"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. What Will the TPP Mean for China? | ChinaFile A ChinaFile Conversation
Related: Clinton opposes new Pacific trade pact in break with Obama | Reuters Clinton pivots against the initiative she co-created. Her Asia advisors must be squirming // Clinton, who backed the developing trade pact when she was secretary of state during Obama’s first term, said she was worried the agreement would not do enough to crack down on currency manipulation or protect consumers from excessively high drug prices.
Related: The ‘anyone but China’ club needs a gatecrasher – FT.com Now that the TPP framework has been agreed, if not yet ratified, member states should make good on their word that their club is not barred to Chinese entry. They should invite Beijing to join. China should go one better still. It should call everyone’s bluff by starting negotiations to do just that. The idea is not as outlandish as it sounds. From Beijing’s perspective, there are good reasons to be inside the TPP tent.
Related: Successful global trade agreements require China’s participation – Global Times The TPP will not dictate global trade rules, judging by the agreement. It can at most boost Washington’s influence in trade. Washington has repeatedly said it cannot let China write the rules. But it is clear what the rules will be under its dominance. The decline of US global leadership is partly caused by its way of setting rules. The TPP is not an opportunity China cannot miss. Any global trade framework will not be perfect without China’s participation. We have nothing to be insecure about.
2. Governor of China’s Fujian province under investigation by anti-corruption watchdog | South China Morning Post Fujian governor Su Shulin is under investigation for disciplinary violations, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said late Wednesday night, using the euphemism for corruption. The statement did not provide further details. Su previously served in the nation’s oil sector
Related: 福建省省长苏树林被查 曾与蒋洁敏争中石油总经理财经腾讯网 Su Shulin seen as competitor to Jiang Jiemin. Is there more than one “oil faction” and is Su’s detention necessarily related to the Zhou Yongkang case? Not everyone says so…Sinopec has had three consecutive heads detained–Chen Tonghai (in 2007 while Zhou Yongkang still in power), Wang Tianpu and now Su…dangerous post, wonder if Fu Chengyu worried…
Related: 王岐山在福建调研：要用好监督执纪“4种形态”新闻腾讯网 Wang Qishan made an inspection tour of Fujian just before the October Holiday. Su was not reported in attendance in any of the media coverage
Related: 苏树林党报撰文称周永康等有“全家腐”特征，教训沉痛而深刻打虎记澎湃新闻-The Paper 周永康、薄熙来、徐才厚、令计划、苏荣等人的落马，都带有“全家腐”甚至是家族式腐败的特征。徐才厚对家人管教不严，甚至纵容袒护，致使妻子颐指气使、贪欲膨胀，女儿娇生惯养、生活奢侈，两名秘书也利用他的影响给人办事、收受贿赂，最终身败名裂。这些教训沉痛而深刻。 // on 8.18 Su wrote a piece in People’s Daily condemning the “entire family corruption” of Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Xu Caihou, Ling Jihua, Su Rong et al
Related: “东北虎”苏树林落马，系十八大后首位落马的在任省长打虎记澎湃新闻-The Paper Su was known as the “Northeast Tiger”, is the first sitting provincial governor to be detained in this corruption crackdown
3. China FX reserves post record quarterly fall as cenbank steps up yuan support | Reuters China’s reserves, the world’s largest, dropped $43.3 billion to $3.514 trillion last month, central bank data showed on Wednesday, and were down by about $180 billion in the third quarter in their largest ever quarterly fall, according to Reuters data going back to 1980.
Related: Here’s relooking at Chinese FX reserves | FT Alphaville Not so bad this month, particularly when you take into account expectations and the headline $94bn fall we saw in August.
4. ‘Harmonious Demolition’ and Chinese Legal Reform – China Real Time Report – WSJ Chinese society is rife with contradictions. One of the most longstanding and persistent is the coexistence of the movement toward legal reform with the use of extra-legal repression to maintain social stability. China’s legal system is slowly changing. Statements by senior prosecutors and judges about the correction of erroneous court decisions, along with new rules to control judicial corruption and dishonesty, are signs of progress. Judicial reform is moving ahead – but very slowly, within limits and as long as it does not threaten Party control…despite some promise of law reform in the courts and the proclamation of a “rule of law,” the dark shadow of lawlessness hangs over any challenge to the party-state’s grasp over Chinese society.
