Today’s China Readings August 11, 2012

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

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It is crime Saturday here at Sinocism.

Xinhua has released the official details of the intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun and the Chinese Law Prof Blog has translated an unofficial report of proceedings in the Gu Kailai trial. See if you can spot any holes. Tania Branigan of the Guardian finds some in conviction of Gu Kailai was never in doubt – official version of case still is.

China has efficient internal security services but somehow Zhou Kehua (周克华) has evaded arrest for 8 years. Zhou is the prime suspect in yesterday’s armed robbery and murder outside a bank in Chongqing as well as in several other murders and robberies since 2004. The Ministry of Public Security has declared Zhou a level A fugitive and there is now a massive manhunt underway. QQ News now has a special micro-site dedicated to Zhou and his crimes and People’s Armed Police are scouring the Gele mountains outside Chongqing in the search for Zhou Kehua. His evasion skills are remarkable.

A Guangzhou civil servant accused of molesting teenage boys after meeting them through Tencent QQ’s “message in a bottle” function has been officially arrested. Li Jun, an official in the Guangzhou Bureau of Civil Affairs, allegedly lured them to his apartment and paid them with cash, iPads and iPhones. According to one news report, police found 160 underage boys in his QQ contact list.

In a bit of good news, the mother of an underage rape victim has been released from a Chinese labor camp. Tang Hui had protested the resolution of her daughter’s case and was sent away. As Xinhua notes:

In October 2006, Tang’s then 11-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution. She performed over 100 sexual acts before being rescued on Dec. 30, 2006.

On June 5 this year, the Hunan Provincial Higher People’s Court sentenced two of the defendants to death. Four others were given life sentences and another one received a 15-year term.

Before and after the sentences were handed down, Tang had repeatedly petitioned for justice in front of government buildings and sought the death penalty for all seven people who were charged with forcing her daughter into prostitution.

One of Tang’s claims is that a relative of a local police official ran the brothel in which her daughter was forced to work but police officials have not been held accountable.

But for Sina Weibo and an online outpouring of rage at the evil perpetrated against Tang and her child she would still be in the labor camp. The official Sina Weibo account of the People’s Daily wrote a remarkable message about the case after Tang was released:


Tang’s case is reigniting calls to abolish the re-education through labor system that was established in the 1957 anti-rightist campaign. He release is also a successful example of what may become a trend of people using Weibo to seek redress for injustices that first occurred many years ago. I have been seeing more people trying to get attention through Weibo for horrible things that happened years before. Sadly there are more injustices than can be counted. So in spite of all the censorship on Weibo it is still a very powerful force for good in China.

Today’s links:

  • China’s Campaign Spending – With Socialist Characteristics – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    how were the regions and order decided? is there anything to tianjin being the first profiled? some speculated that that was a sign of favor for zhang gaoli for a seat on the 18th pbsc//
    An employee at the People’s Daily told the Wall Street Journal that the special sections were requested by the party’s propaganda department. Asked how much they cost, the employee replied: “That’s a commercial secret.”
  • TV fans pan scripts ripped from US shows |Society |
    For years, Chinese TV viewers have remained tolerant toward what they call “shanzhai productions”. Yet very recently they have become irritated to find one local ratings champion is directly ripping off scripts and plots.The target of criticism is Ipartment, a sitcom that deals with the hilarious happenings between occupants of two neighboring apartments of a tower block in downtown Shanghai. Soon after its third season premiered, an angry netizen posted screenshots on, one of the country’s most popular online forums, claiming it has almost identical scenes from popular US sitcoms like Friends.
  • Experts, grassroots talents conclude high-profile holiday program – Xinhua |
    must have been a nice week in beidaihe//
    A total of 62 experts and grassroots talents on Friday concluded a government-sponsored holiday in Beidaihe, a popular northern seaside resort near the Chinese capital.
  • 人民日报-相约大海 让梦想高飞 ——党中央、国务院邀请优秀专家和基层一线人才代表北戴河休假活动侧记
    long page 1 people’s daily article on the Experts, grassroots talents and their week in beidaihe. top leadership seems to have been out the official press this last week..//
  • China policemen admit trying to cover-up Heywood murder: court – Yahoo! News
    HEFEI, China (Reuters) – Four Chinese policemen admitted on Friday to attempting to protect the wife of powerful politician Bo Xilai from suspicion of the murder of a British businessman, an official said, in another damaging development for the ex-Politburo member.
  • China ‘willing to work with Indonesia’ on maritime row – Yahoo! News
    China’s foreign minister said Friday his country was willing to work with Indonesia as an informal mediator to “maintain peace and stability” in the South China Sea, amid tensions with neighbouring nations over rival claims to the area.
  • China to release corn, rice from reserves | Reuters
    China will release corn and rice from state reserves to help tame inflation and reduce imports as the worst U.S. drought in half a century pushes corn prices to global records, creating fears of a world food crisis.
  • VanceInfo, HiSoft to merge to create China outsourcing leader | Reuters
    marriage of desperation?//
    VanceInfo Technologies Inc and smaller rival HiSoft Technology International Ltd agreed to merge to create what they said would be the largest China-based offshore IT services provider by revenue.
  • 住建部否认保障房系福利分房 称面向困难家庭_新闻_腾讯网
    officials scrambling to refute think tank report on public housing problems//
  • China starts construction on 5.8 mln low-income housing units – Xinhua |
    officials scrambling to refute think tank report//
    BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — China started building 5.8 million low-income housing units in the first seven months of this year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said Friday.
  • Troubles Seen in China’s Low-Income Housing Plan –
    China’s local governments aren’t adequately implementing a national low-cost-housing program intended to anchor social stability and spur economic growth, a government think tank said.Local governments are dragging their feet on building homes for the poor and failing to pay sufficient attention to the housing needs of migrant workers in cities, the two main aspects of the so-called social housing program, according to a summary of the report on the website of the China Development Research Foundation, a Beijing think-tank and fundraising organization that studies development issues and reports to the State Council, or cabinet.
  • Concerns About China Outlook Intensify –
    “The economic recovery this time will likely be a slow and painful process,” said Deutsche Bank China economist Ma Jun. “It is very uncertain when the economy will recover.”
  • Formula for Success – Caixin Online
    Amid questions over how to pursue stable economic growth, ABC president Jiang Chaoliang says maintaining investments and phased interest rate reform are key
  • 稳增长惠民生 中央近期密集“发力”改善民生 – 新华时政 – 新华网
    Xinhua on how hard the center is working to improve people’s lives. beijing knows better than anyone that they are perceived to be no longer “delivering the goods”, a perception that is extremely dangerous for the government//
  • Strange New Fish Found Deep off New Zealand-China Daily
    how long until Chinese fishing trawlers arrive? Better to stay undiscovered as a fish these days
  • Crazy English founder’s divorce case in court again |Society |
    Li Yang’s games with assets look to have made him the winner, at least financially.
  • Argentina: no Chinese tourists please | beyondbrics
    Only about 23,000 Chinese arrive in Argentina every year, compared with 400,000 in Brazil and 1m in the US, it adds.
