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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Xi calls for more anti-corruption efforts despite achievements – Xinhua Xi Jinping told discipline officials that “strong remedies must be used to cure the illness” of corruption. He introduced 2015’s four-point discipline work requirements, which underscored that corrupt officials must be held accountable for their actions, responsibility for the building of the Party should be strengthened at all levels and the improvement of systems needed to continue. In addition, efforts to rectify undesirable workstyles should continue and misconduct, Xi said, must be dealt with accordingly. “Our determination […] will not change. Our courage to rid our bones of poison will not diminish. We will also continue to hold the sharp sword of countercorruption high,” Xi added. The president stressed that Party discipline system reform must continue alongside enhanced institutional innovation and supervision. Party rules are an important test of loyalty, he said, thus, discipline should always be given priority…Xi told officials to better supervise state-owned enterprises (SOEs). “State-owned assets and resources belong to all the people [of China],” Xi said.The CPC’s control of such enterprises should be intensified and the supervision of SOE bosses strengthened, he said.
Related: Xi Vows to Wage Enduring Anti-Corruption Campaign in China – Bloomberg Xi vowed to maintain “high pressure” and “zero tolerance” on graft this year, as corruption “has not vanished” and “temptations still remain,” in speech at a plenary session of the Communist Party’s top disciplinary agency in Beijing yesterday. “The anti-graft work in 2014 was effective and the campaign was a matter of life-or-death for the party and the nation,” Xi was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying at the plenum of Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. “The situation remains arduous and complex.”
2. What Does Hong Kong’s Post-Protest Report Signal For Relations with Beijing? | ChinaFile an interesting Chinafile Conversation
Related: History curriculum in schools to be ‘renewed’: Leung-EJ Insight Hong Kong will “renew” the curriculum content of Chinese History and World History “to reinforce students’ interest in and understanding of Chinese history and culture and broaden their global outlook”, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Wednesday. The Education Bureau will also provide subsidy for students to join at least one mainland exchange program in the primary and secondary school stages, Leung said in his annual policy address.
Related: Hong Kong Leader: Don’t Challenge Beijing – China Real Time Report – WSJ In his annual policy address, Mr. Leung focused on constitutional reform and a lack of affordable housing — hot topics during months of student-led protests, which erupted after an Aug. 31 decree from Beijing that Hong Kong should elect its leader from a slate of prescreened candidates.
3. BBC News – China leader Xi Jinping set for UK state visit in 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to the UK later this year, a foreign office minister said. Hugo Swire referred to the visit during an appearance before the Commons foreign affairs committee. The Foreign Office said it was “discussing a possible visit with the Chinese”, and Buckingham Palace said any state visit would be announced “in the normal way”.
Related: British government slammed for refusing to summon Chinese envoy over MPs’ travel ban | South China Morning Post London was strongly censured by a British parliamentary committee for refusing to launch a full-scale diplomatic protest with China’s ambassador after Beijing barred MPs from travelling to Hong Kong last year.
Related: Flood of rich Chinese settle in UK – FT.com A total of 357 British “Tier 1” investor visas were issued to Chinese nationals during the 12 months to the end of September, accounting for 43 per cent of all investor visas issued during that period, according to UK government data. These visas could be obtained in return for a £1m investment in gilts or British companies’ shares or bonds, a limit that has since been raised to £2m. // UK selling itself cheap
4. PLA’s Luo Yuan rails against perception of China’s princelings｜WantChinaTimes
5. Freedom of press: They Have Miao | ZEITmagazin We have held off from publishing this story for a long time: A Chinese woman working as an assistant to DIE ZEIT has been detained for more than 12 weeks. We didn’t want to complicate diplomatic efforts being made to secure her release. But since these have yet to yield any result, we consider it necessary to make public now the fate of our colleague Zhang Miao. Angela Köckritz, our Beijing correspondent, is no longer in China. In this article, she describes her experiences with Chinese authorities.// grim
6. China’s propaganda leaders outline priorities for 2015 | China Copyright and Media On 5 January, the Propaganda Department organised a conference for directors of local propaganda departments nationwide. Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan and Liu Qibao both gave speeches outlining propaganda priorities for 2015. Furthermore, it seems that the Cyberspace Administration of China organised a parallel meeting for propaganda online. There have been only intermittent references to this, which in a number of cases were removed from the Internet rapidly. The following summary of the propaganda speeches was published on Xinhua’s website:
7. Families of China stampede dead demand answers, AsiaOne Asia News Relatives of the 36 people killed in a New Year’s Eve crush in Shanghai – who are now closely supervised by the government – have made a formal written demand for a proper account of the disaster, AFP has learned.
