The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.18.13

Xi Jinping is President, Li Keqiang is Premier and China’s leadership succession is basically complete. As to what they will now do, seek truth from facts not pundits…

Premier Li’s language and manner in his press conference were generally well-received on Weibo, though someone calculated that he said “reform” 29 times while Zhu Rongji mentioned it 26 times and Wen Jiabao 34 times in their first press conferences as Premier.

I am still cautiously optimistic that by the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress later this year there will progress towards deeper economic reforms. We should not expect that Western-style political reforms are in the cards any time soon.

The new leaders know better than anyone what the problems and challenges are. They are patriots and pragmatists who mean it when they say they believe in the “Chinese Dream”, the “Great Renewal of the Chinese Nation” and that a Western model does not work for China. I wonder when we will learn if they are right or wrong.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China’s premier sets reform bar lower – FT.com The key question is not whether a Chinese leader is a reformer – but rather what kind of reformer he or she is. The contrast between Mr Li’s programme and that of Wen Jiabao, his predecessor, is illuminating. Mr Li’s agenda, which he outlined at the end of China’s annual parliament on Sunday, is more limited and more singular in its focus on economics. It also appears to be more concrete and therefore more achievable.

Lateline – 15/03/2013: Interview with Kurt Campbell, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Emma Alberici interviews Kurt Campbell, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State responsible for the Asia Pacific region. //interesting interview..and Campbell even discloses he was warned his DC home could have Chinese bugs

China Names Its New Foreign Policy Team – NYTimes.com Despite the new team — actually, the rearrangement of familiar faces — China’s foreign policy still lacks senior direction at the top of the Communist Party, said Jin Canrong, a professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University. He said that foreign affairs remained secondary to domestic affairs. A plan to appoint a Politburo member, Wang Huning, a longtime adviser to former President Hu, as the top foreign policy official has apparently been dropped, Mr. Jin said. In that capacity, Mr. Wang would have coordinated policies from the different arms of the Chinese government — the military, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the clandestine services — much as the national security adviser does for the American president.

Bribery Allegations Surfaced Against WSJ in China – WSJ.com The Justice Department last year opened an investigation into allegations that employees at The Wall Street Journal’s China news bureau bribed Chinese officials for information for news articles. A search by the Journal’s parent company found no evidence to support the claim, according to government and corporate officials familiar with the case…According to U.S. and corporate officials, News Corp. has told the Justice Department that some company officials suspect the informant was an agent of the Chinese government, seeking to disrupt and possibly retaliate against the Journal for its reporting on China’s leadership. The company officials came to that view after finding no evidence of the alleged bribery and because of the timing and nature of the accusations, company officials say. It isn’t clear what, if any, evidence the company officials have for that claim, which reporters for this article couldn’t independently verify.

China: The Jobs Report – China Real Time Report – WSJ another great analysis by Tom Orlik// The official data is improving, with new information on migrant worker and private sector wages. But it remains scarce and in some cases unreliable, especially compared to the wealth of data available on the U.S.To save readers the trouble of conducting their own house-to-house survey, China Real Time has spoken to the experts and compiled the best alternative data – check out the charts:

Chinese officials admit to locking radar on Japanese destroyer | Kyodo News A Chinese frigate did direct fire-control radar at a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer on high seas near the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in January but it was not a planned action, senior Chinese military officials told Kyodo News recently.

Fears Xi’s push on Japan poses showdown risk–Sydney Morning Herald–John Garnaut some close supporters and associates of Mr Xi say China’s escalations of military and paramilitary activities are linked to idiosyncrasies of the Chinese political and military system, where prestige and personal patronage can trump formal lines of command. Months of naval, air force and paramilitary brinkmanship in the East China Sea has left Mr Xi in a more powerful position to choose which generals he can work closely with, said a close Xi family friend, whose father fought alongside Xi’s father. ”To sort the horses from the mules you need to walk them around the yard,” said the friend.

Under Xi, China seeks to cool island row with Japan | Reuters  Ahead of Xi’s appointment last Thursday, General Liu Yuan, a senior People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer close to the new leader, warned of the danger of war with Japan in a series of conciliatory commentaries and public remarks at odds with earlier bellicose rhetoric from military hawks. In addition, maritime experts believe Beijing’s announcement a week ago that it would unify its armada of paramilitary maritime agencies under a single command will tighten control over these forces on the frontline of China’s efforts to enforce claims over disputed islands in the East China Sea. //let’s hope so, not yet convinced

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Bank of China chairman named head of securities regulator -report | Reuters Bank of China Ltd Chairman Xiao Gang was named the country’s top security regulator on Sunday, the China Securities Journal reported on its website. Xiao, 54, was named head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) at a Sunday meeting of the commission, the official Securities Journal said.

