"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Good Afternoon. Guo Wengui talked for nearly four hours Friday and threw out many more allegations. His case continues to be exciting, even if most of his claims are so far unverified. The inaugural U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue meets Wednesday in DC and I am not betting that the current calm in US-China relations will last much longer.
The Essential Eight
1. Explosive But Mostly Unverified Allegations In Guo Wengui’s June 16 Webcast
Guo Wengui had another exciting webcast on Friday June 16. All four hours and ten minutes of it are on Youtube-直播：明鏡專訪郭文貴第三期.
Guo’s most explosive allegations were again about Wang Qishan and his wife Yao Mingshan. If some or all of those allegations are true it is damaging to the Communist Party that they are made public, but did the Party Center not already know? Also, I have heard for years that Wang and Yao are actually divorced. If that is true, might that have a mitigating impact for Wang?
Wang Qishan’s last publicized appearance was on May 13. He has disappeared from public view for long periods before, right before resurfacing and announcing the investigation of a big tiger, so the absence this time could be a sign of a problem, or it could not be.
Guo also praised Jiang Zemin and Zeng Qinghong, leading to more speculation that Jiang and Zeng are behind at least some of Guo’s allegations.
During the broadcast Guo claimed he is deciding on an offer of asylum for him and his family from the US government. Really?
Guo also touched on the rumors going around that Ministry of Public Security officials were detained at JFK airport three weeks, traveling undeclared, on their way to chat with Guo in a pre-arranged discussion. If true that is a serious breach of protocol by Beijing.
Youtube and Mingjing were very hard to access during parts of the webcast, and look to have been under attack. Is the US government investigating? This is not the first time that these and other sites have come under attack during Guo’s webcasts. If there is any evidence of Beijing involvement the US government needs to make a swift, forceful and substantive response, beyond a useless demarche. And it should be on the agenda at the upcoming cyber dialogue.
Comment: Global Times attacks Guo Wengui, says he is dealing with his fears by spreading lies. The Party media attacks on Guo seem to be working inside China, I am hearing from more and more people they think Guo is exaggerating, lying and is a crook himself. But if Beijing, working through a special investigative unit set up to manage the Guo mess, is sending undercover security officials to the US and attacking key parts of American Internet infrastructure to shut Guo up then outsiders are right to pay attention to Guo, as Beijing is clearly distressed by his actions.
Related: China initiates new public prosecution on Guo Wengui’s company – China Daily
A procuratorate in Dalian city in northeastern China on Friday filed a public lawsuit against several executives and employees of Beijing Pangu Investment Co., Ltd, on suspicion of duty encroachment and misappropriation of funds. On the same day, Kaifeng City People’s Procuratorate in central China’s Henan Province also initiated a public prosecution against Guo’s Henan Yuda Real Estate Company and its employees, on charges of defrauding loans and bill acceptance.
Related: Lawyer for fugitive Chinese tycoon accuses plaintiff firms of defamation in warning letter | South China Morning Post
Guo’s US attorney, David Boies, who is known for successfully representing the US Justice Department in a high-profile case against Microsoft, warned in a letter dated June 14 that the plaintiffs’ attorney, Kevin K. Tung, made politically motivated, “false and defamatory statements” in a press conference held in New York a day earlier.
Comment: Boies should have gotten a very large retainer paid upfront, and if there is any delay in paying a bill he should immediately cease all work for Guo until paid in full.
Related: A rundown of the legal cases in which Guo is involved so far: From Kaifeng to New York, fugitive Chinese tycoon has long list of legal woes | South China Morning Post
2. No Signs Financial Sector Corruption Crackdown Softening
Billionaire Wu’s detention signals China’s clean-up of financial sector is in full swing | South China Morning Post – Wang Xiangwei
President Xi Jinping (習近平) is believed to have flown into a rage and pounded his fist on the table after he was briefed about Xiao [Jianhua]’s confessions, which depicted massive corruption in the financial sector.
