Today’s China Readings July 24, 2012

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

Just links today:

  • A slowdown is good for China and the world –
    What the rest of the world needs from China is not faster growth but more demand. Rebalancing will provide that, although the trade surplus will probably rise before it begins to decline. This will result in falling prices for hard commodities, and so will hurt countries such as Australia and Brazil, but rising Chinese demand and lower commodity prices are good for global growth overall.
    It is too early to say whether or not China has really begun its great rebalancing. Among other things, this would mean the rapid growth in state sector wealth – which mainly benefits China’s political elite – must slow sharply. It is likely that the elite will resist this ferociously. We should expect tremendous pressure to reverse the process. Commodity exporters and China’s economic elite may not like it, but this is a good sign for nearly everyone else.
  • Fashion Magazines in China, Laden With Ads, Are Thriving –
    Late last year, Cosmopolitan editors in China started splitting its monthly issue into two magazines because it was too thick to print. Elle now publishes twice a month because issues had grown to 700 pages. Vogue added four more issues each year to keep up with advertising demand. Hearst is even designing plastic and cloth bags for women to easily carry these heavy magazines home.

    “We never take anything for granted. But so far this year, we look like we’re having a pretty good year of growth,” said Duncan Edwards, president and chief executive of Hearst Magazines International, which has agreements to have 22 magazines, including Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, published here. “There is an enormous hunger for information about luxury, and there aren’t many other places you can get that information than in fashion magazines.”

  • 人民日报的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
    the official people’s daily sina weibo account
  • People’s Daily makes weibo debut – People’s Daily Online
    “It’s a sleepless night tonight. People’s Daily is praying for those who are still on the way home and pays tribute to those who are at the front of battling heavy rain. Beijing, put it together!”

    This is the first message posted by the official account of People’s Daily on China’s twitter-like weibo at 4:58 a.m. of July 22, 2012, when Beijing was suffering from the heaviest rain in 60 years.

  • Hospital director arrested for raping 2 minors – People’s Daily Online
    A hospital director in Jinhua city of Zhejiang Province has been arrested for raping two underage girls, the Procuratorial Daily reported today.
    Sun Shangjian, 50, founder and head of the Aike Hospital, allegedly raped two 13-year-old girls from southwestern Guizhou Province in his villa in late May though he knew their ages, prosecutors said.
  • Cooperation key to a bright future of East Asia – People’s Daily Online
    It is reported that Japan and the United States have already reached an agreement that officials from Japan self-defense force will be stationed permanently in Pentagon around 2013, so as to respond promptly to emergencies in Asia Pacific. Is the security situation in the region spinning out of control?

    The shift of the U.S. military focus back to Asia Pacific and Japan’s increasingly active role in building a new security landscape in East Asia easily remind people of a Chinese proverb " The disturbed create trouble for themselves when peace reigns in the world."

  • ‘Strategic anxiety’ leads US diplomacy astray in Asia-Pacific – People’s Daily Online
    In order to contain China and to a lesser extent Russia as well as act as a so-called offshore balancer, certain U.S. politicians have been deliberately supporting Japan, and even pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for Japan in the Diaoyu Islands dispute and other issues. Their intentional burial of the Yalta system may destroy the legal foundation of the existing power system in East Asia, and turn many resolved historical problems into new disputes, which will damage the interests of China, Russia, and also the United States itself.

    Secondly, the United States has diplomatic ambitions beyond its capacity, and may suffer another major setback.

    Even in its heyday, the United States failed in all major military operations in the Asia-Pacific region such as the Korean War and Vietnam War. The main reason is that the United States lost moral support and failed to understand the changing balance of power in the region.

  • China well on way to more balanced economy – People’s Daily Online
    well there you have it…//
    China’s economic growth is expected to rebound in the second half of 2012 and the country is well on the way to achieving more balanced growth, according to analysts in Kuala Lumpur.
  • 人民日报-全党全国各族人民更加紧密地团结起来 沿着中国特色社会主义伟大道路奋勇前进
    Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday called on officials to "unswervingly" carry forward the reform and opening-up and "confidently" overcome all difficulties and risks on the road ahead.
  • Chinese president urges "unswervingly" carrying forward reform, opening-up – Xinhua |
    Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday called on officials to "unswervingly" carry forward the reform and opening-up and "confidently" overcome all difficulties and risks on the road ahead.
  • 南京出“救市”新政 首次购房获个税补贴 |地方微调|楼市|首套房_21世纪网
  • Policy clarification required[1]|
    Conflicting messages on macroeconomic targets and property control measures are adding to the government’s challenge of stimulating economic growth in the second half of this year, a top think tank has warned.

