"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Feeling almost human again, hope to be back to normal Wednesday, just links again today:
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
China’s Xi flexes muscle, chooses reformist VP: sources | Reuters big scoop if true// The National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, will vote in Xi and Li as president and vice president respectively on March 14. Li Keqiang, the party’s new No.2 official, will succeed Wen Jiabao to become premier and oversee the economy and day-to-day running of the cabinet. “Li Yuanchao will be vice president, not Liu Yunshan,” the source with leadership ties said. “It was Xi’s decision and a sign he is strong and able to say ‘no’ to Jiang,” the source told Reuters.
U.S. Demands That China End Hacking and Set Cyber Rules – NYTimes.com The demands, laid out in a speech by President Obama’s national security adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, represent the first direct response by the White House to a raft of attacks on American computer networks, many of which appear to have originated with the People’s Liberation Army. “U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyberintrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Donilon said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Asia Society in New York.
Market Wheels in Motion for Railway Reform – Caixin the real work is still ahead// Specifics for dividing, adjusting and reorganizing the network would likely be determined by State Rail after its launch. One of the first steps is expected to involve integration of the regional bureau system, which sources told Caixin is considered too awkward. Some details waiting to be ironed out revolve around how train-dispatching duties would be delegated, and who would assume the rail system’s debt load estimated at 2.6 trillion yuan, much of which accumulated in recent years during a fast-paced build-out for high-speed railways. Other difficult questions revolve around how to separate nuts-and-bolts railroad management from the logistics business and passenger services. Some officials have advocated dividing regulatory roles and businesses according to regions. And perhaps the most dogged question is whether State Rail or any other part of the reformed railway system would ultimately be set loose and allowed to operate as an independent market entity.
Challenged in China – Reports – Committee to Protect Journalists As Xi Jinping takes office as president of China, the citizenry he governs is more sophisticated and interconnected than any before, largely because of the Internet. A complex digital censorship system–combined with a more traditional approach to media control, such as jailing journalists–keeps free expression in check. Repressive regimes worldwide look to China as a model, but Beijing’s system of control is increasingly endangered. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists
WORDS OF A GENERATION–Edelman PR Project on China’s 70s Generation Over the course of four weeks, we were invited into the homes and offices of 28 people from the ’70’s generation in China. We spent hours with them. We listened to their words. We met their families, friends and neighbors. Our participants have all lived through a radical transformation of Chinese society. They grew up on the perimeter of China’s past and live at the forefront of its future. Their life and perspective sits somewhere in the space between. Words of a Generation is a collection of their personal stories and perspectives. It’s not a study. It’s by no means comprehensive. Words, instead, is a start. It focuses on seven core topics: work, consume, love, connect, play, explore and dream. Videos here
河南柘城：一个农业大县的城镇化“试验” | 每经网 in depth look at urbanization “experiment” in a henan county// 核心提示： 河南省提出，2017年城镇化率要达到52%以上。记者选取河南省基础较为薄弱、城镇化起点较低的农业大县柘城县作为样本，以聚焦一个县城镇化的梦想与现实。
From One Hub, a View of China’s Worldwide Underground Milk Powder Network | Tea Leaf Nation A Dutch supermarket manager in a large urban supermarket, who gave his last name as Bakker, knows all about Chinese food scandals. “Yes, of course we closely follow these developments,” he said. So far he decided against any signs. “That would be too discriminating. But we do want to protect our local customers. This is not about profit—our milk powder is subsidized by the Dutch government. It is about societal responsibility.” He understands the motivations of Chinese traders, but says Dutch sellers have been forced to these measures by “professional networks of Chinese extended families that systematically buy up supplies within a 10 km range.” While his store has noticed increased milk powder sales for years, the situation has become very noticeable in the second half of 2012, “possibly because the traders are becoming more organizationally sophisticated.”
