The Sinocism China Newsletter 03.06.15

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

Today’s Links:


1. China NPC 2015: The Reports – WSJ Aside from the work report, Thursday saw the release of the Ministry of Finance’s budget report and the national planning agency’s draft plan for economic and social development. The reports make for turgid reading, but they contain important indications of how Beijing views the economy and its plans for the future. Online versions of the reports typically don’t show up on official websites until much later, so China Real Time has scanned and uploaded the files, in both English and Chinese, in text-searchable format.

2. 习近平:可见反腐没有影响反而促进了经济发展_凤凰资讯 Xi Jinping tells the Jiangxi delegation that the corruption crackdown has not hurt the economy, just the opposite in fact, it is spurring economic development… // 【习近平:可见反腐没有影响反而促进了经济发展】江西代表团审议时,代表们谈到江西省2014年经济社会发展各项指标全线飘红。与此同时,狠抓反腐倡廉和中央八项规定精神落实。习近平说:“可见,反腐并不会影响经济发展,反而有利于经济发展持续健康。”

3. Finance Minister denies 300b gov’t spending of public funds- China daily article actually a listing of all the interesting things China Daily thinks Lou said  //  China’s Finance Minister on Friday denied rumor that the government spent 300 billion yuan ($47.9 billion) on public vehicles, receptions and trips. “It is nonsense to say that,” said minister Lou Jiwei at a press conference. Public funds for government vehicles, officials’ overseas trips and official receptions are known as “three public funds.” The central government’s expenditure of the funds was 7.1 billion yuan last year, 800 million yuan lower than that of 2013, he said. “The funds for this year would not exceed last year’s level.”

Related: 经济参考网 – 积极财政政策加力增效: 扩大赤字与减税降费双管齐下 3月5日,受国务院委托,财政部向十二届全国人大三次会议提请审查预算报告,报告包括2014年中央和地方预算执行情况与2015年中央和地方预算草案。报告显示,2015年全国财政收入增长预计7.3%,赤字率将保持在2.3%,实施积极的财政政策并适当加大力度。 报告在谈到积极的财政政策时不仅提出要适当扩大财政赤字规模和动用以前年度结转资金,加大支出力度,还指出要实行结构性减税和普遍性降费。多位接受《经济参考报》记者采访的政协委员和相关专家表示,积极的财政政策在2015年将进一步加力增效。

4. China’s No. 3 leader warns HK activists against ‘crossing a line’ | Reuters China’s third-ranked leader warned advocates of Hong Kong independence on Friday that they were “crossing a line”, local media reported. Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC), made the comment during a closed door meeting, Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported, quoting NPC Standing Committee member Rita Fan. Zhang said that such calls were “dangerous” and would not be tolerated, according to Fan.

5. NPC to Get Proposals for Clearing up Way Laws Are Enacted – Caixin Government agencies will come under closer scrutiny when they issue regulations and draft laws if recently proposed changes to national law are approved. A draft amendment to the Legislation Law will be submitted to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislative body, for deliberation during the annual session held from March 5 to 15. The law establishes the procedure for writing national and local laws and government regulations, and also defines legislative powers. The amendment to the Legislation Law comes amid public doubts about how governments issue regulations. One controversy occurred in late 2014, when the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation announced consecutive hikes in the fuel tax within two weeks.

6. China’s Factories Are Building a Robot Nation – Caixin latest Caixin cover story // Labor woes and cost-cutting goals have turned the country into the world’s biggest market for industrial robotics

7. Maternity Tourism Raids & the IVF Surrogacy Business Fallout-HealthIntelAsia The California maternity tourism raids are not an isolated phenomenon, but part of a focused, ongoing effort to root out maternity tourism in all of its forms, including surrogacy and IVF practices that directly benefit from it. US-based surrogacy and IVF businesses need to reorganize so that they are no longer dependent on maternity tourism hospital patients for their business. To do this requires setting up a referral network that is based in China, and changing the business model so that US authorities are satisfied that American taxpayer resources and American good faith immigration restrictions are not being abused by Chinese families.

