The Sinocism China Newsletter 04.13.17

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

Just links today:


1. Trump Says Dollar ‘Getting Too Strong,’ Won’t Label China a Currency Manipulator – WSJ Mr. Trump said the reason he has changed his mind on one of his signature campaign promises is that China hasn’t been manipulating its currency for months and because taking the step now could jeopardize his talks with Beijing on confronting the threat of North Korea. “They’re not currency manipulators,” Mr. Trump said.

Related: Trump vs Trump on China’s currency manipulation – Axios Comment: a list of a few of his public proclamations before changing his mind…wonder how Beijing will view future threats from Trump, given his walk back of his tough talk over Taiwan in order to get Xi on the phone and now this…Doesn’t seem unreasonable for Beijing to see him as another American paper tiger?

Related: US’ change to currency tack will pay dividends for ties: China Daily editorial On Wednesday, Trump backed away from his campaign promise that he will name China a currency manipulator as one of his first acts in office. The US Treasury Department also confirmed that its semi-annual report on currency practices of major trading partners, due out later this month, will refrain from doing so as well. The US stance immediately won approval from Beijing, which said it will contribute to the healthy development of two-way trade and investment.

Related: Trump and Xi: Tensions Turn to Friendship – WSJ “We have a very good relationship,” he said in a Wall Street Journal interview in the Oval Office. “We have a great chemistry together. We like each other. I like him a lot. I think his wife is terrific.” The leader who came in for those warm words? Chinese President Xi Jinping. It’s safe to say very few people saw that coming. China was, as much as any country, the target of Trump broadsides during the 2016 presidential campaign—for not playing fair in the world economy, for taking advantage of the U.S., for stealing American business, for intimidating its neighbors.

Related: Trump shifting positions at breakneck pace – POLITICO From health care and the Export-Import Bank to NATO and to China’s alleged currency manipulation, Trump has made moves that would leave a more traditional politician labeled a flip-flopper. But for Trump, who sold himself in part on a businessman’s flexibility, the moves fit his reputation for unpredictability.

2. Trump Says He Offered China Better Trade Terms in Exchange for Help on North Korea – WSJ Mr. Trump said he told his Chinese counterpart he believed Beijing could easily take care of the North Korea threat. Mr. Xi then explained the history of China and Korea, Mr. Trump said. “After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Mr. Trump recounted. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power” over North Korea,” he said. “But it’s not what you would think.” // Comment: Interesting that he originally thought it would be easy…

Related: At Chinese border with North Korea, trade cools but few signs of strain | Reuters In Dandong, through which about three-quarters of China’s trade with North Korea flows, long queues of trucks heading in both directions formed across the Friendship Bridge, despite what locals said was a relative lull due to the North’s most important national holiday on Saturday marking the birth of founder president Kim Il Sung.

Related: China’s nuclear get-out clause over defence of North Korea | South China Morning Post China is not obliged to help defend North Korea from military attack if the reclusive state developed nuclear weapons, according to Chinese diplomatic and military observers. The assessment comes as senior officials in Washington warn of a strike against the Pyongyang regime. China and North Korea signed a mutual aid and cooperation treaty in 1961 as they sought to mount a united front against Western powers. It specifies that if one of the parties comes under armed attack, the other should render immediate assistance, including military support.

Related: U.S. May Launch Strike If North Korea Reaches For Nuclear Trigger – NBC News The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.// Comment: Other US media report this report is in error

Related: China warns against force as North Korea prepares celebration | Reuters Trump diverted the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group toward the Korean peninsula last weekend in a show of force to try to deter North Korea from conducting another nuclear test or launching more missiles to coincide with important events and anniversaries. But a senior Trump administration official described as “flat wrong” an NBC News report citing senior U.S. intelligence officials as saying the United States is prepared to launch a pre-emptive conventional weapons strike should officials be convinced North Korea was about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test.

Related: Kim Jong Un’s rockets are getting an important boost — from China – The Washington Post China’s complex relationship with North Korea was a key topic during last week’s U.S. visit by President Xi Jinping, as Trump administration officials urged Chinese counterparts to apply more pressure on Pyongyang to halt its work on nuclear weapons and long-range delivery systems. Yet, despite China’s public efforts to rein in North Korea’s provocative behavior, Chinese companies continue to act as enablers, supplying the isolated communist regime with technology and hardware that allow its missiles to take flight, according to current and former U.S. and U.N. officials and independent weapons experts.

Related: China Says Its Trade With North Korea Has Increased – The New York Times The data released on Thursday showed that China’s trade with North Korea grew 37.4 percent in the first quarter of this year from the period in 2016. Chinese exports surged 54.5 percent, and imports increased 18.4 percent, the General Administration of Customs said at a news conference in Beijing.

