THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Xi stresses joint battle command for military reform – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected the Central Military Commission (CMC) joint battle command center on Wednesday, calling for building a joint battle command system with Chinese characteristics. Xi visited the center Wednesday morning, where he serves as the Commander in Chief, calling on the center to implement the military strategies under the new situation and focus on its core key functions of studying and commanding wars. Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and CMC chairman, also asked officers to change their ideas, innovate and tackle difficulties, in a bid to build a joint battle command system that was “absolutely loyal, resourceful in fighting, efficient in commanding and courageous and capable of winning wars.” The strategic and operational command system should be efficient and active in both peace and war, Xi said. According to Xi, improving the center is a significant part of deepening the reform on national defense and military as well as a key measure to strengthen the CMC’s function of strategic command. // “Commander in Chief” is a new title for Xi. Is it also unprecedented in the history of the PLA? He certainly has the commander’s chair, as you can see in this screen grab from the CCTV report that I posted to Twitter
Related: 习近平在军委联合作战指挥中心视察时强调 抓住改革机遇 锐意开拓创新 聚力攻坚克难 加快构建具有我军特色的联合作战指挥体系CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1央视网(cctv.com) CCTV Evening News Wednesday on Xi’s visit to to joint command combat center, makes it sound like somewhere in Beijing…a surprisingly low-tech center, have to wonder what we are not seeing and what is under all the blurred out spots
Related: China’s President Xi steps out with a new military title – and the uniform to match | South China Morning Post Observers said the post and uniform were aimed at sending a message to the world that he was not only the top administrative leader of the world’s biggest army, but also the chief commander of the fighting force. “Xi’s camouflage military suit showed that he is top commander of the PLA’s supreme joint battle command body, which was set up to meet today’s modern warfare demands, and is capable of commanding land, navy and air forces, as well as other special troops like the Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force,” Xu Guangyu, a retired PLA major general said.
2. China’s Xi calls for better development of Internet – Xinhua There should be greater tolerance and patience to Internet users, Xi said, adding officials need to draw sincere suggestions and feedback from the Internet, help clarify public misconception or their fuzzy ideas about certain matters, dissolve public grudges and grievances, and correct their wrong perceptions. For well-meant criticism raised on the Internet, be it at the overall work of the Party and the state, or at individual officials, be it gentle or harsh-sounding, Xi said, “we will not only welcome them, but also carefully study them for future references.”…Better cyberspace management and a positive and healthy cyber culture will be good for everyone, Xi told the symposium A clean and healthy cyber space is in the interests of the people, while a foul and unhealthy one serves no one, said Xi. It follows that China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high quality content, he said, with positive voices creating a healthy, positive culture that is a force for good. The president suggested that the cyberspace be imbued with positive energy and mainstream values, in the hope of creating a clean and righteous environment. // key is who defines “well-meant” and how often it is redefined. I would not take this as an indication of a lossening f the current crackdown on the Internet. My guess is the opposite, that this will lead to even more throttling of online speech. The was also a lot of focus in the Chinese official report about the need for technical innovations and breakthroughs. US tech firms should be under no illusions that there has been any change in the long-term agenda to de-Americanize China’s IT stack.
Related: 习近平主持召开网络安全和信息化工作座谈会强调 在践行新发展理念上先行一步 让互联网更好造福国家和人民CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1央视网(cctv.com) Tuesday CCTV Evening News top 10:50 on the cyber security and Informatization work conference
Related: Xinhua Insight: Party says cyberspace key to engaging with people – Xinhua Xie Chuntao, a professor with the CPC Central Committee Party School, considers the remarks a strong signal that the CPC leadership is fully aware of the weight of millions of people active in cyberspace, the majority of whom are young, educated and diverse. The CPC has had a tradition to nurture close links with ordinary people. The Party considers the Mass Line a “key weapon” in China’s revolutionary days and an effective governance tool in the past decades. “The Internet is an easy way for the Party to connect with the people. Through it, the Party can deliver its messages and explain its policies while gathering what people think and how they respond to policies,” the professor said. “This will greatly streamline governance.”
