"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Happy Thanksgiving to my America readers! We will be celebrating the holiday with friends here in Beijing and there will be no newsletter Friday the 28th.
The newsletter is free and I intend to keep it so. However, given that the holiday shopping season starts with abandon Friday, those readers who shop on Amazon and would like to steer some money my way can shop via this link to Amazon. I will get 6-7% commission on anything you buy after clicking on the link. Thanks in advance.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. 令完成的财富故事_政经频道_财新网 Long Caixin expose of the business activities of Ling Wancheng, clearly identified in this article as Ling Jihua’s brother, something everyone knows already. Two of Ling Jihua’s brothers-Wancheng and Zhengce–are in detention. It looks like Ling Jihua is being slow-roasted in the media as Zhou Yongkang was in months before an official announcement of an investigation, and given that it is widely believed (but denied and unproven) that Caixin has a “good “relationship with Wang Qishan and the CCDI, the appearance of this article may be another interesting signal // 令政策被带走时担任山西省政协副主席，
2. China Asks for Help Identifying and Returning Fugitive Officials – NYTimes.com Calling corruption “a malignant tumor on human society,” Mr. Xu said that “China appeals to all nations in the world, especially the countries used by corrupt officials such as the United States, Canada and Australia, to cement cooperation in judicial law enforcement and combat corruption hand in hand.” Mr. Xu spoke at a news conference in Beijing where he and Sun Ang, a special coordinator for fugitive repatriation at the Foreign Ministry, explained China’s efforts in what it calls “Fox Hunt 2014,” the international extension of its anticorruption campaign. // when did China ask the US to arrest a fugitive “corrupt official” but it turned out he was a dissident? that kind of hampered trust in DC over this issue…
Related: Chinese VIPs Flee Vegas Baccarat Amid Crackdown at Home – Bloomberg wonder how Beijing monitors Chinese players in Las Vegas// The numbers suggest the drop in spending by high-end Chinese card players that began in June in Macau has spilled over to the U.S., said Brent Pirosch, an analyst with CBRE in Las Vegas. Other markets, such as Singapore, have also seen declines in baccarat play, as probes by the Chinese government and a weak mainland economy impact business. Baccarat, a card game where players compete against a designated banker, is the most-popular casino game in the Chinese enclave of Macau. “It’s a global VIP problem,” Pirosch said in a telephone interview. “It’s such a small, finite group,” he said of the Las Vegas baccarat market. “It really only takes a few guys not playing, less than 100 folks, really driving that high-end play.”
Related: Xinhua Insight: China hunts for corrupt officials with strengthened cross-border cooperation – Xinhua Cooperation mechanisms are now beginning to bear fruit. This year, China finished 10 negotiations on extradition and administrative judicial treaties. So far, China has concluded a total of 39 extradition treaties, including 29 that have taken effect; and 52 criminal judicial assistance treaties, with 46 already in force. In the meantime, law enforcement cooperation between China and the United States, Canada and Australia, the three major destinations fugitive Chinese corrupt officials head to, are also making steady progress. Although there is no extradition treaty between China and the United States, cooperation on the issue began over a decade ago. In 2004, Washington repatriated a bank official suspected of embezzling hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.
3. Xi Jinping claims to have old guard’s backing for anti-graft campaign | South China Morning Post Citing a survey of retired officials this year by the Communist Party’s Organisation Department, Xi said “old comrades” generally approved of the party headquarters’ directions. “[You] have staunchly supported [our drives] to improve the party’s work style, and our determination to crack down on corruption,” Xi was quoted by state broadcaster as saying to a gathering of retired cadres in Beijing yesterday. “I hope all old comrades treasure [their] glorious past … and continue to be examples of the party’s glorious tradition and good practices.” // dominates page 1 of Thursday’s People’s Daily. 习近平:老同志对改进作风、
4. China Needs All-Out Effort to Meet Emissions Goals, Experts Say – Caixin A source close to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner, said China did not act on a whim when setting the target, but instead the goals were the result of rounds of assessments and calculations by several research teams and think tanks. Tsinghua University professor Teng Fei said the targets did not come without controversy, and researchers differ in their estimates of China’s gross domestic product growth in the next 15 years. The figures vary from 3 percent growth to as high as 8 percent. Teng, who has served a China’s delegate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations since 2007, said that the 2030 deadline is based on a projection for GDP growth of between 4 and 5 percent. “A majority of researchers in China believe that China’s GDP will hover between 7 and 8 percent by 2020, but will slow to around 3 to 4 percent by 2030,” Teng said.
