The Sinocism China Newsletter 04.12.15

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

My Internet came back online long enough today to put together the newsletter. China’s Internet has the Great Firewall, the Great Cannon and, increasingly, the Great Headache…

Today’s Links:


1. China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet – NYTimes on the “Great Cannon”…don’t love the name, but better than something like the “Dragon’s Claw”…// China’s new Internet weapon, the report says, is similar to one developed and used by the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, a system outlined in classified documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former United States intelligence contractor. The American system, according to the documents, which were published by The Intercept, can deploy a system of programs that can intercept web traffic on a mass scale and redirect it to a site of their choosing. The N.S.A. and its partners appear to use the programs for targeted surveillance, whereas China appears to use the Great Cannon for an aggressive form of censorship. The similarities of the programs may put American officials on awkward footing, the researchers argue in their report. “This precedent will make it difficult for Western governments to credibly complain about others utilizing similar techniques,” they write.

Related: China’s Great Cannon-Citizen Lab We show that, while the attack infrastructure is co-located with the Great Firewall, the attack was carried out by a separate offensive system, with different capabilities and design, that we term the “Great Cannon.”  The Great Cannon is not simply an extension of the Great Firewall, but a distinct attack tool that hijacks traffic to (or presumably from) individual IP addresses, and can arbitrarily replace unencrypted content as a man-in-the-middle. The operational deployment of the Great Cannon represents a significant escalation in state-level information control: the normalization of widespread use of an attack tool to enforce censorship by weaponizing users. Specifically, the Cannon manipulates the traffic of “bystander” systems outside China, silently programming their browsers to create a massive DDoS attack.  While employed for a highly visible attack in this case, the Great Cannon clearly has the capability for use in a manner similar to the NSA’s QUANTUM system,4 affording China the opportunity to deliver exploits targeting any foreign computer that communicates with any China-based website not fully utilizing HTTPS.

2. How U.S. Navy Intel Sees China’s Maritime Forces–War on The Rocks In its first unclassified report on the subject in six years, the Office of Naval Intelligence depicts a powerful trajectory for China’s maritime forces. Titled “The PLA Navy: New Capabilities and Missions for the 21st Century,” the document and accompanying videos also cover the China Coast Guard—precisely the right approach, since the world’s largest blue water civil maritime fleet serves as “China’s Second Navy” and is on the front lines of island and maritime “rights protection” in the East and South China Seas. This focus on both the PLA Navy (PLAN) and the China Coast Guard is also especially appropriate given their role as the principal institutions charged with furthering regional sovereignty claims. The PLAN is also responsible for safeguarding Chinese interests much farther afield, and is gradually developing power projection capabilities to do so.

Related: Office of Naval Intelligence-The PLA Navy: New Capabilities and Missions for the 21st Century report, videos

3. Piling Sand in a Disputed Sea, China Literally Gains Ground – NYTimes The US government has know about this months, right?//  The photographs show that since January, China has been dredging enormous amounts of sand from around the reef and using it to build up land mass — what military analysts at the Pentagon are calling “facts on the water” — hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland. The Chinese have clearly concluded that it is unlikely anyone will challenge them in an area believed rich in oil and gas and, perhaps more important, strategically vital. Last week Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of the United States Pacific fleet, accused China of undertaking an enormous and unprecedented artificial land creation operation.

Related: China Says Construction in Contested Waters Is for Maritime Purposes – A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Thursday defended China’s island-building work in contested waters in the South China Sea, saying the infrastructure the nation was constructing around reefs, rocks and shoals was within China’s sovereign rights and would help ships in the event of typhoons //  And planes too can use the new runways in the event of typhoons…

Related: Andew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy | The Politics of China’s Land Reclamation | Foreign Affairs  From Xi’s bold directives to the Tanmen Company’s low-profile implementation, China will have a busy agenda over contested waters and the island features that are beginning to rise from their depths. China is rapidly building new turf in the region—small islands that grow larger by the month. All this makes the assessment of former top CIA China analyst Christopher Johnson of particular concern: “They believe Obama is fundamentally weak and disinterested.” In the South China Sea, there is reason to worry that Beijing is busy making hay while the sun is hot.

