THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Online report suggests graft-busters targeting another military ‘tiger’ | South China Morning Post The article came after Liu Yazhou, political commissar of the People’s Liberation Army National Defence University, said at a forum last week that the investigation into Xu, a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, and bribery and embezzlement charges against Gu Junshan , the former deputy chief of the military’s General Logistics Department, were only the start of efforts to tackle corruption in the military.
Related: 徐才厚被抄家内幕：豪宅搜出1吨多重现金 – 大公网 Google cache of the now deleted from mainland sites Phoenix Weekly story on Xu Caihou’s corruption investigation and his booty
Related: 肃清、颠覆、试探 北京抖猛料三重深意_中国-多维新闻网 Duowei on the Phoenix Weekly story, says it makes clear Xu Caihou’s big supporter was not Jiang Zemin, speculates it is Deng Xiaoping’s former secretary (Ret.) Gen, Wang Ruilin// 而看似简短的撇清段落中，
2. China ready to cut rates again on fears of deflation – sources | Reuters “Top leaders have changed their views,” said a senior economist at a government think-tank involved in internal policy discussions. The economist, who declined to be named, said the People’s Bank of China had shifted its focus toward broad-based stimulus and were open to more rate cuts as well as a cut to the banking industry’s reserve requirement ratio (RRR), which effectively restricts the amount of capital available to fund loans.
Related: Stimulus With Chinese Characteristics – Bloomberg View China’s slowdown is serious by its own standards — but not, as yet, alarming. Figures released earlier this month show that factory output rose 7.7 percent in the year to October — the slowest in five years but still an expansion that other economies would be grateful for. Inflation is low, so there’s scope both for further interest-rate easing and for additional moves to liberalize the financial system. Last week’s move, modest as it was, confirms that China’s policy makers are willing to innovate, albeit cautiously. That’s good. Engineering a soft landing for China is in everybody’s interests.
3. Hugh Hendry Live 3: “To Bet Against China Is To Bet Against Central Bank Omnipotence” | Zero Hedge In the final part of Hugh Hendry’s 3-part (part 1 and part 2 here) interview with MoneyWeek’s Merryn Somerset Webb the sanguine Scot, perhaps surprisingly to some given his previous negativity – though fitting with his world view of fiat currency destruction – believes “to bet against China or Chinese equities, or the Chinese currency is to bet against the omnipotence of central banks. One day that will be the right trade, just not ready or sure that that is the right trade today.”..Before I surprise you, I would like to seek legitimacy of my view by telling you that I have made money. It’s been my most successful profit centre in the year to date, and we’ve made over 5% trading in China-related macro themes. In terms of surprising you, I am more sanguine about China. Actually I’ve been rather impressed by their policy responses over the last two years.
4. Chinese military officer explains need for construction in disputed Spratlys – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun In a rare disclosure, a high-ranking Chinese military officer told foreign media about the need for construction and a base in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. “There is a need for a base to support our radar system and intelligence-gathering activities,” Jin Zhirui of the Chinese Air Force Headquarters said at the Xiangshan Forum, a national security dialogue session on Nov. 22.
