The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.23.13

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

Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison, as I predicted on Twitter. Nearly a third of the respondents to the Saturday survey predicted at least life in prison. You readers are a sharp bunch.

Bo will likely appeal but the sentence is very unlikely to change. Nor he is ever likely to make a comeback, pundit speculation notwithstanding. Barring a (very unlikely) neo-Maoist uprising that springs Bo from Qingcheng Prison, he is done. But if you really believe he may return, and you have money, please contact me as I am brokering a deal for a Beijing bridge, and the recent Sinocism fundraising has been disappointing…

Is this relatively harsh sentence a sign of Xi Jinping’s strength and also bullish for economic reforms? Perhaps, and we should have more clues to help answer those questions once we learn what was decided at the Third Plenum in November.

This week is the last week of the Third Quarter and next week is the week-long National Holiday. Expect stress in the banking system this week, though nothing like we saw in June. The PBOC appears to have seen the abyss and decided it did not want to go there.

Today’s Links:


With Official’s Conviction, China Calls Attention to Its Crackdown on Corruption – Mr. Bo is likely to disappear from public life for decades, at least, ending a career in which he defied the staid ways of Chinese politics and reinvented himself as a populist defender of socialist virtues. China’s state-run news media portrayed the judgment as proof that the party leadership under Xi Jinping is determined to end the bribe-taking, graft and brazen self-enrichment that have fed widespread public disenchantment with officials. “The resolute legal punishment of Bo Xilai fully demonstrates that there are no exceptions before party discipline and state law,” said a commentary published Monday in the party’s main newspaper, People’s Daily. The commentary was repeated by many Chinese news Web sites. “No matter who is involved, they will all be investigated to the end and will all be sternly punished according to the law,” the commentary said.

Related: 人民日报评论员文章:坚持法治反腐 建设廉洁政治–观点–人民网 The People’s Daily Online version of the commentary also embeds the Sunday CCTV Evening News segment on it // 党的十八大提出建设廉洁政治的重要任务,要求做到干部清正、政府清廉、政治清明。全党同志尤其是各级领导干部务必牢记,任何人都没有法律之外的绝对权力,任何人行使权力都必须为人民服务、对人民负责并自觉接受人民监督;务必坚定理想信念,强化宗旨意识,时刻警醒拒腐防变,带头遵纪守法,不断增强自我净化、自我完善、自我革新、自我提高能力;务必坚持廉洁自律,把反腐倡廉当做政治必修课来认真对待,守住做人、处事、用权、交友的底线,永葆共产党人清正廉洁的政治本色。

Related: Unremitting, lawful effort against corruption: People’s Daily – Xinhua The article notes that the anticorruption drive is still in a difficult state as “corruption is still rampant and the soil nurturing it still exists.” It called for maintaining a “high voltage” crackdown on graft as well as severe and lawful punishment to straighten the Party’s style and win public support

Related: [视频]薄熙来一审被判处无期徒刑_新闻频道_央视网 Bo Xilai sentence the 8th item on the Sunday CCTV Evening News, lasts nearly 5 minutes, followed by the preview of today’s People’s Daily editorial…

Related: China’s Xi stamps authority on party with Bo verdict | Reuters “It’s (like) killing one to warn a hundred,” a source with ties to the leadership told Reuters. The ideological fractures exposed last year by Bo’s fall from grace had hobbled Xi, forcing him to row back on an ambitious plan to rebalance the world’s second largest economy, sources close to China’s leadership have told Reuters…Xi needed the Bo affair settled because the next few weeks are critical for his government, which took office in March. At a closed-door party plenum in November, Xi will push for more economic reforms and he needs unstinting support from the party’s elite 200-member Central Committee. The reforms Xi wants include opening up the banking sector to let in private players and interest rate reform and introducing more competition in key industries dominated by state-owned giants, such as in the energy and telecommunications sectors, sources say.