This has directly contributed to Xi’s determination to clean up the financial sector. The first sign of that emerged on April 25 when Xi chaired a study session on financial security by all the Politburo members, the first time that such a session was devoted to the subject.
Related: 肖建華事件部分關鍵人物：俞正聲、王岐山、李克強……（《點點今天事》） – YouTube
Comment: Interesting video chat from Ho Pin of Mingjing. The discussion focuses on the Xiao Jianhhua case, in the video Ho says Yu Zhengsheng “suggested” the corruption crackdown in the financial sector. I had heard the same, from a very good source, that Yu brought it up to the PBSC asking something like “why has that sector not been touched?”. That is a very awkward question for Wang Qishan, who has cronies scattered throughout the financial sector, but who mostly left the financial sector alone for the first four years of the corruption crackdown.
3. Does Beijing Have More Resolve Than In Years Past To Tackle The Mess In The Financial System?
Chinese Regulators Tighten Grip on Disguised Loans – Caixin
In February, the PBOC proposed a long-awaited overarching regulatory framework on wealth- and asset-management industries that include channel lending.
The framework, still in its planning stage, aims at an outright ban on channel lending. The PBOC didn’t say when the new rule will become effective.
The Big Question: How long can regulators exert real pressure before the stresses become so great they have to back off, as they have done several times before?
Related: “钱荒”不会重来 央行“给一次钱扎你一针”_金融频道_财新网
Caixin says PBoC and banks prepared, there will be no credit crunch going into the end of June this year
Related: China Gives Banks Extra Time on Risk Self-Checks – Caixin
Chinese banking regulators are giving banks up to two months of extra time to submit self-check reports of risky exposure, highlighting the challenge authorities face in stepping up efforts to deleverage the financial system without creating a credit crunch.
Related: China Banks Endure Record Costs as Squeeze Leaves No Choice – Bloomberg
4. How Will Trump React When Xi Does Not Deliver What He Wants On North Korea?
This may be the biggest near-term risk in the US-China relationship. Add in trade tensions, South China Sea friction and Trump’s domestic messes and this could blow up by the end of the summer.
As Trump Bets on China’s Help on North Korea, Aides Ask: Is It Worth It? – The New York Times
Mr. Trump’s gamble was based on his calculation that Mr. Xi, the Chinese president, could put heavy pressure on North Korea to curb its nuclear weapons and missile programs. To secure Mr. Xi’s cooperation, the president soft-pedaled his harsh stance on China’s trade practices, and has said little about its adventurism in the South China Sea.
But a growing number of Mr. Trump’s aides fear that the bet is not paying off.
China has not significantly tightened the pressure on North Korea since Mr. Trump met with Mr. Xi in Palm Beach, Fla., in April. Its failure to do more has frustrated White House officials, who plan to raise the issue with their Chinese counterparts at a high-level meeting here on June 21.
Related: How to Deal With North Korea – The Atlantic – Mark Bowden
Ignorant of the long history of the problem, Trump at least brings fresh eyes to it. But he is going to collide with the same harsh truth that has stymied all his recent predecessors: There are no good options for dealing with North Korea. Meanwhile, he is enthusiastically if unwittingly playing the role assigned to him by the comic-book-style foundation myth of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The myth holds that Korea and the Kim dynasty are one and the same. It is built almost entirely on the promise of standing up to a powerful and menacing foreign enemy. The more looming the threat—and Trump excels at looming—the better the narrative works for Kim Jong Un. Nukes are needed to repel this threat.
Related: The inconvenient truth about North Korea and China – The Washington Post – Andrei Lankov
So perhaps one should be thankful that the Chinese are now considering cooperation on sanctions, buying time while extracting concessions from the United States on other issues. A war would be much worse. One perhaps should also hope that belief in a Chinese miracle will survive long enough for Trump to learn the lesson his predecessors had to grudgingly accept: The North Korean nuclear problem has no easy solution. In the past it has usually taken a year or two before a new administration came to accept this inconvenient truth.
