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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. China-CELAC trade to hit 500 billion USD: Chinese president – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping set the goal for bilateral trade between China and Latin American, Caribbean countries to reach 500 billion U.S dollars in 10 years. He made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). He said China’s direct investment into Latin America will hit 250 billion U.S. dollars in the coming decade.
2. A newly modest China? Official’s reassurances raise eyebrows in US. – CSMonitor Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said in a widely publicized speech that China ‘does not have any ideas or capabilities’ to challenge the US as the world’s leading superpower. But while some say it reflects a new realism, others see reason for skepticism. // not returning to 韬光养晦 but perhaps something like 掏钱养晦？
Related: Sri Lankan Election Upset a Blow to China’s Indian Ocean Plans – Bloomberg “In public, Beijing will likely express willingness to establish good relations with the new government,” said Zhang Guihong, a professor at the Institute of International Studies at the Shanghai-based Fudan University. “Privately, its diplomatic missions and officials in Colombo will get busy and start mingling with new people.” The result, considered improbable just two months ago, risks disrupting President Xi Jinping’s moves to increase China’s presence in the Indian Ocean. China has invested heavily in Sri Lanka over the past decade and supported Rajapaksa in the face of U.S.-led inquiries into human rights abuses allegedly committed during the end of a 26-year civil war.
4. Q&A With Tencent Senior Executive Vice President SY Lau – Business Insider Business Insider got the chance to throw some questions at SY Lau, the senior executive vice president of Tencent and president of its online media group, about what 2015 will look like for the company and what founding beliefs have set Tencent up for success.
Related: Tencent’s Wechat: Worldwide Internet users are voluntarily submitting to the Great Firewall–Slate Instead of Chinese users scaling the wall to get out, people around the world are walking up to the front gate, knocking on the door, and asking to be let in. Just as you might expect with a service like WhatsApp or Twitter, every time you send a message on WeChat it is routed through centralized servers, managed by Tencent. In most cases, these servers are located inside China, often in Shanghai-based data centers, though in some countries, local servers are being set up. These servers, though, are still within reach of Chinese law, regulations, and influence, and all data passing through them is vulnerable to surveillance and censorship. // one of the easons may be very hard for Tencent to expand into meaningful market share ex-gaming in developed country markets
5. Children of Party Luminaries Raise Awareness for Dying with Dignity – Caixin Chen Xiaolu is not the only child of a revolutionary to experience this ordeal. Luo Diandian, daughter of the late elder statesman Luo Ruiqing (1906-1978), remembers the same pain watching her father die. Together they have started the “don’t plug them in” club among their circle of friends. It paved the way for the opening in 2006 of a website known for its slogan “Choice and Dignity.” This is the first charitable website in China to focus on dying with dignity. In 2013, they also founded the Beijing Living Will Promotion Association, which advocates palliative care.
6. The 7 Tln Yuan Stimulus that Isn’t – Caixin Media reports say the government is embarking on a major spending program that echoes the one in 2008-09, but it’s fundamentally different
Related: China Plays Down Stimulus Talk as Xi Trumpets New Normal Growth – Bloomberg While China is promoting key investment projects in seven areas to woo private capital, it isn’t repeating its stimulus program started in 2008, Luo Guosan, an investment official with the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press briefing today. China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year, people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the decision wasn’t public said this week. “It’s not a stimulus program by expanding fiscal input, it’s about guiding social capital into investment projects,” Luo said. “It has nothing to do with the 4-trillion-yuan stimulus plan in 2008, and it is fundamentally different from that.”
7. Beijing’s next target: Hong Kong education sector-EJ Insight A former senior Chinese official has called for urgent reforms in Hong Kong’s education sector so that the city’s youth will develop a positive attitude toward their motherland. The remarks of Chen Zuo’er, a former deputy director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, shouldn’t come as a surprise as the pro-democracy Occupy campaign was led by schoolteachers and students who rallied against Beijing’s growing influence in the territory’s affairs. It is clear that hand in hand with the central government’s insistence on keeping a tight rein on Hong Kong’s political life is its determination to gain control of the city’s educational sphere.
Related: Beijing prof calls for voluntary military service in HK-EJ Insight Voluntary military service should be introduced for young people in Hong Kong to nurture a greater sense of patriotism, a law professor in Beijing has proposed. Professor Chen Duanhong of Peking University’s Law School made the suggestion at a forum in Beijing on developments in Hong Kong and Macau, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
8. Rapid Desert Formation May Have Destroyed China’s 1st Kingdom – Yahoo News This new finding suggests that the kingdom may have been more important to Chinese civilization than experts had thought, researchers say. Prior research suggests the earliest Chinese kingdom might have been Hongshan, established about 6,500 years ago. This was about 2,400 years before the supposed rise of the Xia Dynasty, the first dynasty in China described in ancient historical chronicles. The kingdom’s name, which means “Red Mountain,” comes from the name of a site in the Inner Mongolia region of China.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China’s Li to Become First Premier at Davos Since 2009 – Bloomberg “The year 2014 saw foreign companies and investors grow some doubt and concern about China’s openness,” said Zhang Wenkui, a senior researcher in Beijing at the Development Research Center, a unit of the State Council, or cabinet. “Premier Li will likely make an effort to dispel that concern at a top economic forum, and show China’s unswerving determination on further reform and greater openness.”
