Today’s China Readings April 21, 2012

"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner

  • Luxury tea trend threatens traditional tea culture – Xinhua |
    During promotion of this year’s first batch of green tea, which usually hits the market in April, a Chinese company rolled out its top tea priced at 26,800 yuan (4,253 U.S. dollars) per 100 grams.The tea, named “Daqi,” or “treasure” in Chinese, is a type of Xinyang Maojian, a renowned subcategory of green tea produced in Henan Province. The tea comes in a cloisonne container with a jade lid and a sandalwood base.

    While ordinary Xinyang Maojian sells at several hundred yuan per kilo, a three-gram cup of Daqi can cost 804 yuan, which, according to its producer, reflects the value of its rarity and “cultural flavor

  • China detains 53 over medicine capsule scandal – Xinhua |
    BEIJING, April 19 (Xinhua) — Chinese police have detained 53 suspects and closed 10 industrial gelatin and gel capsule factories believed to have been involved in producing contaminated medicine capsules.Police have also confiscated more than 230 tonnes of industrial gelatin in Hebei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Shandong provinces since the scandal was exposed on Sunday, the Ministry of Public Security said in a Thursday statement.

  • China to be biggest source of outbound tourists | Industries |
    BEIJING – China is widely anticipated to overtake Germany and United States to become the world’s biggest source of outbound travelers by the end of this year, an industry insider said Thursday.
    The remarkable achievement is well ahead of predictions, Matt Thompson, project director for the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, said at a tourism fair held in Beijing.
  • Meet the Pentagon Contractor That Ran a Disinformation Campaign Against Two USA Today Reporters
    a source familiar with the story confirms that the contractor responsible is Leonie Industries, an information operations company with more than $90 million in Army contracts in Afghanistan.
  • 薄瓜瓜“豪宅”内部疑遭偷拍(图)_多维新闻网
    allegedly pictures from inside Bo Guagua’s apartment in Cambridge, MA. Nice lego set
  • 江泽民现身北京会外宾_多维新闻网
    彭博新闻社4月20日报道引述一名知悉该次会面者的话予以了证实。这名人士称其未得到授权公布双方会面的内容,因此谈话细节依旧无法获知。星巴克上海总部的发言人王星蓉在电话中对事件“不予置评”,中国外交部也回应称“没有相关信息”。报道称,最早披露该次会面的是在北京长住的美国商人利明璋(Bill Bishop),称有朋友向他透露,江泽民最近与多个访京的外国代表团见面,虽然他本人无法证实消息,但称透露此消息的朋友十分可靠。



  • Bo fallout threatens China’s security chief Zhou Yongkang-
    He may be in trouble but I think this story is overblown, agree with this part:Some political analysts say ousting someone as senior as Mr Zhou would be seen as far too destabilising to the party and it is more likely he will stay until the end of the year when he and most other top leaders are scheduled to step down anyway…
    In a sign that reports of political infighting may be overblown, Mr Wen and at least four government ministers are scheduled to travel to Iceland, Germany, Sweden and Poland over the next week.“If the leadership was really in crisis it seems unlikely that Wen would leave now,” said one European diplomat involved in planning Mr Wen’s trip. “From what we can tell it seems like business as usual.”

  • China Takes Off | Popular Science
    The largest nation on Earth is flying more people more places than ever before. Its struggle to do so without (further) destroying the environment could show the rest of the world a greener way to travel-By James Fallows

  • 24% of Web Content is Now in Chinese, Will Soon Surpass English [Infographic] | Tech in Asia
    one world, two internets. linguistically and physically, given the GFW//A new infographic shows that Chinese will soon overtake English as the dominant language online. At the end of 2011, 27 percent of web content was in English, while 24 percent was in Chinese. Despite that, the graphic’s creators, the translation management platform Smartling, lament that the web is still too monolingual, with “56 percent of online content [being] English-only.” It calls for a more multilingual approach to the web.

