THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Chinese military confirms HQs to go in dramatic shake-up to rid challenge to Communist Party’s leadership | South China Morning Post A commentary published on Monday in the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army, said the existing system was outdated, too centralised and challenged the Communist Party’s absolute leadership over the army. “The current command system … combines decision making, enforcement and oversight functions into one, exposing a series of shortcomings,” the commentary said. “The four general headquarters’ excessive concentration of power has allowed it to become an independent leadership hierarchy overshadowing many of the functions of the Central Military Commission, affecting the commission’s centralised and unified leadership over the army.” // scope of PLA reforms and the ability of Xi to push them through still seem under-appreciated
Related: 军报:四总部权力过于集中影响军委集中统一领导|解放军报|领导指挥体制_新浪新闻 昨天出版的解放军报发表题为《重塑我军领导指挥体制是强军兴军的必然选择》的文章指出，我军现行的总部、军区领导指挥体制，集决策、执行、监督职能于一体，暴露出不少弊端。特别是四总部权力过于集中，事实上成了一个独立领导层级，代行了军委许多职能，客观上影响了军委集中统一领导。这次改革，最根本的就是把党对军队绝对领导的根本原则和制度进一步固化下来并加以完善。
Related: 军报评论：推进领导掌握部队和高效指挥部队有机统一–军事–人民网 改革强军必先强组织、强体制。这轮改革力度大，大就大在我们下决心打破了长期实行的总部体制、大军区体制、大陆军体制。这是对我军整个组织架构的一次重塑，各级都必须适应这个新格局。调整后的军委机关将以主要精力履行战略谋划和宏观管理职能，尽快从军委总部体制运行模式转变过来；战区以主要精力研究打仗和指挥作战，尽快从大军区体制运行模式转变过来；军兵种以主要精力抓好部队建设管理，逐步从建用一体运行模式转变过来，努力推动军队现代化的整体转型和全面跃升。
2. Bloomberg Briefs-China’s Yuan and the SDR Basket comprehensive report, free
Related: China says no basis for the yuan to continue to devalue – PBOC | Reuters Inclusion of the yuan into the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) would make the yuan more stable, Yi Gang, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Related: China’s Fitful Economic Reforms – The New York Times This experiment has come under pressure in recent months as Chinese economic growth has slowed, and the currency and stock markets have been volatile. But for all the doomsday prophesying rampant in the media, China’s growth is not about to collapse and the stock market meltdown doesn’t presage a financial crisis. Much of the volatility in stock markets and in the currency’s value in recent months reflects, in large part, a well-intentioned but limited and poorly executed reform program. // Eswar Prasad still falls in the somewhat optimistic camp
3. China Calls Hacking of U.S. Workers’ Data a Crime, Not a State Act – The New York Times American officials are likely to be dubious about the Chinese contention. The director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, told Congress in September that there was no evidence that the exposed social security numbers or other financial information had been used for fraud. Criminal hackers do not usually sit on the material they steal, because financial data can have a short life span.
Related: First China-U.S. cyber security ministerial dialogue yields positive outcomes – Xinhua Among the cases discussed included the one related to the alleged theft of data of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management by Chinese hackers. Through investigation, the case turned out to be a criminal case rather than a state-sponsored cyber attack as the U.S. side has previously suspected.
Related: China behind ‘massive’ cyber-attack on Australian government: ABC | Reuters The Bureau of Meteorology owns one of Australia’s largest supercomputers and the attack, which the ABC said occurred in recent days, may have allowed those responsible access to the Department of Defence through a linked network.
4. China’s Blast of Fresh Air Quiets Calls for Beijing Mayor’s Head – Bloomberg Business A cold front that swept choking smog from northern China couldn’t have come sooner for Beijing’s mayor. After days of hazardous pollution forced people to wear masks and huddle indoors, residents of China’s capital turned their attention to the mayor, Wang Anshun, and his bold vow last year to clear the air. If pollution wasn’t brought under control by 2017, Wang said at the time, he would cut off his own head and present it to the country’s leadership.
