Thanks everyone who filled out the November 2014 Sinocism Reader survey. I have published the results here and will start incorporating some of the feedback.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. John Kerry Remarks on U.S.-China Relations speech by the Secretary of State at SAIS (I am class of ’95) // Ambassador Cui spoke at SAIS about one year ago and he described the U.S.-China relationship as, quote, “the most important as well as the most sensitive, the most comprehensive as well as the most complex, and the most promising as well as the most challenging.” All of those attributes are true, but I would respectfully add one more to that list: The U.S.-China relationship is the most consequential in the world today, period, and it will do much to determine the shape of the 21st century. That means that we have to get it right. Since President Obama first took office, that’s exactly what he has focused on doing. What he has worked to build over the past six years and what we are committed to advancing over the next two as well is a principled and productive relationship with China.
Related: If You Want Rule of Law, Respect Ours–Foreign Policy China’s ambassador Cui Tiankai to the United States on the problems with American elections, Obama’s trip to Beijing, and fighting the Islamic State.
Related: Obama to confront China’s Xi on cyber spying: U.S. officials | Reuters The officials, briefing reporters before Obama’s trip to Beijing for an Asia-Pacific summit and one-on-one meetings with Xi, said that while U.S. complaints had brought about a temporary reduction of Chinese cyber espionage, there had been no fundamental change in behavior.
Related: How Obama Should Approach Xi in Beijing | Brookings Institution Brookings John L. Thornton China Center scholars Richard Bush, David Dollar, Cheng Li, Jonathan Pollack and nonresident fellows David Shambaugh and Dan Wright offer insight into how President Obama can have a productive visit with President Xi in Beijing.
2. Still much uncertainty about Abe-Xi summit talks in Beijing – The Asahi Shimbun with some interesting detail about Hu Deping’s visit to japan, Fukuda’s two recent meetings with Xi // Chinese officials are well aware that bilateral relations will not improve dramatically even if the meeting between Abe and Xi goes ahead. What really bothers them is the possibility that Abe might visit Yasukuni once the meeting has been held. Chinese officials recall all too well what happened after the APEC conference in 2012 held in Vladivostok. Then Chinese President Hu Jintao talked briefly with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the APEC summit and urged Japan to hold off on acquiring the Senkaku Islands from its private owner. The Noda administration formally decided to purchase the islands the very next day.
3. China Said to Plan $16.3 Billion Fund for ‘New Silk Road’ – Bloomberg The fund, overseen by Chinese policy banks, will be used to build and expand railways, roads and pipelines in Chinese provinces that are part of the strategy to facilitate trade over land and shipping routes, according to government officials who participated in drafting the plan. More policies will be rolled out soon to encourage Chinese lenders to finance infrastructure in countries along the route connecting China to Europe, said the officials
Related: 新丝路·新梦想 _ 新华国际 _ 新华网 quite the map China has planned for the New Silk Road–from a Xinhua micro-site on the topic
Related: China plans a global bullet-train dynasty–Lowy Interpreter HSR customers are governments, and Beijing likes that…In the last two years, China’s own development banks extended almost US$700 billion of export financing, more than America has in its 80-year history. And if Beijing pushes these loans as a vehicle for yuan internalisation, it may create additional risks for borrowers. Those who see the Waldorf Astoria purchase as ‘economic power shifting East’ are missing the bigger point. China has long been accumulating claims; it is merely getting more sophisticated at diversifying them. Domestically, China invests roughly US$4.5 trillion annually (24% of the world total), but it saves an even more stupendous US$5 trillion (26%); the surplus capital logically must be exported.* Rather than accepting US Treasurys in return, Beijing now wants real foreign assets which it can build and control.
