"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
China has now reported 60 infections and 13 deaths from the H7N9 bird flu virus and it has arrived in Beijing and Henan. A seven year old girl whose parents are Beijing poultry traders is in the hospital and last night the Beijing government announced that a four year old boy who was part of a group tested due to contact with the sick girl is carrying the virus (Bloomberg), although he has not yet shown any symptoms:
The boy, who is under medical observation, suggests that some H7N9 infections may be going unrecorded because of a lack of obvious symptoms. Almost all the 60 previous cases in eastern China were extremely unwell, with complications extending to brain damage, multi organ failure and muscle breakdown.
“With asymptomatic cases around, I think everything changes,” said Ian Mackay, an associate professor of clinical virology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, in a telephone interview today. “There has been a spike in pneumonia cases that have drawn the health officials’ attention, but the virus may have been going around as a normal cold.”
Bloomberg also reports that China has invited four flu experts to offer advice:
Nancy Cox, director of the flu division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Anne Kelso, director of a World Health Organization flu research center in Melbourne, Malik Peiris from the University of Hong Kong, and Angus Nicoll, head of the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s flu program, will arrive on about April 17 to offer technical advice, said the people, who declined to be identified because the Chinese government hasn’t announced that the experts are being invited.
The group will seek to assist Chinese authorities grappling to identify the source and mode of transmission of the H7N9 avian influenza that has infected at least 60 people and killed 13. Beijing yesterday said that a 7-year-old girl has the virus, and Henan province reported its first two cases, opening a new front in the spread of the new pathogen in the world’s most populous nation…
The Beijing Drug Administration has been ordered to stock up on medicines, including enough Tamiflu for 2 million people, Xinhua has reported. Schools in Beijing were told to increase daily temperature checks and report possible cases to the education authorities within an hour of their discovery, it said.
There were no temperature checks this morning when I dropped our kids off at school though I would expect/hope they will start checking in the classrooms throughout the day, as they did during the heightened concerns over the H1N1 outbreak a few years ago.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Tokyo and he offered direct Korea talks (WSJ), with a caveat:
Secretary of State John Kerry said he would be willing to open a direct U.S. diplomatic channel to North Korea’s leadership in a bid to reduce tensions in Northeast Asia, if Pyongyang signaled it would move to begin dismantling its nuclear-weapons arsenal.
The U.S. proposal marked a considerable softening by the Obama administration of its rhetoric toward North Korea after a massive display of U.S. military force on the Korean peninsula—including the deployment of B-2 bombers, F-22 stealth fighters and advanced missile-defense systems.
But by requiring a North Korean move in the direction of disarmament, the offer appeared to stand a limited chance of succeeding. The North on Sunday rebuffed an earlier offer for talks from South Korea, calling that overture a “crafty trick.”
The concern Monday is that North Korea will test a missile, perhaps as a birthday celebration for Kim Il-Sung.
On a housekeeping note, I have added a new payment option that is much better than Paypal. So if you were having problems or have been on the fence, please go here to support Sinocism.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
求真者胡耀邦-新闻图片库-大视野-搜狐 Sohu slideshow “Truth Seeker Hu Yaobang”. Today, April 15, is the 24th anniversary of his death. I was a student at Beida then, clueless about what it meant and what was about to happen // 胡耀邦逝世24周年:揭秘中央媒体播出讣告全过程_网易新闻中心 story making the rounds on Chinese news sites today..behind the scenes look at process that went into preparing the official announcement of hu yaobang’s death…excerpted from a 2008 book (摘自杨正泉著《新闻背后的故事》，新世界出版社，2008年 // 1989年4月15日胡耀邦同志逝世，4月22日在人民大会堂举行胡耀邦同志追悼大会，都是中央电台的重大宣传报道任务，都做了及时的宣传报道。但由于当时的历史情况，是一波三折 // 百度新闻搜索_胡耀邦 not much in Baidu News search about “胡耀邦” (Hu Yaobang) today, search for 胡耀邦 gets the not allowed results message but posts about Hu are making the rounds on Weibo, as you can see in this screenshot I posted to Twitter
China poised to tap policy brakes as economy gathers speed | Reuters “We’re expecting 8.1 percent growth in Q1 and as it looks like things are getting better not worse in the global economy, I think things will continue to improve from there,” Tim Condon, Asian economic research chief at ING in Singapore, told Reuters. Official data is expected to show annual growth in the world’s second-biggest economy hit 8.0 percent in the first quarter, according to the consensus forecast in the benchmark Reuters poll, its best year-on-year showing since first-quarter 2012. “But bank loan numbers are running too fast to be consistent with monetary stability and in particular to deliver a cooling of the housing market that the government says it wants,” noted Condon. “They are going to have to tighten up.”
