China Readings for January 31st

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

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  • 民主與狗:孔慶東不懂的事 -联合早报
  • A biased view of China|Op-Ed Contributors| – To attack and censure socialist system is the true intention of distorted portrayal of the country's human rights environment
    On the eve of the Chinese New Year, Human Rights Watch released its Global Annual Report 2012. As of old, the organization found fault with China's human rights situation. Full of subjective assumptions and cliches, the report concentrated its firepower on political issues in China.
    The Chinese government's endeavor to maintain social stability, protect national security, and even its voting behavior as a permanent member of the UN Security Council are all targeted in the report.
    Such a report is far from a human rights report, fundamentally it is a political report released in the name of human rights…
    In recent years, the West has become increasingly anxious over China's development. China's sustained economic growth has led to the rise of its international status and influence and the China model is attractive to other developing countries. Meanwhile, the arrogant Western countries are caught in serious financial crises, with their model of development and self-interest being widely criticized and questioned.
    The West's fear, arrogance and anxiety mean it continually seeks to distort China's image. Dominated by such a mentality, the West will never acknowledge that the human rights situation in China has been continually improving.
    The people in the West that point accusatory fingers at the human rights situation in China should face up to the reality that if the 1.3 billion Chinese people did not have political democracy, freedom of thought and growing human rights protection, how could they create an unprecedented economic miracle within just 30 years?
    The author is a Beijing-based scholar of international relations.
  • Shaolin Temple risks losing rating |Hot Issues| – The Shaolin Temple scenic spot is facing the risk of losing its top-class rating after an undercover inquiry organized by China’s National Tourism Administration, the Oriental Outlook – a weekly magazine – reported on Monday.
    The scenic site, best known for the Shaolin Temple, which has been recognized as the origin of Chan Buddhism and the cradle of Chinese kungfu, was found to have poor management and failed to meet the criteria of national 5A class tourist attractions, China’s top rating for scenic spots, in terms of service, quality and environment.
  • Japan’s plan to name Diaoyu islets invalid: China|Politics| – Liu said China has indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent islets that have been an inherent part of China since ancient times.
    Any unilateral measures taken by Japan on the Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent islets would be unlawful and invalid, said Liu.
  • 柳州相关部门被指得知镉污染事件后静默数天_新闻_腾讯网
  • Sinovel Profits to Fall 50% as Competition Drives Down Prices – Businessweek – Sinovel Wind Group Co., China’s biggest wind-turbine maker, expects its 2011 earnings to fall by more than 50 percent as heightened competition at home and abroad dragged down prices.

    Rivalry within the market depressed prices, trimming revenue and profit margins, the Beijing-based company said yesterday in a statement. “Cyclical fluctuations” in the world economy also delayed some projects, curbing income, it said.

  • 新浪域名故障 暴露超五成重点域名有风险 – 行业 – 21世纪网 – china needs to up its "domain name security"
  • Wukan offers democratic model for China – – misleading headline?//

    There is, nevertheless, plenty of scope for things to go wrong as the new representatives will have to deal with difficult issues such as returning land to villagers and an investigation into the death in police custody in December of a popular village leader. This would likely require punishment of party officials. “Nothing has changed. We have to see if the election process will be able to resolve our complaints,” says one of the more impatient leaders of the December protests.
    Meanwhile, one well-connected member of the CPPCC advisory body summed up Mr Wang’s risky endeavour in harsh terms: “If the results are not great, his political career could be over.”

  • Why China’s "Blindside" Could Be A Great Buying Opportunity – Money Morning – There's not a day goes by that I don't see some variation of the theme that China is going to crash, or that somehow that nation will blindside us, and that its markets may fall 60%.

    This is like saying the U.S. markets were in for a hard landing in March of 2009 after they had fallen more than 50%. Folks who bit into this argument and bailed not only sold out at the worst possible moment, but then added agony to injury by sitting on the sidelines as the markets tore 95.68% higher over the next two years.

