"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
At Quake Scene, Leader’s Dip in the Mud Gets Close Attention – NYTimes.com Mr. Li was dispatched to the scene and spent much of Monday surveying the disaster. Since assuming office last year, the premier has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, Wen Jiabao, who was known as China’s “consoler in chief,” traveling to the scenes of disasters to comfort victims and encourage rescue teams.
Related: Water builds up in China quake zone, brings new danger: Xinhua | Reuters More than 2,300 people were injured and 12 are missing after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the southwestern province of Yunnan on Saturday. It was the region’s strongest quake in 14 years and destroyed thousands of buildings. “A huge quake lake containing more than 3,000 cubic meters (106,000 cubic feet) of water has inundated dozens of homes and continues to threaten nearby villages,” the Xinhua news agency quoted hydrological officials as saying. “Its water level is increasing at a speed of 30 cm (1,060 cubic feet) per hour, putting seven power stations in the lower reaches in danger,” the news agency said.
China probes two Canadians for stealing state secrets – Xinhua Two Canadian nationals are under investigation for suspected theft of state secrets about China’s military and national defense research, Chinese authorities said on Monday. The two suspects are Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt. The State Security Bureau of Dandong City, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, is now investigating the case in accordance with law.
Related: Canadian-run cafe on China-North Korean border was Christian hangout: sources | Reuters A coffee shop in China run by a Canadian couple who are being investigated for threatening national security openly displayed bibles and was known as a meeting point for foreign Christians in the area, people who have been to the cafe on the border with North Korea said on Tuesday. Christian influences were apparent throughout Peter’s Coffee House in the city of Dandong, several people told Reuters, even though such outward signs of religiosity could have drawn attention from Chinese authorities, especially since North Korea is so hostile to proselytising.
Related: China probes Canadian Christians for alleged spying – Yahoo News China’s definition of state secrets can be very broad, and the Xinhua report did not specify what was allegedly stolen, adding only that the probe was being conducted by the State Security Bureau in Dandong. The Dandong region is a sensitive military area for China, and the border crossing is a key trade lifeline for nuclear-armed, diplomatically isolated North Korea. It is also a focus for foreign Christian groups, including some from South Korea, with some working to assist North Koreans who secretly cross the border to escape from hardship and repression in their homeland.
Related: China state secrets: Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt’s son called for questioning – World – CBC News Chinese authorities have requested that the son of a Canadian couple being investigated for suspected theft of military and intelligence information come in for questioning. Peter Garratt, who lives in Dandong, China, with Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt, said in an email to CBC News that he received a call from the State Security Bureau in Dandong asking him to come in. “They also asked me to pick up some clothes and toiletries for them, so I assume they are at the bureau,” he wrote.
U.S. to press South China Sea freeze despite China rejection | Reuters U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at a meeting with Southeast Asian nations this weekend, will press for a voluntary freeze on actions aggravating territorial disputes in the South China Sea, in spite of Beijing’s rejection of the idea. Daniel Russel, the State Department’s senior diplomat for the East Asia region, said ahead of Kerry’s trip to the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) that the call was not new and was “not rocket science,” but “common sense.”
Related: China Test Looms for Widodo as Indonesia Faces Xi’s Sea Campaign – Bloomberg With the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the world’s fourth-largest population, Indonesia has the potential to take a leadership role in forging the region’s ties with China. That may risk an early challenge, such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe found when he took office in December 2012, a month when Chinese ship incursions doubled in what Japan regards as its territorial waters. “They’ll push hard early and see if they are able to force people to give something,” said Scott Harold, an analyst in Washington with Santa Monica-based Rand Corp, referring to the Chinese leadership’s stance toward the incoming Indonesian administration. “The Chinese tend to do this with most new leaderships from whom they want something,” said Harold, whose doctorate from Columbia University focused on China’s foreign policy.
Xi Jinping: Ready to Take On ‘Armies of Corruption,’ Paper Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ Combating corruption has emerged as the signature policy of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration since late 2012, and his efforts appeared to kick into high gear in recent weeks when the Communist Party notched its biggest catches. So it came as a surprise when a newspaper this week reported the president apparently used the word “deadlocked” to describe a battle more popularly seen as featuring his triumphs. Mr. Xi reportedly went on to suggest that he will combat “armies of corruption” at the risk of damage to his reputation, or even his life. “In order to fight against corruption, a person’s life and death, personal praise or blame, do not matter,” the paper quoted him as saying.
Related: 发改委:高风险岗位干部参观监狱 接受警示教育——要闻——中央纪委监察部网站 “Scared Straight” for cadres? NDRC takes officials in “high risk positions” on tours of Beijing prisons… // 7月初国家发展和改革委员会启动“
Banking Regulator Tells Three Large Trust Companies to Watch for ‘Severe Risk’ – Caixin The China Banking Regulatory Commission has required three big trust companies to watch for “severe risk” in their projects and said another 11 should also be alert to potential problems. The regulator issued the risk warning to the companies in late July in a meeting whose details were not publicized, after receiving internal risk assessment reports from 43 trust companies that presented the value of projects that are potentially at risk, sources with knowledge of the gathering said.