8. Chinese police run secret operations in B.C. to hunt allegedly corrupt officials and laundered money-The Province Chinese police agents have been conducting secret operations in Canada — a top destination for allegedly corrupt officials — seeking to “repatriate” suspects and money laundered in real estate. Vancouver city officials will not comment on co-operation with Chinese agents in “Operation Fox Hunt,” or on suspects pointed to by Chinese news services.



Why Gov’t May Be Shifting Stance on Family Planning – Caixin Change in wording of report delivered by Li Keqiang may signal officials are worried that low fertility rates are harming the country

化解地方债 楼继伟给两个“意见”宏观一财网 interesting comments from Lou Jiwei on dealing with the local debt problems  //  针对这一系列问题,楼继伟给出两点意见: 首先,地方债务从总体上看,风险是可控的。一些局部地区债务比例过高,我们会更为重视。 第二,我们有解决的思路。 一方面,要把那些有一定收益或者可以改造成有比较稳定的现金流,比如可以收费。如果收费不足,可以给予适度的补贴,转为所谓“PPP模式”,就是政府和社会资本共同投资和经营基础设施包括其他事业的方式,转为企业债。 另外,对一部分完全公益性的平台借的地方负有偿还责任的债务,我们已经报请全国人大常委会预工委,对一些历史债务予以承认,通过发债替换原来的平台债务,这样可以使债息降下来。 此外,一些由银行贷款形成的历史债务,按照契约原则,贷款的合同不能废除,借人家的钱还是应该还的。如果融资平台的情况发生了一些变化,需要进行一些债务重整,那是双方谈判,所以要采取一些过渡性的办法逐步解决。

China Plans More Opening to Foreign Investment, Li Tells NPC – Caixin The central government aims to do so with a revision to the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries, which details how foreign investors should be treated depending on whether their investment is in an encouraged, restricted or prohibited area, he said. This is one of the goals atop the country’s political agenda for this year, which Li laid out in the scripted speech he delivered on the first day of the National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting in Beijing. The gathering of nearly 3,000 deputies is the largest legislative assembly in the world. The National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC), the nation’s top economic planner, released a draft of the sixth update to the catalogue in November, proposing cutting the number of restricted areas for foreign investment from 79 to 35. It was the largest ever planned cut since the catalogue was issued in 1995.

China to speed up implementation of free trade zone strategy – Xinhua China will quicken the pace of implementing the strategy of free trade zones (FTZs) and turn institutional innovation into a strong impetus for the country’s development, President Xi Jinping said Thursday. To speed up the implementation of FTZ strategy is an important part of a new round of reform and opening-up. China should aim for high-standard trade and investment rules, and strengthen its capability for allocating financial resources around the world and better serving the country’s economic development, Xi said. Xi made the remarks while speaking with lawmakers from east China’s Shanghai in a panel discussion on the government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang.

‘Tigers on the Road’ Clawing Back China’s Reforms, Premier Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ In a speech he gave to the State Council in early February, Mr. Li explained in more detail what he means by “tigers in the road.” In short, whenever government officials have a say in approving business activities, whether it be signing off on an investment or granting market access, there is the opportunity for graft. Wide-ranging abuse by officials of their position is not only a drag on growth. It is also difficult to dislodge. “Excessive authority and insufficient oversight is the breeding ground of corruption,” Mr. Li said in February. In Thursday’s speech, Mr. Li promised to work to remove the number of instances in which government review and approval are required for companies to get things done, in an effort to make it “easier to start up in business” and foster “fair competition.”