收入的真相_杂志频道_财新网 Professor Wang Xiaolu in this week’s Caixin on another income survey he has overseen. Income disparity is not really getting better but according to this survey there is much more household consumption in the economy than the official statistics suggest…Caixin cover package this week is on income distribution// 王小鲁 中国改革研究基金会国民经济研究所研究员——灰色收入为6.2万亿元,约占GDP的12%,集中在部分高收入居民,并有向某些中高收入阶层蔓延的趋势,说明腐败对社会的影响面在扩大。——城镇居民收入基尼系数为0.501,城镇10%最高收入家庭的收入是城镇10%最低收入家庭的20.9倍,远高于官方统计的8.6倍。——相对收入差距有所缩小,但绝对收入差距和灰色收入总量仍继续扩大。

Beijing to Grant Baby Formula Makers CN30Bn in Largest Reshuffle -Caijing The Chinese government is expected to grant five of the country’s baby formula makers as much as 30billion yuan in financial aid in the largest industry reshuffle to shore up tarnished home companies amid food scandals roiling foreign brands. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s industry watchdog, has finished drawing up a detailed plan to prompt merges and restructuring among the country’s over 120 baby formula makers, China Business Journal quoted a source familiar with the situation as saying.

Related: 多美滋再涉“贿赂名单” 涉七省市区医护人员-财经频道-新华网   more allegations of bribery and bad behavior by Danone’s Dumex milk powder business. Danone thinking of its Wahaha breakup, telling management to BOHICA? // 据央视《东方时空》报道近日,媒体连续报道了多美滋公司贿赂医生、护士,给刚出生的婴儿喂食自己品牌奶粉。21日,一位知情人再次向记者提供了多美滋公司贿赂医院的详细资料。

Related: 独家调查:奶企多美滋“贿赂名单”_新闻频道_央视网 Sunday CCTV report on Dumex bad behavior in China…local firms don’t do this too?

Related: 一位洋奶粉高管的渠道类型学 七“绝技”打通医院|洋奶粉|医院|_21世纪网 央视曝光多美滋等境外品牌涉嫌行贿医职人员的冰山一角。奶粉企业的“渗透路径”远不止于此。洋奶粉可以有7种方式来搞定医院,很多手段是外界想都想象不到的。

China’s Coming War on Coal | Climate Denial Crock of the Week A primary denialist talking point is that any attempts by the US and Europe to address climate change are doomed to failure, because China and India will continue to build their economies on fossil fuels, and wipe out any gains that might be made. But reality intrudes. Any idea that China can blindly follow US development models is faulty.

Related: 多地频出“禁煤令” 耗煤年减超亿吨 新华社——经济参考网  Economic News says area have issued orders restricting the burning of coal, to improve air quality // 随着京津冀地区签署大气治污责任状,削减燃煤无疑成为地方政府头上最大的“紧箍咒”,也被认为是治理大气污染的关键所在。《经济参考报》记者了解到,随着大气治污责任和考核细则的逐步明确,和福建出台“禁煤令”相同,包括兰州、北京等地都开始提出提高燃煤质量指标,禁燃低卡煤的要求。 随着煤炭能源结构开始逐步转向天然气等清洁能源,业内估算,耗煤量年减将超亿吨,煤炭“黄金十年”恐难再现。

Ukraine to become China’s largest overseas farmer in 3m hectare deal | South China Morning Post Under the 50-year plan, Ukraine will initially provide China with at least 100,000 hectares – an area almost the size of Hong Kong – of high-quality farmland in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, mainly for growing crops and raising pigs. The produce will be sold to two Chinese state-owned grain conglomerates at preferential prices. The project will eventually expand to three million hectares…The agreement was signed in June between the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and KSG Agro, Ukraine’s leading agricultural company, XPCC said in a statement. XPCC, also known as Bingtuan, is a quasi-military organisation established in Xinjiang in the 1950s to reclaim farmland and consolidate defences against the Soviet Union, whose “granary” at that time was, ironically, the Ukraine.

Wealthy Chinese seek U.S. surrogates for second child, green card | Reuters At least one Chinese agent promotes surrogacy as a cheaper alternative to America’s EB-5 visa, which requires a minimum investment in a job creating business of $500,000. While the basic surrogacy package Chinese agencies offer costs between $120,000 and $200,000, “if you add in plane tickets and other expenses, for only $300,000, you get two children and the entire family can emigrate to the U.S.,” said a Shanghai-based agent.

China’s Wanda Unveils $8.2 Billion Movie Fund as Hollywood A-Listers Lend Support – The Hollywood Reporter Hollywood A-listers turned out in force in searing sunshine in Qingdao, northeastern China, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman and Harvey Weinstein there to show moral support for the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis complex, which is slated to open in 2017 in the eastern Chinese port city.

