The New York Times has an excellent look at the CFIUS process and prospects for the Shuanghui-Smithfields deal in Running the National Security Gantlet in a Pork Deal:
These risks are mitigated by the fact that the process is very much a regulatory one that by law is supposed to be free from politics. This means that those hoping that Washington might trade approval for this deal for more access to China are going to be disappointed. [Too bad. See this document on the US FDA website about what meat can be exported to China.]
Still while politics can’t overtly enter the process, it is possible that an outcry could spur Cfius to approach this deal in a different way and take a harder line with Shuanghui. It’s a real risk, though maybe not a huge one.
In the end, the biggest danger boils down to “uproar risk.” In other words, will there be a public outcry about China and food that leads to Cfius or Congress acting? These days it is not hard to see the public getting worked up over a controversial issue, but this is a risk that Smithfield likely took, because after all this is an American not Chinese problem.
Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley may be an indicator of that “uproar risk”.
Bloomberg reports in Smithfield’s Sale Likely to Clear U.S. Security Review that:
Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, saying a sustainable food supply is critical to national security, urged CFIUS to consider issues such as the role the Chinese government plays in the Hong Kong-based acquirer.
“To have a Chinese food company controlling a major U.S. meat supplier is a bit concerning,” he said in a statement.
Grassley’s home state produces $4.1 billion of pork annually
No word on whether that $4.1 billion annual figure includes the pork that Sen. Grassley produces.
The Financial Times uses nine charts in Chinese consumers pig out to explain why Shuanghui wants this deal.
Reuters reveals some of Shaunghui’s connected investors in With big-name backers, Chinese firm eyes Smithfield’s know-how, brands:
Along the way, the tough negotiating Wan [Long], who also sits on the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, has had the backing of Goldman Sachs , Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and Wen Yunsong, or Winston Wen, son of former Premier Wen Jiabao, among others.
Wan, who is dubbed ‘China’s Chief Butcher’, and Shuanghui’s connection to Winston Wen gives the firm direct access to power brokers and key decision makers in Beijing through a powerful princeling stakeholder.
The ties with Wen are through private equity firm New Horizon, which holds its stake in Shuanghui through two investment vehicles, according to a 2012 research report from China Investment Capital Corp.
If this deal can help improve Chinese food standards then Americans should be all for it. The New York Times writes in Wariness Over a Deal Intended to Deliver More Pork to China that:
A growing amount of food commonly consumed by Americans — ranging from canned tuna and mandarin oranges to fresh mushrooms and apple juice — is now being imported from China. By the end of last year, the United States imported 4.1 billion pounds of food products from China, according to the Agriculture Department.
President Xi Jinping embarks on his Americas tour today. ChinaFile has an excellent conversation with Susan Shirk, Orville Schell, Robert Kapp, Andrew Nathan, David Wertime, and Elizabeth Economy asking What Should Obama and Xi Accomplish at Their California Summit? I got a handful of responses to my summit memo query, but this ChinaFile conversation may be much more useful.
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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
A race to the top between China & U.S.–CNN worth watching, Kuhn’s explanation of Xi’s nationalism and “leftward” tilt very compelling, very important. // CNN’s Christiane Amanpour speaks with Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a long-time adviser to China’s leaders, about the upcoming China U.S. summit.
