The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.27.13

The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos has a very good post in Can China Deliver the China Dream(s)?:

Mrs. Jin is embroiled in a lawsuit that might or might not let her stay in that house, a bare-walled two-story brick block. It’s an interesting story, and I just might write it up someday. But for now the more pressing point is this: Xi Jinping has sought to inspire his people by raising the flag of the China Dream, but they have interpreted it as China Dreams—plural. Talk to just about anyone these days and she can tell you what she wants, what is standing between her and her goals, and how she will define success in reaching it. And that—the proliferation of 1.3 billion China Dreams—will prove either the wisdom of the concept or the potential danger embedded it.

For the first thirty years after the founding of the People’s Republic, Chinese leaders told their people which dreams to pursue: first socialism, then the frantic rush to “get rich first.” In dedicating his people to pursue something more abstract and individualized, Xi has succeeded in capturing their attention. Now he faces the challenge of meeting their expectations.

Today’s People’s Daily runs the seventh in a series of page one commentaries on building the Chinese Dream–中国梦归根到底是人民的梦 ——七论同心共筑中国梦— titled “Ultimately The Chinese Dream Is The People’s Dream.” I wonder if Mrs. Jin has read this series?

Tang Zhijun, a Professor of Economics at Hunan University of Science and Technology and a frequent commentator on Caijing.com, wrote a week ago that “without substantive reform there is no point in talking about the Chinese Dream”–唐志军:没有实质改革谈何中国梦.

As Mr. Osnos points out, one of Xi Jinping’s biggest challenges will be meeting the expectations of 1.3 billion individuals. It is a challenge that he and the propaganda Mandarins seem well aware of.

There has been in incident in the South China Sea. Vietnam has accused China of an attack on fishermen near the Paracel islands on March 20 that resulted in a fire that destroyed the ship’s cabin. China says the action against fisherman was ‘legitimate’:

The action taken by Chinese authorities regarding a Vietnamese boat illegally fishing last week in the waters off China’s Xisha Islands in the South China Sea was “necessary and legitimate”, Beijing said on Tuesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and their adjacent waters, and the Vietnamese fishing boat entered the waters for “illegal fishing operations”.

“According to confirmation by relevant parties, no harm was done to the Vietnamese ship at that time and place,” Hong said.

Xinhua has reported on new plans to conduct fishery patrols in the Xisha and Huangyan Islands. Vietnam has no treaty with the United States. Let’s hope this is an isolated incident…

The People’s Daily flogs Apple again today in a page five commentary titled “Destroy Apple’s ‘Incomparable’ Arrogance” (打掉苹果“无与伦比”的傲慢 ). This commentary, by People’s Daily reporter Li Hongbin, has a fairly nasty nationalist tone to it:

一方面,或有西方人传统的优越感在作祟:一个发展中的东方古国,咱拿高科技侍候着,您还指望和咱享受同样的售后?另一方面,资本的逐利本性也让这枚“苹果”变得疯狂,如果得罪了中国消费者,没有任何风险,还会减少成本,人家何乐而不为呢?

还不光是“苹果”,中国的消费者在面对那些西方所谓名企耍大牌时,经常会有一种无力感。仿佛他们进入中国就成了天然的规则制定者,充分享受“店大欺客”的特权。而我们的工人或消费者只能隐忍其轻慢,毫无还手之力。那些曾经被我们推崇的源自西方的市场诚信原则,对消费者的善意,以及顾客受损的巨额赔偿之类广为流传的传奇,换个地方,何以就突然变脸了呢?一些曾经嘲笑中国诚信匮乏的西方大牌,它们自己的“诚信”何以如此不堪一击?

Are Apple’s repair policies in compliance with Chinese law? One Chinese lawyer claims they are not:

The company offers a global warranty period of 1 year – that’s the same whichever country you are in. But Chinese law states that warranties on computer sales MUST be at least two years.

Ge Youshan, Lawyer, said, “Foreign companies in China should obey Chinese law. If their clauses are better than Chinese regulations, that’s ok. But in this case, Apple’s warranty clauses apparently violate China’s laws.”

Never a dull moment here is there?

