Today is the Lantern Festival (元宵节), the fifteenth day of the first month of the Lunar New Year. Many migrant workers will begin returning to the cities over the next few days and we should know within a week or so whether or not there are bigger worker shortages in some areas.
Enjoy your Tangyuan (汤圆) tonight, along with the last few hours of legal pyrotechnics. It is already quite a loud Sunday morning here in Beijing.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
CPC Central Committee to hold 2nd plenum – Xinhua | English.news.cn – The Second Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be held here from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28, according to a decision by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Saturday…A draft on institutional restructuring and function transformation of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, was discussed during the meeting. It was agreed that efforts will be made to achieve simpler and decentralized administration as well as push forward institutional reform…They also discussed the list of candidates for the country’s next administration, which will be recommended to the upcoming first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, as well as the candidate list for the leadership of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, China’s top political advisory body, which will be recommended to the coming first session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee. The issues regarding institutional restructuring and function transformation of the State Council as well as the candidate lists were adopted as agenda items for the Second Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee.
Commentary: Abe should calm down, correctly calculate China’s determination – Xinhua | English.news.cn– Demonstrating his strong stance on the Diaoyu Islands dispute in his address to the think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Abe warned that China should not “make any miscalculation or underestimate” the firmness of his resolve. However, it seems that it is Abe himself who has miscalculated and underestimated China’s determination to protect its territorial integrity. Chinese people long for peace, but will not be intimidated by the threat of force and tough rhetoric when it comes to the country’s core interests…The United States, as the most influential country in the world, should not be hijacked by Tokyo’s right-leaning politicians. Instead, Washington must be vigilant against the rightist tendency in Tokyo and try to contain it. As the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China should work together to safeguard the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and contribute to global development.
China’s countrymen struggling with a ‘sick’ Mother Earth – Telegraph – how many EPA superfund sites would there be in China? Caixin had a great cover story on soil pollution in january// While air pollution makes greater headlines, some now believe soil pollution poses an even greater risk to China’s economy and population. Substances such as arsenic, lead, mercury, copper and cadmium have contaminated as much as 10 per cent of farmland, according to some estimates. China’s Ministry of Land and Resources has placed the total annual economic cost at around £2billion with some 12 million tons of grain contaminated each year. “Air pollution is more apparent because everyday we have the weather forecast. Air pollution is more frequently reported,” said Pan Genxing, a soil pollution expert from Nanjing’s Agricultural University. “Soil pollution needs more attention. Soil receives pollution and stores it. It is very hard to detoxify it or remove it.”
Rolling out the Red Carpet – By Damien Ma | Foreign Policy – The era in which China could still be a menacing villain and stir political passions from the Spielbergs and the Geres appears to be ending. Even Brangelina are reportedly studying Mandarin. And the political drama surrounding disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, ripe for Hollywoodification, will never see the light of day. Too bad, because the Bo Ultimatum is the Chinese Godfather waiting to be made. As Hollywood gathers for its biggest awards night Sunday, the industry seems to be biting its tongue. After all, the future, as Jeff Daniels quips in Looper, is in China.//between the censorship and the FCPA investigations don’t be surprised if Congress wants hearings. They would be a nice opportunity for the GOP to grill and embarrass a large Democrat Party funding source
North Korea’s Defiance May Reshape China’s Strategic Calculus-Carnegie-Tsinghua Center – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace– by Paul Haenle// To be sure, China will not abandon its rogue ally anytime soon and will remain cautious in its response to these and any future provocations to avoid causing further instability. However, North Korea’s nuclear test is lending legitimacy to those in Beijing who argue that Pyongyang is becoming more of a liability than an asset, in turn creating the conditions for greater U.S.-China cooperation in dealing with an increasingly destabilizing situation. Significantly, this debate is stirring at precisely the same time that Xi and the new Chinese leadership are taking the reins of power. The timing could provide crucial leverage for those in the Chinese system who favor closer cooperation with the U.S. and other participants in the Six-Party Talks. Washington needs to capitalize on this window of opportunity to help shape the debate within China and deepen U.S.-China cooperation, as doing so will be the key to making progress on one of the most serious threats to international peace and stability.
