The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.14.14

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

This weekend’s links:


President Xi stresses efforts to revolutionize energy sector – Xinhua  While presiding over a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, Xi, head of the group, acknowledged that China faces challenges to cope with rising energy demand, supply restraints, huge environmental costs and backward technology. To ensure national energy security, the country needs to take steps to rein in irrational energy consumption and build a diversified supply system that is based on secure supply from multiple channels, clean and efficient use of coal, and the development of non-coal energy, Xi noted….// the Friday CCTV Evening News report does not identify all the members but shows everyone sitting around the round table 习近平:积极推动能源生产和消费革命  This is the first time he is officially identified as chair of the group…the last two premiers–Wen Jiabao and Zhu Rongji–chaired the group but Jiang Zemin was chairman when he was General Secretary..Li Keqiang and Zhang Gaoli are vice chairman…not a surprise Xi chairs the group, been known if not publicized for a while..I do not assume this is a sign of daylight between Xi and Li; rather that Xi is taking everything on is shoulders, which carries huge risk for Xi if reforms fail but may actually be a positive sign for progress on economic use a facile Americanism, Xi looks to be the “decider”, Li the implementer (in the economic realm)

Related: 电力石油天然气抓紧制定改革方案_要闻_新京报电子报 The Beijing News on the Friday meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, its history, and its current leadership, including Liu He as head of the Group’s office and Yi Gang as his deputy

Related: 梳理中央财经领导小组成员 习近平李克强任正副组长-时政频道-新华网 昨天召开的是中央财经领导小组第六次会议,此前几次会议官方媒体并未公开报道。自2012年11月十八大召开以来大约一年半时间里,中央财经领导小组平均一个季度召开一次会议。   成立于1980年的中央财经领导小组,是中共中央领导经济工作的议事协调机构,被外界视为中国经济的核心领导和决策部门。资料显示,作为总书记,江泽民曾担任过中央财经领导小组组长。自1992年党的十四大之后,中央财经领导小组组长一般由国务院总理兼任,朱镕基和温家宝都担任过该组组

“北京治理择校,前所未有的重大突破。”_21世纪网 21st Century Herald interviews an education policy expert on school reforms…the primary school allocation for Beijing was completed over the weekend, big changes to the existing system, much harder for kids to go to schools in different districts, should even out educational opportunities as well as remove a significant amount of corruption in the school enrollment process. In a blow to entrenched special interests, the reforms did away with 共建, or the allocation of spots at top schools for children of powerful SOEs and government departments…of course implementation will not be perfect and there will not be total eradication of corruption, but this looks to be a significant improvement…the reforms have spiked home prices in the catchment areas of the top schools, and left some parents who thought they had found a way into a top school scrambling… //  北京市在4月18日正式发布了“京版”的《2014年义务教育阶段入学工作的意见》。文件中强调,北京在今年的招生中将取消共建生,实行计划管理,并首次启用小学和初中入学两个信息服务平台,提供公开透明的入学通道。 此后近两个月中,北京市以及各区教委又陆续出台了一系列相关规定,基础教育的格局为之一变。优质教育资源的均衡化,或将成为北京下一段教育改革的重点,在各区内部渐次展开。 为此,本报近日专访了国家教育咨询委员会委员、21世纪教育发展研究院院长杨东平教授。杨东平此前一直关注中国城市中存在着的义务教育领域“择校热”问题,在他看来,北京此番举措“是前所未有的重大突破”。 但杨东平教授也认为,北京的改革不能仅仅止步于“禁止跨区择校”。在完成区内优质教育资源均衡化后,进一步推进北京全市范围内的教育资源均衡化,则是政策制定者所要面临的“更大挑战”。

Related: 北京小升初电脑派位首公开 京籍非京籍待遇同等_网易新闻中心 6月17日上午9时至23日17时,学生可凭借入学登记号和学籍号,登录东城区教育招生考试中心网站查询录取结果。 昨日,通过二次派位的共有4846名小学生,其中参加第一次派位的人数为986人,第二次派位对口录取383人,第二批次录取3477人。该4846名学生占实际升学人数的70%以上,加上特长生和寄宿生,东城小升初招生和保障协调入学工作已全部完成。 东城区教委相关负责人介绍,非京籍学生只要小学在东城就读拥有东城学籍,在派位中完全享受同城待遇。

