretation of the decision published on Tuesday, saying that adhering to Party’s leadership, socialism with Chinese characteristics and implementing theory of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics are the “keys to do well in comprehensively promoting rule of law.” “Party’s leadership is the most essential feature of the socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the most fundamental guarantee of socialist rule of law,” Xi said, according to his interpretation. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the fundamental foundation for the system of socialist rule of law, and the most systemic guarantee for comprehensively promoting the rule of law, Xi added.

Related: China to ban extralegal administration with power list – Xinhua According to the CPC Central Committee’s decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law, which was passed at last week’s fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, government authorities at all levels should carry out their work on track with the law while adhering to the leadership by the CPC. A list of government powers will be introduced to squeeze out the room for power rent-seeking, or using power to influence regulations and gain business advantages, it said. No government authority is allowed to set extralegal power. Without legal authorization they cannot make any decision that will undermine the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, corporations or other organizations, the CPC decision said. They cannot create any additional obligations for citizens or others without due authorization.

Related: 18句话看依法治国依宪治国|依法治国|市场法制_新浪财经_新浪网 Xinhua on 18 key sentences from 4th plenum decision

Related: Chinese officials obligated to pledge allegiance to Constitution – Xinhua Chinese government officials now pledge allegiance to the country’s Constitution before taking office, said a key policy document of the Communist Party of China (CPC) published on Tuesday. According to the CPC Central Committee’s decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law, all officials elected or appointed by the people’s congresses and their standing committees at both national and local levels must in future take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution in public…It also set December 4 as China’s Constitution Day, and said across-the-board education initiatives on the Constitution must be promoted to shore up public awareness.

Related: 四中全会《决定》:中小学设立法治知识课程_网易新闻中心 classes to raise knowledge of the law planned for primary and secondary schools–4th Plenum Decision //  《决定》要求,坚持把领导干部带头学法、模范守法作为树立法治意识的关键,完善国家工作人员学法用法制度,把宪法法律列入党委(党组)中心组学习内容,列为党校、行政学院、干部学院、社会主义学院必修课。把法治教育纳入国民教育体系,在中小学设立法治知识课程。

2. Explanation concerning the “CCP Central Committee Decision concerning Some Major Questions in Comprehensively Moving Governing the Country According to the law Forward” | China Copyright and Media Xi Jinping On behalf of the Politburo, I will explain the drafting process of the “CCP Central Committee Decision concerning Some Major Questions in Comprehensively Moving Governing the Country According to the law Forward” to the Plenum.

Related: 习近平:关于《中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定》的说明-新华网 Xi’s explainer accompany the 4th plenum decision…Governing nation according to law a “broad & deep revolution” in nation’s governance he concludes  //  全面推进依法治国是一个系统工程,是国家治理领域一场广泛而深刻的革命。制定好这次全会决定具有十分重要的意义。大家要深刻领会中央精神,从党和国家事业发展全局出发,全面理解和正确对待全会决定提出的重大改革举措,深刻领会有关改革的重大现实意义和深远历史意义,自觉支持改革、拥护改革。在讨论中,希望大家相互启发、相互切磋,既提出建设性的修改意见和建议,进一步完善全会决定提出的思路和方案,又加深理解,以利于会后传达贯彻。让我们共同努力,把这次全会开好。

Related: 解读:四中全会起草小组成员组成有何深意?--时政–人民网 in the explanation accompanying the 4th Plenum decision Xi provides some details of the drafting process. Xi was the chair of the drafting group., Zhang Dejiang and Wang Qishan were the video chairs. This People’s Daily item looks at the “significance” of the composition of the group  //  其中,习近平就全会文件起草小组的组成作了说明。文中说,今年1月,中央政治局决定,党的十八届四中全会重点研究全面推进依法治国问题并作出决定。为此,成立由我任组长,张德江同志、王岐山同志任副组长,相关部门负责同志、两位省里的领导同志参加的文件起草组,在中央政治局常委会领导下进行文件起草工作。     四中全会文件起草组成员组成有何讲究,其中又传递出什么信号?人民网采访了相关专家进行解读。

