"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
China Picks COFCO, SDIC for State Asset Investment Reform Trials – Bloomberg The State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission chose State Development & Investment Corp. and COFCO Corp. for a trial on switching the government’s role to state capital management and improving the efficiency and returns of investments, the regulator said in a statement on its website.
Related: 国资委推四项改革 董事会职权受关注_公司频道_财新网 没有选择中石油和中石化，
Hong Kong Leader Says ‘Mainstream’ Opposes Democracy Activists’ Key Proposal – NYTimes.com Presenting a major report on revamping the electoral system, Hong Kong’s top leader, Leung Chun-ying, said on Tuesday that “mainstream opinion” in the city opposed a key proposal of many pro-democracy groups: that voters win the power to directly nominate candidates for his job. The dismissal of the idea, while not surprising, brought the city closer to fresh confrontation over its political future, experts said.
BRICS to establish development bank, reserve arrangement – Xinhua The five members of the group — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — laid out the designs of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the CRA in a declaration released following their sixth summit in this Brazilian city. The NDB, to be headquartered in Shanghai, will have an initial authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and its initial subscribed capital of 50 billion dollars will be equally shared among founding members, according to the Fortaleza Declaration. The five countries decided that the first chair of the Board of Governors shall be from Russia, the first chair of the Board of Directors from Brazil, and the first president of the bank from India. They also agreed to set up an African regional center of the NDB in South Africa, which will be established concurrently with the headquarters.
Related: BRICS Agree on $50 Billion Bank With Something for Everyone – Bloomberg Until the eve of the summit, India and South Africa had vied with China to host the headquarters of the bank, dubbed the New Development Bank. The administration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave in after it was reminded that his country’s previous administration had agreed to Shanghai as the bank’s headquarter, according to an Indian official, who requested not to be named because the talks were not public.
Related: Xinhua president urges BRICS media to strive for bigger say on world stage – Xinhua News organizations in the world’s leading developing countries should join hands to play a bigger role in international communication, says President Li Congjun of China’s Xinhua News Agency. Li made the appeal in a signed article published Tuesday as leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza for the sixth summit of the emerging-market bloc known as BRICS.
Readout of the President’s Call with President Xi of China | The White House The President spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 14 to discuss shared bilateral, regional and global challenges and ways the two countries can work together to address them. The two leaders reviewed the important progress achieved during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue July 9-10 in Beijing and the President thanked President Xi for hosting this year. The President reaffirmed his commitment to developing a relationship defined by increased practical cooperation and constructive management of differences. In this context, the President and President Xi discussed the need for continued U.S.-China cooperation in the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with Iran and the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action. The President underscored the need for Iran to take the steps necessary to assure the international community that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. The President also stressed the need for enhanced communication and coordination on actions with China to ensure North Korea meets its denuclearization commitments. The President said he looked forward to seeing President Xi at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing this November.
Related: 习近平同美国总统奥巴马通电话 Xi-
Related: Beijing’s Appetite for Engagement Ebbs — China’s World – WSJ $$ Disillusion seems to be taking hold on both sides. From the U.S. perspective, engagement with China has not brought forth the kind of change that Nixon—and every U.S. administration since—has hoped for and expected. U.S. policy makers see a frustrating paradox: at a time when China’s economy is in triumphant ascendance—thanks in large part to America opening its vast markets to Chinese trade—the old hatreds that Nixon remarked upon are burning more brightly than ever. Meanwhile, China’s neighbors once again feel threatened.
Related: James Mann And His Prescient Book “The China Fantasy” | The Sinocism China Newsletter 2011 Sinocism post on James Mann’s 2007 book The China Fantasy. His “Third Scenario” appears to be increasingly the consensus view in DC // In 2007 James Mann published The China Fantasy, a short book arguing that Western elites misrepresented the benefits of engagement with China and that prosperity and capitalism might not, as they claimed, eventually bring democracy to the PRC. Mann pissed off a lot of people, including me the first time I read it. In fact, he attacked the foreign policy and business elite (and specifically the Sinology elite) in such a way that many of them either ignored this book or did their best to discredit or downplay it.
Free of graft and technically skilled: the qualities Xi seeks in new PLA generals | South China Morning Post The latest round of promotions in the People’s Liberation Army suggests President Xi Jinping is seeking to groom a new generation of military leaders who are better trained and free of corruption, analysts say. In the past week, Xi has promoted nearly two dozen officers to the rank of lieutenant general. They are relatively young, with several having trained with the Russian military, according to the People’s Liberation Army Daily and other official sources. A few of the officers gained combat experience during the border war with Vietnam in the late 1970s.
