The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.18.13

Foreign Affairs has interviews with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and PRC Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai.

In Japan Is Back Abe “speaks openly about the mistakes he made in his first term, Abenomics, Japan’s wartime record (and his own controversial statements on that history), and the bitter Senkaku/Diaoyu Island dispute with China.” Some highlights:

I have never said that Japan has not committed aggression. Yet at the same time, how best, or not, to define “aggression” is none of my business. That’s what historians ought to work on. I have been saying that our work is to discuss what kind of world we should create in the future…

About the Yasukuni Shrine, let me humbly urge you to think about your own place to pay homage to the war dead, Arlington National Cemetery, in the United States. The presidents of the United States go there, and as Japan’s prime minister, I have visited. Professor Kevin Doak of Georgetown University points out that visiting the cemetery does not mean endorsing slavery, even though Confederate soldiers are buried there. I am of a view that we can make a similar argument about Yasukuni, which enshrines the souls of those who lost their lives in the service of their country…

We have never agreed with the Chinese to shelve the issue of the Senkaku Islands. To say that we have in the past is a complete lie by the Chinese.

In Beijing’s Brand Ambassador Cui “sets out his vision for U.S.-Chinese relations, discusses whether China is a revisionist power, and how it plans to deal with cyber security — and Japan.” Some highlights:

So we are ready to integrate ourselves into the global system, and we are ready to follow the international rules. Of course, these rules were set without much participation by China, and the world is changing. You cannot say that the rules that were set up half a century ago can be applied without any change today. But what we want is not a revolution. We stand for necessary reform of the international system, but we have no intention of overthrowing it or setting up an entirely new one….

As far as China is concerned, we have three key elements to our policy on the Korean Peninsula. First, we stand for stability. Second, we stand for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Third, we stand for peaceful means. These three elements are interrelated; you cannot have one at the expense of the other two….

These [Diaoyu] islands were originally Chinese territory, but at the end of the nineteenth century, because of the war between China and Japan, Japan took action to put these islands in its own territorial jurisdiction. When the United States returned Okinawa to Japan [in 1972], it also included the Diaoyu Islands. We were against that and made it very clear at the time. So there has been a consistent Chinese position on the sovereignty of the islands. There is no doubt about that.

On the other hand, we also understand such issues will take time to resolve, and we are not in a hurry to resolve them overnight. When China and Japan normalized relations with each other [also in 1972], the leaders of both countries decided to put such disputes aside. And I think that was a very wise policy. We had tranquility over these islands for many years, until the Japanese government decided to nationalize the islands last year.

This week’s Sinica Podcast is an interview with yours truly. In what may be the China watching variant of jumping the shark, I chatted with hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn in An Evening with Bill Bishop. We are old friends, excuse some of the humor…

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China president takes charge of sweeping economic reform plans: sources | Reuters Xi will present the reforms at a key meeting of the ruling Communist Party later this year that will set the agenda for the next decade, signaling his seriousness to see breakthroughs, the sources told Reuters. Some of the sources cautioned that the reforms could face resistance from vested interests, especially state firms.

Oceanauts honored as “heroes” – Xinhua | English.news.cn what does James Cameron think of the Jiaolong? does the us have any state-backed programs in this area now, or is it all private sector? // Seven oceanauts with China’s manned submersible Jiaolong, which proved capable of diving 7,000-m-plus deep, have each been given the title of “Manned Submersible Hero.” The honor, bestowed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, was announced Friday at an award ceremony jointly held by the State Oceanic Administration and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.//and top item on Friday CCTV Evening News 

Deleterious Neglect: Will the U.S. Navy Surrender Maritime Asia? | The Diplomat all the money going into COIN and IED detection won’t help against China// Having gone unchallenged for decades, and facing budget cuts, the U.S. Navy is in danger of losing its capability to challenge the PLA in its near seas…. Beijing’s immediate goals and its likely opponents fall within reach of the abundant shore-based armaments festooning Fortress China. Combining land- with sea-based implements of marine combat yields a force far more formidable than side-by-side comparisons of surface fleets would indicate. The PLA Navy, then, may not need a surface fleet symmetrical with the U.S. Navy’s — in terms of flattops, air wings, destroyers, etc. — to get its job done. Observers must apply standards unique to China to determine whether China’s Navy has struck the right balance of capabilities. Comparing it to a globe-spanning navy like America’s reveals little.–Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes are professors of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College

Another H7N9-hit Chinese province ends emergency response – Xinhua | English.news.cn East China’s Zhejiang Province ended its level-IV emergency response to the H7N9 bird flu outbreak after no new human infections had been reported there in the past 28 consecutive days. Medical observations on all those who had close contact with the H7N9-infected people in Zhejiang have ended, and there have been no further infections, said a statement from the seventh meeting of the Zhejiang provincial prevention and control mechanism for human infections of H7N9, which was held on Thursday.

