THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. In war on smog, struggling China steel mills adapt to survive | Reuters Mills have also ramped up the most polluting pre-treatment process in steelmaking, called sintering, ahead of the closures. Sintering facilities, which produce sinter for the blast furnace from iron ore fines, are the ones that have been mostly lined up to shut in November, said an iron ore trader in Shanghai. “Some mills in Tangshan who were going to shut their sinter plants in November had been trying to produce more sinter ore before the end of October so they would have enough material by next month,” the trader said. Producers and traders surveyed by Reuters also said any decline in production in Hebei was expected to be offset by increases elsewhere, as mills fight for market share. Already, production in Hebei has fallen 2.9 percent in the first nine months of 2014 but has been offset by a 9.3 percent increase in Jiangsu province near Shanghai.
2. China: Facebook not banned, but must follow the rules | PCWorld China may be blocking access to Facebook, but that doesn’t mean the social media network can’t one day enter the country, as long as it follows the rules, a top government official said on Thursday. Lu Wei, the director of China’s State Internet Information Office, made the comment at a press conference after media outlets had previously reported him saying that Facebook would never be allowed in the country. “The media claimed that I said ‘it would absolutely impossible.’ Today, I can tell you that this news is fake,” he said, according to a government transcript of his comments.
Related: Top Internet Censor Hints at Facebook’s China Challenges – China Real Time Report – WSJ Asked by foreign reporters to explain why Facebook and other Western sites were blocked in China, Mr. Lu said he had never used such sites. He said there were websites that could not be accessed in China but said China had a right to exercise such controls on cyberspace. “China has always been hospitable and cordial,” Mr. Lu was quoted as saying in a transcript on a government news website. “But I have a choice in who gets to be a guest in my house.” He added, “I have no way to change you, but I have the power to choose my friends. I hope that all who come to China are friends, true friends.”
Related: Can China’s New Internet Conference Compete with the West in Defining Norms of Cyberspace? Not wanting to be left out, after the United Kingdom, Hungary, and South Korea (PDF) all held conferences on cyberspace governance, China has announced that it will be hosting the World Internet Conference from November 19 to 21. The conference, planned by the Cyberspace Administration of China (formerly named the State Internet Information Office), has the stated mission to promote the “development of [the] Internet to be the global shared resources for human solidarity and economic progress.” The conference seems somewhat hastily planned; invitations went out last week and the first I heard of it was a month ago. Perhaps Beijing wanted the get the conference out the door before the next conference meets in 2015 in the Netherlands (the UK, Hungary, South Korea, and the Netherlands are all part of a series that began in London).
3. Hospitals No Longer Take Organs from Executed Prisoners, Official Says – Caixin The country’s hospitals have stopped taking organs from executed prisoners so they can be used in transplants, says a health official who has spoken out on the subject in the past. Huang Jiefu, director of the National Organ Transplantation Committee under the health commission, made the comments on October 30 at a conference on organ transplants.
4. India-China Border Standoff: Troops Go Toe-to-Toe at 15,000 Feet – WSJ It was dusk when the herdsmen reached their Himalayan village bearing ominous news: They had spotted dozens of camouflage-clad Chinese soldiers inside territory India considers its own. Indian security forces poured in, beginning a face-off last month that grew to involve more than 1,000 troops on each side at an altitude of roughly 15,000 feet, according to Indian officials, making it the biggest border confrontation between the two nations in decades. The mountain standoff lasted weeks and at times involved tense shoving-and-shouting matches, according to Indian border-patrol troopers who participated. Both armies called in helicopters. The scale and duration of the clash are signs of mounting friction between the world’s two most-populous countries. // glad this excellent piece does not engage in the “is Xi in control of the PLA” speculation…given the numbers of incursions since 2012 this looks to be a pretty consistent policy…
Related: China expresses concern about Indian plan to build border posts | Reuters Chinese defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Beijing had noticed Indian media reports that the South Asian nation planned to build 54 new border posts in Arunachal Pradesh, which China refers to as South Tibet. “There is a dispute about the eastern part of the China-India border,” Yang told a monthly news briefing. “We hope that the Indian side can work hard to maintain the peace and tranquillity of the border region, and not take any steps to complicate the situation,” he added.
