"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Thanks to the readers who came to last night’s chat in Beijing. It was a lot of fun, hope it was useful.
Just links today:
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
China Manufacturing Unexpectedly Contracts in Blow to Growth – Bloomberg The preliminary reading of 49.6 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index (SHCOMP) released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with a final 50.4 for April. The number was also below the 50.4 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 13 analysts. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Conservatives counter demands for constitutional rule in China | South China Morning Post The editorial in the Global Times, which ranks among the most widely read dailies in China, comes a day after a Beijing law scholar Yang Xiaoqing wrote an article with similar reasoning for the Communist Party’s bi-weekly Red Flag Magazine. Citing Marx and Engels, the Renmin University professor repudiated what she called the “old Western” understanding of constitutional rule as an oppressive tool of the – in Marxian terms – capitalist stage of development. Those with capital use the constitution’s allure to trick those who have nothing into believing that they lived in a fair system, she argued in ideologically orthodox terms. Citing Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, she predicted chaos for China if the country were ever to come under constituional rule.
Related: 社评：“宪政”是兜圈子否定中国发展之路_评论_环球网 Global Times on Why the calls for “Constitutionalism” are bad for China // 在中国热衷政治的人一定要清楚一个事实：中国的国家道路已经选定，中国早已迈过十字路口，行走在“有中国特色社会主义”的路上。这是中国人民历经苦难好不容易选出来的，中国宪法从一定意义上说是对这条国家道路的保卫。想引中国走另一条路，整个西方世界加起来也没有这个力量，国内少数有不同意见的人更不行。 维护、细化中国的发展道路不如尖刻否定它吸引眼球，但这恰是中国复兴路上最需要的坚定与执着。“宪政”这个概念同中国改革开放的现实相比轻飘飘的，正因如此，它在中国落不了地，更生不了根
Related: Chinese intellectuals disencouraged by chilling messages sent by Party journals | Offbeat China Dream of China, Dream of Constitutionalism. It was the title of popular Chinese liberal newspaper Southern Weekly’s 2013 New Year Editorial. When the piece was significantly changed by local government propaganda official and subsequently led to strikes and protests of journalists, it’s the first sign that 2013 may be a chilling year for China’s intellectuals who have longed for reform, both economically and politically. After reading a series of recent articles in important Party journals and newspapers, many of them see an end of their dream of constitutionalism in China.
Related: Control, on the shores of China’s dream – China Media Project All of the signs lately point to intensified media control across the board, from more serious talk about strengthening social media constraints to state media pledges to help realize “China’s Dream” by adhering to the Party line and being more “positive.” “Positive energy” seems to be a recently popular phrase in official discussions of the media’s role. And we see this again in another piece from Red Flag Journal this week. The piece is called, “Media Must Unite to Amass Positive Energy.” The basic idea of the piece, written by Ke Chu (柯楚), is that China is a great big vessel of civilization sailing off to the bright horizon of the China Dream. Now, as it draws so close to its promised shore, is not the time for people to rock the boat with negativity. “The Party media and various new media, and the internet masses, must maintain clear heads,” Ke writes. “They must not change directions or banners. The closer we get to the shores of our dream, the easier it is to run aground.”
Related: 西方国家允许“人肉搜索”吗？_2013/10_求是理论网 Red Flag is on a roll with its Internet discussions this issue//多年以前，很多人以为网络可以保护个人的隐私所以畅所欲言。但是，随着各种社交网站的发展，具有照相功能的智能手机的普及，以及各种可以免费上传照片网站的发展，使得隐私成为网络中最薄弱的环节。但即使获取个人信息再容易，正常的言论自由和社会评价也应建立在尊重个体权利的基础上。牺牲个体权利获取“正义”的社会是无序和可怕的，无异于饮鸩止渴。有网友就说，“人肉搜索”这个词让人后背凉飕飕，其字面意思之恐怖程度和其现实实践中的杀伤力如出一辙。在信息爆炸的年代，“人肉搜索”今天是他，明天就是你，这种“多数人的暴政”如果得以风行整个国家，我们每个人都可能遭受这样的“待遇”。
Dennis Blair and Jon Huntsman: Protect U.S. intellectual property rights – The Washington Post nice timing ahead of the Obama-Xi meeting // We recommend immediately: denying products that contain stolen intellectual property access to the U.S. market; restricting use of the U.S. financial system to foreign companies that repeatedly steal intellectual property; and adding the correct, legal handling of intellectual property to the criteria for both investment in the United States under Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval and for foreign companies that are listed on U.S. stock exchanges. All of these recommendations will require strengthening the capacity of the U.S. government in these areas.
