The Sinocism China Newsletter 11.18.13

The Party released the “decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms” on Friday, several days earlier than expected. A version leaked online early Friday, sending markets and pundits into a tizzy (as the Thursday Sinocism suggested might happen) because the the full document turned out to outline far more aggressive reforms than many expected (yours truly excepted) after the Tuesday communique.

The Decision is impressive and shows that the leadership is both aware of and committed to deep reforms. Friday’s exuberance however may be a bit overdone as the truly hard part is not the drafting but the implementation of changes that will affect interests throughout society. But at least Xi has clearly articulated resolve and vision for reform. That is huge progress, especially after the last few years. China still faces significant economic and social challenges, but lack of political will no longer appears to be one of them.

Perhaps now is a good time to end the commentary about Xi Jinping being a “neo-Maoist”. I have been arguing for a while that he looks more Dengist than Maoist, and the Third Plenum Decision only makes that view stronger.

As announced at the beginning of November, the daily edition of the newsletter will end on November 27 and continue as a weekly from December. For those of you who contributed a lump sum and would like a prorated refund, here is a short form through which you can make your request. 

Today’s Links:

THIRD PLENUM

授权发布:中共中央关于全面深化改革若干重大问题的决定-时政频道-新华网 Full text of the Third Plenum Decision, no full English translation, official or unofficial, online yet

习近平:关于《中共中央关于全面深化改革若干重大问题的决定》的说明-高层动态-新华网 Xi Jinping’s companion explanation of the Decision

Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central CommitteeXinhua site with all the official english releases so far on the Plenum

学习贯彻党的十八届三中全会精神–专题报道–人民网 Peoples Daily Online special site for the Third Plenum…everything official you would want about the Decision

Xi, in ‘Godfather’ Mold, Looks Assertive and Even Imperial – NYTimes.com Chris Buckley and the New York Times have owned the Third plenum coverage, from Hong Kong // Xiao Gongqin, one of China’s most prominent proponents of “neo-authoritarianism,” thinks Mr. Xi is very a good thing: a new incarnation of his idea of a model leader, Deng Xiaoping. Professor Xiao, who reaches history at Shanghai Normal University, attracted fame, and controversy, in the late 1980s for arguing that China needed a pro-market strongman to extinguish political opposition while shepherding the country into economic modernity. Mr. Xi absorbed that “neo-authoritarian” idea by consciously imitating Mr. Deng, the party patriarch who oversaw the economic reforms of the 1980s, Professor Xiao said in a telephone interview.

Large and In Charge – By Arthur Kroeber | Foreign Policy There is plenty of evidence Xi has an ambitious agenda for reforming China’s economic and governance structures, and the will and political craft to achieve many of his aims. His program may not satisfy market fundamentalists, and he certainly offers no hope for those who would like to see China become more democratic. But it is likely to be effective in sustaining the nation’s economic growth, and enabling the Communist Party to keep a comfortable grip on power.–Arthur Kroeber is the Beijing-based managing director of Gavekal Dragonomics,

China Announces Sweeping Reform Agenda at Plenum | Center for Strategic and International Studies good read from Christopher Johnson // Based on the vague official communique released at the plenum’s closing, most initial media commentary quickly pronounced the meeting disappointing—if not a total failure—causing markets to punish Chinese stocks. But the new leadership team proved these judgments to be premature with the release on November 15 of a comprehensive blueprint containing the most sweeping reform proposals in decades. The bold reform package is a powerful demonstration of President Xi Jinping’s personal authority within the system after only a year at the helm of the CCP.

Sweeping changes needed to tackle graft in China, say analysts | South China Morning Post The party’s Central Committee resolved at its four-day plenum last week to give the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) broader authority over ministries, state agencies and regional governments. It would also make permanent key elements of party chief Xi Jinping’s ongoing anti-graft campaign: basing inspection teams in central agencies and party offices and routinely sending task forces to state-owned enterprises and provincial and local governments.//keep hearing many more people have been detained in the corruption crackdown than has been publicly disclosed

Success of Chinese Leader’s Ambitious Economic Plan May Rest on Rural Regions – NYTimes.com China’s Communist Party has burnished President Xi Jinping’s plans for an economic overhaul with exultant propaganda about a historic turning point. But the success of his proposals, and the long-term health of the Chinese economy, could rest on policy battles reaching down into thousands of towns and villages over land, money and a misshapen fiscal system that has bred public discontent and financial hazards.//and massive corruption…more than a few local government officials, even village heads, have fortunes that a Swiss HNW banker would/already does drool over.