4. China’s socialist rule of law still offers real hope of improvements to legal system | South China Morning Post Thus, Xi is building on his Communist heritage as well on as China’s imperial tradition of using law as the pre-eminent expression of central power. Unfortunately, the vision of “ruling according to law” and “rule of law” that Xi has distilled from these historic influences is similar to that of Chiang Kai-shek, another practitioner of Leninist government, who presided over the economic development of pre-democratic Taiwan after losing the Nationalist Party’s control of mainland China in the 1940s’ civil war. In practice, Xi, like Chiang, has ruthlessly repressed human rights lawyers and their clients, which is why the fourth plenum promises no relief to criminal defence and public interest lawyers and actually threatens to worsen their plight. But that, like other topics discussed in these new documents, will be the subject of future analysis. –by Jerome A. Cohen
5. 670,000 smog-related deaths a year: the cost of China’s reliance on coal | South China Morning Post Smog caused by coal consumption killed an estimated 670,000 people in China in 2012, according to a study by researchers that tries to put a price tag on the environmental and social costs of the heavy reliance on the fuel. Damage to the environment and health added up to 260 yuan (HK$330) for each tonne produced and used in 2012, said Teng Fei , an associate professor at Tsinghua University.
6. Yang Hengjun: In Defense of Zhou Xiaoping, China’s Patriotic Blogger | The Diplomat So, what is the main goal throughout Zhou’s writings? He’s been very clear about this: he hates to see people over-praising the West and putting down China, even to the point of saying that the moon in foreign countries is rounder than the moon in China. Zhou is angry at those people who praise everything about America while doubting and attacking everything about China. Zhou in particular blames “public intellectuals” and rightists for this attitude. So Zhou wants to spread positive energy by exposing the abuses and evils of the West (particularly the U.S.) while also going on and on about the superiority and achievements of the Chinese system. This viewpoint permeates every single one of Zhou’s articles. Regrettably, those people who criticize and mock Zhou Xiaoping by finding the many mistakes and distorted logic within his articles are ignoring the original purpose of his writings. It is exactly this purpose that gained him many followers among China’s young people as well as the support of people within China’s government.
Related: China Takes US Aim In A War Of Words | On Point Ian Johnson, Dali Yang, Kang Liu discuss // China’s General Secretary Xi Jinping praised a blogger [Zhou Xiaoping] at a forum celebrating China’s art and literature for spreading “positive energy” online. The blogger’s strong nationalist tone is paired with a deep disdain for the West. Smack talk from a rising power. New media skewering a traditional global power. Crafting a new political dialogue with a big shout -out to a younger generation. Big time politics for a usually distracted social media generation. This hour, On Point: China’s new blogger and a message for the West.
7. A Push to Back Traditional Chinese Medicine With More Data – WSJ – WSJ “Traditional Chinese medicine views disease as complete a pattern as possible,” says Jennifer Wan, a professor in the school of biological sciences at the University of Hong Kong who studies traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM. “Western medicine tends to view events or individuals as discrete particles.” But one gene or biological marker alone typically doesn’t yield comprehensive understanding of disease, she says. To reach these goals, the overall quality of research on traditional Chinese medicine must improve. With studies of Chinese herbal remedies, for instance, rarely are scientists expected to provide authentication of herbs they’re studying, which makes it difficult to know what’s really in the concoctions. This hurdle also makes it harder for other scientists to replicate the findings, says Qihe Xu, a professor in renal medicine at King’s College London. Dr. Xu served as the coordinator of a recent 200-scientist consortium to study good practices for studying traditional Chinese medicine, dubbed GP-TCM.
8. Saving an Ancient Opera Form – NYTimes Philanthropy in China has only recently begun tapping mobile payments, but the approach is fast gaining in popularity. Tencent opened its WeChat service to donors in October 2013. Now more than half of the 3.88 million people giving to charities via Tencent are doing so on their phones, said Wu Ting, Tencent’s senior program manager for its charity platforms. People also tend to give more when they make the donation on a mobile device, about three times the amount given on a computer, she said.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
China’s Repressed SMEs by Yu Yongding – Project Syndicate In fact, the rising cost of intermediation – largely a result of the distortions in China’s financial system – is among the most important factors driving the rise in borrowing costs for Chinese businesses. That is why further monetary loosening by the PBOC, though necessary to address faltering growth, will not be enough. In order to lower funding costs to a reasonable level, without undermining China’s economic-restructuring effort, monetary policy must be combined with well-designed and concerted financial reform. Only then can Chinese SMEs finally gain access to the funding they need to thrive.
