Today’s China Readings August 14, 2012

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

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Recent signs of life in the real estate market worry Beijing. The central government has repeatedly reiterated its resolution to repress prices and block any attempts by local governments to loosen controls. The latest measure may be the long discussed property tax, as Caijing reports in China Plans Harsher Property Tax Nationwide with Repeated Vows on Curbs (30余省集训为房产税开征做技术准备 涉及存量房征税-财经网). There are many obstacles to implementing a property tax. Xinhua discusses some in a piece today (房产税普遍征收需预想各种困难), and I noted others two years ago when rumors of an impending tax were rife.

2010’s Will Declaring Assets Cause Chaos, Delay China Property Tax? discussed a key challenge to a new tax, and one that may be even bigger today:

Winning back trust probably also depends on what happens if the assets are disclosed, as most people assume that not an insignificant number of officials have far more assets than they should be able to afford on their government salaries.

This asset disclosure issue is one of the main reasons I am skeptical that China will soon introduce a property tax. Officials who have more property than is affordable without “extra income” will have issues if a property tax is enacted. One, how will an official with multiple properties afford the tax? Two, the new tax system, if coupled with the new rule that plans to link to properties to household units instead of individuals, might expose a lot of assets that people prefer to keep hidden.

Credit Suisse’s Analysis Of Likely Impact If China Imposes A Residential Property Tax and the post What A Chinese Property Tax Might Look Like are still useful for those interested in reading more about a possible property tax.

In addition to the corruption issue, taxpayers increasingly expect accountability and transparency, and a new tax on their property will only increase those expectations. Peking University professor and “Hong Kongers are dogs” commentator Kong Qingdong stepped into the accountability mess, though not specifically about a property tax, with comments in a recent TV interview–孔庆东爆粗口大骂纳税人:滚你妈的蛋–in which Kong tells people who demand accountability because they are taxpayers to “F— Off”, and then some. Property ownership can be corrosive to opaque governance…

Local governments, starved of revenue from land sales, desperately need new sources of income, and a property tax could improve their fiscal fortunes. But the center-local relationship is very complex in China, and this week’s Caixin has a good article examining the real estate repression regime since 2010–谁在坚持地产调控: 2011年,是温总理PK开发商;现在,是温总理PK地方政府.

The September/October Foreign Policy Magazine is the “Cities Issue”, with a large focus on China:

Our special issue dedicated to the cities of the future has its eye squarely toward China, because the cities of the future are increasingly going to be speaking Mandarin — even more than you realize. It’s no longer news that China has embarked on the largest mass urbanization in history, a monumental migration from country to city that will leave China with nearly a billion urbanites by 2025 and an astonishing 221 cities with populations over 1 million. But this isn’t just about size: It’s about global heft. And that’s where the scale of China’s transformation into a world leader is truly astonishing.

Michael Meyer’s contribution to Foreign Policy, Beijing Forever, is a great read and this fact may in part explain why real estate in Beijing is so expensive:

But despite its enormous geographic size — at 6,000 square miles, Beijing is larger than the U.S. state of Connecticut — the city’s official population of some 20 million is mostly crammed into a core that gives it a population density twice that of New York, its sister city to which it’s often compared.

Elections for the 2270 delegates to the 18th Party Congress are complete, now we await the opening of the congress, “scheduled to be held in the second half of this year.” Today’s People’s Daily has a page one commentary urging the delegates to faithfully perform their duties (肩负神圣使命 忠实履行职责) as well as a list of all 2270 delegates.

The Caixin story on Liu Zhijun with the lusty lede is now online at 危险的关系. I will post the English translation when it appears.

The New York Times keeps the Sheldon Adelson-China story going with the excellent Sheldon Adelson’s Dealings in China Are Under Investigation. There are lots of interesting details, and I found this anecdote from 2001 particularly illuminating. Remember this is from 11 years ago, when China had a fraction of the wealth it has today:

The company set out to cultivate senior Chinese officials. In the summer of 2001, Mr. Adelson and William P. Weidner, then the Sands’s president, flew to Beijing for meetings arranged by Mr. Suen.

Chinese leaders at the time were worried about a pending House resolution condemning the country’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games because of its human rights record. According to Mr. Weidner’s deposition in the Suen case, Mr. Adelson promised Beijing’s mayor he would do what he could. Mr. Adelson called his friend Tom DeLay, then the House majority whip, catching him at a Fourth of July barbecue. Mr. DeLay said he would check on the resolution’s status.