Related: ipcommission.org On May 22, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property (The IP Commission) released its report.
In China, Hacking Has Widespread Acceptance – NYTimes.com The culture of hacking in China is not confined to top-secret military compounds where hackers carry out orders to pilfer data from foreign governments and corporations. Hacking thrives across official, corporate and criminal worlds. Whether it is used to break into private networks, track online dissent back to its source or steal trade secrets, hacking is openly discussed and even promoted at trade shows, inside university classrooms and on Internet forums…V8 Brother said this cyberworld is so arcane that senior Chinese officials do not know details about computer work at government agencies. “You can’t even explain to them what you’re doing,” he said. “It’s like explaining computer science to a construction worker.”… The Web site of another company, Venustech says its clients include more than 100 government offices, among them almost all the military commands. The company, which declined an interview request, has a hacking and cyberdefense research center. Another former hacker said the monolithic notion of insidious, state-sponsored hacking now discussed in the West was absurd.
North Korean Leader Sends Envoy to China – NYTimes.com “The North’s provocations backfired and have pushed China and the U.S. closer together, resulting in more frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries,” Zhang Liangui, an analyst at the Communist Party School, was quoted as saying in The Global Times newspaper. “So it is trying a new way to sabotage Sino-U.S. ties.” In sending Vice Marshal Choe, Kim Jong-un was hoping to get “China’s understanding and support” but was unlikely to achieve it, said Cai Jian, deputy director of the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Aquino bares AFP buildup vs ‘bullies in our backyard’ | Inquirer Global Nation In thinly veiled comments referring to China, Aquino vowed during a speech to mark the Philippine Navy’s 115th anniversary that the Armed Forces would be given the resources necessary to protect Philippine sovereignty. “We have a clear message to the world: The Philippines is for Filipinos, and we have the capability to resist bullies entering our backyard,” Aquino told naval chiefs. Aquino detailed a P75-billion ($1.82 billion) military modernization program that gives priority to upgrading the Navy, which is one of the weakest in Southeast Asia…In the latest incident, the Philippines said Tuesday that three Chinese vessels—a warship and two maritime surveillance vessels—had established a presence near the Filipino-claimed Second Thomas Shoal, also known as Ayungin.
Related: 消息称中国军舰现身仁爱礁阻止菲律宾建堡垒_资讯频道_凤凰网 Global Times on Renai Jiao/Second Thomas Reef issue that is flaring up with the Philippines// 【环球时报记者邱永峥】菲律宾外交部21日抗议中国海军和执法船“靠近”南海仁爱礁，并称中国舰船“阻挠”菲方船只。而据《环球时报》记者从权威渠道独家得知，此次中国舰船出现在仁爱礁的原因是：菲律宾5月9日出动3艘军舰驶向仁爱礁，意欲打桩加固自1999年起就“坐滩”仁爱礁、对该礁形成实际占领的破旧登陆舰，阻止其下沉，并伺机扩大在仁爱礁的军事存在。对此，中国海军和海上执法力量正进行严密监视。
Related: China repeats call for implementing DOC – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to a media request for a comment on the Philippines’ recent protest. According to a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, the Philippines recently filed a protest against a Chinese warship and marine surveillance ships that sailed to the waters around Ren’ai Jiao, referred to as “Ayungin Shoal” by the Philippines.