肖钢履新证监会 资本市场改革新期待_财经频道_一财网肖钢一方面需要对尚未完成的大量工作进行梳理和消化,另一方面也需要拿出更多智慧,创造资本市场长期发展的良好外部环境。

财经新班底亮相 改革亟待破题 新华社——经济参考网 expect new finance leadership to further reforms…not convinced by the speculation last week that Guo Shuqing’s transfer to Shandong a sign of slowing of finance reforms// 随着16日新一届国务院组成人员的全部产生,新一届政府的财经班底也正式浮出水面,这其中包括:徐绍史为国家发展与改革委员会主任,楼继伟为财政部部长,周小川为中国人民银行行长。观察人士指出,与此前相比,新的财经班底一方面面临更为复杂的外部和国内环境,另一方面也给市场带来更多的改革期待。

不拖延不懈怠:郭树清十八个月证监新政急行军_股票频道_一财网 这十八个月间,郭树清兑现了他“不拖延、不懈怠”的承诺,近百件制度规则以及专项工作将成为资本市场下一个十年的基础框架。

China PBOC’s Yi sees faster progress on capital account reforms | Reuters PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang said China was pushing ahead with reforms to markets and the capital account, which remain tightly controlled, amid market demand for freer access to the tightly managed yuan currency. “We are making tremendous progress in the capital account convertibility,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of Inter-American Development Bank meetings in Panama.”The process will be sped up now (that the governor has been approved.)”

China Fills Out Economic Team With Lou as Financial Risks Mount – Bloomberg China filled out Premier Li Keqiang’s economic team, installing sovereign-wealth fund chief Lou Jiwei as finance minister while retaining Zhou Xiaochuan as central bank governor. Gao Hucheng, 61, will be commerce minister after the National People’s Congress approved his appointment in a vote in Beijing today. Xu Shaoshi, 61, will head the National Development and Reform Commission, the economic planning agency. The leadership lineup is a mix of “activist reformers” such as Zhou and Lou and more cautious officials like Zhang Gaoli, the Politburo Standing Committee member today appointed as the most senior vice premier, according to Yukon Huang, a former World Bank country head for China.

Suntech Said to Get Default Notice on $541 Million Unpaid Bonds – Bloomberg The move allows bondholders to sue the Chinese company in U.S. courts, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the information hasn’t become public. A default would be the first by a mainland Chinese company. Suntech said holders of 63 percent of the bonds agreed to delay exercising their rights for two months until May 15.

China Allows Brokerages to Conduct Securitization Business – Bloomberg Brokerages can now issue securities based on assets such as corporate receivables, credit assets, and rights to income of infrastructure facilities, according to rules posted on the website of the China Securities Regulator Commission March 15.

China Orders Recall of Volkswagen Vehicles After State TV Probe – Bloomberg The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued the order after tracking faults related to the system for the past year, according to a statement on its website on March 16. The previous day, CCTV highlighted the defects as part of a two-hour prime-time show, along with flaws in Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s after-sales service and investigations into a local automaker and substandard cement.

统计显示北京二手住宅网签量创34个月来新高_国内财经_新浪财经_新浪网 second home sales in Beijing at 34 month high after new real estate rules announced// 中新网北京3月17日电 (记者 于立霄)房地产“国五条”细则出台后,增加了二手房交易成本,导致市场出现“抢搭政策末班车”的恐慌现象。据北京住建委网站公布的网签数据统计显示,今年3月1日至今,北京全市二手住宅网签总量已达2.4万套,创下了近34个月来的月度成交量新高。

REPEAT: Reality Check: China Housing Curbs Fuel Market Frenzy | MNI In showing its hand, the government has so far only managed to trigger a frenzy as buyers rush to get in under the wire. The buying spree has been characterized by images of near-riots in sales rooms and at housing offices around the country. In the week of February 25 to March 3 alone, secondary market transactions in Beijing surged 84.5% week-on-week to 5,191 units…New property transactions in the year to March 10 soared 244.5% y/y to 18,171 units, according to Beijing government data, the highest level since 2005. Average prices in the city rose to CNY22,265 per square meter, marking a return to 2011 levels.

