The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.22.13

For those in Beijing, I am speaking at a Moishe House event in the CBD area this evening.

Just links today:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China property boom shows no sign of abating – FT.com With trade, manufacturing, investment and consumption all performing worse than Beijing would like, the country’s new leaders, who took over officially in March, feel they have little option but to let the property market froth a little to shore up headline growth. In what many analysts have interpreted as an undeclared policy reversal, Mr Li quietly dropped all reference to reining in the property market in a prominent economic policy speech he made in late April.

Why Americans Should Worry About China’s Food Safety Problems – China Real Time Report – WSJ Chinese food product imports to the U.S. are continuing to rise, but inspections in both China and the U.S. aren’t keeping pace, posing a growing danger to consumers. Many of the imports are used by restaurants, institutions and food processors; as a result, consumers see no labels, keeping them unaware of the origins of what they’re ingesting

Related: No Quick Fix for Contaminated Rice in China (Video) – China Real Time Report – WSJ Nearly half the rice samples from markets in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou contain excessive levels of dangerous cadmium, official tests found. Jean-Yves Chow, a senior industry analyst at Rabobank, talks about why the contamination will take time to clean up.

Hunan Rice Sales Plunge as China Probes Cadmium Contamination – Bloomberg Rice traders in Hunan reported sales dropping by more than half from a year ago since media reports of the pollutant in began appearing, Cngrain.com said on its website. The researcher, which is owned by China Grain Reserves Corp., a custodian of government food reserves, didn’t provide figures for the drop in sales

U.S.-China Economic Relations—What Will the Next Decade Bring? | ChinaFile On Monday, within hours of the announcement that Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet U.S. President Barack Obama on a visit to California on June 7-8, Tung Chee-hwa, the former Chief Executive and President of the Executive Council of Hong Kong, introduced former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as “the original architect of U.S.-China relations” as he heralded the publication of a new report that outlines guidelines for the two leaders’ summit. // very interesting comments by Orville Schell on China shifting away from being the epicenter of trade to being the epicenter of investment

Related: US–China 2022 – US–China 2022: Economic Relations in the Next Ten Years US-China 2022: Economic Relations in the Next 10 Years” is a groundbreaking study on the state of the US-China economic relationship over the past three decades, and projections for cooperation through 2022. Sponsored by the China-United States Exchange Foundation, the study seeks to identify potential economic benefits both countries may achieve in the next decade

Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping to Meet In California | Brookings Institution the purpose of this meeting is not to bargain or to solve specific problems, but to set a tone and create a sense of shared fate between the two leaders by allowing Obama and Xi to firmly establish a good personal relationship, a precondition for the successful conduct of their bilateral relations. The two got a start on that task last February, when Xi visited Washington as China’s vice-president. Two days in California allows both more time and an informal environment for each to talk about his domestic challenges and visions for the future, about his country’s role in the international system and how US-China relations fits with all of this.

United States Will Be Urged to Allow Retaliation Against Cyberattacks – NYTimes.com The recommendations are from the private Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, which is led by two once-prominent figures who parted company with the White House on strained terms: Dennis C. Blair, Mr. Obama’s first director of national intelligence, and Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former ambassador to China who left his post to run, unsuccessfully, for the Republican nomination for president. “China is two-thirds of the intellectual property theft problem, and we are at a point where it is robbing us of innovation to bolster their own industry, at a cost of millions of jobs,” Mr. Huntsman said

China’s Cyber Attacks Threaten Social Order: Analyst | Defense Tech When asked what President Barack Obama should say to President Xi Jinping at their next meeting in June, James Mulvenon, a vice president at Defense Group Inc., a technology company in Vienna, Va., was blunt. “This is imperiling your own economic development, which is imperiling your social stability, which is your No. 1 priority,” Mulvenon said May 21 during a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C. “The only message that will get through to a general secretary of the Chinese communist party is that economic development and social stability are threatened by the brazen scope and scale of this intrusion.”