Related: 北京个别小区楼房划片被遗漏 适龄儿童无法入学_网易新闻中心 but a couple of neighborhoods were forgotten in the new Beijing school districting, a few dozen kids did not get places and now have to be accommodated //  对此朝阳区教委回应称,这个小区因拆迁问题教育配套学校尚未建设,此类情况已纳入朝阳区义务教育学区化入学管理,学区内将统筹各学校空余学位,通过协调派位的方式解决符合入学条件的适龄儿童入学。而西城区教委表示,针对小学划片时个别楼房的“遗漏”情况,他们已进行了统一登记,仍将按照就近入学的原则对这些“遗漏”楼房重新进行划片,目前已通知相关家长办理孩子入学事宜。

央视“大管家”郭振玺折戟_杂志频道_财新网 new issue of Caixin has a long story on the downfall of Guo Zhenxi, head of the CCTV Finance Channel who was recently detained. There are rumors going around Beijing and overseas Chinese media that at least 100 CCTV employees have been questioned, either by CCDI or the State Audit Bureau, and that the head of CCTV, Hu Zhanfan, is also in trouble…hard to know, though the general reaction to the rumors seems to be “just 100”?..Guo oversaw the 3.15 Consumer Day expose show for several years…lots of opportunity for payoffs from companies desperate to stay off the show…the article also discusses the four day CCTV Finance Channel attack on Baidu in 2011…says there was a directive on high about cleaning up the Internet but also that Guo had asked Baidu to delete search links to a certain company and was refused, so he wanted revenge… //  郭承认央视的资源垄断,又自喜于垄断产生的价值,殊不知这种畸形制度正是其坠落的根本原因…央视二套一位人士透露,在“3·15”晚会播出前被下掉的曝光企业分三种情况:第一种是权力干预,领导不让播;第二种是节目组觉得证据不足;最后一种就是被公关掉的。这三种中,最后一种情况寻租空间比较大。

UglyGorilla Hack of U.S. Utility Exposes Cyberwar Threat – Bloomberg UglyGorilla’s surveillance sortie was one of dozens conducted on natural gas pipelines and electric utilities by People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398 over at least 14 months in 2012 and 2013, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News and people involved in the investigations but who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Unit members appeared to be performing the digital equivalent of mapping the dams or airfields or fuel routes of a potential enemy, what’s known in military jargon as preparation of the battlefield. While that kind of spying has been standard practice for centuries, technology is scrambling traditional rules of war, blurring the distinction between intelligence-gathering and aggression.

Arrested Chinese Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Speaks from Prison | ChinaFile Earlier this week, on June 9, Pu’s defense lawyer, the 86-year-old Zhang Sizhi (who has also defended prominent dissidents) visited Pu in detention. What follows is a translation of Zhang’s notes from that meeting, which were circulated online in China this week.

Related:  Formal Arrest of Chinese Rights Lawyer Announced – In an announcement Friday night on its microblog account, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said Mr. Pu [Zhiqiang] would face charges of creating a public disturbance, most likely the result of his participation in the seminar. Although the May 3 meeting was held at a private home, a photograph of the attendees was posted online at time when the government was deeply unnerved by the possibility that activists would try to publicly commemorate the 25th anniversary of the crackdown.

China and Japan Face Off Over Documentation of Wartime Atrocities – While Japan has protested the submission of documents related to the Nanjing massacre and forced prostitution, it has considered other aspects of its wartime record for Unesco recognition. This spring the southern Japanese city of Minamikyushu in Kagoshima Prefecture proposed submitting the last letters of kamikaze pilots who embarked on suicide missions to destroy Allied navy ships. And the city of Maizuru in Kyoto Prefecture proposed including documentation related to Japanese prisoners of war held by the Soviet Union. Japan’s National Commission for Unesco rejected the kamikaze letters, but will include the P.O.W. documents along with records from the Toji Temple in Kyoto in its next submission

