The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.21.13

President Obama and President Xi will meet in June in California, per The White House:

President Obama will meet with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China on June 7-8 in California, at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Estate.  This will be President Obama’s first meeting with Xi Jinping since he became China’s President.  President Obama and President Xi will hold in depth discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues.  They will review progress and challenges in U.S.-China relations over the past four years and discuss ways to enhance cooperation, while constructively managing our differences, in the years ahead.

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon will travel to Beijing on May 26-28 to prepare for this meeting.

Vanity Fair has an excellent 2012 story about Sunnylands. What an amazing place it is.

President Xi will also visit Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico on this trip. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to the upcoming meeting as “the China-U.S. summit”.

My Dealbook column this week looks again at the prospects for economic but not political reform. I have been trying for a few columns to weave in a mention of what I consider to be one of the most prescient recent books about China, James Mann’s The China Fantasy:

In 2007, James Mann wrote “The China Fantasy,” a short book arguing that Western elites had misrepresented the benefits of engagement with China, and that prosperity and capitalism would not necessarily bring democracy to the country. Mr. Mann asked:

“What if China manages to continue on its current economic path, yet its political system does not change in any fundamental way? What if, twenty-five or thirty years from now, a wealthier, more powerful China continues to be run by a one-party regime that still represses organized political dissent much as it does today, while at the same time China is also open to the outside world and, indeed, is deeply intertwined with the rest of the world through trade, investment and other economic ties? Everyone assumes that the Chinese political system is going to open up — but what if it doesn’t? What if, in other words, China becomes fully integrated into the world’s economy, yet it remains also entirely undemocratic?”

That is the question many may now be focused on. As much as we in the West would like to assume that more prosperity will make China “more like us,” is there actually solid evidence to support that belief?

The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek died yesterday at 74. I am writing this newsletter while listening to a Doors playlist streaming via QQ Music to my computer. Once I would have said that was yet another sign of inevitable peaceful evolution. Now it just seems like music streaming over China’s Internet to my computer.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Detained Chinese fishermen in DPRK released: official – Xinhua | English.news.cn fishing boat captured by North Korean pirates released, but with no fuel. North Koreans this century’s 倭寇?

Related: North Korea seizes another Chinese fishing boat, crew – latimes.com There have been numerous incidents in which Chinese fishing boats have been captured in the Bohai Sea, a northern inlet of the Yellow Sea, raising the possibility that financially desperate North Koreans are engaging in Somalia-style piracy to raise money.

After Kidnapping, Chinese Netizens Ask Why Beijing Humors ‘Spoiled Child’ Kim Jong-un | Tea Leaf Nation The most recent kidnapping incident has triggered widespread discussion—with many expressions of anger—among Chinese netizens. Most posts on microblogs, BBS forums, and other online platforms reflected a strong sense of nationalism, with many advocating that the Chinese government take a hardline stance when it comes to foreign affairs

Is China seeking regime-change in North Korea? | Asia | Deutsche Welle really? sounds like wishful thinking // Intelligence sources have passed on to DW information that Beijing has a contingency plan in place for when Kim Jong-un’s control over the country crumbles. The reports confirm that China is indeed quietly encouraging regime change and is grooming Kim’s brother, Kim Jong-nam to take over his role.

China Development Bank Says $8.1 Trillion Needed for Urban Shift – Bloomberg China needs at least 50 trillion yuan ($8.1 trillion) in new investment by 2020 to accommodate a burgeoning population of city-dwellers, according to the president of China Development Bank. China must urgently find special financing channels to support the urbanization process because local governments can’t afford the spending, Zheng Zhijie, the bank’s president, wrote in an article in the May 16 issue of China Finance, a journal run by the People’s Bank of China. Zheng didn’t elaborate on the estimate, which is about equal to the nation’s nominal gross domestic product in 2012.

