Today’s China Readings July 15, 2012

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

Just links today, writer’s block:

  • 老人为入狱养老抢劫 减刑获释称怀念监狱生活|养老|入狱|老人_新浪新闻
  • 人民日报:征地拆迁何太急 多替农民想一想_中国经济网――国家经济门户
  • 上半年北京住宅楼面单价同比降15%_中国经济网――国家经济门户
  • PLA sees major leadership changes before 18th National Congress|Politics|News|
    A number of senior officers in China’s People’s Liberation Army have been transferred or promoted or have retired ahead of the country’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition at the Communist Party’s upcoming 18th National Congress this fall, reports our sister newspaper China Times.According to Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao, at least eight senior officers in the General Logistics Department, Hong Kong Garrison, South Sea Fleet, North Sea Fleet and Chengdu Military Region were transferred in July, most of them lieutenant generals. From the opening of the 18th National Congress to the end of this year, a total of 14 generals are set to retire as the Central Military Commission sees a sweeping change in its lineup.

  • Red nobility: Jeffrey Li, son of Li Ruihuan|Politics|People|
    Born in Beijing in July 1963, Jeffrey Li obtained a bachelor of science degree at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics before moving to the United States, where he obtained a master’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1995, he also obtained an MBA from the University of Chicago.Becoming a US citizen, Li worked for 11 years for the Pritzker family, one of the wealthiest families in America, in a number of advisory and general management roles. In his last five years with the Pritzkers, Li was officially the president of Getz Commercial, an international sales and marketing company.

  • Beijing luxury villas go on sale at record high prices|Economy|News|
    Twelve villas with the highest price tags in Beijing went on sale on July 10, reports the local Beijing News.Located in the capital’s Tongzhou suburban district of Beijing, these villas line the northern end of the historic Grand Canal. Each has a floor area of 1,500 square meters, with a yard of about 2,666 square meters.

    Each property priced at 300 million yuan (US$47.5 million) each, or 200,000 yuan (US$31,500) per square meter, even higher than the record of 160,000 yuan (US$25,000) per square meter set by the luxury mansion Diaoyutai No.7 in Beijing early this year.