China Using Antimonopoly Law to Pressure Foreign Businesses – WSJ Experts say China is responding to greater awareness that the prices its people and companies pay for goods from foreign companies are often higher than those in other markets. Chinese consumers pay about $470 for the least costly version of an iPad Mini with Retina display, for instance, while U.S. consumers can buy one for $399.
Related: Chinese Regulators Search Daimler Offices – NYTimes.com A Daimler spokesman in Germany confirmed that the Shanghai offices had been searched and said that the company was cooperating with officials. He said Daimler would not comment further on the continuing investigation and declined to give his name, citing company rules.
Related: 发改委查明克莱斯勒和奥迪垄断 将进行处罚_财经_腾讯网 NDRC has determined that Chrysler and Audi have engaged in monopolistic behavior, will be fined // 发改委查实克莱斯勒和奥迪存在垄断行为，将进行处罚；
曝郭美美幕后推手为干露露等嫩模干爹 已被刑拘_娱乐_腾讯网 on the Internet promotion firm behind Guo Meimei // [摘要]郭美美因赌博被抓后，
Sinica Podcast: The Rule of Law in China This week on Sinica, Jeremy and David are joined by Donald Clarke, professor at George Washington University where he specializes in Chinese law, for a discussion of what is happening with the Zhou Yongkang corruption scandal, as well as ongoing events in the 4th Plenary Session. Although you may not have heard of his name, we are fairly sure you’ll have run into his work, seeing as Professor Clarke founded and maintains ChinaLaw, the leading English-language Internet resource for discussing legal issues in China.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China Services Index Falls to Record Low – Bloomberg The services Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 50.0, the dividing line between expansion and contraction, from June’s 53.1, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics said today. A similar official gauge released Aug. 3 dropped to a six-month low of 54.2.
McDonald’s says China food scandal hurting regional results | Reuters “While this matter will negatively impact results in the near term, we cannot reasonably estimate the impact on full year 2014 earnings at this time,” according to a regulatory filing from McDonald’s, which has just over 2,000 restaurants in China.
经济参考网 -房地产按揭信贷违约风险暴露 regulators in some regions getting worried about home mortgage delinquencies-Economic Information // 房地产信贷风险正如悬在银行头上的达摩克利斯之剑。近日，《
经济参考网 – 户改启动或倒逼土改提速 “三权”换户口被叫停 让农民进退有路
10佳城投土地造假 大公国际“无视”维持AA+评级_21世纪网 8月4日，
Shares of Chinese Pork Producer WH Group Soar in Trading Debut – NYTimes.com The WH Group’s sizzling debut — the stock closed 6.5 percent higher on a day when most other stocks fell — came just three months after it scrapped plans for a $5.3 billion share sale, which was abandoned in April despite an attempt to downsize the deal to $1.9 billion. The earlier listing attempt was criticized as pricey and bloated, and involved 29 underwriters. The company tried again in July with only two underwriters — Morgan Stanley and Bank of China International — and a more modest price and fund-raising target.
乌鲁木齐停止购房条件查询 限购或已取消_政经频道_财新网 Urumqi ends housing purchase restrictions
搜房网危机再起：遭上海房产中介封杀 所有房源下架_财经频道_一财网 Shanghai brokers boycotting Soufun?
POLITICS AND LAW
A Familiar Script in China As a ‘Tiger’ Is Taken Down – NYTimes.com “The central government has from the start allowed the media to report to create support for the investigation, first with indirect reports, and now directly,” Qiao Mu, an associate professor of journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University who studies political propaganda, said in a telephone interview. “But the reporting has been like on Bo Xilai, more focused on the economic problems,” Mr. Qiao said. “Other issues can’t be explored. What were the political struggles behind the decision? How did he come to power in the first place? Who supported him?”
Zhou Yongkang’s Downfall | ChinaFile Conversation This campaign is moving offshore in a big way. This is interesting on a number of levels. Remember, the party’s anti-graft body has no legal status. It enforces party discipline which extends beyond mere laws. But with this current enquiry, what is effectively an extralegal body is exerting extraterritorial powers. Caixin has already reported how PetroChina’s Canadian investments have been caught up in the Zhou investigation. The CDIC is also dispatching its investigators to other nations in search of the assets of “naked officials,” the term given to officials who have children and spouses living on their families’ ill-gotten gains abroad. Some countries are likely to quietly welcome the CDIC’s help.