郑志学：认清“宪政”的本质–理论–人民网–2013年05月29日07:59 来源：党建 “Zhengzhi Xue” in “Party Construction” on how understanding the essence of “Constitutionalism” and how its goal is to topple Socialist rule…strong words, appear to be upping the stakes? // 近年来，西方的宪政思想和宪政制度，成为我国法学界、政治学界关注的一个话题，甚至一度出现了一股宪政讨论热。在一些讨论中，有人以宪政没有东西方之分为名，或冠之以“普世价值”的伪装，鼓吹照搬西方宪政制度，推行多党制、议会民主和三权分立。这些看法在理论上是错误的，在实践上是有害的。也有学者提出，我们可以提“社会主义宪政”，与所谓“资本主义宪政”相区别，这是一个似是而非的说法，在认识上也是有偏差的。
Related: 中宣部：宪政就是推翻中共 颠覆社会主义_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei on the “Party construction” essay that equates advocating “Constitutionalism” with wanting to overthrow Socialism//【多维新闻】稍早前，中共学者在党刊发文正式向“宪政”发起挑战，结果造成旷日持久的舆论大混战，中共体制内智囊也产生分歧，民间自由派人士更是反击中共意欲全盘否定普世价值而为一党专政辩护。5月29日中宣部旗下《党建》杂志接棒继续向“宪政”发动猛攻，直指“宪政”本质就是实施资产阶级宪法，公然取消中共的领导地位，颠覆社会主义政权。
Related: 人民日报-坚定“三个自信”：坚定不移走中国道路 中国社会科学院中国特色社会主义理论体系研究中心-执笔：李 捷 西方的那套理论，新自由主义也好，民主社会主义也罢，既不符合中国国情，也不反映中国人民和中华民族的根本利益，不可能为当代中国指出科学正确的发展道路和发展方向…道路自信、理论自信、制度自信，都根源于理论的彻底、坚定、清醒、自觉。用马克思主义中国化最新成果武装全党、教育人民，切实增强理论学习、宣传、引导的针对性和实效性，在利益多样、思想多样的今天，意义尤为重大，任务尤为繁重。历史经验表明，理论一旦掌握群众，就会化为推动实践的强大力量。作为理论工作者，要自觉肩负起党和人民的重托，通过切实转作风、正学风、改文风的实际成效，坚定全党全社会的道路自信、理论自信、制度自信，坚定不移地走中国道路。
Hong Kong paper: Xi Jinping enraged over leak of taxi ride story – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “incognito” taxi ride in Beijing was leaked to the media against his orders, according to a Hong Kong newspaper whose rival reported then quickly retracted the story last month. Takungpao, known for a pro-Beijing stance, said in its April 18 edition that Xi traveled with only one attendant when he took the ride on March 1 in Beijing. The newspaper said later in the day that the report was false and apologized for the “misinformation.” But the May 26 edition of the Apple Daily, another Hong Kong newspaper, quoted Gao Yu, a high-profile journalist based in Beijing, as saying the story was true, despite an official denial from Chinese authorities.
India and China Tackle Border Dispute | Defense News | defensenews.com India and China are devising a mechanism to resolve their decades-old boundary dispute, which brought the two countries into brief combat in 1962. Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon will visit Beijing in the next two months to develop a method to help resolve the boundary dispute, said a source in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Related: India and Japan draw closer, with an eye on China – The Washington Post The goal, analysts say, is to isolate China with a view to limiting its territorial ambitions in the region. On Wednesday, Singh said India and Japan are “natural and indispensable partners” in efforts to bring about a “peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous future for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
Shaming Chinese hackers won’t work because cyber-espionage is here to stay | Adam Segal | guardian–Adam Segal Don’t look for any resolution when President Obama meets with President Jinping next week, but they can calm things down
Related: Obama urged to warn Chinese leader on cyber-security-USA Today Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., suggested that Obama, who is scheduled to a hold two days of meetings with Xi next week in California, underscore to the newly installed Chinese president that the Senate is moving forward with legislation that would create a watch list of foreign countries that engage in economic or industrial espionage in cyberspace.If passed, the bill, which is co-sponsored by Levin, would require the president to block imports of certain goods from countries, if he determines they benefited from stolen U.S. technology or intellectual property.
Related: Podcast: The U.S., China, and Cyber Security : The New Yorker On this week’s Political Scene podcast, Evan Osnos says the relationship is one based on “strategic distrust.” But, he continues, “There is a feeling on both the Chinese and the American sides that this moment is an opportunity to try to change the trajectory of this relationship.” Osnos, James Surowiecki, and John Seabrook join host Dorothy Wickenden to survey the roles that hacking and cyber security play in what Osnos calls the “steady growth of colliding interests”—in national-security, political, and economic realms—of both countries.