Related: 习近平：让互联网更好造福国家和人民-新华网 习近平强调，网络安全和信息化是相辅相成的。安全是发展的前提，发展是安全的保障，安全和发展要同步推进。要树立正确的网络安全观，加快构建关键信息基础设施安全保障体系，全天候全方位感知网络安全态势，增强网络安全防御能力和威慑能力。网络安全为人民，网络安全靠人民，维护网络安全是全社会共同责任，需要政府、企业、社会组织、广大网民共同参与，共筑网络安全防线
Related: In Xi Jinping’s Meeting with Chinese Tech Chiefs, A Reminder of State Control – China Real Time Report – WSJ At Tuesday’s meeting, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Huawei Chairman Ren Zhengfei were invited to speak alongside a military official, a Chinese security software maker and members of government censorship and computing network management organizations, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. Baidu’s founder Robin Li and Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun also attended, according to spokespeople from the companies.
3. China asked Apple for its source code within the past two years – Business Insider During a hearing in front of Congress on Tuesday, Apple’s top lawyer Bruce Sewell confirmed that the Chinese government has asked Apple for its source code, and Apple refused. Republican congressman Tim Murphy from Pennsylvania asked Sewell about providing source code to China, and he responded: “We have been asked by the Chinese government and we refused,” Sewell said
4. U.S.-China Relations in Strategic Domains-National Bureau of Asian Research This NBR Special Report assesses U.S.-China relations in the maritime, nuclear, cyberspace, and space domains, as well as through the lens of people-to-people and military-to-military exchanges. Employing an innovative approach to represent both U.S. and Chinese perspectives, the members of the study team jointly examine opportunities for collaboration. Each essay identifies areas of divergence and convergence between U.S. and Chinese interests and recommends both cooperative initiatives and mechanisms to manage tensions.
5. China Power Project–CSIS ChinaPower provides an in-depth understanding of the evolving nature of Chinese power relative to other countries. The project examines five interrelated categories of Chinese power: military, economic, technological, social, and international image. Through objective analysis and data visualization, ChinaPower unpacks the complexity of China’s rise.
6. 《焦点访谈》 20160420 危险的“邂逅” 身边的“暗战”（二）CCTV节目官网-CCTV-13央视网(cctv.com) CCTV reports on another case of foreign espionage, this time a man who went overseas to study, was recruited by an unnamed foreign intelligence service…the message that is coming through party propaganda could easily be understood by the masses as all foreigners are suspect…not good
7. Timing of Editor’s Firing Has Hong Kong Worried About Press Freedom – The New York Times The Chinese-language paper, Ming Pao, said in a statement with no mention of the editor by name that it was cutting staff because of a “difficult business environment.” But employees reacted angrily, and many in Hong Kong joined them in drawing a link between the publication of the Panama Papers story and the dismissal of Keung Kwok-yuen, the No. 2 editor in the newsroom. // HK more and more resembles just another PRC city
8. Watching American Democracy in China | Foreign Affairs The Chinese perspectives on democracy in general and the country’s own future are very much influenced by the divide over the United States, the standard-bearer of democracy of our time. But the American real estate mogul is forcing the Chinese public to reassess its understanding of the U.S. political system. More consequentially, depending on the eventual outcome of the election and its long-term impact, the Trump phenomenon may change how the Chinese think about democracy. //interesting piece from Eric X Li
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
李克强主持召开国务院常务会议 Li Keqiang calls for massive rural infrastructure investment to fight poverty, of course will help with growth. Among the initiatives he mentions is building 1 million KM of rural roads…
Bounce in China’s economy may be short-term rebound, not long-term reversal: top think tank | South China Morning Post Researchers at a top government think tank have urged Beijing not to relax its focus on stabilising the economy, saying recent better-than-expected data might reflect only a short-term rebound, rather than a long-term reversal of slowing growth. Xu Hongcai, a research division chief with the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, said an expected imminent cut in the central bank’s reserve requirement would help stabilise the economy, but he saw little room to cut benchmark interest rates this year.
As global steel crisis grips, China says March output was a record | Reuters Under pressure to curb steel output and relieve a global glut, China said on Tuesday its production actually hit a record high last month as rising prices, and profits, encouraged mills that had been shut or suspended to resume production. The China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) said March steel production hit 70.65 million tonnes, amounting to 834 million tonnes on an annualized basis. Traders and analysts predicted more increases in April and May
Iron ore just ripped higher again, and is now up almost 50% this year | Business Insider Following the lead of Chinese futures which closed limit-up 6%, the spot iron ore price rocketed higher on Wednesday, rising to the highest level seen since June 12 last year. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines surged by a further 3.05%, or $1.92, to $64.77 a tonne. In the past three sessions alone the price has jumped by 11.1%, extending this years gains to an amazing 48.7%.