Study Examines China’s Expansive UAV Fleet | Defense News | defensenews.com The Project 2049 Institute released a detailed study on China’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs on March 11. The 29-page report, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Project: Organizational Capacities and Operational Capabilities,” by Ian Easton and L.C. Russell Hsiao, explores the organizations and individuals responsible for developing UAV-related policies and mission requirements. Defense News was given a sneak peek prior to release.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Wenzhou Wants Law to Cap Interest Rates for Private Loans – Caixin The Wenzhou government wants a local law that would cap the annualized interest rate of private loans with a maturity of over one month at 48 percent, a source involved in the efforts said. The draft had been submitted to Zhejiang provincial government for review and might be approved by the end of this year, said Li Youxing, a law professor at Zhejiang University who helped draft the law.
Yum Brands Rebounds From Chicken Scare in China – Bloomberg wonder if the board is investigating all their China vendor/procurement relationships// Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM), owner of the KFC restaurant chain, said first-quarter same-store sales fell 20 percent in China, less than analysts estimated, as its reputation rebounded from a probe of a former chicken supplier. Analysts projected a drop of 25 percent, the average of 20 estimates compiled by Consensus Metrix. In February, same-store sales were unchanged at KFC and rose 13 percent at Pizza Hut, compared with January declines of 41 percent and 15 percent, respectively, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Asia Media Journal – CNBC Unveils New Show ‘Inside China’ did a quick interview for the first show, dont do much tv, would not be surprised to end up on cutting room floor// CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today announced that it is launching a new programme providing fresh, original and in-depth coverage of China. Every month, starting on March 15th, CNBC’s Eunice Yoon will present a new half-hour programme, Inside China, which will provide viewers with a front row seat to the historic changes shaping the Middle Kingdom. Yoon will travel around the country covering the trends that are defining the new China and influencing the world.
一线重点城市二手房成交井喷 购房者预期有转向迹象 新华社——经济参考网 至于购房需求转向新房市场从而引发新房上涨一说，胡景晖表示，新房项目大都位于远郊，在交通、商业、教育、医疗等配套设施方面，无法与城市中心区的二手房社区相比。因此，税费的增加未必能够让消费者放弃城市中心区的成熟社区而转向远区郊县。此外，在政策调控下，未来新房市场的供应量将大幅增加，消费者选购新房时将有更大的挑选空间，供需的平衡难以支撑新房价格的大幅上涨。
房产税争论：各方利益正在博弈 新华社——经济参考网 “技术层面的原因不能算是原因，流动人口都能查清，房子查起来自然更容易。真正的阻力在于部分地方政府和官员。”财经评论员马光远指出，住房信息联网，大家怕什么？第一就是目前整个房地产市场房屋的供应是一个什么情况，比如现在老是讲北京的房子很缺，但是现在真的缺多少？怕房地产的真实信息跟大家预期的有距离导致房地产真正实现调整。第二个原因是，很多人拥有多套住房，但是又不敢公之于众。
李稻葵：按差额20%征税执行难度很大_财经频道_一财网 对于目前的房地产泡沫，李稻葵认为，立刻捅破会令社会不稳，“应该通过经济收入增长，老百姓购买力提高，把这个泡沫做实，这就是中国房地产最大的难题”。 “国五条”中要求按差额20%征税，此后引起各地疯狂的过户潮。李稻葵说，政策出台到执行不应有时间差，并且按差额20%征税难以计算，执行难度很大。 他认为，“国五条”细则最有实效的是二套房首付和贷款利率的提高。
China’s new Foreign Investment Guidance Catalogue This guide was last updated in February 2013..
POLITICS AND LAW
Xi urges armed forces’ loyalty, discipline – Xinhua | English.news.cn Xi Jinping, top leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the CPC Central Military Commission, on Monday urged the country’s armed forces to be “absolutely loyal” to the Party, sharpen fighting capacity and abide by disciplines. While joining a plenary meeting of a delegation from the People’s Liberation Army at the ongoing national legislative session, Xi called on forces personnel to bring the country’s defense and army building to new high.
