The Sinocism China Newsletter 03.18.17

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

Home sick on a Saturday night, what could be more fun than a quick and dirty newsletter…

The transcript of the interview with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is illuminating. He meets with Xi Jinping Sunday.


1. Transcript: Independent Journal Review’s Sit-Down Interview with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson EM: Going back to the relationship with China — just one question on that for now — which is, you referred in your confirmation hearing to them at one point as a partner on one issue, as an ally on another. Can you say whether or not China is a potential friend? Is it an adversary? Is it a global competitor, a regional competitor? How do you define it now? And what do you want to define it as in six months?

RT: Well, again, I think that requires more conversations by the two leaders and a greater understanding from both sides as to their priorities, ours, their aspirations and ours. I do think we’re at somewhat of a historic moment in the U.S.-China relationship. It has been defined for the past 40 years by the opening of China, the Nixon-Kissinger visit. During that time, by and large, the U.S. and China have found a way to exist together in this world, to deal with our conflicts. We’ve never fought a war with each other, other than on the Korean peninsula. That’s the only time we’ve fought a war with each other. And even as China’s country and economy have grown, and now occupies its place in the global economy, we have always managed to exist with one another in a spirit of non-conflict. It doesn’t mean we don’t have differences, but we’ve always found ways to either resolve them or to live with them. Accept that we have differences and move on and still do what’s in the best interest of our people, and China in the best interest of theirs. But I do think because of what is happening globally with people in the world over — globalization itself — that we’re at perhaps at an inflection point in the relationship of global powers in general. And I do think that the Chinese and the U.S. need to have a fresh conversation about what will define the relationship between the United States and China for the next 50 years. We can look back and see how successful we’ve been, 40 years of what I would say has been a very successful relationship with two very powerful nations living with one another without conflict. But now we find that there are issues arising that have gone unresolved. And I think how we are able to talk about those and how we are able to chart our course forward is going to set, potentially, the relationship in a new era of existing together without conflict, in an era of non-conflict. Again, it doesn’t mean we won’t have differences, but we will find how are we going to live with one another for the next 50 years. Because I think there’s a question, perhaps even in the minds of the Chinese: How will the American people, the Chinese people, live with each other in this world for the next half century?

Related: Former U.S. officials say ‘complex’ relationship with China needs ‘fresh start’ | Reuters Charlene Barshefsky, a former U.S. trade negotiator, said in Beijing that the U.S.-China trade relationship is viewed in the U.S. as very skewed in favor of China, even by elites. In order to move the relationship forward, China needs to return to reform and opening of its economy, and pull back from discriminatory measures against foreign firms, Barshefsky said. “The best option is for China to renew its commitment to open markets and to put that into practice with respect to its own market.”

Related: Tillerson’s quiet trip to Asia – POLITICO The Chinese in particular, Medeiros added, “like to deal with people that are cool, careful, discreet—but very credible interlocutors. And I think right now they see Tillerson like that.”

2. China Pushes Back on U.S. Talk of ‘All Options’ Over North Korea – Bloomberg “We share a common view and a sense that tensions on the peninsula are quite high right now, and things have reached a rather dangerous level,” Tillerson said. “We’ve committed ourselves to do everything we can to prevent any type of conflict from breaking out.”

Related: Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a Press Availability Foreign Minister Wang and I also spoke about the importance of safeguarding stability and security in Northeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region. We noted that efforts made over the last 20 years have so far not succeeded in curbing the threat posed by North Korea’s illegal weapons programs. Because China’s stated policy is denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, we renewed our determination to work together to convince the North Korean Government to choose a better path and a different future for its people. I discussed the importance of upholding a rules-based order in dealing with maritime disputes and freedom of navigation and overflight. And I made clear that the United States will continue to advocate for universal values such as human rights and religious freedom.

Related: U.S., China soften tone, say to work together on North Korea | Reuters Tillerson took a softer line after the meeting with Wang. He told reporters both China and the United States noted efforts over the last two decades had not succeeded in curbing the threat posed by North Korea’s weapons programmes. “We share a common view and a sense that tensions on the peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather dangerous level, and we’ve committed ourselves to doing everything we can to prevent any type of conflict from breaking out,” Tillerson said.