5. AFP follows Chinese fugitive money trail Gao Yan is son of Gao Gang say some Chinese media reports // Government-run media outlets in China have speculated for years that Gao Yan, a former high-ranking Communist Party official, alleged to have stolen millions of dollars in state assets, fled to Australia in 2002. One source has confirmed the Australian Federal Police is investigating property linked to Mr Gao’s son, Gao Xinyuan. This raises the prospect the Gao family is on a target list put together by the AFP and Chinese authorities as part of a joint effort to trace and freeze illicit assets.
Related: China says nets 180 graft suspects in overseas manhunt | Reuters The campaign, dubbed Operation Fox Hunt, included the arrests of 104 suspects, Xinhua said late on Thursday, citing China’s Ministry of Public Security. Seventy-six people returned to China to give themselves up, according to Xinhua.
6. 小网格撑起大平安–地方–人民网 page 1 of People’s Daily on the success of “grid management” in keeping Hubei “safe and peaceful”. Going to be seeing lots more of grid management, and the technology used to implement it // 平安是福。正如歌里所唱，普通百姓“一辈子总操心，
7. Beijing subway bans Halloween costumes – FT.com “Public transport police point out: Please do not wear strange outfits in subway stations or in train carriages, which could easily cause a crowd to gather and create trouble,” the Beijing News reported on Friday. Police may arrest people in costume, it added. Leering “Guy Fawkes” masks, tiny Spidermen or witches aside, what seems to be most worrying to the police is the imminent start of the 24-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which kicks off next week in Beijing.
8. China explains reasons for silence over the fate of Zhou Yongkang | South China Morning Post The decision on the fate of former security tsar Zhou Yongkang was not made during the party’s fourth plenum last week because he was no longer a state leader, Jiang Wei, head of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Judicial Reform, said. “Zhou Yongkang no longer serves as a central leadership official. Therefore, there is no decision related to his case in the fourth plenum,” Jiang said today.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China Backs Growth in Housing Again as Slowdown Prompts U-Turn – Bloomberg The last time China’s State Council documents mentioned “stabilizing” housing consumption was in April 2009, when the government was rolling out a massive stimulus plan to shield the economy from a global slowdown. Gross domestic product expanded 7.3 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the weakest pace in more than five years. “The announcement marks a U-turn in stance towards the property sector after years of attempts to cool it down,” Dariusz Kowalczyk, a Credit Agricole CIB strategist in Hong Kong, wrote in a note today.
China’s Stocks Head for Longest Monthly Winning Streak Since ’09 – Bloomberg The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) rose 1.2 percent to 2,420.19 at 1:03 p.m. The benchmark measure has climbed 2.4 percent this month to a 20-month high as President Xi Jinping’s government pushes state-owned companies to reform prices to reflect market conditions and funds flow into Chinese equities in anticipation over the start of an exchange link with Hong Kong. “Investors are bullish,” said Zhou Lin, an analyst at Huatai Securities Co. “Investors expect more reforms and the release of more liquidity by the government. The upward trend will spill over into next year.”
U.S. warns China against dragging out technology trade deal | Reuters China is due to chair an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on Nov. 10-11, and Froman said this was an opportunity for China to end a stalemate over updating the 16-year-old Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which eliminated duties on personal computers and telephones. “This could be a tremendous feather in the cap of China and its leadership of APEC,” Froman told a trade conference organized by the U.S. Council for International Business and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Falling Bank Deposits Add to China Economy Warning Sign – Bloomberg In September, the China Banking Regulatory Commission introduced rules to curb volatility in deposits and eliminate the use of what it termed as “illicit” means such as kickbacks and higher-than-regulation interest rates to attract money. Previously, lenders reported surging deposits at the end of each quarter, with a slump typically in the next month. The new rules could lead to a gradual weakening of deposit and loan growth for the next few months, May Yan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Barclays Plc, said this month.
