Today’s China Readings April 21, 2012

  • Luxury tea trend threatens traditional tea culture – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    During promotion of this year’s first batch of green tea, which usually hits the market in April, a Chinese company rolled out its top tea priced at 26,800 yuan (4,253 U.S. dollars) per 100 grams.The tea, named “Daqi,” or “treasure” in Chinese, is a type of Xinyang Maojian, a renowned subcategory of green tea produced in Henan Province. The tea comes in a cloisonne container with a jade lid and a sandalwood base.

    While ordinary Xinyang Maojian sells at several hundred yuan per kilo, a three-gram cup of Daqi can cost 804 yuan, which, according to its producer, reflects the value of its rarity and “cultural flavor

  • China detains 53 over medicine capsule scandal – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    BEIJING, April 19 (Xinhua) — Chinese police have detained 53 suspects and closed 10 industrial gelatin and gel capsule factories believed to have been involved in producing contaminated medicine capsules.Police have also confiscated more than 230 tonnes of industrial gelatin in Hebei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Shandong provinces since the scandal was exposed on Sunday, the Ministry of Public Security said in a Thursday statement.

  • China to be biggest source of outbound tourists | Industries | chinadaily.com.cn
    BEIJING – China is widely anticipated to overtake Germany and United States to become the world’s biggest source of outbound travelers by the end of this year, an industry insider said Thursday.
    The remarkable achievement is well ahead of predictions, Matt Thompson, project director for the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, said at a tourism fair held in Beijing.
  • Meet the Pentagon Contractor That Ran a Disinformation Campaign Against Two USA Today Reporters
    a source familiar with the story confirms that the contractor responsible is Leonie Industries, an information operations company with more than $90 million in Army contracts in Afghanistan.
  • 薄瓜瓜“豪宅”内部疑遭偷拍(图)_多维新闻网
    allegedly pictures from inside Bo Guagua’s apartment in Cambridge, MA. Nice lego set
  • 江泽民现身北京会外宾_多维新闻网
    彭博新闻社4月20日报道引述一名知悉该次会面者的话予以了证实。这名人士称其未得到授权公布双方会面的内容,因此谈话细节依旧无法获知。星巴克上海总部的发言人王星蓉在电话中对事件“不予置评”,中国外交部也回应称“没有相关信息”。报道称,最早披露该次会面的是在北京长住的美国商人利明璋(Bill Bishop),称有朋友向他透露,江泽民最近与多个访京的外国代表团见面,虽然他本人无法证实消息,但称透露此消息的朋友十分可靠。

    《明报》报道称,利明璋在网志中写道,他认为江泽民又再用“出口转内销”的方式,透过接见外宾以传递信息回国内,除对十八大之外,还对薄熙来事件的后续处理继续发挥影响力。

    报道似乎有意将江泽民与之前邓小平卸任国家领导人后在六四事件中发挥的作用相联系,称中共领导人即便退休也会在政治政策上扮演某种角色。

  • Bo fallout threatens China’s security chief Zhou Yongkang- FT.com
    He may be in trouble but I think this story is overblown, agree with this part:Some political analysts say ousting someone as senior as Mr Zhou would be seen as far too destabilising to the party and it is more likely he will stay until the end of the year when he and most other top leaders are scheduled to step down anyway…
    In a sign that reports of political infighting may be overblown, Mr Wen and at least four government ministers are scheduled to travel to Iceland, Germany, Sweden and Poland over the next week.“If the leadership was really in crisis it seems unlikely that Wen would leave now,” said one European diplomat involved in planning Mr Wen’s trip. “From what we can tell it seems like business as usual.”

  • China Takes Off | Popular Science
    The largest nation on Earth is flying more people more places than ever before. Its struggle to do so without (further) destroying the environment could show the rest of the world a greener way to travel-By James Fallows

  • 24% of Web Content is Now in Chinese, Will Soon Surpass English [Infographic] | Tech in Asia
    one world, two internets. linguistically and physically, given the GFW//A new infographic shows that Chinese will soon overtake English as the dominant language online. At the end of 2011, 27 percent of web content was in English, while 24 percent was in Chinese. Despite that, the graphic’s creators, the translation management platform Smartling, lament that the web is still too monolingual, with “56 percent of online content [being] English-only.” It calls for a more multilingual approach to the web.

