The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.29.15

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

Friday’s luncheon for Xi Jinping was very interesting but there was no meet and greet and I did not get the selfie.

This is a quick and dirty newsletter (where does the time go) so tonight I only have a brief comment on the visit. You can watch a video of some of my (not fully formed) thoughts in this CSIS package here filmed Monday morning.

The summit was a success for both sides, in part because expectations going in were so low. Congratulations to everyone who clearly worked to exhaustion to make it a positive meeting.

Xi got what he wanted in terms of pomp, circumstance and respect, and substantively he did not give up much if anything. The very positive Chinese coverage of the visit reflected that. The last minute trip to DC by Meng Jianzhu (one person told me it was arranged the night before his departure) to save the summit before it went off the rails worked. The overall trajectory of the relationship however looks unchanged, and if I were running an American business in China I would not be betting that the environment is going to change in a materially positive way.

I want to be more constructive and positive (go One Million Strong!) so will just say that we need to wait and see, and we can certainly hope that the PRC is moderating some of its policies. But even though my lungs are already feeling stronger after six weeks away from Beijing, I will not be holding my breath.

The South China Sea issue appears intractable and Xi, with his reiteration that:

Islands in the South China Sea since ancient times are China’s territory.  We have the right to uphold our own territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime rights and interests.

does not appear to be leaving any room for compromise.

Chris Buckley (it is great news for China watchers everywhere that he is back in Beijing) reminds of us of the widely held views about the US and its efforts to “contain China”, views I hear all the time, most disturbingly from my most sophisticated and cosmopolitan friends:

Peter Hays Gries, a professor at the University of Oklahoma who studies the political psychology of China-United States relations, said a closer analysis of earlier opinion surveys indicated that many Chinese people “are socialized through the Chinese educational system to mistrust the world.”

Chinese youth, he said, were “susceptible to arguments that Western countries don’t really care about human rights and democracy, but simply use these issues as ways to further insult and humiliate China.”

Li Yonghong, a 28-year-old technician in northwestern Beijing, said his views on the United States were not the product of indoctrination.

“They’re certainly trying to contain us — that’s how big powers treat each other,” he said. His enjoyment of American films and smartphones would not dilute his view, he said.

“Actually, this iPhone was made in China,” he said, taking one from his pocket. “On the big issues, China is usually right. That’s a fact.”

Last week’s visit is likely the last bilateral meeting between Obama and Xi. Given the lame duck status of the Obama administration and the Chinese perceptions that the US is distracted and no longer fielding a foreign policy A-team, don’t be surprised to see the glow from the summit fade within a month or so as China continues to press what it sees as its advantages in what it calls its ongoing “period of strategic opportunity 战略机遇期”.

China’s October 1 National Holiday starts Thursday and barring a crisis expect there to be little news flow out of China until October 8 or so. The newsletter will continue to publish sporadically during this period.

Today’s Links:


FACT SHEET: President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to the United States | President Obama and President Xi agreed to work together to constructively manage our differences and decided to expand and deepen cooperation in the following areas:

Full Text: Outcome list of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States – Xinhua 48. China and the United States agree that timely responses should be provided to requests for information and assistance concerning malicious cyber activities. Further, both sides agree to cooperate, in a manner consistent with their respective national laws and relevant international obligations, with requests to investigate cybercrimes, collect electronic evidence, and mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from their territory. Both sides also agree to provide updates on the status and results of those investigation to the other side, as appropriate.China and the United States agree that neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors. 48、中美双方同意,就恶意网络活动提供信息及协助的请求要及时给予回应。同时,依据各自国家法律和有关国际义务,双方同意就调查网络犯罪、收集电子证据、减少源自其领土的恶意网络行为的请求提供合作。双方还同意适当向对方提供调查现状及结果的最新信息。中美双方同意,各自国家政府均不得从事或者在知情情况下支持网络窃取知识产权,包括贸易秘密,以及其他机密商业信息,以使其企业或商业行业在竞争中处于有利地位。  //  did the Chinese help the US in identifying North Korea as the source of the attack on Sony?

What Explains the U.S.-China Cyber “Agreement”? – Lawfare There was almost certainly less substantive agreement on changes in China’s behavior, or about governing norms, than meets the eye.  What little change might have occurred in China’s position (such as acquiescing in the Fact Sheet) was likely induced by the United States raising the stakes more than has been appreciated, and by U.S. concessions on some other dimensions that are not yet obvious. Yesterday’s grand pronouncements seemed to mark progress while at the same time allowing both sides to claim what they want to claim about what they actually agreed to. What happened yesterday’s could spark more progress on U.S.-China cyber relations; or it could  spark none.  Probably the best guide to what was accomplished was President Obama’s question whether words will be followed by action.