Several hours later, Mr. DeLay called and told Mr. Adelson he was in luck. The resolution was stuck behind a series of other bills.

How much money has Adelson already “invested” into the 2012 US Presidential campaign?

Today’s Links:

  • Critics See South Korea Internet Curbs as Censorship –
    The seeming disconnect is at least partly rooted in South Korea’s struggle to manage the contradictions in eagerly embracing the Web as one way to catch up with the world’s top economies, while clinging to a patriarchal and somewhat puritanical past. In a nation so threatened by Lady Gaga that it barred fans under age 18 from attending a concert, the thought of unlimited opportunities for Internet users to swear in “public,” view illegal pornography and challenge authority has proved profoundly unsettling.
  • 7.21暴雨后北京城区近百处路面塌陷_政经频道_财新网
    almost 100 sinkholes have appeared in Beijing since the 7.21 flood
  • 周克华前妻邻居:去年8月他还在家中 每天扶前妻换药_资讯频道_凤凰网
    neighbor of fugitive Zhou Kehua’s ex wife says he visited her last year and gave her medicine
  • 合肥学院团委副书记及其妻因艳照被双开_网易新闻中心
    official from a Hefei Institute and his wife fired and expelled from Party for the group sex pictures that went online last week. apparently one of the participants had them on their computer, took the computer to be fixed, the repair person copied them and put them on the Internet. a few lessons//
  • 房产税普遍征收需预想各种困难 – 新华时政 – 新华网
  • Does the News Need Legislating? – Caixin Online
    Following reports that some media outlets extort companies ahead of IPOs, questions have been raised about whether China needs laws covering journalism
  • China’s African Money Tree – Caixin Online
    Digging down into the balance sheets of China’s foreign aid to Africa may be near impossible, but experts say soft loans are on the rise
  • Stormy Weather on Cloud-seeding – Caixin Online
    Experts say uncertain rainfall yields and technological costs could hinder the large-scale expansion of weather modification programs
  • CPC delegates urged to faithfully perform duties – Xinhua |
    The People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), will carry a commentary on Tuesday calling on newly elected delegates to the CPC National Congress to faithfully perform their duties.
  • China defends sovereignty by ‘combination punches’ – People’s Daily Online
    The U.S. Department of State recently issued a statement accusing China of exacerbating tensions in the South China Sea. Since the beginning of 2012, certain countries have frequently stirred up trouble and accelerated their intervention in the South China Sea dispute. In this context, China has taken an array of measures to defend its sovereignty and interests.
  • Who are we? — An ultimate question facing Chinese immigrants in US – People’s Daily Online
    Qiao Bao, a U.S.-based Chinese-language newspaper, recently said in a signed article that after setting foot in the United States, Chinese immigrants immediately find themselves deeply puzzled by a simple question – “Who are we?”
  • 关注十八大代表选举–专题报道–人民网
    people’s daily online special section on the 18th party delegates elections. list of all 2270 is now online
  • 人民网 List of 18th Party delegates
  • 人民日报-肩负神圣使命 忠实履行职责
    page 1 people’s daily on sacred mission and duties of 18th party congress delegates
  • Unlocking the Goldmine of China’s Sports Industry – People’s Daily Online
    China’s sports industry, an untapped gold mine with immense potential business opportunities has, over the years, caught the eyes of many, mostly inside Chinese sports officials and outside gold rushers. Now, the locked door to the treasury is beginning to open
  • Troubled road needs new repairs |Society |
    Keystone Keynesian?//
    8.7b-yuan project turns ‘problematic’
    A highway in Northwest China’s Gansu province that had to be repaired soon after it was finished last year was found to be damaged again after the heavy rainstorms hit the region in recent weeks.
  • CSRC prioritizes IPOs of W. China firms |Markets |
    China’s securities regulator has given priority to enterprises from the country’s western regions that are seeking approval for initial public offering, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
    The move, starting from this month, aims to promote the development of the country’s western regions, especially in regards to the real economy, China Securities Journal reported Monday, citing sources from the CSRC.
  • Fugitive Gao Shan turns himself in after 8 years of hiding in Canada – China News – SINA English
    why now?//
    Fugitive banker Gao Shan has returned to China and surrendered himself to the police, 8 years after he fled to Canada, according to a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Public Security.