Related: 城镇化会议或推迟至月底 改革不给力引高层不满_网易财经 National Urbanization Meeting may now be held at the end of May or in early June, says the 21st Century Business Herald// “原本定在3月左右,因为规划的原因,一推再推。” 发改委小城镇中心的一位不愿透露姓名人士透露,根据此前步署,在全国城镇化会议后,会发布《城镇化总体规划纲要》(以下简称“纲要”)。

户籍改革路线图_杂志频道_财新网 Kam Wing Chan OpEd in this week’s Caixin on a blueprint for Hukou reform// 如何推行有深度的户籍改革?笔者有一个初步构想的路线图与时间表,从2015年开始,用大概15年时间,解决流动人口问题。具体做法是:所有大中小城镇,首先向外地大学毕业生开放当地户籍登记,然后向有熟练技术又有稳定就业的农民工开放,再逐步有序地向其他农民工开放,最终使所有的流动人口“市民化”,可以举家永久性迁移。

China’s Entrenched Gender Gap – NYTimes.com China’s economy may manage to keep growing while urban women are dropping out of the work force, but at the cost of extreme, deepening and potentially destabilizing inequality. In the meantime, some educated women are behaving like one young Beijinger I met, who wanted to make herself a more attractive marriage candidate, less intimidating to suitors. “My most important duty is to find a good man to marry,” she said. How did she fulfill that duty? By dropping out of the work force.–Leta Hong Fincher

Related: ‘Eating Bitterness’: Hardship and Opportunity for Rural Women in China – Eric Fish – The Atlantic The proportion of rural workers traveling away from their hometown for employment has shot up from 7 percent of China’s rural labor force in 1987 to nearly 30 percent today. Of those migrant workers, over a third are now women. Jing Jun says that by leaving for most of the year to work in cities, women are separated from abusive husbands and overbearing in-laws — the primary stresses cited in cases of suicide among rural women. Separating women from pesticides — a highly accessible and lethal substance correlated with impulsive suicides — is another key factor. But the dropping suicide rate may mask many of the issues that continue to put pressure on rural women both in the countryside and when they branch out into the cities.

Why China Needs a ‘Lean In’ Movement – Businessweek In 2012, American women earned 77¢ for every $1 men earned. China had a similar pay gap two decades ago: In 1990, urban Chinese women earned 78 percent of what their male peers earned, and rural women earned 79 percent. Disappointingly, the pay gap in China has grown much wider since then: In 2010, urban Chinese women earned 67 percent of what their male peers earned, and rural women earned 56 percent. These calculations were released Wednesday by the government-led All China Women’s Federation

中石油专家:油品升级不许算经济账 根本谈不到效益|油品|雾霾|PX_新浪财经_新浪网 full text of Caijing cover story on tradeoffs and costs of improving gasoline quality in China, which will help air pollution. Important story// 令人尴尬的是,亟待升级的中国炼化产业,在全国各地仍陷于“大炼化等于洪水猛兽”的民粹潮中。从普通的炼油,到低毒的PX,再到更低毒的乙烯,凡是准备上马的大炼化项目,无不在各地区迎来公众狐疑的目光,多个项目因此被叫停或一再迁址重建。但被公众和有关决策者所忽略的是,生产低毒物质PX的催化重整工序,不仅生产提高汽油品质的清洁组分芳烃(PX为芳烃的一种),还副产脱硫必不可少的廉价氢气。如果炼厂没有芳烃联合装置,几乎无法完成炼化升级任务。

Chinese Hackers Resume Attacks on U.S. Targets – NYTimes.com The Obama administration had bet that “naming and shaming” the groups, first in industry reports and then in the Pentagon’s own detailed survey of Chinese military capabilities, might prompt China’s new leadership to crack down on the military’s highly organized team of hackers — or at least urge them to become more subtle. // worrisome if US policy makers really thought “naming and shaming” would work..can they be that out of touch with today’s China? I don’t believe they are this naive, perhaps more of soft opening, with harder measures waiting in the wings?

Related: Chinese hackers who breached Google gained access to sensitive data, U.S. officials say – The Washington Post that this database was hacked was first disclosed by Macworld in january 2010 // former U.S. officials familiar with the breach said the Chinese stood to gain valuable intelligence. The database included information about court orders authorizing surveillance — orders that could have signaled active espionage investigations into Chinese agents who maintained e-mail accounts through Google’s Gmail service…Although Google disclosed an intrusion by Chinese hackers in 2010, it made no reference to the breach of the database with information on court orders // would be interesting if whoever hacked this database decided to post it publicly

China Trade Surplus Seen by BofA at One-Tenth Official Figure – Bloomberg The true surplus is about $6 billion, according to Lu Ting, Bank of America’s head of Greater China economics in Hong Kong. That would be the smallest for January-April since the nation posted a $10.8 billion deficit in 2004. //wish I were on Lu Ting’s mailing list