Vale’s High-Quality Iron Ore Meets a Need for China, Its CEO Says-Caixin We are very aggressive. A few years ago, the cost of iron ore delivered in China was US$ 90. In our last statement, it was US$ 32 and we intend in the first quarter of this year to be below US$30. We have been very aggressive in terms of reduction. We continue as an investment grade in S&P, in Fitch, but we had some problems with Moody’s. Moody’s is considering a long-term view of iron ore at US$ 35. // so lots of upside for Vale at current prices then?
Yum sales jump in China in first quarter, boosted by KFC | Reuters Yum Brands Inc’s China sales accelerated faster than Wall Street expected in the first quarter, helped by Chinese New Year KFC chicken bucket promotions, marking an auspicious start to a year in which the company plans to spin off its China unit. The owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands also said first-quarter profit topped analysts’ targets and raised its forecast for core business operating profit growth to 12 percent for the year from 10 percent. Shares rose 3.9 percent in after-hours trade to $85.75. // so of course all the analysts who when Yum was struggling in China used it as a proxy to support bearish views on China will now use it as a proxy to justify less bearish views?
China-led consortium in vast Australia farmland deal – FT.com A Chinese-led consortium has agreed to buy a historic Australian company that owns more than 1 per cent of the country’s vast landmass just months after Canberra blocked a similar deal led by the same prospective purchaser.
Amateur Videos by Stock Analysts Get Broad Attention, Mixed Reviews-Caixin One clip, which appeared online on April 7, shows a young woman dressed in traditional Chinese clothing talking to the camera about why investors should buy shares in Shenzhen-listed ZTE Corp., a telecoms equipment and services provider. Liao Lei, a stock analyst with Founder Securities, says in the two-minute video that ZTE was worth an investment because research shows its income is stronger than ever and its management team was young, ambitious and capable. The video appeared to be filmed in a kitchen or a living room.
Rules Covering Internet Finance Ads Tightened amid Rise of Fraud-Caixin The central government said in a document sent to various officials on April 13 that it is banning nine types of content in Internet finance companies’ ads, a person with knowledge of the matter told Caixin. A Caixin reporter also viewed the document, which announces bans on promises of high returns, celebrity endorsements and false information. “We must check whether financial institutions that advertise are operating their businesses with legal financial licenses and what specific financial services they provide,” said a government employee who asked not be named.
Wenzhou Homeowners Told They’ll Be Charged to Renew Land-Use Permits-Caixin The city of Wenzhou says it will charge homeowners hundreds of thousand yuan to have land-use permits renewed, a move one law professor says is unjustifiable under the current legal framework. Land officials in Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, published a document on April 16 that said homeowners who bought homes built on land the government said could be used for 20 years must pay to have the permits renewed so they can continue own their homes legally. Wenzhou officials did not say whether homeowners would lose their homes if they refuse to pay to renew the permits or what penalties they might face.
国土部调研“土地证到期”问题综合新京报网 昨日8时许，国土资源部官方微博发布消息称：“4月20日，国土资源部、浙江省国土资源厅组成联合调研组赴浙江省温州市调研指导住宅土地使用权20年到期的延长问题。”19日晚，深圳市规划和国土资源委发文解释对于土地使用权到期的解决办法，到期需要补交基准地价35%。//bureaucracy now scrambling to clarify what happens when the land-use permits expires
The Wine Mogul Vs. Fidelity – Bloomberg Peter Deutsch hit it big bringing affordable Australian wine to the U.S. Then he poured a fortune into a troubled Chinese stock. And when his brokerage stood in his way, he fought back.
For China’s State Council, Number Two Is Number One | Sixth Tone In a document issued on Tuesday, the State Council has set new targets for improving the international reputation of the “Made in China” brand. While the document includes a broad range of topics from both commercial and industrial sectors, the three items mentioned at the start of the memo attracted the most attention from Chinese netizens. The first two items — air purifiers and rice cookers — are in high demand on the Chinese market, and for obvious reasons: China consumes more rice than any other country, and clean air in many of its cities is proving harder and harder to find. But the third item — smart toilet seats — is, at first glance, a bit of an outlier.
