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Things are heating up over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. China is not happy (Duowei, Chinese) about the US House’s Defense Authorization Act of 2013 that contains a section supporting administration right of the Diaoyu Islands. A Global Times editorial openly spoke of the possibility of war between Japan and China over the islands (see lots of related links in the Defense and Foreign Affairs section).
Do not rule out the possibility that China will escalate this crisis on or around Christmas Day, perhaps by landing people on the islands.
A draft of a new Internet law is moving forward and it appears that it will include requiring real-name registration (Caijing) for all Chinese Internet users. Real-name registration was supposed to happen for Weibo in the wake of the October 2011 6th Plenum of the the 17th Party Congress but it was never implemented, as Sina admitted in its 20-F filing to the SEC earlier in 2012, in which it warned that “if the Chinese government enforces compliance in the near term, such action may severely reduce Weibo user traffic.”
There is no question the Chinese Internet needs better laws around data protection, rumor-mongering and disclosures to limit the “black PR” firms that can so easily pay the Chinese Internet giants to place false “news” and information, but a key question is how far this proposed law will go towards stifling the vibrancy and relative freedom of the Chinese Internet.
Xinhua has started to publish profiles of China’s new leaders here and has included some nice pictures.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
CITIC flags interest payment delay on trust product | South China Morning Post– The payment delay could add to jitters over the underlying health of wealth management products either marketed directly to the wealthy or sold through banks to depositors looking for higher interest rate returns. A CITIC trust executive told Reuters his company is trying to work with the local government and banks to resolve a cash flow problem at the steel company whose loan underlies the trust product.
China Pledges Rural Reforms to Boost Incomes, Consumption – Bloomberg – A completely new policy approach is emerging under Li Keqiang, said Yuan Gangming, a researcher in Beijing with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Its about giving farmers a bigger share from land deals, its about changing local governments reliance on revenues from land, and its ultimately about a fairer system of sharing Chinas economic growth. Yuan said he expects the new government that will be appointed in March will announce a slew of policy initiatives from changes to the household registration, or hukou, system to trading in land-use rights as part of Lis urbanization drive.
China eyes more rural development in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn– At the Central Rural Work Conference that closed Saturday, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu said while improving the country’s basic rural system, China would focus on fostering new types of agricultural businesses. This will require maintaining stable land contract relationships on the basis of household contract management while guiding the orderly transfer of farmers’ land contract management rights, said Han. It was agreed by delegates at the conference that farmers’ rights will be fully protected, and land transfers should not be compulsory or restricted.
广东江苏等多地公务员抛售房产 或为转移资产到海外_中国经济网? are officials selling properties en masse to avoid corruption charges? dumb if they are, given all transactions have to go through a centralized, searchable system. then again, perhaps they can “borrow” money offshore from a “buyer” with the house as collateral, at a discount to market, then when they do not pay the buyer can take the loan contract and legally get title, i believe..not clean, but official may be offshore with his/her money, if there is a problem back in china the buyer gets stuck with it
POLITICS AND LAW
Top CPC Leadership – English.news.cn –
Profile: Xi Jinping: Man of the people, statesman of vision – Xinhua | English.news.cn
Profile: Li Keqiang: A man who puts people first – Xinhua | English.news.cn –
Profile photos: Xi Jinping: Man of the people, statesman of vision – Xinhua | English.news.cn –
Profile: Yu Zhengsheng: A reformer’s style – Xinhua | English.news.cn– Yu Zhengsheng, in the eyes of his colleagues, is a man who does not follow routines. He would avoid prearranged inspections and then make sudden visits; He is not interested in listening to subordinates’ lengthy work reports, but likes to go straight to questions. Now, the trained missile engineer has made his way into China’s top leadership.