人民日报-切实推动半岛局势转圜 钟 声 Zhong Sheng in People’s Daily on the Korean Peninsula, clearly not happy with Kim// 要阻止进一步恶化局势的冒险行动，有两件事必须做。第一，发出严厉警示，强调基本理性。在半岛和本地区挑事生事，会损害各方利益，也无异于搬起石头砸自己的脚。越是关键时刻，越是需要保持冷静清醒。由着性子来或许可以逞一时之快，但真的惹出大麻烦，到头来还是输不起。第二，不能幸灾乐祸，更不要火上浇油。一旦朝鲜半岛局势彻底失控，进而陷入灾难性局面，任何一方都不可能置身事外，也不会有“把握主动”的机会。各方保持冷静克制，推动局势缓和，既是对朝鲜半岛和平稳定大局负责，也是对自身利益负责。:
人民日报-国企新姿 中国脊梁坚强挺立（新国企 新起点之一：布局篇）page 1 People’s Daily on the benefits of having state owned enterprises …//“神九”飞天、“蛟龙”下海、“歼—15”一鸣惊人、高铁奔驰——这些令国人无比自豪的成就背后，有一个共同的标志：国企创造。 当不少人对国企的印象还停留在“效率低下、产品落后、竞争乏力”，当一些人仍在指责国企“什么都干、什么都干不精”时，我国的国有企业已悄然完成了一次华丽蜕变。..“大国间的竞争突出表现为其跨国公司在全球市场的角力。”清华大学国情研究院院长胡鞍钢说，中国企业的整体崛起，打破了长期由欧美日跨国公司垄断世界经济的格局，而国有企业在其中扮演了“领头羊”的角色。跃上新平台，开启新格局。承载着强国富民的“中国梦”，新国企正乘风破浪、扬帆远航。
Graft-busters shy on disclosure of assets | South China Morning Post At the latest plenary meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in late February, attended by more than 200 anti-graft officials from around the nation, no one voiced support for the introduction of a national system requiring party officials to disclose their assets, a person at the meeting said. “Many of the speakers at the meeting believed such a plan was impossible under the current circumstances,” the source said. However, the source said a CCDI official, who had done a series of interviews with Guangdong officials, had warned his colleagues that the disclosure of officials’ assets could lead to social unrest. “He said that every official that he had talked to had an impressive amount of assets, and to publicise any of them would lead to public anger,” the source said, adding that CCDI deputy secretary Zhao Hongzhu heard the remarks but did not comment. // yes, see this Sinocism post Will Declaring Chinese Officials’ Assets Cause ‘Chaos’? And Will That Delay The Introduction Of A Property Tax? from April 2010
China’s Global Currency: Lever for Financial Reform | Brookings Institution by Arthur Kroeber, now a Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings-Tsinghua Center // This paper contends that, on the contrary, the purposes of the renminbi internationalization program are mainly tied to domestic development objectives, namely the gradual opening of the capital account and liberalization of the domestic financial system. Secondary considerations include reducing costs and exchange-rate risks for Chinese exporters, and facilitating outward direct and portfolio investment flows. The potential for the currency to be used as a vehicle for international finance, or as a reserve asset, is severely constrained by Chinese government’s reluctance to accept the fundamental changes in its economic growth model that such uses would entail, notably the loss of control over domestic capital allocation, the exchange rate, capital flows and its own borrowing costs.
Four fronts in regulatory war | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis This post is an update of the continuing struggle over accounting regulation for Chinese companies listed abroad. There are currently four fronts in this battle.