Related: 出口“被增长”背后的银行原罪_财经频道_一财网 First Financial on how Shenzhen banks facilitate the import export scams// 《第一财经日报》记者调查发现,4月份以来,中国出口数据尤其是内地对香港出口“坐火箭”的背后不只是企业的个体行为。通过一些银行的运作,本为方便企业进出口业务的贸易融资工具异化成了跨境资金的套利工具,即在银行的“穿针引线”之下,企业通过伪造出口货单获得大量的境外贷款,在稍纵即逝的时间窗口捕捉利率差和汇率差。本报记者采访多名银行业务经理发现,围绕币种、汇率、利率和资金来源四个要素,这类业务已经衍生出了纷繁复杂的套利产品,而这在深圳银行业已是公开的秘密。

First-tier cities barely livable, report says|Society|chinadaily.com.cn Most first-tier cities in China are barely suitable for living due to their poor ecological environment, despite rapid economic development and preferential regulations for investment, said a newly released report by a top Chinese think tank on Sunday. First-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, failed to make the list of habitable cities even though they are in the top 10 in terms of commercial advantages, unification of city and countryside, and culture development, according to a report on China’s urban competitiveness from the National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Thunderous Scenes From Biggest Road Demolition Ever: Video – Bloomberg like a long, Keynesian firecracker string // May 21 (Bloomberg) — This was the scene in Wuhan as three-and-a-half kilometers of elevated road came down. The viaduct was only built in 1997 as part of the main highway between Shanghai and Tibet

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Bird flu hits poultry industry for $6b|Industries|chinadaily.com.cn Bird flu, which erupted in March, has so far cost the poultry industry 40 billion yuan ($6.25 billion), Li Xirong, deputy-director of the China Animal Agriculture Association, said in a recent industry forum.

China ‘world’s most financially secure country’|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn China has emerged as the most financially secure country in an index jointly launched by PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, the largest non-life insurance company in the Chinese mainland, and Genworth Financial Inc, a Fortune 500 insurance holding company. The report surveyed 13,000 households in 14 European countries, and five Latin American countries and China. China scored 78 out of 100, the highest score of any country and the highest since the index was launched in 2007. // but too much of net worth in property

Excitement Abounds for New Third Board – Caixin The new market is aimed at providing a direct-financing channel for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that do not yet meet the requirements for an initial public offering in Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges. It is believed to be an essential component of a diversified and healthy capital market. But the CSRC has not decided to what extent the New Third Board should be expanded and whether the change should be implemented overnight or phased in

Four Local Gov’ts Eye Greater Borrowing This Year – Caixin The amount of bonds the Ministry of Finance plans to issue for four local governments this year rose from last year, data from the local governments shows. The four are the government of Chongqing and the governments of Jiangsu, Hainan and the Xinjiang region. A breakdown of intended uses for the funds showed priority shifting from building government-subsidized housing to infrastructure construction, such as transport facilities. The ministry has said it would issue 350 billion yuan worth of bonds for all local governments. That is a 40 percent increase over the amount in 2012. Local governments’ issuances are expected to grow as a result.

China’s Inflation Deflated? Evaluating the ‘Alibaba Index’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ A new measure developed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. seems to give that idea some credibility. The official CPI puts inflation at 2.4% year-on-year in April. Alibaba’s Internet Shopping Price Index – based on transactions on the firm’s Taobao and Tmall websites – puts it at 6.9%….The conclusion from the National Bureau of Statistics: “The differences in coverage and methodology in the CPI and the Alibaba Index means that differences in the results are inevitable and normal.”

Goldman exits China’s ICBC, seven years and billions later | Reuters Goldman Sachs (GS.N) launched on Monday the sale of about $1.1 billion worth of Hong Kong-traded shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398.HK), offering to sell its entire remaining stake in the world’s biggest bank by market value. //what about the individual partners and employees who co-invested? they selling out too?

Property Tax Expansion Back on Agenda – Economic Observer Online – In-depth and Independent A controversial plan to expand a property tax that is already being levied in Shanghai and Chongqing to other areas of the country is back on the agenda, according to an article in today’s China Securities Journal.

Half of the silk on sale in Beijing contains little or no silk | South China Morning Post At least half of the silk products on sale in China’s capital do not meet safety and quality standards, according to a Beijing Consumers Association study, which tested 40 types of silk products bought from local retailers, department stores and online stores including Wal-Mart, Wumart, Sogo and e-commerce site Jingdong Mall.