Limiting Security Breaches May Be Impossible Task for U.S. and China – The New York Times Still, there was progress. Never before had China agreed with Mr. Obama’s fundamental premise that the theft of intellectual property for commercial gain was off limits. After weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Chinese leadership, first in Beijing in late August and then with a delegation of nearly 50 senior Chinese officials who came to Washington quietly two weeks ago, Beijing agreed to wording that read: “Neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.”

Beijing Puts Ball Back in Washington’s Court on Climate Change – The New York Times “The ironies are rich,” said David Sandalow, a fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a former senior official in the Obama administration. “Carbon emissions trading is an American idea. Now it’s an American export. The Europeans have moved forward in implementing it. Now the Chinese are embracing it on a large scale.” But news of China’s cap-and-trade policy did not seem to change the views of a number of Republican presidential candidates.

Enacting Cap-and-Trade Will Present Challenges Under China’s System – The New York Times But to work well, Mr. Xi’s pledge, made at the White House on Friday, will demand big changes from a Chinese government accustomed to heavy-handed intervention and skewed statistics. It will take years of effort to build a substantial market that plays a major role in curbing emissions, and even then, it could founder, like similar initiatives elsewhere, experts said. China has had local trials underway since 2013. Their records have been mixed, supported by the liberal doling out of emissions permits or by cajoling companies to take part. Expanding those initial efforts nationwide by 2017, as Mr. Xi pledged to do, will be daunting even for China’s authoritarian leaders.

Obama-Xi summit produces landmark deal to reduce dangerous military encounters-Bonnie Glaser Reaching agreement on best practices to ensure safe navigation when American and Chinese military assets come into close proximity is a milestone. This landmark achievement was made possible in large part by Xi Jinping’s recognition of the increased danger of US-Chinese military accidents and the damage they could do to bilateral ties. The Chinese armed forces also deserve credit for realising the need for the PLA to have a common understanding of operational safety with the international community.

Chinese Official Faults U.S. Internet Security Policy – The New York Times In prepared remarks on Tuesday, Hao Yeli, the former deputy head of the Fourth Department of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department — which is responsible for the Chinese military’s offensive electronic warfare — said the United States had double standards with online surveillance and that the uncertainty behind the origin of digital attacks makes it difficult to apply traditional rules of engagement to the Internet. Ms. Hao’s speech punctured some of the cautious optimism analysts had expressed about last week’s agreement between the United States and China, which was intended to rein in hacking theft of intellectual property and create international standards for “appropriate conduct in cyberspace.” Speaking at an Internet security conference in Beijing that also featured a former National Security Agency director, Keith B. Alexander, Ms. Hao’s position was inimical to that generally favored by American politicians. //  中美网安高层对话2015中国互联网安全大会国际新闻环球网

The Most Memorable Moment of Xi’s America Trip – Mr. Xi eventually entered, smiled and shook hands with the first row, starting with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, which is banned in China. For the photo, Mr. Xi planted himself next to Virginia M. Rometty, the head of IBM. A podium was rolled out, and Mr. Xi spoke for about six minutes, then left. That photo op turned out to be the most sensational moment of the trip, a 10-minute session that illustrated the raw power of the Chinese leader and the huge market he controls. Afterward, even Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said he was impressed. “Did you feel the room shake?” he said, with a smile.

China in Focus #19: Peaches, Plums and the Challenge of Cross-Cultural Communication – All Things Nuclear “Although peach tress and plum trees don’t know how to speak, because their flowers and fruits are beautiful, they attract people to come, so beneath the tress there will naturally be a path. The metaphor is that as long as your behavior is noble, there is no need to brag to be respected by people.” In other words, the Chinese President seems to be subtly chastising his audience for complaining that China does not do enough to support the collective good. President Obama has made that accusation on a number of occasions during his presidency. Xi seems to be responding to that, noting that the fruits of Chinese efforts to cooperate with the United States in the maintenance of the international system—the “worthy fruits” he just listed—should be obvious to everyone.

China and US ban ivory imports – Telegraph The announcement added that China and the US would take part in joint training, technical exchanges and information sharing to thwart poachers and smugglers. It follows a decision by Beijing to phase out the manufacture and sale of ivory products in May, and to impose a one-year ban on the import of ivory carvings. Peter Knights, WildAid chief executive, said the announcement was the greatest single step that could be taken to reduce poaching for elephants.