Related: 解读:习近平为啥说四中、三中全会决定是姊妹篇–时政–人民网 10月27日,中央全面深化改革领导小组第六次会议召开。习近平强调,党的十八届四中全会通过了全面推进依法治国的决定,与党的十八届三中全会通过的全面深化改革的决定形成了姊妹篇。     “姊妹篇”的说法受到了各方关注。今日,人民网采访了相关专家进行解读。//Xi says that the 3rd and 4th Plenum Decisions are “sister documents”

3. Ex-General Xu Caihou Admits He Took Bribes, Report Says – NYTimes The announcement issued through Xinhua, the state news agency, also said that military prosecutors, called the military procuratorate in China, had on Monday officially finished their inquiry into Mr. Xu and were considering whether to put him on trial. That appears inevitable, given that the investigators said they concluded that he had taken “particularly huge bribes,” directly or through family members, in return for helping people win promotions or make unspecified personal gains.

Related: 徐才厚涉嫌受贿犯罪案移送审查起诉-时政频道-新华网 军事检察院侦查查明,徐才厚利用职务便利,为他人晋升职务提供帮助,直接和通过家人收受贿赂,数额特别巨大;利用职务影响为他人谋利,其和家人收受他人贿赂,数额特别巨大。徐才厚对受贿犯罪事实供认不讳。   此前,中共中央决定开除徐才厚党籍,中央军委决定开除徐才厚军籍、取消其上将军衔。

Related: 解放军报:党中央没有因徐才厚患重病而放其一马|腐败|徐才厚|中央军委_新浪新闻 问:据悉,去年徐才厚身患癌症,请介绍一下徐才厚的医治情况。 答:徐才厚于2013年2月确诊患膀胱癌,已经多个周期治疗。今年6月,军事检察机关对徐才厚立案侦查后,本着既严格依法办案、又体现人道关怀的精神,协调医院对其进行了积极治疗和医护保障 //  spokesman confirms Xu Caihou has bladder cancer

Related: 刘源扳倒巨贪谷俊山内幕:丢乌纱也要拿下贪官|颜色革命|巨贪_凤凰资讯 article from PLA Daily praising Gen Liu Yuan for his anti-corruption efforts inside the PLA getting a lot of play on chinese media this morning. Originally written by Major Gen. Luo Yuan, looks to have been first posted on his blog on 10.14. Without Gen. Liu investigation of Gu Junshan, Xu Caihou might never have been taken down // 想想刘源政委查谷俊山的贪腐问题时,几经磨难。后来刘源横下一条心说,我虽然没上过战场,但我也死过几回,活过几回,我宁肯乌纱帽不要了,也要把贪官拿下来。何等的胆识和气魄!正是由于他的坚持和担当,特别是对党的一片赤诚,才推动了军内反腐。

4. 用法治撑起网络的蓝天 依法治网成四中全会的延伸热词–人民网福建频道–人民网 4th Plenum emphasizes strengtehning Internet-related laws // 10月24日至26日,中央网信办连续举办三场“学习宣传党的十八届四中全会精神 全面推进网络空间法治化”座谈会。座谈会上,有来自全国各省区市的网信办主任,有来自中央政法委、最高法、最高检、国务院法制办等中央机关的代表,有来自人民网、新华网等重点网站的负责人,有来自清华大学、北京大学等高校的专家学者,也有来自北京居民社区的大爷大妈。 3天,上百名各界代表,主题只有一个,正如中宣部副部长、中央网信办主任、国家网信办主任鲁炜所言,认真学习宣传和贯彻落实十八届四中全会精神,依法管网、依法办网、依法上网,全面推进网络空间法治化。

Related: 中央网信办号召网友做“中国好网民”-搜狐IT 四中全会结束的第二天,中央网信办立即邀请了中央政法委、最高法、最高检、国务院法制办等中央机关代表、知名专家学者、网站负责人、律师等参加座谈。 正是在这次会议上,鲁炜提出,“网络空间法治化”的要义是发挥法治对引领和规范网络行为的主导性作为,重点是按照科学立法的要求加强互联网领域的立法,关键是严格执法,基础是按照全民守法的要求引导网民尊法守法做“中国好网民”。 国信办副主任彭波也在全国网信办主任座谈会上表示,依法治网是依法治国的基础工程,现实空间法治化与网络空间法治化是相互影响的。