  • Android变脸 谁是幕后的魔法师? – IT·科技 – 21世纪网
    Android may be huge in China but Google is going to get very little benefit, directly or indirectly, from its proliferation//核心提示:Android操作系统进入中国第一天起,就不再姓Google了。
  • Nury A. Turkel: A Turkish Primer on Engaging Beijing –
    Ankara can also lead in rallying democracies further afield to press for improvements in Xinjiang. As a longstanding ally of the U.S. and a neighbor of Europe, Turkey is uniquely well-situated to do this. An an initial step, Foreign Minister Davutoglu should organize a “friends of Uighurs” conference with democratic allies—similar to the ones organized for Libya and Syria—discussing Ankara’s vision and policy objectives with respect to the Uighur people in China.The key is to keep up the pressure, despite Beijing’s predictable irritation. Mr. Erdogan’s visit demonstrates that it is possible to do business with China while addressing Uighur demands for cultural rights, political freedoms and economic equality. Turkey’s actions provide a model for other democratic countries on how to approach minority issues in China.

    Mr. Turkel is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and a former president of the Uighur American Association.

  • JIM O’NEILL: I Met An Important Chinese Policymaker This Week And It Was ‘One Of The Oddest Meetings I Have Ever Attended’ – Business Insider
    When I reflect back on this part of the meeting I attended with the policymaker, I think China is already further down the path of adjustment than many external observers realize. I am glad to see that this doesnt appear to include Christine Lagarde (and Tim Geithner) following their quite positive comments on China this week. If evidence continues to be released to support this soft landing, then certainly Chinese equity markets would be delighted, and it should be a pretty good source of support for the rest of the worlds markets too.
  • Beijing’s Cracked Consensus | Foreign Affairs
    The Bo Scandal Exposes Flaws in China’s Leadership Model-Christopher K. Johnson

  • NBR: An Interview with Cheng Li-The Bo Xilai Crisis: A Curse or a Blessing for China?
    PDF. Good interview, though I am not completely in agreement with such his argument that there is such obvious princeling/shanghai gang and communist youth league factional split. Cheng Li calls them coalitions not factions. There is some real blurring and shifting across those “lines”
  • Pentagon Wants Spy Troops Posing as Businessmen | Danger Room |
    If the Pentagon gets its way, the gentleman doodling on his notepad as your next overseas business trip goes on endlessly could be a soldier, sailor, airman or marine in disguise.This extraordinary redefinition of the U.S. military’s authorities for clandestine action overseas is officially part of a Pentagon wish list for revisions to its legal authorities recently sent to Congress.