Anti-graft chief stresses intra-Party supervision – Xinhua | English.news.cn Wang said the CPC faces challenges both at home and abroad, but the fundamental challenges, including work style malpractices and corruption, rest within the Party itself. He added that inspection work will be strengthened this year. // People’s Daily’s coverage of his remaks more interesting 王岐山在中央巡视工作动员暨培训会议上强调, 巡视要发现问题形成震慑 遏制腐败现象蔓延势头 

Taiwan Directs Anger at Philippines as Ma Frustration Simmers – Bloomberg Ma is seizing the moment to press President Benigno Aquino for a formal apology as Taiwan grocers pull Philippine goods from stores and travel agencies cancel trips, an approach that risks denting efforts to boost trade ties in Asia. His reaction may say more about Taiwan’s feeling of weakness in a region of emerging powers that don’t officially recognize its government. “The whole world is bullying us, so we have to bully someone weaker than us,” said George Tsai, a political scientist at Chinese Culture University in Taipei.

Rebuilding the Fengtongzhai Honey Cooperative | Indiegogo I donated, fundraising set up by a Sinocism subscriber, looks to be a good way to donate to Lushan earthquake reconstruction// Rebuilding the local honey cooperative in Baoxing County, Sichuan Province, China, after the earthquake on April 20th, 2013…One of the two hardest hit counties was Baoxing County, home of the Fengtongzhai Honey Cooperative. Our project goal is to crowdfund the money for 100 beehives to rebuild and expand the honey cooperative. This project will help the community start down the path to recovery, while preserving the local ecosystem that is crucial to the giant panda.

Cannes: China Buzzing Over Jia Zhangke’s ‘A Touch of Sin’ – The Hollywood Reporter trailer looks very good// Chinese social media lights up after a trailer for the director’s Cannes competition entry appears online, revealing scenes referencing some social ills in the country.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Dongguan suspends free services as debt crisis bites | South China Morning Post In a telling sign of the mainland’s mounting local government debt crisis, some towns in Dongguan – one of the richest cities – are being forced to suspend free public services and infrastructure projects.

China Economic Watch | An Estimate of Excess Borrowing by Chinese Corporations None of this is to say that China is on the verge of a debt meltdown. Many Chinese enterprises, especially private enterprises, have relatively healthy interest coverage ratios. It does, however, call attention to the sheer volume of corporate debt that is on pace to be issued over the next several years. If you believe that market interest rates are important to allocating capital correctly, you should be concerned at the scale of debt being issued in a distorted environment.

China property: bigger index, bigger bubble | beyondbrics A new housing index covers more cities than any other available gauge, reaching into many of the smaller towns where development has been most frenetic. And lo and behold it has produced a striking conclusion: that property prices are rising twice as fast as official data suggests.

China’s Aluminum Producers Seen Having to Make Cuts Amid Surplus – Bloomberg China has cut output 1 million metric tons this year and will probably reduce it 2 million tons by 2015, with about 24 million tons produced this year, according to Marco Georgiou, an analyst at CRU in London. Aluminum fell 3.8 percent this year in China and 10 percent in London. “It will be manageable surpluses only if curtailments of around 4-5 million tons are implemented over the next five years,” Georgiou said by e-mail yesterday. “This is based on demand growth stabilizing in the high single digit level and that smelters continue to ramp up in the northwest.”

Ugly row at Shanghai beauty group | beyondbrics Disputes between managers and shareholders aren’t new in Communist China. But now a public row has erupted in one of the country’s oldest businesses – a one-hundred year-old cosmetics manufacturer called Shanghai Jahwa.