中国军网_在一些戴着有色眼镜的美国人看来,中国的莘莘学子是黑客,中国接受职业培训的普通人也成了“网络战士”……不明就里的人或许会想—— 美国是否患上“被迫害妄想症” ■庞清杰 PLA Daily suggests US afflicted with paranoia over cyber hacking…// 《晋书·苻坚载记》:“坚与苻融登城而望王师,见部阵齐整,将士精锐,又北望八公山上草木皆类人形,顾谓融曰:‘此亦勍敌也,何谓少乎!’怃然有惧色。”这个中国古代“草木皆兵”的故事,如今山姆大叔又在重演。

Why China Can Handle Social Unrest – Matt Schiavenza – The Atlantic Beijing collects extremely detailed information about public unrest (hence the “mass incidents” figure), pinpointing individuals most responsible for organizing protests and preventing them from spreading the word to other parts of the country. According to Scot Tanner, an expert on Chinese social unrest at CNA, a Washington, DC area research institute, protest leaders who attempt to travel to a new city are often met by police officers instructed to escort them back home.  And while the government tolerates internet dissent to a certain extent, censors immediately nix any calls for collective action, thereby letting would-be dissidents let out a bit of steam without posing a threat to the regime. “It’s stunning that 33 years after the creation of the Solidarity movement in Poland, nothing similar has emerged in China — not even close,” says Tanner. Independent organizations capable of organizing widespread demonstrations against the government simply don’t exist in China.//I wrote Will Unrest In Egypt Strengthen The Chinese Government? in February 2011 when there were predictions that China was next to go in the Arab Spring wave. One of my better posts if I may say so…

Related: 13 arrested in Beijing for rumormongering, disrupting public disorder – Xinhua | English.news.cn Police in Beijing said Tuesday that 13 people have been arrested for allegedly spreading rumors and disrupting public order by inciting a protest after a young woman’s death earlier this month…Police said Yuan’s boyfriend surnamed Peng allegedly spread the rumors online to call for Yuan’s fellow townsmen from east Anhui Province to “demand an answer” from the market, as he was unsatisfied by the market’s handling of Yuan’s death. Police have arrested Peng and 12 others, including one of Yuan’s former classmates and 11 of her fellow townsmen, who allegedly helped spread the rumors and incited the rally.

China’s New Governing Style: Crisis Management – Elizabeth Economy – The Atlantic Without effective political institutions, what is emerging in China at the local level is governance by crisis management. Local officials, petrified by these mass protests, simply bow to the will of the demonstrators. //misunderstands the official show. officials bow in public to resolve the acute situation..what matters is what happens in the following days and weeks. specifically how often is there not retribution for the “leaders” of the protests, how often do projects actually get changed based on these protests? // While this may keep the peace in the short-term, it is not a recipe for good governance over the longer-term. China need only look at the experience of Thailand, the Philippines, and South Korea to understand how failure to address people’s calls for greater participation in environmental decision-making may contribute to far greater political challenges for the ruling government. // yes, but same could be said for many areas. Beijing understands this

Law of large numbers: The growing gravity of Kunming’s environmental protests | East by Southeast The real truth is the PetroChina oil refinery is a key national project of significant strategic importance for China’s national security.  It sits at the end of a pipeline originating on the Indian Ocean and runs more than 2000km through Myanmar to Kunming.  The pipeline will drop the cost of oil significantly for China and help secure an energy route to China in the event the Pacific region becomes unstable.  NOTE TO PROTESTERS: this oil refinery is going to happen regardless of your best intentions and efforts. But the refinery doesn’t have to be built in Kunming’s satellite city Anning, and its pollution footprint can be controlled.

宪政与人民民主制度之比较研究_2013/10_求是理论网 Red Flag Journal on a roll lately…lots of comments on this in my Weibo/Wechat streams, so much for the Dream of Constitutionalism?// 一段时间以来,社会上和学界有关“宪政”的呼声抬头。有人认为,西方宪政是现代政治的基本制度架构;有人借纪念改革开放30周年之时,打出“改革已死,宪政当立”的旗号,提出在中国实行西方宪政的基本理念和基本主张,认为“中国梦即宪政梦”;还有人论述了“社会主义宪政”的概念。可见,宪政话题已不是一个单纯的学术论题,而是必须回答的现实的政治问题。邓小平同志鲜明地指出:“资本主义社会讲的民主是资产阶级的民主,实际上是垄断资本的民主,无非是多党竞选、三权鼎立、两院制。我们的制度是人民代表大会制度,共产党领导下的人民民主制度,不能搞西方那一套。”(《邓小平文选》第3卷,人民出版社1993年版,第240页)邓小平同志的思想,在今天仍然极具现实针对性。–(作者 杨晓青:中国人民大学法学院教授)

U.S. Says 3 N.Y.U. Scientists Took Bribes to Reveal Work to China – NYTimes.com But, prosecutors charged on Monday, the three had their eyes on other business as well. They conspired to take bribes from a Chinese medical imaging company and a Chinese-sponsored research institute to share nonpublic information about their N.Y.U. work, according to the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. The defendants, all Chinese citizens, included Yudong Zhu, 44, of Scarsdale, N.Y., an associate professor in the school’s radiology department who was described by the authorities as “an accomplished researcher and innovator.”…Mr. Li was believed to have flown to China before charges were brought, Mr. Bharara’s office said.