Luxury Car Prices Fall in China Amid Government Frugality Push – Bloomberg Average prices of imported cars in April fell 3.4 percent from a year earlier, according to Cheng Xiaodong, head of auto-price monitoring at the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner. That compares with the 0.2 percent increase for locally made passenger vehicles…“It’s a special period of time as demand for high-end imported cars is being curbed,” Cheng said in a telephone interview today. “Prices of imported cars may continue to slide and demand will mainly come from private buyers in the future.”

房企融资创新之门越开越大 China Securities Journal on how real estate firms keep getting more creative in fundraising, and keep getting money…// 尽管今年以来已有多家上市房企推出增发方案以图“闯关”再融资,但业内人士指出,当前二级市场房地产再融资审批尚未出现明显的宽松迹象。事实上,自2010年以来,二级市场“涉房”再融资阀门便已紧闭,各大房企不得不通过其他融资渠道来缓解资金之渴。 为了规避监管限制,通过资产证券化等手段创新融资渠道,将是房企不错的选择,预计未来还将有更多案例涌现,房企创新再融资将迎来发展良机。

北京两地块受热捧 溢价率高达230%_财经频道_一财网 2 parcels of land in Beijing sell for far above minimum bid..there is a shortage of land for new housing in the city

 

POLITICS AND LAW

国资委重新谋划国企产业布局 新华社——经济参考网 Economic Information says it has learned from authoritative sources that a SASAC drafted “opinion guidance” on deepening SOE reform has been submitted to the State Council for approval//《经济参考报》记者日前从权威人士处获悉,由国资委牵头拟订的“深化国有企业改革指导意见”已经基本成型,并已向国务院汇报。按照国资委此前计划,将在上半年出台。 上述权威人士透露,方案涉及的一部分重要内容,是将国企改革和行业发展需求相结合,让国企在行业转型升级中发挥更大作用…“下一步国企改革的一个重要方向是对国企进行战略性定位,一类是公益性国企,另一类是竞争性国企,在分类的基础上,再根据重点行业的产业发展的情况来制定国企改革方案,这样不仅更具有操作性,同时国企的发展和改革也将有力地调整和带动相关行业发展。”中国企业研究院首席研究员李锦对《经济参考报》记者说。

人民日报-国有资产监管体制改革10年 改革催生新国企(新国企 新起点) 本报记者 白天亮 10 years after the reform of the state asset supervisory system, today;s People’s Daily has a page 1 look at SOE reforms // 国有企业的成功实践说明,企业经营好坏与所有制性质没有必然联系。只要坚定不移地推进改革,把握企业发展规律,建立适应社会主义市场经济的企业体制、机制,国有企业就会拥有强大的生命力。发展永无止境,发展起来后的问题,一点都不会比不发展时少。如何在全球化的背景下进一步“做强做优”?如何实现更高水准的“惠及全民”?如何与民营经济“公平竞争、携手并进”?今天的新国企,面临着更为复杂而激烈的局面。

China suspects presumed guilty until proven innocent | Guardian Spate of wrongful convictions reveal shortcomings of judicial system with prosecutors putting pressure on judges over verdicts

Pair get 1.1m yuan each after decade in jail for murder they didn’t commit | South China Morning Post The high court in Zhejiang province has ruled that two men wrongfully convicted of murder should each receive about 1.1 million yuan (HK$1.25 million) in compensation after serving 10 years in jail. In an online statement posted yesterday, the court said Zhang Gaoping his nephew, Zhang Hui , would each be awarded 656,000 yuan for loss of personal freedom, and 450,000 yuan for mental damage.

福建男子坐冤狱12年 获释后家中仍被装了9个监控_资讯频道_凤凰网 media on another case of wrongful conviction, overturned after 12 years of jail // 十二年来,在监狱的里头,吴昌龙是一个真正的囚徒,随时等待死刑判决的降临;在监狱的外头,姐姐吴华英则成为了一个精神上“囚徒”,四处奔波为弟请命。她说:“这十二年,就像我也被关进了监狱一样,他释放了,我也就释放了。”

右派鼓噪惹恼习 中共辣手保意识形态_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】习近平上台前后的左右之争在沉寂数月后又死灰复燃,先是右派鼓吹手茅于轼四处演讲遭遇连番抗议,暴露左右之争暴力化倾向,继而中共印发《关于当年意识形态领域情况的通报》的同时旨在扼杀公民意识的“七不讲”传言又甚嚣尘上。凡此种种,在外界看来,习李体制全面左转已是不争的事实。 消息人士透露,十八大前习近平曾问计于中共党内的改革派代表胡耀邦之子胡德平,此后这一消息被右派舆论无限引申,大长右派声势。然而,原本希望借“中国梦”凝聚社会共识的习近平对于自己遭到右派声音“绑架”颇为不满,更感意识形态的话语权被操控,于是方有此次连串看似“左”实则“矫正”社会舆论方向以确保中共主流意识形态安全的动作。加之,此次矫正更与中共周期性的党内整风相重叠,初登大位的习近平亦希望借此纯洁中共,甚至不惜释放“清党”信号,动作之大、力度之强可能超越人们想象。