8. Experts Urge Gov’t to Consider Environmental ‘Carrying Capacity’ – Caixin As China faces increasing urgency to address pollution, officials have on various occasions highlighted the importance carrying capacity. In December, a document released after the Central Economic Work Conference, at which top state leaders set the annual economic agenda, included a warning that China “is reaching the upper limit of its environment carrying capacity.” However, no data about China’s environmental carrying capacity has yet been released by officials and the public has no way to find out how much their local environment can take. Early in 2003, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the predecessor of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, asked local authorities to examine their environmental carrying capacity. Guidelines and technical standards were also issued. However, experts say the order accomplished little over the following decade, and no information was released.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China Said to Plan Rollover of at Least Part of Lending Facility – Bloomberg China’s central bank plans to roll over at least part of a three-month lending facility extended October, according to a person familiar with the matter, maintaining eased liquidity conditions as economic growth slows. The 269.5 billion yuan ($43.5 billion) medium-term lending facility was set to expire later this month. The People’s Bank of China’s first step will be to gauge bank demands for funds, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plan hasn’t been made public.
90% drop in Chengtou notes issuance – Business – China Daily In the first half of Jan, only 4 LGFVs issued their bond with a total value of 4.7 billion yuan ($758 million), more than 90 percent lower than the same period in Dec, according to Wind data. Last Dec 56 LGFV bonds, also known in China as “chengtou notes”, were issued with combined value of 72.9 billion yuan. The drop in chengtou note was dramatic. In the first half of 2014, monthly issuance of chengtou note reached 153.5 billion yuan. This sharp decline came as town halls are backing away from blanket no-default guarantees and trying to replace the quasi-government bond with real government bonds directly issued by local governments.
Troubles at China’s Kaisa mark watershed for offshore investors | Reuters The specter of default hanging over China’s Kaisa Group, a property developer in seemingly reasonable financial health just two months ago, is forcing investors to rethink how they account for political risk when buying offshore Chinese corporate debt..”Kaisa’s case asks two big questions to the global investor community: How do you price in political risk when buying offshore debt of these companies and where do foreign investors stand in the hierarchy of creditors?” said a lawyer at a U.S. firm who has worked on cross-border corporate structures, but declined to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity… // the bottom is the likely answer. And no one should be surprised, no matter what the underwriter promises were
China Bulls Cash Out as Stock Rally Overshoots Target – Bloomberg After watching Chinese stocks surge 37 percent in just three months, some of the world’s biggest banks are souring on the booming market. Citigroup Inc. (C) became the latest to cut its outlook on Jan. 12, lowering its rating to neutral from overweight amid concern valuations are turning unattractive. The downgrade follows predictions in the last two weeks from HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Bocom International Holdings Co. and UBS AG that gains in mainland-listed shares will falter. The Shanghai Composite Index closed yesterday at 3,235.30, or 7 percent higher than where analysts tracked by Bloomberg predict the gauge will be in 12 months, the biggest gap among global equity measures.
经济参考网 – 我国将分三类打造20个城市群 专家建议：建立城市群公共财政制度与公共财政储备机制
Taxi strike in China spreads to more cities | Reuters The cabbies’ grievances include the rental fees they must pay taxi companies, which can be as much as 280 yuan ($45) a day in Changchun, according to local media. Another is the emergence of taxi hailing apps such as Uber, and local rivals Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, which give customers the choice to call private cars without taxi licences.