Going undercover, the evangelists taking Jesus to Tibet | Guardian somehow doubt this article is going to help the missionaries working undercover and illegally, especially since they are said to be in areas wehre there are not many foreigners…// Tibet is the K2 of the evangelical Christian world – missionaries see it as a formidable yet crucial undertaking, a last spiritual frontier. Of the 400 foreigners living in Xining, most are missionaries, estimates Chris. Proselytising has been illegal in China since 1949, when Mao Zedong declared western missionaries “spiritual aggressors” and deported them en masse, so today’s evangelists work undercover as students, teachers, doctors, and business owners. Moreover, Tibetans are tough customers in the market for souls – Buddhism is central to their cultural identity, making them notoriously difficult to convert. Despite all that, experts say that changing economic circumstances could make foreign Christians more influential in Tibetan society now than at any point in history.
Another H5N1 patient dies in SW China – Xinhua | English.news.cn– GUIYANG, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) — The second of two people confirmed by the Ministry of Health to have contracted avian influenza H5N1 died in a hospital in southwest China’s Guizhou province on Friday, according to health authorities. The patient, a 31-year-old man, died of multiple organ failure at Jinyang Hospital in Guizhou, the provincial capital, at 4:40 p.m., sources with the provincial health department said. The man developed symptoms on Feb. 3 and was hospitalized on Feb. 8. Another patient, a 21-year-old woman, died of multiple organ failure on Feb. 13. They both tested positive for the H5N1 virus on Feb. 17. The two patients both had close contact with birds, sources said.
What the ‘Unofficial’ Numbers Say About China’s Economy – China Real Time Report – WSJ– China’s official data is much maligned. In the last few years, the National Bureau of Statistics has taken considerable steps to improve the collection and reporting of key data points. Most recently, the official PMI has expanded its sample to more than 3,000 firms, considerably more than the HSBC PMI’s sample of around 400 firms. Problems that remain more often reflect technical issues or challenges keeping pace with rapid changes in China’s economy, rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead. Alternative indicators have their own problems, and are often less representative than the official data they attempt to replace. That said, a couple points seem worthy of attention: First, the trend shown by many of the alternative series is broadly similar to the official data – a slowdown in 2012 with a pick-up in growth at the end of the year. But second, the slowdown may have been sharper, and the pick-up in growth weaker, than the official data suggest.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
China to Expand Short-Selling Program as Part of Reform – Bloomberg – China will expand its short-selling program on Feb. 28 by allowing selected brokerages to borrow shares from institutional investors, the Shanghai Securities News reported. Eleven brokerages will be able to borrow shares in a pre- approved pool of 90 publicly traded companies, according to the report, which cited China Securities Finance Corp. The state- owned agency was set up to provide securities firms with funds and stock for short-selling and margin trading.
Asia Confidential–Why A China Crash May Be Imminent by JAMES GRUBER – any idea what this person’s track record has been over the years?// Sell China stocks-In October last year, I suggested that it was time to buy Chinese stocks. It was a short-term trade based on the extreme negative sentiment then towards both China and its stocks. It was not based on an improving economy, but the fact that a lot of the negativity had been baked into share prices. I was about five weeks early in picking a bottom to the market, but since then there have been some nice gains [EARLY BY A BRUTAL MONTH PLUS. WONDER IF THAT IS WHY HE IS NOT MORE SPECIFIC ABOUT SAID “NICE GAINS”?]. Now though is the time to get much more cautious and sell out of China stocks. And also think carefully about the wider ramifications of a potential China hard landing, in terms of countries and sectors most impacted (think Australia, Canada, industrial metals etc).//I wrote in my Dealbook column last Tuesday that: “Chinese stock markets reopened Monday to a small gain but on Tuesday dropped the most in five weeks. The proximate cause of Tuesday’s decline was a report that Beijing is so concerned by the resurgent property market it may impose additional real estate restrictions between now and the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress in early March. The markets here have had a good run since December and a few of my punter friends have decided to take some profits.”//some smart friends I have, at least last week, as SHCOMP fell 4.9% for the week..maybe I should start a China stock newsletter and charge for that…
Consensus reached on Central China Economic Belt – Xinhua | English.news.cn– Mayors of four provincial capital cities in central China on Saturday signed a strategic partnership agreement vowing a coordinated effort in building the Central China Economic Belt. According to the Wuhan Consensus, the cities of Changsha, Hefei, Nanchang and Wuhan will be committed in seeking a regional development strategy, and push for industrial cooperation and infrastructure construction that can meet the common interests. The four cities, all located along the middle reaches of China’s longest river the Yangtze, will take part in regular meetings in order to carry out regional cooperation.