  • China to release corn, rice from reserves – Business News – SINA English
    China will release corn and rice from state reserves to help tame inflation and reduce imports as the worst US drought in half a century pushes corn prices to global records, creating fears of a world food crisis.
    Friday’s announcement was the first release since September last year, when China said it would sell 3.7 million tons of state corn to keep inflation under control.
    The release may prompt Chinese importers to cancel shipments in the near term and take some pressure off international corn prices, which set a new all-time high on Friday as the US government slashed its estimate of the size of the crop in the world’s top grain exporter.
  • Pesticide in wine ‘no risk to health’ — Shanghai Daily
    PESTICIDE residue in wine is below the country’s limits, the Ministry of Health said yesterday, after a report that some Chinese red wine on the market contained excessive levels of harmful chemicals.
  • Faber Pessimistic on China, Favors European Stocks: Tom Keene – Bloomberg
    China’s economy will slow “considerably,” said Marc Faber, the publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom report, who is buying European stocks.
    “The growth rate we had in the last 10 years, which was around 10 percent annually, is going to slow down considerably,” Faber told Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt in a “Bloomberg Surveillance” radio interview today. “I would rather wait to buy Chinese stocks until we see the result of the stimulus packages.”
  • Currency Flows Reversing China to Colombia as Trade Slows – Bloomberg
    and just in time for us election//
    Just three months after the biggest developing economies sold dollars to support their currencies, policy makers from Colombia to China are moving to weaken exchange rates and revive exports as the International Monetary Fund forecasts the slowest trade growth in three years.
  • 高清:中国记者走进朝鲜洪水灾区–国际–人民网
    People’s Daily Online has pictures from the recent floods in North Korea
  • 孔庆东爆粗口大骂纳税人:滚你妈的蛋 在线观看 – 酷6视频
    Kong Qingdong on a roll again, this time attacking people demanding answers because they pay taxes. He is getting it online//
  • Powerful uncle of North Korea leader in China to talk business | Reuters
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle — the man seen as the power behind the young and untested dictator — went to Beijing on Monday in the latest signal that the reclusive state is looking seriously at ways to revive its broken economy.
    The official KCNA news agency said Jang Song-thaek was visiting China, the North’s only major ally, to discuss setting up joint commercial projects. The news comes after leader Kim recently told Beijing that his priority is to develop his impoverished country’s decaying economy.
  • The United States in the South China Sea Disputes | M. Taylor Fravel
    In June, I attended the Berlin Conference on Asian Security, organized by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
    I participated in a panel on the South China Sea and presented a paper entitled “The United States in the South China Sea Disputes.”
  • » Son Of High-Ranking Jiangsu Province Public Security Bureau Official Caught On Tape Knifing Woman Beijing Cream
    could be another “my dad is li gang”//
    The man seen with the knife is apparently Lu Jianbo, son of the deputy political commissar of the Jiangsu Province Public Security Bureau. The PSB’s Weibo has confirmed that Lu is under “investigation,” which should be aided by the video above, taken Friday night, in which Lu wields a knife at a woman on the ground, cutting her a reported 34 times (images after the jump). The victim somehow manages to get on her feet and retreat behind a door, at which point an obviously incensed Lu tries to kick down the barrier, gesticulating wildly, and, according to Weibo, shouting, “My family started the Public Security Bureau! Killing people is not a problem!”
  • 北京3个高端楼盘入市 每平方米均价超过4万-财经网
  • China Economic Watch | The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Whither China?
    We see little evidence to support the notion that China is being excluded as part of a broader containment strategy. But the continued talk of such a strategy requires a brief rebuttal…
    In any event, China is not ready to implement and enforce the types of obligations under construction in the TPP negotiations and thus the issue of blocking its entry to the talks is moot…for now. But the gap between China and the prospective TPP accord is not unbridgeable due to the extensive reforms undertaken pursuant to China’s World Trade Organization (WTO) accession and its participation in numerous preferential trading arrangements.