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

FRB: Challenges for the Future of Chinese Economic Growth Abstract:  The Chinese economy has been growing at a rapid pace for over thirty years. Most of this growth has come from higher labor productivity, while growth of employment has diminished along with a slower rate of increase in the working-age population. This paper looks at the challenges that China will face over the next two decades in maintaining its rapid pace of economic growth, especially as working-age population growth slows further and then begins to decline. Key questions include whether China will be able to continue to devote nearly half of its GDP to investment, whether such investment will become less productive as the capital-labor ratio continues to rise, whether labor participation and employment rates will fall as the population becomes less rural, and whether future shifts out of rural employment will go more toward the services rather than the manufacturing sector, where productivity is higher. In the baseline scenario economic growth falls gradually from its current pace of about 10 percent to near 6½ percent by 2030. However, a combination of less optimistic, but still reasonable assumptions, results in a reduction in the growth rate to about 1½ percent by 2030.//Reuters summary

Foxconn Plant in Peanut Field Shows Labor Eroding China’s Edge – Bloomberg Wang’s attitude springs from a labor-market squeeze across the country after China’s pool of young workers shrank by almost 33 million in five years at the same time as industry added 30 million jobs. The resulting wage pressure means Foxconn, Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) biggest supplier, pays the same basic salary at the Zhengzhou plant it built in 2010 among the corn and peanut fields of Henan province, as it does in Shenzhen, the southern city that spawned the nation’s industrial boom.

Shadow Loans Hard to Squelch in China City Hit by Suicide – Bloomberg wenzhou has crashed hard…not surprising, known has home to China’s biggest speculators// One year after China’s leaders picked Wenzhou to start a pilot program designed to curb and regulate the city’s informal shadow-lending networks, it’s clear, based on a recent trip to the country’s epicenter of private lending, that the plan isn’t working. Small firms it intended to benefit still can’t access loans because they lack collateral and are struggling to stay afloat. At least one broker, Beijing-based CreditEase, has given up, citing a gap between the center and targeted borrowers…Shadow lending flourishes in China because an estimated 97 percent of the nation’s 42 million small businesses can’t get bank loans, and savers are seeking higher returns than lenders pay for deposits.

新派外长王毅_杂志频道_财新网 This week’s Caixin profiles new foreign minister Wang Yi//可以说,这次王毅履新外长,中国所面临的外部环境是近20年来最糟糕的。在周边外交,特别是中日关系上,各方关系都是历史低点。中国与南海诸国的摩擦日益升级,甚至中朝之间也出现了一定程度的紧张态势。在对美国关系上,美国转向亚太政策逐步深入,对中国的压制感日益增强。 新任国务院总理李克强在首场记者会上说,讲利益就有共同点、汇合点,“只要我们相互尊重对方的重大关切,管控好分歧,就可以使共同利益超越分歧。”凭外长一人之力无法解开大国关系中的某些难解之结,但是以利益为根基,中国与日本、东盟和美国等保持正常的国家关系、促进发展将依旧是各方底线,也是王毅可以有所作为的基础。

四川信托两年“大跃进” 今年94亿房地产信托兑付压顶_财经频道_一财网 一位业内人士表示,四川信托-国酒陈酿歌德茅台投资信托计划期限2年,其中一期今年5月即到期。虽然产品采用了优先劣后的产品设计模式,并且对于到期未出售的茅台酒,歌德拍卖有义务将库存茅台酒按购入价格加按年利率17%的溢价价格购买,但现在茅台酒价格回落较大,信托公司届时一旦难以通过拍卖将存酒足额脱手,那么寄望拍卖行在信托购入价格的高点以2年合计34%的溢价进行购买,需要双方进行充分沟通才行。 值得一提的是,对于茅台酒价格去年底开始的回落,四川信托在其管理报告中不仅只字未提,相反,其最近一期的管理报告居然赫然表示“茅台酒市场价格持续上涨,报告期内,未发生影响收益的不良变化,本信托计划进展正常”。shocked, a WMP based on moutai may be in trouble, among many other issues by Sichuan Trust…

China Purchasing Russian Jets and Subs? | China Power Given China’s history Moscow is likely concerned that such technology could be reproduced and resold at lower prices, undercutting Russia’s own position in the arms export business. This is especially to be on Moscow’s mind given recent reports that China’s position in the global arms business has been steadily rising.  While Russia may gain a lucrative arms sale in the short term, the long term ramifications must weigh heavily in Moscow’s strategic calculus. Could China have floated the idea of an agreement to put pressure on Russia? It’s possible. Or maybe Moscow just got cold feet.

For Hundreds of Millions of Rural Chinese, an Economy of Last Resort | Tea Leaf Nation The China Banking Regulatory Commission is making strides toward this end, encouraging the development of rural financial institutions to meet the credit needs of individuals like Hu Gaoyan. The opportunities are enormous. but so too are the challenges in design and deployment.

Power Reform Locked for a Decade-Caijing Due to the government’s examination and approval authority over electricity prices and the monopoly of grid companies, reform of electricity prices has fallen into a vicious circle.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Bank of China Profit Beats Estimates on Wider Lending Margin – Bloomberg Bank of China’s net interest margin, a measure of profitability, expanded to 2.15 percent from 2.12 percent in 2011. Its net interest income rose 13 percent to 257 billion yuan, while net fee and commission income gained 8 percent to 69.9 billion yuan. Its non-performing loans increased to 65.4 billion yuan at the end of December from 64.1 billion yuan three months ago. Soured debts at Agricultural Bank rose to 85.8 billion yuan as of Dec. 31 from about 84 billion yuan in September.