Commercial property sales spike in capital|Industries|chinadaily.com.cn no restrictions on buying commercial property. remember the pundits saying beijing commercial real estate on verge of collapse….4 years ago?// Beijing’s commercial property and office building sales surged 320.5 percent in the first 10 days of March, as more investors shifted their focus in response to the government’s new measures to cool down the residential sector. Real estate brokerage company Century 21st said on Thursday that 759 units of commercial properties were sold and registered online from March 1 to 10, accounting for 6.3 percent of all transactions recorded during the period.

白酒从暴利跌回正常 广东经销商称有钱赚就卖 |2013年|白酒|渠道_21世纪网 核心提示:面对2012年来高端市场的突然降温,2013年上游的白酒厂家已经开始了新一轮的调整。作为酒类年消费超过300亿的广东市场,经销商渠道层面的调整也早已悄然启动。

Withdrawal symptoms: China’s rice wine market | Buy Buy China If Chinese drinkers won’t (or won’t be allowed to) drink baijiu, can foreigners shoulder more of the burden?  A few factors make baijiu a tough overseas sell. To start with, baijiu’s strong flavor is an acquired taste, one unlikely to captivate and capture new markets anytime soon… The secret recipe for improved sales may be a new mix of marketing channels and more affordable offerings. It has been long winter for the baijiu industry, and, like others in China, the pain will not end until political rehabilitation is over.

网易特别策划_通州万达广场恐成泡影 33亿地块多半已悄然易主2012年11月末,万达集团豪掷33.2亿元接连竞得北京通州两处连体地块,惊艳市场。然而,不足1月后,此地已被悄然转手。网易财经多方了解到,该地块中的居住及综合用地、占比约80%的地块已全部出售给大连一方集团. 网易财经调查到,事实上,在该项目拿地阶段,万达即已与大连一方建立起同盟关系,通过 围标形式夺得地块,而如今出售给大连一方似乎亦是既定计划

限制二手机械进口呼声再起 中国已成国际“淘汰品”垃圾场? | 每经网 calls to ban imports of second hand heavy machinery…”china becoming dump for obsolete machinery”…

冯海宁:“海砂危楼”远比“楼市泡沫”可怕 | 每经智库 budding scandal over buildings in shenzhen built w sea sand and now having structural issues…easy to believe not an isolated case// 核心提示: 开发商拿不合格的海砂建楼,据笔者所知在沿海地区楼市早就不是秘密。只是今年“海砂危楼”撞在了“枪口”上。

Hiring a Chinese Employee Without a China Company–China Law Blog A couple of years ago, we did a post on the difficulties in using “independent contractors” in China, entitled, Hiring A Chinese Employee Without A Chinese Entity. Good Luck With That. We wrote that post (and this post too) because forming a WFOE in China can be so difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, and because so many companies are looking for some way of hiring a Chinese employee without a China company. This is our even grimmer follow-up.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China’s parliament endorses new cabinet lineup – Xinhua | English.news.cn Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yandong, Wang Yang and Ma Kai were endorsed as vice premiers, with Yang Jing, Chang Wanquan, Yang Jiechi, Guo Shengkun and Wang Yong as state councilors, at the sixth plenary meeting of the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC).

人民日报-在第十二届全国人民代表大会第一次会议上的讲话 (2013年3月17日) 习近平

‘Chinese dream’ is Xi’s vision|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn Xi vowed to honestly fulfill his duties as defined by the Constitution, saying his election means a “glorious mission” and “profound responsibilities”. “I will always be loyal to our Motherland, be loyal to the people and dedicate all my time and energy to my duties and responsibilities to serve the people,” Xi said. “I will never let you down and will live up to the trust and expectations of people of all ethnicities. We cannot show the slightest complacency, or display any slackness at work,” he said. Sunday’s address was a further elaboration of the Chinese dream, a concept that Xi addressed in December, shortly after he was elected chief of the Communist Party of China.

China’s New Leader, Xi Jinping, Takes Full Power – NYTimes.com “I think that he’s attracted to the idea of a kind of enlightened dictatorship, or neo-authoritarianism,” said Li Weidong, a former magazine editor in Beijing who is a prominent commentator on politics. “He rejects fundamental political reform, but he wants a cleaner, more efficient government that is closer to the public.” “I think in the end it will be difficult for them to avoid issues of political reform because otherwise it will be impossible to eradicate corruption,” Mr. Li said. “Relying on personal authority and party indoctrination and traditions won’t solve the problems they face.”

