The Sinocism China Newsletter 11.07.13

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Deadly bomb blasts hit Chinese Communist headquarters – Telegraph The bombs, while small, were not unsophisticated. Police investigators said they had found computer circuit boards among the debris, perhaps part of a timer system. Ball-bearings, some an inch wide, were packed inside.

The uncomfortable truth in China’s property market | Reuters The starting point of local governments is to keep land prices relatively high,” said Zou Xiaoyun, deputy chief engineer at China Land Surveying and Planning Institute, a research unit affiliated to the land ministry. “Governments are not willing to see home prices fall.” Selling land is a major source of income for local governments but other factors drive up prices as well. These include natural demand from a rising population, and speculation fuelled by ready cash, given relatively few alternatives for investment.

As border defections drop, ‘southern money’ pours in | North Korea News–BY ANDREI LANKOV , NOVEMBER 4, 2013 The era of Kim Jong Un began just two years ago, and so far not many changes have been observed in North Korea. However, a few things changed clearly and dramatically, and one of these is the situation on the 1,200-kilomter-long border between North Korea and China. It seems that the authorities have managed to significantly decrease cross-border human traffic, while their efforts to curb the flow of information and money have so far been less successful.

Dirty Clash of China’s Heavy Equipment Heavies – Caixin cover story this week// The dramatic fall of a media mercenary has exposed a quiet, dirty war for clients, government favors and respectability between two of the world’s largest heavy-equipment manufacturers. It’s a years-long war that’s been largely hidden from the public eye, on a battlefield littered with charges and counter-charges of espionage, slander and back-door deals in the Hunan Province city of Changsha, home base for rivals Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development Co. Ltd. and Sany Heavy Industry Co. Ltd.

There Is No Room for Greed in Gathering News – Caixin-Hu Shuli China’s peculiar media environment makes it easy for journalists to succumb to temptation, a situation that will exist until the media is allowed to be independent // on Chen Yongzhou case and  corruption in Chinese media

Related: Behind corrupt news, a corrupt system – China Media Project In a piece called, “Rent Seeking in the Media is Unforgivable” (新闻寻租不可恕), Caixin editor-in-chief Hu Shuli (胡舒立) recently wrote about the chaos prevailing in China’s media. Hu’s piece drew a strong reaction from many journalists — a rare tide of dissenting opinion for a popular editor whose views are generally praised. One of the chief objections to Hu’s piece was that by criticizing corruption in the media before the full facts of the Chen Yongzhou case have come to light — particularly given problems in how the case has been handled — Hu Shuli risked inviting further constraints on the already limited space enjoyed by journalists in China. In fact, the two sides are on the same page. While it’s certainly true that we can’t glimpse the facts in the Chen Yongzhou case clearly as it stands right now, those journalists finding fault with Hu Shuli’s points must appreciate just how horrifying the situation really is in the media right now with respect to corruption.

China demands ‘positive images’ in return for access to markets | Film | theguardian.com A senior figure in the Chinese film industry outlined the conditions it is setting for Hollywood to gain access to its lucrative box-office revenues, central among which is more “positive images” of the country and its culture. Speaking at the US/China Film Summit, held in LA on the eve of the American Film Market convention, China Film Co-Production Company president (CFCC) Zhang Xun told Hollywood executives: “We have a huge market and we want to share it with you [but] we want films that are heavily invested in Chinese culture, not one or two shots … We want to see positive Chinese images.”

