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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. China’s anti-graft agency ‘makes crackdown on political factions and corruption top priority’ | South China Morning Post The three-day, closed-door Central Commission for Discipline Inspection plenum comes after a meeting of the 25-member Politburo late last month, which saw top leaders vow to stand firm in the fight against corruption, Xinhua previously reported.
Related: 习近平：一些干部为仕途搞匿名诬告 妄议中央新闻腾讯网 more coverage of some of Xi’s previously unreleased comments on the corruption crackdown, with the publication of the new collection of his talks on party construction, clean governance and anti-corruption work
Related: Compilation of Xi Jinping’s anti-graft remarks published – Xinhua The book was published by the Central Party Literature Press and the China Fangzheng Publishing House, according to a press release by the CPC’s central committee on Sunday. The book, divided into 9 sections, brings together 216 remarks by Xi from more than 40 speeches, articles and written instructions between Nov. 15, 2012 and Oct. 23, 2014. Many of the quotes in the book are being published for the first time, according to the press release.
Related: 习近平：反腐零容忍 不定指标上不封顶国内新京报网 中纪委官网昨日通报，《
2. 四集专题片《作风建设永远在路上》 CCDI and Ministry of Supervision 4 part documentary 作风建设永远在路上 on the anti-corruption efforts was released right before Christmas, worth watching in spite of the cheesy soundtrack if you care about this stuff…the discussion at times of changing not just 党风 but also 民风 and 社风 raises the question of how the Party plans to address systemic corruption throughout society, as in some ways fighting corruption inside the party may be easier. The socialist core values campaign does not yet seem to have much traction throughout society
3. 方正与政泉纠葛始末：真相与谎言并举 牵涉众多高官 The Peking University Founder Group investigation is a big deal with potentially major implications in official circles and rumors going around of the involvement of family members of some of the largest still free “tigers”. Caijing has just published this long story on it, and there has been plenty of other media coverage as well. Xi and Wang Qishan look to be starting 2015 with a bang, I think there is no reason to believe the Zhou Yongkang case was the climax or that the corruption crackdown will anything but intensify in 2015 // 双方的相互揭发令人眼花缭乱，真相与谎言并举，
Related: Chinese spy chief Ma Jian ‘detained in corruption crackdown’ | South China Morning Post Ma Jian, one of the mainland’s top spy chiefs, has been detained over alleged corruption as part of President Xi Jinping’s ever-widening crackdown on graft, sources with direct knowledge of the situation have told the South China Morning Post. The sources also revealed that several of Ma’s close relatives were under investigation. It is not clear what triggered the probes, but it is believed to be linked to a high-profile anti-graft investigation into activities at the top of Founder Group, a Peking University-owned technology conglomerate.
Related: 政泉神秘操盘手郭文贵借港商涉房产 为落马高官存钱 Caijing looks at Guo Wengui, one of the key protagonists in the unfolding Founder Group investigation // 2014年岁末，围绕着方正证券(601901)控制权，
4. 山西政法无间道:黑帮成员考警校 卧底当内鬼 -搜狐财经 Caijing on organized crime’s near omnipresence in Shanxi business and political circles // 山西的黑道势力从最初的打打杀杀、敲诈勒索，演变为攀附公权，
Related: Triad criminals ‘have infiltrated government of resource-rich Chinese province’ | South China Morning Post Organised crime has infiltrated government agencies to collude with corrupt officials in the coal-rich province of Shanxi, one of the main targets of the central government’s extensive anti-corruption drive, according to the respected business magazine, Caijing.
Related: 山西前首富张新明被带走近半年 案情仍是一团迷雾|张新明|山西首富|反腐新浪财经新浪网
5. China Turning Gray over Pension Reform Stress – Caixin About 8,000 teachers in the northeastern city of Zhaodong stayed home for three days in November to protest an experimental pension scheme they called tantamount to a pay cut. The teachers claimed they’d been illegally forced to participate in the scheme, and demanded the local government refund their pension contributions. The dispute in Zhaodong, an agricultural hub in Heilongjiang Province, is a snapshot of a nationwide debate over the future of China’s two-tier pension system. Analysts say Zhaodong’s experiment failed because it reinforced the wide gap separating pension payment and benefit outlays for teachers and local civil servants.
