The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.27.13

According to Xinhua, China’s economy has pimples and bubbles that need to be squeezed.

Xinhua Insight: PBOC ends credit crunch, needs to go further:

“To squeeze the pimple of over-leverage, we need an overhaul of the current fiscal system,” said a well-respected researcher at a think tank of the State Council, who requested anonymity in discussing the matter. “As the financing vehicles of some governments in western China can take on interest rates as high as 18 percent, how can the money go to the real economy?” the researcher asked.

Commentary: No pains, no gains for China’s economy – Xinhua:

It takes pains to get through the liquidity crunch, but it also paves way for future gains. For the blessing of a more sustainable economy, banks are the first, but certainly not the last to suffer the hardship.

The central bank has an arsenal of policy options at its disposal to ease the cash strains. It also pledges liquidity support to stem systemic risks if necessary. But its cautious attitude toward fueling another round of easy money is necessary to squeeze the bubbles and send the economic vessel onto a safer route.

It is time to deflate bubbles and restore normal practice…

Analysts have lowered their forecasts of China’s GDP growth for 2013. But the central authority has shown rare tolerance for slower growth rate in exchange for more sustainable and balanced development. It has the courage, as well as the ammunition to keep the situation within control.

If long-term gains can be secured, short-term pains will be worth it.

The short-term pains could be severe, and that is perhaps one of the reasons Xi Jinping is pushing so hard on Party discipline and rectification, in what may be a battening down of the hatches for the upcoming difficult period.

I know, it may be too late, and many are convinced this is just a lot of thunder without the rain. But do not underestimate how serious he is, and how much personal prestige he is investing. The recent Politburo meeting deserves more attention than it has gotten outside of official media.

Some of the coverage last night and today:

CPC politburo’s action key to fighting improper work styles – Xinhua:

Members of the political bureau wrote their own speeches for the meeting after conducting research and talking with a variety of people in accordance with the eight measures. The eight measures include simplifying meetings and speeches, standardizing leaders’ overseas visits, improving news coverage of leaders’ work and exercising thrift. Self-criticism is a tradition in the CPC. The political bureau took the lead in engaging in criticism and self-criticism during the meeting.

Xi stresses adherence to socialism, serving people in a group “learning activity”:

“History is the best textbook,” he said, calling it a “compulsory course” for senior officials to review the experiences accrued over the past 92 years of the CPC’s existence and since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 in a bid to further the country’s development along the socialist path.

Wednesday’s CCTV Evening News used the first five minutes of the broadcast to report on study session–习近平在中共中央政治局第七次集体学习时强调 在对历史的深入思考中更好走向未来 交出发展中国特色社会主义合格答卷. Kudos to readers who can name all the attendees sitting in the seating off the main, Politburo member table.

The Politburo is taking the lead in sending a signal of strict rectification–“政治局带头”释放整风从严信号 – 新华评论 – 新华网:



“此次政治局会议讨论的主要议题可视为八项规定的‘升级版’。它以检查八项规定落实情况为‘抓手’,实质是执政党对未来工作全局的部署。”中共中央党校教授蔡霞接受新华社记者采访时说。 她认为,作为一个长期执政的党,作风问题若出现,将消弭整个党的志气,使党的性质蜕变,乃至亡党亡国。

The comment that this latest meeting signals an upgrading of the “eight rules” is interesting.

The June 17 People’s Daily ran a front page interview (人民日报-八项规定对经济短期影响有限 ——专访国务院发展研究中心副研究员何建武) with a researcher at the State Council’s Development Research Center in which he refuted the arguments that the austerity portion of the “eight rules” was harming the economy.

That same edition of the newspaper also had a front page commentary with a similar message-改作风,发展才有正能量 本报评论员:

高档烟酒价格回落,奢侈消费渐趋冷清,天价礼品卖不动了……转变作风、厉行节约,八项规定动真格,带着“奢”字标签的商品和服务市场萎缩。有人担心:会不会影响到消费,对经济发展不利? 答案当然是否定的。短期影响肯定会有,但数据统计以及专家分析说明,在整个经济大盘子里,这只是很小一部分。公众的刚性需求,不会因为公款消费被遏制而受影响。事实是,高级会所门可罗雀,大众餐饮却依然火爆。今年1—4月,在高端餐饮企业总收入负增长的同时,一般餐饮业的增长并未减速,这才是市场的主流。

Investors and luxury goods purveyors should be paying attention. Austerity may in fact deepen.