Related: 军方人事格局生变 战略调整“仰给东南”_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】
Related: Senior official urges deeper military graft inspections – Xinhua A senior military official has called for more anti-graft inspections in the army to focus on high-ranking officials. Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a meeting where inspection results were reviewed and future plans were set, according to a statement publicized on Tuesday. From April to June, the commission sent two teams to inspect leading Party officials in Guangzhou and Chengdu military commands. The campaign is now expected to be widened.
Is a PR Crisis Brewing For Edelman in China? | Agency News – Advertising Age As soon as the PR company learned of Mr. Rui’s detention, “we immediately started to ensure our compliance people were looking at gathering all facts relevant to what had happened historically with Pegasus, and also just looking at our operations to make sure we are completely compliant,” Mr. VanderMolen said. // obviously they were not compliant
Related: The World Economic Forum is erasing online traces of China’s “Davos Man” Rui Chenggang after his arrest – Quartz Adrian Monck, the WEF managing director in charge of public engagement, acknowledged in an email to Quartz that Rui’s profile had been taken down, saying: “The profile is suspended pending his current investigation.” + Asked about WEF policy for removing a participant’s profile from its website, Monck replied, “Conflicts of interest strike at the heart of journalistic integrity. This investigation into one of CCTV’s highest profile and most outspoken business journalists underlines the seriousness with which China is tackling the issue of corruption.”
Related: Edelman discloses links to detained Chinese news anchor Rui Chenggang – WSJ The case exposes the potential pitfalls public relations and marketing firms face in China where access to influential media, much of it state-owned, is crucial, industry executives said. Tom Doctoroff, chief executive officer of Asia-Pacific operations for advertising firm JWT, said a having a relationship with someone as prominent and close to the establishment as Mr. Rui would be immensely valuable. Now that Mr. Rui’s name has become associated with an investigation, that asset may become a liability, Mr. Doctoroff said. “The issue is not whether they’re culpable of anything. It’s the taint of association,” he said. “People are going to stay away.”
Related: 央视红人芮成钢突被捕疑与周永康有关 – 电视传媒 – RFI and then there are the rumors that have been going around that Rui Chenggang was involved with Ling Jihua’s wife…no idea if true, have to say it seems strange he would be taken down just for economic crimes
China’s New Loans, Financing Top Estimates – Bloomberg Aggregate financing was 1.97 trillion yuan ($317 billion) in June, the People’s Bank of China said on its website today, compared with the median estimate of analysts for 1.425 trillion yuan. New local-currency loans were 1.08 trillion yuan and M2 money supply grew 14.7 percent from a year earlier. China’s foreign-exchange reserves, the world’s biggest, rose to $3.99 trillion from $3.95 trillion at the end of March.
Related: China’s Credit Growth Offers Encouraging Signs for Economy $$ – WSJ China’s gross domestic product grew by 7.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, its slowest pace in 18 months, compared with 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Second-quarter GDP growth, due out Wednesday, was expected to roughly match first-quarter levels. China has set a 7.5% growth target for 2014. Beijing hopes its use of targeted stimulus measures will support growth without funneling easy credit to bloated state-owned companies and overstretched real-estate developers. The money-supply figures released Tuesday suggest growth concerns are edging out worries about broader inefficiencies.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China and the cost of stimulus | FT Alphaville One, it’s business as usual and China will continue along a path of investment driven growth until they no longer can. Or two, this is China’s reform minded leadership giving due deference to danger in the property market while throwing sops to the elites they are up against in attempting to rebalance the economy. If you buy Pettis’s argument, you’ll hope it’s the latter. For the record, he “would give two chances out of three that Beijing will manage an orderly “long landing”, in which growth rates continue to drop sharply but without major social disruption or a collapse in the economy.”
Chinese Premier encourages enterprises to reform, innovate – Xinhua | Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday encouraged enterprises to push forward reform and innovate to counteract the economic slowdown. He said enterprises should, instead of having a wait-and-see attitude, take bold action to seize the opportunity by adopting new technologies and transforming their business models, thus improving competitiveness and surviving. Li was speaking at a symposium attended by the country’s leading businessmen from sectors including foreign trade, construction, finance and the Internet.