Related: U.S. Accuses Chinese Company of Money Laundering for North Korea – New York Times
5. Wilbur Ross Tells The Wall Street Journal That The US And China Have “Been In A Trade War For decades”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Talks Trade – WSJ
MR. ROSS: Just about every other country in the world has more protectionist rules than we do. Take China. China has the most beautiful free-trade rhetoric. And those of you who do business either within the country or try to export to it know they are the most highly protectionist of the big countries. So this is nothing new. We’ve been in a trade war for decades. The only difference is now the American troops are coming to the ramparts for maybe the first time…
We generally have two conference calls a day, one early in the morning our time and one late at night with the Chinese. That’s five, six, seven days a week.
The whole fabric of these discussions is different from prior ones. We aren’t interested in great long-winded debates and big ceremonial meetings and big proclamations that have no teeth. We’re interested in very specific, very tangible achievements. And we’re finding a very, very sensible give-and-take with the Chinese right now.
Comment: What are the substantive deliverables for the first 100 day deadline, next month?
Related: United States, China to meet on North Korea on Wednesday | Reuters
The talks in Washington will involve U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as well as China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and General Fang Fenghui, chief of state of the People’s Liberation Army, the U.S. State Department said.
It will be the inaugural session of the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, a framework launched by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a summit in Florida in April.Related: China Think Tank Says Trade Detente With U.S. May Not Endure – Bloomberg
The world’s largest trading nation hopes dialog will help ease tensions and aims to make progress on agreements before President Trump visits the country, Wei told reporters in Beijing Monday. Wei is now Vice Chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing.
Related: China deal set to boost US dairy exports as trade talks heat up | South China Morning Post The agreement will benefit more than 200 US dairy exporters while paving the way for new opportunities in China, the US Dairy Export Council said
6. State-Owned Enterprise Reform: It’s All About The Party
How the Communist Party controls China’s state-owned industrial titans | South China Morning Post
Out of the 40 million people who work for China’s state-owned industrial behemoths, more than 10 million are Chinese Communist Party members. What is more, according to the top regulator of China’s state-owned assets, these enterprises contain more than 800,000 party committees…
Communist Party members at state enterprises form the “the most solid and reliable class foundation” for the Communist Party to rule the country, Xiao wrote in an article published on Friday. [ 深化国企国资改革 做强做优做大国有企业]
Since President Xi Jinping came into power, the Communist Party has been boosting its presence in China’s political, economic and social life. Xi has stressed that it is incumbent upon China’s biggest state-owned enterprises to answer every call from the party.
7. Higher Education: It’s All About The Party
CCDI Inspection reports on 14 Higher Education Institutions released, lots of problems found, including a failure to properly implement an “ideological work responsibility system” at Peking University.
Related: China universities accused of ideological weakness – FT $$
Some of the universities castigated, including Tsinghua University and Peking University, have academic programmes and research partnerships with prominent western educational institutions. Another, Wuhan University, has a joint venture with Duke University.
8. Greece Sells Its EU Human Rights Policy Input To Beijing
Greece blocks EU’s criticism at UN of China’s human rights record | The Guardian
The move not only undermined common efforts to confront abuses, but was seen as a blow to the EU’s own record as a defender of human rights. The statement is presented three times a year and often contains criticism that countries are unwilling to raise alone. The 28-nation bloc prides itself on being a beacon of human rights protection, taking a tough stance on issues ranging from LGBT rights to banning capital punishment and upholding press freedoms.
