The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.29.13

My Dealbook column this week looks at the diminishing growth expectations for China’s economy, the managing down of those expectations by the Chinese leadership, movement on reforms, and the shifting ideological environment. From Tamping Down Expectations on China’s Growth:

Trying to understand Chinese economics without also paying attention to Chinese politics is usually a mistake. In the midst of the acceleration of economic change there appears to be quite a leftward ideological shift under way. The Chinese Communist Party has spent decades trying to understand and learn from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the key lessons are that a struggling economy, an unaccountable, incompetent government and a dissolute, flaccid party whose members have strayed from the true path and lost their faith doomed the Soviet Union.

President Xi inherited many challenges, including but not limited to: a troubled economy; a growing debt mess; widespread corruption in the party and society in general; and a huge environmental crisis. Combine those challenges with what looks to be a very significant economic reform agenda that will affect many powerful interests across society and it may be that the logical response from the party is to batten down the ideological hatches, rectify the party, strengthen control over the military, and increase oversight of the media (especially the Internet) and educational institutions before undertaking those jarring economic changes.

I do not think Mr. Xi wants to revert to Maoism. There are other signs that he is serious about making the Chinese Communist Party much more of a responsive, consultative, authoritarian ruling party. But there are so many serious problems right now that he may believe any sign of weakness will be the end of the party.

Consider it a guess, and a hopeful (naive? been accused of worse…) one at that.

Whatever is going on domestically matters for the upcoming summit between Presidents Obama and Xi. Jane Perlez has a good look at White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon’s recent trip to Beijing and the preparations for the June 7-8 meetings in China to Seek More Equal Footing With U.S. in Talks:

China’s new president, Xi Jinping, took a hands-on approach on Monday while meeting with President Obama’s national security adviser to prepare the agenda for the California summit meeting between the two leaders next week…

The relationship between the United States and China stands at a “critical juncture,” he said, adding that it is time to explore “a new type of great power relationship.”..

Their wives, Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan, will also be there, and a person familiar with the planning said the leaders would have plenty of time to talk informally, undistracted by the constant motion and public scrutiny of meetings in Washington…

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University and an occasional adviser to the Chinese government, offered some ideas of what Mr. Xi has in mind.

“He wants the American president to recognize that China is dramatically rising in military and economic ways, and he wants the president to know that he is active in world diplomacy,” Mr. Shi said. “If the American president recognizes all of these things, then Xi can be nicer, nicer in his definition, in a very tense situation.”

Is either side trying to put together some global issue initiative that the First Ladies could jointly work on? That would be great.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China Credit-Bubble Call Pits Fitch’s Chu Against S&P – Bloomberg Chinese banks are adding assets at the rate of an entire U.S. banking system in five years. To Charlene Chu of Fitch Ratings, that signals a crisis is brewing…“There is just no way to grow out of a debt problem when credit is already twice as large as GDP and growing nearly twice as fast,” Chu, 41, said in an interview….Other analysts have calculated similar levels of credit without concluding that crisis is on the horizon. Francis Cheung, head of China and Hong Kong strategy at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, estimates total corporate, household and government debt at 205 percent of GDP

Related: China ‘not facing a public debt crisis’ | South China Morning Post Fred Hu, who was one of the most senior partners at Goldman Sachs in Asia and is co-founder and chairman of the Beijing-based investment firm Primavera Capital Group, said he did not think the mainland faced a debt crisis in the near term, and he rejected speculation on local government debt as overblown…”In my professional career, every few years someone or other turns up predicting a debt crisis for China. At this point of time, I think China is in good shape and there is no imminent debt crisis in China.”

Universities urged to enhance ideological work for young teachers – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Ministry of Education (MOE) published a statement (中共中央组织部 中共中央宣传部 中共教育部党组关于加强和改进高校青年教师思想政治工作的若干意见 – 新华教育 – 新华网) on Monday, saying the Organizational Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the MOE have jointly issued a document to deploy the work. Composed of seven parts and 16 items, the document urges Party organizations in all universities to fully recognize the importance of enhancing and improving ideological training for young teachers in the new situation. It calls for enhancing young teachers’ political education and their knowledge of current situations and policies, as well boosting ideological guidance for young teachers.//remember that speculation in certain news media last fall that China was on the verge of jettisoning Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism? whoops

Related: China to boost ideological funding for young college lecturers | South China Morning Post The Communist Party will increase funding to enhance the ideological education of young lecturers in universities. But analysts see this as another significant signal of a tightening ideological grip on the young, following the publicising of “seven taboos” earlier this month.

