The Sinocism China Newsletter 05.27.14

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

Today’s Links:


Full Text: The United States’ Global Surveillance Record – Xinhua  A Chinese Internet information body on Monday issued a report on the U.S. intelligence agencies’ “unscrupulous” surveillance over the rest of the world. Following is the full text://Snowden, the gift that keeps giving to China. There may yet be a phoenix and a palace waiting for him, even if he were never intentionally helping China. The original Chinese 《美国全球监听行动纪录》全文_新闻_腾讯网 

Related: China Pulls Cisco Into Dispute on Cyberspying – Huawei’d, Chinese style//Cisco “carries on intimately with the U.S. government and military, exploiting its market advantage in the Chinese information networks, playing a disgraceful role and becoming an important weapon in the U.S. exploiting its power over the Internet,” said the article, which was published on the website of China Youth Daily, a state-run newspaper. The article was widely reposted on Chinese news sites Tuesday.

Related: China Said to Push Banks to Remove IBM Servers for Security – Bloomberg Government agencies, including the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance, are reviewing whether Chinese commercial banks’ reliance on IBM servers compromises the country’s financial security, said the four people, who asked not to be identified because the review hasn’t been made public.

President Xi stresses coordinated functions of market, gov’t – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for coordinated functioning of the market and government in resource allocation to promote sustainable economic and social development. Calling the relationship between the government and market the core issue in economic reforms during a collective study on Monday, Xi stressed that the roles of the two are not contradictory and should not be pitted against each other.//Top item on Tuesday CCTV Evening News 习近平在中共中央政治局第十五次集体学习时强调 正确发挥市场作用和政府作用 推动经济社会持续健康发展 

Stevenson-Yang & DeWoskin: What Beijing Means by ‘Reform’ – ($$)In today’s post Third Plenum China, “reform” means to sideline and squash institutionalized bureaucracy and inject personal power into a sclerotic system. It means cutting through the layers of paperwork that invite bribery. But what China has never had and never meant by its use of the word “reform” is the codification in law and practice of rules to govern transparently and at scale a growing economy…the Xi government may harken well beyond Deng and Zhu and be the most traditionalist China has seen since the last emperor left the Forbidden City in 1912.//A thought-provoking Op-Ed. When the National Security Committee was announced after the Third Plenum many online compared it to the Junjichu 军机处 “Council of State” of the Qing Dynasty. Someone with very good ties in Beijing described Xi’s vision last Fall as 有皇帝上的资本主义…”capitalism with an emperor on top” for lack of a better translation. But for capitalism to work I think they understand they need to have rules that are applied most of the time. But right now it appears they they have to apply pressure everywhere to both stabilize the situation and strengthen control. We’ll find out eventually, we are all just guessing at this point

China Tensions Grow After Vietnamese Ship Sinks in Clash – In the latest incident, a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat about 17 nautical miles southwest of the rig on Monday afternoon, the state-run Vietnamese television network, VTV1, reported. All 10 crew members were rescued, the network said. But Beijing labeled Vietnam as the aggressor, with the Chinese state-run news agency, Xinhua, saying the Vietnamese fishing boat “capsized when it was interfering with and ramming” a Chinese fishing vessel// China seems to have upset almost all its neighbors recently. Is there a strategy here? Yesterday I wrote that Xi et al are not fools. So what might me going on? My guesses:1. Xi really is a Marxist and believes in historical determinism, including that China’s dominance of Asia is inevitable. He has decided to accelerate it because the US, and specifically Obama, look weak and preoccupied, and it is better to move now than under the next president, either Republican or Clinton, who may be much tougher; 2. The Vietnam incident was timed perfectly with the end of Obama’s trip to show countries around the region that we are here, the US is not, and what is the US going to do about it; 3. Moving aggressively in the region now, before the US has really executed on the pivot and countries in the region have built new alliances among themselves and with the US, may forestall those moves, if the countries in the region are shown enough by China to think “what is the point?”; 4. Amidst the moves in the South China Sea, Beijing continues to push on trade and economic linkages, and RCEP looks more viable than TPP given DC gridlock. (why getting TPA passed is so crucial to the credibility of the Asia pivot); 5. Forcing tensions in the region, and specifically the S. China Sea, also serves the purpose of forcing the PLA to accelerate professionalization, helps the organization gain even bigger budgets, plays to those in the PLA who are more hawkish, and helps secure more support for Xi…Just guesses, doing too much of that lately…