企业家因部长在场不敢提意见 李克强称感到汗颜_网易新闻中心 But Premier Li gets upset when the executives say they don’t dare speak their minds in the presence of so many government ministers// 核心提示：7月14日下午，
经济参考网 – 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone open for business // 平潭综合实验区管委会主任李德金表示，“一线放宽、二线管住、
Two Rail Operators Selling Rights to Advertise on Bullet Trains – Caixin The pilots, by the Nanchang Railway Bureau in the eastern province of Jiangxi and the Guangzhou Railway Group Co. Ltd. in the southern province of Guangdong, mark the first time subsidiaries of China Railway Corp. (CRC), have introduced naming rights into their advertising business on bullet trains. CRC is the operator of the country’s railroads. The pilot program in Nanchang made headlines this week when reports appeared that the D6405 bullet train linking the Fujian cities of Fuzhou and Longyan had been renamed China Unicom. All of China’s high-speed trains were originally named Harmony.
POLITICS AND LAW
China to grant ‘more’ press passes – but journalists must sign secrecy deal first | South China Morning Post Mainland journalists are now forced to sign a secrecy agreement with their employers before they can obtain a press pass, in another step in the party’s tightening grip on the media. Journalists for the first time will have to sign the confidentiality agreement as a prerequisite to the press certificate, a unique system on the mainland that gives holders access to significant state events and official interviews.
Chinese official sacked after pornography found under his Buddha – Telegraph best headline of the year so far // A disgraced Chinese official who allegedly used his ill-gotten wealth to collect real estate and pornography has been sacked after a stash of smutty films were found under a statue of the Buddha at one of his 34 properties. Wu Zhizhong, a senior civil servant from Inner Mongolia, is the latest official to see his career destroyed by a major anti-corruption campaign being spearheaded by President Xi Jinping.
China Communist Party expels military firm executive in war on graft In a separate statement, China banned teachers from receiving gifts from students and their parents to curb the buying of favours, often in exchange for giving students special treatment, state media reported. Teaching staff were prohibited from asking for or receiving presents, money and other valuables such as securities and vouchers from students and parents, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Monday, citing the Education Ministry. The rules also forbid teachers from attending banquets arranged by parents that may cloud their judgement in exams and evaluations of students.
宋祖英穿裙装低调现身剧院 与导演热聊(图)_网易新闻中心 Song Zuying makes an appearance at a performance at the National Theater amidst rumors she is in trouble
Beijing steps up ‘naked officials’ crackdown | News24 Beijing is ramping up its efforts to identify “naked officials” – those whose relatives have moved abroad – reports said on Tuesday, as part of a high-publicised anti-graft crackdown. At least 10 Chinese provinces have launched investigations to track down so-called “naked officials”, the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper reported.
Former central China political advisor under investigation – Xinhua Yang Baohua, a former senior political advisor of central China’s Hunan Province, is under investigation by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) for alleged bribery-taking, the SPP said Tuesday in a statement. The SPP has taken coercive measures against him, according to the statement. The news came after the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced earlier this morning that Yang was stripped of Party membership for serious discipline and law violation.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Australia denies willingness to confront China – Xinhua Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently said “China doesn’t respect weakness” and that Australia will speak up in defence of peace, liberal values and the rule of law — even at the risk of causing offence in Beijing, according to The Age and other Australian media. “Australia has made clarification to China through diplomatic channels, confirming its foreign minister never made such comments,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a press release on Tuesday.// sure looks like she did, since John Garnaut has uploaded audio of the interview. See next item…
China: Julie Bishop comments that sparked Beijing’s rebuke ‘never’ made–Sydney Morning Herald The official denial claimed by China clashes with the on-the-record comments made by Ms Bishop to Fairfax, which were recorded during the interview. The contradiction appears to be a combination of eagerness on both sides to smooth the relations combined with an old-fashioned diplomatic botch-up.
The Global Times Phenomenon – China Digital Times (CDT) Dear foreign press, every time you quote a mad Global Times editorial you are effectively playing into their own incentive system.
The Implications of China’s Anti-Corruption Drive | The Diplomat Until the world is presented with a strong and democratic China, it is better to face a militarily weaker authoritarian China. It is in regional and Western security interests for Xi to fail in his narrow reform goals designed to prepare China for coercion and conflict and instead to pursue a larger, more benign China dream. Joseph A. Bosco is a member of the U.S.-China task force at the Center for the National Interest and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He previously served as China country desk officer in the office of the secretary of Defense from 2005-2006.