    The National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in a report released on Monday, that the government should maintain its tighter property credit policy, but improve its current property policies in an effort to reverse the recent rising price trend, and prevent a "retaliatory rebound".

  • 暴雨倾城 解读地表下的中国城市_21世纪网
  • Beijing tourist sites unscathed by deluge |Society |
    Most scenic spots in Beijing got through the storm on Saturday unscathed, but rain continued to lash neighboring Hebei province, killing at least 17 people by Monday.

    Meanwhile, the highway linking Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao remains blocked

  • Capital to upgrade drainage |Society |
    Thorough examinations of underpasses will be conducted, and upgrading plans will be made for every one of them to improve drainage, Pan said. He did not reveal schedule of the upgrading program.

    According to a report released by the Beijing Drainage Group in early July, all 78 existing underpasses will be reconstructed by the end of 2015.

    More powerful pumps will be installed if water fails to drain from the underpasses when rainfall reaches 50 mm. Adjustable reservoirs will also be built for some underpasses, which will prevent flooding even if the rainfall reaches 70 mm.

  • Downpours expose loopholes in disaster response |Society |
    Many skyscrapers have been erected and densely-populated communities built in recent years thanks to a buoyant property market.

    However, the drainage systems have not been upgraded accordingly and remain at a low standard, experts say.

    Beijing’s drainage system is able to withstand precipitation of 36 to 56 mm per hour. However, the city received 163.7 mm of precipitation on average as of 10 p.m. Saturday, the largest since weather records began in 1952.

    It is high time for the government to work on the improvement of the drainage system so that such kind of tragedy will not happen again.

  • Finding an Exit from China Gets Harder – Deal Journal – WSJ
    Private-equity investors in China are facing tougher times.

    The slump in share offerings has made it difficult for them to sell their holdings, often in unlisted companies, via the stock market. Selling stakes to other companies, an exit strategy commonly used in the West, hasn’t provided much relief.

    Private-equity firms operating in China received $2.1 billion in the first half of this year from the sale of investments, less than half the amount in the same period last year, according to the Hong Kong-based Center for Asia Private Equity Research.

  • Zuma Chilly on Sino-African Ties | Via Meadia
    Meetings of the China-Africa Forum are usually the last place you would expect to find controversy, but South Africa’s Jacob Zuma didn’t get that memo, evidently. Zuma raised serious warnings about China’s presence in Africa at last Thursday’s meeting:
  • 三沙建政揭幕 肖杰当选三沙市首任市长 |三沙建政揭幕|中国海南三沙市|检法和警备区的成立_21世纪网
  • China Issues Flood Warning Before Yangtze Peaks, Xinhua Reports – Bloomberg
    China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said it started a level-II emergency response to flooding, the second-most severe of five warning levels, to prepare for surging water flows down the Yangtze river and nationwide floods, Xinhua News Agency reported.
  • China Shadow Bankers Go Online as Peer-to-Peer Sites Boom – Bloomberg
    what could go wrong?//
    Jack Qiu, spending evenings in front of his laptop in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, is earning the best returns of his life: 14.2 percent on an annualized basis in just two months.
    He’s doing it by lending money to strangers online. An accountant by day, Qiu has turned out to be a better loan manager by night than most banks. Only two investments out of his 80,000 yuan ($12,525) total, each worth 100 yuan, have gone unpaid. Nonperforming loans at a Chinese lender, on average, would be almost four times as much.
  • Baidu Second-Quarter Profit Rises on Higher Ad Sales – Bloomberg
    Baidu Inc. (BIDU), owner of China’s most- used search-engine, said second-quarter profit rose 70 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, as the company increased advertising sales to new customers.
    Net income climbed to 2.77 billion yuan ($434 million), or 7.86 yuan per American depositary receipt, compared with 1.63 billion yuan, or 4.67 yuan, a year earlier, Baidu said today in a statement. That exceeded the 2.5 billion-yuan average of 10 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 60 percent to 5.46 billion yuan.
  • The Useless Tree: The Politics of Rain in Beijing
    The challenge, however, comes when public goods are shown to be inadequate.  Slowing economic growth, as now seems to be happening, is most often discussed in this regard: slow growth could increase unemployment, causing more people to question the efficacy of authoritarianism and call for some sort of political change.  There have yet to be any significant system-challenging political movements in the PRC, but the political elite seems nervous about the growing pressure for some sort of transformation.