  • Frank Talk – Heart of China Bull Beats Strong – My debate last week with Gordon Chang on China’s future at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference was a stimulating, intellectual exercise. A healthy market needs a compromise between the bid and ask, and a discussion between people who strongly disagree is a great way to promote critical thinking.
  • How Tariffs On Chinese Solar Could Backfire And Destroy 60,000 US Jobs
  • W.T.O. Orders China to Stop Export Taxes on Minerals – – HONG KONG — The appeals panel of the World Trade Organization ruled on Monday that China must dismantle its system of export taxes and quotas for nine widely used industrial materials.

    The legal setback for Beijing could set a precedent for the West to challenge China’s export restrictions on other natural resources, including rare earth metals that are crucial to many modern technologies, trade experts said.

  • Mystery of Cambridge University’s £3.7 million Chinese benefactors – Telegraph – Cambridge University has come under pressure to reveal the identity of a mysterious Chinese foundation that is donating £3.7 million for a new professorship, amid fears that the pressure to raise funds may have exposed it to backdoor diplomacy by Beijing.
  • Douglas College orders review of China programs | Vancouver Sun – One of B.C.’s largest colleges has ordered an independent review of its China programs after their integrity was called into question.

    Douglas College has hired Deloitte & Touche to review partnership programs at the Heilongjiang Institute of Science and Technology in Harbin and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, which offer finance and business credentials that are recognized in both Canada and China.

  • Sany Heavy: China digs in – – China serves up some heebie-jeebies yet again, this time directed towards the global market for construction machinery. Sany Heavy, the country’s biggest maker of cool-sounding machines such as concrete pumps, excavators and cranes, is to buy 90 per cent of German concrete pump-maker Putzmeister for €360m.

    Sure, Putzmeister is small fry, with only a 10th of the revenues of Sany. But the deal is significant because it is Sany’s first overseas acquisition and will quadruple its foreign sales overnight

  • Dubious degree – Video – British Columbia’s Douglas College is an institution offering Canadian degrees to students in China. But as a 16×9 investigation found out, some are saying the degrees aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.
  • Closed doors to reform | – Deng Xiaoping cemented the country's economic path 20 years ago but debate still rages over stalled political change
  • Beyond OPLAN 5027: Chinese Planning for Disaster Scenarios on the North Korean Frontier « SINO-NK
  • China-North Korea Dossier No. 1: “China and the North Korean Succession” « SINO-NK
  • China’s Soft-Power Offensive in Taiwan – Yuriko Koike – Project Syndicate
  • Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Advances | AVIATION WEEK – Every indication is that nobody in Western intelligence saw the Chengdu J-20 coming. While it was known that China was developing a stealthy combat aircraft, the J-20 has emerged earlier than expected and appears to be more mature than the X‑plane or demonstrator that many people anticipated.

    The debut of the J-20 had been predicted in a November 2009 interview on Chinese television by Gen. He Weirong, deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The general said at the time that a “fourth-generation” fighter would be flown in 2010-11 and be operational in 2017-19.

    At least two J-20 prototypes were complete by the time the aircraft made its first flight—or at least its first public flight—on Jan. 11, 2011. The two aircraft are distinguished by the detail design of their exhaust nozzles, leading to speculation that one of the aircraft has Russian-supplied AL-31F engines, of the type fitted to the Chengdu J-10, and the other has the Chinese-developed WS-10 engine.

