The Sinocism China Newsletter For 10.03.12

The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is blocked by the GFW. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop

Links only today, China is still on vacation, posts will be sporadic to non-existent through October 8:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Europe must fix itself before Chinese aid: CIC | Reuters – Chinese investors will not buy into bonds issued by debt-ridden euro zone countries until their fundamental problems are solved, a senior official with China’s $480 billion sovereign wealth fund said on Tuesday.

China Banks Pull Out of Meetings in Japan – WSJ.com – Several big Chinese banks say they’ve canceled participation in the high-profile annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to be held in Tokyo next week as well as in the constellation of events taking place alongside. Some of the banks say they’ve also pulled out of another big financial-industry conference scheduled to take place in the western Japanese city of Osaka at the end of the month.

Beijing’s Sept. land sales second highest on record – Xinhua | English.news.cn – The Beijing municipal government netted 25.74 billion yuan (4.06 billion U.S. dollars) in land sales in September, the highest for a month since Dec. 2010, new data has revealed.

保利融创联手再度以20.2亿摘亦庄地_市场动态_新浪房产_新浪网 – Central SOEs seem to be accelerating their land purchases. Back door bailouts of struggling local governments, or have the big SOEs gotten advance word of policy shift that may drive land prices up? //北京t区亦庄新城X1-1A组团B03R1-2地块二类居住用地、其他市政设施用地项目今日在北京市国土局竞拍成交。保利融创以20.2亿元、配建58500平米公共租赁住房竞得该地块。楼面价9961。溢价率36.39%。

Chinese Headwinds Beset Private-Equity Highfliers – Deal Journal – WSJ – Since 2010, however, Mr. Huang says Jiuding’s internal rate of return, a gauge of how profitable investments are, has slipped to about 30%. Although he says that still puts the firm among “extremely successful” private-equity shops in China, Jiuding’s internal rate of return was as high as 40% between 2007 and 2009. By comparison, U.S.-focused funds that started in 2009 have returned 14% to investors, according to research firm Preqin.

Popular sentiment buoys China as growth slows – FT.com – the author and at least one analyst think the Chinese are fooling themselves// China is grinding towards its slowest growth in a decade, corporate profits are in free fall and the stock market is in the dumps. But take a random sample of its people, from white-collar workers to migrant labourers, and a large number will express satisfaction with the current state of the economy.

When Growth Outpaces Happiness – NYTimes.com – Yet there is no evidence that the Chinese people are, on average, any happier, according to an analysis of survey data that colleagues and I conducted. If anything, they are less satisfied than in 1990, and the burden of decreasing satisfaction has fallen hardest on the bottom third of the population in wealth. Satisfaction among Chinese in even the upper third has risen only moderately.

China to build more high-speed railways – Xinhua | English.news.cn– The Ministry of Railways told Xinhua that the total milage of high-speed railway will reach some 18,000 km by then. China’s high-speed lines, which should have an average speed of over 200 km per hour, stood at 6,894 km in August, fewer than last year as a speed cut was executed after the Wenzhou accident, according to the ministry.

Pictures–Tourism peak witnessed around China – Xinhua | English.news.cn – infrastructure that looks underused most of the year is woefully insufficient at peak times// Tourists visit Fuzimiao ,or the Confucius Temple, in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Oct. 1, 2012. As the eight-day National Day holiday came, hundreds of millions of tourists crowded into scenery spots, resorts and other tourism destinations scattered across the country.

China’s railways see record traffic – Xinhua | English.news.cn – China’s railways carried a record high of 9.14 million passengers on the first day of the eight-day holiday, the country’s Ministry of Railways announced on Tuesday.

Big money bets on China growing old, and rich | Reuters – China Vanke Co Ltd 000002.SZ thinks there is “ample room for development” in the senior care sector, a spokesman said, and is testing a second pilot project for seniors in the coastal city of Qingdao. The company plans to open a showroom in the Chinese capital over the Lunar New Year in February.

