China Readings for January 24th

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

  • After 20 Years of ‘Peaceful Evolution’, China Faces Another Historic Moment – Damien Ma – International – The Atlantic
  • Supreme Court Backs Privacy Rights in GPS Case – – a win for privacy//
    The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracker to a suspect's vehicle, voting unanimously in one of the first major cases to test constitutional privacy rights in the digital age.
  • Ex-CIA officer charged with leaking information to journalists | World news | – kiriakou sounds a bit off
  • China’s Goldwind Expanding in U.S. as Rivals Cut Back – Businessweek – Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., China’s second-largest wind-turbine maker, indicated it’s picking up market share in the U.S. as falling prices and expiring subsidies force rivals to pare back.

    Goldwind bought two 10-megawatt wind farms in Montana to showcase its equipment and has taken orders in seven other U.S. states since it started sales in the region in June 2010, according to a company statement released yesterday.

  • Leveson inquiry: Rupert Murdoch ‘dropped Lord Patten’s book to curry favour with Chinese’ – Telegraph
  • State Grid of China Said to Bid for 25% of Portugal’s REN; Oman Oil Offers – Bloomberg
  • China’s New Space Exploration Vision Shoots for the Moon – Yahoo! News
  • HIST E-1825 China: Traditions and Transformations – HIST E-1825 China: Traditions and Transformations
    Peter K. Bol, PhD, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.
    William C. Kirby, PhD, T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor.
    Modern China presents a dual image: a society transforming itself through economic development and social revolution; and the world’s largest and oldest bureaucratic state, coping with longstanding problems of economic and political management. Both images bear the indelible imprint of China’s historical experience, of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought. These themes are discussed in order to understand China in the modern world and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.

    The lecture videos
    The recorded lectures are from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Historical Study A-13, which was offered as an online course at the Extension School.

    Watch the lectures as streaming video or audio. Each lecture is 50 minutes.

  • Year of The Water Dragon: 12 Chinese Maritime Developments to Look for in 2012 – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Bassam Alghanim’s Email-Hacking Allegations Against His Brother, Kutayba, Exposes Hackers-For-Hire Trade – – Mr. Alghanim discovered the person who had allegedly commissioned the hackers was own brother, with whom he is fighting over how to divide up billions of dollars of joint assets. Mr. Alghanim's lawyers allege in court filings that the brother hired investigators to illegally access his email with the help of Chinese hackers. Cost to hire the hackers: about $400.
  • China Financing Slowdown Reduces Systemic Risk, Moody’s Says – Businessweek
  • Obama to Use Pension Funds of Ordinary Americans to Pay for Bank Mortgage “Settlement” « naked capitalism – Obama’s latest housing market chicanery should come as no surprise. As we discuss below, he will use the State of the Union address to announce a mortgage “settlement” by Federal regulators, and at least some state attorneys general. It’s yet another gambit designed to generate a campaign talking point while making the underlying problem worse.
  • Buffett Sings for New Year Gala as China Welcomes Year of Dragon – Bloomberg – Billionaire Warren Buffett strummed the ukulele, singer Leehom Wang played a dragon-shaped guitar and Premier Wen Jiabao visited oil workers as China ushered in the Lunar New Year.
    Buffett and Wang’s acts were part of China Central Television’s annual New Year’s gala, one of the world’s most- watched programs, that aired yesterday evening. Buffett sang “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” in a video clip shown on CCTV’s website. American-born Wang’s guitar paid tribute to the Year of the Dragon, which began at midnight to thunderous ad hoc firework displays in Beijing that echoed off the high-rise buildings.
  • Becoming China’s Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now (9781618580054): Peter D. Kiernan: Books
  • A new book asks, "Are we becoming China’s bitch?" | FP Passport – The year 2012 will see a stream of new books in the patented Thomas Friedman "Oh My God the Chinese Are Eating Our Lunch with Environmentally Friendly Chopsticks" mold. Some will be more worthwhile than others. One book in particular, however, is sure to stand out, if only for the title: "Becoming China's Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now." 

    The author, Peter D. Kiernan, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, explains in the introduction that "it's not a book about China exactly. It's about how America got diverted and lost momentum, and a dragon leapt into the breach. It's also about getting our mojo back."

