THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. LIVE: Police start arrests after Hong Kong protesters defy warnings in clearance operation | South China Morning Post Good afternoon and welcome to scmp.com‘s live coverage of the police operation to clear the remaining Occupy sites, after 74 days of protest. The clearance operation has started and police have warned of imminent arrests.
Related: Hong Kong Police Arrest Prominent Radicals in Home Raids | TIME Home arrests on Wednesday included: Alvin Cheng, the leader of a hardline group, Student Front, that rejects non-violence; Anthony So, a member of People’s Power, a far left political party; and Raphael Wong, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats. The three arrests, on suspicion of unlawful assembly, were reported by the government-funded Radio Television Hong Kong.
2. China says U.S. can’t slam others on rights when it has racism problems at home | Reuters China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that the United States has no right to confront other countries on their human rights records when it faces problems with racism and mistreatment of prisoners at home. Both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. ambassador to China Max Baucus issued statements on Wednesday to mark International Human Rights Day in which they mentioned cases such as the imprisoned Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. // Will Beijing just send over a copy of the Senate CIA report to the embassy? Did the US Senate realize it was releasing the report on eve of International Human Rights Day?
Related: The disastrous flaw at the heart of the CIA’s torture program – Vox There’s something crucial we shouldn’t lose sight of: Torture was a terrible idea from the beginning because it was clear from the way the program came together that the CIA’s torture regime was never going to work, because it was based on copying Chinese torture methods designed not to elicit truth but to force false confessions. // disgusting, tragic irony if this is true
3. A Top Target of China’s Antigraft Campaign Gets Life in Prison – NYTimes Some analysts of Chinese politics say the purge of Mr. Liu could signal preparations by Mr. Xi and other leaders to push forward ambitious economic policies, since the gridlock inside the bureaucracy of the National Development and Reform Commission is believed to be a major obstacle to further liberalizing China’s quasi-command economy. The Xinhua report said that Mr. Liu was a benefactor of four companies, after presumably taking bribes from them.
Related: 刘铁男悔过书曝光 反思价值观政经频道财新网 Caixin gets hold of copy of Liu Tiienan’s “written repentance”, lots of details of his corruption
Related: Ex-NDRC Deputy Head Given Life for Graft – Caixin The jurisdiction of Liu’s case was set in Hebei’s city of Langfang instead of Beijing in accordance with a Supreme People’s Court ad-hoc arrangement aimed at weeding out potential obstruction of justice. Commentators noted an injection of irony in court hearings with Liu’s proposal that the central government should move to decentralize administrative approvals to prevent abuse of power. In a bid for leniency, he also suggested the government have a system in place to prevent officials from meddling in the market.
Related: The Corruption Crackdown [ And Xi as Mao 2.0 Talk] | The Sinocism China Newsletter Something I wrote in July, right before the investigation of Zhou Yongkang was announced. I am sticking with it // As for the question of whether the corruption crackdown is about consolidating power, of course it is, these crackdowns almost all have an element of that. It is a mistake however to conclude that it is only about reshuffling officials so Xi can put his people in place. I believe that Xi is serious about improving governance and cleaning up at least the more egregious corruption in both the Party-state and the military. Improving Party-state governance does not mean making political reforms in any Western sense but it does mean trying to build a more adaptable and accountable authoritarianism, while cleaning up the military is necessary to achieve his stated goals of building a strong, professional military. I think the anti-corruption efforts are also clearly about reining in and in some cases removing special interests that are resisting the very ambitious reform plans passed at the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in November 2013. Caixin has translated into English a recent interview with a Chinese scholar who also makes this point, along with several other important ones.