Related: 中央网信办首次面向社会公开选拔9名处级干部 |网信办_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 新华网北京10月27日电(记者南婷)记者27日从中央网络安全和信息化领导小组办公室(以下简称“中央网信办”)获悉,中央网信办将面向社会公开选拔9名业务部门处级领导干部,10月30日起符合报名条件者可通过公招网(www.gongzhao.net)进行报名。这是今年以来中央机关首次面向全社会公开选拔领导干部。

5. 习近平主持召开中央全面深化改革领导小组第六次会议强调 学习贯彻党的十八届四中全会精神 运用法治思维和法治方式推进改革_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV Evening News report Monday on the latest reform leading group meeting //  中共中央政治局常委、中央全面深化改革领导小组副组长李克强、刘云山出席会议。 会议审议了《关于加强社会主义协商民主建设的意见》、《关于中国(上海)自由贸易试验区工作进展和可复制改革试点经验的推广意见》、《关于加强中国特色新型智库建设的意见》,审议通过了《关于国家重大科研基础设施和大型科研仪器向社会开放的意见》,建议根据会议讨论情况进一步修改完善后按程序报批实施。

Related: Xi says China to found more FTZs following Shanghai’s example – Xinhua The experience gained at Shanghai FTZ can be compared to “seeds cultivated from an experimental plot”, said Xi at the sixth meeting of the Leading Group for Overall Reform. “We should plant these seeds in more land so that flowers will blossom and fruits be harvested as quickly as possible,” Xi said. According to the reform blueprint adopted last November, China plans to build several FTZs in suitable places other than Shanghai. The country will copy the replicable practice from Shanghai FTZ to other places as soon as possible, and some of them will be promoted nationwide, he said.

6. Hong Kong Lawmaker Pays Price for Breaking Ranks With Beijing – NYTimes The lawmaker, James Tien, the leader of the Liberal Party, is set to be expelled from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference for not supporting its resolutions, which include backing Hong Kong’s government, Mr. Tien’s brother, Michael, said in a telephone interview.

Related: In Hong Kong, Fears of a Police Crackdown Online – NYTimes.com Mr. Mok said the police were abusing a broadly written statute that prohibits using a computer “with criminal or dishonest intent.” The statute was intended to prosecute fraud, hacking and other online crimes, he said, not political speech. The law, known as Section 161, has been used at least once before to prosecute online speech related to the protests in Hong Kong. In June, the police arrested a 15-year-old boy for posting a guide online on how to storm the Legislative Council building. Prosecutors decided to file charges against him in late September, the local news media reported.

Related: Nine out of 10 Hong Kong activists say will fight on for a year | Reuters Nearly nine out of 10 Hong Kong protesters say they are ready to stay on the streets for more than a year to push for full democracy to counter China’s tightening grip on the city, according to an informal Reuters survey on Tuesday. For a month now, key roads leading into three of Hong Kong’s most economically and politically important districts have been barricaded with wood and steel by thousands of protesters who have set up semi-permanent occupation zones amid a sea of tents.

Related: Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Hong Kong Protests Not Just Political – China Real Time Report – WSJ Asked about the protests during the WSJD Live global technology conference in California, Mr. Ma — also the founder of Alibaba, the Hangzhou-based company that recently raised $25 billion in the U.S.’s biggest initial public offering — said that the protests were not simply political. “The Hong Kong part of me (thinks) it’s not about China and Hong Kong relationship. It’s about the young people who don’t have hope,” said Mr. Ma, a bootstrapping entrepreneur who’s widely admired in China. “All the big guys take…the good things and the young people feel hopeless. I understand that but they should not push too much. Both sides should listen.”

Related: Closer Look: Don’t Give up on Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect Just Yet – Caixin The pilot program was widely expected to make its debut in October because a joint announcement in April by the securities regulators of Hong Kong and the mainland said preparation would take six months. No wonder many observers interpreted the HKEx’s announcement as the Hu-Gang Tong being delayed or shelved. Some have tied this with the city’s current social and political tensions, saying that Beijing is either halting the program to show who is boss or trying to avoid an unwanted distraction. However, sources close to the situation said efforts are still being made to push forward the program’s agenda and there is no need to read too much into the Hong Kong bourse’s announcement.

