Today’s China Readings August 19, 2012

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

Links only today:

  • 钱江晚报:关于裸聊这事儿–观点–人民网
    don’t let your 10 year old daughter participate in naked video chats, or use QQ…11 year old boy convinces 10 year old girl to get naked in a chat, then demands 100 QCoins or he will put her pics online. She ignores him, he posts the pictures. Nice work by the parents…//
  • 房产税开征技术日渐成熟有利于引导住房合理消费_财经频道_一财网
    discussion of property tax heating up, as discussed last week here //房产税功能定位应明确,不应左右摇摆。房产税应定位为个人住房调节税,让占有住房多的人多交税,以使我国十分紧张的住房资源及土地资源得到更公平的享用。
  • 造船业确保订单为巅峰期1成 企业转型或转卖谋出路|造船业|确保|订单_21世纪网
    more on the pain in China’s shipbuilding industry//
  • 人民日报-河北尚村农信社破产案进入司法程序 破产个案再引农信社风险之忧(政策聚焦)
  • US must hand over Internet control to the world – People’s Daily Online
    The United States controls and owns all cyberspaces in the world, and other countries can only lease Internet addresses and domain names from the United States, leading to the U.S. hegemonic monopoly over the world’s Internet.
  • China Railway Construction on Top Agenda in Local Stimulus Programs-Caijing
    but where is the money?//The ministry also decentralized power to finance and build intercity railways early this year due to heavy debt burden, which means to some extent that local governments could exploit all the resources they could to finance local rail projects.
    The debt-to-asset ratio in the ministry hit close to the 60 percent “red line” after the much trumpeted construction of high-speed railways in the previous years.
  • Translating Jang Song Taek in Beijing: A Communique Troika « SINO-NK
    As we pointed out in “China and the North Korean Succession” (SinoNK Document Dossier No. 1), what the Chinese government says both to and about North Korea rarely comes across into our beloved English language without some strategic alteration.
    While those alterations are minor, they are also revealing.  In the case of three of the key documents from Jang Song Taek’s trip to Beijing, the new translations allow us to see flashes of Chinese satisfaction, PRC pragmatism and strategic resilience, and a North Korean quasi-leader who is eager to appear deferential to his dead predecessor and the young head of state whose time for a foreign sojourn – and all the pomp Beijing has to offer behind and in front of its vermillion doors – has not yet arrived.
  • Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam: Fredrik Logevall
    How did it happen? Tapping into newly accessible diplomatic archives in several nations and making full use of the published literature, distinguished scholar Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two Western nations to lose their way in Vietnam. Embers of War opens in 1919 at the Versailles Peace Conference, where a young Ho Chi Minh tries to deliver a petition for Vietnamese independence to President Woodrow Wilson. It concludes in 1959, with a Viet Cong ambush on an outpost outside Saigon and the deaths of two American officers whose names would be the first to be carved into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In between come years of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation, as leaders on all sides embark on a series of stumbles that makes an eminently avoidable struggle a bloody and interminable reality.
  • Book Review: Embers of War –
    Fredrik Logevall’s “Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam,” at 714 pages of text, is a monumental history of the 2½ decades leading up to America’s direct troop intervention in 1965. Among other aspects, he covers in significant detail France’s attempted return as colonial master at the end of World War II, the Indochina War, the 1954 Geneva Accords that divided Vietnam and the subsequent rise of the South as an independent state. This book is a widely researched and eloquently written account of how the U.S. came to be involved in Vietnam and is certainly the most comprehensive review of this period to date.
  • Miss China Yu Wenxia Crowned Miss World 2012 –
    w pictures// ORDOS, China—China’s Yu Wenxia has been crowned 2012 Miss World.
  • Meet the Face-Kini, the latest craze to hit China’s beaches as bathers wear masks to beat the sun’s harmful rays | Mail Online
  • Hainan hotel fined after food poisoning sickens 141 people – Xinhua |
    The 141 vacationers were sent for medical treatment after their breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Howard Johnson Hotel on Sunday.
  • China’s slowdown hurts corporate profits – Xinhua |
    As of Friday, 1,003 companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange or Shenzhen Stock Exchange posted a combined first-half net profit of 180.21 billion yuan (28.38 billion U.S. dollars), up 6.75 percent year on year, Saturday’s China Securities Journal reported.
    The growth figure took a major tumble compared to the figure reported on the same day last year, as the semiannual net profits of all 1,096 listed companies in 2011 had surged a substantial 36.14 percent from one year earlier.
  • NE China province reports nearly 20% rise in trade with Russia – Xinhua |
    HARBIN, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — The trade volume between northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province and Russia from January to July totaled 12.3 billion U.S. dollars, up 19.5 percent year on year, the provincial Bureau of Commerce announced Saturday.