  • China’s Global Quest for Resources and Implications for the United States – Council on Foreign Relations – China's search for food and land in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, reflects the country's pressing scarcity of water. China's approach has set off alarm bells in the region and the United States should work actively to address China's water security needs, argues Elizabeth Economy before the House U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
  • Leon Panetta’s explicitly authoritarian decree – – CBS News‘ Scott Pelley appears to be one of the very few American journalists bothered by, or even interested in, the fact that President Obama has asserted and exercised the power to target U.S. citizens for execution-by-CIA without a shred of due process and far from any battlefield. It was Pelley who deftly interrogated the GOP presidential candidates at a November debate about the propriety of due-process-free assassinations, prompting Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann to applaud President Obama for assassinating Awlaki (just as Rick Perry, Dick and Liz Cheney, and Bill Kristol had done). Last night, Pelley did the same when he interviewed Defense Secretary and former CIA chief Leon Panetta on 60 Minutes. It’s well worth watching this three-minute clip because, although Panetta doesn’t say much that is new (he simply asserts the standard slogans and unproven assertions that Obama defenders on this topic always assert), watching a top Obama official, under decent questioning, defend the power to target U.S. citizens for assassination viscerally conveys the rigidly authoritarian mindset driving all of this:
  • BBC – BBC World Service Programmes – More Or Less, Which is the world’s biggest city? – "Chongqing has become the largest city not only in China but in the world", the media has proclaimed.
    More or Less casts doubt on both those claims.
    So which is the world's biggest city, and what is its population?
    Two simple questions that we discover are surprisingly difficult to answer. Luckily, geographers Professor Kam Wing Chan, of the University of Washington, and Rich Greene, of the University of Northern Illinois, are on hand to help out.
  • Francis Fukuyama, Larry Diamond write on "China and East Asian Democracy" in latest issue of Journal of Democracy | National Endowment for Democracy – His article "The Coming Wave (PDF)" is the first in a set of four exploring "China and East Asian Democracy." Francis Fukuyama's contribution, "The Patterns of History," focuses on the nature of authoritarian government in East Asia, while Minxin Pei asks, "Is CCP Rule Fragile or Resilient?"

    Finally, Yun-han Chu examines the nature of the relationship between Taiwan and China in "The Taiwan Factor (PDF)." According to Chu, "If [China] moves toward democracy, it is likely to be in no small part due to the influence of [Taiwan]."

  • Chinese developers demolish home of revered architects | World news | The Guardian – Demolition of house where Liang Sicheng and his wife Lin Huiyin once worked has horrified heritage experts
  • British tourists arrested in America on terror charges over Twitter jokes | Mail Online
  • By the Numbers: Life and Death at Foxconn – ProPublica
  • High Peaks Pure Earth – Blog about Tibet
  • In China, Twitter Wins New Fans Over Censorship – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Twitter’s announcement late last week that it can now censor tweets within specific countries may not be aimed at earning entry into China, but it has nevertheless earned the company kudos from a state-run Chinese newspaper.
  • Why Twitter’s new policy is helpful for free-speech advocates | technosociology
  • It’s No Beijing, But Hong Kong Is Choking, Too – – On the air front, Hong Kong does not stack up well, and clean-air campaigners here have been pressing home the point that pollution is not only bad for people’s physical health, but also for the city’s other lifeblood: business.

    In a survey of companies operating in Hong Kong conducted by the office-space provider Regus last year, three-quarters of respondents said the city’s air quality was making it harder for them to attract and retain employees from abroad.

  • 看不见的水荒_杂志频道_财新网 – 中国最渴都市北京,在扩张与找水之间有一场非正常的竞赛
  • Photos: Chinese worship God of Wealth | Ministry of Tofu 豆腐部 – God of Prosperity/Wealth is a deity in Chinese folk culture who, as the name suggests, spreads wealth and success to the mortals. He is usually shown wearing an official’s gown in red and carrying or being surrounded by symbols of wealth, such as coins, boat-shaped gold ingots (a.k.a. yuan bao, or gold sycee), and coral. Chinese folklore states that he works wonders by touching a stone and turning it into gold. His birthday is the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, which falls on January 27 this year. Chinese people all over the country were celebrating on that day by burning incenses and setting off firecrackers to attract the attention of the God and hopefully bring him in. (Note: All of pictures shown below were taken on January 27, 2012 unless otherwise stated.)
  • 技术男骚扰女网编 被曝光后持刀将其刺伤_资讯频道_凤凰网
  • Loonie Poised for U.S. Parity as Aussie 35% Overvalued in China Slowdown – Bloomberg – Canada’s dollar is set to outperform commodity-exporters Australia and New Zealand as the U.S. economy accelerates while China’s output cools.
  • China’s retail sale booms during Spring Festival holiday – Xinhua | – A customer (R) selects food at a supermarket in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Jan. 28, 2012. During the week-long Spring Festival holiday which started on Jan. 22, shops and restaurants across the country pocketed 470 billion yuan (74.4 billion U.S. dollars) in sales volume, with that of clothes, jewelry and foods up 18.7 percent, 16.4 percent and 16.2 percent respectively, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Boy dies in escalator accident in Beijing shopping mall – Xinhua | – A young boy died after getting stuck in an escalator at a shopping mall in Beijing, a publicity official from the city's Xicheng district confirmed on Sunday.