Profile: Xi Jinping: Pursuing dream for 1.3 billion Chinese – Xinhua | English.news.cn long xinhua profile

李克强昨日29次提改革 被赞展现凡人本色_网易新闻中心 核心提示:据媒体统计,在昨日近两个小时的记者见面会上,李克强提到“改革”的次数多达29次。中国人民大学舆论研究所所长认为,通过记者见面会的平台,总理既展示出睿智、坚强、博学等多个侧面,同时也展示出了最普通人的一面,展示出了“凡人”本色。

Li Keqiang, China’s Premier, Offers Plan of Economic and Social Reforms – NYTimes.com Li Weidong, a political commentator and former editor of China Reform magazine, said that he took “comfort in seeing that Li has an accurate understanding of the country’s problems.” “He made a lot of promises, which shows he has confidence,” Mr. Li said, “and he seemed ready to take on the responsibility of fighting vested interests.” Even if bloggers and political analysts were encouraged by Mr. Li’s comments — and his down-to-earth, direct speaking style — they noted that his promises were short on specifics.

Li Keqiang warns of urbanisation risks in first speech as premier | South China Morning Post In carrying out the project, the government would have to consider the different stages of development between cities and regions, he said. “Urbanisation is not about building big, sprawling cities,” he said. “We should aim to avoid the typical urban malady where skyscrapers coexist with shanty towns.”

人民日报-“行大道 民为本 利天下” ——李克强总理会见中外记者侧记 transcript in People’s daily of Li Keqiang’s press conference

Profile: Li Keqiang: a reform-minded premier – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Profile: Zhang Dejiang: “Power should not be aloof from public supervision” – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China completes leadership transition with growing maturity of power transfer mechanism – Xinhua | English.news.cn Institutionalization and standardization are the two main features of mechanism maturity fully displayed in the change of China’s power structure at the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) this month. Drawing an end to the longstanding practice of de-facto life tenure for senior leaders, China’s Constitution stipulates that holders of the country’s top leading posts, except for the chair of the Central Military Commission, shall serve no more than two consecutive five-year terms. Since then, the leadership replacement every five years is popularly referred to as a term-of-office change, and the once-in-a-decade power transfer a generational change.

New environmental team booed amid pollution woes | South China Morning Post Balloting on the new line-up of the National People’s Congress’ environmental protection and resources conservation committee saw 850 opposition votes and 125 abstentions, about a third of the total votes. Most of the almost 3,000 NPC deputies greeted the result with a long boo, before clapping as the line-up was approved.

Li vows to crack down on corruption|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn He has required government officials to give up all thoughts of making money and accept supervision from all of society and the media.”Since ancient times, holding government office and making money have been two separate paths,” he said. Li made three commitments to cut expenses: New government buildings will not be built; the number of people on the government payroll will be reduced; and expenses of official hospitality, official vehicles, and overseas trips for official business will decrease.

Li sets out strategic mission for next 5 years|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn

[视频]【本台评论】中国梦归根到底是人民的梦_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV Evening news: “The Chinese Dream is ultimately the People’s Dream”

人民日报-开启实现中国梦的新征程(社论) ——热烈祝贺十二届全国人大一次会议胜利闭幕

[社论]寄望改革,祝福中国_要闻_南都网摘要:改革不仅要成为动词,不断融入新内容勇趟深水区,而且改革的过程要为人民有效监督,改革的效果要为民众所目睹,改革的红利要为全民所共享,直至实现公平和正义。若能如此,改革的话语模式当可有效刷新。“在田头锄地时得到高考录取通知消息的”李克强总理是以往改革的受益者,其一定对改革于个人和家国之意义有最深切之体会。寄望改革,祝福中国。

邓聿文:农民工的政治崛起-财经网在今年的两会上,有一场以农民工为主角的“一线工人农民代表谈履职”的记者会,邀请六位农民工代表就相关问题回答中外记者提问。记者会召开的本身就传递了一个强烈的政治信号,即农民工阶层已开始在中国的政治舞台上崭露头角