1. Corruption, Pollution, Inequality Are Top Concerns in China | Pew Research Center Corrupt Officials Seen as Top Problem; Chinese Divided on Whether Many Problems Will Get Better or Worse; Widespread Belief that Standard of Living Has Improved; Chinese See Traditions and Culture under Threat //methodology here 

2. What is China’s online future? | Public Radio International Joining me to mull this over is David Wertime, a senior editor at Foreign Policy magazine, and the founder of Tealeaf Nation — which scours Chinese social media, translates and analyzes the highlights, and offers insight on trends and sentiment appearing online in China. // really insightful interview

3. U.N. Summit Meeting on Women’s Rights Highlights More Tension Between U.S. and China – The New York Times Samantha Power, will be leading the American delegation. But at the same time, Ms. Power is using the occasion to highlight a campaign to shame China and several other countries for jailing female leaders. The American campaign, which bears the hashtag #Freethe20, takes up the cause of 20 imprisoned activists abroad, and it comes after an unsuccessful lobbying campaign to include activists among the speakers at the summit meeting. While women’s rights activists welcome the White House’s commitment to gender equality, they note that the United States has also lagged on women’s issues and has not ratified the leading global treaty on the rights of women and gir

RelatedDespite real progress, Chinese women may be losing ground – The Washington Post Though China is right to note improvements in women’s standard of living, welfare and health, the full picture is more complex. While Chinese women are, on average, wealthier, more educated and healthier than they were before, experts say they are losing ground, relative to men. At the same time, the central government — a sea of middle-aged men in suits — is taking an increasingly hard line on activism, feminist organizing included.

Related: Hillary Clinton called Xi’s speech ‘shameless,’ and the Web went wild – The Washington Post “I believe the people in the best position to judge the state of women’s issues in China are Chinese people, particularly Chinese women,” Li said at a news briefing, according to the news agency Reuters. Li’s comments garnered interesting reactions on Weibo, a popular Chinese micro-blogging service, where some users joked about the fact that, thanks to censorship, most Chinese people did not even know about the “persecution” that Clinton referenced. //China really does not want a Clinton presidency..Any chance they have some incriminating emails in their possession? 

4. Despite Desire for SOE Reform, Progress in Oil Industry Is Fitful-Caixin A key part of the expected oil industry reform involves spinning off pipeline operation businesses from the Big Three, but debates continue on how this should be done. Wang Dongjin, president of CNPC, said in late August that it has been agreed that the ultimate goal of change in this regard is to make the field independent and market-oriented. A researcher at the Development Research Center, a State Council think tank, said one of the options being discussed for the draft reform plan is consolidating the Big Three companies’ pipeline assets and setting up a national-level management company. The researcher, who asked not to be named, said supporters of this option believe that only an independent, third-party pipeline operator can prevent related-party transactions in oil and gas transportation and sales, while the establishment of a national company will make it easier to supervise the operation of pipelines and also control costs.

Related: Unirule’s caustic take on state-owned enterprise reform | Andrew Batson’s Blog Most liberal-leaning thinkers in China seem to be disappointed with the long-awaited plan on state-owned enterprise reform that was published in September, a reaction I share. But if you would like to read a thoroughgoing rant on why the SOE reform plan is not just disappointing but completely missing the point, I recommend reading the interview below. The speaker is Sheng Hong of the Unirule Institute, an independent and very liberal think tank. They are also unapologetically out of the mainstream of the Chinese discussion on SOEs, so you won’t see these kind of opinions represented in most reporting. I probably wouldn’t frame the issues the same way they do, but I still appreciate their views, which are a bracing corrective to most of what is written about SOEs in China.

5. Two share a boat – China Media Project The Chinese Communist Party recognises — as Lu Wei said last week — that the Internet has “greatly pushed forward the progress of human society.” It dreams, as Wu Hequan said, of “cyberpower.” But the Party’s extreme mistrust of the forces a freer cyberspace might unleash on its political monopoly has become a central, defining animus now best manifested in the notion of Internet sovereignty. It is no wonder, in this light, that “hostile forces,” the Party’s favoured epithet for unspecified threats to its leadership, is now used routinely to refer to perceived threats in cyberspace. The Party understands that it must shape the future of the Internet if it is to maintain its rule, and so it is determined to remake cyberspace as a sovereign space. It believes the sheer size of China’s market — “a paradise for U.S. hi-tech companies,” according to Lu Wei — will empower it to accomplish this objective. It is a dangerous bargain Lu Wei is offering for the treasures of China’s cyber shores. But have no illusions: In the realm of cyberspace, sharing a boat with China will mean acknowledging its claims of sovereignty over the sea itself.

