Today’s China Readings August 18, 2012

Links only today:

  • 江泽民生日党报噤声被指异常_多维新闻网 no official birthday wishes for jiang zemin on august 17th. hk media says strange//【多维新闻】8月17日是中国前国家主席江泽民的生日,香港媒体称,中共党报《人民日报》没有在江泽民生日刊登相关文章很是异常。
  • 温州投资客否认全军覆没 专家称炒房团只折两三成_地方经济_新浪财经_新浪网
    温州炒房团最近再次成为被关注的焦点。“卷土重来”的消息犹在耳畔,最近却有媒体报道温州八成炒房者资不抵债,面临全军覆没的危险。“全军覆没的说法太夸张,但我们也没有再次卷土重来的机会和条件。炒房团现在处于一种灰色状态,既没有媒体说的那么风光,也没有那么惨,但的确是有人赔了。”一位温州投资客告诉《华夏时报》记者。
  • China to Sentence Gu Monday; Questions Mount – WSJ.com
    remarkable if no one executed for this crime//
    The Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern city of Hefei is widely expected to find Ms. Gu and a family aide guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood by poisoning him when he was drunk, according to party insiders, lawyers, analysts and diplomats following the case.
    Those people also expect her to be given a suspended death sentence—to be commuted to life in prison after two years—and the family aide, Zhang Xiaojun, to be sent to prison for a shorter period. Neither of the accused contested murder charges at their trial on August 9.
  • 央视:微信摇一摇功能成卖淫嫖娼新途径|卖淫|嫖娼|新途径_新浪视频
    CCTV on how a prostitute uses Tencent’s Weixin (aka WeChat) for business, and specifically the “shake and shake” function. discovered after prostitute arrested
  • The Jamestown Foundation: Army Day Coverage Stresses PLA’s Contributions and Party Control
    This year’s Army Day media coverage not only celebrated the PLA’s 85th anniversary, but also placed strong emphasis on Party control of the military and the loyalty of the army to the CCP, in keeping with a body of commentary this year that seems to reflect some anxiety about support for “army nationalization.” The leadership transition may well be intensifying such concerns, but exhortations to remain obedient to the Party and resist calls for “nationalization” have been a recurrent theme in official media for a decade or more, making it very difficult to discern whether anything truly unusual is afoot this time. Nonetheless, the emphasis on resisting “army nationalization” suggests ensuring the PLA’s loyalty to the Party is a preoccupation for Hu Jintao and other top leaders as the succession process unfolds.
  • The Jamestown Foundation: Hu Jintao’s Doubtful Future on the Central Military Commission
    If Hu Jintao retains the CMC chair, then it probably will have been the result of a power play that demonstrates Hu has had more power than is typically ascribed to him. He has seemed to float between rhetorical inconsequence and the ability to target individual opponents within the Chinese system, such as Chen Liangyu and Bo Xilai (“The Soapbox and the Truncheon: Hu Jintao’s Amorphous Power,” China Brief, July 19). Retaining the CMC chair would allow Hu to play a lasting role in Chinese national security policymaking, but the position probably would be limited in terms of promoting the members of his China Youth League faction up the ranks—except as a one-time bargaining chip to trade away. Given the reports of a contentious relationship with some military leaders—including one he promoted to general—the former may not be sufficient reason for Hu to want to stay on (New York Times, August 7; Ming Pao, July 22).
    On balance, however, the prognosis does not look good for Hu Jintao retaining the CMC chair for the next two years unless new signs of the PLA rallying behind him in the coming weeks amid some sort of crisis. Whether Hu steps down or not, it may not indicate anything important about the institutionalization of Chinese politics. Nevertheless, if the positions of party general secretary, state president and CMC chair transition smoothly to Xi Jinping at the 18th Party Congress, then China still will have seen its first clear transition of power under the Chinese Communist Party
  • 我国首家科技银行浦发硅谷银行在沪成立-中国金融新闻网
     中国第一家专注于服务科技创新产业的合资银行——浦发硅谷银行8月15日在上海成立,中共中央政治局委员、上海市委书记俞正声出席开业仪式并为其揭牌。
  • 投资拉动:基础设施建设大步迈进-中国金融新闻网
  • Sinica Podcast–The Fourth Estate  Following the Chinese media’s intense coverage of the blitzkrieg trial and conviction of Gu Kailai, those of us at Sinica want to take this opportunity to look back at the most riveting China story of the year. And while we’ve covered developments week-by-week and assume you have too, as Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn point out in today’s show, there’s been very little discussion of how the story itself broke: how and when did Western journalists cut through the Chinese rumor mill? Answering these questions and representing the fourth estate in our studio today are two excellent journalists who’ve covered the story from unsubstantiated rumor to official conviction. We’re pleased to be joined specifically by Gady Epstein, a long-time China correspondent currently writing for the Economist. Also in our studio is Jeremy Page, an experienced China journalist who writes for the Wall Street Journal and made his name as one of the first investigative reporters to crack and confirm the Gu Kailai /Neil Heywood connection back when most coverage of the Wang Lijun affair consisted of myriad and conflicting rumors centered on Bo Xilai and municipal corruption in Chongqing.