【舒立观察】要机构改革 更要政府改革_杂志频道_财新网应该承认,此次机构改革力度弱于此前社会传言和公众预期。正如中国市场经济体制框架虽已确立,仍需不断调整和完善一样,未来行政改革也必须顺应全方位改革需要,循序渐进而不废重大突破。在这个意义上,政府改革没有完成时,只有进行时

The Jamestown Foundation: National People’s Congress Marks Sharp Turn Toward Conservatism Not long after his ascendancy at the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi pledged to introduce “constitutional socialism with Chinese characteristics,” that is, a socio-political system where the Constitution and the laws will be fully respected (“What Direction for Legal Reform under Xi Jinping,” China Brief, January 4). There are clear-cut indications that Xi, who has direct control over the country’s political-legal establishment— which oversees the police, state security, the prosecutor’s offices as well as the courts—is adamant about using this formidable control apparatus to crush dissent. It is notable that in his report to the NPC, the outgoing President of the Supreme People’s Court Wang Shengjun affirmed the party’s unquestioned leadership over the judiciary. Wang urged judges and other “judicial workers” to profess “total loyalty to the party, the country, the people, and the Constitution and the law.” In other words, obeisance to the party has pride of place over respect for the Constitution and the law. This is despite the fact that Wang also vowed to promote “public confidence in the judiciary” as well as “judicial fairness and integrity” (Xinhua, March 10; CCTV News, March 10).

Zhou Qiang Picked as Head of China’s Supreme People’s Court – Bloomberg Zhou, 52, was elected by a vote of 2,908 to 26, with 23 abstentions, at a session of the National People’s Congress today. The only person nominated for the job, he was previously Communist Party secretary in Hunan Province. In his new post, Zhou may help President Xi Jinping in his stated efforts to make the judiciary more transparent and fair. Zhou takes over a court system that may have more freedom than the past and he has spoken out in favor of the rule of law, said Lin Yan, associate professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University KoGuan Law School. “During his term in Hunan, Zhou Qiang stood out among provincial level leaders for overtly promoting the rule of law,” Lin said in an e-mail. “His political courage in this regard should be credited.”

From Police Chief To Political Office, Jobs Are For Sale In China : NPR Political patronage and the use of familial connections are deeply ingrained in the Chinese Communist Party’s hierarchy, where job-buying comes in many forms, both overt and hidden. “Everything’s for sale,” says historian Zhang Lifan, noting that China has a 2,000-year history of buying and selling posts in the bureaucracy. “Some people don’t even use cash. I know that people who want to be legislators can just give an antique or a voucher to whoever is in charge, or even help their family members to go overseas to study. There are all kinds of transactions.”

Failure in Rebel Chinese Village of Wukan is Failure for Beijing, Too – China Real Time Report – WSJ The lingering problems in Wukan and the current dispute in Shangpu ought to remind leaders, both local and in Beijing, that disputes over land grabs — urban as well as rural — will continue to arise until the laws and procedures that govern land transfers are modified and fairly applied in practice.

State Council Imposter Dupes Local Leaders in Two Provinces – Caixin While the country learns the names of the new members of the State Council, officials in two provinces are finding that one man they thought was a representative of the cabinet was in fact an imposter. The government of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan said on its Sina Weibo account on March 12 that a man named Zhao Xiyong was in fact an imposter. Zhao frequently visited cities and counties in the southwestern province to deliver speeches and meet local leaders as a State Council official. On March 8, the cabinet sent a clarification to Yunnan officials that said Zhao was neither a director of the State Council Research Office nor an inspector with the rank of a deputy minister.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Singapore Probe Becomes Point of Dispute With U.S. – WSJ.com Singapore’s foreign ministry said Sunday it was “deeply disappointed” by the actions of the senators, who are seeking to block U.S. funding to Singapore’s state-run Institute of Microelectronics until the FBI gets full access to Singapore police findings on the death of Shane Todd, who had worked at the research agency before he was found dead in June. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Montana Democrats, have been pressing Singaporean officials on behalf of the Todd family, which wants the FBI to get “full oversight” of the probe before they provide Singapore police with potential evidence. The senators filed a legislative amendment last week that would stop contracts, loans and other funds from going to the Institute of Microelectronics until the FBI gets “full access” to the probe’s findings.

