The Sinocism China Newsletter 11.11.15

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. Bloomberg Briefs-China’s 13th Five-Year Plan comprehensive report

2. [视频]习近平主持召开中央财经领导小组第十一次会议强调 全面贯彻党的十八届五中全会精神 落实发展理念推进经济结构性改革_新闻频道 CCTV Evening News on the 11.10 meeting of the Central Finance and Economics Leading Group, first reported meeting in 8 months

Related: China’s Crackdown on Financial Markets Gets Top-Level Support – The New York Times President Xi Jinping of China called for more measures to protect stock market investors after meeting with financial regulators, the state news media said on Tuesday, signaling top-level support for a national campaign to crack down on market manipulation and to increase transparency… Summarizing Mr. Xi’s speech, the state news media said that the president had called for stock markets to be better regulated so that investors are treated fairly. China’s stock markets have long had a reputation for chronic insider trading and other abuses.// 习近平再谈股市 充分保护投资者权益

Related: 久违的中央财经领导小组会议释放什么信号观点频道财新网 Minsheng Securities researchers look at the signals from the CFELG meeting, posted on Caixin

3. How a Detained Stock Trader Played with Fire-Caixin Cover Story Xu Xiang and his Zexi Investment made a lot of money on stock market volatility before authorities smelled the smoke

4. Seven Things You Should Know About China’s Coal Consumption | Barbara Finamore’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC The new coal consumption figures will not derail the Paris climate talks, since they have already been taken into account in many climate analyses after they came out in preliminary form earlier this year. Nor should they cast doubt on China’s commitment to battle climate change, including its support for an enhanced transparent global system of reporting and review of climate actions. Here are seven things you should know about China’s coal consumption

Related: A Glut of Coal-Fired Plants Raises Doubts About China’s Energy Priorities – The New York Times When finished, the plant, run by a company owned by the Beijing government, is expected to have a generating capacity of 700 megawatts of power, more than the total of similar plants in Ohio. But whether it will actually be used to its fullest is questionable, despite the investment of $580 million. That is because the plant is scheduled to come online in three years amid a glut of coal-fired power plants — an astounding 155 planned projects received a permit this year alone, with total capacity equal to nearly 40 percent of that of operational coal power plants in the United States.

5. China says not aware of plan to discuss South China Sea at APEC | Reuters “Everyone knows that APEC is primarily about discussing trade and financial cooperation in the Asia Pacific,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong told reporters in answer to a question. “As far as I know, at this year’s summit, there are no plans to discuss the South China Sea.”

Related China says Philippines must heal rift over South China Sea as Indonesia speaks out | Reuters The arbitration case against China in the Hague “is a knot that has impeded the improvement and development of Sino-Philippine relations”, a statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website cited Wang as saying in Manila. “We do not want this knot to become tighter and tighter, so that it even becomes a dead knot,” Wang told reporters. “As for how to loosen or open the knot, (we’ll) have to look at the Philippines.”  //  no mention of a bell?

Related: Indonesia says could also take China to court over South China Sea | Reuters Indonesia believes China’s claim over parts of the Natuna islands has no legal basis. “We are working very hard on this. We are trying to approach the Chinese,” Luhut Panjaitan told reporters. “We would like to see a solution on this in the near future through dialogue, or we could bring it to the International Criminal Court.”

Related: China Policy Institute Blog » China’s three-pronged response to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s rule on jurisdiction While still too early to tell for sure, the first moves by the PRC seem to indicate a three-pronged strategy, whereby Beijing insists in denying the court’s jurisdiction, moves forward in the deployment of aircraft in artificial islands, and explores agreements with some of the claimants.

6. The Pentagon’s Lonely War Against Russia and China – Bloomberg View At last weekend’s Reagan National Defense Forum, top Pentagon officials warned about the coming great power battles with Russia and China. But the U.S. approach to both countries shows that other parts of the administration view those relationships in a very different way.

Related: Document: Letter from Sen. John McCain to SECDEF Carter on U.S. South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operation – USNI News Is Sen. McCain confused about what happened, or is he trying to force the Pentagon to go on record publicly with all the details?

