Today’s China Readings August 1, 2012

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

Just links today, on the road. Don’t despair, commentary will return soon:

  • Battle Brews Over Bund Building in Shanghai –
    SHANGHAI—A rare and unusually public legal battle between two of China’s most prominent property developers is raising eyebrows in the industry, as well as questions about the solidity of legal agreements there.
    It also illustrates the desire of big property developers to pick up choice properties from smaller rivals weakened by Beijing’s more than two-year campaign to tame real-estate prices.
    A Shanghai court is expected to begin hearing arguments this week in a suit filed in May by Shanghai-based Fosun International Ltd. against Beijing rival Soho China Ltd.
  • In Shanghai, High Prices Keep Lid on Real-Estate Stimulus –
    Despite China’s explosion of new housing over the past decade, an estimated one third of China’s 225 million urban households are without kitchens and plumbing, says Rosealea Yao of GK Dragonomics Research. Property prices have rocketed higher, and government measures designed to rein in speculation and price increases haven’t had a big enough effect for people like Ms. Niu to benefit.
    In Shanghai, authorities began launching such measures six years ago after sensing the market was becoming too frenzied, and both new developments and the rate of price increases have slowed. Meantime, authorities have subsidized more households through methods like encouraging developers to build more-affordable housing and banks to provide the financing…
    The apartments built in Shanghai in the past decade alone would fill more than 800 Empire State Buildings. But even with all the new construction, the amount of residential space per capita is tiny: only 17 square meters (183 square feet) per person. That is about the size of four king-size beds.Looking forward, Chinese cities including Shanghai could require around 700 million square meters of residential property to be added annually, not far off the 717 million square meters built nationally last year, according to James Macdonald, head of China research at Savills in Shanghai. “China’s going through a rough patch but the underlying trends are still there.”
  • Dark Find from Chongqing’s “Beat Black” Campaign – China Digital Times (CDT)
    From Beijing to the counties, all levels of government in China include a politics and law commission. These commissions oversee all aspects of legal enforcement, among them the courts. Si Weijiang, one of Chen Kegui’s lawyers, posted on Weibo this image of a bizarre financial transaction, in which it appears the plaintiff’s bank funds were transferred from court to the local politics and law commission. Wu Shuqin, former head of Chongqing Yuqiang Commercial Group Qiangli Transportation Ltd., was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of “mafia crimes” (黑社会性质组织罪, literally “organized crime with black society characteristics”). Fined RMB 200,000, Si noted in Caixin that this amount is still far less than Wu’s total assets [zh], which also include stock holdings. It is unclear whether Wu failed to pay the fine or had her funds transferred for other reasons:
  • Disinformation Wants to be Free – Silicon Hutong
  • Corporate Espionage in China – An interview with counterespionage specialist Bruce Wimmer | Agenda – Beijing’s premier Business Magazine
  • 孙杨的钱途|孙杨|伦敦奥运|奥运金牌_21世纪网
    on the future of earnings potential of gold medal winning swimmer/stud sun yang
  • 不良贷款“三连跳” 银监会预警四大风险|不良贷款|银监会预警_21世纪网
    CBRC now warns about “credit risk and legal case risk” 
  • 外汇局:有资本外流但外资未大量撤离|人民币贬值|外汇占款_21世纪网
    SAFE–some foreign capital pulled out but not large scale flight
  • Military dismisses islands war fear |Politics |
    The military dismissed conjecture that Beijing is preparing for war to defend national territory in the South China Sea, saying the PLA opposes any armed intervention in the region.
    Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng was speaking on Tuesday at a news conference on the eve of the 85th anniversary of the PLA.
  • Games are a golden time for micro blogs |Europe |
    Olympics turn tweets into roars as athletes and fans crank up volume..After winning the first gold medal of the Olympic Games on Saturday, shooter Yi Siling posted a photo of herself holding a bouquet on her Chinese Tencent Weibo micro blog…Her tweet created a huge splash. About 5,000 users added her every minute for the first few minutes, and the number of followers grew almost instantly from 100,000 to 800,000. It now stands at 940,000.