  • Android变脸 谁是幕后的魔法师? – IT·科技 – 21世纪网
    Android may be huge in China but Google is going to get very little benefit, directly or indirectly, from its proliferation//核心提示:Android操作系统进入中国第一天起,就不再姓Google了。
  • Nury A. Turkel: A Turkish Primer on Engaging Beijing – WSJ.com
    Ankara can also lead in rallying democracies further afield to press for improvements in Xinjiang. As a longstanding ally of the U.S. and a neighbor of Europe, Turkey is uniquely well-situated to do this. An an initial step, Foreign Minister Davutoglu should organize a “friends of Uighurs” conference with democratic allies—similar to the ones organized for Libya and Syria—discussing Ankara’s vision and policy objectives with respect to the Uighur people in China.The key is to keep up the pressure, despite Beijing’s predictable irritation. Mr. Erdogan’s visit demonstrates that it is possible to do business with China while addressing Uighur demands for cultural rights, political freedoms and economic equality. Turkey’s actions provide a model for other democratic countries on how to approach minority issues in China.

    Mr. Turkel is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and a former president of the Uighur American Association.

  • JIM O’NEILL: I Met An Important Chinese Policymaker This Week And It Was ‘One Of The Oddest Meetings I Have Ever Attended’ – Business Insider
    When I reflect back on this part of the meeting I attended with the policymaker, I think China is already further down the path of adjustment than many external observers realize. I am glad to see that this doesnt appear to include Christine Lagarde (and Tim Geithner) following their quite positive comments on China this week. If evidence continues to be released to support this soft landing, then certainly Chinese equity markets would be delighted, and it should be a pretty good source of support for the rest of the worlds markets too.
  • Beijing’s Cracked Consensus | Foreign Affairs
    The Bo Scandal Exposes Flaws in China’s Leadership Model-Christopher K. Johnson

  • NBR: An Interview with Cheng Li-The Bo Xilai Crisis: A Curse or a Blessing for China?
    PDF. Good interview, though I am not completely in agreement with such his argument that there is such obvious princeling/shanghai gang and communist youth league factional split. Cheng Li calls them coalitions not factions. There is some real blurring and shifting across those “lines”
  • Pentagon Wants Spy Troops Posing as Businessmen | Danger Room | Wired.com
    If the Pentagon gets its way, the gentleman doodling on his notepad as your next overseas business trip goes on endlessly could be a soldier, sailor, airman or marine in disguise.This extraordinary redefinition of the U.S. military’s authorities for clandestine action overseas is officially part of a Pentagon wish list for revisions to its legal authorities recently sent to Congress.