WTO to Probe U.S. Anti-Subsidy Duties on Chinese Imports – Bloomberg – The World Trade Organization will decide whether U.S. anti-subsidy duties affecting $7.3 billion of Chinese products such as solar panels, thermal paper, wind towers and steel wire violate global commerce rules.

Senior Chinese leader urges better economic news-reporting – Xinhua | English.news.cn– He called for efforts to build the Economic Daily into a high-level and authoritative newspaper on economic and financial issues. He also called on the newspaper to increase its international influence. The publication should act as an important channel for the Party and government to deliver information about economic policies to citizens. It should also provide enterprises with economic information, as well as offer international audiences an insight into the Chinese economy and help the public better participate in economic life, Li said.

China HSBC Sep PMI Shows Mfg Contracting, But At Slower Pace | MNI – China’s manufacturing sector activity contracted for an 11th straight month in September but at a slightly slower pace than in previous months, the final reading of HSBC’s Purchasing Managers Index indicates.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Chinese Communist Party Still Unsettled Over Changes – NYTimes.com – HK media also reporting that PBSC seats not set, claims there may be another Beidaihe meeting this week // “Right now, I think Hu feels very worried because a lot of people both inside and outside the party have been criticizing him,” said a party intellectual with ties to the leadership. “Some say he’s the worst leader China has had since 1949. Conflicts in society have intensified; monopolistic and antimarket tendencies in the economy seem to have intensified; and there’s been no real progress on reform.”

Aiming for Top, Xi Forged Ties Early in China – NYTimes.com – Yet the time in Zhengding helped Mr. Xi hone his skills, setting a template for his rise. It also cemented his bond with Liu Yuan, who is now a senior leader in the People’s Liberation Army. He also made an ally in Li Zhanshu, who was a local official in Hebei at the same time as Mr. Xi. Mr. Li has now been tapped to take over the party’s nerve center, its General Office.

China Prepares for Tranistion to New Government – PBS NewsHour (Youtube) – good comments by Shambaugh// Margaret Warner talks to George Washington University’s David Shambaugh for more on what the decision to oust Bo means for China and its ruling party.

Bo Expelled From Party Shows China Transition on Track: Analysts – Bloomberg – Analysts including Columbia University’s Andrew Nathan, the Brookings Institution’s Kenneth Lieberthal and University of Sydney’s Kerry Brown comment on China’s decision to expel former Politburo member Bo Xilai from the Communist Party.

Bo Guagua Defends Father Bo Xilai in Statement – WSJ.com – “Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations that were announced against my father, because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life. Although the policies my father enacted are open to debate, the father I know is upright in his beliefs and devoted to duty,” Bo Guagua said in a statement on his Tumblr account dated Saturday. He sent a link to the statement in an email response on Sunday to a request for comment.

薄希来双开预示着什么? – 周永坤 – 名家博客 – 博客 – 财经网 – 中共中央这次作出这样决然的决定,相信我党已经看到了地方集权这一制度的毒瘤,看到了它是所有地方问题、包括地方群众性事件频发、法律失效、群体性腐败的根本原因。因此,薄熙来事件预示着什么?预示着地方集权的终结,预示着中国司法将回归司法,预示着中国的法治将上一个台阶。

薄熙来下场再证文革模式是一条死路 _光明网评论员 _光明网 –     毫无疑问,无以制约的权力是薄熙来崛起于政坛、跌落于政坛的根本原因之一。此正所谓“成也权力,败也权力”。他在王立军事件和薄谷开来故意杀人案件中滥用权力,利用权力为他人谋利,直接和通过家人收受他人巨额贿赂和巨额财物,与多名女性发生或保持不正当性关系……而就是这样一个龌龊至极的人,在公众面前却是满腹治国经、满口漂亮话的正人君子。这样的人能在中国政坛上叱咤风云,一路上行,真是让已经受过“文化大革命”这茬罪的人们惊出了不止一身冷汗!

China’s Wealthiest Discreetly Stay Away at Party Congress – Bloomberg – While Hurun Report data show that the number of China’s richest among its lawmakers almost doubled in the past five years, the advance of the most affluent within Communist Party ranks has been more limited. The data from Hurun, publisher of a luxury-goods magazine that tracks China’s affluent, show the number of billionaire delegates at the Party Congress will rise by at most one since 2007, when it last convened.