  • Taiwan’s downturn: more to come? | beyondbrics
    But with half the year gone, predictions for the economy’s performance in 2012 remain conflicting.
    The government cut its estimate of 2012 GDP growth to 2.08 per cent from 3.03 per cent previously. But that was still at the top end of analysts’ expectations…Barclays cut its own 2012 estimate to 1.7 per cent growth after the data release, from 3 per cent previously, “reflecting continuing weakness in external demand, lower support for domestic demand from financial assets and more severe production disruption”.
  • People’s Daily hails PLA’s role in socialism with Chinese characteristics – Xinhua |
    BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) — The People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), will carry an editorial on Wednesday hailing the important role of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in building socialism with Chinese characteristics
    The editorial, written for the 85th anniversary of the founding of the PLA on Aug. 1, said the PLA has been a “strong pillar and an important construction force” in helping to create socialism with Chinese characteristics.
    The editorial said the key to the PLA’s growth was that it revered the Party’s leadership and thus maintained great cohesion
  • 政治局:坚定不移贯彻执行房地产调控政策 防止房价反弹-财经网
    Politburo–no let up in real estate policies, must prevent real estate prices from rising
  • 人民日报-中国特色社会主义的坚强柱石(社论) ——庆祝中国人民解放军建军85周年
    People’s Daily editorial on the PLA as a staunch pillar of socialism w chinese characteristics, on the 85th anniversary of the founding of the army
  • 人民日报-本报今起推出“迎接党的十八大”特刊 携十年辉煌 怀百年梦想
    people’s daily page 1 on the launch today of its new special section “welcoming the 18th party congress”. 18th looks on schedule,so far no one has offered any real evidence to the contrary
  • Stabilizing economic growth remains China’s top priority – Xinhua |
    xinhua release on the politburo meeting
    BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) — Chinese authorities on Tuesday reaffirmed that they will prioritize stable economic growth and adhere to a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy to weather current economic hardships.
    The ongoing pace of economic growth is within expectations, but the external environment remains grim and poses difficulties and challenges to growth, according to a newsletter released after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee that was presided over by President Hu Jintao.
  • 人民日报-中共中央政治局召开会议 讨论研究当前经济形势和经济工作 中共中央总书记胡锦涛主持会议
    page 1 people’s daily on recent politburo meeting, focus of which was on the economy. so at least 2 publicly reported politburo meetings since bo xilai removed. doesn’t look like a leadership in turmoil, at least from this perspective
  • What’s Driving China’s Real Estate Rally? Part 3 « Patrick Chovanec
  • 房租上涨到几时_杂志频道_财新网
    good caixin article on residential rental market in china. any attempts to explain china’s real estate market should address what is going on in the rental market
  • 就业暂无大碍_杂志频道_财新网
  • Don’t be too quick to question Chinese success–Sidney Morning Herald
    Chinese officials say ‘no chance of doping’
    Chinese officials defend Ye Shiwen’s swim to the world, as those in media-censored China celebrate their new star – oblivious to any international suspicion…
    Before you pass judgement on Ye Shiwen, take a breath. Ingest some context. The 16-year-old Chinese phenomenon has astounded and confounded in the London pool but gold plus [potential] gold doesn’t necessarily add up to a drug cheat.
  • Communists Expand China Youth Outreach as Leadership Shift Looms – Bloomberg
  • China holds reception to mark 85th anniversary of PLA founding – Xinhua |
    BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) — China held a grand reception Tuesday evening in Beijing to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with President Hu Jintao and other top leaders in attendance.
