The Sinocism China Newsletter 11.06.14

Today’s issue is a bit thin as I will be at a conference all day.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. Ali Baba’s cave and Pandora’s box – China Media Project Perhaps more significant than his position as head of SIIO is his position as director of the General Office of the Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group, which according to Xinhua News Agency is “designed to lead and coordinate Internet security work” as well as “draft national strategies, development plans and major policies.” As the overarching information objectives of the CCP leadership (control/development/security) center not on the traditional media system — which in recent years has been quite effectively muzzled in China — but rather on vast, dispersed and global internet-based new media, it is time to ask: is the Central Propaganda Department being marginalized in favor of a new, rebalanced system of information controls under Xi Jinping? If this is the case, then Lu Wei is the chief disciple of this important shift…Last week’s your-home-my-home metaphor notwithstanding, Lu Wei understands that it is not enough to assert control over information and establish “order” at home. This is why China wants to exert greater influence over global internet developments.

2. China says probe into disgraced security chief could take time | Reuters There had been expectations that authorities would provide a public update about the case against Zhou last month at a meeting of members of the Communist Party elite…Zhang Sujun, a deputy justice minister, said the investigation was still in the hands of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection – the party’s anti-graft watchdog – in rare public comments on the case. “The investigation is still ongoing because we are going to review and investigate the case according to the law and also pay attention to evidence, so this process may be a long process, but also a more serious and responsible process,” Zhang told a news conference.// by “expectations” does Reuters mean its10.15 report that said “China’s disgraced former domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, looks set to be expelled from the ruling Communist Party at a key meeting next week, sources said”?…The response to the Reuters question got a lot of coverage in Chinese media. Taking down a retired Politburo Standing Committee member for corruption is unprecedented, very complicated and will take time. The prosecutions of Bo Xilai, Chen Xitong, Chen Liangyu, “only” Politburo members, took longer from announcement of investigation to trial than that process has so far taken in the the Zhou case. People need to chill out with all the “in-fighting” speculation. Zhou is toast. 

Related: 官方一周3次回应周永康案:调查需要一个过程_新闻_腾讯网 3 official comments on the status of the Zhou Yongkang case in last week

3. China Set to Host Regional Anticorruption Network – WSJ China is increasingly extending its sweeping domestic antigraft campaign internationally to, as one policy maker put it, “cut off the escape route of corrupt fugitives.” Now, the 21 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering, which started Wednesday in Beijing, are set to affirm a plan for information-sharing on corruption, say people familiar with the strategy. They say the network, called Act-Net, will be based at the training arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Discipline Inspection Commission, a secret police feared for its extralegal powers to detain and investigate officials without charge or lawyer representation.

4. NY court: No asylum for Chinese child-counter-AP The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that 61-year-old Suzhen Meng assisted in the persecution of women for 22 years as the sole public security officer in a region where she monitored about 1,100 households. An immigration court previously found that she reported women with unauthorized pregnancies knowing they would be subjected to forced abortions and sterilizations. China’s policy in her region permitted families to have one child. The appeals court noted that Meng had testified to seeing women who had violated the policy being dragged away forcibly by police. After arriving in the United States in February 2008, Meng sought asylum on the grounds that she faced political persecution in China.

5. Engagement and Assurance: Debating the U.S.-Chinese Relationship | The National Interest by Michael S. Chase, Timothy R. Heath, Ely Ratner  // Professor Goldstein’s article then prescribes a dangerous policy of retrenchment that would only serve to aggravate the risks of crisis and conflict. After all, the most dangerous rivalries in Asia today are between China and its neighbors, not China and the United States. A disengaged or acquiescent Washington would only intensify fears and insecurity in regional capitals and increase the likelihood of arms racing, miscalculation and violence. The logic of the rebalance is precisely to avoid this outcome by at once seeking to build stable ties with China while reassuring U.S. allies and partners. Finally, Professor Goldstein concludes by warning that Washington is “most likely at the November meetings in Beijing to squander limited bandwidth trading slurs over the fate of inconsequential reefs.” This would be worrisome were it not for the fact that it’s inaccurate

6. Party Investigators Warn Officials in Zhejiang Province Against Religion – NYTimes.com Communist Party investigators have warned officials in the eastern province of Zhejiang, where several Christian churches have been demolished or forced to remove prominent crosses over the past year, against practicing religion. The brief message was included in a statement from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection describing its recent tour of the province.