Related:  Spotlight: Japan’s accusation against China only excuse for military build-upXinhua-So all is forgiven with Chanos, if China ever cared about what he said? Now no reason for him not to visit… //  As a Chinese proverb goes: “On-lookers see most of the game.” James Chanos, a prominent U.S. hedge fund manager, called Abe the most dangerous figure in Asia at a conference in Las Vegas last month, saying the Japanese prime minister was an “ultranationalist” due to his plan to rearm his country.   In an editorial, The New York Times also described Abe’s historical revisionism and nationalism as a “dangerous” complex, setting off alarm bells for the United States. Chanos’ judgement on Abe is a warning not only for investors, but also for international observers who pay close attention to the security situation in the Asia-Pacific.

Related:  中国海警船钓鱼岛附近登船检查遭日方干扰_网易新闻中心 海外网6月14日电 据日本共同社报道,北京时间13日下午4点50分左右,中国海警船2101的6名船员在钓鱼岛群岛黄尾屿以北约56公里处登上了一艘中国渔船,可能实施了登船检查,遭遇日本海上保安厅巡逻船干扰。//China says Japan interfered Friday with PRC Coast Guard ship inspection of a PRC fishing boat in the seas near the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

China’s Retiring Migrant Workers Find They Have No Place to Call Home – Caixin A generation of Chinese people from rural areas who moved to the big cities to find work is reaching retirement age, but many are finding they have been left outside the country’s urban pension system despite extensive reforms in recent years.

Behind media articles lies a hidden agenda | China Daily It is rare for a world-renowned newspaper like the New York Times to repeatedly lambaste Hong Kong’s political development. It is even more amazing that the INYT has printed approximately 130 news items relating to “Hong Kong democracy” in less than six months. Common sense and logic tell us the NYT, as one of the world’s most prominent newspapers, should have more pressing issues then poking its nose into the affairs of a tiny place like Hong Kong. Does Hong Kong really carry so much weight in geopolitics that it requires intensive global media coverage? Or do the NYT and its Western peers have a hidden agenda? Our clear-minded readers have their own answers.



Caixin-Regulator Mulls New Approach to Banks’ Loan-to-Deposit Ratio – The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) will change the rules for figuring the loan-to-deposit ratio so banks can have more money to lend to businesses, an official with the regulator says. The requirement that the ratio not exceed 75 percent – meaning banks cannot lend more than 75 percent of their deposits out – would remain the same, but the way ratio is calculated would be adjusted, Wang Zhaoxing, deputy chairman of the CBRC, said June 6. The regulator would consider broadening the scope of deposits to include “relatively stable” funds that are not now used to calculate the ratio, he said.

Chinese Cities Quietly Loosening Shackles on Housing – China Real Time Report – WSJ “The local governments are given more flexibility to adjust the curbs, but they prefer to wait and see,” says Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Securities. “When there is a move from central planning to autonomy, the local governments are not sure how soon they should show their hand.” Nationally, local authorities have generally avoided completely revoking property curbs. Instead, they’ve been making gradual adjustments—for example, by allowing more homebuyers to buy homes in other districts.

Boeing Wins Biggest Ever Order From Chinese Airline – Bloomberg Boeing Co. (BA) won its biggest order from a Chinese carrier as China Eastern Airlines Corp. (670) agreed to buy 80 737 jets valued at $7.4 billion.//this a positive sign for US-China relations, or is Boeing no longer a bellweather?

Has China got an external-debt problem? Not likely –  – WSJ China’s foreign-exchange regulator puts the country’s total outstanding foreign debt at $863.2 billion, about 9% of the country’s gross domestic product, much lower than Thailand, Mexico or South Africa. That makes a debt blowout less of a possibility if the yuan currency continues to weaken. China’s $3.95 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves are currently more than four times external debt, according to Citigroup. T

Chinese Payments Association Wants Banks to Identify, Eliminate Bitcoin Activity This latest article reports claims of a statement from the Payments and Clearing Association of China (PCAC), a national non-profit organization operating under the business guidance and oversight from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).