5. Zhanggong Leaks: History is the Best Judge – China Digital Times (CDT) The following leaked email, selected from the archive by CDT Chinese editors and translated below, was sent as a work report from the Zhanggong Internet Information Office to the City Internet Propaganda Office (市网宣办) on July 16, 2013. Much of the text appears verbatim in the Chinese-language transcript of venture capitalist and CCP defender Eric X. Li’s TED talk “A Tale of Two Political Systems,” delivered in English in June of 2013. In July of 2013, Li published a similar argument in essay form at the South China Morning Post as “China’s Rise and the End of ‘Meta-narratives’” (中國崛起與「元敘事」的終結). Li’s SCMP article, which was widely republished by state media [Chinese], also contains most of the talking points exactly as printed in the Zhanggong leak. // Is this the propaganda bureaucracy copying what Eric X. Li has been saying, or has Eric X. Li been working off of talking points set by the Ministry of Propaganda? If the latter, Western think tanks, conferences and media outlets that have had Li talk, taken his money or published his work might need to ask themselves some questions…
6. China to host top-level remembrance ceremony for Nanjing Massacre victims – Xinhua A state memorial ceremony will be held in the east China city of Nanjing on Saturday for China’s first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims. Communist Party of China (CPC) and state leaders are scheduled to attend the ceremony, which will be held at the memorial hall for the victims of the Nanjing massacre by Japanese invaders. The ceremony will be broadcast live by China National Radio (CNR), China Central Television (CCTV) and China Radio International (CRI) as well as the news websites xinhuanet.com, people.com.cn, cntv.cn and china.org.
7. Adjusting to the End of GDP Supremacy – Caixin – Hu Shuli Editorial We are already seeing the positive impact of the spate of reforms this year. As proposed by the reform blueprint unveiled at the end of the party’s third plenum, the central government has streamlined its administrative structure and rolled out hukou reform. Business registration procedures have been simplified, with the result that more companies have registered this year, while the services sector is enjoying a growing share of the GDP. According to economist Wu Jinglian, these are critical reforms. And, as he pointed out, these are just the first steps. China is more ready than ever to welcome reforms. Next year, we expect breakthroughs in reform of the tax and financial system, social security, land and state-owned enterprises, among other areas. This will mean breaking interest groups’ stranglehold on the economy, correcting the distortions in prices of key resources, improving the efficiency of resource allocation and ensuring social justice. We also expect to see next year the tax and fiscal reform measures promised in a resolution passed by the Politburo at its last meeting.
8. How Wal-Mart Made Its Crumbling China Business Look So Good for So Long – Bloomberg The practices — including bulk sales to other retailers and some sales allegedly booked when no merchandise left the shelves — made business appear strong even as retail transactions slowed and unsold inventory piled up, these people and documents say. Wal-Mart (WMT) said in August that it was unhappy with inventory growth internationally. Stores in China continue to make bulk sales, sometimes unprofitably and without required management authorizations, according to employees who’ve left the company this past month. Concerns about bulk sales, raised as far back as 2011 in an internal report, have been the subject of inquiries in China by Wal-Mart’s legal team as recently as May, according to an internal company e-mail and an employee interviewed by lawyers. // Walmart PR is good, made the whiff of scandal a few years back disappear…
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
China tells banks to step up lending to lift flagging growth | Reuters China has told its banks to issue more loans in the final months of 2014 and has relaxed limits on their loan-to-deposit ratios to help hit a record new lending target as the government steps up efforts to lift flagging economic growth. Two sources with knowledge of the matter said China’s central bank would now allow banks to lend an unprecedented 10 trillion yuan ($1.62 trillion) for all of 2014, up from what Chinese media have said was a previous target of 9.5 trillion yuan.
央妈向10万亿合意贷款目标冲刺？财经频道一财网 1 2月11日有消息称，央行正在紧急放松银根，
China Stocks Fall on Biggest Swings in Five Years as Brokers Dip – Bloomberg The Shanghai Composite slid 0.5 percent to 2,925.74 at the close, after gaining as much as 0.9 percent and falling as much as 1.6 percent. The index’s 10-day volatility surged to the highest level since 2009 as investors assess the sustainability of a rally that has been the world’s best among major global markets over the past month and propelled share prices to the most expensive levels in three years.
证监会最快下周一启动两融检查 重点客户或查交易流水-股票频道-和讯网 CSRC to conduct inspections of securities firms next week? Concerned about leverage it looks like // 大智慧通讯社日前从业内了解到，已有券商接到两融检查通知。
China’s falling inflation raises prospect of faster easing | Reuters Consumer price inflation grew at its slowest rate in five years in November, while the producer pricing index (PPI) is already reading negative after its 33rd straight monthly decline, down 2.7 percent from a year earlier. “The PPI deflation clearly suggests Chinese corporates are struggling amid economic slowdown,” wrote ANZ economists in a research note. “(The) real cost of funds is close to 10 percent, which will further squeeze profit margin and increase debt burden.”