Related: China, U.S. in talks on meeting between presidents – Xinhua China and the United States are now in close communication on arrangements for a meeting between the two presidents and exchanges at other levels, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Saturday. “We attach great importance to your visit,” Wang told Tillerson at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Related: 侠客岛:不排除战争? 美国务卿对朝表态卖的什么药_网易新闻 另一方面,中美还有区别于朝鲜半岛关系之外的利益关系。如果紧盯中美在朝鲜半岛问题上的解决,则失于整体。目前,美国新的亚洲政策尚未出炉,替特朗普代言的蒂勒森,虽然说了很多“狠话”,但未必当真,一方面安抚日韩小兄弟,一方面也想试探中国底线,对这种新政策出台前放的“烟雾弹”,中国不妨姑妄听之。我们自己的半岛利益诉求,一定要清晰、明确地向美日韩,包括朝鲜表达,划好底线,也要亮明红线,有些时候,也不妨撂点狠话。

Related: The Risks of Pre-emptive Strikes Against North Korea – The New York Times Military strikes may be an imperfect tool, analysts say, for solving what is essentially a political problem: the leadership’s belief that it requires an advanced nuclear program to survive. Strikes short of war would risk deepening, rather than altering, this calculus. Strikes that led to war would risk exactly the nuclear exchange they are meant to forestall.// There have not been many good options for more than a decade, now that DPRK has built its nuclear arsenal there are no good options

3. Made in China 2025: Global Ambitions Built on Local Protections | U.S. Chamber of Commerce Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) is a comprehensive plan to transform China into an advanced manufacturing leader. Targeting industries that constitute nearly 40 percent of China’s entire industrial value-added manufacturing, according to the Rhodium Group, MIC 2025 is part of China’s efforts to develop a more innovative economy and ascend the global value chain.

Related: European Chamber Report Cautions Against the Negative Aspects of China Manufacturing 2025 China Manufacturing 2025: Putting Industrial Policy Ahead of Market Forces analyses the initiative’s goals, which include achieving domestic and international market-share targets in ten industries, attaining self-reliance for key components and turning the concept of ‘indigenous innovation’ into reality. It also focuses on five of the ten industries covered by CM2025, including new energy vehicles, industrial robotics and semiconductors, and outlines the consequences of government intervention in these sectors.

Related: Hearing on China’s Pursuit of Next Frontier Tech: Computing, Robotics, and Biotechnology (VIDEO) | U.S.-CHINA dvancements in these sectors have previously driven U.S. technological and military superiority, and the Chinese government is looking to develop its own technological leaders and reduce its dependence on foreign technology. This hearing will examine what steps the Chinese government has taken to support these sectors, compare U.S. and Chinese technological leadership in these sectors, and consider the broader implications of these policies for U.S. economic and national security interests.

4. Signals in Zhou Qiang’s 2017 NPC Report (Part 1) | Supreme People’s Court Monitor Most people who have commented (outside of China) on Supreme People’s Court (SPC) President Zhou Qiang’s March, 2017 report to the National People’s Congress (NPC) didn’t have the patience to read (or listen) much beyond the initial section, which mentions the conviction of Zhou Shifeng as indicating that the courts are doing their part to crack down on state subversion.  It appears to be another in a series of colorless government reports.  But for those with the ability (or at least the patience) to decode this report, it provides insights into the Chinese courts, economy, and society.

5. A Small Table Maker Takes On Alibaba’s Flood of Fakes – The New York Times Mr. Huang estimates 100 shops may be selling fakes of Mr. Hankerson’s furniture. The style “is quite popular in China,” he said. “We can make something exactly like it.”  // Comment: Alibaba having a hard time with US public relations

6. Big Daddy Dough: Hip-hop and Macroeconomics in China | Sinica Podcast By day, Andrew Dougherty is a macroeconomist who manages a China research team for Capital Group, one of the world’s largest actively managed mutual funds. By night, he is Big Daddy Dough, creator of an album of parody hip-hop songs that explain various facets of the contemporary Chinese political and economic situation, from fixed-asset investment to leadership succession. // His launch party is this Friday night March 24 in DC, sign up here, should be an excellent DC-China crowd

7. 直播:明镜电视专访郭文贵(第一集) – 明镜视频 Comment: installment 1 of MingjingTV’s interview with Guo Wengui 郭文贵 aka Miles Kwok

Related: 直播:明镜电视专访郭文贵(第二集) – 明镜视频 Comment: installment 2 of MingjingTV’s interview with Guo Wengui 郭文贵 aka Miles Kwok. In this installment Guo really lays on the accusations against Bruno Wu (吴征, husband of Yang Lan).