  • Detained in the U.S.: Filmmaker Laura Poitras Held, Questioned Some 40 Times at U.S. Airports
    The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Laura Poitras discusses how she has been repeatedly detained and questioned by federal agents whenever she enters the United States. Poitras said the interrogations began after she began working on her documentary, “My Country, My Country,” about post-invasion Iraq. Her most recent film, “The Oath,” was about Yemen and Guantánamo and follows the lives of two past associates of Osama bin Laden. She estimates she has been detained approximately 40 times and has had her laptop, cell phone and personal belongings repeatedly searched. Tonight she is leading a surveillance teach-in at the Whitney Museum
  • “We Don’t Live in a Free Country”: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Gov’t Surveillance
    We speak with Jacob Appelbaum, a computer researcher who has faced a stream of interrogations and electronic surveillance since he volunteered with the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks. He describes being detained more than a dozen times at the airport and interrogated by federal agents who asked about his political views and confiscated his cell phone and laptop. When asked why he cannot talk about what happened after he was questioned, Appelbaum says, “Because we don’t live in a free country. And if I did, I guess I could tell you about it.” A federal judge ordered Twitter to hand over information about Appelbaum’s account. Meanwhile, he continues to work on the Tor Project
  • 2 Uighur Gitmo detainees transferred to El Salvador – The Long War Journal
    The Department of Defense announced the transfer of two Uighur detainees from Guantanamo to El Salvador yesterday. The two detainees were not named in the DoD’s press release. But according to the New York Times they are Abdul Razak and Ahmed Mohamed.
  • NSA Whistleblower Speaks Live: “The Government Is Lying To You” | ZeroHedge
    Democracy Now has the former National Security Agency technical director whistleblower’s first TV interview in which he discusses the NSA’s massive power to spy on Americans and why the FBI raided his home. Since retiring from the NSA in 2001, he has warned that the NSA’s data-mining program has become so vast that it could “create an Orwellian state.” Today marks the first time Binney has spoken on national TV about NSA surveillance. Starting with his pre-9-11 identification of the world-wide-web as a voluminous problem since the NSA was ‘falling behind the rate-of-change’, his success in creating a system (codenamed Thin-Thread) for ‘grabbing’ all the data and the critical ‘lawful’ anonymization of that data (according to mandate at the time) which as soon as 9-11 occurred went out of the window as all domestic and foreign communications was now stored (starting with AT&T’s forking over their data). This direct violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country was why Binney decided he could not stay
  • 让“名义法治”名实相副
    重庆的“打黑”自始就是一场法律展演,是以法律的名义并且围绕法律的具体实施进行的。在这里,法律至少享有一种名义上的权威性,我们不妨称之为“名义法治”,这可以说是中国过去30年“民主与法制”建设中最重要的成就。。
    这种不信任感所针对的,不只是具体的官员和机构,还包括法律机构,而且是法律本身,甚至,是执政党的政治正当性。
    这意味着,执政党要想顺利完成中国社会、政治和经济的转型,并在此过程中保持社会稳定,维护其合法性,获得国内人民的拥护和国际社会的认可,必须真正尊重法律,厉行法治,让名义上的法治,变成名实相副的法治。
    作者为洪范法律与经济研究所所长
  • 央地关系再重构-《财经网》
    Caijing cover story on restructuring the relationship between the center and the provinces//
    谈中国财政体制改革下一步
    国务院近日下发通知,批准国家发展改革委员会《关于2012年深化经济体制改革重点工作的意见》(下称《意见》)。《意见》指出,要充分发挥中央和地方两个积极性,抓住时机尽快在一些重点领域和关键环节取得突破。《意见》要求加快财税体制改革,完善分税制和财政转移支付制度。
    现代国家建设中的一个重要任务,就是要建构以公共财政为指向的现代财政体制。1994年中国实行分税制改革,初步建立了政府间财政关系的基本制度框架,此后又根据经济社会发展情况的变化,进一步改革和完善了分税制,建立了一套与市场经济制度相衔接的公共财政体制框架。
  • 《财经》社评:央地财税关系启示-《财经网》
    如果说前30年地方政府之间主要是招商引资竞争,那么近年来的一个趋势是民生竞争亦愈趋激烈。与之必先取之,如果没有配套的税收体制改革,此种民生竞争必然加剧地方政府对经济的汲取力度,或以政府投资公司收益的名义实行所谓“第三财政”,或加大城乡土地非正规流转规模以推行新版本的土地财政,种种杀鸡取卵之举,将戕害正常的市场经济发展。进而言之,由建设型财政转为福利型财政时,法治框架尤为重要。因为前者更多产生普惠式溢出效应,而后者更易为利益集团所绑架,或富者更富,贫者更贫,或民粹式普惠而终致不可持续。
    概言之,科学划分事权财权,法定民生税收标准,将为真正现代意义上的央地关系的构建打下坚实基础。
  • 茅台难松绑_杂志频道_财新网
    Maotai/Moutai is an illuminating microcosm of PRC//
    特供与团购挤占了茅台的供应与利润,平衡地方政府、中央政府、经销商、管理团队、股东的利益,是茅台一盘没有下完的棋
  • Russia Gazprom: Sino-Russia Gas Talks Halted by China’s Gas Pricing Mechanism-Caijing
    Talks between China and Russia on a huge gas export deal have failed to make progress because it is the Chinese government, not the market that set pricing for China’s natural gas sales, a top executive with Russia’s Gazprom told Caijing.
    Curbing inflation, the supposed purpose to control its gas prices, has deterred the development of gas trade between China and Russia, Sergei Komlev, Head of Contract Structuring and Price Formation Directorate in Gazprom Export, the trade arm of the Russia’s major gas company Gazprom, wrote in response to Caijing’s interview.
  • Rakuten to Close its China E-commerce Venture with Baidu | Tech in Asia
    Rakuten 2 Close iChina E-commerce Venture with Baidu | Tech in Asia another failure for $bidu. search only co,prints $s
  • Christopher K. Johnson | Center for Strategic and International Studies
    Christopher K. Johnson is a senior adviser and holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS. An accomplished Asian affairs specialist, Mr. Johnson spent nearly two decades serving in the U.S. government’s intelligence and foreign affairs communities and has extensive experience analyzing and working in Asia on a diverse set of country-specific and transnational issues. Throughout his career, he has chronicled China’s dynamic political and economic transformation, the development of its robust military modernization program, and its resurgence as a regional and global power. He has frequently advised senior White House, cabinet, congressional, military, and foreign officials on the Chinese leadership and on Beijing’s foreign and security policies.
  • China Police Chief Told U.S. He Feared Harm – WSJ.com
    U.S. officials felt there was little chance Mr. Wang would have quickly qualified for asylum.That was because of what they said was his reputation as an unsavory strongman for Mr. Bo up until the two fell out over the suspicious death in Chongqing of Neil Heywood, a British businessman.