Venture capitalists rethink big bets on China – San Jose Mercury News “VC ardor has cooled around investments in Chinese companies,” said Andrew Chung, who leads China efforts for Menlo Park-based Khosla Ventures. Like others, he cited uncertainties about the Chinese economy, the dearth of initial public offerings and the rise of “copycat” companies that some say simply ape ideas from Western tech darlings. “There’s too much capital chasing too few deals.” What’s more, some Silicon Valley venture firms have grown wary of China’s often opaque regulatory environment and loose approach to intellectual property laws. “We’re skeptical of the environment,” said John O’Farrell of Menlo Park’s Andreessen Horowitz, a firm not known for being risk-averse. “The deck is stacked against foreign companies.”
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Shanghai Chicken Served With Blood Shunned as Bird Flu Spreads – Bloomberg Chicken meat consumption has “drastically declined” in eastern China since the outbreak of bird flu, Liu Yonghao, chairman of New Hope Liuhe Co., the country’s biggest poultry supplier, said on April 9. Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM), which has more than 5,200 stores in China, said on April 10 that the publicity associated with the virus has had a “significant, negative impact” on sales at its KFC dining chain.
Premier stresses foresight in economic policymaking – Xinhua | English.news.cn Premier Li Keqiang has underlined the importance of foresight in economic policymaking, calling for focusing on economic transformation and upgrading through deepened reform. Li made the remarks while chairing a seminar on macroeconomics, foreign trade, finance and real estate attended by scholars and entrepreneurs.
China’s Q1 power consumption up 4.3 pct – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s electricity consumption in the January-March period rose 4.3 percent year on year to 1.21 trillion KWH, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Sunday. In March alone, the Chinese society consumed a total of 424.1 billion KWH of power, up 2 percent year on year, according to a statement on the NEA website.
China must take care of its city-dwellers – FT.com – Tom Miller Premier Li Keqiang believes more urbanisation will boost household consumption, helping to rebalance an economy too reliant on heavy industry and construction. Within a few months, China will release a plan expected to address how growing cities can avoid the “big city disease” afflicting Beijing. Central planners agree that dense, compact, energy-efficient cities must be built. “Urbanisation is not about sprawling cities,” Mr Li said at last month’s annual meeting of parliament. Yet plans to promote the growth of small cities are hardly the most efficient way of managing urban development
汇率、增值税与服务业发展_杂志频道_财新网 Caixin runs an internal speech PBOC head Zhou Xiaochuan gave in 2009 about exchange rates, VAT and developing the service sector// 为什么要警惕回归多重汇率制？为什么增值税制度对服务业的发展有重要影响？
21观察：中国式涨价，谁说了算？_21世纪网-21cbh.com 21st Century Herald looks at inflation that is not showing up in the statistics// 3月CPI重回2，无法使人安心；3月底M2（货币供应量）余额破百亿，就已让人忧心；这边厢发改委辟谣天然气涨价，那边厢多地相继曝出天然气提价，则令人不得不死心；但更为烦心、揪心的是，自4月10日起不再免费的凤凰古城。古城启动148元通票首日，游客骤减，次日部分商户就开始歇业抗议，官方出动防暴警察。对此，很多游客也表示不满，还有说这辈子都不到凤凰来了。操碎了的心为哪般？莫不是一个涨字。听，涨声一片和各家说辞
新政难挡房企拿地热情 京沪再现高溢价地块 新华社——经济参考网 new real estate rules do not seem to be having an effect on land buying frenzy in tier one cities// “国五条”细则落地后，4月9日，10家房企经过132轮激烈竞拍，新能(北京)国际房地产开发有限公司以11.65亿元竞得石景山区鲁谷路C2商业金融用地，溢价率高达174%。出现这样高溢价的竞拍场面的不仅仅是北京一地。4月10日上午，经过336轮激烈竞价后，上海浦东发展置业有限公司最终以65%的溢价率竞得浦东唐镇新市镇一处住宅地块，以楼面价18199元/平方米，总价37.75亿元成为2013年上海单价、总价双料地王。
Furs fly as Chinese consumers drive boom in U.S. mink farming | Reuters Battered by the economic downturn and years of animal rights activism in their own backyard, American mink farmers are now in a different sort of quandary: scrambling to keep up with China’s demand for all things fur. Driven by a hunger for high-end clothing and luxury home goods among China’s burgeoning middle class, U.S. exports of mink pelts to China jumped to a record $215.5 million last year – more than double both the value and volume shipped in 2009.
