China Readings for January 6th

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

  • Obama unveiling revamped defense strategy to shift US focus from wars to Asian security – The Washington Post
  • In Taiwan Elections, Question of China Looms –
  • China No Country for Old Men as Government Battles ‘Demographic Tsunami’ – Bloomberg
  • Morality situation improving: report – People’s Daily Online – The morality situation in China has been improving, according to an article published in Qiushi, the Communist Party of China Central Committee’s flagship magazine devoted to policy-making .
  • Remembering Frank Uytterhaegen, a Pioneering Catalyst of Beijing’s Art Scene | Artinfo – a crowd gathered in the Caochangdi Art District on the outskirts of the capital to pay tribute to Frank Uytterhaegen, a pioneer of China’s contemporary art scene, who died early on the morning of December 27 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 57.
  • Orville Schell on China and the US | FiveBooks | The Browser
  • BBC News – X-37B spaceplane ‘spying on China’– America’s classified X-37B spaceplane is probably spying on China, according to a report in Spaceflight magazine.The unpiloted vehicle was launched into orbit by the US Air Force in March last year and has yet to return to Earth.
  • China to Start U.S. Channel in Cultural Push – Bloomberg – China will start airing a 24-hour television channel to homes in New York in the first quarter, the nation’s latest effort to expand state-controlled media overseas as it seeks to wield greater cultural influence.
    “It’s our role to propagate information about China overseas,” Yan Xinxia, a director at the State Council Information Office’s China Internet Information Center, told reporters in Hong Kong today. The center will partner with CMMB Vision Holdings Ltd. (471) for the TodayChina channel, which will be distributed free using digital TV technology in New York City.
  • Chinese: What is the Chinese language? | The Economist
  • SARFT TV Drama Rules May Extend to Online Video | Marbridge Consulting – China Internet News – New restrictions on TV dramas recently issued by China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) may extend to online video sites, which have invested heavily in licensing TV drama content, according to an industry source.
  • Deloitte loses a round against the SEC | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis– Deloitte lost a round in its battle with the SEC over Longtop yesterday.Judge Deborah Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered Deloitte to “show cause” for not producing the Longtop working papers. The case has been tangled up in her court since October over the issue of whether Deloitte had to be served before she enforced the show cause order. She has concluded that service is not necessary.
  • China: Women try to set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square: arrested, along with dozens of protesters | Spero News– Beijing (AsiaNews / CHRD) – Police in the capital have arrested dozens of people in Tiananmen Square for distributing the text of their petition to the government. The arrests took place on New Year’s Day. Among them are three women who tried to set themselves on fire in the square. One of them who attempted to set herself on fire is Jiang Fan, from Henan,. She had arrived in Beijing to criticize the corruption of the judicial system: her husband had abused her and was never prosecuted for this because he works in a court.Another woman who attempted self immolation is Yunxi Zhao, from Jilin Province: for years she has been trying to obtain justice for the murder of her son.
  • Buffett to sing on China’s Spring Festival Web Gala – Xinhua |– American billionaire investor Warren Buffett will show his singing talents to viewers of the gala that will be broadcast online to celebrate Chinese New Year, organizers said Thursday.Buffett, 81, has recorded a video specially for the gala in which he sings and plays guitar, Wang Pingjiu, a production executive for the broadcast, said at a press conference.
  • The Chinese Internet Takes an Arrow in the Knee | Tech in Asia– Well, we’re living in a global village, and despite the fact that Skyrim isn’t as huge in China as it has been elsewhere, it appears Chinese netizens aren’t letting that stop them from translating and applying the meme here, too. According to a Baidu Baike entry about the meme, the official Chinese translation of “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee,” is:我以前和你一样也是个冒险家,直到我的膝盖中了一箭。
    Wǒ yǐqián hé nǐ yīyàng yě shì ge màoxiǎnjiā, zhídào wǒ de xīgài zhōng le yī jiàn

    The general application of the meme in the West has followed this pattern: “I used to [verb phrase], then I took an arrow in the knee,” and Chinese net users have generally approached it the same way. A cursory search of Sina Weibo for the phrase “took an arrow in the knee” shows the phase appearing in multiple posts per minute, applied in more or less the same way.

