China Readings for September 17th

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

  • Big Changes At The Top Of The Wall Street Journal – Business Insider – Rebecca Blumenstein will become Page One Editor and Deputy Managing Editor. She will bring her verve, energy, creativity and logistical acumen to the important task of enterprising journalism, both in landmark projects and in driving the news agenda (not being driven by it). Ambitious journalism is a vital part of our future. Rebecca’s global and digital background will ensure that our stories have maximum impact, here and abroad, and across languages and platforms. She will be traveling and talking far and wide to generate original ideas and pursue angles beyond the means or wit of our competitors.

    Rebecca has been a Deputy Managing Editor since December 2009, having previously served as Managing Editor of and as China Bureau Chief

  • Why didn’t the Fed release a statement on the dollar liquidity bailout? | Credit Writedowns – But the Fed’s lack of commentary demonstrates that the other banks are just a cover. First, the Fed feels politically constrained due to its own machinations in the past and the likelihood it will engage in a muscular easing policy if and when the US economy double dips. It does not want to come under attack for this Euro bank activity. Second, dollar swap lines are already in place and have been extended. This policy didn’t have to be announced this way. It was only to calm markets and buy time.
  • Wise to refrain from churning up South China Sea-CHina Daily Li Hongmei – Li Hongmei:

    In recent years, India has accustomed to viewing itself as a power. Meanwhile, strategically and considering their own interest in the region, Western powers have been counting more heavily on India as a result of its rapid economic growth. This put together feeds India's ever-growing ambition, and some "overzealous" people within India even encourage the venture-out in South China Sea, which they take as not only a bargaining chip with China but an effective way to counterbalance the rising power.

    China has always cherished the time-honored bilateral ties with India, regardless of ups and downs in the course. But China's goodwill can by no means be interpreted as a "desperate outreach to endear India and other neighbors, at any cost."

    It is wise for those trying to feel out China's bottom line to wake up to the reality that China will never yield an inch in its sovereignty and territorial integrity to any power or pressure. On this basis, the Indian government should keep cool-headed and refrain from making a move that saves a little only to lose a lot.

  • China says it will invest more in oceanic science, technology development – somehow China is convincing itself and the world that it is an arctic nation

    "We will expand the depths and scope of oceanic research and improve our understanding of the ocean, with special focuses on the polar regions and deep sea environments,"

  • China’s Antarctic research stations offer logistical jobs to general public-Xinhua – China's polar exploration authorities are offering employment for domestic jobseekers in the form of logistical positions at the country's two Antarctic research facilities.

    Eligible candidates must be Chinese nationals and meet the requirements specified in the job offers, according to a circular recently issued by the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAAA) under the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

  • Matt Bross | LinkedIn – huawei cto
  • At Huawei, Matt Bross Tries to Ease U.S. Security Fears – BusinessWeek – The Chinese telecom equipment maker’s American CTO is at the forefront of the company’s efforts to convince the U.S. government its expansion is harmless
  • China’s Top Propaganda Official Visits With Baidu CEO Robin Li | DigiCha – This visit is positive for Baidu, as were Beijing Party Secretary Liu Qi’s visits to Sina ($SINA) and Youku ($YOKU) three weeks ago. Li Changchun is the Politburo Standing Committee member responsible for propaganda, and Comrade Changchun (as he is referred to in the report) is effectively reiterating official blessings for Baidu. Yes there are costs associated with those blessings, but they are ones that Baidu has borne for years and will continue to be willing and able to bear for the foreseeable future.

    Meanwhile, the CCTV 2 channel head who oversaw the recent round of attacks on Baidu may be unnerved by Li Changchun’s visit. Comrade Changchun is the boss of the boss of his boss, and if the CCTV attacks were part of some concerted campaign we would probably not see a visit by Li Changchun so soon after the broadcasts. This public show of support for Baidu strengthens the theory that the CCTV 2 attacks on Baidu were either part of an advertising shakedown or a result of a personal dispute.

  • The Biggest IPO You Haven’t Heard Of – – A Chinese company few Americans have heard of is gearing up for what could be the largest Internet IPO in U.S. history.

    The company, Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co., runs, a fast-growing online-shopping site that sells a broad range of goods, mostly direct to consumers, much like Inc. This business-to-consumer part of China's online shopping market is expected to expand more than fivefold to 650 billion yuan ($100 billion) over the next three years, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

    Jingdong hopes to raise as much as $4 billion to $5 billion from an initial public offering in the first half of 2012, people familiar with the situation said last week. If it succeeds, it would overtake Google Inc., whose $1.9 billion IPO in 2004 makes it the current record holder for Internet companies.