华西村5星级酒店亏损 村民轮流入住“拉内需”_新闻_腾讯网 Holes in the Huaxi Hagiography?// 华西集团还有哪些资产可以注入？这些成为投资者最大的疑问。新京报记者在华西村采访发现，华西集团传统的工业项目近年来效益不佳，新兴产业又尚未成气候。在众多的产业中，华西村的新书记——吴仁宝的四子吴协恩对金融业“另眼相看”。
POLITICS AND LAW
Chinese mother loses compensation bid over labor for rape protest | Reuters A Chinese court dismissed on Friday a compensation claim by a mother sent to a labor camp after she demanded justice for her daughter who had been raped, in a high-profile case that sparked debate about reform of the labor-camp system. Authorities in the southern city of Yongzhou sentenced Tang Hui to 18 months in a labor camp last August for “disturbing social order” after she demanded that the men who had raped her then 11-year-old daughter be given the death penalty. // 人民日报评唐慧案：应呵护公众对法治信仰|法治|唐慧|信仰_新浪新闻 People’s daily on the Tang Hui case// 公众关注唐慧案，既是对一位母亲锥心之痛的同情和关切，更表达了对改革劳教制度的急切呼唤。随着人民群众权利意识不断增强，对公平正义的追求更加强烈，我们需要在司法改革与法治文明建设方面做更大努力。事实上，推动制度改革的顶层设计，近年来不曾停步。今年1月召开的全国政法工作会议，提出包括劳教制度改革在内的四项改革。在全国两会上，李克强总理明确表示，劳教制度改革方案正抓紧制定，年内有望出台。人们对此充满期待。党的十八大重申全面推进依法治国的目标。进一步树立法治理念、弘扬法治精神，让深化司法体制改革成为立法者的不懈追求，让公正文明执法成为执法机关的共同意识，让学法尊法守法用法成为全社会的共同理念，让法治不仅成为一种治国方略，更成为一种全民自觉的生活方式，则法治中国可期，公平正义长在。
The Jamestown Foundation: Informatization Drives Expanded Scope of Public Security Overall, the MPS’s informatization efforts seem to have had three major consequences: better targeting of police operations to compensate for low numbers, increased budget and expanded organizational scope. Comparing China’s police modernization to its military modernization, however, suggests some missing elements, such as the human factor. Two years ago, the MPS vice minister responsible for informatization spoke of a need to develop intelligence specialists and police officers educated sufficiently to exploit the ministry’s new technologies (Shangrao Xinwen, April 29). It is not clear that the MPS has made the necessary adjustments to education and training, which have proven critical to the People’s Liberation Army’s harnessing of the Information Age.
追梦,沿着中国特色社会主义道路奋进——中国梦与中国道路 – 新华时政 – 新华网 Xinhua has launched a series on “Building the Chinese Dream”// 新华时评:鼓励人人成就梦想需要公平保障 – 新华时政 – 新华网 “有梦想，有机会，有奋斗，一切美好的东西都能够创造出来。”当公平保障更加健全，全社会的创造活力得到激发，亿万人民的美好生活和幸福梦想必将不断变为现实，从而汇聚起１３亿国民团结奋进的强大力量，共同托起伟大的“中国梦”。// 追梦,沿着中国特色社会主义道路奋进——中国梦与中国道路 – 新华时政 – 新华网 // [视频]新华社推出“筑梦中国”系列报道_新闻频道_央视网央视网消息(新闻联播)：新华社从今天起推出“筑梦中国”系列报道，题目分别是：《追梦，沿着中国特色社会主义道路奋进》、《逐梦，构筑强大的精神支撑》、《筑梦，凝聚13亿人的磅礴力量》。
“引导艺术”破产：宣传官员“双重面孔” _多维新闻网 Duowei commentator on Ren Xianliang’s recent Red Flag essay on public opinion and the internet that has caused a real stir// 然而，任贤良文章激起民间舆论强烈反弹，导致在墙内被悉数删除（但在搜索引擎上仍然留下痕迹），这种做法和此前“硬啃”苹果的惯用手法显著不同，似乎也显示出，当局的宣传方针指向目前并不明确，无论任文是否授意释放试探气球，当局都在尽力避免激起大的震荡。 仔细看任贤良在《红旗文稿》上的文章，不难发现作者其实是在“左右开弓”，前半段唱红脸，后半段唱白脸。放完狠话之后，他同样承认，面对网络舆论，传统媒体“到了非改不可的地步”—— “一些传统媒体对此认识不清乃至盲目乐观，再加上高高在上的‘官媒’架子、官腔官调的‘八股’文风、刻板说教的‘灌输’模式，久而久之使得受众对主流媒体敬而远之、厌而弃之。” 同样，回顾三年前《南方周末》发表的任贤良访谈，也不难发现同样潜伏着今天放狠话的蛛丝马迹。“双重面孔”其实并不是截然对立的。作为宣传官员，任贤良不仅坚持被监督者“审稿”的合理性、提出“谁来监督媒体”的问题，更明确表示，新闻并非有闻必录，有些涉及例如国家安全、民族团结和宗教等敏感问题，“大众不应该知道，也不想知道”。