Changing of the Guard – Economic Observer  Ma Weihua (马蔚华) stepped down from his position as president of China Merchants Bank on May 9 after serving a record 14 years in the position. Since the former central bank official was appointed to the position, the financial institution has transformed itself from a small regional bank into a market leader among China’s joint-stock banks with almost 100 branches around the country.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Top Communist Party unit to tighten rules on rapid promotions | South China Morning Post The main story on page two of the party mouthpiece People’s Daily yesterday, headlined “Strict standard must be applied to making exceptions for regular promotions of cadres”, said “anomalies in promotions should by no means become an excuse to defy the existing principles and regulations, nor a pretext for seeking personal gain”. It is an open secret that “Zhong Zuwen ” – the author of the commentary – is a pseudonym for the Central Organisation Department.

Communication essential for Yunnan chemical project |Society |chinadaily.com.cn At 9 am on Friday, Kunming’s Mayor Li Wenrong opened his new micro blog to solicit suggestions on the latest developments in Yunnan’s provincial capital. The blog is being seen as a major a step forward in strengthening his communication with local communities, especially in light of recent events surrounding controversial plans for a chemical plant in one of the best-known tourism destinations in Southwest China.

Kunming mayor stays true to his promise and opens microblog account | South China Morning Post Li had promised to open the account on Thursday, when he met with hundreds of protesters on Kunming’s streets. The angry crowd had ignored official intimidation to voice their opposition against a petrochemical project on the city’s outskirts.

南方周末 – 成为一名县长有多难 Southern Weekend on how hard it is to become a County chief..60% about personal relations, 40% about work results// 山西一县政协副主席:”书记碰头会上干部必须定下来,不能再变动了,然后再开常委会”;一甘肃贫困县副局长:”干部提拔60%要看人际关系,40%要看工作成绩”;河南一副县长:”组织部长把人选一念,大家举一下手就通过了”,该县副书记说,”一定要记住:党管干部”。

央视主持人张羽否认卷入刘铁男案:捕风捉影_资讯频道_凤凰网 CCTV anchor Zhang Yu denies any involvement in the Liu Tienan case// 张羽态度坚决地回应说:“捕风捉影!”华西都市报记者再问:“既然此消息是捕风捉影,你是否有声明之类的东西发布?”张羽表示:“有了我会告诉你。”

北京”部委一条街”转型接待工薪族 烤馒头热卖_网易新闻中心 The Beijing News on how Xi’s 8 rules hitting some Beijing restaurants hard // 全聚德烤鸭首次全国性打折优惠,在部分门店推百元内自助餐;此前辽参、佛跳墙热卖的同和居,尝试增加早餐和外卖量;嘉和一品将在社区试点设立“早餐自动配送站”……昨日,北京市商务委称,受中央8项规定的影响,北京餐饮企业纷纷调整经营谋划转型,使得大众餐饮逆势而上,同比增长一成多。

公务接待“四菜一汤”标准走样 大盘套着小盘_新闻_腾讯网 another look at how local officials are getting around the “four dishes and a soup” anti-gluttony rules // 随着“反对浪费”呼声渐高,作为当年公务接待的一条标准,“四菜一汤”屡屡被基层干部群众所提及。然而,本刊记者走访多地了解到,由于缺乏刚性细则和可操作性,“四菜一汤”逐渐出现标准走样现象,并未对遏制公款大吃大喝起到应有效果。

武当山旅游区办公楼被指极尽奢华 人均453平米|武当山|奢华|人均_新浪新闻 criticism of extravagant new official office building in Wudang Shan…not very Daoist// 近日,《中国经营报》记者分别前往湖北十堰、襄阳等地实地调查发现,十堰市派出机构武当山旅游经济特区管委会人均办公面积达到453平方米,是国家标准的25倍。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China supports peace in Middle East, Xi says|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn China would like to further strengthen communication and coordination with Saudi Arabia to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia’s visiting foreign minister on Friday.

Samaras Seeks China Investment to Revive Battered Greek Economy – Bloomberg Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised to give the “red-carpet treatment” to foreign investors as he visited China to help revive an economy that contracted for the 19th straight quarter. Leading a delegation of business leaders from companies including Alpha Bank SA (ALPHA), Gaea Products SA and Dynagas Ltd., Samaras told a business forum that China should see Greece as a gateway to investment in the rest of Europe.

