China Readings for March 27th

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

  • China to Ban Public Purchases of ‘High-End’ Alcohol, Cigarettes – Bloomberg – yeah right//

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to ban the use of public funds to buy cigarettes and “high- end” alcohol, warning that corruption may endanger the ruling Communist Party’s survival.

  • China Probes Banker’s Disappearance – – New allegations are emerging about a Chinese banker who left the country with stolen money, in a case that appears to have led to detention over the past three weeks of a Singaporean employee of Standard Chartered PLC.

    Sun Feng, a branch manager for Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. in China's Jiangsu province, late last year fled overseas with an uncertain amount of stolen money, the state-controlled lender said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal on Monday.

  • Australia blocks Chinese-owned Huawei from bidding on national broadband plan – China's reputation for cyber-espionage has cost the country's largest network equipment manufacturer a shot at billions of dollars in infrastructure sales to Australia. The Australian government has moved to block Huawei from bidding on Australia's approximately $36 billion-dollar National Broadband Network project.
  • Hakluyt & Company – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service – Since MI6 helped establish Diversified Corporate Services in Rome, New York and London in the late sixties, there has been an increasing trend for setting up consultancies, with the tacit approval or encouragement of the Service. Among the consultants to Ciex, which has 'cornered a lucrative market' in providing a restricted 'confidential service' in 'strategic advice and intelligence' for 'a small group of very substantial customers', are Hamilton McMillan, who retired from the Service's counter-terrorist section in 1996, and former head of the Middle East department Michael Oatley, who previously worked tor another intelligence-linked consultancy, Kroll Associates. Set up in 1995 by the late Sir Fitzroy Maclean, with a board that includes a former Royal Dutch Shell managing director and a former BP deputy chair, the Hakluyt Foundation provides leading British businesses with information that clients 'will not receive by the usual government, media and commercial routes'. Hakluyt's managing director, Christopher James, was until 1998 in charge of MI6's liaison with commerce, while a fellow-director, Mike Reynolds, was regarded as one of the Service's brightest stars.18
  • Remarks by President Obama and President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China Before Bilateral Meeting | The White House – Coex Center
    Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Managing the U.S.-China Relationship – Brookings Institution – As we watch these events unfold, it behooves us to remember that one of the reasons outsiders are paying attention to the idea that there may be a coup in China is that the military is the only institution that can keep the country together. Political crisis in China could pave the way for a PLA-led China. If anything, the downfall of Bo tells us is that the transition in China is not as smooth as it seems. Power struggles are real as party leaders fight over an inverted Golden Rule — in China, he who makes the rules gets the gold. While the particulars of the Bo case are uncertain, two things are clear: The leaders are no longer all powerful and reform is badly needed. The question is, will China make the kind of changes it objectively needs or will it become a stagnating PLA-led state?
  • Bo Xilai and coming changes in China – Foreign and Defense Policy – AEI – As we watch these events unfold, it behooves us to remember that one of the reasons outsiders are paying attention to the idea that there may be a coup in China is that the military is the only institution that can keep the country together. Political crisis in China could pave the way for a PLA-led China. If anything, the downfall of Bo tells us is that the transition in China is not as smooth as it seems. Power struggles are real as party leaders fight over an inverted Golden Rule — in China, he who makes the rules gets the gold. While the particulars of the Bo case are uncertain, two things are clear: The leaders are no longer all powerful and reform is badly needed. The question is, will China make the kind of changes it objectively needs or will it become a stagnating PLA-led state?
  • Asia Times Online :: Crisis closes in on China’s inner circle – detailed summary of many of the various rumors, good discussion of sources of some of the rumors
  • MI6 ‘Firm’ Spied on Green Groups – Reynolds and other MI6 executives left the intelligence service after the cold war ended to form Hakluyt in 1995. It was set up with the blessing of Sir David Spedding, the then chief of MI6, who died last week. Christopher James, the managing director, had been head of the MI6 section that liaised with British firms.

    The firm, which takes its name from Richard Hakluyt, the Elizabethan geographer, assembled a foundation board of directors from the Establishment to oversee its activities, including Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Ian Fleming's model for James Bond. Baroness Smith, the widow of John Smith, the late Labour leader, was a director until the end of last year.

    The company has close links to the oil industry through Sir Peter Cazalet, the former deputy chairman of BP, who helped to establish Hakluyt before he retired, last year, and Sir Peter Holmes, former chairman of Shell, who is president of its foundation.

    MPs believe the affair poses serious questions about the blurring of the divisions between the secret service, a private intelligence company and the interests of big companies. Hakluyt refutes claims by some in the intelligence community that it was started by MI6 officers to carry out "deniable" operations.