The “Foxconn Suicide Scandal” That Isn’t – Economic Observer The “bad working conditions lead to suicides at Apple supplier” narrative that began in 2010 has been revived with three recent deaths at Foxconn. The narrative persists, despite statistical evidence that Foxconn actually has suicide rates lower than the Chinese average, as well as the average for most developed countries. The narrative is a result of an “availability cascade.”

Alibaba Intending to Dig Deep for E-commerce Gold – Caixin Alibaba developed a data product last year that analyzed a single user’s purchase habits from their transaction records and other related information, Che said. By gathering and analyzing the huge amount of data related to users, the product can determine which customers have children. However, Alibaba has only scratched the surface of its data reserves, considering the large number of buyer records, their interactions with sellers, and the billions of items sold on Taobao and Tmall.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Tightens Rules on Bond Issuance – WSJ.com Chinese regulators took measures to better control the country’s booming debt market and prevent outsize gains by underwriters selling bonds, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The move is part of a broad crackdown by authorities aimed at tightening up controls and cutting risks in the financial system amid a rapid buildup of credit. Concerns are increasing because companies are selling record amounts of bonds, which is starting to damage corporate balance sheets just as economic growth slows and banks pull back on lending.

Hidden Bad Loans Raising Ponzi Risk-Caijing Caijing learned that large amounts of bad assets were hidden by domestic banks attempting to window-dress their financial reports. Meanwhile, local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) and large enterprises have turned to non-banking channels for new credit to repay or roll over their bank loans, which has led to the spread of debt risks beyond the banking sector as well as a decrease in the overall capital efficiency…A source close to the monetary authority listed four reasons why statistics from China’s financial sector seem out of sync with the performance of the country’s real economy: one, the NBS overestimated the economic data for the fourth quarter of 2012, and certain financial figures such as the amount of entrusted loans were inflated for the first quarter of 2013; two, the allocation of financial resources has become less efficient in that a large proportion of funds has been invested in the real estate industry and LGFVs; three, the lag of monetary policy has widened as enterprises cut back on their capacities; and four, the impact of exchange rates, e.g. the yuan has appreciated while the yen has depreciated recently.

CNY 3.5 Tln of LGFVs to Come Due in China in Two or Three Years -Caijing Bank lending to local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) coming due in the following two or three years is expected to reach 3.49 trillion yuan, posing dire challenges to risk control, said Chairman of China’s top regulator. Shang Fulin, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), warned about increasing pressures on reining in LGFVs as this year’s transitions in local government leadership could bring new investment incentives and financing demands.

Block Says China Banks’ Bad Loans Spread Beyond Government Debt – Bloomberg he may be right intellectually but wrong as investor// Carson Block, the short seller who runs Muddy Waters LLC, said China’s bad-loan problem is more widespread than just local government debt and includes public and private sector borrowing. Non-performing loan “figures greatly understate the potential scope of the problem of poor-quality loans,” Block said in an e-mail. “We believe that the PRC banking system will be hit hard by the unwind, and that the government will be forced to recapitalize a number of the banks.”

Large gold mine discovered in Xinjiang – Xinhua | English.news.cn wonder how much more gold remains undiscovered in Xinjiang and Tibet// With gold reserves of at least 53 tonnes, the mine in Xinyuan County in the Ili Valley is expected to have an economic value of 20 billion yuan (3.2 billion U.S. dollars), said Zeng Xiaogang, head of the region’s geology and mineral resources bureau. Covering a length of 3 km and depths of 60 to 300 meters, the mine also holds 31,200 tonnes of copper, said Zeng.

Sages fall flat when chiding China | Business Spectator–Stephen Grenville Somehow most countries muddle through with sub-optimal policies, bumpy transitions and more corruption and incompetence than is optimal. Doom merchants and drama queens can be wrong again and again, and then claim clairvoyance if their bottom-line forecast eventually comes to pass, for whatever reason. Growth-sustaining reform is underway. The frustration for policy makers everywhere is that they have to be right all the time to silence their critics. The Chinese may feel that the bar is being set higher for them than for others in a very imperfect world.