《新世纪》周刊第578期_杂志频道_财新网 cover package of this week’s Caixin Magazine is on the Third Plenum Decision and what it means for China

吴敬琏:《决定》的精髓与挑战_经济频道_财新网 Caixin interviews Wu Jinglian for his reactions to the Plenum Decision. Very interesting // 这位经历了改革35年全过程的经济学家告诉财新记者,他已经反复读了几遍《中共中央关于全面深化改革若干重大问题的决定》(下称《决定》)。《决定》的主要亮点,在他看来主要是“纲”,其中关于经济改革有两句话最重要:一句是“紧紧围绕使市场在资源配置中起决定性作用深化经济体制改革”,另一句话是“建设统一开放、竞争有序的市场体系,是使市场在资源配置中起决定性作用的基础”。就是说,体制基础是统一开放、竞争有序的市场,如果没有这个制度基础,其他话是白说,“叫基础性作用也好,叫决定性作用也好,都起不到作用。”

中国改革“2.0版”全面启动的划时代意义-新华网 Xinhua on “Reform 2.0” // 《决定》深刻剖析了我国改革发展稳定面临的重大理论和实践问题,阐明了全面深化改革的重大意义和未来走向,形成了改革理论和政策的一系列新的重大突破,是全面深化改革的又一次总部署、总动员,必将对推动中国特色社会主义事业发展产生重大而深远的影响。 十八届三中全会,不仅中国人民关心,更令世界为之瞩目。“划时代的意义”、“转折点”、“新里程碑”等是诸多外媒报道三中全会时选择的关键词。从正式播发的《决定》来看,这些赞誉绝非虚言。我们相信,中国改革开放的新航程即将起步,“春天的故事”就要写出新的篇章。

图解决定10大看点_十八届三中全会_网易专题 nice netease infographic on ten key points in third plenum decision

Reform in China: The party’s new blueprint | The Economist Mr Xi will have to battle a deep resistance to change among state-owned enterprises, local governments, and even an urban middle class that likes his notion of “social fairness” but does not want to see its own privileges eroded by the granting of equal access to healthcare and education to migrants from the countryside. As the resolution rightly said, reforms have entered “deep water”.

Xi Jinping expounds security commission role – Xinhua the official English translation has shifted from state security commission” to “national security commission” it appears// The main responsibilities of the national security commission will include construction of the rule of law system concerning state security, research, resolving major issues of national security, setting principles and policies, as well as stipulating and implementing strategies, according to the explanation. “State security and social stability are preconditions for reform and development”, said Xi in the explanation, adding that only when the nation is safe and society is stable, could reform and development constantly advance. China is facing two pressures: internationally, the country needs to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests; domestically, political security and social stability should be ensured. The variety of predictable and unpredictable risks has been increasing remarkably, and the system has not yet met the needs of safeguarding state security. A powerful platform which can coordinate security works is needed, he said.

Xinhua Insight: Rural reform, step by step – Xinhua The biggest barrier is land registration, without which the land market cannot function. A survey of 1,791 farmers across 17 provincial regions by Landesa in 2011, said only around 36.7 percent of the households have both documents — contracts and land-rights certificates — as required by law and policy, among which less than half contain all the legally required information and can be considered strictly law-compliant. According to China’s No.1 central document announced earlier this year, the government aims to complete the registration of management rights of contractual land in five years. Until that work is completed, the rural land transfers as experimented in some areas in Guangdong and Anhui is unlikely to be rolled out nationwide, analysts said.

CPC emphasizes social governance to tackle conflicts – Xinhua | English.news.cn “It’s notable that the vitality of social organizations was mentioned in the reform framework,” said Chi Fulin, president of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development. “It signals the breakthrough in China’s social transformation.”

China to optimize army size, structure: CPC decision – Xinhua According to the decision, the CPC Central Committee called for innovation in military theory, strengthening military leadership, improving military strategy in the new era, and building a modern military power system with Chinese characteristics. The decision also vowed to deepen reform and adjustment of military system and establishments, promote reform and adjustment of military policy system, and promote army-civilian integration.