Related: Hacking accusations erroneous: Chinese defense spokesman – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Washington Post cited a U.S. Defense Science Board report to be submitted to the Pentagon as saying that many advanced U.S. weapon systems designs have been obtained by hackers from China. Spokesman Geng Yansheng said the report both underestimates the Pentagon’s security capabilities and the Chinese people’s intelligence. “China already has the ability to build the weapons needed for national security. China’s aircraft carrier, fighter jets, large transport aircraft and Beidou satellite navigation system have clearly demonstrated this,” he said.
For China’s Youth, A Life Of ‘Darkness Outside The Night’ : NPR my first graders are in the international department of a local Chinese school. They know they have it much easier than some of their friends in the Chinese side..and now when we need to “threaten” them for behavior modification we tell them that for second grade they will go to the Chinese side…”Nooo!”, and they behave…though wonder how much we are adding to the future psychotherapy bills..// Xie Peng, a 36-year-old Chinese graphic novelist, spent six years working on his first book, Darkness Outside the Night. It’s been praised by China’s first Nobel laureate for literature, Mo Yan, as inspiring people on how to deal with life. It’s a psychological journey into the world of young Chinese: a world of competition, stress and anxiety, but not necessarily one of politics. His characters, children of the one-child generation, are anxious and alienated.
Business Asia: There’s No Accounting for China’s Accounting – WSJ – Paul Gillis For a brief moment last week it looked like there had been a break in a serious regulatory dispute between the U.S. and China. On Friday, Washington and Beijing announced a deal for some information sharing between them concerning audits of U.S.-listed Chinese companies embroiled in accounting scandals. But there’s a whole lot less to this compromise than meets the eye, and those listings may still be in jeopardy.
Beijing of Dreams: An archive of old photographs showing the old gates and walls of Beijing (Peking) This is a website which shows the lost ‘Beijing of Dreams’, using old photos surviving from the time when Beijing was the greatest walled capital city anywhere in the world. We have concentrated at first upon showing the vast walls and gates of Beijing, all but a few traces of which are gone now. ..This website is a project of The History of Chinese Science and Culture Foundation. (www.chinesehsc.org)
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Chinese media rejects accusation of pressure on EU in solar row | Reuters The EU’s trade chief, Karel De Gucht, bluntly told China this week it was wasting its time trying to put pressure on him to drop the duties plans. But in a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency and posted on the Chinese government’s main website (www.gov.cn), China’s mission to the EU denied it was doing that.
China official PMI to show minimal growth in May | Reuters China’s slowing factory sector may have barely grown in May amid lackluster local and foreign demand, a Reuters poll showed, adding to fears that the world’s second-largest economy is losing steam. The median forecast of 10 economists polled by Reuters showed China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) likely retreated to 50.1 in May from April’s 50.6 to hover a whisker above the 50-point threshold.
China Iron and Steel Industry Profit Drops for 4th Consecutive Month in Apr.-Caijing China’s iron and steel companies have seen the fourth consecutive drop in profit in April, with many still struggling to make ends meet, according to the China Iron and Steel Association (ChinAISA). The country’s iron and steel companies reported a total net profit of 153million yuan in April, with 39.53% of them registering a loss. The figure for the last April was 37.21%, said ChinAISA Wednesday on its website.
In a First, Jiangsu Tests the AMC Waters – Caixin (Beijing) — The quiet launch of Jiangsu Asset Management Co. marks the start of the first local government-backed asset management company (AMC) to dispose of local banks’ non-performing loans. Headquartered in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, Jiangsu AMC has registered capital of 5 billion yuan. Its controlling shareholder is the city government’s investment vehicle, Wuxi Guolian Development (Group) Co. A source close to Wuxi Guolian said Jiangsu AMC is under the joint supervision of the provincial banking regulatory commission, the state-owned asset supervisor and the government financial office. Jiangsu AMC is the first step forward after the Ministry of Finance and the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) last year allowed local governments to set up local AMCs amid concerns about rising bad loans.