8. These first-generation Chinese Americans are vigorously opposing sanctuary laws – The Washington Post As state and local lawmakers in Maryland consider proposals to protect undocumented immigrants by limiting cooperation with federal authorities, some of the most persistent and passionate voices in opposition have been Chinese American. Organized under the banners of groups such as the Maryland Chinese American Network and the Asian American GOP Coalition, they have testified by the dozens against the Maryland Trust Act, which would bar the use of state and local funds to aid federal immigration enforcement. It would also prohibit police from asking about immigration status during traffic stops or other activities.


G20 financial leaders acquiesce to U.S., drop free trade pledge | Reuters Breaking a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token reference to trade in their communique on Saturday, a clear defeat for host nation Germany, which fought the new U.S. government’s attempts to water down past commitments. In the new U.S. administration’s biggest clash yet with the international community, G20 finance chiefs also removed from their statement a pledge to finance the fight against climate change, an anticipated outcome after U.S. President Donald Trump called global warming a “hoax”.

China Home-Price Rises Regain Speed, Defying Purchase Curbs – Bloomberg New home prices, excluding subsidized housing, gained in February in 56 out of 70 cities tracked by the government, compared with 45 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday. Prices climbed in 67 out of 70 cities from a year earlier, compared with 66 in January.

China Focus: China home prices stabilize following restrictions – Xinhua Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in February, more than half of them saw month-on-month price declines or rises less than 0.5 percent for new residential housing, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Among them, 12 saw a price drop, with new residential housing prices in two cities flat in February, said NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Defends Globalization in China Speech – WSJ Mr. Cook said in his hourlong session that globalization “in general is great for the world,” but gains aren’t evenly distributed within countries. While he said this was a problem, he cautioned against countries retreating from globalization as a response.

Shadow Lending Threatens China’s Economy, Officials Warn – The New York Times Yi Huiman, the chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which is the world’s largest bank as measured by assets, warned about the rapid spread of unregulated investment vehicles, such as wealth management products. Wealth management products are often sold by banks and other Chinese financial institutions to ordinary Chinese investors with the promise of interest rates much higher than what banks offer for deposits, but the obligations are often kept off bank balance sheets.

China’s Homemade C919 Jet Poised for First Flight by End-April – Bloomberg A single-aisle passenger jet that is being built by the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China is set for its first test flight by the end of next month, according to Philippe Petitcolin, chief executive officer of Safran SA, an aircraft engine maker. Any problems with taxi trials may alter the schedule, Petitcolin said in an interview in Paris. The Chinese C919 aircraft will be powered by the LEAP engine, made by CFM International, an equal joint venture between Safran and General Electric Co.

Electric cars: China’s battle for the battery market-FT $$ Beijing invests billions to try to squeeze out Japanese and South Korean rivals


Rumors of limit on foreign book imports have parents worried about children’s literature – Global Times Unless the foreign media can name particular children’s books that are banned from being imported, their accusations should be seen as groundless, Chen Shaofeng, deputy dean of the Institute for Cultural Industries at Peking University, told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that he has not yet heard about such limits from any “reliable” sources. Chen argued that if such limits were implemented, it would have less to do with ideology and more to do with efforts to protect China’s domestic cultural products. It might be also in line with the national policy to foster cultural confidence, Chen noted.

李昭遗体告别仪式在八宝山举行_凤凰资讯 Comment: pictures from the memorial service at BaBaoShan for Li Zhao, Hu Yaobang’s wife

习近平两会新语之“心”字篇中南海澎湃新闻-The Paper 【学习进行时】今年全国两会,习近平先后来到6个团组,与代表委员亲切交谈,共商国是。对群众家事、村事的细细询问,也是对国计民生的重重关切。新华社《学习进行时》原创品牌栏目“讲习所”今天推出“语重心长”系列之《习近平两会新语之“心”字篇》,为您解读总书记的良苦用“心”。

中纪委副书记狠批“商人谋权”,在指谁?新闻腾讯网 (法制晚报记者 岳三猛)中国发展高层论坛今起召开,中央纪委副书记、监察部部长杨晓渡在谈政商关系的演讲中警示,有资本希望在掌握经济权力之后,谋取政治上的权力,这是十分危险的。

Chinese politics from the provinces: Sharing Responsibility So You Can Still Share Bikes In Nanjing Nanjing is clearly not trying to ban bike-sharing, but make this very new phenomenon part of urban management initiatives here and in a growing number of Chinese cities—that is, where individual behavior becomes part of a collective assessment of one’s “social credit”. That is, if you ride, break or park a shared-bike illegally, it will become part of your permanent record. Suddenly bike-sharing is part of this new social portfolio.