Cleaning Up: China Reform Plan Tackles Pollution – China Real Time Report – WSJ China said it wants to introduce a system that will lead to more compensation for environmental damage. The country will gradually introduce a tax for the use of almost every natural resource, and the fees are aimed at those who exploit, damage and pollute the country’s natural resources. Those who cause environmental damage may also be held “criminally responsible,” it said. The document’s emphasis on using markets to combat pollution appears to reflect wider thinking among current party leaders that liberalizing markets can solve many of the country’s economic problems

CPC orders crackdown on Internet crimes – Xinhua China will improve the mechanism set for preventing and cracking down on crimes related to the Internet and better handle emergencies in cyberspace in order to form an online public opinion that is positively guided and administrated in accordance with the law, according to the full text of the decision issued by the CPC. The decision was approved at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee that closed on Tuesday. While actively popularizing the Internet, China will reinforce its overall administration over cyberspace in accordance with the law and accelerate formation of a sound Internet management system to ensure national Internet and information security, the decision said. The nation will also institutionalize releases of news and raise the occupational standards for practising as a qualified journalist, it said.// part of the original Chinese: 全会决定提出坚持积极利用、科学发展、依法管理、确保安全的方针,加大依法管理网络力度,完善互联网管理领导体制。目的是整合相关机构职能,形成从技术到内容、从日常安全到打击犯罪的互联网管理合力,确保网络正确运用和安全。

New China Reform Plan Calls for Tighter Internet Control, ‘Public Opinion Guidance’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ “Following the increasing power of online media, Internet media and industry management has lagged far behind the quick changes that have come with its development. In particular [we] face the rapid growth of social networking and instant communication tools, like Weike and WeChat, which disseminate information rapidly, have a large influence and broad coverage, and have a strong ability to mobilize society,” the explanation in part reads.

Xi Jinping: China Is Open for Business to Foreign Investors as Part of Reform Plans – China Real Time Report – WSJ the Shanghai Free Trade Zone got a shout-out, and – curiously – praised as a “major advance by the party.” Authorities have offered little detail about how the Shanghai zone is going to work. In particular, expectations that the zone would be used by regulators as an incubator for financial reform have so far gone unrealized. One of the few concessions allows foreign companies to invest in any industry they like within the zone, without regulatory approval, as long as it isn’t on a list of excluded industries. The list – known as the negative list – is currently so long that much of what’s off limits in the rest of China is also off-limits inside the zone. Still, the blueprint says that other places will also be allowed to set up free trade zones, something cities have already been clamoring for.

China’s New Agenda – NYTimes Editorial Chinese leaders have used similar meetings of top officials to outline major policy changes that are then fleshed out over the next several years. The leadership has not always succeeded in delivering on those promises. The previous regime led by President Hu Jintao, for instance, failed to reduce the economy’s unhealthy dependence on exports and investment and give greater emphasis to consumer spending. But if carried through, some of the initiatives outlined in the latest meeting could significantly improve the lives of Chinese people.

 

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Bloomberg boots ‘China leak’ scribe | New York Post Bloomberg L.P. has put a reporter suspected of leaking news about a controversial China story on unpaid leave, The Post has learned. Michael Forsthye was escorted from Bloomberg’s Hong Kong office on Nov. 14, sources said, after he was fingered as the person who leaked embarrassing claims about how the news and data giant spiked a story that could have angered leaders in China.

Anhui Experiments with Sales of Rural Land in 20 Counties – Caixin Urban land designated for construction can be sold or mortgaged, but similar rural land cannot be used by entities outside the village. The third plenum of the Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee, which closed on November 12, said a unified market for rural and urban construction land should be formed. Anhui’s approach can be seen as one way of figuring out a way to do that. Reform ideas in China are often tried out in a small area, then expanded if they work well. A part of the decree on rural land designated for farmers’ housing is also significant. Rural land falls into three categories: collective land for farming, collective land for construction and farmers’ land for household use. The latter owned by the collective but farmers have the right to use it indefinitely. The law does not allow this rural housing land to be sold or mortgaged. Guangdong broke this rule, allowing the land to be traded among villagers. The Anhui decree goes a step further by allowing deals between villages.

