The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.19.17–Might Tensions With the US Benefit Xi Politically?

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

Is it possible that increased tension with the US over the next few months might have political benefits for Xi Jinping as he heads into the 19th Party Congress?

Any significant moves by the US to push back on trade, South China Sea, East China Sea or Taiwan could feed the “foreigners, especially the Americans, are trying to contain China and keep us down” narrative and be used to underscore the need for deepening PLA reform and modernization and for the importance of a strong, unified leadership in the face of an “enemy”.

The PRC policies about which the US is so upset—mercantilism, rapid PLA modernization and growth, maritime territorial assertiveness, Taiwan to name a few—are Chinese Communist Party policies whose formulation and in some cases implementation predated Xi’s ascension to General Secretary. It seems possible that any substantive US challenges may very well be seen as an attack against the Party and the PRC, not Xi Jinping solely, and therefore the CCP response may be to coalesce around Xi and strengthen him rather than to go against Xi and weaken the Party and the state.

Today’s Links:


1. Inside Trump’s shadow national security council – The Washington Post Steve Bannon has been working on the long-term strategic vision that will shape the Trump administration’s overall foreign policy approach. He has a keen interest in Asia, is committed to working on the buildup of the military and is also interested in connecting the Trump apparatus to leaders of populist movements around the world, especially in Europe.

Related: The Decline and Fall of an Ultra Rich Online Gaming Empire | WIRED 2008 Comment: No doubt Steve Bannon wants people to forget his sketchy gaming virtual goods business that had a big China operation, back when Shanghai was especially hedonistic. If the MSS did not pay attention to him then I bet they wish they had.  //In the months ahead, IGE hired more adults, a slew of VPs with decades of industry experience among them. The company also brought on a former Goldman Sachs investment banker named Stephen Bannon, whose mission was to land venture capital…Goldman Sachs started making visits, inspecting the Asian operations and talking with Bannon and others about terms. Finally, on February 7, 2006, the deal was inked: Goldman Sachs, together with a consortium of private funds, made a reported $60 million investment in the company.

Related: Trump’s National Security Team Is Missing in Action | Foreign Policy Trump’s choice for national security advisor, Michael Flynn, has handpicked some former associates for White House and other administration positions who share his background in military intelligence and special operations forces but who are not versed in the essence of the job: formulating policy inside the White House out of a host of competing government agencies and agendas.  // Comment: Hope this means that it is official that Matt Pottinger is the Sr. Asia Director on the NSC

2. Xi says China stays committed to upholding world peace – Xinhua For several millennia, peace has been in the blood of us Chinese and a part of our DNA,” said Xi. “Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you,” he quoted from Confucius, a great ancient Chinese sage.

Related: Chinese president eyes shared, win-win development for mankind’s future – Xinhua While expounding his vision of mankind’s future in a keynote speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the leader of the world’s second largest economy championed a world of lasting peace, common security for all and common prosperity, as well as an open, inclusive world, and a clean, beautiful world. 习近平出席“共商共筑人类命运共同体”高级别会议并发表主旨演讲 

Related: 王毅谈习近平主席访问瑞士:乱云飞渡仍从容_新浪新闻 Comment: Wang Yi discusses/fawns about Xi’s visit to Switzerland and Davos. There is something deeply ironic between the fawning propaganda and news coverage and this headline quoting from a Mao Zedong poem, in this case 七绝《为李进同志题所摄庐山仙人洞照》The Fairy Cave: Inscription on a photo taken by Comrade Li Chin. Here is the Xinhua English version of Wang’s comments–Xi’s Switzerland tour shows Chinese wisdom, confidence in face of sluggish global economy, anti-globalization sentiment 

Related: Xi Jinping’s guide to the Chinese way of globalisation – Ft $$ – Eric X. Li Mr Xi brings Davos a message of pluralism, as opposed to the universalism most of his audience has preached. He is no Davos Man. But perhaps this is just what globalisation needs. Before it can be restarted, it needs a reset. // Comment: Is Mr. Li still a US citizen or did he give it up? And did he write this from Shanghai or California?