China plans property tax in 2017| China Daily China will accelerate the property tax legislation but will not rush its implementation this year, said Jia Kang, head of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science of the Ministry of Finance, at a forum organized by China Society of Economic Reform on Sunday. According to him, property tax will enter legislative procedure in 2015 and the tax law is expected to be wrapped up by 2016. If it goes as planned, related taxes will be implemented in 2017, said Jia.
China to push on with capital account opening: central bank deputy chief | Reuters There was also speculation that China may delay some of its reforms to focus on bolstering the country’s cooling economy, though the government has never publicly acknowledged that such a move is on the cards. Instead, Yi said in his piece entitled “A profound understanding of the new trends in China’s economic development” that China will persevere in market-oriented reforms, which are meant to reduce state planning and its attendant waste. Yi, who also heads the agency that manages China’s $3.9 trillion foreign exchange reserves, made the remarks in an opinion piece that ran in the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper on Monday.
China Pushes Free Trade Over TPP Before Obama Lands in Beijing – Bloomberg The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, to be held in Beijing this month, isn’t intended to serve as a venue to talk about TPP, Wang Shouwen, an assistant minister with China’s Ministry of Commerce, said at a briefing today. China is promoting an Asia-Pacific free trade deal to counter balance the U.S.-led TPP, which doesn’t include China. “The meeting in Beijing is for all 21 members, and most eyes and attention will be focused on an Asia-Pacific free-trade zone, an issue concerning all 21 members,” said Wang. He said the TPP issue is only relevant to 12 members.
Wal-Mart’s Doug McMillon on Checking Out the Competition in China – Caixin Recently, Wal-Mart China has been hit by food-safety problems. A store in Shenzhen was found to be reusing cooking oil for a month. The company has also had problems in other countries. Two years ago, Wal-Mart suffered serious damage when it was embroiled in a bribery scandal in Mexico. In April 2012, The New York Times exposed the company’s use of bribes to get licenses during its rapid expansion into the country, and Wal-Mart was promptly mired in a long and drawn-out internal investigation. In every country he visits, McMillon does the rounds of stores, inspecting both his own and those of his competitors. Not long ago, he visited Beijing. Excerpts from an interview he gave Caixin follow.
China Publishes Proposed Changes to Rules for Investment – Bloomberg The draft amendments would be aimed at opening manufacturing and service industries, the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic-planning agency, said on its website yesterday. China is proposing easier rules on inbound foreign investment amid complaints from some overseas companies that officials in the world’s second-biggest economy discriminate against non-Chinese corporations.
Bordeaux Wines Feel Pain of Chinese Crackdown on Lavish Living – Bloomberg Shipments of Bordeaux wines to mainland China, their largest export market by volume and value, dropped 26 percent to 240 million euros ($301 million) in the 12 months ended in July, according to the Bordeaux Wine Council. Exports had risen to a record 538,000 hectoliters in 2012 from just 2,000 hectoliters in 2000, representing about a quarter of total shipments abroad.
Deliveries to hit record during “Singles’ Day” shopping spree – Xinhua More than 500 million parcels are expected to be delivered during the sales promotion week around Nov. 11, known as “Singles’ Day,” an official predicted on Tuesday. Liu Jun, deputy director of the State Post Bureau, said the amount of deliveries during this year’s “Singles’ Day” shopping spree will rise nearly 50 percent year on year.
China Home Buyers Rushing Online to Finance Downpayments – Bloomberg Peer-to-peer lending has taken off in China since 2011 as traditional methods of private lending among family and acquaintances, part of the country’s unregulated $6 trillion shadow-banking system, move online. Peer-to-peer lending refers to borrowers bypassing banks by connecting directly to lenders via the Internet. Investors through peer-to-peer websites have helped drive a 50-fold increase in online financing to 64.6 billion yuan as of Sept. 30, for anything from weddings to personal medical expenses, according to wangdaizhijia.com, which tracks more than 1,000 of such little-supervised sites in China. The country has no regulations governing Internet finance.
Qatar to become first Middle East clearing hub for China’s yuan | Reuters Qatar will become the Middle East’s first hub for clearing transactions in the Chinese yuan, in a step that could over the long run help Gulf oil exporting countries reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s Doha branch has been appointed as the clearing bank for yuan deals in Qatar, China’s central bank said on Tuesday.