Ministry of Finance Investigates Hidden Debt – Economic Observer Online  On Mar 24, Lou Jiwei (楼继伟), the new minister of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), said at the China Development Forum (中国高层发展论坛) that the MOF is investigating local government debts. The MOF will distinguish the 11 trillion yuan debt counted by the National Audit Office (审计署) as explicit debt, implicit debt or direct liability, and then analyze each category in order to draw up measures to stop the dangerous trend of debt expansion in local governments.

Beijing to Introduce House Regulation Details by End of Mar.-Caijing Details include tightening loans on second home buyers and purchase restrictions based on the Hukou System, the paper quoted an “authoritative” source as saying. The source said that unmarried Beijing residents can only buy one house after the new policy is introduced, compared with the current policies which allow buyers with aBeijing Hukou purchase a second house. The new policy will also introduce taxation on second-house transactions in line with the central government’s earlier compulsory implementation of a 20 percent income tax levied on home sellers. Sellers are exempted from the 20% tax if the home is their only residence and if they have owned the home for over five years.

Finance Minister Vows to Raise SOE Dividends in Income Redistribution-Caijing When asked by Stanford University professor Michael Boskin whether China is considering new measures to handle the SOE dividends, Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei defended the “relatively larger portion ofretention” of profits by SOEs, saying it is because those companies have “assumed some social responsibilities” with unsolved “historical problems.” As these problems are solved gradually, he proceeded, the government will hike the percentage of dividends handed over to the state by SOEs, on a gradual base. He added that there is not a specific timetable yet.

Listed Real Estate Firms See Net Profits Soar in 2012 – Caixin The news gets better for developers. Updated curbs on the housing market rolled out by the State Council, the country’s cabinet, on March 1 triggered a rush of home buying. This was in large part due to people hurrying to complete purchases before a capital gains tax came into effect. This has prompted major developers to raise their sales targets for 2013.

New Finance Minister Credited With Deep Knowledge of Tax System – Caixin Former premier Zhu Rongji appreciates Lou’s vision and abilities. When he was Shanghai’s mayor, he appointed Lou to be the deputy director of the city’s economic structural reform office. After becoming vice premier in 1993, he transferred Lou to head the macroeconomic regulation department of the national economic structural reform commission. There Lou joined the ranks of reform-minded Wu Jinglian, Zhou Xiaochuan (the central bank governor), and Guo Shuqing (former securities regulator and now governor of Shandong Province) in engineering the nation’s overhaul of its economic and financial system.

中央禁酒令致消费低迷 发改委担忧市场需求不足|禁酒令|公款吃喝|小贩_新浪新闻 NDRC worried about impact of corruption crackdown and frugality campaign on the economy…// 来自国家统计局的最新数字显示,1-2月份,社会消费品零售总额37810亿元,同比名义增长12.3%,比去年12月的15.2%增速大降2个百分点。其中餐饮业收入增速仅仅为8.4%,限额以上企业餐饮收入甚至下降了3.3%。今年头两个月出口和投资都保持了23.6%、21.2%的2位数增长,但是作为三驾马车的消费增速掉头变低,引起了商务部、国家发改委的关注。

2013年白酒产业链生态调查 | 每经网 核心提示: 白酒上市公司、普通酒厂高管及一线员工、各大经销商和政府部门、酒业协会人士普遍认为,在限三公消费、反腐背景下,白酒行业已经进入至少长达3~4年的调整期。

房产交易大厅 黄牛号要价数千 | 每经网 speculators making money selling “tickets” to access government office to register your property transaction in beijing, some of the scalpers may be working with real estate agests, new rules just adding distortions on top of distortions// 核心提示: 朝阳地税缴费大厅外,也有不少穿梭在队伍内外的号贩子。记者询问得知,一个靠前的号码最低500元、最高已叫至2000元。

“国五条”细则待细:20%售房个税或不普遍执行_网易财经 devil in the details for the new real estate rules…and the details may be diluted, at least in some cities// 记者亦采访了解,继粤版“国五条”细则版本后,对其余地方国五条细则落地形成压力,包括北京、上海、湖南、浙江等各地都在紧锣密鼓的研究后续出台细则,尽量赶在3月底大限颁布。 与此同时,一位接近住建部的人士透露,“住建部已经开始强化收集、研究国五条出台后对市场影响的数据,同时,针对备受争议的‘20%售房个税’一条,也收到来自各方的建议,在和相关部门研究落地细则时,也格外谨慎,以免误伤刚需。”

Some Luxury-Goods Makers Arrive Unfashionably Late to China – WSJ.com Now, with the European luxury-goods market deep in recession, Damiani—which made wedding rings for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston—is in the red and losing sales. Even as its business struggles, it faces the daunting task of forging a presence in Asia and competing against bigger European rivals that are now reaping the benefit of years of huge investment in China and other parts of Asia. “We should have launched in China much earlier, but we waited until we were strong and brave enough to do it ourselves,” said Mr. Damiani.