  • S&P Released A New Report On China’s Housing Market Here’s What You Need To Know – Business Insider
    a new report from S&P analysts Christopher Lee, Bei Fu, and Frank Lu argues that the Chinese property market is stabilizing, that buyers are returning to the market and credit conditions are improving.
  • Jing Daily: Brand To Watch: Bao Bao Wan Fine Jewellery
    she makes nice stuff//
    Among these Chinese jewelry designers is Wan Baobao (万宝宝), a well-known “red princess” (so called because her grandfather, Wan Li, was a vice premier and later chairman of the National People’s Congress, and her father is also a high level government Minister). Since founding her eponymous jewelry brand, Bao Bao Wan, back in 2007, Wan has emerged as one of China’s most notable up-and-coming high-end jewelry designers. Fueled by her personality and knack for design — and helped by her well-placed socialite and celebrity friends — the profile of Bao Bao Wan Fine Jewellery has risen steadily in recent years.
  • Sheldon Adelson’s Dealings in China Are Under Investigation –
    much more detail in this article than the wall street journal one last week//
    Mr. Yang Saixin joined the Sands in 2007 as the company worked to protect its interests in Macau, where its gambling revenues were mushrooming, and pressed ahead with plans for a resort in mainland China. Boasting of ties to the People’s Liberation Army and China’s state security apparatus, Mr. Yang was hired for his guanxi, that mixture of relationships and favors that is critical to opening doors in China, according to former executives.
    But today, Mr. Yang, along with tens of millions of dollars in payments the Sands made through him in China, is a focus of a wide-ranging federal investigation into potential bribery of foreign officials and other matters in China and Macau, according to people with knowledge of the inquiries.
  • China’s New ‘Black Five’ Categories – Social Threat or Core Strength? · Global Voices
    During the Cultural Revolution in China, the term ‘Five Black Categories‘ was used as a political label for cracking down on five social and political groups – landlords, rich farmers, anti-revolutionists, ‘bad-influencers’ and right-wingers. Many innocent people were prosecuted as a result or even killed, and even the Chinese government admitted that the political struggle was a man-made “disaster” [zh].
    However, recently Chinese state media has revived the political labels to describe another five groups – human rights lawyers, underground churches and religions, dissidents, online opinion leaders and social minorities.
  • Google’s Loss is Baidu’s Gain as Google Maps Tanks in China [CHARTS]
    Usage of Google Maps for mobile seems to be tanking in China. New data from Analysys International shows that Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) product – once the market leader in China – is on the cusp of dropping to third place. But for now, by the hair on its chin, it retains second place.
  • Focus Media Buyout Would Wipe Out Muddy Waters Losses – Deal Journal – WSJ
    Muddy Waters got Focus wrong, and not just because of this deal. Digging into MW’s new target, New Oriental, decent chance MW overstating its case again, but not yet sure//
    Muddy Waters continued to blast Focus Media as recently as this February for the counting of its LCD-display network, alleging that about 16% of that network of televisions were actually cardboard posters. Muddy Waters in that update to the November report accused Focus Media of attempting “to pull a Jedi mind trick,” adding “It strikes us that only a management with a significant degree of contempt for its shareholders would attempt to pass off a piece of cardboard as an LCD television.”
  • Taiwan Seeking Fewer F-16s From U.S. | Defense News |
    Taiwan plans to slash the number of advanced fighter jets it has been seeking from the U.S. from 66 to 24, apparently due to budget constraints, reports said Aug. 13.
  • A talk about my shoe-throwing participant on twitter @hanunyi  – Bytes of China – Tricia Wang [ethnographer & sociologist researching cellphones and computers in China & Mexico]
    I gave a talk back in Feburary of 2012 about one of my partiicpants (@hanunyi) who made global news for throwing shoes at the man known for architecting internet censorship in China. I didn’t get a chance to post my notes about it until last week on my updates page. Here’s the vide of the talk – it’s essentially condensed fieldnotes with analysis in one
  • Beijing rainstorm victims rebuild lives in transitional shelters – Xinhua |
    As of Aug. 6, construction of 5,731 transitional shelters, including 3,267 make-shift shelters, have been completed in 40 relocation sites in Beijing’s Fangshan district. The area was hardest hit by the July 21 rainstorm that left 79 dead.