But can Beijing hold line, or will the short-term pain be too great? We should have some clues in a fairly short time frame, and if there are signs of weakening resolve then look out even further below. But there seem to be some reasonably clear signs that Xi is different than his predecessors.

Today’s Links:


Greenwald: Snowden’s Files Are Out There if “Anything Happens” To Him – The Daily Beast Greenwald said he would not have published some of the stories that ran in the South China Morning Post. “Whether I would have disclosed the specific IP addresses in China and Hong Kong the NSA is hacking, I don’t think I would have,” Greenwald said. “What motivated that leak though was a need to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China.” // Seems a bit damming coming from Greenwald

Related: The Errors of Edward Snowden and His Global Hypocrisy Tour | Kurt Eichenwald–Vanity Fair Now for a closer look at the specific details Snowden turned over. In trying to understand this, I reached out to an individual I know who spent much of a lifetime in the intelligence world, including some related to parts of Asia. While he specifically stated that nothing he discussed would be based on classified information, he was able to offer a number of educated explanations why the United States would be involved in the activities in China that Snowden revealed. Take the actions involving Tsinghua University. There are many reasons the N.S.A. would be interested in communications and computer activities at this Beijing-based school. For example, beginning in the past decade or so, university programs on arms control have played an important role in the Chinese government’s efforts to administer export controls on sensitive items…Now, perhaps the most prominent university program in China on arms control is at—you guessed it—Tsinghua University. So, do you think there might be a reason why the N.S.A. would want to know about any communications on arms control that might take place between the Chinese government and Tsinghua?

Related: With Snowden Gone, Hong Kong Focuses on U.S. Surveillance – Security experts and democracy proponents say that mainland China’s domestic surveillance operations in Hong Kong are far more extensive than the American effort. But those operations have largely disappeared from public discussion as attention has focused on the many details released by Mr. Snowden. Martin Lee, the founding chairman of the Democratic Party but now mostly retired from day-to-day politics, has been a lonely voice here in questioning the Hong Kong government’s handling of Mr. Snowden. Mr. Lee said that he was concerned whether Hong Kong had fully followed its obligations to detain or surrender fugitives under its bilateral agreement with the United States.

Related: U.S. Is a ‘Hacker Empire,’ Says Chinese Military Analyst – Speaking in a Q&A with Xinhua, the state-run news agency, Wang Changqin, whom Xinhua described only as a “military expert” but elsewhere is identified as a professor at the Academy of Military Science of the People’s Liberation Army of China, called the U.S. a “hacker empire.” America stole people’s secrets, including economic secrets, he said. “America has many faces,” Mr. Wang said, in comments that were often colorful and colloquial, perhaps reflecting the fact they were likely aimed for consumption by millions of ordinary Chinese.

Banks Halt Lending amid Tighter Liquidity – Caixin They include some branches of Bank of China (BOC) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), sources from the two banks said. The bank was already having a hard time keeping up with deposit-to-loan ratio requirements even before the liquidity shortages hit, not to mention executives’ recent determination to sort out the bank’s liquidity management and control loans. BOC plans to resume lending on July 15, he said.

Related: China Cash Crunch Spreads – Even as Chinese officials indicate a softening of their tight grip on cash, some businesses are reporting liquidity is increasingly hard to find in some places and that customers are turning to alternatives. It isn’t clear how deep the liquidity issues have trickled down from the financial sector, which has been gripped this month by a cash crunch widely believed to be aimed at deflating ballooning credit in the Chinese economy. But it suggests the pain could spread to other areas if cash borrowing rates for banks remain stubbornly high.

Related: PBoC hints at new status quo for China’s banks – Regulators have made such warnings before, but the spike in interbank rates – until two weeks ago a reliable source of cheap wholesale funding – showed banks that this time the government was deadly serious and would force them to bear at least some of the consequences of any loans going bad. “The recent episode is likely to have a significant impact on financial institutions’ behaviour, and the pace of growth in broad credit. In particular, shadow banking should moderate,” said Peng Wensheng, an economist with China International Capital Corp.

