China Readings for January 23rd

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

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  • China reports second bird flu death in a month – Yahoo! News – China on Sunday reported its second bird flu fatality in a month following deaths last week in Vietnam and Cambodia.
    The patient died Sunday in Guizhou province in the southwest after being hospitalized on Jan. 6, the health ministry said in a brief statement. It said the flu was highly pathogenic but gave no indication whether it was confirmed to be the H5N1 strain.
  • Senkakus are ‘core interests’: China | The Japan Times Online – Japanese government officials are weighing China's intent after the People's Daily, the newspaper of the Communist Party, called the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea part of Beijing's "core interests."

    The Japanese government has been analyzing what made the People's Daily use the expression for the Senkakus in an opinion piece published Tuesday, and how it may influence China's public sentiment toward Japan.

  • Bill Moyers Interviews David Stockman On Crony Capitalism | The Daily Capitalist – This is a great interview of our own David Stockman by Bill Moyers. The title is “Crony Capitalism,” and the interview is wide-ranging and informative. David spells out the causes of our current malaise and the history behind it. The good thing about shows like this is that Moyers actually let’s Stockman talk at length.
  • The Secret Document That Transformed China : Planet Money : NPR – In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

    The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.

  • New York Times Tells Us Only Chinese Near Slave Labor Could Handle Steve Jobs’ Demands « naked capitalism
  • Pressure Points » What Does the Chinese Politburo Know? – elliott abrams on china

    that is what the Chinese rulers know as well. They jail men and women for ten years for posting an essay on the internet because they are well aware of the tenuousness of their hold on the minds of the Chinese people. Their communist training has taught them that a revolution that appears impossible before it takes place will be considered historically inevitable once it has happened–and their knowledge of Chinese history has taught them that political change is indeed possible. The lesson for us is not to regard tyranny as China’s inevitable and permanent state, and instead to continue to support the desire for freedom that is so evident there.

  • China Snowfalls Hamper Biggest Human Migration for New Year – Bloomberg – Freezing rain and snow hit central and eastern China in the past two days, disrupting transport as the Lunar New Year holiday spurs what’s usually the world’s biggest annual human migration, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
    About 83.73 million people traveled on the road yesterday, a record since the festival travel season started on Jan. 8, the report said, citing the Ministry of Transport. Snow has hampered journeys and increased road safety risks in Shanxi, Hubei and Hunan provinces as well as Chongqing Municipality, Xinhua sa
  • Introducing the AllSet Learning Chinese Grammar Wiki | AllSet Learning
  • Chinese Grammar Wiki
  • Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure – Glenn Greenwald – – (2) The U.S. really is a society that simply no longer believes in due process: once the defining feature of American freedom that is now scorned as some sort of fringe, radical, academic doctrine. That is not hyperbole. Supporters of both political parties endorse, or at least tolerate, all manner of government punishment without so much as the pretense of a trial, based solely on government accusation: imprisonment for life, renditions to other countries, even assassinations of their fellow citizens. Simply uttering the word Terrorist, without proving it, is sufficient. And now here is Megaupload being completely destroyed — its website shuttered, its assets seized, ongoing business rendered impossible — based solely on the unproven accusation of Piracy.

    It’s true, as Sanchez observes, that “the owners of Megaupload don’t seem like particularly sympathetic characters,” but he also details that there are difficult and weighty issues that would have to be resolved to prove they engaged in criminal conduct. Megaupload obviously contains numerous infringing videos, but so does YouTube, yet both sites also entail numerous legal activities as well.

  • Vietnam’s U.S. Arms Wishlist Hinges on Human Rights, McCain Says – Bloomberg – could make up for drop in sales to Taiwan//

    Vietnam’s request for a “long laundry list” of U.S. weaponry including anti-aircraft systems will be denied until it makes progress on human rights, according to Senators Joseph Lieberman and John McCain.
    “There are certain weapons systems that the Vietnamese would like to buy from us or receive from us, and we’d like to be able to transfer those systems to them,” Lieberman told reporters in Bangkok today. “But it’s not going to happen unless they improve their human rights record.”
    Removing a U.S. ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam under a 1984 arms embargo would boost military links between the former adversaries amid escalating spats with China in the South China Sea. Vietnam said last year it’s weighing whether to host a U.S. Navy medical center.

  • Beijing releases pollution data; US figures higher – Times Union – The reading at noon Saturday was 0.015 milligrams per cubic meter, which would be classed as "good" for a 24-hour exposure at that level, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The U.S. Embassy reading taken from its site on the eastern edge of downtown Beijing said its noon reading was "moderate." Its readings are posted on Twitter.

    Steven Andrews, an environmental consultant who has studied Beijing's pollution data since 2006, said he was "already a bit suspicious" of Beijing's PM2.5 data. Within the 24-hour period to noon Saturday, Beijing reported seven hourly figures "at the very low level" of 0.003 milligrams per cubic meter.

    "In all of 2010 and 2011, the U.S. Embassy reported values at or below that level only 18 times out of over 15,000 hourly values or about 0.1 percent of the time," said Andrews. "PM2.5 concentrations vary by area so a direct comparison between sites isn't possible, but the numbers being reported during some hours seem surpisingly low."