The Sinocism China Newsletter For 10.25.12

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Today’s links:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Industry Gauge Rises as Easing Prospects Abate – Bloomberg – keep in mind that green shoots in China are usually a dish, not an economic indicator// A Chinese manufacturing index (MXAP) rose and economists have pared forecasts for cuts in interest rates and bank reserve requirements as confidence grows that the world’s second-biggest economy is stabilizing.

China flash PMIs are up, but there’s a catch | FT Alphaville– It’s a little too early to say manufacturing is really recovering. More ominous is the line “Employment: Contraction, faster rate”. This trend began to show up in July and it’s exactly what you (and the Chinese Communist Party) really don’t want employment to do…

CPC expected to bridge wealth gap by fair distribution |Latest News |chinadaily.com.cn – The State Council, China’s Cabinet, has decided to establish an overall income distribution plan by the end of this year, and observers have put high hope on the upcoming National Congress of the CPC which is scheduled to open on November 8.

Is Low-Wage China Disappearing? by Fan Gang – Project Syndicate – the conclusion seems to be that wage growth will not threaten China’s competitiveness in the next 10 or even 20 years. As China will not complete the process of reallocating workers from agriculture to more modern economic sectors any time soon, it should remain a cost-competitive economy for the foreseeable future.

China Focus: China pledges further reforms for state-dominated sectors – Xinhua | English.news.cn– The country will speed up reforms for the railway, postal and salt industries so that companies in those sectors can relinquish their roles as supervisors and stakeholders, Wang said. “More efforts will be made to reform the power, telecommunications, oil and petrochemical industries. Market entry into these sectors will be expanded based on the development of these industries,” he said.

Ratings agency aims to rival ‘big three’|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn – Three ratings companies from China, the United States and Russia said on Wednesday they will jointly launch a new agency to challenge the current global ratings system dominated by the “big three” US agencies. The new agency, which will be known as Universal Credit Rating Group, will be co-initiated by China’s Dagong Global Credit Ratings Co, US-based Egan-Jones Ratings, and Russia’s RusRating.

Steve Wynn’s China Source On Privatization – Business Insider – Steve Wynn basically says the CCP will have better economic policies than Obama// “And this source made the point that there was a point that there was a thinking in Beijing that they have to privatize and liberalize some of the institutions in that country. And that meant that some of the state-owned businesses, and you know the list as well as I do, Tom, were going to be..they were going to release their control of those enterprises.  And either privatize or allow them to go public or do other things.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

人民日报-攻坚克难,永葆不惧风险的勇气(人民观点·锻造我们时代的精神气质④) – another discussion of reform in People’s Daily, highlights need to “overcome reform fatigue”//

Calls for political reforms intensify – Globaltimes.cn – In an online discussion with people.com.cn, Chen Baosheng, vice president of the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, said Tuesday that the Party has pushed forward political reforms in the past three decades, and still needs to move ahead. …A Xinhua report on a Politburo meeting on Monday, during which Party leaders discussed a draft amendment to the Party Constitution and a draft report to the 18th National Congress, didn’t mention the words “Mao Zedong thought” and “Marxism-Leninism,” leading to speculation by Western media that the amendment would drop the wording in the Party constitution, which signals the CPC’s intent on reform. However, Zhang refuted such speculation as groundless, saying that it was an over-interpretation.

Will Mao Zedong’s philosophy live on in party constitution? | South China Morning Post – “This is not a new development. The omission has happened before in the past decade,” said Professor Steve Tsang, who teaches contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, where he is also director of the China Policy Institute.

人民日报-国家互联网信息办召开会议部署 喜迎党的十八大 掀起网上宣传热潮 – going to be some impressive internet propaganda work around the 18th party congress, the first one when the internet is truly mainstream in china//

人民日报-为时代铸魂 为事业固本 ——马克思主义理论研究和建设工程巡礼 – very long Page 1 (plus jump) People’s Daily ode to Marxist Theory research and construction…predictions of de-marxification are premature…

China propaganda post likely to go to a conservative Hu loyalist | Reuters – Duowei looking good, they had this 4 days ago// Liu Qibao is tipped to be appointed to the post during the Communist Party’s 18th congress, which opens on Nov. 8, at which the party will anoint Xi Jinping as the country’s fifth generation leader after Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

China Matters: China’s reformers hope for a game-changer – So far, symbolic and limited calamities have failed to crystallize a conviction as to the compelling need for immediate and thoroughgoing reform, damn the political cost, in the minds of the Chinese leadership. It remains to be seen whether such a game-changing event will occur – or if such an event can even be recognized in the restricted mental landscape of the insulated, privileged, and risk-averse Chinese national party cadre.

茅台:所有特供酒都不在市面流通_消费也理财-曝光台_新浪财经_新浪网 –

Civil service test applications surge |Society |chinadaily.com.cn– More than 140 State-level government agencies and their affiliated public institutions and local branches aim to recruit about 20,800 people in 2013, an increase of nearly 3,000 from this year. “China will see more than 6 million university graduates next year,” Li said. “The economic outlook has not been good since the beginning of this year, and that has made it more difficult for university graduates to find jobs.”