  • Commentary: A law-twisting, reality-distorting charge against China over South China Sea – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    Foreign media may have the freedom to opine on the disputes between China and some of its neighbors over the South China Sea, but the last thing they should do is to pile unfounded charges against China without solid, justifiable evidence.
    It seems that few media have ever shown any willingness to do so, whether out of prejudice or other intentions. The latest example is an editorial published Thursday by The Washington Post, arguing that the United States “is right to assail China on its South China Sea claims.”
  • China, DPRK vow to develop economic zones – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) shakes hands with Jang Song Thaek, head of a delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and chief of the central administrative department of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 17, 2012. Jang, also a member of the WPK Political Bureau and vice-chairman of the National Defense Commission, is in Beijing to attend a meeting of the joint steering committee for developing and managing the Rason Economic and Trade Zone and the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone in the DPRK.
  • China Focus: Major online retailers extend price war to high street – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    A report jointly released by international auditing firm Deloitte and the China Chain Store and Franchise Association (CCSFA) on Friday showed that Chinese chain retail stores saw sluggish or even declining sales growth from the second half of 2011 due to rising costs and fierce competition.
    “For home-appliance retailers, this is a hard time in which they have to widen the gap between competitors in the market,” said Long Yongxiong, consumption and transportation industry joint leader of Deloitte China.
    Traditional retailers were particularly hurt by cost increases, as they require higher labor and operational costs. In 2011, domestic retailers’ wages went up by an average of 26 percent and their rents by an average of 10 percent, according to the CCSFA.
  • China’s property regulation policies “carried out well” – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    China’s property regulation measures have been “carried out well” by local authorities and speculative housing demand has been curbed, according to the results of a State Council inspection announced late on Friday.
  • 人民日报-国务院督查组在16个省(市)检查发现 房地产调控措施落实较好 对执行调控政策不力、放松调控政策的地区,要实行问责
  • 人民日报-人民网
    Hu et al meeting w Olypmians make page 1 people’s daily. no one has a tan but they look to all be back to “normal business” at least from leadership appearances in state media
  • President Hu greets Chinese Olympians – Xinhua | English.news.cn
    Chinese top leaders Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang meet with members of the Chinese mainland delegation to the London Olympics, in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 17, 201
  • Beijing’s Largest Real-Estate Developer Tells Us What’s Going On In The Chinese Real Estate Market – Business Insider
    SOHO China Ltd., Beijing’s largest real-estate developer, reported a 65 percent decline in first half net profits, because of it completed fewer projects than expected, which caused its stock to tumble nearly 5.5 percent.
    But what jumped out was the company’s decision to switch its business model to “buy-hold”, from “buy-sell”. The company said this switch was motivated by its attempt to “capture the huge growth in rental and value for prime office buildings in Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Soho China Is Turning to Rental to Reverse 65% Profit Drop – Bloomberg
    Soho China Ltd. (410), the Beijing-based commercial developer whose profit dropped 65 percent, said it will hold on to more of its properties as office rents in Beijing and Shanghai rise.
    Investment properties will bring in almost 4 billion yuan ($628 million) of annual rental income in three years, Zhang Xin, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong-listed company, which has traditionally sold most of its projects, said yesterday in a Bloomberg TV interview. Soho China took in 76 million yuan in rental income in the first half, while income from sales of properties was 1.15 billion yuan.
  • Did soccer originate in China?|Life|chinadaily.com.cn
    Who invented soccer? It is a debate that has raged among aficionados of the beautiful game for years. Whilst the rules for the modern-day format are less than 200 years old, the origins of the sport are far older. According to Sepp Blatter, president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, it is China that can lay claim to its invention, with Linzi, the capital of the ancient Chinese state of Qi, the designated birthplace.