Danone to Invest $566 Million in Chinese Baby Formula Maker – Bloomberg Danone (BN) agreed to pay HK$4.39 billion ($566 million) for a 25 percent stake in Yashili International Holdings Ltd. (1230) under a plan to improve technology and boost production at the Chinese infant milk formula maker. The Paris-based maker of Dumex baby milk powder offered HK$3.70 per share, 17 percent more than the last closing price, according to Hong Kong stock exchange statement.
China’s GDP growth: Less Than Meets the Eye? – China Real Time Report – WSJ Mr. Li said he looked at stats on electricity, rail cargo and loans to get a better gauge of economic activity. Since then a number of analysts have put together some variation of Mr. Li’s preferred stats, which are now called “Li Keqiang indexes.” Chen Long, an analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, a research firm in Beijing, thinks such indexes aren’t reliable because the Chinese economy now relies more on the service sector than it did back in 2007. He wrote an analyst note defending the GDP numbers as a “roughly accurate gauge of China’s economic performance.” But Mr. Chen too has his doubts about China’s GDP numbers, mostly because they don’t show as much volatility as one would expect from China’s economic ups and downs
Establishing China’s Modern Fiscal System | Brookings Institution China’s fiscal and taxation system constitutes an important driving force of its economic transition and growth over the last 30 years. The “12th Five-year Plan” has ushered in an era of even more radical change for the country. In his monograph, Zheng Xinye addresses the challenges posed by new economic dynamics to China’s establishment of a modern fiscal system, and illustrates the major elements of its fiscal reform.
China’s Regional Bank Needs to Be More Multilateral, Abbott Says – Bloomberg “It’s got to be a multilateral institution with the kind of transparency and the kind of governance arrangements that, for argument’s sake, the World Bank has,” Abbott told reporters in Melbourne today. “Should we get that sort of transparency and those sorts of governance arrangements, not only will Australia be happy to join, but I imagine that Korea and Japan and the United States would also be happy to join.”
POLITICS AND LAW
Key Points in China’s Flood of Legal Reform Rhetoric – China Real Time Report – WSJ The constitution is mentioned a number of times in both documents, but even though they calls for the completion of “procedures and mechanisms for the interpretation of the constitution” and for officials to pledge allegiance to it, there is no doubt about Party supremacy. “Our country’s constitution has established the leading position of the Chinese Communist Party,” the communique says, and adds that “persisting in the leadership of the party is a fundamental requirement for socialist rule of law.” Beneath vigorous assertions about Party control is the truth that the Party needs its version of the rule of law to reinforce the legitimacy of the current political system. The vision of “rule of law” established in the plenum documents foresees legal reforms that can make the courts less embedded in local politics and more regularized in their operation. If those reforms are well implemented, Chinese law will have taken a small step forward.
What does Xi mean by “rule of law”? – China Media Project The question, then, is how to reconcile this dusting off of the “Fengqiao experience” — this model, the People’s Daily tells us today, “full of vitality” — with the overtures we are now seeing about the need for leaders and citizens alike to abide by rule of law? We’ll leave it there. Happy reading.
Coal official hides 200 mln yuan cash at home: procurator – Xinhua death penalty likely for 200m cash // Prosecuting authorities seized more than 200 million yuan (32 million U.S. dollars) in cash from the house of an energy official, a procurator revealed Friday at a press conference. The money, the largest amount seized from an individual official since the founding of new China in 1949, was found at the home of Wei Pengyuan, vice director of the National Energy Administration’s coal department, according to Xu Jinhui, anti-bribery head of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. Wei was put under investigation in May for allegedly accepting bribes.