China suspends G20 anti-corruption task force: sources | Reuters The state-run China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), this year’s head of the B20, did not provide an explanation for suspending the anti-corruption task force and did not respond to several emails, faxes and phone calls requesting comment. But three people who had worked on the task force, who represented international, U.S. and European institutions, said the trade group could not persuade a Chinese company to take on the role of leading the task force, even though around 150,000 Chinese businesses are effectively state-run. The sources cited the CCPIT as saying a one-off anti-corruption convention to be held later this month would be a sufficient substitute
Soros Says China’s Debt-Fueled Growth Echoes U.S. in 2007-08 – Bloomberg Billionaire investor George Soros said China’s debt-fueled economy resembles the U.S. in 2007-08, before credit markets seized up and spurred a global recession. China’s March credit-growth figures should be viewed as a warning sign, Soros said at an Asia Society event in New York on Wednesday.
Chinese Buyers Put Up Security To Assure Lexmark in Deal – The CFO Report – WSJ Chinese printer component-maker Apex Technology Co. Ltd and private-equity firm PAG Asia Capital and their $3.6 billion acquisition of Lexmark International Inc.LXK +9.35%, announced Wednesday. The Chinese firms must put up a $150 million letter of credit to secure a termination fee in case they can’t close.
POLITICS AND LAW
Xinhua Insight: Local-level officials vital to alleviating poverty – Xinhua Over the last few years, many provinces have sent provincial-level officials to live in villages, so that they can see the issues first hand and design development strategies. Statistics show that by the end of last year, more than 400,000 such officials had been dispatched to 128,000 poverty-stricken villages. In Henan, more than 12,000 public servants were despatched to villages to help eradicate poverty. Each official had to live and work in their designated village for at least six months.
Xinhua Insight: China pilots regulations on officials’ family businesses – Xinhua The Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, headed by President Xi Jinping, will pilot regulating business operations of family members of officials in Beijing, Guangdong, Chongqing and Xinjiang, following a test in Shanghai. Family members include officials’ spouses, children and the children’s spouses.
常州外国语学校毒地风波，三次舆情预警为何失效？ 4月17日，央视新闻报道常州外国语学校事件后，引发舆论广泛关注。17日晚，环保部和江苏省政府召开专题会议，成立联合调查组。18日，教育部表示，国务院教育督导委员会办公室已启动教育重大突发事件专项督导机制。 就像被打开的潘多拉魔盒，常州外国语学校“毒地”污染事件，越来越多的端倪被披露。随着调查不断地推进，越来越多的疑问浮出水面。一所学校从选址、建校再到学生入学，这期间的环境监管链条为何全线失效？该事件自从去年开始便不断有家长抗议、媒体曝光，然而为何当地一直在辟谣、搁置民声诉求？为何没有及早从根本上处理好这次校园安全危机？
China austerity drive hits officials’ perks – FT.com The finance ministry said on its website that the government spent Rmb5.4bn ($835m) of the Rmb6.3bn budget for these perks during 2015.
A Turning Point for China? – YouTube In this film, William Nee discusses what it’s like doing human rights work in China today, and tells the story of Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most famous free speech lawyers, who was imprisoned in January 2014. Attacks on human rights defenders are common in China, but Amnesty International is working to improve the situation. William tells us how, with the help of Amnesty, and through William’s work bringing this case to the world’s attention, Pu was released in December 2015, and why it’s important to continue to fight for freedom and human rights in China.