3. Chinese Investment in the United States: Time for New Rules? – Lawfare – Jen Harris China is the second largest—soon to be the largest—market in the world. U.S policy should be doing everything it can to help U.S. investors compete effectively for a piece of the action. This includes creating new leverage where existing leverage is found wanting. Of course, China could—and may well—retaliate. But the fact that Washington would be shifting to reciprocity within the context of negotiating a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with China gives the U.S. much-needed leverage for that negotiation while also taking advantage of a bounded time horizon (that is, given the United States’ model BIT, completion of a BIT with China will necessarily mean lifting the vast majority reciprocity-related restrictions, and could well entail lifting all such restrictions), thereby containing the possibility for spiral. // Comment: A very smart piece

4. China’s Property Tax Struggles to Get Off the Ground – Caixin The real estate tax faces a mountain of challenges and complexities. These include vested interests such as multiple-home owners, technical and technological problems, the potential loss of fiscal income for local governments, the negative impact on the housing market and economic growth, disagreement over the legality of such a levy, controversy over the design and structure of the taxation system itself, and concern about adding to the existing burden of property-related taxes and fees.

5. China’s Crusade to Prop Up the Yuan Neglects Other Pressing Needs – WSJ For most of the past decade, Beijing seemed to defy the trilemma, or “impossible trinity,” as some call it, as it slowly lifted capital controls without the yuan or interest rates spinning out of control. “You can have a combination of all three,” Yi Gang, a deputy central-bank governor, said last year in a panel discussion with former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The PBOC has backed off that notion. By tightening controls on money flowing out, it has dialed back years of efforts to make it easier for the Chinese to invest overseas and more attractive for foreigners to invest in China. // Comment: Another rough period for RMB shorts…remember the early 2016 hysteria from certain quarters that Beijing would have to let the RMB go by summer 2016? China may be kicking the can down the road, but they have a lot of a feet and a lot of road, as well as the ability to apply coercive measures…

6. Xinhua Insight: Procedures unveiled for birth of Xiongan New Area – Xinhua Comment: Xinhua story on the genesis of Xiongan and the process to establish it getting top propaganda billing across Chinese media Friday// Addressing a central economic meeting at the end of 2014, Xi said that transferring Beijing’s non-capital functions, lowering its population density and promoting economic and social development commensurate with its population and resources must be at the core of coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. During CPC meetings in April 2015, Xi suggested investigating the possibility of a new city in Hebei, built according to new development concepts. On March 24, 2016, Xi heard a report on the creation of Beijing’s “subsidiary center” and another area where non-capital functions would be shifted from Beijing. The subsidiary center is to be located in the eastern suburb of Tongzhou while the other area will be Xiongan. 千年大计、国家大事–以习近平同志为核心的党中央决策河北雄安新区规划建设纪实-The original Chinese article

Related: New Economic Zone May Imperil Wetlands, Environmentalists Fear – Caixin Nearly 85% of Baiyangdian is located in Anxin County, one of the three rural counties in Hebei province chosen for the Xiongan New Area. The 100-square-kilometer zone is expected to eventually expand to 2,000 square kilometers — nearly three times the size of New York. Xiongan will be a key component of a massive “mega-region” developing around Beijing and neighboring Tianjin and Hebei, and will help ease the population pressure on the Chinese capital. But the water in the lakes in the wetlands is so polluted that it can’t be used for drinking or agriculture. That means ground water is the only source of drinking water for nearly 100,000 people who live nearby and for many more in surrounding areas, said Chen He, an associate professor at Beijing Normal University’s School of Environment.

Related: 白洋淀新契机_深度_新京报网 水到白洋阔连天,暮云浮笔画峰峦。诗人马俊宜笔下再现了白洋淀历史上的盛景。然而,由于气候条件变化和社会经济的发展,曾经“九河下梢”的白洋淀面临着缺水的困境,面积已由上世纪50年代的561平方公里锐减至366平方公里,同时带来了一系列的生态问题。//Comment: The Beijing News says Xiongan may be an opportunity to restore Baiyangdian. “the kidneys of northern China”

Related: Beijing to move colleges, hospitals to suburbs, Xiongan New District Beijing’s development and reform commission recently unveiled key construction initiatives for 2017, including nine that involve new, expanded or relocated projects for colleges and hospitals including Renmin University, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing Friendship Hospital and Peking University People’s Hospital.

Related: Can Beijing Withstand the Coming Economic Exodus? | Sixth Tone Any decision that moves power out of Beijing will affect the city considerably. With the expected outflow of hot money to Xiongan New Area, the vast area of northern China’s Hebei province earmarked as a “dual” or “second” capital, we can expect a pronounced drop in Beijing’s sky-high property prices. Since most urban residents have parked their assets in these pricy apartments, how does the government win support for a policy that essentially makes Beijingers poorer?