Related: 人民日报评论微信号：治霾无捷径，应急举措莫像雾霾一般悬浮舆论场澎湃新闻-The Paper 12月1日，“人民日报评论”微信公号发表文章指出，被雾霾裹挟的公众，一直都有困惑。公众对应急预案的热切叩问，乃至心生“霾怨”，既是对自身健康的关照，也是对公共事务的参与。 文章强调，治理雾霾并无捷径，再严厉的举措，如果像雾霾一样悬浮，就难免中看不中用；再科学的制度设计，如果在落实中打了折扣，效果难以抵达预期。
Related: 低品油“退市难”重挫治霾成效 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 12月1日，北京重霾锁城第五天，华北、黄淮地区有多地发布霾橙色预警。住建部一句“北京雾霾主因是尾气”的说法再度引起公众对油品标准升级的关注。 《经济参考报》记者了解到，目前距离东部11省市汽柴油升级国五标准的最后时限，仅剩不到一个月的时间，各地步伐不一致，北京、上海、陕西、天津、广东、海南、浙江等地提前实现全覆盖，其他部分省市油品升级进程也在提速升级。与此同时，油品国六标准实施渐行渐近。业内人士预计，国内将再次迎来油品升级大潮。
Related: Q&A: Jost Wübbeke on the economic challenges to China’s hazy climate change goals | CER Even in absolute terms, 2014 was the first time since 2001 that China’s coal consumption did not increase year-on-year. This doesn’t change even if the data has now been revised. At the same time, other studies found that the carbon content of Chinese coal is lower than assumed in current CO2 calculations, suggesting that China has been emitting less CO2 than indicated by official data. In sum, we have a lot of uncertainty about what China’s real emissions are.
5. Cyber China: Updating Propaganda, Public Opinion Work and Social Management for the 21st Century by Rogier Creemers :: SSRN The first two years of the Xi Jinping administration saw a thorough reconfiguration of Inter-net governance. This reconfiguration created a centralized and integrated institutional framework for information technologies, in support of an ambitious agenda to place digital technologies at the heart of propaganda, public opinion and social control work. Conversely, the autonomy and spontaneity of China’s online sphere was vastly reduced, as the leadership closed channels for public deliberation. This paper reviews the institutional and regulatory changes that have taken place between 2012 and 2014, and analyses the methods and purposes of control they imply.
6. China Probes a Senior Oil Official’s Mysterious Death – WSJ Zhang Jianwei, who was helping to lead a Communist Party-ordered clean-up of graft and other alleged wrongdoing at China National Offshore Oil Corp., was found dead around lunchtime on Nov. 3 at his office, these people say. Authorities have been looking into the possibilities of foul play or suicide, say these people, and less focused on the possibility of death by natural causes. Neither Cnooc nor Chinese authorities have announced Mr. Zhang’s death; Cnooc had him listed on Wednesday as a top executive on its website.
7. Why a poor Southern city’s only hope was a Chinese company moving in | The Washington Post Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, which is based in Xinxiang, China, and is one of the world’s largest makers of coils for air conditioners, announced its arrival with blue and gold “Now hiring” posters pinned across southwestern Alabama in libraries and event halls. Deshler had been waiting for a job much like this one…Now Deshler wondered how any job at Golden Dragon could lead toward the middle class. He started looking differently at the factory, noticing its quirks, resenting its features: The several dozen Chinese engineers who helped supervise the plant couldn’t speak English and lived in modular trailers on the factory grounds. The awkwardly translated Chinese slogans touting work ethic
8. The Last Dalai Lama? – The New York Times At 80, Tenzin Gyatso is still an international icon, but the future of his office — and of the Tibetan people — has never been more in doubt. By Pankal Mishra
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
Banks Raise Dams, Fend Off Toxic Debt Crisis-Caixin regulators are not especially worried. A CBRC official who asked to remain anonymous told Caixin that healthy provisioning means the nation’s banks can currently accommodate up to 3 trillion yuan in debt write-offs. “The overall risk is still under control,” said the official. An executive at a state-owned bank who requested anonymity agreed banks overall have set aside enough money – up to 3 percent of the total amount on loan – to cover risks. Nevertheless, the debt waters are rising. According to government data, the banking sector’s total burden of bad loans rose in October for the 16th consecutive quarter to 1.92 trillion yuan. Toxic debt levels have climbed by more than 500 billion yuan since the beginning of the year.