传农地流转和集体土地入市是三中全会土改重点_网易财经 this reports quotes someone who was involved in the Third Plenum report as saying that land reform will figure prominently // 大智慧阿思达克通讯社11月6日讯,一位参与了十八届三中全会文件征求意见的人士向大智慧通讯社透露,十八届三中全会报告土地改革部分涉创新农村土地流转方式多样化等内容,而多位学者认为,农村集体土地入市是最可能实现的改革。上述参与征求意见的人士透露,三中全会报告关于土地制度改革有不少内容,包括继续进行农地的确权、登记工作;创新农村土地承包经营权流转实现方式的多样化;通过信托、抵押等方式与金融创新相结合;通过转包、出租等增加农民的资产性收益等。

Related: 聚焦农村土地流转_十八届三中全会_网易专题 Netease looks at rural land reform that may be on the agenda at the Third Plenum. This feature is sponsored by Chrysler–screenshot // 国研中心公布了一份由中央财办主任、国家发改委副主任刘鹤担纲领衔撰写的改革方案,包含“三位一体改革思路、八个重点改革领域、三个关联性改革组合”的改革基本思路和行动方案。其中指出,现行土地制度存在权利二元、市场进入不平等、价格扭曲和增值收益分配不公等弊端。改革目标是建立两种所有制土地权利平等、市场统一、增值收益公平共享的土地制度,促进土地利用方式和经济发展方式转变。

2012央企职工工资报告 Netease report on salaries of central SOE workers, says average salary is 110k RMB/ye, 3.8x that of workers in private enterprises

 

THIRD PLENUM

Li Keqiang calls for modern agriculture development – Xinhua  Li made the call during an inspection tour that took him to the cities of Tongjiang, Fuyuan and Harbin in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6. He stressed the importance of deepening reform in accelerating modern agriculture, which calls for innovation in agricultural production and operational systems, making sure that rural people’s rights and interests are preserved

确保受灾群众安全温暖过冬 积极推进农村综合改革试验–时政–人民网农村改革是我国当前改革的重要组成部分,黑龙江松嫩平原和三江平原是国务院今年批准的国家首个现代农业综合配套改革试验区。考察中,李克强详细了解改革进展包括整合涉农资金使用、健全重点水利工程规划实施机制等情况,与干部群众探讨破解制约现代农业发展的体制机制障碍和深层次矛盾。他说,农村改革又到了新的阶段,推进农业现代化还得靠改革。要着力创新农业生产经营体制,在坚持家庭承包责任制的基础上,在保护农民合法权益、尊重农民意愿的前提下,积极探索股份合作等多种方式的适度规模经营。以此为龙头,配套推进土地管理制度改革,并带动金融和保险更好地支持服务农业。

视频:三中全会你应该知道的事_十八届三中全会_网易专题 Netease 3 minute video explaining the 3rd plenum, in cartoon format

Good Presentation From China Policy on what to expect from Third Plenum–PDF

十八届三中全会前瞻_后WTO时代的中国外贸_财经频道_新华网 中国加入WTO以来,充分享受权利,如实和提前履行承诺的义务,贸易高歌猛进,经济高速发展,对外开放水平提高,国际地位提升。然而,同时也应看到,在全球贸易格局面临大洗牌的新的历史时期,我们面临的外部竞争形势格外诡异;此外,国内生产要素成本持续上升、传统比较优势弱化,中国对外贸易面临的形势不可谓不严峻。在“入世红利”逐渐消退的新时期,后WTO的中国外贸面临着怎样的挑战?又将如何探寻出路,构建新的外贸“红利”呢?

李克强关键词:凸显“改革” 点睛“新经济”_财经频道_一财网 一名接近高层的智库人士曾对本报表示,本届三中全会将会是一次全方位的,注重整体性、系统性、配套性的改革–关键词一:改革, 关键词二:简政放权, 关键词三:新经济, 关键词四:对外开放

Everyone’s Talking About China’s ‘3rd Plenum’ Meeting — An “Expert” Explains Why – Business Insider

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

Interbank Business Disturbs Financial Regulations, Says PBoC -Caijing The PBoC has, for the first time, spared two pages of the report on the country’s interbank business. The central bank warned that some of the banks are using the interbank business to finance loans, even inflate saving account which makes it harder to prevent and manage risks. This is another alert the central bank has sent over dangers from interbank business expansion after its deputy governor said the rapid-expanding market has brought new challenges for implementing monetary policy and preventing financial risks.