    This is where the rain and floods come in. The failure of Beijing’s drainage infrastructure, a public good, raises questions about the overall efficacy of the regime.  If it cannot deliver the goods at this level, then questions arise regarding broader ineffectiveness and corruption.  In the context of a one-party authoritarian system such pressures are exacerbated because the regime is the only plausible responsible party.  It claims authority for economic success and thus has to accept blame for public goods failure, even in very specific circumstances like the Beijing drainage system.

  • The Ungreat Sewer System Of China – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast
  • Directives from the Ministry of Truth: Beijing Floods – China Digital Times (CDT)
    Beijing Municipal Committee Department of Propaganda: For public opinion guidance (舆论引导) concerning yesterday’s rainstorms, all media outlets, including central news organizations, must emphasize the power of human compassion over the elements.
  • Flood Brings Out Beijing’s Digital Samaritans – China Digital Times (CDT)
    Netizens have reached out a digital hand to those left stranded by Beijing’s torrential rains. There are over 7.4 million posts on Weibo on the subject (北京 + 暴雨), many of them calls for help—and answers. From a CDT Chinese screenshot:
  • 市水务局:防汛机制有待完善_时政_新京报网
  • FARNBOROUGH: ARJ21 first delivery pushed to end 2013
    Comac has confirmed that the first delivery of its ARJ21 regional jet has been pushed back by around two years to end-2013, a development that could have a knock-on impact on the C919 narrowbody programme.
  • 高山claygarner的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
    the american high school student trending on sina weibo for his singing. clay garner
  • 美国男生翻唱中文歌走红 | 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
    an american high school student now a weibo star for a chinese song he sings
  • Hancunhe: A Model Suburban Village — Beijing Review
    in fangshan, hit hard in the beijing floods//
    How a poor village on the outskirts of Beijing becomes the prototype for a new and wealthy "modern countryside"
  • RealClearPolitics – Articles – Print Article
    Fundamentally, the chaos at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) appears to be an outcome manipulated by a China that has decided that a weak and divided ASEAN is in its national interests. Understanding that fact, and the fact that ASEAN has the capacity and commitment to overcome China’s shortsighted campaign to break its ranks, is a necessary condition for advising the policies of countries that want to advance regional structures that will promote peace, security, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific.
  • 名医“下海”歧路|公立医院名医|民营医院|新医改_21世纪网
  • 高利贷崩盘信号又现 长三角企业主跑路增多|借方|高利贷|崩盘_21世纪网
    increase in indebted pearl river delta factory owners running away//
  • 刀尖上的狂舞 中国信托业5万亿危情_21世纪网
    nice infographics on growth of trust industry in china. consider it bear porn
  • China Raises Stakes in South China Sea | Via Meadia
    Some reports from the region suggest that China is orchestrating a diplomatic and economic counteroffensive. The calculation seems to be that the United States, distracted by an election campaign, worried about Syria and other Middle Eastern problems, and facing the “fiscal cliff” along with defense budget cuts will be unable to make an effective response.
    America’s new Pacific policy is getting its first real test. It will not the be last.
  • Taiwan Mulls Buying Used U.S. Tanks | Defense News |
    Taiwan is considering purchasing tanks used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan to update its aging fleet, the defense ministry and media said July 23.

    Taiwan remains wary of China despite a recent improvement in relations, and military experts say the self-ruled island would deploy tanks in the event of a land invasion by its powerful neighbor.

  • Heard on the Street: Yuan Depreciation’s a Drag for U.S. Blue Chips –
    With U.S. companies reporting earnings in dollars, in past years the value of China profits has been juiced by a rising yuan. From June 2005, when China allowed its currency to edge upward, to the end of 2011, the yuan rose 31% against the dollar. In 2011, a 4.7% gain provided a small but significant bump to earnings.