China Oct HSBC services PMI falls to 52.9, 3-month low | Reuters A sub-index measuring new business fell to 53.1 in October from 53.2 in October, but sub-index measuring employment and outstanding business both inched up, painting a mixed picture. “Overall, the service sector grew steadily in October as the underlying business conditions continue to look better than in the manufacturing part of the economy,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China Economist at HSBC.
经济参考网 – 楼市利好 土地市场年终翘尾 后两月土地成交或进一步提升 land sales increasing into year end. Sign of return of confidence? Any chance local governments/banks loan-related, mark-to-market accounting incentives to get prices up by 12.31? // 上海易居房地产研究院4日发布的土地市场研究报告指出，10月，
POLITICS AND LAW *
Discipline inspection teams receive violation tip-offs – Xinhua | China started a new round of official conduct inspections in July and 13 teams have been sent by the CCDI to oversee officials in the provincial-level regions of Guangxi, Shanghai, Qinghai, Tibet, Zhejiang, Hebei, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Jiangsu, as well as officials with the General Administration of Sport, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and state-owned automaker China FAW Group Corporation. As of Tuesday, all teams had published problems they found during the course of their inspections. The website’s report, which focused on “prominent problems,” named eight out of the 13 inspected regions or units for violations in the construction and real estate development sectors.//CCDI website has published a nice infographic of all the problems found 图解2014年中央巡视组-第二轮巡视反馈突出问题
China Voice: Officials need to cure maladaptation to stricter rules – Xinhua Beginning last year, supervision and regulation were tightened to reduce corruption, bureaucracy and extravagance, with practices such as the use of public funds for gifts, banquets or holidays outright banned. In response, many major companies and banks have closed VIP airport lounges as first-class travel has been tainted by its being associated to corrupt officials who had financed their jaunts with public funds. But now, without the premium services they had grown accustomed to, some officials seem to be lost. A Party chief in north China’s Hebei Province said that he did not know how to book tickets or how to collect boarding pass despite being a frequent flyer. “Standing at the airport, I’m just like a migrant worker arriving in the big city from a village for the first time,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
Corrupt Guangzhou cadre Cao Jianliao ‘rejected promotions’ to keep hands on cash cow | South China Morning Post Disgraced former Guangzhou deputy mayor Cao Jianliao pocketed nearly 300 million yuan (HK$378 million) in bribes while turning down promotions to stay in lower-ranking but more lucrative posts, Xinhua reported. Cao’s downfall is linked to the controversial development of Xian, an urban village in Guangzhou’s central business district, to make way for the Zhujiang New Town. The project was the focus of years of protests by villagers
邯郸一村官被指敛财过亿 玩“世袭”_央广网 a village chief in Handan, Hebei a serious, blood-sucking fly…stole at least 100m RMB, wanted to make his position hereditary…gotta love the Chinese term for “preying on the common people”–鱼肉百姓 literally “fish meat the common people” // 邯郸县某村官被指敛财过亿 ，鱼肉百姓 孙某某是邯郸县东小屯村支书兼村主任，在任十几年，欺上瞒下，
家族成员接连被查 山西令家疑再折一人 _中国-多维新闻网 Duowei on Chinese media coverage of another apparent sketchy Shanxi mine deal involving a relative of Ling Jihua and a senior officer in the PLA Shanxi provincial military district // 继化名“王诚”的山西令家幼子令完成被调查之后，
Ye Haiyan, Rights Campaigner, Is Detained Over Photo Posted Online – NYTimes.com According to a police notice sent to Ms. Ye’s family, the police charged her on Saturday with “intentionally displaying nudity in a public place” and planned to keep her in custody for 10 days.
‘Bumping into’ reporters efforts criticised by People’s Daily | South China Morning Post An opinion article in Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily criticised the news stories – often portrayed as a result of “bumping into” journalists or local residents armed with smartphones – as another tactic of officials trying to chase fame. The newspaper warned the exposure of cadres who were seen taking a subway or bus or spotted buying noodles while inspecting rural areas should not be taken at face value and could even risk corruption and damaging the party’s image.