Politburo Vows to Improve Living Standards in Xinjiang – NYTimesThe Politburo, the group of 25 people at the top of the 82-million-member ruling party, said on Monday that its policy toward Xinjiang, including its crackdown on separatists and its emphasis on maintaining stability in the region, “have been proved completely right,” the state news agency Xinhua reported. Yet at the same time, it promised that every family should have at least one person with a job, and it announced plans to build more schools.// 中央政治局召开会议研究推进新疆社会稳定工作_网易新闻中心

Related: China shuts bomb factories as ‘people’s war’ on terror begins – Telegraph China dismantled a major bomb-making network and arrested five suspected extremists at the start of a major nationwide “war on terror” that has seen armed police, helicopters and the military deployed in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

Related: Police Defuse Bombs After Blast in Xinjiang’s Kashgar Prefecture Three of the four bombs defused on Friday in Yarkand (in Chinese, Shache) county in Kashgar prefecture, southwest of Urumqi, were found in front of police buildings while the fourth was located in front of a gas station near a school, according to a police officer.//Blowing up a school is a good way to alienate most of your remaining sympathizers 

Related: 新疆一名官员因对暴恐事件态度暧昧被立案调查_新闻_腾讯网 Xinjiang Uyghur cadre under investigation for straying from script in public comments on terror attacks, equivocating // 最近,根据干部群众举报,查处了伊犁州人民政府办公厅党组成员、副主任巴图尔·杜瓦买提违反政治纪律案件。巴图尔·杜瓦买提在担任住伊宁市都来提巴格街道“三民”活动组组长期间,在公共场所散发与自治区民族政策不一致的言论,并存在对暴恐怖事件态度暧昧等问题。伊犁州纪委已对巴图尔·杜瓦买提进行立案调查。

Related: Made in China: The Middle East’s Oil Boom – China Real Time Report – WSJ Those strong economic ties are now broadening beyond China’s demand for commodities and will further shape the Middle East – and Africa – for at least another generation to come, according to an report on the impact of China’s economic globalization on the region. “There would be no kilometer-tall towers in the desert, no ski slopes in the shopping mall, no Gulf owned football teams winning the English premier league, without the emergence of China as a global economic power,” said Simon Williams and Razan Nasser from HSBC.//worrisome convergence for China of increasing reliance on Middle East oil and radical ideology in Xinjiang.

China Middle-Class Protests Turn Violent After Petitions Ignored – Bloomberg The Hangzhou demonstrations, which prompted officials to suspend construction of the incinerator, were the third such violent protest in six weeks — a trend that challenges President Xi Jinping’s quest for social stability. The story of how poor government communication there sparked anger and then clashes with police is one being replayed across China as wealthier and better informed residents resist industrial projects more forcefully.

China to clean up instant messaging services– China Daily WeChat has more than 800 million users. Besides private accounts used for communication among friends, family and acquaintances, many public accounts are owned by organizations, companies or individuals for mass communication. The campaign will crack down on those spreading rumors and information relating to violence, terrorism and pornography, as well as those using instant messaging for fraud. “We will firmly fight against infiltration from hostile forces at home and abroad,” the statement said.

Guangdong to loosen Hukou household registration system for millions of migrants | South China Morning Post The Hukou reform is designed to attract more migrants – both from the province and elsewhere on the mainland – to settle in the region’s small and medium sized cities, according to the provincial public security department. Permanent residency in cities would be available to migrants with stable jobs and homes who have paid social security taxes, Zheng Dong, deputy head of Guangdong’s public security department said, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.



Gov’t Policies ‘Deformed Market,’ Property Tycoon Says amid Share Sale – Caixin Greentown’s Song Weiping complains there is no market left, but also admits his company had its share of problems…”Buyers and sellers should have the right to trade freely in the market,” he said. “However, after the government took measures in 2005, 2008 and 2010, the home market has been deformed, and it is no longer a market.”