6. 谁为上海踩踏事件负责新世纪周刊频道财新网 Caix
7. 农村土改出台试点方案 小范围启动封闭运行政经频道财新网 Caixin on the rural land transfer pilot program // 党的十八届三中全会《决定》提出，在符合规划和用途管制前提下，
8. News and propaganda resolutions for 2015 – China Media Project All of these terms are familiar. They suggest that the dominant discourse of information control in China — at least that refracted through the Central Propaganda Department and GAPPRFT — is unchanged, save for the important fact that these control imperatives are now made to orbit around the “spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping.” Is there anything new? Answering that question may depend on what was said at the mysterious National Internet Propaganda Management Work Meeting. What were those “important written comments” by Xi Jinping? As I’ve argued elsewhere, the internet and social media are now the heart of information control in China, and it is possible that both the Central Propaganda Department and GAPPRFT are now being marginalized in favor of the Cyberspace Administration and its chief, Lu Wei (鲁炜).
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
$4 Trillion Peak for China’s Stockpile of Foreign Currency May Free PBOC’s Hands – Bloomberg “For China’s central bank, it means the single most important source of liquidity is gone,” said Xi Junyang, a finance professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. “It means the central bank has to find other sources to inject liquidity — it has to cut the required reserves, it has to create more open-market tools.” As it moves towards a more market-driven economy, China has stopped regular foreign-currency purchases and is freeing up restrictions on the flow of money in and out of the country. Fewer foreign-asset purchases lowers the need to print and then lock away the local currency, giving more room to spur an economy that grew last
Charlene Chu Says China’s Credit Risks Worsening – Bloomberg Asked about the prospect of financial bail-outs, Chu said that the government has the capacity and the willingness to provide support; “the issue really comes down to how messy it gets.”
It’s Amateur Hour in the Booming Chinese Stock Market – Bloomberg The advance in low-priced equities, which is unique to China among the world’s five biggest markets, ratchets up pressure on the nation’s authorities to educate a new class of investors who had until recently avoided stocks in favor of real estate and banks’ wealth-management products. ..China’s state media, which four months ago helped revive public interest in shares with a series of stories advocating equity investment, are now encouraging citizens to analyze company performance and pay more attention to risks.
“带头大哥”全员涨薪 拉开券业普涨帷幕财经频道一财网 Q4 2014 A share surge means big raises for brokerage firm employees // 去年四季度以来，A股的给力行情和火爆交易量，
Why Pigs Are Crucial to Understanding China’s Surprisingly Low Inflation — WSJ Many economists have blamed sluggish oil prices for China’s low consumer inflation, but there’s another factor that may have been overlooked: falling pork prices. Pork prices slipped 4.3% last year, according to official data provided by Wind Information. In December they dropped 4.9% from a year earlier, shaving about 0.16 percentage point from the headline consumer price index.
Volvo Aims to be First to Export Chinese Cars to U.S. – Bloomberg “The Volvo name has a lot of credibility,” Tom Libby, an analyst with IHS Automotive, said. “There are not a lot of the questions that would surround it if there was a Chinese manufacturer’s name on it. The questions would be: Is this thing any good? Where do I get it serviced? Who’s the dealer? Those questions, frankly, don’t exist with Volvo. The fact that it’s assembled in China will be a minor thing.”