China Company and LGFV Bonds Shrug Off Repo Ruling – Bloomberg “Investors wrongly dumped corporate bonds yesterday,” said Zhang Li, a bond analyst in Shanghai at Guotai Junan Securities Co., the nation’s third-biggest brokerage. “The new repo pledge regulation will damp demand for LGFV bonds, but it won’t curb liquidity.”
Mobius Says China’s Bull Market Is Just Getting Started – Bloomberg “We are buying more in China because we think this is the beginning of a longer-term bull run,” Mobius, who oversees about $40 billion as the executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said in a phone interview yesterday from Thailand.
Hot Source of Property Financing: Visa Seekers – WSJ The giant trucks pumping concrete in Hudson Yards, New York’s biggest real-estate project in a generation, are being financed by an unlikely source: about 1,200 Chinese families in search of U.S. visas. Developer Related Cos. says it has raised roughly $600 million from the families to build the foundation for three skyscrapers at the West Side project, a 17-million-square-foot colossus of office, retail and residential space set to open over the next decade.
京津冀协同发展提速 或设立京津冀开发银行_凤凰资讯 近日，河北省政府印发的《
Chinese yuan strengthens to 6.1153 against USD – Xinhua The value of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened by 42 basis points to 6.1153 against the U.S. dollar in its central parity rate on Thursday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.
China: Turning away from the dollar – FT $$ Such optimism will be welcomed in Beijing as it pursues a master plan to break free of US dominance in global finance and create a parallel, Sino-centric system that takes its cue from a mighty renminbi. Of course, much could yet conspire to blow China’s ambitions off course. But if even half of what it envisages is achieved, the impact on US debt financing, the future of development finance and the opening of Chinese financial markets to international capital would be profound.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Top Communist Party paper puts Zhou Yongkang in ‘traitor’ class | South China Morning Post An article released through People’s Daily’s WeChat account last night said Zhou’s deeds made him “no different from a ‘traitor'”, a reference that prompted speculation that the former member of the innermost Politburo Standing Committee could face the death penalty. // 人民日报政文部：周永康所作所为与叛徒无异
Young, Idealistic and Caught Up in a Wave of Detentions – NYTimes.com But what Ms. Ling apparently did not know — or remember — was that many commercial photocopy shops in Beijing are linked by computer to the police, who can scan their business for just such activities, especially in times of political tension, said the two sources. Spotting the Occupy Central content, they said, the police pounced. Ms. Ling was detained on Oct. 3. Next to be taken into custody was Mr. Chen, the Liren College administrator and her boyfriend, on Oct. 5. He had just returned from Taiwan, the sources said.
Oversight of China’s Lottery Funds Must be Tightened, Says Expert – Caixin The country’s auditors are carrying out the largest audit of its kind into lottery funds on complaints of fraud and embezzlement reported in recent years. The National Audit Office sent inspection teams to 18 provinces and regions in mid-November to audit lottery funds. China has two major lotteries: the welfare lottery and sports lottery, which are separately managed by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the General Administration of Sports. The two are also in charge of administering lottery funds. Lottery sales nationwide reached a total of 1.7 trillion yuan as of October this year so far. The first ticket was sold in 1987, according to the Ministry of Finance.
China Focus: Pedal to the metal on vehicle reforms | Shanghai Daily In March, reform on government vehicles was included in China’s State Council government work report for the first time. Zhou describes the reform as one “with the most decisive resolution.” In Xinyu, 130 vehicles, or one sixth of the previous amount, were kept. These vehicles are now equipped with a positioning system that allows travel routes to be tracked by the public.
乌鲁木齐召开常委会 将禁公共场所穿戴蒙面罩袍新闻腾讯网 Urumqi to ban wearing of veils in public places
Top Chinese political advisor meets Uygur writer – Xinhua China’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng has met with an author from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who recently published a book introducing people from the northwestern region. Yu, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, met with author Kurbanjan Semat as well as characters from his book “I come from Xinjiang” Wednesday. “I come from Xinjiang” records over 100 ordinary people from Xinjiang with different ethnicities, professions and ages working in other parts of China, showcasing the general image of Xinjiang people working hard for their dreams.