China’s Bill O’Reilly, Sima Nan, Is Now Pro-Free Speech, Anti-Moron | Beijing Cream Such sophomoric writings have made Zhou [Xiaoping] a laughingstock even within the wumao community. His nickname, “Belt Fish” Zhou, was earned for his penchant toward fabricating evidence (Zhou had claimed that social critic Charles Xue was “spreading rumors” about Zhejiang beltfish farms suffering water pollution. When people pointed out that the beltfish is not farmed, Zhou revised his article and claimed the original was by an unknown sock puppet out to discredit him). Has Xi actually read any of Zhou’s bollocks? Hard to say, but that’s irrelevant now anyway.
Notice concerning Approving and Issuing Journalist Credentials in News Websites | China Copyright and Media In order to strengthen the construction of editorial and journalistic teams in news websites and raise the overall quality of teams, on the basis of the relevant requirements of the Centre, and according to the relevant provisions of the “State Council Notice concerning Authorizing the Cyberspace Administration of China to Be Responsible for Internet Information Content Management Work”, the Internet Information Service Management Rules”, the “Internet News Information Service Management Regulations” and the “Journalist Credential Management Rules”, it has been decided that journalist credentials will be approved and issued to news websites who have obtained a Category I Internet News Information Service Permit and conform to conditions, according to the principles of “careful implementation, phased approval, security and order, manageability and controllability”. Hereby, the relevant matters are notified as follows:
一图教你怎么举报贪官 handy infographic explaining the process for accusing an official of corruption
决定起草组地方领导披露：陕西书记 浙江省长-搜狐新闻 names of members of drafting group of 4th Plenum decision released
Chinese Civil Servants Get a Raise After Long 8 Year Wait | TheNanfang An investigative committee for Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is recommending raises for civil service workers because they’ve seen no pay increase in eight years, reported the People’s Daily Online. The report mentioned that public servant salaries haven’t increased along with economic growth or inflation during that period, and have actually fallen compared to other job sectors.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Toronto School District Cancels Plans for Confucius Institute – NYTimes.com Canada’s largest school district moved on Wednesday to terminate its agreement with the institute, which would have offered after-school Chinese language and culture classes, over concerns about China’s human rights record and restrictions on academic freedom.
China says agrees with U.S. to speed up military conduct talks | Reuters Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the agreement was reached during talks between Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Wang Guanzhong and U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Christine Wormuth. “Both sides believe that deepening cooperation in all areas and constructively dealing with disputes is extremely important,” Yang told a monthly news briefing.
China’s Clandestine Submarine Caves Extend Xi’s Naval Reach – Bloomberg wonder if any foreigners bought villas/apartments with good views of these spots back when they were cheaper…probably would raise suspicions now // As Sanya become more built up, the PLA Navy started to develop new sites. One to the south west that will probably be for conventional submarines, and two areas on the western side of Yalong Bay to Sanya’s west: a surface vessel base with two long piers capable of mooring an aircraft carrier to the north, and to the south a base probably designed for nuclear-powered submarines with only one road link, which Chang said indicates its high security level.
China supports UN in playing due role in Palestinian-Israeli issue – Xinhua China supports the UN Security Council in playing a due role in the Palestinian-Israeli issue and responding to the legitimate demand of Palestine and other Arab states, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said here on Thursday. Wang Min, China’s deputy representative to the United Nations, made the remarks at a meeting of the Security Council on conclusion of work in October. Noting the Palestinian issue is the focus of the Security Council’s work for the month of October, Wang said China attaches great importance to the Middle East process and is deeply worried about tensions in Palestinian and Israeli situation.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Taiwan Puts Curbs on Study in China, WeChat for Top Officials – China Real Time Report – WSJ Senior Taiwanese officials have been banned from studying in China, a move that comes just months after a key policy official was accused of leaking secrets to Beijing. Starting today, Taiwan’s high-level government workers, from deputy department heads to ministers, will be barred from getting a degree in China or from any Chinese university. City and county government leaders and ranking military personnel will also face the same restrictions. “The policy was decided with national security in mind,” said He Jung-tsun, deputy-director of the National Immigration Agency
Hong Kong’s loud American Mark Simon defies pro-Beijing ‘smear campaign’ | Reuters Large, loud and avowedly Republican, the 50-year-old has been portrayed across pro-Beijing media as a CIA agent – a charge also thrown at student protest leader Joshua Wong and an independent academic pollster, Robert Chung. He’s also a proud Catholic – something that links him to Lai and many other prominent figures in the Hong Kong democracy struggle. Simon described Lai as an instinctive backer of underdogs rather than an “egotist” who believes that he will single-handedly change China.