Lianhua Gourmet cancels nomination of China President Xi’s cousin as independent director | South China Morning Post Henan Lianhua Gourmet Powder, a company based in China’s Henan province whose main product is cooking seasoning, said they decided to cancel the nomination of Xi Yinping, a cousin of China’s President, as an independent director, a filing at the Shanghai Stock Exchange said late on Wednesday.
Big Data Pumps Money at 500 Million Chinese With No Bank Credit – Bloomberg Business Liquor-store owner Lu’s money came from Shanghai-based China Rapid Finance, a peer-to-peer lending platform backed by private equity firm Broadline Capital. The company used data from Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. to pre-approve 50 million potential borrowers, based on information including frequency of instant messages, number of online friends, length of phone registration and use of mobile shopping and games. China Rapid Finance has also tapped data from Baidu Inc., the nation’s largest search engine, to find potential borrowers.
China’s Lufax Said to Seek $1 Billion at $15 Billion Value – Bloomberg Business Run by former McKinsey & Co. consultant Gregory Gibb, Lufax would be the most valuable financial startup in the world at its proposed valuation, according to a database by CB Insights.
China Said to Peg Local Debt Swap Program at 15 Trillion Yuan – Bloomberg Business China plans to expand the size of its program for addressing high-cost local government debt to about 15 trillion yuan, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei told a closed-door meeting last month, according to a person who attended the gathering.
Derek Scissors Bio — The China Beige Book™ Dr. Derek Scissors is Chief Economist of China Beige Book International, with oversight of the firm’s data analytics operations as well as China Beige Book’s proprietary database, which is now the largest private database in the world on the Chinese economy…Before joining China Beige Book International and AEI, Dr. Scissors was a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. // when did he take on this role?
Event: China and the Global Economy: Dialogue on China’s 13th Five-Year Plan video // Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao, the G-20 deputy representing China’s Ministry of Finance, delivered the speech “China and the Global Economy: Dialogue on China’s 13th Five-Year Plan” on December 1, 2015, at an event cohosted by the Peterson Institute and the China Finance 40 Forum (CF40). The Institute’s Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, Nicholas R. Lardy, provided his insights on the 13th plan, and PIIE president Adam S. Posen discussed China’s increasing role in the international financial architecture.
China’s Qihoo 360 Moving Closer to $9 Billion Definitive Buyout Offer – WSJ The $9 billion Qihoo 360 proposed buyout is expected to be completed in the coming weeks with financing from a mostly domestic investor group, the people familiar with the matter said. China’s largest Internet security company has enlisted Chinese wealth management firms to help raise funds for the buyout and plans to relist shares on a Chinese domestic stock exchange soon after a deal is completed, likely via a reverse merger, according to the people.
Setback Said to Spur CSRC to Look for Other Ways to Change IPOs-Caixin The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress – the body that runs the legislature between its full meetings – had been scheduled to read a draft amendment to the Securities Law in August that would have endorsed a registration-based IPO system, but that plan was shelved after the A-share market tumbled in mid-June. The draft is unlikely move forward soon because of disagreements over many issues, the source said. This has prompted officials from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to consider getting a legal basis for only the core elements of a registration-based IPO system, the source said.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Cross-toppling Wenzhou cadre promoted to aid Xi Jinping’s economic reform push | South China Morning Post Chen Yixin, party boss of prosperous Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, has been appointed deputy director of the general office of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensive Deepening Reform. It was announced by Liao Guoxun, personnel chief of Zhejiang, at a meeting of Wenzhou’s party committee on Tuesday, the Wenzhou Metropolis Daily reported. // 温州市委书记陈一新为什么能到中央任职？
China’s cabinet begins major clean-up of regulations – Xinhua The clean-up, already under way, targets all documents drafted since the founding of the New China in 1949, and those that have expired or are either incompatible with current laws and regulations or covered by new rules will be invalidated, according to a decision approved by Premier Li Keqiang and made public Wednesday.