Related:  “七不讲”露真容?中共要求青年教师政治正确_中国_多维新闻网 此文件无论从公布时间节点还是具体内容上,都被认为与稍早前的“七不讲”颇有神似,当时“七不讲”引发外界对中共集体左转乃至阉割青年公民意识的忧虑,因而遭到舆论炮轰 与此同时,中共同期下达的一份有关意识形态问题的神秘文件也从网络讨论中“销声匿迹”。。。网络已经是中共在意识形态上的重要舆论阵地,“16条”要求青年教师在网络上的言行要有法律意识和责任意识,并且通过网络掌握高校网络舆情,及时发现倾向性、苗头性问题。这表明中共不仅要加强对高校师生的思想监控,还要加强对于高校网络舆论的管理。 “16条”中并不只有对于青年教师的思想监控,同时它也提出要把为人师表的青年教师列入重点培养对象,将其中党性强、业务水平高的吸收进中共。

Stripping Anti-graft Officials of Club Memberships Is a VIP Move – Caixin – Hu Shuli Since bans on official extravagance were unveiled by the central government last year, official dining in public venues has slowed. In the capital’s Sanlihe area, where many ministry offices can be found, high-end dining and entertainment venues have suffered and quite a number have closed. But in areas that are guarded and in Beijing’s suburbs, VIP clubs are busy with customers. Officials are playing a game of cat and mouse, waiting for the storm to pass before returning to normal. Thus, implementation of the bans on official extravagance and corruption should not be limited to public spaces, but also cover the secret VIP clubs. A ban on membership cards is an important policy that demonstrates the party’s zero tolerance of corruption.

Related: 揭秘会员卡背后利益链:豪华会所水很深 Chinese Financial News investigates private club membership cards. “deep waters” // 近年来,随着国家打击腐败犯罪力度的加大,官员在办公室、公众场所直接收受钱财或银行转账等“传统”贪污受贿形式逐渐被规避,门槛高、安保严甚 至不对外开放的会所成为部分官员在进行权力寻租、享受奢靡时青睐的场所,而能享受高档消费的“会员卡”也成为不少行贿者的“利器”。

Related: Gamblers Betting $1.6 Million a Visit Aid Macau Casinos – Bloomberg Last year, the big bettors pulled back across the industry amid speculation that China’s new government might restrict junkets and curb cash flowing from the mainland into Macau, a special administrative region of China one-hour from Hong Kong by ferry. Since Xi Jinping took over as China’s president in March, no significant restrictions have been announced. “We have not seen any evidence of a crackdown – It’s purely noise,” said Union Gaming Group analyst Grant Govertsen. “VIP business is picking up nicely.”…“Everyone was speculating about some negative impact, but the leadership change wasn’t an impact at all,” MGM China CEO Grant Bowie said in an interview. // an indicator of more thunder than rain so far? but why would you bait Beijing with quotes like these? And subscribers to China Primary research have known all along there has so far been minimal impact to Macau’s VIP business from the corruption crackdown

Drug resistance in new China bird flu raises concern | Reuters The new bird flu strain that has killed 36 people in China has proved resistant to Tamiflu for the first time, a development scientists said was “concerning”. The H7N9 virus was found to be resistant to Roche’s widely used flu drug in three out of 14 patients who were studied in detail by doctors from Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Related: Beijing reports 2nd H7N9 infection – Xinhua | English.news.cn Health authorities in Beijing Tuesday reported a second human infection of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in the Chinese capital. A six-year-old boy who lives in the Haidian district was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 strain Tuesday afternoon, the Beijing municipal health bureau said in a statement.

South China Sea tension mounts near Filipino shipwreck | Reuters The Philippine government is accusing China of encroachment after three Chinese ships, including a naval frigate, converged just 5 nautical miles from an old transport ship that the Philippines deliberately ran aground on a reef in 1999 to mark its territory. Philippine officials say they fear the Chinese ships will block supplies to about a dozen Filipino marines stationed in abject conditions on the rusting ship..The area, known as Second Thomas Shoal, is a strategic gateway to Reed Bank, believed to be rich in oil and natural gas.

Related: Chinese ship attacks Vietnamese fishing boat | Tuổi Trẻ news A fishing boat of central Quang Ngai Province with 15 fishermen on board was hit broken by a Chinese ship while it was operating off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the East Sea on May 20, authorities reported.

Related: China refutes Vietnam’s accusations of vessel collision – Xinhua | English.news.cn A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry refuted Vietnam’s accusations that a Chinese vessel collided with a Vietnamese fishing boat in Vietnamese waters and urged Vietnam to stop illegal fishing in China’s Xisha Islands waters. “Vietnam’s accusations are completely far from the facts. A Vietnamese fishing boat illegally entered sea area of China’s Xisha Islands, infringing upon China’s sovereignty and violating China’s laws,” spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing on Tuesday.