China says bilingual education a key for Xinjiang’s stability | Reuters Yu Zhengsheng, the party’s number four ranked leader, told a group of young Uighurs visiting Beijing that speaking both languages was of vital importance. “If we are to maintain Xinjiang’s social stability and ethnic unity we must put education and employment work in an even more prominent position and further raise the quality of bilingual education,” state television cited Yu as saying.
China Policy Institute Blog » “Terrorism” or Terrorism in Xinjiang? In no way am I trying to explain or justify the Xinjiang conflict, I am concerned primarily with the language used in diplomatic and media discourses regarding terrorist acts. Media discourses influence perceptions, while diplomatic discourses can create hostility between states. In order to attain some degree of journalistic objectivity, I believe the usage of specific terminology should be justified. Moreover, mutual misperceptions unevenly upheld and not accounted for, will only deteriorate the already eroded relations between China and the West. The fact that the Uyghurs have legitimate complaints about Chinese policy should not deter one from condemning terrorism and the elusive usage of “terrorism” risks doing just this, while even worse, taking sides. Oana Burcu is a Doctoral Researcher in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham researching Chinese nationalism and foreign policy
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
The Secret Deal to Save the Planet | Rolling Stone Inside the high-stakes drama behind Obama’s China climate talks
China, Russia Near Deal for Wide-Body Aircraft – Caixin Russian and Chinese aircraft manufacturers are preparing to cooperate to help China meet soaring demand for new jumbo jets without kowtowing to industry heavyweights Airbus and Boeing. Aviation industry officials on the sidelines of the recent Zhuhai Air Show in southern China told Caixin that the Chinese and Russian governments have agreed to cooperate on jumbo jet development, including wide-body aircraft design, research and manufacturing. Negotiations between aviation sector representatives from the two sides are still under way, but officials said they expect a final agreement to be announced next year.
越南军舰靠近南海赤瓜礁 与中国军舰对峙(图)新闻腾讯网 photos from a reported 11.30 PLAN-Vietnamese navy standoff near Johnson South Reef
军报称徐才厚是“两面人” 用假面具掩盖肮脏灵魂新闻腾讯网 荀子把“口言善，身行恶”
China’s ‘D’ word gets lost in translation | Business Spectator Richard McGregor points out in The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers, when the premier talked about democracy, he was leaving out a crucial caveat included in any official documents about the topic in China, including the Party’s 2005 White Paper on the topic. ‘Democratic government is the Chinese Communist Party governing on behalf of the people,’ the paper said. A former senior official ousted after the 1989 crackdown reportedly joked to McGregor: “You need a new dictionary to understand what Chinese leaders mean when they talk about democracy”. The Trade Minister tersely told China Spectator that asking about the ‘D’ word was merely a ‘gotcha question’.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Xiaomi banned from selling, importing phones in India: Report – The Times of India Delhi high court has put paid to Xiaomi’s surging sales juggernaut in India. At least for now. Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India
Founder of China dating app Momo accused of graft, theft ahead of Nasdaq IPO | South China Morning Post A Chinese internet giant fired stunning accusations of misconduct and corruption against Tang Yan, CEO and founder of mobile-based dating app Momo, less than two days before his company’s planned Nasdaq listing on Thursday.
明天就要上市 老东家网易公开指责陌陌CEO唐岩科技腾讯网 Neteas
Momo vs. Momo: China’s Tinder Fights for Its Name – – WSJ As China’s popular dating app Momo prepares for an initial public offering in the U.S. on Thursday, a second Chinese relationship service – also called Momo – is saying it was Momo first. Hangzhou Momo Wedding Service Co. in November sued the better-known Beijing Momo Technology Co. — the one set for a Thursday U.S. IPO — for 11 million yuan ($1.79 million), alleging they have exclusive use of the brand for what in China is called the friend-making businesses. The trial will likely take place around the end of December at an intellectual property rights court in Beijing, said Li Zhen, the major shareholder and legal representative of Hangzhou Momo.