    The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. at the Xinyidai (or New Generation) Department Store in Beijing's Xidan shopping center.

  • Xinjiang to recruit 8,000 police officers to boost security in rural areas – Xinhua | – URUMQI, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — Authorities in far west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will recruit 8,000 police officers to be deployed in all villages to beef up security in the vast countryside.

    The recruitment program will enable each village in the ethnic region to have at least one police officer, said a spokesman with the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee on Monday.

  • The legacy of Wukan – China Media Project – A certain leader said in an internal address at the CCP Work Conference on Politics, Law and Stability Preservation: Right now there are tens of thousands of mass incidents [in China each year], mostly happening in rural townships and villages and remote regions, the causes being principally economic. These are convenient for us to independently resolve or break up. If these spread to coastal cities and are transformed into political demands, the result is hard to speak of. Some comrades lack a real sense of the dangers involved, thinking we are over-reacting. It would be better for a clear directive from the central authorities to be overbearing than for it to fall short.

    . . . The Wukan incident is far from finished. Can challenges to the leadership status of the Chinese Communist Party evade retribution? That is a page we cannot open, that no one dares open.

  • FDA staffers sue agency over surveillance of personal e-mail – The Washington Post – The Food and Drug Administration secretly monitored the personal e-mail of a group of its own scientists and doctors after they warned Congress that the agency was approving medical devices that posed unacceptable risks to patients, government documents show.

    The surveillance — detailed in e-mails and memos unearthed by the scientists and doctors, who filed a lawsuit against the FDA in U.S. District Court in Washington this week — took place over two years as the plaintiffs accessed their personal Gmail accounts from government computers.