Xi Jinping Turns to the Law – WSJ Editorial Mr. Xi wants to strengthen Party rule, and he may succeed for a time. But Mikhail Gorbachev started glasnost with similar intentions. As a Leninist party’s capacity to govern is exhausted, its leaders come under pressure to adopt aspects of liberalism that are effective, and that increases the demand for more reform. // so what has the CPC learned from the USSR’s failure?
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
“新古田会议”18代表发言公布_网易政务 remarks of 18 delegates at the “New Gutian Congress” released. Here is part of Gen. Liu Yuan’s: 当前，反腐倡廉形势不容乐观，
Communist Party ‘controls the gun’, PLA top brass reminded | South China Morning Post The two vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC) said “enemy forces” were trying to move the People’s Liberation Army away from the Communist Party’s leadership, according to the army’s mouthpiece, the PLA Daily. The pledges, by General Fan Changlong and General Xu Qiliang , came on Friday at the close of a two-day conference in Gutian, in Shanghang county, where Mao Zedong held a historic congress in 1929 that established the principle that the party leads the army. Analysts said the choice of location was a deliberate attempt by Xi to link himself with the earlier era.
Boondoggle on the Yalu: China’s Useless New Bridge to North Korea | Sino-NK In spite of the signing of a number statements of investment interest in Dandong, the trade fair must be termed a failure given the fact that China has now begun to complain openly about North Korea not having held up its side of the bargain on this signature piece of infrastructure between Dandong and Sinuiju. The bridge, which was to have been opened on October 30, sits complete but idle, for the incredible reason that the North Korean government has not mobilized the minimal resources required to build a road connecting it to the country’s transport network.
Taiwan Conducts Live Fire Drills on Spratlys, Angering Vietnam – Bloomberg The drills are conducted annually on Taiping Island, said Shih Yi-che, a public relations official at Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration. The island is known as Ba Binh in Vietnamese and claimed by both governments as well as China.
Chinese, Vietnamese parties hold 10th theory seminar – Xinhua The tenth theory seminar between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) was held in Da Lat City, Vietnam’s Central Highlands Lam Dong province, on Tuesday with the theme of experiences in building a socialist country under rule of law. Liu Qibao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Dinh The Huynh, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPV Central Committee, secretary of the CPV Central Committee’s Secretariat and chairman of the Central Theory Council, attended the seminar.
Midterm result will further thwart Obama – Global Times The US public used to speak highly of Obama, but now many seem to have reversed their opinions. Bush, who dared to do everything, and Obama, who dares to do nothing, come from different parties but have the same destiny. Is this their problem or the problem of the US system? Renowned scholar Francis Fukuyama believes it is due to dysfunction in the US system. But many others do not. They believe their country only needs a new president. With China’s rise, we gradually have the ability to have a clear understanding of the US. The country is too lazy to reform. US society selected Obama, but there is no great American president in this era.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
How Smashed Jesus Shrine Reveals Christian Undercurrent to Hong Kong Protests – Bloomberg Christians are equally prominent across the barricades. Hong Kong’s No. 2 official, Carrie Lam, who led televised talks with students, is Catholic. The former top official, Chief Executive Donald Tsang, was a Catholic who cited the Jesuit scholar Matteo Ricci. As many as 30 percent of government officials are Christian, according to Kung Lap Yan, a professor at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College in Hong Kong. The Archbishop of the Hong Kong Anglican Church, Paul Kwong, is a member of a party-approved political advisory body who told his parishioners they should keep quiet as Jesus did on the cross, according to the South China Morning Post.
UK loath to pressure China over Hong Kong because of trade: former governor | Reuters “There has always been quite a strong group in government and the business community which believes that you can only do business with China if you carefully avoid in all circumstances treading on China’s toes or saying anything the Chinese disagree with,” he said. “It encourages China to behave badly that we go on doing that.”
TECH AND MEDIA *
Alibaba Profit Beats Estimates as More Shoppers Lure Advertisers – Bloomberg Adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter were 2.79 yuan (46 U.S. cents), the Hangzhou, China-based company said today in a statement. Analysts predicted 2.74 yuan, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Net income fell to 3.03 billion yuan in the three months ended September.