  • Neil Heywood, U.K. Businessman, Worked for Intelligence Firm – – BEIJING—Neil Heywood, the British businessman whose death in China is now a key element of China's biggest political scandal in two decades, was providing periodic consultancy services to a British strategic-intelligence company up until the time he was found dead in the city of Chongqing in November, a spokesman for the firm said.

    But Hakluyt & Co, founded by former officers with the British intelligence service MI6, said he was not a full-time employee and was not consulting for them on any projects in Chongqing, whose Communist Party chief, Bo Xilai, was dismissed this month, throwing elite Chinese politics into turmoil.

  • Eight Questions: Andrew Wedeman, China’s Corruption Paradox – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Ask anyone to list the problems with China and corruption is always near the top. But despite rampant graft, China’s economy continues to grow.

    Andrew Wedeman is a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has studied China’s corruption for a decade and a half. In his new book, “Double Paradox: Rapid Growth and Rising Corruption in China,” he explains how in China corruption and growth can coexist.

  • Sina Weibo: Zombie accounts, slain entries, and now, ghostly posts | The Rice Cooker 電飯煲
  • 周永康要求政法领导干部同党中央保持高度一致_新闻_腾讯网 – 新华社北京3月26日电 全国政法委书记首期培训班26日在京开班。中共中央政治局常委、中央政法委书记周永康出席开班式并讲话。他强调,要积极适应形势的发展变化,大力加强政法领导干部的学习培训,切实提高领导政法工作和政法队伍的素质水平,不断开创政法事业科学发展的新局面,为巩固党的执政地位、维护国家长治久安、保障人民安居乐业、服务经济社会发展作出新贡献。
  • 重庆渝北区公安局长王鹏飞被调查_政经频道_财新网
  • Ban Prop Trading Under Other Names: Kelleher and Jarsulic – Bloomberg – The Volcker rule, the part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that seeks to limit the threat that big banks’ high-risk trading poses to the entire financial system, is in trouble.
    Named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, the rule requires that bank holding companies stop proprietary trading, in which they speculate with the banks’ own money. The law specifically allows certain traditional, lower-risk transactions, including market making, in which banks trade in response to customer requests.
    But banks are lobbying regulators to expand the allowable activities by redefining market making. Regulators shouldn’t be fooled: The banks want the right to continue prop trading, only under a different name.
  • Pushing past “stability” for real reform – China Media Project – The lessons of history caution us that, to quote an old saying, when the danger is past, the gods are forgotten. Reform and opening and the Guangdong model were a banner in the recent political struggle, but as the opponent fades the shine comes off of reform and the Guangdong model too.

    At a press conference during the National People’s Congress this month, Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang (汪洋) rejected the idea that the Wukan incident — a village rights defense movement that ended in local elections — bore any new significance. Secretary Wang understands only too well that there is little need [politically] for the Guangdong model once political stability has been secured. There is even less need for democratic reforms, which would only bring new division and hasten the end of the Party’s dictatorship.

    Premier Wen Jiabao has said repeatedly that “without reform we are at a dead end.” But who exactly is the “we” here? If, as the official People’s Daily has suggested, this “we” is the Party, then the so-called political reform agenda is really about “saving the Party” and not about real democratic reform.

    Many people suppose that once the liberal faction has neutralized the Maoist left and gained a firm hold politically, Premier Wen Jiabao will be in a position to fulfill his political reform promises. The truth is that the impetus for political reform cannot possibly arise from calmness and tranquility. Without sufficient pressure, China’s leadership will not push for reform.