Jiangsu to Build China’s First Local Firm to Dispose of NPLs: Report-Caijing South China’s Jiangsu Province is planning to set up the nation’s first local asset management firm amid increasing risks from rising non-performing loans in the banking industry, according to the Shanghai Securities News. Details are under discussion, and whether a new firm will be created or an entity will be authorized to take over the bad loans remains unclear. Earlier reports said the local government is considering a holding company co-invested CNY5billion by several state-owned companies and managed by the province’s state-owned assets supervisor or finance department.
Related: Risks in Financing Platforms Pose a Challenge, CBRC Says – Caixin- Local government financing platforms have “prominent potential risks” that pose grave challenges to controlling debt, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said in a recent meeting. The debts they have taken on are a heavy burden on public finance, the banking regulator said. The CBRC’s calculations show that the amount of outstanding platform debts has reached almost 9.5 trillion yuan this year, not including those borrowed through trust products. That is more than 50 percent higher than local governments’ revenue last year, and up to 40 percent of the debts will mature within the next three years.
Related: China’s Interest-Rate Challenge-Caijing Another major risk of interest-rate liberalization in China stems from rising public debt, particularly local-government debt, which has grown significantly in the wake of the global financial crisis. A key parameter for determining the long-run sustainability of public debt is the gap between interest rates and the nominal GDP growth rate. In China, total public debt currently amounts to roughly 60-70% of GDP – a manageable burden. But, after interest rates are liberalized, the public sector’s debt/GDP ratio is expected to increase substantially.
Progress on SOEs Means Answering Political Questions – Caixin – Wang Yong In the 1990s, the government actively promoted the reform of industries monopolized by SOEs, an effort that came to a climax between 1998 and 2002 with the breakup and restructuring of several industries – civil aviation, telecoms and electricity industries. But then reform of SOEs stalled in the past decade. Why? The general explanation is obstruction and opposition from vested interests. But who are these vested interests? No one can elaborate. One point, however, is clear. The argument that SOEs are the basis for governing of the Communist Party has become an important theoretical standpoint for opposing SOE reform…We must be on guard against the solid interest groups that have formed behind SOEs, which hinder reform. They defend the current SOE system with backward economic theories and fearful political slogans. But we should not forget that the collapse of the Soviet Union came at a time when SOEs dominated that country. So, the real issue is not whether “SOEs are the basis for governing,” but “what kind of SOE is the basis for governing?”–The author is a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law
Related: SASAC Steps in to Save Bleeding SOEs – Economic Observer The supervisory body that administers the operations of more than a hundred of China’s biggest and most powerful state-owned companies has been dropping by the offices of those companies that have dragged down the overall profits of the state sector in 2012 with their huge losses.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
China to Tighten Approvals of Local Governments’ Bonds – Bloomberg China will tighten rules on bond sales by polluters, local government financing vehicles with higher debt levels and companies in industries with overcapacity as the government seeks to redirect the economy. The National Development and Reform Commission, which approves bond sales by entities that local governments set up to finance projects, ordered greater scrutiny for bond sale applications from LGFVs with asset-liability ratios above 65 percent and credit ratings below AA+, according to a statement on the website of the nation’s top economic planner yesterday.
Chinese consumers’ demand for luxuries growing: survey – Xinhua | English.news.cn might help pick up slack from crackdown on official spending and corruption?// Demand for high-end products among Chinese consumers is growing from fast-moving consumer goods to other sectors, including the car market and financial products, according to a Nielsen survey. Increased incomes of Chinese households has led to rising consumption levels, said a report by the Nielsen Company on Wednesday.
Honeymoon’s Over for Sweethearts of SOE Reform – Caixin The transaction involving Ping An and Jahwa was seen as a model of SOE reform in Shanghai,” said Zhao Yugang, a lawyer at the city’s Co-effort Law Firm. “The government is unwilling to see it conclude with a joke.” What happens next is unclear, but the Shanghai government would like to mediate an end to the squabble as soon as possible. Ge told Caixin on May 21 that executives on both sides had agreed to take a calmer approach while working to settle the dispute.