Related: Obama says concerned China uses size to bully others in region | Reuters His comments come after China defended its construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, saying it is needed to safeguard its sovereignty in the mineral-rich waters where China’s territorial claims overlap those of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. “Where we get concerned with China is where it is not necessarily abiding by international norms and rules and is using its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions,” Obama told town-hall event in Jamaica ahead of a Caribbean summit in Panama, where he hopes to reassert U.S. leadership in Latin America.  //  interesting venue, because the US has never behaved like that in Central/Latin America…

Related: China opposes U.S. President’s criticism on South China Sea issue – Xinhua China on Friday reaffirmed that it was committed to peace and stability in the South China Sea, rejecting U.S. President Barack Obama’s comments that Beijing was using its “sheer size and muscle” to intimidate its neighbors. “I think everybody can see who has the biggest size and muscle in the world,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a routine press briefing. During an event in Jamaica on Thursday ahead of a Caribbean summit in Panama, Obama said the U.S. was concerned that China was not abiding by international norms and was using its “size and muscle” to bully smaller claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

Related: China, Vietnam must manage sea dispute well to keep peace: Xi | Reuters Meeting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi told Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party, that cooperation was good for the two countries, the China News Service reported. “(We) must strictly abide by the important consensus the leaders of both parties have reached, jointly properly manage and control maritime disputes, maintain the broader picture of relations and peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the report quoted Xi as saying. Trong told Xi that Vietnam put great store on having friendly relations with China, which was Hanoi’s long-term strategic policy, the report added.

4. Robert D. Blackwill and Ashley J. Tellis: Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China – Council on Foreign Relations “China represents and will remain the most significant competitor to the United States for decades to come. As such, the need for a more coherent U.S. response to increasing Chinese power is long overdue,” write CFR Senior Fellow Robert D. Blackwill and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis in a new Council Special Report, Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China. “Because the American effort to ‘integrate’ China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.

5. U.S. Agencies Block Technology Exports for Supercomputer in China – WSJ Four technical centers in China associated with the massive computer known as Tianhe-2 have been placed on a U.S. government list of entities determined to be acting contrary to U.S. national security or foreign-policy interests. The system, which is powered by two kinds of Intel microprocessor chips, and an earlier system called Tianhe-1A “are believed to be used in nuclear explosive activities,” according to a notice dated Feb. 18 and posted by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Related: 美国禁运芯片,中国危中有机–IT–人民网 p1 China Youth Daily article on US decision to block export of new processors for China’s supercomputer, says it shows how worried the US is about China’ supercomputer development and that it is ultimately an opportunity for China to reduce reliance on foreign processors  //  对于美国禁运芯片,张云泉认为,这肯定会给我国超级计算机发展带来一定的影响,短期来看,天河二号将无法按计划升级,但从长远来看,这正是我们的机会。 “我们在超级计算机的发展过程中,一直在回避一个问题,就是核心处理器的自主化。某个设备如果在核心部件上是弱项,那么随时会被人卡脖子,这才是真正的杀手锏。”张云泉认为,这一事件再次提醒我们要重新调整发展思路,重视核心处理器的研发与应用。

6. Portrait of a Beijinger: Beneath the Makeup (video) | the Anthill Peking opera has the shortest history of the hundreds of Chinese opera styles, but remains the most influential. The curtain fell on it during the Cultural Revolution when it was denounced as bourgeois, but curious tourists, nostalgic locals and state-run drama academies are providing a modern encore for a national treasure. Liu, 38, is a rarity. Unlike many of the performers in his troupe who were trained as children, he took up the craft after quitting his job as a publicity clerk for the Beijing Meteorological Bureau in 2010. His parents protested, but his destiny had been sealed four years earlier when he won the top prize at the Beijing Amateur Peking Opera Competition. He also stands out as one of only around a dozen active nandan performers in Beijing – men who portray female characters in Peking opera.