Related: EU: Suspend China Human Rights Dialogue | Human Rights Watch
The European Union should cancel its upcoming human rights dialogue with China and suspend the exchange until the meetings can bring genuine human rights improvements, seven human rights organizations said today. The next EU-China human rights dialogue is scheduled for June 22-23, 2017, in Brussels. The organizations include Amnesty International, Initiatives for China, the International Campaign for Tibet, the International Service for Human Rights, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
Business, Economy And Trade
Steel-Maker Shagang Changes Tack With Internet Acquisitions – Caixin Shenzhen-listed Shagang, which supplies specialized products to infrastructure and vehicle builders, said it planned to acquire Jiangsu Qingfeng Investment Management Co. Ltd. and Beijing Daily Tech Co. Ltd. for a combined 25.8 billion yuan ($3.8 billion). Jiangsu Qingfeng owns a 49% stake in multinational data-center company Global Switch, while Beijing Daily Tech is a domestic provider of data services.
Beijing cuts list of restrictions on foreign direct investment in free-trade zones | South China Morning Post The State Council said in a statement on Friday it had cut its negative list from 122 to 95 in the mainland’s 11 free-trade zones. That means fewer restrictions for foreign capital in the trial free-trade zones – including Shanghai, Zhejiang and Chongqing – where trade and financial rules have been relaxed.
Chinese state oil giants take petrol price battle to the pumps | Reuters The rare price war kicked off in late March as Sinopec (0386.HK) reported first quarter retail sales had slid to a three-year low. Spurred by a glut of fuel, Sinopec started offering hefty discounts in response to ad-hoc but frequent promotions by independent petrol station operators.
China Soy Deal Next Month May Be Record, U.S. Trade Group Says – Bloomberg A record commitment would exceed the 13.4 million metric tons China agreed to buy in February 2012, also at a ceremony in Des Moines. Such an agreement this time around would show continued strength in U.S. soybean sales at a time when China’s appetite for the oilseed is showing signs of waning.
China toughens punishment for stock market irregularities – Xinhua From January to May, fines totalling 6.14 billion yuan (about 901 million U.S. dollars) were slapped on law violators in the securities sector, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). A total of 29 people were suspended from securities business in the five months, the regulator said.
As curbs take effect, preowned home prices fall in top-tier cities – China Daily Recent measures against speculative property investments have begun to have the desired impact of reining in runaway preowned home prices and cooling the transaction frenzy in top-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, said analysts. But the unintended side-effect is that demand is shifting to smaller cities where prices of both homes and land are surging.
China steps up rules against falsifying economic data | Reuters Any organisation caught falsifying data will be punished according to the new rules and China’s statistics law, according to the rules published on the website of China’s cabinet, known as the State Council.
Quick Take: Minsheng Bank President Says Loans to Anbang Total $100 Million – Caixin China Minsheng Bank President Hong Qi said the bank has loaned $100 million to Anbang Insurance Group, which owns 15.5% of the Chinese bank. “That’s all we’ve lent (to Anbang), with guarantees and collateral,” Hong said Friday at the bank’s shareholder meeting in Beijing.
High-Profile Citic Banker, Once Probed for Insider Trading, Gets New Role in Smaller Unit Xu Gang, a high-profile Chinese banker who returned to Citic Securities Co. in February 2016 after being involved in government probes into insider trading, has recently joined another Citic unit as non-executive director.
MSCI might give A-share nod to China this time, but regulator says business as usual either way | South China Morning Post Comment: Ridiculous if they agree to include without waiting at least a couple of years to see if Beijing sticks with its reforms. Have they not learned anything from the IMF’s premature decision on including the RMB in the SDR?
Risky mortgages threaten Vancouver housing market’s stability | Vancouver Sun As a result of the flood of money pouring from Mainland China into Vancouver real estate in recent years, some financial experts say they believe Canadian banks are directly exposed to shadow lending in China and the risks of so-called “ghost collateral” — meaning collateral that may not exist or is used continuously to secure loans for multiple borrowers. Postmedia confirmed that Canadian banks are allowed by the federal regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, to accept collateral from China to secure real estate mortgages in B.C.