In Hong Kong Photographer, China Sees Image of Spy – NYTimes.com Citing his professed past working for United States intelligence agencies, they have said Mr. Garrett has engaged in Washington-sponsored subversion, seeking to kindle a revolt against the Chinese Communist Party. The claim is part of the effort by Chinese officials and state-controlled news media to discredit Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement as an insurrection ignited from abroad. “A plethora of evidence shows that the United States incited the students to boycott classes, in what was all too obviously a scheme to sow chaos in Hong Kong,” said a video commentary issued by Xinhua, China’s main state news agency, which displayed what it said were comments from Mr. Garrett.
Q. and A.: Larry Diamond on Political Change in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com Larry Diamond, a political sociologist specializing in democracy studies, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and directs the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute. There he served as thesis adviser to Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker and the city’s former security chief, a post she resigned in 2003 after the government’s push to pass antisubversion legislation led to major protests.
Hong Kong Protests: Guan Yu Is the People’s Deity – WSJ – WSJ From a throne of wooden pallets, a small statue of the red-faced, bearded deity Guan Yu presides over Mong Kok, the most tense of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protest sites. Guan Yu has the distinction of being worshiped by the protesters who occupy a major intersection in the heart of one of the city’s densest neighborhoods, the police who have both protected and battled protesters, and the triads, the organized crime groups that populate the area and are alleged to have fought protesters over the past four weeks.
Capital Profile report on the mainland business interests of Hong Kong’s patriotic tycoons link from Twitter to a PDF report
TECH AND MEDIA
Job Websites Adapt to Changing Industry by Targeting Individuals, Special Groups – Caixin Many people and companies in China know they can turn to job recruitment websites to find work or workers. The sites are so popular that in recent years the number of people signing up for accounts on them has actually fallen, partly because most individuals and firms that needed to register already had. In 2009, 35 percent more companies signed up to the sites than a year earlier, but the increase in 2013 was only 21.6 percent, data from iResearch Consulting Group show. The same holds true for individual registrations to the websites.
Closer Look: So Apple and Alipay Are Getting Married? Not So Fast – Caixin Apple and UnionPay have reached a preliminary agreement about cooperation that would allow iPhone 6 users to link the devices to UnionPay cards. The two are still working out the details. “Cook is getting impatient,” Chen said. “UnionPay is indeed moving too slowly on this, though it is not entirely to blame because there are also regulatory reasons.” A source close to regulators said the negotiations have moved to a vital stage, but did not elaborate. Reaching out to Alipay now is part of Apple’s negotiating strategy, he said.
Alibaba plays trademark card to protect lead as China’s $8 billion e-commerce spree nears | Reuters Tmall said in the letter that “Double Eleven” is a registered trademark. According to research by Reuters, in 2013, Alibaba registered at least six trademarks associated with “Double Eleven” with the State Administration of Industry and Commerce.
China creates Chinese language email domains – Xinhua The platform was revealed during a meeting on multi-language email technology for APEC members by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Wang Xiujun, deputy chief of the National Internet Information Office (NIIO), said at the meeting that multiple-language email technology helps non-native English speakers use Internet and narrow the Digital Divide.