Trading Companies and the Business of Illusion – Caixin Firms are using a difference in the yuan exchange rates in Hong Kong and Shenzhen to make money off fake trades, especially involving gold…A Shenzhen official who asked not to be named said local governments were partly to blame for fanning the flames of fake trades because they were chasing high trade-growth targets. Some encouraged companies to export gold through subsidies, he said, because “exporting 100 tons of gold could meet the task of exporting tens of billions of yuan worth of goods.” Banks have also played an enabling role in the operations because they need greater trades to boost yuan settlement. The central bank’s branch in Shenzhen reinforced the incentive by imposing a monthly target of yuan trade settlement on local banks and ranking their performance publicly, a local bank executive said.

Related: How Chinese exports might have been exaggerated – The Tell – MarketWatch “In order to boost leverage, the export company frequently ships its products in and out of the bonded trade area, each round counted as a fresh export. In exchange, the Chinese bank gains fees from guarantee letters and currency convergence, and most importantly the [wealth management products] business,” said Tao. Tao said that in addition to potential foreign exchange gains, the company would benefit from the more-attractive return on the wealth management products, which is typically 2 to 5 percentage points higher than the interest rate on the forex loan. He added such transactions had become “very popular” in the Guangdong province in southern China over the past six months.

Alibaba set to snub US with HK listing – FT.com One of the main reasons Alibaba did not want to list in the US was the weight of regulatory and accounting standards it would have to deal with, according to bankers. One banker said it was a matter of pride for the large Chinese company that it would not want to submit so much information to US regulators to review. Another banker noted that the company’s senior management wanted to make a “cultural point” by listing solely in Hong Kong. // and Beijing will be pleased, even though regulators not always happy with Jack Ma, including some because of the pretense used for changing the Alipay deal for Yahoo and Softbank

Cannes Screenplay Winner Jia Zhangke: ‘I Want to Bring About Change in China’ (Q&A) Jia, 43, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter at a beachside café in Cannes shortly before his Best Screenplay win to discuss why he felt he needed to make a violent movie, how Weibo (China’s Twitter) inspired the film’s structure, and why a wide release in China for A Touch of Sin would signal a sea change for the country’s film industry

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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Deutsche Bank: Reforms that will Have Meaningful Implications for Real Economy-Caijing On 24 May, the State Council released to the press the “Opinions on Economic Reforms in 2013”. This document provides the guideline on key reforms that the government will initiate or push harder this year. These reforms are intended to enhance the potential rate and quality of economic growth, provide a level-playing field for healthier competition, and strengthen social protection for the vulnerable segment of the population. Among the 22 points mentioned in this reform agenda, we believe the following items will have meaningful implications for the real economy:--Jun Ma, Chief Economist, Greater ChinaDeutsche Bank Hong Kong

China Steelmakers Challenge Platts Iron Ore Pricing: Commodities – Bloomberg “We are skeptical because we don’t know the size of the deal samples and how they work out the indexed prices,” Wang Liqun, deputy general secretary of the China Iron & Steel Association, said in a phone interview. “If the daily price is based only on one deal a day, can you trust it?”

解密铜贸虚拟交易:“空手套白狼” 汇差利差通吃_财经频道_一财网 与铜产品的上下游没有任何关系,但他却通过铜贸以2.5%的资金成本轻易融得上千万元的资金,并将这些钱用于理财产品,最终获得20%以上的收益。

60城房产信息已联网 不动产统一登记现雏形_财经频道_一财网 不动产统一登记制度改革开始进入快车道。据了解,住建部和国土部两部门的系统正在设法对接。一旦对接成功,即可形成“房地合一”的个人不动产登记查询系统。

国家发改委官员撰文建议地方政府卖地收入归中央_财经频道_一财网 报告认为,在当前建设用地供给模式下,政府直接参与征地、卖地,一方面导致土地价格高企,房地产价格上涨;另一方面政府财政过度依赖土地收入,政府行为被土地“绑架”。

China’s Not Just Urbanizing — It’s ‘Townizing’ | Tea Leaf Nation The list of problems caused by urbanization is long, which explains why President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have reframed the urbanization (cheng shi hua) question as “townization” (cheng zhen hua) and have made achieving “townization” one of this year’s priorities. While urbanization centers development on large and medium-sized cities, “townization” focuses on upgrading rural sites and advocates transferring the rural population to nearby towns instead of to more distant metropolises.

China’s Stocks Rise Most in Week as Developers, Brokerages Rally – Bloomberg The government’s plan to expand property trials has been delayed, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Brian Leung wrote in a report today. The government is targeting “more comprehensive” market-based methods, they wrote. China will widen the tax trials, the State Council said in a statement posted on the central government’s website on May 24. Shanghai and Chongqing have already started experimenting with property taxes. “The impact of the tax won’t be big as it will only likely be in several cities with limited tax rates,” Johnson Hu, a Hong Kong-based property analyst at CIMB-GK Securities Research, said in a phone interview today.