  • Detained in the U.S.: Filmmaker Laura Poitras Held, Questioned Some 40 Times at U.S. Airports
    The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Laura Poitras discusses how she has been repeatedly detained and questioned by federal agents whenever she enters the United States. Poitras said the interrogations began after she began working on her documentary, “My Country, My Country,” about post-invasion Iraq. Her most recent film, “The Oath,” was about Yemen and Guantánamo and follows the lives of two past associates of Osama bin Laden. She estimates she has been detained approximately 40 times and has had her laptop, cell phone and personal belongings repeatedly searched. Tonight she is leading a surveillance teach-in at the Whitney Museum
  • “We Don’t Live in a Free Country”: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Gov’t Surveillance
    We speak with Jacob Appelbaum, a computer researcher who has faced a stream of interrogations and electronic surveillance since he volunteered with the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks. He describes being detained more than a dozen times at the airport and interrogated by federal agents who asked about his political views and confiscated his cell phone and laptop. When asked why he cannot talk about what happened after he was questioned, Appelbaum says, “Because we don’t live in a free country. And if I did, I guess I could tell you about it.” A federal judge ordered Twitter to hand over information about Appelbaum’s account. Meanwhile, he continues to work on the Tor Project
  • 2 Uighur Gitmo detainees transferred to El Salvador – The Long War Journal
    The Department of Defense announced the transfer of two Uighur detainees from Guantanamo to El Salvador yesterday. The two detainees were not named in the DoD’s press release. But according to the New York Times they are Abdul Razak and Ahmed Mohamed.
  • NSA Whistleblower Speaks Live: “The Government Is Lying To You” | ZeroHedge
    Democracy Now has the former National Security Agency technical director whistleblower’s first TV interview in which he discusses the NSA’s massive power to spy on Americans and why the FBI raided his home. Since retiring from the NSA in 2001, he has warned that the NSA’s data-mining program has become so vast that it could “create an Orwellian state.” Today marks the first time Binney has spoken on national TV about NSA surveillance. Starting with his pre-9-11 identification of the world-wide-web as a voluminous problem since the NSA was ‘falling behind the rate-of-change’, his success in creating a system (codenamed Thin-Thread) for ‘grabbing’ all the data and the critical ‘lawful’ anonymization of that data (according to mandate at the time) which as soon as 9-11 occurred went out of the window as all domestic and foreign communications was now stored (starting with AT&T’s forking over their data). This direct violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country was why Binney decided he could not stay
  • 让“名义法治”名实相副
  • 央地关系再重构-《财经网》
    Caijing cover story on restructuring the relationship between the center and the provinces//
  • 《财经》社评:央地财税关系启示-《财经网》
  • 茅台难松绑_杂志频道_财新网
    Maotai/Moutai is an illuminating microcosm of PRC//
  • Russia Gazprom: Sino-Russia Gas Talks Halted by China’s Gas Pricing Mechanism-Caijing
    Talks between China and Russia on a huge gas export deal have failed to make progress because it is the Chinese government, not the market that set pricing for China’s natural gas sales, a top executive with Russia’s Gazprom told Caijing.
    Curbing inflation, the supposed purpose to control its gas prices, has deterred the development of gas trade between China and Russia, Sergei Komlev, Head of Contract Structuring and Price Formation Directorate in Gazprom Export, the trade arm of the Russia’s major gas company Gazprom, wrote in response to Caijing’s interview.
  • Rakuten to Close its China E-commerce Venture with Baidu | Tech in Asia
    Rakuten 2 Close iChina E-commerce Venture with Baidu | Tech in Asia another failure for $bidu. search only co,prints $s
  • Christopher K. Johnson | Center for Strategic and International Studies
    Christopher K. Johnson is a senior adviser and holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS. An accomplished Asian affairs specialist, Mr. Johnson spent nearly two decades serving in the U.S. government’s intelligence and foreign affairs communities and has extensive experience analyzing and working in Asia on a diverse set of country-specific and transnational issues. Throughout his career, he has chronicled China’s dynamic political and economic transformation, the development of its robust military modernization program, and its resurgence as a regional and global power. He has frequently advised senior White House, cabinet, congressional, military, and foreign officials on the Chinese leadership and on Beijing’s foreign and security policies.
  • China Police Chief Told U.S. He Feared Harm –
    U.S. officials felt there was little chance Mr. Wang would have quickly qualified for asylum.That was because of what they said was his reputation as an unsavory strongman for Mr. Bo up until the two fell out over the suspicious death in Chongqing of Neil Heywood, a British businessman.

    As a result, the U.S. and Mr. Wang agreed that American officials should reach out to central government authorities to retrieve Mr. Wang, rather than allow him to fall into the hands of the local party’s security forces, according to people who were briefed by both U.S. and Chinese authorities.

    When Mr. Wang left the consulate he was taken into custody by national security forces and apparently taken to Beijing.

    On the U.S. side, the matter reached as high as the White House, American officials said.

  • Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor –
    WASHINGTON – A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.
  • 工业明胶:“中国特供”的病毒式传播_21世纪网
  • 赵普曝明胶内幕后“失语”11天 网友猜其被停职_新闻_腾讯网
  • 传王立军监听胡锦涛线人早已被监控_多维新闻网
  • 解放军三大基地异动 南海开战准备就绪_多维新闻网
  • 中国军系智囊张木生疑禁出境_多维新闻网