房产税扩围思路确定面向增量 杭州方案剑指存量|房产税|试点方案|买房_新浪财经_新浪网 interesting report on direction or property tax policy..sounds like will only apply to new purchases, but if you already own homes and buy a new one all your “inventory” above a certain threshold will be subject to the tax // 据《经济参考报》记者独家获悉的两地试点方案，虽然在扩围方向上剑指增量，但在人均免征面积或套数的划定和认定上，已经涉及“存量”部分。这意味着，已有试点意图探索将“存量”部分纳入房产税收缴范围。换句话说，在上述试点区域如果新购房产，其房产税征收范围将包括购房者或家庭存量住房。
以城镇化之名 平台债发行或放松_财经频道_一财网 第一财经日报 昨天从多个渠道证实，县级城镇化集合债券这个集合债新品种正在酝酿推出。已经有地方政府着手前期发行准备，但要成行还须国家发改委的批准。
POLITICS AND LAW
三中全会 【博主按】一中全会选领导，二中全会搭班子，三中全会定战略。当一再失望之后，大家自然只能把希望寄托在今年秋天的三中全会。 本秋全会被普遍认为将正式提出总体改革方案和路线图，能否顺利重启改革的关键在于：究竟会提什么样的改革方案？方案能否得到真正执行？中央编译局副局长俞可平透露，习-李将沿着小平的改革开放道路继续前进，本届三中全会将在改革上有大胆举措。许小年则表示，大会之后等两会，两会开了等全会。等来等去没动静，不如回家洗洗睡。 正如树人先生所言：希望本无所谓有，也无所谓无，这就像地上的路，其实地上本没有路，走的人多了，也便成了路。也许，国族天命如此，近-平，不过就是接近小平；而重望三中全会，本身也意味着已经入史的那个三中全会便是天花板。
China Releases Last June 4 Counterrevolutionary Imprisoned in Beijing-Duihua- China’s prison authorities have released the last individual known to be incarcerated in Beijing for “counterrevolutionary” crimes dating back to the June Fourth protests. Dui Hua believes that Jiang Yaqun (姜亚群) was released in October or November 2012, based on a notice posted online by the Jingshan Neighborhood Council (translated below). The 73-year-old suffers from Alzheimer’s and has no family or home to return to. His previous residence was sold in order to place his stepmother in a retirement home.
New Internet meme in China: “Principal, get a room with me. Let go of your students!” | Offbeat China However, in another world, China’s social media world, which oftentimes feels like a parallel universe to what China is offline, Chinese netizens are starting an alternative war against child abusers.//great, safe for work, pictures
People’s Daily’s imperial graft analogy draws criticism | South China Morning PostHeadlined “Learning Good Anti-Corruption Experiences in History”, the commentary explained how government institutions in imperial dynasties had tackled official corruption. The measures include the establishment of specialised supervisory agencies independent of other ministries and local governments, and the promulgation of anti-graft laws that held close relatives of corrupt officials liable and prohibited officials from receiving favours from other mandarins or the general public in cases where conflicts of interest could arise.