Profile: “Always bearing the people in mind” — Zhang Dejiang – Xinhua | English.news.cn – BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) — From an “educated youth” in the poor countryside to Party secretary of economically booming provinces and then to the position of vice premier, Zhang Dejiang has made a steady advance into the top decision-making body of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
一桩官司_李承鹏_新浪博客 –Li Chengpeng blog post on a soccer related mess he was in a few years ago. hope one of the bridge blogs translates, hints at connections with Bo family, the “soccer mayor” when he ran dalian
ChengduLivin–Li Chuncheng’s Fall Threatens Chengdu’s Rise » Chengdu Living – Caixin recently reported on one deal, involving real estate giant Vanke and a shell company, Tongtai, that is at the center of the investigation into Li Chuncheng’s activities. That deal highlights the role of the “Harbin Gang,” associates of Li Chuncheng from his days in Heilongjiang, and their efforts to cash in on their boss’s sway over land auctions in Chengdu. But if rumors swirling around the city prove to be true, then the biggest head – involving literally the biggest real estate project in the world, The New Century City Global Center (Youku video) – is about to roll.
郎酒董事长汪俊林被调查 – 经济观察网 － 专业财经新闻网站 – Langjiu Chairman under investigation as part of the Li Chuncheng / Chengdu case// 导语：有原四川省官员透露，时任成都市委书记李春城在麓山国际社区项目开发建设过程中提供了诸多便利。李春城接受中纪委调查后，12月6日，汪俊林曾主动向媒体表示，自己并未接受调查。
网络反腐隐现“类文革”苗头 治腐仍应重在制度_多维新闻网 – 【多维新闻】自中共将对于党内腐败的认识提升到“亡党亡国”的高度后，中共现任与继任多位领导人如胡锦涛、习近平、王岐山等均在多种场合表达腐败危机与治腐决心。十八大后，中国网络上不断爆出各地大量官员腐败、违法、乱纪行为。一时之间，出现了一场中共高层与民间共同反腐的狂欢。但是这些腐败个案对于整个中国官场来说，仍然只是冰山一角。敏感的观察人士担忧，在这场反腐狂欢之中，隐隐出现了类似文革中的民粹主义的苗头。对于反腐来说，最重要的是建立和完善合理有效的制约、监督以及反腐机制。这不仅是依法治国的要求，也是达到“整党保洁”目标的必备条件。
The Chinese government and social media | Danwei –
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Considered strategy needed in Diaoyu spat – Globaltimes.cn– More Chinese are wondering if a war will break out between the two. Some strategists believe that although neither has the will to fight a war, the Diaoyu dispute could be the trigger. Once the dispute intensifies into a war, the sentiments of the public from both countries may explode, which will result in large-scale military clashes. The Chinese public knows little about the country’s military strength and their contempt for Japan is soaring. The deeply rooted resentment against Japan, once ignited, will have incredible power.
China harshens tone towards Japan over Diaoyu dispute | South China Morning Post –
Leaders ‘value US relations’ – People’s Daily Online– The first meeting between a Chinese official and the US president since the leadership transition in China came the day the US House of Representatives passed the $633 billion Defense Authorization Act of 2013. The act contains sections about arms sales to Taiwan and supporting Japan’s so-called administration right of the Diaoyu Islands, two moves China sees as harming its core interests. This reflects Washington’s two-way China policies, experts said, adding the anti-China group in the US political field might shadow relations after leadership transitions in both countries.
Bill confirms U.S. backing on Senkakus / ‘Security treaty applies to isles’ in Okinawa : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri) – WASHINGTON–The U.S. Congress has approved a defense policy bill for fiscal 2013, which reconfirms the Senkaku Islands are subject to Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. security treaty obliging the United States to defend Japan in case of hostilities.