Property Tax Not an Instant Medicine, Says Finance Ministry Researcher -Caijing – In 2010 Credit Suisse looked at the likely impact of a property tax, concluded it would not have meaningful impact on prices// The expansion of the property tax levy, as only one of the many instruments government could use in cooling property, would not help drag down home prices “immediately”, said Jia Kang, head of the Chinese Finance Ministry’s research institute for fiscal science. He was making the remark during an interview with the official People’s Daily after more property curbing measures were announced yesterday in a statement released after a State Council meeting chaired by outgoing premier Wen Jiabao, in which, the extension of the property tax was included. Mr. Jia added, however, although it is not an instant medicine, property tax needs to be expanded as part of the ongoing tax reforms, and a way to curb housing speculations.
Closer Look: New Policies on Housing Are a Mixed Bag – Caixin – Progress was made in two aspects, namely that the supply of affordable housing and land was emphasized and that a system to hold officials accountable for stabilizing prices should be established. What was unprecedented was the admission that China is in a period of rapid urbanization and it is difficult to change fundamentally the unbalanced supply and demand in major cities in the short term. This was the first time that policy-makers admitted that supply in some regions was not adequate and the situation cannot be resolved quickly. Previously, housing prices have increased in some places despite policies aimed at cooling the market. Even after tough measures were announced by the government in 2010, people still expected prices to rise. This has been true in Beijing, where despite the fact curbs through the years have had an impact on the market, the overall trend is for price increases.
EXCLUSIVE: Bernstein Research Literally Dissects Chinese Cars, Auto Industry In 200-Page Report | The Truth About Cars– would love to read the report, alas no copy// Max Warburton and his team. Warburton, of Bernstein Research, assembled a team to interview over 40 auto executives in China (both Chinese and foreign-born) and even bought two Chinese vehicles from Geely and Great Wall. Warburton had them shipped to Europe, where they were taken to a test track, driven extensively and then taken apart by engineers and automotive consultants. And it was far from pretty. Warburton and his gang have assembled an epic 200-plus page report that is one part primer on product development, one part spotter’s guide to the Chinese domestic car industry and one part road test feature that rivals anything out of the buff books or Consumer Reports. It is dense, fact-filled and will take a few solid hours to read and absorb.
China’s economy: Served in China | The Economist– But 2013 may be the year that China’s services officially step out of the shadow of its smokestacks. According to the national statistics, services (which include transport, wholesaling, retailing, hotels, catering, finance, real estate and scientific research, among other things) accounted for 44.6% of China’s GDP in 2012. That is less than one point behind industry’s 45.3% (see chart). And services are growing faster. The strength of services may reflect the ongoing rebalancing of Chinese demand away from exports and towards consumption. Their rise may also help to promote that rebalancing. Because services tend to be labour-intensive, their expansion should encourage faster job creation, higher wages and greater household spending. That would serve the world economy well, too.