What Do Investigative Reporters Do? – Caixin Exposing truly scandalous conduct can often involve hard digging – in dark holes of digital data and even piles of litter from conference meetings

空方囚徒-财经网 latest Caijing cover story on the risks to company researchers in China. Out last Monday, missed it in the Plenum fun// 以民事诉讼与刑案审判替代市场之手,并不能解决中国概念股的财务疑点。很少有一家好公司能被成功做空,唯一有效办法是弥补跨国监管真空,引入一个适应全球化的透明会计体系

Israel blocks witness in U.S. anti-terrorism case-AP In a petition to an American federal court, the government asked to quash the deposition subpoena issued to the witness, who could have tipped the scales in a case filed by families of victims of suicide bombers who accuse the Bank of China of facilitating terrorist funding via branches in the United States.

【舒立观察】寻求“以开放促改革”的新契机_杂志频道_财新网 Hu Shuli uses this week’s editorial to argue that China should actively negotiate to enter the TPP// TPP的本质是“竞争性自由化”,哪个国家在自由化潮流中落败,它就注定不可能在21世纪葆有竞争力。中国应该主动加入TPP谈判,而非徘徊在谈判大门之外,这样才能争取和维护自身权益。如果错失良机,中国将再次成为规则的被动接受者;越晚加入TPP谈判,进程将越发多变漫长。TPP谈判,可伴随中国全面深化改革的进程。加入这一“高标准的21世纪贸易协定”,将是中国“各方面制度更加成熟更加定型”的重要标志。

Huxiu — You Think There’s Bubble in Chinese Real Estate Market? Nothing Compared With Animation Industry in China As a result, fake companies and fake projects arise in the animation industry, taking advantage of the favorable policies by enjoying the generous subsidies while contribute nothing. More than 30 animation festivals were planned in eight months, and more than 20 cities claim they are working on becoming “the City of Animation (动漫之都)”. The subsidy policy also results in the significant reduction of the TV stations’ bid price. Some TV stations only offer 10 yuan per minute to the sellers.

Spiritual Pollution Thirty Years On | The China Story an essay by Geremie Barme written 30 years ago // A major source of Deng and his Party’s troubles is to be found in the very economic policies of which they are so proud. For in allowing a limited mixed economy – individual farming, small businesses and a gamut of private ‘entrepreneurs’ – the government has opened the Pandora’s Box of market forces. Consumerism; the raising of the standard of living; individual wealth; the desire to keep up with the Wangs next door – all of these are not only allowed but actively encouraged in the media. The government now recognizes and even acts to increase economic, educational and social inequalities – ‘Let one group prosper first’ is the slogan. There is no doubt that these policies have been warmly welcomed by the vast majority of Chinese; and even in the short period of their implementation they have wrought astounding changes throughout the country. However, even if one looks at all of this wearing Marxist blinkers, it appears as if these policies have liberated and now reinforce the rabid ‘small production’ mentality of the Chinese peasantry, as well as emboldening the petit-bourgeois man hidden deep in the Id of every urban dweller. To fling the doors of economics wide open and still expect to retain control of the people’s minds by using methods from the 1950s is the essential paradox of contemporary China, and the dilemma of her leaders. The Communist Party sees its main enemy in Western influences, heedless, for the moment, that China’s economic cure may well be the root-cause of her ideological disease.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China’s 50-Year Bond Auction Draws Least Demand Since 2009 – Bloomberg The Ministry of Finance sold at least 20 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) of notes due 2063 paying 5.31 percent, the highest yield since the nation started selling the tenor. A Bloomberg survey of five traders and analysts forecast a rate of 5.05 percent. The government received just 30.2 billion yuan in bids, compared to 42.6 billion in May, when the securities sold to yield 4.24 percent.

Reality Check: Chinese Developers Unconvinced By Housing Curbs | MNI “If we don’t get sales approval this year, then we just wait till next year,” said Mr Kong, a marketing officer at a medium-sized developer in Beijing. “They are still on the old path when it comes to reining in rising prices and that’s already proven to be ineffective.” The curbs may suggest cooling prices as 2013 draws to a close “but it only delays supply and depresses demand temporarily,” he said, warning that using land for low cost housing may only serve to drive up prices outside of government-subsidized programs.

Property in China: Haunted housing | The Economist surprised Ren Zhiqiang not quoted in here, given his recent book/book tour and is outspokenness about Chinese housing markets…and the fact that he has generally been right for years // As it is, the stock of new housing is soaring. GaveKal, a consultancy, calculates that after a decade of undersupply, China’s housing market is now shifting to “structural oversupply”. Its boffins point out that housing completions rose to 1.1 billion square metres last year, nearly double the figure seen before 2008. AllianceBernstein, a fund manager, also worries that the pace of building is outstripping sales. This, it reckons, has led to a growing overhang of completed but unsold homes.