China on Long, Slow Road to Reform – WSJ The government has taken steps in the past two years to cut red tape for private companies and allowed online retail and other services to expand rapidly. Mr. Li promised to further reduce administrative interference to make it easier to start businesses and “level the field for fair competition.” “On paper they’ve done a lot of things,” said Guanghua School of Management finance professor Liu Qiao. “The problem is in the real world. It will take time.” In a World Bank index of business conditions, China ranked in the bottom half of 189 countries in most categories, including 128 for ease of starting a business, and 179 for dealing with construction permits.

Chinese interest in islands a ‘shore’ thing- China daily Four islands in Fiji, Greece, the United Kingdom and Canada were put up for auction on China’s largest online shopping platform Taobao, and three of them sold within 12 hours. Any Chinese citizen who put up a 1,000 yuan ($159) deposit was qualified to bid. Starting at 10 am on Tuesday, at least 48 bidders took part in the auction.

楼市回暖可期 政策有望偏刚需要闻一财网 signals in the NPC work report that government to take a more supportive stance towards the real estate market?  // 从政府的态度可以看出,楼市回暖有更多的期待,预计2015年将出现更多的政策去刺激房地产市场。在二套房首付比例、贷款利率、公积金政策、税费等政策上松动还是可以期待的。

个人境外投资将试点 资本项开放挺进纵深要闻一财网 China doesn’t see too concerned about capital leaving, plans for a pilot for individuals to invest overseas  //  国务院总理李克强在政府工作报告中指出,要稳步实现人民币资本项目可兑换,扩大人民币国际使用,加快建设人民币跨境支付系统,完善人民币全球清算服务体系,开展个人投资者境外投资试点,适时启动“深港通”试点。

Government approves merger of China’s top two train makers – Xinhua China CNR Corp. Ltd and China CSR Corp. Ltd announced that the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission has approved in principle their merger into a new company named CRRC Corporation Ltd.

China Said to Slash Senior Executive Pay at Top Banks, SOEs – Bloomberg Business Senior managers at the nation’s five largest lenders — all of which are government-controlled — had their total compensation for this year cut to no more than about 600,000 yuan ($95,700), said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. Chairman Jiang Jianqing earned about 2 million yuan in 2013.



Former China leader not implicated in aide’s investigation, official says | Reuters Lu Xinhua, spokesman for the high-profile but largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament, said that it was wrong to believe that Hu, as Ling’s former boss, was the real target of the investigation. “That is speculation without any basis. It is totally wrong,” Lu told a small group of reporters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament, in rare comments on a sensitive case. Sources have told Reuters that President Xi Jinping secured the blessing of Hu, his still influential predecessor, before launching the investigation into Ling, a sign that internal Communist Party harmony and respect for elders still holds sway in Xi’s sweeping crackdown on official graft. //“internal Communist Party harmony and respect for elders”..really?

【棱镜】令狐剑的“空手道”:一元入股后合作伙伴入狱腾讯财经腾讯网 Tencent Finance on business activities of Ling Jihua’s 39 year old nephew cum adopted son Linghu Jian, who lives in Singapore // 在多位长辈被调查之后,滞居新加坡的令狐剑仍在尝试遥控国内的生意。这位有着书生气质的“令狐公子”,25岁即开始在商业领域长袖善舞。雍和宫附近,他拥有十余家公司集中办公,自己也居住在雍和宫旁。在一个其仅用1元拿下40%股权的公司中,最终将合作伙伴送入监狱的结局,崭露出这位书生冷漠的另一面。

中纪委:苏荣家从老到小从男到女都有参与腐败新闻腾讯网 京报讯 (记者宋识径)昨日下午,在江西代表团开放团组,江西省委书记强卫接受记者采访。在回答最后一问时,省委书记强卫用了25分钟详细介绍苏荣案对江西的影响。强卫表示,苏荣的问题,主要发生在主政地方期间,并且发展到登峰造极的程度。

Speculation on CDIC Article about Corrupt Prince ‘Ridiculous’ – Caixin Official who used to work for vice president Zeng Qinghong says not to read too much into a history lesson that appeared on CDIC website