中国军网–习近平在解放军代表团全体会议上强调 牢牢把握党在新形势下的强军目标 努力建设一支听党指挥能打胜仗作风优良的人民军队 范长龙主持 许其亮常万全房峰辉张阳赵克石张又侠吴 Xi Jinping’s talk to PLA delegates at NPC
Breakup first, then debts for MOR reform – Xinhua | English.news.cn MOR financial statements showed its total assets stood at 4.3 trillion yuan (685.6 billion U.S. dollars) as of September 2012, while the total liabilities stood at 2.66 trillion yuan, with a debt-to-asset ratio of 61.8 percent. On Sunday, Yi Gang, vice governor of China’s central bank, warned that the MOR debts must be properly handled to stabilize expectations of lenders, the market and the public, adding that a number of national and regional banks, big or small, have been involved in the construction of railways for years.
Graphics: Super Ministry – Caixin the bureaucratic reorg in charts
China rolls out plan to transform govt functions|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn The State Council plans to separate industrial associations and chambers of commerce from administrative departments, and introduce a competitive mechanism with multiple associations to the same industry to boost their independence and vitality. Priorities will be given to the establishment of social organizations in the fields of commerce, science and technology, as well as public interests and charity and rural-urban community services. Establishing a social organization concerning politics, law issues and religions is subject to the government’ examination and approval before registry, so are those overseas NGOs applying to open representative offices in China, according to the plan.
BBC News – Operation Empty Plate: China’s food waste campaigner Mr Xi reportedly commented on an article mentioning Mr Xu’s “empty plate” campaign, remarking: “These wasteful habits must stop immediately!” That comment was trumpeted by China’s state-run media. Within a few days, “Operation Empty Plate” received front page mentions in the party’s main newspaper, The People’s Daily, and appeared as the top story on China’s flagship 1900 television newscast. [as Sinocism noted the next day] Operation Empty Plate’s call to stop food wastage was quickly tied to Mr Xi’s efforts to battle corruption and party officials’ penchants for lavish banquet
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Climate Change Is the Biggest Threat in the Pacific, Says Top U.S. Admiral | Danger Room | Wired.com North Korea just annulled the 1953 armistice ending its war with South Korea. China and Japan are locked in a dispute over an island chain. But the greatest long-term threat to the peace of East Asia and Pacific Ocean — the part of the world at the heart of the Obama administration’s aspirational defense strategy — is climate change, according to the admiral in charge of U.S. military operations there. Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III is no smelly hippie. He became chief of U.S. Pacific Command last year after running the maritime portion of NATO’s 2011 war against Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi. To Locklear, the consequences of a warming planet are likely to “cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.”
New Fleet on the Block: China’s Coast Guard Comes Together – China Real Time Report – WSJIn a move with significant implications for territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, the Chinese government announced on Sunday that it plans to centralize bureaucratic control over its maritime law enforcement agencies by consolidating them under the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and its parent ministry, the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources.
Beijing’s first special envoy for Asia to focus on Myanmar | South China Morning Post Former deputy foreign minister Wang Yingfan has been appointed China’s first special envoy for Asian affairs, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. Hua Chunying said 71-year-old Wang, who was appointed a deputy minister in 1995 and became China’s ambassador to the United Nations five years later, would focus on relations with Myanmar.