7. 邓聿文:中国近期反腐的几大特点_网易财经 Deng Yuwen on recent trends in the corruption crackdown, one of which is that the pervious work areas of top leaders are no longer safe given recent investigations in Fujian and Shanghai. The other two are that even capable officials are not immune, and SOE investigations are just getting started and are crucial to attacking vested interests blocking reforms //  两会前后到目前这段时间的反腐有以下三个特点: 一是对于第五代领导人曾经工作过的地方,有腐必反。福建省副省长徐钢、上海市政府副秘书长戴海波两起事例就体现了这点,闽沪都是领导人曾经呆过的地方,尤其是福建,时间还不短,熟悉中国政治地图的人知道,福建是个比较特殊的省份,而从徐钢的简历看,称得上是个“老福建”..二是对于有能力的干部,有腐必反。这方面最典型的例子是云南省委副书记仇和…三是对于国企,有腐必反。反腐不仅针对官场,也针对国企。尽管迄今的反腐主要是在官场展开,但并不表明国企就是遗忘的角落,反腐之火一旦烧到国企,也是非常猛烈的。

8. Faster and Furiouser: China’s Q1 Box Office Review | chinafilmbiz 中国电影业务 Fueled by a record-breaking February 2015 ticket haul which exceeded that of the U.S., and a March 2015 total that was 73 percent higher than the same period in 2014, aggregate PRC box office receipts for the first quarter of 2015 reached the unprecedented total of $1.54 billion. This is nearly 40 percent higher than the Q1 total in 2014, and more than China’s entire annual box office revenue of 2010. If the trends of previous years hold, Q1 will account for about 22 to 24 percent of the year’s total gross. This would mean a year-end total somewhere between $6.4 billion and $7 billion. From there it will be just a few short years before China surpasses North America to become the world’s top box office territory.



Shanghai tops New York as IPO leader – China Daily Shanghai has edged out New York to become the global leader for new company listings during the first quarter after raising 33.4 billion yuan ($5.4 billion). A report from accountants Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on Friday showed that the Shanghai Stock Exchange surpassed rivals New York and Hong Kong for the first time when it came to initial public offerings.

China Bears on Wrong End of $4 Trillion Rally Refuse to Go Away – Bloomberg Business “It’s not a market you want to bet against,” said Aaron Boesky, who oversees about $125 million as the chief executive officer of Marco Polo in Hong Kong. The firm’s Pure China fund was the top performer in the second half of 2014 among China-focused hedge funds tracked by AsiaHedge Intelligence. “I can respect people who might want to stay out of it, because it is a very volatile market, even for local Chinese,” he said. “Staying out is respectable. Shorting it could be suicidal.”

Caixin Explains: New Annuity Program The government has announced detailed plans for a fund that civil servants will pay into so they can get extra money when they retire

AIIB to be lean, clean and green, Chinese officials say – Xinhua China and all the member countries of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be committed to building a bank which would be lean, clean and green, said Jin Liqun, secretary general of the interim multilateral secretariat of the China-proposed institution here in Singapore on Saturday. Jin made such remarks at the two-day “Singapore Forum 2015” which concluded Saturday. “Lean is cost effective; clean, this bank will have zero- tolerance on corruption; green means it’s going to promote the economy,” he said.

AIIB scouts globally for top talent – People’s Daily Online Executives with working experience in international institutions are just what the AIIB is looking for as it seeks to develop standards relating to transparency and lending. Matthew Dalzell, previously a special adviser to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade who later worked for the World Bank, is now the senior operational expert in the Interim Secretariat, according to his page on LinkedIn, the online business connection website. Two other foreigners posted information about their roles: one on communications and team coordination, the other on human resources-though their information could not be independently verified. But it appears the team working for the Interim Secretariat is large. Many employees at the Ministry of Finance have been temporarily dispatched to the Secretariat, which so far has not responded to media inquiries.

China issues guideline to improve employee welfare – Xinhua China will implement reforms to improve employee welfare and better the wage payment system, the central government announced Wednesday. Improving labor relations is now an urgent task as the country is undergoing major economic and social changes with diversifying employee appeals and increasing labor disputes, according to a guideline released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. // top of Thursday CCTV Evening News [视频]中共中央 国务院关于构建和谐劳动关系的意见 

Beijing Urged to Spruce Up for Business – WSJ An overly restrictive foreign-investment environment in Beijing is posing a danger to the city’s business climate, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, a trade organization, said Thursday in a position paper. European companies are moving units to Hong Kong and Singapore due to tax complications in Beijing, according to the organization, which surveyed 470 European companies operating in Beijing. The chamber said that there was a lack of coordination between national and local tax authorities, significantly increasing the administrative burden for companies operating in the capital. It added that Shanghai’s tax environment, benefiting from a single tax authority, was more streamlined.