  • China Reiterates Growth Chief Priority – Bloomberg
    China’s leaders pledged to keep adjusting policies to ensure stable economic growth this year as a state newspaper said some banks are telling branches to provide local-government loans….“The ongoing pace of economic growth is within expectations, but the external environment remains grim and poses difficulties and challenges,” the official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday, citing a meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo. The meeting also determined that maintaining stable growth is still the top priority, Xinhua said.
  • Xinhua Takes On Romney Over Israel Remarks – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    probably good for romney to be criticized by China
    U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has taken no shortage of media bruising during his three-nation foreign tour. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency is the latest to join in….Xinhua on Tuesday criticized Mr. Romney’s suggestion that as president he would be open to moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. U.S. presidents have previously chosen not to do so since such a move might indicate the U.S. supported Israel’s complete sovereignty over the city.
  • Hu Jintao promotes liberal military leader –
    ft is wrong that liu yazhou is hu yaobang’s son in law. liu’s father in law was li xiannian//
    China’s president Hu Jintao has promoted a well-known liberal in the People’s Liberation Army, in what observers see as a move to place his supporters at the heart of the future military leadership.
    The promotion of Liu Yazhou, Communist party commissar at the National Defence University and son-in-law of Hu Yaobang, the late political reformer, to the rank of general, comes as Beijing prepares to replace the majority of the members of the Central Military Commission, its highest military leadership organ, later this year as part of a once-in-a-decade generational transition.
  • Surprises as six appointed generals |
    Top officers in the PAP and PLA have been promoted to the highest rank possible, with watchers surprised by names among those included and those left out
  • 胡锦涛主持政治局会议 讨论研究当前经济形势–时政–人民网
  • China’s Leaders Head to the Beach | Foreign Affairs
    [UPDATE: I mischaracterized Mr. Johnson’s language skills. He can and does read the vernacular Chinese press. Apologies to Mr. Johnson. END Update]
    By Christopher Johnson of CSIS. the current CIA analysis group have a deeper take? Johnson gives a nice synthesis of what has already been in the news, much of which is conjecture. My understanding is that he can not read primary source Chinese materials, though FBIS is excellent, assume he still has access to it? Remember it took years to get verdicts for Chen Xitong and Chen Liangyu. 
  • Is Rebecca Adlington a drug cheat? | Blogging is pointless:
    Good post putting Ye shiwen in context
  • Next Steps in US-China Relations: A Conversation with Hank Paulson and Steve Hadley – hosted by the Atlantic Council | CHINA US Focus
    The Atlantic Council’s International Security Program hosted a conversation with Former Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson and National Security Advisor Steve Hadley on the way forward for US-China relations. The discussion built on the ideas advanced by Secretary Paulson in his Atlantic Council issue brief “A New Framework for US- China Economic Relations,” which was released at the event.
  • UPDATE 1- U.S. probe into Chinese client deals fresh challenge to Deloitte
    July 31 (Reuters) – A U.S. probe into the accounts of one of China’s largest private education providers is a fresh challenge to its auditor Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, which has run into more problems with New York-listed Chinese clients than other Big Four auditing firms.
    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc for possible accounting irregularities, the Beijing-based firm said on July 17. Deloitte has audited New Oriental since it went public in 2006.
  • Alibaba Is Said to Be Close to Raising $8 Billion –
    The Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce giant, is close to completing a more than $8 billion round of financing that will value it at as much as $43 billion in equity, according to two people briefed on the matter. Alibaba plans to use the bulk of that new money to buy back a 20 percent stake in itself from Yahoo for $7.1 billion. Yahoo owns 40 percent of Alibaba.
  • The Railway Ministry’s Stirring Spectacle – Caixin Online
    With a price tag of 18.5 million yuan, a video produced for an industry conference by the Ministry of Railways has exposed widespread use of bribery among outlying offices and vendors
  • Swept Away Without Warning – Caixin Online
    Flashfloods and mudslides after a major rainstorm in Beijing were a combination of geological hazards and poor city management, say experts
  • Bo Guagua not complicit in mother’s murder charge: report|Politics|News|
    Referring to Gu’s son as someone “surnamed Bo” instead of printing his full name suggests that Beijing does not see the younger Bo as complicit in his mother’s crime, according to Duowei News, a news website operated by overseas Chinese.