6. Less snow in Tibet means more heatwaves in Europe | Beth Walker – China Dialogue Worsening heatwaves in Europe and north-east Asia are linked to thinner snowcover on the Tibetan Plateau, highlighting its key role in global weather systems, a study by Chinese scientists finds  // we have visited Tibet the last two summers, 2014 to the Kailash area, this year to the Namtso Lake area, kept hearing it is not snowing like it used to, there or in Lhasa

7. China to boost Communist Party presence in mainland NGOs, trade unions and foundations | South China Morning Post The Organisation Department says increasing party membership in organisations will help ‘mobilise and educate ordinary people to stand against negative influence and illegal activities’ // 中共中央办公厅印发《关于加强社会组织党的建设工作的意见(试行)》

8. Cultural Revolution Shaped Xi Jinping, From Schoolboy to Survivor – The New York Times Mr. Xi has often discussed the seven years he spent exiled to a rural village during the latter part of the Cultural Revolution, including in a speech in Seattle on Tuesday, casting that chapter of his life as an uplifting story of a city boy who discovers the suffering of ordinary Chinese in the countryside and resolves to make a difference. But Mr. Xi has rarely spoken in public about his experiences from 1966 to 1968 at the tumultuous start of the Cultural Revolution, and his close contemporaries refuse to talk to foreign journalists about those years. An examination of memoirs written by them and by members of Mr. Xi’s family, though, offers an unusually vivid look at how a shy, bookish youth, raised in the bosom of party privilege, was tested and changed by the chaos that unfolded after Mao’s decision to turn the masses against the party establishment. // some who know him from those early days claim even as a boy he was saying he would one day run China


China data: Making the numbers add up – T hat China’s official economic data cannot be trusted is now received wisdom among western economists, investors and policymakers. To treat the numbers as authoritative is to invite ridicule: believers are naive at best and, at worst, stooges for Communist propaganda. The problem with this conventional wisdom is that, aside from the closely watched and politically sensitive real gross domestic product growth rate, other official data vividly depict the slowdown in China’s economy that sceptics insist is being concealed. If there is a conspiracy to disguise the extent of harder times in China, it is an exceedingly superficial affair.

GOLDMAN: China’s economic slowdown will be bumpy and last for years – Business Insider Goldman Sachs’ chief Asia-Pacific economist Andrew Tilton who, in a research note released late last week, attempted to explain what is actually going on within the Chinese economy. While Tilton admits that he has a “fair amount of confidence in the official data in terms of registering the broad pace of growth over the last 5, 10, 20 years”, he suggests that at present the economy is likely growing “a bit below 6%”, citing Goldman’s China activity indicator gauge, shown in the chart below.

Goldman Sachs | Our Thinking – China: An Economy in Transition I don’t really understand Goldman-speak but my guess is they are saying they have lost confidence in China’s economic policymaking and are expecting a very tough year or more ahead  //  China has achieved extraordinary economic growth in the last several decades. Now, China’s long-term future requires an ambitious restructuring of its economy, emphasizing domestic consumption over government investment. In advance of President Xi Jinping’s September 23-26 US state visit, senior leaders from Goldman Sachs discuss why China’s economic transformation is necessary, the potential challenges to the transition, and the country’s evolving role as a global economic superpower.

China Approves Plan to Boost Economic Growth of Northern Region – Bloomberg Business The State Council, the country’s cabinet, called on the governments of the cities of Beijing and Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning and Shandong to increase the efficiency of economic growth and coordinate their efforts, according to the approval notice dated Sept. 15. // 国务院关于环渤海地区合作发展纲要的批复

Asset managers slap health warnings on China funds in risk rethink | Reuters Fund managers are adding new warnings to China investment products in a bid to reduce their legal liability if regulators repeat the heavy-handed intervention in financial markets that rattled investors globally. Hedge funds, asset managers and exchange traded fund (ETF) providers are scrambling to add the new disclosures to legal fund documents following watershed government actions in recent months that are now forcing managers to rethink China investment risk

Alibaba Firm Riles Gov’t with Promotions for Credit Score Service-Caixin China’s central bank has frowned upon some of the tactics a firm related to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. recently used to promote its individual credit scoring service, amid criticism that they are inappropriate for the business. Sesame Credit Management Co., a subsidiary of Alibaba-linked Ant Financial Services Group, was one of the eight companies the central bank chose this year to run individual credit scoring services that had been provided only by the government.

China limits foreign ATM withdrawals – MacroBusiness was wondering when this would be closed, been using since I returned, a remarkably large loophole  //  Putting a cap on annual cash withdrawals, of CNY100,000 for Chinese citizens using bank cards at overseas ATMs (The current limit is CNY10,000 daily, but no annual limit)

辅仁药业董事长遭举报 集团回应: 纯属歪曲毫无依据 | 每经网 Hunan’s richest man responds to accusations of all sorts of misdeeds by former subordinate  //  一封实名举报信将辅仁药业集团有限公司(以下简称辅仁药业集团公司)董事长、辅仁药业集团实业股份有限公司(以下简称上市公司辅仁药业,600781.SH)董事长兼总经理朱文臣推入舆论漩涡中。 在网络公开的实名举报信中,实名举报人武姣姣列举了朱文臣贷款诈骗、侵吞国有资产等多项内容。其中,上市公司辅仁药业的重要控股子公司河南辅仁堂制药有限公司等,被指在向银行贷款申请资料中存在销售收入和净利润造假情况。

China’s Li Spends on Fast Rail Like It’s 2010 to Cushion Economy – Bloomberg Business While the unprecedented scale of the rail boom since 2008 has spurred concern some projects would be underused, as some Japanese projects did during the country’s infrastructure binge in the 1990s, China is getting results. The 1,318-kilometer (819 miles) Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line started turning a profit last year, three years after opening, according to state media…A line from Beijing to downtown Tianjin, a 39 minute express, has proven so popular that a second line will now be built.  //  which economic guru has argued that China is effectively too poor to make such world-class infrastructure worthwhile?