唐志军：为何房地产调控基本无用（上）——谁是房价持续上涨最大推手-财经网– 由此，我们可以看出，在决定中国房价不断上涨的力量中，最大的推手既不是地方政府，也不是投机投资者和开发商。投机投资者和开发商是市场行为，而市场行为由制度来规范，有什么样的制度就会有什么样的市场行为；地方政府呢？其行为也是由制度来规范的。于是，问题就变为：为什么会生成现有的制度？是由于谁的原因，而导致了中国货币超发、地方政府不得不依赖土地财政、房市不完全竞争、开发商和投机者高杠杆融资呢？弄明白了这些问题，我们就可以知道谁才是中国房价不断上涨的最大推手。那么，是谁呢? 唐志军为经济学博士，湖南科技大学经济学教师
POLITICS AND LAW
大部制改革两会将启动 铁道部重组先行_多维新闻网 – on Ministry restructuring expected at NPC. Duowei says ministry of railways to be merged into Ministry of Transportation, long mooted MOC/SARFT/GAPP consolidation not in the cards just yet 【多维新闻】随着“两会”的临近，大部制改革即将启动的声音越来越多，有传闻称大文化部和大交通运输部将先行。但据多维新闻获悉，文化部进行大部制改造的传闻不实，目前还不是时候，仍需要斟酌。“两会”后确实会开始着手操刀大部制改革，重点将是铁道部。
“大部制”改革开闸 重民生强化市场监管-财经网 – 新一轮的“大部制”改革草案即将提交中央，改革重点在于强化市场监管，改善民生，整合完善交通运输、市场监管等重要领域的管理体制。最大“惊喜”，是将进行全国性的食品安全监管改革。最大的遗憾，则是“新体改委”被搁置。
Details emerge on PLA singer’s son suspected of gang rape | South China Morning Post– Will this raise more questions about PLA cultural troupe system? Given Xi’s statememnts about PLA and need for discipline and frugality,and how this story has exploded in traditional AND social media, hard to see how Li Shuangjiang or his wife Meng Ge can expect any leniency for their son if he is found guilty, no matter their guanxi// More details surfaced yesterday of the detention of the 17-year-old son of a celebrity PLA Army tenor as a suspect in a gang rape. Li Guanfeng, formerly known as Li Tianyi and the son of PLA Art Academy tenor Li Shuangjiang, 74, is suspected along with four other men of taking a drunken woman to Beijng’s Hubei Hotel early last Monday, where she was allegedly gang-raped, the Legal Evening News reports.
李双江之子被抓细节：便衣蹲守堵豪车 抓获3男1女 _资讯频道_凤凰网 – details on the alleged rape by and arrest of li tianyi
李双江 美国兵是废货—在线播放—优酷网，视频高清在线观看 – video on Youku of Gen Li Shuangjiang, father of alleged gang rapist Li Tianyi, singing “American soldiers are good for nothings”, to pics of Korean and Vietnam war
专家：腐败反不好也要亡党亡国_资讯频道_凤凰网 – 十八大以后，几位政治局常委在各个场合都不同程度地提到反腐，而且此后的一段时间里，微博上实名举报等网络监督异常活跃，一批官员在这场反腐高潮中落马。但这样的反腐能够持续发力吗？这样的反腐能否推动制度化政治参与？面对严峻的反腐形势，中国应该如何应对，才能避免“亡党亡国”？对此，南都专访了制度反腐专家李永忠教授。
Graft-fighters’ suicides linked to pressure of Xi’s corruption crackdown | South China Morning Post – A spate of recent suicides by local anti-graft and judiciary officials may be linked to a sweeping crackdown on corruption launched by new Communist Party boss Xi Jinping, analysts say. Ke Jianguo, director of the anti-corruption bureau in Chongzhou, Sichuan jumped from his high-rise office at the city’s procuratorate headquarters last Sunday and was found dead at the scene.
Chinese Passports Seen as Political Statement – NYTimes.com– Mr. Sun is among the legions of Chinese who have been barred from traveling abroad by a government that is increasingly using decisions on passports as a cudgel against perceived enemies — or as a carrot to encourage academics whose writings have at times strayed from the party line to return to the fold. “It’s just another way to punish people they don’t like,” said Wu Zeheng, a government critic and Buddhist spiritual leader from southern Guangdong Province whose failed entreaties to obtain a passport have prevented him from accepting at least a dozen speaking invitations in Europe and North America.