  • 正视中国告别高增长周期的现实 – 马光远 – 名家博客 – 博客 – 财经网
  • Thailand, China affirm intention to boost regional security cooperation – Pattaya Mail – Pattaya News, Communities, Opinions and much more…
    Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met visiting Chinese State Councilor Meng Jianzhu on the theme of security and law enforcement cooperation.
  • 孟建柱施压泰国:中国公民安全不容侵害_多维新闻网
    meng jianzhu visits thailand. he has had a nice se asia trip.
  • 左派“造反”? 司马南牵头煽动围殴中共喉舌_多维新闻网
  • 人民网:吴法天副教授被“群殴”是必然的-搜狐评论
  • 周边安全挑战与战略应对_杂志频道_财新网
  • Security Strategies for China’s Maritime Domain – Caixin Online
    China must commit greater resources to credible force projection in the South China Sea as part of foreign policy tools to address boundary enforcement in the area..
    China must reassess its South China Sea strategy. On the one hand, the strategy is aimed at the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea. On the other hand, the key objective is to safeguard China’s legitimate maritime rights and interests. China’s “good neighbor, good friend and good partner” policy is not unconditional and unidirectional, but requires the sincere cooperation of neighboring countries. Blind compromise would only be beneficial to U.S. strategic interests in Asia. But if China uses timely, appropriate, justified and restrained force to fight back, the U.S. will act to restrain its allies in order to not upset the balance of the U.S.-China relationship…
    The author is the director of the International Strategy Division at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Tailoring Policy for Slowing Economic Growth – Caixin Online
    Government spending is likely to increase in the third quarter as policymakers make good on promises to support economic growth in the face of a nerve-rattling slowdown in the first half, economists and analysts say.
    The slowdown is generally expected to continue for some time, in part due to persistent weakness abroad that has pinched China’s export markets. Government agencies plan to ease the pain by stepping up public infrastructure investment, which drives demand for key commodities such as steel.
    The upcoming surge in spending would complement other government policy adjustments, including a relaxing of real estate market controls in place since 2010, interest rate cuts by the central bank, and new incentives for banks aimed at encouraging loans to small and medium-sized companies.
  • Battle Between Founder, Investors Closes Lighting Firm – Caixin Online
    A battle between the founder of industry leader NVC Lighting Holding Ltd. and shareholders has spilled over into strike that has closed the company since July 13…
    Wu, a Chongqing native, was investigated by government watchdogs in May for alleged connection with Xia Zeliang, party secretary of the city’s Nan’an District. Xia was detained in March during the storm over the wrongdoings of Chongqing’s former party boss, Bo Xilai. Wu left China when the probe closed and remained overseas until July 12.
  • 雷士超限战_杂志频道_财新网
  • 从微博争议看传统媒体转型的迫切性|周斌|21世纪网|传统媒体_21世纪网
  • Romney and Republican House leader far apart on China currency | Reuters
    Staking out a position in contrast to the hawkish views of Mitt Romney, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who has opposed repeated efforts in recent years to pass laws that would put tariffs on Chinese goods unless it allowed the yuan to appreciate, told reporters he still felt the same way.
  • 日本拟将钓鱼岛“国有化”_腾讯新闻_腾讯网
    QQ News Special section on the dispute over diaoyu/senkaku islands
  • 日本将暂时召回驻华大使汇报中国情况_新闻_腾讯网
    japan recalling its ambassador to china to “report” on situation in china
  • China’s new mega-dam is a mega-problem | Probe International
    Almost 20 years in the making, China’s Three Gorges mega-dam was declared complete on July 4 when the last of its 32 generators went online, 10 years after the first turbine went into operation. There is no end in sight, however, for costs associated with the vast and controversial project, which remains closer to disaster than triumph.
  • China’s ‘Fault Lines’: Yu Jie On His New Biography of Liu Xiaobo by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
    Yu Jie is one of China’s most prominent essayists and critics, with more than thirty books to his name. His latest work is a biography of his friend, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, that was published in Chinese in Hong Kong a few weeks ago. It is not the first time he has stirred up controversy in China. Yu first gained fame in 1998 at age twenty-five for his book Fire and Ice, a series of biting, satirical essays on contemporary society. Within two years, he was alreadyblacklisted by most publishers. An intensely moralistic person, he also angered many Chinese intellectuals for arguing that they failed to match actions to words.
  • China top leaders vow to better handle people’s petitions – Xinhua |
    this picture looks familiar to one from a month or so ago
  • Pan Tianshou – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    a great painter
  • Iranian Charged With Illegal Nuclear Shipments Via China – Bloomberg
    An Iranian and a Chinese resident were charged with conspiring to sell uranium and cobalt to Iran, and successfully shipping lathes and alloy wire, using a Chinese company to evade U.S. export controls.
  • Liu Zhenyun: Oh China, Why Are You So Dirty? – China Digital Times (CDT)
    This is the point I’m making. Although I have little to contribute, I’m still concerned about the world. Hu Shi is also an old Beijing University classmate of ours. He once said, if a nation constantly promotes morals yet neglects rules, that nation will become increasingly depraved. A nation that no longer promotes morals yet whose people all abide by the rules will enjoy a safe, honest society. (Note: Hu Shi’s original words are, “If a dirty country abides by the rules yet does not discuss morality, in the end such a country will become a humane, normal place. Morality will gradually find its way back. In a clean country, if no one has concern for the rules yet everyone speaks of morality and nobility, with nothing to do everyday but talk about ethics and standards, it will become a depraved, dirty country full of hypocrites.”) I think Mr. Hu is almost in agreement with me. My point is, I’m a poor guy, but in my heart is the innocence of a child. This is all I can do. It’s not likely I’ll be able to make use of this innocence in real life, so I guess I’ll just use it in my writing. My film Remembering 1942 (温故1942) [based on Liu’s novel of the same name] will be out at the end of the year, and I invite you all to have a look and see how our nation stubbornly survived.
  • Complacency of China’s SOEs causes heavy losses for investors|Economy|News|
    Though China’s mammoth state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been afforded special privileges when launching their share offerings to attract huge amounts capital from investors, most of them have failed to fairly reward investors in return.A sweeping examination of the share price movements of SOEs by Shanghai’s First Financial Daily shows serious reduction in the market value of the corporate giants over the past four years. This fits with a common perception of the state-owned companies as monolithic, inefficient and complacent in expecting the government to preserve their market dominance.