China Developers Look Abroad—for Chinese Buyers – WSJ.com Developers are hoping to follow Chinese buyers abroad. “Big developers like Greenland and China Vanke have wider brand recognition compared to the smaller firms and foreign firms,” said Mr. Zhang. Industry analysts and participants say Chinese developers could struggle at first because Chinese buyers often prefer to purchase from a foreign developers. Home buyers often would rather buy from a developer with a history in the local market, said Bunny Wang, director of International Properties at Colliers International, who has been advising Chinese customers about overseas home purchases since 2010.

China’s urbanization presents opportunities: Caterpillar – Xinhua | English.news.cn Continued urbanization in China will drive the need for greater infrastructure investment, pointing to tremendous opportunities for Caterpillar, said Doug Oberhelman, chairman and chief executive officer of the U.S.-based construction equipment maker, on Tuesday.//when do we learn more about the fraud at ERA, the firm CAT bought last year?

Brazil-China swap: little practical application | beyondbrics The swap’s stated purpose is to protect the burgeoning trade between the two countries, which from the Brazilian side mostly consists of soybeans and iron ore. And the swap could prove useful one day if there is a financial crisis so severe that trade finance between the two countries dries up. Until then, it will remain little more than a symbol, albeit it a potent one, of one of the most important new trading relationships of the 21st century.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Anti-corruption drive targets off-budget spending | South China Morning Post Li also called for institutional prevention of corruption and said the government needed a system to supervise its power. He said spending on official hospitality would be reined in and officials would have to cut back on the number of official cars, bureaucratic meetings and reports. Public spending on receptions, meetings, car purchases and maintenance should be open to public scrutiny, he said.

人民日报-李克强在国务院第一次廉政工作会议上强调 坚定不移反对腐败 着力建设廉洁政府 王岐山张高丽等出席

Officials go underground to defeat moves to curb their lavish feasting | South China Morning PostOfficials from four different regions have told the South China Morning Post that the banquets have merely gone underground, where they are now being held in much more lavish style. Two officials in Fujian province said many canteens in government departments had been renovated and had hired chefs from the region’s finest restaurants after outside banquets were banned as part of the Communist Party leadership’s anti-corruption and austerity drive. “Such renovation is not only happening in Fujian, but in many provinces around the country,” one of the officials said. “There are plenty of ways at the local level for cities to get around rules from the top.”

The Last Official Supper – Economic Observer Online  On Dec 4, 2012 the Politburo of China’s Communist Party adopted eight measures aimed at improving official work by reducing bureaucracy and extravagance. Among the measures were orders to reduce the amount traffic restrictions put in place to allow official cars to pass, shorter meetings and briefings and simpler official receptions. These measures significantly impacted businesses that rely on spending by officials, including high-end restaurants, hotels, baijiu and jewelry.  High-end restaurants in Beijing have reportedly suffered a 35 percent decline in profits since the new measures were announced.

人民日报-反腐需加强制度系统设计(名家笔谈) 王长江 因此,为了弥补纵向约束的不足,应该加强非权力对权力的监督,其中最重要的是扩大公民有序参与,民主是约束权力的最好途径。“只有让人民来监督政府,政府才不敢松懈。只有人人起来负责,才不会人亡政息”,我们党在陕甘宁边区时就有了这样的深刻认知。最近中央出台的八项规定,把对权力的规范公之于众,成为民众对权力运行进行监督的依循,因此受到公众好评。公众参与的平台大有进一步拓展的必要。..(作者为中央党校党建教研部主任、教授、博士生导师)

China’s cabinet announces official appointments – Xinhua | English.news.cn The State Council, or China’s cabinet, on Tuesday announced a number of new appointments for officials in government departments and organizations. Their names and posts are as follows

Ironic Encore for a Beloved Entertainer – NYTimes.com  Her overtly patriotic repertoire, delivered in a crisp soprano, doesn’t appeal to everyone. Some find it too ideological, too folksy or both, and shrill, nothing like the softer vocals of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the former model who is the wife of former President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, to whom Ms. Peng is being compared in the Chinese news media. But such music is part of a political-esthetic tradition stretching back over six decades in China, and her following is genuinely large. Then, “three or four years ago, she stopped singing in public,” Ms. Li said. “I don’t know why. You should ask her.” Instead, Ms. Peng has been building up a more traditional first lady persona in charitable work and health issues. She has appeared with H.I.V./AIDS patients and is a U.N. health ambassador.