Li’s Shock Treatment to China Lenders Evokes Ex-Reformer – Bloomberg surprised no mention of Liu He, given some of the scuttlebutt around town // “Both premiers are reformers and investors are trying to find out if Li, like Zhu, has the courage and will to push for wrenching changes,” said Fred Hu, the Beijing-based founder of private-equity firm Primavera Capital Group and former Greater China chairman at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “Zhu’s reforms, while unpopular and painful at the time, ultimately delivered tremendous benefits to the Chinese economy.” Li’s economic team includes leaders who worked under Zhu in the 1990s such as People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who was a deputy governor from 1996 to 1998, and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, a vice minister from 1998 to 2007. Both played roles in economic restructuring that led to China joining the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Related: Scalpel in hand, Chinese Premier Li stirs reform hopes | Reuters  Others lauded Premier Li’s tactics as tough love that could gird China for other challenging economic reforms such as further slimming down giant state firms to make them more efficient. Li took office in March, along with President Xi Jinping. As premier, Li is responsible for managing the economy. His grit is reminiscent of former Premier Zhu Rongji, credited for leading China’s previous round of major economic reforms in the late 1990s when he sacked more than 50 million workers at state firms to trim the bloated sector.

Elimination of household registration barriers suggested – Xinhua | The government should gradually tear down household registration obstacles to facilitate the orderly migration of people from rural to urban areas, according to a report on urbanization development delivered Wednesday. The report was delivered by Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at an ongoing four-day bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the top legislature.

Related: 国务院报告:要全面放开小城镇和小城市落户限制-新华时政-新华网 Hukou reform may be coming, for smaller cities. Do not expect hukous to be opened up in Beijing or Shanghai any time soon // 在昨日召开的第十二届全国人大常委会第三次会议上,国家发改委主任徐绍史作了《国务院关于城镇化建设工作情况的报告》。报告中称,我国将全面放开小城镇和小城市落户限制,有序放开中等城市落户限制,逐步放宽大城市落户条件,合理设定特大城市落户条件,逐步把符合条件的农业转移人口转为城镇居民。专家说,这是我国第一次明确提出各类城市具体的城镇化路径。

Related: 易宪容:中国城镇化面临着重大制度障碍-财经网 Yi Xianrong on the need for much deeper reforms, including land reforms, if urbanization is to succeed // 极端时期宪法对土地产权的规定早就得修改了,《土地管理法》也要如此。但是,在现行经济体制下,这种法律对地方政府最为有利,因此这种对农民利益严重侵害的法律不仅不修改,反之还有人制造一个莫须有农村土地的“集体成员权”出来…当前中国城镇化产生许多问题也是与这种经济体制有关。因此,当前中国经济生活中的不公平不公正性,其根源都是与当前中国经济体制有关。如果中国不进行这种重大的经济体制改革,真正消除由于这种制度安排所导致的社会经济生活的不平等,那么中国要走向新型城镇化之路是不可能的。对于当前中国的经济体制进行重大的制度改革,是中国实现新型城镇化的根本所在。–作者是中国社会科学院金融研究所研究员

For Leaders of China and South Korea, a Meeting of ‘Old Friends’ – Ms. Park, 61, the daughter of an anti-Communist dictator, is coming to China before the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, who is supposed to be China’s ally. At the top of the agenda for her visit, according to both sides, will be North Korea and, specifically, how South Korea and China can together push Mr. Kim toward giving up his nuclear weapons. Few people expect concrete steps in that direction. But the symbolism of a frustrated China, which is North Korea’s benefactor, joining hands with South Korea, an allay of the United States, in calling for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons will send a clear and unpleasant message to the North, analysts say.

Related: Park Joined by South Korea Inc. on Visit to China Seeking Trade – Bloomberg The four-day visit is a chance for Park, elected to a single five-year term in December, to pin down a free-trade deal as conglomerates such as Hyundai and Samsung Group (005930) look to tap China’s growing consumer class. Expanding trade ties may be crucial for Park to deliver on promises to boost employment to 70 percent by 2017 from 64.2 percent. “South Korea’s future is increasingly the China relationship in terms of trade and investment,” said John Delury, assistant professor of East Asian Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul. “For a new South Korean president this is the top priority — to get China right”

Related: Park sees blueprint for ties–China Daily Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye said on Wednesday that Seoul and Beijing will outline a blueprint for common prosperity. Park made the remarks in an exclusive interview with China Daily on the eve of her four-day state visit, which begins on Thursday.