3. Top graft-buster stresses CPC leadership in fighting corruption – Xinhua Wang made the remarks while delivering a work report at the seventh plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on Jan. 6. The report was made public on Thursday…Earlier this month, the CCDI announced that China will establish a national supervisory commission, and draft a law on national supervision. According to Wang, provincial-level supervisory commissions will be set up by the end of March, and municipal- and county- level commissions will be established before June. // Comment: The Work Report 王岐山在十八届中央纪委七次全会上的工作报告 and a helpful infographic of the report prepared by the CCDI 一图读懂中央纪委七次全会工作报告 

Related: China’s top graft buster says officials should be made to sweat – Channel NewsAsia “Let blushing red and sweating become a normal state,” Wang said, according to a full transcript of the report that had not previously been published.

4. Statement By SASC Chairman John McCain On Chinese Bullying Of South Korea – United States Senator John McCain “Earlier this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a hollow lecture on the importance of free trade. The communist leader even invoked Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, an allusion that can only be explained by either a supreme lack of self-awareness or willful hypocrisy…“Actions speak louder than words. If China believes in free trade and has genuine concerns about the deployment of THAAD in South Korea, it should cease its attempts to undermine South Korea’s sovereign ability to defend itself and use its considerable influence to pressure North Korea to stop its destabilizing behavior.”

Related: China’s Attack on Korean Defenses – WSJ Is Seoul getting cold feet over missile defense? The South Korean government said this week that its deployment of the advanced U.S.-made Thaad system could be delayed, as the private firm that agreed to provide land hasn’t signed a contract. Failing to follow through would leave the Pacific more vulnerable to North Korean attack and reward China for its economic pressure campaign against the South.

5. China mulls force to check political loyalty of police, judiciary | South China Morning Post China’s Communist Party is considering setting up a force of inspectors to check and ensure the political loyalty of the police, judges and prosecutors. The proposal comes months ahead of a major transition of power in the government at a party congress due to be held this autumn.

Related: 政法队伍将从严而治 强化履职能力和业绩导向政经频道财新网 中共中央出台文件加强政法队伍建设,称将完善权力约束监督机制,分类制定政法干警权力清单、责任清单,建立健全与司法权运行新机制相适应的监督制约体系

6. Tianjin Probes Counterfeit Ring That Produced Toxic Soy Sauce – Caixin Authorities in the northern port city of Tianjin are investigating a network of 50 underground factories that have produced counterfeit sauces and food seasonings labeled as well-known brands, including Nestle and Knorr, for over a decade. The illegal operations were run in facilities disguised as rural homes in the town of Duliu. They were using ingredients unfit for human consumption, such as industrial salt and recycled spices, to make widely used seasonings, including soy sauce, The Beijing News reported earlier this week

7. What’s Behind China’s Mass Fabrication of Official Figures? – Caixin China has developed a mechanism to safeguard its data. “One million large-scale companies have access to an online platform, and their fiscal data can be sent directly to the central government. In addition, National Statistics Bureau (NBS) have 20,000 officers specialized in confirming the data,” NBS Director Wang Baoan said last year. But local governments still have tricks up their sleeves to find ways to bypass this mechanism. One win-win practice between local government and companies is a “tax return policy.” The authorities first encourage companies to make out fake invoices, then tax this part of the nonexistent income before finally returning the money back to the firm in other forms like allowances and subsidies, which is called “returned tax.” In this way, the government gets a higher revenue figure while companies make a profit.