Related: 司改进行时：让人民群众在司法改革中有更多获得感 中央司法体制改革领导小组办公室副主任姜伟介绍，目前司法体制改革正在积极稳妥推进，一些改革方案已经出台，一些重要改革举措已经全面推开，一些重大改革任务已经开展试点，一些改革事项正在研究论证，司法体制改革已经取得突破性进展和明显成效。 司法体制改革措施的每一步落实，每一次生效，都在推动着法治进步，都在为法治中国带来积极的变化，对国家、对公民、对企业、对社会上的每一个个体产生着积极的影响。
Related: Authorities Should Do More to Protect China’s Lawyers | ChinaFile – Hu Shuli For its part, the party is focused on efforts to rebalance power between the court officials and lawyers, but there has not been a clear oversight over how to hold courts and prosecutor’s offices and the police responsible should a lawyer be mistreated. The authorities have shown they want to address the many problems that lawyers face when doing their jobs, and we may see some progress. However, they should also realize that they need to act now and fast to provide the public with the legal protections it deserves. A good place to start is by letting lawyers do their jobs
Related: Chinese Lawyers Call For The Abolition of Their Professional Body Dozens of Chinese lawyers have written to the country’s parliament calling for an end to legal requirements that they join their professional association, amid an ongoing crackdown on the embattled legal profession. The letter calls for the repeal of Clause 15 of China’s Lawyers’ Law, in a gesture of protest at the government-backed lawyers’ association that they say has been instrumental in putting heavy political pressure on its members.
5. Taiwan’s KMT calls emergency meeting over election crisis – Channel NewsAsia The KMT’s standing committee passed a motion on Wednesday to hold the last-minute congress in response to members’ calls for Hung to be replaced. “The purpose of the extraordinary congress is to find consensus, unity, in order to obtain victory,” said spokeswoman Lin Yi-hua. “Our enemy is not within the party.” The meeting will be held before the end of the month.
Related: China Policy Institute Blog » Taiwan’s Pan-Blue Camp is at War with Itself Something rather extraordinary occurred outside the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters in Taipei on 7 October as hundreds of angry protesters gathered to vent their anger at the party. Unlike the usual protests by civic activists or pro-independence groups, this crowd was made entirely of pan-blue supporters—in other words, of people who traditionally vote for the KMT. Behind the unusual show of discontent were efforts by the party, unveiled earlier this week, to drop the unpopular Hung Hsiu-chu as its candidate in the 16 January 2016 presidential election and presumably replace her with party chairman Eric Chu.
Related: Don’t leave, Chinese tour groups! Taiwan’s tourism industry fears drop in visitors over presidential election season | South China Morning Post The island’s tourism bureau said on Wednesday travel agencies had been voicing concerns for about a month that restrictions would be imposed from December 16 to election day on January 16. Individual travellers would not be affected but the number of visitors in tour groups was expected to halve, the bureau quoted the agencies as saying. The remarks came after Taiwanese media reported on Tuesday that mainland tourism authorities had ordered a 95 per cent cut in the number of Taiwan-bound tourists at the height of the election season.
6. US targets Chinese groups in cyber feud – FT.com Three state-owned Chinese companies benefited from trade secrets stolen in a Chinese military hack on US companies, US authorities have concluded, heightening the tension between the two countries over cyber espionage. People familiar with the 2014 US indictments of five People’s Liberation Army officers named the companies as Chinalco, the biggest aluminium company in China, Baosteel, a large steelmaker, and SNPTC, a nuclear power company.
