Today’s China Readings June 20, 2012

Cambodia police have arrested French architect Patrick Henri Devillers, an associate of Bo Xilai’s Wife Gu KailaiAFP reports that “Cambodian police said the arrest of Patrick Devillers was carried out with the cooperation of Beijing, which is seeking his extradition.” Anyone who thinks Cambodia is safe from the lengthening arm of Chinese law is not thinking clearly. The best case for Devillers may be that Beijing just wants him as a material witness?

The erratic Boxun claims that the Bo Xilai verdict is due before the end of June. So within ten days we should either know the resolution of Bo’s case or have further proof that Boxun will print just about anything.

Now that China has forced the Philippines to back down over Huangyan Island, perhaps Vietnam is next? Xinhua reports in China dissatisfied over Vietnam’s island patrols that:

A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed strong dissatisfaction over Vietnamese fighters’ recent patrolling and reconnaissance on Nansha Islands in the South China Sea…Speaking at a regular press briefing in response to a journalist’s question on the subject, Hong Lei said, “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Vietnam’s recent action is a serious violation of China’s sovereignty.”

Vietnam is unlikely to bend as the Philippines just did.

WantChinaTimes writes that Kweichow Moutai outshines Apple in rewarding shareholders. In China at least they are both excellent plays on corruption, though it is unfortunate that foreigners can not buy Moutai A shares. I recently discussed Moutai’s business and its 2012 lucky brand in Xi Jiu, A Baijiu Bet on Xi Jinping.

A new report predicts that in 2015, At Least 40% of Smartphones in China Will Be Priced Below $200. I wrote about the coming tsunami of cheap Chinese smartphones a couple of weeks ago, writing that a big concern for Beijing will be the likely exponential growth in the censorship load. Some filtering can be done with software, but as we have seen with Weibo much still has to be done with humans. I am no cyber-utopian, but the proliferation of cheap, 3G smartphones throughout China, and not just 1st and 2nd tier cities, could have profound implications for the political system.

Speaking of censorship, Pando Daily’s Hamish McKenzie writes that Internet Censorship Isn’t Just for China and PCWorld reports in Chinese Operators Hope to Standardize a Segmented Internet that Chinese researchers have submitted a draft proposal to the Internet Engineering Task Force that “describes how the Internet could be split into several parts using the Domain Name System and in the process give countries more control over their own segment of the network.” One world, two Internets.

Xinhua tells us that Infrastructure investment is vital for China’s continual growth, writing that:

…besides investment plans, China this time has initiated a slew of other structural reforms, including taxation reductions and opening the floodgates for private investments, to target long-term sustainable growth. But these policies will take time to have an effect on the economy, and in the short term, infrastructure investment will shield the economy from a hard landing.

Danwei is out with the Danwei Model Worker Awards 2012, a list of the best specialist websites, blogs and online sources of information about China. It is the premier list of English-language China resources and I am honored to be included. Thanks @Danwei.

The best way to read this blog is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. The email signup page is here, outside the GFW. You can also follow me on @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Comments/tips/suggestions/donations are welcome, and feel free to forward to recommend to friends. Thanks for reading.

The best way to read this blog is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. The email signup page is here, outside the GFW. You can also follow me on @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Comments/tips/suggestions/donations are welcome, and feel free to forward to recommend to friends. Thanks for reading.

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