Alibaba, Tencent to Launch Online Insurance Venture in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ Speaking together at an event in Shanghai on Wednesday, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma, 49, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.TCEHY -1.51% Chief Executive Pony Ma, 42, both agreed that growing older in the fast-changing tech sector is a challenge. “My biggest crisis is that I don’t understand what young people like,” Pony Ma said, speaking to an auditorium of students from Shanghai’s Fudan University, where the two announced the new venture—called Zhong An Online Property Insurance and jointly invested in by Tencent, Alibaba, and Ping An Insurance601318.SH -0.35% (Group) Co.—which will sell insurance products online.

Investors Cool to 2 Chinese Bank Offerings – NYTimes.com The Huishang Bank Corporation, a regional banking group based in eastern Anhui Province, priced its initial public offering at the bottom end of the marketed range on Wednesday, raising 9.2 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $1.19 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the deal, who declined to be identified because the information was not yet public. Also on Wednesday, shares of Bank of Chongqing closed down slightly on their first day of trading in Hong Kong after the company raised 4.2 billion dollars in a share sale.

U.S. investors’ love of tech defeats fear of China | Considered View | Breakingviews Existing ownership offers some reassurance. Chinese internet giant Baidu retains a controlling stake in Qunar while Autohome has been under the control of Telstra, the Australian telco, since mid-2008. Nevertheless, investors seem more interested in buying growth than pricing risk. U.S.-listed internet stocks are up 25 percent since the end of June, and China’s expanding economy and increasingly active consumers are powering revenue. As for all internet stocks, valuations could prove fragile to increased competition or technological changes. Well known Chinese worries just add a further level of uncertainty. But for now, rapid revenue growth is trumping caution.

专家谈人民币对内贬值:8年间1千元缩水至576元_新闻_腾讯网 on the corrosiveness of inflation. In 8 years 1000 RMB now worth 576RMB, even as the RMB has appreciated by nearly 30% against the US Dollar..interesting to see China Youth Daily discuss the harmful effects of China’s money printing…usually the official line is that US money printing is the problem…// 多年来,由于国内的经济增长更多地依靠投资,依靠大量增加的信贷投放,致使我国的货币投放量无论同我们自己过去比,还是与世界各国相比,都有着较大数量的超发。到今年第一季度为止,广义货币(M2)已经超过100万亿元,2002年年初为16万亿元,10多年中增长超过5倍。我国的货币总量与GDP之比已超过200%,我国的经济总量为世界第二,大约为美国的1/3,而货币投放量比经济总量第一的美国高出1.5倍,位居世界第一。

China’s Leaders Confront Economic Fissures – NYTimes.com Young Chinese may still be more fortunate than many young people in the West, in that at least factory and restaurant jobs are available. But without broader policy changes, economists question how the Chinese economy will produce enough desirable jobs to bring down youth unemployment, particularly among college graduates, a group that has been among the most politically volatile in China. “If you want just any job, you can get one, 100 percent for sure — as long as you are not picky,” Mr. Zheng said. “I think there is a mismatch between the jobs that are available and what I am looking for.” // a failure to manage expectations, in so many areas…

Full text: Speech by Minister Cai Mingzhao at #cybersummit2013, Nov. 5, 2013 | Transpacifica The development of the Internet in China is very encouraging. Internet-based IT businesses have become a pillar of the economy, contributing 10 percent of China’s GDP. In 2012, the value of e-business transactions carried out in China reached US$1.4 trillion.

宗庆后:女儿不懂中国企业现状 也不清楚国外情况_证券时报网 饮料巨头娃哈哈跨界进入白酒业的传闻终于得到证实。昨天,娃哈哈集团在北京宣布进军白酒业,而首款酱香酒——领酱国酒也正式亮相。娃哈哈集团董事长兼总经理宗庆后称,在白酒行业处于低谷之际,娃哈哈是抄底“饮酒”,150亿元的投资可能还不够。

Its industry in a slump, a Chinese Baijiu company hires American CEO | Marketplace.org Jim Rice became CEO of Shuijingfang baijiu company nearly a year ago. It was terrible timing. “About the time I arrived, the industry started to go on a slide,” Rice says, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s new austerity measures, “My sales are down 50 percent. We’ve just given a warning to the stock market that our profit will be down between 80 percent and 100 percent.”