Alibaba helps make China’s largest fund – Xinhua Currency fund Tianhong Zenglibao has become the first fund in China to hit 100 billion yuan (16.30 billion U.S. dollars) of sales thanks to its cooperation with Yu’ebao, Alibaba’s wealth management product. The fund, with more than 29 million buyers so far

China reform winners consumer, healthcare stocks; losers, big banks | Reuters “In the near term, we believe market sentiment should be lifted by the detailed announcement of the Third Plenum released Friday night,” Goldman Sachs China equity strategists said in a client note referring to a four-day conclave of Communist Party leaders that set the reform agenda, promising “decisive” results by 2020.

牛市格局终将在改革中诞生_网易财经 从短期来看,近期各部委、地方政府结合学习落实三中全会精神,将推出一系列改革措施,对股市产生一定的积极影响。但投资者应当明白,改革一定会触及某方面的利益,会有阵痛。我们不能仅从某一个点来判断《决定》对某一板块的利多利空,而是要看全面深化改革总目标实现过程中所迸发的社会活力。社会生产力的进一步解放将激活整个社会的全面发展,其所释放出的改革红利,正是支撑股市走牛的重要基础。因此,投资者应认真研读《决定》,既要寻找好公司,更要放宽视野,立足长远,牢牢把握住分享新一轮改革红利的机会。

我国明后年推GDP新核算体系 总量将在原基础上增加|GDP|总量|体系_新浪财经_新浪网 changes to GDP calculation coming in 2014/15, total GDP will increase // 湖北省统计局副局长叶青昨日接受南都记者采访时表示,调整G D P核算体系的原因是联合国[微博]等国际组织2008年对国民经济核算国际标准进行了修订,而我国目前的核算体系仍然是采纳联合国1993年《国民经济核算体系》标准,已经滞后。而美国已经采用新的标准对2012年GDP进行了重新核算,结果是2012年GDP规模增加了3.6%。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

南方周末 – 三中全会前的智库方案竞赛 on the competition between think tank reform plans in runup to the Third Plenum// 在中国改革日益复杂的背景下,决策者开始更为开放地倾听各方声音。而为经济与改革定调的三中全会,成为各路智库、机构与研究者们“推销”各自改革方案的隐形赛场。不同的方案与主张,不仅在争论之中为决策提供了参考,也成为一个重要的缓冲垫——这些方案公开之后的社会反应,相当于无形的“压力测试”。

遵义原市委书记落马前后其妻及数名商人被调查|遵义|市委书记|廖少华_新浪新闻 10月28日,廖少华涉嫌严重违法违纪,接受组织调查。廖少华事发前后,两位与廖少华关系密切的商人、其妻王丽被带走调查,黔东南州多名干部被约谈。廖少华主政黔东南州7年间,与这两位湖南籍商人关系密切,两人或承包工程项目,或以房地产开发为主业。

媒体:国企高管薪酬近千万 部委部长年薪十几万_资讯频道_凤凰网 Plans to control and in some cases reduce SOE executive pay about to be unveiled // 近日记者获悉,由人力资源和社会保障部(下称“人社部”)牵头进行的针对央企和国企高管收入的调研已基本结束。调研中,人社部发现央企和国企高管收入存在较大不平衡状况,也存在极个别国企高管领取近千万元薪酬的现状。目前,人社部已将汇总的调研结果上报。而两个独立消息源向记 者证实,有关主管部门正在准备采取多项手段控制规范央企、国企高管薪酬。

央企掌舵人“戴着镣铐跳舞”_网易财经 在央企中,有一群特殊的“打工皇帝”,他们除了正常的职务外,还有很高的行政级别:副部级、厅局级。他们是各地书记、省长、市长的座上宾,在各种海外投资项目上也是叱咤风云。然而,他们没有私人护照,很难通过私人形式出国,只要踏出国门就需要向“组织”报备,以获得批准。尤其是央企的“一把手”,他们的压力并不比民营企业的老板们少,有时候甚至更多。 由于身份游离于官员和企业高管之间,激励机制很容易迫使央企“一把手”在追求政治目标还是经济目标中进行抉择,而特殊的考核升迁制度又令他们在追求经济效益和战略目标之间徘徊。

