China Readings for January 1st

"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner

  • In central China, shadowy sex case ensnares local officials | McClatchy– CHENGGUAN, China — The sign above the entry to the Water Cube bathhouse lit up at night with blue ocean waves, palm trees and red characters advertising spring waters. It was one of the last things the girls saw before their lives changed forever.Lured to the club, the high school students were forced either to strip naked or to have sex — accounts vary — and their naked bodies were photographed. The pictures allegedly constituted a threat: Bring your classmates to the Water Cube, or your nude image will be passed around the streets of Chengguan.
  • 环保部通过空气质量新标准 增设PM2.5浓度限值_新闻_腾讯网 – 中新网12月31日电 据环保部网站消息,中国环境保护部部长周生贤30日主持召开环境保护部常务会议,审议并原则通过《环境空气质量标准》。新修订的标准调整了污染物项目及限值,增设了PM2.5平均浓度限值和臭氧8小时平均浓度限值,收紧了PM10、二氧化氮等污染物的浓度限值。
  • “达芬奇”案中的蹊跷采访_视听频道_财新网 – “达芬奇”案中的蹊跷采访
    caixin video evidence of cctv misdeeds in davinci reporting
  • China moving to more convertible yuan: central bank’s Zhou – Yahoo! News – BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s central bank governor argued in comments published on Saturday that Beijing does not control the yuan’s flow across borders as tightly as some think and that it is natural for the currency’s trading band to be widened over time.
    Zhou Xiaochuan said in an interview with Chinese magazine Caixin that China did not fare badly on an International Monetary Fund measure of currencies’ convertibility under the capital account.
    But he stopped short of calling for a fully convertible currency.
    “If the highest standard of measurement is to have wholly unrestricted convertibility, then so many developed countries have not achieved 100 percent full convertibility,” Zhou told the magazine.
  • BBC News – China: Tens of thousands of ruins ‘disappear’– China says about 44,000 ancient ruins, temples and other cultural sites have disappeared.That’s the conclusion of the country’s first heritage census for more than 20 years.
  • Is meditation the push-up for the brain? Study shows practice may have potential to change brain’s physical structure
  • The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters (9781933633916): B.R. Myers: Books– B.R. Myers, a North Korea analyst and a contributing editor of The Atlantic, presents the first full-length study of the North Korean worldview. Drawing on extensive research into the regime’s domestic propaganda, including films, romance novels and other artifacts of the personality cult, Myers analyzes each of the country’s official myths in turn—from the notion of Koreans’ unique moral purity, to the myth of an America quaking in terror of “the Iron General.” In a concise but groundbreaking historical section, Myers also traces the origins of this official culture back to the Japanese fascist thought in which North Korea’s first ideologues were schooled.What emerges is a regime completely unlike the West’s perception of it. This is neither a bastion of Stalinism nor a Confucian patriarchy, but a paranoid nationalist, “military-first” state on the far right of the ideological spectrum.
  • 潘石屹高调宣称购外滩地块股权 复星称权益受侵_中国经济网――国家经济门户
  • Home Economics: Free Apartment in Chongqing – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Man dies of bird flu in Shenzhen|Society| – GUANGZHOU – A bus driver died in a hospital Sunday after becoming infected with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu, in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, local authorities said.
    The 39-year-old man surnamed Chen died of multiple organ failures at 1 pm, the Department of Health of Guangdong said in a statement.
    Another 120 people who had contact with the driver have not reported any symptoms, the department said.
  • China in Africa: The Real Story – interesting blog
  • 达芬奇冤不冤_杂志频道_财新网
  • Sinica Podcast-The Wukan Uprising and Han Han – For the last few days, international attention has focused on the small fishing town of Wukan in southern China where villagers are in open revolt. Simmering tensions caused by corruption and illegal land sales have escalated into an armed uprising by locals against security forces and local government, both of which have been driven into at least temporary exile.
    Starting with the question of what exactly is happening down south, our conversation on Sinica this week eventually turns to a more general discussion of how China’s liberal intelligentsia seems to be grappling with the idea of reform: whether it is possible and what it might look like if it ever arrives? Joining Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn for this discussion are Charlie Custer of the excellent translation blog China Geeks as well as Ed Wong of the New York Times. We’re also delighted to have the stalwart Gady Epstein back with us, now in his new role as China correspondent for The Economist.
  • 达芬奇案中案_杂志频道_财新网 – more from caixin’s expose of editorial corruption at CCTV over the davinci furniture expose. Hu Shuli is taking at at heart of CCTV一场原本普通的消费者与商家纠纷,一方付了部分预付款,但对到货商品不满;一方未收足货款,面对总是不满意的客户,要求先付款再送货。谁是谁非,已进入司法程序。然而,消费者找到电视台投诉,媒体周密部署,化装暗访,商家随即陷入“造假售假”的舆论漩涡。
  • China Pins Hopes on Public Housing –– One of the biggest public-housing projects in history will help determine whether China can remake its real-estate sector fast enough to prevent its economy from flaming out.China is in the midst of a crash program to build 36 million subsidized apartments by the end of 2015—enough units to house the entire population of Germany. The goal is twofold: to head off social unrest by ensuring decent places to live for low-wage workers, but also to cushion an expected fall in high-end construction—the result of policies to tame property speculation—by ramping up construction at the low end: so-called social housing.
  • Chinese IPOs: all pain and no gain? | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times –– China might have once again dominated the league tables for initial public offerings this year, but for an increasing number of global banks, getting a piece of the action in the world’s busiest IPO market appears to have become all pain and no gain.A Société Générale Chinese venture has become the latest to deliver turn its back on the Chinese stock market, saying that it will stay away from mainland IPOs because their quality has become too difficult to assess.
  • China urges tighter Internet security after series of data leaks | Reuters – The Chinese government is working with domestic Internet search engines like Baidu Inc and and financial institutions to prevent phishing attacks on unsuspecting Chinese web users.
    The Ministry of Public Security said on Friday it would work with 10 Chinese search engines to protect the website rankings of financial institutions to lessen the chances that Internet users will be duped by phishing websites.
  • Chongqing Mayor on Property Market Goals: ‘There’s a Ratio for That’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ– Over two hours on Nov. 25, 2011, the mayor spoke with Wall Street Journal reporter James T. Areddy in a boardroom adjacent to his office in the Chongqing municipal government’s leafy riverside compound. Wearing a black polo shirt, he discussed Chongqing’s goals for real-estate affordability, regulation and development, supporting his technocratic arguments with an array of figures and by making comparisons with the situation in the U.S. property market.He concluded the interview by lighting a large cigar.
  • Nasdaq Gets Okay to Delist Chinese Company – Bloomberg – Nasdaq Stock Market won a federal judge’s permission to delist a Chinese maker of wind towers that claims the procedures for kicking it out are marred by bias.
    U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan today lifted the restraining order imposed against Nasdaq by New York State Supreme Court Justice Melvin Schweitzer on Dec. 20. Sullivan also denied a request by CleanTech Innovations Inc., based in Tieling, China, that he impose his own temporary restraining order.
  • China’s secrecy about its past could stifle its future – The Washington Post – Sergey Radchenko is a lecturer in history of American-Asian relations at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China, and the author of “Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962-1967.”
  • “造假门”始末_杂志频道_财新网 – Caixin says CCTV fake the news story about DaVinci selling fake Italian furnitur
  • 12 for 2012: China will go slow for longer, but a hard landing is unlikely | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times –– By Dong Tao of Credit SuisseI do not expect a hard landing in China. Despite a slowdown in exports and weaker fixed asset investment, private consumption is holding up too well at the moment for that to happen, because of salary increases, tax cuts and continued urbanisation.