Securitization boom exposes China’s slapdash deleveraging efforts | Reuters “If assets of zombie companies are sold to investors in the form of ABS, with acquiescence from banks and regulators, that would be organized fraud,” Wang Jun, finance professor at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) told a forum in Decembe
立信会计师事务所被责令暂停承接新的证券业务-上海证券报 Comment: CSRC bans BDO from accepting new securities work
China bans online lenders from targeting students | South China Morning Post Only a limited number of banks will be allowed to offer credit on campus under a directive aimed at unscrupulous firms preying on young people
Former Oracle board member dogged by links to China-backed chip deal | Reuters The case of Ray Bingham, until recently Oracle Corp’s (ORCL.N) second-highest paid board member and executive chairman at U.S. chip maker Cypress Semiconductor Corp (CY.O), shows how taking advantage of those breaks can backfire. The 71-year old technology veteran helped set up a private equity fund backed by China’s central government last fall. In November, the fund agreed to buy Lattice Semiconductor Corp (LSCC.O), another U.S. chip manufacturer, for $1.3 billion – a potentially lucrative coup for Bingham.
Politics And Law
坚定不移反对腐败的思想指南和行动纲领-新华网 （作者:邱学强 最高人民检察院党组副书记、副检察长）
Do Street Protests Work in China? | ChinaFile Conversation If we learned anything from the Wukan and Shifang protests, it was that offering immediate concession does not mean forgiving defiance. Local governments sometimes tolerate protests to absorb, erode, or suppress the diffusion of discontents and to protect the careers of senior officials. Protests also inform the authorities of the loopholes in stability maintenance or the changes in social expectations. However, when the timing is right, the organizational structure responsible for the mass incident will be dealt with.
传19名武警军级将领一周内被免职 十九大前续打贪 Comment: rumors going around that in the space of a week 19 People’s Armed Police senior officials relieved of their posts
Top Court’s Caveats to Drunken Driving Rules Leave Judges, Public Feeling Dizzy – Caixin Global A decision by China’s top court to ease its grip on drunken drivers by introducing exceptions that could allow some to get off the hook without criminal charges has breathed new life into an old debate on which driving behavior constitutes a crime. The move by the Supreme People’s Court comes as courts are inundated with cases, the result of driving under the influence of alcohol being made a criminal offense in 2011. // Comment: Too bad, at least in Beijing the harsh enforcement really did change behavior
Chinese police blame lone bomber for killing 8 at kindergarten gate – The Washington Post Chinese police said Friday that they think a 22-year-old school dropout planted a homemade explosive device outside a kindergarten, killing eight people including himself. Written on a wall near the school was a manifesto-style rant: “Giving birth is a crime,” it said, adding that India, China and Bangladesh will not “meet a good end.”
CPC official stresses importance of ideological work – Xinhua Liu Qibao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when attending a meeting on ideological work. While stressing the CPC’s leadership over ideological work, Liu said efforts should be made to guide the ideological work with the outcomes of the Party’s theoretical innovation. 刘奇葆强调 用党的理论创新成果指导意识形态工作
Foreign And Defense Affairs
How China Sees the World in the Age of Trump – Out of Order – Medium An interview with Shi Yinhong, advisor to the Chinese State Council.
Dalai Lama gives UCSD students hope, challenges in commencement talk – The San Diego Union-Tribune About a half-dozen Chinese students walked out of Saturday’s ceremony as the Dalai Lama was introduced. “In Tibet, he had slaves,” said a computer science student from Zhejiang province, who identified himself only as “Max.” “Foreigners say China invaded Tibet, but we actually freed them and freed the slaves.”
Iran and China conduct naval drill in Gulf | Reuters An Iranian destroyer and two Chinese destroyers are among the vessels that will participate in the exercise, which will take place in the eastern portion of the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, according to IRNA. Some 700 Iranian navy personnel will be participating in the drill.
China, Russia held navy drill on Sunday: Xinhua | Reuters A Chinese naval fleet held a scheduled military exercise with the Russian navy in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad on Sunday in the first of planned exercises this year to strengthen their cooperation, state news agency Xinhua reported.