Related: 人民日报-Nice SK full page ad on page 8 of today’s People’s Daily, on the Occasion of Park’s Visit any Americans done this when a US President in town?

Manila plans air, naval bases at Subic with access for U.S., officials say | Reuters The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.

27 Die in Rioting in Western China – Jiang Zhaoyong, a Chinese former journalist who has written extensively about Xinjiang, said police stations had been a target of ethnic violence there before. “This appears to be the act of a local group,” he said of the latest attack. Last year, Mr. Jiang visited the area where the rioting broke out on Wednesday. “In the past, that area wasn’t one where tensions were especially acute.”

Related: Riot kills 27 in Xinjiang – Global Times Li Wei, an expert on anti-terrorism with the Chinese Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times that with police reinforcing their strength in southern Xinjiang, terrorists sought to launch attacks in areas with relatively weak anti-terrorism measures. “They are also trying to arouse panic in other parts of the region,” he said. Pan Zhiping, a research fellow with the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the attack was a bid by terrorists to show that they are “willing to do anything anywhere” by starting chaos and panic in “peaceful” eastern Xinjiang, and exhibited the logic of “jihad.” The attacks also raised concerns over the anti-terrorism capacities of police at the grass-roots level in Xinjiang. During the attack on April 23, only one of the police officers, who rushed to the scene after hearing the crime report, carried a firearm.

Related: SCO defense chiefs vows to maintain regional peace, combat terrorism – Xinhua | According to the communique, the SCO defense chiefs also agreed to strengthen cooperation in crushing separatism, extremism, and drug-trafficking based on their share of responsibilities. They believed threats from terrorist activities on the basis of telecommunication and information technologies were growing, thus the members should continue to step up their defense and security cooperation within the framework of the SCO and make the region an area of lasting peace, prosperity and development.

Return to Xiaogang Village – Economic Observer Online – In-depth and Independent Xiaogang village was the birthplace to China’s reforms after locals changed the way they farmed in 1978. But the rapid industrialization and economic growth that came about nationwide afterwards has yet to make its way back. The village is trying to change that by once again pooling their land resources.

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China: savers flock to shadow-bank deposits in response to higher rates | beyondbrics I, myself and my parents back in my hometown Hubei are buying WMPs, ” said Joe Zhang, a former banker at UBS and author of “Inside China’s Shadow Banking: The Next Subprime Crisis”. Speaking at a Hong Kong press conference on Wednesday, Zhang said he and his family rolled over the products over and over again. He said WMPs represented a revolt against financial repression in China, where the authorities suppressed official deposit rates so savers were short-changed. “It’s not enough to pay only 2 per cent (for the depositors), so banks offer WMPs paying 4 to 4.5 per cent, now perhaps 5.5 per cent, it’s a way of keeping deposits.”

Wenzhou Shadow Banking Unscathed by China Crunch as Rates Steady – Bloomberg On June 20, as the nation’s banks demanded a record 30 percent to lend to each other for one day, small businesses in the export hub paid 23.42 percent for one-month loans from pawn shops, small lending companies and individuals, according to data from a local government-backed agency. That’s almost unchanged from this month’s average of 23.17 percent. Stable borrowing costs in the coastal city that’s a bellwether for informal lending may support policy makers’ argument that the economy has enough financing.

China’s ICBC says happy to help, hopes for clearer policy signals | Reuters Jiang said the market squeeze, which was followed by a brief interruption in ATM use and some other services at ICBC and other banks over the weekend that rattled some savers’ nerves, had driven home the idea that banks need to respond quickly to potential crises of confidence, especially in the age of social media.

China equities: staring into the gloom | beyondbrics on Wednesday the head of China’s biggest bank came very close to directly criticising the central bank for failing to make its policies clear. In an interview with Reuters, Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) , said: “We hope that in future, policy expectations can be clearer. That would be help us understand the overall market situation better and more deeply. Those few days, even for us, we were genuinely a bit tense.”