Former FAW-Volkswagen executive sentenced to life for corruption | Reuters and Volkswagen had no idea?  //  Shi Tao, former deputy general manager of FAW-Volkswagen Sales Co, was convicted for taking 33 million yuan ($5.3 million) in bribes, state-owned Shanghai Daily reported, citing a court in northeast China’s Jilin province. In exchange, Shi helped advertisers and car dealers obtain business orders from FAW-Volkswagen, the daily said.   He accepted bribes from 48 individuals and companies from 2006 and amassed 26.7 million yuan in property derived from unclear sources before being discovered in a 2013 audit.

China approves reforms to three policy banks – Xinhua The banks are the China Development Bank (CDB), the Export-Import Bank of China (also known as the China Exim Bank) and the Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC). The CDB must stick to its positioning as a “development financial institution,” while the China Exim Bank must build itself into a “policy bank with sustainable development capacities” and the ADBC must become an “agriculture policy bank with sustainable development capacities,” said three separate statements. // 国务院批复同意《中国农业发展银行改革实施总体方案》

China to boost railway construction in central, western regions: premier – Xinhua Railway construction is crucial to steadying growth, economic restructuring and improving public welfare and China will continue to focus on developing major railway projects in central and western regions to boost growth, Premier Li Keqiang sent the message to a work conference on regional railway development held in southwestern Chongqing Municipality. Local governments should reform investment and financing mechanism such as introducing more social capital to support railway project development and make coordinated efforts to streamline administrative approval and facilitate land acquisition and relocation, Li noted. China aims to invest over 800 billion yuan (130.36 billion U.S. dollars) in railway construction to put more than 8000 kilometers additional railway lines into operation, generally the same with last year’s target.

Northeast China to renew growth via reform and opening up: premier – Xinhua  China’s northeastern provinces should speed up reform and opening up efforts to renew growth and seek sustainable development, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Friday. The northeastern region is critical to China’s development as it boasts important industrial hubs and is a major grain producer, but now it is facing increasing downward pressure due to the volatile international market, sluggish domestic demand and slowness in systemic and institutional reforms, Premier Li said at a meeting attended by leading officials of Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces. // CCTV Evening News Saturday on Li’s visit  李克强在吉林省考察经济形势和民生状况时强调 以改革创新扩需求、增动力 保持经济稳定增长和民生持续改善

[视频]【新常态 新成效】三大自贸区:开启开放型经济新阶段新闻频道央视网( top item on Saturday CCTV Evening News playing up the three new free trade zones on Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian and the role in the “new normal” and in the “new phase” of an “open economy”..the propaganda is certainly there, even if the reality is still lagging

PBOC Pumped Funds to Banks in First Quarter to Counter Slowdown – Bloomberg Business China’s central bank pumped billions of yuan to the country’s banks via its new monetary policy tools in the first quarter to cushion an economic slowdown. The People’s Bank of China made 370 billion yuan ($59.6 billion) in loans to banks through its Medium-term Lending Facility and another 170 billion yuan via the Standing Lending Facility in the first quarter, it said in statements Friday. The MLF is for three months with an interest rate of 3.5 percent.

Results of PPP Investment Model Don’t Match Early Enthusiasm – Caixin despite the government’s enthusiasm, private investors have remained lukewarm to the idea. In December, the finance ministry announced 30 PPP projects. However, sources close to the ministry said that so far only three are been in place: a sewage system in Chizhou, Anhui Province; a pollution control effort in Guiyang, Guizhou Province; and a wastewater processing plant in Hunan Province. Local governments have also been pushing their own PPP deals. More than 10 provinces, including Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang and Sichuan, have launched pilot programs. The eastern province of Jiangsu announced 15 PPP pilot programs in August, but sources close to the government said only three of them had signed contracts in place.