发挥司法行政职能作用 全面推进依法治国_网易新闻中心 Minister of Justice Wu Aiying has a long piece on page 7 of Monday’s People’s Daily// 党的十八大以来,习近平同志多次就社会主义法治建设发表重要论述,提出了许多关于社会主义法治建设的新思想、新观点、新要求,为全面推进依法治国、加快建设社会主义法治国家提供了强大的理论指引和思想武器。深入学习贯彻习近平同志关于法治建设的重要讲话精神,充分发挥司法行政在全面推进依法治国中的职能作用,是当前和今后一个时期各级司法行政机关的重大政治任务。司法行政机关要进一步增强责任感、使命感,坚持以习近平同志系列重要讲话精神为指导,进一步做好司法行政各项工作,努力为加快建设社会主义法治国家作出积极贡献。

中央编办副主任王峰:吃财政饭的人总量要严控-中新网

贯彻落实三中全会精神 坚持做好“三个进一步解放”–时政–人民网 坚持做好“三个进一步解放”——三论认真贯彻落实十八届三中全会精神

‘Silent Contest’ silenced – Frontpage – Globaltimes.cn The film has made a wave among many Weibo celebrities, including Ran Xiang, a vocal advocate against the call for multi-party democracy and the introduction of Western values in China, Cai Xiaoxin, a military history researcher, Dai Xu, an air force colonel and military strategist, and Sima Nan, a Maoist scholar. “This is a very important signal. You are soft, he tough, you weak, he strong. In such a battle to vie for ideological discourse power, [we] must dare to show sword, as the brave prevails in struggles,” Sima said in a microblog post. Ran Xiang called on her Weibo to “tighten publicity” and “fully support those people who are attacked for upholding the truth” when “facing increasingly aggressive forces of anti-China, penetration and subversion.” Zhang Lei, the moderator of a military forum, said the film is a good teaching material for soldiers and politicians but not appropriate for ordinary people.

Legs fall off China’s hairy crab industry – FT.com according to crab sellers around Yangcheng lake near Shanghai, home to some of China’s most famous crustacean restaurants, no government departments are staging hairy crab banquets this year. Big companies are struggling to get government officials even to accept crab gift packs, a common way of greasing the wheels of commerce in this crab-hungry part of the country.

Xi’s China Reform Plan Sets Scene for Local Clampdown – Bloomberg Tightening control over local finances and allowing new channels for funding would limit the risk of a debt crisis hobbling the world’s second-biggest economy, while corruption arrests since Xi became party chief may signal that officials ignore directives at their peril. The scale of regional debt woes is set to be shown in an audit that the Finance Ministry said was due last month although it has yet to be released.

China says Xinjiang police station attacked by axe, knife-wielding mob, 11 dead | Reuters “Nine mobs holding knives and axes attacked a police station at Bachu county, killing two auxiliary policemen and injuring another two policemen,” according to a report on xinhuanet.com, which cited a web report from the Xinjiang government. “The nine mobs were gunned down on the site and local social orders restored to normal,” said the report, which identified one of the attackers with an apparent Uighur name.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

中国图-154侦察机首次飞抵钓鱼岛附近空域_资讯频道_凤凰网 Chinese Tu-154 surveillance plane flies near Diaoyu islands airpsace, reports Japanese media

Indian navy gets Russian carrier as it seeks to bolster military | Reuters Russia handed over a $2.3 billion aircraft carrier to India on Saturday after years of delays, extending the South Asian country’s maritime reach in the Indian Ocean as it looks to counter China’s assertive presence in the region. The handover, at a shipyard near the Arctic Circle, underlined close defense ties between Russia, the world’s No. 2 arms exporter, and the world’s largest arms customer, India.

China’s Bridgehead Strategy and Yunnan Province | East by Southeast Liu Jinxin wrote this essay to debunk the myth that China’s bridgehead strategy is militaristic or expansionary in nature.  As a chief architect of this strategy, he seeks to demonstrate that developing Yunnan province into a bridgehead will increase international trade flows and deliver long-term regional security.  This translated essay currently guides top-level foreign policy makers in China in implementing economic strategies along its borders with Southeast Asia.

