The Sinocism China Newsletter For 10.29.12

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Another NIMBY protest against a petrochemical plant has hit a Chinese city. Demonstrations in Zhenhai, Ningbo over a Sinopec chemical project have resulted in at least a temporary delay of the plant expansion (Bloomberg). The local government is under pressure to find a quick and peaceful resolution given the upcoming Party Congress.

The New York Times reports that the the protestors numbered into the thousands and included farmers, students and middle class residents. Many have smartphones, and even though Sina Weibo starting blocking photo uploading by IP addresses in the Zhenhai area, many pictures made it onto Chinese social media. You can see dozens here (Bishe).

In an unprecedented public move, Wen Jiabao’s family has hit back at ‘lies’ on hidden fortune (South China Morning Post) by issuing a statement through two Chinese lawyers (South China Morning Post), Bai Tao of JunHe and US-educated Wang Weidong of Grandall Law Firm. Mingjing News claims to have a copy of the statement 明鏡新聞網: 明鏡獨家:溫家寶家人和知情者更細致的澄清. The New York Times reports that the Chinese Premier’s family disputes article on riches and details how its staff investigated the story in obtaining financial records in China. The intermediaries who helped the Times access the records may end up in a lot of trouble.

If you have some time and want to better understand the upcoming Party Congress, Understanding China’s Political System (PDF) by Susan Lawrence of the Congressional Research Service and The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (Amazon) by Richard McGregor are probably the best sources for an in-depth look at how things work in the Party and government.

For those readers in the Eastern USA, good luck in the Frankenstorm.

Today’s links:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China’s Industrial Profits Rise for First Time in Six Months – Bloomberg – Net income rose 7.8 percent from a year earlier to 464.3 billion yuan ($74.3 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing. That compared with a 6.2 percent decline in August, the year’s largest drop.

China’s Slowing Revenue Gains Seen Limiting Spending – Bloomberg – China’s government spent more than planned in the first nine months of the year, and revenue gains moderated, leaving little room for public outlays to stoke the economy this quarter without an expansion of the budget.

China’s crude steel output slows sharply in January-September – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Crude steel production increased by only 1.7 percent year on year from January to September to reach 542.34 million tonnes, retreating 9 percentage points from the same period last year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a report on the steel industry.

Chinese Lawmakers Vow to Clear Gov.’s Role at SOEs -Caijing – China’s state asset manager has promised to intensify efforts to overhaul a system where government and the country’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are too closely connected, according to the official People’s Daily reported, citing an official.

Analysis: Oh, what a sinking feeling: Toyota misfires with Chinese buyers | Reuters – Reuters scored when they hired away the WSJ China automotive correspondent Norihiko Shirouzu a few months ago// The roots of Toyota Motor Corp’s China troubles run far deeper than the anti-Japan protests that have swept the country, stretching back to the 2008 launch of the Yaris subcompact — a spectacular flop with price-conscious Chinese buyers.

As candidates promise a crackdown, China’s advantage erodes in a key area – The Washington Post – At the peak of China’s influence on the market, he said, companies could get rare earth materials about 40 percent cheaper there than elsewhere. China used that advantage to recruit firms to the industrial regions near the source of the materials. Smith said the Chinese price and the world price have now nearly converged, and he predicted more announcements like Hitachi’s.

经济参考网–上海打折楼盘大幅减少 部分项目变相涨价 – discounts for new homes in shanghai going away, some developments effectively raising prices//

经济参考网–九部委酝酿八大行业重组政策 发改委称将把兼并重组和淘汰落后作为新项目审批前提 – 9 ministries/commissions working on policies to restructure 8 industries–steel, auto, cement,machinery/manufacturing, aluminium, rare earths, electronic information, pharma…// 《经济参考报》记者获悉,国家发改委、财政部、国资委、证监会等九部委正在酝酿相关政策,着力推进钢铁、汽车、水泥、机械制造、电解铝、稀土、电子信息、医药等八大重点行业兼并重组。

New policies support ailing solar industry – Xinhua | English.news.cn– China is creating supportive measures to shore up its ailing photovoltaic (PV) industry, which has been rocked by recent U.S. duties on Chinese exports over alleged dumping.In the latest attempt, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the country’s largest state-owned utility company, announced a plan to allow small-scale distributed solar power generators to connect to its power lines.

China putting the reins on big temple business|Society|In-depth|WantChinaTimes.com – The State Administration of Religious Affairs in China recently released a decree forbidding the general contracting and share listing of Buddhist or Taoist temples. The decree will trigger a problem concerning the disposal of related assets by private equity funds and some listed firms.

China targets tax evasion to lift government revenue||WantChinaTimes.com – China is stepping up efforts to increase its tax revenue by cooperating with so-called tax havens used by transnational companies to avoid or minimize their tax liabilities, Chinese business news website Caijing reports.