新一轮巡视“全覆盖” 央企成反腐重点领域财经新京报网 2015年中央第一轮巡视对象确定为中石油、中移动、国家电网等26家央企,为中央巡视首次全部针对央企。据粗略统计,2014年共有76名国企央企高管因被处理,平均每个月有6个人被查处,已被巡视央企“家家有问题”。

“大老虎”涉案财物将上缴中央政经频道财新网 近日,中办、国办联合发文规定,凡由最高检察院、公安部立案或者由其指定地方异地查办的重特大案件,涉案财物应当纳入中央政法机关的涉案财物账户;判决生效后,涉案财物除依法返还被害人外,一律通过中央财政汇缴专户缴入中央国库

二月河谈反腐腾讯新闻腾讯网 Author Eryuehe and Historian Zhang Hongjie sit for a video discussion of the corruption crackdown and corruption in Chinese history esp Heshen and Qing Dynasty

Banyan: Comprehensive education | The Economist The Four Comprehensives may sound like an off-the-cuff slogan, but Mr Xi’s spin doctors want people to believe it has deep philosophical roots. A further reason why the theory may have staying power is that it is actually recognisable as the platform Mr Xi has tried to implement. Zheng Yongnian, a Chinese scholar who is director of the East Asia Institute, a think-tank in Singapore, says that the most important of the comprehensives is the first: “Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society.” (The Chinese is considerably less clunky.) This, says Mr Zheng, is the “Chinese dream” Mr Xi has been advertising since he took office

Reference book on “Four Comprehensives” published – Xinhua A reference book on the “Four Comprehensives” was published on Thursday to help Party members and officials digest the concept raised by President Xi Jinping as a new political strategy. The book, published by Xinhua Publishing House, is broken into four parts to cover each of the “comprehensives” — comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepening reform,comprehensively advancing the rule of law, and comprehensively strictly governing the Party. The book includes background information and definitions of the “Four Comprehensives”, along with information on how they relate to each other.

Xi will have limited power with Hu on the sidelines | Asia | DW.DE | 25.10.2012 Willy Lam A close examination of Xi’s 17 years at the helm of Fujian province and five years as the top cadre of Zhejiang province shows, however, that the future leader of 1.3 billion Chinese people is not a charismatic or visionary figure in the mould of his well-respected father, the late vice premier and liberal leader Xi Zhongxun. Given that Xi cannot come into his own at least until Hu’s expected retirement from the Central Military Commission in 2014 or 2015, it is unclear whether the putative core of the “fifth-generation” leadership can immediately take decisive action to tackle a series of problems. // a lesson in how hard it is to predict Chinese elite politics…the good news for those trying to do it is that no one seems to hold you accountable when you are wrong…

Dui Hua Human Rights Journal: Article 293: Deeming Free Speech Disorder in Internet Space Critics have argued that the judicial interpretation by the SPC and SPP is improper because by significantly expanding the scope under which Article 293 can be applied, it has ventured into the jurisdiction of China’s legislature. Peking University’s Zhang Qianfan recently took up the argument from a position defending the freedom of expression. In a blog post that has been widely republished on numerous Chinese-language websites, the liberal constitutional law scholar warns that overemphasis on preventing disorder in virtual space risks undermining what is not only a fundamental human right but also an essential component of ensuring proper governance. He describes Article 293 as a “pocket crime”—an offense so vaguely defined that nearly anything can be stuffed into it—and warns that, unless the boundaries are tightened up, even more Chinese citizens are likely to fall victim to arbitrary and abusive uses of offenses like these.