China Development Bank Calls Meeting as Bundled SME Bond Sours – Bloomberg China Development Bank Corp. will call a meeting of investors in a bundled bond that the bank underwrote to arrange for payment of interest and principal after one of the borrowers became insolvent. Harbin Huijiabei Foods Co. was one of four companies that issued the 170 million-yuan ($27.7 million) three-year bond in 2010, the bank said in a statement today on the website of the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors. The maker of baby formula has stopped operations, its owner can’t be contacted and it’s no longer able to repay principal or interest, according to the statement. //have they looked in Vegas?

消息称房产税二轮试点放弃存量征税方向_网易新闻中心 do not hold your breath for an expansion of the property tax?// 据大智慧阿思达克通讯社21日消息,周二上午,一参与湖南房产税试点筹备工作的知情人士透露,湖南已经停止房产税筹备工作,房产税存量房方向“夭折”。

肖钢:不该管的事情证监会要坚决地放–中国证券报·中证网 证监会党委书记、主席肖钢21日表示,要进一步强化证监会“两维护、一促进”的核心职责,即维护市场公开、公平、公正,维护投资者特别是中小投资者合法权益,促进资本市场健康发展。

国企改革顶层设计方案出台临近 注重分类监管_财经频道_一财网 由国资委牵头拟订的深化国有企业改革的意见已经过多次征求意见,目前已进入最后修改阶段。征求意见过程中反馈的有关信息显示,进一步明确国资分类监管思路可能成为意见重要内容。

Investors Target Logistics Property in China – WSJ.com Property consultants and logistics property developers said there had been an upturn in investment interest in logistics and business parks in recent months as a way to tap into the growth of e-commerce and rising domestic consumption. Some investors are also sobering up to slimmer returns from the residential, office and shopping mall sectors, where prices are fast rising to unattractive levels.

Local Governments Rush to Build Airports – Economic Observer By 2015, Hunan plans to build seven new airports, joining the existing five that are losing money each year. Many local governments across the country are making similar plans, justifying them by the potential economic activity they’ll generate

Exclusive: Bob Lutz, Chinese in bid to buy Fisker Automotive – sources | Reuters A boutique carmaker led by former General Motors Co executive Bob Lutz and China’s largest auto parts supplier made an offer this month to buy cash-strapped “green” car company Fisker Automotive, people familiar with the matter said. VL Automotive and China’s Wanxiang Group are looking to gain control of Fisker through a prepackaged bankruptcy.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Xi Jinping in surprise inspection of Sichuan quake towns | South China Morning Post President Xi Jinping yesterday visited areas of Sichuan hit hardest by last month’s magnitude 7 earthquake, meeting survivors and inspecting reconstruction work at a Hong Kong-funded school building. It was his first visit to Lushan county in Yaan, the epicentre of the April 20 quake that left more than 200 people dead, at least 13,000 injured and millions homeless.

CPC official urges proper implementation of campaign – Xinhua | English.news.cn A campaign aimed to strengthen ties between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the public should be properly implemented, senior CPC leader Liu Yunshan has urged. Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the comments at the first meeting of the campaign’s leading team on Tuesday. Liu is head of the team. CPC officials and members should make more down-to-earth efforts in learning real social situations from the grassroots, hear more opinions from the public, and wake up to the existing problems, Liu said. //CCTV Evening News on this  [视频]刘云山主持召开中央党的群众路线教育实践活动领导小组第一次全体会议_新闻频道_央视网

Xinhua Insight: Analysts praise intra-party inspections’ refocusing on corruption – Xinhua | English.news.cn Saying the Party’s anti-graft work faces an “extremely critical and complicated” situation, Wang demanded inspection teams play their role as “informants” for central authorities by spotting and reporting disciplinary violations and illegalities. The CPC began routinely sending out the teams to oversee performance in 2003, formally writing the practice into the Party’s Constitution five years later. However, it has been interpreted as noteworthy that this year’s inspections will center specifically around the anti-corruption fight, demonstrating the Party’s determination to curb graft.