张维迎:当前体制下何时出危机不好预测-财经网 Zhang Weiying on the risks of a crisis without deep reforms// 危机什么时候来到无法预测。一个偶然的事件可能诱发危机。危机来了,现有体制主导改革可能变得非常困难,出现社会乱象。领导人只有看得长远才会知道短期如何作为。如果领导人只操心房子、猪肉、黄瓜,反而会导致很很危险的状况

China Voice: Tightened gov’t spending critical to improving public services – Xinhua | English.news.cn China is trying various ways to build a frugal government, which is needed for the present and upcoming economic situation, and critical to improving public services. The latest effort to cut government spending was announced on Saturday by the State Council, which issued an emergent notice to all departments in all areas of the country urging them to examine all government building projects.

Web China: Iron fist on listed companies heartens investors – Xinhua | English.news.cn Drastic moves to crack down on the misconduct of listed companies were applauded by investors in cyberspace as a crucial step to clean the market environment. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on Friday reported the ongoing investigations of eight listed firms for misconduct that violated regulations on information disclosure.

人民日报-反对奢靡关乎国家长治久安(时论精粹) 李 韬 林经纬 People’s Daily theory section on opposing extravagance as an issue of long-term stability for the nation// 整治奢靡之风,需要提高人们的道德觉悟,加强精神自律。马克思说过:“道德的基础是人类精神的自律。”离开了这种自律,奢靡之风虽能禁绝一时,却难免会死灰复燃。铲除奢靡之风,除了需要法律和制度建设,还需要将高尚的情操和朴素的道德植入人们的心底。相比法律和制度建设,道德和精神方面的建设更为任重而道远。

Heilongjiang governor Lu Hao heads ‘next generation’ of leadership | South China Morning Post Professor Zhang Ming , a political scientist at Renmin University, agreed and said it was part of the ongoing, orderly and institutionalised power succession process. Chen and Zhang said Lu was likely to become a member of the party’s Politburo at its 19th congress and then make it into the Politburo Standing Committee at the 20th party congress in 2022.

Ex-top banker expelled from Party — Shanghai Daily Yang Kun, formerly executive director, vice president and Party committee member of the Agricultural Bank of China, was expelled following an investigation by the Party’s disciplinary commission, Xinhua news agency reported .Yang is to be handed over to prosecutors with all his ill-gotten money confiscated, the commission said.

Is intra-Party interrogation a shield or a trap? – CHINA – Frontpage – Globaltimes.cn These shuanggui bases are mostly situated in remote areas. For instance, the one in Beijing is at the foot of the Great Wall. The remoteness adds to the secrecy of the whole process, as does the fact that the public is unable to get hold of the details of an interrogation even after officials under interrogation are confirmed to have broken the law. Although Party authorities usually will transfer officials to judicial bodies for legal proceedings if the officials are eventually found to have broken the law, the secrecy of the shuanggui process has received criticism as it is not part of the legal system and some suspect it could be used as a shield for corrupt officials.

铁道部窝案:多面刘志军 | 证券网 他曾经是铁道部的掌门人,玩儿弄洋商于股掌之间,如今身陷囹圄。他曾经是乡亲、母亲眼中的孝顺娃,同事眼中的工作狂、独裁者,如今毁誉参半。他就是刘志军,一个女商人,一个庞大的利益集团毁掉了他的前程

There’s a catch to Xi’s tiger trap | Business Spectator–Geoff Raby It is also difficult to believe that a Caijing deputy editor would have used his own personal blog without senior approval within Caijing and beyond that to senior levels of the Party. It is known that Caijng enjoys considerable support from Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Qishan, who is also responsible for the current anti-corruption campaign. Accusing Liu on Weibo in this way may have been part of an orchestrated plan by Wang to move against him even though he was still protected by powerful senior comrades. Liu is widely seen as having the support of former prime minister Li Peng [interesting, this is the third former senior leader who was supposedly “protecting” Liu] , whose family plays a dominant role in China’s energy sector. It now looks as if free-wheeling bloggers have been joined on Weibo by senior officials seeking to advance certain policy objectives. Rather than an example of “wei-governance” – in the latest buzzword doing the rounds referring to officials being held accountable by netizens’ blogging – Weibo may also now be a tool in intra-party struggles.// Liu Tienan case far more than just a weibo expose. Caijing had a November 2011 article on some of his associates’ shady dealing, retired NDRC officials submitted a letter to the CDIC complaining about him in May 2012