Ex-Inmates Speak Out About Labor Camps As China Considers ‘Reforms’ : NPR– With official policy still unclear, though, some human rights activists are skeptical. Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch wonders if officials will stop sending petitioners to camps, only to house them in illegal black jails. “What we fear is that one system is gone and another system crops up,” she says. Labor camps still have one big group of supporters: China’s police. For them, giving up an authoritarian tool that has proven so convenient for so long would be a big step.
广东多地规定党员不配合拆迁被除名引争议_网易新闻中心– parts of Guangdong to expel party members who participate in petitioning activities?// “党员参与集体上访就不合格？本人或家属不配合征地拆迁工作，也会被除名？”这样的试点措施，最近出现在广东多地。2月20日这些措施被曝光后，引发广泛争议。“信访也是老百姓表达诉求的正常、合法途径之一，这条试点措施，还需从上到下的地方党组织慎重斟酌。”中国社会科学院社会学研究所研究员、群体性事件研究专家单光鼐说。
法学专家：中国现行18个税种中仅3个为立法开征_财经_凤凰网 – “和谐盛世不应存在苛捐杂税，而应采行休养生息的税收政策。”在新一届全国人大会议召开前夕，刘俊海在全国人大法工委召集的就新一届全国人大立法规划征求意见的座谈会上直言不讳。他是中国知名的法学家，中国人民大学民商法研究所所长。此时，他面对的局面是，中国现行18个税种中，仅有3个税种“于法有据”。
Southern Weekly editor to remain in charge | South China Morning Post– Huang Can will remain editor-in-chief of the outspoken Southern Weekly despite being sidelined for weeks following a censorship row between the newspaper’s editorial staff and propaganda officials over interference in editorial operations, sources say. The announcement was made by Wang Genghui, a deputy editor-in-chief of the Nanfang Media Group, which owns the newspaper, at an internal meeting on Thursday, a journalist said.
‘Watch Brother’ expelled from Party, going to court — Shanghai Daily– A work safety official in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province who was photographed smiling at the scene of a fatal bus crash last year has been expelled from the Communist Party of China and his case has been transferred to judicial authorities, local authorities said yesterday. Yang Dacai, former head of the provincial work safety administration, engaged in serious disciplinary violations and is suspected of committing crimes during his tenure, according to Shaanxi provincial disciplinary authorities.
吴国光：薄熙来提出的三大挑战 | 新维资讯网 • 新维月刊 – Wu Guoguang in Xinwei Yuekan on challenges Bo Xilai poses to Chinese politics// 中共十八大前后，中国政局的发展很有戏剧性。因此，舆论似乎也很有剧场效果：台上的表演，也就是官方宣传所定的调子，开始得到台下一些看客的应和，据他们说，新的改革高潮就要出现了；另一方面，由于好戏连台的刺激，同时却帷幕重重看不大真切，观众因此更见浮躁，非理性的喧哗往往更能主导人们的情绪。我更是一个遥远的旁观者，但决不敢说“旁观者清”，只能提供自己的一孔之见，与有心认真讨论问题的朋友相互切磋。 在我看来，要理解十八大之后的中国政局，还得从薄熙来事件说起；而薄熙来事件，对中国政治至少提出了三个挑战，中共十八大对此却一个也没有回答。在这个意义上，十八大是不及格的。 这三个挑战可以概括为：第一，关于权力来源的挑战；第二，关于权力目的的挑战；第三，关于权力行为的挑战。都是很重要、很关键的问题，直指中国现行政治体制的要害。能不能回应这些挑战（还不说能不能解决这些问题），将决定中国政局的下一步发展。本文讨论第一个挑战，后面的系列短文将陆续展开相关看法
China’s Twenty Dreams | The China Story – China’s dreams in recent years have, as so often is the case in a culture that readily looks to the past to articulate its future (after all, the notion of achieving a ‘moderately prosperous society’ 小康社会 draws from an ancient classical text) those dreams are also couched in the language of revivalism, continuity with past glories and the realisation of long-held hopes. As William Callahan points out in his new book, China Dreams: 20 visions of the future, the concept that China has entered a new ‘Prosperous Age’ or Shengshi 盛世 is one that links the party-state enterprise of twenty-first century China with the high-Qing period of dynastic prosperity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries…Although some Chinese people dream of individual freedom, and some Americans dream of collective equality, the trend is clear: The American dream is for individual freedom and the China dream is for national rejuvenation. The book’s concluding scenario, however, seeks to complicate this view of American individuals versus the Chinese nation by charting the partial overlaps and strange crossovers of a particular Chimerican dream.//ugh, really dislike “Chimerica”…facile fergusonism
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