8. Follow the Money » China’s WTO Entry, 15 Years On – Brad Setser The initial China shock overlaps with the dollar shock. WTO accession made producing in China for the global market attractive, but did not made China into a great market for manufacturers looking to sell globally produced goods to China. Successful WTO challenges to individual Chinese practices haven’t changed the overall pattern—China’s imports of manufactures for its own use have slid steadily relative to China’s GDP after WTO accession. The more-limited-than-expected gains for manufacturers looking to sell to China though didn’t lead (until now, when the China shock is arguably starting to fade) to a serious reconsideration of the basic gains from China’s asymmetric integration, in part because U.S. and European firms captured many of the initial gains of China’s export success. And some “within the rules” remedies weren’t used as aggressively as they could have been to challenge China’s currency management and other discriminatory practices during the years immediately after China joined the WTO


China to Issue Negative List for State Firms’ Outbound Investment – Caixin The list will also clarify which projects that SOEs plan to put money into will need approval from the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). The firms can “make their own decisions” on deals that are not included in the list, according to new rules posted on the regulator’s website Wednesday. Meanwhile, SOEs should design a “stricter and more specific” negative catalog of their own based on the official one, according to the rules, which replaced temporary directives published in 2012.

China’s holdings of US Treasurys are plunging at a historic pace – Business Insider China’s holdings of US Treasury securities plunged by a stunning $66.4 billion in November 2016, after having already plunged $41 billion in October, the US Treasury Department reported today in its Treasury International Capital data release. After shedding Treasuries for months, China’s holdings, now the second largest behind Japan, are down to $1.049 trillion

China’s 2016 fixed-asset investment in transportation tops 2.8 trln yuan – Xinhua Of the investment, 801.5 billion yuan was in railways, 1.78 trillion yuan in highways, 77 billion yuan went to civil aviation and 189.4 billion yuan to waterways and other infrastructure construction, according to the MOT.

China’s Oceanwide, IDG Capital to Buy U.S. Tech Publisher – Caixin A conglomerate led by real estate developer China Oceanwide Holdings and China-based investment firm IDG Capital agreed to acquire controlling interests in Boston-based International Data Group Inc., the companies said Thursday. When the deal closes, privately owned Oceanwide will hold a controlling stake in International Data’s tech research businesses, International Data Corp. and media subsidiary IDG Communications, while IDG Capital will take a minority stake

The real problem with China’s corporate debt load – Business Insider The consensus view may be wrong, however, according to Macquarie’s most recent global macro outlook report authored by Peter Eadon-Clarke’s team. “It’s popular to argue that China will run into a debt crisis in either local government debt or corporate debt,” the team noted. “By contrast, our long- held view is that China’s debt problem is very different from many other countries.”

The Paradox at the Heart of China’s Property Regime | Foreign Policy 68 years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China and 38 years into the era of post-Mao economic reform, the Chinese government is still unable to state clearly what kind of residential real estate ownership system it wants to have. The system remains shrouded in uncertainty, and buyers cannot know for certain what they are getting. It’s likely that when the time comes, the government will blink – if there are any arch-conservative defenders of old-school socialism left, they will almost certainly be LUR holders themselves. But it has not blinked yet; for the time being, uncertainty still reigns.

Pistons, PX, petroleum, politics: checking in with Chairman Ye Jianming | southseaconversations 讨论南海 Since this blog last checked in with Ye Jianming in 2013, the youthful Chairman and his $40 billion CEFC (Huaxin) oil trading, storage and finance conglomerate have gone from strength to strength. It now ranks as the world’s 229th largest company by revenue. CEFC originally attracted my attention due to Dai Xu‘s South China Sea warmongering under a “CEFC Strategic Analyst” title between 2011 and 2013. The company hasn’t been associating itself with that kind of militarism of late (at least not publicly), but its mystique has only intensified as various new information has come to light.

For Trump and China, Tough Talk Hides Big Vulnerabilities – WSJ Economists estimate Mr. Trump’s 45% tariff would cut Chinese growth by around 1 to 3 percentage points. The latter case would mean spiking unemployment at the worst possible time politically, forcing another round of inefficient stimulus the nation can ill afford. On the U.S. side, the low percentage of total U.S. exports sent to China—around 8%, compared with 20% each to Canada and the European Union—obscures very real pain points. Boeing gets 13% of its revenue from China, and Apple makes one-fifth of its sales there. Another likely pressure point is soybeans, a big earner for Mr. Trump’s rural constituency.