温州:女子遭长期家暴杀害丈夫 法院认定轻判获刑5年|姚某|出庭制度_凤凰资讯 woman in Wenzhou who killed her husband after many years of abuse gets 5 years in jail

万里之子万季飞:99岁父亲身体还不错|万里|万季飞_凤凰资讯 Wan Jifei says his 99 year old father Wan Li is still in decent health

唐欣:推荐老贾这本书_共识网 Xi is apparently a fan of this book  //《幸福小康是个硬道理》不仅给我们描绘了一个“中国梦”的远大宏图,而且通过对多种社会现象深入浅出的分析,使我们对党中央所秉持的立场、方法和观点有了一个更加深入和具体的了解。

习近平谈《平凡的世界》:我和路遥住过同一窑洞新闻腾讯网 来到全国人大代表、上海新娱乐传媒有限公司首席主持人曹可凡面前,习近平总书记问:“《可凡倾听》还在做吗?还在固定时间播出吗?”曹可凡回答:“还在做,固定时间播出。” 习近平总书记又问,最近在忙什么?曹可凡不失时机地推介正在东方卫视制作播出的电视剧《平凡的世界》。刚提到该剧由路遥小说改编而来,习近平就接话:“好几个频道都在播。”曹可凡有点惊讶,补充道:“这部剧是上海拍的,从买剧本到拍摄花了八九年时间。”

Gov’t Making Little Progress Cutting Links with ‘Social Groups,’ Report Says – Caixin A drive to sever ties between the government and “social groups” that in other countries would be non-governmental organizations have fallen short, a think tank in the capital says. The government has said it wants to cut links between it and the groups – usually business associations and chambers of commerce it created – but the Unirule Institute of Economics in Beijing says little progress has been made.

China Voice: Using buzzword shows a mass-friendly approach in political discourse – Xinhua “It goes without saying that powers should not be held without good reason,” Li said, choosing to appropriate the word “renxing”, which although common in the Chinese lexicon has not been used in this way before. Rexing is often used to describe rich people who can do or buy what they want. On Monday, Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the top political advisory body, also used renxing to describe the fight against corruption. The interpreter translated it as capricious.

China Voice: Balancing representation at the Great Hall of the People – Xinhua In the same room that Pony Ma, chief executive of Tencent Holdings, proposes wider application of mobile Internet technology, Xue Haiying, a sanitation worker from Tianjin Municipality, is pushing for better housing and medicare for her colleagues. Ma and Xue joined more than 2,900 other deputies at the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, in the Great Hall of the People to deliberate on the government work report. They are expected to vote on its adoption before the annual session concludes on March 15. If, as the New York Times lamented in a recent report, billionaires like Ma “ensure the rich are represented in China’s legislature”, deputies like Xue, who earns around 200 US dollars a month cleaning the streets, ensure laborers “access to the highest echelons of the party and the government”.

Knife attack wounds nine at Chinese train station | Reuters Knife-wielding attackers slashed and stabbed people at a railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, wounding at least nine before police shot dead one of the suspected assailants and arrested another.

广州火车站有人持刀砍伤群众 一人被警方击毙国内图片频道首页_财经网  pictures from Guangzhou train station attack



Commentary: Preaching of “China military threat” makes U.S. a butt – Xinhua Xinhua may have just hurt the feelings of the American people  //  Some U.S. agencies and media have been preaching “China military threat” to their country for years, with a recent report claiming that China’s space program threatens U.S. military security. The report released on Monday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, claimed that China’s development of space technologies is aimed at blocking U.S. military communications and destroying its ability to win conflicts. The allegation, along with its outcry over Chinese military budget and so called “cyber attack,” only makes Uncle Sam a butt and exposes its consistent indecent tactics in addressing China’s peaceful development.

刘源上将回应“郭正钢之父是否被抓”:你懂的|解放军|刘源|浙江省军区_新浪军事 5日上午,在被媒体问及是否还有更大“老虎”,以及郭正钢的父亲是否也可能涉案被抓时,全国人大代表、解放军总后勤部政委刘源没有正面回应,只是微笑着对记者说,“你懂的”。

China’s Military Spending Swells Again Despite Domestic Headwinds — WSJ This ratio of defense budget increases to GDP growth has thus emerged as one important metric for measuring the CCP leadership’s priorities. But the budget should also be assessed in the context of overall government expenditures – a comparison that, at least until recently, revealed that the PLA actually received a declining percentage of aggregate government largesse (pdf). China is no Soviet Union, and defense spending increases of this magnitude appear sustainable, at least in the short-term. In the long term, however, Beijing will increasingly face very tough choices with potentially high domestic costs. At present, the basic trend line is clear—Party leaders remain determined to continue rapid, ambitious modernization of what is already the world’s second-best-resourced military.