China Policy Institute Blog » Crisis in the KMT  Two weeks ago President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan decided to drop a giant rock into the torpid waters of the island’s late-summer political scene when he had his party, the Kuomintang (KMT), remove the KMT Speaker of the legislature, Wang Jin-pyng. This triggered a political crisis that is still rolling waves across the island two weeks later.



China Manufacturing Gauge Rises to Highest Level in Six Months – Bloomberg The preliminary reading of 51.2 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a median estimate of 50.9 from 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The gauge had increased to 50.1 in August, signaling expansion with the first above-50 reading since April.

银行急刹车房贷全线收紧 “钱荒”或进入第二季_证券时报网  Banks cutting way back on mortgage and other loans to avoid end of quarter liquidity problems // 在经历过6月“钱荒”之后,“银行季末钱紧”再次挑起了人们脆弱的神经。与之相印证的是,停贷再次回到市场的视线之内。由于额度极其紧张,往常要到年底才逐渐收紧的信贷额度已经从9月下旬开始猛然踩住了急刹车。“现在房贷申请,放款最少在1个月以后,也许时间更长,这个我们没法向您保证。”购房者陆先生在银行面签贷款时,得到了如此说法。事实上,遭遇银行停贷的,远不止房贷这一项。

养老地产怪圈:纳税人补贴富人养老_财经频道_一财网 在各路资本热炒养老概念的当下,坐拥优惠政策的保险公司面临着“借公益之名行牟利之实”的广泛质疑。


人民网评刘志军薄熙来获刑:要像和尚一样当官_网易新闻中心 People’s Daily Online commentary says officials needs to be like monks…// 两位高官的落马再次证明,睡美人,拢巨财,灯红酒绿,腐败不堪,滥用职权,视群众利益于不顾的官员,最终都难逃法眼,必将受到法律的惩戒。从法院审判公开的事实看,笔者深思,为何身居高位仍不知足,为何家资丰厚仍要贪污受贿,为何当官那么难那么苦,却还有那么多人埋头往里冲、拼命象上挤。 反之,如何做一个好官?怎样做一个群众满意的“父母官”?不少为官者从来没有去考虑,不少人也思考得不清楚,容易迷惑。但一个农民质朴的回答,也许可以解答不少人的困惑,“像和尚一样当官即可。”和尚有六戒,为官者“三戒”即可,那就是戒“欲”、戒“色”、 戒“私”。

省公安厅介入 甘肃“造谣初中生”刑拘改行拘-财经网 Criminal complaint against the teen in Gansu for spreading rumors online has been dropped, now an administrative complaint, detained for 7 days…case has turned out to be a nightmare for the local offcials, and led to lots of justified online complaints about new rules. Local police chief revealed to have once given a large bribe, much mocking of the well fed local party secretary online // 经工作组进一步调查核实,杨某通过QQ、微博编造、散布虚假信息,其行为具有社会危害性,涉嫌寻衅滋事。但鉴于杨某系未成年人,且能够积极配合调查,悔罪态度诚恳,情节较轻,经省市县公安机关研究决定,依法撤销刑事案件

社评:基层案件争议否定不了两高《解释》_评论_环球网 甘肃天水市张家川县一周前发生一男子意外死亡事件,一16岁初三学生杨某在网上发布消息称,“警察与群众争执,殴打死者家属”,并提出“看来必须得游行了”。这些与事实不符的言论获大量传播,致使案发现场数百名群众聚集,交通堵塞,现场失控。警方后将杨某以涉嫌寻衅滋事罪刑拘。由于杨某是未成年人,此事在网上引起较大反响,一些人将此案称为“两高”发布《解释》后的“第一案”,有北京的律师表示要为杨某辩护。舆论对张家川县警方非常不利。

中国军网_用网络“好声音”弘扬时代主旋律 PLA Daily on the online rumor campaign, great cartoon // 这种“制信息传播权”,具体表现为谁能够设置话题,掌握网上话语权。这种无形的“话语战争”,是一种软力量的攻防竞争,是对“注意力资源”的抢夺。在网络时代,“眼球”往往意味着金钱,赢得关注就是衡量网络传播是否成功的标尺。在人人都有麦克风的网络空间,谁的声音大、调门高、听众多,谁就可以拥有制造话题的能力、投放广告的机会、获取投资的概率,就可以给自己带来源源不断的好处。这是薛蛮子“每天都有皇帝批阅奏章的感觉”的原因,也是“秦火火”们使尽浑身解数也要“谣动中国”的根源。网络话语权的竞争,正体现了事物的两面性:有人用互联网创造财富、价值和进步,就有人利用互联网大肆抹黑、造谣和制造混乱。