央媒持续炮轰能否撬开交通部的嘴_网易新闻中心 party media very critical of the Ministry of Transport for not addressing the monopoly problem in the taxi industry // 10日,新华社再发长文,并将其作为新华网头条突出处理。
打击滴滴专车背后的出租业垄断痼疾-凤凰新闻 what role have taxi monopolies and their beneficiaries played in regulatory attack on car services like didi dache et al? // 北京的出租车问题，因果脉络本不复杂，解决之道也算清晰。
POLITICS AND LAW
Govt: Police Kill Six attackers in China’s Xinjiang — AFP Police in China’s far-western Xinjiang region shot dead six attackers Monday, a state-run news portal said, amid a security clampdown in the violence-torn, mainly Muslim area. There were no police or civilian casualties, according to the report by Xinjiang’s governmusent-run Tianshan news site…Monday’s clash was triggered when residents of Shule county, near the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, noticed “a suspicious person carrying an explosive device”, Tianshan said. // 新疆6名暴徒袭警并欲引爆爆炸装置被击毙
Defense Minister stresses improved ability to ensure stability in Xinjiang – Xinhua Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan has called on the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) to contribute more to social stability in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Chang asked the XPCC — a paramilitary force that combines the functions of production, administration and defense — to fulfil its fundamental role in maintaining social stability and border defense during a recent inspection tour in the XPCC.
Charlie Hebdo Attack Shows Need for Press Limits, Xinhua Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ “Charlie Hebdo had on multiple occasions been the target of protests and even revenge attacks on account of its controversial cartoons,” the Xinhua news agency commentary said, adding that the magazine had been criticized in the past for being “both crude and heartless” in its attacks on religion. “What they seem not to realize is that world is diverse, and there should be limits on press freedom,” it continued. // 短评：新闻自由要有限度
盘点31名省级纪委书记：22位为空降 有5名女性新闻腾讯网 The Beijing News looks at the 31 provincial CCDi secretaries. 5 are women, 22 were “parachuted in” to their posts
善后三鹿事件 艾文礼任河北政协副主席政经频道财新网 promotion for the official who handled the aftermath of the 2008 Sanlu milk mess in Hebei // 现任河北省委宣传部长，“三鹿事件”后临危受命改任石家庄市长，
Han cadres required to learn Tibetan language – Xinhua All seven prefecture-level cities in Tibet have started organizing Tibetan language training for non-native cadres, according to the regional bureau of compilation and translation on Monday. Qoizha, deputy director of the bureau, said they have handed out 40,000 books on basic Tibetan language for daily conversation. President Xi Jinping stressed at a conference on ethnic work in September 2014 that in ethnic regions, ethnic minority cadres should learn Mandarin, and Han cadres should also learn ethnic languages. The language skill should become a “requirement” for cadres.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Chinese military to reshuffle grassroot officers – Xinhua The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has ordered chief officers in charge of military and political work at the grassroots level to switch posts to strengthen the army. The move is expected to help to train quality grassroots officers who excel as military commanders and political chiefs, said a circular issued by the PLA General Political Department.
盘点新任正大军区级将领政经频道财新网 Caixin looks at the all recent PLA personnel shuffles // 如果把时间前移到十八大之后，“短期内多次换岗”
China’s Military Is NOT Going Rogue | The National Interest There are a lot of things to worry about when it comes to geopolitics and national security. China’s military going rogue is not one of them.
揭秘中国维和警队：去了更知和平珍贵深度新京报网 The Beijing News looks at Chinese troops who make it onthe UN Peacekeeping force // 11日，中国首支赴塞浦路斯维和警队2名队员启程。目前，
Chinese PLA Air Force unveils jet fighters’ stunning aerial images – Xinhua “PLA Air Force recently unveils a great amount of jet fighters’ photos.”
China bristles at Japan’s defense minister remarks | Reuters China criticized Japan’s newly appointed defense minister for the first time on Monday, saying it was “firmly opposed” to his comments that Beijing has repeatedly engaged in “dangerous actions” in the East China Sea.
解放军第13集团军某旅建党性定期分析制度|党性| 分析_凤凰资讯 党性分析是强化党员意识、
Chinese-built 338 MW hydropower dam in Cambodia begins operation – Xinhua A Chinese-constructed 338-megawatt Russei Chrum Krom River hydroelectric dam, Cambodia’ s largest hydropower station so far, commenced operation on Monday after it had been constructed for nearly five years. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo jointly inaugurated the dam in Mondol Sima district of southwestern Koh Kong province.