  • 艾未未威胁吴法天电话录音! – transcript of @aiww threatening wu fatian over the phone? this legit?
  • AFP: US seeks greater military ties with China – The US commander handling Asia on Friday called for greater military relations with China, saying that dialogue between the Pacific powers has not advanced beyond broad strategic issues.
    Admiral Robert Willard, head of the US Pacific Command, voiced satisfaction that military dialogue has continued despite frequent storms in US-China relations but said that talks generally focused on comparing strategic views.
  • At home: Hung Huang – – bad reporting by FT. Huang not married as 1st line says, just in LT relationship. nice house & pool
  • Product Manager, Future Technologies (R&D) at Pearson in Beijing – Job | LinkedIn – The role: Provide Product Management guidance for R&D activities which will rapidly accelerate Pearson’s introduction of innovative mobile and tablet offerings.  The role is based in Beijing.
  • So Not Helping: Chinese Government Publication Lauds Twitter’s New Policy | PandoDaily – I still don’t disagree with the substance of the op-ed. But now I feel a little uncomfortable with that fact. The Chinese and Thai government aren’t exactly helping Twitter turn the PR mess around by voicing their enthusiastic support. With friends like these…
  • Official Chinese Newspaper Endorses Twitter’s New Approach To Censorship | Sinocism – Well done Twitter. China still is not going to let you in but you have earned some brownie points (should we call them Panda points?) for helping China with its Internet censorship arguments. And you have reminded us all that free speech is under attack everywhere.
  • TV through the Internet steps forward | Industries | – China's leading Internet protocol television (IPTV) operator, Shanghai-based BesTV, is vowing to reintroduce TV to people's everyday lives, bringing back the traditional family atmosphere.
    BesTV New Media, a subsidiary under Shanghai Media Group (SMG), was the first media company in China to offer IPTV. It launched an initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in December, with some calling it the first new media stock in China.
  • QQ输入法 for Mac下载官方网站
  • China’s Vintage Alco Pop? Explaining Maotai’s Price Spiral – China Real Time Report – WSJ – not a bubble. demand is real
  • Dalai Lama and West ‘Distorting Protests’ to Tarnish China – – (Reuters) – The Tibetan government-in-exile has colluded with Western governments to distort a recent string of police shootings in Tibetan areas of China in a bid to discredit the government, an official Chinese newspaper said Monday.
  • China’s Wen: government debt risk "controllable" – Yahoo! News – hina's Premier Wen Jiabao said the nation's government debt is at an "overall safe and controllable" level, that funding for key projects would be ensured and that applying the brakes to the problem would be done in a way to avoid systemic risks.
  • Forget Stocks—Chinese Turn Bullish On Booze and Caterpillar Fungus – – With Chinese stocks falling, real-estate markets flat and bank deposits offering measly returns, Chinese investors have been looking for help in strange places. Besides traditional medicinal products, they are plowing money into art-based stock markets, homegrown liquors, mahogany furniture and jade, among other decidedly non-Western asset classes.
  • Rebecca MacKinnon: Inside China’s censorship machine | Full Comment | National Post – In fall 2009, I sat in a large auditorium festooned with red banners and watched as Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, paraded onstage with executives from 19 other companies to receive the “China Internet Self-Discipline Award.” Officials from the quasi-governmental Internet Society of China praised them for fostering “harmonious and healthy Internet development.” In the Chinese regulatory context, “healthy” is a euphemism for “porn-free” and “crime-free.” “Harmonious” implies prevention of activity that would provoke social or political disharmony.
  • Twitter, Democracy, and Internet Freedom | TechCrunch – fontaine carrying water for hypocritical us government. how many times has us government subpoenaed twitter and tried to keep it secret?//

    Editor’s Note: Richard Fontaine, a Senior Advisor at the Center for a New American Security, is the co-author of Internet Freedom: A Foreign Policy Imperative in the Digital Age.

    The truth is that the U.S. government will always enforce some limits on free expression, and our political system will continually wrestle with where the limits should be drawn. But we should not allow this to undermine the important cause of promoting global Internet freedom. Authoritarian governments will inevitably attempt to shield themselves from criticism and pressure by pointing to democracies that ban online expression. Denying them the opportunity to do so successfully will require the United States and other to articulate, publicly and consistently, the critical distinction between the restrictions placed on online speech by democracies and the repression favored by many autocracies.

    The distinction rests not only in the kind of banned speech, but also in the process by which the decision to restrict it is made. True democracies bar forms of expression based on law and regulation, and they make decisions to do so in accordance with due process. Their pronouncements are generally transparent, with decision makers accountable to the law, to legislatures, and ultimately to the people, who can turn them out of office in periodic elections. There is a world of difference between a democracy banning speech on “security” grounds when the citizens know what the decision is, who made it, and how to change it, and a dictatorship banning its own “security”-infringing speech by autocratic fiat.

  • (2) William Farris – Google+ – Global Times Reports on Violence in Ganzi, Sina Weibo… – On January 29, 2012, the Global Times (published by the People's Daily) published an article entitled "Police Stations Attacked Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region, Police Open Fire in Self Defense" (甘孜藏族自治州派出所遭冲击 警察开枪自卫). Some excerpts:
  • Twitter critics confuse politics with business decision-global times – Networks like Facebook and Twitter played a big role in pushing forward the events including both the Arab Spring and riots in London last year. The tendency has prompted governments to curb the use of social networking platforms in times of emergency. But there is also some debate on the boundaries of the freedom of speech.

    It is impossible to have boundless freedom, even on the Internet and even in countries that make freedom their main selling point.

    The announcement of Twitter might have shown that it has already realized the fact and made a choice between being an idealistic political tool as many hope and following pragmatic commercial rules as a company.