China must rein in its cyber assaults | The A-List–Kurt Campbell There is another reason to be more positive about the prospects of effectively engaging China on its cyber practices. Beijing complains about the insistence from other leading nations that, in order to be considered a responsible member of the international community, China must join existing global ventures with already established “norms” and rules. Chinese diplomats and scholars bitterly resent being forced to sign on to pre-existing nonproliferation or trade provisions that they had no hand in originally drafting. But the internet is the technological version of the wild west – with few if any globally respected norms that regulate activities. China now has the potential to join at the outset with other nations in helping design a global regime for the internet, rather than having the rules be set for it by others. There is nothing like being a member of the club from the outset.

In China, Treasury’s Lew Faces First Big Test – WSJ.com Mr. Lew’s meetings Tuesday and Wednesday come as China is going through a political and economic transition. The country has a new premier, Li Keqiang; a new finance minister, Lou Jiwei; and a host of other new top officials. The Chinese economy, meanwhile, is downshifting after a decade of very fast economic growth to a slower, more measured pace, creating difficult challenges for the new leadership team.

Think-tank veteran Wang Huning to retain influence despite lack of portfolio | South China Morning Post At first glance, Wang Huning is the biggest loser as the only Politburo member without a portfolio. But the former academic will still be an influential figure as director of the Central Policy Research Office, a think tank he has headed for more than a decade. The former professor of politics and international relations had been rumoured to be in line for a senior job in government, as either a vice-premier or state councillor overseeing China’s diplomacy…China has not had a Politburo-level official in charge of foreign policy for a decade, meaning that Wang can now act in that role as the only foreign affairs expert with a seat on the party’s decision-making body

China Replaces U.K. in Top-Five Arms Exporters Headed by U.S. – Bloomberg The U.S. led Russia, Germany, France and China in deliveries from 2008 to 2012, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report today. Global exports rose 17 percent from the five-year period ended 2007, as China’s foreign sales of major conventional weapons surged 162 percent. China has worked to reduce dependence on arms imports and has begun exporting indigenously developed military equipment, such as JF-17 combat jets to Pakistan. The government-owned defense industry has been promoting equipment for sales abroad, including the L-15 jet trainer aircraft and various missiles, many with Russian design heritage.

The Jamestown Foundation: PLA Deputies Offer Clarifications of Military Intentions Parsing the statements of the PLA deputies in Beijing suggests there were three key messages about the military. First, the military representatives addressed concern over another double-digit percentage increase to the PLA’s budget by stating the defense budget was commensurate with Beijing’s stated needs and, in one case, provided a little additional information on where that money would be spent. Second, PLA deputies placed the calls for “combat readiness”—which had alarmed foreign observers amid Sino-Japanese tensions in the East China Sea—within the PLA’s focus on improving the quality of its soldiers. Finally, other statements indicated the PLA is going global and faces a new set of challenges as it adjusts to the protection of Chinese interests overseas. None of these are wholly new, but the little variations upon official themes still warrant some attention.

刘源上将:确实曾存在官兵吃喝成风铺张浪费现象_网易新闻中心 3月14日,全国人大代表、总后勤部政委刘源上将接受新华网专访。新华网记者 王翰林 摄 对话嘉宾: 刘源,全国人大代表,解放军总后勤部政委,上将军衔 孙子兵法研究会会长,电视剧《亮剑》总顾问

Will the Chinese Be Supreme? by Ian Johnson | The New York Review of Books Many commentators in the Chinese blogosphere note that China’s economy has now surpassed that of Japan and that Japan needs China’s market more than China needs Japan’s products or technology. Whether this sense of superiority has a part in the recent maneuvers is unclear; but the two countries are somewhat suddenly locked in their most sustained and bitter dispute since the war, one that doesn’t have an easy way out for either side. How all this has come to pass is drawn out in several important new books. They come at the Chinese puzzle from very different perspectives and at times are in sharp disagreement. But at heart they share a common idea: China is burdened with historical baggage that makes its rise less linear than many imagine. By extension the authors imply that the current troubles aren’t inevitable and may be more manageable than some would believe.

Chinese research vessel on 4th Indian Ocean journey – Xinhua | English.news.cn The South China Sea Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said Saturday that more than 40 researchers from a dozen Chinese research institutes will carry out research pertaining to marine hydrology, ocean currents, meteorology and biological studies in the Indian Ocean. The Shiyan 1 is China’s best-equipped scientific research vessel and went into operation in 2010.