Real Estate Tycoon Sees Titanic Moment for China’s Housing Market – China Real Time Report – WSJ Soho China declined to comment about Mr. Pan’s remarks. But in a post on his verified Weibo account Monday, Mr. Pan said  that during the forum’s question and answer session, he had first asked whether there were any journalists present before replying to a question about the housing market. Only upon being told there were no reporters present, he said, did he proceed to answer. “I didn’t expect there are countless reporters hiding [in the audience],” he said.

With London ‘fix’ under fire, China seeks bigger sway in gold trade | Reuters The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) got the go ahead from the central bank last week to launch a global trading platform in the city’s pilot free trade zone, a move that could challenge the dominance of New York and London in gold trade and pricing. Beijing’s plans to open up gold trading comes at a time when the benchmark price-setting process for precious metals is under scrutiny. Barclays Plc (BARC.L) became the first bank to be fined over attempted manipulation of the 95-year-old benchmark London gold market daily “fix” last week.

How State-Backed Shipping Firm Ran into Ice Berg of Debt – Caixin Caixin cover story this week // Nanjing Tanker Corp. losses may lead to its delisting in Shanghai, but deals for crude carriers may mean more problems lurk under surface

[视频]中宣部 国家发改委部署开展节俭养德全民节约行动_新闻频道_央视网 NDRC and Ministry of Proaganda rolling out a conservation and frugality campaign // 央视网消息(新闻联播):本台消息:中宣部、国家发改委日前发出开展节俭养德全民节约行动的通知,要求以实现中华民族伟大复兴中国梦为根本目标,紧紧围绕社会主义核心价值观的培育践行,深入进行节俭节约宣传教育,广泛开展多种形式的节俭节约实践活动,在全社会营造厉行节约、拒绝浪费的浓厚氛围。

China’s Mobile Payment Turnover Surges 255% YOY to 3.89 Trillion Yuan in Q1: PBOC | TechNode China’s e-payment business recorded 7.08 billion orders and a turnover of 292.89 trillion yuan (around $47 trillion) in the first quarter of this year, up 25.92% and 34.60% respectively from a year earlier, according to a report released by Chinese central bank-People’s Bank of China. E-payment includes three categories of payment services of online payment, phone payment and mobile payment, the report noted.

罗氏被查引第二轮合规突查:礼来 阿斯利康 诺和诺德遭点名_21世纪网 根据21世纪经济报道记者得到的《杭州市卫生局关于深化廉洁风险防控建设开展医药回扣专项治理工作的意见》文件(下称“整治文件”)显示:此次专项整治要求所属辖区内“各医疗单位6月30日前组织所属人员,对照廉洁自律规定、财经纪律、法律法规和相关侦测规定”,而礼来、阿斯利康以及诺和诺德三家企业作为疑似发放商业回扣的典型被直接点名。//Inspection of Roche’s Hangzhou office may signal start of round 2 of fun for foreign pharma firms

李克强总理赤峰之行释放信号:下半年政策或将调整_21世纪网 Has Li Keqiang been sending signals of policy loosening in 2H? 李克强总理赤峰之行重申了当前宏观金融政策的基调。结合近段时间的形势看,下半年政策放松的可能性正在增强。二季度经济数据将在政策决定中起到关键作用,而7月底的中央政治局经济形势分析会将给出重要的线索 国务院总理李克强近日前往内蒙古赤峰考察调研,期间收获了不少干货。据官方媒体报道,考察期间,李克强召开了企业和金融机构座谈会,听取对当前经济形势的看法。来自能源、化工、有色、轻纺、食品等领域企业以及国有和地方银行负责人结合自身实际谈情况,提建议。李克强同大家围绕面临的困难和挑战、金融支持实体经济发展等进行了深入交流。



Tiananmen Comment Eyed After Professor’s Microblog Vanishes – A report in Ming Pao, a Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong, said the disappearance of Kong Qingdong’s account on Friday was probably due to his reply the day before to a person who claimed he was a solider in 1989 and said the armed response was necessary to protect the government. “Nonsense,” Mr. Kong wrote, according to, a site that collects deleted Weibo messages. “There was no riot. It was just framing them after you bloodily mowed them down. Can you name one student who was rioting?”

