China Readings for September 14th

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

  • Joseph A. Bosco | The Weekly Standard
  • PacNet #49A – Response to “What Really Happened to the Hoyas in Beijing” | Center for Strategic and International Studies – joe bosco doesn’t buy that it was just a basketball game scuffle.
  • Inside-Out China: “9/13 Incident” Special Issue – Today is the 40th anniversary of the “9/13 Incident” that resulted in the death of Lin Biao, a man whose name was second only to Mao’s during China’s Cultural Revolution. Remembrance, a Chinese e-journal devoted to CR research, has published a double issue this week on the event and its aftermath.
  • Releases by WikiLeaks Fuel China Feud –– Yu Jianrong, a professor at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who was among dozens of Chinese sources named in the unredacted cables the website posted, used his popular Twitter-like microblog Saturday to acknowledge and defend his contacts with U.S. diplomats…No evidence has been made public yet of a U.S. government source facing official sanction in China after being exposed by WikiLeaks.

    Current and former U.S. diplomats said many of their Chinese contacts aren’t just authorized, but specifically mandated, to meet them and elaborate on China’s position on issues of bilateral interest.

    He also demanded an apology on Monday from Fang Zhouzi, a popular blogger who focuses on exposing academic fraud and criticized Prof. Yu through his microblog on Saturday, and again Tuesday in an article in the Global Times, a popular state-run newspaper.

  • Sina Takes Aim at Online Rumors –– Sina Corp., one of China’s leading operators of popular Twitter-like microblogging services, made a public pledge to “ensure the authenticity” of information across its websites, in the wake of a government antirumor campaign.Sina said in a statement posted Friday that it will “actively spread the core value system of socialism, the advanced culture of socialism and try resolutely to stop the spread of harmful false information.” It also said “the spread of advanced culture” is important for the healthy development of its microblogging service, Weibo, “and the whole Internet industry.”
  • China’s new voice is heard|Life| – For Western audiences, traditional Chinese instruments are most often associated with Peking Opera and the occasional martial arts film. But with the release of Viva Girls’ debut album, Inspiration, in the United States, the all-female Chinese classical pop group hopes to redefine the sound and scope of Chinese instrumental music.
    The album was to be released on Tuesday, and later this year the Viva Girls hope to do a North American tour. Classically trained at some of China’s most prestigious music conservatories, the 12 members of Viva Girls define themselves as being an “East meets West twist” on classical and pop music.
  • Saleem Shahzad’s Murder, Pakistan, and the ISI : The New Yorker – The murder of a reporter who exposed Pakistan’s secrets.
  • Slovenia May Become Entry for China Balkans Investment, STA Says – Bloomberg
  • Veni, Vidi, Vivi | Hollywood | Vanity Fair– vivi nevo, zhang ziyi’s ex//He is said to be excited about a new investment in the Chinese company PPStream, the world’s largest online video-service provider. //huh?
  • For Apple, China Looms Large – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD
  • Silvercorp Falls After Muddy Waters Says It’s Shorting Stock – Businessweek
  • WikiLeaks outing of Chinese sources fails to spark retribution – so far –– hope so, but at best added to people’s files, to be used if needed//Fears that the Chinese sources outed in WikiLeaks might be viewed and treated as spies appear to be unfounded.
  • An Oil Spill Too Slick for Accountability-caixin– Months have passed since crude trickled and then poured from China’s worst-ever offshore oil rig leak, but trying to trace the lines of public accountability for the disaster has proven as messy as sopping up pollution slicks.Rig operator ConocoPhillips China said 700 barrels of crude leaked into the northern Bohai Bay, while another 2,500 barrels of mineral oil and oil-based slurry sank to sea floor between early June and late August. The leak was stopped by August 31.

    The government’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) says the accidental spills at two rigs polluted more than 5,500 square kilometers, affecting roughly 7 percent of the bay.