Event: Chinese Financial Development and Liberalization Professor Yu Yongding, senior fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), delivered the Peterson Institute’s eleventh Whitman Lecture, “Chinese Financial Development and Liberalization,” on September 29, 2015. He shared his views on China’s current financial turbulence and future development. // his presentation Scribd-China Financial Instability and Recent Turbulence


Xi Jinping Adviser Has Long Pushed for Powerful Leadership – The New York Times The article, “Analysis on the Ways of Political Leadership During the Modernization Process,” was published in the Journal of Fudan University in March 1988. In it, Mr. Wang said that adopting a “centralized” political model over “democratic” and “decentralized” leadership would allow the government to be “highly effective in distributing social resources” and “promote a rapid economic growth.” Unified leadership “could prevent unnecessary conflicts among different ideas,” Mr. Wang wrote.

往事拾穗:与王沪宁同事十年 a former colleague writes about his ten years with Wang Huning, starting in 1985  //  我大学毕业那年是1985年,分配进入复旦大学国际政治系任教。当时的国际政治系主任是王邦佐老师。恰时师从陈其人老师的王沪宁也正好研究生毕业刚留校几年。我们在不到7、8位教师的同一个政治学教研室工作。初次见面,王给人的印象是谨言慎行,不苟言笑。由于他学术任务特重,平时不太容易看到他,甚至教研室的会议也常常见不到他。当时还担任教研室主任的孙关宏老师也总会帮衬他,为他开脱,说他有会议,他正忙于写东西之类的。

Head of President Xi’s Bodyguard Unit on White House Banquet List – WSJ “I think the point with Wang Shaojun is that Xi has managed to put his own guy in charge of that unit so quickly,” said Christopher Johnson, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I see it much more as a sign of strength” than an indication of concern about a security threat, he said.

Xi Jinping promotes two allies, including one to head office set up in 1999 to crack down on Falun Gong | South China Morning Post Fu Zhenghua, 60, a deputy public security minister, has been given an additional post in charge of the Central 610 Office, responsible for social stability and cult control, the Xinjiang Daily reported yesterday…On Friday another Xi ally, Zhao Yide, 50, secretary-general of the Zhejiang provincial committee of the Communist Party, was named mayor of Hangzhou , the provincial capital. Zhao had served under Xi in Zhejiang for years when Xi was in charge of the province early last decade.

中纪委机关报:靠山非泰山 周永康不就出事了吗新闻腾讯网 古人尚且懂得找靠山犹如找冰山。今天,少数党员干部却不明白这一道理。他们把找靠山视为能事,“连党类以树虚誉”“结私交以立强于世”。有的认为官场没有靠山不行,想方设法攀援汲引,不择手段结交权势;有的热衷于搭天线、拉关系、搞勾兑,结党营私、拉帮结派、暗通款曲。 找靠山,本质上是搞封建的人身依附关系,与党的宗旨要求格格不入,但为什么偏偏就有人乐此不疲?说到底,是为了谋求庇护和升迁机会,正所谓“朝里有人好做官”“大树底下好乘凉”。

China anti-graft chief advocates strict code of conduct in CPC | Business Standard News Wang, chief of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, made the comments at a seminar attended by party members and the public during his inspection tour of Fujian Province from Thursday to Saturday. // 王岐山:把握运用监督执纪“四种形态”–时政–人民网

Dalai Lama’s former biographer takes up residence in mainland China | South China Morning Post A former senior member of the exiled Tibetan government in India and one-time biographer for the Dalai Lama has returned to live in China, a Chinese government-run news website said. said late on Saturday that Achok Rinpoche, who had visited China several times in recent years, returned in May and was now living permanently in Ngaba, a heavily Tibetan part of the southwestern province of Sichuan  that is traditionally strongly defiant of Chinese rule.