Related: Chinese Hackers Breached LoopPay, a Contributor to Samsung Pay – The New York Times Months before its technology became the centerpiece of Samsung’s new mobile payment system, LoopPay,a small Massachusetts subsidiary of the South Korean electronics giant, was the target of a sophisticated attack by a group of government-affiliated Chinese hackers. As early as March, the hackers — alternatively known as the Codoso Group or Sunshock Group by those who track them — had breached the computer network of LoopPay, a start-up in Burlington, Mass., that was acquired by Samsung in February for more than $250 million…LoopPay did not learn of the breach until late August, when an organization came across LoopPay’s data while tracking the Codoso Group in a separate investigation. // which organization and what investigation? Seems interesting
7. 难民潮源于自以为是的“民主改造”（深度观察）–国际–人民网 Wu Sike, former special envoy to the Middle East, blames “democratic transformations” for the refugee crisis, says since US invaded Iraq in 2003 chaos in the Middle East has been continuous. 10.7 People’s Daily, page 3…China barely has to create propaganda about the messes in the Middle East, for many Chinese the chaos mostly makes the case for itself about the perils of too rapid political change. I wrote a bit about this in a February 2011 post Will Unrest In Egypt Strengthen The Chinese Government? , amidst lots of opinion page wishful thinking…
8. 业绩下滑？《财经》杂志划给中信集团-虎嗅网 近日，中国证券市场研究设计中心（前身是“证券交易所研究设计联合办公室”，下称联办）及其所属《财经》杂志被划归中信集团。 根据国家新闻出版广电总局官网查询，《财经》杂志的主管单位确实已变更为中信集团，该消息也得到了杂志社采编部门人士的确认。 // The “supervising institution 主管单位” of Caijing Magazine and its HK-listed parent SEEC Media Group is now Citic Group? Given the investigation into Citic Securities and the detention of a Caijing reporter, as well as fact that SEEC head Wang Boming and CITIC Chair Wang Dongming are brothers, this just gets murkier and murkier
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
Beijing Versus the Billionaire by Sin-ming Shaw – Project Syndicate China’s attacks have pushed Li, after almost three weeks of stony silence, to do something he had never done before: strike back. Not only did he point out that all of the accusations about his intentions to abandon China were false; he openly accused China of using tactics from the Cultural Revolution that left him “trembling with fear” and sent “shivers down the spine.” Li concluded his statement with the message, delivered via three lines by two canonical Chinese poets from the ancient Tang and Song dynasties, that his home was where he felt safe. The subtext to any literate Chinese was clear: “China may be my ancestral country, but I am a free man, free to choose my home.”
In North America’s Costliest City, Rich Chinese Take the Blame – Bloomberg Business James Hankle, a 50-something software engineer sporting blue jeans and a Green Party T-shirt, is explaining his fix for Vancouver’s runaway property prices when he’s interrupted by an eavesdropping passerby: “Stop allowing people from China to buy our houses and leave them vacant,” she says and walks away.
China’s National Day holiday traffic rush draws to close – Xinhua During the first six days of October, railway trips reached 62.79 million nationwide and railway ticket revenue totaled 3.54 billion yuan (556.49 million U.S. dollars), up 8.8 percent and 18.5 percent year on year respectively, said the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). A total of 7.63 million trips were made by plane in the past six days, up 10 percent year on year, according to the CNTA.
Yum’s China missteps amplify calls for spinoff, other change | Reuters Yum shares sank as much as 19.3 percent on Wednesday, a day after the company shocked investors by cutting its forecasts due to weakness in China. While China’s economy is cooling, Yum management also blamed internal missteps at its upscale Pizza Hut Casual Dining chain. // perhaps more attention should be paid to the recently retired head of China
余额宝年化收益跌至2.97% 首次破3% _TechWeb Remember Alipay’s revolutionary Yu’e Bao? Its yiled has dropped below 3% for the first time
国内钢铁价格不如白菜 昔日“土豪”今四处躲债 – 经济 – 中国经营网_中国经营报 Guangzhou Daily on the poor Steel magnates of days past who are now desperately dodging debts
China subscribes to data standard to boost economic statistics | Reuters China on Wednesday subscribed to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), marking a major step forward for official statistics in the country, the IMF said ahead of its annual meetings here. China’s adoption of the IMF standard follows many investors questioning the reliability of China’s data as the country’s economic growth has slowed. A surprise August devaluation of the yuan currency sent shockwaves through global markets.