南方周末 – 【公民巡视】腐败恐怖主义 Luo Changping on corruption as a form of terrorism..fascinating that such a young guy has become such a media crusader against corruption, and one who appears to have some amount of official backing? // 我在新著《高官反腐录》中提到,避免“腐败恐怖主义”的晋级式发展,已非经济体制改革所能逆转,必须启动全方位改革,引入立体的监督模式,包括党内、行政、司法、社会及媒体的群发围监,让反腐脱离“密室”状态。此等改革取决于顶层是否敢于放权,引入社会力量进行自我治疗。与事后惩治相比,从源头预防腐败更为长效。而认识与理解中国问题的复杂性,务实并超越,何其重要!

官员为何下跪 – 国内 – 南都周刊 Southern Weekly on why officials kneel in the face of angry citizens// 《南都周刊》记者获得包含“张爱华下跪”的一段原始视频,时长不到两分钟。此段视频一开始,身着白衬衣、手持扩音器的张爱华就跪在餐桌上,他身后有三四名民警,面前则聚拢了不少群众。张爱华向群众喊话:“在座的各位,你们都是我的父母,我是你们的儿子。今天儿子代表村里向你们赔罪。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China, India reach strategic consensus, deepen strategic trust: Premier Li – Xinhua | English.news.cn On the border issue, which is left over by history, Li said the two sides believe they have over time established the principles of settling those questions. And in the meantime, the two sides have worked together to maintain tranquility and peace in the border areas. “Both sides believe that we need to improve the various border-related mechanisms that we have put into place and make them more efficient, and we need to appropriately manage and resolve our differences,” he added. “With regard to Indian concerns about trans-border rivers, we have shared hydrological information with the Indian side in recent years, bearing in mind the overall interests of our relationship and acting in the humanitarian spirit,” said the Chinese premier.

Tajikistan president visits China|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn China and Tajikistan established a strategic partnership on Monday, which observers said would benefit the two countries’ economies and regional stability. President Xi Jinping and his visiting Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon signed a joint statement announcing the partnership after talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Rakhmon arrived in China on Sunday for a two-day state visit. // 中国军网_中华人民共和国和塔吉克斯坦共和国 关于建立战略伙伴关系的联合宣言

China Targets Broader Investments in U.S. – WSJ.com China’s currency-reserves manager has set up a New York operation to invest in private equity, real estate and other U.S. assets, according to people with knowledge of the move. The move by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, which oversees the world’s largest stockpile of foreign-exchange holdings, comes as it steps up diversification away from U.S. government debt, the people said.

MSDF finds submarine just outside Japan waters – The Japan News Jiji Press–A foreign submarine was discovered traveling underwater in the contiguous zone just outside Japan’s territorial waters around Minami-Daito Island in Okinawa Prefecture early Sunday, the Defense Ministry said. The submarine did not intrude into Japanese waters, according to the ministry. The submarine may be from China’s navy and may have demonstrated the navy’s presence for its advance to the western Pacific, informed sources said.

Burma’s Web-Savvy Rebels – By Patrick Boehler | Foreign Policy How do western governments monitor Chinese social networks?// Tens of thousands of militants who live along the Chinese border, occasionally skirmishing with troops aligned with the central government, are surprisingly web savvy. And they’re not using Google or Twitter to spread their message. The United Wa State Army, Burma’s largest ethnic militia group, with an estimated force of 30,000, communicates with the outside world using Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform similar to Twitter. Their account, titled the Wa State News Bureau, has more than 55,000 followers, and is verified by Sina. Besides the Wa Army, several paramilitary groups along Burma’s restive border use Sina Weibo to build support from Chinese sympathizers and to tell their side of the story

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Taiwan Fishing Crew Hid to Escape Hail of Philippine Bullets – Bloomberg The family’s account of the May 9 attack that killed the 65-year-old patriarch, Hung Shih-cheng, has triggered a wave of nationalism in Taiwan, with President Ma Ying-jeou tapping the anger to put economic pressure on the Philippines to issue a formal apology. He has frozen the hiring of Filipino workers and told his people to stop traveling there.