北京高档会所藏身公园 称公务宴请“绝对安全”_新闻_腾讯网 another look at beijing officials taking banqueting underground to private clubs, this time in clubs hidden in parks// 高档餐馆和私密会所隐藏在北京多家公园,成为私人享受的消费场所。有公园表示,设消费场所是为园区盈利;有学者认为,公园此举系“以权谋私”。公园管理部门称,公园内经营场所多为几十年前遗留,近年新建的极少。  近日,住房和城乡建设部再次发文,《关于进一步加强公园管理的意见》明确,严禁在公园内设立为少数人服务的会所、高档餐馆、茶楼等。对此,记者暗访位于北京的北海公园、红领巾公园、紫竹院公园等地的高档会所。据新华社(除署名外)

Former Vice President of Agricultural Bank Expelled from Party – Economic Observer Online – In-depth and Independent Caixin reported that Yang Kun had approved a 3 billion yuan loan to Wang Yaohui (王耀辉), an investor in Solana Mall, a well-known retail development close to Beijing’s Chaoyang Park. Other media reports have said that Yang’s case is also tied to that of Xu Ming (徐明), the head of  Dalian Shide Group, who was detained in 2012 and is reported to have close connections with the former party chief of Chongqing, Bo Xilai. Caixin also reported that Yang is close to former PLA lieutenant general Gu Junshan, who was removed from his post in 2012.

Administrative Reform to Reshape Interest Structure -Caijing The government’s active effort to restrict power and decentralize authority not only has great significance for China’s overall reform and the nation’s economic vitality, it also involves resolving layers of conflicting interests between the central government, local governments, and various central government departments…Approval authority for 25 items for investment projects has been canceled or relinquished, though the NDRC still remains the de facto approval agency for many types of investment projects…This could indicate that amidst the restructuring of interests of decentralization reform, it may still be a long time before the transformation of government functions is fully realized.

Netizens question young official’s ‘rocket promotion’|Society|chinadaily.com.cn A Party official in East China’s Jiangsu province has denied nepotism played a part in the promotion of a senior official’s daughter to a top post. Yuan Huizhong, 30, was appointed deputy secretary of Yangzhou’s Communist Youth League in February…A post this week by an anonymous blogger on Sina Weibo claimed the promotion had more to do with Yuan’s father than with her skills. Her father, Yuan Qiunian, is a secretary of the commission for political and legal affairs and considered Yangzhou’s top security official.

Wrongly jailed want more compensation | chinadaily.com.cn The lawyer of the uncle and nephew wrongly convicted of rape and murder and jailed for 10 years believes his clients deserve more compensation after a court announced it would award the men a combined 2.21 million yuan ($360,000). “The court should give more money to make up for their losses,” the lawyer, Ruan Fangmin, told China Daily on Tuesday. “I understand some issues are not included in the State Compensation Law, but I’m planning to talk over the losses with the court.”

河北打掉多个涉黑组织 5骨干为人大代表政协委员_新闻_腾讯网 警方分析称,黑恶势力的作案越来越职业化,向政治领域的渗透越来越多。很多犯罪团伙的“老大”退居幕后遥控指挥、一般成员“市场化”渐成新特点。

人民网舆情监测室概况–舆情频道–人民网 can foreigners subscribe to the People’s Daily Public Opinion Monitoring Service?  Looks very useful// 人民网舆情监测室是国内最早从事互联网舆情监测、研究的专业机构之一,在舆情监测和分析研究领域处于国内领先地位。

China’s Brutal One-Child Policy – NYTimes.com — Ma Jian Stubborn hard-liners will not willingly abandon population control measures that have provided the government with an estimated two trillion yuan in revenue from fines, according to the demographer He Yafu, while allowing it to maintain firm control over people’s lives.  The public outrage voiced against Mr. Zhang during the last week plays into the Party’s hands. Instead of attacking the government’s barbaric policy, the people are being encouraged to criticize the rich for escaping its claws.

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

金正恩今日派遣特使崔龙海访华_网易新闻中心 DPRK sends special envoy to Beijing– Choe Ryong-hae off to Beijing amid strained ties. first high level envoy to visit since 2012?// 中新网5月22日电 据朝中社22日报道,朝鲜最高领导人金正恩向中国派遣特使。朝鲜人民军总政治局长崔龙海作为特使22日从平壤出发前往中国。

With wary eye on the U.S., China courts India | Reuters Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian foreign secretary, the top official in the external affairs ministry, said he detected a new openness between the leaders of the two countries, and a willingness to tackle thorny issues. But he said the recent border confrontation had severely tested India’s patience. “They don’t want us to get closer to the Americans. But ironically, that is exactly what they are doing by being extremely provocative at the border,” Mansingh told Reuters, adding that China was also irking neighbors with maritime disputes with Japan and nations in Southeast Asia.