  • 最高人民法院未核准吴英死刑 该案发回浙江省高院重审 – 新华法治 – 新华网
    Wu Ying death penalty overturned
  • CBD写字楼租金年涨近5成 保利东方中心29999元入市_中国经济网――国家经济门户
    office rent in Beijing CBD up @ 50% in year. so much 4 those CBD doomsayers of 2 years ago
  • Exclusive: Murdered Briton in China left meager savings to family, friend – Yahoo! News
    Expatriate British businessman Neil Heywood, whose murder has caused political upheaval in China, left his wife and children in a financially uncertain situation in China, prompting a former business associate to pay for their plane tickets to attend his London funeral, a family friend told Reuters.
    The account marks the first time that details of Heywood’s financial affairs have emerged since he died in southwest China last November. Family friends also revealed more details about the final few days leading up to his death.
  • With North Korean Repatriation Ended, Chinese Netizens Relieved But Angry | Tea Leaf Nation
    How could netizens be so displeased at what they agreed was a positive step? A large number felt that, in the oft-retweeted words of angel investor and frequent microblogger Charles Xue (@薛蛮子), “This should have been done sooner.” Xue continued, “Kim the 3rd’s perverse actions [have already made him] a common enemy to the world; repatriating North Korean escapees was like sending lambs into the mouth of a tiger. [It’s time to] say NO! to Kim the 3rd’s regime.”
  • Iceland Rolls Out Red Lava for Wen in China Power Talks – Bloomberg
    Iceland will show off its volcanic power in a bid to increase trade with the fastest growing major economy as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits the island.
    Wen, whose two-day visit starts today, will tour Hellisheidi, Iceland’s largest geothermal power plant, and meet with President Olafur R. Grimsson and Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. It’s the first visit by a Chinese premier since diplomatic relations were established 41 years ago, according to the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.
  • Corruption Scandal in China –
    nice cartoon
  • China on path of greater certainty after Bo case-Global Times
    The Bo Xilai case has sparked public attention both in China and the foreign media. Some Western observers now cast heavy doubt on the error-correction mechanisms within the CPC, and claim that if the case hadn’t been exposed, China would have swung to the far-left. Was Bo’s exposure merely a matter of chance? Will this individual case endanger China’s overall political certainty? Global Times (GT) reporter Chen Chenchen talked to Lü Xiaobo (Lü), professor with the School of Government, Nanjing University, on these issues.
  • After Bo’s fall, Chongqing victims seek justice – The Washington Post
    The dramatic ouster of Bo Xilai as Communist Party chief in Chongqing has prompted an outpouring from people who say their relatives were wrongly jailed under his rule and want the government to reopen their cases.More than 4,000 people were jailed during an aggressive anti-crime campaign that Bo launched in late 2007. While Bo insisted that he was cracking down on gangsters and lawlessness, critics say he led a brutal effort designed to punish rivals and squeeze money from local businesses.

  • 山东梁山强制职工买理财产品 如未完成晋升受影响_银行首页_行业动态_新浪财经_新浪网
  • The most important story in the world: Guardian reporter Jonathan Watts’ parting thoughts on nine years of environmental journalism in China | chinadialogue
    Guardian environment reporter Jonathan Watts has spent nine years in China covering everything from pollution protests to species extinction. About to leave for pastures new, he shares some parting thoughts.
  • INSIGHT-US barnyards help China super-size food production | Reuters
    ALBION, Indiana/BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) – Inside a dimly lit barn in northeast Indiana, where the air smells faintly of corn and earth, the future of China’s food supply is squealing for attention.

  • Wang Xiaofang exposes world of Chinese bureaucracy | Books | The Guardian
    have read several of his books. entertaining//
    Bestselling author exposes shady world while readers buy his books to get insight into how to become government officials
  • Jiang Said to Surface After Bo Purge to Meet Starbucks Chief – Bloomberg
    Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin met Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz on April 17 in Beijing, a person familiar with the meeting said. Jiang emerged in the capital ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change later this year.
    Details of Schultz’s conversation with Jiang, 85, weren’t immediately available, according to the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the event. Schultz also visited Shanghai during his China trip…
    Starbucks’s Shanghai-based spokeswoman Wang Xingrong said she had no comment about the visit when reached by phone today. The news office at China’s foreign ministry had no information about the meeting. Sinocism, a blog run by Beijing-based independent analyst Bill Bishop, first reported that Jiang had met with an unidentified U.S. chief executive.
  • 中国允许银行卖空美元 – FT中文网

  • China Economic Watch | Can China Reflate the Housing Market?
    China’s extraordinary real estate boom may finally be over. Multiple indicators suggest that China is on the precipice of a significant market correction. Prices are down in more than half of the 70 cities surveyed by National Bureau of Statistics. Beyond price data (which is subject to some skepticism), residential floor space under construction, residential real estate investment, total floor space starts, and residential floor space sales all show declines.
  • Stranger Than Fiction – The Daily Beast-David Henry Hwang
    In my play Chinglish, which had a well-reviewed run on Broadway earlier this season, a Midwestern American businessman travels to the inland Chinese city of Guiyang in hopes of landing a contract for his firm, only to become enmeshed in multiple misunderstandings, from language to love. The play, a comedy, seemed to strike audiences as one small step toward greater cultural understanding.Chinese nationals with whom I spoke after the show, however, sometimes raised one quibble about my script, which includes an extramarital affair between the American businessman and the wife of a Communist Party official. This, they said, might make for good drama, but couldn’t actually happen in China. Such a woman would never enter into a close relationship with a foreign man.

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