The DOJ in China-China Law Blog Certainly, this does not mean that US companies should now rebuff the DOJ wholesale in all requests for cooperation in China. Not at all: Most companies still recognize there can be substantial benefits to cooperating with the authorities, both in the present, and in anticipation of what might be coming round the bend. Yet a clear understanding of the DOJ’s investigative limits can—and should—affect the negotiations over the nature and terms of any settlement. After all, where the DOJ’s investigative capacity is limited, should that not reduce its negotiating advantage? In other words, when the DOJ demands an FCPA settlement, or else “the criminal division will make the cases on [its] own,” there may just be cases where it is better to call their bluff.



China Takes Another Step in Improving Rule of Law – Caixin Hu Shuli Editorial New rules that in part aim to limit official interference in court cases are a small but necessary step in making the judiciary independent – and our society more just..Miscarriages of justice resulting from corruption in the judicial system have long been a serious issue. This has caused discontent among the public. The culprits are party and government officials. There have been many such cases. Ma Jian, the former deputy minister of national security, interfered with criminal cases on many occasions. In 2012, Ma forced the public security bureau of Henan Province to release suspect Zhao Yunan and quashed his case. Ma was no doubt trying to protect a corrupt network trading in money and power. We can only imagine that higher-ranking officials would even more blatantly interfere in the name of “strengthening the party’s leadership over judiciary work.”

Kunming’s party chief becomes province’s third official to be snared in graft crackdown | South China Morning Post Gao Jinsong is believed to have given millions of yuan in bribes to disgraced former Yunnan party chief Bai Enpei, source says

Bulldozing the Cadre Who Revamped Kunming – Caijing Anti-corruption investigators have detained former deputy party boss Qiu He and several associates linked to rapid urbanization in the capital of Yunnan

Chinese Police Seeking Charges Against Detained Women’s Activists, Lawyer Says – NYTimes The police had originally investigated the women on suspicion of “picking quarrels” but have since changed the charges they want prosecutors to impose, said one of the lawyers, Wang Qiushi. He said the charges of organizing crowds to disturb public order were tied to two actions: an attempt by the women to organize a nationwide campaign last month against sexual harassment on public transportation, as well as an earlier public campaign they had carried out against domestic violence in which they wore wedding dresses smeared with fake blood.

江泽民夫妇扬州游瘦西湖高清图集新浪网 pics of Jiang Zemin and his wife enjoying a pleasure cruise on a lake in Yangzhou  //  4月9日,江泽民在老家江苏扬州风景区瘦西湖出现,被游客认出。网友上传的图片显示,江泽民及其夫人王冶坪一行人乘坐木船。

Businessman Linked to Detained Activist May Also Be Policeman – Caixin Discovery by Internet users prompts speculation that Ou Shaokun was set up before detention for soliciting prostitute

Former deputy provincial chief procurator under probe – Xinhua Li Jinhua, former deputy head of the People’s Procuratorate of Henan Province in central China, is under investigation for “suspected serious discipline violations”, China’s anti-corruption watchdog said on its website on Saturday.

Exploring the Fun Side of China’s War on Corruption – Even the Communist Party’s main anticorruption body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, has in a roundabout way acknowledged the significance of graft-inspired humor, saying that such jokes indicate a dangerous gap between officialdom and the public. Below are some of the corruption jokes traded online via Sina Weibo and Wexin.

Sinica Podcast-Cyber Leninism and the political culture of the Chinese Internet Yesterday evening, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser were delighted to be joined in Popup Towers by Rogier Creemers, post-doctoral fellow at Oxford, author of the fantastic China copyright and media blog, and one of the most informed academics working on Chinese Internet governance.

Cyber-Leninism: History, Political Culture and the Internet in China by Rogier Creemers :: SSRN While many scholars have debated the question whether the Internet would change China, the question whether China would change the Internet has received less attention. However, the Internet’s arrival in China meant it entered into a highly complex, historically formed political culture. This created a lens through which government has perceived the potential harms and benefits of Internet technology, and a normative basis for a governing strategy. This essay attempts a preliminary exploration of how the cultural elements of Chinese politics, deeply influenced by both Confucian and Leninist tenets, have interacted with information technology.