China Starts Probe to Ensure Accuracy of Economic Data – Bloomberg There is an urgent need to prevent fraud in data submission, National Bureau of Statistics head Ma Jiantang was cited by China Information News today as having said on June 24. Those found submitting inaccurate information for major statistics may be “severely punished,” the newspaper, published by the bureau, reported without citing anyone.

李克强主持召开国务院常务会议 研究部署加快棚户区改造 促进经济发展和民生改善 – 高层动态 – 新华网 会议强调,棚户区改造既是重大民生工程,也是重大发展工程,可以有效拉动投资、消费需求,带动相关产业发展,推进以人为核心的新型城镇化建设,破解城市二元结构,提高城镇化质量,让更多困难群众住进新居,为企业发展提供机遇,为扩大就业增添岗位,发挥助推经济实现持续健康发展和民生不断改善的积极效应。

US businessman held hostage by Chinese employees “He is completely free within the factory; it’s just that he has stuff to do,” said Chu Lixiang, an official with the government-run labor union in Huairou, a district of Beijing.

消息称上海证券4人被带走调查 事涉10亿骗局案|通道业务|券商|10亿_新浪财经_新浪网 reports that 4 Shanghai securities employees detained in investigation into a 1B RMB Swindle // “几天前,上海证券已经有4个人被监管层带走调查。” 这位银行业资深人士言之凿凿地告诉记者,谈及原因,该人士认为肯定与10亿骗局有关,目前这一消息还未得到权威部门的证实。

李佐军的微博 新浪微博 Li Zuojun very active on Sina Weibo

半年收入顶去年全年 大城市卖地凶猛_财经频道_一财网 land sales in 1H 2013 in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou approaching or greater sales for all of 2012..but First Financial asks if can continue given recent PBoC moves..// 《第一财经日报》记者获悉,截至6月26日,北京前6个月经营性用地出让收入为629.75亿,同比增幅高达334%,接近2012年全年的647.92亿;上半年上海经营性用地出让金为597.84亿,同比大涨307%;截至6月20日,广州市上半年土地出让收入已达430亿,超过2012年全年的412亿。

转战文化产业:8000亿温州“闲钱”寻出路_财经频道_一财网 in spite of all the economic distress in Wenzhou, first financial says the wenzhounese have 600-800 Billion RMB looking for investment opportunities, and now they seem to have their sights on cultural industries // 投资楼市、投资矿业之后,温州资本又将目光瞄向了文化产业。目前,温州活跃在民间的资本,大约有6000亿~8000亿元。

Is China’s Housing Market Heading Toward a US-Style Crash? 2012 by Gregory M. Stein :: SSRN This article aims to determine whether China is heading toward a U.S.-style market crash in its housing market. Rather than attempting to maintain any suspense, I will disclose here that my conclusion is, ‘Who knows?’… To the extent the previous analysis may have comforted the reader into believing that the Chinese market is unlikely to experience a downturn anytime soon, this last discussion will create some apprehension by highlighting some of the ways in which China might, in fact, be heading down the same path as the United States.

Standard Chartered brushes off China fears after stronger quarter | Reuters Standard Chartered’s finance chief Richard Meddings said on Wednesday actions being taken by the government in China were appropriate and its interventions in the inter-bank lending market would not materially affect the bank’s ability to borrow there. “We think these are very good reforms that are being introduced. I think what it points to is perhaps slower growth but on a more sustainable level,” Meddings told reporters on a conference call.



China law professor blasts ‘hired guns of western power’ in commencement speech | South China Morning Post Weeks after US Vice-President Joe Biden referred to China as the nation that cannot “think different” in a commencement speech, a law professor at Peking University urged his students to think very differently when mapping out their lives and careers. Professor Jiang Shigong, in an emotionally charged address (in Chinese), warned students to shun the popular path pursued by former law graduates: to study at US law schools and climb the corporate ladder in Western firms. Instead, Jiang encouraged them to think beyond the paycheck and work towards establishing a new world order — one with a staunch nationalistic tone.