  • Heber Reginald Bishop and his jade collection … – Google Books – great great grandfather. chinese proverb "fortune does not last past three generations" applies here too, sadly
  • The Bishop Jades | Past Exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum of Art – too bad given away, worth a lot now, and the Met has violated the bequest contract

    This selection of the most refined works from the Heber R. Bishop Collection includes carvings of jade, agate, quartz, lapis lazuli, and many other hard stones. The objects represent the sophisticated art of Chinese lapidaries during the late Qing dynasty (1644–1911) as well as the highly accomplished works of Mughal Indian jade carvers that provided an exotic inspiration to their Chinese counterparts. Also on display is a set of Chinese lapidary tools and illustrations of jade workshops, which demonstrate the traditional method of working jade.

  • Government bans jade mining in West China – YouTube – Aljazeera English's melissa chan reports from Hotain Xinjiang
  • Storm Over Canadian MP’s Flirtatious Emails to Xinhua Reporter | China Digital Times (CDT) – Leaking honey trap?//

    Fears of Chinese espionage have been inflamed in Canada by the revelation of flirtatious emails sent by Conservative MP Bob Dechert last year to Shi Rong of Xinhua’s Toronto bureau. From The Globe and Mail:

  • China is committed to path of peaceful development|Op-Ed Contributors| – The following are State Councilor Dai Bingguo's remarks on the White Paper on China's Peaceful Development at a symposium in Beijing on Thursday:
    The White Paper titled "China's Peaceful Development" has been released on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. I believe this is highly significant for China and the world. Today, China's future and destiny is more than ever closely linked with that of the world. The Chinese government, in releasing this White Paper, once again solemnly declares to the whole country and the world that peaceful development is a strategic choice China has made. It is a way that will lead China to modernization and prosperity. It is the only path through which China can contribute to enduring peace and common prosperity of the world. China will be firm, persistent and unwavering in following this path. In a sense, this White Paper is both a paper of declaration and a guideline of action for China's peaceful development.
  • China bullet train crash probe blames signals – Yahoo! News – An investigation into a deadly bullet train crash in China has found that faulty signaling systems and mismanagement were mainly to blame, reports said Friday, though the accident was triggered by a lightning strike.
    China's State Council, or Cabinet, is reviewing the findings from the probe into the July disaster, which killed 40 people, injured 177 and prompted checks for the entire bullet train program, the Caijing financial magazine and other reports said.
    The lightning strike caused one bullet train to stall and a sensor failure allowed a second train to keep moving on the same track and slam into it. The Daily News newspaper cited experts warning that the faulty signaling systems are still in use at dozens of stations along high-speed rail lines.
  • When Aaron Met René: Will China Fall in Love With the Romantic Comedy? – Scene Asia – WSJ
  • Communist Party’s darker undercurrents bubbling to the surface-garnaut – The Zhang-Liu world view has implications for how the Communist Party instinctively views its interests wherever America is involved in conflict around the world, including Libya. It suggests China's rapid military build-up may be just beginning.

    The Chinese government says it didn't know its weapons companies were negotiating one of the country's biggest arms deals with Gaddafi's representatives in Beijing, and planning to disguise any sales through third countries. But the government owns those companies, it hires and fires their executives, and it routinely uses them as tools of foreign policy.

    Last year Zhang Guoqing, the general manager of the biggest of the arms companies, Norinco, told party and military luminaries that his corporate group had done much to ''safeguard core interests of the country and to promote the implementation of the national diplomatic strategies''. He also added an aspiration "to keep a low profile".

    He might have achieved all three if Gaddafi's security officials hadn't left a Norinco shopping list on a street-side garbage pile as they fled from Tripoli.

  • Letter from China: Hutong Economics: This Old House : The New Yorker
  • Journalist in Bob Dechert affair returns to China – The Globe and Mail – The Chinese journalist enveloped by political scandal over amorous e-mails she received from MP Bob Dechert has returned home to China, sources say.

    Until the Dechert affair broke, Shi Rong had been serving as the Toronto correspondent for Xinhua News Agency, an organization controlled by the Chinese government.