7. China Fake Invoice Evidence Mounts as HK Figures Diverge – Bloomberg While China’s government has strict rules on importing capital, those seeking to exploit yuan appreciation can evade the limit by disguising money inflows as payment for goods exported to foreign countries or territories, especially Hong Kong. The latest trade mismatch coincided with renewed appreciation of China’s currency, leading analysts at banks and brokerages including Everbright Securities Co. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to question the export surge. “This is definitely another important piece of evidence of over-invoicing exports to Hong Kong to facilitate money inflow into China,” said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. “So we shouldn’t be too optimistic about recent export data from China.”

8. CDT Bookshelf: Interview with Jessica Chen Weiss – China Digital Times (CDT) In Powerful Patriots [book on Amazon], you explain that China neither ignores its people’s anti-foreign sentiment when handling foreign disputes nor does it let itself be controlled by it to the point of hindering rational diplomacy. Rather, you argue, it is the way the authoritarian Chinese government manages nationalist protest by giving it a “red light” or “green light” that helps it negotiate strategically with foreign powers.  Has China ever mismanaged nationalist/anti-foreign protest to the detriment of its diplomatic objectives during the period you focused on from 1985-2012? If so, how? Did it shift strategies as a result?

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

召回引发的关注--聚焦洋品牌屡屡忽视中国消费者-财经频道-新华网 in the wake of the recent Volkswagen recall, Xinhua asks why foreign brands “repeatedly ignore Chinese consumers”

World Bank president backs Chinese global lending counterpart – Washington Times Mr. Kim, who spoke with reporters Friday at a breakfast in Washington hosted by The Christian Science Monitor, suggested that he simply does not spend much time worrying about such risks and that the White House’s political push has carried little weight inside the hallways of the World Bank. Asserting that the bank is “not a political organization” and that it is “actually in our articles of agreement that we don’t get involved in domestic politics,” Mr. Kim said, those who seek to know where Washington stands on the Chinese bank will “have to ask the U.S. their position on it.”

It’s Time to Give China Some Time – Bloomberg View None of this means China will avoid a date with financial destiny — just about every developing nation crashes. But we’re years away from knowing whether China ends this decade in the boom or bust category. Xi’s job is difficult enough without our impatience pushing him into ill-considered decisions. Give the man a chance. //  seems like a change of tune for this columnist. Is Pesek going soft on China? And if so, why?

Alibaba’s New Financial Unit Recruits Well-Known Economist – Caixin Chen Long, a professor at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, a private educational institution in the capital, will become chief strategy officer of Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group, the sources said. Chen is also research director of the school’s Asset Pricing Research Center.

Cai Jinyong: A Chinese Voice at the Top of IFC – Caixin Cai followed a trail blazed by two Chinese executives who’ve also held top jobs at the World Bank, including Zhang Shengman and Lin Yifu, who worked as vice presidents at the institution. In Cai’s view, Chinese executives can serve the global institution well. “A Chinese person can be a good CEO,” he said. Excerpts from his interview with Caixin follow.

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

Chinese filmmaker to stand trial for constitution documentary Shen Yongping will be the first person prosecuted for documenting China’s constitutional history in a film called “100 years of constitutional governance”, his lawyer, Zhang Xuezhong, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday. The trial comes at a time of increased optimism among some Chinese scholars about Beijing’s willingness to enforce the supervision of China’s Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression. But Shen’s detention and other arrests have eroded some of that optimism. Chinese intellectuals and international rights groups have denounced President Xi Jinping’s administration for the worst suppression of human rights in years.

China mulls scrapping death penalty for 9 crimes – Xinhua According to the draft amendment, the nine crimes include smuggling weapons, ammunition, nuclear materials or counterfeit currency; counterfeiting currency; raising funds by means of fraud; arranging for or forcing another person to engage in prostitution; obstructing a commander or a person on duty from performing his duties; and fabricating rumors to mislead others during wartime. After removing the death penalty for these crimes, those convicted will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, according to the draft.