Morgan Stanley Said to Move Asia Hedge-Fund Event to New York – Bloomberg Morgan Stanley told managers and investors last month the annual forum scheduled for Shanghai between May 21 and May 23 would be postponed and relocated to New York in July because of health concerns after the avian flu outbreak earlier this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Xu Li, a Beijing-based spokeswoman of Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on the delay.

Mao’s Red Flag Seen Needing to Evoke Panda DNA to Challenge Audi – Bloomberg want one, too bad can’t afford // To promote the brand to Chinese consumers, FAW plans to set up Red Flag service facilities in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to the company. Workers were still cleaning up the 500 square-meter (5,400 square feet) Red Flag outlet yesterday afternoon at Beijing’s upscale Jinbao shopping street, home to dealerships for Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz. //Audi worried?

What Reform Does and Doesn’t Mean in China | China Power we must understand China’s reform efforts as a bid to rationalize both its economic and social structures, within a framework of strongly ideology-laden national rejuvenation. But what does that tell us about concrete policymaking? China’s economic governance structure provides us with a useful map to navigate the different areas of policy and gauge the potential for reform. The best place to start is the Foreign Investment Catalogue. The Catalogue is a bellwether of economic policy change, as it clearly indicates the strategic direction of the leadership in economic reforms.–Dr. Rogier Creemers is a Rubicon Scholar, researching Chinese media law and policy at the Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford

 

POLITICS AND LAW

State Survey Shows over Half Chinese Officials Feel They are Unfairly Stigmatised-Caijing More than half of low-level officials believe they are unfairly stigmatized, a state survey shows, while over half of respondents surveyed online think the official’s performance as a whole is unacceptable, underling growing distrust between officials and citizens. 60.67 percent of 1,800 low-level officials polled by the People’s Daily, the ruling party’s mouthpiece paper, said their images are “too negative” and their achievements are “undervalued”. Meanwhile, 2,760 of 6,096 netizens surveyed voted that public opinion has “whitewashed” Chinese officials, accounting nearly half of the respondents. // have not found a link to the original survey

人民日报评“情妇反腐”:以邪攻邪辱没正道人心_网易新闻中心 核心提示:近期网上出现“反腐靠情妇”的说法,有人把赵红霞们奉为“反腐英雄”。人民日报刊文称,尽管有时情妇翻脸举报贪官,但从根本上讲二者都是为了相互满足贪欲。把反腐败的希望寄托在她们身上,搞所谓以邪攻邪、以恶制恶,无异于与虎谋皮,也辱没了正道人心。

罗昌平:曾期望刘铁男不被立案调查 否则他的仇恨更重_资讯频道_凤凰网 long, interesting interview with Luo Changping, a person worth paying attention to // 罗昌平事后才仔细分析自己选的这个时间点:“网络反腐已经到了一个点。大时间上,十八大后有个井喷机会,应该利用。两会前也是个机会。我的想法是:十八大之后大盘子定了,环境肯定会宽松,但我不能等到两会后,国务院班子定了,我去顶一个已经定了的名单,那我肯定是找死。”他觉得此时正是大家都看不清的时候,自嘲“搅屎棍”。

人民网评:给“口罩实名制”戴上法治笼头–观点–人民网 保稳定,无可厚非,但应该遵守法律,依法行政,而且,正所谓“维权就是维稳,维权才能维稳”,最好的维稳方式就是尊重公民权利,化解公民合法诉求。采用压制的方式只会激化矛盾。 口罩实名制、禁售白色T恤衫等闹剧的频繁上演,提醒监管部门应该给权力戴上法治笼头,如果不驯服放肆而傲慢的权力,一些地方会出现更加夸张的闹剧。“有权必有责,用权受监督,失职要问责,违法要追究”,权力不受监控,就会无法无天;违法成本过低,也会故态复萌。

共青团全国开展100余万场“我的中国梦”主题教育实践活动-财经网 近期,全国各地团组织开展了100余万场“我的中国梦”主题团日活动,吸引超过4000万人次团员青年参与;在新浪、腾讯等青年聚集的网站上发起“我的中国梦”主题微博活动,累计编创、转发、评论超过1000万条

宪政乱局成烫手山芋 习氏舆论管控待破茧_中国_多维新闻网 在党报党刊挑起宪政争执前,围绕宪政展开的讨论不算少。习近平在十八大后不久召开的纪念宪法颁布30周年大会上,还在强调“宪法的生命在于实施,宪法的权威在于实施”。依照宪法与宪政的关系,宪法是宪政的基础和前提,宪政是宪法的具体实施。习近平上述言论,很快被学界政界智囊引申为对宪政民主的肯定和推崇。再结合习近平选择重走邓小平南巡路的动作,更是被外界视作奠定了其推行全方位改革的总基调。