  • Eric X. Li: Globalization 2.0: China’s Parallel Internet – Li has made 100s of millions investing in Chinese Internet firms, including thorugh his massive stake in Youku

    China is pursuing a distinctive response to the Internet. More than half a century ago, at the onset of the information revolution, a pioneering thinker on the cyberspace, Norbert Wiener, authored an influential book entitled Cybernetics. Wiener separated human responses to new challenges into two types: ontogenetic and phylogenetic. Ontogenetic activities are organized and carried out through centrally designed institutions to shape the development of society. The phylogenetic response, on the other hand, is evolutionary. It is analogous to the way bacteria behave in mutual interaction without organizational oversight. The development of human civilization has always been characterized by the constant struggle between these two opposites — the ontogenetic attempts to control the phylogenetic, and the latter's undermining of the former. The relationship is both adversarial and symbiotic, much like yin and yang. In today's context, political authority is ontogenetic, while the cyberspace is phylogenetic. The health of human society depends on the balance between the two. When they are out of balance, the body politic falls sick with catastrophic consequences.

  • American Foreign Policy Council – Home – key foreign policy advisor to Gingrich?
  • Meet Newt’s foreign-policy brain trust | The Cable – Newt's team, which has been working together informally for months, is led by Herman Pirchner, the founding president of a small, conservative think tank in Washington called the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC). Also on Team Newt is AFPC Vice President Ilan Berman and AFPC Senior Fellow for Asian Studies Stephen Yates, a former staffer for Vice President Dick Cheney.
  • What Does the Downed U.S. Drone in Iran Mean for U.S. Security? – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution – Our loss here is not so much the basic design of a stealthy airplane, which all know the essentials of (bat wing, no tail, etc). Rather it, is component aspects like the materials, even down to the coatings, internal avionics, how it deals with heat signature, etc. The Chinese for example, are behind us in even basic things like high performance jet engines. But most important are the sensors the plane carried. This is the jewel for them now. Note, the bottom of the plane was shielded in the photos released by Iran so we don’t know what was carried or what was damaged and how much. It depends on what was on the plane on this mission, but one sensor the RQ-170 has carried in the past is a AESA Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. This is a very advanced radar that really is a difference maker for our next generation planes, not just drones, but also manned ones like F-22s and F-35s. It allows a plane to be stealthy but still use its radar without detection. The Chinese are close to a generation behind us in that. Another system our plane might have carried is a special type of sensor we use for monitoring suspected nuclear sites, that can detect the composition of materials from a distance and other trace signatures.

    Bottom line, its never easy to reverse engineer anything, let alone something complex like a sensor system, but having a working or even damaged system in hand to study up close makes it a heck of a lot easier to both defend against it in the future or build your own derivative.

  • China Rhyming » Blog Archive » Noel Coward, China, Earl Amherst, Limehouse Dope Dens, Tallulah Bankhead…What More Do You Want!!
  • Do Drones Undermine Democracy? – – I do not condemn these strikes; I support most of them. What troubles me, though, is how a new technology is short-circuiting the decision-making process for what used to be the most important choice a democracy could make. Something that would have previously been viewed as a war is simply not being treated like a war.

    THE change is not limited to covert action. Last spring, America launched airstrikes on Libya as part of a NATO operation to prevent Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government from massacring civilians. In late March, the White House announced that the American military was handing over combat operations to its European partners and would thereafter play only a supporting role.

    The distinction was crucial. The operation’s goals quickly evolved from a limited humanitarian intervention into an air war supporting local insurgents’ efforts at regime change. But it had limited public support and no Congressional approval.

    When the administration was asked to explain why continuing military action would not be a violation of the War Powers Resolution — a Vietnam-era law that requires notifying Congress of military operations within 48 hours and getting its authorization after 60 days — the White House argued that American operations did not “involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof.” But they did involve something we used to think of as war: blowing up stuff, lots of it.

  • Liu Sola – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Liu Sola (Chinese: 刘索拉; b.1955 in Beijing, China) is a Chinese composer, author, and vocalist.[1]

    She has worked with James Blood Ulmer, Jerome Bailey, Wu Man, Henry Threadgill, Umar Bin Hassan, and Bill Laswell.

    She is influenced by Chinese folk music, though she has also studied opera, and following her love of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin toured the Mississippi Delta studying blues and playing with blues musicians. In the mid-80's she led an all female psychedelic Pink Floyd influenced band and in 1988 formed a reggae band.

    In September 2001 she founded the New Folk Big Band in China.

  • Flaws in Videoconferencing Systems Make Boardrooms Vulnerable – – Mr. Moore has found it easy to get into several top venture capital and law firms, pharmaceutical and oil companies and courtrooms across the country. He even found a path into the Goldman Sachs boardroom. “The entry bar has fallen to the floor,” said Mike Tuchen, chief executive of Rapid 7. “These are literally some of the world’s most important boardrooms — this is where their most critical meetings take place — and there could be silent attendees in all of them.”