Yuan Devaluation Can’t Solve China’s Problems – WSJ – Pettis China’s foreign-currency reserves shrank by $350 billion in 2016 and are now one quarter below their June 2014 peak of $3.99 trillion. The unexpected speed of this decline has prompted a rising chorus from economists both inside and outside of China calling for a 15% to 25% depreciation of the yuan over the next year or two to boost the economy and prevent further reserve depletion. But a cheaper yuan is unlikely to accomplish either objective.

深圳出台细则:新房备案价不得明显高于周边房价-新华网 Comment: Shenzhen out with more housing purchase restrictions

Xinhua sets up flagship financial media group – Xinhua China Fortune Media Group brings together Xinhua’s flagship financial newspapers — China Securities Journal, Shanghai Securities Journal and Economic Information Daily — with Xinhua Publishing House to improve quality and influence of its economic and financial news and information service.

刚刚,爆炸性消息终于落地!中央公布了重大政策 17号晚间,国务院正式公布了各地期待已久的《国务院关于扩大对外开放积极利用外资若干措施的通知》(国发〔2017〕5号)全文。尤为值得强调的是,国发5号文正式明确提出:允许地方政府在法定权限范围内制定出台招商引资优惠政策,支持对就业、经济发展、技术创新贡献大的项目,降低企业投资和运营成本,依法保护投资企业及其投资者权益,营造良好的投资环境。这是中央政府62号文两年多来首次正式明确提出授权地方政府自行制定招商引资优惠政策,势必会在全国各地引发强烈反响。


Former CNPC general manager sentenced to 15 years for graft – Xinhua Liao Yongyuan, former general manager of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Thursday for accepting bribes and holding a huge sum of property with unidentified sources

山西省监察委员会正式成立—中央纪委监察部网站 山西省监察委员会正式成立 第一次干部大会在太原召开 刘金国莅会指导并讲话 骆惠宁出席会议并讲话

Wife of Detained Chinese Rights Lawyer Seeks Angela Merkel’s Help – The New York Times on Tuesday, Ms. Jin, who had already appealed to United States officials for help, turned to someone else she hoped could raise her husband’s case with the Chinese authorities: the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, whom Mr. Jiang [Tianyong] met at the German Embassy in Beijing. Ms. Jin has a photograph of the meeting, which she says probably took place in either 2014 or 2015

张国清当选为重庆市市长-新华网 Comment: Zhang Guoqing is the new Chongqing mayor

提高统筹理论与舆论的本领(人民要论) (作者为新华日报社总编辑)


Admiral named to head PLA’s new Southern Theatre Command | South China Morning Post Vice Admiral Shen Jinglong, former commander of the People’s Liberation Army South Sea Fleet, was promoted to be the next navy commander, according to senior colonel Xie Zhanqiu…Vice Admiral Yuan Yubai, the former commander of the North Sea Fleet, became the commanding officer of the Southern Theatre Command, which is responsible for the South China Sea. The appointments of Shen and Yuan took effect this week.

四川省军区政委刘家国升任陆军政治工作部主任政经频道财新网 原任四川省委常委、省军区政委;其前任、“60后”副大军区级将领张书国中将的任职去向尚待公布

Defending Against a Chinese Navy of 500 Ships – WSJ We recently completed an analysis of Chinese naval shipbuilding sponsored by the Naval War College and published last month through the Naval Institute Press. It predicts that the Chinese navy will have more than 430 major surface combatants and almost 100 submarines by 2030. That means the Chinese fleet in its areas of operation will dramatically outclass the U.S. Navy in size and capability within 15 years.–Messrs. Fanell and Cheney-Peters served in the U.S. Navy and are authors of “The ‘China Dream’ and China’s Naval Shipbuilding: The Case for Continued High-End Expansive Trajectory” in “China’s Naval Shipbuilding” (Naval Institute Press, 2016).