Sri Lanka cabinet suspends Chinese project on approval issue – Channel NewsAsia Sri Lanka suspended a US$1.5-billion (985 million pounds) Chinese luxury real estate project in Colombo on Thursday until it obtains required government approvals, a move that risks a diplomatic row with its biggest foreign investor.

U.S.-China Relations: Challenges for the 114th Congress – Charles Freeman III The 114th Congress has a crucial role to play in stabilizing the all-important U.S.-China relationship. There are few examples in history in which a de facto superpower like the U.S. faces a rising power like China and does not enter into direct conflict. The relationship with China has an undeniable component of competition. Glossing over disagreements and competing interests is thus not an option for policymakers. At the same time, the fact of competition should not be the predicate for a devastating self-fulfilling prophecy.

Has the American Media Misjudged China | ChinaFile Thirty five years after China’s opening to the world, some of the key assumptions that have guided coverage are being tested by the presidency of Xi Jinping. This book is must reading for anyone involved in U.S.-Chinese relations or for anyone who is just plain curious about how the assumptions that have guided American media coverage of China are now being challenged by the presidency of Xi Jinping. He has a very different vision of his country’s future than the one often presented in some media accounts. —William J. Holstein // the book on Amazon

Lei Feng’s legacy twisted through biased commentaries – Global Times The People’s Liberation Army Daily on Thursday criticized an array of groups that have used multiple means to question the authenticity of Lei Feng, a Chinese soldier who has been made a role model, and defame his merits. March 5 is designated as “Learning from Lei Feng Day.” This article pointed out that many Lei Feng defamers work for “Western hostile forces that aim at overturning the Chinese government by peaceful revolution.” Western media have ingrained ideological bias toward China and some people blindly buy every word that vilifies the Chinese government and the ruling Party. // 军报刊文批抹黑雷锋:西方阴谋对中国和平演变

我国航母发展或现重大突破 弹射器轨道曝光(图)新闻腾讯网 【央视曝疑似中国航母弹射器 轨道从房子中伸出】央视报道,近日多幅疑似中国航母弹射器实验装置的卫星图片出现在了国外军事网站上,照片中清晰的出现了一条弹射器轨道及其辅助实验设备(这些图片最早在2013年就已出现)。图片中可以看到,一条轨道从蓝色房子中延伸出来,在轨道上有疑似滑块的设备。



Taiwanese alleged rogue intelligence officers probed|WantChinaTimes Prosecutors in Taiwan were summoned Wednesday for questioning two former Military Intelligence Bureau officers suspected of allegedly disclosing classified information to China. The country’s Investigation Bureau said it was tipped off on the alleged spying carried out by a former intelligence officer identified by his surname, Wang.



Amazon Opens Store on Alibaba’s Tmall for Chinese Shoppers – Bloomberg Business “We welcome Amazon to the Alibaba ecosystem, and their presence will further broaden the selection of international products and elevate the shopping experience for Chinese consumers on Tmall,” said Candice Huang, a spokeswoman for Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba. Imported food, shoes, toys and kitchenware are listed on Amazon’s store, one of many on Tmall that sell brand-name goods to Chinese shoppers via the Web. // Amazon’s shop

E-Commerce Giants, Gov’t Create New Markets in China’s Rural Areas – Caixin Alibaba and head into underdeveloped counties to find new customers and sell urbanites everything from local produce to tickets for scenic spots