Related: Decline in China’s coal consumption steepens – how do we know and what does it mean? | Greenpeace UK In October, Chinese coal production dropped 8.5%, imports dropped 17% (for the third month in a row), and coal-fired power generation dropped 6%. This brought the coal production drop during the first 10 months of 2014 to 1.5% and drop in imports to 8%, while thermal power generation was still 0.1% larger than last year. So what does this mean for China’s coal consumption this year, and for the following years? The fall in consumption is a result of radical policies on air pollution, directed at controlling coal consumption, and budding indications of some tectonic changes in the world’s second largest economy.
Related: The People’s Republic of Chemicals | ChinaFile The name of China is almost obscured by a grey smudge on the title page of The People’s Republic of Chemicals, and this image proves to be apt. This book examines the crisis caused by toxic smogs that periodically choke vast regions of China and the massive particulate clouds that drift far beyond the country’s borders. Authors William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs joined forces once before in order to write their climate classic, Smogtown: the Lung Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles, a remarkable 2008 exposé and memoir about air quality, politics and health in Southern California’s smog belt. This time, the duo of self-described “smog gumshoes from Los Angeles” go farther afield to investigate air pollution that threatens to put a chokehold on the Pacific Rim. What’s more, Mandarin editions of both books will be available through the Central Party School Publishing House.
5. 住建部酝酿收储商品房用作保障房_政经频道_财新网 Ca
6. 国务院参事夏斌：中国经济可能陷入严重萧条-新浪网 Xi
7. The Few, the Rich: Chinese Who Like Uncle Sam – Foreign Policy On the rise of Zhou Xiaoping and his ilk, written by Andy Hu, who used to edit the Anti-CNN site. // However bold and loosely reasoned, Zhou’s combative observations of the United States reflect a new norm among younger grassroots Chinese, who believe in a world where China has almost secured itself in the driver’s seat, with only the United States holding it back. Zhou is a high-profile example of Chinese neo-patriotism, but also one of the more extreme. The fact that he was featured in the Nov. 21 edition of state outlet People’s Liberation Army Daily and also spoke that same day at the World Internet Conference in East China — where fellow panelists included Chen Tong, the godfather of Chinese online news and real estate mogul Pan Shiyi — are clear signals of official endorsement. Through the promotion of Zhou as an individual, of course, policymakers seek to engage and attract a larger crowd of young Chinese like him. // Is it possible Xi Jinping is not too worried about the rich “elite” leaving in droves, as those who remain are poorer, have lower expectations and are more ideologically malleable? And of course many of the “elites” who have left or are leaving have just been better at gaming the system and extracting enough loot to move overseas…”elite” is an overused word that should not just refer to people who are rich
8. 土地改革总体框架方案最快年内出台_宏观_中证网 Chi
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China Stocks Rise to Highest Since Aug. 2011 as Financials Rally – Bloomberg The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) climbed 1.4 percent to 2,604.35 at the close, the highest level since August 2011, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) surged 2.5 percent. // Shanghai composite over 2600. Seem to remember some pundits saying was a dead cat bounce a few months ago. Quite the fat, bouncy cat…Sinocism readers know I disagree with the dead cat bounce hypothesis, think there is a strong desire in Beijing to see the index move higher…In the US “don’t fight the Fed”, in China “don’t buck Beijing”?