BRICS meeting highlights climate change, trade, terrorism – The Washington Post The five countries are seeking to further align their views on key issues at a time when President Donald Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from multilateral arrangements such as the Paris climate accords and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China in the coming year would look to “expand with more broad and wide-ranging cooperation in areas such as trade and commerce and investment.” CCTV Evening News on Xi’s meeting with them 习近平集体会见金砖国家外长会晤外方代表团团长
中共中央党校 – 学习时报网_何毅亭：二十一世纪是中国话语复兴的世纪 Comment: He Yiting writes in Study Times that the 21st century is the century that will see the revival of China’s “discourse”
Defence now driving Australia’s China policy, says former ambassador The Age Australia’s former ambassador to China, Geoff Raby, told the Global Times newspaper the shift had been away from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and towards the prime minister’s office and defence and national security ministries.
China Pushes U.S. Aside in Pakistan – WSJ $$ “China came in when no one else was willing to invest,” said Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir. The U.S. missed its chance, he said… Much as the U.S. secured the Pakistan alliance with aid to the country’s powerful military, China has made the Pakistani army a beneficiary. Many construction contracts that weren’t given to Chinese firms have been awarded to the military’s engineering arm
China May Soon Establish Naval Base in U.S. Ally Pakistan – NBC News The Pentagon didn’t provide a time frame for such a move. However, a senior Pakistani diplomat confirmed to NBC News that his country invited China to build a naval facility on its territory back in 2011.
‘Islamic State’ killings: China’s censored social media is in uproar, so what’s Beijing thinking? | South China Morning Post
US Navy adopts lower-key approach in South China Sea – FT $$ Speaking during a visit to China, Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, confirmed the policy of talking less about efforts to challenge China’s maritime claims. “I think it’s a very positive step that current policy . . . is that we’re not going to talk about freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea,” he said in an interview aboard the USS Sterett, a destroyer that visited the Chinese Southern Naval base in Zhanjiang last week.
U.S. policy on South China Sea to remain “consistent,” commander says – Navy Times The policy is consistent between the two administrations,” Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the Pacific Fleet, told the L.A. Times. “I don’t think anybody is expecting this huge reversal.”
Destroyer crash offers lesson on sea rules – Global Times So far, there is no official account of the reason for the mishap. But many analysts hold the collision could be caused by operational blunders by the US destroyer. A crash between large vessels is rare, so that a US destroyer was involved in a disastrous collision perhaps is built on the high frequency of voyages US warships undertake in the West Pacific.
Hong Kong, Macao And Taiwan
Hong Kong’s PLA garrison no longer just symbolic, top brass say | South China Morning Post Troops in city have shifted focus to become ‘show of force’, according to article in Communist Party journal
The World Is Deserting Taiwan. How Should the U.S. Respond? | ChinaFile Conversation Richard Bernstein: American standing as a great power in the Asia-Pacific, our network of alliances in Asia, and our reliability as a strong, non-intimidated ally require us to do what Beijing refuses, which is to acknowledge and respect the preferences of the 22 million people who live on Taiwan. But this is the era of Donald Trump. If Germany’s Angela Merkel no longer feels that the United States can be relied on, what reason does Taiwan have to feel confident the United States has its back?
Tech And Media
Mobike Fills Its Baskets With $600 Million in Latest Fundraising Push – Caixin Two years after Beijing Mobike Technology Co. obtained its first 1.5 million yuan ($220,000) in funds from angel investors. it recently raised $600 million from Tencent and state-backed BOCOM International, ICBC International Holdings and others. The money will help pay for its expansion into cities outside of China, as well as for research and development. // Comment: Who were the angel investors?
China’s Biggest Gaming ‘Whales’ Are Werewolves — The Information In China, “Werewolf” has become a hugely popular mobile game with a growing community of fans who spend money and support professional players. Millions have signed up to the dozens of different “Werewolf” gaming apps or to watch live-streaming broadcasts of games played by celebrities like Mr. Jiang.