Commentary: Japan’s commitment vital to success in maritime talks with China – Xinhua Resuming high-level consultations on maritime affairs on Monday in Tokyo, defense authorities of the two countries are expected to discuss ways to avoid confrontation and reduce tension in the East China Sea. China has been patient and has advocated dialogues and peaceful settlement of disputes with Japan, as any armed conflict between the two economic heavyweights will hurt the two peoples and the region as a whole. During high-level consultations on maritime affairs held in Qingdao, China, last September, the two sides agreed in principle to resume maritime liaison between their defense agencies.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
For Jimmy Lai, Hong Kong’s Rebellious Tycoon, Next Battle May Be in Court – NYTimes.com The owner of the city’s biggest pro-democracy publishing empire, Mr. Lai has seen his house firebombed and his company’s offices ransacked; he has been the target of an assassination plot and, recently, of multiple online attacks by what he suspects were state-sponsored hackers. On Sunday night, unidentified attackers threw Molotov cocktails at the entrances to his home and his company’s offices.
Q. and A.: Jimmy Lai on the Democracy Movement in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com In an interview at his home last week, a 1930s villa on a leafy, quiet street in Kowloon, Mr. Lai spoke about his role in the democracy movement in Hong Kong, why he is distancing himself from his media company and the challenges that lie ahead.
Firebombs Thrown at Jimmy Lai’s Home and Company in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com Assailants threw firebombs at a pro-democracy Hong Kong media outlet and at the home of its owner early Monday, heightening concerns about threats to press freedom.
TECH AND MEDIA
This Former Policeman Launched China’s Biggest Gay Dating App | VICE friend is an investor, had an interesting due diligence process, amazing growth// With its open-plan layout and large paintings of very naked men, the office of the gay dating app Blued feels like it would be much more at home in a Shoreditch start-up warehouse than downtown Beijing. It’s barely been one generation – 17 years, if you want to be pedantic – since homosexuality was legalised in China, and only a few years ago it would have been unthinkable here that such an app could reach a point where it boasts 15 million users and positive ties with the government.
A Guide to Recognizing Your Stars Part 1: Chinese Female Leads | chinafilmbiz 中国电影业务 You may not recognize some of the names mentioned below. Even if you’re familiar with the comings and goings of Chinese cinema, you may find yourself surprised by the names that make the list, and the ones that don’t. But if you’re in any way involved in the global entertainment industry, you’ll want to be acquainted with the who’s who of the Chinese movie scene.
China’s Alibaba to buy $550 mln stake in Indian online payment firm -sources | Reuters China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its unit Alipay are in advanced talks to buy a stake for about $550 million in India’s One97 Communications, which owns an online payment platform, sources directly involved in the transaction said.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
清华保送生面试问“占中” 紧密结合时事政治新闻腾讯网 students recommended for admission (kids who can bypass the gaokao) at Tsinghua asked for their view on Occupy Hong kong in their interviews // 本报讯（记者 雷嘉）数百名全国各地的高考生昨天齐聚清华大学，
Mo Yan stirs controversy with support for Chinese president – Telegraph Mo Yan, one of China’s best-known writers, is accused of fawning over his country’s Communist Party leaders despite a severe crackdown on academics, activists and artists
1 mln Chinese couples apply to have second child – Xinhua Nearly one million couples have applied to have a second child since China eased its one-child policy in 2014, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child. The number of applications is in line with the estimate of less than two million annually by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, said Mao Qunan, a spokesman with the commission, at a press conference on Monday.
北京“单独二孩”申请超3万国内新京报网 fewer Beijing couples than expected applied to have more than one child // 据北京市卫计委统计，“单独二孩”政策实施首年，
女子活活放进棺材 明代冥婚墓恐怖开棺（图） – 今日头条 -手机光明网 excavation of a Ming era grave site, woman was buried alive in her coffin, as part of a “ghost marriage” // 上午开的是男主人的棺，这座棺材已经密封的不是很好了，
‘China 1945,’ by Richard Bernstein – NYTimes.com “To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.” Hubert H. Humphrey’s aphorism came to mind as I was reading “China 1945,” Richard Bernstein’s excellent history of United States policy toward China at the end of World War II. // the book on Amazon
“High-speed train tribe” grows with China’s expanding rail network – Xinhua China’s expanding high-speed train network and soaring property prices in big cities have seen the birth of the “high-speed train tribe,” a new set of commuters who travel to and from work by bullet train. Starting Monday, Beijing will be connected to Yanjiao Town in neighboring Hebei Province via three bullet trains during morning and evening rush hours. The new trains are a high-speed alternative for white-collar workers in the town who are used to suffering on slow, cramped buses on their way to the capital city.