光明日报刊文称西式民主有退化迹象_资讯频道_凤凰网 总之,本土好的民主政治资源还有很多。在民主政治的代际发展上,不同民族会扮演着思想接力的作用。笔者时常看到国内有关民主、宪政、自由、公民社会的报告,听来看去,大多还是如20世纪80年代那样,如丸之走盘,没有从西方术语中走出来。无数学者的智力和心力被用在研究西式民主如何应用于中国上,而不是用力到中国民主政治发展道路的实践中去提取提炼理论,再指导自己的民主政治实践,实为学术之伤悲。今日中国学者生逢中华民族伟大复兴的历史性关键时期,对这一征程背后之道路和制度力量置之一边而不予以“理”,外人和后人当如何看我们呢? (作者单位:复旦大学国际关系与公共事务学院)

China says Xinjiang minorities too busy dancing to make trouble | Reuters Ethnic minority people in China’s Xinjiang are far more fond of dancing, singing and being good hosts than making trouble, a top official said on Tuesday, dismissing the idea that the far western region is a hotbed of unrest.

Yu tours Xinjiang, stresses curbing extremism, terrorism – Xinhua | English.news.cn During his tour of Xinjiang, China’s top political advisor stressed containing the growth of religious extremist elements and maintaining a high intensity in the fight against terrorist activities. The tour took Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, to Hotan, Kashgar, Yili and Urumqi in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from May 23-28.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Biden Circles Xi as U.S. Duels China for Latin America Influence – Bloomberg The competition between the world’s two biggest economies for influence in Latin America is on display this week as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Rio de Janeiro today near the end of a three-nation tour of the region with Chinese President Xi Jinping close behind. The dueling visits — Biden departs Brazil May 31, the same day Xi arrives in Trinidad & Tobago to begin his first tour of the region since China’s political transition ended in March — underscore how Latin America’s natural resources and rising middle class are making it an increasingly attractive trade partner for the world’s top two economies.

White House security adviser calls for deeper China military ties | Reuters White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon made the remarks at a meeting with senior Chinese military leader Fan Changlong, two weeks ahead of a summit between the U.S. and Chinese presidents in California. “An essential part of building a new model for relations between great powers is ensuring we have a healthy, stable and reliable military to military relationship,” Donilon told Fan at the Chinese Defence Ministry, in brief comments before reporters.

DOD says don’t worry about hackers accessing key U.S. weapons designs | Killer Apps We maintain full confidence in our weapons platforms,” reads a just-released statement from DOD Press Secretary George Little…”Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect.”…said James Mulvenon, vice president of intelligence at security consulting firm Defense Group, Inc., during a speech last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They believe this is Ultra, this is the most profoundly successful intelligence operation they’ve ever had. They believed with metaphysical certainty, up until recent times, that what they’re exfiltrating is actually true.” Mulvenon seems to be suggesting that the U.S. is already pumping false info to cyberspies. // so much of this might be a well thought out deception and misinformation campaign by the US? really? and what about the timing of Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies – The Washington Post? Really just a coincidence it dropped while Donilon was in Beijing?

W.H.: Obama will talk hacking with Chinese president – POLITICO.com “It is an issue that we raised at every level in our meetings with our Chinese counterparts, and I’m sure will be a topic of discussion when the president meets with President Xi in California in early June.”

The Year of the Hack : The New Yorker For both sides, this summit is a bet worth taking. Xi, with a glamorous first lady and a knack for the minor theatrics of diplomacy, has an opportunity to defuse a crisis in the making. The days when the Chinese quibbled with the United States over whether to have lunch or dinner will seem naïvely quaint if the two can’t change their shared trajectory.

This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds | Danger Room | Wired.com For the last year, the Pentagon’s top technologists have been working on a program that will make cyberwarfare relatively easy. It’s called Plan X. And if this demo looks like a videogame or sci-fi movie or a sleek Silicon Valley production, that’s no accident. It was built by the designers behind some of Apple’s most famous computers — with assistance from the illustrators who helped bring Transformers to the silver screen.