  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine – An influx of nomads has turned the Mongolian capital upside down.
  • From Prison, Ex-Airline Tycoon Raises Flap – The case of a self-made airline tycoon allegedly swindled by Wuhan's deputy mayor – and whose airline pulled out of a multi-billion yuan deal with a General Electric Co. subsidiary – has been pushed by publicity to the forefront of a corruption probe.
    A niece of Lan Shili, a now-imprisoned former president of bankrupt East Star Airlines, drummed up public attention September 1 at a Beijing news conference by reading a letter written by her uncle accusing Deputy Mayor Yuan Shanla of connections to crime gangs and corruption.
    "Yuan not only destroyed East Star Airlines, which had been attracting the world's attention, but he also ruined the image of the Wuhan city government," Lan wrote. "It is Yuan, the ‘father-mother' official of Wuhan, who broke the law to kill an indigenous enterprise, East Star Airlines.
    "Yuan should at least have had the common sense to know that an internal dispute should not be made public."
    In the letter, Lan accused Yuan of repeatedly soliciting bribes. In August 2008 – on one such occasion – Lan gave the deputy mayor 200,000 yuan cash presumably to play mahjong.
  • North Korea: open for business?-Sinica Podcast – Joining host Jeremy Goldkorn to talk about what this means for China watchers are three of the smartest observers of the East Asian security situation today: Ed Wong from the New York Times, Alexa Olesen from the Associated Press and Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt from the International Crisis Group. With all three fresh back from a fact-finding mission to North Korea, join us on Sinica today for some candid discussion about what is happening on the ground, along with some scintillating gossip on the latest tourist for the Wenzhou investment class: luxury boat cruises along the North Korean coast.
  • Perfect World Adjusts Guidance for the Third Quarter of 2011 – Yahoo! Finance
  • Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President (9780061429255): Ron Suskind: Books – The hidden history of Wall Street and the White House comes down to a single, powerful, quintessentially American concept: confidence. Both centers of power, tapping brazen innovations over the past three decades, learned how to manufacture it.

    Until August 2007, when that confidence finally began to crumble.

    In this gripping and brilliantly reported book, Ron Suskind tells the story of what happened next, as Wall Street struggled to save itself while a man with little experience and soaring rhetoric emerged from obscurity to usher in “a new era of responsibility.” It is a story that follows the journey of Barack Obama, who rose as the country fell, and offers the first full portrait of his tumultuous presidency.

    Wall Street found that straying from long-standing principles of transparency, accountability, and fair dealing opened a path to stunning profits. Obama’s determination to reverse that trend was essential to his ascendance, especially when Wall Street collapsed during the fall of an election year and the two candidates could audition for the presidency by responding to a national crisis. But as he stood on the stage in Grant Park, a shudder went through Barack Obama. He would now have to command Washington, tame New York, and rescue the economy in the first real management job of his life.

    The new president surrounded himself with a team of seasoned players—like Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, and Tim Geithner—who had served a different president in a different time. As the nation’s crises deepened, Obama’s deputies often ignored the president’s decisions—“to protect him from himself”—while they fought to seize control of a rudderless White House. Bitter disputes—between men and women, policy and politics—ruled the day. The result was an administration that found itself overtaken by events as, year to year, Obama struggled to grow into the world’s toughest job and, in desperation, take control of his own administration.

  • Global – Huawei – WinWin–Huawei’s inhouse Publication
  • How Will China Tame Microblogs Like Sina Weibo? Regulations and Licenses | DigiCha
  • Baidu Hosts Politburo Member Li as China Monitors Internet Firms – Bloomberg – China, which exerts control over all traditional media such as television and newspapers, is tightening scrutiny of information on the Web as more users gain access, Duncan Clark, chairman of telecommunications consultants BDA China, said. Sina Corp., operator of the Twitter-like Weibo microblogging service, was visited by Beijing communist party chief Liu last month.
    “If you look at the reach of these Internet sites now, they rival or exceed the reach of state media,” Clark said. “Any visit by somebody that senior to such a high-profile company is a signal, for sure.”
  • Muddy Waters’ Carson Block Says Chinese Consumer Demand Is Overstated – Bloomberg – so now block a macru guru?//

    Carson Block, the short seller who runs research firm Muddy Waters LLC, said U.S. investors are too eager to put their money into China where consumer demand is overstated.

  • Analysis: China seeks to tether the microblog tiger | Reuters – Some officials have decried "Weibo" (pronounced "way-baw") as a tool for reckless rumors and subversion; others have defended it as a challenging, but much-needed, window into the public soul.

    Despite the jitters, Beijing is extremely unlikely to close microblogs, a step that experts said could unleash its own prairie fire of public anger and distrust that would give even China's thick-skinned leaders pause.

    "There's this Chinese proverb, 'qi hu, nan xia' (once riding a tiger, it's hard to dismount), and that's the problem the government has — that it got onto this thing, allowed it to start, and now to shut it down, that would be a nuclear option," said Bill Bishop, a Beijing-based investor and adviser on China's Internet sector who runs the blog.

    "It would be surprising if they kill it or completely neuter it, but I think a likely outcome is a set of incremental tweaks and controls," Bishop said of Beijing's approach.

    "You've got to remember that this is basically a real-time stream of what Chinese people are thinking, and that's not just incredibly valuable to people who care about public opinion, but also for those monitoring security problems," he said.

    Stricter controls could include time delays so comments are more finely filtered before spreading online, and demanding at least some classes of users register with their real names, which many do not do now, said several industry analysts.

  • Matt Bross | LinkedIn – huawei cto
  • At Huawei, Matt Bross Tries to Ease U.S. Security Fears – BusinessWeek – The Chinese telecom equipment maker’s American CTO is at the forefront of the company’s efforts to convince the U.S. government its expansion is harmless