Chinese M&A reforms to accelerate military consolidation – IHS Jane’s 360 The Chinese government has eased controls on asset restructuring and mergers and acquisitions (M&A); a move that is geared, in part, towards accelerating the consolidation of the country’s state-owned defence industrial base. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced on 11 July that listed companies will no longer need CSRC approval for major asset restructuring programmes.
Appeals Court Faults Government Order Prohibiting Ralls Corp. Wind Farm Deal – WSJ At issue was President Barack Obama’s decision in 2012 to block a U.S. acquisition involving China’s Ralls Corp, which sought to buy four wind-farm projects located in or near a naval-weapons training facility in Oregon. The move marked the first time in 22 years that a U.S. president blocked a foreign acquisition in such a manner. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday ruled the president’s order deprived Ralls of its rights to due process under the law. The court ruled that the company should be given access to unclassified evidence on which the president relied. It also said the company should be given a chance to respond to that evidence.
Chinese Hackers Extend Reach to Smaller U.S. Agencies, Officials Say – NYTimes.com It is not clear whether the hackers were operating on behalf of the Chinese government. But the sophisticated nature of the attacks has led some American officials to believe that the government, which often conducts cyberattacks through the military or proxies, played a role. Shawn Henry, an executive at the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike and a former top F.B.I. cybersecurity official, said the attacks were “indicative of a state-run intelligence agency” because they are one of the few groups that would want such information.
US admiral in China for top-level navy talks – Channel NewsAsia The chief of the US Navy met his Chinese counterpart Tuesday for talks aimed at improving cooperation between their fleets following concerns over regional territorial disputes and potential armed conflict. Admiral Wu Shengli, commander in chief of China’s navy, welcomed Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the US chief of naval operations, with a red-carpet ceremony and an honour guard at his headquarters in Beijing.
Vietnam’s Overdue Alliance With America – NYTimes OpEd OURS is a small country. We Vietnamese cannot and must not entrust our future to anyone, but we urgently need strategic allies at a moment in history when our priority is to defeat our present-day enemy: China…Our country must dispose of the myth of friendship with China and return to what Ho Chi Minh passionately advocated after World War II: an American-Vietnamese alliance in Asia…Tuong Lai is a sociologist, also known as Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, and a former adviser to two Vietnamese prime ministers.
In the heart of the Vietnam China standoff at sea-CNBC The Vietnamese government, which is on a PR offensive against Beijing, organized the trip for a handful of other journalists. We were told it would take about one week and require that we transfer boats.
China’s Xi invites Modi to visit, calls for ‘early’ border settlement – The Hindu China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit China in November and called for a “negotiated resolution” to the boundary dispute “at an early date”, as the two leaders held their first ever meeting in Brazil. In Fortaleza to attend the BRICS Summit, Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi met for 80 minutes – extending beyond the scheduled 40 minutes – in what was described as a frank and candid discussion covering a range of issues.
China “true in word, resolute in deed” on cooperation with Russia: Xi – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Monday that China is “true in word and resolute in deed” on the China-Russia cooperation, calling on the two sides to implement their consensus “without any reservation”. Xi made the remarks at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of their joint attendance at a summit of BRICS countries, which will be held in Brazil from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Henry Kissinger, 91, undergoes heart surgery in New York – Yahoo News I believe the Chinese are very worried about who will replace Kissinger as a US-China back channel, even if the current White House doesn’t always listen to him. Not many candidates have his combination of experience and gravitas for both sides. Suggestions? // Kissinger, 91, underwent an aortic valve replacement procedure, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
PLA kicks off live-fire military training – Xinhua Ten brigades from area commands of Shenyang, Beijing, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu will be involved in 10 sessions of training, which is expected to last for three months. Some of the training sessions will be conducted under a complex electromagnetic environment, and feature round-the-clock and all-weather drills.
TECH AND MEDIA
Alibaba and Lionsgate Sign Deal to Stream Content in China | Alizila Lionsgate and Alibaba Group said today they will launch a video content streaming service for China that give users of Tmall.com’s TV set-top box Internet access to hit American TV shows and movies like “Mad Men” and “The Hunger Games.”
IMAX wins $7-million victory against ex-employee who stole technology Fresh off its almost $7-million court victory against a former employee found to have copied its film technology and started a rival business in China, IMAX Corp. is hoping a new Canadian ruling will help persuade the Chinese government to disassociate itself from its competitor. The courts found former IMAX employee Gary Tsui copied its film technology and started a rival business in China. “He’s a national and they’ve been supportive of him,” IMAX counsel Sarit Batner says of the Chinese government’s support for film projects like the rival DMAX started up by Gary Tsui, a former software engineer at the Canadian-based digital cinema company.