    As a result, the U.S. and Mr. Wang agreed that American officials should reach out to central government authorities to retrieve Mr. Wang, rather than allow him to fall into the hands of the local party’s security forces, according to people who were briefed by both U.S. and Chinese authorities.

    When Mr. Wang left the consulate he was taken into custody by national security forces and apparently taken to Beijing.

    On the U.S. side, the matter reached as high as the White House, American officials said.

  • Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor – USATODAY.com
    WASHINGTON – A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.
  • 工业明胶:“中国特供”的病毒式传播_21世纪网-21cbh.com
  • 赵普曝明胶内幕后“失语”11天 网友猜其被停职_新闻_腾讯网
    前不久,央视主持人赵普一条劝告“不要再吃老酸奶和果冻”的微博,引发了各界对明胶乃至毒胶囊的关注,如今事件仍在发酵,然而赵普却从此从电视和微博中“消失”,不少网友猜测赵普被“封杀”。
    对此赵普称“无可奉告”,央视表示“不清楚”。
  • 传王立军监听胡锦涛线人早已被监控_多维新闻网
    多维新闻】据《明报》消息,早在英国商人海伍德命案发生前,原重庆公安局长王立军就因涉嫌私自监听领导人通话(胡办热线)及贪腐,受到有关方面调查;王立军调查海伍德被杀案时,曾在海伍德计算机中发现薄熙来家族的经济账目,他向薄报告,薄大怒,两人反目。
    该报4月20日称,北京消息透露,重庆市委常委兼政法委书记刘光磊,与国家主席胡锦涛办公室有热线联系,此事被王立军发现并长期监听,但王的监听又被中共中央办公厅的技术人员发现,所以王立军早已被盯上。
  • 解放军三大基地异动 南海开战准备就绪_多维新闻网
    【多维新闻】中菲舰船对峙将南海争端再掀至一个高潮。中国一改谦和转为强硬。先是派海监船赴黄岩岛宣誓主权、出动飞机在菲警卫船上空盘旋,后中国国防部长梁光烈亲赴两广做国防动员,如今又传出解放军三大基地异动,核潜艇驰援南海的消息。这是给菲律宾的最后警告,不要错把善意误判为软弱可欺,把克制忍耐误解为“以领土换和平”,菲律宾仍若欺人太甚必将自食其果。
  • 中国军系智囊张木生疑禁出境_多维新闻网
    【多维新闻】被称为中共总后勤部政委刘源上将智囊的张木生,近日有传言指他无法出境到美国开会。形容自己是自由主义者的同济大学中德学院经济学教授胡景北,近日在新浪微博指出,他到美国开研讨会,本来张木生要参加,但是“听说不让出境了”。究竟张木生是否真遭限制出境,若不能出境原因为何?目前中共官方没有说法。

  • 最高人民法院未核准吴英死刑 该案发回浙江省高院重审 – 新华法治 – 新华网
    Wu Ying death penalty overturned
  • CBD写字楼租金年涨近5成 保利东方中心29999元入市_中国经济网――国家经济门户
    office rent in Beijing CBD up @ 50% in year. so much 4 those CBD doomsayers of 2 years ago
  • Exclusive: Murdered Briton in China left meager savings to family, friend – Yahoo! News
    Expatriate British businessman Neil Heywood, whose murder has caused political upheaval in China, left his wife and children in a financially uncertain situation in China, prompting a former business associate to pay for their plane tickets to attend his London funeral, a family friend told Reuters.
    The account marks the first time that details of Heywood’s financial affairs have emerged since he died in southwest China last November. Family friends also revealed more details about the final few days leading up to his death.
  • With North Korean Repatriation Ended, Chinese Netizens Relieved But Angry | Tea Leaf Nation
    How could netizens be so displeased at what they agreed was a positive step? A large number felt that, in the oft-retweeted words of angel investor and frequent microblogger Charles Xue (@薛蛮子), “This should have been done sooner.” Xue continued, “Kim the 3rd’s perverse actions [have already made him] a common enemy to the world; repatriating North Korean escapees was like sending lambs into the mouth of a tiger. [It’s time to] say NO! to Kim the 3rd’s regime.”
  • Iceland Rolls Out Red Lava for Wen in China Power Talks – Bloomberg
    Iceland will show off its volcanic power in a bid to increase trade with the fastest growing major economy as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits the island.
    Wen, whose two-day visit starts today, will tour Hellisheidi, Iceland’s largest geothermal power plant, and meet with President Olafur R. Grimsson and Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. It’s the first visit by a Chinese premier since diplomatic relations were established 41 years ago, according to the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.
  • Corruption Scandal in China – NYTimes.com
    nice cartoon
  • China on path of greater certainty after Bo case-Global Times
    The Bo Xilai case has sparked public attention both in China and the foreign media. Some Western observers now cast heavy doubt on the error-correction mechanisms within the CPC, and claim that if the case hadn’t been exposed, China would have swung to the far-left. Was Bo’s exposure merely a matter of chance? Will this individual case endanger China’s overall political certainty? Global Times (GT) reporter Chen Chenchen talked to Lü Xiaobo (Lü), professor with the School of Government, Nanjing University, on these issues.
  • After Bo’s fall, Chongqing victims seek justice – The Washington Post
    The dramatic ouster of Bo Xilai as Communist Party chief in Chongqing has prompted an outpouring from people who say their relatives were wrongly jailed under his rule and want the government to reopen their cases.More than 4,000 people were jailed during an aggressive anti-crime campaign that Bo launched in late 2007. While Bo insisted that he was cracking down on gangsters and lawlessness, critics say he led a brutal effort designed to punish rivals and squeeze money from local businesses.