The Reality of Chinese Microblogging – Frank T. Gallo – Harvard Business Review – Sina’s Charles Chao and Chen Tong may go down in Chinese history as heroes, even if they originally just set out to make a buck//“We need to take a middle position in China and not let our personally held ideas take precedence over the harmony required to do business in China. Furthermore,” he said, “we are dramatically changing China for the better. If we were to follow an ‘all or nothing’ approach like some Western firms, we would be stopped before we could even get started.

In China, Mistresses and Corruption Go Hand in Hand – Bloomberg – Within a few hours, the phrase “had or maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women” became a trending topic on Sina Weibo, China’s leading microblog, and it has remained one ever since.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Japan-China: Time to Climb Down – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace-Douglas Paal – In the case of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, there may be one more step a forbearing Noda can take to defuse the current tensions. A senior authoritative figure in the government can publicly reiterate that Japan’s claim and administration are beyond dispute, but note that Tokyo does not deny that others (China and Taiwan) dispute this. Or Japanese officials can assert that they do not believe the status quo has changed, and then conduct Coast Guard and other activity near the islands as they did before the crisis erupted. This may allow Beijing to step back from the daily barrage of tough rhetoric and admit that the status quo ante has been restored. If Beijing rejects the gesture in its direction, then the onus shifts to China.

Keidanren chief blasts handling of Senkaku Islands issue – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun – Yonekura’s outburst was triggered by his belief that the Japanese government’s handling of the issue is endangering the safety of Japanese people and companies in China. He also takes issue with the government for not giving sufficient consideration to the impact the row over the Senkaku Islands is having on the economy.

Chinese surveillance ships patrol Diaoyu Islands waters – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Four Chinese marine surveillance ships patrolled in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands on Tuesday after the Japanese right-winger’s intrusion, the Foreign Ministry confirmed.

U.S. Sends Ospreys to Okinawa, Despite Fierce Opposition – NYTimes.com – any chance a third party might try to stir things up on Okinawa?// Of course, opposition to the American bases is nothing new in Okinawa, and it remains unclear how far the protesters would actually go. However, most analysts in Japan and the United States seem to agree that Okinawan anger is reaching levels unseen in recent times. They say this has put the United States in a difficult position.

China’s Territorial greed-Korea Times – Korea has called for China to fix the demarcation line in the past 16 years only to run up against Beijing’s rejection of this proposal, aimed at gaining time to formulate arguments for gradually turning it into a territorial dispute. So what Korea should do is clear: bring China to the negotiation table as early as possible while letting the rest of the world understand more about Beijing’s illogical claims. As seen in the dispute over the Dokdo islets with Japan, a territorial or jurisdictional issue does not allow optimism or complacency.

Geopolitics, resources put maritime disputes back on map | Reuters – From the melting and resource-rich Arctic to the eastern Mediterranean, the South Atlantic to the East China Sea, legal wrangling, diplomatic posturing and military saber rattling are all on the rise.

Taylor & Francis Online :: The Meaning of the Nuclear Evolution: China’s Strategic Modernization and US-China Security Relations – Journal of Strategic Studies – Volume 35, Issue 4 – Will China’s development of a new generation of nuclear weapons impact US-China security relations in important ways? One’s answer depends on how one views the following: whether or not Chinese leaders believe that they are only now acquiring a secure second strike capability; the scope of coercive power that secure second strike capability provides to conventionally inferior actors; the meaning of China’s ‘No First Use’ Doctrine; and the prospects for escalation control in future crises. Applying Cold War theories and tapping Chinese doctrinal writings this article concludes that China’s nuclear modernization program might prove more consequential than is commonly believed.

The shifting U.S.-China nuclear balance | Shadow Government – irresponsible that the US talks about nuclear arms reduction without involving the Chinese// Indeed, I believe that the United States should refuse to enter into future nuclear arms limitation talks without the participation of the Chinese. A failure to do so could jeopardize the nuclear balance that has underpinned American and allied security since the end of World War II.