北京昨日卖地获35.22亿 被批只限房价不限地价_新闻_腾讯网 land sales in Beijing Wednesday net 3.52 Billion RMB // 5月22日，北京一日卖出三块经营性地块，共获取35.22亿元的土地出让金。 其中，大兴魏善庄镇多功能用地经过78轮竞拍，以6052元/平方米，溢价率102%被北京城建竞得；大兴核心区地铁上盖自持商业地块被万科以8859元/平方米，溢价率 81%竞得，大兴旧宫宅地也已49%的溢价率、22320元/平方米的楼面地价被保利首开联合体竞得。 一时间，位于南六环的北京大兴旧宫迈入了2万元地价时代，而就在去年7月，同区域地块被中冶以1.6万元/平方米的楼面地价竞得，时隔10个月，地价直涨6000元/平方米。
楼市调控政策重估在即 行政手段或择机退出 | 每经网 more talk that changes may be coming to approach to rein in property prices, clearly the administrative controls are not really working // 核心提示： [导读]近日召开的房地产行业内部会议透出信息，针对现行的房地产调控政策效果，有关方面正在研究和观察。若调控效果无明显起色，不排除调整政策的可能…业内人士认为，近期决策层对房地产调控表态甚少，意在淡化调控并观察效果。若未来房价继续上涨，市场指标始终没有起色，不排除最快在今年下半年对政策的个别条款进行调整。 在推进城镇化将继续释放大量住房需求的背景下，行政色彩浓厚的调控手段恐不利于房地产市场稳定，进而影响城镇化进程和经济走势。多家机构认为，“去行政化”将成为未来调控方向。
调控的矛盾逻辑：限房价不限地价_新浪房产_新浪网 how do you control housing prices when you are not controlling the price of land sales, which are soaring again? just piling one distortion on top of another// 另有业内人士认为，一些地方政府卖地采用限地价，竞保障房的方式，但由于保障房成本最终仍然要转嫁到商品房，实际地价涨幅仍然迅猛。政府在严格控制房价的同时，也应该考虑严格控制影响市场预期的地价。
POLITICS AND LAW
Official stresses Party building in non-public enterprises – Xinhua | English.news.cn Zhao Leji, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the comments on Wednesday during an inspection in Beijing. Visiting Baidu, China’s leading online search engine operator, Zhao called for more efforts to integrate businesses’ own developments with the progress of the country and society.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Chinese premier raises five-point proposal for boosting cooperation with Pakistan – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presented here Wednesday a five-point proposal for further deepening friendship and cooperation with Pakistan. He made the suggestions during talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, during which the two sides reached important consensuses on boosting the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership.
China’s Li offers to help end Pakistan energy crisis | Reuters “Our two sides should focus on carrying out priority projects in connectivity, energy development and power generation and promoting the building of a China-Pakistan economic corridor,” Li said. The power shortages have sparked violent protests and crippled key industries, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs in a country already beset by high unemployment, a failing economy, widespread poverty, sectarian bloodshed and a Taliban insurgency. There are several joint energy and infrastructure projects under way in Pakistan and China has taken over operation of the strategically important Gwadar port.
Scenery of Sansha city, China’s Hainan – Xinhua | English.news.cn Photo taken on May 20, 2013 shows the scenery of Xuande Islands of Sansha City, south China’s Hainan Province // looks idyllic
It won’t be easy to build an ‘anyone but China’ club – FT.com No one will say it out loud, but the unstated aim of the TPP is to create a “high level” trade agreement that excludes the world’s second-biggest economy. The 12 countries now hoping to join – which also include Canada, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Australia – make up 40 per cent of global output and about a third of world trade. That’s a big club to be barred to Chinese entry.