明鏡新聞網: 明鏡獨家：駐美大使張業遂回國升外交部黨委書記 – Mingjing claims PRC Ambassador to the US Zhang Yesui returning to Beijing as party secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cui Tiankai to replace him as Ambassador to DC// 即將年滿花甲的中國駐美國大使張業遂，近日喜氣洋洋地啓程回北京高就。接近北京高層的消息靈通人士告訴《中國密報》雜誌，張業遂的下一個頭銜是外交部常務副部長、黨委書記。接替他擔任駐美大使的，是現任外交部副部長崔天凱。
Chinese Troops Prepare for Spillover From Myanmar Civil War – NYTimes.com – Chinese Army units have been undergoing intense training near the border with Myanmar in anticipation of an ethnic war there spilling into southwest China, according to official Chinese news media reports on Friday.
China Keeps the Peace at Sea | Foreign Affairs – In the past few months, China and Japan have appeared to come close to blows over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Yet an outbreak of fighting is unlikely. War would run counter to Beijing’s two most fundamental national interests: promoting stability in Asia to foster China’s economic growth, and preventing the escalation of radical nationalist sentiment at home. So don’t expect China to unsheathe its sword any time soon. ALLEN CARLSON is Associate Professor in the Government Department of Cornell University.
Chinese Buoys Are Focus of Latest Dispute Over Contested Islands – NYTimes.com– The spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, told reporters that ships from China’s State Oceanic Administration, which is similar to the coast guard, had placed the buoys last week in Chinese-controlled waters near the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The uninhabited islands have been controlled by Japan for decades, but are claimed by China and also Taiwan. Japanese media reported that the buoys might be used to track Japanese submarines in waters around the uninhabited islands, where Japanese and Chinese ships have chased each other in recent months. If so, their placement could represent another step in an ominous escalation in the standoff, which began with coast guard and other nonmilitary ships, but has recently begun to involve more heavily armed navy ships.
Japan’s Cautious Hawks | Foreign Affairs – In short, chances are that those who expect a dramatic change in Japanese strategy will be proved wrong. Still, much depends on what Washington does. The key is whether the United States continues to maintain a dominant position in East Asia. If it does, and if the Japanese believe that the United States’ commitment to protect Japan remains credible, then Tokyo’s foreign policy will not likely veer off its current track. If, however, Japan begins to doubt the United States’ resolve, it will be tempted to strike out on its own. GERALD L. CURTIS is Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
China Policy Institute Blog » The Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute: The U.S. policy perspective and Japanese PM Abe’s visit– Beijing, sensing in the publicly articulated U.S. position a disinclination to become embroiled, tacit support for Beijing’s contention that a “dispute” exists (which Tokyo denies) and a gaping loophole to be exploited, has embarked on persistent salami tactics to challenge the status quo – namely, Japan’s credible assertion of “administrative control.” It sent “civilian maritime enforcement vessels” and even military patrol vessels and aircraft into waters and air space around the Senkakus. Tokyo responded in kind, raising for Washington the specter that miscalculation or “local initiative” by a hotheaded commander could ignite a shooting war implicating U.S. security commitments to Japan, U.S. equities in maintenance of a “constructive and cooperative” relationship with China, and potentially the viability of the U.S. strategic posture throughout the Asia and Pacific region. …Don Keyser is a former U.S. State Department senior Foreign Service officer, and a non-resident Senior Fellow in the China Policy Institute.