POLITICS AND LAW
In Tiananmen Square, the Police Leap into Action – The New York Times ‘‘No pictures!’’ a uniformed police officer shouted at me. Until seconds before, I had been photographing the holiday crowds and their imaginative headgear. I lowered my smartphone. ‘‘What’s happening?’’ I asked another uniformed officer. ‘‘Nothing!’’ he barked. The police dragged the man through the crowds to a barrier that separates the broad sidewalk there from Chang’an Avenue. Other officers stood ready to let the group through.// reporter on the scene
Outline of Operations to Stimulate the Development of Big Data « China Copyright and Media All provincial, autonomous region and municipal People’s Governments, all State Council ministries and commissions, all directly subordinate bodies. Hereby, the “Outline of Operations to Stimulate the Development of Big Data” is printed and issued to you, please implement it earnestly. State Council 31 August 2015
人民日报刊文：正风高压下权力收敛，但有些人很难发自内心舆论场澎湃新闻-The Paper 人民日报10月8日“人民论坛”刊载署名文章《干部当有“低姿势”》指出，在正风反腐的高压态势之下，权力的“任性”大为收敛。但不能不看到，有的人变着法儿想表现权力的傲慢，有的人一有机会就摆谱、摆官架子。甚至有的说：当官无权势，算白当了；做官无好处，算白做了；为官无尊严，算白为了。以下为全文：
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China to improve pension system for veterans – Xinhua The State Council and the Central Military Commission have approved a plan to improve the veteran pension system. The General Department of Logistics, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Headquarters of the General Staff and the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army jointly issued two notices on the reform. The notices said that veterans will be retroactively eligible for the benefits from Oct. 1, 2014, and they will be subsidized by the central government with a basic pension allowance and occupational pension allowance. // 国务院中央军委批准改革完善军人退役养老保险制度
China to Transfer Technology of Submarine Construction to Pakistan – People’s Daily Online China is to build four submarines in Pakistan port city Karachi, fulfilling a new defense deal between the two countries, Pakistan local media reported on Wednesday. The new defense deal includes eight submarines, which are going to be put into production at the same time in China and Pakistan. This makes the arms deal the biggest ever to China.
以强军报国的历史责任建设强大信息化战略导弹部队 第二炮兵某洲际战略导弹旅，是党中央、毛泽东主席亲自缔造的我军第一支地地战略导弹部队，被誉为“东风第一枝”。部队组建56年来，在党中央、中央军委正确领导下，广大官兵始终牢记神圣使命，倾心打造战略铁拳，先后49次执行重大任务、50次受到全国全军和第二炮兵表彰奖励，涌现出“忠诚履行使命的模范指挥员”杨业功、“砺剑先锋”谭清泉等20多名英模人物。特别是党的十八大以来，该旅聚焦党在新形势下的强军目标，坚决贯彻习近平主席关于战略导弹部队建设发展重要战略思想，以忠诚之心铸魂砺志，以担当精神备战强能，以严实要求锤炼作风，成为强军报国的先锋劲旅。深入学习宣传该旅先进事迹，对于激发广大官兵深入学习贯彻习主席系列重要讲话精神，牢记强军目标，投身强军实践，加快第二炮兵战略军种建设，全面提升战略威慑和实战能力，坚决完成党和人民赋予的各项军事斗争任务，具有十分重要的意义。- 作者：魏凤和，中央军委委员、第二炮兵司令员；王家胜，第二炮兵政治委员）
China launches commercial remote-sensing satellites – Xinhua The “Jilin-1” satellites, launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu Province, include one optical remote-sensing satellite, two satellites for video imaging and another for imaging technique testing, according to an announcement from the launch center. All four satellites were developed and produced by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co., Ltd. The company will also take charge of commercial operations of the satellites to provide remote-sensing data and relevant products, which may be used for the monitoring, development, and surveying of resources as well as mapping and disaster prevention for domestic and overseas clients, according to the statement.