The world’s biggest construction companies: Great wall builders | The Economist – in less than a decade the Japanese have disappeared from International Construction magazine’s annual top ten, with their places taken—inevitably—by the Chinese (see table). China’s unprecedented construction boom has coincided with stagnation in Japan. Japanese firms have retreated just as the Chinese challengers have begun to explore the world.

Work begins on major high-speed railway in western China – Xinhua | English.news.cn – The 643-km-long railway line for passenger transport links Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province to Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan. The project will be completed in five years with an investment of more than 40 billion yuan (about 6.35 billion U.S. dollars). The travel time between the two cities will be shortened to three hours from 12 hours currently, after the new railway is put into operation.

Economic outlook brightens for China |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn – “Domestic demand, which consists of consumption and investment, will be the engine to cause the economy to rebound,” said Pan Jiancheng, deputy director-general of the bureau’s China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Center. Domestic consumption accounted for 55 percent of GDP, driving growth up by 4.2 percentage points in the first nine months. Investment accounted for 50.5 percent of the increase, or 3.9 percentage points, the bureau said.//huh

 

POLITICS AND LAW

【舒立观察】全面改革、政改与十八大_杂志频道_财新网 – Hu Shuli’s editorial in Caixin this week, on comprehensive reform, political reform and the 18th party congress. Is she actually hopeful? // 最紧要的是记取邓小平当年的告诫:“改革总要有一个期限,不能太迟”

‘No’ tops the agenda ahead of China’s 18th party congress – latimes.com – Beijing has imposed a slew of prohibitions in the run-up to the Communist Party leadership change, on everything from which foods can be sold to what can be shown on TV.

Siweiluozi’s Blog: Bo News is Good News™: Jurisdiction Matters – This categorization as a “major criminal case of national significance” may mean that the case will be tried in first instance by the Supreme People’s Court (see Article 22 of the Criminal Procedure Law). If so, this would be only the second case to be tried in first instance by China’s highest court since the trial of the “Gang of Four” in 1981.

Reading Between the Lines on Chinese Judicial Reform  – WSJ– The white paper is also interesting for what it doesn’t say.Unlike previous Chinese government white papers on law, the Communist Party (CPC) is never mentioned in the latest document. Previous white papers on legal issues published in 2008 and 2011 both emphasized that reform is to be carried out “under the leadership of the CPC.”   This newest document instead celebrates the accomplishments of “China” not the CPC, while also invoking judicial reform as “an important part of China’s political system reform.”  Where did the party go and what does its omission signify?

迎接党的十八大–专题报道–人民网 – Party Congress propaganda meets Web 2.0. People’s Daily special site on the 18th Party Congress//

The mop haired British entrepreneur soon to become an official part of China’s first family – Telegraph – By mid-November, Mr Foa, whose middle-class parents live in Cheltenham, will officially be part of China’s first family. His wife, and the mother of his child, is Hiu Ng, the niece of Xi Jinping, China’s next paramount leader.

Commentary: CPC won’t rest on laurels in time of change – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said in a speech delivered on July 23 that the CPC should have a sense of urgency and responsibility in tightening supervision and discipline, as well as strengthening Party construction.

More officials probed for graft |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn– From January to August, prosecutors across the country had investigated 12.7 percent more officials, for crimes related to their office, from a year ago, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.Of these, 75.9 percent were accused of corruption and taking bribes. The remainder were under investigation for dereliction of duty. The worst-hit sectors included engineering, construction, rail and transportation, finance and real estate, said Song Hansong, a director of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s corruption prevention department.

An Interview with Chen Guangcheng: ‘Be Confident and Speak Out’ – James Fallows – The Atlantic – I had a chance last month to interview Chen Guangcheng about the motivation for and significance of his work, and about his long-term aspirations for China. We spoke by telephone for about half an hour. I asked questions in English, and he answered in Chinese; an interpreter sitting with him in New York, at his new base at New York University, rendered each side’s words into the other’s language.

人民日报:社会管理应摒弃“管”字当头_网易新闻中心 – People’s Daily: “Social Management” needs to abandon the word “management

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

人民日报-休做破坏亚洲安全环境之事(国际论坛) 钟 声 – Zhong Sheng in today’s People’s Daily on why the us expansion of missile defense system in asia is a bad idea…

China official: We repeatedly warned of damage over islands acquisition – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun– Speaking to an audience of representatives from more than a dozen Chinese and foreign media organizations that included The Asahi Shimbun, Zhang said Beijing had consistently issued warnings and dismissed Tokyo’s argument that state ownership would help to manage the islands in a more stable manner.It challenges Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s assertion that he had “never foreseen” China’s violent reaction to the central government’s purchase of the islands.