The Family Chinese Leaders Take to Tea – India Real Time – WSJ Chinese leaders have made a habit of meeting Ms. Kotnis and her relatives ever since her brother, Dwarkanath Kotnis, volunteered as a field surgeon in the Sino-Japan war of 1938. The Kotnis family’s association with China dates back to a time when India and China were close ideological allies before border disputes soured relations in the late 1950s and came to all-out war in 1962. But through the ups and downs of Sino-Indian liaisons since then, Dr. Kotnis has remained a hero in China and the country has preserved strong ties with his family.

Chinese nurses flourish in Japan as Indonesians, Filipinos struggle – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Yao is one of a growing number of Chinese nurses finding success in Japan, thanks not to government initiatives, but rather to the help of nonprofit organizations. There are at least 217 foreign certified nurses, including 183 from China, working at private hospitals, mainly in Tokyo, Osaka and surrounding areas, The Asahi Shimbun has found. Most have been introduced by Japanese nonprofit organizations funded by hospitals to help cope with the shortage of nurses in Japan. The list is rounded out by 30 Vietnamese and four South Koreans.

Move to publicize submarine locations proves ineffective – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun In an attempt to prevent submarines from entering territorial waters, the Abe administration began publicizing from May the submerged passage by foreign submarines through the contiguous zone. Although the government has not publicized the nation of origin of the submarines, Defense Ministry officials have determined the vessels are Chinese, according to sources.

Sound waves used against ‘Chinese’ sub – The Japan News A Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol plane used sound waves emitted from a sonobuoy against a submarine detected in the contiguous zone around Minami-Daitojima island in Okinawa Prefecture on Sunday, according to government sources. The action against the submarine, which is believed to belong to the Chinese Navy, is an apparent demonstration that the MSDF is steadily monitoring the movement of Chinese submarines, observers said.

Hashimoto brings South Korea into fray | The Japan Times South Korean soldiers were guilty of abusing women in wartime, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said in comments reported Tuesday, days after provoking a storm by labeling sex slaves a military necessity. In a remark likely to fuel outrage and further stoke tensions in an already uneasy relationship, Hashimoto said the South Korean military used women for sex to keep servicemen’s frustration in check in Vietnam.

Philippines Protests Chinese Warship’s Presence – ABC News The Philippines has protested the presence of a Chinese warship, two surveillance vessels and fishing boats off a shoal occupied by its military in the disputed Spratly Islands, in the latest territorial squabble between the Asian countries, officials said Tuesday. President Benigno Aquino III warned, meanwhile, that the Philippines is ready to fight back against any threat and announced plans to buy more warships and aircraft for its ill-equipped military, including anti-submarine attack helicopters.

中国军网_中国梦的自信在哪里 ■孙临平 实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦,自信比什么都重要。自信如水,水积不深何以负大舟;自信如风,风聚不劲何以振大翼。那么,在党团结和带领亿万人民意气风发共筑中国梦的进程中,激励我们不断前进的力量源泉是什么、恢弘我们豪情壮志的奋斗自信在哪里?

China’s Strategy in Afghanistan – Alexandros Petersen – The Atlantic Until two years ago, Chinese strategists regarded Afghanistan as solely an American concern: Washington broke it, and Washington should have to put it back together. Now, Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are the largest investors in Afghanistan’s extractive sector and Afghan officials speak of Chinese investment as central to ensuring that the national government in Kabul will remain in power after 2014. American analysts, for their part, have undergone a similar transition, going from criticizing Chinese companies for riding on the coattails of U.S. security to openly advocating that Beijing take a leadership role in post-withdrawal Afghanistan.

U.S. and European Union to Negotiate Settlements in Chinese Solar Panel Cases – NYTimes.com The plan that is starting to take shape would essentially carve up the global solar panel market into a series of regional markets. It would sharply raise the price of solar panels exported from China, the world’s dominant producer, by requiring Chinese companies to charge more while limiting the total number of solar panels they could ship.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

360搜索合纵阿里推购物搜索:增强变现能力|奇虎360|二季度|360_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 Qihoo looks to have cut an ecommerce search deal with Alibaba’s etao search engine…potentially very big deal// 在分别与百度、腾讯交恶后,360正在将合作的橄榄枝抛向另一个互联网巨头——阿里巴巴。 昨日,360搜索悄然上线了新服务——购物搜索(360.etao.com),合作方选择了阿里巴巴旗下的一淘。令人感到意外的是,这个位于360搜索首页的一级服务,并未与地图、软件、音乐等同类服务一样采用360的二级域名,而是将域名直接指向一淘网。

Calling Out the Chinese Censors : The New Yorker For years, Chinese filmmakers, artists, and novelists have faced the decision whether to accept or reject the government’s power to remove politically objectionable material. Accept, for instance, the censors’ demand to cut a somewhat desultory rendition of “The Internationale” (as the director Jia Zhangke once did), and a film can go into theaters; reject it, and the film is consigned to black-market DVDs and foreign festivals. Even those who accepted the deal weren’t proud of it. The novelist Murong Xuecun, who consented to censorship in order to get his second book published, said later that the “psychological impact” ate at him. “This self-censoring is the worst.”

