Today’s China Readings April 30, 2012

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  • China Loses Some Luster as Earnings Engine for Foreign Companies – WSJ.com
    Foreign companies are learning that they can no longer count on China for earnings growth. As companies report first-quarter results, big-equipment makers like Caterpillar Inc. CAT +0.16% and ABB Ltd. ABB -1.42% see slowing demand, while consumer-focused Apple Inc. AAPL -0.77% and Starbucks Corp. SBUX -5.32% surge ahead.
  • Investors Lose Patience for Hong Kong IPOs – WSJ.com
    investors who bought shares in many of the city’s offerings aren’t cheering. The average initial public offering in Hong Kong since the start of 2009 is down 13%, and more than two-thirds of the offerings have underperformed the Hang Seng Index since their listings.
  • Profits Don’t Always Stick in China’s Web – WSJ.com
    The only thing growing faster than China’s e-commerce sector seems to be the losses of firms burning cash to gain market share.
  • Obama wants to strike ‘appropriate balance’ on Chinese dissident – The Washington Post
    A senior White House official said Sunday that President Obama wants to strike an “appropriate balance” in dealing with a Chinese dissident who fled house arrest last Sunday and reportedly is under protection inside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.Comments by John O. Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, were the closest the administration has come to confirming the whereabouts of dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng and the difficulty it poses for U.S. policymakers.

  • Hugh Hendry Is Back – Full Eclectica Letter | ZeroHedge
    We are also more pessimistic on Chinese growth than ever. This makes us bearish on most Asian stocks, bearish on industrial commodity prices, interested in some US stocks, a seller of high variance equities and deeply concerned that Japan could become the focal point of the next global leg down. On the plus side we also believe that we are much closer than before to the beginning of a bull market of perhaps 1982, if not 1932, proportions. We just need the last shoe to drop.”
  • U.N. OKs Japan claim to expand shelf | The Japan Times Online
    Okinotori inclusion adds 310,000 sq. km to EEZ, boosts seabed access
  • Western press runs amok with hearsay reporting in Bo case
    A casual look at how Western newspapers have treated the Bo-Gu-Heywood story reveals the universal use of “sources say”, “officials say”, “friends say”, with a nearly complete lack of names or proof. No reputable paper would dare to suggest in this manner if the supposed events, a possible murder, had occurred in the United States or Britain. What we have here is journalistic corruption of the highest — or lowest — order.Jonathan Mirsky, the ex-East Asia Editor of the Times, is an historian and a journalist specializing in Chinese affairs. In 1990 he was named British Editors’ “International Reporter of the Year.”

  • China Voice: Why do rumors repeatedly arise in Bo Xilai incident? – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) — Wiretaps, political struggles and so-called “exclusive tip-offs” regarding the Bo Xilai incident have been reported by some foreign media in recent days.However, people who know a little bit about China’s actual conditions may find these reports quite absurd.

    Generally speaking, the tip-offs in the foreign reports have something in common. They lack exact sources of information, make groundless speculations and feature critical remarks about China’s political situation.

  • Heywood-Bo Link Shows Role of Middlemen in Driving China Deals – Bloomberg
  • Uh Oh: World Food Prices Spike As Soy Harvest Collapses | Via Meadia
  • Romney Calls for Protecting Chinese Dissident – NYTimes.com
  • U.S. Official in Beijing to Discuss Chen Guangcheng – NYTimes.com
    The senior diplomat, Kurt M. Campbell, an assistant secretary of state, arrived Sunday to meet with Chinese officials concerning Mr. Chen’s case, and to try to keep the matter from undermining the administration’s longstanding effort to improve economic and security relations with China, senior officials and diplomats in Washington and Beijing said…
    Officials in Washington and Beijing refused Sunday to talk about Mr. Campbell’s mission or any negotiations he may be conducting. The senior American official said that much remained unclear, including China’s response to what has become a major embarrassment to Beijing. “It’s not something that’s going to be resolved quickly,” the official said.
  • Exclusive: Senate probe finds little evidence of effective torture | Reuters
    (Reuters) – A nearly three-year-long investigation by Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats is expected to find there is little evidence the harsh “enhanced interrogation techniques” the CIA used on high-value prisoners produced counter-terrorism breakthroughs.
  • 福建男子拍摄军用飞机视频上传网络获刑_新浪军事_新浪网
  • Beijing subway handles 8.39 m passengers|Society|chinadaily.com.cn
    BEIJING – Beijing’s subway lines posted a record daily passenger trips of 8.39 million on Saturday, according to the Beijing MTR Corporation.
  • Forbidden City breaks down another barrier|Society|chinadaily.com.cn
    The world will soon get to see more of the intriguing Forbidden City, home to generations of Chinese emperors spanning five centuries – at no extra cost.
    With the opening of the secluded residence of empresses and imperial concubines, which lies to the west of Longzong Gate, visitors will enter into some of the crucial quarters of the Inner Court – once prohibited and punishable by death.
    The decision to open up parts of the Inner Court to tourists is part of efforts by the world’s largest palace complex to cater to the interests of the increasing number of visitors, curator Shan Jixiang said on Thursday.
  • No such thing as ‘state capitalism’ in China – People’s Daily Online
    Certain Western officials and scholars have repeatedly criticized China for implementing “state capitalism,” claiming that China encourages its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to monopolize resources and stifle the growth of foreign investment. Based on what they believe to be unfair competition practices, they have called for restrictions on overseas investment by Chinese SOEs. However, their claim is totally untenable.
  • China Tells IPO Bankers to ‘Like’ Facebook – IFR – NYTimes.com
    HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s internet censors have a dim view of Facebook, but that has not stopped it from being a model of sorts for the country’s securities regulator, IFR reported on Saturday.At a regular training seminar last week, the China Securities and Regulatory Commission (CSRC) urged IPO bankers to learn from the risk disclosures in Facebook’s listing prospectus, the report added.
  • Study Sheds Light on How Birds Navigate by Magnetic Field – NYTimes.com
    two researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Le-Qing Wu and David Dickman, have solved a central part of that puzzle, identifying cells in a pigeon’s brain that record detailed information on the earth’s magnetic field, a kind of biological compass.
  • President Obama, Warrior in Chief – NYTimes.com
    THE president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.
  • » In Hunan, 99 Ways To Heaven… On The Highway To Hell Beijing Cream
    Hunan, already known for its spicy food and being the birthplace of Mao Zedong, will soon have another claim to fame: the most dangerous place for drivers. Check out the images of Tianmenshan Heaven-Linking Avenue, which has 99 turns to symbolize Heaven’s nine palaces
  • China: The Heroine Behind Chen Guangcheng’s Escape Arrested · Global Voices
    Since February 2011, Pearl He has been trying to visit Chen Guangcheng and campaigning for his release. A few months ago I interviewed her briefly about her activist’s path for a research project on Gender and Citizenship conducted by a NGO – IT for Change. Below is a summary of the online interview:Who is He Peirong?

  • Neil Heywood, the French frontman and the Chinese hot air balloon deal – Telegraph
    The death of Neil Heywood has come under fresh scutiny as new details can be disclosed about the business dealings of the Chinese woman accused of his murder – including a bizarre deal she struck to import hot air balloons from Dorset to China…
    When the deal was struck, Xu Ming, the head of the Dalian Shide Group and China’s fifth richest man, came to Bournemouth, and took a ride with Mrs Gu and Mr Devillers.
  • China to Loan South Sudan $8 Billion for Infrastructure Projects – Bloomberg
  • 北京今日遭重度污染 专家建议关闭门窗留在室内|污染|空气质量|沙尘_新浪新闻
  • Venusense-Company Introduction
    Founded in 1996, Beijing Venustech is China’s most powerful provider of network security products, trusted security management platform and specialized security services and solutions. It has always been committed to providing internationally competitive proprietary security products and best practice services and helping its customers fully promote the security and productive efficiency of their IT infrastructures.So far, Venustech has provided security equipments and solutions to over 30,000 users worldwide, over 30 of global top 500 firms, all Chinese telecom carriers, over 80% of Chinese banking institutions and over 60% of China’s large state-owned enterprise

  • 启明星辰-北京启明星辰信息安全技术有限公司
    this company is target of a bit of an online campaign as some claim it provides technology for the GFW
  • Retired Israeli Security Chief Questions Leaders on Iran – NYTimes.com
    The recently retired chief of Israel’s internal security agency accused the government of “misleading the public” about the likely effectiveness of an aerial strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, ratcheting up the criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak from the country’s security establishment.
  • Google Engineer Told Others of Data Collection, F.C.C. Report Reveals – NYTimes.com
    SAN FRANCISCO — Google’s harvesting of e-mails, passwords and other sensitive personal information from unsuspecting households in the United States and around the world was neither a mistake nor the work of a rogue engineer, as the company long maintained, but a program that supervisors knew about, according to new details from the full text of a regulatory report.
  • Dissident’s flight could strain U.S.-China ties – CNN.com
    johnson now the us media go-to-guy on china//
    Editor’s note: Christopher K. Johnson is a senior adviser and holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He previously served as a senior China analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.
    (CNN) — Washington and Beijing may be facing the most tense and delicate moment in their bilateral relationship since the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. The reported escape from house arrest of dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng and his apparent flight to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, while not yet officially confirmed, would greatly complicate the Obama administration’s efforts to keep relations on an even keel in a year already fraught with bilateral irritants.
  • Chen Guangcheng Escapes House Arrest in Shandong Province : The New Yorker
    perhaps only the credulous will have the “well-intentioned” memory//In his escape and his appeal, Chen has posed several questions. He has asked Premier Wen Jiabao to protect his family and address the corruption at the root of his case. In doing so, Chen has given Wen perhaps his final chance, in the final months of a frustrated ten-year term, to fulfill his oft-stated intentions to reform the system. As of now, Wen will be remembered as a well-intentioned but ultimately ineffective advocate for political reform.

  • Flight of Chen Guangcheng, Chinese Rights Lawyer, Thrills Dissidents – NYTimes.com
    That the underground network of activists was able to help Mr. Chen evade his captors and move around the capital undetected for days has undoubtedly shaken Chinese leaders, who have become increasingly determined to suppress dissent through technology and brute force. Friends say his escape was so well executed that local officials did not realize until Thursday that he was gone…According to Hu Jia, a well-known dissident and AIDS activist who met with him in Beijing last week, Mr. Chen, who had arrived in the capital on Monday, spent the subsequent three days protected by a loose network of supporters who made sure he slept in a different apartment each night.

    Mr. Hu, who himself has been under constant surveillance said the network consisted of five people. After several frantic days, he said, “It was decided that there was only one place in China that is absolutely safe, and that’s the U.S. Embassy.”

    He said he was certain that Mr. Chen had made it to the embassy because on Friday he received a predetermined coded message confirming that Mr. Chen had made it there.

    China Aid, a Christian organization in Texas, also helped in the effort to bring Mr. Chen to safety. Although he would not provide much detail of that assistance, the president of China Aid, Bob Fu, said he was in frequent contact with Mr. Chen in Beijing.

  • Chen Guangcheng is New Pawn in China’s Two Tugs of War – NYTimes.com
    at the same time the issue could redound to the benefit of hard-liners, who may see his escape as part of a conspiracy to embarrass China that involves the United States, several diplomats here said.For the Obama administration, the case presents multiple headaches. Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has accused President Obama of essentially being soft on China, an argument that could limit Mr. Obama’s negotiating room with the Chinese over Mr. Chen.

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