Related: China Said to Be Building Airstrip-Capable Area in Disputed Waters – NYTimes.com The plans for an airstrip at Fiery Cross Reef were most likely intended for China to land military aircraft that could monitor an air defense identification zone in the area that China appears likely to create in the future, said Bonnie S. Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
5. The new nuance in Chinese diplomacy | East Asia Forum Our lead essay from Mireya Solís this week asks why China chose FTAAP as its landmark initiative for the APEC summit. ‘The FTAAP’, she points out, was a concept which ‘was first developed by the Americans, so why did China borrow it to stake a leadership claim in defining the future of Asia Pacific economic integration?’ She advances three good reasons. First, FTAAP defines a grand regional vision that encompasses both China and the United States. Second, it takes the focus off the TPP without challenging it with an exclusively Chinese option — as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (the ASEAN+6 initiative) is commonly but wrongly described. And third, it puts China on the same pedestal in crafting a new regional and global trade order. These developments, and signs of flexibility in China’s management of its neighbourhood problems in the South China Sea around the East Asian Summit and earlier with Japan at APEC, signal a mature and nuanced Chinese diplomacy
6. 经济参考网 – 央企负责人薪酬改革明年1月实施 将建信息公开制度 Xinhua’s Economic Information reports that the new rules on Central SOE executive compensation will go into effect January 1, 2015, salary and benefits to be disclosed // 《经济参考报》
7. Ex-CFO of China’s Longtop found liable in rare U.S. investor trial | Reuters Derek Palaschuk, who served as Longtop’s CFO until resigning in 2011 amid questions about its accounting, on Friday was found liable for violating federal securities laws after less than a day of deliberations by a jury in Manhattan. The jury will return on Monday to hear testimony about what damages should be awarded investors, who contend Longtop’s stock was artificially inflated by fraud. // Is Palaschuk in Canada now? Somehow I don’t think it will be easy to collect a penny from him
8. Journeys Along the Seventh Ring | That’s Beijing Set to open in 2017, the proposed Seventh Ring will extend for over 900 kilometers, with around 90 percent of its length being built through neighboring Hebei.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
Bad loans just tip of the iceberg: official | Business Spectator A senior official from the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission has warned banks have not yet disclosed the full extent of their bad loans and that the bad loans already publicly disclosed are just the tip of the iceberg. Yu Xuejun, who heads the financial institution supervisory committee, says problems such as overcapacity, the housing bubble and shadow banking are all putting pressure on the country’s banking system, according to Caixin.
Bad News Mounts for Chinese Banks. Funds Grow More Bullish – Bloomberg China’s banks, already saddled with mounting bad debt, face the risk of sagging profit growth after an interest-rate cut slashed their margins on loans. The twist: some investors are getting more optimistic, not less, about the outlook for the industry’s shares. // what is the most credible estimate of the amount of undeclared bad loans?
Loan ‘Guarantee Chains’ in China Prove Flimsy – WSJ With China’s economic growth flagging, businesses such as Xueyuan are foundering, and these guarantee chains—in which companies guarantee loans to other companies—are wreaking havoc in the wider economy. The central bank cut benchmark lending and deposit rates on Friday to reduce financing costs for companies and help revive growth. Places like Jiangyin, in the prosperous Yangtze River delta, have been a point of concern for the government. “In Jiangyin, the big problem among private firms is that you owe me, I owe you, and in the end, if something goes wrong, then everyone gets tangled up together,” said Zhang Fuliang, Xueyuan’s court-appointed bankruptcy administrator.
Central Bank Seen Fueling Old China as Banks Hold Key to Policy Success – Bloomberg “It may help local governments and state firms that borrow from banks, it may not help a great deal to firms that borrow from other parts of the financial system,” said Mark Williams, Capital Economics Ltd.’s chief Asia economist in London. “So the net result will be that big state-owned companies are somewhat better off.”
经济参考网 – 人民大学报告预测今年GDP增7.4% 2015年改革、调整全面展开 GDP增7.2% People’s University out with a report predicting 2014 GDP will be 7.4%, 2015 GDP will be 7.2%
Massive Rail Deal Gives China’s Push Into Africa a Major Win The China Railway Construction Corporation’s eye-popping $12 billion deal to build an 870-mile railroad in Nigeria is the biggest single overseas contract in Chinese history and will boost the country’s manufacturing sector just as its overall economy shows some signs of slowing. That’s not the only upside for China, however: the deal will also give Chinese firms more of a foothold in Africa’s biggest economy.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Communist Party should try imperial China’s impeachment system to fight graft, says novelist | South China Morning Post Ling Jiefang, who goes by the pen name Er Yuehe, said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) should learn from ancient Chinese dynasties how to set up an impeachment system. “By adopting the system, it encourages officials to supervise and report each other on any misdeeds,” Ling told the Southern Metropolis Daily. The writer cited the system of imperial censors, used by many ancient dynasties, as an effective approach to check and balance officials’ power to fight corruption. // 二月河：
Prosecution of Uighur Students Underscores Perils of Chinese Clampdown – NYTimes.com On Tuesday, at least three of the students are expected to stand trial on charges that their volunteer work for the news website Mr. Tohti ran constituted “splittism” or involved “revealing state secrets,” presumably because some of the articles they translated or posted were critical of government policies in Xinjiang, the turbulent homeland of China’s Turkic-speaking Uighur minority.