Xiaomi Poaches Spotify’s Donovan Sung To Lead International Product Development | TechCrunch now Xiaomi needs an international PR guru to rounds out its international team // American-Chinese Sung ticks a few boxes for Xiaomi. In addition to his track record working for a string of large tech companies — including Microsoft, Google, YouTube and Spotify — he worked with Barra at Google, and is bilingual. Sung will report to Barra and act as a bridge between the Brazilian, who is frequently traveling and does not speak Chinese, and Xiaomi’s executive team, many of whom are not fluent in English, according to our source with knowledge of the hire. We’re told that Sung’s will start in the second week of November, before which he will relocate to Beijing from New York
China’s Smartphone Users Pass on the iPhone 6 – eMarketer but they are likely the top 10%…Apple could have much bigger ecosystem in China if the priced the 5c competitively.. // Why was the lonely 9.3% of potential buyers interested in the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? The biggest reason by far was that they liked the Apple brand, chosen by more than half of respondents who planned to purchase either device. Around 28% of each group said they just happened to need a new phone, and a similar number said they liked iOS.
邓亚萍：一代乒乓女皇“败光20亿… – 头条网 TouTiao.com 你关心的，才是头条！ did table tennis Olympic gold medalist Dr. Deng Yaping (her PhD is from Cambridge, wonder what her dissertation topic was) blow 2 Billion RMB on People’s Daily Online’s efforts to build a search engine? And is her budding political career over?
Tencent Open Platform Heralds a New Era – PR Newswire Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”, SEHK: 00700), a leading provider of comprehensive Internet services in China, today launched QQ Connect, a platform that enables hardware developers and partners from various sectors to connect with the large number of QQ users. This marks a new era of the company’s Open Platform strategy, which evolves from opening up PC-based product resources, to mobile apps, and now to a multiple-terminal phase that enables hardware developers and partners from various sectors, not just the Internet, to target the massive number of Internet users in China.
国信办副主任任贤良：加快融合发展 建设新型媒体-中新网 国际在线消息(记者 付承堃)：第十四届中国网络媒体论坛10月31日在苏州举行，
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
【活着】知青病人_新闻_腾讯网 slideshow of a Beidahuang rest home for Cultural Revolution-era sent down educated youth with disabilities and mental health issues who never got back to the city
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Smog causes lung cancer: lawmaker – Xinhua Of all cancers, lung cancer mortality rate has increased the fastest in recent years, said lawmaker Yang Wei, director of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and member of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. Yang told a group discussion that recent studies show lung cancer is the top killer for males and the second largest killer for females, partially caused by accumulation of air pollutants. “We always talked about smoking less to keep healthy, but one of the primary reason is the polluted air,” he told lawmakers discussing a report on the enforcement of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution, which was submitted to the ongoing bimonthly session of the top legislature.
In Guangdong, nervy Chinese ramp up Ebola watch | Reuters “The central government has asked Guangzhou to strengthen preventative measures,” Mao Qun’an, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, told Reuters. “Of course in Guangzhou, there are many people from outside China’s borders.” As many as 190 flights connect Guangdong and Africa each month, ferrying thousands of traders, many of whom come from the Ebola-hit nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. More than 60 percent of the passengers arriving on the mainland from West Africa arrive in Guangdong.
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
How are Chinese names usually translated into English in works of fiction? – Quora Especially with reference to 老刘／小刘, as well as names that are puns. Also, if one name is translated, should all others also be, in order to prevent it sounding like there is a non-Chinese person among a group of Chinese?
Writing China: Liu Cixin, ‘The Three-Body Problem’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ Chinese science-fiction writer Liu Cixin has won widespread acclaim for his imaginative work “The Three-Body Problem.” The trilogy tells the story of a civilization in another star system that is facing extinction and chooses to invade the Earth in order to save itself. The first book in the series will next week be published in English for the first time by Tor Books in the U.S. This weekend Mr. Liu will be one of the star attractions at a major science-fiction conference in Beijing, where China’s Nebula Awards for science fiction will be handed out. Mr. Liu won that prize in 2010.
ABCs of Beijing interesting blog about expat life in Beijing