王义桅:普世价值是西方中心论幻觉_评论_环球网 Peoples U professor writes in Global times that Wstern Values are a western-centric hallucination // 中国的“天下大同”观并非认为历史会“终结”。中国传统文化秉承相对主义普世价值观,即“坚持价值观念的相对性和多样性,本身就是普世价值的体现”。这表明,中西方观念分歧的核心是关于“价值普世性”与“普世价值观”的争议。全体价值普世性的总和,才能拼出普世价值。宣称自己代表普世价值,只是一种话语霸权,正如文明的概念一样。(作者是察哈尔学会高级研究员、中国人民大学教授,近著《海殇?欧洲文明启示录》)

Official tip-off website unveils petition process – Xinhua According to the statement, the CCDI will handle public reports of discipline violations by CPC organizations and members, complaints from CPC members and officials who refuse punishment by disciplinary institutions, and suggestions for CPC party building and discipline supervision. The CCDI will register public comments and complaints via written letters, the Internet, personal visits and hotlines, and assign them to discipline inspection bureaus, the statement said.

媒体:中纪委有专门机构收集官网外的网络反腐爆料_资讯频道_凤凰网 据了解,没有通过中纪委监察部官网反映的网络反腐“爆料”,中纪委也有专门机构负责收集。所有收集到的网络反腐“爆料”,均纳入“前期工作”和“受理登记”中,也由专门机构负责收集、整理、归类。

Search for balance in China: a quest for dynamic stability | East Asia Forum–Yu Keping The congress report reaffirmed the importance of ‘Chinese characteristics’. The report states that China is in a unique situation and that it should ‘adhere to socialism with Chinese characteristics, develop it as required by the times, constantly enrich it in both practice and theory and enhance its distinctive national features in keeping up with the times’. It also states that China ‘will never copy a western political system’. The report does not, however, deny the existence of universal values, but rather establishes the concepts of democracy, liberty, equality, fairness and rule of law — basic values common to all mankind — as core elements of the socialist value system. It also calls for the whole country to ‘actively draw lessons from the achievements of human political civilization’ and to ‘actively absorb and draw lessons from the successes of foreign cultural achievements’.



New Sino-US ties sought – Xinhua Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China and the United States must prioritize their cooperation in Asia-Pacific affairs and build a new type of “major-country” relationship in the region. Wang made the comments in his speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC on Friday evening local time, during his first Stateside trip since assuming his post in March. “We have never had the strategic intention to challenge, let alone replace, the US’ position in the world,” Wang said. “We have never thought about pushing the US out of the region. Rather, we hope the US will play a positive and constructive role in safeguarding peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific.”

China’s Foreign Oil Dependence to Rise to 60Pct This Year: Former Energy Chief-Caijing China’s imports of crude oil this year is expected to hit 300 million tonnes, making the country’s foreign dependency rate at 60 percent, said Zhang Guobao, a former director of the National Energy Administration. Zhang, who is now director of the consulting panel of the National Energy Commission under the NEA, made the remark at the China-Arab States Expo last week.

China, Venezuela agree stronger strategic partnership – Xinhua China and Venezuela on Sunday pledged to seek a stronger strategic partnership. The pledge came out of the talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the Great Hall of the People on Sunday. Xi gave a red-carpet welcome ceremony to Maduro, who is paying his first state visit to China from Saturday to Tuesday.

Imagine a Better World – Jon Huntsman – Zeitgeist Americas 2013 – YouTube Amb. Huntsman worth listening to about China, bullish on economic reform.

One Chinese killed in Nairobi attack, child injured |Society |chinadaily A Chinese businessman confirmed to Xinhua on Sunday that his friend, a female Chinese, was killed, and her child injured in the attack at the upscale shopping mall in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi on Saturday.