Mark Helprin: America’s Capsizing Naval Policy – WSJ.com – so how do we pay to make it bigger?// China’s maritime power and aggressive posture is rising while the size of the U.S. Navy continues to shrink.

New PLA chief of staff Fang Fenghui flourishes under president’s wing | South China Morning Post– The People’s Liberation Army’s new chief of general staff, Fang Fenghui, is a loyal protégé of President Hu Jintao, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission.Fang has been serving as commander of the Beijing Military Command, responsible for the defence of Beijing, Tianjin and three neighbouring provinces – Hebei , Shanxi and Inner Mongolia .

China’s Inadvertent Empire | The National Interest – both//As General Liu Yazhou of China’s People’s Liberation Army once put it, Central Asia is “the thickest piece of cake given to the modern Chinese by the heavens.”.. Western policy makers should be dusting off the old works of Sir Halford Mackinder, who argued that Central Asia is the most pivotal geographic zone on the planet, rather than those of Alfred Thayer Mahan, the great U.S. strategist of sea power.

The Meaning of the Nuclear Evolution: China’s Strategic Modernization and US-China Security Relations | Andrew S. Erickson – The United States now faces a conventionally inferior potential adversary with nuclear weapons, so the hawkish and dovish logics of the Cold War, somewhat ironically, are turned on their heads in the post-Cold War world. China’s military modernization over the past two decades has produced an array of new conventional capabilities that, for the first time, pose a serious coercive challenge to forward deployed US forces in the Western Pacific. But it is still fair to say that the United States enjoys broad spectrum conventional military superiority over China

中国女子撕毁西哈努克画像 被强制下跪道歉-财经网 – cambodians force chinese woman who ripped sihanouk’s picture 2 kneel & apologize–pictures// 据美联社10月23日报道,一家柬埔寨服装厂的一位中国籍女性管理员于当地时间23日被当地公众诉诸法院。之前,这位管理员撕毁了柬埔寨前国王西哈努克的画像,并因此引发了工人的骚乱,因此相关人士指控她侮辱皇室及引发公众骚乱。

Understanding key to Sino-US relations|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn – Understanding the Sino-US relationship is essential to Washington’s interests, said Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, which will conduct the sixth annual China Town Hall at 60 sites around the country on Monday. The committee, which advocates strong Sino-US ties, will present a live webcast from Beijing by US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, including a question-and-answer session moderated by Orlins. Each local site will follow up with a live panel discussion on China-US issues.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Alarm raised over Apple app|Science-Tech|chinadaily.com.cn – Parents and lawyers on Sunday urged tech giant Apple to update its Siri service to include a feature that prevents young people from accessing “distasteful” information.

Admiral goes in to bat for Huawei-Sydney Morning Herald – Huawei some retired US military officers, usually a useful strategy, did not help in US// He once fought China-backed Vietcong, now John Lord represents the controversial Chinese telecoms supplier.

 

SOCIETY, ART, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Pedestrians see red at road crossings – Xinhua | English.news.cn – China’s cyber community has never been short of buzz words. The latest one is “Chinese style road crossing”, which means large crowds of people crossing during red lights.

China Is a Top Choice for Expats – NYTimes.com– The pollution is choking, the traffic clogged, and the food scares range from toxic bean-sprouts to the use of gutter oil in restaurants. Not to mention that this one-party state has a shoddy human rights record [PDF] with no free press. So why is China fast becoming one of the most desirable locations for expats to live?The answer is money. This month, China ranked 7th in HSBC’s 2012 Expat Explorer Economics annual survey, up from 19th the previous year.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

集中报废 上亿节能灯藏污染隐患 深度报道——经济参考网 –

戴景瑞惊暴转基因玉米种植6千万亩!_佟屏亚_新浪博客– 中国农业大学戴景瑞院士是国家转基因玉米专项负责人,在全国科普日活动期间,他不失时机地告诉国家领导人,他培育的转基因玉米种植面积已达6000多万亩。 戴景瑞一鸣震惊农业科技界。

我国环境群体事件年均递增29% 司法解决不足1%-财经网 – 重特大环境事件高发频发,2005年以来,环保部直接接报处置的事件共927起,重特大事件72起,其中2011年重大事件比上年同期增长120%,特别是重金属和危险化学品突发环境事件呈高发态势

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Gallery: The Tea Road to Lhasa by Photographer Michael Yamashita | Asia Society – This Thursday, October 25, National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita joins Asia Society Hong Kong to discuss his newest book, Shangri-La [along the tea road to Lhasa].  The stunning photographs in this 272-page, full-color publication present a narrative of the historic Tea-Horse Road that stretches from Yunnan Province in southwestern China into the Tibet Autonomous Region.

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. And f you like this service, please support Sinocism

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