秋日访茅台:感受一个行业的冷暖_证券时报网 白酒业正遭遇“寒冬”。曾被投资者贴上价值投资标签的贵州茅台,亦无法幸免。基金大肆抛售,股价逼近腰斩。“那些年我们一起追过的茅台”不再是市场的“大众情人”。 在本轮行业调整中,白酒的利润泡沫被挤破。那么,当价格回归理性,行业的平衡点是否还在?作为白酒板块的领头羊,承载了许多机构投资者情感的“贵州茅台”又会怎样发展?带着这些疑问,上证报记者来到了茅台镇,“品尝”了一回深秋的茅台。

Smithfield owner Shuanghui hires banks for up to $6 billion HK IPO | Reuters  China’s Shuanghui International Holdings, which bought U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc this year, has hired banks for a Hong Kong IPO, seeking to raise up to $6 billion in what could be the region’s largest stock offering in four years.

China Farmer Turns Yarn Baron as Villages Embrace Alibaba – Bloomberg Taobao and Tmall.com, with a combined 500 million registered accounts, now contribute the majority of Alibaba’s revenue, according to the company. The two sites sold more than $3 billion of goods during a single day’s sales promotion last year. Alibaba has said the transaction volume on its own platforms could reach 3 trillion yuan the next three to five years, surpassing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)’s sales. The volume on the Chinese retailer’s main platforms was equivalent to almost 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product last year.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

President Xi takes inspection tour to Hunan – Xinhua 

Beijing party chief urges tighter internet controls | South China Morning Post Beijing’s party chief and its former mayor, Guo Jinlong, urged the city’s propaganda officials to exude tighter control over the internet and reverse the trend where “positive voices” were “rare and lonely,” reported the Beijing Youth Daily on Wednesday.

揭秘退休国家领导人出书流程:丰厚稿费大多捐出_新闻_腾讯网 中国卸任高官出书的丰厚稿费大多以设立基金会等方式捐出。李瑞环创办了桑梓助学基金会,并拿出稿费100万元捐入其中,李岚清以稿费200万元发起成立了复旦管理学奖励基金,吴官正出资115万元设立了昱鸿奖学金。

China’s Wealthy Heirs Demoralize Young, Xinhua Commentary Says – Bloomberg “Many offenses against social order by the second generation of China’s wealthy families in recent years have also demoralized the country’s social working spirit,” the commentary, which carried the bylines of three Xinhua writers, said today. “A widening wealth gap has appeared between cities and the countryside, different regions, jobs and groups of people.” The commentary, titled “Chinese leadership seeks maximal reform consensus,” was tied to a Nov. 9-12 meeting of the Communist Party at which the government may spell out economic reforms for the next decade. The commentary acknowledged that any reform is “entangled with intricate problems and conflicts” brought about by the country’s development. // Commentary: Chinese leadership seeks maximal reform consensus – Xinhua  have not seen a Chinese version

BBC World Service – The Forum, The Forum in Beijing Bridget Kendall chairs a wide-ranging discussion in Beijing about the internet in China: does the rise of digital communication empower the Chinese individual or the state? How is the social media explosion changing the nature of Chinese society? How much is free expression really curtailed by the Great Firewall of China and the recent legislation aimed at curbing the spread of ‘rumours’ on the net? And is the ability to share the minutiae of their lives online making the young in China politically apathetic?

Insight: Failure to end China’s labor camps shows limits of Xi’s power | Reuters “Xi Jinping loathes re-education through labor,” a source who has known Xi since the 1990s told Reuters. Xi had approved a proposal by domestic security chief Meng Jianzhu to eradicate the system but was thwarted by conservative sections of the party, two other sources said.