罕见对日战机沉默 中国意在钓岛去美国化_多维新闻网– 实际也证明，美国力量已经不足以完全控制钓鱼岛局势。美国不得不面对与日的矛盾心态，以及基于自己利益随时会跑路的原则。美国在钓鱼岛问题上情不自禁的插足其实是在挽救大国的最后自尊。因此中国寻求美国路线解决问题似乎并不那么乐观。 而钓鱼岛争端汇集了中国所有的战争创伤与屈辱。这种民族间的复杂情感，不是一句和平友好和冷静理智呼吁就能够摆平的。中国需要一次完胜一次马到成功来大快民心，为百年来中华民族奋斗的勇士，牺牲的志士们的努力血泪盖上勋章。中国不求美国能够做出贡献，只求美国不要添乱。
官媒祭出对日“对等报复” 钓岛冲突随时引爆_多维新闻网 – 中国军方也多次警告日本在钓鱼岛保留采取进一步措施的权力。中共新上任的军委主席习近平更在上任以来的首轮军事表态中强调了“打赢局部战争”，和随时“战”斗。因此，无论是主观意图和战备状态，中国需要一场对日冲突，也已经做好了冲突的准备。因此接下来日本在钓鱼岛问题上只会更强硬。日本派出战机本身就已经升级了中日双方的紧张态势。一旦日本战机与中国飞机擦枪走火，那么中日冲突随时引爆。
Japan ‘to send special envoy’ to China|chinadaily.com.cn– Japan’s incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will send a special envoy to China, media reports said, amid tension over the Diaoyu Islands. Beijing blasted controversial provisions on Sunday in a defense bill passed by the US Senate, which acknowledges “the administration of Japan” over the islands and urges arms sales to Taiwan. Observers said that Abe’s gesture does not mean any concessions on the islands are in the offing.
Patriotic education distorts China world view – FT.com – In the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and the fall of the Soviet Union, China’s leaders concluded that the Communist party needed to improve its “thought work”. So they launched a new “patriotic education” campaign that continues to this day. The selective teaching of history – emphasising the brutality of foreign invaders and ignoring atrocities or mistakes by China’s leaders, is intended to boost the party’s legitimacy by cultivating a nationalistic, anti-western victim mentality among young Chinese.
The Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands: Narrative of an empty space | The Economist –
Chinese-Led Copper Mining Threatens Afghan Buddhist Monasteries – NYTimes.com – WHEN the Taliban blasted the famous Bamiyan Buddhas with artillery and dynamite in March 2001, leaders of many faiths and countries denounced the destruction as an act of cultural terrorism. But today, with the encouragement of the American government, Chinese engineers are preparing a similar act of desecration in Afghanistan: the demolition of a vast complex of richly decorated ancient Buddhist monasteries.
How U.S. Can Secure the New East – The Diplomat – Americans need to accept the reality of a rising China, says Zbigniew Brzezinski. But the U.S. must also build on its Asian alliances if it wants balance and leverage.
Stifling Progress in Russia and China – NYTimes.com – The West must hope that Russian and Chinese leaders are bold enough to take on vested interests and push through serious reforms. Otherwise Russia and China will grow more slowly than they should, which may well result in more strident nationalism. Then Western countries that hope to co-opt them in tackling global economic and security challenges would find them very prickly partners. Charles Grant is director of the Center for European Reform.
HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
Zhang Xiaoming: A hawk or dove to Hong Kong? | South China Morning Post– Beijing’s new top representative in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming, caused a stir last month when he accused “external forces” outside China of meddling in Hong Kong’s elections. In a study guide to the report of the Communist Party’s 18th congress, and published in the pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po, Zhang called on Hong Kong to pass the controversial national security law required under Article 23 of the Basic Law, “in due course”.
TECH AND MEDIA
China’s top legislature mulls Internet regulatory measures – Xinhua | English.news.cn –
China Seeking Further Internet Info Protection via Legislation -Caijing – signals remain mixed with official media including the Global Times, the People’s Daily, pouring commentaries which express concerns of a fast-developing while “lack-of-regulation” Internet environment last week.