Trio of Officials Leaves CSRC to Work for Firm They Once Oversaw – Caixin Three officials at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) have left to work for a securities firm, joining the large group of former regulators who now work for the companies they once oversaw, sources with knowledge of the matter say. One of the officials is Duan Tao, former head of a bureau under the CSRC’s Department of Public Offering Supervision, which reviews companies’ requests for initial public offerings…All three of them have joined Zhong De Securities, a joint-stock venture founded by Deutsche Bank and Shanxi Securities Co. Ltd., the sources said.
Wal-Mart Dismisses 30 China Executives in Restructuring – Bloomberg The China move comes amid a management shakeup in the U.S., where Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart announced the departure of its U.S. merchandising chief yesterday. The company also reappointed Scott Price as its Asia chief this month. The retailer has run into headwinds in China, where it faces stiff competition and food safety scandals such as fox DNA found in donkey meat.
China’s NDRC Said to Consider Lifting Price Caps on Most Drugs – Bloomberg The government would let prices be set by the market and impose measures to keep drug costs from spiking, according to the proposal drafted by China’s National Development and Reform Commission and seen by Bloomberg News. The changes would take effect Jan. 1.
马云布局丝路经济带 已与西北三省签框架协议-搜狐IT Jack Ma is on board with Xi Jinping’s plans for the New Silk Road, visits Xinjiang and Gansu, says Alibaba will increase its investment in Western China
China Widens ‘Tax-Evasion’ Net Amid Microsoft Case – Bloomberg The payments — including 840 million yuan ($137 million) in back taxes, interest and more than 100 million yuan in additional annual disbursements going forward — were detailed in a Nov. 23 report by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, which stopped short of naming the company involved. That company is Microsoft, according to the person, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. Microsoft can’t confirm that it was the subject of the Xinhua report, the company said in an e-mailed statement. // anti-foreign move, or are these companies evading Chinese taxes?
China central bank encourages healthy growth of Internet finance – Xinhua China will continue to support the development of Internet finance amid a moderate government regulation, Pan Gongsheng, vice president of the People’s Bank of China, said on Wednesday. The central bank is considering issuing a guideline, in cooperation with other financial watchdogs, on Internet finance centered on openness and inclusiveness, Pan said.
Partnership with private companies fuels growth – China Daily China’s top economic planner singled out on Wednesday seven areas for public-private partnerships to fuel the country’s economic growth. The National Development and Reform Commission said the plan will be implemented as soon as possible. // 国务院：七大领域开门迎民资
二线房企抢地一线城市_财经频道_一财网 land sales in Tier 1 cities booming into year end.
经济参考网 – 审计风暴剑指万亿彩票资金 彩票公益金的管理、使用乃至彩票运行机制有望得到清查摸底 Ec
任志强：房价至少还要涨十多年 北京房价不会跌_新闻_腾讯网 Ren Zhiqiang tells the Caijing Annual Forum that property prices should increase for at least the next ten years, Beijing prices won’t drop (they already have where I live…)…
POLITICS AND LAW
Canada Resident Caught Up in China Corruption Probe – WSJ Mr. Jia told friends in a Facebook message in January that he has been unable to leave China after being placed on a “no fly/exit list” due to an investigation into his uncle, a “very powerful and high ranking politician.” That uncle is one of the Communist Party’s most senior figures: Zhou Yongkang, according to several people familiar with the matter. Mr. Zhou, a former domestic security chief who once ran China National Petroleum Corp., is being investigated for “serious disciplinary violations,” according to China’s state media…He is the son of Margaret Jia, who recently left her job as head of the Canadian subsidiary of CNPC amid a shakeup. Ms. Jia is a sister-in-law of Mr. Zhou, according to people familiar with the matter. // Not a lot of sympathy for Zhou Yongkang’s nephew who can’t fly back to his pampered, corruption cash fueled life in Canada. The no fly list a lot better than 灭九族, perhaps he should count himself lucky. Any chance he is leverage to get mom back?