    Why? Well, as in many countries, Argentine authorities fear visa applicants are not always planning to go home. Argentina has legions of small, Chinese-run supermarkets, most run by Chinese from the south-eastern province of Fujian, and the Chamber notes that “it is true that many Chinese, fundamentally from provinces in the southeast, use a tourist visa to stay on illegally in Argentina”.
  • 人民日报的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
    remarkable sina weibo from official people’s daily account about the tang hui case
  • Mother of underage rape victim released from Chinese labor camp – Xinhua |
  • Rape Victim’s Mother Free After Online Protest – China Digital Times (CDT)
  • Manhunt after woman shot dead outside bank — Shanghai Daily
  • Taipei Times–Time for Taiwan to take action
    but would taiwan want to antagonize beijing?//
    Taiwan can show Beijing the way of responsible international behavior in the South China Sea disputes — and Washington should encourage it to do so, even at the price of annoying China. Taipei can start by doing what China academics have long urged Beijing to do: Discard the amorphous and incoherent “historical” over-reach and state the precise scope of its claims and their basis under specific provisions of UNCLOS.
    As China expert Ken Lieberthal recently told a Washington conference, if all regional claimants were to declare the actual land features that support their respective maritime claims, many of the apparent conflicts would probably disappear.
    Such a move by Taiwan will surely antagonize China, which will accuse it of selling out historical Chinese interests, but Beijing will do nothing more than fume, as long as Washington makes clear its own support for Taiwan’s enlightened position.
  • The Neocon War Against Robert Zoellick | The National Interest Blog
    Jennifer Rubin again…
  • Fareed Zakaria Suspended For Plagiarism: Time Editor, CNN Host Apologizes For ‘Terrible Mistake’ – The Huffington Post
  • Details of intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai, Zhang Xiaojun – Xinhua |
  • Rising regional inequality in China: Fact or artefact? | vox
    John Gibson, Chao Li, 9 Aug 2012
    Many an economist will tell you they base their decisions on evidence. But what if the evidence is based on incorrect or irrelevant data? This column asks what this might mean for our view on regional inequality in China.
  • 公安部对苏湘渝系列枪击案嫌犯发A级通缉令-财经网
  • 专访俞正声:现代化绝不仅仅是经济起飞–时政–人民网
    People’s Daily interview with Shanghai Party Boss Yu Zhengsheng, who is likely to join the Politburo Standing Committee at the 18th Party Congress
  • 明鏡新聞網: 薄熙來事件不會引發政改,但醖釀了政變
  • Is the US Olympic System as Abusive as China’s? | The Nation
    The spectacle of the 2012 London Olympics should be subtitled: “the bashing of the Chinese Athlete.” Yesterday, Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times published a much discussed piece called “Heavy Burden on Athletes Takes Joy Away From China’s Olympic Success.” In it, all kinds of “concerns” are raised about the toll “the nation’s draconian sports system” is taking on the country’s athletes. It tells tales of poverty, loneliness, and despair amongst China’s sports stars once the cheering has stopped. Their athletes are described as being exploited by an unfeeling government monolith that acted as a surrogate family until they were no longer of any use. Parents of China’s Olympians are quoted saying, “We accepted a long time ago that she doesn’t belong to us. I don’t even dare think about things like enjoying family happiness.” Other parents tell of not being able to recognize their own children after years apart.
  • PLA Influence Over Chinese Politics: Fact of Fiction? | Flashpoints
    this is the hope. is it reality?//
    The take-home message of the Times story is therefore that PLA leaders are indebted, and also subordinate, to top Party figures like Hu – not that they’re agitating for greater political clout. The odd drunken rant aside, these men know their place.
    The idea of the PLA getting out of control, or at least of asserting greater influence over foreign policy, is of course an attractive one for the lazy headline-writer. It’s news, unlike the long and deliberate arc of incremental military modernization, which is the real story of what’s happening with the PLA.
  • MORGAN STANLEY: There’s One Reason Why The Bad Chinese Data Won’t Trigger Immediate Stimulus – Business Insider
    The recent rebound in food prices may keep the central bank from immediate monetary easing.
    Despite the food supply shock from adverse weather conditions, we still believe the downward trend in CPI and PPI inflation remain intact, and the case for further interest rate cuts is strong. However, unless the recent rise in vegetable prices and soft commodity price surge in the international commodity market turn out to be short-lived or insignificant to China’s CPI inflation, the PBOC may see less room for monetary easing before CPI inflation is clearly heading south again.
  • Chinese get a taste for the great outdoors | beyondbrics
    this sounds dangerous//
    Bombardier Recreational Products, a Canadian maker of recreational vehicles, says it sees potential for an off-road boom in China. “There was no market 10 years ago. But now, people are really coming in, asking for the products and giving us ideas for how to make improvements in our products,” a company official told China Daily.