Abenomics will only damage Japan’s neighbours – FT.com–Li Daokui Abenomics, the name given to Japan’s experiment with monetary and fiscal stimulus, is designed to end chronic deflation, according to Shinzo Abe, the country’s prime minister. But there is yet little evidence of inflation. The world has merely seen a sharp devaluation of the yen. This devaluation is both unfair on other countries and unsustainable…A Japanese recovery based on a devaluation cannot last. The most important reason for this is geopolitics. Against the backdrop of quantitative easing by several central banks including Japan’s, China, Taiwan and South Korea are all facing the problem of currency appreciation. The falling yen is salt rubbed into their wounds. Nationalistic sentiments against Mr Abe are high. Strong economic policy reactions from Japan’s neighbours are almost inevitable. // Mr. Li seems to be missing a sense of irony in his criticisms of Japan’s currency manipulation…
Chinese Newspaper Confuses the Japanese Military with…DeviantArt Needless to say, the Fuujin Attack Helicopter is not a real military concept. Rather, Ridwan Chandra Choa, a digital artist who previously worked at Lucasfilm Animation in Singapore, created it and uploaded it to art site DeviantArt. The Global Times and Xinhua are real news sources in China. It’s odd that they would use images with DeviantArt watermarks to scare up fear among readers about Japanese military and technological power. Maybe they didn’t know.
Anger at Beijing’s grip on bishop elections ucanews.com The new ruling, which was passed in April but has only recently come to widespread public attention, overturns a less strict regulation in place since 1993 surrounding elections in the Church. It is now attracting received strong criticism, not least for its stipulation that bishops must support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and its socialist system. “The revision is a regression as it blocks the normalization of Church life in China,” said Anthony Lam Sui-ki, senior researcher at Hong Kong diocese’s Holy Spirit Study Centre. “But it also reminds Vatican-approved bishops to be brave and not to be frightened by the authorities.”
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Tensions Flare in Asian Seas, Now Involving Taiwan – NYTimes.com Mr. Cole concluded: “A lack of worldliness, of understanding Taiwan’s position within the international community, and of how its actions will be interpreted abroad, better explain what happened. Depicting Taiwan’s actions as a plan by a secret cabal of ‘Han Chinese’ chauvinists to take over the region simply doesn’t help us understand what ultimately went wrong with Taiwan’s handling of the situation.”
Sinocism is a labor of love that takes tens of hours a week to curate and write. If you value it please consider making a contribution. Thank you.
TECH AND MEDIA
百度欲把移动野心烧到硅谷_财经频道_一财网 Baidu executive in charge of mobile Qiu Guofeng talks to first financial about baidu’s mobile strategy// 百度移动云事业部副总经理岳国锋接受记者采访时如是回应，“也许在外界看来我们慢了，但我们战略观察上并不慢，一些投资并购对象，甚至已经看到硅谷去了。”
新浪微博员工套现了，门户编辑有话想说！ |i黑马 Sina execs and some employees partially cash out their options in the Weibo entity when Alibaba invested? Sounds like other sina employees who did not have Weibo options are not happy about it// 据知情人士透露，此次说明会的主题主要由两个，一个由曹国伟向在场员工对阿里巴巴入股新浪微博后未来的发展前景进行说明;另一个主要议题是允许员工套现手中最多10%的新浪微博期权。 据猜测，由于新浪微博还未上市，员工出售的这部分期权主要由阿里巴巴购买，不过这一说法并未过的更多渠道的证实，也有传闻称本次部分员工期权的提前解禁是管理层向员工回购股票。
How The Great Firewall of China Shapes Chinese Surfing Habits | MIT Technology Review Can cultural factors be more important than censorship in shaping Chinese surfing habits? Two researchers argue that a new study of the way global websites cluster together supports this idea
[1305.3311] How Does the Great Firewall of China Affect Online User Behavior? Isolated ‘Internets’ as Culturally Defined Markets on the WWW Internet access blockage is widely understood to isolate Chinese Internet users and ‘balkanize’ the Internet. Drawing from the literature on global cultural consumption, we question this assumption and argue that online user behavior is structured by cultural factors. We develop a framework that integrates access blockage with other structural factors to explain web users’ choices. Analyzing online audience traffic among the 1000 most visited websites globally, we find that websites cluster according to language and geography. Chinese websites constitute one cluster, which resembles other such geo-linguistic clusters in terms of both its composition and degree of isolation. Our study demonstrates that cultural proximity has a greater role than access blockage in shaping people’s web usage. It also calls for sociological investigation of the impact of Internet blockage.