Related: China responds to Pentagon chief’s speech regarding S.China Sea – Xinhua China’s position is reasonable and lawful and the U.S. side has no right to make irresponsible comments, he said. Last week, Carter boarded an American aircraft carrier in the South China Sea to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to freedom of navigation. The move posed serious damage to China’s sovereignty and security while exacerbating tensions in the region, Hong said. “It is very clear who is breaking the international order and making trouble,”said Hong.

Related: Washington losing leverage in S.China Sea – Global Times Assistant US Secretary of State Daniel Russel said recently that China wants the US to give it a “free pass” on issues that China considers its “core interests,” and that’s just not a deal that the US “ever can or would make.” US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter recently played tough and called China and Russia potential threats to the world…It is difficult for the South China Sea issue to become a prime bargaining chip for Washington to deal with Beijing. Last week in Kuala Lumpur, many defense ministers from ASEAN countries refused to be railroaded by the US into releasing a joint statement that included content on the South China Sea. Washington should be aware how far its leverage goes on the issue.

7. Alibaba’s Global Shopathon Is On: Live Updates – Alizila sold just over $14B USD on the day

Related: Alibaba’s Global Ambitions Face Counterfeit Challenge – WSJ  “There are substantial concerns among brand owners that expanding Alibaba’s AliExpress platform will result in a very significant increase in the sale of counterfeit and otherwise infringing goods” unless more safeguards are imposed, said Paul Kilmer, founder of the Trademark Working Group, a collective of U.S. companies and organizations. // USTR should add Alibaba back to notorious markets list. Scandalous they were ever removed, but Alibaba has good lobbyists

Related: Why Alibaba Is Having Singles’ Day in Beijing for First Time – Bloomberg Business Shifting from its Hangzhou home to the heart of Chinese power shows Alibaba’s ambitions to maintain growth, penetrate the northern region where rival JD.com Inc. is based and answer the government’s call for “national champions” in technology. Even amid a slowing economy, Alibaba estimates that 1.7 million deliverymen, 400,000 vehicles and 200 airplanes will be deployed to handle packages holding everything from iPhones to underwear.

Related: The weirdest online shopping habits of Chinese go beyond your imagination | AllChinaTech According to Kuyun Eye, a TV ratings organization, the live broadcast of Alibaba’s Gala was watched by 28.4% of the television viewing population, far exceeding any other program on air at the time. At the same time, Alibaba released some interesting stats on the weirdest shopping trends in China. For example, which city bought the most bikinis, which age group bought the most long underwear, and which city bought the most acne treatment products.

Related: China’s ‘singles day’ blamed for baby formula shortages in Australian supermarkets | Business | The Guardian Thousands of sellers can be found hawking Bellamy’s Organic baby formula products on Taobao…Chinese tourists, students and relatives living in Australia had been bulk-buying the products throughout October to sell on Taobao and other Chinese websites ready for the singles day shopping frenzy, Bellamy’s Organic chairman, Rob Woolley, told media this week.  // aren’t some of these Chinese then “working” illegally in Australia if they are making money doing this?

Related: JD has already beaten its Singles Day orders record-TechinAsia As of 5pm local time, JD went above 20 million total orders. An hour or so later, the company said it has now had more orders in 2015 than in all five of its previous Singles Day sales combined. Original story follows:

8. China population fears held up scrapping of one child policy – FT.com Mr Wang said a study of the nation’s population growth between 2006 and 2008 showed 80 per cent of Chinese couples wanted one boy and one girl. That survey, combined with German research estimating families must average three children to have at least one of each, alarmed family planners, he said. They instead opted for a phased approach

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China central bank chief sees yuan as international currency by 2020 on deepening reforms | Reuters The reforms will also include improving central bank communications and guiding market expectations to enhance monetary policy, Zhou wrote in the Caixin article published on the magazine’s website. Zhou said the government will strengthen supervision of its financial system to prevent “systemic risk”, explaining China’s proposed 13th Five-Year economic plan for the years 2016 to 2020. // 周小川解读“十三五”:深化金融体制改革 

楼继伟解读“十三五”:社保目标为保基本而非高福利观点频道财新网 要按照《建议》提出的改革部署,全力抓好养老和医疗两大重点,统筹社会救助体系建设,进一步深化社会保障制度改革

One Less Hurdle for Fed Hike: China Comes Back From Danger Zone – Bloomberg Business Now, while Chinese economic indicators are mixed, its markets have calmed. The Shanghai stock market has gone from bear to bull. Capital-flow worries have eased, and the yuan has advanced more than 1 percent from a four-year low in August

China’s Two-Track Economy Diverges Further in October – WSJ Industrial production came in weaker than expected last month, government data showed Wednesday, despite six interest-rate cuts and hundreds of approved infrastructure projects over the past year aimed at spurring growth. Retail sales, meanwhile, saw their biggest increase of the year in October.