Three Contradictions in Trump’s China Policy (Thus Far) – Fairbank Center – Medium Professor Alastair Iain Johnston explains three paradoxes at the center of the new Trump administration’s approach to China and Taiwan

Is Xi Jinping the new champion of globalization? Far from it. – The Washington Post That’s not to speak of the side of globalization conspicuously omitted by Mr. Xi, who carefully used the modifier “economic.” Since he took power in 2012, flows of information inside China as well as across its borders have been radically curtailed. Independent civil society has been virtually shut down, and critical journalists and academics silenced; even lawyers who defend them have been persecuted and imprisoned. While China barrages U.S. satellite viewers and newspaper readers with state-produced propaganda, the New York Times is banned in China, Google is censored, and critical journalists and academics are not allowed into the country.

How to Deal With Trump — Reassurance From a Chinese Think Tank – WSJ While Mr. Trump has threatened stiff tariffs and talked tough on Taiwan, a report released Thursday from the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization says that harsh rhetoric about China is de rigueur for U.S. presidential candidates. Once Mr. Trump takes office, the report argues, there are many aspects underpinning the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies that should help keep it on an even keel.  //Comment: Perhaps, but perhaps this time that is wishful thinking

Vietnam police halt anti-China protest over islands | Reuters The protest in Hanoi started after a peaceful commemoration for soldiers of what was then South Vietnam who were killed in 1974, when China seized the Paracel islands, which it still holds. Police dragged about 20 protesters on to a bus after they ignored a warning to disperse and began marching with banners and chanting “Demolish China’s Invasion” and other slogans.

Do We Want to Live in China’s World? | ChinaFile – Robert Daily Only by engaging can the United States continue to benefit from the talent and energy of the one-fifth of humanity that resides in China, and only through engagement, coordinated with military, economic, and diplomatic strength, can the United States continue to catalyze change in a China that can still be influenced by American policy and American examples. He may not adopt the terms engagement and rebalance, but President-elect Trump is fortunate that these policies provide a rough roadmap for managing U.S.-China relations, even in an era of heightened competition. The aim of Trumpian Rebalance and Engagement should be to convince Beijing that, while a risen China is welcome as a leading provider of public goods and contributor to global norms, the United States and its allies are determined to prevent an illiberal China from dominating Asia.

China should welcome a strong and prosperous America – in words as well as deeds | South China Morning Post Zha Daojiong says Beijing has more to lose if real conflict breaks out between the two powers as a result of the fighting talk by Trump and his team, so why not directly address US worries?

US, Indian navies sharing information on Chinese subs, says Pacific Command chief | The Indian Express Although Pakistan does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Pacific Command, Admiral Harris said, “The relationship between China and Pakistan is of concern.”

U.S., China can “make magic” on N.Korean issue: UN ambassador nominee | NK News Nikki Haley, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Wednesday the United States could “make magic” in enforcing sanctions against North Korea, but only if China provided assistance. Speaking at a confirmation hearing at the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Haley said Washington “has to work closely” with Beijing, describing China and Russia as “tough partners”.

China grows its international technology network | IHS Jane’s 360 The collaboration effort is regarded by Beijing as a key element of its civil-military integration (CMI) strategy that, in part, seeks to leverage advanced commercial technologies for military programmes.

Japan hotelier’s Nanjing massacre denial angers China – BBC News A book by Toshio Motoya, who owns APA Hotels, was found this week to be widely distributed in his outlets. It has prompted a rebuke from the Chinese government as well as a boycott by Chinese hotel booking websites.


In the company of Hong Kong’s business elites, outgoing and incoming leaders, Beijing’s top man in the city calls for unity | South China Morning Post Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government’s liaison office, yesterday also stressed the importance for Hong Kong to recognise the “one country, two systems” policy as the “unshakeable foundation” of the city’s stability. He praised Hongkongers for showing solidarity against two pro-independence lawmakers who were disqualified by the High Court over their anti-China antics during oath-taking in the Legislative Council last autumn.