China’s Michelle Obama – By Paul French | Foreign Policy But Mrs. Xi might turn out to be different: She is confident and media-savvy, as witnessed by her close proximity to her husband at photo-ops and clearly thought-out and well-prepared outfits. She has yet to speak publicly — perhaps she never will — but her prominent visual image in and of itself indicates that Peng will be more like Madames Sun and Chiang than her immediate predecessors. This may well be the first Chinese administration since 1949 that successfully harnesses and exploits the soft power potential of a first lady.

今年公共安全预算1289亿元–中国新闻网 3月26日电 财政部网站25日公布2013年中央财政预算,其中,2013年公共安全预算数为1289.89亿元,比2012年执行数增加106.43亿元,增长9%。在2013年公共安全预算中,武装警察预算数为1006.34亿元,比2012年执行数增加92.96亿元,增长10.2%。主要是武警部队伙食费标准调整、装备建设和公寓房建设等支出增加。同时,公安预算数为143.55亿元,比2012年执行数增加10.39亿元,增长7.8%。主要是铁路公安经费等支出增加。

胡一帆:习近平首个任期可能的改革项目-财经网 习近平政府在首个任期可能的改革主要包括以下几方面:财税改革,解决地方财政困境,征房产税,降低税务负担;金融改革,多元化融资渠道、深化资本市场开放与人民币国际化以及利率市场化;人口和收入改革;与环境相关的改革

盘点:从国企走向政坛的官员们-财经网 Caijing has pictures of SOE execs who have entered politics and taken up official positions// 新任国务委员兼公安部长郭声琨:郭声琨有长期在中国有色金属工业总公司工作的经历。从80年代起,郭声琨就在有色金属工业总公司工作。2001-2004年,他担任了中铝总经理、党组书记兼中铝股份有限公司董事长、总裁。

Two acquitted after 10 years in jail |Society |chinadaily.com.cn The Zhejiang Provincial Higher People’s Court on Tuesday reversed its 2004 ruling that included a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for Zhang Hui and a 15-year prison term for his uncle, Zhang Gaoping, for raping a woman in Hangzhou. “The acquittal was rendered, as there was new evidence showing the possibility of another suspect. Evidence presented during the previous trial was not enough to support the conviction,” the court said in a notice. Sources close to the court said investigators found another suspect whose DNA matched that collected from the woman’s body. The suspect is currently serving a prison term for another conviction.

BBC: Netizens on Xi’s “If the Shoe Fits” Speech – China Digital Times (CDT) While discussing the paths that nations take towards development in a speech delivered at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Chinese president and CCP General-Secretary Xi Jinping said, “Only the wearer knows if the shoe fits his foot.” President Xi’s comments led Chinese microbloggers to comment at length.

胡德平新著《改革放言录》出版 – 新华读书 – 新华网 Hu Yaobang’s son Hu Deping out with a new book.  here on Amazon China

陆丰豪拥192套房“房爷”被双开 · 封面 · 2013-03-27 ,南都网,数字报,电子报,南方都市报 guangdong “master house” with 192 properties in big trouble, fired and kicked out of party

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

N. Korea Calls Combat Alert as U.S. Spurns ‘Bellicose Rhetoric’ – Bloomberg “North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric and the threats that they engage in follow a pattern designed to raise tensions and intimidate others,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said yesterday in Washington. In a statement echoed by the State Department, Carney said North Korea “will achieve nothing by these threats or provocations.”

What’s Wrong with China’s North Korea Policy?-Carnegie-Tsinghua Center – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace It is time for China to let go of North Korea. Close association with such a regime does not provide any benefit to China’s national interests and international reputation. Moreover, Beijing should actively work with the international community to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Having an unpredictable, ungrateful, and totalitarian regime armed with nuclear weapons is the last thing China wants on its border. Xie Tao is an associate professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University.//Beijing probably needs a new provocation by DPRK to use as excuse to change policy

China’s road to becoming a ‘responsible’ world power | The A-List Some observers have interpreted President Xi Jinping’s “China dream” to mean that he will adopt a more nationalistic policy. But in advance of his first state trips to Russia and Africa, Mr Xi stressed that China’s “great national renewal” would benefit the world and that “as its strength increases, it will assume more international responsibilities” and contribute to “world peace and development”. Mr Zoellick may have been right, just a decade premature. Evolving circumstances could lead China to becoming a responsible stakeholder but much will depend on the actions of China and western powers.

NASA chief failed to tell Congress of 118 Chinese nationals working in IT | WashingtonExaminer.com NASA employs 118 Chinese nationals in “remotely-based” information technology jobs that may enable them to penetrate the space agency’s national security database servers, The Washington Examiner has learned. But NASA administrator Charles Bolden said nothing about these individuals during his testimony last week before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on cyber espionage threats against the space agency. Bolden told the panel he counted 192 Chinese nationals in positions with “physical access” to NASA facilities like its Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Ames Research Center near San Francisco.