祸起“轰炸东京” -中国政治发展 – General Luo Yuan has joined Sina Weibo (Luo’s Weibo here) , in a debate about Japan with Fudan professor Feng Wei, interesting first weibo and what it says about his view of the domestic public opinion environment, not getting that warm a reception from netizens// 2月21日，解放军少将罗援与复旦大学日本问题专家冯玮在微博上展开了一场大战，引来众多粉丝围观讨论。事件起因于冯玮于2月20日转发的一条微博。网友@企鹅之梦在微博上发布了一张疑似日本《朝日新闻》报纸文章的照片。冯玮转发该微博并翻译其中的标题：“希望朝日新闻的读者了解真实的中国。解放军少将：‘轰炸东京’。‘如果发生军事冲突，将13万在华日人扣为人质’。”随后冯玮在微博中附言：“有些人不理解我为何一再批评罗援、张召忠，日方的宣传给出了部分答案。试问：此等言论在日本社会，在国际社会将激起何种反响？”
The Presidential Inbox: China’s Leadership Transition – Council on Foreign Relations – Video. Speakers: Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Cheng Li, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution; Edward N. Luttwak, Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Author, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy; Presider: Thomas R. Keene, Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg News
Renewal of the Chinese Nation or Nationalism? | CHINA US Focus– Chinese nationalists embrace an eternal Chinese state. Yet, today’s People’s Republic is built on the dreams of 20th-century nationalists, whose state was the product of 18th century Manchu imperialism. The five stripes on the Republican flag are forgotten, but the huge swathes of territory they represented—Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Manchuria—are considered inviolable parts of the Chinese nation. Something they never were in the past. Patriotism has been called the last refuge of scoundrels. In this case, it is a dangerous refuge. Diplomacy is undervalued in today’s world, and it calls for careful compromise and subtle understanding. Both compromise and understanding are difficult when one’s starting position is viewed as eternal and self-evident. For nationalists in China, awareness of their state’s imperial and multi-national roots would be a useful step away from ultimatums and toward the compromise needed for the peaceful coexistence its leaders claim to seek. Dr. James Carter is a Professor of History and the Director of International Relations at Saint Joseph’s University; he serves as Chief Editor of “Twentieth-Century China”
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
专家：中共高层选在两会前见连战有两层含义_台湾频道_凤凰网– 评论员：我认为从种种迹象来看，习近平总书记所要选择的恰恰就是这个时机点，因为只有这个时机点上，即将从领导岗位上全退下来的胡锦涛才能以国家主席的身份，落实任内的最后一次“胡连会”。或者换句话说，中央做出这样的安排，不仅仅是为了肯定连战，同时也是为了表达对以胡锦涛为总书记的上一届中央领导集体的尊崇。 另外，我个人认为，还有一层意思，就是要借这个机会同时又向岛内传达出新一届中央领导集体在台的大政方针上，将保持连续性、稳定性的信号
Hong Kong Doubles Stamp Duty on All Property on Bubble Risk – Bloomberg – Hong Kong doubled the sales tax on property costing more than HK$2 million ($258,000) and targeted commercial real estate for the first time as bubble risks spread from apartments to parking spaces, shops and hotels. The stamp duty will increase to 8.5 percent of the purchase price for all properties, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang said at a briefing today. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority also tightened mortgage terms for commercial properties and parking spaces.
TECH AND MEDIA
Baidu Acquires Mobile Safety Firm TrustGo at USD30mn – this true?
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Chinese Ask About Cultural Revolution Case: What of the Ringleaders? – NYTimes.com – It’s reminiscent, perhaps, of the trials of people accused of Nazi-era crimes, a John Demjanjuk, or a Samuel K.: in China this week, a man was tried for murdering a doctor during the Cultural Revolution, The China News Service reported. A rare episode of justice for a neglected era? Judging by a discussion on China’s biggest microblog, Sina Weibo, ordinary people don’t necessarily see it that way; rather, some are angry that a little guy is being punished, and not the masterminds of the violence. What about the ringleaders, chief among them Mao Zedong, they are saying, often obliquely?