TECH AND MEDIA
China’s Meituan Agrees to $15 Billion Dianping Merger – Bloomberg Business Two Chinese startups separately backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. have agreed to a merger that will create a $15 billion provider of local services including restaurant reviews and movie bookings, people with knowledge of the matter said. The combination of Meituan.com, part-owned by Alibaba, with Tencent-backed Dianping.com may be announced as soon as Thursday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Meituan’s shareholders will own about 60 percent of the combined company, the people said.
Apple is ramping up hiring to bring Apple Pay to China – Quartz Quartz has learned that Kelly Sang, an ex-Alibaba general manager who joined Apple in 2012, was promoted to director of Apple Pay in China earlier this year. Liang Gong, a former country manager for Visa China, joined Apple in July. Apple is also looking to add staff on the operations side to work across various teams and focus on customer experience, among other tasks, according to deleted job postings viewed by Quartz.
Meet China’s La Peikang, the movie world’s most powerful man | Film | The Guardian La Peikang’s business card spells it out: “Chairman of the board, China Film Co.” Double-sided, in Mandarin and English. Off-white, with a tantalising iridescent sheen. I have a serious case of Patrick Bateman card-envy as I reach into my Nike sports wallet and fish out mine, with my new mobile number scrawled on it in ballpoint. Not what will impress the man who, on current projections, will oversee the world’s largest film market by 2017.
那英导师“四年三冠”娱乐新京报网 Zhang Lei wins season 4 of the Voice of China
A state-backed Chinese tech company will buy 15% of a major US hard drive maker – Quartz Unisplendour, an arm of Tsinghua Unigroup, has agreed to buy a 15% stake in Western Digital, which would make it the largest shareholder of the US hard drive company
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Chinese Painting Leads $344 Million Sotheby’s Asia Sale – Bloomberg Business Chinese appetite for Qing and bling helped Sotheby’s sell HK$2.7 billion ($344 million) worth of Asian art, watches and jewelry at a five-day sale that ended in Hong Kong on Wednesday evening. The results exceeded Sotheby’s low estimate of $295 million, yet were below the record $540 million the New York-based auction house sold in Hong Kong two years ago when the Chinese economy was stronger.
北京宋庄部分艺术家沦为乞丐 南京画家村成“空城”–社会–人民网 央广网北京10月6日消息（记者杨博宇）据中国之声《新闻晚高峰》报道，提起宋庄，想必不少艺术从业者都并不陌生，作为国内最大的艺术区，这里集聚的艺术家已有数千人，为众多艺术家提供了创作的空间和氛围。但此前有报道称，宋庄的一些艺术家正沦为乞丐，生存状态令人堪忧 says some of the artists in Songzhuang, Beijing so poor they have turned into beggars, new artist village in Nanjing a ghost city, art bubble has burst…
First Night of Megadeth’s Dystopia Tour Comes to Abrupt End in Beijing | the Beijinger Megadeth’s opening night of its Dystopia tour ended abruptly after only an hour in what seemed to be an abbreviated set by the American metal band in Beijing. Signs indicate that the performance at the MasterCard Center’s Huiyuan Space may have been shortened or stopped by officials. For example, one well-known Megadeth track, “Skin of My Teeth,” was played instrumental instead of with its usual lyrics.
Once Seed Was Planted, Chinese Headwear Fad Grew Like Weeds – The New York Times “This shows that in China now we’ll try almost anything that we see on the Internet,” Wang Hao, a college student from northwest China wearing a sprig of clover, said while strolling a Beijing street. “Nobody knows what it means, but we do it anyway.” Some Chinese newspaper reports have suggested the fad harked back to ancient Chinese teachings about harmony with nature; others have seen echoes of Teletubbies, the late-’90s British television show featuring alien toddlers with wacky antennas.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Acupuncture for Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review | RAND Evidence on the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of acupuncture to treat MDD for the outcomes depression improvement, measured as scale score differences and the number of responders, is very weak. Acupuncture may be superior to waitlist (low quality of evidence) but findings for effect estimates compared to other comparators are inconclusive. Few studies reported on patients achieving remission. The effect of acupuncture on relapse rates could not be determined. Too few studies assessed quality of life to estimate treatment effects. Reported adverse events were typically mild in nature, but the assessment lacked rigor and studies were not designed to detect rare events.