  • 山东梁山强制职工买理财产品 如未完成晋升受影响_银行首页_行业动态_新浪财经_新浪网
  • The most important story in the world: Guardian reporter Jonathan Watts’ parting thoughts on nine years of environmental journalism in China | chinadialogue
    Guardian environment reporter Jonathan Watts has spent nine years in China covering everything from pollution protests to species extinction. About to leave for pastures new, he shares some parting thoughts.
  • INSIGHT-US barnyards help China super-size food production | Reuters
    ALBION, Indiana/BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) – Inside a dimly lit barn in northeast Indiana, where the air smells faintly of corn and earth, the future of China’s food supply is squealing for attention.

  • Wang Xiaofang exposes world of Chinese bureaucracy | Books | The Guardian
    have read several of his books. entertaining//
    Bestselling author exposes shady world while readers buy his books to get insight into how to become government officials
  • Jiang Said to Surface After Bo Purge to Meet Starbucks Chief – Bloomberg
    Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin met Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz on April 17 in Beijing, a person familiar with the meeting said. Jiang emerged in the capital ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change later this year.
    Details of Schultz’s conversation with Jiang, 85, weren’t immediately available, according to the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the event. Schultz also visited Shanghai during his China trip…
    Starbucks’s Shanghai-based spokeswoman Wang Xingrong said she had no comment about the visit when reached by phone today. The news office at China’s foreign ministry had no information about the meeting. Sinocism, a blog run by Beijing-based independent analyst Bill Bishop, first reported that Jiang had met with an unidentified U.S. chief executive.
  • 中国允许银行卖空美元 – FT中文网
    中国又出台了一项人民币改革措施。该措施听起来颇为大胆:中国国家外汇管理局(SAFE)宣布,中国小型银行今后将可以持有隔夜人民币多头头寸。此规定意味着,这些银行如今也能持有外汇空头头寸了。一项实行了6年的禁令就此画上了句号。外管局的声明没有解释该规定对大型市场参与者的适用情况,而只是详述了小型银行可以采取的做法,即持有适当的少量多头头寸。但该规定向外界发出了这样的信号:中国当局准备让尚不老练的本土机构承受更大的外汇风险。

  • China Economic Watch | Can China Reflate the Housing Market?
    China’s extraordinary real estate boom may finally be over. Multiple indicators suggest that China is on the precipice of a significant market correction. Prices are down in more than half of the 70 cities surveyed by National Bureau of Statistics. Beyond price data (which is subject to some skepticism), residential floor space under construction, residential real estate investment, total floor space starts, and residential floor space sales all show declines.
  • Stranger Than Fiction – The Daily Beast-David Henry Hwang
    In my play Chinglish, which had a well-reviewed run on Broadway earlier this season, a Midwestern American businessman travels to the inland Chinese city of Guiyang in hopes of landing a contract for his firm, only to become enmeshed in multiple misunderstandings, from language to love. The play, a comedy, seemed to strike audiences as one small step toward greater cultural understanding.Chinese nationals with whom I spoke after the show, however, sometimes raised one quibble about my script, which includes an extramarital affair between the American businessman and the wife of a Communist Party official. This, they said, might make for good drama, but couldn’t actually happen in China. Such a woman would never enter into a close relationship with a foreign man.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.