有钱任性 滴滴或将代专车师傅交罚款_财经频道_一财网 DiDi Dache to pay the fines its drivers get ? // 滴滴方面目前已经给专车司机承诺，
New policy throws life raft to China’s car-hailing apps｜WantChinaTimes China’s Ministry of Transport has granted permission for the integration of car rental businesses with online platforms in offering chauffeur services to consumers, reports the Chinese-language National Business Daily. While Uber-style chauffeur services offered by private car owners will still be banned, the announcement has been welcomed by those involved, who will be able to use the app to boost their operational efficiency.
Chinese Ride-Hailing App Kuaidi Raising More Than $500 Million – WSJ Japan’s SoftBank is joining previous investors Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and investment firm Tiger Global Management LLC in the latest round of fundraising by the Hangzhou-based company, these people said.
China to Cut Subsidies for Non-Electric Vehicles, Caixin Reports – Bloomberg China’s Ministry of Finance will reduce subsidies for “traditional” vehicles as part of government efforts to boost development and sales of renewable-energy cars, Caixin reported. The government will also “improve” fuel-subsidy policy for buses this year, Caixin said on its website on Jan. 13, citing Zeng Xiaoan, head of the ministry’s economic development department, who spoke at an electric-car forum.
Tesla Declines as CEO Musk Says Sales Have Dropped in China – Bloomberg Musk, speaking today at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, said sales have declined in China in recent months because of concerns over charging its electric vehicles. Tesla started delivering Model S sedans in China in April 2014 and Musk has said he expects to start building cars in the nation within three to four years. “China is a small percentage of our sales right now,” Musk said in an interview Jan. 12, describing the market as “a wild card that seems to change for reasons we don’t understand.”
Alibaba Will Help Curb Export of Recalled Items – NYTimes.com The agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said it would provide Alibaba lists of recalled items, and in turn, Alibaba said it would ensure that those products were not for sale to companies or individuals in America. Alibaba has a small business facilitating the sale of goods to American consumers.
各地争相对接“一带一路” 西部陆路工程有望率先启动_财经频道_一财网 province
Yuan Comeback Seen by Top Forecasters on Spending – Bloomberg Swissquote Bank SA and Nomura Holdings Inc., which placed second and third in the latest rankings compiled by Bloomberg, predict gains of 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, this year. Top-ranked Credit Suisse Group AG sees a 0.7 percent decline. The yuan declined 2.4 percent in 2014 in its first loss in five years.
China housing inventories seen piling up in 2015 as supply grows | Reuters Executives at nine of the 12 listed developers contacted by Reuters said they will increase new launches at levels ranging from single digits to more than 20 percent, while the remaining three said they had not yet confirmed their plans for 2015…Listed developers have generally moved out of third- and fourth-tier cities, where supply accounts for up to 70 percent of the whole country.
国际金融危机孕育着社会主义的复兴_求是网 Li Shenming in latest Red Flag Journal on how 2008 financial crisis led to the rejuvenation of Socialism // 世界左翼和马克思主义思潮复兴植根于全世界内财富占有与收入分配
POLITICS AND LAW
Xi Jinping paves the way for leadership reshuffle | South China Morning Post The first change of personnel involving a Politburo member since the 18th party congress suggests that President Xi Jinping has kick-started his preparation for the semi-leadership transition at the 19th party congress when a large number of top officials are expected to retire. Analysts said the recent secondment of Politburo member Sun Chunlan from the post of Tianjin party secretary to be the head of the party’s United Front Work Department was the first such step since November 2012, and paved the way for a major reshuffle of personnel in 2017.
China sacks senior lawmaker after corruption probe | Reuters Bai Enpei, formerly the party boss of the southwestern province of Yunnan, was fired from his position at China’s parliament after investigators found he accepted bribes in “huge amounts”. Bai also served as governor and party chief of the western province of Qinghai, according to his official biography. Bai has been under investigation since August, the anti-corruption commission said in a statement.