Executive from China’s top liquor brand under investigation – Xinhua The deputy general manager of the Kweichow Maotai Group, a liquor served at official occasions and state banquets, is under investigation, the local discipline watchdog said on its website on Wednesday. According to southwest China’s Guizhou Province’s discipline watchdog, Fang Guoxing, the deputy general manager and board director of Maotai, is being probed for a “suspected serious violation of discipline”. Fang has been at Maotai since January 2013 and was once the secretary of the Communist Party of China’s Renhuai City Committee.
China pushes more people to say: ‘See you in court’ – CSMonitor.com It is not immediately apparent what a weed-choked fishpond in this nondescript village in southern China has to do with the Communist Party’s recently renewed pledge to rule the country according to law. But for Zhao Weichun, the eager young volunteer lawyer who managed to untangle a dispute over the pond last spring between the Sixi village council and a local resident, that’s what the “rule of law” means. “With my advice I can help villagers do things in a legal way to resolve their practical disputes,” Mr. Zhao says. “When you think about it, that is the rule of law.”
Cabinet Unveils Draft Law on Domestic Violence – Caixin The draft law does not mention violence involving former couples or unmarried couples living together, items that one expert says should be addressed. Ouyang Yanwen, a professor at the Hunan Police Academy who specializes in domestic violence studies, said the exclusion is at odds with legislation in foreign countries, where de facto, same-sex relationships or former couples are mentioned. Violence in these relationships is as harmful as that among family members, he said. This is why the problem is often referred to as “intimate violence” instead of “domestic violence,” Ouyang said.
More corrupt Shanxi officials expelled from CPC – Xinhua Four officials in north China’s Shanxi Province have been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office, said the provincial discipline watchdog on Wednesday.
多所高校提出设内部纪检机构 学生可参与反腐-搜狐新闻 Universities setting up discipline and inspection groups, students can participate // 法制晚报讯(记者 李文姬 实习生 崔明辉 )近日，教育部公布了北京师范大学、
山西4名官员被双开 中纪委首次通报女官员通奸_新闻_腾讯网 for the first time the CCDI says two female officials committed adultery…these two from Shanxi…media making a big deal of it, they also made a big deal of it the first time a male official was accused by CCDI of adultery a few months ago
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Huawei Becomes Technology Sponsor of Washington NFL Team, Will Deploy Wi-Fi Network at Stadium Under the technology partnership, the Washington Redskins have selected Huawei to deploy its Agile Stadium Solution in the Suite Level at the 80,000-seat FedExField stadium. This solution will deliver a high-density Wi-Fi network // announced in October, surprised no national security concerns have been raised given the DC power players who attend games, and the usual reaction to anything Huawei-related
China pledges increased engagement with SAARC – Xinhua Greater engagement will take place in the coming years, said China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, head of a delegation here attending the 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), to which China is an observers. “China has put forward a series of initiatives ,(including) increasing trade between South Asia and China to 150 billion U.S. dollars and investment to 30 billion U.S. dollars in the next five years,” he said at the gathering in Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu. “We are offering South Asian countries with 30 billion U.S. dollars in construction of roads, offering 10,000 scholarships, 5, 000 training opportunities and exchange programs for 5,000 youths and sending off 5,000 Chinese language teachers in South Asian countries in the next 5 years,” he said.
Tiger freed by Russian President continues raiding goats in NE China – Xinhua A Siberian tiger released into the wild by Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly killed another 13 goats in China on Monday night. The latest feeding follows an attack on the same farm one day ago, which killed two goats and left three missing. The tiger, named Ustin, attacked a goat farm on Heixiazi Island in Fuyuan county of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, biting and killing 13 goats, local sources told Xinhua on Wednesday. Guo Yulin, the owner of the farm, is stressed about the tiger and was busy clearing the bodies of dead goats.