Taipei, Manila arrive at consensus on joint probe – Taipei Times Taipei and Manila have reached a consensus on initiating a joint investigation into the shooting of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) by Philippine Coast Guard personnel and will soon work out how to proceed with the matter, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.

On fleeting Hong Kong trips, Chinese make frugal fashionable – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Armed with empty suitcases and same-day return tickets, an army of mainland Chinese is descending on suburban outlet shopping malls and international fashion chains in Hong Kong, turning cheap into the new chic as luxury falls out of favor.

香港规定赴港购大米超15公斤将被判1年监禁|大米|香港|监禁_新浪新闻 it’s not just baby formula. trying to leave hong kong with more than 15 KG of rice can get you a year in jail. relevant know that people are trying to avoid cadmium rice // 南都讯 记者陈紫嫣 发自香港 日前广州查出镉超标44.4%的毒大米引起了不少人的关注,有声音指出继赴港抢购奶粉后,出境买大米或许将成为下一个解决食品安全问题的有效手段,然而大米作为香港的法定储备商品,携带超过15公斤的大米过境将有可能面临一场牢狱之灾。

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Pactera Surges on Buyout Plan as Qihoo Jumps: China Overnight – Bloomberg Citron Research, Rick Pearson and a couple of other vocal shorts are looking very stupid about Qihoo. I have no interest in the stock, so call me stupid too// Qihoo’s ADRs jumped 7.6 percent to $44.19 on its fifth day of gains, the highest price since its U.S. listing in March 2011. Trading volume was more than three times the daily average over the past three months.

Creating a Social Network for Global Trade: An Insider’s Perspective — [contextChina] / 太平洋中国通 what’s the volume of transactions through the platform, and are they profitable? // Tradesparq – “The Social Network for Global Trade.” Their mission was an ambitious one – by entering the B2B connections realm they were not only taking on their old employer, but also Chinese tech giant Alibaba, whose B2B trading arm, Alibaba.com, is formidable. Nevertheless, Tradesparq has hardly foundered. On the contrary, according to Hager, the Shanghai-based company is projected to become the second largest B2B platform in the world in terms of content – number of suppliers and product listings – by mid-2014, behind only Alibaba.com.

Baidu and Tencent Thought to be Vying to Acquire Mobile Antivirus Expert–TechinAsia–Netqin seems priced like company is a fraud//  Acquiring NetQin would propel Baidu into mobile antivirus products on the Android and iOS platform (where it currently has nothing), and would boost what Tencent already has in terms of mobile antivirus offerings. NetQin shares fell 14 percent from Wall Street seeing its Q1 financials on Wednesday night to close of trading on Friday.

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Collection: China – 1983 –Flickr This collection contains a selection of images throughout most of China, July – October 1983. Many cityscapes have changed beyond recognition since then

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Stephens: China Eco-Boosterism, Revisited – WSJ And there was this: “Being in China right now,” wrote Tom Friedman of the New York Times in January 2010, “I am more convinced than ever that when historians look back at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, they will say that the most important thing to happen was not the Great Recession, but China’s Green Leap Forward. The Beijing leadership understands that the E.T.—Energy Technology—revolution is both a necessity and an opportunity, and they do not intend to miss it.”Well, all of us columnists have off days. The heady optimism of four years ago has now given way to more sober views, thanks to the accretion of facts.

拯救华北地下水 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 Economic Observer on the serious underground water crisis in North China // 大港的地下水污染情况只是华北平原的一个缩影。中国地质科学院水文环境地质环境研究所自2006年就已开始的国土资源大调查计划项目,揭开了一个残酷的事实:华北平原浅层地下水仅22.2%可直接饮用。

‘Cadmium Rice’ Is China’s Latest Food Scandal – NYTimes.com “Cadmium in rice usually comes from the soil where it grows, and the soil was polluted by mining and chemical wastes,” Fan Zhihong, a food safety expert at China Agricultural University in Beijing, told the state-run Global Times.

Mt. Everest ice cores to offer glimpse into climate change – Xinhua | English.news.cn The longest ice core measures 142 meters, the longest one ever obtained from the mountain, said Kang, who is also a research fellow at the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The ice cores will be used to study climate and environmental change, Kang said.