China to streamline counter-terrorism intelligence gathering | Reuters China will set up a national anti-terrorism intelligence system, state media said on Monday, reporting changes to an anti-terror law expected to be passed this week in the wake of an upsurge in violence in the far western region of Xinjiang.–我国拟建立国家反恐怖主义情报中心

China bans private clubs in historical buildings, parks – Xinhua clearly the message has not been getting through // China’s central authority issued a decree prohibiting private clubs in historical buildings, parks and other public facilities on Monday in the latest crackdown against hedonism and extravagance among officials. Private clubs set up in historical buildings and parks have damaged public interests, fanned corruption and triggered strong discontent among society, according to the guideline forwarded by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. The joint decree was originally made by 10 different ministries.

Proposed amendment to Criminal Law just another way to restrict us, say Chinese lawyers | South China Morning Post The bi-monthly meeting of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which started on Monday, is reviewing draft amendments and revisions to new and existing laws, including the death penalty, counterespionage and anti-terrorism. Lawmakers say the additions to the Criminal Law will “secure the right of people’s courts to exercise judicial authority independently and justly”. But lawyers say the changes will hamper justice. The restrictions refer to three types of cases – juveniles, personal privacy and those involving state secrets – that are “privately tried” behind closed doors.

孔庆东力挺人治 揭极左派颠覆国家推墙行径_中国-多维新闻网 Kong Qingdong weighs in on the 4th PLenum, still a fan of “rule by man” // 十八届四中全会《决定》公布后,在公报面前噤声多日的左派开始发声。孔庆东第一时间在个人认证微博上力挺人治,称“历史事实是所有法律皆短命,万古不变是人治”。同时“揭发”了极左派颠覆国家推墙行径,不仅把脏水泼在了习头上,而且还试图借着取消死刑把脏水泼到全会身上。 孔庆东在微博中写道,“我在四中全会之前就在微博上贴出宪法第一条,极左分子竟然伙同右派前来围攻。现在又假装维护宪法,把脏水泼到习的头上。他们看不到四中全会在我们的拼搏战斗之下,成功地粉碎了‘司法独立’的滔天阴谋。现在他们右边挑起取消死刑,左边把脏水扣到全会身上,继续着颠覆国家的推墙行径。”

中央纪委一天公布两省份“巡视清单”-搜狐新闻 CCDI releases some of what they found in inspection tours of Heilongjiang and Qinghai  //  导读:中央纪委监察部网站28日开设专栏,开始向社会发布2014年中央巡视组第二轮巡视反馈情况。 昨天首先公布巡视反馈的是7月28日进驻黑龙江的中央第八巡视组和7月26日进驻青海的中央第三巡视组。10月27日,两个巡视组分别向黑龙江省委书记王宪魁和青海省委书记骆惠宁进行了反馈,10月28日,两个巡视组分别向两省领导班子进行了反馈。

Busy bee, President Xi – China Media Project The Xi Jinping love fest continues today with a piece from the Shanghai Observer (上海观察), prominently placed on many websites — including the official site of the state news agency, Xinhua — that purports to offer inside access to the president’s busy workday. He is a man, the writer tells us, who never stops.

Chinese Communist Party Members Urged to Abstain From Mahjong, Other ‘Small Thrills’ – WSJ Its association with gambling led to a ban in China during the rule of Chairman Mao Zedong, though the game began to make a comeback in the 1980s, minus the gambling. These days, however, it’s rarely played without a wager of some sort—a practice that could provide cover for corrupt officials and businessmen to funnel bribes. Curbing mahjong and other perceived vices, observers say, are part of the party’s attempts to halt the increasing number of corruption cases involving illegal deals between officials and business executives.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

China, Vietnam say want lasting solution to sea dispute | Reuters After a meeting between China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, China’s foreign ministry said they had agreed to “appropriately handle the maritime problem”.   The two exchanged smiles and warm handshakes in contrast to Yang’s last visit in June, which ended in acrimony with Yang accusing Vietnam of “hyping up” their dispute, which was the worst breakdowns in their relations since a brief border war in 1979.

China fumes as Vietnam offers oil blocks to India – Hindustan Times China reacted sharply on Tuesday to Vietnam’s offer of two oil blocks in the South China Sea to India for exploration, saying no third party should involve itself in the tense maritime tussle between Beijing and Hanoi. Vietnam also extended the contract of another oil block for two more years, in a slew of agreements signed during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s two-day visit to India. India said the oil blocks offered to it fall in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, but China claims the maritime territory as its own.