中央巡视组赴重庆检查是否对中央阳奉阴违等问题_新闻_腾讯网 巡视组在重庆工作期间，设专门值班电话：023-63311086，13677610019。设置专门邮政信箱：重庆市5110信箱（邮政编码400016）//have a corruption issue in Chongqing? CDIC officials in town as part of their nationwide inspection tour, phone numbers posted to report problems…
中国将首次接受联合国反腐败公约履约审议_网易新闻中心 新华网维也纳5月30日电 出席《联合国反腐败公约》实施情况审议组会议的中国代表团30日向本社记者证实，正在联合国维也纳办事处召开的审议组会议抽签确定，由越南和巴哈马担任审议国，对中国实施公约第三章(定罪和执法)和第四章(国际合作)的情况进行审议。 审议预计今年7月启动，中国香港特区和澳门特区将与内地共同接受审议。这是公约对中国生效7年多来，中国首次接受审议。
中共难舍实用主义红利 权力垄断理论盛行_中国_多维新闻网 事实上，中共尽管标榜是最为理论化的政党，但自始至终都是坚定的实用主义拥趸。从毛泽东提出的“痞子运动”、“工农武装割据”到邓小平的“实践检验真理”、“摸着石头过河”，中共一直自诩“反对教条主义、本本主义”重视实际。不可否认，实用主义的确给中共打江山及保持执政地位立下汗马功劳。但同时由于太过陶醉在实践的成功中，对理论日渐轻视。而理论也更多地成为可以随实际需要变化、剪裁的外衣，只有最高权力者才能操作。一方面是理论与实践的脱节，一方面是理论成为权力的禁脔不可轻动，因此每每在社会变化时遇到各种观点、思潮挑战时常常令中共陷入被动。目前，新上位的习近平祭出“三个自信”，但同时又重新喊出“空谈误国，实干兴邦”的政治口号，实用主义路线是否还会发生作用，相信在其看来也是一道难题。
人民日报-规范党内法规是法治中国需要（新论） 姜明安 建设法治中国，要求中国共产党依法执政、依规管党。通过“党内立法法”规范党内法规和党内规范性文件的制定，是推进和保障中国共产党依法执政、依规管党的重要步骤。（作者为北京大学法学院教授）
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
人民日报-为实现中国梦营造良好外部环境 ——写在国家主席习近平对美洲国家重大外交行动之际 国纪平 “Guo Jiping” with long piece in today’s People’s daily (page 1 plus jump” on China needing to create a good external environment for achieve the Chinese dream, written as Xi Jinping about to embark on his trip to meet Obama and visit other states in the Americas //
习近平美洲之行_腾讯新闻_腾讯网 Nice Tencent news microsite on Xi Jinping’s trip to the Americas, which starts today
人民日报-才能出色 富有远见 和蔼可亲 ——美国友人眼中的中国国家主席习近平 People’s Daily page three cites praise of Xi jinping from Americans who have met him
In China, Second Thoughts About ‘Dishonest Americans’ Column – NYTimes.com The People’s Daily, of course, is China’s Communist Party mouthpiece; and the comment reflected widespread disgust here at a column launched in the online edition of the People’s Daily with the title: “The Dishonest Americans Series” (that’s the People’s Daily’s translation; a more direct translation would be “Immoral and Untrustworthy Americans.”)
China to study possibility of joining U.S.-led trade talks | Reuters China will study the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, signaling its openness to the U.S.-led trade pact.
PacNet #36 – US-China Strategic Cooperation: Progress Continues, but Disagreements Remain | Center for Strategic and International Studies The cornerstone of China’s nuclear weapons policy is its pledge of no-first use (NFU). That has been a constant since Beijing acquired its first nuclear weapon and China’s call for others – particularly the United States – to follow suit has been the starting point of Chinese nuclear diplomacy. Not surprisingly, then, the failure to explicitly mention NFU in China’s latest defense white paper triggered an uproar among China watchers in the strategic community. This is much ado about nothing!
China rejects Philippines’ illegal seizure of Ren’ai Reef: FM spokesman – Xinhua | English.news.cn “The Philippine side, however, disregards China’s solemn stance and its own promise, attempts to intensify its illegal existence and seize the Ren’ai Reef, which seriously infringes upon China’s territorial sovereignty and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,” Hong said. “Chinese government ships are justified in carrying out regular patrols in relevant waters,” the spokesman said. China urges the Philippine side to earnestly honor its commitment, work together with China, refrain from doing things that complicate the situation and make due efforts in safeguarding the peace and stability of the South China Sea, Hong said.
China condemns Philippine encroachment on Ren’ai Reef – Xinhua | English.news.cn A national defense spokesman on Thursday reiterated China’s sovereignty over Ren’ai Reef in the South China Sea, adding that the illegal grounding of a Philippine vessel on the reef represents encroachment on China’s territorial sovereignty. China’s resolution and will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty is unswerving, Geng Yansheng, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said at a press conference.