六尺巷的智慧为什么被一再引用？_文化课_澎湃新闻-The Paper 反腐的关键时候，王岐山的访问，引发诸多解读，
中石油内部反腐持续发酵 长庆油田工程监督处处长被查_财经频道_一财网 CBN reports another PetroChina official is under investigation, this one from the Changqing Oilfield company // 《第一财经日报》记者从多方获悉，
首届国家网络安全宣传周–IT–人民网 today is first day of China’s first China Cybersecurity Propaganda Week…People’s Daily Online has a nice micro-site on the topic
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Pro-Beijing scholar wants to set up platform to counter West’s ‘bad-mouthing’ of China | South China Morning Post Zhang Weiwei, director of the Centre for China Development Model Research at Fudan University, organised a forum this week to discuss the West’s response to China’s growing influence, news portal guancha.cnreported. // will it be funded by Eric X. Li, as Guancha.cn reportedly is?
How the United States can counter the ambitions of Russia and China – The Washington Post Ely Ratner and Thomas Wright // Complementing these military relationships, Washington should regard conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its sister trade agreement in Europe as top priorities in order to renew U.S. economic leadership. Finally, rising to the revisionist challenge will require a degree of national strength that can be sustained only through a thriving economy, a powerful military, and a government and society that are admired by much of the world. This places a premium on improving domestic governance; leveraging America’s advantages in technology, immigration and energy; and enacting sustainable fiscal policies on revenue and entitlements. // strength abroad begins with strength at home. Too bad the current American political environment makes the suggestions in the last sentence of this excerpt incredibly difficult to achieve,
Feds deport Chinese man convicted in fatal Des Moines crash | Local News | The Seattle Times A Chinese national who caused a fatal crash in Des Moines two years ago was escorted to the airport on Thursday and put on a nonstop flight to Beijing. Yichun Xu, 21, was released from prison in October and an immigration judge ordered his deportation earlier this month…17½ months in prison, court records show. He was given credit for about 4½ months he spent in the King County Jail and had an earned release date in early October // slap on the wrist, assume no chance victims can pursue a civil case now that he is back in the PRC?
PacNet #81 – Options for US policy toward the South China Sea | Center for Strategic and International Studies by RADM (ret) Michael McDevitt, // The administration’s public rhetoric has, over time, become far more specific and less “diplomatic.” It now specifically calls China’s actions destabilizing and bullying. Instead of giving vague exhortations, it also has become more specific in its commentary regarding the “rules.” It has been especially specific in addressing the most destabilizing aspect of the disputes in the South China Sea: the nine-dash line. Despite being judged sensible and proportionate, however, given the US interests involved, the Obama administration has been criticized from both the right and the left for not being “tough” enough with China. The simple reason for the criticism is that China has essentially ignored US exhortations
The South China Sea | CNA Corporation The aim of this report is to propose additional policy options that the United States might pursue in the South China Sea. To this end it provides a detailed recounting of existing U.S. policy toward the South China Sea. It concludes by recommending additional policy approaches aimed toward generating a more peaceful, stable, nonconfrontational, law abiding environment in the South China Sea. Along the way it will address the U.S. interests that are involved in the South China Sea. It will briefly explain what international laws apply to the South China Sea, and detail the “rules” that Washington’s policy insists all parties follow. It will then provide an overview of the legal merits of the respective claims to the islands and features in the South China Sea. The legal overview is presented not to argue for a change to existing U.S. policy of not taking a position on sovereignty claims, but to provide policy-makers with some understanding of the legal complexity of the claims issue.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Xiaomi, Youku, and more get virtual telecom operator licenses, but can they right the ship? – TechInAsia According to Techweb, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued its fourth round of virtual telecom operator licenses. The licenses grant companies the right to operate a “virtual” telecom company, charging their own fees and offering their own plans but leasing their network from one of China’s three state-owned telecom companies (China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom). The latest list of companies issued licenses includes Xiaomi, Youku-Tudou, and Haier.
Baidu’s Andrew Ng on Deep Learning and Innovation in Silicon Valley – Digits – WSJ WSJ: For all of Baidu’s achievements, it still has to operate within China’s constraints. How do you see your work and whether its potential might be limited? Ng: Obviously, before I joined Baidu this was something I thought about carefully. I think that today, Baidu has done more than any other organization to open the information horizon of the Chinese people. When Baidu operates in China, we obey Chinese law. When we operate in Brazil, which we also do, we obey Brazil’s law. When we operate in the U.S. and have an office here, we obey U.S. law. When a user searches on Baidu, it’s clear that they would like to see a full set of results. I’m comfortable with what Baidu is doing today and I’m excited to continue to improve service to users in China and worldwide.