Xiaomi To Invest $1B In Online Video Content | TechCrunch Xiaomi just announced on its official Weibo account that it plans to invest $1 billion in online video content to support its smart television ecosystem. The investment will be overseen by two Xiaomi executives who have considerable experience building online content. They are Chen Tong, the former editor-in-chief of news portal Sina.com, who Xiaomi hired away last month, and Wang Chuan, the director for Xiaomi’s smart TV products, including the Mi TV and Mi Box. Before becoming a co-founder and vice president of Xiaomi, Wang founded Beijing Doukan Technology in 2010, which develops reading and video apps, including the Doukan online bookstore, which Xiaomi acquired in 2012.
Is Xiaomi Really Worth $50 Billion? – Bloomberg Xiaomi revenue is set to more than double this year to exceed $12 billion, estimates Neil Shah, Mumbai-based research director for devices at Counterpoint Research. A $50 billion valuation would be 4.2 times Shah’s forecast for Xiaomi’s sales this year. Apple sales are forecast to rise 15 percent to $209.4 billion this year, according to the average of 46 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That puts Apple’s current market capitalization of $641.6 billion at 3.1 times projected sales. Lenovo (992)’s price-to-sales ratio is .38, while Sony’s is .30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Samsung, which also is the world’s biggest maker of televisions and memory chips, has a ratio of .70.
As mobile usage grows, China’s traffic jams aren’t just a offline anymore Last night, for example, 3G services for many of China Unicom’s users went offline. Most users within Beijing’s fourth ring road (a highly populated area of roughly 78 square miles) were unable to access the web for a period of around two hours, during which its customer service phone lines were reportedly ringing off the hook. The culprit, according to China Unicom, was a spike in user data usage. In other words, a traffic jam. In fact, Unicom’s Weibo post on the outage actually uses yongse, a Chinese word often used in the context of road traffic congestion, to describe the cause of the downtime.
A new PhD dissertation from China provides a map for researchers to navigate China’s Internet content regulation “rules” | Han-teng Liao 廖漢騰 China’s Internet Content Regulation: A study of 195 policy documents and 10 elites’ interviews mapped out 14 subject areas that involve 58 agencies with 3 core ones in the middle of action. I had this privilege to read a pre-publication copy of PhD dissertation titled “Study on China’s Internet Content Regulation Mechanism” (中国互联网内容监管机制研究), written by Xiaoyu Li (李小宇) at Wuhan University’s School of Information Management (信息资源管理) under the supervision of a prominent Information Science scholar Professor Fei-Cheng Ma (马费成). Based on a series of detailed and innovative analysis of 195 regulation policy documents within the time frame from 1994 to 2011 and (elite) interviews of 10 people who participated in Internet content regulation, the thesis provides a well-organized historical account of the progression and changes of China’s Internet content regulation (including the censorship/filtering regime). // sounds interesting, even if the rules may have changed since 2011 with the new leading group on Internet Security and Informatization and the establishment of the powerful Cyber Administration of China (SIIO) under Lu Wei…wonder how one gets a copy
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
福州7岁女孩日记写“习爷爷你好害羞” 走红网络_新闻_腾讯网 On his Fujian inspection tour Xi Jinping visited a primary school in Fuzhou. A 7 year old wrote a journal entry describing his visit, wrote that that “Grandpa Xi is too shy!”…her journal entry has become an internet hit
中纪委网站刊文炮轰中国足球管理乱象_新闻_腾讯网 CCDI releases scathing comments about corrupt state of Chinese Football as part of its report on recent inspection tour in the State General Administration of Sports // 11月2日傍晚，随着广州恒大队第四次捧起冠军奖杯，随着“
China Weighing More Emphasis on Traditional Culture in Textbooks – NYTimes.com At an annual education conference this past weekend in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Wang Xuming, president of the state-owned Language and Culture Press, told reporters that his publishing house had revised its Chinese language and literature textbooks to increase the proportion of guoxue, literally “national studies,” referring to the study of Chinese culture, in textbooks to 35 percent, up from 25 percent, the state news agency Xinhua reported. Mr. Wang, a former spokesman for the Ministry of Education, said the proposed changes had already been submitted to the ministry. If approved, he said, the new textbooks would be introduced next September in time for the new school year.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China’s EIA industry rife with fraud | Bao Xiaodong – China Dialogue An investigation into China’s mushrooming environmental impact assessment sector found widespread fraud, based on unlicensed subcontractors and fake registrations for EIA engineers.