China runs naval drills off PH shores – Manila Standard Today While Bashi Channel is considered an international passage, China’s decision to conduct its high-sea training in the area, was seen as Beijing’s way of sending a strong message to the claimants in the South China Sea, including the Philippines, which had repeatedly rejected   Beijing’s “excessive claims” of the disputed territories.

A Cold War in the East China Sea? | Flashpoints Meanwhile, citing Japanese defense officials, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on March 23 that using “the latest technologies,” Japan intends to add six new submarines to its fleet by 2021, at a cost of 50 billion yen (U.S. $528 million), as part of efforts to strengthen its defenses of the Senkakus. Japan’s submarine fleet currently consists of 16 boats. Reports also say that as many as 400 JMSDF students will receive specialized submarine warfare training at the Submarine Training Center in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Norway’s Arctic Power Play, Asia Dream | James Holmes – The Naval Diplomat The undiscovered resources that are expected to exist in the Arctic Ocean also have the potential to cause disagreements. While the Norwegian government hopes for peaceful interaction in the region, it is nevertheless bolstering its military presence in the Arctic to exercise its jurisdiction in Norwegian waters. And if the Arctic Ocean does become a strategically important sea lane, it is likely that Asian powers such as China will increase their presence in the area. Who knows, in 30 or 40 years, Norwegian and Asian naval assets may interact on a regular basis.

China confirms nuclear deal with Pakistan – Washington Times–Gertz U.S. intelligence and diplomatic officials privately said the agreement was reached in Beijing during a visit by a high-level Pakistani delegation of nuclear industry officials from Feb. 15 to 18.The Chinese at the meeting urged Pakistan to keep the deal secret to avoid expected international opposition by states that say the sale violates China’s commitment to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a 46-member association aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

Worst. Revisionists. Ever. | Daniel W. Drezner To be sure, China and Russia have , on occasion, engaged in some revisionist efforts to change the status quo.  See: Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia; China’s border disputes with the rest of the Pacific Rim.  What’s striking, however, is that neither Moscow nor Beijing seems terribly interested in collecting client states.  Hell, for all the rhetoric involving closer Sino-Russian cooperation, it seems as though the actual bilateral relationship amounts to little more than empty rhetoric and cooperation at the U.N. Security Council.

Most new high school textbooks describe Takeshima, Senkaku Islands as Japanese – The Japan Times Most new textbooks approved for use in high schools starting in April 2014 describe the Senkaku Islands and Takeshima as Japanese possessions, the education ministry announced Tuesday. Two geography textbooks and six of seven textbooks on politics and economics that passed recent screening by the ministry take this stand. In earlier screenings, all seven new geography textbooks approved for use in high schools starting in the academic year that starts next month describe the Senkakus and Takeshima as Japanese territory. The description is in line with the government’s position. China and South Korea immediately reacted to the latest screenings.

Tokyo in FTA talks with Seoul, Beijing – The Japan Times Japan, China and South Korea on Tuesday launched the first round of negotiations for concluding a free-trade agreement among the three nations that together account for around 20 percent of world gross domestic product. Japan’s political relations with China and South Korea have been strained due to ongoing territorial disputes, but the three economies are increasingly dependent on one another for trade and investment. China has become Japan’s biggest export market.

中国舰队三艘主力舰艇曾在南海连续反潜33小时 |南海舰队|反潜|登陆作战_新浪军事 舰载直升机在空中俯瞰,战舰从海面抵近巡视,歼击机组成空中突击群……从23日开始,由南海舰队联合机动编队井冈山舰和玉林舰组成的井冈山舰兵力群到达南沙海域,并从空中和水面,对目前由南海舰队官兵驻守的渚碧礁、南薰礁和东门礁展开巡航。未来几天,井冈山舰兵力群将继续对我驻守的赤瓜、永暑、华阳等礁展开立体巡航。

“poster” in response to “seaweed can stop us nuke subs” comments who says Chinese people are not creative?

张召忠:特理解大家骂我 我当上将军他没当上嫉妒_社会_南都网 摘要:张召忠:我特殊的地方在于虚怀若谷。我特别理解大家为什么骂我,他每天打开电视机,老看见我在电视上说话,他不烦吗?所以我要减少上电视,我很理解大家骂我几下,我到现在靠自己努力,当上将军了,他没当上啊,他不也嫉妒吗?

US Treasury Secretary Visits China, Says Dumplings Delicious-Caijing had not seen these pictures// The visiting U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew(Third from Left) has Chinese dumplings for lunch Tuesday following his meeting with China’s newly-stalled President Xi Jinping on Tuesday. Lew and three U.S. embassy employees spend 109 yuan on the simple lunch which he said was “delicious”, in a small restaurant near the embassy. Owner of the restaurant said U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke is a frequent visitor.

