"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Bloomberg tells us of another sign of economic troubles in China Banks May Miss Loan Target for 2012, Officials Say, the Wall Street Journal tells us how Economists React to China Flash Manufacturing Gauge Declining Again, Reuters reports that China’s top aluminium province idles plants as demand slows, David Pilling writes in the Financial Times that in spite of the negative economic trends The wobbly panda won’t fall yet, and this morning Bloomberg reports that China’s Top Fund Manager Sees Stock Gains on Pro-Growth Policy.
Did the sharp deceleration of the economy in April surprise Chinese policymakers, or did the turmoil around the Bo Xilai case delay a policy response by a month or more?
Turning to a micro-perspective, yesterday I accompanied a friend who wants to buy an apartment in a luxury development near Sanlitun on the east side of Beijing. We went at the recommendation of another friend who had recently bought there. It is a nice place, average price is 66,000 RMB/m before discounts (up to 15% if you pay cash; before the real estate restrictions kicked in the original price was set near 100.000 RMB/m) and units are selling, albeit much more slowly than if there were no government restrictions. The tier 1 Hong Kong developer is keeping many of the best units off the market in anticipation of eventual policy changes but decided to sell some to generate some cash flow from the project.
The excursion was another reminder that there is still huge demand for real estate in Beijing and that the government is intentionally suppressing both prices and transaction volumes. I think the fact that the real estate slowdown has been BY DESIGN occasionally gets lost in some of the more animated ursine commentary, though of course China may be overshooting on the downside. Trying to manipulate economic activity is not easy…
To help stimulate the economy China may be launching its hardest private-sector push in decade. At the same time, Xinhua reports that the Communist party is expanding its presence in thriving private sector, an expansion important enough to be one of the top stories on page 1 of today’s People’s Daily–中共中央办公厅印发《关于加强和改进 非公有制企业党的建设工作的意见（试行）》
CCTV and soft power are in the news again. The Columbia Journalism Review takes a look at CCTV’s overseas expansion in Sino the times: Can China’s billions buy media credibility? and China Media Project discusses some of the ideological issues blunting China’s soft power efforts in the excellent Rigid thinking beggars China’s “soft power”, In 2010’s Can China Successfully Build Soft Power Without A Global Internet Strategy? I argued that the concerns about China’s overseas expansion into old media were misplaced and that under the current Internet regulatory regime China was likely to fail in its soft power push:
China is leveraging the media channels and distribution mechanisms it understands, and hiring, no doubt at great expense, western old media hands as consultants. But as Google and Facebook and its 500m users have shown, the future influencers globally are increasingly online…none of the top Chinese Internet firms-Baidu, Tencent, Sina, Sohu, Shanda, Netease-have either the DNA or the credibility to succeed materially in major overseas markets…when it comes to the Internet, the reality is that China has a poor image and a weak product offering for most global netizens.
Given the recent news about Confucius Institutes, this 2010 Daily Show segment is worth watching again China’s Soft Power Meets The Daily Show And Stupidity In California.
Further to yesterday’s discussion of Chinese views towards Jews I recommend Jon Ansfield’s 2006 piece Arab, Jew and Chinese:
Speaking before a crowd of 100 at my nuptials a few years ago, my father-in-law, who’s Chinese, could not contain his pride in my heritage. “Jonathan, as you all know, is a Jew,” he kvelled. “And Einstein was a Jew,” he added. “And Oppenheimer was a Jew,” he went on. “And my wife and I, as Communist Party members, also have a Jewish ancestor – Marx!”
We all know China’s environmental challenges are monumental and today there are a few interesting reminders. The Asia Society has released a new documentary short film on Northern China’s Huge Water Crisis, Bloomberg tells us that China Projects Skirt Around Price Floor, Avoid CO2 Supply Cuts and thanks to Greenpeace we can read about the Good, bad and the ugly: Chinese cities ranked by air quality.
Thanks for reading, and remember the best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. You can also follow me on @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Feel free to recommend to friends or donate.
- 烟草业“八宗罪”：专卖局干扰控烟？ – 宏观 – 21世纪网
- Alexander Gerschenkron – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gerschenkron postulated that the more backward an economy was at the outset of development the more certain conditions were likely to occur during growth: consumption would be squeezed in favor of investment (i.e., savings) in countries starting from farther behind, and there was likely to be a greater reliance on banks, state entities, and other means of directing investment, among other conditions.
- Beijing draws on new weapons in sea dispute | SCMP.com
better this than shooting//
China has chosen to keep its military out of efforts to assert its claim to the South China Sea in favour of diplomatic, economic and technological strategies
- Qihoo CFO Says Short Sellers Target Stock on Co-Appointment – Bloomberg
J-Capital issued a very negative report on Qihoo on May 18, accusing it of all sorts of bad behavior and fraud. The report seemed to reiterate much of what J-Capital wrote in a February report. There seems to be a bit of short seller confederation going after the stock, unsuccessfully so far
- China’s Top Fund Manager Sees Stock Gains on Pro-Growth Policy – Bloomberg
Yinhua Fund Management Co.’s Wang Qi said he has turned optimistic on yuan-denominated shares, on prospects for further monetary policy easing after April data signaled a deepening slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. His outlook is a change from mid-2011, when he said in the fund’s semi-annual report that stocks would trade “range-bound,”
page 2 people’s daily, predictable reaction to state department’s human rights report
- 人民日报-中共中央办公厅印发《关于加强和改进 非公有制企业党的建设工作的意见（试行）》
- Ranking Eastern Chinese Cities by their “Clean Air” Actions | Greenpeace East Asia
- 新加坡飙车死亡中国富豪系红色后代 身家数千万_新闻_腾讯网
speculation about the identity of singapore ferrari killer ma chi shifts from son of ma kai to grandson of a subordinate of general liu zhidan
- Communist party expands presence in thriving private sector – Xinhua | English.news.cn
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has been swiftly expanding its presence in the private sector, tripling its grassroots Party committees in non-public companies in the past decade.More than 300,000 CPC grassroots committees have been set up in the country’s private sector, up from less than 100,000 about 10 years ago, according to data released by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) on Thursday.
- US targets Confucius Institutes over visas |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn
- US to send back Confucius Institute teachers, Chinese netizens think it’s well deserved | Offbeat China
a new US government rule that may significantly impact the operations of the many Beijing-sponsored Confucius Institutes affiliated with US universities stirred up heated discussions on Sina Weibo about China and its promotion of soft power.
- CCTV host’s jibes defended by state media | SCMP.com
Presenter Yang Rui’s anti-foreigner controversy a fabrication made up by overseas media, say articles
- State Department: China deteriorating on human rights, repressing its own people | The Cable
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2011-US Department of State
- Chinese ‘serial killer’ farmer suspected of killing 17 people – Telegraph
A 56-year-old farmer has been arrested for murder in a southern Chinese village where 17 people, almost all teenagers, have vanished in recent years.
- Good, bad and the ugly: Chinese cities ranked by air quality: Shanghaiist
- WildChina Blog » Cross Border Journey: Trip Notes from Vietnam and China
- Takeaways from MIPDoc & MIPTV: #1, China Makes a Really Big Statement – Croisette Resembles Bund | DocumentaryTelevision.com
In four decades of attending MIP, I’ve never seen a coming out like the one organized by CCTV in Cannes earlier this month.
- Bo Guagua, Son of China’s Bo Xilai graduates from Harvard | Reuters
- China Banks May Miss Loan Target for 2012, Officials Say – Bloomberg
A decline in lending in April and May means it’s likely the banks’ total new loans for 2012 will be about 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion), less than the government goal of 8 trillion yuan to 8.5 trillion yuan, said one of the officials
- China Projects Skirt Around Price Floor, Avoid CO2 Supply Cuts – Bloomberg
Chinese greenhouse-gas-cutting projects are skirting around the nation’s unofficial floor price for emission credits, reducing the chance the country will show supply restraint or limit exports, according to the former head of an emissions trading lobby group.
- In China, Pushing the Talmud as a Business Guide – The Daily Beast
In China, notions of Jewish business acumen lead to a publishing boom—and stereotyping.
- Watch: New Documentary Short Explores Northern China’s Huge Water Crisis | Asia Society
“A Story of Invisible Water” is the first video in a series on China’s massive South-North Water Diversion Project by Asia Society’s China Green initiative. The 16-minute video produced by Lynn Zhang and Shirley Han Ying takes a close look at one of the worst environmental crises in the world through the stories of three farmers from China’s Hebei province.
- CNN-Chen Guangcheng gives 1st in-depth TV interview
- Singapore Ferrari Crash Foments Ire at Foreigners – WSJ.com
- Concern grows for health of shippers detained by Chinese customs – The Art Newspaper
- Fitch Affirms Ratings of China’s 5 State-Owned Commercial Banks-Caijing
Fitch expects asset quality of the five banks to come under increasing pressure in 2012-2013 as growth of credit exposure averaged 95% for each of the five state banks from end-2008 to end-2011.
- China’s CIC eyes up to $2 billion stake in Alibaba Group: sources | Reuters
- Taiwan: When News is Sold to the Chinese Government « Global Voices
On May 7, 2012, a public hearing was held because the Want Want China Times group plans to acquire the second largest cable television system in Taiwan. Since Taiwanese businessman Tsai Eng-Meng purchased the media group in November 2008, China Times, one of the most influential newspapers in Taiwan, has made a subsequent change in editorial policy [zh] in the direction of softening criticism of the Ma administration, Beijing, or improvements in cross-strait ties.
- Chinese National Charged with Illegal Export of Sensitive Technology to China
BOSTON—A Chinese national in Massachusetts on business was arrested for illegally supplying U.S. origin parts to end-users in China in violation of U.S. export laws.Qiang Hu, a/k/a Johnson Hu, 47, was charged in a complaint with conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The complaint, originally filed on May 18, was unsealed after Hu’s arrest at his hotel in North Andover yesterday.The complaint alleges that Hu has been the sales manager at MKS Instruments Shanghai Ltd. (MKS-Shanghai) since 2008. MKS-Shanghai is the Shanghai sales office of MKS Instruments Inc. (MKS), which is headquartered in Andover. Hu’s employment gave him access to MKS-manufactured parts, including export-controlled pressure-measuring sensors (manometer types 622B, 623B, 626A, 626B, 627B, 722A, and 722B), which are commonly known as pressure transducers. Pressure transducers are export controlled because they are used in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium and produce weapons-grade uranium
- FBI Unit Wants To Spy On Skype Conversations – Business Insider
The FBI is in the process of launching a new surveillance unit to help the bureau snoop on conversations that take place on Skype and other wireless communications, CNET reports. The new unit has a very unassuming name: the Domestic Communications Assistance Center.
- Technology Reaches Remote Tibetan Corners, Fanning Unrest – NYTimes.com
“We may be living far away from big cities, but we are well connected to the rest of the world,” said the 34-year-old monk, who, like most Tibetans who speak to foreign journalists, asked for anonymity to avoid harsh punishment.The technology revolution, though slow in coming here, has now penetrated the most far-flung corners of the Tibetan plateau, transforming ordinary life and playing an increasingly pivotal role in the spreading unrest over Chinese policies that many Tibetans describe as stifling.
- 劉源涉嫌密謀，陷得很深-Open Magazine
article from may 3 about rumors that Liu Yuan involved with Bo Xilai in some sort of plot against the center. An article in may issue of 新維月刊 also discussed this, before anything appeared in english press.
Wonder if sources in PRC for foreign reporters actually get their info from the HK press but want to sound like they are dialed in to what is going on, and/or actually believe what they are hearing from HK reports? Is there an echo/rumor chamber?
- CapitalVue News: China Built 1.5M Units Of Affordable Housing
May 23 — China has started construction on 2.28 million units of affordable housing and completed the building of 1.5 million units as of end April, with total investment of 247 billion yuan, reports caijing.com.cn, citing Zhang Xueqin, deputy director of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development’s housing security department.
- China strengthens control in Huangyan Island waters – Xinhua | English.news.cn
• China has strengthened controls in the Huangyan Island waters.
• Hong said there are about 20 Chinese fishing boats operating in the Huangyan Island waters.
• “The operating manners of the fishing boats is consistent with China’s relevant laws…,” Hong said
- Harvard and the Chinese Communist Party: Top Chinese officials are studying at elite U.S. universities in large numbers. – Slate Magazine
Why is Harvard training the next generation of Chinese Communist Party leaders?
- The wobbly panda won’t fall yet – FT.com
the China bears are unlikely to be proved right just yet. China still has the firepower to engineer growth, something it badly needs in a year of fraught political transition. The budget deficit is negligible and central government debt is only 25 per cent of GDP. Even if it were to double as a result of the most recent stimulus, it remains manageable.
Nor is China’s bad-quality growth quite the liability it appears. GDP per capita is still at a fifth of US levels. That means it is still about where Japan was in the late-1960s, argues Arthur Kroeber, managing director of Dragonomics
- Renowned judge Ma Wen appointed to head Bo Xilai investigation｜Politics｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com
The case against the former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai is being headed by Ma Wen, a judge renowned for her investigative skills.
- Tycoon Mo Feng and wife face insider trading probe in Hong Kong｜Economy｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com
alleged insider trading around coke’s offer to buy huiyuan
- Chinese activist’s brother flees guarded village – Yahoo! News
The brother of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has fled his closely guarded village to seek legal advice Thursday in Beijing on how to protect his son from what their supporters call retaliation by local officials, an attorney said.
- China’s top aluminium province idles plants as demand slows | Reuters
China’s top aluminium-producing province has idled about 700,000 tonnes of capacity in recent months, a senior industry official said, further evidence that slower growth in the world’s No. 2 economy is denting the country’s appetite for commodities.
- Ore, coal demand falls|Industries|chinadaily.com.cn
China’s economic slowdown has led to weak demand for iron ore and coal in the domestic and overseas markets as the nation’s steel producers and power plants reduce production and generation, analysts said.
Some Chinese steel mills may have deferred shipments agreed to under long-term contracts with foreign traders, but not those under short-time contracts, said Zhang Lin, senior researcher at the Lange Steel Information Research Center.
- Rigid thinking beggars China’s “soft power” – China Media Project
interesting that @cmphku goes w “foreign shrew” for 泼妇, which other outlets translated as “bitch”//
By ejecting Chan and forcing the closure of Al Jazeera’s Beijing bureau, China has effectively admitted the impoverishment of its hopes of building a credible international news channel. Whatever its ambitions may be, it is determined to control the “voice” of China — as though it were not the product of the full complexity of China’s culture and ideas, but rather a megaphone to shout over the heads of international audiences.I’ll close these lengthy musings with a translated portion of an article run yesterday on People’s Daily Online that shows quite clearly how observations — which of course should be the basis of policy and strategy — can be horribly wrong-headed when they are colored by ideology. The piece apparently took three scholars from the China Institute of International Studies, including its director, Qu Xing (曲星), to write.
- Missing in Action: On the Trail of Confiscated Copies of TIME in China | Global Spin | TIME.com
- Chinese Tycoon Wang Jianlin of Wanda Sees Deals Beyond AMC – WSJ.com
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