“网瘾战争 War of Internet Addiction” | DigiCha from three years ago, came up in a talk i gave last night// “War of Internet Addiction” is a great look into the push and pull between Internet regulators and netizens in China, and the very legitimate cynicism so many Chinese embrace.
e代驾 -全国最大代驾公司，代驾费只需39元起，免费下载e代驾手机应用，已开通城市北京上海杭州广州深圳重庆，服务热线4006-91-3939 apparently this company is doing very well…out drinking, need someone to come drive you home in your own car? call eDaijia…many of my friends use it, Beijing has very strict drinking and driving laws that are actually enforced…
贝塔斯曼中国局 – 经济观察网 － 专业财经新闻网站 Economic Observer looks at Bertelsman’s business in China// 导语：5年来，以出版图书、杂志和做图书直销著称的贝塔斯曼似乎已经淡出普通人的视野，但作为媒体版权输出方和外包服务提供商的贝塔斯曼却开始逐渐浮出水面。
Microsoft to Add Several Thousand Workers in China, Ballmer Says – Bloomberg Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the largest software maker, will hire several thousand workers in China to support new cloud computing services and smartphones using its Windows operating system, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said. The workforce expansion, from a current base of 4,000 staff, will take place during the next year, Ballmer said yesterday at a press conference in Shanghai that was streamed live on the Internet. He didn’t provide a specific number for new workers.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Fantasy or Nightmare? Ai Weiwei Makes Musical Debut – China Real Time Report – WSJ The artist was blunt in describing his goal with the video. “The aim of it is to get you to interview me,” he said. “Looks like I was successful.” //and worked with nearly every other foreign corespondent in China too..wonder what Ai really thinks of them, given how quickly he can get them to jump
Ai Wei Wei’s first single ‘dumbass’: lyrics and full review / Blog-that’s Beijing-Urbanatomy Media Like most singers in history with something very substantial to say, Ai does so out of tune, not that it stopped the English-language media from discussing Ai’s latest statement/howl at length.
中国式婚礼_刘爱国_博联社 fun pictures from a wedding in Shanxi, including equestrian meets Journey to the West characters
七成受访学生择业不以北上广为必选_深度_新京报网 70 percent of student respondents to a Beijing News survey say they would consider moving from beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to find work // 新京报讯 因北京、上海、广州等大城市对应届生有着强大的吸引力，“北漂”、“孔雀东南飞”等词汇曾经流行一时。但梳理近年来的数据不难发现，应届生逃离“北上广”的趋势愈发明显。新京报日前对高校毕业生进行的就业调查显示，在307份有效问卷中，尽管择业时“地域因素”仍占有较高的比例，但与此同时，也仅有近三成受访学生表示必须在“北上广”找工作，七成受访学生表示择业不以“北上广”为必选。而去年，清华大学留京人数更是达到了10年来的最低水平，仅有50%。
Overseas Chinese: A Foreigner at Home – NYTimes.com Cities like Beijing and Shanghai are increasingly home to overseas Chinese, as those of us of Chinese descent who are not citizens of China are known. By some estimates, more than 30 percent of the American citizens living in China are of Chinese ethnicity. For hyphenated Chinese like me, living here presents challenges as well as attractions
Schwarzman Scholars to Be Political Leaders, Not Activists – China Real Time Report – WSJ Many have questioned whether the program will be subject to the censorship that is common on the mainland, but Mr. Li said in an interview he was confident traditionally taboo topics such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown will be discussed in class. However, he said, he wouldn’t support students “using…their political views to organize things to actually shake up things.” “I don’t want our students to become political activists. We want them to become active thinkers,” he said. “Freedom starts with thinking. You have to think through things before you take action. Action without clear thinking can be destabilizing, as we all know.”