中共整风延及最高层 舆论冷观实际效果_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】6月18日,中共总书记以群众路线为题发出了党内整风运动的动员令。几天之后的22日至25日,中共中央政治局旋即召开专门会议,“按照中央关于党的群众路线教育实践活动首先在中央政治局开展的精神,”就此部署作出表率。有观点认为,此番中共高调展开的这场轰轰烈烈的整风运动,其动作之快,力度之强、格调之高为近十多年来所罕见。于此同时,中共的高调整风也招致了外界舆论的质疑,如何政令畅通、上行下效,对中共是一大挑战,而这次整风能否真的让中共面目一新,也需要时间的检验

夏斌:寻找改革抓手–国研视点–中国经济新闻网 国务院参事、国务院发展研究中心金融所名誉所长 夏斌–中国现行经济模式不可持续,必须改革。但现有问题错综复杂,不可能仅凭个别突破毕其功于一役。改革的真正抓手在于改变收入分配不公的现状和要素价格改革。中国经济仍存在着不可持续的问题,诸如收入分配不公、城乡差距、银行金融改革不到位、二元经济结构、国企垄断等,必须要进一步改革。改革要有总体设计、顶层设计。

China publishes new versions of Marx, Engels, Lenin writings – Xinhua | The Central Compilation & Translation Bureau (CCTB) has published a new version of the “Selected Works of Marx and Engels” and amended the “Selected Works of Lenin.” The third edition of the “Selected Works of Marx and Engels” adopts the latest Chinese translations of the original works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, according to a CCTB symposium held on Wednesday. The new version also received edits to help present Marx and Engels’ theories in a more systematic way, according to the CCTB.

Ed Snowden Inspired This Chinese Lawyer to Challenge Beijing’s Digital Spying | FP Passport But on June 25, Chinese officials were confronted with what appears to be the first public legal challenge arising from the Snowden affair. Xie Yanyi, a Beijing-based human rights lawyer, announced that the NSA leaker had inspired him to ask the Ministry of Public Security, China’s main security agency, to disclose “information on methods used by Chinese authorities to conduct surveillance on Chinese citizens,” according to the NGO Human Rights in China. “From a civil rights angle, China’s monitoring of the Internet and cell phones is a very big problem,” Xie said by telephone in an interview with Foreign Policy

Tibetans Allowed to Openly Revere Dalai Lama in Two Chinese Provinces Chinese authorities in Tibetan-populated areas of Qinghai and Sichuan are allowing monks to openly venerate the Dalai Lama as a religious leader but not as a “political” figure, according to sources citing official statements introducing the “experimental” new policy. The move appears to be confined only to the two provinces but still reverses a longstanding Chinese policy of forcing Tibetan monks and nuns to denounce the exiled spiritual leader, whom Beijing has described as a dangerous separatist  seeking to “split” Tibet away from China.

 达赖法相可公开悬挂 中共西藏政策调整_中国_多维新闻网  Duowei also had something on the experimental policy towards allowing open veneration of the dalai Lama as a religious leader, as noted in June 17 Sinocism // 【多维新闻】继中国官网新华网5月公布十四世达赖喇嘛故乡有望成为中国最年轻城市后,中共当局又以官方文件形式允许青海省海南州各县寺院自由供奉达赖喇嘛法相。2008年拉萨“3·14”骚乱后,身兼奥运负责人的习近平曾说过,对于拉萨骚乱等奥运杂音应以平常心看待。2012年,达赖喇嘛表示对中共新任领导人习近平寄予希望。对此,一些分析人士认为,习近平在西藏问题上有别于其他中共高层官员的强硬态度,体现出中央在涉藏问题上出现明显转变,反映了习近平解决西藏问题的新思维。

US ambassador to China visits Tibet amid wave of self-immolations – Quartz goodbye trip for his family? // The US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, is in Tibet this week—the first visit by an American ambassador to the restive region since 2010. A spokesman said that Locke is on a three-day trip with members of his family and several embassy staff to meet with residents and government officials and raise concerns about the “deteriorating human rights situation,” specifically the self-immolations by Tibetans in protest against Chinese rule.



South China Sea seamount named after Jiaolong – Xinhua space dreams, sea dreams, no sequestration // The headquarters of the manned submersible Jiaolong, as well as scientists aboard its support ship, on Wednesday named a seamount that will be explored by the sub after the sub. The sub arrived at the seamount in the South China Sea at 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to the headquarters. The headquarters said the sub will start a deep-sea dive at the seamount on Thursday and carry out observation.