Preparing for the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse | RAND A North Korean government collapse would have serious consequences in North Korea and beyond. At the very least, a collapse would reduce the already scarce food and essential goods available to the population, in part due to hoarding and increasing costs. This could lead to a humanitarian disaster. Factions emerging after a collapse could plunge the country into civil war that spills over into neighboring countries. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could be used and even proliferated. This report examines ways of controlling and mitigating the consequences, recognizing that the Republic of Korea (ROK) and its U.S. ally will almost certainly need to intervene militarily in the North, likely seeking Korean unification as the ultimate outcome. But such an intervention requires serious preparation. North Koreans must be convinced that they will be treated well and could actually have better lives after unification. The allies need to prepare to deliver humanitarian aid in the North, stop conflict, demilitarize the North Korean military and security services over time, and secure and eventually eliminate North Korean WMD. Potential Chinese intervention must be addressed, ideally leading to cooperation with ROK and U.S. forces. Plans are needed for liberating North Korean political prisons before the guards execute the prisoners. Property rights need to be addressed. The ROK must sustain its military capabilities despite major reductions in force size due to very low birthrates. And ROK reluctance to broadly address North Korean collapse must be overcome so that plans in these areas can move forward. //this report seems to be a bit off



WeChat monetization takes a celebrity twist – Xinhua China’s most popular instant-messaging service now offers a more intimate way for fans to interact with celebrities — and it comes with a price. For a membership fee, WeChat users can now have their favorite movie stars wake them up in the morning, see unretouched celebrity photos, and read books published by famous writers. The official WeChat account of Chinese actor Chen Kun now asks users to pay 18 yuan (2.92 U.S. dollars) a month for exclusive content. Given Chen’s massive popularity and WeChat’s 400 million-plus users, analysts say the account could generate a substantial amount of revenue.

丁辰灵:腾讯入股搜狗后2小时发生了什么|搜狗|腾讯|张朝阳_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 据和360关系密切的媒体朋友告诉我,老周得知腾讯入股搜狗的消息,是在当天下午5点钟,是张朝阳亲自发短信给他的。新闻稿是5点半发的,老周毕竟也是互联网大佬,提前半小时让他知道,也算是尊重他。当时,老周正在参加快播的一个活动,收到这个短信,脸一下子就变绿了。这次搜狗的保密工作做的太好,此刻,360的团队内部已经开过会了,说要接收搜狗了,大家正沉浸在做胜利者的喜悦之中,正准备庆祝呢。有媒体比喻说,到了洞房门口,才知道自己不是新郎。形容此情形,太确切不过了。

Oberweis Sees Qihoo Rally on Smartphones: China Overnight – Bloomberg Oberweis China Opportunities Fund (OBCHX), the best-performing U.S.-based fund investing in Chinese stocks, said Internet companies from NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ) to Qihoo 360 Technology Co. (QIHU) will extend a rally after jumping more than three-fold this year.

Reading the Tea Leaves: Sourcing News from Chinese Social Media | Harvard Business School by Harvard University  David Wertime is a founding editor of the online magazine Tea Leaf Nation. The site features English-language news stories about China, sourced entirely through Chinese social media. Last week Tea Leaf Nation was acquired by the Foreign Policy Group, a division of the Washington Post Company. We talked to David earlier this year about this new media model, and the challenge of starting out in a struggling industry in a country that restricts press freedom.



Video: Behind China’s College Military Training | Sinostand Two years ago I did a feature for Foreign Policy on Junxun. After returning to Tsinghua again this year to take some pictures of the new “cadets,” I thought it’d be worth making a little video based more-or-less on that feature. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but I think if you get a feel for what goes on during Junxun, it makes it a bit easier to understand the wider relationship between the Communist Party and the “Post-90s Generation.”

A Century of American Dreams and Nightmares of China | The China Story Communist Party spokesmen in Beijing have been talking a lot lately about the ‘China Dream’, President Xi Jinping’s call for national goals befitting China’s era of economic prosperity. Yet dark events — from food and pollution scares early in 2013, to July’s beating to death of a watermelon peddler, to the start of yet another crackdown on activist lawyers and bloggers critical of the government — have led to cynical online chatter  about the ‘China Nightmare’ as better capturing the experience of many citizens of the People’s Republic. The currency of this ‘dream’ and ‘nightmare’ rhetoric in China makes this a good time to reflect on a different set of fantasies originating outside China. I mean what might be called the ‘Western China Dream’ (they’re about to buy our goods and convert to our ways!) and the recurring ‘Western China Nightmare’ (they’re so different and there are so many of them!).