[视频]性侵 窃听 丑闻困扰英国媒体_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV Evening News on harassment, hacking and scandals in UK media…anchor appeared to enjoy this report

A Chinese Jihadist in Syria- YouTube Wang Bo, says he converted to Islam, studied in Libya, now in Syria, warns the Chinese government to make the right choice on the Syrian rebels. Speaking in Chinese, no subtitles

As drone monopoly frays, Obama seeks global rules | Reuters “People say what’s going to happen when the Chinese and the Russians get this technology? The president is well aware of those concerns and wants to set the standard for the international community on these tools,” said Tommy Vietor, until earlier this month a White House spokesman. As U.S. ground wars end – over in Iraq, drawing to a close in Afghanistan – surgical counterterrorism targeting has become “the new normal,” Vietor said.

The People’s Money: Why Some Chinese Should Rethink the Value of a U.S. Green Card – WSJ.com But while the rich are sending their families and assets overseas, only 6% of the Chinese high-net-worth individuals have taken up foreign citizenship, according to Boston Consulting Group. Their businesses are still growing in China, so they aren’t ready to just pack up and leave. A U.S. passport can be costly, especially to the wealthy who often don’t realize that with U.S. citizenship come U.S. taxes. Unlike other countries, the U.S. taxes its citizens no matter where they live or where they earn their income. All gains realized after becoming a U.S. citizen will be subject to U.S. taxation. Ordinary income is taxed at rates up to 39.6% and long-term capital gains are taxed at 20% for wealthier taxpayers.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Selling Secrets to the Mainland: Military Espionage in Taiwan (part 2) | Tim Daiss | Independent Editor’s choice Blogs The extent of the fall-out from these security breaches in Taiwan’s military apparatus depends on who you ask. Not surprisingly, the Taiwanese military negates the extent of the damage. However, others disagree. Commenting on the General Lo case, J. Michael Cole, a former intelligence officer at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and deputy news editor at the Taipei Times wrote in October that it was hard to contain the damage, “especially as doubts remained over how much access he [Lo] had to the nation’s Command, Control, Communications, Computer Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, which Taiwan has been modernizing with US assistance for well over a decade.” // part 1

 

TECH AND MEDIA

阿里舍弃中国雅虎 5月或将其归还美国雅虎_互联网_科技时代_新浪网 Alibaba to give back Yahoo China to Yahoo by May, claims Sina Tech. But why would yahoo want it, given how CEO mayer is culling distractions. Or perhaps this means it will just be shut down, if Sina report is true?// 新浪科技独家获悉,阿里巴巴集团计划在5月将“中国雅虎”归还给美国雅虎,方式可能是股份置换。而据某中国雅虎前员工透露,今年下半年,在北京办公的中国雅虎团队将搬迁到杭州,改做阿里巴巴公益项目。

All Eyes Are on WeChat, Including the Chinese Government’s | Motherboard Here’s a free tip, Facebook execs: Pitch stories to every tech writer you know about the threat of dissidents being tracked through the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat. Because WeChat is climbing in your window, snatching your people up. Your profits–and privacy–may be next. If you haven’t heard of WeChat, think of it as a better WhatsApp, crossed with the social features of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, mixed with Skype and a walkie-talkie—with a little dash of Grindr on top. (Or bottom, depending on your personal proclivities.) It’s taken China by storm. As of January, it had 300 million users. Unsurprisingly, it’s attracting a lot of marketing interest: Companies like Starbucks and Nike have already run campaigns on WeChat.

盛大文学“起点风波”背后:资本、创业者、竞争对手博弈未了 | 每经网 On Shanda’s challenges with its online literature business// 起点中文网作为盛大文学旗下重要资产,其近期出现人事动荡,令后者的上市之路变数陡增,而起点创始人吴文辉意图另起炉灶的消息,更将对整个网络文学市场造成不可估量的影响——作者,以及跟作者关系密切的编辑,是起点作为原创文学网站的核心。为此,盛大文学CEO侯小强正忙于四处“救火”,一方面向《每日经济新闻》记者强调,起点人员离职并非出于对公司不满,另一方面则向起点作者承诺:不会削减福利,福利制度会越来越好。

China state media’s accusation of Apple backfired | Offbeat China Seeing the sudden turn, Chinese netizens started to question the credibility of CCTV’s consumer rights show: “Are these Weibo celebrities paid to bash Apple?”  “Is this a failed PR move from CCTV?”