7. 房地产从业者急切抄底楼市 齐呼当前房价到底了|房地产|房价调整|楼市政策_新浪财经_新浪网 are Chinese real estate insiders starting to buy, believing that the market has bottomed? so says a report from China Securities Journal

官方一周3次回应周永康案:调查需要一个过程_新闻_腾讯网 3 official comments on the status of the Zhou Yongkang case in last we 10月楼市成交创年内新高 四季度仍将量升价稳_财经频道_一财网 October real estate transactions highest monthly total of the year  //  在央行信贷新政和“金九银十”的影响下,10月份楼市成交创造了年内新高。 上海易居房地产研究院5日发布的报告显示,10月份,该院监测的30个典型城市新建商品住宅成交面积为1837万平方米,环比增长24.3%,同比减少1.1%。30个城市中,有27个即九成城市的成交量出现了环比增长。 目前已连续四个月成交出现了环比正增长态势。10月份的市场成交,已经创下了年内最高。

8. No timetable for full relaxation on one-child policy in China – Xinhua China currently has no plans to suspend or further relax its one-child policy, Zhao Yanpei, an official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said Wednesday. The announcement means that couples, who both have sibling, are still bound by the one-child rule…The government currently has no timetable for an overall easing on t one-child policy, but is carefully monitoring demographic changes for future policy adjustments, Zhao said.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

Goldman’s Blankfein Sees China’s Century After Growth Transition – Bloomberg An expansion rate up to 7 percent is a “regular, normal” one for China, while expansion levels from 7 percent to 10 percent were accompanied by a “loss of discipline,” Goldman’s chief executive officer said in a video on the company’s website after a recent trip there.

U.S. Trade Gap with China, 80% of Trade Deficit, Hits Historic High – Real Time Economics – WSJ The import and trade gap numbers—unadjusted for inflation and exchange rates–are the largest since Commerce started collecting trade data with China in the early 1970s. Most of the $5 billion increase in imports was fueled by a $3 billion surge in buying of cell phones. In September, Apple released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, both of which are assembled in China. Exports to China fell 3% on the month to $9.3 billion as China’s economy showed more signs of slowing. At $35.6 billion, the trade gap with China represents more than 80% of the total U.S. trade deficit of $43.0 billion.

Qualcomm Says China Licensing Challenges to Curb Profit – Bloomberg While demand for Qualcomm’s most advanced chips is fueling revenue growth, some Chinese phone makers are refusing to pay the company’s required license fees for using its technology standard, curbing profit. The government in that country, which Qualcomm is counting on for growth, is investigating the company’s business practices, giving handset makers a reason to defer negotiations on royalties.

7铁路项目获批 放大稳增长信号_财经频道_一财网 CBN–200B RMB of railway projects greenlighted by the NDRC //  不足一月前刚刚公布包含铁路和机场扩建在内2500亿元的基建项目批复后,发改委昨日再度公布2000亿元铁路批复项目。 《第一财经日报》梳理发现,这两批数千亿元的项目大都在9月底批复。有机构人士对本报分析称,此时密集释放批复信息,有助于提振市场信心,年末稳增长信号明显。