Alibaba Said Likely to Sell More IPO Stock as Yahoo Retreats – Bloomberg Shares offered by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) and its backers are likely to account for more of the Chinese company’s initial share sale as Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) scales back, people with knowledge of the matter said. Alibaba, in its IPO filings, hasn’t identified any selling shareholders other than Yahoo. Yahoo today said it has cut the maximum number of shares it can sell in the IPO to 140 million from 208 million.
AMC to produce Chinese tale Journey to the West|Top Stories|chinadaily.com.cn It has been more than four centuries since Wu Cheng’en, a poet and novelist from the Ming Dynasty, wrote Journey to the West. Over the course of 400-plus years, the third of China’s Four Great Classical Novels has been adapted into a number of mediums, including: an animated series, dance pieces, films, musical numbers and plays. Now AMC Networks Inc is reimagining the story for a new television martial arts drama, Badlands. Badlands, which is a working title, is loosely based on the popular 16th century Chinese epic, which chronicles the travels of a Buddhist monk and his compatriots who endeavor to find a series of sacred texts. On July 11, AMC Networks announced plans for the program to be broadcast on AMC, its cable and satellite channel.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
The Mao Mango Cult of 1968 and the Rise of China’s Working Class | Collectors Weekly an exhibition about the mango’s short-lived sanctification has opened at Museum Reitberg in Zurich, Switzerland. Continuing through June 16, 2013, the show is organized around more than 60 Mao-era mango items—from Mao mango medallions to textiles bearing mango imagery—donated to the museum by scholar and author Alfreda Murck, who also edited the exhibition’s catalog and will be speaking at the Capital Literary Festival in Beijing on March 2, 2013.
China Joins Furor Over Fox News Host’s ‘Chinaman’ Comments – China Real Time Report – WSJ Pressure is growing for U.S. cable network Fox News to fire host Bob Beckel for controversial comments he recently made about Chinese people, including his use of the word “Chinaman.” “Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S.,” said Mr. Beckel on his talk show program “The Five” last Thursday, in response to a report that Chinese hackers broke into databases of the U.S. government. “Do you know what we just did? As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen, uh, Chinese people, how to do computers, and then they go back to China and hack us.”
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China’s fight for cleaner air | Marketplace.org China’s top-down authoritarian regime may inspire hope that China could clean up its air with a few snaps of its leaders’ fingers. But in China, central power has limits – local governments in China often disregard new mandates and laws handed down from the Beijing because there’s often no funding to implement them. “China’s local governments have no motivation at all to deal with environmental problems unless they make money,” says Peking University Professor Xu Jintao. “That’s why I think a pollution tax would work. If some of that revenue goes to fund the local government, they’ll quickly help solve this problem.”
Fast, Cheap and In the Red: Beijing’s Subway System Bled $558 Million Last Year – China Real Time Report – WSJ The reasons? In addition to operational costs, the city has been building up its subway lines at a frenetic pace, and each kilometer of new subway line costs about 1 billion yuan to build, the Beijing Evening News reported on Monday. Beijing is also planning to spend another 400 billion yuan on such efforts, building up a subway system of more than 1,000 kilometers by 2020, up from the current 465 kilometers, the newspaper said. At that point, the paper noted, in order to break even, the cost of a ticket would need to be tripled to around 6 yuan per passenger. In the meantime, to keep the system running, Beijing’s government has supported the operator for the past seven years with 22.1 billion yuan in subsidies, Xinhua said.
Beijing increases air patrols to combat terrorism – Xinhua hear helicopters all the time in DC, seems normal Beijing would start having them // Beijing police have increased helicopter patrols since May as an anti-terror precaution, according to the municipal public security authorities. Yang Dongfeng, captain of the air police team, said eight patrol routes cover almost all transport hubs, major urban centers, open markets, parks and checkpoints on highway entrances to Beijing. The Beijing helicopter police team was formed in 2007 for the Olympic Games and now has nine pilots and five helicopters. Five other new pilots are being trained abroad.
JOBS AND EVENTS
We’re hiring! Acquisitions Editor Penguin publishes quality non-fiction and fiction on and from China, written in the English language and in translation from Chinese. Successful applicants should have a proven background in copy editing, an eye for a great story well told, and an ability to be an enthusiastic advocate for the books that we sign up. This position will be based in Hong Kong, Beijing, or Shanghai, and applicants should be native-level English speakers