Tibetan plateau faces massive “ecosystem shift” | Beth Walker – China Dialogue Large areas of grasslands, alpine meadows, wetlands and permafrost will disappear on the Tibetan plateau by 2050, with serious implications for environmental security in China and South Asia, a research paper published by scientists at the Kunming Institute of Botany has warned. Warming temperatures, combined with a dramatic infrastructure boom, a growing population and over grazing will combine to push fragile ecosystems on the world’s largest and highest plateau from one state to another. This irreversible shift which will mean the region no longer provides key environmental services – such as water and carbon storage – to the rest of Asia.
考古学家长白山发现五万年前石斧 工艺精湛(图)-搜狐新闻 Archaeologists discover 50,000 year old tools near Changbaishan in Jilin Province, famous Chinese archaeologist Chen Jiaquan says this discovery thoroughly negates the Western archaeological hypothesis of the “Movius Line” //中国著名旧石器考古专家、
China’s farm smuggling crackdown uncovers $1.16 billion in lost tax | Reuters The crackdown on smuggling of cheaper farm produce started in March and comes after Beijing raised domestic agricultural prices to protect its rural population. Beijing’s grain purchases and corn stockpile scheme, under which it buys from farmers at inflated prices, can be as much as 40 percent higher than global prices, and has resulted in a rise in the smuggling of grains, meat and cotton.
Central Gov’t Tells Big Cities to Protect Their Arable Land – Caixin The governments of 14 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, were told to survey farmland outside city centers and along traffic routes that are most likely to be used for commercial construction. The good plots were to be labeled “permanent fundamental farmland” that are off-limits to non-agricultural development. The idea was raised by the Hu-Wen administration in 2008 and emphasized again in a blueprint for urbanization released early this year. Farmland that gets the designation is to be strictly reserved for growing crops and cannot be used by individuals or companies for any other purpose.
More than 40 percent of China’s arable land degraded: Xinhua | Reuters The country, which must feed nearly 1.4 billion people, has already outlined plans to tackle soil pollution, said to affect around 3.3 million hectares of land. But as rising incomes place growing pressure on its domestic resources to produce more, high quality food, it is also planning to tackle degraded soil, the report said. The agriculture ministry wants to create 53 million hectares of connected farmland by 2020 that would allow it to withstand drought and floods better, said Xinhua. Larger farms are more suited to irrigation and other modern farming practices.
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
Yen Dive Lures Record China Tourists to Japan: Chart of the Day – Bloomberg The CHART OF THE DAY shows the year-on-year growth rates of visitors to Japan since July 2013 from Taiwan, South Korea, China and the U.S., the four largest tourist sources. China overtook all three in July, with the number of travelers reaching an all-time high of 281,309, and has remained in the top spot, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. The lower panel tracks the Chinese yuan’s performance against the yen, Taiwanese dollar and Korean won since last year.
Ministry criticizes mayor for slack efforts in smog response – Xinhua China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) on Tuesday summoned the mayor of Anyang City in central China’s Henan Province to discuss the city’s smog response measures, the latest in China’s efforts to curb its smog problem before APEC meetings this week in Beijing. Since June, the ministry has been monitoring the city, whose air quality ranked second-to-last among 18 Henan cities in 2013, according to a statement from the MEP. But without effective measures, some heavy polluters have refused to fix their practices
APEC期间北京房产过户暂停办 Beijing to stop processing housing transactions during APEC, will certainly skew the weekly and monthly sales data…
北京新机场拆迁招标发布 总规模超400万平方米_新闻_腾讯网 Legal Evening News on the imminent relocation of thousands to make way for Beijing’s new airport, article says local villager been getting money management education…some stand to make a lot of money…not everyone gets screwed when land reclaimed, in fact some get a lot of money, but as with winning the lottery the money often goes fast… // 老宋说，许多村民向金融机构的工作人员进行咨询，
JOBS AND EVENTS *
Beijing, China | The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream – A book by Dan Washburn Beijing Bookworm Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream – Book Talk with Dan Washburn Moderated by Andrew Browne of The Wall Street Journal Wednesday, November 5th at 7:30pm 50RMB (40 RMB for members)
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