长沙“天网工程”完工 2.6万只摄像头遍布街巷_网易新闻中心 长沙“天网工程”建设于2012年3月启动,在长沙市委、市政府的高度重视下,经过一年半的建设推进,于今年8月全面完工。除地铁建设、道路拓改、商业开发等原因部分摄像机纳入缓建外,长沙市“天网工程”已建成摄像机26022只,103个单位监控室配套设施全面完成改造并投入试运行。 同时,长沙“天网工程”充分整合社会视频资源,已摸底、登记全市小区、门店、单位等自建视频监控点18.6万个,这些都将有望纳入“天网工程”实现视频资源联网共享。

Dispute Resolution Reforms in the Shanghai FTZ Underway– Updated | Supreme People’s Court Monitor This post, which updates my earlier blogposts on the subject, looks at two important developments affecting dispute resolution in the Shanghai FTZ: the Court designating the Shanghai courts to take the lead in judicial reforms; Professor Ding highlighting to the Shanghai political and legal leadership that the Shanghai FTZ provides an unprecedented opportunity for Shanghai to build itself into an international arbitration center.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Xi stresses military talent, technology innovation – Xinhua Xi made the remarks Tuesday during an inspection at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), which is based in the city of Changsha in central China’s Hunan Province. The NUDT, which evolved from the Military Engineering Institute of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) founded in 1953, has played a key role in providing high-caliber military technicians and developing advanced weapons and equipment for the country. While visiting an exhibition of various science and technology projects by the NUDT, Xi praised the university for its fruitful innovation drive, urging the university’s technology innovation personnel to continue its hard work and strive for more achievement. In June, the NUDT announced that it had again built the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-2, capable of performing 33.86 quadrillion operations per second and surpassing the U.S. Titan supercomputer. // 习近平:加快建设具有我军特色的世界一流大学-高层动态-新华网

习近平在接见全军党的建设工作会议代表时强调 不断提高军队党的建设科学化水平 为实现强军目标提供坚强思想和组织保证 范长龙许其亮参加接见 《 人民日报 》( 2013年11月07日   01 版)

China Tells Norway It Must Take First Step to Heal Nobel Rift – Bloomberg “Unfortunately, the Chinese-Norwegian relationship has been severely damaged by the Nobel Peace Prize issue,” said Zhao, who started his term as ambassador to Norway about 18 months after the feud started. One of the conditions is that Norway doesn’t repeat the same transgression, he said. “The policy red lines should not be crossed,” he said. “For the Chinese side, the core interests are including preserving its basic state system, defending its national security, safe guarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensuring sustained stable economic and social development.”

China Cyber Espionage Grows | Washington Free Beacon The recent exposure of a secret Chinese military cyber warfare unit has not led to a decrease in cyber espionage against U.S. government and private networks, according a draft congressional China commission report. Instead, the Chinese military group temporarily limited its large-scale cyber espionage campaign and took steps to mask its activities, according to a forthcoming report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Asia Times Online :: Aquino rebalances his China position Contradicting his own cabinet members, namely Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin, Aquino has vigorously denied earlier accusations that China has placed concrete blocks at the contested Scarborough Shoal, purportedly as a prelude to establishing military fortifications in the area. At the same time, his government is conditionally supporting negotiations between major Filipino and Chinese companies to jointly develop hydrocarbon resources in the Reed Bank, a contested feature off the coast of the Philippines’ island province of Palawan.

New Chinese Drone Unveiled in Video – NYTimes.com This week, the Internet lit up with an annotated video, above, of what appears to be China’s latest (or at least most recently unveiled) drone design. The body resembles the United States’ Global Hawk, although perhaps a bit smaller. Its standout external features, though, are its joined wings — a sort of diamond shape formed by forward-swept wings mounted in the rear and backward-swept wings mounted in the front.

New Players on the World Stage | Brookings Institution In his new book Inside Out, India and China, Bill Antholis demonstrates that dozens of local governments in China and India are regularly making decisions with global implications and underscores the urgent need for U.S. diplomats and business leaders to change their approach to these regions and their leaders.