    Ten years ago, videoconferencing systems were complicated and erratic, and ran on expensive, closed high-speed phone lines. Over the last decade, videoconferencing — like everything else — migrated to the Internet. Now, most businesses use Internet protocol videoconferencing — a souped-up version of Skype — to connect with colleagues and customers. Most of these new systems were designed with visual and audio clarity — not security — in mind.

    Rapid 7 discovered that hundreds of thousands of businesses were investing in top-quality videoconferencing units, but were setting them up on the cheap. At last count, companies spent an estimated $693 million on group videoconferencing from July to September of last year, according to Wainhouse Research.

  • Authoritarian Information Problems: Data Manipulation in China by Jeremy Wallace :: SSRN – Abstract:     
    Social scientists question the veracity of the statements of politicians, yet officially released economic statistics are rarely treated with similar skepticism. Are economic data systematically manipulated? Using cross-national and sub-national Chinese data, this paper leverages variation in the likelihood of manipulation over two dimensions, arguing that politically sensitive data are more likely to be manipulated at politically sensitive times. Cross-nationally, headline GDP differs from the highly correlated but less closely watched electricity consumption series across regime types in patterns consistent with dictatorships exaggerating GDP. At the sub-national level in China, the difference between GDP and electricity growth increases in years with leadership turnover, consistent with a reported political business cycle. The analysis points to the limits of non-electoral accountability mechanisms in dictatorships and suggests caution in the use of politically sensitive official economic statistics.
  • 新浪微博龙年新春零点发博量再创新高_互联网_DoNews-IT门户-移动互联网新闻-电子商务新闻-游戏新闻-风险投资新闻-IT社交网络社区 – 32312 messages sent in 1 second at stroke of midnight CNT on $sina weibo, new record
  • Confucius descendent incites controversy with insults to Hong Kongers – The Washington Post – A Chinese professor who traces his lineage to Confucius — China’s ancient champion of harmony and courtesy — has stirred an angry bout of disharmony with a tirade against Hong Kong as a land of “dogs” and “thieves” in thrall to British colonialism.

    Ignoring his illustrious ancestor’s injunction that a “gentleman should speak carefully,” Kong Qingdong of Peking University hurled abuse at the former British colony during an appearance on an Internet television talk show.

  • Going abroad: The world in their hands | The Economist – State capitalism looks outward as well as inward
  • In Defense of China’s GDP Data – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Is something wrong with China’s 2011 GDP data?

    A solid outcome for China’s gross domestic product in 2011 – 9.2% growth despite fears of a sharper slowdown – has panda hunters reaching for their flamethrowers. Derek Scissors of the Heritage Foundation is leading the pack, suggesting that China’s numbers cannot be trusted.

  • ‘Red Tails’: History, George Lucas-Style – Lane Wallace – Entertainment – The Atlantic – Simplifications and flashy effects aside, the incredible story of the Tuskegee Airmen gets its due, and some of the squad's veterans are pleased with the film.
  • 韓庚HanGeng-"除夕的傳說"央視2012龍年春晚 2012 CCTV Spring Festival Gala – YouTube – HanGeng vs animated monsters on 2012 CCTV Spring Festival Gala. soft power? or soft headed?
  • China in Africa: The Real Story: China’s Foreign Aid: The Economist still doesn’t get it – credit: Derek Bacon for The Economist
    The Economist still doesn't get it on China's foreign aid. They merrily mix apples and lychees in a new special report on state capitalism, writing: 

    "And government bodies such as Eximbank, China’s foreign-aid bank, have made no bones about their enthusiasm for tying foreign aid to commercial advantage. One of China’s favourite tools is oil for infrastructure. China offers to provide poor countries with schools, hospitals and the like (usually financed by soft loans and built by China’s infrastructure giants) in return for a guaranteed supply of oil or some other raw material. Eximbank supplied a $2 billion low-interest loan to help China’s oil companies build infrastructure in Angola."

    What's wrong with this? Nearly all of it.

  • – China’s New Clampdown: Press Freedom in China 2011 – A new International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report reveals that press freedom in China suffered significant setbacks in 2011.


    China’s New Clampdown: Press Freedom in China 2011, released today by the IFJ Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong, reports that as the scent of the Jasmine Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa drifted towards China, central authorities tightened restrictions on the press, and stepped up intimidation of journalists.