    Though the Chinese Football Association was only founded in 1924, centuries before, the nation had a thriving sport going by the name of cuju (蹴鞠), which literally translates as “kick ball with foot”.
  • Pest ‘affect little’ on corn production|Industries|chinadaily.com.cn
    Despite a recent pest attack, China’s corn output will not drop sharply and the country can maintain a sufficient supply without increasing imports from the international market, an agriculture expert said.
    The comments came a day after the China National Grain and Oils Information Center, a government think tank, put its estimate for this year’s corn yield at 197 million metric tons, 0.5 million tons less than its forecast a month ago. And China will probably import 3 million tons, it said.
  • China’s slowdown: the impact on Africa | beyondbrics
    A lot of ink has been spilled of late discussing the global impact of China’s slowing economic growth. But there has been little discussion however about how African economies will be affected.
    Now, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has stepped into the gap with a report published this week. It says, in short,  that the China slow down may be bad for metal exporters, but opportunities should present themselves for African manufacturers.
  • On the trail of a mythical beast|Life|chinadaily.com.cn
    One man has made it his life mission to track down the mysterious ‘Wildman’ that is said to be roaming the mountains of Shennongjia. Wang Xiaodong reports in Shennongjia, Hubei province.
    For the past three decades, Li Guohua has had just one mission in life: to find the legendary “Wildman” in the thick forests of Hubei province.
  • China Economic Watch | Is China Becoming More Expensive?
    convincing?//It’s a common argument these days that China is becoming too expensive and losing its competitive edge in trade. The press is full of anecdotes from foreign companies complaining that they are being priced out of China and are moving operations elsewhere. Those that follow China know that these arguments are not new and are often exaggerated. The three data points below should cause you to be skeptical of claims that China is becoming less competitive.
  • State Researchers: China Should Reform Land Transfer System – WSJ.com
    China should overhaul its current land transfer system by implementing land leasing instead of allowing local governments to collect one-off revenue from land sales, state researchers said Wednesday.
    To help create a sustainable source of revenue for local governments, authorities should replace revenue from land transfers with that from land leasing, which can be collected on an annual basis, several researchers from the development research center of the State Council said in a paper posted on the website of a newspaper under the think tank.
  • Arctic Sea Ice Heads for Record Low as Melt Beats Forecasts – Bloomberg
    The area of ocean covered by ice shrank to 4.93 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles) on average for the five days through Aug. 15, according to the latest data from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. With as many as five weeks of the annual melt season left, it’s already the fourth-lowest annual minimum ever measured.
  • China’s Northern Voyagers | China Bystander
    Mariners first sought a northern passage across the roof of the world from Europe to the riches of the Orient centuries ago. So it is a surprise, to this Bystander at least, that what is said to be the first Chinese ship to make the voyage in the opposite direction has only just done so. The Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, an icebreaker in the commission of the Polar Research Institute of China and which also has the distinction of being the world’s largest non-nuclear icebreaker, arrived in Iceland earlier this week after sailing north along the coast of Russia and then weaving its way through five of the seas that comprise the Arctic Ocean. The photo above shows the Xue Long off the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. More photographs here.
  • Domestic violence: Beaten but unbowed | The Economist
    IN 2006, when she was seven months pregnant, Kim Lee was kicked so hard in the abdomen by her husband that she needed hospital treatment. Such domestic violence, though shocking, is not uncommon in China. Around a quarter of Chinese women have experienced domestic abuse, according to the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), a state-controlled NGO, but experts say the real figure is probably much higher. Concerns about losing family “face” mean many incidents go unreported, and few offenders are ever punished.。。What makes Ms Lee different is that she is a white American. Her husband is Li Yang, the celebrity founder of Crazy English, a wildly popular English-language training institute, which encourages students to learn English by shouting it at the top of their voices.
  • Uni group ‘propaganda’ reshapes lama tale | The Australian
    Confucius Institute at Sydney University is being attacked for presenting a lecture on Tibet by a Chinese academic who is a staunch critic of the Dalai Lama.
    Australian supporters of the Dalai Lama and a leading international academic have joined in the attack on the lecture by Zhang Yun, scheduled for Wednesday.