China intensifies measures to stimulate consumption – Xinhua The government will accelerate reform and innovation to help consumption growth, said a statement after the regular meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The State Council agreed that authorities will widen market access for private investors and gradually reduce restrictions on foreign capital. The government will work to improve the business and consumption environment through strengthened supervision, better intellectual property rights protection and crackdowns on fake goods.// 李克强:以消费升级促进产业升级 

CRC Lost 9.4 Bln Yuan in First Three Quarters, Audit Report Shows-Caixin An internal audit report that Caixin has viewed shows that revenue from the CRC’s cargo unit fell by more than 9 percent from the same period last year to 174.1 billion yuan. The CRC’s losses in the first three quarters are nearly three-times more than those for the same period of last year, when the figure was 3.4 billion yuan. The report blamed slower economic growth and weaker industrial activity for hurting the CRC’s cargo business, saying that fewer large items, such as heavy machinery, were being shipped

IPOs restarting in China, you say? Risk free returns as usual, you suggest? | FT Alphaville Under the new IPO subscription system, investors no longer need to raise funds to subscribe for the IPO; instead, they only pay after a successful stock allocation. Therefore, future IPOs should have less of an impact on interbank rates where one large IPO could easily freeze funds in excess of RMB1trn under the old system. That said, the 28 listings slated this year will still be carried out under the old system. Using an average oversubscription ratio of 200-300x (seen earlier in 2015) as a reference, the first batch of IPOs could still freeze close to RMB1trn if they were to all happen around the same time.

Guideline on preventing erosion of state assets – Xinhua The State Council, China’s cabinet, has ordered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to establish a better internal supervision mechanism and be more transparent, as it bids to prevent erosion of the country’s colossal state-owned assets.

GSK’s Troubles in China Are Thing of the Past, CEO Says-Caixin Sir Andrew Witty says in interview that his company is getting over its “painful” bribe scandal and is excited about trying out new business model

Cement firm default shows China more willing to let firms fail | Reuters China Shanshui Cement warned investors it will default on more than $300 million of onshore debt payments due on Thursday and will seek to appoint liquidators, a sign Chinese authorities are more willing to let weak firms fail. The privately controlled company, with a market capitalisation of $2.7 billion, has felt the squeeze from falling demand in a sector struggling with overcapacity as the giant economy shifts gears.

China says no tough rules for foreign bank card firms | Reuters China will not impose tough licensing restrictions on overseas bank card providers seeking to enter the country’s $7 trillion card payment market, a senior central bank official said on Tuesday.

Expert says China may see a second wave of lay-offs – People’s Daily Online The restructuring of China’s state-owned companies leads to the first wave of lay-offs in the 1990s.Due to the restructuring of state-owned enterprises and other factors, China is expected to see a second wave of lay-offs, said Zeng Xiangquan, director of China’s Employment Research Institute.

Chinese banks need €355bn under global ‘too big to fail’ rules – FT.com Three Chinese banks are on the hook for nearly one-third of the €1.1tn in additional loss-absorbing debt that the FSB estimates the 30 global systemically important banks (G-Sib) need to raise to satisfy the TLAC requirement. Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are together short €355bn, according to board estimates.