Popular Chinese pirated-video site suspended amid official pressure | South China Morning Post The website YYeTs.com ceased to be accessible on Saturday. Users were faced with the message: “The website is undergoing content clearing-off”. It did not say if or when the service will resume. The website allows users to download a range of the latest overseas movies and TV shows, most of which are pirated copies. Though countless websites in China provide similar services and pirated material, YYeTs.com distinguished itself as a hub for producing and screening Chinese subtitles for the unauthorised foreign movies and TV shows.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
China cesspool blast injures 15 – Xinhua Police in Zhangjiajie city, Hunan Province, believed it was an accident when a man surnamed Ding was burning waste outside his derelict house and near the cesspool at about 5 p.m.. Police said the fire ignited the methane emanated from the pit and caused the blast.
Peking University sacks professor – People’s Daily Online The professor’s teaching credentials have been revoked and he has also been expelled from the Party, according to the announcement. Yu Wanli, then an associate professor at the School of International Studies of Peking University, was accused of having sex with an international student surnamed Wang and getting her pregnant. A university alumnus reported Yu to the university’s inspection department in November. Previous media reports said that the informant was Wang’s friend at school. // student holds a Singapore passport, lots of salacious details being put online. 女留学生斥副教授”禽兽”:他提议过换妻群交. I had no idea Peking U was such a swinging place when I attended the school
失独父母起诉卫计委立案再遭拒 将上诉_政经频道_财新网 Beijing court rejects lawsuit seeking compensation from National health and Family Planning Commission by parents whose only child has died
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
TCM to play bigger role in China’s medical reform: official – Xinhua TCM and western medicine complement each other, which is an important trait of China’s health service system, said Wang Guoqiang, head of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, at the first TCM Science Conference on Sunday. In 2013, China has more than 200 million senior citizens above 60, posting great challenges to the country’s health sector. “As TCM has advantage in prevention and health care and is relatively cheaper than western medicine, TCM will help to solve difficulties for common people to get medical treatment,” said Wang
5 dead, 54 injured in southwest China quake – Xinhua The quake struck at 4:55 p.m. Saturday, with the epicenter measured at the Tagong Prairie, Kangding County, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. A total of 25,000 houses were damaged, affecting about 79,500 people and forcing 6,200 to relocate, according to the Garze prefecture government.
China Needs 1,000 Nuclear Reactors to Fulfill Its Climate Pledge – Bloomberg The pledge would require China to produce either 67 times more nuclear energy than the country is forecast to have at the end of 2014, 30 times more solar or nine times more wind power. That almost equals the non-fossil fuel energy of the entire U.S. generating capacity today. China’s program holds the potential of producing vast riches for nuclear, solar and wind companies that get in on the action. “China is in the midst of a period of transition, and that calls for a revolution in energy production and consumption, which will to a large extent depend on new energy,” Liang Zhipeng, deputy director of the new energy and renewable energy department under the National Energy Administration, said at a conference in Wuxi outside of Shanghai this month. “Our environment is facing pressure and we must develop clean energy.”
Tibet’s largest hydropower station becomes partly operational – Xinhua Water is discharged from the dam of Zangmu Hydropower Station in Gyaca County, Shannan Prefecture, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Nov. 22, 2014. This Tibet’s largest hydropower station became partly operational on Sunday, harnessing the rich water resources of the Yarlung Zangbo River to empower the development of the electricity-strapped region
秸秆焚烧：“一把火”背后的无奈_特别报道_新京报网 The Beijing News on “straw burning” in rural areas, a seasonal, significant source of air pollution // 京津冀近日又频起雾霾，三地政府对秸秆焚烧严管严查。即便如此，
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
大兴一企业“泡药”豆芽日销20吨_深度_新京报网 don’t eat the bean sprouts…investigation by the Beijing News discovers poisonous bean sprouts from Daxing, Beijing…factory has daily sales of 20 tons to many big Beijing markets, Hebei and Shandong // 近日，记者探访北京大兴一家非法豆芽生产“基地”，
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