President Xi talks with Merkel over phone about bilateral ties, cooperation-Xinhua “We’re willing to work together with Germany to push the China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership further forward. As both being two of the world’s most important economies and firm advocates of globalization, China and Germany are obliged to push all parties to jointly build an open global economy, maintaining the effectiveness and authoritiveness of multilateral trade rules and systems,” Xi said. Xi added that strengthening cooperation is in the fundamental interests of both countries and the European Union as a whole.

Russia, China making gains on US military power | TheHill “U.S. forces … go halfway around the world to fight. And they fight in the other guy’s backyard, at times in places of the other guy’s choosing. And that’s the problem,” said David Ochmanek, senior defense researcher at the RAND Corporation.  China and Russia, meanwhile, are spending heavily on “modernization” to improve the quality, efficiency and overall performance. The strategy is paying huge dividends, especially for China.

Ethnic Chinese still grapple with discrimination despite generations in Indonesia – The Washington Post Questions about the role of Chinese Indonesians have loomed large in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country over the past few months as Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known simply as “Ahok,” the most prominent politician of Chinese descent in decades, wages a reelection campaign while facing trial for allegedly insulting Islam.


China Raising Pressure on Taiwan, Gently-VOA “To make Taiwan poor, that’s one thing, and another is in international space to make it less convenient for Taiwan,” he said. “The result I think is that just Beijing wants to remind Taiwan people if cross-Strait relations are not good, this is what you’re going to see. Basically whatever mainland China does, they will be able to reverse any of it.”

China accused by Taiwan of stepping up spy operations – BBC News Wang Ting-yu, chairman of the defence committee in Taiwan’s parliament, said Chinese spies were masquerading as academics or business people. He claimed Beijing was trying to sow chaos within Taiwanese society.


李彦宏现身硅谷与百度团队做交流 此前被传限制出境|李彦宏|硅谷|人工智能新浪科技新浪网 Comment: Baidu Founder Robin Li visited the company’s AI research lab in Silicon Valley Friday, said the “AI revolution like the Industrial Revolution”. There had been rumors circulating in overseas Chinese media that he was in trouble and had been restricted from leaving the country.


Explorations in Ink: Artists in Conversation | Sotheby’s This spring, in conjunction with the opening of Different Paths: Explorations in Ink, Sotheby’s sits down with Wucius Wong, Li Jin and Cai Xiaosong to discuss their personal philosophies behind ink painting.

Put us on the map, please: China’s smaller cities go wild for starchitecture | Cities | The Guardian From mountain-shaped apartment blocks to the centre of braised chicken reinventing itself as ‘Solar Valley’, China’s second (and third) tier cities are hiring big-name architects to get them noticed

罗点点:我的临终我做主深度新京报网 罗点点 开国大将罗瑞卿之女,1951年出生在北京,毕业于上海第二军医大学医疗系,临床从医多年。2006年,罗点点创办“选择与尊严”网站,倡导生前预嘱和尊严死。2013年,罗点点和陈毅之子陈小鲁等一起创办北京生前预嘱推广协会 // Comment: Luo Ruiqing’s daughter a big proponent if death with dignity


Beijing budgets billions of yuan in effort to clean up air – People’s Daily Online “Beijing saw its average PM2.5 level lowered to 73 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016, a year-on-year decrease of 9.9 percent,” said the capital’s mayor, Cai Qi, giving credit to existing measures such as reducing coal consumption and the number of vehicles…The municipal government plans to spend up to 18.2 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) this year on stronger pollution-control measures, the Beijing Finance Bureau said. In 2014, the special allocation for air pollution was 12.9 billion yuan.

Beijing’s last large coal-fired power plant suspends operations – Xinhua Beijing’s last large coal-fired power plant suspended operations on Saturday, meaning the capital has become China’s first city with all its power plants fueled by clean energy.


Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China: Alec Ash-Amazon Wish Lanterns offers a deep dive into the life stories of six young Chinese  // Comment: US edition released last week

Folding meanings | 1843 Young Chinese writers use science fiction to criticise their society. Alec Ash discovers a new dimension of fiction

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