    But I do believe that China is going to grow more slowly than before – and for a longer period than was previously expected.

  • The Long Arab Winter to Come | USNI Blog – Leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood Hamed Saeed’s words sound an unwelcome thunderclap in the ears of Western diplomats.    Saeed declared last January that “unrest in Egypt will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States.”
    And so it has, and is not finished yet.   There was nothing spontaneous about it.   Western leaders, including our own, have been thoroughly outmaneuvered, as have any moderates who had hoped in those early days of the “Arab Spring” for a permanence of the new liberties they believed they’d won.
  • China: Richer but Repressed – The Daily Beast – China is wealthier than ever, yet corruption, censorship, and deep social problems are pervasive. What’s more important—money or freedom?
  • interfluidity » Why is finance so complex?– Opacity and interconnectedness among major banks is nothing new. Banks and sovereigns have always mixed it up. When there has not been public deposit insurance there have been private deposit insurers as solid and reliable as our own recent “monolines”. “Shadow banks” are nothing new under the sun, just another way of rearranging the entities and guarantees so that almost nobody believes themselves to be on the hook.This is the business of banking. Opacity is not something that can be reformed away, because it is essential to banks’ economic function of mobilizing the risk-bearing capacity of people who, if fully informed, wouldn’t bear the risk. Societies that lack opaque, faintly fraudulent, financial systems fail to develop and prosper. Insufficient economic risks are taken to sustain growth and development. You can have opacity and an industrial economy, or you can have transparency and herd goats.