湖南版“雷政富案”庭审 55人被色诱涉及四省份新闻腾讯网 55 people in Hunan, mostly officials, caught up in blackmail scheme a la Lei Zhengfu  //  新京报记者获得的起诉书及警方调查信息显示,该案嫌疑人团伙共12人,6男6女,色诱或敲诈55人,涉案金额高达250多万元。涉及湖南衡阳、郴州等10个市、州,以及湖北、江苏、浙江三个省份,“大部分是官员。”一位接近衡阳政法系统的人士称。 从始至今,只有一位官员向警方报案。

Third Official at Aviation Body Said to Become Target of Graft Inquiry-Caixin Xu Dong, who heads a trade union at the CAAC’s Air Traffic Management Bureau, has not been seen at work since August 4, the day an inquiry into accusations he took bribes started, the source said. The investigation into Xu is the result of a two-month inspection of the CAAC’s activities that was conducted by the ruling Communist Party, the person said.

CSCL | Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers-New Report Investigates Chinese Government Tactics in Assault Against Rights Lawyers Employing a broad spectrum of tactics and weapons, the Chinese government has ratcheted up a campaign to control and silence lawyers who represent politically sensitive clients and causes, according to a new report released today by the Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School. Plight and Prospects: The Landscape for Cause Lawyers in China combines both legal analysis and powerful individual testimonies to demonstrate how Chinese authorities have amplified their efforts to constrain China’s small but growing community of rights defense lawyers and legal advocates since Xi Jinping rose to power.

China punishes 249 officials for laziness during corruption crackdown | The Guardian China has punished 249 officials for laziness, exemplified by failure to spend government funds, delays to projects and sitting on land earmarked for development, the state news agency Xinhua has reported.

胡锡进批任志强:对共产主义冷嘲热讽_中国-多维新闻网 中共团报近日以《信仰》为题推出长文称“共产主义是共青团人的最高理想、是实现中华民族伟大复兴的过程”,该文引发包括任志强在内等一些网络大v的热议。对此,中国官方媒体回应称,“共产主义理想没有欺骗中国”。《环球时报》除发表社评“共产主义理想没有欺骗中国”回应之外,总编辑胡锡进23日亦在微视频上现身,对该社评进行解读。// the video of Hu Xijin defending Communism, criticizing Ren Zhiqiang, watching Hu quite interesting…


Destined for War: Can China and the United States Escape Thucydides’s Trap? – The Atlantic if anyone’s forecasts are worth heeding, it’s those of Lee Kuan Yew, the world’s premier China watcher and a mentor to Chinese leaders since Deng Xiaoping. Before his death in March, the founder of Singapore put the odds of China continuing to grow at several times U.S. rates for the next decade and beyond as “four chances in five.” On whether China’s leaders are serious about displacing the United States as the top power in Asia in the foreseeable future, Lee answered directly: “Of course. Why not … how could they not aspire to be number one in Asia and in time the world?” And about accepting its place in an international order designed and led by America, he said absolutely not: “China wants to be China and accepted as such—not as an honorary member of the West.”

Aboard a U.S. nuclear sub, a cat-and-mouse game with phantom foes – LA Times though the sub’s sophisticated sonar sensors can pick up tiny clicks from schools of swimming shrimp, the so-called passive sonar doesn’t always work against China’s most advanced subs, which can operate in virtual silence. Sometimes they disclose their position by banging a hatch or making another inadvertent noise. The solution is to use active sonar, a ping of sound that echoes off another vessel. That reveals the enemy but also can give away the ship using sonar. “If we’re not putting artificial noise into the water, we don’t generally find them,” said a sonar operator aboard the Mississippi.

Pentagon Says Chinese Sub That Can Hit U.S. to Go on Patrol Soon – Bloomberg Business China’s navy is expected this year to conduct the first patrol of its Jin-class nuclear-powered submarine armed with JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency said in a statement. It declined to give its level of confidence on when the new boat will be deployed or the status of the missile. “The capability to maintain continuous deterrent patrols is a big milestone for a nuclear power,” Larry Wortzel, a member of the congressionally created U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, said in an e-mail. “I think the Chinese would announce this capability as a show of strength and for prestige.”

Here’s a great look at China’s major new runway in the South China Sea – Yahoo Finance The images show that China has recently finished constructing a military length runway on the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands, an island chain primarily claimed by both the Philippines and China. Jane’s estimates that the runway will soon become operational, granting Beijing a wealth of benefits and further operational advantages in the disputed region.  “The completion of the runway, which previous imagery suggests only occurred in recent weeks, will allow China to accelerate construction of infrastructure and potentially start air patrols over the Spratly Islands, which are claimed and occupied by a number of countries,” Jane’s notes.