彭丽媛生活细节曝光:常到菜市场买菜会讨价还价|彭丽媛|习近平|第一夫人_新浪新闻 more details on Peng Liyuan, story over the weekend, does she have a chief of staff and a spokesperson like a US First lady?// 歌唱代表作品超过二十首、主演过多部中国经典歌剧、1986至2006每年春晚独唱演员、曾任全国政协委员，同时有着防治艾滋病大使、控烟大使、防治结核病大使等多个公益头衔的著名歌唱家彭丽媛，从未演过非正面的角色，即便反串小品，演的也是《打工奇遇》里赵丽蓉原饰的那个实诚机智可爱的平民“慈禧”。
人民日报-沈阳落实“八项规定”成效显著，但个别情况仍需注意 公款吃喝躲躲藏藏（改进作风探实效） 私人会所内部食堂火爆，高档饭店门口公车人落车走 more from People’s Daily on some officials using private clubs to get around Xi’s eight rules
铁岭监狱乱象:狱警高价贩白酒 为犯人私带物品–法治–人民网 look at corruption in a Tieling prison// “狱警可为犯人私带物品，还可帮忙打包饭菜；白酒装入矿泉水瓶贩入监狱，狱警、犯人成‘倒爷’；监狱自开超市，家属感叹供犯人比供学生还贵；上‘机器台’工作到晚9点，花钱能享‘优待’……”近日，铁岭监狱因“冰毒交易”一事备受关注。人民网记者多方采访，了解到这座监狱更多不为人知的内情。
公车花掉6成三公经费 领导私用时间占1/3_网易新闻中心 vehicles account for 2/3s of “3 publics” expenditures// 国务院总理李克强在今年两会上回答记者提问时强调：“要让人民过上好日子，政府就要过紧日子”， 并做出“本届政府任期内，一是政府性的楼堂馆所一律不得新建；二是财政供养的人员只减不增；三是公费接待、公费出国、公费购车只减不增”的约法三章，要求“中央政府要带头做起，一级做给一级看。”
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Source: White House Wanted DIA Finding on N. Korean Nukes Under Wraps | Defense News | defensenews.com How did House members receive such a potentially game-changing finding that the Joint Chiefs chairman had not received from a leading U.S. intelligence agency as the Korean Peninsula — and perhaps the entire region — teeters on the brink of war? Did someone inside the Pentagon or DIA purposely leak the finding? If it was leaked, what are the motivations of any leaker(s)? As described by multiple congressional sources, the circumstances under which the DIA finding, which senior U.S. officials say does not reflect the beliefs of the entire intel community, wound up in Lamborn’s hands were not nearly as dramatic as such questions imply.
The Tumen Triangle Documentation Project: Sourcing the Chinese-North Korean Border, Issue 1 « SINO-NKWe have moved away, sweeping north to embark upon study of the northeast of the DPRK, and its multivalent Chinese connecting points, thus offsetting the abundant light shone upon Pyongyang and counterbalancing the incomplete, Pyongyang-centered narrative. Each issue of the Tumen Triangle Documentation Project will focus on current events in the region, but will also look back and reconstruct sources from the last few years to facilitate quantification of what really is “new” and what, as Dr. Hoare so adroitly notes in his preface to this edition, has been going on so long it barely warrants discussion. In addition, we will look more closely at a different region of the Tumen Triangle in every issue, hoping to catch a glimpse of something fresh, something different. First up is Hoeryeong, a city of such contradictions that it could not avoid our gaze.