日媒：中纪委扩大反腐范围 文艺圈人士或被调查_新闻_腾讯网 arts/cultural sector to get some more ccdi love as corruption crackdown deepens? so says the Asahi Shimbun // 据日本《朝日新闻》1月13日报道，
Chinese provincial deputy police chief, who led leaders’ security, investigated for corruption | South China Morning Post Major General Cai Guangliao, of the People’s Armed Police, was taken away by investigators of the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Central Military Commission at the end of October on suspicion of discipline violations, the financial news service Caixin reported.
China detains 10 Turks who may have helped terror suspects: Global Times | Reuters The Chinese foreign ministry and the Turkish embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to requests for information about the case. The paper said terrorism-related audio and video materials were found among the suspects and that some had been bound for Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In October, Malaysian authorities detained 155 Uighurs in Kuala Lumpur who were carrying Turkish passports suspected to be fake.//10名土耳其人组织新疆涉恐人员偷渡出境被查_
军报刊文披露遵义会议的一些历史细节 – 中国军网 翻开2015年1月的日历，我们的眼光定格在15、
This Date in History: The Zunyi Conference of 1935 and the rise of Mao | Jottings from the Granite Studio 80th anniversary this week, wonder how Xi will commemorate it, propaganda organs stating to play it up // //How did Mao come to power? Out of the rough and tumble scrum of early CCP politics, how did a rich peasant’s son from Hunan emerge as “The Chairman,” the bright red sun of a nation’s heart? It’s a tough question. Traditional PRC historiography usually describes Mao’s final ascension to power as the outcome of the Zunyi Conference, which began this date in 1935. My handy desktop copy of 历史的今天 (This Date in History) reports that a conference held in Zunyi, Guizhou during the Long March, “ended the Leftism of Wang Ming, and established Comrade Mao Zedong as head of the military. Thus at this critical juncture, both the army and the party were saved.” However, the events at Zunyi and the means by which Mao eventually attained and consolidated his control over the CCP, are still disputed among historians. .
政坛第四势力崛起 少数民族官员规模膨胀_中国-多维新闻网 Duowei on the growing nunbers of minority officials // 习近平等新领导团队执政两年之后，
复旦博士父亲遭强拆致死 政府要求法院减轻量刑_新闻_腾讯网 新京报讯 （记者范春旭）备受关注的太原“复旦博士生之父遭强拆致死”
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China’s Drone Program Keeps Stealthily Inching Forward | Foreign Policy The latest version of the Tian Yi may alone not attract much attention. But its inclusion in the steady, incremental development of drone technology has American military officials worried that China will one day surpass the United States in an industry it pioneered and currently dominates. // I think a more immediate development may be how the US and other countries will react if (when?) China starts using armed drones in Xinjiang and around Xinjiang’s borders. Given that the US has already droned more than one US citizen (granted not in US territory) and droned many more in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere, any criticism from the US should be easily deflected by China. Drones can be very useful, but they are clearly a Pandora’s Box the US has opened and that China intends to use to its maximum interest, as we should expect them to.
腐败是军队战斗力的“第一杀手” – 中国军网 “廉者，从政之本”，也是立军之本。
军民融合步伐加速 15只航天军工龙头股再迎新机遇-手机和讯网 近年来，
North Koreans Cross Frozen River to Murder Chinese for Food – Bloomberg In the December incident, a North Korean soldier shot four residents of Nanping, a border village of about 300 in northeastern Jilin province. Around 20 villagers have been murdered in Nanping by North Koreans in recent years, a senior local official said in an interview. Some residents are leaving the village, located within sight of an unnamed North Korean army base, said the official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject matter.