Beijing Zeroes In on Energy Potential of South China Sea – NYTimes.com From Jan. 26 through March 30 of this year, the scientific vessel Joides Resolution traveled to the deeper regions in the middle of the South China Sea, where it drilled several core samples as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program’s Expedition 349. Scientists from 12 countries, including China, the United States, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan, participated. Dr. Li Chun-feng of the State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology at Tongji University in Shanghai served as a director. While emphasizing that the main goals were scientific, Dr. Li said evidence was found that there were “huge” oil and gas reserves beneath the sea.

Xi Hails ‘Old Friend’ Ghani as Afghan-China Ties Improve – Bloomberg Ghani, who took power last month, traveled to China frequently during his time as a World Bank economist. He’s seeking Chinese investments and help in stemming militancy to keep his aid-dependent country stable in the next years as U.S. troops withdraw and the Taliban seeks to retake power. “That you have made a visit to China when not even one full month into your presidency, making China your first visit abroad, fully embodies the high degree of emphasis you put on China-Afghanistan relations,” Xi told Ghani in Beijing yesterday. “I am willing to work with you on a new era of cooperation in China-Afghanistan relations and take development to a new depth and breadth.”

How Japan’s Nationalization Move in the East China Sea Shaped the U.S. Rebalance | The National Interest Did the United States know Japan would purchase the islands? Perhaps not imminently, but by September 2012, it should have been clear that one of the “two evils” would occur. This is all the more readily apparent when one considers that the most important question—whether Japan could have prevented Ishihara’s purchase of the islands through some other, less incendiary means—is strangely never asked, but often assumed by those who have subsequently criticized the decision. If there was a third option it is not now readily discussed, and was likely not then obvious.[1] This is an excellent example of the need for creativity in diplomacy and government, but it seems time and energy were spent elsewhere once Noda’s circle believed it had found a palatable option.

4 Chinese Ships Stuck in Mexico since May over Iron Ore Dispute – Caixin Some 95 Chinese crew members are on the ships, sources with knowledge of the matter say, and they are encountering health problems related to being stuck on board for months. Mexico started cracking down on drug cartels’ involvement in the iron ore business in March, reports The Financial Times, a British newspaper. The illegal organizations earn about US$ 15 for each ton of exported ore. One group, called the Knights Templar, smuggled some 272,000 tons of ore in 2013, about 44 percent of Mexico’s output.

PLA adds legal advisers to lower ranks | South China Morning Post In the past, only brigade commanders or more senior officers had legal consultants, said Zeng Zhiping, a military law expert at the Nanchang Institute of Technology in Jiangxi. Without such advisers, lower units were at risk of blindly following superiors in times of instability, Zeng said. “Some ambitious senior officials may abuse their position and cultivate a power base, using blind allegiance from subordinates, sowing the seeds of a potential military coup.”

Xi calls for new type of think tanks – Xinhua been on the agenda for some time, surprised China did not direct significant money to DC think tanks…too late now  //  Xi said at the meeting that intellectual resources are the most important for a nation, playing a crucial role in governing a country successfully. The more arduous the reform, the more intellectual support is needed, according to a statement issued after the meeting. Although think tanks in China are developing rapidly and making important contributions to reform and modernization, they have a hard time changing alongside rapid development. Currently, China lacks think tanks with great influence and international reputation, Xi said. “Building a new type of think tank with Chinese characteristics is an important and pressing mission. It should be targeted on promoting scientific and democratic decision making, promoting modernization of the country’s governing system and ability, as well as strengthening China’s soft power,” Xi said at the meeting.

Researchers identify sophisticated Chinese cyberespionage group – The Washington Post A coalition of security researchers has identified a Chinese cyberespionage group that appears to be the most sophisticated of any publicly known Chinese hacker unit and targets not only U.S. and Western government agencies but also dissidents inside and outside China. News of the state-sponsored hacker group dubbed Axiom comes a week before Secretary of State John F. Kerry and two weeks before President Obama are due to arrive in Beijing for a series of high-level talks, including on the issue of cybersecurity. // the report, in PDFhttp://novetta.com/files/9714/1446/8199/Executive_Summary-Final_1.pdf