何润东回应“8点20发”:从未发微博 已报案_中国_新京报网 Actor Peter Ho says his Weibo account was hacked, he didn’t send the “about 8:20” weibo, has reported hacking to the police..and no one believes him// 中新网3月18日电 今年央视“3・15”晚会开辟微博互动,不少名人对各种打假案例进行了点评,但因何润东针对“苹果涉嫌歧视”的一句“大概8点20分发”,引发网友质疑何润东等人有报酬参与“黑苹运动”?17日晚,何润东在微博发表声明称当晚一直在拍戏,并未携带手机,自己没有发布任何微博,已向怀柔公安分局报案。

Where China Churns Out Cheap Android Smartphones – Business Insider Taiwan’s MediaTek has been a huge driving force behind the massive smartphone sales now being achieved by Chinese firms such as Lenovo. Rather than simply providing manufacturers with a chip, writes the Times’ Lin Yang, MediaTek “offers instructions for building a phone, the software architecture to run it, and dedicated consultants to advise phone makers during the production process.” These “turnkeys” are also used to make “bandit phones”—counterfeits of big brand smartphones such as iPhones. And MediaTek also supplies companies in other emerging markets such as India and Brazil. The trend suggests that Apple and Samsung may end up locked in a price war for the growing markets of China, India and Brazil. Or they may simply become irrelevant, as even the most brand-conscious consumers increasingly realize they can own the same phone, using exactly the same technology, for less.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Chinese Kids Who Ignore Confucius Face State Backlash – Bloomberg From July 1, parents in China can sue their kids who don’t visit often enough, under a broadened law mandating children take better care of the aged. With China’s elderly population forecast to more than double to 487 million in the next 40 years, the government needs to try and limit the cost of caring for seniors.

山西晋城周村元宵活动记录(四)_卫青强_博联社 cool pictures of a lantern festival celebration in a Shanxi village

Coming full circle on bilingualism – latimes.com After rejecting her parents’ native Mandarin as a youngster, she’s come to value the connection to her roots. And she’s finding plenty of company among other young Asian Americans.

Sinica Podcast–A Discussion with Geremie R. Barmé On March 8th, Kaiser Kuo hosted a conversation at Capital M in Beijing with Geremie R. Barmé, the well-known historian, translator and now director of the Australian Centre on China. This week on Sinica, we are pleased to present a live recording of this show for anyone who may have missed it. As a live show, the quality is not quite the same as a closed studio, but this is an intellectually rewarding discussion and we hope you enjoy it.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water | Reuters just as China is embarking on massive deslalination investments// The development could spare underdeveloped countries from having to build exotic, expensive pumping stations needed in plants that use a desalination process called reverse osmosis. “It’s 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger,” said John Stetson, the engineer who has been working on the idea. “The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less.”

河南一河水散发恶臭 鱼苗刚放入即死-财经网 nasty pictures of a fishkill in henan// 2013年3月13日下午,河南驻马店市北郊北大河散发着阵阵恶臭,河岸上堆满了生活垃圾,河水哗哗流着,却没人愿意在此多呆一会儿。河边漂浮着上百斤的鱼苗,河水里还在不停的冒着泡。当地一村民说,过去的北大河河水清澈,人直接就可以饮用,可是现在河水被污染了,鱼苗刚放进去就被“熏”死了。村里几家养羊的农户都不敢来河边放羊了,生怕自家的羊喝了那黑黄色的水会死掉。

China Is Engineering Genius Babies | VICE United States At BGI Shenzhen, scientists have collected DNA samples from 2,000 of the world’s smartest people and are sequencing their entire genomes in an attempt to identify the alleles which determine human intelligence. Apparently they’re not far from finding them, and when they do, embryo screening will allow parents to pick their brightest zygote and potentially bump up every generation’s intelligence by five to 15 IQ points. Within a couple of generations, competing with the Chinese on an intellectual level will be like challenging Lena Dunham to a getting-naked-on-TV contest.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

农夫山泉,有点悬_21世纪网-21cbh.com mysterious black particles found in nongfu spring water// 而通过21世纪网的查验,一箱水中共有13瓶能非常明显看到瓶中悬浮的黑色不明物,且有的附着在瓶身内壁。明显看到黑色悬浮不明物的13瓶水中,有11瓶印有“201210300704D1”的字样,另外有2瓶印有“201210300315D1”的字样

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