SEC Charges Two With Insider Trading in TPG-Linked Deals – WSJ The SEC alleged in a complaint that Zhichen Zhou, of Beijing, China, made illegal profits of about $300,000 from trading in MedAssets, Inc. and Chindex International Inc. before their being taken over. The regulator alleged Mr. Zhou bought stock in both companies before it was made public that they would be acquired by private-equity firms…In both cases, one of the bidders for the health care companies was TPG Capital, the former employer of the other defendant—and Mr. Zhou’s cousin— Yannan Liu

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

China Corruption Fight Extends to Top Officials in Beijing and Shanghai – The New York Times The officials included Ai Baojun, 55, a vice mayor of Shanghai who oversaw a prominent economic zone, and Lu Xiwen, 60, a senior Communist Party official in Beijing // first two “tigers” in those jurisdictions

China softens tactics in global hunt for corruption fugitives | Reuters Liu Jianchao, in charge of repatriating Chinese corruption suspects who flee abroad, said in an interview Beijing had deepened cooperation with foreign governments and no longer sent officials abroad without clearance from the host country to try to convince the suspects to return home. China has brought home more than 600 officials this year in a campaign dubbed “Operation Fox Hunt”, pursuing them abroad as part of a wider crackdown on deep-rooted graft which Liu called “an arduous task”

Beijing Court Clears Newspapers of Defaming ‘World Luxury Association’-Caixin Southern Weekend and Beijing News wrote “critical and sometimes even scathing” reports on company but they were factual, court says

Four Hong Kong publishers known for books critical of Chinese regime missing | World news | The Guardian A group of Hong Kong booksellers specialising in books criticising China’s Communist elite have gone missing. The four men work for Sage Communications, a publisher and bookshop famed for producing sensational and salacious tomes on the private lives of top Chinese leaders.

吉林蛟河市政法委书记办公室坠亡 官方称擦玻璃时失足国内新京报网 Secretary of the Politics and Law committee in Jiaohe City in Jilin falls to his death from his office, official explanation is he slipped while cleaning his windows…

在上海搭电瓶车被拦不服执法,美国女建筑师掌掴警察被逐出境浦江头条澎湃新闻-The Paper US woman lucky to only get 3 months in jail, deportation for slapping Shanghai cop 

Bogus graft inspector featured in newspaper belonging to China’s supreme prosecutor | South China Morning Post A Wechat account affiliated with the CCDI on Tuesday warned the public to beware of fake graft-busters, adding that even the Procuratorial Daily, a mouthpiece of the country’s top prosecutor’s office, had been fooled.

普京小女儿曝光:身家20亿美元 财富来自其父好友新闻腾讯网 周二,路透社宣布,他们辨识出了俄罗斯总统普京的小女儿,她和其丈夫控制着大约20亿美元的资产,其中包括一幢法国比亚里茨的海滨别墅,价值370万美元左右。 // Chinese media reporting on Reuters story about the wealth of Putin’s daughter..awkward, wonder how long this will remain uncensored

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Miss World Canada, outspoken on rights, says China has not issued her visa for event – LA Times Anastasia Lin, who emigrated to Canada as a teenager and lives in Toronto, said that to receive a visa, Chinese immigration authorities required her and a number of other contestants to obtain an invitation letter from the local Chinese partners involved in organizing the Dec. 19 pageant in the southern city of Sanya. But while all other contestants who requested such letters have received them, she has not, though she already has a plane ticket purchased for a flight that departs Nov. 20. “I sort of expected there would be some kind of trouble,” Lin said in a telephone interview Monday. “This is definitely not just an administrative error.”

国平:期许一个网络强国在东方崛起新闻腾讯网 建设网络强国,中国必须完成五个方面的战略任务:要完成网络核心技术的自主创新与弯道超车,要建设完善足以支撑网络强国的坚实基础;要建设完善与网络空间内在规律相匹配,同时服务于中国常院长战略目标的网络文化生态体系;要持续促进数字经济的发展,完善网络强国战略的双轮驱动;要建设完善与网络强国相匹配的战略人才队伍;要积极投身全球网络空间秩序的转型与完善,推动网络空间新秩序的成型。

Evan Medeiros Joins Carnegie’s Asia Program – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced today the appointment of Evan Medeiros as a nonresident senior associate in its Asia Program.  In June, Medeiros stepped down from the position of special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs at the White House’s National Security Council.

Burma’s election leaves former patron China with uncomfortable questions – The Washington Post Sun Liping, a sociology professor at Tsinghua University was among the first to question the official line that Western-style democracy was simply not appropriate for China at its current level of development. “Actually, democracy is a normal way for a normal society to behave,” he posted on the Sina Weibo microblogging service, according to Washington-based Radio Free Asia.