  • Analysis: China’s sway over Cambodia tests Southeast Asian unity | Reuters
    this the Reuters article that upset China//
    China has a good standing in impoverished Laos and Myanmar as well, ASEAN members along with Cambodia, much to the chagrin of others in the bloc such as Vietnam and the Philippines, which are at loggerheads with Beijing over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand make up the rest of the grouping.
    As cash-strapped and underdeveloped Cambodia increasingly turns to Beijing, the group is worried about being held hostage by China’s economic power over its poorest members.
  • Attempts to alienate China and ASEAN doomed to fail – Xinhua |
    Beijing supports a more integrated ASEAN and any deliberate attempt to smear China’s positive role in maintaining the unity of the regional bloc is doomed to failure.
    In a lengthy story published Monday, Reuters alluded that Beijing is intentionally “keeping ASEAN splintered” as that would “suit its strategy on the South China Sea.”
    Reuters, along with other Western media, is stoking mistrust and enmity between China and its close neighbors and is hoping for a break-up of the 45-year cooperative mechanism.
  • 2,270 delegates elected to attend CPC’s 18th national congress – Xinhua |
    A total of 2,270 delegates have been elected to attend the upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to an official statement released here on Monday.
    President Hu Jintao and another eight members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee were included in the list of names.
    About 50 more delegates will attend the 18th National Congress than the number that attended the 17th National Congress five years ago.
  • Beijing property sales increase Jan-July – Xinhua |
    Commercial property sales in Beijing increased 21.7 percent year on year to 8.19 million square meters in the first seven months of 2012 as the real estate market recovered from a one-year period of gloom, according to new data.
    Of the total, commercial housing sales soared 31.2 percent year on year to 6.21 million square meters, the Beijing municipal bureau of statistics said in a statement on Monday.
    Home sales in July alone skyrocketed over 68 percent year on year and 19 percent month on month to hit 1.42 million square meters, according to the statement
  • Chinese police to continue Internet crime crackdown – Xinhua |
    China’s Ministry of Public Security on Monday vowed to continue its hard line in fighting rampant Internet crime.
    The ministry started a nationwide campaign in March to counter illegal online conduct such as sales of firearms, explosives and citizens’ personal information.
  • 公安部部署深化打击整治网络违法犯罪专项行动–社会–人民网
  • Focus Media Gets Offer in Biggest China Leveraged Buyout – Bloomberg
    Focus Media Holding Ltd., a Chinese advertising company, received a takeover proposal from private- equity firms including Carlyle Group LP (CG) in what would be the country’s largest leveraged buyout.
    The bidders made a “non-binding” offer of $27 per American depositary share, the Shanghai-based company said today in a statement. That’s 15 percent more than Focus Media’s Aug. 10 closing price and values the stock, which trades on the Nasdaq Stock Market, at about $3.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • Chinese Entrepreneurs Care More About Making Money Than Changing the World, Says Kaifu Lee | PandoDaily
    in a new video interview with private equity publication Privcap, Kaifu Lee has said that Innovation Works isn’t focused on chasing big ideas. Asked if the incubator wants to back companies that hope to “change the world” or will simply stick to startups that tackle more identifiable problems, Lee said he’s open to both.
    “But in practice it’s really the latter that’s the predominant part of our investment,” Lee told the interviewer. “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a company that’s targeting a real problem, that’s trying to solve it and make money, and over time developing something that’s great, and changing the world. That’s also possible. Our Innovation Works model is we find great, highly growing trends, and we find entrepreneurs who have ideas that can ride the wave up, and we fund them.”
  • Thoughts on China’s Startup Ecosystem | PandoDaily