China busts more graft-busters – Xinhua Fang Keyou was deputy chief of the Anhui Provincial discipline inspection team, responsible for supervising local authorities. Excluding Fang, at least eight discipline officials have been given punishments ranging from warnings to removal from office since the start of November, when China started a new round of anti-corruption inspections targeting key state and party organs.
Senior official calls for building new-type thinktanks – Xinhua Addressing a meeting on high-level thinktank building, Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said new thinktanks with Chinese characteristics are important for advancing state governance and the modernization of governance capabilities…In addition, high-level thinktanks should elaborate China’s own theories and experience, in a bid to make the world understand China and make progress for the mankind.
Fears of a Political Purge Grow in China as Editor and Professor Are Sacked for ‘Improper Discussion’ · Global Voices Under the pretext of improving the management of its 88 million members, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced a new set of disciplinary rules on October 22, 2015. The most controversial rule was against the “improper discussion of central government policy” (妄議中央), which could result in members being expelled from the party. Though the rule applies only to the CPC’s members, some observers have theorized that it represents an effort by central leadership to consolidate its power by purging the party of dissent.
Anhui “news ethics” committee formed – China Media Project While these new mechanisms are routinely justified as responses to poor and worsening ethics in China’s media, closer observation of the underlying discourse suggests they are predominantly about the Party reasserting control over the news agenda. The rollout of this national network continues this week with the formal creation of the Anhui News Ethics Committee, with we are told aims to “further strengthen self-regulation in the news industry and social oversight of news work, and promote the improvement of news teams.”
China Focus: Courts accepting more cases after clearance quota removal – Xinhua Annual case clearance rates used to be very important in courts’ annual assessments. However, in a January move designed to eliminate “unreasonable assessment criteria,” Chinese legal authorities committed to stop judging courts on prosecution and conviction quotas. In May, the country also streamlined the process for filing lawsuits and required courts to accept legitimate suits whenever they are filed.
Dissident Chinese Lawyer ‘Incommunicado’ After Online Anger Over Activist’s Sentence Dissident rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who remains under house arrest since his release from prison in August 2014, has ‘disappeared’ once more, his friends and family told RFA. Gao, who is still denied any freedom of movement and access to much-needed medical treatment, lost contact with the outside world after he spoke out against the jailing of a fellow rights lawyer in the southern city of Guangzhou, Gao’s wife Geng He told RFA.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Big thermal power deal crowns rare trip by China’s Xi to Zimbabwe | Reuters On the first visit to Zimbabwe by a Chinese leader since 1996, President Xi Jinping on Tuesday witnessed the signing of 10 economic agreements, including on expanding the southern African nation’s largest thermal power plant.
China Is Now the Top Source of Foreign Tourists to Japan – China Real Time Report – WSJ China has surpassed South Korea to become the largest source of foreign tourists to Japan, according to recent data from the Japan National Tourism Organization. About 4.3 million mainland Chinese tourists visited Japan from January to October this year, comprising about 25% of all tourists to Japan during that period, the agency said.
Latest Version: “China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress,” Ron O’Rourke’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report | Andrew S. Erickson China is building a modern and regionally powerful navy with a limited but growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. Observers of Chinese and U.S. military forces view China’s improving naval capabilities as posing a potential challenge in the Western Pacific to the U.S. Navy’s ability to achieve and maintain control of blue-water ocean areas in wartime—the first such challenge the U.S. Navy has faced since the end of the Cold War. More broadly, these observers view China’s naval capabilities as a key element of an emerging broader Chinese military challenge to the longstanding status of the United States as the leading military power in the Western Pacific. The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning.