On Becoming China’s Farm Team – NYTimes — OpEd The Smithfield-Shuanghui deal guarantees China the pork while offloading the downsides (the “externalities”) of pork production onto The Land of the Free. It guarantees us cropland devoted to chemical-dependent monoculture; continued overuse of water and other resources, none of which we can afford to squander; and great big stinking piles of manure. In sum, it transfers the environmental damage of large-scale pork production from China to the United States without even guaranteeing us pork with as few chemicals as that shipped to China. Welcome to China’s farm team.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Why People in Hong Kong Protest Over Bad Television – Kelly Yang – The Atlantic A recent decision to scuttle HKTV, a popular new network, has aroused anger in a territory fearful of Chinese encroachment.

Taiwanese singer’s Beijing show cancelled: Chinese media – Taiwan News Online Taiwanese singer Deserts Chang has had a concert in Beijing in December cancelled because of controversy she sparked by showing a Republic of China flag at a recent show in the United Kingdom, according to Chinese media. China’s Phoenix New Media website reported Wednesday that organizers of Chang’s Dec. 30 concert in Beijing had been instructed to cancel the performance. In a Facebook post made a day earlier, Chang wrote that “I am not singing to make money and to harm people at the same time … I am willing to cancel my concert and take on any losses as a result so as to end the discontent and troubles caused to the organizers.” Chang drew criticism from some Chinese audience members at her Nov. 2 concert at the University of Manchester for showing on the stage an ROC flag she was given by Taiwanese audience members and introducing it in English as her country’s national flag.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Digione wants to overthrow Xiaomi as China’s smartphone king Digione has quite openly declared war on Xiaomi, the Chinese red-hot phone-maker that recently surpassed Apple in domestic sales. In an obvious signal, it even went so far as to price its phone cheaper than Xiaomi’s cheapest phone, the Hongmi, by RMB 1.

SoftBank Plans to Keep Alibaba Stake as Public Listing Looms – Bloomberg The Tokyo-based wireless carrier holds about 37 percent of Alibaba, Yoshimitsu Goto, SoftBank’s general manager for finance, said in an interview. SoftBank hasn’t told Alibaba when to hold an IPO or where to hold it, Goto said. “Alibaba is among the most important companies in our group, so our plan is to hold the stake for a long period of time,” Goto said. “What’s important for us as a shareholder in Alibaba is that the company continues increasing its enterprise value. An IPO is just a passing point to do that.”…SoftBank invested $20 million in Alibaba.com in 2000

Apple Passes ZTE in China Smartphones With IPhone Early Release – Bloomberg Shipments of the iPhone rose 32 percent year-on-year to hand Apple 6 percent of the country’s smartphone market in the three months ended September, Nicole Peng, the China research director for Canalys, said in a phone interview today. Cupertino, California-based Apple had ranked seventh, with a 5 percent share, in the second quarter, she said. Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) widened its lead after shipments more than doubled to give the Suwon, South Korea-based company a 21 percent share of the world’s largest smartphone market, according to Peng

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Guess Who Opposes China’s New Olympic Bid | FP PassportMany Weibo users suggested that several large cities in China’s frigid — and relatively unpolluted — northeast would be a better host than Beijing. “Winter sport athletes all come from the northeast, they win all the medals, and the northeast is the cradle of winter sports,” one Weibo user wrote. “Why would Beijing apply to host a Winter Olympics?” China’s six medal winners in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics all hailed from China’s northeastern provinces — none from the capital. (Beijing is competing with Kazakhstan’s Almaty and Ukraine’s Lviv to host the 2022 games, while Norway’s Oslo, Poland’s Krakow, and Germany’s Munich are also potential competitors; the winner will be announced in 2015.)