Legal Punches for Two Reporters’ Sealed Lips – Caixin Courts in the capital are mulling over what’s being described as the first legal attack against the use of anonymous sources in news reports published by the Chinese media. The charges leveled against the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekend newspaper and The Beijing News revolve around claims that in 2012 they printed articles defaming a trade group called the World Luxury Association and its chairman, Mao Ouyang Kun, also known as Ouyang Kun.

China hits activists with common-crime charges -AP  John Kamm, executive director of Dui Hua, said the public disorder category is broad and includes computer-related offenses that are becoming increasingly common. But he added that some of the crimes under the category have been used in political and religious cases. “The decrease in indictments (for charges of endangering state security) may signal a change in tactics: Political dissidents appear to be increasingly charged with non-ESS crimes, thereby obscuring the political nature of their contested acts,” a Dui Hua statement said.

Graphic News: Testing Times for China’s Officials – Caixin An increasing number of officials are committing suicide, if media reports on the topic are any indication. Here’s a look at the disturbing trend//an infographic of official suicides…

中纪委:重点查处十八大后仍不收敛不收手干部_网易新闻中心  CCDI says focus on corrupt (and dumb?) officials who didn’t change behavior after 18th Party Congress//中新网5月26日电 据中央纪委监察部网站消息,中央纪委副书记杨晓渡今日指出,要坚持“老虎”、“苍蝇”一起打,加大案件查处力度,重点查处十八大后还不收敛不收手的、问题线索反映集中的、群众反映强烈的、现在重要岗位且可能还要提拔使用的党员干部,形成有力震慑,坚决遏制腐败蔓延势头。

湖南省政协原党组副书记、副主席阳宝华被调查_网易新闻中心 former senior Hunan Provincial CPPCC official under investigation

能源央企反腐“第二季”_财经频道_一财网  // 国资委试点向央企派驻纪检组,要求央企纪检负责人专攻主业。以能源领域的腐败案较为典型。黄保东被双开,是能源央企近来遭曝光的又一腐败案例。

China’s Communist Party expels official of power gear maker for graft | Reuters China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled a senior official of a state-run power equipment maker for taking huge bribes in violation of the law, the party’s anti-graft watchdog said on Monday. The removal of Huang Baodong, deputy general manager of Power Construction Corporation of China, adds to evidence that the power sector could be the latest to face anti-graft probes by the government.

中纪委监察室二次扩容 高层密集约谈央企等负责人_财经频道_一财网  SOE execs must be very worried about the CCDI//分析认为,在各省、自治区和直辖市推进的纪委机构调整将延续中纪委“增强办案力量,清理议事协调机构,明确职责分工,回归监督、问责、执纪的主业”等总体思路来进行。

四川甘孜举行反恐维稳演练_高清图集_新浪网 slideshow of Police exercise to practice quelling a riot in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan



我国首艘国防标准民船通过验收 战时可直接军用_新闻_腾讯网 first merchant ship launches built to National Defense specs, headline says in time of war can be directly used by military. How many of these are planned? // 5月20日,我国首艘贯彻国防要求民船“东海215”号通过验收。该油船在提高油船服务航速、对海军舰船纵向油料补给、预留军事通信接口等各项战技术指标上均达到军事要求,具备战略投送海上多油种油料补给能力。据悉,今年还将有一艘1.1万吨级油化船将贯彻国防要求。

外交部:越南这个国家的国际信用等级很低_网易新闻中心 harsh, contemptuous words from MoFA spokesman re Vietnam. grim. Anyone one in the Vietnam government who had argued that China could be trusted is probably getting a lot of heat right now//看了越南外交部上星期五举行新闻发布会的有关内容,我感到非常荒唐、可笑…上星期五越南外交部的新闻发布会发表的这些言论,再次证明这个国家歪曲历史、否认事实,出尔反尔、背信弃义。这个国家的国际信用等级很低。