China’s MeituKiss phone boasts 8MP front and back cameras, wants to be a girl’s best friend backed by Cai Wensheng, guess he saw what lei jun has done with xiaomi and wanted a piece. i have a xiaomi phone, like it, but hard to see how the business is defensible in the era of cheap, good China Android phones// Launched by Meitu, the developer behind the popular Chinese camera app Meitu Xiuxiu, the MeituKiss phone challenges the aforementioned brands with not one but two 8-megapixel f/2.2 cameras — one on each side of the phone. The company makes it rather obvious that this Android 4.2 device — available in pink or white — is solely targeted at ladies, who in the Far East have a habit of taking self-portrait shots on the regular. So naturally, the MeituKiss does face beautification as well. For CN¥2,199 or about $360, the rest of the specs aren’t too shabby, either.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Playboy Interview: Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei | Playboy.com Since Ai couldn’t leave China, ­Playboy sent Contributing Editor David Sheff to meet him there. Sheff, who has interviewed Representative Barney Frank, journalist Fareed Zakaria and Apple’s Steve Jobs for us, reports, “Over the course of the days we spent together, I accompanied Ai on his daily walks through a Beijing park. He said he walks so he’ll be in better physical shape if he’s arrested again.

Ai Weiwei ‘disappointed’ in Nancy Pelosi – Patrick Gavin – POLITICO.com Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei tells Playboy magazine that he’s disillusioned with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), someone he once saw as an ally in his struggles against the Chinese government. “She used to be a human-rights defender,” Weiwei said in the June 2013 issue of the magazine. “Now she talks about how beautiful China is.”

Dumbass: Ai Weiwei releases heavy metal music video | Art and design | guardian.co.uk Gangnam style it ain’t, but one of the most hotly anticipated musical releases of the summer has finally emerged blinking into the glare of international attention: Ai Weiwei’s heavy-metal single Dumbass. //”one of the most hotly anticipated musical releases of the summer”? really?

Ai Weiwei: Dumbass – music video | Music | guardian.co.uk Music video for Dumbass, a new heavy metal song by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. He says making the video, which shows him in a prison cell, helped him come to terms with the impact of his 81-day detention in 2011. The track comes from Ai Weiwei’s forthcoming album, Divine Comedy // can’t wait for comments from Kaiser “Chunqiu” Kuo and Victor “Satan’s China Analyst” Shih…

Seven Days in Tibet – FRANCE 24 Tibet has been off-limits to journalists since the Chinese government brutally suppressed riots in the region five years ago. France 24’s regional correspondent Cyril Payen managed to get a seven-day visa to enter the region.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Flawed Support Program Withdrawn Amid Scandal-Caijing The Ministry of Finance’s (MOF) recent decision to recover nearly 10 billion yuan in subsidies previously given to 109 Golden Sun demonstration projects by June 30 sent shockwaves throughout the photovoltaic (PV) industry. Golden Sun, a national program that provides upfront subsidies to qualified PV projects, has been haunted by scandals such as bribery, swindling government subsidies, delays in project construction, and using low-quality components in construction since its launch in July 2009. Caijing learned that the MOF’s decision, which is the result of a fierce struggle among interest groups, indicates a major shift in China’s support policies for the domestic PV industry.

China reveals details of first carbon trading scheme – FT.com Operating details of China’s first pilot carbon-trading scheme, in Shenzhen, have been released as it gets ready to launch next month, and as the country prepares to roll out seven pilot schemes by 2014. The world’s biggest carbon emitter, China is planning to experiment with carbon trading schemes during the next three years as it seeks to cut emissions. Beijing is targeting a 40 per cent reduction in emissions relative to economic output by 2020, from 2005 levels, but hasn’t identified what means it will use to reach that goal.