INTERVIEW/ Mark Lippert: U.S. deploys high-end weapons in Pacific to meet China’s challenge, other contingencies – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The United States takes the challenges posed by China and a host of other nations in the Asia-Pacific region seriously, said the chief of staff to the U.S. defense secretary. In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Mark Lippert, former assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, explained that that was precisely why the United States not only announced the deployment of 60 percent of its entire naval fleet to the Pacific, but also “moving our most capable assets,” including the newest attack submarines and stealth fighter jets. However, at the same time he emphasized, “we have developed some pretty good momentum” in the military-to-military exchanges with China. As for the U.S. rebalance strategy to Asia, he clarified, “ultimately, it’s a political and economic strategy,” and the security component is important but smaller

Xi and LA mayor aim for stronger ties|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for grassroots-level efforts to boost ties between Beijing and Washington, ahead of his scheduled meeting with US President Barack Obama in California on June 7 and 8. Xi made the remarks when meeting the mayor of Los Angeles, a city with the largest Chinese population in the US. Following the meeting, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa described Xi as “a man of the people”, in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

[视频]习近平会见美国洛杉矶市市长_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV Evening News–Xi Jinping meets with the mayor of Los Angeles, who is so overjoyed he appears to be trying to use both his hands to remove Xi’s arm in the opening handshake

人民日报-“睿智的中国领导人” ——美国金伯利农场的美好记忆 page 2 People’s Daily looks at family that knew Xi when he was in iowa, one of the sons called Xi a “wise Chinese leader”, article notes that farmers all over America are excited by the “China opportunity” and looking forward to the Obama-Xi summit// 瑞克·金伯利的大儿子格兰特·金伯利协助父亲经营农场,同时也是艾奥瓦州大豆协会市场部主任。因工作关系,格兰特多次访问中国。2012年3月,格兰特随艾奥瓦州经贸代表团访问中国,在人民大会堂受到习近平接见。格兰特说,“习近平是一位睿智的中国领导人,也是一位出色的全球领袖。习近平洞察全球经济,重视同国际社会加强合作、促进共同利益。”…格兰特说,艾奥瓦州以及美国其他地方的农民都对“中国机遇”感到鼓舞,对中美两国元首会晤充满期盼。//what is the best infomration service on the china Ag market for US farmers and related industries?

China Adds Japanese Debt Holding, Remaining Japan’s Largest Foreign Holder -Caijing China raised its Japanese debt holdings by 14% from a year earlier to 20 trillion yen at the end of 2012, remaining the largest foreign holder of Japan, Bank of Japan statistics showed Tuesday. The US reduced its holdings of Japanese debt by 15% to 8.6 trillion yen from 10 trillion, while UK cut its holdings by 23% to 8.9 trillion yen.

China slams Japan’s criticism of Premier Li’s speech – People’s Daily Online On Sunday, Li visited Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, capital of the German federal state of Brandenburg, the site of the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945, which set the terms for Japan’s surrender in World War II. He said that all the territories Japan stole from China, such as Northeast China, Taiwan and related islands, should be restored to China. On Monday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga rebutted Li’s claim, saying, “That remark ignores history. (Japan) can never accept it.”

At a disadvantage, Japan trails China in economic assistance to Africa – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Japanese officials have repeatedly proposed economic assistance to African nations, confident that the offers would be eagerly accepted. But as of late, the Africans have politely turned down the Japanese offers in favor of better deals from China. Japan’s efforts in Africa simply cannot match what China is doing in the continent. Officials in Tokyo say the playing field in Africa isn’t level, as China is not bound by the international rules that Japan follows, and Beijing appears more determined to help African rulers, not their citizens.

China’s military to drill on digitalized forces – Xinhua | English.news.cn The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct an exercise next month to test new types of combat forces including units using digital technology amid efforts to adjust to informationalized war, it announced on Tuesday. It will be the first time a PLA exercise has focused on combat forces including digitalized units, special operations forces, army aviation and electronic counter forces, according to the general staff department.

China, Sri Lanka upgrade relationship – Xinhua | English.news.cn China and Sri Lanka agreed to upgrade their relations to a strategic cooperative partnership, as the presidents of the two countries held talks in Beijing on Tuesday. According to the new consensus, the two countries will maintain high-level exchanges, enhance political communication, and support each other’s efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Report underlines Asia-Pacific power rivalry – Xinhua | English.news.cn Published by the Center for National Defense Policy (CNDP) under the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the annual report was released in both Chinese- and English-language editions. “We strive to observe the changes of the world as well as national security environment from an international perspective, and we hope that the experts’ viewpoints can help inspire others to look at the world situation correctly,” said CNDP director Chen Zhou. Founded in December 2011, the CNDP has been tasked with researching major theories on national defense policies and drafting annual strategic reports on national security environment.

The Sino-American Decade by Michael Spence – Project Syndicate The California summit between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 7-8 comes at a time of heightened tension between the world’s two preeminent powers. But divisive issues – from computer hacking to America’s “pivot to Asia” – must not claim all of the attention. If Obama and Xi lift their heads above the parapets and begin charting a jointly agreed course through the coming decade, they may find that they have much in common.