China Stocks Fall Most in Two Weeks as Strategists See Losses – Bloomberg The speed of China’s stocks rally is one of the three major risks for the country this year, according to Bank of America. With “mom and pop investors” dominating trading, “a stampede could break out if retail investors suddenly rush to exit the markets, resulting in a crash which could hit consumption and fixed-asset investment,” David Cui, China strategist at BofA, wrote in a report dated yesterday. // Cui said it was overvalued about 60% ago as well, no? Regardless, another crazy day today, imagine if there were real day trading allowed
Chinese Developer Appears to Default – WSJ A Shenzhen real-estate developer with seemingly sound finances likely became the first Chinese property company to default on offshore bonds Thursday, in a development that is raising concerns among global investors. Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. appears to have missed interest payments due on $500 million of debt held by foreign investors, several managers of funds that hold the bonds said
Car makers pay to keep Chinese dealers happy as market slows | Reuters Spearheading the backlash is the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), a dealer trade body which earlier this week went public with an announcement that it had persuaded German automaker BMW to pay 5.1 billion yuan ($820 million) (BMWG.DE) in compensation to dealers for lower than expected 2014 profits. CADA took the unprecedented step of giving interviews to foreign media to announce the deal. BMW has not confirmed the 5.1 billion yuan figure but says it has reached a deal which does not require it to modify its 2014 profit target.
Early Look: China’s Economy Set to Miss Growth Target – China Real Time Report – WSJ The world will be watching on Jan. 20, as China unveils 2014 annual growth figures that most likely will miss the government’s economic target for the first time since 1998. The question is how wide the world’s No. 2 economy will be of the mark. Gross domestic product likely grew 7.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, according to the median forecast of 14 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. That puts China on track for 7.3% for the 2014 as a whole – a touch below the target of about 7.5%
China Factory-Gate Deflation Deepens on Commodity Price Fall – Bloomberg The producer-price index slumped 3.3 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today, compared with the median projection for a 3.1 percent decline in a survey of analysts by Bloomberg News. The slide has yet to be fully reflected in consumer prices, which rose 1.5 percent, matching the median estimate.
Kaisa ‘Hidden Hands’ Means 10% Threshold for Junk-Rated Builders – Bloomberg Recent events have underscored the need to price in a higher risk premium for Asian, particularly Chinese, high-yield bonds, according to Brigitte Posch, the London-based head of emerging market corporate debt at Babson Capital Management LLC. Political risk factors should no longer be relegated to background noise, she said. // “recent events”? What about history and common sense?
【财媒精粹】南北车停牌前半年 高管互买对方股票 insider trading ahead of rail car merger? shocked… // 记者了解到，在南北车双双停牌前半年间，
Slowdown Spurs Property Industry to Embrace the Internet – Caixin Faltering sales have prompted developers to turn to online promotions and seen real estate agencies and ad websites try new way to reach buyers
POLITICS AND LAW
China’s Anticorruption Campaign Drives M.B.A. Students From Schools – WSJ China’s top business schools say 15%-30% of students withdrew from E.M.B.A. programs in the fall semester, amid President Xi Jinping’s far-reaching anticorruption campaign. In July, the government said the programs were more like luxurious networking sessions than training courses.
云南官场成周永康案重灾区 白恩培妻子曾欲自杀_新闻_腾讯网 一系列案件显示，
外媒：习近平肃清亲属企业 中国反腐败再紧发条 按：新加坡《联合早报》今天发表“
China uses long-range intimidation of U.S. reporter to suppress Xinjiang coverage – The Washington Post The Chinese government has imprisoned the three brothers of a Washington-based reporter for Radio Free Asia, apparently intensifying its repression of free speech and reporting on its troubled province of Xinjiang. Ethnic Uighur journalist Shohret Hoshur left China in 1994, after he ran into trouble with the authorities for his reporting. He has since become a U.S. citizen and a mainstay of Radio Free Asia’s coverage of Xinjiang, offering one of the only independent sources of information about events in the province.