    A lamentable side effect of opacity, of course, is that it enables a great deal of theft by those placed at the center of the shell game. But surely that is a small price to pay for civilization itself. No?

  • 贵州茅台酒厂(集团)习酒有限责任公司– just bought a case of 1988 vintage Xi Jiu 习酒. going 2b hot in 2012 w ascension of 习近平 Xi Jinping//贵州茅台酒厂(集团)习酒有限责任公司(以下简称“习酒公司”),是中国贵州茅台酒厂有限责任公司的全资子公司,于1998年10月成立。其前身为贵州省习水酒厂、贵州习酒总公司,始建于1952年。


  • William Farris – Google+ – China’s Media Censors Story About Woman Awarded Damages… – On December 6, 2011, the Jinghua Daily published a report on page A11 entitled “Sina Found Guilty of Breach of Contract for Unilaterally Deleting a Weibo” (擅自封锁微博 新浪被判违约) saying that a Beijing court had ordered Sina to pay a user (only identified as “Ms Yu”) 2,520 yuan (about US$250) for economic damages and court costs she incurred because Sina terminated two of her Weibo microblogs without giving her prior notice. The story was reposted on several websites, and has since been deleted:
  • Chinese Official, Wang Yang, Tests New Political Approach –– Mr. Wang, the up-and-coming Communist Party secretary of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, faced a political turning point when 13,000 irate residents of Wukan evicted their leaders and barricaded themselves in their coastal village for 13 days in a last-straw uprising against local corruption.Given a choice of storming the village with armed police officers or conceding that the villagers’ complaints had merit, Mr. Wang chose the latter. And in a single morning, he defused a standoff that had drawn unflattering worldwide news coverage.
  • China’s Shaky Economic Foundation –– The Wukan incident reveals the shaky foundation of China’s rise to economic super power: it is built upon an unresolved land struggle with hundreds of millions of lives in the balance. Anything that negatively alters the quality of life of China’s rural majority has the potential to impact the already fragile global economy, sending ripples across the world.As I have seen first-hand during nearly 30 years of research in rural China, land grabs have been central to China’s economic “miracle.” Local governments take over land for real estate development, industrial expansion, roads, dams and power plants.
  • Police shoot dead 7 terrorists in Xinjiang– A local official told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that the 15 kidnappers tried to cross into Central Asia to receive jihadist training, but lost their way near Pishan, which borders the Kashmir region.They then seized two local herdsmen who were looking for lost sheep and forced them to lead the way. The herdsmen escaped and contacted local police.
  • Reports of Deadly Shootout in Xinjiang Region of China – – BEIJING — Police officers killed seven people they accused of being kidnappers in a remote mountainous area of Xinjiang on China’s turbulent western frontier, according to state-run news organizations on Friday.
  • The Cultural Revolution Cookbook and the Politics of Nostalgia | dGenerate Films– The Cultural Revolution Cookbook, a recent title that draws on the legacy of communal agricultural during the Cultural Revolution, researched and written by Sasha Gong and Scott D. Seligman, was recently released by Earnshaw Books.The book incorporates some realities of Cultural Revolution-era cooking and eating with a definite bend towards popular American culinary trends, asserting of the young people who cultivated these recipes in the 1960s and 70s:

    They learned to prepare remarkably tasty and healthy dishes with the fresh, wholesome foods in season, to conserve scarce fuel and to improvise when ingredients were unavailable. They used locally grown produce because there wasn’t anything else. And they mastered the art of getting peak flavors and maximum nourishment out of unprocessed, low-calorie foods, devoid of artificial preservatives, fresh from the fields, ponds and streams.

    These are their recipes – entirely authentic, and easy to prepare in an American kitchen.