  • Taiwanese Journalists Quit over Parent Company’ TV Deal – Caixin Online
    Newspaper’ employees angry they were used in smear campaign linked to controversial Want Want acquisition
  • 中国蜡像馆将向朝鲜人民赠送金正日蜡像|中国|朝鲜|金正日_新浪新闻
    China Waxworks to give North Korea a wax Kim jong-il//
    【环球时报综合报道】 朝鲜劳动党中央书记局书记金基南、崔泰福一行近日在京与中国人民和平外交促进会代表团会面,促进会执行会长、中国伟人蜡像馆馆长章默雷表示,将向朝鲜人民赠送金正日蜡像,以表达中国人民长期以来对朝鲜人民的深情厚谊。
  • 支持简化中国人赴英签证申请 – – FT中文网
    good comment on UK giving more visas to chinese. english version coming this weekend in the ft.//
    我希望梅伊大臣能对她很不客观、甚至具有侮辱性的语言表示歉意。同时我也对亨特大臣(他的妻子是中国人)的提议给予支持,相信中国政府也很愿意尽自己的责任,为深化两国关系给予相应的投资与合作。
  • A Look Inside the Vault — VaultPress
    if you run a wordpress blog this service is worth every penny. saved Sinocism last night//
    VaultPress provides realtime, continuous backup and synchronization of every post, comment, media file, revision and dash­board setting across at least two separate cloud services in addition to the Automattic grid, ensuring no loss of content.
  • 《北京日报》高层大换血 左派社长或“因言获罪”_多维新闻网 Changes at top of Beijing Daily after series of very old school, conservative, pedantic editorials?
  • Exclusive: China tightens lending rules for trusts, corporate bill market | Reuters
    No Ayn Randiots running China’s financial system// China is readying twin initiatives to curb opaque financing practices that threaten the stability of the country’s $864 billion investment trust industry and booming corporate paper market, sources with direct knowledge of the plans told Reuters.
    The moves, coming separately from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), form part a campaign to clean up China’s financial system as it opens up domestic capital markets to diversify funding options for cash-strapped firms in the world’s No 2 economy.
  • China Said to Order Action by Banks as Developer Loans Sour – Bloomberg
    China’s banking regulator told lenders to push developers for faster home sales, citing signs that credit quality is worsening, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
    The China Banking Regulatory Commission told lenders they should also demand more collateral, or tell developers to sell projects or stakes, if the banks predict they’ll have difficulty repaying loans due within 12 months, the person said, asking not to be identified because the instructions aren’t public.
  • Is Muddy Waters Profiting From Research Or Rumor-Mongering? – Forbes
    While some of Muddy’s allegations are plausible, the conclusion that EDU engaged in fraudulent accounting practices is inconsistent with the facts, especially considering that some of the alleged suspicions can be attributed to Chinese cultural norms that the report conveniently dismissed.
    This article does not seek to promote EDU as a stock, let alone to defend the inherent deficiencies of a Variable Interest Entity (VIE) structure, for both deserve separate analysis.  Rather, it offers insights for investors by decoding Muddy’s forceful yet ungrounded accusations. (Disclosure: The author purchased the stock subsequent to the release of the Muddy Waters’ report dated July 18)
  • Muddy Waters Throws Too Much Mud at New Oriental | PandoDaily
    looking forward to the reaction to this article, written by shanda’s first general counsel// 
    Muddy Waters Research, an equity research firm specializing in China concept companies, recently issued a report on New Oriental Education & Technology Group, one of the largest providers of private educational services in China. The research report alleged, among other things, that New Oriental’s corporate structure is designed to enable the company chairman to defraud shareholders. The Muddy Waters report does not, however, present a fair or accurate analysis of New Oriental’s corporate structure.
  • CICC: Major Fiscal Reforms Unlikely Ahead of China’s Leadership Change-Caijing
    China is unlikely to launch major fiscal reforms in the coming months in the run-up to a new leadership team, chief strategist Huang Haizhou at China International Capital Corporation (CICC) said Thursday.
    Such reforms are needed actually, according to Huang. He predicted that would happen after the once-a-decade leadership transition.
  • Ex-MS Banker in China Bribery Case: My Side of Story – US  Business News – CNBC
    How much did he and his shanghai wife clear after all the fines and legal bills? and will Singapore allow a convicted US felon to live there after he gets out of jail?//
    But in an exclusive interview conducted on the eve of his sentencing, Peterson told Investigations Inc. there is more to his case than meets the eye — and less than the victory against corruption that Morgan Stanley and the government are claiming.
    “What I feel bad about is the government lying to the public and saying that they (Morgan Stanley) had this wonderful compliance program, when in fact the government knows that it wasn’t getting into people’s heads, which is what really matters,” he said.
    Peterson also insisted that the real estate deal in question was not about bribing the Chinese official as the government claims, but was about recouping his own investment in the real estate development, which he said pre-dated his employment at Morgan Stanley. He said he was angry when the firm required him to divest his interest in the deal.