CPPCC vice-chairman Su Rong probed for ‘disciplinary violations’: state media | South China Morning Post Su is one of 23 vice chairs of the CPPCC, a debating chamber that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure. He took the post during a power handover in March last year which saw President Xi Jinping and many other new government leaders take office.

各地区各部门迅速传达学习王岐山同志在”三转”专题研讨班上的讲话精神(四)——新闻头条——中央纪委监察部网站 各地区各部门迅速传达学习王岐山同志 在”三转”专题研讨班上的讲话精神(四)…近一段时间来,各省(区、市)和各部委认真传达学习王岐山同志在纪检监察机关“转职能、转方式、转作风”专题研讨班上的讲话精神,结合实际,作出部署,提出落实“三转”的具体举措。本网推出专题,敬请关注。 //lots of studying and transmitting of a new speech from Wang Qishan on the three transformations (functions, methods, work styles)

中纪委驻院纪检组长:社科院受境外势力渗透_网易新闻中心 张英伟指出,目前社科院意识形态的主要问题体现在四个方面:第一、穿上学术的隐身衣,制造烟幕;第二,利用互联网炮制跨国界的歪理;第三,每逢敏感时期,进行不法的勾连活动;第四,接受境外势力点对点的渗透。因此,我们应时刻高度保持政治敏感性,在政治上保持清醒的头脑,我们要切实地加强意识形态建设,在政治上要与党中央保持高度一致,增强政治意识、责任意识,在这一点上绝不容忍任何人搞特例;要切实加强党的纪律建设;要切实加强制度建设,一个好的制度既要体现在制度的内容是好的,还要体现在制度制定好后要让人知晓,更要在制度制定好后有好的执行。//CCDI official embedded in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) finds several problems, including infiltration by foreign forces, stresses the need for strengthening Party discipline and political consciousness, among other things…the intensifying anti-foreigner sentiment is getting worrisome though so far no one is using the cultural revolution charge of 里通外国 (maintaining illicit relations with a foreign country) to denounce others.

Who Lectures China’s Leaders?-Foreign Policy The report estimates that lecturers usually take three months to prepare for a typical session. But some controversial ones, like a presentation made some time in 2010 called “how to correctly handle contradictions among the people in the modern age” — party code-speak for mass protests in recent years — apparently took lecturers about three years to prepare.

China frees artist held for Tiananmen anniversary – Yahoo News Singapore Soldier-turned-artist Chen Guang was released Saturday, more than a month after he was detained ahead of the 25th anniversary of the military crackdown on China’s pro-democracy protests, his friend said.



Hillary Clinton writes of China’s aloof and evasive leaders|Politics|News| Clinton also described her personal relationship with former Chinese state councilor Dai Bingguo and former foreign minister Yang Jiechi. She wrote that she was on friendly terms with Dai and maintained contact with him for several years. Dai gave presents to her mother and daughter and in return she gave gifts to Dai’s granddaughter. Yang, however, was described as an unapologetic nationalist.

How Obama, Clinton crashed a ‘secret’ meet between China, India | Firstpost When they arrived outside the meeting room, there was a jumble of arguing aides and nervous security agents, she says. Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, got tangled up with a Chinese guard, she adds. In the commotion the President slipped through the door and yelled, ‘Mr. Premier!’ really loudly, which got everyone’s attention. “The Chinese guards put their arms up against the door again, but I ducked under and made it through,” Clinton writes recounting the incident.

China army recruitment eyes high-quality young – Xinhua | The Ministry of National Defense has told recruitment authorities to take in more college students and relax age restrictions for “high-quality” applicants, following a meeting held on Thursday. For people with bachelor degrees or higher, the age limit has been lifted from 23 to 24. The army will only recruit female soldiers with high school or higher education backgrounds this year. In municipalities and provincial capitals, applicants without high school diplomas will not be accepted.