Alibaba Not Notorious, But U.S. Keeping a Watchful Eye – Digits – WSJ Alibaba paid up for effective US lobbyists  //  The U.S. on Thursday said that for a third year in a row it was keeping Alibaba Group’s vast Taobao marketplace off its list of what it calls notorious markets for pirated goods. It removed Taobao in 2012, citing Alibaba’s efforts to address complaints from copyright holders. The U.S. Trade Representative said that Alibaba told the USTR that the company continued to do so, by “reportedly removing millions of listings for counterfeit and pirated products manufactured in China and offered for sale and export.” Still, in a report released overnight in the U.S., the U.S. Trade Representative expressed concern on Thursday over a recent Chinese government report of counterfeit and piracy problems on Taobao.

China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, China will back e-commerce development and guide international expansion by Chinese internet companies, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, in an endorsement for firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Inc. Addressing the opening of China’s annual parliamentary meeting in Beijing, Li broadly laid out China’s “Internet Plus” strategy, which includes promoting cloud computing, online banking, mobile internet, along with logistics to help e-commerce expansion. He also stressed the need for more state investment in the internet sector. “In addition to the 40 billion yuan ($6.38 billion) government fund already in place for investment in China’s emerging industries, more funds need to be raised for promoting business development and innovation,” Li said.



Nine “Secrets” about the History of the Met’s Department of Asian Art | The Metropolitan Museum of Art In keeping with the Gilded Age’s fascination with European royal taste, many nineteenth-century American collectors developed a passion for chinoiserie and japonisme that led them to focus on the decorative and applied arts—including ceramics, lacquer, metalwork, and textiles. No collector better demonstrated the allure of European styles than Heber R. Bishop, who not only left his entire collection of jades to the Met, but presented the Museum with funds to house it in a replica of his own Louis XV–style ballroom. It was not until the 1930s that the jades were presented in a more culturally neutral manner.

America, the Capital of Asian Art – WSJ All of it is compelling dealers and auctioneers to cast a wider net across the U.S. in hopes of spotting the Next Great Vase. China Guardian places ads showing top sellers that say, “Sourced in the U.S., Sold in China” in Chinese-language newspapers before its experts visit cities like San Francisco. (A recent ad shows a Qing dynasty vase it found in the U.S. home of a rare book collector that it resold for $8 million.) Last month, it sent a team to sit in a San Francisco hotel conference room and appraise up to 400 pieces brought in by the public, “Antiques Roadshow”-style, over a weekend. A few weeks later, a different set of experts did the same thing in New York, only in its new office branch.

China’s Young Art Collectors Come of Age – WSJ On the cover of a Sotheby’s auction catalog two years ago, Lin Han saw a painting by Zeng Fanzhi, famed for depicting men in grinning masks. During a holiday with his parents, Mr. Lin, now 28, wanted to make his first art purchase by bidding for the work, and ended up paying $1 million. His parents, investors who formerly worked in the Chinese army, don’t collect art, but they pay for 20% to 30% of his art purchases, which totaled $4 million last year, and help Mr. Lin, an entrepreneur, fund his private museum in Beijing.



‘Nation’ of California, China forge strong climate link-USA Today World leaders fighting to limit climate change should look to the partnership between California and China for inspiration, according to a new report (PDF) co-authored by the Annenberg Foundation Trust. The report, released at a San Francisco event attended by Gov. Jerry Brown, says California has “helped create something of a state model for subnational international cooperation on climate change and energy issues.” The New York-based Asia Society wrote the report with help from the Annenberg Foundation Trust.

Hanergy’s World-Beating Surge Has CLSA Calling Stock Pricey – Bloomberg Business and a massive short squeeze? Is Hanergy the Porsche of the Hong Kong bourse for short-sellers?  //  Chinese equity investors have been spurring the rally. For four straight days, mainland traders have flooded the Hong Kong-Shanghai link with more purchases for Hanergy than any other stock. Turnover through the link in Hanergy shares on Thursday was HK$827.6 million ($107 million), 30 times as much as the next most popular company, GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd.