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Secret talks held over Diaoyu Islands|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – The meeting between the vice-ministers of foreign affairs, the second in a month, came as relations experienced a period of severe turbulence after Japan “purchased” the islands in September.

Don’t Get Mad: How China is Reacting to Obama ‘Adversary’ Comment – China Real Time Report – WSJ– The People’s Daily itself both gave the story similar treatment. The comments also appeared to generate little reaction on Sina Corp.’s voluble Weibo microblogging service. At a daily press briefing on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei declined to comment on the “adversary” wording

Romney’s Pledge on China Currency Won’t Be Met in a Day – Bloomberg – A Romney administration may not have the personnel in place to take such action on Inauguration Day, Jan. 21.

America the Gutted: Ironworker Wang Pei | GlobalPost – short video// From an island off the coast of Shanghai, Wang Pei helped build the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge…

China to Finance Laos Railroad in Push for More Natural Resources – WSJ.com – A Laotian official said China has agreed to finance a $7 billion railway link in Laos that will ship raw materials to the Chinese border.

ScandAsia.Com – Suggest brothel for 2,000 future Chinese workers in Greenland – Søren Lyberth, a hotel owner in Maniitsoq, has made headlines both in Greenland and Denmark suggesting a brothel to secure some income to the city with 2,784 inhabitants (2010), if American Alcoa Inc, the world’s third largest producer of aluminum, get permission to import 2,000 low wage workers from China to build a new aluminum smelting plant in the small city, which actually is the sixth largest in Greenland

 

TECH AND MEDIA

‘Iron Man 3’ Trailer Released, Minus China Footage – China Real Time Report – WSJ – According to the Los Angeles Times, the production team hasn’t shot in China yet. The newspaper cited an unnamed studio insider saying that production has been delayed “in part because of a sprained ankle” incurred by “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. and that production in China would take place later this year in Beijing.

Iron Man 3 and Sino-foreign Film Co-productions: An Update | China Hearsay– This is an established character, and the name you’re using is frickin’ “Mandarin.” Kinda suggests a China connection, doesn’t it? Additionally, it looks like the guy is sporting a queue. Maybe SARFT isn’t familiar with the English word “Mandarin”? Or perhaps “Mandarin + queue” will suggest a throwback to the bad old Qing days?

Podcast-Undercover at Podcast – Economic Observer Online – In early 2010 the manufacturing giant Foxconn started to make headlines as an apparent string of worker suicides unfolded. During that time, the Guangdong newspaper Southern Weekly decided to find out what conditions were really like by sending a journalist in undercover as a normal worker. After several older reporters were denied for being too old, 20-year-old intern Liu Zhiyi was finally hired. For 28 days he worked at Foxconn’s largest factory in Shenzhen and lived in a company dormitory where he tried to understand the workers’ lives and what was behind the suicides.

Trouble at Foxconn? Quick! To the Bandwagon! « Sinostand – One of the big misconceptions resulting from the sweatshop narrative is that workers are routinely forced to work ungodly hours. In fact, the workers themselves usually demand as much overtime as they can get. While at Foxconn, Liu described this saying, “For the workers desperate for making money, overtime is like ‘a pain that can breathe.’ Without it, the days without money make them ‘suffocate.’”

HootSuite Talks China Plans: Simplified Character Support, Chinese Branding Coming Soon–TechinAsia – the folks at HootSuite are taking China seriously. We already know the company has recently added traditional characters and Sina Weibo support, but what else is in the cards? I got a chance to talk with Dave Olson, HootSuite’s community VP, who gave me the lowdown on the company’s China plans.

 

SOCIETY, ART, CULTURE AND HISTORY

After Two Decades, a Chinese Kidnapping Victim Is Reunited with His Family | TIME.com – While his successful quest to find his family has satisfied so many of his own questions about the past, Zhou Chengliang says he has little hope that the scourge of child kidnapping will soon diminish. “In the Chinese system, there’s nothing you can do about it,” he says. “For so many years this has been happening, and people still aren’t willing to face up to it.”

Scenes From 21st-Century China – In Focus – The Atlantic – great photos// In this, the latest entry in a semi-regular series on China, we find a tremendous variety of images, including a military theme park, a rocket launch, a seriously massive shoe, a Pac Man soap-box racer, and a man who invented his own prosthetic arms

Same-Sex Marriage – Caixin – pictures// During this year’s Qixi festival, China’s equivalent of Valentine’s Day, Fujian Province witnessed it’s first same-sex marriage. On October 2 in Zherong county, Fujian’s smallest county seat with a population of just over 100,000, 24-year-old Lu Zhong and 20-year-old Liu Wanqiang held a public wedding ceremony. The two say they fell in love more than two years ago. Currently, neither same-sex marriage nor civil unions are legally recognized in China

A Tweeted Invitation to a Same-Sex Wedding in China – Bloomberg – Same-sex weddings are illegal in China, a fact known to Lu Zhong, 24, and Liu Wangqiang, 20, when they tweeted an invitation to theirs, via the Sina Weibo microblog, on Sept. 22.