FACT SHEET: The United States and Australia: An Alliance for the Future | The White House Regarding maritime disputes, the United States and Australia share an abiding interest in peaceful resolution of disputes; respect for international law and unimpeded lawful commerce; and preserving freedom of navigation and overflight. Both countries oppose the use of intimidation, coercion, or force to advance maritime claims in the East and South China Seas.  The United States and Australia have both called on claimants to clarify and pursue claims in accordance with international law, including the Law of the Sea Convention, and expressed support for the rights of claimants to seek peaceful resolution of disputes through legal mechanisms, including arbitration, under the Convention.  Both countries continue to call for ASEAN and China to reach early agreement on a meaningful Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

Chinese ‘Breaking Bad’ fans tried to smuggle U.S. military sensors | Two Chinese nationals face federal charges for trying to buy military sensors from an Albuquerque company and take them to China, according to a search warrant obtained exclusively by the investigative team at KOB Eyewitness News 4. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations worked undercover to catch Wentong and Bo Cai in mid-December.  The agency’s investigation lasted for weeks after the company contacted them.

China says will never send military to oil rig spat with Vietnam | Reuters Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit. A senior U.S. official in Washington dismissed the Chinese statement as “patently ridiculous” and said Beijing had been using air force and navy as well as coastguard assets “to intimidate others.”

Philippines protests over Chinese reef “reclamation” – Channel NewsAsia The Philippines said on Saturday it had filed a protest with Beijing for reclaiming land on a disputed South China Sea reef, the fourth such complaint in three months.



China’s top Taiwan official to make first visit to island | Reuters Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, will become the first head of the body ever to visit the self-ruled island, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday. He will spend four days in Taiwan, Xinhua said, and apart from visiting capital Taipei will also go to three other places, including Kaohsiung in the heavily pro-independence south of the island. China says it will not countenance an independent Taiwan.

Neutralizing Contention: A New Policy for Taiping Island and the South China Sea | The Diplomat Rising tensions in the South China Sea between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and other claimants, and the militarization of those disputes, are making Taiwan’s continued sovereignty claim over the nine-dash line untenable. More than ever, as Beijing intensifies its propaganda campaign to encourage the perception that Taiwan and China are cooperating in the defense of “shared” territory and interests in the region, Taipei must present policies that clearly distinguish its aims and means from those adopted by Beijing.



Instagram grows in China, despite ban on parent Facebook – CNET Since Facebook took Instagram under its wing in 2012, Facebook HQ has been quiet about Instagram’s milestones in the Chinese market. The last time we heard “Instagram” and “China” spoken in the same sentence by an insider was as far back as November 2011, when Instagram founder Kevin Systrom divulged at TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing that his app was picking up 100,000 users in China per week. It’s impossible to exactly identify how Instagram is faring among China’s 700 million smartphone and tablet users, but we can put Instagram’s growth into perspective with the aid of market researcher App Annie. Instagram ranked 312th in Apple’s App Store in China on the day of Systrom’s Disrupt appearance in late 2011 and has since climbed to a 66th overall rank.

Caixin-Closer Look: Alibaba Charges into Mobile Internet by Taking Over Browser Company – What are UCWeb’s major businesses? Its leading business is mobile browsers. UCWeb started developing the UC Browser in 2004. It says the browser now has more than 500 million users. iResearch Consulting Group says 65.9 percent of domestic mobile browsers used it. Despite this, the UC Browser is facing a crisis. Mobile browsers by Tencent Holdings and Baidu Inc. could reshape the market. Also, many people have turned to integrated services on WeChat, Baidu Map and Alipay, and the number of UC Browser users is falling. Users prefer to use direct functions on apps. They download apps with services that connect to life and work, and use them frequently. UC Browser is usually preinstalled on mobile phones by manufacturers. Some people may not even use it. The only reason it is not uninstalled is that this is hard. This means it is difficult to establish its value.

Messaging-App Maker Line Plans China Expansion – WSJ “China is a very strategic and interesting market as it will have hundreds of millions of new smartphone users in the coming two years,” Line’s head of business development Hyunbin Kang told The Wall Street Journal. “China is our target market.” Speaking on the sidelines of the Mobile Asia Expo, Mr. Kang declined to disclose the number of Chinese employees the company plans to hire, but said a local team will focus on communications with users and developing localized services.