Shanghai to allow chicken again |Society |chinadaily.com.cn In a meeting organized by the city’s agriculture authority on Thursday, most participants suggested that live poultry markets would eventually be shut down. They said cold-processed poultry products would be promoted to gradually replace live poultry starting at the end of this month, according to the Shanghai Municipal Agriculture Commission. Cold-processed poultry refers to meat products cooled to between zero C and 4 C within an hour after slaughter and kept at the same temperature during processing, before being sold to the customer.

Senior official details China’s wildlife protection efforts – Xinhua | English.news.cn A top Chinese wildlife official on Tuesday detailed how recent years have seen China intensify efforts to protect animals and promote biodiversity. Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the International Day for Biological Diversity, Yin Hong, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration (SFA), said that the country, among the richest in wildlife species in the world, has attached great importance to wildlife protection.

Chinese Bear Bile Farming Draws Charges of Cruelty – NYTimes.com Still, despite what appears to be growing public opposition to the practice, the Chinese government is not prepared to end the lucrative trade in ursodeoxycholic acid, the active ingredient found in bear gallbladders. Although scientists have engineered a synthetic alternative, traditionalists claim it lacks the therapeutic punch of raw bile, which can sell for as much as $24,000 a kilogram, roughly half the price of gold. Sold in powdered form as capsules, or as a tonic, bile is considered an elixir of sorts. Bile marketers say it fortifies the liver, reduces flu symptoms and improves eyesight.

A Controversial Cure: Bear Bile–NYT Video The use of bear bile for traditional Chinese medicine cures is a growing industry in China, but it is also increasingly controversial thanks to an escalating animals rights movement.

人民日报-人民网 interesting full page ad on people’s daily page 8 promoting protection of wild animals, on International Day for Biological Diversity..Twitter screenshot

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

An Investment Company Tries Its Hand at Farming – Caixin not as crazy as it sounds…whoever get this right will make billions// An increasing numbers of Chinese consumers are willing to pay more for high-quality food as their living standards improve. This development has not gone unnoticed by the agriculture industry and investment company Legend Holdings Ltd., which created a subsidiary called Joyvio Group in August 2012 to send into the fields. On May 8, Joyvio introduced a brand of premium agricultural products. Its blueberries went on sale that day, selling for nearly 30 yuan for a 125 gram box in a high-end supermarket in Beijing. The company’s kiwi fruits will reach stores in November, a company source said. In preparation for entering the fruit business, Legend invested more than 1 billion yuan over the past three years. In 2010, it spent millions of yuan to hire a consulting firm to research the agriculture industry.

Chinese Hot Pot Chain Hai Di Lao Makes Move to U.S. – WSJ.com Owner Zhang Yong, who launched Hai Di Lao in Sichuan in 1994 and opened his first international branch in Singapore last year, hopes the touches that established his brand in China will also pave the way for his first U.S. outpost. It is scheduled to open this September in the affluent Los Angeles enclave of Arcadia. Hai Di Lao has the potential to do for Chinese cuisine what Benihana Inc.—famous for its hibachi-style restaurants where chefs prepare food in front of guests—did to boost Japanese food in the U.S. in the 1980s, said Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group

 

BEIJING

Fare Hike Won’t Solve Taxi Industry Woes-Caijing The latest round of taxi industry reform did not raise the issue of reforming the franchise system, which is viewed as the root cause of a number of corrupt practices in the industry.

Imperial delight[1]|chinadaily.com.cn For the first time in more than a century, the sound of Peking Opera fills the grand theater in the Garden of Virtuous Harmony (De He Yuan) in the Summer Palace. The biggest opera theater of the Qing (1644-1911) imperial family underwent 18 months of renovation work and is now restored to its former glory during Emperor Guangxu’s reign, and opened to the public. This is the third and largest repair project in terms of scale in the Garden of Virtuous Harmony after the birth of New China in 1949.

Beijing announces 6 new subway lines, sections – Xinhua | English.news.cn Beijing will add six new subway lines or sections to its underground grid by the end of 2014 as part of efforts to ease traffic jams, subway authorities said at a press briefing on Tuesday. A line that links suburban Changping district with Line No. 8 will be constructed by the end of the year, according to sources with the Beijing Railway Construction and Management Co., Ltd., the subway’s constructor. The second phase of Line No. 8 will also be finished within the year. Four new lines, including the second phase of Line No. 6, Line No. 7, the east part of Line No. 14 as well as the west part of Line No. 15, will be put into operation by the end of next year, according to the sources.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia: Andrei Lankov: Amazon Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds.

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