China Is Building The World’s Second Stealth Air Force | Popular Science The eighth J-20 prototype “2017” made its maiden flight on November 24, 2015 at the Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) factory in Chengdu, China. Complete with a red carpet launch ceremony, the event was well attended by AVIC dignitaries, J-20 program personnel and government officials.
China Says It’s Time To Ground The Drones | The Nanfang Under the proposed regulations, all unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be required to register with the civil aviation authority and submit a flight plan before taking off, said Ke Yubao, Executive Secretary-General of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of China (AOPA). Additionally, drones weighing between 25 and 150 kilograms would need to undergo an airworthiness certification before taking off.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Top Hong Kong Regulator Peter Pang Referred Son for J.P. Morgan Internship – WSJ Peter Pang, one of three deputy chief executives at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, made the recommendation to the bank in 2006, according to the document, which was prepared by J.P. Morgan to be submitted to U.S. investigators in April. Mr. Pang was appointed to his position, where he handles monetary management, financial infrastructure and research, in 2004.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Nirvana in Fire- a nirvana of the Chinese TV Industry? | China Spoon “Have you watched Langya Bang (Nirvana in Fire)?” I have been constantly harassed by my friends on this during the past month. Even earning 3.2 billion and 2.8 billion overall views on Iqiyi and Youku (Top 2 video streaming websites in China) respectively, I have no desire to watch it in the first place, mostly because Chinese drama in the past 5 years tend to be crudely made and quite error-prone. But after watching a couple of episodes, I am hooked – the storyline is intense and compact, while the production is detail-oriented and fascinating. It is undoubtedly one of the better works seen in years.
600,000 Firms Use WeChat Messaging Function, Executive Says-Caixin Sun Jianhui, a deputy general manager of WeChat, said on December 1 that more than 10 million company employees are using the “corporate account” function, which allows individuals or groups in a firm to communicate or a firm’s leadership to send out information. // meanwhile Alibaba’s latest attempt to counter Wechat, Dingding, appears to be flailing
Writers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Writers, Says Alibaba Pictures VP – China Real Time Report – WSJ An executive of a major film studio backed by Alibaba Group has drawn a strong backlash from figures in the Chinese film industry after he said he would come up with a “disruptive way” of creating content. Xu Yuanxiang, vice president of Beijing-based Alibaba Pictures, said in a film seminar on Friday that the company would no longer hire professional screenwriters. Instead it would gather material from online forums and fan fiction writers to compete with each other over screenwriting credit.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Chinese investors buy 13% stake in Man City group for $400m – Yahoo News China Media Capital (CMC) and CITIC Capital have purchased the stake in City Football Group (CFG), which had previously been wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), just weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Manchester City.
Wanda Appoints Sepp Blatter’s Nephew To Head New Sports Division | Variety Philippe Blatter has been appointed CEO of Wanda Sports Holding, a new division formed from the merger of Infront Sports & Media and World Triathlon Corporation, both of which Wanda has acquired in the last year. Philippe Blatter was president and CEO of Infront.
Parents Who Have Lost Only Child Gather in Front of Family Planning Commission-Caixin A group of parents from around the country who have lost their only children gathered in the capital on December 1 to ask the government to increase the amount of monthly compensation they get each month. The gathering in front of the National Health and Family Planning Commission on December 1 involved some 500 people mostly in their 50s and early 60s who have lost children to disease or accidents.
Zhang Zhixin: The Woman who took on the ‘Gang of Four’-Caixin Zhang’s story is instructive because she was an ordinary cadre who was victimized by the politics of the era in the most extreme manner possible – and then posthumously “rehabilitated,” declared a martyr, and used as a poster child in later campaigns to criticize the “Gang of Four,” the alleged architects of the Cultural Revolution. Once that purpose had been served, further investigation into what had really happened to her was stopped. Slowly, but surely, she like the Cultural Revolution itself has faded from public discourse.