东北师范大学访日学者失联12天 曾致电妻子求救_新闻_腾讯网 very strange case of a Chinese professor who disappeared in Osaka, Japan 12 days ago. His last contact with his wife was a call in which he told her to contact the embassy to save him // 中国独家报道【东北师范大学一访日学者失联12天曾致电妻子求救回国】东北师范大学外国语学院讲师池睿赴日本大阪交流失联12天,他妻子表示,最后接到电话要求领事馆救援其回国。中国驻大阪领事馆及日本警方已经介入调查。

David Feith: China’s Beachhead in U.S. Schools – Studying Chinese is an invaluable economic and cultural opportunity. Instead of promising the sun, moon and stars, the College Board and other policy makers might demonstrate how they plan to expand Chinese education without propagandizing for Beijing or discriminating against victims of Chinese repression

Chinese Developer’s Fake Sphinx Has Egypt Seething – The Egyptian minister of antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, told Al Ahram Weekly last week that the ministry had sent an official letter to Egypt’s permanent envoy to the United Nations communicating its displeasure. The ministry will inform the Unesco director general, Irina Bokova, that the reproduction of the Sphinx, which is registered on the agency’s World Heritage List, harms the cultural heritage of Egypt, Al Ahram Weekly quoted the minister as saying.



Hong Kong Mulls Curbing Tourist Arrivals Amid Discontent – Bloomberg “This may send a wrong signal to the general public in China that Hong Kong is no longer welcoming them,” Raymond Yeung, a senior economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone today. “If the government decides to impose a quota on mainland visitors, the impact would be beyond the service sector.” //the same bureaucrats who brought Hong Kong the dumb infant formula restrictions?



Touch panel makers see increased orders from Xiaomi as it aims to ship 80 million handsets in 2014-Digitimes Furthermore, Xiaomi aims to ship 160 million handsets in 2015 amid prospects in the China market, the sources revealed.

周鸿祎重新思考360-财经网 Caijing on Zhou Hongyi’s new strategy for Qihoo // 在BAT巨头和创业公司的夹层中,奇虎360面临挤压,周鸿祎希望以“安全”和搜索为入口切入所有领域

国美发力线上 与京东开打价格战_公司频道_财新网 Gome plans to compete aggressively with online // 国美集团高级副总裁李俊涛称,国美在线的IT、物流、网站页面以及供应链优化以后,已经具备了快速发展的能力

Protonmail-The Only Email System The NSA Can’t Access-Forbes They recently ran an update so they could support Chinese. Yen says they didn’t advertise this but through Twitter TWTR -3.24% a blogger who has been involved in the freedom of speech movement heard about the service. “All of a sudden we had an influx of hundreds of Chinese users – these are dissidents that don’t want the government to be tracking them,” says Yen. “It’s because we want to support users like this that we want to keep a certain level of the service free.”//wonder how long until blocked?



What It’s Like to Live in China and Speak the ‘Devil-Language’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ This week, the difficulty of Wenzhou dialect was once again affirmed in a list circulating on Chinese social media, which declared that Wenzhou’s dialect was the hardest in the country.

Plans to Give ‘Morality Points’ on Gaokao Need Work, Expert Says – Caixin Idea to reward students taking national university test extra credit for good behavior is good, but system is flawed, researcher says



LDK Solar Gets 2 Billion Yuan Bank Loans After Bond Default – Bloomberg China Development Bank Corp., the nation’s biggest policy lender, is leading the funding from 11 financial institutions, LDK spokesman Peng Shaomin said in a phone interview today. LDK will spend more than 400 million yuan on a polysilicon project and use the remainder to boost its cash reserves, Peng said. “The worst is over for China’s solar industry,” said Yang Kun, a bond analyst in Shanghai at Guotai Junan Securities Co., the nation’s third-biggest brokerage. “These loans show the government is supporting the company and the industry. It’s unlikely LDK will default on other borrowings in the future.”

China to scrap millions of cars in anti-pollution push | Reuters In a wide-ranging action plan to cut emissions over the next two years, China’s cabinet, the State Council, said the country had already fallen behind in its pollution targets over the 2011-2013 period and was now having to step up its efforts. As many as 5.33 million “yellow label” vehicles that fail to meet Chinese fuel standards will be “eliminated” this year, the document said. As well as the 330,000 cars in Beijing, 660,000 will be withdrawn from the surrounding province of Hebei, home to seven of China’s smoggiest cities in 2013.