Plan to Lay Off 1,000 Employees Prompts Protest at Sony Offices – Caixin Dozens of Sony Corp. employees gathered outside the Japanese company’s offices in the capital on November 4 to ask for details of a layoff plan. The same day Sony told Caixin that it would dismiss about 1,000 employees working in its mobile phone segment and most of those workers would be in China. Some 50 Sony employees started to gather outside the office building at about 11 a.m. and more joined later, an engineer for the company said. Leaders of the Beijing office spoke to the employees about 11:30 a.m., urging them to remain calm and go back to work. The employees went back to work at 1 p.m.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

FreedomInfo | China’s Leaders Endorse Disclosure as the `Norm’ – Freedom Info By Jamie P. Horsley The author is Executive Director, The China Law Center and Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School In an important policy decision adopted at the conclusion of a four-day plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee from October 20-23, the Party endorsed disclosure as the norm, with non-disclosure as the exception, a slight reconfiguration of the presumption of transparency it has supported in principle for nearly a decade.

中纪委副书记刘金国兼任中央政法委委员 身兼9职_网易新闻中心 至此,刘金国已担任中央纪委副书记,中央政法委委员,中央防范和处理邪教问题领导小组副组长、办公室主任,国务院防范和处理邪教问题办公室主任,公安部党委副书记、副部长、纪委书记、督察长,共9个职务。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Suspected Chinese poachers thumb noses at Japanese authority as fears rise on isles – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The 62-year-old deputy head of the Ogasawara islands fisheries cooperative was showing first-hand the situation in Japanese territorial waters about 1,000 kilometers south of central Tokyo, where at least 100 vessels are believed to be operating illegally to obtain coral used in jewelry. The suspected coral poaching has not only damaged the seabed environment and disrupted Japanese fishing operations, but it has also spread safety fears among the increasingly frustrated residents on the tiny islands in the Pacific.

Gilbert Rozman | Asia For the Asians | Foreign Affairs | Foreign Affairs China’s rhetoric in support of Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Russia’s rhetoric endorsing Xi’s thinking about East Asia is not a coincidence. Rather, it is a feature of a new, post–Cold War geopolitical order. As long as the current political elites in China and Russia hold on to power, there is no reason to expect a major shift in either country’s national identity or in the Sino-Russian relationship.  //  except there is so much deep distrust between the two

崔天凯:没听克里说过“要求解放军不要介入占中”|日媒|克里_凤凰资讯 Amb. Cui Tiankai says he never heard Sec of State Kerry request that the PLA not be used to deal with Occupy Hong Kong, contrary to media reports

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

HK chief links exchange delay to protests – FT.com Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung has drawn a direct link between pro-democracy protests and the delay to a high-profile equities trading platform that had been billed as key to the territory’s financial future. Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Leung said he would press Beijing for a launch date for the so-called stock connect during an official visit next week, but added that “co-operation” was needed from those in Hong Kong who are “threatening the rule of law”.

Taiwan and Hong Kong: Told you so | The Economist Mr Ma’s ruling Nationalist party, the Kuomintang, is expected to do poorly in municipal elections at the end of the year, which will set the stage for a presidential vote in 2016. But this has to do with poor governance, not Hong Kong. Mr Ma, one of the most unpopular elected leaders Taiwan has had, is currently battling the fourth food scandal in three years.  China’s Taiwan policies are also unlikely to change much. China’s president, Xi Jinping, has said the Taiwan problem should not be left to future generations. But George Tsai, of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, who is close to Chinese policymakers, says Mr Xi does not want to add Taiwan to a daunting foreign-policy agenda. “If you bring in Hong Kong, the South China Sea, the East China Sea: China has no extra energy for Taiwan,” he says. Mr Xi may have to wait after all.

China strikes back at Lord Patten over Hong Kong – Telegraph Fat Pang, as he was affectionately nicknamed by locals, urged parliament on Tuesday to stand up to Beijing over Hong Kong. In response, the Chinese Foreign ministry said Lord Patten should “know better and see clearly that times have changed.”