Beijing firm eyes success with camera-carrying drone | South China Morning Post Feng Chang, the 24-year-old co-founder of Beijing FlyCam, knew his camera-carrying drone could provide a bird’s eye view of Zhang’s rooftop folly that few others could. “It was absolutely the right time,” Feng recalled. “My business partner and I happened to be at the bottom of Zhang’s building. He said: ‘Why not fly our camera up to have a look at the rooftop?’” Feng piloted the drone over the building, made some simple edits and uploaded the video to Youku, China’s largest online video service. The video was an immediate viral hit, attracting more than 2.9 million page views.

Chinese Art Collectors Splurge at the Christie’s Auction in New York, Picking Up Works by Picasso, van Gogh and Monet. – Scene Asia – WSJ At Tuesday evening’s sale of Impressionist and modern art, Wanda also spent $2.7 million for “Head of a Woman in a Hat” by Picasso, a 1965 portrait of a one of the artist’s lovers wearing a straw sun hat. Other Chinese buyers were active, too, both in the auction room and on the telephone. A Chinese phone bidder paid $2.6 million for another Picasso drawing of another of the artist’s lovers, “The Woman Who Cries, I,” over its $2.5 million high estimate.

Want to move abroad? This map shows the best and worst countries to be an expatriate. China and Thailand are the two best countries to be an expatriate, according to a recent study by British bank HSBC that looked at economic opportunities and quality of life for expats in 34 countries. They’re followed by small, rich countries known for their globalized business classes. In descending order, they are: Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Bahrain and Singapore.

How bad is Beijing’s pollution? Ask Rafa Nadal… | The Li-Ning Tower The China Open tennis has long been in the books: the 10th anniversary of the tournament saw a dream men’s final between the top two seeds, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, in which Djokovic won, but Nadal regained the world number 1 ranking. But as the best male players in the world face off in London at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, it has emerged that this dream final came within a whisker of not happening at all. The reason? The pollution was so bad that Rafa Nadal almost refused to walk out on court.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China says air pollution affecting physical, mental health of citizens | Shanghai Daily “China indeed is suffering from severe air pollution,” said Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning body. Smoggy conditions have “now become the norm which has severely affected the mental and physical health of the Chinese people,” he added. But he voiced hope for improvement in the next decade. Xie, speaking to reporters before global climate talks in Poland next week, attributed China’s air problems to the country’s “obsolete development model,” its “unreasonable industrial and energy structure” and discharge of pollutants by some companies “in a very extensive way.”

Fourth case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed in China in 3 weeks | South China Morning Post A new human case of H7N9 bird flu has been confirmed in Zhejiang province, the fourth on the mainland in three weeks, but scientists said it was too early to know whether they represented a major outbreak.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

4名中国大妈与外籍夫妇飞机上互殴致航班延误_新闻_腾讯网 foreign couple and four Chinese aunties get in fight on plane in NE China over overhead luggage space, plane delayed // [导读]有知情者称,当事双方同为东北旅行团团友,登机前双方曾在旅途中发生过口角。工作人员则介绍,事发缘于双方争用机仓内行李架。

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Happenings – The Bookworm Beijing Poseidon: China’s Secret Salvage of Britain’s Lost Submarine – A book launch with Steven Schwankert–An American scuba diver. A lost British submarine. A secret Chinese history. 40/50 RMB–19:30 7 Nov 2013 @ The Bookworm with Steven Schwankert

China, One Year Later | New York | Asia Society 7 November 2013 6:30pm – 8:00pm 725 Park Avenue// New York, NY Nearly a year to the day after the seven leaders ascended to their posts, Asia Society invites you to join a special Asia Society conversation. The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos; Dr. Susan Shirk of the University of California, San Diego; Former Ambassador to China J. Stapleton Roy; and moderator Orville Schell will discuss China’s leadership transition so far — its successes, shortcomings, and controversies — as well as what the future may have in store for Zhongnanhai, China and the world.

Interview: Evan Osnos on Xi’s Biggest Puzzle and ‘Acute Dumpling Withdrawal’ | Asia Society AsiaBlog reached out to Osnos ahead of Thursday’s panel for a preview of his take on the Xi Jinping era, one year in, and to learn more about his recent career transition.

 

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