北京户籍人口老龄化远超全国均值_政经频道_财新网 – 北京逾1200万户籍人口中,60岁以上老人占近两成,远高于全国平均13.26%的老龄化比例;外来人口涌入减缓了北京常住人口的老龄化,也减少了北京市的养老压力

人民路_鲍昆_博联社 – Bao Kun essay about Ouning Xingkai’s photo exhibition of atrocious living conditions in an apartment building in Changsha// 在长时间的接触和摄影过程中,欧阳星凯渐渐融入这些人的生活,开始近距离地观察他们的日子。在与这些城市中的“寄居者”们的往来中,欧阳星凯发现他们许多人居住在附近一个独立的四层建筑里面。好奇的他,在工人们的邀请之下去做客。当他走进这座建筑时,欧阳星凯震惊了。在这座原本是某单位办公室的楼房内,居然除了一层被改造成商铺外租之外,其它三层总共1650平方米的建筑面积被切割成平均4平方米的小房间180间。除去走道、公厕、楼梯等公共空间,可居住空间只有750平方米。大约有近400人居住在这750平方米的空间内,人均所占面积大约2平方米左右。楼层内的走道就是大家的公共厨房,摆满了炊具。整个建筑没有任何降温的公共设备,居住的人们都是挤在自己的空间内,在长沙夏季近40度的高温中靠一些小电风扇降温。对于一些单身的居住者来说,这样逼仄的空间尚可忍受,但是许多一家四口的家庭就显得过于紧张了。

Tiananmen Square Activist Chai Ling Loses Trademark Bullying Case Against Critic, But Ruling Is Weak | Techdirt Lite –

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Full Text: China’s Energy Policy 2012 – Xinhua | English.news.cn – The Information Office of the State Council, or China’s cabinet, on Wednesday published the 2012 edition of white paper on the country’s energy policy.

China to approve only a few new reactors by 2015 | Reuters – China will approve a small number of new nuclear reactors before 2015 to be built only in coastal regions, the government said on Wednesday, as it unveiled a raft of measures to spur private investments in energy.

China to encourage private investment in energy: white paper | Reuters – China will seek to encourage more private investment in its state-dominated energy sector, according to a new industry white paper published by official news agency Xinhua on Wednesday.

China: Failure to End the Slaughter of Migratory Birds · Global Voices – The migratory bird season has come; yet instead of searching for food in the warm lake areas of China, a large number of birds are being slaughtered for human consumption. Every year, according to Hunan’s local news, more than 150 tonnes of wild birds are caught in certain villages in Hunan…This year the annual slaughter began in September. The problem was exposed in a documentary, The Slaughter of Migratory Bird in their Seasonal Journey (鳥之殤,千年鳥道上的大屠殺), which has been widely circulated online and has thus put pressure on the State Forestry Administration (SFA) to act.

Linfen: how China’s Chernobyl turned the corner – Telegraph – Dispatch: Linfen, China’s onetime answer to Chernobyl, has been held up as bastion of green progress as new the generation of Chinese leaders face up to the environmental challenges ahead.

Beijing to Launch 70 Bln Yuan Plan to Rescue Solar Industry – – The stimulus projects would be sponsored by several government departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), State Grid and the National Energy Administration (NEA), said Wang Sicheng, a research fellow from the NDRC’s Energy Research Institute.

Partly State-Owned Firm Buys Stake in Troubled LDK – – Heng Rui Xin Energy Co. Ltd. agreed to buy 19.9 percent of New York-listed LDK’s shares for US$ 23 million. The city government of Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, where LDK is based, owns 40 percent of Heng Rui Xin.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Mo Yan, According to You — Part Two | Seeing Red in China – interesting details about Mo Yan in here// I don’t know how many times I have heard argument over the last couple of weeks for separating literature from politics. First of all, the Party doesn’t for a second think that way. For the Party, everything is politics, literature and art in particular as tools to shape ideas and minds. Second, aren’t Mo Yan’s painstaking avoidance of Liu Xiaobo and going along with handcopying Mao all political choices? As a matter of fact, when Chinese writers and movie makers escape into the era before 1949, into the ancient times, or take pains to blur the clear memories of the recent past into a fog, aren’t they political behaviors after all?

百位文学艺术家手抄毛泽东“延安讲话”(节选)_图片频道_财新网 – 为纪念《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》发表70周年,今年五月,作家出版社出版了《毛泽东同志<在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话>百位文学艺术家手抄珍藏纪念册》一书。财新网摘录了部分知名参与者的手抄内容,包括莫言、陈忠实、苏童、麦家等。

Chinese Fiction Is Hot – Businessweek – Currently, Penguin China releases about four Chinese novels in English per year. “It used to be assumed that [Western readers] were interested in books about China, but not necessarily from China. Now that’s changing,” Lusby says. She declined to release sales figures on individual titles, but said: “Seven or eight years ago, there wouldn’t have been the market to sustain what we’re doing. Today it’s a challenging business, but it’s commercially as well as literarily worthwhile for us.” In particular, she seeks out “the kinds of books and perspectives that only a Chinese person could write.”

The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop

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