China Readings for January 20th

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

  • Why the feds smashed Megaupload – could US use this argument against online chinese video sites? two at least, youku and tudou, have some us presence through their us market listings, though those two have significantly cleaned up their acts w respect to us copyrights
  • China rushes to jail activists before political handover – Telegraph– think the use of “handover” in the headline is misleading//China has jailed a third dissident in just over three weeks as the authorities rush to hand out prison sentences ahead of the unveiling of a new generation of leaders later this year.
  • Battle for Control of Asia’s Seas Goes Underwater – ABC News– It’s getting a bit more crowded under the sea in Asia, where Andrew Peterson commands one of the world’s mightiest weapons: a $2 billion nuclear submarine with unrivaled stealth and missiles that can devastate targets hundreds of miles (kilometers) away.Super high-tech submarines like Cmdr. Peterson’s USS Oklahoma City have long been the envy of navies all over the globe — and a key component of U.S. military strategy.

    “We really have no peer,” Peterson told The Associated Press during a recent port call in Japan.

    But America’s submarine dominance in the Pacific is facing its biggest challenge since the Cold War. Nearly every Asian country with a coastline is fortifying its submarine fleet amid territorial disputes stirred up by an increasingly assertive China and the promise of bountiful natural resources.

  • Caixin Post on Leadership Leaks Ordered Removed – China Digital Times (CDT)– On Wednesday, Caixin published a blog post containing excerpts from three Wikileaked diplomatic cables from 2007. The cables described Hu Jintao’s secret visits to political gatherings at the resort town of Beidaihe, the president’s perceived weakness, rumours of corruption in Wen Jiabao’s family, plans to shrink the Politburo Standing Committee, and impatience with Jiang Zemin’s lingering interference.The site was subsequently ordered to remove the post, or be blocked
  • Coal + Ice
  • China consumers spend, even as growth eases – Emerging Markets Report – MarketWatch– HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Retail-spending growth and the emergence of a new class of super consumers could be among the few bright spots as China’s economy shifts towards an era of slower growth, analysts say.Mainland Chinese consumers were out in force in the run up to Chinese New Year festival, according to official data on nationwide pre-holiday spending released earlier this week.

    Retail sales for December grew 18.1% from a year earlier, accelerating from November’s 17.3% rise, according to the National Bureau of Statistics data.

    When adjusting for inflation, spending rose 13.8% in December, picking up from a 12.8% rise in November.

    Standard Chartered’s Stephen Green in Shanghai said the data showed mainland consumers hadn’t lost their stride, even as the economy has slowed over recent quarters.

  • CEO OF APPLE PARTNER FOXCONN: “Managing One Million Animals Gives Me A Headache” – “Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache,” said Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou at a recent year-end party, adding that he wants to learn from Chin Shih-chien, director of Taipei Zoo, regarding how animals should be managed.
  • China to again close Tibet during sensitive period – Yahoo! News – BEIJING – For a fifth straight year, China plans to close Tibet to foreign travelers during a sensitive period starting in mid-February, travel agents said Thursday.
    Agent Yu Zhi of the Lhasa Youth Tourist Agency said Thursday the government’s tourist administration in Tibet’s capital had informed agents that foreign travelers would be banned from Feb. 20 to March 30.
  • US expands visa sections to meet demand of Chinese visitors — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New– Chinese citizens are travelling to the United States in record numbers and the demand for the US visa is now growing 35 percent a year and will maintain such a rate for years to come, the US Embassy officials said today.To cope with the rising demand, the US government is expanding its visa sections in consulates across the country and is also looking at the possibility of extending visa durations for Chinese nationals, said US Embassy Press Secretary Richard L. Buangan said in Beijing.
  • Russian ‘spy rock’ was genuine, former chief of staff admits – Telegraph – It was a spy plot so far-fetched it would be worthy of James Bond – a transmitter concealed inside an artificial rock by British agents and placed next to a Russian street in order to steal classified data.
  • Analysis: China as lender of last resort…more than just a loan – Yahoo! News – HONG KONG (Reuters) – China is filling a lending vacuum in Asia as European banks limp home to preserve capital, and is making sure loans have spin-off benefits for Chinese manufacturers and exporters, even at the expense of the rates they offer.
    Cash-strapped businesses looking to Chinese banks for loans would do well to have something to offer China in return – for big loans come with strings attached.
    Lending to foreign firms in need not only boosts Chinese banks’ loan portfolios, but helps develop export markets for Chinese goods.
    “If it helps China, the banks will lend,” said Vidhan Goyal, a professor of finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • Long march ahead to a truly capitalist China –– The writer is chairman of the Boyuan Foundation, and former chairman of China Merchants Group and China Merchants Bank. Qin XiaoHigh quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

    So how does this leave China? Beijing launched the reform and opening up process in the late 1970s, then abandoned the planned economy and adopted a socialist market system. This averted the collapse of China’s economy and fuelled rapid growth. During the early stages of the transition, as the market was not yet developed, it was necessary for the government to play a leading role, resulting in a state-dominated system similar to the east Asian or Japanese model. Now, the mission of this state-dominated model is accomplished and it is time to overcome the constraints of special interest groups, transform government functions and further the process of market reform.
    There are two essential tasks. A government now focused on the economy needs instead to build a rule of law and provide public services. An economic system now dominated by the government needs to become one led by the market and regulated by the government.