The Containment Fallacy: China and the TPP | Brookings Institution Mireya Solis did not like David Pilling’s recent commentary in the FT on the TPP// The argument that the TPP is a club that bars Chinese entry is inaccurate and unhelpful. China, like any other APEC economy, has the right to request entry into the TPP. Whether the Chinese leadership will judge TPP membership to be in their country’s national interest and whether TPP members can be persuaded that China is prepared to abide by the negotiated disciplines is a separate matter. But it is important to dispel the notion that the TPP precludes Chinese entry.

杨洁勉:中国新政府的外交政策取向–国际–人民网 Yang Jiemian, SIIS President and brother of Yang Jiechi on foreign policy trends under the new Xi administration

PLA review warns ‘strategic uncertainties’ loom large for China | South China Morning Post A PLA think tank yesterday issued a report warning that the nation faces increasing “strategic pressure” for the first time since the 1990s collapse of the communist bloc, with the Asia-Pacific region now a “new global centre” for “geopolitical, economic and military competition”. Released by the Centre for National Defence Policy (CNDP), a part of the PLA’s Academy of Military Sciences, The Strategic Review 2012 says that “big powers have intensified their gaming for regional dominance”.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Actually, It Was the Philippines That Bungled the Crisis with Taiwan | The Diplomat Manila’s repeated contention that the death of Taiwan fisherman Hong Shi-cheng represents “unintended loss of life” contradicts Philippine official claims that an ongoing investigation of the incident is being conducted. The fact that Manila has put forward the conclusion on unintended loss of life before the investigation is completed raises Taipei’s legitimate concerns about the transparency and credibility of the entire Philippines-based investigation progress. Manila’s self-defense approach is to put the cart before the horse and is viewed by Taipei as one more counterproductive attempt to preclude the Philippine government’s responsibility under international law. Another misstep by the Aquino government was made later by Philippine Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, when she refused to conduct a joint investigation with Taiwan and not even to meet with the Taiwanese investigators in Manila.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Report: Qidian Founder Arrested, Ugly Rumors May Implicate Shanda, Tencent–TechinAsia  Caixin reported yesterday that according to sources at Shanda Literature (Shanda’s online literature subsidiary), Qidian (a Shanda Literature subsidiary) founder Luo Li has been arrested, and is charged with illegally reselling copyrighted works that belonged to Shanda. Another source close to Luo confirms the arrest but dispute the charges, saying that Luo is charged with accepting bribes amounting to RMB 200,000 ($31,000) in a copyright negotiation. Luo left his position at Shanda and Qidian earlier this year, and it’s not clear whether his crimes are connected to his work for Shanda’s platform. And it gets uglier: when Luo resigned from Shanda Literature at the beginning of the year, the rest of the Qidian founding team resigned with him.

郑州遭强拆老农半夜被打死 当地欲建富士康厂区_新闻_腾讯网 old man killed at home in middle of the night in zhengzhou over land reclamation, article claims land intended for a foxconn factory // 南都讯 记者孙旭阳 昨日,河南省郑州市航空港区大老营村村民肖马来的家属,仍在为其葬礼无处操办而与当地政府交涉。5月25日晚,自家房屋被强拆后借宿废弃村部的肖马来,被人手持钢管猛击头部,重伤不治。当地有关部门称,案发当晚警方已控制6名涉案人员,目前仍在调查之中。

Capitalist Fantasy ‘American Dreams in China’ Tops China Box Office, Spurs Debate – China Real Time Report – WSJ The main character resembles Yu Minhong, the chief executive and co-founder of New Oriental. But Mr. Chan stressed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the movie was only loosely based on New Oriental. Mr. Yu said on his Sina Weibo that he has no investment in the movie and he was against the idea in the first place. “I am not that lame in real life!” Yu wrote…Xu Xiaoping, one of the three co-founders of New Oriental, wrote the original script, according to Mr. Chan, who got the script from the China Film Group

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Chinese Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale | Artsy Under the curation of Wang Chunchen, the Chinese Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale will showcase works by seven artists that will highlight Chinese culture and the characteristics of Chinese contemporary art to Europe and the world.

Rebuilding the Fengtongzhai Honey Cooperative | Indiegogo 3 days left, still need support // Rebuilding the local honey cooperative in Baoxing County, Sichuan Province, China, after the earthquake on April 20th, 2013

Chinese boy etches graffiti into Egyptian treasure; the last straw? – latimes.com Editorials in Chinese media in recent days have pontificated on the lessons learned from the Luxor incident. Peoples’ Daily, the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, opined that “this instance shows our families and schools have failed to deliver to the children something that should be expected first and foremost of any education: moral principles and civic virtues.” Ding Jinhao’s chagrined mother over the weekend said that her son, now 15, had carved the graffiti a few years ago.

Zhang Daqian’s ‘Lotus’ Sells for $10.4 Million – Scene Asia – WSJ Titled “Lotus,” the four large paper scrolls – each more than five feet high and 2.5 feet wide – depict lotus flowers in various state of bloom. Completed in 1947, the work was estimated to achieve $1.9 million, but brisk bidding in the room pushed the price far above that figure before going to an Asian private buyer.

Drivers start their engines for Beijing-Paris classic car race|Society|chinadaily.com.cn The 2013 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, one of world’s longest and toughest classic-car rallies, kicked off in the Chinese capital on Tuesday. Ninety-six classic and vintage cars from 26 countries set off from the Great Wall at around 8 am. They will drive a 12,500 km route from Beijing to Paris in 33 days.

Abandoned Chinese baby rescued from toilet pipe | Reuters In the latest case the infant was found in the sewage pipe in a residential building in Jinhua in the wealthy coastal province of Zhejiang on Saturday afternoon after residents reported the sound of a baby crying, state television said late on Monday.

Beyond Terracotta: An Ancient Capital Attempts to Reinvent Itself as a Center for Creativity | Andrew Stokols Next to an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Xi’an, a giant ironclad bust resembling one of the city’s iconic terracotta warriors stands alone, albeit with a wooden beam through his head.  It’s one of the few signs that the run-down factory on the outskirts of Xi’an was once a bustling artist colony.  Mostly quiet now, workers are busy redeveloping what city officials hope will be the center for art and creative industry in Western China, the “Banpo International Arts Zone.” Since 2006, artists from Xi’an Fine Arts Academy began setting up studios in Fangzhicheng, or Textile City, eventually creating an informal but lively community of artists in what had once been a thriving factory.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Hospitals Struggle with Reforms – Economic Observer  Reforms trying to reallocate medical resources and stop steep markups on drugs were aimed at improving medical efficiency and improving the patient experience. But many hospitals are struggling to maintain their income under new reforms, and in some cases, doctors are losing their motivation to work hard.

China eyes cap on carbon emissions by 2016 – FT.com China is looking at introducing tough controls on its carbon pollution as soon as 2016, in a shift that could boost talks on a global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions, an official at the heart of state carbon policy has said.

Chinese research vessel sets out for Pacific Ocean – Xinhua | English.news.cn Haiyang-6, a Chinese research vessel, is seen at a dock in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, May 28, 2013. An expedition team of 96 members aboard Haiyang-6 set out for the Pacific Ocean Tuesday to carry out a five-month survey on undersea mineral resources

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

» Sneak Peek at Urumqi’s New High-Speed Rail Station Urumqi to Beijing in 12 hours. Average speed of 350 km/hr (220 mph). An investment of 143 billion yuan. It’s the world’s longest high-speed rail line and it is expected to open as early as 2015. This has the potential to completely change the face of Xinjiang travel and commerce. Consider this: it was only a century ago that such a journey by famous European explorers was measured in months, not hours. // and when I was student here in 1989 our trip from Beijing to Urumqi in April took 74 hours..soft sleeper, thankfully

 

BEIJING

Serene & Stunning Song Shan Nature Reserve » LumDimSum Always on the look-out for hiking adventures, a recent discovery of mine is Song Shan Natural Nature Reserve 北京松山国家级自然保护区. Located in the northwest part of Yan Qing County, about 90 kilometers from downtown Beijing, this forest park is the first and only national level nature reserve in the Beijing municipality. It is home to the largest habitat area for natural Chinese pine forest in the region and there are over 10 different scenic spots to hang out along the clearly marked pathways.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Book Lead: The Dark Road | South China Morning Post Ma Jian’s sixth novel is not for the faint- or lighthearted. Its subject – as much as any novel has a subject – is China’s one-child policy: its purpose, its effects and, most stomach-churningly, its enforcement by the authorities. There are violent raids, sterilisation, abortions (including of eight-month-old fetuses), economic inducements to inform on “illegal” pregnant mothers, and a constant barrage of grisly government propaganda. // The Dark Road

 

CORRECTIONS

Confusion after Phoenix report retracted on callback of officials’ children | South China Morning Post apologies, had I known the original source was Boxun I never would have put it in the Tuesday newsletter. // Phoenix “will take effective measures to strengthen the professional quality of its handling and editing of important news”, a statement said on Tuesday evening, within hours after the article was published. The report first appeared on Boxun on Sunday. Phoenix adapted the report almost without sourcing it to the overseas-based news aggregator, which tends to report unverified rumours. Several Chinese-language newspapers in Hong Kong and mainland media including provincial news websites run by the national news agency Xinhua carried the report.

Fei Chang Dao: Phoenix Apologizes for Reporting Communist Party Would Order Leaders’ Children Back to China On May 28, some newspaper in Hong Kong published a report claiming that the Central Discipline Commission was requiring the children of senior officials studying abroad to return within one year after graduating. Based on our understanding, this report was inaccurate, and was false news.

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