党报刊文：屠呦呦获奖提示研究中医之法，并非刺激发展的鸡血绿政公署澎湃新闻-The Paper 中西医的撕裂发展到这种程度，不能不说是一种讽刺。其实，不妨听下国际上的评价：青蒿素，这种中草药和西医技术和标准结合获得的抗疟疾药物取得了了不起的成果，拯救全球数百万人，得到了全球的认可。青蒿素的发现，源于中医。东晋葛洪的《肘后备急方》记载，“又方青蒿一握，以水二升渍，绞取汁，尽服之。”这17个字给了屠呦呦灵感，最终用低沸点的乙醚制取青蒿提取物。但最终的成果不属于中医性质，而是完全意义上的西药。
垃圾困圣湖国内新京报网 sad story on the growing trash problem at Qinghai Lake
Drugs, China, And the Curious Case of Dragon Pharmacy Knock-Offs – Bloomberg Business The cross-border trade in Hong Kong also highlights the problems facing China’s prescription drug market, which by the estimates of research firm Frost & Sullivan had total sales of 1 trillion yuan ($157 billion) last year. That is expected to double by 2019. Even as regulators apply pressure to lower costs, mainland Chinese patients pay some of the highest prices for treatments worldwide. Drug supply chains are complex, and Frost & Sullivan consultant Neil Wang estimates there is a 5 to 7 percent mark-up at various levels of the distribution system that drives up prices. Also, taxes on imported medicines can add up to 17 percent in China, according to Wang, while Hong Kong doesn’t tax drug imports
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES
Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Closes Reserve to Poor Quality Grain Farmers Daily learned that central authorities have instead issued orders to provincial governments to buy up the substandard grain as part of their “governors responsibility” for food security. Beijing is no longer willing to write blank checks to support agricultural commodities as it watches its massive grain, cotton and sugar reserves decline in value day by day. There is likely to be pushback from provinces on this demand to pick up the tab since the grain-producing provinces likely have even worse finances than the central government.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
青岛“天价虾”事件 一官员被停职检查特别报道新京报网 official suspended over handling of Qingdao holiday shrimp price gouging scandal… // 青岛市7日对“天价虾”事件相关部门人员作出处分决定，市北区市场监管局主要负责人停职检查，对该区物价、旅游等部门主要负责人进行诫勉谈话。青岛市同时提出，坚持问题导向，查处旅游市场违法违规行为。
人民网评：“好客山东”输给青岛一只虾的警示–观点–人民网 People’s Daily on Shrimp-gate
China punishes offenders in 60,000 cases of occupying emergency lanes – Xinhua probably < 1% of the violators… // China’s traffic authorities have punished offenders in more than 60,000 cases of illegally occupying emergency lanes on highways during a week-long holiday campaign. The police launched a campaign targeting drivers using the emergency lane during the week-long National Day holiday, following a case where vehicles blocking the lane prevented rescue efforts and resulted in a death.
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
Unmade in China | ChinaFile In Unmade in China, entrepreneur and Georgetown University business professor Jeremy R. Haft lifts the lid on the hidden world of China’s intricate supply chains. Informed by years of experience building new companies in China, Haft’s unique, insider’s view reveals a startling picture of an economy which struggles to make baby formula safely, much less a nuclear power plant. Using firm-level data and recent case studies, Unmade in China tells the story of systemic risk in Chinese manufacturing and why this is both really bad and really good news for America.
七子之家 被超生困住的人生特别报道新京报网 The Beijing News on a family in Tongzhou, Beijing has 7 kids, lots of hukou issues, will cost 700k rmb they don’t have to solve their hukou problems // 通州区张家湾镇枣林庄，这个九口之家因超生而被众人知晓。超生六子女中，4人至今无户口，从而导致辍学、无法领证结婚等问题。通州计生委表示，缴纳70万社会抚养费才可以解决户口问题，但高费用让这个家庭陷入恶性循环。
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