    Now, in 2012, that story has come to an end.

  • Aquino Urges Expansion of Philippine Military –
    Philippines President Benigno Aquino said Monday that the country is moving to expand its military capabilities but was quick to point out that the Southeast Asian nation isn’t preparing for a fight over disputed territory in the South China Sea.
  • Shale Gas May Be the Answer for Energy-Hungry China –
    nderscoring Cnooc Ltd.’s massive $15.1 billion deal for Canada’s Nexen Inc. is an uncomfortable fact for Beijing’s policy makers: China’s economy remains intensely energy hungry.
  • Cnooc’s Unocal Lessons – Deal Journal – WSJ
    While the rhetoric in Canada against Chinese acquisitions has been less raucous than in the U.S., regulators there have not shied away from rattling their sabers in the face of aggressive foreign investment in strategically important sectors. BHP Billiton’s $39 billion offer for fertilizer company Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan in 2010 was, for example, struck down by the government.

    Cnooc’s $2 billion purchase of Alberta oil sands developer OPTI Canada Inc. in July 2011 was seen as a landmark deal, though the deal was a unique since OPTI had filed for bankruptcy and urgently in need of a wealthy suitor.

  • Sinopec Buys 49% Stake in Talisman’s U.K. North Sea Business –
    Canada’s Talisman Energy Inc. agreed to sell a 49% stake in its U.K. North Sea business to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, for $1.5 billion.
  • China’s CNOOC to buy Nexen for $15.1-billion – The Globe and Mail
    Nexen Inc. has agreed to a $15.1-billion (U.S.) takeover by Chinese oil producer CNOOC Ltd., marking the most important acquisition to date by an Asian firm in Canada.
    The all-cash deal is worth $27.50 per Nexen share, a 66-per-cent premium to the 20-day volume-weighted average for the company, which has not seen its shares reach that level since before the financial crisis. Nexen closed at $17.06 Friday.
  • China delays Hollywood summer blockbusters to protect domestic films|Culture|News|
    China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television — the country’s popular culture watchdog — has made July the "month of protecting domestic films," arranging for Chinese movies to screen in July and Hollywood blockbusters like the new Batman title to screen in August, reports the Nanjing-based Yangtse Evening Post.
  • Western economic theory will harm China: Justin Yifu Lin|Economy|News|
    Lin nevertheless emphasized that Chinese scholars have a responsibility to develop their own economic theories. Otherwise, they will not have their own vision and will thus have no choice but to follow western thinkers.
    The former World Bank vice president also said that China could record GDP growth of more than 8% for the next 20 years. While some criticize him of bragging, he insists that applying proper short-term fiscal policies will create long-term benefits.
  • Bo Xilai: power, death and politics –
  • Beijing Meets Critics Online in Wake of Deadly Floods – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    Weibo “was extremly imporant. Many Internet users used it to help other people, to go to the airport to pick people up. They used their own cars to take people home, and some bar owners let people sleep in their bars, providing food and beverages to them. None of this would have been possible without Weibo. It has really moved us,” she said.
  • “微博四大恶人”出炉 左派司马南孔庆东在列_多维新闻网
  • Shanghai Scrap » The Land of a Million Scrapped Televisions
    Below, a photo I recently took in a warehouse roughly 80 km from an inland Chinese city with a population around 8 million people. If it’s not clear in the image, those are televisions. Tens of thousands of scrapped, no-longer-wanted televisions.
    So let me ask a question of you, dear reader: based upon the information just given, from which country do you think those scrap televisions originated?…
    In Wasted, my forthcoming book with Bloomsbury Press, I’ll explain the process by which these particular televisions are recycled. The technology is Chinese-developed, environmentally secure, and it actually recovers more re-usable metals, plastics, and glass that comparable systems in the so-called developed world. But more than that, it re-writes the very tired, very incorrect narrative that the best means to recycle old televisions, computers and other appliances is to keep them in the developed world at so-called environmentally secure recyclers (“environmentally secure” being a term that developed countries implement and expect developings ones – with less experience and resources – to follow). That’s simply not the case, anymore. China, the world’s second largest consumer of consumer electronics, is very quickly figuring out how to be one of its best recyclers of them. The thousands of televisions in this warehouse are just the start.

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