The Sinocism China Newsletter For 10.15.12

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

Just links today:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

News Analysis: Record M2 growth signals Chinese economic recovery – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Qu Hongbin, chief economist with HSBC China, said the rapid growth of the money supply shows that market liquidity is improving and the government’s fine-tuning of its monetary policies has taken effect.

China Draws Questions Over IMF Snub – WSJ.com – By pulling its top representatives from an international economic conference last week to make a point about its unhappiness with Tokyo over an unrelated territorial dispute, China raised questions of whether it can play the leading role in international economic organizations that it desires.

Analysis: China perma-bears scent downbeat economic data ahead | Reuters– The first miss since the first quarter of 2009, when the global financial crisis raged, has become the consensus forecast of economists, who expect official data due on Thursday to confirm that growth slowed to 7.4 percent year-on-year in Q3. That would undershoot the 7.5 percent rate mandated by Beijing for 2012.

China central bank says currency near equilibrium – Businessweek – China’s currency has reached its equilibrium rate and its value is mainly determined by the market, rather than intervention, Beijing’s central bank chief said Sunday, signaling there is little likelihood of major movement in the yuan’s value in the near future.

China Guides Yuan Up in Possible Political Gesture-Dow Jones –

China’s foreign trade improves, strong rebound unlikely – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Some exporters may have hurried to deliver their orders before the eight-day national holiday beginning Sept. 30 and caused the higher growth in exports in September, Li said.

China central bank chief wary of QE3 inflation risk: paper | Reuters – Central banks “should consider draining excessive liquidity injected into the market and eliminate inflationary pressure in the long-term”, Zhou was quoted as saying by Xinhua, which cited the Journal of Public Research, a magazine published by the People’s Bank of China.

Closer Look: Japanese Carmakers Were Due for Bump in China Road -Caixin – Many Japanese carmakers said they had anticipated the bad news. The development was, of course, partly due to anti-Japanese protests that raged across China last month, but the decline of Japanese car sales in the world’s largest auto market was destined even without the impact of a boycott.

China Iron Ore Imports Jump to 20-Month High in September – Bloomberg – The shipments, the highest since January 2011, rose 4.1 percent from August and 7.3 percent from the 60.57 million tons a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prices for the steelmaking material, which plunged to a near three-year low of $86.70 a ton on Sept. 5, have rebounded 32 percent after China announced plans for extra infrastructure spending.

Chinese banks reveal Central Huijin investment |Markets |chinadaily.com.cn – Plunge protection team w Chinese characteristics// China’s four major State-owned banks on Friday revealed the amount of A-shares that the investment arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund bought in them in an effort to boost market confidence.

China September Export Growth Accelerates as Imports Rebound – Bloomberg – Sales abroad increased 9.9 percent in September from a year earlier, China’s customs administration said today in Beijing. That compares with a 2.7 percent gain in August and a 5.5 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 35 economists. Imports gained 2.4 percent, leaving a $27.67 billion trade surplus.

China’s stockmarkets: Like it’s 1999 | The Economist – Mr Guo’s biggest task is not enlisting people to his favoured style of investment, but distancing the regulator from the market’s ups and downs. “No one would ever look to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States to determine where the index should be,” says Mr Howie. Unfortunately China’s government has wielded so much influence over the market in the past, it struggles to wash its hands of it now. The news that it raised its stake in four banks contributed to a market rally since September 26th.

如何看待部分企业经营困难 新华社——经济参考网 – Chinese firms’ biggest challenges? Cost rising sharply, order falling//

China: Beyond the conveyor belt – FT.com-expectations gap//Young men and women today have much higher aspirations than their parents did. Many psychotherapists em­ployed at plants across southern China – partly in response to staff suicides – say the first generation to work in coastal factories compared their jobs favourably with their parents’ labour on the farms. Their more consumerist children, however, tend to compare their situation with that of today’s wealthy Chinese.

FT.com / Comment – The Chinese factories driving urbanisation – There is pressure for China to rely less on investment and more on consumption. But local governments, especially in poorer inland  provinces, believe they need more urbanisation to catch up with richer coastal areas.Henan province has a population of 100m, but its gross domestic product was just 5.7 per cent of China’s total last year. To change that, the government gave Foxconn preferential terms for land, taxes and employment.

Insight: HK’s Victor Li, son of Superman, has hard act to follow | Reuters – “You find that with K.S., he is very long on memory, particularly those who have helped him. In that sense he is a very, very true friend,” said a retired bureaucrat who has worked with the family. “I can’t say the same of Victor.”

EDU: Is the SEC investigation really over? | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis– That is a different story. First of all, they say it is the enforcement staff, a term that customarily refers to people working for the SEC’s Division of Enforcement (people who may send you to jail), not the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance, (people who may make you change disclosures).  Then they say they cannot predict the timing, outcome, or consequences? I am skeptical about whether we are getting the straight scoop.

Three hundred pieces of silver not buried here | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis – more on EDU//There is no indication that Michael Yu is contemplating abrogating the VIE agreements, and if he tried to do so the company might convince a Chinese court that the agreements are enforceable. But to say that he has no economic incentive to do so is pure rubbish.