John Tsang formally declares bid to lead Hong Kong and vows to ‘restore hope in time of great uncertainty’ | South China Morning Post Former finance chief launches leadership bid with message of hope and unity but is coy on Beijing’s intentions and the issue of restarting political reform

Hong Kong gov’t bans two political groups from selling merchandise at New Year fair citing safety concerns | Hong Kong Free Press Youngspiration and the Hong Kong National Party received a letter from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, saying that it had terminated their license agreements for operating stalls at the fair in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.

Taiwan tells Beijing to grow up over Donald Trump inauguration row | Hong Kong Free Press Former premier Yu Shyi-kun, who is leading Taiwan’s delegation hit back. “Don’t be so small,” Yu, who belongs to the ruling Beijing-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party, was quoted as saying by Taiwan’s state Central News Agency.

Taiwan Fears Becoming a Pawn in Donald Trump’s Game – WSJ Taiwanese media commentaries, academics and politicians in both the ruling and opposition parties expressed fears that the new U.S. president will discard the island’s interests in return for concessions from Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s camp has sought out people around Mr. Trump to clarify his position, a person familiar with the effort said. The Foreign Ministry and Ms. Tsai’s spokesman declined to comment.


How Baidu Is Leading China’s Self-Driving Car Push — The Information $$ hinese web search giant Baidu was a pioneer in developing fully self-driving cars, just as Google was in the U.S. And Baidu’s top self-driving car executive, Jing Wang, has firm views about the technology—including that Google is at a disadvantage.

Pander or Diversify? Hollywood Courts China With ‘The Great Wall’ – The New York Times “The Great Wall” was in many ways meant to be a solution to the pandering problem. With a Chinese director; a mostly Chinese cast, story line and locations; and abundant references to the country’s culture, it is perhaps the most Chinese film to be made with significant Hollywood studio backing. Instead of mollifying Chinese audiences with quick cameos, the film is dominated by Chinese actors — thousands of them, if you include the armies.

How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument | Gary King In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime’s strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We infer that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to regularly distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime.

China’s Tsinghua Unigroup to Build $30 Billion Memory-Chip Factory in Nanjing – WSJ China’s flagship state-owned chip maker Tsinghua Unigroup said it plans to build a $30 billion memory-chip factory in Nanjing, its latest investment as China moves to diminish its dependence on U.S. chip manufacturers.

Trump team backs call for crackdown on China over semiconductors The incoming administration has already promised to take a tough line on China. During the election campaign Mr Trump threatened to impose 45 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports and accused Beijing of manipulating its currency. But the semiconductors issue highlights one area where the Obama administration is handing it a clear plan of action.

SF threatens legal action against bikeshare company rumored to launch on city streets – The San Francisco Examiner A China-based bikeshare company has lawmakers scrambling to stop it from dumping tens of thousands of bicycles for rent on San Francisco’s streets without proper planning or permits. Now city agencies have threatened legal action against bikeshare company Bluegogo should it expand into San Francisco, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

China aims to build world’s first exascale supercomputer prototype by end of 2017 – The Verge As of last June, China has more supercomputers in the world’s top 500 than the US — 167 compared to 165. (The US has more machines in the top 10 though; five to China’s two.) These systems are used for a number of tasks, ranging from life sciences to national defense. In 2015, the US actually blocked the export of Intel chips to China for its then-fastest supercomputer, fearing that the machine would be used for nuclear research. China instead built an even faster system (the Sunway TaihuLight) using its own processors instead.

China’s TV Players Look to Boost Profile in Global Marketplace | Variety China’s TV production community was on display at NATPE this week as the conference hosted its first-ever China Pavilion. The fact that so much Chinese investment coin is flowing into Hollywood has also heightened interest in building stronger business ties among Chinese and Western production players.

苹果官方应用商店现博彩信息,疑与软件推广“刷榜”有关 近日,苹果官方应用商店“App Store”,正在遭遇一场博彩信息“围城”。 在打开App Store后,搜索框下的“热门搜索”一栏,出现大量博彩类软件推广信息。此外,部分关键词的联想功能,也直接指向博彩类软件。

腾讯副总裁江阳:做好政府与民众的连接器_腾讯网触屏版 Comment: Is Jiang Zemin’s niece a Tencent executive?