 

HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

Rescuers search for missing after deadly Hong Kong ferry crash – CNN.com – Two ferries collided Monday night, upending one of the vessels and sending passengers into the water. At least 38 people died. Rescuers picked up 123 survivors and are still searching for a countless number of others who are missing.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China’s Galloping Horse Buys Digital Domain with Reliance Media-Caijing – “Digital Domain is a legend in the industry, known for its world-class quality of work and creative talent,” Ivy Zhong, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co., Ltd.,..Digital Domain, the James Cameron-founded digital production company, filed for bankruptcy on September 11th, less than a year after it went public.

How China’s “Reincarnation Party” Takes Aim at Online Censors | Tea Leaf Nation – In the event of Weibo account deletion, however, netizens still have a solution: re-registration. The process is known in Chinese as “reincarnating,” or joining the “Reincarnation Party.” A quick keyword search for “Reincarnation Party” (转世党) on Sina Weibo

 

SOCIETY, ART AND CULTURE

Chinese dissident artist Ai launches first big U.S. show | Reuters – The show, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” at Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum groups sculpture, photography, video, audio and installation work. The choice of the Hirshhorn on the National Mall reflects Ai’s desire to connect with political leaders, hundreds of foreign diplomats and the network of think tanks in the U.S. capital, museum director Richard Koshalek told reporters.

 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Living on Dangerous Ground -Caixin – A September 7 earthquake that struck a county in Yunnan Province was exacerbated by dangerous hillsides and mining activities, problems residents have known about for years

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Zadig And Voltaire To Open Paris Hotel (Vogue.com UK) – “It will be a slightly private hotel, not open to everybody, with 40 rooms. We are going to select guests. It won’t be open to Chinese tourists, for example.

Spotted on Weibo: Killing Time on China’s Massively Overcrowded Roads | Tea Leaf Nation – 740 million people, or half of China’s population, are reportedly on the move during this holiday

 

BOOKS

Mao: The Real Story: Alexander V. Pantsov,Steven I Levine: 9781451654479: Amazon.com: Books – This major new biography of Mao uses extensive Russian documents previously unavailable to biographers to reveal surprising details about Mao’s rise to power and his leadership in China.

Red Cell: Mark Henshaw: Amazon.com: Kindle Store– From CIA headquarters to the White House to a Navy carrier in the South China Sea and the dark alleyways of Beijing, Red Cell takes readers on a whirlwind race against time as Stryker and Burke work to save Pioneer and discover the hidden threat to America’s power: China’s top-secret weapon. CIA analyst Mark Henshaw infuses expert knowledge of the intelligence world into a pulse-pounding plot to create a fascinating, authentic, and unforgettable read.

NO ANCIENT WISDOM,NO FOLLOWERS: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism: James McGregor James McGregor has spent 25 years in China as a businessman, journalist and author. In this, his latest highly readable book, he offers extensive new research that pulls back the curtain on China’s economic power. He describes the much-vaunted “China Model” as one of authoritarian capitalism, a unique system that, in its own way, is terminating itself.

Eight Questions: James McGregor, ‘No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ – The big takeaway from “No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers” is far bleaker. The title derives from a Tang dynasty saying that captures the idea of losing one’s way in uncharted territory. According to Mr. McGregor, that’s the treacherous situation that China has created for itself, and the global economy.

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea,Drugs,and Money in the Age of Sail: Eric Jay Dolin: 9780871404336: Amazon.com: Books – Ancient China collides with newfangled America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships. Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin now traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a battered ancient empire. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China.

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade : NPR – In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

Han Han: ‘Why Aren’t You Grateful?’ by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books – sick of Han Han, believe he has been using ghostwriters// Han’s problem is commitment. To remain vital, he has three choices: to refine his prose into something more lasting, to remain in the ring and be a more virile commentator, or to sit back a bit and enjoy the good life. Right now, it seems he’s trying the latter. While that might be disappointing to some, and perhaps makes for a less-than-spectacular book, can he be blamed?

The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is blocked by the GFW. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop

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