Counterterrorism or Repression? China Takes on Uighur Militants Understanding the specifics of China’s terrorist problem is no easy task given the uncertain extent of linkages between ethnic Uighur militants and terrorist groups including al-Qaeda and ISIL. For decades, the Uighurs — an ethnically Turkic people that once founded the first Turkic state and today comprise roughly six million of China’s 20 million-strong Muslims — have challenged Beijing through a low-level separatist insurgency attributed by the Chinese government to the catch-all organization of the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM). In 2006, anti-Chinese Uighur militants formed the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), which largely consists of members from Afghanistan and Pakistan and operates alongside Jabhat al-Nusra as an affiliate of al-Qaeda. TIP, as a presumed splinter group of ETIM seeks to form both an independent state of East Turkistan stretching across central Asia and a caliphate.–Lauren Dickey is a PhD candidate in War Studies at King’s College London and the National University of Singapore
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
[视频]习近平会见美国前财长CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1央视网(cctv.com) Hank Paulson’s meeting w Xi the third item on Tuesday CCTV Evening News. Paulson gets to Beijing a lot, doesn’t meet with Xi every time, wonder how the Chinese side decides when is the right time for meetings, and why
China Focus: Xi calls for steady development of Sino-U.S. ties – Xinhua Xi made the remarks during a meeting with former U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson in Beijing. Xi appreciated the positive efforts of Paulson and the Paulson Institute in promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation. At present, China-U.S. ties have a sound development, Xi said, noting that bilateral ties and cooperation on regional and global issues shows strong vitality in the process of building a new model of major-country relationship. Xi said he and U.S. President Barack Obama reached important consensus on further promoting bilateral ties during their meeting in Washington in March.
China urges Japan not to quote Diaoyu Islands documents out of context – Xinhua Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks in response to recent reports covering the claim by the Japanese government that it had collected 750 pieces of documents showing the Diaoyu Islands were an integral part of Japan’s territory. “Although Japan tried its utmost to find some supportive documents, which were taken out of context, it can never change the fact that China has sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands,” Hua said.
SECDEF Carter: China Still Invited to RIMPAC 2016 Despite South China Sea Tension – USNI News The United States has not revoked its invitation to China to participate in this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise despite increasingly aggressive behavior towards its neighbors in the South China Sea because the U.S. hopes China may still participate in a “system of cooperative nations,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said April 15 aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). During a question and answer session with sailors, Carter was asked why China would still be allowed to join the multinational exercise despite “China’s misbehaving.”
Commentary: China using military plane to transport sick workers from South China Sea reef lawful, rational – Xinhua China’s sending a military plane to transport sick workers from a reef in the South China Sea is lawful and rational. A Chinese navy patrol plane on Sunday picked up three seriously sick workers on Yongshu Jiao and transported them to Sanya, Hainan Province, in South China. But the humanitarian move gave rise to dissatisfaction from Washington, which questioned China’s purpose behind using a military aircraft instead of a civilian one to evacuate the workers. In fact, Washington’s suspicion is needless and baseless.
PLA on call: China’s pilot scheme lifts ban on troops using mobile phones – but special software will monitor their activities | South China Morning Post To avoid the leaking of military secrets, the brigade has established internet administration centres and cooperated with phone companies in monitoring the mobile phones of soldiers so they know what they are doing and where they go. “We have installed programmes that enable us to locate where they are,” a military official was quoted as saying. “We also have imposed a strict control over which brands and models of mobile phones they are allowed to carry.”
Chairs Write to ABA President, Seek Information on Whether Fear of Offending China Led to Book Project Cancellation | Congressional-Executive Commission on China In response to reports this past weekend that the American Bar Association (ABA) rescinded an offer to publish a book by prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao, the Chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), Representative Chris Smith and Senator Marco Rubio, sent a letter to the ABA seeking additional information about whether the book project was canceled because of fears that ABA projects would be adversely affected in China or from actual threats to ABA projects and partnerships in China. The Chairs invited the ABA to submit testimony to an upcoming May 2016 CECC hearing that will examine the Chinese government’s global efforts to silence and punish its critics. // The Commission should as a matter of course ask every person testifying before them if they or their organizations have ever made a decision to censor themselves or their organization’s activities/publications in order to avoid offending Beijing
Beijing seeks Moscow’s support over South China Sea court battle with Philippines | South China Morning Post China is lobbying Russia for support in opposing international court proceedings launched by the Philippines over the disputed South China Sea. Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during talks in Moscow the two nations should join hands to oppose “internationalising” the disputes. “Both China and Russia should stay on guard against abuses of mandatory arbitration,” Wang said yesterday.
China test-fires missile that can reach all of US, American media reports | South China Morning Post The Washington Free Beacon website, quoting unnamed Pentagon officials, says a DF-41 – with a range of 12,000km – was launched on April 12, just ahead of US defence chief Ash Carter’s regional visit
Chinese PLA Company Command: The Party Line | The Diplomat You’ve just been handed command of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) infantry company. Where do you begin? Fortunately there’s a handy reference just for you: Outstanding Company Commander: The Workbook. Published in 2008, it is a semi-official reference for young PLA officers that provides an easily digestible overview of company command. Its American counterpart (and possibly model) is Company Command: The Bottom Line.