Alibaba Strikes 12-Year Partnership Providing Services to Olympics – Caixin Under the agreement running through 2028, Alibaba joins 12 other multinationals such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s as global Olympic sponsors, according to a joint announcement made on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. No financial details were provided. Alibaba will also become a founding partner of the Olympic Channel, an Internet television service operated by the IOC.

Spotlight: Xi steps up sport diplomacy with historic visit to IOC – Xinhua Xi paid a visit on Wednesday to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the Swiss city of Lausanne and toured the Olympic Museum. It was the first official trip to the IOC by a Chinese head of state. “It was really a historic visit, and also a very successful visit,” IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters. “The presence of President Xi Jinping showed the excellent cooperation between China and the IOC.”

Chinese Netizens Mock Reporter for Quoting Speech-Impaired Man | Sixth Tone An article highlighting a government community care campaign that ran in a local newspaper in southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Jan. 10 described the gratitude expressed by Zhao Quangui, 62, upon receiving a donated blanket. “The new quilt is so warm and nice,” the Neijiang Evening News cited the man as saying. “It’s surely going to be very comfortable to sleep under at night!” In the next paragraph, the article gave more details about Zhao: He’s single, lives a difficult life, and has a speech disorder that renders him unable to talk. // Comment: Saw it in several of my Wechat groups, posted it to Twitter here

China pushing forward with credit rating system for 16 occupations – China Daily Public servants, real estate agents, tour guides, lawyers, teachers and pharmacists will be among those covered by the mechanism, which will serve as a sort of credit rating for trustworthiness, according to Lian Weiliang, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner.


China Predicts Oil-Import Slowdown, But Analysts Skeptical – WSJ In a five-year outlook for the country’s oil-and-gas industry, China’s economic planning agency said net imports of oil would average 7.8 million barrels a day by 2020—rising 17% from 6.7 million barrels a day in 2015. On its face, the figure from the National Development and Reform Commission looks like an impressive clip. But it would be far slower than China’s current pace of import growth—too slow, some analysts say, given the country’s stumbling oil production.


Beijing study abroad program suspended indefinitely | Stanford Daily “I don’t think it was any one factor that caused low interest,” he said. “I think it was a cluster of factors. One issue is that there aren’t many students studying China or East Asia as part of their major. They may be interested in it for the cultural magnificence that it is, but there has to be some other reason for them to go to draw them there, such as being part of their major or minor requirements, and clearly that isn’t happening in Beijing.”

Peking University Loses Plagiarism Lawsuit | Sixth Tone Yu Yanru, a former doctoral student in history who had her dissertation annulled by Peking University (PKU) in January 2015, successfully argued that the school’s appraisal procedure for determining whether her work had been falsified was unfair and unlawful.

研究生参加导师饭局酒后猝死:5桌师生干掉13瓶白酒_腾讯网触屏版 在1月15日晚参加完导师组织的聚餐后,26岁的江苏大学电气学院硕士研究生史国平倒在宿舍里,当晚他被送医,抢救无效后死亡。而在一个多月前,他刚被确定保送该校的博士生。 记者获得的聚餐菜单显示,5桌师生消费5630元,含13瓶42度的海之蓝,还有5瓶一品苏黄养生态。而参加聚餐的师生近50人,包括史的导师在内,共有4名老师在场。

China to improve education during 13th Five-Year Plan period China will promote education during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), according to a circular issued by the State Council on Jan 19. 国务院关于印发国家教育事业发展 “十三五”规划的通知 国发〔2017〕4号


Ten-year-old, College Student Die in Separate Ski Accidents Near Beijing | beijingkids online | Beijing | January 19th, 2017 | safety sometimes takes a back seat to unbridled enthusiasm among skiers and profit among resorts, resulting in occasional overcrowding on the slopes. // 北大一女生河北崇礼滑雪时身亡 

Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters

Send comments/tips/complaints to

If you like Sinocism please spread the word here.

And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to send along some money, securely with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.