  • First Chinese ship crosses Arctic Ocean amid record melt | Reuters
    (Reuters) – An icebreaker has become the first ship from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, underscoring Beijing’s growing interest in a remote region where a record thaw caused by climate change may open new trade routes.
  • China to open int’l institute for Arctic studies – Xinhua |
    REYKJAVIK, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — China will launch its first international Arctic cooperation and research institute in Shanghai, sources attending a Sino-Iceland workshop told reporters here.
  • Speculative housing demand curbed|Policies|
    BEIJING — China’s property regulation measures have been “carried out well” by local authorities and speculative housing demand has been curbed, according to the results of a State Council inspection announced late on Friday.
    The inspectors also found problems that need “particular attention,” including recent property price rises, intermittent easing policies at the local level, low fulfillment of housing land supply and weak market supervision in some cities.
  • China New-Home Prices Rebound After Interest-Rate Cuts – Bloomberg
    China’s July housing data showed prices of new homes rose in the largest number of cities in 14 months, as sentiment improved after interest rate cuts and incentives for first-time buyers.
    Prices climbed from a month earlier in 49 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website yesterday. That was the most since May last year and compared with 25 cities in June. Prices fell in nine cities and were unchanged in 12.
  • 官员阻挠采访将记者推进水塘被撤职|记者采访被打|官员阻挠采访|政府媒体关系_新浪新闻
    Chinese reporters also get assaulted in china
  • Chinese Anger Diverted by the Saga of a Hoodlum’s Girlfriend –
    According to this story, the state broadcaster CCTV said Mr. Zhou would call her before every murder to tell her what he was doing.
    Mr. Zhou was shot dead by the police in Chongqing on Tuesday, and his girlfriend is reportedly under investigation, Chinese media reported.
    By the early hours of Friday morning, “Zhou Kehua’s girlfriend” had gotten nearly 125,000 posts on Sina Weibo, compared to about 42,000 for “Diaoyu Islands.” “Protect the Diaoyu,” in a similar vein, got about 34,000
  • China’s Wen urges North Korea to let the market help revamp economy | Reuters
    Premier Wen Jiabao encouraged North Korea to allow “market mechanisms” help revamp its economy, state media said on Saturday, and laid down other pre-conditions as China tries to wean its impoverished ally off its dependence on Chinese aid.
    Wen’s comments followed his meeting with Jang Song-thaek, the powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in Beijing on Friday. Jang is the highest-profile North Korean official to visit China since Kim power in December 2011.
  • 又见香河热_市场动态_新浪房产_新浪网
  • The new 24 exemplars of filial piety | Offbeat China
    In early August, China’s National Bureau of Senior Affairs (全国老龄办) released the New 24 Filial Exemplars. Some articles in the new exemplars are even included in the new draft of Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Seniors. The New 24 Filial Exempars not only shows how the dynamics of family and of the parent-child relationship have changed in China, but also subtly tells a story of modern China as it is today.
  • China’s Corrupt Food Chain –
    Yes, different cultures have different moral standards, but any functioning society needs a basic moral code. One can only hope that after China’s recent slew of scandals — about food safety, about the murder allegedly committed by Bo Xilai’s wife, about corruption by the former railway minister Liu Zhijun — reform-minded leaders will amass enough political capital to push for fundamental change and a more ethical society…Yanzhong Huang is a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and an associate professor at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University.
  • 淮河上游断流、首次干枯,淮河告急!
    upper reaches of huai river dry, pictures
  • Hu Yong » Godwin’s Law with Chinese Characteristics
    The fact is that any kind of public debate in China can devolve into this kind of spectacle with opposing sides labeling each other “residual toxins of Cultural Revolution.” I call this phenomenon the “Cultural Revolution Rule” of Chinese debate.
    This “rule” I am proposing is inspired by Godwin’s Law, promulgated by the American lawyer Mike Godwin during the early days of the Internet, which states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” Here, 1 means 100% or absolute certainty. In other words, any online debate, if it goes on long enough, will inevitably lead to someone’s criticizing a point they disagree with by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis. As such, Godwin’s Law is also known as the “Law of Nazi Analogies.”
    Accordingly, the “Cultural Revolution Rule” that I am proposing would be defined as follows: As an online discussion grows longer in China, the probability of a comparison involving the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards approaches 1.

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