Political Crimes Making a Comeback Under Xi Jinping, Group Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ Back in March, China Real Time relayed findings from the human rights group Dui Hua Foundation that suggested China’s security forces had taken a savvier, softer-seeming approach to the silencing of dissidents. It now appears that might only be partly right. Dui Hua’s original analysis found that the number of indictments on state security charges dropped 21% between 2012 and 2013. Such charges, including subversion and separatism, tend to carry heftier sentences and frequently attract international criticism. At the same time, the group said, there appeared to be an increasing tendency to charge dissidents with less politicized crimes such as illegal assembly – a sign that authorities had not stopped going after political opponents, but perhaps had become more sensitive to appearances when doing so.
How China Classifies State Secrets | The Diplomat Curiously, according to the State Secrets Bureau, the legal framework for the Classification Provisions derives from U.S. legal concepts (but is not a transplant of the U.S. system). It appears that China’s secrecy agency came to know and consider U.S. legal concepts through professors at some of Beijing’s leading law schools, who had spent time at some of America’s leading law schools. A State Secrecy Bureau official wrote, “The U.S. system is very significant to us as a reference to resolve the existing issues in the state secrecy system.” The Classification Provisions clarify which state organs can classify information. The answer is what many have suspected — that multiple facets of the Chinese party-state can inherently classify information as state secrets.
Guangzhou Official Investigated for Leaking Insider Information to Japan The report cites sources alleging that Pan used his executive position at the company to leak insider details about the Chinese elevator industry to the Japanese in exchange for kickbacks. Pan was the vice chairman of the Guangzhou CPPCC committee from 2007 to June 2014, during which time he was also a top executive at Hitachi. Caixin noted that Pan holds duel Party membership to both the Communist Party and the China Democratic National Construction Association.
Courts Slow to Throw Illegally Collected Evidence Out of Trials – Caixin In 1996, China prohibited the use of violence and torture in interrogations. Then in 2010, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of State Security jointly issued a regulation that in principle excluded from trials evidence collected illegally. Two years later the banning of such evidence from investigations, prosecutions and hearings was written into law. However, Tian said that in practice his requests to eliminate evidence gained through illegal means have never been accepted by courts. Many legal experts and lawyers echo this, saying the law remains only on paper.
Fast-track success of Jiang Zemin’s eldest son, Jiang Mianheng, questioned by Chinese academics for years | South China Morning Post The rapid rise in China’s academic world of Jiang Mianheng – eldest son of Jiang Zemin, the nation’s former president and Communist Party chief – raised eyebrows among other academics for years. Many people suggested nepotism had played a part in the promotion’s of Jiang Mianheng, who retired this week as head of the Shanghai branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
萧功秦：习近平新政两周年的回顾与展望_共识网 Xiao Gongqin on Xi Jinping’s first 2 years in office and outlook for the future // 新权威主义已经是中国政治生活中的现实。
17 officials punished over deadly terror attacks in Xinjiang – Xinhua Seventeen officials in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were punished for dereliction of duty after a series of terrorist attacks in the region in September 2014. The disciplined officials deemed negligent included Liu Fulin, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Luntai County, and his deputy and other county and township officials, according to ts.cn, the region’s official website.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
PLA Sees Major Shake-up of Political Officers in Recent Weeks – Caixin Reshuffle involves more than 40 mid- and high-level cadres and is linked to an anti-graft push in military, reports say
In Asia, U.S. Economic Leadership Is Under Attack | The National Interest The political-economic imperative facing U.S. policymakers on Asia has three elements: (1) strengthening the bilateral economic component of the rebalance with key countries, thereby boosting the credibility of the U.S. commitment to Asia; (2) supporting high-standard regional economic integration in Asia and across the Pacific while successfully managing U.S.-China rivalry; and (3) restoring and strengthening the global institutions responsible for international trade and financial governance, which have a direct bearing on Asia.
海军某部继王伟后又一飞行员牺牲 低空训练坠海_新闻_腾讯网 “当年，王伟就是从这个机场起飞，
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Hong Kong ‘drug kingpin’ Wong Chi-ping caught in Indonesia raid | South China Morning Post An alleged Hong Kong drugs kingpin wanted in seven jurisdictions has been arrested in Indonesia following the biggest drugs bust in the country’s history. Wong Chi-ping had been hunted by police forces across the region for years prior to his seizure on Monday, alongside 840kg of high-grade methamphetamine, according to Indonesian drug officials.
TECH AND MEDIA
Sony to delay sale of PlayStation 4 in China | Reuters Sony’s Computer Entertainment division said a new sale date had not yet been determined, but a company source in China told Reuters that prolonged negotiations with Chinese authorities were part of the reason for the delay.