  • Zhejiang private lending disputes on the rise|Society|News|
    During last year’s credit crunch, about 100 managers or heads of private companies in Wenzhou, a provincial city known as the cradle of China’s private businesses, were reported to have disappeared, committed suicide or declared bankruptcy — invalidating debts worth about 10 billion yuan (US$1.58 billion).
  • How to Govern China ––Perry Link Letter
    Jiang Qing and Daniel A. Bell present their constitution as a third way for China between the hackneyed alternatives of authoritarianism and democracy. But it is not. It would be nothing more than new clothes for today’s authoritarianism.
  • Director and Senior Fellow, China Center | Brookings Institution
  • USDOJ: Two Indicted for Alleged Efforts to Supply Iran with U.S.-Materials for Gas Centrifuges to Enrich Uranium
    A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia has returned a superseding indictment charging Parviz Khaki, a citizen of Iran, and Zongcheng Yi, a resident of China, for their alleged efforts to obtain and illegally export to Iran U.S.-origin materials that can be used to construct, operate and maintain gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, including maraging steel, aluminum alloys, mass spectrometers, vacuum pumps and other items.   Khaki is also accused of conspiring to procure radioactive source materials from the United States for customers in Iran.
  • Hong Kong Tycoons Charged With Bribery –
    The city’s independent anticorruption agency charged two billionaire brothers, co-chairmen of one of the city’s biggest property developers, with bribing the city’s former No. 2 government official, nearly four months after they were first arrested.The brothers, who run Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., 0016.HK +0.05% were charged Friday with providing cash to former government official Rafael Hui to “remain favorably disposed” to their interests. Mr. Hui also was charged with accepting unsecured loans and the rent-free use of two apartments that he didn’t disclose to the government.

  • Asean Summit Breaks Down Over South China Sea Disputes –
    China’s efforts to assert its claims to the disputed South China Sea got a boost as regional talks to resolve the issue broke down despite U.S. support, even as Beijing made fresh moves that underscore its increasing presence in the region.
  • Information Dissemination: Chinese Frigate Runs Aground
    While the Half Moon Shoal is within the Philippine EEZ, the Chinese frigate has every right to be within the waters of the EEZ; although not necessarily on the shoal itself. With that said, this wasn’t intended to be an amphibious assault.
    What is noteworthy here is that the Philippines are well within their right to confiscate the warship. Funny thing about being the weaker power in this kind of power struggle though, because even if it is within their rights under international law to confiscate the frigate, the Philippines can’t do anything on their own territory (Half Moon Shoal) except what the Chinese allow them to do, and yes even with the Chinese on Philippine soil, we’ll do nothing but watch.
  • Game of Thrones: Sri Lanka Emerges as China’s New Best Friend | Via Meadia
    The U.S. and especially India are fearful of driving Sri Lanka firmly into China’s sphere. Officials from both Washington and New Delhi say their governments are determined to retain close relationships with Colombo. If nothing else, that’s a free pass for Rajapaksa and his brothers and cronies to enrich themselves and shape the future of Sri Lanka as they see fit. And China will be only too happy to help them.
  • 中国的儒家宪政 – 纽约时报中文网 国际纵览
    new york times chinese translation of daniel bell and jiang qing’s authoritarian apologia masquerading as confucian scholarship
  • ‘The China Conundrum,’ Take 2 – Head Count – The Chronicle of Higher Education
    I’ve noticed an undercurrent of admissions officers concerned that all the talk of unethical application practices in China has unfairly tarred the reputations of some very good students from that country who want to study in the United States.“Can’t you write some positive stories?,” one admissions director at a prominent American university asked me. Another conference-goer, a college counselor in China, talked about the “stereotypes, some accurate, many not,” that exist about Chinese students seeking to study abroad.