Possible naval port in Sanya exposured by Google – Xinhua

NSA Fallout: Tech Firms Feel a Chill – WSJ.com The weak sales figures come amid heightened commercial tensions between the U.S. and China, aggravated by the NSA disclosures. State-run Chinese media have stressed concerns about the use of foreign tech gear. A June cover story in China Economic Weekly appeared with the English headline “He’s Watching You.” It named eight U.S. companies—including Cisco, IBM and Microsoft—that it said pose a danger to China’s computing networks. Not all U.S. tech firms report trouble in China. Brad Brooks, chief marketing officer of Juniper Networks Inc., a Cisco rival, said in an interview Thursday that the company hasn’t seen any slowdown in China

Chinese businessmen seek profitable opportunities in North Korea | South China Morning Post Hao is among a growing league of private Chinese investors lured by North Korea’s powerful business potential and undeterred by its unpredictable politics. The investments are fuelling growth in North Korea’s economy, as well as concerns among Western analysts that the boom could encourage more erratic behaviour by the hermit kingdom.

China, U.S. to strengthen coordination: President Xi – Xinhua “China will push forward reform with greater impetus and maintain the sustainable and healthy growth of the economy,” Xi said. “China hopes the U.S. advances restructuring, realizes fiscal stability and sustainability and ensures steady economic recovery and growth,” Xi said. China and the United States should strengthen policy coordination during their respective reform and restructuring process, expand mutual interests and explore new opportunities for cooperation by facilitating bilateral investment treaty negotiations, the president said. He called on the two countries to enhance cooperation in international and regional affairs, promote regional cooperation and world prosperity in an open and inclusive manner.

U.S. and China strengthen bonds people-to-people:–Liu Yandong OpEd in USA Today On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and I will co-chair the fourth China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Washington, D.C. It aims to implement the important agreement President Xi Jinping and President Obama reached in June on building a new model of major-country relationships between China and the U.S.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Headwinds hamper Hong Kong’s search for a new identity – FT.com One of the traditional pastimes in Hong Kong is worrying out loud about whether the Chinese territory is losing ground to Singapore as a global financial centre. But recently, Singapore has been shunted out of the conversation in favour of Shanghai, mainland China’s financial capital. Everyone from Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, to diners at local restaurants, are asking if the newly unveiled Shanghai free-trade zone will eventually eat Hong Kong’s lunch.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

阿里腾讯交战移动互联网_杂志频道_财新网 腾讯认为电商移动化的滞后给了自己机会。一语惊醒阿里人,加速祭出反击组合拳,防守移动电商,进攻移动社交,支付宝钱包则要占据O2O制高点//Caixin on the war in mobile between Alibaba and Tencent

支付宝走出“温室”的危与机_网易财经 编者按:前有银联固守线下市场,后有微信支付步步紧逼……一直坐拥最大互联网支付市场份额的支付宝正遭遇十面埋伏,已满10岁的支付宝想要独当一面并不容易。

Alibaba CEO Lu Rises From Holiday Inn Job to Ma Confidant: Tech – Bloomberg perhaps the kind of China puff piece we will see more of from Bloomberg? // Lu is taking none of this for granted. The rival he watches most closely these days is Tencent, a Shenzhen-based company that’s moved beyond games into Web services, search and e-commerce. Tencent has 990 million registered instant messaging accounts, and it’s increasingly offering them opportunities to buy and sell goods, much like Alibaba. Tencent even has its own Alipay-like service. Its name? Tenpay. On the strategic front, Lu’s priority is preparing Alibaba for the shift to mobile computing. The company is working to make its instant messaging app, Laiwang, more competitive with Tencent’s WeChat. It’s also developing better apps to let consumers and companies conduct business from mobile phones.

Interview: Alibaba’s CTO sees chance for non-American internet ecosystem – Xinhua | Believing the global internet is still largely dominated by U.S. technology, Wang said the well-sold Slush entrance tickets gave him confidence to expect a non-American ecosystem to emerge. He said, “80 percent of netizens are outside America, whereas 80 percent of internet services are provided in America. This is … not only … a huge challenge … but an opportunity as well.” Wang said he was impressed by the “enthusiasm, determination and solidarity” at the Slush venue. “They are similar to us,” referring to a recent conference in China organized by Aliyun, a cloud platform of e-commerce set up by Alibaba group.