Tencent Unveils Plan to Create Electronic Sports Gaming Empire – Caixin The plan, which involves setting up esports leagues, tournaments and associations, nurturing players and constructing esports-themed industrial parks, was published by Tencent E-Sports, a subsidiary established in early December.
With Facebook and Google Walled Off, China’s Digital Ad ‘Triopoly’ Thrives – WSJ Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are expected to attract over 62% of the $50 billion digital ad market in China this year, eMarketer said, and command a predicted 70% of a $76 billion market by 2019.
Hackers May Have Access to Your Baby Camera, Says Government – Sixth Tone State broadcaster China Central Television also ran a story on Sunday about surveillance technology being vulnerable to hackers. With simple scanning software, cameras’ internet protocol (IP) addresses can be easily cracked, CCTV reported, with hackers being able to access the streams at will.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
相声表演艺术家唐杰忠去世_新京报网 Comment: Crosstalk performer Tang Jiezhong dies at 85, here is a video on Youtube of him and Jiang Kun on the 1989 CCTV Spring Gala show
China’s Mistress-Dispellers | The New Yorker Another take on this sad phenomenon.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Seven Imprisoned for Stuffing Cotton Into Air Pollution Monitors to Skew Readings – Caixin The official and four staffers were charged with falsifying computer data. He told the court that he was under “immense pressure” because performance reviews of environmental protection officials were closely tied to fluctuations in pollution readings. He instructed subordinates to do “whatever it took to lower air pollution readings” and had turned a blind eye after learning about the irregularities, according to court papers.
US is still first in science, but China rose fast as funding stalled here & elsewhere | Scienmag: Latest Science and Health News American dominance is slowly shrinking, the analysis finds, as China’s skyrocketing investing on science over the last two decades begins to pay off. Chinese biomedical research teams now rank fourth in the world for total number of new discoveries published in six top-tier journals, and the country spent three-quarters what the U.S. spent on research and development during 2015.
别了，狗日的科研 Comment: A long rant, purportedly from a chemistry professor at Tianjin University of Science and Technology，about the very dysfunctional state of scientific research after years of frustration with the research grant process
Agriculture And Rural Issues
Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: Good Wheat Crop But Price Held High China’s winter wheat crop is bigger and better in 2017, according to propaganda from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Press Office. The harvest was 80-percent complete this week, and high quality, high yields, and an improved mix of varieties are evident, according to the Ministry.
China launches crackdown on academic fraud – FT $$ China’s ministry of science and technology said this week that the incident had “seriously harmed the international reputation of our country’s scientific research and the dignity of Chinese scientists at large”. It vowed a “no tolerance” approach to academic fraud. The government pledged to investigate the papers’ authors and may strip them of their academic roles. All grant funding to the academics involved has been halted
New Beijing Chief Vows to Finally Win Fight Against Pollution – Bloomberg Cai Qi, the Communist Party chief in the capital, told a gathering of local delegates Monday that the metropolis of 22 million must slash pollution levels to “win the battle against pollution.” He pledged to cut levels of the most hazardous airborne particulate by 30 percent over the next five years, while pushing polluters and “non-essential” services out to “display the image of a major country’s capital city.” 中共北京市第十二次代表大会开幕 蔡奇作报告
Amazon: Beijing Smog: Ian Williams Set in contemporary China, Beijing Smog is a novel about deception. It is about the power of online ridicule and rumour in a society where truth and reality are about as clear as the thick smog, beneath which corrupt politicians struggle for power, spies stalk cyberspace, and a bubble economy is about to burst.-Ian Williams began his journalistic career covering business for the Sunday Times before becoming a Foreign Correspondent for Channel 4 News in Moscow, Hong Kong and Bangkok. For the last nine years, Ian has covered Asia and China for NBC News
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