How China Sees World Order | The National Interest Richard Fontaine, Mira Rapp-Hooper
China dissatisfied with British comment on South China Sea – Xinhua He said Britain will stand alongside the U.S. in supporting an upcoming ruling by an international tribunal on a complaint lodged by the Philippines and that any ruling “should be binding on both parties.” “Mr. Swire’s comment neglects facts and is full of bias. It breaks Britain’s commitment that it does not take sides on issues involving territorial disputes. China is strongly dissatisfied with this,” Hua said at a regular news briefing.
China, India have “extensive, deep, candid” talks on boundary issues – Xinhua The 19th round of talks between Chinese and Indian special representatives on boundary issues was co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Both sides agreed to adhere to peaceful negotiations to settle the boundary question. They will make efforts to reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution, said the press release.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Prospects for Cross-Strait Relations as Tsai Ing-wen Assumes the Presidency in Taiwan | Center for Strategic and International Studies By Bonnie S. Glaser APR 19, 2016 On May 20, Tsai Ing-wen from the Democratic People’s Progressive Party (DPP) will be inaugurated president in Taiwan. A key concern of the United States is whether relations between Taiwan and China will remain stable or see a resurgence of tensions. During the presidential campaign, Tsai pledged that she would “maintain the status quo” in cross-Strait relations. Beijing’s precondition for preserving the status quo is that she accept the “core” of the 1992 Consensus, which is that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. Although Tsai has taken steps to provide reassurances to Beijing, she has not yet satisfied Chinese demands. This report outlines three possible scenarios for relations between Taiwan and the Mainland in the near term and provides policy recommendations for the United States.
China steps up pressure on Taiwan ahead of president’s inauguration | Reuters Chen Qinhao, a Taiwan expert at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University, wrote in the official People’s Daily this week that Tsai risks ending lines of communication between China and Taiwan if she does not explain her policy on China. “It won’t be a matter of there being a ‘high season’ or a ‘low season’ in cross-Taiwan Strait relations,” Chen wrote. “When it comes to the authoritative consultation mechanisms between the two sides, I fear it will totally shut down.”
TECH AND MEDIA
Twitter Goes on Defensive About China Head’s Background – WSJ Ms. Chen’s LinkedIn profile appeared to have been changed this week to remove a reference to the Ministry of Public Security in the description of CA-Jinchen. Twitter said the change was made to indicate that the ministry had been an indirect investor in the company.
Narrow-minded opposition against Twitter appointment – Global Times Strong opposition against appointing Chen is an affair between the company and some of its users. It brings no damage to the Chinese mainland and is not something we need to worry about. The incident gives us a glimpse into how extreme and ridiculous the overseas anti-China circle can be. Their twisted sentiment has run to such an extent that an executive sent to the Chinese market by an American mainstream social media company has to undergo a background check in terms of their relationship with the Communist Party of China. They are too pessimistic and lack security. Twitter will not become another Weibo of China. However, if it is eyeing entering the Chinese market, certain adjustments according to Chinese law would be necessary. We believe Twitter will deliberate the decision well.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma reveals why he bought the South China Morning Post and what he wants to do with it | South China Morning Post “Sometimes, people look at things purely from a Western or an Eastern perspective – that is one-sided. What the Post can do is to understand the big ‘why’ behind a story and its cultural context. “I want to stress the importance of being fair to our readers. You should not impose your own view and prejudice on the readers and try to lead them to a conclusion. As a reader, I understand what a fair report is.” The tech tycoon said his vision was to transform the Post into a global media agency with the help of Alibaba’s technology and resources.
China’s ‘White Hat’ Hackers Get With the Program | Sixth Tone Benign white hat hackers are not a new phenomenon, but their emergence in China in particular had not developed into a mainstream trend until recently. Now, Chinese Internet giants such as Tencent, Alibaba and Qihoo 360 offer rewards to white hats. But the scale of such programs is small, considering the prominence and sheer size of the tech industry in China. At the end of 2015, state news agency Xinhua reported that there were close to 4.3 million websites in China, an increase of 17 percent from the previous year. Yet many computer system operators in the country still lack the basic knowledge of security or the capability to defend against attacks. System_gov said that some of the bugs or vulnerabilities he found were so rudimentary that they took him less than a few minutes to crack.