‘We have lagged too far behind’: China hits back at US calls to stop island project | South China Morning Post State-run newspaper Global Times hit back on Monday to demands by Washington that China halt its reclamation projects in the disputed waters of South China Sea, urging the US to “stay out of it”. “The US is obviously biased considering that the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam have already set up military facilities,” the Global Times quoted General Luo Yuan, a hawkish critic of the US, as saying.
Freelance Reporters Robbed at Gunpoint, Chased Off Canfield Drive for Filming | Riverfront Times Emily Molli, a freelancer filing for Chinese network Xinhua News Agency, said she was standing behind the camera while her colleague Marcus DiPaola was filming. She said she saw a large group of young men wearing masks and carrying guns walk towards them.
美国弗格森骚乱波及170城 近200名示威者被捕_新闻_腾讯网 more coverage of Ferguson-related protests
二炮副司令员陆福恩兼任参谋长 _政经频道_财新网 今夏以来二炮高级将领调整涉及三中将
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
7 Hong Kong Police Officers Arrested in Beating of Protester – NYTimes.com The officers, who were not identified, were arrested on charges of “assault occasioning actual bodily harm,” a police statement said. In the predawn hours of Oct. 15, Ken Tsang, a social worker, was kicked and beaten by a number of police officers in an incident that was filmed by a television crew and heightened animosity between the Hong Kong police and protesters after it was shared on social media.
Thousands of police stationed in Mong Kok to stop Occupy protesters re-taking the streets | South China Morning Post About 6,000 police officers will be assigned to the cleared streets and nearby areas in Mong Kok until Sunday to prevent a reoccupation by protesters angered by removal tactics yesterday. Clashes erupted again in Mong Kok last night. From 10pm, hundreds of people made repeated attempts to reoccupy roads, hours after traffic on Nathan Road returned to normal following the two-month occupation by pro-democracy activists.
Special Report: How China’s shadowy agency is working to absorb Taiwan | Reuters United Front documents reviewed by Reuters, including annual reports, instructional handbooks and internal newsletters, as well as interviews with Chinese and Taiwanese officials reveal the extent to which the agency is engaged in a concerted campaign to thwart any move toward greater independence by Taiwan and ultimately swallow up the self-ruled island of 23 million.// this 2013 report from the Project 2049 Institute “People’s Liberation General Political Department: Political Warfare With Chinese Characteristics” is also a good read on the topic-PDF
TECH AND MEDIA
Blocked on Weibo – How a Weibo post gets censored: what keywords… Weibo has removed their conventional censorship notice from searches on the site. This may be a bellwether for enhanced censorship on the site due to a particularly sensitive period in Chinese politics or it may mark a shift toward more obscured censorship. Or it may simply be Weibo testing out new tactics.
Xiaomi’s Next Move: Media Content and Online TV | Huxiu To air on the internet in China, it is required to obtain licenses from the regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. In this regard, iQiyi and Youku Tudou both have partnerships with internet companies that have official backgrounds. Their ties with these companies can reduce their risks or losses, should the regulator launch another campaign to “purify the web”. In buying stakes in these two websites that might have the regulator’s blessing, Xiaomi should feel secured about its plans for internet TV. In its rapid growth, Xiaomi’s businesses have started to coincide with those of Alibaba and Tencent.
MediaTek reportedly no longer supplies chips to Xiaomi Xiaomi’s recent investment in SoC supplier Leadcore Technology has prompted MediaTek to end its partnership with Xiaomi, according to a Chinese-language Tencent report. Xiaomi has reportedly reached a deal with Leadcore allowing the phone maker to get access to the chip designer’s technology patents. Nevertheless, unspecified industry sources in China pointed out a different reason behind MediaTek’s departure from Xiaomi’s suppliers list. MediaTek has been trying to expand its presence in the mid-range and high-end market segments, but finds Xiaomi’s pricing strategy is disrupting its plans. // had heard right after the Redmi launch that MediaTex was very angry over the disruptive Redmi pricing, while Qualcomm, an early Xiaomi investor and supplier, was angry that the company was using a competitor on the lower-end
New i-Cafe and Internet Policies in China – Niko Partners Details include: Remove the control over the total number of iCafes that can be operated in the country. No limitation on the total number of computers in new stores (No longer need to have at least 100 computers and 100 square meters of business area).