Hong Kong’s Students Waver Over Beijing Trip, Plan Local March Instead he influential Federation of Students (HKFS) said it might not necessarily send envoys to Beijing in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leadership summit next week. But it said it would join academic activist group Scholarism and the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF)—the organization behind Hong Kong’s mass July 1 political marches—in a march to Beijing’s Hong Kong liaison office on Sunday afternoon.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Malicious Software Campaign Targets Apple Users in China – NYTimes.com The company, Palo Alto Networks, reported that it had uncovered a malware campaign called WireLurker targeting Apple mobile and desktop users and said it was “the biggest in scale we have ever seen.” Though the malware — malicious software designed to cause damage or steal information — is aimed at users in China and can be avoided, the campaign demonstrates new ways that attackers are targeting Apple iOS mobile devices.

Xiaomi Makes a Profit on Its Cheap Smartphones – WSJ – WSJ Now a confidential document viewed by The Wall Street Journal shows that Xiaomi’s net profit nearly doubled last year, making it an unusually lucrative business in an industry where most players selling cheap handsets struggle to break even. Xiaomi, which a few months ago surpassed Samsung Electronics Co. as the biggest smartphone vendor in China by shipments, presented the document to banks in its recent pitch to raise $1 billion in loans for overseas expansion or acquisition. A table in the document showed that Xiaomi’s net profit last year rose 84% to 3.46 billion yuan ($566 million) from 1.88 billion yuan in 2012, while its revenue more than doubled to 27 billion yuan. Another table included a forecast of a 75% net profit increase this year.

China’s phone users reach 1.53 bln – Xinhua China’s phone users numbered 1.53 billion at the end of September, including 1.27 billion mobile phone users, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday. Mobile broadband subscribers reached 525 million at the end of September, including 43.06 million 4G mobile broadband subscribers. Broadband through fixed-lines reached 200 million households at the end of September. About 92 percent of villages have accesses to broadband, according to the ministry

Chinese Firms in Push to Build Smartphone Brands Abroad – Companies like Huawei and Lenovo are using Facebook and sponsorship deals with sports teams to introduce devices to foreigners // 中国手机厂商Facebook建站 

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

The New Masters by Sascha Matuszak — Kickstarter I donated  //  A feature length documentary film exploring modern mixed martial arts and traditional kung fu in China

China Movie Mogul Wang Zhongjun Buys Vincent Van Gogh Painting for $61.8 Million – WSJ Wang Zhongjun bid over the phone on Tuesday evening, according to a person close to the matter. Mr. Wang, one of China’s richest men, founded Huayi Brothers Media Corp. in 1994 with his brother. The Shenzhen-listed company, which produced major blockbusters such as Journey to the West, has a market cap of $4.7 billion

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Chinese President’s Delegation Tied to Illegal Ivory Purchases During Africa Visit – NYTimes.com according to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a nongovernmental organization based in London, members of the delegation used Mr. Xi’s visit as an opportunity to procure so much illegal ivory that local prices doubled to $70,000 per kilogram, or about $31,800 per pound. In fact, two weeks before Mr. Xi arrived, Chinese buyers went on a shopping spree for illegal ivory, purchasing thousands of pounds of poached tusks, which were “later sent to China in diplomatic bags on the presidential plane,” says the report, “Vanishing Point: Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants,” which was released on Thursday.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Amazon.com: Chinese Rules: Mao’s Dog, Deng’s Cat, and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China: Tim Clissold: his first book, effectively a skewering Jack Perkowski and Asimco, was a classic  //  From the author of the acclaimed Mr. China comes another rollicking adventure story—part memoir, part history, part business imbroglio—that offers valuable lessons to help Westerners win in China…Exploring key episodes in that nation’s long political, military, and cultural history, Clissold outlines five Chinese Rules, which anyone can deploy in on-the-ground situations with modern Chinese counterparts. These Chinese rules will enable foreigners not only to cooperate with China but also to compete with it on its own ter

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