Faraday Future backer unveils its own electric car-TechInAsia Faraday Future made headlines at the start of the year with its spectacular concept car, but it also caused consternation at the lack of a realistic road-going car that could compete with Tesla. The Chinese billionaire who bankrolls US-based Faraday, Jia Yueting, put that right today at an event in Beijing by showing off the LeSee. Jia summoned the autonomously-driving all-electric sedan onto the stage using his phone. “I can’t hold back my tears,” he said, after the car had stopped in place. “Everyone was questioning us and laughing at us, but we’re still presenting this car here today.” // can it actually drive or just perform for a press event?
CFI Q&A: Wendy Su, author of ‘China’s Encounter with Global Hollywood’ – China Film Insider Su’s upcoming book China’s Encounter with Global Hollywood: Cultural Policy and the Film Industry, 1994-2013 takes a forensic look at how the Chinese government, filmmakers, and moviegoers have grappled with their love-hate relationship with Hollywood. According to Su, in this complicated game of give-and-take, so far, the Chinese government has been the bigger winner.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Last member of China’s Cultural Revolution Group, Qi Benyu, dies at 85 | South China Morning Post Qi Benyu, a Communist Party theorist and propagandist who played a significant role in the Cultural Revolution, died yesterday in Shanghai at the age of 85. Qi was the last member of the ultra-left Cultural Revolution Group (CRG), which had superseded the party’s top decision-making Politburo and Secretariat to emerge as the de facto top power organ of the country at the height of the political turmoil between 1966 and 1976.
China adds 34m people to population, but greying trend continues, census shows | South China Morning Post The population sits at 1,373,490,000 people, after rising by 0.5 per cent annually since 2010, down from the 0.57 per cent increase recorded in the decade since 2000, the National Bureau of Statistics announced on Wednesday.
Chinese Feminism’s Long Journey Takes Two Paths at Bookstores – The New York Times Since opening two years ago, Lady Book Salon has become a refuge for working women seeking spiritual fulfillment and a place to trade advice on managing families and careers
Domestic Violence Victim Speaks Out on Weibo: “He Cut Off My Nose” – What’s on Weibo “My name is Li Yun, I am 30 years old, and am a victim of long-term abuse by my husband” – a female victim of domestic abuse has taken her gruesome story online. Her husband has cut off her nose, she says – she now needs money to complete her surgery. Li Yun’s story, that went viral on Weibo, raises public awareness on domestic abuse in China.
Translating nine pounds of poetry | Harvard Gazette Sinologist Stephen Owen publishes first complete English translation of Chinese poet Du Fu //article includes a reading from Prof Owen. Looks great, would love to buy but not at $200…
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China’s air pollution problem is heading west | Greenpeace East Asia We mined the data for 362 cities across the country and discovered that China’s overall air quality has made massive improvements in the first quarter of 2016. China’s PM2.5 concentration fell an average of 8.8% compared to this time last year Air quality in China’s eastern coastal cities improved dramatically in the first quarter of 2016. Beijing’s PM2.5 concentration dropped by an incredible 27% compared to 2015’s first quarter, while Shanghai’s dropped by 12%.
Sydney University tutor resigns after allegedly calling Chinese students ‘pigs’ online | Australia news | The Guardian A University of Sydney business school tutor has resigned after coverage of allegedly derogatory comments he made about international students on social media. Wu Wei, the head corporate finance tutor of the business school, resigned on Monday after reports he called mainland Chinese students “pigs” in Facebook posts last year. University of Sydney students clash with riot police during minister’s visit Read more He also allegedly accused Chinese students of cheating “due to low IQs” while using the username Pekojima on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Jianbing, a Chinese Crepe, Migrates to Manhattan – The New York Times In October, their bright-yellow food truck, the Flying Pig Jianbing, hit Manhattan’s streets, serving students near New York University’s business school, capturing some of the Midtown lunch crowd and, on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, setting up on Broadway outside Columbia. The truck came jianbing-ready, Ms. Lee says, having served as a French crepe maker in an earlier incarnation.
Collapse of Empty Coal Pits Causes Quake in Beijing District-Caixin Magnitude 2.7 quake could be felt kilometers away from mines, locals say, though no injuries were reported
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