Proposed Chinese Law May Force Sina Weibo To Implement Real-Name Registration | TechCrunch – One of the companies that will be the most greatly affected if the law is passed is Sina Weibo, China’s massively popular microblogging service, which boasts more than 400 million members. Back in January, China took its trial program requiring microblog users to disclose their identities to the government nationwide. In May, however, Sina Weibo admitted that it had not yet fully implemented real-name registration, despite being instructed to by the Chinese government. The company said this put Sina Weibo at risk of “potentially severe punishment” by the government, but, as it noted in its 20-F filing last spring, implementing the new regulations is not only time consuming, but could also potentially decimate its user base:
VOA-China Censorship Not Improving Under New Leaders, Analysts Say – Anti also takes a pessimistic stance, warning against anyone who thinks a new era of Internet freedom is about to unfold. “Definitely not, because censorship is crucial for the party’s rule,” he says. “The party’s rule is very centralized. The Internet by nature is very de-centralized. It doesn’t match. Censorship is the only way to fix the Internet’s side effects.”
Adding More Bricks to the Great Firewall of China – NYTimes.com – My colleagues Sharon LaFraniere and David Barboza wrote about similar concerns over Chinas Internet censorship last year, and they spoke to Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China, an investment and strategy consultancy based in Beijing. It has been double the guard, and double the guard, and you never hear proclamations about things being relaxed, said Mr. Clark, a 17-year resident of China. We have never seen this level of control in the time I have been here, and I have been here since the beginning of the Internet.
Tencent aims for Southeast Asia as it brings its WeChat messaging app to RIM’s BlackBerry platform – The Next Web –
What China Read in 2012 – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Plenty of Chinese turn to the Internet for news of the weird of juicy celebrity rumors. But the 3.5 million to four million readers who visit The Wall Street Journals Chinese Online Edition every month came to read deeply reported profiles, features and breaking news about the people who aspired to and will rule the nation.
境外组织和个人在华使用密码产品管理办法 – 百度百科 – there is an existing regulation that applies to VPN usage in China
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Children’s charity accused of embezzling funds – Xinhua | English.news.cn– A children’s charity on Monday was accused by a journalist of embezzling funds just days after being hit by the same accuser with accusations of laundering money. Columnist Zhou Xiaoyun said Monday that the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children (CCAFC) only used about 1 million yuan (160,421 U.S. dollars) out of the 19 million yuan raised from a charity gala for an anti-human trafficking program called “Hope for Home.”
China’s dinosaur hunter: The ground breaker : Nature News & Comment – As he revolutionizes ideas about dinosaur evolution, Xing Xu is helping to make china into a palaeontological powerhouse.//Spouse’s grandfather known as the father of Chinese paleontology, is buried in the scholar’s garden at the peking man site
Details of Stabbings Revive Chinese School Security Questions – NYTimes.com – But now the Chinese video, circulating here on television and the Internet, has refocused attention on the Chenpeng attack, especially on security measures at the school and on local officials efforts to squelch coverage. Fury has been building because such rampages have recurred over the last three years, with intruders slashing at schoolchildren with knives and axes, including one who attacked with a hammer and then set himself on fire. Each case set off fear among parents across the country as well as criticism of government officials for not doing enough to protect children; each time, officials guaranteed schools would be secure. The video made blatant the gap between the official promises and reality.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
‘Malaria is not going away because we are getting fake treatment’ | World news | The Guardian – China suspected as source of counterfeit drugs that are holding back fight against malaria in Africa
Revealed: secrets of ancient Chinese medicinal herb | South China Morning Post– Scientist in the United States on Sunday offered a molecular-level explanation for how a Chinese herbal medicine used for more than 2,000 years tackles fever and eases malaria. The herb is an extract of the root of a flowering plant called blue evergreen hydrangea, known in Chinese as chang shan and in Latin as Dichroa febrifuga Lour
If China seeks to encourage Japan to toss out Article 9 and re-arm, I can think of no better way than for China to humiliate Japan and take possession of the islands. Such a move may play well with the domestic audience, but it will have enormous regional consequences. A Japan that re-arms will inspire others (e.g., South Korea) to do the same. Not what East and Southeast Asia need. Whoever joked that the most helpful American diplomats in Asia are the guys in Zhongnanhai got it exactly right.
Does China really no longer care what others think?