  • Indebted Governments and the Power of Bonds-caixin – Local government bonds could open a door to fiscal responsibility, but existing debt barriers are high

    China’s policymakers have spent more than a decade debating whether local governments should be allowed to issue bonds. The global financial crisis put the debate on hold while counties, cities and provinces borrowed from banks to finance stimulus projects. As a result, like many western countries, local governments in China are now mired in debt.
    A relatively conservative estimate by the National Audit Office pegged nationwide local government debt liabilities at 10.7 trillion yuan at the end of 2010. Central government officials say this debt level is manageable overall, but signs of potential defaults have started surfacing in communities across the mainland.
    Amid concern that many local governments may not be able to repay their loans, the old debate has been revived with reports that the central government may begin a pilot program to test the viability of local government bonds. Shanghai municipality along with Guangdong Province could be among the first governments allowed to directly issue bonds.

  • Stability and social governance in China | East Asia Forum
  • 西方正在经历深刻的制度危机_2011年第17期_求是理论网
  • China and Hollywood Team Up for More Co-Productions – BusinessWeek – The mainland is using partnerships with Western studios to develop its own movie business
  • Study shows revolving door of employment between Congress, lobbying firms – The Washington Post– Nearly 5,400 former congressional staffers have left Capitol Hill to become federal lobbyists in the past 10 years, according to a new study that documents the extent of the revolving door between Congress and K Street.The data published by the online disclosure site LegiStorm found close to 400 former U.S. lawmakers also have made the jump to lobbying.
  • China’s spreading ‘core interests’ | The World | International affairs blog from the FT –
  • Former Star Fund Manager under Criminal Investigation for Rat Trading– Former star fund manager Li Xuli is currently under criminal investigation for rat trading, a practice in which a manager profits from special stock information by secretly operating “rat accounts” for relatives or friends. The high-profile case has been closely watched by the securities industry.In late August 2011, Li was detained and investigated by Shanghai police authorities as a criminal suspect. Prior to that, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) concluded its administrative investigation of Li in May 2011.

    Li’s rat trading activities date back to before May 2009 when he was the investment director at Bank of Communications Schroder Fund Management Company Ltd., though the activities were not exposed until the second half of 2010 when Li served as Chongyang Investment’s chief investment officer.

  • Middle School Enrollment Process Tainted by Hidden Interest Chain– The enrollment process for students entering middle school in Beijing is a magic mirror which reflects problems in the city’s education system, defects in institutional arrangements and a distorted social mentality…Prior admission classes are after-school training camps for primary school students run by elite middle schools. Attending the classes can improve a child’s chances of being chosen to attend an elite school, but only the top performers are selected. All of Beijing’s elite middle schools run training camps, and for many children from ordinary families, enrolling in prior admission classes is their only chance of getting into a top school. Shicheng Training School is Beijing National Day School’s training camp.

    But for a select few, other options besides training camps are available. A recent survey by 21st Century Education Research Institute showed that there are currently over 10 enrollment methods for students entering middle school. Influential parents can use their connections to get their kids enrolled in elite schools. Others are forced to pay high “selection” fees, while some students are chosen based on special aptitude. Behind the curtain is a phenomenon of “enrollment based on power, money and elitism,” a practice which runs contrary to China’s compulsory education

  • Traffic fight fuels claims about man’s noted ‘dad’|Nation|– time for central disciplinary inspection commission to get involved?A whistleblower claimed on Monday that he hopes he will be sued by a police officer in Shanxi province, who he said was the father of an 18-year-old Audi driver who brutally attacked the driver of a Buick in Beijing last week.
    Liu Jianjun, a former reporter for Shanxi Evening News, said in a statement that Su Hao, deputy head of Shanxi public security department, was the father of Su Nan, the driver of an Audi detained by police on Sept 6 after he attacked a Buick driver for blocking his way.
    Su’s friend, a teenage BMW driver who is the son of prominent military singer Li Shuangjiang, was also detained by police for joining the fight.
    Su Nan is allegedly the illegitimate son of police officer Su Hao, who had an affair with a college student from Jingle county of Shanxi over several years. Quoting sources close to Su in the public security department, Liu said in his blog that the woman petitioned many times after she had a child with Su Hao.
  • Senators: Selling F-16s to Taiwan Equals Jobs – Washington Wire – WSJ– if Sens. John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) have their way, the U.S. will be selling brand-new F-16s to Taiwan, instead of simply upgrading existing ones.The lawmakers Monday introduced a bill–the Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act–that would require the Obama administration to sell Taiwan 66 new F-16C/D multi-role fighter jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

    In a statement, Sen. Cornyn described the sale as a “win-win” that would bolster Taiwan’s security, while providing much-needed U.S. manufacturing jobs.