Security concerns put PLA on neighborhood watch-China Daily China’s rapid urbanization has resulted in problems at bases and disrupted operations across the country, as the armed forces and civilians increasingly find themselves living cheek by jowl
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
China Opens Southeast-Coast Air Routes in Snub of Taiwan – Bloomberg China announced new commercial flight routes along its southeastern coast today, as Taiwan warned the move created safety risks and threatened to “evict” any planes that strayed into its airspace. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office called on Taiwan to show “more understanding and less suspicion” toward the opening of four flight routes along China’s southeastern coast that aim to ease congestion on routes between Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta, spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said today in Beijing.
TECH AND MEDIA
China to allow wholly foreign-owned ecommerce companies in Shanghai Free Trade Zone Until now, Chinese regulations have restricted foreign access to many technology-related industries, requiring foreign tech companies to form joint ventures with local partners to release their products in China.
Lenovo Considering Public Offering for New Smart-Device Unit – Bloomberg The unit, which will be called Shenqi, could be worth “a couple of billion dollars” after it begins selling smartphones and Internet-connected household devices online under its own brand in April, Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing said today in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Beijing. Yang declined to give a timeframe for any fundraising moves or name specific investors. // can it pressure Xiaomi?
A swarm of incredibly cheap camera drones is buzzing your way – Quartz The annual Hong Kong Toy and Games Fair bills itself as Asia’s “biggest toys event” and provides a chance for manufacturers, particularly those from mainland China, to showcase their very newest designs, take orders from the world’s largest toy companies, and then line up their manufacturing schedule for the year. What’s hot at Hong Kong toy fair is often an indicator of what toys will be best-sellers in the year ahead, and particularly at the all important Christmas season.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
New York Review Books New York Review Books is pleased to announce the debut of Calligrams, a new series of writings from and on China. Calligrams will encompass a wide array of poetic masterpieces, classic fiction, thrilling dramas, travel writing, criticism, and histories written by both Chinese and Western writers from antiquity to modern time. The series, made possible by a publishing partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, is edited by Eliot Weinberger.
China linguist’s 109th birthday wish: democracy – Yahoo News Born when a Qing dynasty emperor was on the throne, the man who helped invent the Pinyin system used for writing Chinese worldwide turned 109 on Tuesday. But Zhou Youguang’s outspoken support for democracy means his works are still censored by the ruling Communist party. “After 30 years of economic reform, China still needs to take the path of democracy,” Zhou told AFP in an interview, his wrinkled face topped with a patch of white hair. “It’s the only path. I have always believed that.”
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China’s $97 billion water pledge stirs expansion ambitions at foreign firms | Reuters Foreign companies such as Suez and Veolia Environnement VE SA were attracted to China in the late 1990s and early 2000s by government measures guaranteeing certain amounts of revenue. The measures were withdrawn prompting companies to pull out, leaving Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd and China Everbright Water, among others, to fill the void.
长江中下游再现枯水景观 鄱阳湖经历极枯水期_中国_界面新闻 长江中下游尤其是鄱阳湖再
抗癌药“代购第一人”陆勇北京被捕_政经频道_财新网 man helping cancer patients group buy medicines from India arrested in Beijing // 海外代购药品首例涉刑事罪诉讼当事人陆勇在北京被捕，
经济参考网 – 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 Economic Information says reform plan for electrivity sector imminent // 《经济参考报》记者了解到，《
Statin therapy has disappointing results in Chinese patients The findings, published in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that despite taking long term statin therapy in medium to high doses, about 75% of patients had an above-target LDL-cholesterol level. In a similar manner elevated levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides as well as low HDL-cholesterol persisted in 34–43% of patients despite statin therapy, according to Professor Wei Yidong and colleagues at the Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital and Tongji University School of Medicine. // and there is a growing Gout epidemic
Temple Restaurant Beijing is open — and promoting China wine — as usual. | Beijing Boyce Much chatter these days about Temple Restaurant Beijing and whether or not it is open, given Chinese media reports that unregistered private clubs operating within temple grounds in Beijing are being or will be shut down. First, TRB is open. Second, TRB is not private, but public, and anyone can dine there. Third, to the best of my knowledge, TRB is fully registered.
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