The Chinese version of Rising Star fares badly due to regulations | Huxiu Rising Star, a reality show and music competition from Israel, made a record of exporting to more than 30 countries within half a year, but it has not fared as well in China. For the three episodes that it has run so far, its views came out of top 5 among other shows of similar type in the prime time. This is not surprising since the successful elements in the original mode are all stripped away in the Chinese version.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Modern China Reimagined in Famous 12th Century Chinese Painting – chinaSMACK Chinese artist and photographer Dai Xiang recently exhibited at the 2014 Lianzhoufoto Festival, his reinterpretations of the famous Song Dynasty painting “Along the River During the Qingming Festival”(清明上河图). By inserting modern scenes into an ancient backdrop, Dai Xiang cleverly depicted numerous “incidents” in recent years across China, including popular topics such as chengguan, forced demolition, prostitution, gutter oil, among many others. Netizens praised his work as an embodiment of modern Chinese society.
Chinese internet stunned by ‘most amazing wedding’ – Telegraph A multi-million pound wedding extravaganza complete with a £20m cavalcade of 30 Rolls-Royce Phantoms, a bright red Ferrari and a fleet of luxury motorcycles has set tongues wagging in China. The mysterious marriage celebration took place last Sunday in Tangshan – a gritty industrial hub in northeast China better known as the site of a devastating 1976 earthquake thought to have claimed more than 240,000 lives.
Chinese Artwork Brings Auction Record of $45 Million – NYTimes.com The price that the collector, Liu Yiqian, agreed to pay for the intricately embroidered 600-year-old hanging, called a thangka, was reached after an intense 22-minute competition that came down to two telephone bidders: Mr. Liu, a Shanghai-based billionaire financier, who was represented by Jinqing Cai, president of Christie’s China, and an international bidder, who was represented by François Curiel, the chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific. The final price included Christie’s buyer’s premium of $5 million.
Experts stress consistency of family-planning policy – Xinhua The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) earlier this year issued a circular on rules regarding implementation of the adjusted policy, stipulating that couples who plan to have another child after their first one will be no longer eligible to the country’s allowances for one-child families. The allowances they have already received need not be returned, the circular said. Under current family-planning policy, a couple with one child can receive an annual allowance of 60 yuan (9.78 U.S. dollars) until the child reaches 14 years old. However, a local ordinance in central China’s Henan Province, which was revised by the province’s local legislature, said couples should refund the money if they are having a second child. The NHFPC circular is not an enforceable requirement superior to local legislatures’ decisions, said law professor Yang Xiaojun with the Chinese Academy of Governance. // 河南计生部门独家回应“独生子女费收回”风波–时政–
Architects Brush Off Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Disapproval of ‘Weird’ Buildings – Speakeasy – WSJ Property developer Pan Shiyi and his company, SOHO China, have hired Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid to build three commercial buildings in Beijing and Shanghai. Her buildings are known for their curves, and her buildings in China have been described as resembling eggs or fluid mountains. Requests to interview Ms. Hadid made through her architecture firm also went unanswered. Mr. Pan, however, said he isn’t ruffled by Mr Xi’s comments. “In my opinion, he was referring to ugly buildings,” said Mr. Pan at the launch this month of a project called Sky SOHO, a complex also designed by Ms Hadid’s firm that resembles four bullet trains. He said his company is determined to go on making “beautiful buildings.”
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Illegal wildlife trading rampant on Web – China Daily China has become the largest market for illegal wildlife trading with a huge number of related animal products being sold online, according to a new report by a major animal welfare group. At least 18,590 animal products were for sale online in the country at the beginning of 2014, the International Fund for Animal Welfare reported on Tuesday. Of the 21 online marketplaces monitored in China, wildlife products valued at $2.7 million were available for sale from March 10 to April 18.