    “Saying no here would mean granting Communist China substantial sway over American foreign policy, putting us on a very slippery slope,” he added. At stake are jobs at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, manufacturing facility.

  • Police in China seize 100 tons of ‘gutter oil’ – Yahoo! News – Chinese police have detained 32 people in a nationwide crackdown on “gutter oil,” or old kitchen oil that has been illegally recycled, authorities said Tuesday.
    The campaign is part of an effort to clean up China’s food safety record following several embarrassing scandals, including deadly infant formula and pork tainted with clenbuterol, a banned chemical that makes pork leaner but is harmful to humans.
    The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website that police had seized 100 tons (90 metric tons) of the potentially harmful oil in 14 provinces.
  • Global Times–Leaked diplomatic cables spark battle among Chinese scholars– wow, fang zhouzi is a jerk. still no way to conclude no harm done from Wikileaks/Guardian security SNAFU that allowed leaks of unredacted cables//Yu Jianrong, a Chinese sociologist whose name appears in leaked US diplomatic cables, has demanded an apology from a well-known fraud investigator for selectively releasing the leaked information.

    Browsing the trove of cables sent between US embassies and consulates around the world over four decades, which were made public by WikiLeaks, Fang Zhouzi located the name of Yu, a researcher at the rural development institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

    According to one of the cables, attributed to the US embassy in Beijing on February 12, 2009, Yu told a US government official in January of that year that “rural conflicts” are occurring “nationwide” and “on a daily basis” in China.
    The embassy tagged Yu as a “strictly protect” person.

  • Secret Bid to Arm Qaddafi Shows Tensions in China Government –
  • Asia’s New Great Game – By Thant Myint-U | Foreign Policy – China and India are both hungry for Burma’s vast natural riches. But will Burma’s people pay the price or can this Southeast Asian backwater finally enter the 21st century?
  • The Russian internet front –– US net giants getting little traction in ChinaTiger Global been investing in Russian Internet for years, believe have made billions through various relationships. Guy running that segment may be smartest global Internet investor in the world.
  • story | naked Retreats – After several scouting trips by car and bicycle into the hinterland west of Shanghai, Grant came upon Moganshan, a bamboo clad mountain that was a popular heat retreat in the days of Shanghai’s foreign concessions. Just below the mountain’s peak and its surviving foreign-built villas, he discovered a farming hamlet called Shanjiuwu, also known as ‘395’. The houses were old, rundown, and mostly abandoned. A small, aging community grew tea and vegetables on smallholdings and harvested bamboo.

    Grant had found his idea. With immense difficulty he tracked down the owners of the neglected farmhouses, he roused the village chief and approached the local township authorities. His proposal was equally difficult for them to understand, let alone approve and enact. Grant wanted to rent some underused farmhouses and convert them into guesthouses. He prevailed, and naked Retreats Home Village was born. The year was 2007. The eight guesthouses have been all but fully booked ever since.Grant, with partners Gabriela Lo and Evan Lai, and his wife Delphine Yip, has built naked Retreats into a well known, successful company and brand. In October 2011 they will open naked Stables Private Reserve, a purpose built collection of villas and earth huts at the foot of the valley below 395. naked Retreats are now looking further afield, yet always within a few hours of a major city, for places to create their unique retreats for the vast, untapped market of urban China.

  • Taxing China’s Assets | Foreign Affairs-Joseph Gagnon and Gary Hufbauer– from april 2011, missed this, seems like it was ignored//A more productive course would be to tax Chinese currency manipulation rather than Chinese exports. In order to undervalue the renminbi against the dollar, China drives the dollar’s value up by buying dollar-denominated financial assets, principally U.S. Treasury bills and bonds. To discourage China from doing so, the U.S. government should tax the income on Chinese holdings of U.S. financial assets. For example, the U.S. Treasury would withhold tax on interest paid on Treasury bonds held by China. For every $10 billion of Treasury bond interest paid to the People’s Bank of China (the central bank), the U.S. Treasury could withhold 30 percent, or $3 billion, in tax.
  • How China kept lid on Ramadan –– when does al qaeda turn its sights to china?//In the aftermath of violent protests by Uighurs, a Muslim minority in China’s far northwest, authorities deepened their campaign against religious practices.