Tencent Aims to Cash In on Its Hit Messaging App – Caixin In September, WeChat unveiled a plan named Smart Life that is aimed at providing ways for businesses to better engage with consumers through their WeChat accounts. Planned features include ways to order food, book hotels, buy public transportation tickets, pay tuition fees, make doctor appointments and more. WeChat’s management has held a number of public lectures across the country to promote the Smart Life solutions. “It is an approach to cultivate (potential) offline (users),” said Geng Zhijun, head of WeChat’s offline promotion team. “It is also a process for us to collect opinions from businesses and send them to our product development team for revisions.”
China market: Handset chip demand slowing down-Digitimes MediaTek and Ilitek both saw their November sales hit the lowest levels in five months, reflecting a slowdown in demand from China’s handset market, said the sources. There has also been speculation that smartphone vendors have high inventory levels at present.
工商总局抽检电商 天猫1号店等仍存售假科技腾讯网 shocker, AIC in inspection finds counterfeit goods for sale on big ecommerce sites, including Tmall, JD.com, Amazon, Yihaodian, Suning, Jumei, VIPshop
网秦CEO林宇突然卸任 与令完成芮成钢关系紧密财经腾讯网 Lin Yu, CEO of US-listed Netqin resigns. Tencent Finance suggests may be related to investigation of Ling Wancheng, Ling Jihua’s brother, notes Lin’s close ties with Rui Chenggang as well as his hiring of a PR firm linked to Ling Wancheng. Bummer, I own shares, though basis is lower than where they are now… // 腾讯财经了解到，林宇与央视著名主持人芮成钢关系紧密，
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SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
From ‘Baba Mahley’ to ‘Baobo’: An Expat’s Quest for the Ideal Chinese Nickname – Expat – WSJ On my press card and official documents, I was Dai Bo, but it never really felt right. In Chinese, the name is nonsensical. Dai literally means “wears”; Bo is an honorific like Mr. or Sir. So, “Mr. Clothes”? “The Clothes Horse”? Me, who shops for suits once a decade? I switched on my own to “Baba,” after hearing that Bob Marley was known in China as “Baba Mahley.” Good enough for him; good enough for me. But every time I made a reservation as “Baba,” I could hear a pause on the other end of line. “Baba” means “Daddy.” Daddy wants a reservation for three?
100 Vietnamese brides ‘flee bachelor husbands in Hebei’ | South China Morning Post Chinese police are seeking more than 100 Vietnamese brides who vanished after marrying bachelors from a poor rural area, with reports saying yesterday that an “organised ring” could be behind the disappearance. The men, from Quzhou, Hebei province, were introduced to the women by Wu Meiyu, a Vietnamese bride who had lived in the area for 20 years, mainland media reported. // 河北邯郸上百越南媳妇集体失踪 警方已立案侦查
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China plans hike in cigarette taxes, prices to deter smokers | Reuters Campaigners for tougher curbs face hurdles, but reforms of the tax system offer China an opportunity to rein in tobacco use, Yao Hongwen, a spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told a news conference. “Our country is deepening reforms of the tax system,” he said. “We believe this presents a hard-to-come-by historic opportunity to implement a tax hike for tobacco control.”
BEIJING: Chinese environmentalists accuse 1,000 companies of polluting | Asia | McClatchy DC Some of the industries “are in repeated violation of discharge standards and so have become a serious source of risk,” according to the report, which was released by the nonprofit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and two other nongovernmental organizations. Alleged violators include highly profitable publicly traded companies in China, including Kingboard Chemical Holdings Ltd., Aluminum Corp. of China and SinoChem Cokechem Co., a subsidiary of SinoChem International.
经济参考网 – 社科院报告称政府医疗投入并未减轻个人负担 专家：财政新增投入大部分被浪费，流向了医院、药房和药企
China Offers Billions to Subsidize Electric Cars on Gas – Bloomberg The central government is considering spending as much as 100 billion yuan to build charging facilities and spur demand for new-energy vehicles, two people familiar with the matter said in August.
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
Passenger deploys emergency slide to get off plane early – YouTube A passenger who was in a hurry to get off a plane deployed the craft’ s emergency escape slide after it landed safely in south China’ s city of Sanya on Monday.
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