  • 被承包的“信仰”_中国新闻周刊网 – 这是一门新的生意,不要技术,不需厂房,打的是庙宇的主意,靠他人的虔诚和信仰攫取暴利。这项“生意”的利润如此巨大,以至于一些人以和尚、尼姑或道人之名,签招聘合同,每月领工资,上班“礼”佛,下班还俗,收入堪比白领。
  • Wu Jinglian: China must move on reform – China Media Project– CMP will offer regular coverage this year of the upcoming 18th Party Congress and relevant issues. We would like to inaugurate this transitional year with a recent editorial in China Newsweekly magazine by Wu Jinglian (吴敬琏), one of China’s best known economists. In the editorial, Wu addresses a range of issues, including corruption and the rising gap between rich and poor in China.Invoking Deng Xiaoping’s statement in 1980, at the outset of economic reforms, about the important relationship between economic reform and political reform, Wu suggests that China must find a way to move forward with a program of political reform. And that must begin, he says, by creating an environment in which all Chinese can feel free to talk about it.
  • Water shortage in Beijing severe|From Chinese Press| – The available per capita water usage in Beijing has dropped to 100 cubic meters, much lower than the internationally acknowledged warning line of 1,000 cubic meters per capita, according to the Beijing Water Authority. Needless to say that Beijing faces extremely severe water shortage. Beijing authorities have to urgently find ways to deal with such a severe water shortage, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:
  • Tainted Chinese dairies turn to foreign cows– New Zealand  produce is famous for its freshness, taste and quality. So it’s little wonder that some shrewd Chinese businesses falsely claim to be flogging top Kiwi products.Xinhua reported recently that Nouriz, a “New Zealand” brand of baby formula, which sells well in China, was found to be wholly owned by Chinese. Nouriz is touted as one of the top formula brands in New Zealand. However, it is nowhere to be found in the country’s supermarkets or on its big online shopping websites.
  • Drought drying out Poyang Lake|Society| – Meanwhile, water supplies in nearby cities are under pressure due to the shrinking lake.
    Sun Xiaoshan, deputy director of the Jiangxi flood control and drought relief headquarters, told China News Service that because of the low water level of the lake, it was becoming difficult to pump water to some cities and the Wan’an reservoir will increase water discharges upstream to ensure the water level downstream.
    Poyang Lake, connecting to the country’s longest Yangtze River, provides a habitat for half a million migratory birds.
  • 北京国政通科技有限公司 – id5, the company that may be the biggest beneficiary of government’s weibo real name requirements
  • 微博实名制被爆掩藏高额认证费 国政通否认-搜狐IT – id5, the company that verifies real names online. Article says Sina and other microblogs may have to pay 2 rmb per account, questions how id5 got into this position
  • Senior Executive at China Mobile Put Under Investigation – Caixin Online – Caixin learned from multiple sources Wu Weining, president of China Mobile’s Handset Division, was detained in November 2011.
  • The Good Life or Western Manipulation? « James McGregor – My former Dow Jones colleague Mark Clifford has just completed a report entitled “Through the Eyes of Tiger Cubs,” which Chinese leaders may want to take a peek at. Mark, who now heads up the Asia Business Council, sorted through some 400 essays from young people across Asia who offered their views on life and the future. Excerpts from and a link to Mark’s essay in Caixin are below. The opinions in these essays are consistent with what I have been hearing from young Chinese friends. The children of boom-time Asia have grown up with much different views than their parents, and they have very high expectations. Their opinions provide a stark contrast to recent rumblings from Beijing that “hostile international powers are strengthening their efforts to Westernize and divide” the Chinese people
  • Special Report: How the U.S. coaxed Myanmar in from the cold | Reuters – Myanmar’s generals were looking for a chance to improve ties with the United States. A disturbed American gave them one in May 2009, when he swam across Yangon’s Inya Lake on “a mission from God” to rescue Aung San Suu Kyi.
    John Yettaw, a 53-year-old Vietnam veteran from Missouri, had hoped to smuggle the democracy champion out of the country in a burkha. He was convicted along with Suu Kyi for violating the terms of her house arrest. Instead of sending him to Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison, however, the junta let Yettaw fly out of the country with a U.S. senator.It was a major step in Myanmar’s warming toward the West – but not the first one.
  • Chinese airlines refuse to pay EU carbon tax | Environment |– China’s four leading airlines have thrown down the gauntlet to the European Union by saying they will refuse to pay carbon charges levied under Europe’s emissions trading scheme.The defiant message — which could lead to a ban from European airports — marks an escalation of resistance to the scheme, which came into effect this week and is also fiercely opposed by the United States.
  • Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone– Now that is real politics — real protest, real change. Exactly the opposite of the limp and sterile charade in Iowa. This caucus, let’s face it, marks the beginning of a long, rigidly-controlled, carefully choreographed process that is really designed to do two things: weed out dangerous minority opinions, and award power to the candidate who least offends the public while he goes about his primary job of energetically representing establishment interests.If that sounds like a glib take on a free election system that allows the public to choose whichever candidate it likes best without any censorship or overt state interference, so be it. But the ugly reality, as Dylan Ratigan continually points out, is that the candidate who raises the most money wins an astonishing 94% of the time in America.
  • Chinese Survive Cannibalism, Bad Management, Mao: Book Review – Businessweek– Far from defending the state-owned monoliths, Lin describes how they feed corruption and warp the country’s fragile financial system. State-owned enterprises vacuum up 80 percent of all bank loans, making it hard for private companies to get financing, he says.Lin is less persuasive when it comes to today’s global economic imbalances. The blame, he says, lies less with China’s export-led growth and undervalued currency than with U.S. financial deregulation and the Federal Reserve’s low rates after the dot-com bust. Well, it took two to build Chimerica.