Chinese Drywall Lawsuits at a Turning Point – NYTimes.com – good luck collecting// decisions in state and federal courts in recent weeks involving the company, a major Chinese manufacturer of drywall, could signal a turning point for thousands of American homeowners like Ms. Stephens, according to lawyers representing homeowners and homebuilders.

Solyndra Sues Suntech Holdings Over Antitrust Claims – Bloomberg – good luck with this too// Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2011, is seeking compensation “for the loss of the $1.5 billion value of its business and more which defendants destroyed,” according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China’s land seizures drop-The Age-Garnaut – The slowdown in the Chinese economy is producing an unexpected reduction in violence and social conflict, a senior Chinese security official says. Falling land prices and fewer transactions have reduced the number of forced land appropriations, which had accounted for an estimated two-thirds of the 187,000 ”mass incidents” reported for 2010.

TIME Magazine Cover: The Next Leader of the Unfree World – Oct. 22, 2012 – China – Xi Jingping – Politics – World – Xi Jinping, article paywalled

国务院全面推进改革-凡公民能自决 政府均退出_21世纪网-21cbh.com – no western media reports on State Council reform proposals?// 21世纪网在第一时间关注国务院此次改革,并在第一时间发出我们自己的声音《这一次,盼理想照进现实!》,我们认为这次改革很可能为未来的经济发展提供了广阔的空间。短天,21世纪网官方微博被转发过两万。接下来21世纪网还就证监会、银监会、保监会、外汇管理、房产、教育、传媒、房产、医药食品、交通运输、通信、税控等领域的改革与专家学者深入讨论。

CHINASCOPE – Chengming: New Party Office Established to Stop Party Officials from Fleeing Overseas – Hong Kong’s Chengming magazine reported that a new office has been established to stop Communist officials from fleeing China. Li Keqiang, Vice Premier and Standing Member of the Communist Party Politburo, is the head of the new office. It is called the “Command Group to Fight against Communist Officials and Government Employees Fleeing the Country.” It was established on September 22, 2012, and started operations the next day.

China’s mid-level party officials spend professional training time cultivating allies- The Washington Post – it’s become a prime place to cultivate allies with whom they can trade future favors and backdoor deals to further their careers and wealth. That means calculated friendships, luxury dinners expensed to local governments and boozy nights on the town.

Chinese Legal Reform: Game On? – China Power – Now, the new 2012 White Paper on Judicial Reform appears to mark a substantial departure from the language employed just a year ago.  The use of “socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics” has receded.  Even more interesting is what is not mentioned.  It contains not a single mention – not one in the entire twenty page document – to the Communist Party.

Courts With Chinese Characteristics | Foreign Affairs -Jerome Cohen- China’s new leaders will have to choose between repression, which abuses the legal system and adds to social tensions, and setting in motion policies that will lead to the establishment of an increasingly independent judiciary and legal profession. This route would offer greater institutional opportunities for peacefully resolving the growing number of social and economic conflicts. The latter path will reduce dictatorial power but will likely produce the long-term political stability that the CCP has thus far sought in vain. Deng chose the first course, while in Taiwan Chiang Ching-kuo, the son and heir of Chiang Kai-shek, wisely initiated steps toward the second, which has brought both democracy and the rule of law to what used to be a traditional Chinese society. We will never know what Zhou Enlai might have done, but China’s next leaders, a cautious, yet sophisticated group, may opt for gradual institutional progress.

Blind Chinese activist says nephew could face unfair trial | Reuters – Chen Guangcheng said the central government has failed to live up to its promise in May to investigate officials in Shandong whom he accused of engineering the “years of illegal persecution” against him and his family.

Tibet: Strangers in a strange land | The Economist – Chinese restaurants are full in the evening, in contrast to the smattering of establishments catering to foreigners. A few foreign tour groups have been approved (tour companies with good connections can get around the ban), and the foreigners who do arrive are treated respectfully but with caution. They are allowed to travel to the other main cities of Gyantse and Shigatse, though they are watched carefully, and allowed to stay only in certain approved hotels. If there were unrest, the authorities fear, foreigners could document it and transmit it to the outside world. Bigger concerns, however, are the Tibetans themselves and their lingering anger.

多位“救火”官员获晋升 维稳经历被看重_多维新闻网 – 从近年来发生的历次重大事件来看,包括什邡、瓮安、孟连、石首事件等在内,均有党政一把手被免职,而紧急“替补”的新任官员大都在不久后获得晋升。而由于具备善后群体性事件的经验,他们当中多人已成为省级信访部门的骨干。

Watch: Mitt Romney slams Obama for not labelling China currency manipulator: Shanghaiist – which also means everyone in the audience can buy stuff cheap, until they lose their jobs…// When a country artificially holds down the value of their currency, it means that the products that they sell to us are artificially cheap.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

One Chinese killed, over 100 detained in Ghana |Africa |chinadaily.com.cn – A 16-year-old Chinese national was killed and more than 100 others were detained by Ghanaian police for suspected illegal gold mining, the Chinese Embassy in Accra said on Sunday.