China Development Bank Lends South Africa’s Transnet $5 Billion – Bloomberg The China Development Bank Corp. agreed to lend Transnet SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail operator, about $5 billion to support the country’s infrastructure development. The “financial and non-financial assistance” will run over five years, according to a statement from South Africa’s government.

Can China Transform Africa? | ChinaFile The question is all wrong. China is already transforming Africa, the question is how China is transforming Africa, not whether it can. From the “China shops”—small stores selling cheap clothing, bags, and kitchenware—that have become ubiquitous in Southern Africa, to oil, infrastructure and mining projects across the continent, China’s government, private and state companies, and individual Chinese immigrants are changing the continent that the west gave up on sometime in the 1990s.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

香港游宰客“攻略”_财经频道_一财网 first financial looks at how hong kong tour operators rip of mainland tourists// 低团费与强行购物为伴,当地导游一日数换,游客被层层转包。

Big Players Cash Out of Hong Kong Property – WSJ.com HONG KONG—With the government growing confident that it has halted the meteoric rise in property prices, some of this city’s biggest real-estate investors are getting out. Several of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families are planning initial public offerings of hotels, offices and other real-estate assets in coming months, while others are lowering prices on luxury apartments to entice buyers.

Hong Kong’s Future Leader Must ‘Love China’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ For years, Hong Kong residents have wondered what Beijing meant when it promised they could one day enjoy universal suffrage. On Monday, they started to have a better idea. This weekend, Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the National People’s Congress Law Committee, told a group of pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmakers at a forum in Shenzhen, just across the border in mainland China, that any chief executive candidate would have to “love the country and love Hong Kong.”

Asia Sentinel – Hong Kong and Blatant Racism-Phillip Bowring– In a case which set natural justice and the simple, direct language of Hong Kong’s Basic Law or mini-constitution, against political pressures, the judges could well also be accused of rank racism. The government was threatening to take the case to Beijing’s National People’s Congress for an interpretation of the Basic Law should the judges rule against the government’s insistence that the foreign domestic workers had no right even to apply for permanent residence, let alone to be granted it. So the bench, in unison, and in order to prevent the government undermining its authority, opted instead to undermine basic principle of justice.

Next Media Says Taiwan Print Asset Sale Plan Falls Through – Bloomberg Protesters against the administration of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in January called on regulators to block the sale of Next Media’s Taiwan assets to local tycoons to prevent the concentration of media interests. Lai had wanted to sell his Taiwan print assets to businessmen including Tsai Shao-Chung, whose family owns China Times Group, which controls the Commercial Times newspaper, Taiwan’s CtiTV and at least five other media outlets according to its website.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Focus Media Buyout Lawsuit Dropped by U.S. Pension Fund – Bloomberg Iron Workers Mid-South Pension Fund ended the suit without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled, according to a filing today in federal court in San Francisco. The pension fund didn’t say why the complaint was dropped. A hearing on Focus Media’s request to dismiss the case had been set for April 1.

Film Chronicling Rise of China’s Alibaba Group Released for Educational Distribution – Yahoo! Finance Taluswood Films announced today the educational release of its award-winning documentary film, Crocodile in the Yangtze: The Story of a Westerner Inside China’s Alibaba.com. An independent memoir produced, written and directed by a former company insider, the film follows the ups and downs of China’s first Internet entrepreneur and former English teacher, Jack Ma, as he battles US giant eBay on the way to building China’s first global Internet company, Alibaba Group.

Tweekaboo, A Family Moment Sharing System, Has An Eye On Asia | TechCrunch Murphy is looking to China as a possible strong customer for his service. Because many families are split – with parents working in the city while the children live elsewhere – the service allows parents to keep track of things back home and to have a record of their child growing up. And, because Facebook is banned there, the field for cool sharing apps is almost wide open.//why partner with him when this will be easy for chinese developers to clone, as some will after reading this in techcrunch. bad idea to telegraph something like this before you are in the market here

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

白岩松质疑地方政府:难道井盖也要总理来管?_新闻_腾讯网 I am a fan of CCTV’s increasingly outspoken Bai Yansong// [导读]一个井盖有市政、供电、煤气等15家责任产权单位,今年国务院的机构改革把食品药品的相关机构都合并到一块了,难道一个井盖也需要中央或者需要国务院、或者需要李克强总理来管这件事吗?