SWAT given ‘shoot on sight’ orders; commuters frisked as Beijing heightens anti-terror measures | South China Morning Post Beijing subjected rush-hour passengers to an extra layer of security checks and gave orders allowing SWAT teams to shoot terrorists on sight, as it ramped up policing after a string of attacks on the mainland. The Public Security Ministry commanded the SWAT units to shoot assailants “carrying out violent attacks”, doing away with standard protocol of firing warning shots first, The Beijing News reported today.

北京公安局交管局原局长宋建国被调查_网易新闻中心 Beijing’s former top traffic cop under investigation.been rumors about his son, secretary and the selling license plates that are supposed to only be available by lottery …//【北京公安局交管局原局长宋建国被调查】北京纪检监察网今日下午消息,北京市公安局公安交通管理局原局长宋建国涉嫌严重违纪,正接受组织调查。据此前报道,2012年12月,时任交管局长宋建国被曝涉嫌在机动车摇号过程中违规,知情人透露,宋因其秘书与儿子涉牌案件接受过调查。

北京新机场定址永定河北岸 800亿投资助力京津冀|_新浪财经_新浪网 location for Beijing’s new airport set, planning now to integrate with overall transportation and logistics networks in the integrated Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin area // 近日,央视国际证实了北京新机场将落地永定河北岸,即在北京市大兴区榆垡镇、礼贤镇和河北省廊坊市广阳区之间…根据有关部门预测,2020年仅北京地区的航空旅客量便将达到1.66亿人次,而北京首都机场的终端容量仅为6000万-7000万人次/年。//Beijing is projected to have 166 million airplane passenger trips by 2020, current Beijing airports can only handle 60-70 million

京津冀航空腾挪-《财经》杂志 latest Caijing also has long piece on the new Beijing airport // 在京津冀协同发展的国家战略背景下,民航运输协同发展将加快推进。由于事关地方、机场、航空公司三方切身利益,实现协同发展需要打破行政壁垒

北京今年或停止普通商品房住宅用地供应-财经网 按照3月所公布计划,今年北京将供应500公顷普通商品房建设用地。但从昨日最新公布的2014年度(北京)国有建设用地供应计划区县指标分解方案看,自住型商品房用地由500公顷上升到1000公顷,占满今年全部商品住宅用地供应额度。如果年内再无新的商品住宅供地增加,这或将意味着今年北京将暂停普通商品房住宅用地供应。

北京警方抓获多名外籍涉毒人员 有人持难民证_网易新闻中心  Beijing police bust foreign drug ring around Sanlitun// 两人均为外籍人士,其中一人还持有北京某大学的学生证,另一人持有联合国难民证件。侦查员在其中一外籍男子身上及附近草丛中发现大麻、冰毒和摇头丸等共12包毒品//slideshow, looks like all Africans, not surprising given who usually is aggressively hawking drugs in the area 


BOOKS AND LITERATURE Night Heron eBook: Adam Brookes A lone man, Peanut, escapes a labor camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of north-west China. Two decades earlier, he was a spy for the British; now Peanut must disappear on Beijing’s surveillance-blanketed streets. Desperate and ruthless, he reaches out to his one-time MI6 paymasters via crusading journalist Philip Mangan, offering military secrets in return for extraction. But the secrets prove more valuable than Peanut or Mangan could ever have known… and not only to the British.//halfway through this book, highly recommend it

Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the Twenty-First Century: James Steinberg, Michael E. O`Hanlon: Amazon  In this book, James Steinberg and Michael O’Hanlon stake out a third, less deterministic position. They argue that there are powerful domestic and international factors, especially in the military and security realms, that could well push the bilateral relationship toward an arms race and confrontation, even though both sides will be far worse off if such a future comes to pass. They contend that this pessimistic scenario can be confidently avoided only if China and the United States adopt deliberate policies designed to address the security dilemma that besets the relationship between a rising and an established power


Follow me on Twitter @niubi