  • China’s Wen defends Iran oil, warns on nuclear aims – Yahoo! News
  • China sentences writer to 10 years prison for subversion | World news | – Li Tie was found guilty of ‘subversion of state power’ for writing essays that urged people to defend their rights
  • 9 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Learn From Woody Allen | TechCrunch
  • Yukon Huang: The Poor Man’s Consumption Fix for China –– Expanding residence rights for migrants would do more to boost consumption than fiddling with interest rates.By itself, however, the decline in the share of household income to GDP does not fully explain the decline in the share of consumption. The other reason – although less significant – has been the surge in urban household savings rates. Many factors have been cited for contributing to this increase, including weak social programs, an aging population, saving for housing purchases. But the most important reason has been largely overlooked: domestic migration.

    Savings rates of migrant workers are much higher than those of established residents, as much as twice as high in some cities. Without formal residency rights (called “hukou”) that provide access to public services, migrants have more incentive to hoard for their rainy days, and hence less to consume. These migrants now account for around half of the labor force in many coastal cities, explaining their impact on the country’s personal savings rate.

  • Intelligence Changes Linked to Genes –
  • A NY Fed Employee Accused Of Stealing Computer Code Could Face 10 Years In Prison – Bo Zhang (zahng) was arrested Wednesday. Authorities say he stole the code last summer while working on it as a contract government employee.
  • Dear Andrew Sullivan: Why Focus on Obama’s Dumbest Critics? – Conor Friedersdorf – Politics – The Atlantic – A major defense of the president exaggerates Obama’s accomplishments and misses the point: his scandalous transgressions against rule of law.
  • China Mulls Relaxing Capital Rules for Banks – Bloomberg – China’s banking regulator is weighing a plan to relax capital requirements for lenders after the world’s second-largest economy expanded at the slowest pace in 10 quarters, four people with knowledge of the matter said.
    The China Banking Regulatory Commission is delaying implementing the most stringent capital adequacy ratios and may lower risk weightings for loans to small businessmen and companies, the people said, declining to be identified as the matter is confidential. The watchdog may also allow banks to increase the excess bad-loan reserves used in calculating risk buffers, they said.
  • 兵不厌诈_互动百科
  • Chris Dodd’s paid SOPA crusading – Glenn Greenwald –– Chris Dodd’s emphatic 2010 pledge not to lobby once he finally left the Senate was prompted by widespread speculation that he spent the last two years in office blatantly shilling for corporate interests in order to ensure a prosperous post-Congress career. Particularly during the 2010 financial reform debate — when it became increasingly apparent that allegations of improper benefits from Countrywide Financial would make his re-election close to impossible — Dodd served on multiple occasions as chief spokesman for, and defender of, the interests of Wall Street and corporate America. Though sleazy and grotesque, it was therefore entirely unsurprising when it was announced last March that Dodd would “be Hollywood’s leading man in Washington, taking the most prestigious job on K Street”: Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), “whose perks include a $1.2 million-a-year salary and getting to attend the Academy Awards ceremony.”It is in that capacity that Dodd has become the leading public spokesman and private lobbyist for the truly dangerous PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, bills craved by the industry that pays him. These bills, which vest the power in large corporations and the government to seize and shutdown websites with little or no due process in the name of stopping piracy, pose the greatest dangers to Internet freedom of any bill in the last decade, at least. So serious are these threats that they have prompted a rare — and inspiring — protest movement from numerous large Internet companies and blogs in the form of an Internet “blackout” today.
  • Swagger, insecurity feed China crackdown: dissident | Reuters– The soft-spoken and bookish-looking writer said the political transition in China will not make any difference.”Whether it’s Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao or their future successors Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, they are all representatives or surrogates of this elite interest group. They are not going to initiate political reform,” said Yu.
  • CIA past of Bangkok’s American ‘Silk King’ emerges – Yahoo! News – Credited with the revival of a now booming silk industry, Thompson attained legendary status, enhanced by a bon vivant lifestyle at a time when Thailand was still truly exotic — and by his mysterious death. But little has been known about Thompson’s intensely political, darker side — his freelance backing of Asia’s insurgencies, clashes with Washington’s Cold War warriors and his connections to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which to this day reportedly refuses to release his complete file.
    It’s the cloak and dagger stuff, rather than the glitz and glamor, that’s the focus of “The Ideal Man: The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War” by Joshua Kurlantzick, an author on Asian affairs with the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations
  • Inside the Ring – Washington Times– SAUDI NUCLEAR WATCHU.S. intelligence agencies are closely watching Saudi Arabia for signs that the oil-rich kingdom will seek to develop nuclear weapons, amid tensions in the region centered on Iran’s nuclear program.

    One key warning sign was the cooperation agreement signed Sunday in Riyadh by China and Saudi Arabia.

    According to the Saudi Jedda News, the agreement will seek joint development of “atomic energy for peaceful purposes, which will help to meet the kingdom’s rising demand for energy and cut its growing dependence on depleting resources.”

    The agreement was signed by King Abdullah and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and followed earlier public remarks by a senior Saudi prince who said the country should develop nuclear weapons to counter rival Iran’s nuclear arms.

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights