Today’s China Readings July 28, 2012

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

Just links today, on the road:

  • The Interview: Joseph S. Nye | The Diplomat
    The Diplomat’s Assistant Editor Zachary Keck sat down with Dr. Joseph Nye of Harvard University to discuss Syria, China, ‘Soft Power’, America’s ‘Pivot/Rebalance’ to the Pacifc, cybersecurity and more.
  • New Questions About Sheldon Adelson’s Casino Operations in Macau – ProPublica
  • Kleiner Perkins China Sees Mobile as Biggest Opportunity Over 5-10 Years – Venture Capital Dispatch – WSJ
  • Three factors contribute to Kweichow Moutai price drop|Economy|News|
    If a previous drop in the price of Kweichow Moutai liquor was brought about by the company’s establishment of directly run stores, a new price fall can be attributed to a price war between dealers of China’s premium liquor brand and government restrictions forbidding officials to spend excessive amounts of public funds on wining and dining, the Chinese-language Securities Daily reports.
    Price manipulation by dealers and the company’s new sales channels are responsible for the drop in the price of a bottle of Kweichow Moutai from 2,300 yuan (US$360) at the start of the year to 1,300 yuan (US$205), a drop of 43.5%.
  • Chinese Olympians subjected to routine doping
    Misleading headline, "were" is only thing this whistleblower can prove. I spent a day w women’s swimming team in summer of 1994. It was illuminating. Let’s just say some nfl safetys would have looked small to some of the women, and with less hair and better skin.
  • 人民日报连发四文评当前楼市:稳房价更是政治问题 不能功亏一篑–观点–人民网
  • Beijing Begins Road to Redemption… It Hopes – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    Xinhua, with a few notable exceptions, usually treats Chinese leaders tenderly. Not this time. It said that the release late Thursday of the new death toll and the names of those identified did not happen until the public and media criticized the government over its failure to release the figures in a more timely manner, as the death toll for the citys livestock had already been calculated and released by that time.
  • » Romney Aims Tough Talk At China, And Obama
  • Coincidence? Sina Weibo Search Breaks Down at Curious Moment – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    Starting Thursday evening, Weibo users with accounts linked to Beijing reported strange results when they tried to use the site’s search function: Instead of the customary list of related users and posts, searches produced only a list of users. For example a search for “Beijing” would turn up users who write under a handle that uses the name “Beijing,” but not a single post about the flooding that hit Beijing last weekend.
  • Hackers Linked to China’s Army Seen From EU to D.C. – Bloomberg
  • Gov’t Financing Platforms to Get New Debt Tool – Caixin Online
  • Heard on the Street: Lies, Damned Lies, and China’s Economic Statistics –
    The official numbers show growth in China’s gross domestic product at 7.6% year-on-year in the second quarter. Critics cite an array of contradictory figures as evidence that number is exaggerated. Electricity consumption rose only 4.3% in the second quarter, oil demand fell 0.4% according to energy consultancy Platts, and profit for cement producers fell more than 50%.
    Those kind of cross checks have some intuitive appeal. But alternative data points aren’t as representative of the overall economy as they appear. Take electricity. The industrial sector accounts for 73% of electricity consumption but only 48% of GDP. A slowdown in industry would hit the voltage numbers more than overall growth.
    Another concern, the numbers used as evidence that the official data are distorted also come from official sources. Data on stagnant growth in steel, cement, and electricity production, often cited to discredit the National Bureau of Statistics, are all produced by the National Bureau of Statistics. It’s not clear why one set of official data should be seen as any more reliable than another. Indeed, with sector data often difficult to collect or dependent on outdated samples, it is frequently less reliable than the overall growth figures.
  • China’s demographic dividend: Room to run | beyondbrics
    With the constant talk about labour shortages and rising wages in China, it has become fashionable to say that the economy has reached its Lewis Turning Point – the moment in its development when a surplus pool of cheap labour shifts to deficit.
    Think again. In a report this week, the IMF produced a striking new estimate. It reckons that China’s excess supply of labour, though diminishing, won’t run out until sometime between 2020 and 2025.
  • News Headlines
    The U.S. government should block a bid by China’s state oil company CNOOC for Canadian oil company Nexen until China’s government provides fair access for U.S. companies that want to invest in China, a top Democratic senator plans to tell Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Friday.
    In a draft letter obtained by Reuters, Charles Schumer, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat and a frequent critic of China’s trade and currency policy, said the powerful Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States should not approve the deal until China makes "tangible, enforceable commitments" on market access for U.S. companies.
  • Chinese Law Prof Blog: Jurisdiction in the Gu Kailai murder case
    China’s official news agency announced yesterday that Gu Kailai (it calls her Bogu Kailai, but that’s another story), the wife of ousted Chongqing Party secretary Bo Xilai, had been formally charged with murder by the Hefei Municipal Procuratorate in Anhui Province and would face trial in the Hefei Intermediate People’s Court. Wait a minute. Hefei?
  • The Useless Tree: Confucianism is not an obstacle to democracy
    This is not a new story. Throughout the long course of Chinese history, Confucian ideas were employed in the service of autocracy. Democracy, we are regularly told, was not a part of the Confucian tradition.
    But this is, ultimately, a facile claim. The past does not wholly determine the present, and contemporary political dynamics are vastly different than those of the Qing dynasty or, even, the Maoist interlude. Confucianism lives in the present but not in the philosophical or political forms that it had in the past.

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