罗援少将:”自由民主派”若得势 共产党人骨灰难留_网易新闻中心 Thepaper interviews Luo Yuan, on occasion of release of his new book “Courage of a Hawk, Spirit of a Dove”  //  “你们称我为鹰派,我也不否认,但我长了鹰的眼睛和鹰的爪子,同时我又长了鸽子的头和心脏。我们是尚武,但我们更崇尚和平”,在美国出席一次战略对话时,罗援这样做自我介绍,引得台下一片掌声。 那时,他就萌生了一个想法,要写一本书,书名就叫做“鹰胆鸽魂”。 他强调说:“我是一个理性的鹰派,而不是一个莽撞的鹰派”。罗援的声音并不大,但他把“理性”两个字吐得很重。

China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain, edited by Jon R. Lindsay, Tai Ming Cheung and Derek S Reveron [Asian Review of Books] This multifaceted book discusses doctrines, motives, purposes, and capabilities of Chinese activities in cyberspace, internal and external. The chapters authored by Chinese writers, including one current member of the People’s Liberation Army, are especially illuminating. Particularly striking are their attempts to create new terms to describe this new sphere of geopolitical activity, and their overall optimism over the possibility of international management of cyberspace. The inclusion of the Chinese authors is not just even-handed but necessary, for this is primarily a book about China. The American writers largely view the United States as a victim of Chinese cyberespionage, neglecting in large part the other prominent entity: the United States’s National Security Agency.// China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain Kindle version affordable, just purchased

Malaysia summons China envoy over comments on planned pro-Malay rally | Reuters Malaysia has summoned China’s ambassador to clarify his remarks criticizing extremism and racism ahead of a planned pro-Malay rally in the capital. Local newspaper The Star said on Friday Ambassador Huang Huikang had warned that Beijing had no fear of speaking out against actions that threatened its interests and affected the rights of its people.”The Chinese government opposes terrorism and any form of discrimination against races and any form of extremism,” The Star quoted Huang saying. Huang’s reported comments preceded a planned rally by a Malay-dominated, pro-government group that was reported to demand more Malay participation in Petaling Street, where most vendors are ethnic Chinese.

Harvard National Security Journal – The Historic Opening to China: What Hath Nixon Wrought? ter the turn of the Millennium, however, Nixon confessed to real fears about China’s direction.  In an interview with his former speechwriter, he was asked whether economic engagement and “our strengthening of [the Chinese] regime [had] brought political freedom.” Nixon’s response was a chilling acknowledgement that his visit to China, which he had proclaimed in his Beijing toast as “the week that changed the world,” may have changed it for the worst. “That old realist,” as William Safire described Nixon in an essay in the New York Times, “who had played the China card to exploit the split in the Communist world, replied with some sadness that he was not as hopeful as he had once been: `We may have created a Frankenstein[‘s monster].’”

A Reality Check for Russia’s China Pivot – Carnegie Moscow Center Until quite recently, many in the Russian elite were nurturing the hope that China might offer them a miraculous escape route from their damaging confrontation with the West. The dynamic eastern neighbor—so the theory went—would create additional demand for Siberian raw materials and replace Western capital markets, while its know-how would fill the gap left by Western technology. Recent signs of economic turbulence in China are delivering a more sobering message. Even as dozens of bilateral cooperation agreements are due to be signed, China is now the Number One source of anxiety for Russia’s high-ranking officials, state capitalists, and oligarchs.

Police Link Bomb Attack to Uighurs, Deep South and Thai Politics Officials made a largely circumstantial case this afternoon against 17 people they believe were behind last month’s bombing of the Erawan Shrine, an attack they said brought disparate groups of Chinese, Turkish and Thai nationals together in a common cause to carry out the worst attack of its type in Thai history. “They shared the same objective. They shared the same benefits,” police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said this afternoon. “One may have used the other to carry out the attack.” Investigators said the two perpetrators, both Chinese Uighurs, were aided by a network of Turkish nationals as well as Yongyuth Pobkaew, a Thai man accused of building bombs for politically motivated attacks in 2010 and 2014.

A Chinese Journalist Discusses Sino-U.S. Relations with Ten Top U.S. Scholars | In Asia I have already written a report to tell Chinese readers that a huge, historic debate on China policy is going on in the U.S. The report, which is titled “Discussing Sino-U.S. Relations with Ten Top U.S. Scholars,” was published on August 26. In this report, scholars such as Jeffrey Bader, Bonnie Glaser, Douglas Paal, Alan Romberg, and David Dollar share their perspectives on whether the U.S. policy community is, or should consider, changing U.S. policy toward China. In conclusion, I tell readers that the mainstream attitude in Washington D.C. now is to accommodate China’s rise while working to influence China’s choices.


Jailed Billionaire Ng Said to Have Evaded U.S. Bribery Probe – Bloomberg Business A Macau billionaire now jailed in New York failed to comply last year with a request from U.S. prosecutors that he answer questions as part of an overseas bribery investigation, according to court papers and a person familiar with the probe. Ng Lap Seng, 68, is being held in a Manhattan federal jail after his Sept. 19 arrest on charges that he brought $4.5 million into the U.S. and lied about its purpose to authorities. As part of a complaint detailing the allegations against Ng, an FBI agent said Ng left the U.S. in July 2014 without responding to a grand jury subpoena in an “unrelated investigation.”