[视频]日本活体解剖美军飞行员罪证展出新闻频道央视网( CCTV Evening News reports on newly released evidence in Japan of live dissections of US POWs in WWII // 九州大学医学历史馆中两件关于二战活体解剖事件的展品,分别介绍了活体解剖事件经过、相关人员被逮捕判刑以及九州大学医学部的反省等内容。其中书名为《九州大学五十年史》的展品,是九州大学唯一一部记录有活体解剖事件的文献。 1945年,当时还是旧日本京都帝国大学福冈医科学院的九州大学医学部教授,活体解剖了8名被俘美国飞行员进行人体试验,导致8人全部死亡。

Rescue Mission in Yemen Proves to Be Boon for Chinese Military’s Image – NYT “It is the new responsibility of a great power,” Zhu Feng, executive director of the China Center for Collaborative Studies of the South China Sea at Nanjing University, said on Wednesday. “China’s vision of the navy is decisively widening. When it is operating in international waters, it should shoulder international responsibility. It’s good, it’s good.”

US backs China’s campaign to hunt down fugitives – China Daily The United States has agreed to streamline the procedure to repatriate Chinese corrupt officials abroad, after meetings between security officials from the world’s two largest economies, China News Service reported Saturday, quoting a statement from the US Department of Homeland Security.  In the statement released Saturday, the department said that US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson had reached an agreement with the Chinese side over simplifying the process to repatriate Chinese citizens who have received the final deportation orders…The official Xinhua News Agency also reported late Friday that the United States has promised support for China’s campaign to hunt corrupt officials fleeing abroad. // 美国精简遣返中国贪官流程 定期包机送人

黄宏曾借筹备厂庆接近徐才厚并获其认可国内新闻环球网 lots of rumors around Huang Hong, who recently stepped down as head of the PLA’s August 1 Film studio..sounds like he was linked with Xu Caihou, expectation that he will be detained

Chinese demands, rebels and Buddhist ruins stall Afghan copper dream | Reuters China and Afghanistan remain deadlocked over a stalled $3 billion copper mine five months after Beijing demanded royalties be slashed by almost a half, underlining Kabul’s struggles to support itself as foreign aid dries up. The copper, lying beneath the ruins of an ancient Buddhist city, is one of the world’s largest untapped deposits. But the project at Mes Aynak has been mired in delays since state-run China Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC) won the contract to develop it in 2007.

Former CMC deputy Guo Boxiong arrested: overseas Chinese sources|WantChinaTimes certainly expected, arrest of his son and daughter-in-law and recent media exposes make it look like only a question of when  //  Retired Chinese general Guo Boxiong and his wife have been arrested on suspicion of corruption, reports Boxun News, a US-based citizen journalism outlet with a reputation for releasing unsubstantiated “insider” reports on Chinese politics. Multiple Boxun sources said Guo was detained along with his wife on April 10 and the news is reportedly already widespread in Beijing’s political circles. Witnesses claim to have seen a heavy security presence and around a dozen vehicles from the Central Security Bureau on Friday at Beijing’s Wanshouzhuang disctrict, where Guo’s family home is believed to be situated.

Ashton Carter on the TPP and rebalance-Lowy Interpreter Note the terms on which TPP is pitched here: the agreement levels the playing field not because it requires all countries to agree on the highest standards, but because it requires foreign countries to abide by US standards. It’s not an argument likely to sway opinion in the region. Nor is the explicit link Carter makes between the TPP and America’s military capability, courtesy of the reference to aircraft carriers and alliances, likely to go down well. In fact, it’s a sound-bite tailor made for those Beijing sceptics who see the TPP as a device which deliberately excludes them, and which functions as the economic component of a US-led China containment strategy.



Beijing to limit Hong Kong visits by mainland Chinese | The Guardian Hong Kong has seen a groundswell of discontent over the number of mainland Chinese visiting the crowded city, where frustration over Beijing’s stage-managing of an election process led to protests last year. Shenzhen authorities would soon restrict residents to one Hong Kong visit a week, from an unlimited number of daily trips, said Michael Tien, a Hong Kong member of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.



Nie Chenxi appointed new head of state broadcaster CCTV|WantChinaTimes A new head of China’s state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has been appointed, the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) said on Tuesday. Former president of CCTV Hu Zhanfan was removed from the post due to his age and Nie Chenxi, former deputy director of the SAPPRFT, has been appointed, the administration said in a statement on its official website.