China and UN Security Council Resolution 2094: Is the Third Time the Charm? « SINO-NK Dr. Benjamin Habib notes the wide goals and limited enforcement mechanisms of the new resolution. Will China ratchet up its enforcement of sanctions on North Korea, or will it approach sanctions, as Luo Yuan wrote with calculated naiveté yesterday in the Huanqiu Shibao, as a mild brotherly admonition? Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, an analyst at the London School of Economics, arrives with a trenchant overview
Annoyed, China Sticks With North Korea–Yale Global John Delury, a Seoul-based East Asian expert, acknowledges that discordant voices may be aired in publications like Global Times, but reports seeing no shift in Chinese policy. Beijing clearly is unhappy about North Korea making headway in its nuclear program. In an email, he said China is annoyed on a variety of issues with North Korea, “but it is also committed to the alliance (its only one!), sympathetic with North Korea’s threat perception of the US, ROK and Japan, opposed in principle and practice to sanctions, and happy to have a buffer state keeping at least some distance from a major US military garrison.” While Beijing continues to hew to its established policy line, open debate in the Chinese press points to deepening distrust and worry – quite a change in tone about a neighbor with whom relations used to be compared to that between lips and teeth.
Is China Cracking Down on North Korea Trade? – Korea Real Time – WSJ South Korea’s Yonhap News reported on Friday that Chinese authorities were visibly strengthening customs inspections of shipments bound for North Korea from the northeastern cities of Dandong and Dalian and also tightening border controls elsewhere, which it says has drastically cut the volume of rice smuggled in.
美国媒体沦为政府“宣传部”炮轰中国_多维新闻网 Duowei takes a shot at bloomberg’s Mike Forsythe and his recent “hugo’s banker” story for foreign policy// 《外交政策》这一报道的两名作者都来自彭博社，其中一位正是彭博社驻北京记者傅才德（Michael Forsythe），此人多关注中共红二代，曾蓄意炒作中共领导人资产问题。作者开始花了文章一半的笔墨将“查韦斯2011年患病不久后所会见的一位客人所掌管的银行”同世界银行、美联储以及高盛集团做对比，刻意凸显这位客人的实力，称这位客人是世界最有实力的行长，从2008年至2012年借给查韦斯政府至少400亿美元。
More Jets, Jamming Make Air Force’s Toughest War Game Even Tougher | Danger Room | Wired.com The exercise enhancements underscore the Pentagon’s ongoing shift away from counterinsurgency and towards high-tech warfare, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where China is developing air defenses arguably equal to those portrayed in Red Flag. “What is going on is the recognition that we need to be prepared to succeed across the spectrum of conflict, not just one part of it,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, a former F-15 pilot and Air Force intelligence chief, told Danger Room. “That means exercising to perform against realistic threats that are rapidly acquiring increases in capability that reduce the advantages in the air domain that we have experienced over the last 20-plus years.”
Beijing protests Tokyo’s one-China policy violation |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn “After the major earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, the Chinese government and people conveyed its sympathy and support to the Japanese people,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in an interview on Monday. During Monday’s ceremonies, the Japanese government invited representatives from foreign countries and regions, media organizations reported. Staff members of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan were also invited. Tokyo arranged the personnel from Taiwan to attend the ceremony as part of a diplomatic delegation and international organization’s staff, the spokeswoman said.
China’s Confucius Institutes to reach 500 global cities by 2020 – Xinhua | English.news.cn “We are planning to expand the institute’s scale and improve its quality in order to meet growing demand for the promotion of Chinese language and culture,” said Xu Lin, head of the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban). There are now more than 400 Confucius Institutes in over 100 countries and regions, Xu said, adding that the number will reach 500 and the number of Confucius Classrooms will be 1,000 by 2015, with 1.5 million registered students.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Ex-Sands Official Alleges Impropriety – WSJ.com remarkable that Mr. Jacobs is still talking// Mr. Jacobs alleges in the filing that Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson became “enraged” with the then-head of Macau’s government, Chief Executive Edmund Ho, because of decisions made by Mr. Ho regarding condos that Sands was trying to sell in Macau. The filing calls Mr. Adelson’s alleged order a “threat” against Mr. Ho, but it doesn’t specify how Mr. Jacobs was supposed to threaten the official. A lawyer for Mr. Jacobs declined to elaborate on the nature of the purported threat. According to the filing, Mr. Jacobs says Mr. Adelson ordered him to tell Mr. Ho that he was indebted to Mr. Adelson for settling a lawsuit to protect Mr. Ho. Mr. Jacobs says Mr. Adelson’s instructions were to remind Mr. Ho that “Adelson had settled a lawsuit paying $40 million” to help Mr. Ho “and that he [Ho] owed Adelson.” Mr. Jacobs said he refused to carry out the order, which he considered “improper,” and reported it to the company’s then-general counsel and to Chief Operating Officer Mike Leven, according to the filing.