Working with Chinese contractors | Global Development Professionals Network | Guardian Professional There are many generalisations about ‘the Chinese’ in Africa, but what’s it really like to work with them? Les Roopanarine speaks with those who study China’s impact on African development

Shan State Army denies MOGE attack–Interfax The attack sparked further concerns that China’s ambitious dual oil and gas pipelines would be delayed because of a conflict between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese government which erupted in 2011 – ending a 17-year ceasefire which had previously terminated decades of hostilities.

Beidou set to spread its wings in region|Science-Tech|chinadaily.com.cn China’s Beidou navigation system is set to increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, with Pakistan expected to become its fourth overseas customer later this month. Huang Lei, international business director of Beijing BDStar Navigation, which helps promote Beidou, or Compass, in the international market, told China Daily the company will build a network of stations in Pakistan to enhance the location accuracy of Beidou.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Sohu.com Seeks Investors in Search Engine Unit for Growth – Bloomberg Zhang, who has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, took a sabbatical to address some personal issues and was away for about a year till January. “I missed out on some things, but that’s life,” said Zhang. “My goals in life have changed, and work is very important now.” // what changed?

China cracks down on over-the-top anti-Japan dramas | South China Morning Post China’s television regulator has ordered a crack down on dramas about the country’s battles with Japan during and before World War II and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines

China market: Several smartphone components in short supply–DigiTimes the pace of inventory build-ups have been unable to catch up with the growth in demand for smartphones in China and other emerging markets, said the sources, noting that overall shipments of smartphones by China-based makers for domestic and overseas sales have skyrocketed to 30 million units a month recently compared to 20 million units in the first quarter of 2013.

‘Mobile is eating the world’ — Benedict Evans I’ll be presenting these slides (or something pretty close to them) on 29 May at BEA in New York. They give a pretty good overview of where the industry sits today.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

The Brian Lehrer Show: Gatsby From Afar – WNYC Evan Osnos, China correspondent for The New Yorker, talks about what international readers and movie-goers learn about the U.S. from The Great Gatsby.

Xinhua Insight: Dalai Lama’s hometown faces urbanization – Xinhua | English.news.cn The 14th Dalai Lama’s birthplace, an obscure, out-of-the-way village in the mountains of northwest China’s Qinghai Province, is now facing the dilemma of urbanization and an urge to maintain its traditions. The village of Hong’ai, formerly known as Taktser, is located in Ping’an County in Haidong Prefecture.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Organ donor cards hard to implement in China, official says | Reuters A system of donor cards indicating consent for organ transplants will not work in China as families will insist on having the final say, and many people see nothing wrong in using organs from executed prisoners, an official said on Friday

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Let’s Burger Plus | Flickr – @maoxian Would I return? Obviously not, but maybe if the prices were half what I paid I’d give them another chance. It doesn’t matter what I think, there are so many Chinese now who can afford to drop $30 on lunch that places like Element Fresh, Wagas, Let’s Burger, etc. which serve “exotic” food to the locals can not only survive, but thrive. The rising middle class in China is real, and it’s a force.

Chinese tourists warned over bad behaviour overseas | World news | guardian.co.uk Wang Yang, one of China’s four deputy prime ministers, said that while other countries had welcomed Chinese tourism, the quality of some travellers was not high. He said: “They speak loudly in public, carve characters on tourist attractions, cross the road when the traffic lights are still red, spit anywhere and [carry out] some other uncivilised behaviour. It damages the image of the Chinese people and has a very bad impact.

 

BEIJING

Weibo blows up after famous Beijing playboy allegedly assaults reporter: Shanghaiist Wang, the son of a wealthy real estate developer in Beijing, is famous for his lavish lifestyle: expensive sports cars, celebrity girlfriends, and a mansion beside the Forbidden City. He was previously accused of pointing a firearm at another Beijing fuerdai. // see correction below. apologies, got my Wang Shuos confused Friday

 

CORRECTIONS

“公子”打人何以成了新闻_时事评论_新京报网 CORRECTION: a different Wang Shuo, not the writer. Apologies

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2 thoughts on “The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.18.13

  1. I just wanted to hank you for taking the time to put all this together. It is a true public service. I would not be able to write half of the things that i do without the information I get from your weekly round-ups. If only other countries had newsletters as comprehensive as this one…

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