China quietly gives global news awards – China Media Project The plans for the New York Times to host the WMS in the United States seem to have flopped. There has been no news whatsoever about the “third World Media Summit” or the WMS presidium since Xinhua first reported news of the plans agreed by the presidium in Hangzhou on October 10, 2013. The global news awards that were decided — again, according to Xinhua — at the Hangzhou meeting of the presidium apparently have gone forward, however.  //  The New York Times withdrew very quietly months ago

Six PLA army groups undergo leadership reshuffle|WantChinaTimes Zhang Yan, the new head of the PLA’s 26th Army division, is now the youngest commander in the entire PLA. The 49-year-old Zhang replaced Tan Min, who has been shifted from the Jinan Military Region to the Shenyang Military Region to become commander of the 16th Army. Former 16th Army commander Gao Guanghui is now the deputy chief of staff of the Chengdu Military Region. The four new political commissars named are: Xu Zhongbo, who has been moved from the 20th Army to the 54th army; Xie Jun, who has been promoted from director of political department of the 20th Army to take over Xu’s old role; Zhang Xuejie, who has been moved from the 12th Army to the 31st Army; and Zhou Wanzhu, who has been promoted from deputy political commissar of the 1st Army to replace Zhang.

军报纪念古田会议85周年,斥“军队国家化”妄图搞乱思想_舆论场_澎湃新闻-The Paper On eve of 85th anniversary of Gutian Congress, PLA Daily reiterates no “nationalization” of PLA, must stay under command of Party //  古田会议召开85周年前夕,央媒开始刊发文章纪念。 新华社10月26日发表《永远的生命线 ——写在古田会议召开八十五周年之际》6000多字长文,详细回顾了中国共产党从提出党指挥枪到如何坚持这个原则的历程...解放军报10月27日刊发该文的同时,配发了评论员文章...其中,来自陆军第42集团军的作者陈杰在《在弘扬古田会议精神中铸牢军魂》一文中指出,当前,西方敌对势力变本加厉鼓吹“军队非党化、非政治化”和“军队国家化”,企图搞乱我们的思想,妄图把我军从党的旗帜下拉出去。对此,作者认为,各级党委和领导干部应理直气壮地讲清大道理,引导官兵充分认清坚持党对军队绝对领导是我党我军奋斗史的基本经验,确保在任何时候、任何情况下,都坚决听从党中央、中央军委和习主席指挥。 文章强调,要确保党对军队绝对领导的原则制度更好地贯彻落实,形成常态长效。

在弘扬古田会议精神中铸牢军魂–军事–人民网 当前,西方敌对势力变本加厉鼓吹“军队非党化、非政治化”和“军队国家化”,企图搞乱我们的思想,妄图把我军从党的旗帜下拉出去。各级党委和领导干部应理直气壮地讲清大道理,引导官兵充分认清坚持党对军队绝对领导是我党我军奋斗史的基本经验,是维护以习近平同志为总书记的党中央权威的必然要求,是能打仗、打胜仗的政治要求,始终做到高度警觉、头脑清醒、自觉抵制错误思潮,确保在任何时候、任何情况下,都坚决听从党中央、中央军委和习主席指挥。

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Taiwan eyes homegrown submarines after 13-year wait on U.S. deal | Reuters Taiwan is moving ahead with plans to build its own submarines, with an initial design to be completed by the year-end, after lengthy delays in getting eight vessels under a 2001 U.S. defense deal and as China’s navy expands rapidly.

Taiwan refutes charges its spies tried to enlist China students Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB) and the Ministry of Education have refuted accusations by Beijing that Taiwanese spies had targeted students, tourists and brides from the mainland for cooperation in espionage activities in the mainland, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday. The NSB stressed that it has never collected information in any campus, dismissing charges leveled by Chinese authorities.