    The official told the newspaper that the company’s snowmobiles, watercraft, outboard motors and dirt bikes will bring the Chinese “inner happiness”. That’s the Olympic spirit.
  • Alibaba Group’s Jan-March net profit soars: SEC filing | Reuters
    Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, posted a 64 percent rise in revenue in the January-March quarter and a six-fold rise in net profit, cementing its position as a key beneficiary of China’s e-commerce explosion.Alibaba’s net profit for the first quarter jumped to $220.5 million from $29.6 million a year ago. Its sales climbed to $805.9 million, according to a filing by Yahoo Inc to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (here)
  • China July commodities imports stay high; outlook weakens | Reuters
    Analysts said an unexpected monthly rise of 6 percent in copper imports in July and a slight 0.8 percent fall in shipments of iron ore belied broader signs that China’s economy was slowing swiftly, as it confronts slowing demand from its top trade partners, the European Union and the United States.”I would not link an increase in Chinese copper imports to domestic demand because I don’t see demand improving from here, it’s actually very soft,” said Judy Zhu, a commodities analyst at Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai.”A lot of imports are under term contracts so they have to import anyway, and this could result in bonded stockpiles rising.”
  • 孙杨回家生活丰富 购756万豪宅赠父母享受大餐_体育频道_凤凰网
    swimming star sun yang buys his parents a 7.56m rmb villa
  • 广州民政局性侵男童处长涉猥亵儿童罪被批捕–社会–人民网
  • 重庆持枪抢劫嫌犯曾在苏湘渝杀死多人_网易新闻中心
    chongqing bank robber same guy who is wanted for crimes in jiangsu, hunan and chongqing, been on the run for months.
  • Made in China’s getting expensive – MarketWatch
    Europe has finally found something it can export to China–falling growth. China’s July exports were up a miserable 1% year-on-year, compared with a 11.3% rise in June. Exports to the European Union led the decline, down 16.2% year-on-year.
    Not all of China’s export woes are made in Brussels though. Zhang Bin, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says that long-term deterioration in China’s export competitiveness is also to blame. He has a point.
  • Chinese Mother Tang Hui Freed From Labor Camp After Online Protest – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    Tang Hui is free.
    The mother sentenced to a labor camp for pushing hard for tougher punishment of the men who allegedly raped her daughter was released on Friday, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. News of Ms. Tang’s release followed shortly after an outpouring of support for her on Chinese microblogging sites, offering yet another illustration of the growing power of social media in China.
  • The China Story
    new project by danwei and australian centre on china in the world
  • 法院罕见通报谷有重大立功表现 官媒不同音_多维新闻网
  • RedTech Advisors is hiring an Analyst, TMT Sector–PDF
  • 李克强政坛“上位”记_多维新闻网
  • 习近平自述:曾十度申请入党不获准_多维新闻网
    Xi Jinping applied to join the communist party 10 times before he was accepted? so says a 2003 compilation of 381 Fujian PhDs//
  • 红色血统非免死牌 法大于天谷开来应判死刑_多维新闻网
  • Review & Outlook: The Bully of the South China Sea –
    romney listen to wsj editorial page? would he also deal w s china sea on day 1?//
    China’s broad territorial claims have no legal merit, and the U.S. is the only power strong enough to push back…
    The best chance of avoiding a nasty showdown is a strong U.S. response. Washington has maintained its own ambiguity toward the South China Sea, saying it takes no side in the dispute but has a national interest in the peaceful resolution.
    That’s fine as far as the islands and the small areas of territorial waters around them. But Beijing has shown that it has no interest in a negotiated settlement and will use force to claim and dominate the entire South China Sea if it can. Washington needs to call out the U-shaped line as the travesty of international law that it is, and state clearly that it will fight to keep the sea lanes open.
  • The Cultural Revolution Cookbook: Sasha Gong, Scott D. Seligman:
    In 1969, millions of Chinese teenagers were forced from their homes in the city in order to live and work in the countryside as part of China’s Cultural Revolution. The work was backbreaking and rations were tight, but Sasha Gong has fond memories of learning to make simple, delicious country cooking. A collection of delectable, healthy, and easy-to-make Chinese recipes from the villages interspersed with a personal narrative and bits of historical context, this cookbook contains authentic Chinese dishes ranging from honey-braised duck to stir-fried rice made from ingredients found at local grocery stores. Chinese history buffs and foodies alike will enjoy discovering the integral connection between Chinese culture and food.
  • Chinese Law Prof Blog: Unofficial report of proceedings in the Gu Kailai trial
    An unofficial report of proceedings in the Gu Kailai trial has surfaced. I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but have done a quick and dirty, and not entirely literal, translation anyway. Comments, corrections, and suggestions welcome.
    My source for the Chinese text is the Boxun web site (there are other sources as well that have the same text). Here’s the URL:

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