J-15 fighter jet fastened on aircraft carrier – Xinhua | pink chains

China slams Japan’s new defense white paper – Xinhua | A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman slammed an overview of Japan’s Defense Ministry’s white paper for 2013, urging the country to conduct some introspection and do more to facilitate regional peace and stability.

Suspected China-based hackers ‘Comment Crew’ rise again | PCWorld The Comment Crew laid low for a while following the report but is back hacking again, said Alex Lanstein, senior researcher for FireEye. “They took a little breather, and they started back up,” Lanstein said. Following the intense attention in February, the group stopped using much of its command-and-control infrastructure. Instead, they started from scratch, directing malware at new targets. “We didn’t see them take control of any of the systems they had previously compromised,” Lanstein said. “They started fresh with a whole new round of attacks.”

Four Chinese killed in Papua New Guinea – Xinhua | Cao Junjun, Chinese diplomat in Papua New Guinea, told Xinhua on Wednesday, “the three men and a woman were in a bakery when they were killed by masked criminal at around 9 p.m. local time on Monday.” The diplomat rushed to the scene one hour after the attack. They’ve confirmed the four deads all come from China’s Shanghai.

Threats to peace are lurking in the East China Sea – – Kurt Campbell During the recent US-China summit, one of the few issues on which Chinese tempers flared was that of a small group of rocks in the East China Sea – islands that the Japanese call the “Senkaku” and the Chinese call “Diaoyutai”. Unless handled more judiciously by leaders in both Beijing and Tokyo, there is real potential for a rupture in relations over the ownership of these barren islands.



Name Mix-Up Helped Snowden Leave Hong Kong – China Real Time Report – WSJ Hong Kong’s justice secretary, Rimsky Yuen, says that according to Hong Kong immigration records, Joseph is the middle name in Mr. Snowden’s passport. Yet when the U.S. government submitted documents as part of a request to their Hong Kong counterparts to issue a provisional arrest warrant for the former security contractor, they specified one Edward James Snowden. In another, they simply referred to him as Edward J. Snowden, according to Mr. Yuen. That, among other factors, helped contribute to the processing of the U.S.’s request. What’s more, Mr. Yuen added, attempts to process the U.S. request were further complicated by the fact that the U.S. didn’t specify any passport number for Mr. Snowden in its documents.

U.S. Scoffs at Snowden Middle Name Mixup – Washington Wire – WSJ They scoffed at the middle name mixup. The initial provisional arrest warrant request only listed his name as Edward J Snowden, a senior U.S. law enforcement said. “Is this the best they got?” the senior U.S. law enforcement official said.



China market: High inventories at leading smartphone vendors may cause price war Vendors including ZTE, Huawei Device, Coolpad and Lenovo each have piled up over one million units of smartphones with display sizes of 4-inch and below, which may trigger price competition among these branded vendors, said the sources. Local brands have been too optimistic about sales potential of 4-inch and below models, flaming up inventory build-ups, the sources added

Closer Look: The Jostling for 4G Licenses Begins – Caixin There has been speculation that the authorities will only support the homegrown TD-LTE standard and will issue licenses to each of the major telecom operators around October.  (The more widely used international 4G standard is FDD-LTE.) A source from China Unicom says the speculation started after a meeting at China Unicom in which company executives asked the technology department to draft a marketing strategy for TD-LTE technology. However, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it was too early to speak about details.

网络安全渐成必争之地 腾讯加码金山网络成第二大股东 | 每经网 Tencent ups its stake in Kingsoft Internet, too go after Qihoo // 有业内人士表示,金山网络主营金山毒霸和金山安全卫士等,腾讯此次增持,是为了弥补自己的不足,制衡360。



Ian Buruma: A Chinese Poet’s Extraordinary Prison Memoir : The New Yorker There are other tortures, too, meted out in a more improvised manner. Liao Yiwu, in his extraordinary prison memoir, “For a Song and a Hundred Songs” (translated from the Chinese by Wenguang Huang; New Harvest), describes the case of a schizophrenic woodcutter who had axed his own wife, because she was so emaciated that he took her for a bundle of wood.