  • Confucius and the Ballot Box | Foreign Affairs
    Beginning in the mid-1980s, the so-called third wave of democratization swept through Asia, bringing vibrant multiparty politics to former autocracies such as South Korea and Taiwan. Yet today, by Doh Chull Shin’s count, the 16 countries of East and Southeast Asia now include only six functioning democracies — a ratio worse than the worldwide average of six democracies for every ten countries. The region hosts some of the world’s most resilient authoritarian regimes; meanwhile, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand have toggled between elected and unelected governments, and China’s economic success and political stability have made the country a model studied enviously by strongmen around the world. What is it about Asia that makes it so hard for democracy to take root?Part of the explanation may lie with culture. Yet discussions of culture can sometimes distort, rather than illuminate, the relationship between values and governance. That has certainly been the case during the long-running dispute over whether traditional Asian values are compatible with democracy — a debate Shin’s book attempts to settle by separating myths from facts and assumptions from evidence.

  • A State of Moral Confucian « New Paradigms Forum
    In the modern Chinese context, meritoligarchy fits in well with the Party-State’s quasi-Confucian “virtuocratic” idea that only the wise and steady hand of the CCP – with its increasingly sophisticated and well-trained cadres – is capable of preventing chaos in China and overseeing and consolidating the country’s long-awaited return to first-rank global status. Just as the seminal Chinese political thinker Liang Qichao, writing a century ago, distrusted the hurly-burly of modern democracy and wrote of the virtues of a firm constitutional monarch as the form of government most suited to China’s national regeneration, so CCP elites today depict Western style democracy as being both flawed in practice in the West and as a road to chaos and debilitation for China. The answer? Of course! Permanent CCP rule.(The CCP is interested in what it calls “democracy” only as a form of paternalistic consultation, with power-holders reaching out to consult and listen to the needs of the people in a classically Confucian way. One may ask more wisdom and benevolence of them, but one may not question the right of those power-holders to hold power. That power comes to them by right, because they deserve it and the people need them. Very unpleasant things can happen to anyone who challenges the elite’s right to keep ruling.)

    The new twist on this theme in China today, which one can see in the Jiang/Bell op-ed, is an increasingly explicit invocation of Confucian theory – reflecting ideas that I think of as “neo-Kong” political philosophy (in honor both of Kongzi and American neo-conservatives) – but of course the point of that Confucian emphasis is that it doesn’t purport to be new at all. It is, rather, quite self-consciously “ancient” in its inspirations. The we’re-best-off-ruled-by-a-benevolent-elite-of-educated-worthies argument goes back very, very far indeed.

  • China caught red handed in the South China Sea | FP Passport
  • China Data From Home to Investment Show Hope for Growth – Bloomberg
    China’s weakest expansion in three years masked a surge in home sales and a jump in investment that show lower interest rates and banks’ reserve requirements may be starting to stabilize growth in the second-largest economy.
    China’s economy advanced 7.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier while accelerating to a 1.8 percent gain from the previous three months, a government report in Beijing showed yesterday. The value of home sales rose 41 percent in June from May and first-half fixed-asset investment rose 20.4 percent, topping analyst estimates.
  • Economists React: China GDP Growth Hits Three-Year Low – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Local Gov’ts to Publicly Release Budgets – Caixin Online
  • Undue demands prevent ASEAN meeting from issuing joint communique: Cambodian FM – Xinhua |

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