2015 translations from Chinese – another bumper crop For the last three years we have produced a list of Chinese to English translations (books only) published over the year. Here is our list for 2015
It’s Complicated: Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation Spurs Philanthropy Debate in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ One of the jokes going around is that the announcement must be fake because when a PRC user tries to find Facebook their browser says the site does not exist…
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China says it will cut power sector emissions 60% by 2020 | Environment | The Guardian China will reduce emissions of major pollutants in the power sector by 60% by 2020, the cabinet announced on Wednesday, after world leaders met in Paris to address climate change. China will also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power generation by 180m tonnes by 2020, the official People’s Daily website said. It did not give comparison figures or elaborate how it would achieve the result.
Coal is king among pollution that causes heart disease, study says – The Washington Post The risk of death from heart disease, including heart attacks, was five times higher for people who breathed pollution from coal emissions over 20 years than for those who were exposed to other types of air pollution, according to the study’s findings. The burning of coal releases fine particles with a potent mix of toxins, including arsenic and selenium.
China’s golden age of paleontology – CNN.com Paleontologist Xu Xing has discovered so many dinosaurs he’s lost count. A spreadsheet he brings up on the desktop computer in his fossil-filled office in Beijing stops at 57, but Xu says he thinks it’s more than 60. Whatever the exact number, Xu has named more dinosaurs than any other living paleontologist, unearthing fossils in some of China’s remotest corners that have revolutionized our understanding of prehistory.
The Murky Origins of the Largest Dinosaur Museum in the World – The New York Times Pingyi is often overlooked for what should probably be its greatest claim to fame: Paleontologists say it is home to the world’s largest collection of complete dinosaur fossils, many of which show evidence of feathers that have in recent years radically transformed scientific understanding of the evolutionary transition from dinosaur to bird.
Four-Fifths of Medical School Graduates ‘Don’t Become Doctors’-Caixin Professor Cai Jiangnan, of the China Europe International Business School campus in Shanghai, said government statistics show that around 2.9 million students graduated from medical schools from 2008 to 2013, but only 590,000 of them chose to become doctors. Cai, speaking at a forum in the capital on November 28, blames the figures on a lack of employment opportunities.
环境公益诉讼为何没“井喷”财新周刊频道财新网 多位业内人士认为，环境公益诉讼“井喷”现在没来，说明具体实践中还有诸多现实问题没解决好，暴露问题其实有利于解决问题。 2015年前11个月，无论在司法系统还是在民间的实践中，环境公益诉讼均已出现良好的开端。一旦环保组织自身能力加强，公益诉讼基金设立以及环境诉讼机制完善等条件成熟，环境公益诉讼终将多起来。
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *
中央音乐学院院长王次炤被免职 北邮对外经贸高校反腐放大招 | 北晚新视觉 2015年12月1日讯，上午中央纪委监察部网站发布消息，教育部党组召开视频会，对近期查处的中央音乐学院、北京邮电大学、对外经济贸易大学等3所部属高校4起违反中央八项规定精神问题等典型案件进行通报，其中中央音乐学院院长王次炤因为其女违规操办婚宴被免去院长职务。
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
Spain’s Prized Ibérico Hams Can’t Cure Fast Enough for China – The New York Times Last year, Fosun, one of China’s largest financial and industrial conglomerates, bought a stake in the parent company of Cinco Jotas, one of Spain’s top brands of Ibérico ham, which is based in Jabugo.
WildChina Explorer Grant The WildChina Explorer Grant was established in 2011 to enable other dreamers and explorers to embark on the same path that allowed us to share our exploration philosophy with the world. Through the WildChina Explorer Grant we hope to find adventurers who aspire to make an impact through exploration. Explorers who will join us in breaking new frontiers, and who dare to challenge the unknown.
Amid Smog Wave, an Artist Molds a Potent Symbol of Beijing’s Pollution – The New York Times “Brother Nut,” a performance artist, has something solid to show from the acrid soup in the air: a brick of condensed pollution. For 100 days, Brother Nut dragged a roaring, industrial-strength vacuum cleaner around the Chinese capital’s landmarks, sucking up dust from the atmosphere. He has mixed the accumulated gray gunk with red clay to create a small but potent symbol of the city’s air problems.
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