Elites Tremble as Xi Cleans House – WSJ Months before security officials swooped on Zhou Bin’s luxury villa in the suburbs of Beijing, hauling him away along with his wife, her father and their household staff, the son of China’s former security czar had been planning for just such a family catastrophe. Uppermost in the minds of Zhou Bin and his wife was the welfare of their daughter, then aged five and attending a nearby Montessori preschool, according to the accounts of several people close to the family, who also described the early-morning raid on the family.
Profile: Wang Qishan, China’s anti-corruption tsar – FT.com When he was named to head the body in late 2012, Beijing politicos joked it was because he had no children, since many of the offspring of senior Chinese leaders have amassed enormous fortunes in the past few decades. A more serious explanation is that Mr Wang is not seen as a member of any one faction but has been close to various top leaders over the years. His powerful father-in-law, Yao Yilin, was one of the senior cadres responsible for ordering the tanks into Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the “princeling” status this relationship confers on him was crucial in Mr Wang’s rise.
上海崇明27幢豪华庄园藏密林 树林里暗装探头(图)_新闻_腾讯网 “你们要向违建宣战，
上海崇明官方回应豪华林庄：属违法 3个月拆除|崇明|豪华林庄_新浪财经_新浪网 been reported before but nothing really done. Now officials say they are in the process of planning to tear the villas down, should be done in 3 months. very nice villas, wonder who owns them// 中新社上海8月5日电 (韦柳)位于上海市崇明县的27栋违规建造的豪华别墅“林庄”
视频：实拍新疆警民围歼暴徒：手雷开路 枪战激烈，时长约2分16秒 Video highlights of the anti-terrorist operation last week in Xinjiang that killed 9
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Barack Obama talks to The Economist: An interview with the president | The Economist One thing I will say about China, though, is you also have to be pretty firm with them, because they will push as hard as they can until they meet resistance. They’re not sentimental, and they are not interested in abstractions. And so simple appeals to international norms are insufficient. There have to be mechanisms both to be tough with them when we think that they’re breaching international norms, but also to show them the potential benefits over the long term. And what is true for China then becomes an analogy for many of the other emerging markets.
“Victory Day,” the Canonization of Kim Jong-il, and North Korean Succession Politics | Sino-NK Is it possible for North Korea to change the story and its narrative of the Korean War? In a divided country, such an adaptation is certainly important; and while it may be occurring slowly, it is surely happening. One thing that has been indeed happening is that China has been written out of the war. The best that we have seen from North Korea are a few statements from men like Choe Ryong-hae. Another conciliatory public event was a surprise undertaken by Kim Jong-un and his entire cabinet to the tomb of Chairman Mao’s son. China’s contributions to the North Korean war effort were therefore noted in front-page fashion in late July 2013, but we should expect very little after this. And surely there is little political benefit to a North Korean leader to be perceived as kowtowing to China; offering thanks when none is needed or expected. To my knowledge, there is very little mention of China in the huge new Korean War Museum, and Kim Jong-un seems very unlikely or disposed to later acknowledging China’s huge role in saving North Korea during the Korean War.
Japan Restates Concerns About China’s Defense Posture – WSJ Japan continues to keep a close eye on China’s defense posture as one of the major challenges to the region’s security environment, even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attempts to smooth the way for a possible face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. Japanese defense officials said that the annual defense white paper released Tuesday had some “major additions” in its 20-page section on China, “given the various new developments in the past year.”
Commentary: “China threat” or “Japan threat” ? – Xinhua A newly-published white paper by the Japanese defense ministry has again hyped up the so-called “China threat,” even as Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s cabinet itself has been engaging in regional destablization. Expressing strong concern about China’s military build-up, the paper called for the cabinet’s permission to enable a collective self-defense of “historic” significance, bolstering Abe’s ambition to militarize the island country. Such deliberate ignorance of the dangerous path the country has been led down looks even more alarming when noted that the paper referenced in particular China’s declaration last November of an air defense identification zone.
PacNet #63 -David Lampton: The US and China: sliding from engagement to coercive diplomacy | Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington needs to find ways to address the nibbling strategy of Beijing without sliding into escalation, doing great damage to the regional (and global) economy, or taking on more than the US people are willing to bear. An open-ended, deteriorating security and economic environment is a tragedy for the US and the region, and a catastrophe for China. One is hard-pressed to avoid concluding that both China and the US need this deteriorating circumstance like a hole in the head. That may be the most compelling strategic argument of all to change course.
China’s next generation jetliner takes next big step | Popular Science The C919 will be China’s largest civilian aircraft and a key move for the nation into an area it has been dependent on foreign suppliers like Boeing and Airbus, up to now. On July 31, 2014, the Chengdu Aviation Corporation completed the C919 jetliner’s nose and cockpit fuselage for the Commercial Airline Corporation of China (COMAC). The forward fuselage will join the mid body fuselage, which was completed in May 2014. At this rate, the C919 prototype is expected be assembled by December, once the rear fuselage and wings have been completed. The C919 will then be on pace to make a test flight in the second half of 2015 and enter into service in 2018.