Xi says China-Mongolia relationship at “historical best” – Xinhua It is Elbegdorj’s second trip to China this year. The Mongolian president visited Beijing in September to attend the commemoration marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. “The development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Mongolia is in the common interests of the two sides and has won support from the people of both sides,” Xi said during Tuesday’s talks.

Donald Trump vows to declare China a currency manipulator on Day One – POLITICO “We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians,” the Trump campaign wrote in a new trade policy position posted on its website. “The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair — and far better — trading relationship.” // who are Trump’s China/Asia advisors? I know who some of Rubio and Bush advisors are, have not heard anything about his.

Xi’s Charm Offensive Encounters Shifting Strategic Positions in Vietnam & Singapore | cogitASIA CSIS Asia Policy Blog Xi’s recent visit to Southeast Asia shows that even as Beijing constantly seeks to remind its neighbors of the need to have good relations with China—or in some cases, the economic benefits that could flow from China’s largesse—countries such as Vietnam and Singapore will continue to pursue their own strategic approaches. They recognize that in the long run, continuing U.S. leadership in the Asia Pacific is still the best scenario for regional peace and stability. Mr. Hunter Marston is a researcher with the Chair for Southeast Asia Studies at CSIS.

China: ‘Bad Idea’ For UN Council To Discuss North Korea Human Rights U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said the council could hold another meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea next month when the United States is president of the 15-member body. They say it is an idea that Western countries, Japan and South Korea would support. “I heard the suggestion, I believe it’s a bad idea,” said China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi. “The security council is not about human rights.”

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Divergent views: How the Taiwanese and China media reacted to the historic leaders meeting Comparing cross-strait coverage of the historic meeting between Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore on Saturday, you would be forgiven for thinking that they covered different events. Whereas China’s state media was uniform in its praise and pro-reunification stance, Taiwan’s media was divided, with a number of articles criticising Ma for leaving Taiwanese democracy out of the discussion.

The Real Significance of the Xi-Ma Summit | Thinking Taiwan When it comes to evaluating the real significance of the Ma-Xi meeting, the commentariat would probably be better served by focusing its attention not so much on the 1992 Consensus or the upcoming Taiwanese elections, but rather on the new narrative for Taiwanese politics and Taiwanese identity that the meeting helped to generate. Underscoring this point is the wide diffusion that this new narrative enjoyed.

What the historic Ma-Xi meeting could mean for cross-Strait relations | Brookings Institution-Richard Bush Xi and Ma agree on the importance of the 1992 consensus, and Ma and Tsai agree that the Taiwan public should and does have a say on cross-Strait policy.  Xi and Tsai, however, agree on nothing. This has the makings of a serious stand-off if Tsai wins the election. Xi seeks to set the basic terms of future cross-Strait relations in ways that Tsai cannot accept and demonizes her and her party for being the “Taiwan independence force.” Does he understand that he may be strengthening Tsai’s position rather than weakening it?

The Cross-Strait Meeting’s Lasting Impact | Foreign Policy – Jerome Cohen The summit will nevertheless have a favorable effect on cross-strait relations, not by strengthening the impact of Ma’s already-conciliatory policies of the past seven years, but by helping to limit their expected erosion when he leaves the stage.

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

Tencent Profit Hits Record as Online Games, Video Lure Users – Bloomberg Business Net income climbed 32 percent to 7.45 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) in the three months ended September, the Shenzhen-based company said Tuesday. Sales rose 34 percent to 26.6 billion yuan, compared with analyst estimates for 25.4 billion yuan…WeChat had 650 million monthly active users, and the mobile version of QQ had 639 million users at the end of the quarter.

Tencent’s WeChat Messaging App Reaches 200M Users On Its Payments Service | TechCrunch  ..the rising number is impressive and likely to worry Alibaba, which runs rival mobile payments service Alipay. While Alipay leans on Alibaba’s vast e-commerce network for visibility, a service attached to a messaging app that people open regularly has the potential to be a lot more convenient to users and merchants alike.

Good journalist, bad journalist – China Media Project The message here is that China’s media must serve a larger narrative of the country’s success under the leadership of the CCP. Moreover, it is the success of this narrative — in “attracting the attention of global media,” for example — that decides whether news coverage is “objective” or “impartial.” To be objective is to see the big picture of China’s success without being distracted by those niggling facts that might darken or discolour the portrait.