Suning’s Barca deal continues Chinese trend | China Sports Insider Suning will set up football camps around China, with the winners able to go to Barcelona and meet some first-team players. It’s also far more likely now that we’ll see Barca travel to China for a preseason friendly – perhaps summer 2015 – which would be a dramatic turnaround after the club cancelled a game in Shanghai last year. David Beckham has said China can qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and while China Sports Insider would bet the house against that happening, deals like this are all steps in the right direction.

郑州举办高中生毕业舞会_网易新闻 Prom, Zhengzhou-style…nice slideshow of kids in the Henan Provincial capital who just finished high school



Businessman Guilty of Killing and Eating Tigers – Prosecutors in the city of Qinzhou said the defendant, identified only as Mr. Xu, “has a quirky appetite for eating tiger penis and drinking tiger blood,” Xinhua said. From March to May last year, Mr. Xu, a real estate developer, and several accomplices made three trips to neighboring Guangdong Province, where he bought three live tigers and had them slaughtered, according to the report. The tigers were all smuggled from outside China, Xinhua said, without specifying the source. Another 14 defendants, including a smuggler, were tried with Mr. Xu and they confessed to having killed “more than 10 tigers over the past few years.”

Beijing emitters ignore carbon scheme, question government authority: media | Reuters State-owned enterprises (SOEs) routinely ignore environmental regulations issued by local governments, one of the main reasons why China is struggling to cut soaring pollution levels despite issuing a raft of environmental policies in the last couple of years. A new law mandates all companies to follow environmental regulations regardless of the authority level, but that does not enter into force until next year and it remains to be seen how successful it will be. “They (SOEs) are not just businesses, many have administrative status higher than local governments. It is quite difficult to manage and has not been completely resolved yet,” Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told Reuters.

中国明确将以财政出资扶持乳粉企业重组_公司频道_财新网-China Unveils Plan to Consolidate Dairy Industry Caixin’s English summary: Beijing has vowed to form 10 strong domestic dairy companies by the end of 2018 which combined will account for more than 80 percent of the country’s total market share, according to a document jointly issued by four central government departments on June 13, Caixin reported. The plan also includes building three to five of the big 10 into leading baby formula providers with annual revenue of more than 5 billion yuan.



北京警方:地铁乘客疑似涉毒一律盘查尿检_网易新闻中心 Beijing police will now drug test passengers on subways and long-distance buses who they suspect may be using or dealing drugs

北京治理群租房新策:拟允许”N+1″模式隔断存在_网易新闻中心 针对群租房治理的难点,首都综治委副主任苗林提到了“N+1”的新型治理模式,也就是在治理过程中,如果房主配合整改,自拆群租房,可以按照“N+1”模式,将面积较大的客厅或饭厅隔出一个房间,两居室变三居室,三居室变四居室。但是,这种模式必须在满足消防安全,采光、透气正常的前提下进行。

京津冀一体化方案已初步形成 交通环保将先行_网易新闻中心 Legal Evening News says the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin draft integration plan should be submitted by the end of June  //  法制晚报讯 今天,记者从参与京津冀一体化发展规划整体方案的专家处获悉,目前整体方案已初步形成,预计将在6月底出台,京津冀一体化,环保、交通将先行。其中,《京津冀地区生态环境保护整体方案》已通过内部审议。该方案中,京津冀或将统一污染物排放标准。

煤老板抛售北京99套房 投资8年市值翻5倍_网易新闻中心 Coal boss selling 99 apartments in a Beijing complex (he bought a whole building), up 5x on paper in 8 years  //  据了解,“和平里八号”正在销售的99套房源原为锦鸿阁小区的一部分。锦鸿阁小区一共两栋,A栋为毛坯,均价约为8000元/平方米,被某中央单位团购;B栋为精装修,单价1万元/平方米,这99套住宅和11套商铺共计109套房源。据媒体报道称,2006年这109套房源被杨三俊以儿子和亲戚的名义买下,总价1.3亿元。如今“和平里八号”销售均价为5万/平米,8年时间,这百套房子已升值5倍,市值已达到六七亿元人民币。


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