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Cleaner Fuel Estimated to Incur Large Bill-Caijing wish Caijing put more resources into its translations…an abridged, stilted translation of the recent cover story on improving gasoline quality// Regulatory authorities are dealing a huge blow to the petrochemical industry as they push petrochemical companies to invest more in upgrading fuel quality and at the same time frequently cancel chemical projects. Information asymmetry between local governments, petrochemical enterprises, and the more environmentally-aware public is the root of the problem. The public has almost no way to know about the rigorous environmental protection and safety reviews conducted before advancing a PX or ethylene project.
China milk powder firms court foreign cachet for domestic gains | Reuters Armed with global partners and slick marketing, Chinese firms such as Yashili, Biostime International Holdings and Zhejiang Beingmate Scientific Technology Industry and Trade Co Ltd now want to challenge the dominance of international brands with “100 percent imported” brand labels and competitive prices…China’s infant formula market is expected to grow to $25 billion by 2017, Euromonitor data shows
In China, food scares put Mao’s self-sufficiency goal at risk | Reuters China is already the world’s biggest soybean importer after making a strategic decision to outsource production, mostly to the United States. Some predict Beijing might have to do the same with other land-intensive farm products like beef – a move that would benefit big producers like Australia. While it has vowed to remain self-sufficient in major staples, imports of rice and corn are expected to hit record levels this year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts. Wheat imports, too, are seen at a near record.
Southern China Tightens Scrutiny on Rice Tainted with Cancer-Causing Cadmium-Caijing Roughly 10 percent of all rice sold in China is tainted by cadmium, a 2011 research conducted at Nanjing Agricultural University showed. In 2006, the country’s Ministry for Environmental Protection launched a nationwide soil-pollution survey, which was to have been concluded in 2010. But earlier this year the ministry rejected requests by a Beijing lawyer to see the results, citing “state secrets.”
镉来自哪里，责任由谁担？（深阅读）–社会–人民网 政府部门当务之急是在监测基础上及时公布不合格大米信息，并严格对不合格产品进行处理；在查清污染源的基础上，重点做好高镉污染区大米的管理；对已查清的重点污染农田，开展源头控制，做好农田科学规划和食用农作物安全种植，减少人群的镉暴露；解决大米镉污染的根本之道还在于环境治理，从源头上加以预防。 对社会大众，提倡膳食多样化，尤其是以大米为主食的南方居民，适当增加主食品种以分担部分风险；另外，保证碳水化合物、脂肪、蛋白质、维生素和矿物质等营养素均衡摄入，降低人体因缺钙、缺铁、维生素D缺乏等营养不良状况对镉过量摄入的敏感性
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Decanter World Wine Awards 2013: 20 Chinese wines nab awards, led by Great Wall, Helan Mountain | Grape Wall of China Decanter has released the results of its 2013 World Wine Awards and 20 entries of the 49 entries from China received a ranking of “commended” or higher. While the total number of wines receiving awards was higher this year, the pickings were slimmer, with silver the top achievement. The vast majority of awards were taken by Domaine Helan Mountain and Xi Xia Wang in Ningxia and by mega operators Dynasty and COFCO, the latter by its brands Great Wall and Chateau SunGod.
网传北京一高尔夫球场现神秘人：叫直升机送馄饨_网易新闻中心 rich golfer in Beijing gets hungry mid-course, has Wontons delivered to him by his helicopter. picture
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
Auction of Chinese literary couple’s letters sparks privacy row | South China Morning Post Around 100 letters and manuscripts by one of China’s top literary couples are to be auctioned next month, amid reports of a row over privacy. Many of the letters are between the pair, Qian Zhongshu and his widow, Yang Jiang, and a publisher in Hong Kong in the 1980s. Qian, who died in 1997, remains a household name in China for his novel Fortress Besieged, about late-1930s middle-class Chinese society.