    The upshot is that while China’s tech startup ecosystem is still a work in progress, there is plenty of reason for hope. Some of its problems are so deep – the cultural ones, in particular – that they will take years to overcome. But others are being smashed to pieces as we speak. As the country’s Internet population continues to grow and smartphones become a feature of every peasant’s pocket, new opportunities will appear in every hutong. The money, foreign and local, will follow those problems, trying to solve them in record time, commensurate with the heady rate of change China has seen in the past three decades. And while China’s Internet industry has until now been plagued by copying, crushing, and a lack of M&A action, the scene is now set for some big ideas, serious innovation, and perhaps one or two homegrown companies that can find real success outside of the country’s borders. It’s a long way off from being as significant as Silicon Valley, but, IPO issues aside, it’s hard to think of anywhere in the world where there’s more cause excitement.
  • China Recap: A Glimpse at How the Internet is Reshaping the Middle Kingdom | PandoDaily
  • Syrian president special envoy to visit China – Xinhua | The Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Syrian president special envoy Bouthaina Shaaban is to visit China on Tuesday.During the visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with Shaaban, who is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media advisor, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a written reply to a reporter’s question.”Meanwhile, China is also considering inviting members of the Syrian opposition groups to visit,” Qin added.
  • Hong Kong Rents Fall as Bankers Leave – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Interview: How China’s giant Tencent makes users pay — paidContent The online services company Tencent is launching new initiatives to improve its advertising outlook, as the segment’s Chinese boom growth finally shows signs of slow-down. But, regardless of advertising, Tencent looks enviably well-placed. The company has turned its 14-year-old IM network in to the connecting tissue for a host of paid services, Tencent GM for national ad planning Sophia Ong tells paidContent…
  • China Daily Steel Output Falls in July as Prices at 33-Month Low – Bloomberg
  • 另类黎瑞刚_杂志频道_财新网
  • 十八大军委大换班三大看点_多维新闻网  【多维新闻】中共十八大前的秘密会议正在北戴河召开,众多媒体都将注意力集中在政治局常委人选方面,唯有台湾媒体从三个看点聚焦中共中央军委人事变动,引人关注。 中央社8月11日分析,这届军委有三大焦点,现任军委主席胡锦涛能否留任是第一个焦点,第二个焦点是谁将接任军委副主席,第三是军委委员的变动。
  • Swept under–How the resurgence of state-owned enterprises threatens China’s economy | China Economic Review
  • Trailer for Living with Dead Hearts  documentary on kidnapped children in China
  • UPDATE 1-Goldman taps Westerman to run China investment banking -memo | Reuters Goldman Sachs has appointed Matthew Westerman to spearhead the bank’s China investment banking efforts after Jin-Yong Cai left last week to work for the World Bank, according to a memo obtained on Monday by Reuters.
  • Shining a Light on Too Big to Fail in China – Caixin OnlineLDK, once a US stock market darling, now another failing solar firm// Broad government involvement in business has resulted in local officials going to great lengths to save a troubled company in Jiangxi
  • 中草药环境劫_杂志频道_财新网caixin on the environmental destruction behind some chinese herbal medicines// 中草药价格一再被哄抬的背后,是沉重生态代价:上千种种群濒危,上百种近乎灭绝。真正的救赎却并未展开
  • China’s Stocks Drop Most in Month on Growth, Policy Concerns – Bloomberg  China’s stocks fell by the most in almost a month after Bank of America Corp. cut its economic growth forecasts for China and on speculation the government won’t loosen monetary policy as property prices rebound.
  • China’s Loan Drought –  If it’s weak demand for loans from the private sector that’s the real problem, easing liquidity conditions for the banks won’t be an adequate solution. The government has already cut interest rates twice. If loan demand doesn’t pick up they may have to do so again.
  • 中共解禁鲍彤《炎黄春秋》谈胡耀邦_多维新闻网  bao tong has an essay on hu yaobang in latest of yanhuang chunqiu
  • Bo Xilai has been handled, Hu Jintao style: Duowei|Politics|News| Political observers told Duowei that the careful and thorough handling of the case and the surrounding political scandal is very much a reflection of Hu’s stern and decisive personality. Hu managed to quickly separate Bo from the party leadership as soon as the scandal broke and has been doing what needs to be done in accordance with party rules and regulations, Duowei said. This is perfectly in line with the approach of a politician who is known for preparing all his public statements in advance and avoids making impromptu speeches, it added.
  • 党媒大谈政治纪律 被指薄熙来案处理前思想消毒_多维新闻网 Duowei speculates that recent official media calls for political discipline are attempts to “cleanse” political thought before announcement of handling of bo xilai case// 【多维新闻】北京时间8月9日,原重庆市委书记薄熙来妻子谷开来杀人案在合肥开审,关于谷开来将会接受何种刑罚的猜测也沸沸扬扬。与此同时,外界也开始猜测被“双开”的薄熙来将如何处理。有政治观察人士指出,在8月7日,中共党媒《人民日报》刊发评论员文章《深刻把握全面推进党的建设新要求》,指出“党的建设方面特别是党员、干部队伍出现了许多亟待解决的突出问题。”要求严格党的纪律“特别是政治纪律,坚决维护中央权威”。这或许意味着在谷开来案已经开审,薄熙来事件进入实质处理阶段,党媒借解读胡锦涛讲话再强调“政治纪律”,意在对全党思想消毒,彻底肃清薄在重庆期间对全党造成的政治影响。