Chinese pharma cracks down on African counterfeits | beyondbrics two Chinese pharmaceutical companies – Guilin Pharmaceuticals and Watson Global Pharmaceuticals – are breaking new ground by introducing SMS-based authenticity checks for their anti-malarial drugs in Africa. Such checks have been in use in Africa for a while, such as in this collaboration between Bharti Airtel and Sproxil, a US tech company. What is new is that Chinese companies – so often cast as poacher rather than gamekeeper – are signing up

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Hershey Keen for Piece of China Market – WSJ.com In a first launch beyond the U.S. market, Hershey is unveiling on Tuesday a candy known in English as the Lancaster and in Chinese as Yo-man. The Pennsylvania company plans to spend “several million dollars” marketing three kinds of the condensed-milk candy to gain a share of China’s market for milk candy, which Hershey estimated to be worth 7.5 billion yuan ($1.2 billion).

French food group Danone takes second chance with China Mengniu | Reuters we don’t let our kids ingest Mengniu products. will take a lot more than a danone deal to change that// The deals with Danone are seen as an attempt by Mengniu – twice hit by accusations that it sold tainted milk – to restore trust and join forces with a leading international brand eager to tap China’s rising demand for milk and yoghurt to counter falling dairy sales in Europe.

 

BEIJING

莫言北京5环购新房:价值360万|莫言|北京|房价_21世纪网 Mo Yan has reportedly bought an apartment in Beijing, in Changping outside the 5th ring road, for 3.6m RMB // 莫言目前居住的公寓虽是新房,但地处偏远,据记者了解该小区房价在每平米一万八左右,在北京算是低价房,如果莫言居住的公寓 有200平米,房价在360万元左右,占去他诺贝尔奖金的一半。

Headless corpse in Qianmen “belonged to 80-year-old woman” / that’s Beijing I’ve lived in this neighborhood for some time. The limbless torso appeared near the Feng Ze Yuan restaurant on Meishi Jie. There’s a mixed bag of people in this area: there’s always lots of untrustworthy peole staying in the small hotels here. A few murders have happened around this area before; a man was murdered in a hotel room, and a working girl was also killed. Now that information is so readily available online, news spreads quickly; before it was all covered up by the police. There’s an old saying from my hometown: shining and bright on the outside, but rotten on the intside. 立志做个技术宅: The Feng Ze Yuan restaurant seems cursed: there have been several deaths here in recent years.

Beijing International Screenwriting Competition announces winners – latimes.com An American woman arrives in China to retrace the steps of her deceased daughter from a video diary the daughter kept of her trip to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A young flautist travels to Beijing to audition for a conservatory. A seamstress for a fashion company is betrayed by her jealous boss when she designs a spectacular kite for the Beijing Kite Festival. Those are among seven winners in the short-film category of the inaugural Beijing International Screenwriting Competition, launched by the Chinese government in March

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2 thoughts on “The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.21.13

  1. The story of the headless corpse reminds me of something an acquaintance (Chinese, native Beijinger) told me a year or so ago about a string of beheadings in his neighborhood – at least three people killed by a crazy person who was eventually apprehended. Never heard a thing about it in the local media. Years ago, I was living in Haidian, just west of Hangtianqiao. Several women working in a legitimate hair salon (i.e., they weren’t prostitutes) were strangled one night in their shop just outside the main entrance to my compound. Again, not a peep from the media. Likewise, a woman living in the building across from me conspired with her lover to murder her husband. She was caught and executed – everyone in the neighborhood knew about it, but nothing appeared in the media. My Chinese friend and I were walking around the Lufthansa Center around 10 years ago when we encountered a number of plain clothed police openly carrying drawn weapons and running around like crazy people. We learned from some onlookers that there had been a gun battle or sorts between the police and some other people – never a word in the media. Finally, around 1999-2000 (I was a student at IUP at the time), a young female student at Peking University was raped and killed while waiting for a bus. Nothing in the domestic press, but Peking University students found out after Chinese students in the U.S. forwarded news of the rape/murder to them via email. Discussion of the incident on various university BBSs was quickly shut down by the authorities, though the students were permitted to hold a very small ceremony in their classmate’s honor. (This incident took place just months after news of the murder of a Chinese student from Sichuan studying in the U.S. was widely reported.)

    These are just my own experiences in eight or so years in Beijing. One can only imagine how many other murders, rapes, and crimes have gone unreported. Beijing may, in fact, be safer than the average U.S. city, but it’s certainly much less safe than is widely thought.

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