China Makes Inroads in Nepal, Stemming Tibetan Presence – NYTimes.com These days, it is the Chinese who are showing up in this far tip of the Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, northwest of Katmandu, Nepal. Chinese officials are seeking to stem the flow of disaffected Tibetans fleeing to Nepal and to enlist the help of the Nepalese authorities in cracking down on the political activities of the 20,000 Tibetans already here. China is exerting its influence across Nepal in a variety of ways, mostly involving financial incentives. In Mustang, China is providing $50,000 in annual food aid and sending military officials across the border to discuss with local Nepalese what the ceremonial prince of Mustang calls “border security.
The China in Africa Podcast–China-Africa relations in the age of social media Social media is having a transformative effect on China’s engagement in Africa albeit in very subtle ways | Case study in South Africa and how politicians there are slow to engage constituents while millions of Chinese immigrants rely on social networks for business and personal connections | Michael Sata 2.0: the president returns from a week-long visit to China where he sounded very different than the firebrand opposition politician that he was just a few years ago.
TECH AND MEDIA
去哪儿网获百度等三大投资方3.5亿元“注血”-搜狐IT rumors that Qunar raised 350M RMB in March from Baidu, GGV and Hillhouse…curious this hitting news now…attempt to counter the recent wave of nagative PR around Qunar’s OTA dispute?
新浪将推出新版“媒体微博”，36氪获首批内测资格 | 36氪 Sina testing a “Media Weibo” tool to help media firms better use Weibo
声波传钱！注意，支付宝开始在线下铺声波支付终端了-看点-@虎嗅网 Alipay testing sound-based payment system on Beijing subway line
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Income gap widening in China: survey – Xinhua | English.news.cn A survey has shown that the already-yawning wealth gap among different regions and industries in China is widening, with nearly 50 percent of the gaps resulting from rural-urban disparities. The survey, which was conducted by the Income Distribution Research Center affiliated with the Zhongnan University of Economic and Law, showed that the wealth gap among rural residents is expanding. A green book published Wednesday by Social Sciences Academic Press suggested that incomes for rural Chinese grew faster than those of their urban counterparts for the last three years. However, the gap among rural residents is larger than that of the urbanites, according to the survey.
14-year-old Guan Tianlang has memorable debut at Masters – CBS News Guan can’t take any prize money since he’s an amateur. But he’ll get a silver cup as the only amateur to make the cut. There are no plans to turn pro anytime soon. “It won’t be too early because there are still a lot of things to learn, to improve,” Guan said. “So nothing to rush.”
最新版百家姓排行榜：王姓成中国第一大姓_网易新闻中心 Wang is the most common surname in latest ranking of Chinese “Hundred Names”// 通过对“全中国13.3亿人口的姓氏数据库（2008-2010）”的综合分析，中华伏羲文化研究会华夏姓氏源流研究中心发布当今中国最新版“百家姓”排行榜。
China Exclusive: Alibaba founder, kung fu star promote Chinese martial art – Xinhua | English.news.cn Founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Jack Ma and action movie star Jet Li have joined hands to promote “taiji,” a branch of Chinese martial arts practiced for both fitness and self-defense. At an entrepreneur exchange activity held Friday night in Beijing, Ma, wearing a flowing kung fu outfit, took the stage and performed taiji. Li also showed up to discuss the benefits of taiji. Ma and Li established a company called Taiji Zen International two years ago with the aim of spreading the culture of taiji to the world.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Hard Landing Ahead for China’s Health Care Reforms? | Asia Health Care Blog In our work we’ve seen first hand how China’s local governments are building new hospitals and health care city complexes without even a basic management plan. All that matters in the short term is that the infrastructure is put up so that the local government can sell more land through public auction to support property development, sustain property prices and increase land sale revenue. The real work of making sure the newly built facilities can actually treat patients is left undone. China’s ghost cities[xiii] have become the stuff of legend, if the reforms aren’t themselves reformed, we may end up seeing ghost hospitals, as well.