“野蛮增长”遇“刹车”防霾口罩国标有望年内出台要闻一财网 “防护口罩这几年完全就是野蛮增长,不仅没有行业协会,也没有行业标准,自顾自地一路快跑,在每年秋冬季节的销售旺季,很多企业都是百分之几百的增长。”昨日,某不愿透露姓名的知名防护口罩代理商接受《第一财经日报》采访时透露。 // standards for facemasks that protect air pollution due this year. an initial report lists several, including from 3M, as not up to standard

Chinese city shuts factories as environmental law bites | Reuters Most steel producers in Linyi, a city in coastal Shandong province, appear to have been shuttered, industry sources said. “Almost all the steel-making production in Linyi has closed, and there is no date for when to resume production,” said an official with Linyi Yuansheng Casting Co Ltd, one of the mills in the city, who declined to be identified.

China newspaper suspends leaker of smog film propaganda directive – An administrative employee of China Business News, a respected daily, is no longer working and may eventually be fired, after she shared a photograph of the directive earlier this week, two people familiar with the situation said. “This person would definitely know this document wasn’t allowed to be publicised,” said an employee at China Business News. “In the media there are certain red lines that are very clear.” // leaking state secrets charge likely?

Children’s Lung Health Improves as Air Pollution Is Reduced, Study Says – NYTimes For the first time, researchers have shown that reducing air pollution leads to improved respiratory function in children ages 11 to 15, a critical period of lung development. Scientists have long known that air pollution is linked to smaller lung capacity and compromised breathing in children. But it had not been clear whether, and to what extent, a reduction in air pollution over the years might prevent these problems.

China punishes environmental impact assessment agencies – Xinhua The agencies either had their licenses revoked, received public criticism or were asked to rectify their practice, according to the ministry. Professional negligence was identified, some agencies had faked documentation when applying for the environmental impact assessment agency qualification.

对话 | 黄洁夫:死囚器官停用两月 公民捐937个器官国内新京报网 former deputy minister of health Huang Jiefu discusses organ transplants in China in wake of ban on using organs from executed prisoners //  2015年1月1日起,我国停止使用死囚器官做为器官移植的供体来源,公民逝世后自愿捐献,将成为器官移植使用的唯一渠道。今年全国两会,全国政协常委、中国器官捐献与移植委员会主任委员、卫生部原副部长黄洁夫提案,公民自愿捐献体系建立后,原《人体器官移植条例》已不适用,建议尽快修订《器官移植法》或打造升级版《人体器官捐献与移植条例》。

习近平问“蓝天指数”:不能只靠借东风国内新京报网 昨日下午,习近平来到他所在的十二届全国人大三次会议上海代表团参加审议。讲到环境保护时,习近平格外关注。“空气质量优良的能占多少?”“70%。”这时有人插话说:“有时候是靠天吃饭”。笑声中,习近平接话说:“不能只靠借东风啊!事在人为。”

Chai Jing’s review: Under the Dome – Investigating China’s Smog 柴静雾霾调查:穹顶之下 (full translation) – YouTube fully subtitled in English now

卫计委出三招加速公立医院改革政经频道财新网 全面推开县级公立医院综合改革,进一步扩大城市公立医院改革试点范围,调整医疗服务价格,降低虚高药价和检查费用;改革药品采购机制,切实降低药品虚高价格;推进医疗卫生资源优化配置,建立分级诊疗机制



A Bar Tussle Ends in a Beijing Jail: A Young Expat’s Story – Expat – WSJ Bo and Kristin Jonsson embraced their time as expats in China. Then their son ended up in a Beijing jail.

A foreigner’s life in a Beijing jail-Danwei from 6 years ago, guy apparently sprung after the use of some good old guanxi with a US congressman …not sure that would work these days  //  A foreign man who spent the last seven months in jail sent Danwei this description of his daily life at the Beijing No. 1 Detention Center after his release last week.


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