  • Suspect confesses to biggest China corruption case – Yahoo! News – Prosecutors said Friday they indicted a former fugitive at the center of China’s biggest corruption scandal and that he has confessed to bribery and smuggling.
    The move brings authorities a step closer to a conclusion in one of China’s most lurid, long-running corruption cases in which the chief suspect fled to Canada and fought extradition for more than a decade.
    Prosecutors in the eastern city of Xiamen have indicted Lai Changxing for allegedly masterminding a network that smuggled everything from cigarettes to cars and oil and bribed dozens of government workers between 1996 and 1999, China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported.
  • Chinese city finds cancer-causing fungi in food – Yahoo! News – Chinese food safety regulators in the southern city of Shenzhen have found carcinogenic mildew in peanuts and cooking oil, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
  • China reports suspected human bird flu case – Yahoo! News – China has reported a suspected human case of the H5N1 virus, or bird flu, in a southern city bordering Hong Kong, officials said on Friday.
    The patient, a 39-year-old man living in Shenzhen, developed symptoms on December 21 and was admitted to a hospital on December 25 because of severe pneumonia, the Centre of Health Protection of Hong Kong said in a statement. He is now in critical condition.
  • [toread] 28c3: Defending mobile phones – YouTube
  • 440,783 “Silent SMS” Used to Track German Suspects in 2010 – F-Secure Weblog : News from the Lab – Silent messages, often called silent SMS, stealth SMS, or stealthy ping, will not show up on the display, neither
    is there an acoustical signal when they are received. However, at the mobile provider some data is created
    (for example, the subscriber identification IMSI). This kind of message is sent especially by the police to locate
    a person or to create a complete movement profile of a person. In Germany in the year 2010, nearly half a
    million “silent SMSs” were sent by the federal police, the customs, and the secret service “Office for Protection
    of the Constitution.”
  • U.S.-trained Chinese official seen behind blind activist’s jailing | Reuters– The rising Chinese official who critics say engineered the jailing of the blind legal rights activist Chen Guangcheng, has come a long way from Connecticut, where he studied public policy and claims to have worked as an aide to the mayor of New Haven.If Chen embodies the rebellious energies that worry China’s ruling Communist Party, the official, Li Qun, with his U.S.-honed technocratic learning and homegrown toughness, appears to embody the qualities that the party hopes will keep it in power.
  • Hong Kong Firm Backs Out of Hollywood Film Deal – Scene Asia – WSJ– In China, not all movie projects have Hollywood endings.Four months ago, a Hong Kong construction firm unveiled plans to invest $220.5 million in a new Hollywood-China joint venture that was supposed to develop a slate of big-budget pictures, including an epic about the Great Wall. But on Friday, Paul Y. Engineering Ltd. said the deal was off.

    It said it shelved its plans to invest in Legendary East Ltd., a joint venture with Hollywood production company Legendary Entertainment and China’s Huayi Brothers Media Corp. because it couldn’t sell enough shares to investors to finance the deal before its year-end deadline

  • China’s Space Report Touts Tech, Tiptoes Around Military Uses – China Real Time Report – WSJ– Since China shocked the world by obliterating one of its aging weather satellites with a missile in 2007, it has struggled to reassure other countries of its peaceful intentions in space.That’s the background to a State Council white paper, released on Thursday, that reveals ambitious plans for space exploration over the next five years. As a follow-up to the last such report in 2006, it is partly meant to allay foreign concerns that China’s space program is driven by military calculations.
  • China to Require Real-Name System for E-Payment | Marbridge Consulting – China Internet News – The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has sent several third-party Internet payment providers a draft of a document entitled, “Payment Provider Internet Payment Business Management Practices,” in order to solicit opinions and suggestions. The document stipulates that third-party payment providers should implement a real name system for all payment service accounts, and that institutions must not accept anonymous users or users who use pseudonyms.
  • Rowena Xiaoqing He: Reading Havel in Beijing –– BY ROWENA XIAOQING HEVaclav Havel’s death earlier this month was mourned in the Czech Republic and Slovakia as the passing of a national treasure. He rose to prominence first as one of the few men willing to speak honestly about the regime that oppressed his country in the 1970s, and later became the man who brought that country peacefully to freedom. A student of mine from the Czech Republic wrote in a touching note this month that Havel had led his country to “live within the truth.”