  • SEC Complaint: Garth Roland Peterson-PDF
    original sec complaint against morgan stanley banker garth paterson. fun read
  • Cheng Li–Leadership Transition in the CPC: Promising Progress and Potential Problems | Brookings Institution
    The transformation of China from an all-powerful strongman-dominated political system to its current structure of collective leadership has generated new institutional rules and norms in elite politics. Over the past decade, top Chinese leaders have begun using the term “intra-Party democracy” to describe the idea that the Communist Party of China (CPC) should institutionalize checks and balances within its leadership. This development in turn has affected political dynamics and elite behaviors. This article reviews the CPC’s institutional development in the reform era and discusses the challenges and opportunities that the CPC is encountering on the eve of the 18th Party Congress
  • A Media Boss’ Balancing Act – Caixin Online
    Li Ruigang made sweeping changes at Shanghai Media Group, and those who know him say he understands how to handle the demands of the government and market
  • 国际先驱导报-举国体制决非“恶之花”
    核心提示: 我们不能片面看待举国体制的存在,将运动员的失利完全归结于体制问题是不科学的。
  • CHINASCOPE – Huanqiu: The United States Will Be Exhausted Trying to Contain China
    Huanqiu published a commentary on the U.S. policy to contain China. It stated that such a policy has motivated China’s neighboring countries, because of their own conflicts with China, to participate in the campaign to contain China. This is the geopolitical security challenge that China faces now. According to the commentary, the containment policy is a strategy of intimidation against China. It will harm both the United States and China and may lead to internal rifts within the camp that the United States leads. The containment strategy will exhaust the U.S. allies. China should use economic means to break the weak link among them and accelerate their exhaustion so that the allies will eventually abandon the United States.
  • Inside China, Getting Rich – WSJ.com
    decades ago, China’s Deng Xiaoping is said to have energized the nation’s capitalists by declaring: “To get rich is glorious.”
    Turns out that really meant: “Get rich and you’ll get audited.”
    Entrepreneurs who make it big and land on well-publicized rich lists in China are more likely to draw government scrutiny, some new research shows.
  • Barrick’s Costly Copper Mistake Turns Golden for China – Deal Journal – WSJ
    The deal is meant to raise cash, after Barrick found itself saddled with an Africa copper operation that it bought in 2011, a deal that looks pricey in retrospect, with Barrick’s investors clamoring for better returns and a more disciplined financial approach. New chief executive Jamie Sokalsky, appointed in June after the resignation of Aaron Regent, is demonstrating his resolve and the rigor of a former chief financial officer by putting up one of the company’s most valuable assets for sale.
  • Spaceplane Development Becomes a New Dimension of Emerging U.S.-China Space Competition | China SignPost™ 洞察中国
  • Motorola China Employees Protest Against Google, Fear At Least 1,000 Local Lay-Offs About a hundred employees of Motorola China have protested outside of a company’s R&D facility in Nanjing, eastern China, decrying what they call the “illegal firing” of Motorola Mobility employees in the country. Google-owned (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola has reportedly informed local workers of the lay-offs, but has not gone public with the whole figure for its proposed China cuts. [UPDATED: There are protests today, Friday, in Beijing as well. See the photos below].
  • Chinese Posters  200 Highlights from the collections of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, and Stefan R. Landsberger (University of Amsterdam, Leiden University)
  • ‘Chinese Gardens,’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – NYTimes.com  To anyone strolling through the Chinese painting galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer, the world itself looks like a garden of infinite expansion. That’s the impression given by the 80 paintings and objects that make up the exhibition called “Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats.” Drawn from the museum’s deep holdings, it’s a show about paradises lost and found; about nature blooming and fading; about cosmological events transpiring in backyard bamboo groves.
  • China’s News Media Are Making Inroads in Africa – NYTimes.com Beijing’s efforts to win Kenyan affections involve much more than bricks and concrete. The country’s most popular English-language newspapers are flecked with articles by the Chinese state news agency, Xinhua. Television viewers can get their international news from either CCTV, the Chinese broadcasting behemoth, or CNC World, Xinhua’s English-language start-up. On the radio, just a few notches over from Voice of America and the BBC, China Radio International offers Mandarin instruction along with upbeat accounts of Chinese-African cooperation and the global perambulations of Chinese leaders.
  • 业内曝国内90%豆油含转基因 国产大豆被逼进死角_农业宏观经济_新浪财经_新浪网

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.