US sent Latin youth undercover in anti-Cuba ploy – The Washington Post this just proves to those in Beijing that they are correct to be paranoid about US supported NGOs… // Over at least two years, the U.S. Agency for International Development — best known for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid — sent nearly a dozen neophytes from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to gin up opposition in Cuba. The danger was apparent to USAID, if not to the young operatives: A USAID contractor, American Alan Gross, had just been hauled away to a Cuban jail for smuggling in sensitive technology. He remains there still. USAID hired Creative Associates International, a Washington-based company, as part of a civil society program against Cuba’s communist government. The same company was central to the creation of a “Cuban Twitter” — a messaging network revealed in April by The Associated Press, designed to reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Mainland negotiator urges respect for trade pact – Xinhua A Chinese mainland negotiator has called on Taiwanese to respect the authority of a cross-Strait trade pact at the first meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC) since student protests against the pact in Taiwan. Zheng Lizhong, executive vice president of the Chinese mainland’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), said on Tuesday that the obstruction of cross-Strait negotiations by some Taiwanese should not be allowed to hamper follow-up negotiations over the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010. Zheng was speaking at the sixth regular meeting of the ECC, which was attended by a Taiwanese delegation led by Chang Hsien-yao, vice chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).
TECH AND MEDIA
Xiaomi Overtakes Samsung in China Smartphone Market – Digits – WSJ Xiaomi led China’s second-quarter smartphone shipment rankings with 14% market share, following by Samsung, Lenovo and Yulong each with 12%. It’s quite a jump from the first quarter, when Xiaomi’s 10.7% market share trailed Samsung’s 18.3% and Lenovo’s 11%. And an even bigger leap from a year ago, when Xiaomi only held 5%. Canalys Shanghai-based analyst Jingwen Wang said in a telephone interview that the popularity of devices in Xiaomi’s budget Redmi series – including the Redmi, Redmi 1S and Redmi Note – helped account for the second-quarter boost.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
$320 Million Facility to Stoke China’s Musical Theater Industry – NYTimes.com The one-million square foot facility, which will include a theater and production facilities and is to be completed by 2017, will develop musicals that can run in Beijing and other cities nationwide, as well as promote the theater industry there. The new center, about 30 miles south of Beijing in the city of Langfang, Hebei province, is being financed by the local government and a Beijing-based company, Ovation Cultural Development, at a cost of around two billion yuan (about $320 million), according to the China Daily.
Buddhist Sect Leader Detained During Raid – NYTimes.com Wu Zeheng, a Buddhist master who has long been at odds with the government, was taken into police custody last week after the police staged a coordinated raid on a number of businesses and living compounds run by his group, Huazang Dharma.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction-AP If left unchecked, gillnet fishing and China’s insatiable appetite for the swim bladder of the totoaba — another endangered fish hunted in the same area — may seal the fate of the tiny porpoise, according to the report from the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita. “If there is fishing for totoaba this September, the vaquita might disappear this year,” said Omar Vidal of the World Wildlife Fund. “Totoaba nets are the best device to catch vaquitas.”
China sets solar power target for 2014 – Xinhua China’s central energy authority unveiled its photovoltaic (PV) development targets for 2014 on Tuesday, vowing to install 13 gigawatts of new PV power capacity this year. Wu Xinxiong, head of the National Energy Administration (NEA), said China will strive to secure the target by supporting the development of distributed PV power generation. The target is more ambitious than the State Council guideline released in July 2013, which outlined plans to install 10 gigawatts of PV power capacity every year from 2013 to 2015.
Power Company Can’t Unload Its New Coal-To-Gas Facility Fast Enough – Caixin Datang International Power was keen to get a synthetic natural gas project up and running, but technology and management problems meant it was just as keen to get rid of it
河南遭遇63年来最严重干旱 74万人吃水难-中新网 serious drought in parts of Henan
经济参考网 – 环境违法企业或面临民众实质问责 违法成本将进一步增加 Economic Information on the role of citizen participation in cracking down on environmental violations // 作为环保法重要配套细则，
北京乡村干部腐败问题凸显 贿赂型犯罪超贪占型-法治频道-新华网 Beijing looks to have a problem with corrupt grassroots officials…if Beijing is bad imagine the provinces…grassroots official corruption among the hardest to tackle…not so much flies but wasps given the coercive power they can wield…// 近日，
Correction: Yesterday’s newsletter confused wealth and income Gini inidices when commenting on Top One Percent Has One Third of China’s Wealth, Research Shows – Caixin and Income inequality now greater in China than in US | University of Michigan News It is worth mentioning that at around 0.80 the US Wealth Gini is higher than China’s newly calculated 0.73.