传搜狐将紧急大幅裁员30% 1月内确定名单_财经频道_一财网 reports that Sohu planning to cut 20-30% of staff // 据媒体报道，搜狐即将启动近年来最大一次裁员行动，
Tencent Heads for Biggest Weekly Gain Since 2011 on Banking Bets – Bloomberg on analyst upgrades and speculation the addition of online banking and stockbroking will boost earnings at China’s second-biggest Internet company.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma admits ‘shooting mouth off,’ apologises to JD.com for jabs at its business | South China Morning Post “Ma Yun probably apologised because Alibaba is now a public company and he needs to be more careful,” You Na, an analyst at ICBC International Research Ltd, said in Hong Kong, using Ma’s Chinese name. “He’ll probably tone down and become more aware of his words going forward.” JD.com responded by posting a poem on Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat messaging application, saying it would try to be better and let time be the judge.
Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee jailed for six months in China on drugs charge | World news | The Guardian Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, was jailed for six months in China on Friday on a drugs charge, the latest celebrity felled by the government’s aggressive anti-narcotics campaign.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
China’s New, Cool Thing: Getting Priced Out of the Housing Market | Foreign Policy One called it brainwashing; another called it shameless. On Dec. 29, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece paper, the People’s Daily, ran an opinion piece lauding young people uninterested in purchasing real estate, calling their mindset “progressive.” The article said that not being shackled to big-city apartments, and the mortgages required to pay for them, could help broaden the horizons of China’s youth and allow them to be more open to the rest of the country and the world
经济参考网 – 十个城市叫停专车服务 业界呼吁打破出租车行业垄断 据《经济参考报》记者统计，
南京发生出租车停运事件 参与车辆一度达数百辆_新闻_腾讯网 【
Q&A: Fashion Maven Anna Wintour on China’s Sartorial Future – China Real Time Report – WSJ I don’t feel that Chinese designers have reached the level of prominence that European or American designers have, but we’ve noticed in fashion schools in the U.S. and in England and we’ve seen how much the makeup of the students in the classes have changed there in the last five to 10 years. And so many of the students are Chinese and obviously, they will represent the future of Chinese fashion. I’m sure within the next generation, we’ll see the emergence of Chinese designers on a global scale.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
700 Green NGOs Can File Pro Bono Lawsuits, Official Estimates – Caixin Comments by Ministry of Civil Affairs official follow country’s top court giving environmental groups legal standing to take violators to court
China’s doctors now officially encouraged to moonlight in the private sector China’s ‘health ministry’, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, has told doctors in the public hospital system that they should seek additional work in private hospitals. Health minister Li Bin told a conference this week that the registration regulations for doctors had been changed to encourage practitioners to work outside of the public hospital system.
Chinese nuclear physicist Yu Min receives nation’s top science award – Xinhua Chinese nuclear physicist Yu Min won China’s top science and technology accolade on Friday. Chinese President Xi Jinping presented the award to Yu, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, at a high-profile annual ceremony held to honor distinguished scientists and research achievements.
China Amps Up an Old Dream of Green Belts – China Real Time Report – WSJ China is ordering its big cities to deliver on a years-old policy goal to stop their sprawl. Instead of ever-expanding highways and high-rises, China’s biggest cities would be ringed by green belts, permanently zoned as farmland and off-limits to developers. Two government ministries this week called on Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and 11 other major Chinese cities to carry out orders to collectively set aside an area one-and-a-half times the size of Texas as “permanent farmland.” These areas of high-quality arable land are to be on the outskirts of the cities.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Dunkin’ Donuts to Open 1,400 Restaurants in China – Bloomberg A joint venture of Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) and Jasmine Asset Holding Ltd. will open and operate the restaurants as franchisee, Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ said today in a statement. The first location may open in the fourth quarter.
ARRESTED: Beijing ‘gang’ alleged to have targeted foreigners with bats | Beijing Cream A trio of Chinese men armed with baseball bats and metal pipes has been detained, following a violent assault on students at one of Beijing’s best-known universities. The case bears strong similarities to a series of racially tinged assaults alleged to have recently occurred in several foreign-centric districts, including Sanlitun, Houhai and Wudaokou, in which foreign witnesses reported being attacked without provocation by local men carrying weapons and traveling in a vehicle. The incidents were widely reported on WeChat and discussed on local forums, such as Reddit, where many expressed concern about possible hate crimes.
Beijing sees record ‘land rush’| China Daily Beijing’s land market started the year with five plots sold at record prices within three days, underscoring how the capital remains red hot as developers shun smaller cities. A consortium including China Resources Land Ltd and Ping An Real Estate Co won a large residential site in the southwestern Fengtai district on Wednesday for 8.625 billion yuan ($1.39 billion), making it the most expensive plot in the capital’s history. The price tag, 22 percent higher than the government’s opening price, represents 20,600 yuan per square meter. Excluding some apartments that will be subject to price caps, the winning bid works out to more than 50,000 yuan per sq m.