China corrects Japan on treaty’s Diaoyu implications |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn China has urged Japan to squarely face the history and respect the fact following a Japanese official’s justifying Japan’s claims to the Diaoyu Islands based on the so-called San Francisco Peace Treaty…Hong said, the Chinese government has time and again reiterated that it regards the San Francisco Peace Treaty as illegal and invalid and therefore will definitely not recognize it, as the People’s Republic of China has never been involved in preparation, formulating or signing of the treaty. “The Diaoyu Islands have never been part of Liuqiu [AKA Ryukyus], and they are not in the trusteeship area defined by Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty,” Hong added
Hashimoto’s ‘inane’ remarks hurt Japan, play into China’s hands: Armitage | News | The Japan Times Armitage said such comments are “extraordinarily harmful to all of us” because China uses them as a reason to say to the world that Japan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is turning to the right and not squarely facing its wartime history. “Chinese go all around the region, including the United States, with the following message: You know, this government of Mr. Abe, they’re rightwing nationalists,” he said. “So when politicians make comments like this, it does the diplomatic work for China.”
Int’l waters free for Chinese submarines: spokesman – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese submarines are free to navigate international waters, including the Northwest Pacific, which is also visited by other nations’ maritime forces, the spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. Spokesman Geng Yansheng made the remarks at a regular ministry briefing. He also criticized the so-called “China Military Threat,” as described by some Japanese media, as an act of “intentionally creating tension with an ulterior political motive.”
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Taiwan to open new cyberwar unit | News | The Japan Times Taiwan is preparing to launch a fourth cyberwar unit, a local newspaper reported, in response to what it claims is a growing security threat from Chinese hackers.
TECH AND MEDIA
中小网店征税呼声再起 或与线下税率相同_财经频道_一财网 taxes coming for online stores by year end? // 一位知情人士证实，电子商务的征税制度年底前会实施。但所谓“向网店征收5%营业税”的说法并不确切，因为一些大的电商本身就是交税的。
Jack Xu Talks about Failure in Copying Tumblr–Technode a “good team” is why someone i know invested in diandian, even though it was one of the more shameless clones // Jack Xu admitted that Diandian, a pixel-by-pixel Tumblr copy, was a failure and a painful experience at the Silicon Valley Beijing 2013 yesterday. To be fair, Diandian is just one of the dozens of Tumblr copies in China and none of them really gained traction but hype. As one of the first projects incubated by Innovation Works, Diandian was released in February 2011 — about half a year after Sina Weibo’s launch.
‘Dark Knight’ Producer Legendary Reaches China Accord – Bloomberg Legendary East, with operations in Beijing and Hong Kong, will work with China Film to develop movies for worldwide audiences over an initial three-year term, the companies said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Terms weren’t disclosed. China Film is a unit of the government-backed China Film Group. A presence in China may strengthen Legendary Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tull’s hand as he considers breaking away from Warner Bros. when his current deal expires in December. Tull has held discussions with other studios about partnerships, people familiar with the situation said in February.
Apple Shifts Supply Chain Away From Foxconn to Pegatron – WSJ.com People familiar with the matter point to strategic reasons for the shift: risk diversification after Foxconn’s manufacturing glitches last year with the iPhone 5 that resulted in scratches on the metal casings, and Apple’s decision to expand its product lines amid growing competition from Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +2.12% and others. Pegatron also has been willing to accept thinner profits as it courts Apple’s business, analysts said. The company declined to comment about its pricing
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
China’s media report on Kunming’s environmental protests. Translation of 5/28 Southern Weekend article | East by Southeast The English language discussion of Kunming’s ongoing environmental protests should not exclude China’s official media reports. The translation below is of a 5/28 article from the Southern Weekend website.–Yunnan’s Anning City Retracts Notice on Face Mask Registration
FOOD AND TRAVEL
China: a bubble in the tea market? | beyondbrics Zhou said a severe drought in Yunnan was contributing to the price rises. “The drought is a common problem in main tea production areas across the world. As it cut tea production, the price, notably of Pu’er and black tea, of course went up.”