MACAU DAILY TIMES – Viva Macau’s former head takes Stanley Ho’s CPPCC seat Viva Macau’s former chairman Ngan In Leng has replaced gaming mogul Stanley Ho in the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), while four incumbent Macau deputies were re-elected into the committee of the China’s top political advisory body, and former Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho also kept his position as the assembly’s vice-chairperson, according to the official Xinha News Agency.
Analysis: Solar trade war promises order bonanza for Taiwan | Reuters Business has been booming for Taiwanese solar companies since they became the middlemen in a trade war between the United States, China and Europe over the multi-billion dollar solar power equipment market. Green Energy Technology Inc (3519.TW), which makes wafers used in solar cells, is receiving so many orders from Chinese firms seeking to circumvent U.S. import duties that the company is considering renting extra capacity.
300,000 take to Taiwan’s streets in anti-nuclear protests｜Politics｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com Legislators of the ruling Kuomintang expressed by mere coincidence their surprise and shock at the persistence and number of protestors who marched at an anti-nuclear power rally in the streets of Taipei on Saturday, Mar. 9, reports our sister newspaper the China Times.The rally, which was by with over 150 civilian associations joining forces, advocated ceasing nuclear power use as well as stopping the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao, located 80km away from a quarter of Taiwan’s population. Over 200,000 people took the streets of Taipei in the event, local media reported.
TECH AND MEDIA
Alibaba Names Insider Jonathan Lu As New CEO, Replacing Founder Jack Ma | TechCrunch– Lu is an insider. He’s been at the company for 13 years — joining when Alibaba was only a year old. His current title is EVP, and in his time there he has run three different divisions of the company, including running Alibaba.com and the Taobao shopping platform — which Alibaba points out on its blog will be turning 10 on the same day. Among other things, Lu is currently heading up Alibaba’s mobile payments platform initiative, Aliyun. In a sense, he’s Alibaba’s David Marcus, someone who is focused not just on making sure what the company does today is continuing to go well, but that it will be in the center of the action for whatever else comes next. All the same, he is a safe company man.
Japan’s VPN Gate Brings Free VPNs to the Masses–TechInAsia In an email, a representative of the VPN Gate project told me that the goal of the project is to expand the knowledge of globally-distributed public VPN servers. They didn’t mention China specifically, but it’s clear they are thinking about Chinese users because there is already a Simplified Chinese version of the website. Simplified Chinese is used almost exclusively in mainland China where the Great Firewall censors the web; the freer Hong Kong and Taiwan both use traditional characters.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Ai Weiwei to release heavy metal album | Art and design | guardian.co.uk The outspoken Chinese artist is releasing an album of metal-tinged songs, with music by the rock musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou – a friend who was briefly questioned during Ai’s 2011 detention. “I really loved it. I had to make so much effort; I have never known music before. I’m really very passionate,” said Ai, who wrote the lyrics and sing
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Ministry Rejects Environmental Report for Railway Line – Caixin (Beijing) — The Ministry of Environmental Protection has rejected an assessment report for a railway line planned in the western region of Xinjiang, citing inadequate evaluation of the impact on wildlife and little public involvement. The line, which links Hongliuhe and Zhuomaohu in the northeast of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is one of the major routes planned in the five-year plan for the years 2011 to 2015.