Humble Chinese Village Basks in Legacy of Three Kingdoms Era – Many Longmen inhabitants are surnamed Sun and claim to be descendants of the warlord Sun Quan of the Three Kingdoms era, a storied period in the history of ancient China.

Aussie builds world’s largest skateboard park–Sydney Morning Herald The 17,000 square metre park – about as big as four football fields – is being built on the grounds of a conglomerate of universities, the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, in the extreme sports area. It’s likely demand for the park’s facilities – which are free to use – will be high. The mega centre is home to 10 universities, more than 160,000 students and 20,000 staff, many of which are in walking distance of the facility.



水系统崩溃致河道干涸湿地萎缩 新华社——经济参考网 Economic Information on the growing water table crisis in North China// 我国北方地区承担着国家粮食安全重任,然而水资源短缺一直是制约粮食生产稳定性和产量潜力挖掘的主要限制因素。这种矛盾在华北平原尤甚,河北中南部平原用于粮食生产的地下水净消耗,已造成区域平均的地下水下降达7.4米,局部地区达20米。同时,也引起了河道断流、湿地萎缩、地面沉降等一系列环境问题。业内专家认为,大规模提高农业用水效率是保障粮食安全的战略需要,华北平原地下水修复与生态保护刻不容缓。

The True Cost of Becoming an Academician in China? | Science/AAAS | News Revelations of government corruption hardly raise eyebrows in China these days. But Zhang Shuguang’s exploits have managed to shock a jaded populace. The “father” of China’s high-speed rail system, standing trial on corruption charges in Beijing last week, testified that he solicited bribes from businessmen because he needed money—a whopping 23 million yuan (about $3.8 million)—to burnish his credentials and influence votes in the biannual elections for membership in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2007 and 2009. It turned out to be money ill spent, in more ways than one: Zhang failed to get elected not once, but twice.



那些果汁是如何炼成的:“瞎果”原料链条调查|果汁|原料链_21世纪网 Don’t read this if you want to keep drinking bottled fruit juice in China…but perhaps stop giving it to your kids…//【编者按】曾几何时,随着人民生活水平提高和健康意识的日趋强烈,健康饮料开始深入民心。而在健康饮料中,果汁饮料所占比例逐步增大。但这些果汁真的是如消费者理解的那么健康自然高品质么?或者如自己宣传那么百分百无添加么?经过本报记者为期半个多月的调查发现,事实显然并不如此。



Non-residents face hard and costly road to get around the hukou barrier | South China Morning Post Gao then plans to buy a hukou within the yearly quota for permanent residency given to state-owned companies. These enterprises sometimes have quotas to spare and collude with agents to sell them. “I need to pay several hundred thousand yuan for a hukou. After that, my son will be able to get his Beijing hukou too. But my wife needs to take a couple of years to apply for hers under the ‘family reunion’ rules,” Gao said.


BOOKS AND LITERATURE Pathlight Summer 2013: Alice Xin Liu, Eric Abrahamsen, Canaan Morse, Zhanjun Shi For China, “more, better, bigger, faster” has been the only doctrine of development for the last thirty-five years. Resources disappear and outward identities – countrysides, communities, relationships – are forcibly repackaged in modern materials in the interest of progress. Then, one high-speed train knocks another off the track, and the government rescue teams bury the evidence. What does a national love for speed do to the people who make the nation? Do people live better in concrete boxes than they did in wooden ones? Trains, cars, and apartments now haunt the Chinese imagination. Wang Anyi and Sheng Tie present us with life on the rails: one dream and one nightmare. Lu Nei’s Shuangfeng is forever running after something that’s out of his grasp; Ren Xiaowen’s mermaid is fleeing for her life. A Yi’s Zhou Lingtong starts out on the lam but comes full circle, while Li Hao’s narrator seems to be fully at rest. // a soft spot for this publication as I once worked as a translator for the Chinese Literature Press



Paid Internships in WSJ’s Beijing Bureau The Wall Street Journal is offering paid internships in its Beijing newsroom to undergraduates and graduate students who intend to pursue a career in journalism.  Applicants must be currently enrolled in a university in China, fluent in Chinese and English, and available to work a minimum of 20 hours a week.