US official visits Tokyo as island questions linger |Americas |chinadaily.com.cn – US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on Sunday became the latest in a long line of high-level US officials to meet with Japanese officials in Tokyo ahead of or after a visit to China, amid a festering territorial dispute between the two Asian powers.

The Dangers of Allowing an Adversary Access to a Network – NYTimes.com – more on the “it’s not you, its US” theory// According to several former government officials, the real issue is not what has happened in the past but rather what might happen if Huawei gear were widely used in American telecommunications networks. Such use would mean that the company would have to serve and fix the network, requiring extensive access for its technical personnel to telecommunications networks in the United States.

Former king of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk dies – Telegraph – lived in a nice villa in downtown beijing// Norodom Sihanouk, the former king of Cambodia, has died in Beijing, aged 89, according to Chinese state media.

Asia Knows How to Get Along With a Bigger China – Bloomberg –Pankaj Mishra// Few Asian countries can afford a war with China, even one fought with enthusiastic U.S. assistance. Also, Asian policy makers are unlikely to have forgotten how badly the previous U.S. engagement with Southeast Asia ended in Saigon in 1975, forcing even Thailand, an eager facilitator of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam, to start deferring to China. Given this, fantasies of militarily balancing China often appear little more than a desperate attempt by Cold War-era American think-tanks to keep themselves solvent.

DF-25 missile first shown on Chinese television|Politics|News|WantChinaTimes.com – ith a range of 3,200 kilometers, the DF-25 ballistic missile is able to hit most targets in the Asia-Pacific region, including the US military base located in Guam. Launched from a wheeled 10X10 vehicle, the DF-25 can carry up to three conventional or nuclear warheads to attack both strategic and tactical targets

 

SOCIETY, ART, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Expensive kindergartens mushroom all over ChinaWantChinaTimes.com – rip off/ The Eton International Bilingual Academy told a China Economic Weekly reporter that discounted tuition was available if parents paid a lump sum amount. The bilingual program would then cost 90,000 yuan (US$14,300) a year and the international program 112,000 yuan per annum… “In fact, many of the foreign teachers (employed) in kindergartens do not even have a teacher’s license,” said Wang, who is also vice president of the Chinese Association for Non-Government Education.// and no background checks, expect foreign pedophile problems

斗狗赌博悄然兴起 半天赌资达20万(图)_新闻_腾讯网 – investigation into dog-fighting and gambling in Beijing suburbs. disturbing pics//

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

HOPEFUL on Vimeo short film by Jonah Kessel about Friends of Nature work in China, encouraging look at grassroots activism and hopes for using the court system to curb environmental crimes. Video sponsored by FON, so not “news”, but still very interesting, and beautifully filmed// Xing Long Village in Southern China’s Yunnan Province was once a peaceful farming community. But when a factory dumped 5,000 tons of chromium 6 into a nearby reservoir, cancer rates in the village skyrocketed. The environmental damage and human suffering caused by the illegal disposal of chemicals has been devastating and largely unnoticed.

Chinese environmental activist faces prison sentence for publishing books – The Washington Post -A retired Chinese forestry official who became an environmental activist campaigning against deforestation and overdevelopment on China’s southern Hainan Island was put on trial this week for illegally publishing and distributing books on environmental protection, his friends and associates said.

Poison-Proofing China by Henry I. Miller – Project Syndicate-Until relatively recently, environmental protection and consumer safety were secondary issues in the United States and Europe. In 1952, London experienced five days of lethal, particulate-laden smog that killed 12,000 people and sickened more than 100,000. And, in 1969, America’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River caught on fire.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Crataegus pinnatifida – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – haw season in Beijing//Crataegus pinnatifida, also known as Chinese hawthorn, Chinese Hawberry,[2][3] or shānzhā (Chinese: 山楂/山查 or 山楂果/山查果 literally means “mountain hawthorn” or “mountain hawberry”), refers to a small to a medium-sized tree as well as the fruit of the tree. The fruit is bright red, 1.5 inches in diameter.

 

SPORTS

NBA China Revenue to Increase at Least 10% Annually, Stern Says – Bloomberg – NBA lucky no one has done any real reporting about its China business//

 

BOOKS

Chinese students will study laureate’s works|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – The Language and Culture Press under the Ministry of Education said on Saturday that it has decided to add one of Mo’s novellas, A Transparent Carrot, to textbooks now being complied for high school students who take certain elective Chinese courses.

China perpectives–The (Bio)political Novel Some Reflections on Frogs by Mo Yan – This novel harshly criticises a state whose coercive population control policies are responsible for some murderous consequences. This denunciation is also aimed at the economic ultraliberalism that is complicit with the totalitarian inheritance in destruction of human dignity through the alienation and commercialisation of the body.

Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize heralds masculine wave in Chinese lit – Quartz – The awarding of this year’s Nobel Literature Prize to Chinese author Mo Yan marks a swing of the pendulum in how the West sees Chinese literature, highlighting the increasing number of male Chinese writers reaching a global audience.

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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