SInica Podcast-From the Interpreter’s Booth This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by Lynette Shi and William White, two globe-trotting adventurers who’ve found unconventional careers navigating the shoals of the professional interpretation circuit in China.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Girl infected with HIV from heart operation: official – Xinhua It has been confirmed that a five-year-old girl contracted HIV due to a blood transfusion during an operation four years ago, said the health authority in Fujian province, southeast China. The provincial health and family planning committee said the Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, where the operation took place, and the blood center, which supplied the blood, must give “humanitarian compensation” to the child, Maomao (not her real name), and her family.
China to build fifth Antarctic station – People’s Daily Online China’s polar exploration will enter a period of fast development. The country plans to build a new icebreaker mainly for field research in 2016, according to the State Oceanic Administration. China has built four Antarctic research bases, namely the Great Wall, Zhongshan, Kunlun and Taishan stations.
China quietly toughens travel restrictions on West Africans-Reuters China has been quietly toughening travel restrictions on students and businessmen traveling from Ebola-hit West Africa even as it increases support to fight the deadly disease on the ground in the region, diplomats say. Beijing-based ambassadors from Liberia and Sierra Leone, whose countries along with Guinea are the hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak, say some of their nationals are staying away from China due to the new procedures. No cases of Ebola have so far been reported in China.
Chinese ministry to help dairy farmers amid milk dumping, cow killing – Xinhua The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said Sunday that it would help dairy farmers in northern China who have resorted to throwing out milk and killing their cows through lack of sales avenues. The ministry encourages dairy firms to increase purchasing, starts dairy production monitoring on a weekly basis, and strengthens policy support for the dairy industry, the ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it had talked to major dairy firms including Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and Mengniu Dairy Group, and urged them to purchase more milk, stabilize prices and safeguard interest of dairy farmers.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Chinese carrier mulls charter flights to Bahamas – Xinhua China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s leading carriers, will undertake a feasibility test on charter flights from China to the Bahamas, the airline’s general manager Liu Shaoyong said Sunday. Liu made the remarks in meeting with Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, who visited the Shanghai-based carrier to discuss the prospect of direct flights from China to the Bahamas.
Tibet sees record high tourist arrivals in 2014 – Xinhua | Tibet reported a tourism boom in 2014 as the Chinese plateau region attracted more than 15 million visitors in 2014, up more than 20 percent, according to the local government. The regional capital Lhasa alone saw more than 9.25 million tourists and reaped tourism revenue of 11.2 billion yuan (1.79 billion U.S. dollars), said the regional tourism bureau in a report on Sunday.
假“北冰洋”原瓶灌装口感难辨深度新京报网 The Beijing News on counterfeit versions of a popular local soda // 记者近日调查发现北京一家假冒北冰洋“黑工厂”，
Chinese police arrest 110 for selling unclean pork – Xinhua Seventy-five of the suspects have been prosecuted, the Ministry of Public Security said Sunday. Several food quarantine staff were also sent to prosecuting organs for possible duty-related crimes. Police also confiscated over 1,000 tons of contaminated pork and 48 tons of cooking oil processed from the pork and other unclean meats, according to the ministry.
Humans of Peking – Collecting Beijing’s Stories A homeless beggar talking about his future dreams, a young fashionista remembering her traumatic youth or an on-duty policeman boosting about his newborn baby – you might have seen the portraits and short stories of very diverse people as featured on the well-known blog Humans of New York. It inspired Daisy Sun and Katharina Qi to start a similar project in the city they love most: Beijing. // the site