Edible Apple Lust in China, in Pictures | Sinocism My spouse is the “cake boss” of Beijing. Recently a man placed an order with CCSweets for a birthday cake for a buddy, an Apple fanatic and a Tuhao 土豪, or “uncouth nouveau riche”. In case you were wondering, the girls are not his daughters, and everything is edible.

Sina faces suspension over lack of censorship – People’s Daily Online Chinese web giant Sina will face suspension of its Internet news services if it fails to improve censorship of illegal content, authorities have warned. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) summoned Sina leaders to a meeting late on Friday over “massive numbers of public complaints about its law violations”. Since the beginning of the year, the administration has received 6,038 complaints about Sina, more than any other web portal. It said the reports indicated that “Sina has spread illegal information related to rumors, violence and terrorism, pornography, swindling, advocation of heresies and has distorted news facts, violated morality and engaged in media hype.”



Tibetans’ viral wedding photos contrast city with country life-China Daily The wedding photos taken a by a couple of Tibetan ethnic minorities went viral online recently. The photos, first published by the bride on WeChat, China’s biggest and most popular instant messaging platform, won over 100, 000 viewers in four hours.

Beijing’s Olympic bid tests whether IOC is serious about reform – The Washington Post “China is stable politically, has a prosperous economy and a harmonious society, which is the most important guarantee to host the Winter Olympics,” Beijing’s Mayor Wang Anshun said at a news conference last month after an International Olympics Committee inspection team visited the city. “We enjoy a good social environment and public support.” But it is Beijing’s human rights record that has many people objecting to its bid and wondering how a country that repressed its people in its preparations for the 2008 Olympics could even be in the running for a second Games so soon afterward.

Scientists Question Environmental Impact of China’s Winter Olympics Bid – “It just doesn’t snow in Beijing,” said Zhang Junfeng, an independent water expert who has written and published widely on Beijing’s water troubles. “People get ideas by watching television and sports and think it’s a great pastime, but it’s not sustainable.” Beijing used to be rich in water resources, but it dried up as its population doubled over the past 25 years to an estimated 22 million. A $62 billion project to divert water to the north from the water-rich south has begun, but it is expected only to stabilize the situation.

The Eight Principles for Building People-Friendly Cities – Caixin There is a popular saying in China: All of China will copy Beijing. Unfortunately, the capital is dominated by superblocks that were designed around the needs of cars, not people. Superblocks force their residents to walk distances meant for car travel, making trips by foot unenjoyable or impractical. Close to one-third of Beijing’s air pollution comes from vehicle emissions. Its superblocks have made driving both unavoidable and insufferable – commutes are long, parking is scarce and traffic is brutal. Superblocks in China arose after the government began selling land to boost local revenue. They were the quick and easy way to develop: land could be sold rapidly, developed in a pattern and resold again. Indeed, the country is still building 10 to 15 superblocks every day. This means that developers have a significant amount of influence in how China will urbanize.

Meet The Badass Transgender Talk Show Host Who Wants To Be China’s Most Influential Woman “My words aren’t like massage oil — they’re like acupuncture needles,” Jin Xing (pronounced “jeen shing”) told The WorldPost. “They go right to the nerve and twist it.”



China blocks $4bn Xiaonanhai dam development – China’s environment ministry has blocked a $3.75bn dam project that would have flooded the last free-flowing section of the middle reaches of the Yangtze river, in a rare victory for environmentalists. Upriver from the inland port city of Chongqing, the Xiaonanhai dam has been a rallying cause for Chinese environmentalists since now-disgraced politician Bo Xilai redrew the boundaries of a nature reserve to allow its construction.

Power Play: China’s Ultra High Voltage Technology and Global Standards-Paulson Institute Two factors are creating a window of opportunity for Chinese UHV technologies to gain international acceptance and become the de facto global standard: first, China is the only country currently deploying UHV technology on a large scale; second, no international UHV standard has yet prevailed. China’s effort to internationalize its own UHV standards, then, could yield greater global market share for Chinese UHV technologies. In fact, China has already made some modest progress in becoming the default standard-setter for UHV projects outside its borders, in part by growing its global market share

Environmental watchdog gets tough over pollution – China Daily The national environmental watchdog has imposed tougher penalties and larger fines on companies and individuals following the introduction of revised legislation. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has imposed the new daily fine measure to 26 companies with the total amount of more than 12.4 million yuan ($2 million) nationwide in the two months after the updated Environmental Protection Law took effect on Jan 1. In addition, production plants belonging to 527 companies were closed, 207 businesses were ordered to suspend their operations, and managers at 147 companies were placed in administrative detention in January and February, the ministry revealed on Friday.