    This is the best book on China’s economy that I’ve read, even if it emits a whiff of historical revisionism. The country’s communist leaders would be wise to heed Lin’s advice on how to revitalize or mothball its state enterprises. Will these dinosaurs submit to the therapy without a shock? Somehow I doubt it.

    “Demystifying the Chinese Economy,”

  • The Real Deng by Fang Lizhi | The New York Review of Books – from november
  • A Man. A Van. A Surprising Business Plan. : Planet Money : NPR– Inside, Adam had tricked out the van to be a mobile solution to Chinese bureaucracy. There are a couple of Mac laptops and a printer, plus an old couch, Christmas lights and bamboo mats. It’s as cozy as a dorm room. And confused visa applicants line up outside.”The embassy changed the form and I didn’t know,” says Jimmy Tong, who needed a passport for his wife. “Luckily this guy was here to help.”
  • OWS, Egypt Expose Limits of Town Square Test – Miller-McCune – Central plazas were key places for political action in 2011, but historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom says the Town Square Test fails as a method for assessing the divide between democracy and authoritarian.
  • Debate over Chinese-funded institutes at American universities | Inside Higher Ed – More than 300 colleges in more than 90 countries — including about 70 institutions in the United States — host Confucius Institutes, centers of Chinese language and culture education and research funded by China’s government. The infusion of Chinese government funding into international universities has enabled significant expansions in language teaching, cultural programming, and China-related conferences and symposia, but it has also raised fears regarding academic freedom and independence of teaching and research. Critics have questioned why colleges would provide their imprimatur to institutes that have been described by Li Changchun, China’s propaganda chief, as “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda setup
  • Air pollution hazardous to China’s economic health – The Globe and Mail
  • 萧功秦:超越左右两翼,重新审视重庆模式_共识网
  • 许小年:不批评就不要做知识分子 | 金融家