治雾霾 多部委寻政策储备 新华社——经济参考网日前，由国家发改委牵头组织，农工党中央和13个部委局办共同参与了雾霾污染防治工作座谈会。国家发改委相关人士告诉记者，此次座谈会的成果，是为未来雾霾污染防治的国务院相关文件“提供政策储备”。《经济参考报》记者独家获悉的会议资料显示，这些“政策储备”包括部委联动、行政问责、产业准入、企业监管等多个方面。但受访专家表示，当前各地频出的大气治污“新政”更多着眼于“军令状”、环境监测和末端治理，未来国家政策应当在产业结构、能源结构调整方面下决心。
国开行放贷 部分光伏企业略缓资金饥渴_财经频道_一财网 first financial on CDB loans to solar industry taking some of the pressure off, especially when other banks won’t touch them// 国开行近期对光伏公司的信贷之举，或许只能看作是“特例”。多数大型银行早在去年上半年就限制对光伏公司的贷款，且目前并未有松动迹象。如超日太阳被银行停止流动贷款的时间是去年年中；一些银行观察到部分企业的进口原材料额及通关数据有明显放缓时，也在去年毫不犹豫地向光伏公司催债并停止放款。多家光伏企业的资金管理部门、银行信贷部门人士表示，其他银行在短期内大规模放贷的可能性并不大。
媒体揭眼镜市场暴利：进价十几元镜框标价千元|眼镜|暴利|加价50倍_新浪财经_新浪网 expose of the huge profits in the eyeglass business..i have bad eyes, used to spend several hundred dollars for new glasses in us..discovered one of the “eyeglasses cities” in beijing (shuangjing), can get glasses w the correct, difficult prescription for $80..and now I learn i am still overpaying…// 由教育部、国家体育总局、卫生部等多部门联合组织并发布的2010年全国学生体质与健康调研结果显示，我国小学生视力低下者约有41%，初中生约有67%，高中生约有80%。在北京数据则更高，高中学生视力不良检出率约为82%，而到了大学里，这一数据则增长到90%。
FOOD AND TRAVEL
China Cuts Back on Big-Buck Bordeaux Wines | News | News & Features | Wine Spectator The party’s over for Bordeaux first-growths. Chinese President Xi Jinping has told the country’s free-spending political elite to cut back on their extravagant lifestyle, leading to a sharp drop in demand for Bordeaux’s classified growths, with the first-growths taking a particularly hard hit under the new government’s austerity platform. “Ostentatiousness is politically frowned on in China now,” said Simon Staples from British wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd. There’s been a “global slowdown on those very expensive wines.” Wines costing $800 and above have been the most severely impacted, according to Don St. Pierre, Jr., chairman of leading importer ASC Fine Wines. But “most categories have been affected,” he said. “This is obvious when you look at the 2012 import figures versus 2011. This is not just affecting the most expensive wines. This is affecting all wines that were used for government and government-owned business entertainment.”
传茅台酒一批价跌破800元 日子难熬要搞团购活动 新华社——经济参考 Wholesale price of Moutai dropped below 800 rmb/bottle?// 连日来，对茅台一批价格下调至800元的市场传言愈演愈烈。“确实有小部分不清楚渠道来源的新酒的‘一批价’可能低于900元。”昨日，一位白酒经销商向羊城晚报记者表示。记者昨日更从有关渠道获悉，茅台可能将在近期出台团购优惠政策，届时团购价格将低于专卖店的零售价。
300-year-old Phoenix Ancient Town consumed by fire of anger because of new government-imposed entrance charge | Offbeat ChinaFenghuang Gucheng, or Phoenix Ancient Town in English, has been the center of much online discussion in the past week. The small town, located on the western boundary of Hunan province, can be dated back to Ming and Qing Dynasties. It’s a very popular tourism destination in China due to its outstanding natural beauty, untouched ancient architecture and unique culture of the Miao ethnic minority who live there. This little small town had a restless week last week when on Thursday, local small business owners took to the street to protest against a newly-imposed “entrance ticket” of RMB 148 yuan, effective on April 10. All of a sudden, pictures of cheng guan officers (China’s city law enforcement officers) and anti-riot police raiding the little town are everywhere on the Chinese internet.
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
Howard Goldblatt’s life in translation | Lit Feature | Chicago Reader The premier English-language translator of Nobel-winning Chinese fiction lives (for now) in South Bend, Indiana. His mind is someplace else entirely.
JOBS AND EVENTS
The Jamestown Foundation: Employment The Jamestown Foundation is seeking writers for its China Brief, Militant Leadership Monitor and Terrorism Monitor publications.
Please help improve Sinocism by donating, forwarding this email to your friends, sending comments/ideas and following me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.