My Grandfather the Red Guard – Tea Leaf Nation When I saw Peng and Liu’s stories online, I couldn’t help but think about my grandfather’s own record as a Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution. Not long ago, I talked to him about his experience. In the main, his feelings are similar to Peng and Liu; the Cultural Revolution was not a good thing, and it is never too late to say sorry to the people you hurt four decades ago.

Post-90s Grads Confront Nepotism – Economic Observer Tang Jun from the Social Policy Research Center disagrees. “Guanxi cannot be regarded as personal ability,” he said. “Young foreigners aren’t willing to do this, even if their parents have money, they don’t want to rely on their family.” // this expert a bit clueless on the rest of the world..nepotism exists everywhere

A Character Battle Between China’s Government and its Weiborati | TLN The opinion piece hotly disputes that the Chinese Internet is an “objective reflection” of current events. Instead, it maintains, online discourse has been distorted by a combination of self-anointed public intellectuals who clamor for attention, paid posters (in Chinese slang, the “Water Army”), and the general failure of the social Web to represent Chinese public opinion. While some analysts have argued that China’s online opinion leaders are richer and more educated than many of their compatriots, Seeking Truth seemingly takes a different tack: “Surveys show that a comparatively large proportion of netizens are middle aged or young, with a low level of education and low income.”

In China, Losing Sleep Over Choice of Schools – Next week, millions of fifth graders across China will struggle with their end-of-year examinations. And, with just one year of elementary education left, their parents will struggle with choosing a high school for them. For many cosmopolitan Chinese parents, the agonized deliberations look like this: How Chinese should our child’s education be? How Western? Is there a middle ground? “I have a friend who couldn’t sleep at night because of this. She nearly went mad,” said Ms. Ma, the mother of a fifth grader at the state-run Fangcaodi Elementary School in Beijing, which my son also attends. “Don’t become like that!” she advised me.



China’s top legislature opens bi-monthly session, considers harsher legislation against polluters – Xinhua lots of laws look good on the books, challenge is always in local implementation // A new chapter was added to protect the public’s right to obtain environmental information. According to the bill, governments at all levels should release environmental information and facilitate the participation of and supervision by citizens and institutions in protecting the environment. Polluters will be required to publish information about the pollutants they discharge and how they are working to control the pollution. The bill also introduces public interest litigation by authorizing the All-China Environment Federation and its provincial branches to initiate lawsuits against polluters on behalf of the public.

Fei Chang Dao: Baidu, Sina, Tencent, and Censor Searches Connecting Former Ag Minister to Monsanto genetically modified soybeans// Sun Zhengcai (孙政才) was Minister of Agriculture from 2006-2009. These screenshots show that searches for “Sun Zhengcai Monsanto” (孙政才 孟山都) and “Sun Zhengcai Genetic Modification” (孙政才 转基因) on Sina Weibo, Baidu, Tencent’s Soso, and return censored search results.



China’s growing vegetarian community now larger than in U.S. | PRI.ORG China’s long been a country where eating meat was a sign of success — of prosperity. So it’s no wonder vegetarianism was practically unheard of. But now, as more people are considering the environmental impact of their foods and China becomes more welcoming toward vegetarians generally, the number is on the rise.

Gingko Tree Restaurant (银杏树餐厅) | Courtyard 4 (southeast of Nanjie), Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区工体北路4号院



Welcome to Join “Family Learning House”–CraigsList Beijing Family Learning House  recruits foreign teachers on Craigslist? does it do any background checks of the foreigners who spend so much time around kids ? // As one of the top international kindergartens in Beijing, Fmaily Learning Housing offers the best-quality teaching for kids from various countries. as well as salary and benefits for foreign teachers…14-20k RMB/mo

Outdoor Seating Removed in Sanlitun at Outlets of Cheers, Two Guys and a Pie | the Beijinger Blog Police and civil management authorities forcibly removed outdoor seating at venues along Sanlitun Nan Lu on Wednesday morning, on the small street that runs behind Yashow Market, business owners confirmed to theBeijinger by telephone. Owners were notified by on Monday that any construction beyond the original structure of the building would be removed, and some were already making preparations to comply when demolition activities began this morning around 9am, said one owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Chairs, tables, awnings, refrigerators, and other implements were confiscated, the owner, who was injured in a scuffle with officers, said.