Lonely and Far From Home, China’s Migrant Workers Turn to ‘Temporary Marriages’ to Survive | Tea Leaf Nation Liu Li, a member of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) from Anhui province, gave an answer during a recent press conference: “Due to long separations, many of those in the current wave of migrant workers have started ‘temporary marriages.’ It may surprise many to hear it, but it is very common among the group I belong to.” Rep. Liu made news in early 2012 after being the first migrant worker from Anhui selected for the NPC; she previously worked as a foot-washer.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

环境保护税法正进行部门会签_经济频道_财新网 研究者称,环境保护税法立法的难点在于税负问题,税负加重可能遭致企业和民众抵触

On China’s Electricity Grid, East Needs West—for Coal – Businessweek The bottom line: Fourteen “energy bases” could transform the economy of Western China, but water shortages and protests threaten their viability.

Former SERC Head Takes Reins at New NEA – A major part of the massive government reform plan coming on the heels of the National People’s Congress is the formation of a new energy regulator. This is being accomplished by merging the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) into the National Energy Administration. The latest step in the major shakeup was completed on March 26, when Wu Xinxiong, chairman of SERC since 2011, was officially named head of the new NEA. During his two years at SERC, Wu focused on safety issues, market access issues, transaction supervision, market pricing and energy conservation. However, progress toward anticipated reform of the power industry faltered.

国土部公开地下水监测数据:仍是20年前质量标准_网易新闻中心 心提示:北京律师黄乐平等三人致函国土资源部,申请公开全国地下水监测详情。近日,三名律师收到一份厚达400页的水质报表。专家分析时指出,报表呈现的总体水质状况可能与现实不符,中国目前使用的地下水质量标准仍是20年前的,早已过时。

Shell says China approves shale deal, plans more drilling | Reuters China has approved a production-sharing contract with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) for the Fushun shale gas block in the southwestern province of Sichuan, with the global oil firm preparing to step up drilling activities in the country.

China Cuts Fuel Prices, New Pricing Mechanism Adopted-Caijing China has cut retail prices of gasoline and diesel by 310 and 200 yuan per ton respectively, effective from Wednesday, China’s top economic planning agency said. The cut -the first in the year-came in tandem with long-championed changes in the pricing system. Oil adjustment period will be cut from 22 to 10 working days, and the 4 percent trigger point will be removed, the National Development and Reform Commission said.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Diageo to Sell China White Liquor in Spain, Middle East in 2013 – Bloomberg Diageo Plc (DGE), the world’s largest liquor company, will expand sales of the Shuijingfang white spirit to Italy, Spain and the Middle East this year to reduce reliance on the liquor’s home market by tapping Chinese abroad. Overseas sales may rise to 40 percent of the company’s total as early as 2016, from about 10 percent now, said James Rice, general manager at Sichuan Swellfun Co. (600779), the Diageo unit making the white spirit, or baijiu. Chinese travelers and overseas Chinese will be the core foreign buyers of the sorghum- based liquor in the short to medium term, he said from Chengdu, western China, without giving a more specific timeframe.//and long-term i bet

» The Secrets of Kashgar’s Apak Khoja Mazar I would still recommend my friends to take a quick trip out here if they make their way all the way out to Kashgar. The place is in desperate need of a face-lift, there’s no doubt about that, but the 30 RMB entrance fee is worth a look at the ancient architecture, mausoleum, and the City of the Dead. A living monument to Uyghur history!

Most ‘beef’ sold at Hangzhou market is pork, report finds | South China Morning Post DNA tests commissioned to the Zhejiang Institute of Science and Technology Inspection and Quarantine laboratory found that most of the “beef” products were actually all pork and no beef, the Zhejiang Daily reported on Tuesday. Pork, which is half the price of beef, can be half-cooked, marinated in a “beef extract” made up of starch, colouring and additives and specially processed to look and taste like beef, it said.

 

BEIJING

Beijing Is No Longer a Cyclist’s Paradise – Bloomberg China has made amazing progress by bringing the market and its individual choice into daily life. It needs more experiments in that direction, and more individual freedom to go with it. But it also needs to notice where the free market must be managed. Bring back Beijing’s air, and bring back its bikes. A one-party state must be good for something. (Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University

1 in 80 Beijingers have chance in car lottery – People’s Daily Online As many as 1.47 million applicants will vie for 18,457 license plates for small passenger cars (not more than nine seats), 40,000 more applicants than last month, according to a website managing the system.

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One thought on “The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.27.13

  1. Osnos’s post is good, but why have so many Western media editors settled on “China Dream” as the proper translation of zhongguo meng?

    You tend to use the genitive, “Chinese Dream”, which is commendable since the whole ta ma de phrase is obviously based on “the American Dream”– not “the America Dream.” But NYT seemed to foist “China Dream” on you as a post heading.

    In fact, NYT and others seem to be pushing the dual nominative “China Dream” with demented fervor. Why not “Red Building Dream”, or “West Journey Record” then? If I were conspiracy minded, I might think it’s part of some subtle orientalizing plot. More likely, it’s just misguided editorial interventionism.

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