Latest China Plan for Emergency Oil Will Hold 37 Days of Imports – Bloomberg Business The nation is planning facilities with capacity to store 232 million barrels of crude in the third phase of its strategic petroleum reserve program, according to a deputy director at the National Development Reform and Commission’s energy research institute. The proposal is yet to receive government approval, Gao Shixian said in Shanghai on Friday. The world’s second-biggest oil consumer stepped up purchases to fill its emergency supplies last year as benchmark prices plunged almost 50 percent amid a global supply glut. It currently holds reserves equivalent to about 30 days of imports, with the government seeking to boost that level to 100 days by 2020, according to state-run refiner China Petrochemical Corp.

Hundreds protest against pollution from south China coal plant | Reuters Hundreds of people in China’s southern Guangdong province protested against the expansion of a coal-fired power plant on Sunday, state media reported, the latest sign of public discontent over pollution. Residents had complained of smog in Heyuan city since the power plant there began operations in 2008, and officials recently approved a second phase for the project, the official Xinhua news agency reported.



Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Cracks Down on Agricultural Smuggling Smuggling is rampant because Chinese prices are much higher than the price of imported commodities. Imports of many commodities are restricted by quotas or bans.



Chinese Pronunciation Wiki Your practical, free, comprehensive online resource for Chinese pronunciation, tones, and pinyin. 546 pages and growing!



鸟巢附近隧道上演现实版“速激” 两超跑惨烈相撞国内新京报网 Pictures-Lamborghini destroyed, Ferrari and tunnel damaged in accident Saturday night…like drag racing…near the Bird’s Nest, in an area popular with drag-racing in the past

京津冀城际铁路公司成立 3地政府与铁总共同出资- 21世纪网 Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Municipal Rail firm set up…part of the 3 region integration plan, called by some the JJJ Plan for Jing-Jin-Ji //  据悉,上述公司名为京津冀城际铁路投资有限公司(下称京津冀铁路公司)已经在北京市工商局完成工商登记。该公司由京津冀三省市政府及中国铁路总公司按照3:3:3:1的比例共同出资成立。公司的主要作用和业务是负责京津冀城际铁路项目投资、铁路工程建设、资产管理、房地产开发、土地整理等业务的经营工作。

New association to cut Beijing steel industry smog – Xinhua Initiated by the Beijing Science and Technology Commission and its counterparts in Tianjin and Hebei, the association, comprising 70 such institutions in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, will aim to coordinate industrial upgrading and emission reduction. One of its chiefs said the association would innovate in capital injection to tackle a lack of funding. Financial institutions plan to offer as much as 30 billion yuan (4.9 billion U.S. dollars) in loans to cut emissions in Beijing and the surrounding area, said the chief, who requested anonymity.

Beijing’s Expatriate Community Mourns the Loss of One of Our Finest: Mike Murphy of IQAir | the Beijinger Beijing’s expatriate community lost one of its finest Wednesday as Mike Murphy, the man who brought the IQAir brand to Beijing, died suddenly at his home in the Lido area. A resident of Beijing for over a decade, Mike was the very definition of a self-made man. He arrived in 2004 with his pregnant wife, having been a landscaper in the US, and started his business by selling Christmas trees in the parking lot of Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi, at a time when they were virtually impossible to buy in Beijing.

北京:升学新游戏特别报道财经国家新闻网 more on the significant reforms in Beijing school enrollment, aimed at equalizing education opportunity and quality across the city



Program Officer, Economic Opportunity and Public Policy / Beijing / Ford Foundation The Ford Foundation’s office in China seeks a dynamic, innovative Program Officer to help drive and shape the foundation’s work in the critical area of economic opportunity and public policy. The Program Officer will support the strategy of the China Office and the broader social justice goals of the Ford Foundation.

If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.

Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters

Send comments/tips/complaints to

And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.