Man Who Had Mother Executed Wants Tomb Honored – Caixin – (Beijing) – “I am willing to humble my soul and publicly confess to my mother who died because of my tip-off,” says Zhang Hongbing. The 60-year-old, who was among the most radical Red Guards during the tumultuous 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, describes his life as one full of regret. “I see myself as part of a history of shame and a negative example to others,” he says. For years, Zhang has sought to have the tomb of his mother, who was killed during the Cultural Revolution due to information he provided, recognized as a cultural relic. He says this is an effort to help more people understand the turmoil of the period. However, the authorities have constantly rejected his requests. On February 20, a court in Bengbu, Anhui Province, turned down Zhang’s latest lawsuit, which like others sought to force the government to honor his wish.
社科院：中国养老金待遇最高相差50倍_网易新闻中心 – 晨报讯 中国社科院昨天发布《2012社会保障绿皮书》和《中国社会保障收入再分配状况调查》。调查显示，近四成人认为养老金过少，甚至不能满足生活需要。不同养老保险制度的养老金最低200元，最高10000元，最高相差近50倍。
Yin Yang Contracts Sour Drogba’s China Adventure – Economic Observer– Although the details relating to Drogba’s contract are not very clear, it’s likely that a similar dual contract arrangement was entered into. In the contract signed with the club which was submitted to the CFA the salary figure is likely to be quite small. Therefore, Shenhua can argue that they don’t owe Drogba any money. But what about the other contract involving huge sums of money?
IMG: Beckham may still play in China | The Li-Ning Tower– Speculation has appeared in Chinese media that All-World Superstar David Beckham will become an international ambassador for the Chinese Super League (see my earlier report here). However, IMG, who are attempting to facilitate the deal, has told me that, contrary to reports, nothing has been confirmed at this stage, though negotiations are at an advanced stage (aren’t they always?).
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
上海车牌拍卖价首破8万元 有关部门称考虑抑价_地方经济_新浪财经_新浪网 – new car license plate auction in shanghai tops 80,000 rmb, authorities may intervene to keep price down…sad, just can’t let even a partial market work…
In China, Being Green Can Be Bad for Your Career – China Real Time Report – WSJ– A big reason, says one group of economists, is that local officials who spend heavily to reduce pollution instead end up reducing their chances for promotion. Those, on the other hand, who spend big on highways and other transportation infrastructure, which may damage the environment but boost GDP, are more likely to get ahead. “A city government’s spending on environmental improvements is actually significantly negatively related to the odds of its (Communist Party) secretary and mayor being promoted,” write Jing Wu of Tsinghua University, Randall Morck of the University of Alberta and Yongheng Deng, Jun Huang and Bernard Yeung of the National University of Singapore (pdf).
FOOD AND TRAVEL
The Hindu : National / Other States : Bihar’s claim of rice record ‘fake,’ says top China scientist– China’s most renowned agricultural scientist has described as “120 per cent fake” claims that farmers in Bihar harvested a world record 22.4 tonnes of rice from one hectare of land without using herbicides or genetically modified (GM) seeds last year. A national icon, Yuan Longping is known here as “the father of hybrid rice” for developing varieties that enabled China to transform its grain output. His rice varieties were subsequently introduced widely in the world, and marked a record yield of 19.4 tonnes a hectare. According to reports from Bihar — confirmed subsequently by the Indian government — farmers in Nalanda district had bested that world record using a herbicide-free, GM-free and chemical-free method called System of Rice Intensification (SRI) — a feat that some researchers have said could transform rice farming across the world.
JOBS AND EVENTS
Book Event: Shaun Rein: THE END OF CHEAP CHINA: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World Monday, March 4, 2013 ~ 8:30 – 10:15 AM China Institute 125 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
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