Bitcoin Scandal Reflects Popularity of Virtual Currency in China – NYTimes.com Should the government decide to crack down on the bitcoin, which some experts say is possible in the aftermath of such a major fraud case, it has the legal grounds to do so. In 2009, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Culture issued a rule prohibiting the exchange of virtual currency for renminbi, as well as the purchase of real-world goods and services with virtual currency.

Interview: Huawei’s enterprise business booms in Western Europe on innovation – Xinhua “Our enterprise business has been growing very fast in Western Europe since we started such business here in the second half of 2012,” Leon He, president of Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group in Western Europe, told Xinhua. Through its enterprise business, Huawei provides comprehensive and efficient ICT solutions and services to government and public sectors, finance, transportation, electrical power, energy industries and enterprises. Speaking to Xinhua on the sidelines of the 2013 Gartner Symposium which concluded on Thursday, He refused to give specific figures but said the growth is “very fast.”

Tencent’s Asura Online Quickly Ascends to Top Ranks – Niko Partners Finally, a new MMORPG has reached the Top 5 list in China. Tencent launched the China-developed game (Asura) in September and it is now quite popular. A brief review of the game was on Kotaku recently. Niko’s October I-café Games Usage Data shows that Asura achieved #2 in terms of the number of game launches and #4 in terms of the total hours played on the 43,000+ active terminals with 300,000+ gamers in the 7-day tracking period that we conducted that month.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

扬州发现隋炀帝及萧皇后合葬墓_网易新闻 Sui Dynasty Yang Emperor tomb discovered…Real estate developer whose project it was found under probably hating life// 11月16日下午,记者从江苏扬州召开的隋炀帝墓考古发掘成果新闻发布会获悉,此前在该市发现的疑似隋炀帝陵经过考古发掘论证,确认为隋炀帝杨广与萧后最后埋葬之地。墓葬中不仅出土大量随葬品,还发现了两颗男性牙齿和女性人骨遗骸。   今年3月,在扬州市西湖镇司徒村曹庄一房地产建设项目中发现两座砖室墓,出土了铜制的衔环铺首以及金镶玉腰带,墓志清楚写着“隨故煬帝墓誌”等字样。考古专家推测,该墓志表明墓主为隋炀帝杨广。

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

NW China city imposes odd-even vehicle ban to curb pollution – Xinhua Authorities in the northwestern Chinese city of Lanzhou Saturday introduced a two-month odd-even traffic restriction in its urban center effective Sunday, amid the latest efforts to curb severe winter pollution. Cars will be banned from roads from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on alternate days in the period to Jan. 10 next year

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Foreign vegetable seeds threaten native industry – Xinhua Facing increasing competition from foreign companies, vegetable seed researchers and producers in China should focus more on innovations if they are to avoid the country’s food security being compromised, industry insiders have warned. “Foreign companies occupy about one-fifth of the domestic vegetable seed market valued at about 10 billion yuan (1.6 billion U.S. dollars) each year. And their share continues to increase,” said Sun Deling, vice president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Tianjin, one of China’s centers for seed production.

Air China to launch Beijing-Siem Reap direct flight – Xinhua Air China has said it will launch direct flight from Beijing to Cambodia’s Siem Reap next month, providing more convenience for tourists. Using Boeing 737-800 jets, Air China will operate the new route on Wednesdays and Sundays in December. Starting from January, Air China will add flights on Mondays and Fridays

Taking the High Road – NYTimes.com For accredited journalists in China like me, and the two others I was traveling with, a reporting trip to southern Xinjiang can be a frustrating experience, with local police officers often serving as unwanted chaperones who sometimes insist on joining you for meals. This time, we enlisted the services of Kashgar Guide, an officially sanctioned travel agency, and made clear we would be on holiday. Besides guaranteeing a seamlessly executed visit, the arrangement apparently convinced the authorities that we had left our notebooks at home. We would have a rare unfiltered look at a timeless place, weaving through the myriad communities for whom it is simply just home.//what a fun travel piece to write

 

BEIJING

Beijing’s parking woes: Is there any end in sight? | TheCityFix Parking shortages are not unique to Beijing – a host of Chinese cities are confronted with similar issues, and their municipal Government’s reactions have been almost exactly the same. Alternative measures including parking freezes, higher surface parking charges, and proof-of-parking are strategies that were deployed by cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong when they faced the same dilemma. Although Beijing’s context differs, it could still draw inspiration from these other major Asian cities.

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