    Though rumors say the younger Bo led a playboy lifestyle overseas with money his parents illegally sent overseas — allegedly with Heywood as one of the intermediaries — the announcement did not elaborate on the economic crime angle, hinting the 25-year-old will not be punished on account of the speculation circulating on the internet.
  • Profits at China’s Steel Industry Plummet 96Pct-Caijing
    China’s iron and steel makers have seen their profits plummet by 95.81 percent in the first half of the year from the same period a year ago on weakening demand and rising costs
  • China Ordered “Clear Backing” for Local Lending Vehicles to Sustain New Stimulus Packages-Caijing
    Chinese banking regulator has ordered banks to scale up lending to local governments via local financing vehicles, at a time when local government kick started a slew of new stimulus packages
  • PBoC Continued with Reverse Repos; RRR Cut Likely in Aug.-Caijing
    Chinese central bank injected 8 billion yuan into the market Tuesday in a seven-day reverse repo, after it asked primary dealers both of their repo and reverse repo demands yesterday for the fourth consecutive week.
  • Officer stresses CCP’s absolute leadership over army|Politics|News|
    A Chinese military officer said Tuesday that the country will resolutely oppose any erroneous ideas about the depoliticization of the country’s army, adding that those ideas have “ulterior motives.”…Wang Yongsheng from the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army made the remarks at a press conference on the eve of the 85th anniversary of the founding of the PLA.
  • Japanese defense white paper focuses on China’s naval threat|Politics|News|
  • China hits back at ‘biased’ critics of Ye Shiwen’s Olympic triumph | Sport |
    China’s anti-doping chief has hit back at “biased” suspicions about the extraordinary triumph of the teenage gold medallist Ye Shiwen…”I think it is not proper to single Chinese swimmers out once they produce good results. Some people are just biased,” Jiang Zhixue, who leads anti-doping work at China’s General Administration of Sport, told the state news agency Xinhua…”We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing.”
  • Listen: Michael Anti’s TED speech on China’s Great Firewall: Shanghaiist Excellent points about center-local relations as played out through Weibo
  • 江泽民:学习历史借鉴治乱经验_多维新闻网
  • 总政治部回应军队国家化:解放军坚决反对非党化_多维新闻网
  • 弃“株连治罪” 放过薄瓜瓜凸显司法进步_多维新闻网
  • 刘志勤:知识分子要勇挑“维稳”的社会责任_评论_环球网
  • Tiger Management Helps Next-Generation Funds –
    A spokesman for Falcon Edge declined to comment.
    Mr. Gerson did have to repent for a misstep in China. In 2006, Mr. Gerson oversaw a Blue Ridge private equity portfolio there with a local partner, raising $1.45 billion. But one of the fund’s first investments, ITAT, became ensnared in a major accounting fraud, bruising Blue Ridge and other blue-chip investors, like Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.
    Soon after, Mr. Griffin unwound the fund and returned the money to investors, according to people with knowledge of the matter. But he was upfront about his mistakes. Mr. Gerson conceded to friends and colleagues that private investments in China were more difficult than anticipated and that the team had overestimated its knowledge of the market.
  • SWIMNEWS ONLINE – Swimming News, Swim Meet Results, Swimming World Rankings, Swim Links, Calendar
    Six weeks ago, a 16-year-old former team-mate of Ye’s, Li Zhesi, tested positive for erythropoeitin (EPO), the blood-booster. The case was announced by the China Anti-Doping Agency (Chinada), which cited “an out-of-competition test carried out on March 31”. No suspension has yet been announced nor was FINA, the international federation, aware of the case when asked about it yesterday.

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