Hong Kong has spent billions on buying weapons from Britain | South China Morning Post Since 2008, £1.4 billion (HK$17.4 billion) worth of licences for arms and equipment sales to Hong Kong have been approved, according to official records. A British government review of weapons licences to Hong Kong is under way – and could end these exports.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

国信办将出APP管理办法:存病毒、窃取信息乱象|APP|管理办法|国信办_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 SIIO says more regulation for mobile apps in the works  //  中国政法大学传播法中心研究员、副教授朱巍对新京报记者表示,在当前的情况下,国家网信办对APP管理进行立法是非常必要、及时的。目前很多APP客户端存在抓取用户个人信息和通讯录的行为,这实际上侵犯了用户的个人信息权,非该APP使用者的个人信息也会被暴露。 朱巍认为,一些手机APP类似自媒体,进入门槛低、影响大,缺乏规制,“比如其内容只为吸引眼球,没有维权途径;一些APP只重视用户的增加,忽视对内容的监管。”

Samsung’s Primacy Is Tested in China – WSJ – WSJ In China, where Samsung gets 18% of its total sales, more than half of which is from the mobile-phone division, the company is parachuting in executives and outside consultants to assess the problem and figure out how to fix it, according to people with knowledge of the moves. The company is lowering prices for its existing handsets by up to 20%, considering a new marketing strategy in the country, and preparing to roll out a new, cheaper line of smartphones for emerging markets, the people said.

Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra: iPhone 6 and iOS 8 design have been inspired by HTC and Android — Tech News and Analysis Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra refuted charges that his company is copying Apple’s products during an on-stage interview at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference Tuesday, saying that everyone in the mobile industry is inspired by everyone else. More specifically, Barra said that Apple has been taking a lot of cues from Android recently as well. “The iPhone 6 carries design-language that is very HTC-like,” Barra said…Barra went on to say that he isn’t worried about patent litigation, and that the company’s international plans aren’t guided by attempts to avoid litigation.

Jack Ma Got Drunk And Bought Half A Soccer Team — And Other Things He Just Said – Business Insider Ma says the Chinese government is happy with him because he created 14 million jobs.

Apple’s Cook, Alibaba’s Ma Talk Mobile Payments Marriage – Bloomberg I would guess Apple has to choose between Alipay or Unionpay for Apple in China.   //  Cook and Ma, appearing yesterday at the WSJDLive tech conference in Laguna Beach, California, spoke of collaboration on mobile payments. “I’m very interested in that,” Ma, founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), said when asked if it made sense for his company’s Alipay Wallet mobile system to team with Apple Pay. “As always, a good marriage needs both sides hard working. I respect Apple and respect Tim very, very much.”

Tencent invests $20M investment in photo messaging app Blink Tencent has made a new social play in the same vein as Snapchat to appease China’s “post-90s” youths. The web giant made a fresh US$20 million series A investment into Blink, a new photo sharing and messaging app out of China. Sequoia Capital, H Capital, ZhenFund, and Innovation Works also participated in the round, according to Techweb.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Everyone is leaving China. — Medium not actually everyone, but there is certainly the feeling in Beijing that increasing numbers of expats are heading for the exits  //  This post was prompted by my realization that more than a few of my friends have recently left Beijing. For HK, for the US, for anywhere but here. I thought it might be a coincidence that they were all trickling out at the same time, but I don’t think it is.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

Low Prices Lure China into Oil Market – WSJ – WSJ The trading unit of state-run China National Petroleum Corp. has bought 36 cargos of crude oil in the open market so far in October, the largest purchase ever in a single month, Singapore traders familiar with the transactions said. The purchases show how China, the world’s second largest consumer of oil after the U.S. , is taking advantage of the energy glut to stock up on oil used for making transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel. It’s also a change from usual buying patterns as Beijing normally secures its oil needs through long-term contracts with fixed prices—and is rarely a big player in the Singapore spot market, Asia’s biggest oil trading hub.

Shipping a Serious, but Overlooked, Source of China’s Pollution, Report Says – NYTimes.com Container ships from China laden with cargo for the rest of the world disperse more than toys, televisions and other exports. They are also a serious, often neglected, emitter of pollution from the cheap fuel allowed under Chinese rules, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a United States-based environmental advocacy group.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS *

Careers | Coursera–In-Country Market Development Lead, China As our in-country market development manager, your goal is to help Coursera grow in China. To do that, you will work with Coursera’s California-based Business & Market Development (BMD) team to form and strengthen strategic partnerships, to understand in-country market dynamics, and to help us craft the best experience possible for our Chinese learners…Native fluency in Chinese (Mandarin), and full professional proficiency in English, with excellent writing skills in both languagesBS/BA or equivalent.

Follow me on Twitter @Niubi

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