University of Hong Kong’s council votes 12-8 to reject Professor Johannes Chan’s appointment as pro-vice-chancellor | South China Morning Post The outcome is likely to cause outrage among students and alumni, who are accusing the council of making a politically-motivated decision. Previous discussion deferrals on the pro-vice-chancellor appointment matter have been seen as an attempt to punish Chan for his support of democracy and his close ties to colleague Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a co-founder of the Occupy Central movement. Beijing-loyalist media have heaped criticism on the pair.


Xiaomi under investigation for violating China’s new advertising law-TechInAsia Are Xiaomi phones the best? The company apparently said so, and that’s gotten it into hot water, according to a report from China’s Securities Daily. A leaked Beijing Ministry of Industry and Commerce document (pictured below) says that the Ministry will investigate claims that Xiaomi used the term “best” on its website to describe a product, in violation of China’s new ad law.


Astonomical CSL broadcast deal stuns China’s sports industry | China Sports Insider CCTV, IMG and Infront – all huge names in the sports industry – were among the suitors to buy the rights to produce and broadcast the Chinese Super League. But these three, and others, were obliterated by the bid submitted by the comparatively little known Tiao Power, worth a staggering 8 billion yuan over five years.

李津:画画就是自己逗自己玩 Beijing’s Ink Studio to host a Li Jin show, looks at his work

“Masters of the People”: China’s New Urban Poor | Dissent Magazine The ranks of the poor in China today also include people who have lived in cities all their lives, and, as members of the industrial proletariat, were once considered “the masters of the people.” Political scientists Dorothy Solinger and Mark Frazier try to explain this often overlooked group, and how their economic conditions are—and aren’t—changing.

Brazil Tycoon, World Cup Legend Take On China’s Soccer Ambitions – Bloomberg Business Brazilian education tycoon Carlos Martins says he’s teaming up with retired soccer legend Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima to help China President Xi Jinping bring his country its first World Cup victory. The language-school magnate and Ronaldo, who founded the Ronaldo Academy, signed a deal with a Chinese partner to create 30 franchises of the soccer school in the world’s most populous nation, Martins said Thursday in an interview.

New documentary follows D.C. students to China – The Washington Post The film, seven years in the making, shows how a group of students were offered the chance to go on a free trip to study Chinese language in Beijing over the summer. It follows them over the course of the trip and beyond to see how the experience shaped their perspectives and their lives.

Tiananmen Mothers Mourn Founder’s Husband After His Sudden Death The founder of a group honoring the victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, Ding Zilin, will carry on the group’s work following the sudden death of her husband Jiang Peikun, relatives said on Tuesday. Jiang, a former linguistics professor at Beijing’s Renmin University, died of a heart attack at the age of 82 at the family home in the eastern city of Wuxi on Sunday.


‘Medical Tourism’ Continues to Grow in China, as New Website Offers Services-Caixin A company that runs a mobile application providing users with doctor consultations recently launched a website that arranges trips to physicians in other countries, a sign “medical tourism” is growing more popular in China., a subsidiary of Chunyu Yisheng, started offering a range services in countries such as the United States, Japan and Thailand on September 22.

河南周口医护被逼抱幼儿尸体示众 死者家属被拘国内新京报网 幼童发烧送医,打针后出现异常并在半小时后死亡。9月27日,河南周口太康县人民医院医护人员,被死者家属辱骂、殴打,还被迫轮流怀抱幼儿遗体示众。今晚,太康县委宣传部通报称,该纠纷进入医疗事故技术鉴定程序。


Chinese Propaganda: Coming Soon to a Conference Near You | The Diplomat One week after Chinese President Xi Jinping completes his landmark visit to the United States, a Sino-U.S. Colloquium, under the theme “Beyond the Current Distrust,” will be held in Washington, D.C. The eighth in a series since 2012, the colloquium is organized by the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a Chinese “strategic think tank” which recently established a branch in the Washington area. If you plan on attending the event, here are a few things you need to know about the organizer and some of the panelists. Though it advertises itself as a “non-governmental, non-profit civil society organization,” as I demonstrated in an earlier investigation, the Hong Kong-registered CEFC has high-level connections with China’s political warfare apparatus. // Sino-US Colloquium (Ⅷ)-China Energy Fund Committee 09:00 a.m. – 17:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 2015 Venue: Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington D.C., U.S.A

Chinese Thinking on Nuclear Weapons – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace PAN ZHENQIANG, FAN JISHE, LI BIN October 6, 2015 Washington, DC 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST

If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.

Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters

Send comments/tips/complaints to