China Says 60% of Comments Favor Regulating Hailing Apps – Bloomberg Business China’s transport ministry said more than half of the feedback it received on its draft rules on Internet ride-hailing apps supported regulating the services, paving the way for a formal framework governing how companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Didi Kuaidi provide rides-on-demand.

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Chinese Taxi Driver Turned Billionaire Bought Modigliani Painting – The New York Times Liu Yiqian, a former taxi driver turned billionaire art collector, confirmed on Tuesday that he was the buyer of the painting of a nude woman by Amedeo Modigliani that sold for $170.4 million at Christie’s New York on Monday night.  // he loudly starting buying shares right after the start of the summer crash, wonder how much he made, perhaps more than just one of these paintings…

‘White-Haired Girl,’ Opera Created Under Mao, Returns to Stage – The New York Times The revival had its premiere in Yan’an on Friday, and performances are planned in nine additional Chinese cities, culminating in Beijing in mid-December, the Ministry of Culture said in an emailed statement.

17 Year Old Chinese Swim Champion Dies Suddenly Under Mysterious Circumstances | The Nanfang Beijing swim champion Qing Wenyi died at the dormitories for the Beijing national swim team early Monday morning at only 17 years old. Qing won two gold medals at the National Youth Games this past October in the 100 meter and 200 meter breaststroke as well as a silver for her part in a swim relay. Qing then returned to Beijing where a full physical check-up certified her to be in good health on October 28.

新论:基层治理应加强文化维度–评论-人民网  鲁迅先生曾说,“外之既不后于世界之思潮,内之仍弗失固有之血脉,取今复古,别立新宗。”我们的基层文化建设,既不是以西方价值为旨归,也不是固步自封于中国传统,而是在古今中外融通后的再造,是从人类发展命运的角度所做出的理性思考和选择。这也是中国基层治理未来发展的必由之路。(作者为中国社会科学院政治学研究所研究员

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

Vessel returns after arduous scientific expedition – Xinhua The Ocean No.6 returned to port in Guangdong’s Dongguan City after spending 197 days conducting deep-sea surveys on a nearly 60,000-km voyage, according to He Gaowen, a senior engineer with the Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey (GMGS) under the China Geological Survey. It made significant achievements in surveys of rare earth, cobalt-rich crusts and polymetallic nodules, as well as in the application of a homegrown remote operated vehicle, He said.

AnchorEDUCATION *

Chinese and American Education: First-Hand Compare-and-Contrast – The Atlantic Jocelyn has answered the question all Atlantic readers would be asking if they had thought of it: how is Chinese elementary education different from American? She has pioneered a new variety of documentary, the first website to compare a school in China to one in America.   Jocelyn attended Chao Wai school for grades 1-3, where she was the first (and, to date, still the only) foreign student. // her website  Fascinating, our kids attended a local Beijing primary school in Grades 1-3, though in international department so while curriculum nearly identical to the Chinese side and 90%+ of the day in Chinese, they were spared most of the political indoctrination

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL *

China’s High-Speed Railway: Netizens Praise Excellent Service The personal account of one high-speed railway passenger went viral this week. His view: China’s high-speed railway staff should be praised more, as their service has become better than that of “developed countries”.  //definitely not Amtrak

AnchorBEIJING *

These are some of the earliest photos ever taken of China’s capital – The Washington Post These rare images taken by British photographer Thomas Child in the 1870s and 1880s are some of the first photos ever taken of Beijing, then the imperial capital of China’s Qing dynasty. About 30 of his pictures, taken using a process that produced images on albumen silver prints, are on display at London’s China Exchange.

AnchorJOBS AND EVENTS *

Tibet’s Secret Temple | Wellcome Collection – Wellcome Trust Inspired by an exquisite series of 17th century murals from a private meditation chamber for Tibet’s Dalai Lamas in Lhasa’s Lukhang Temple, the exhibition features over 120 objects including scroll paintings, statues, manuscripts, archival and contemporary film, together with a wide range of ethnographic and ritual artefacts. Three of the murals from the temple have been recreated, by photographer Thomas Laird, as life-sized digital artworks that form the centrepiece of the exhibition.

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