China Windpower Teams Up With China Development Bank for Solar – Bloomberg China Windpower Group Ltd. (182), China Development Bank Corp. and China Asset Management Co., Ltd. agreed to invest in solar power as the nation that’s seeking to limit pollution doubled targets for new projects. They will set up a joint venture to invest in solar projects at home and abroad, China Windpower said today in a statement. The Hong Kong-based company will own 45 percent while units of China Development Bank and China Asset Management will hold the remaining shares.
Closer Look: Pull the Plug on Bailouts for Power Companies – CaixinLast year reports that the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) might give 10 billion yuan to five major state-owned power companies started to circulate. On March 5, we learned the bailout happened. The beneficiaries were China Huaneng Group, China Huadian Group, China Datang Corp., China Guodian Corp. and China Power Investment Corp. A report submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the National People’s Congress shows that some of the profits that state-owned companies turned over to the central government in 2012 were given to the struggling companies. The report did not provide the exact amount and reasons for the bailouts.
河南农民请环保厅长喝地下“纯净水”_图片频道_财新网 pictures–henan peasants ask local environmental officials to drink the “pure underground water” in his village…does water usually look like that?
粮食安全：重数量更应重质量 新华社——经济参考网 “中国的粮食安全状况到底怎样？”11日，在十二届全国人大一次会议就粮食和农业生产等问题举行的记者会上，这样的疑问再次被抛出。 随着城镇化加速推进和农产品进口创新高，我国粮食安全出现不少新情况，在今年两会期间也成为热点之一。一方面，中国粮食越来越多地依靠国际市场，日益严峻的供求形势令人担忧；另一方面，粮食质量安全成为更受关注的议题。不少代表委员呼吁，保障粮食安全，既要保数量，更要保质量，须走出数量增加而质量安全下降的怪圈。
《农民与农具》等比例图_项新平_博联社 nice set of photos on bishe–“peasants and their tools”…big parts of china still like a third world country
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Shanghai Finds Pig Virus in Local River as Carcasses Pile Up – Bloomberg hope this has nothing to do with the special flavor of shanghai pork buns…// Porcine circovirus, a common disease among hogs that isn’t known to be infectious to humans, was found in a sample taken from the Songjiang section of the Huangpu river, Shanghai’s agriculture department said, citing the city’s animal disease control authorities. Tests conducted hourly on the river, which provides drinking water for some of the municipality’s 23 million residents, were negative for other diseases including foot-and-mouth, swine fever, hog cholera and blue-ear, it said.
Airport to boost Beijing’s south area |Society |chinadaily.com.cn meanwhile residents whose structures will be reclaimed for the new airport construction are quickly doing all sorts of illegal renovations in the hopes of squeezing more compensation out of the government// “The Beijing Capital International Airport has already been functioning near its utmost capacity,” said Liu Weimin, a professor of Civilian Aviation Management Institute of China. The capital’s existing airport has been ranked as the second-busiest in the world for three consecutive years – Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in the United States is the busiest. Beijing Capital International Airport handled 81.8 million passenger trips last year, a 4.2 percent increase from the previous year, while Shanghai’s two airports handled more than 78 million passenger trips that year. In addition to diverting passenger flow, the new airport is expected to promote the development of industry and regional economic growth in Langfang and Baoding in Hebei province, according to the Beijing government.
JOBS AND EVENTS
Sotheby’s S2 Gallery Show–Shuimo / Water Ink: Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings – a Selling Exhibition know some of the artists, highly recommend if you are in NYC// Chinese ink painting, an essential component of the culture for millennia, has entered a period of bold renewal and reinterpretation. The fourteen artists of “Shuimo” are in the vanguard of this renaissance with styles ranging from bold abstraction to reinvigorated traditionalism to personal and playful figurative painting. From the simple elements of water and ink emerge artworks of intimate subtlety and overwhelming emotional power. Exhibition in New York: 14 – 28 March 2013