  • CMP Newswire – China Media Project – According to Caixin, Wang Pengfei is alleged to have provided the vehicle Wang Lijun used to drive from Chongqing to Chengdu.
  • Speculation Swirls Online After Latest Twist in Bo Xilai Story – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • New urban problems: No parking in Beijing | The Economist
  • Monopolies Behind Beijing’s Parking Lot Blues – Caixin Online – Billed as privatization, a Beijing parking company transfer apparently included bribes and entrenched a monopoly
  • China´s deep-sea submersible resurfaces after successful test dive CCTV News – CNTV English – China's deep-sea submersible, the Jiaolong, has completed its experimental exploration mission in the northeast Pacific with a successful test dive.
    The vessel has resurfaced and returned to the mother ship. All 3 crew members have left the cabin after the 5-hour-plus mission. During the process, crew members sent back photos to the control center. The Jiaolong's main missions include physical, chemical and biological research, as well as exploration and deep-sea salvage.
    Today's dive reached a depth of 4,027 meters. The Jiaolong is designed to reach depths of 7-thousand meters. The crew was trying for a target of 5-thousand meters, which if successful, would have set a world record. The Jiaolong completed 17 dives in the South China Sea between May and July last year, reaching depths of over 3,700 meters.
  • DEEPSEA CHALLENGE – National Geographic Explorer James Cameron’s Expedition
  • The Long Road Home: China’s Rehabilitated War Veterans | Global Spin | – During the Mid-Autumn Festival, when Chinese families traditionally gather, He Shaocong finally returned home from the war—World War II, that is. He had been away from his hometown of Yibin in China’s central Sichuan province for a lifetime, since he was abducted by a press gang at age 17 and forced into service for Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang army. He played a part in one of China’s greatest victories, ousting Japanese forces from southwestern China to establish a supply link to India known as the Burma Road. But after the war He and many of his comrades were separated from their families by China’s civil war, then by decades of internal chaos and repression.
  • 北京97万人今天参与购车摇号 中签率再创新低_新闻_腾讯网 – 970,000 beijingers applied for this month's car registration lottery. odds 1:47.9
  • 我国器官捐献试点两年未破困局 捐献者多为穷人_新闻_腾讯网
  • 江苏一银行行长卷款过亿外逃 公安部全球通缉_新闻_腾讯网
  • 媒体称重庆南岸区委书记夏泽良被调查 失踪四天_新闻_腾讯网
  • Scholar posts 10-year plan for social and political reform – China Media Project – Yu Jianrong (于建嵘), one of China’s most outspoken intellectuals, yesterday posted a ten-year plan for social and political development in China on his Tencent microblog account. The plan called for a three-year initial phase of concerted social and judicial reforms, including the abolishment of the petitioning and household registration systems, followed by a second phase of political reforms moving China toward constitutional democracy
  • 当超人来到中国 – 视频 – 优酷视频 – 在线观看
  • 北京市卫生局网上预约挂号平台
  • China’s License System Works Against Foreign Firms, Survey Finds – Bloomberg – China’s system of awarding business licenses increasingly favors domestic companies, belying government promises of a level playing field, a survey of American Chamber of Commerce in China members shows.
    The annual business climate survey, released today, found that 34 percent of 175 members surveyed said foreign businesses cannot be awarded the same licenses as Chinese companies, an increase from 29 percent responding that way in a 2011 survey. The percentage of members saying Chinese and foreign companies were treated equally fell to 22 percent from 29 percent a year ago, according to the survey by the Beijing-based group.
  • Supplier of Part in 2008 Crane Collapse Is Under Scrutiny – – He found what he was looking for in China: RTR Bearing Company Limited, whose Web site suggested, in broken English, a 10-year track record of making parts for major manufacturers around the world. “We have two factories, one independent QC center and one Export trading Company with totally 109 employees,” the site says. “We’ve built up good relationship with our customers all over the world.”

    During the monthlong manslaughter trial in New York of James F. Lomma, whose company owned the crane, which collapsed and killed two workers on the Upper East Side four years ago, there has been ample testimony about the failed weld on the turntable that led to the collapse, and how the Chinese company was unable to satisfactorily perform a vital weld on the turntable.

  • Tougher China Laws Might Have Hurt Apple in IPad Dispute – Bloomberg
  • Tough times in the U.S.-China iPad smuggling game | Reuters – it's getting tougher and costlier to smuggle the devices into China as the Chinese customs authority has told some U.S.-based shipping agents not to accept orders of iPads, and warned travelers to declare their gadgets at the border and pay a 10 percent import duty on electronics.

    Two small shipping companies that ship to China, BIZ Express and Global Courier Services, said they now refuse iPad shipments. Fremont, California-based BIZ posted a notice on its website this month saying: "Our clearing warehouses have stopped receiving iPad in accordance with a recent customs authority notification."

  • 周明镇_百度百科
  • Audit quality of the Big Four in China | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis
  • U.K. Seeks Probe Into China Death – – BEIJING—The U.K. has asked the Chinese government to launch an investigation into the death of a British businessman who claimed to have close links to the family of Bo Xilai, the Communist Party leader whose downfall has thrown Chinese politics into turmoil.

    The mysterious death of Neil Heywood in the Chinese city of Chongqing last year is emerging as a key element in the drama surrounding Mr. Bo, who was sacked as Chongqing's Communist Party chief this month.

  • Seagull Reference – Nick Heywood was an otherwise ordinary English butler, who was hired by a wealthy oversea family who aspired British noble lifestyle. Heywood's job was to take care of one young man, a Harrow and Oxford alumni, who is currently study in Harvard. The young man's name is Bo Guagua.

    Nick Heywood was found dead in Chongqing, a provincial-level municipality in southeastern China.

    It is said Heywood's death triggered the first 'struggle between two lines' within the Chinese Communist Party since the end of the Great Cultural Revolution. The political fight already toppled a member of the strong Politburo. Half of the Chinese celebrated it as a most important victory for liberty in over 40 years; while the other half of Chinese wept as if they lost their sole hope in the higher-up.

    The rumor has it that it all started as an ordinary detective story.