Related: China’s $290 Billion Dream to Make Backwater a New Shenzhen – Bloomberg Others wonder if the state-led mega project in Xiongan is wise given China’s rising debt levels and the government’s stated goals of slower and more sustained economic growth and smarter capital allocation. Total credit reached about 258 percent of economic output last year, up from 158 percent in 2005, according to Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.

7. Cities’ Pollution Violations Have Inspectors Fuming – Caixin Environmental inspectors from the central government have slammed local authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing for failing to meet pollution reduction targets and other green commitments. Three high-level teams sent by the Communist Party, which included officials from its anti-corruption watchdog, its personnel department and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, toured the three mega cities in November and December. They found that local authorities in all three areas had failed to meet conservation goals, and that lax government oversight had led to widespread violations of environmental protection laws.

Related: Tianjin Speeds Up Ban on Polluting Coal-Toting Trucks – Caixin As one of China’s most heavily polluted areas, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has struggled to battle severe smog in recent years. The port of Tianjin, China’s second-largest by cargo volume, was ordered to stop handling all goods due to low visibility caused by smog. The delays cost importers 78 million yuan ($11.3 million), according to the minutes of a meeting Caixin acquired. Banning coal-carrying diesel-powered trucks in the port is a costly step, which is designed to reduce emissions to improve air quality in many cities, most importantly in Beijing.

8. Within Trump’s inner circle, a moderate voice captures the president’s ear – The Washington Post The growing strength of Cohn and like-minded moderates was on display this week as Trump reversed himself on several high-profile issues — including a less confrontational approach to China, an endorsement of government subsidies for exports and the current leadership of the Federal Reserve. The president’s new positions move him much closer to the views of Cohn and others on Wall Street, not to mention mainstream Republicans and Democrats. It was the clearest sign yet that an alliance of moderates in the White House — including Cohn; senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and another influential Goldman Sachs alumna, Dina Powell — is racking up successes in a battle over ideology and control with hardcore conservatives led by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who held sway at the start of the administration. // Comment: Beijing and most investors will be relieved if two of the main influences on US-China policy are Goldman alums and Kissinger


独家|银监会主席助理杨家才工作移交 暂时无法联系_金融频道_财新网 Comment: Caixin report that Yang Jiacai, Assistant Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is unreachable, his duties have been handed off to others and there are incosistent explanations for his absence //  杨家才原本在银监会分管的诸多工作均移交给了副主席曹宇。“杨助理去参加中央专项工作了”、“去中央学习了”、“处理公务了”,本周以来至今,银监会内部对这一变动的解释口径并不那么一致

Bank Regulator Curbs Use of Interbank Fundraising Tool – Caixin The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issued a notice to lenders last week requiring banks to report the amount of negotiable certificates of deposit (NCDs) as part of interbank lending and borrowing, according to bankers who have seen this notice.

The End of China’s Export Juggernaut   Liberty Street Economics – NY Fed China has been an exporting juggernaut for decades. In the United States, this has meant a dramatic increase in China’s share of imports and a ballooning bilateral trade deficit. Gaining sales in the United States at the expense of other countries, Chinese goods rose from only 2 percent of U.S. non-oil imports in 1990 to 8 percent in 2000 and 17 percent in 2010. But these steady gains in U.S. import share have stopped in recent years, with China even losing ground to other countries in some categories of goods. One explanation for this shift is that Chinese firms now have to directly compete against manufacturers in high-skill developed countries while also fending off competition from lower-wage countries, such as Vietnam. This inability to make additional gains at the expense of other countries means that exports don’t contribute as much to China’s overall growth as they used to.

China Eastern Airlines to build base worth $2 billion at new Beijing airport | Reuters China plans to complete the first phase by 2019, and will be able to serve 45 million passengers a year with four runways on the first opening. Two more phases would push the capacity to an annual count of 100 million passengers.

Evergrande’s Hong Kong shares soar on imminent A-share listing | South China Morning Post Investors are rushing to buy the Hong Kong stocks because of the huge gap currently between those, and the expected valuation of its Shenzhen listing. The heavily indebted developer’s leverage is also set to decline for the first time in many years, a key catalyst for its stock.

Sinica Podcast: Virginia Kamsky: A life of business in China She first went to China in 1978 with what was then the Chase Manhattan Bank, before the country began “reform and opening up” and when very few foreigners visited. Ginny founded Kamsky Associates, Inc., in 1980, one of the first U.S. companies to be granted a business license in China. As a strategic advisory firm, Kamsky works with a wide array of clients ranging from automobile, chemical, finance, media, and more.

China faces a tough fight to escape its debt trap-FT $$ – Martin Wolf I have argued that it is in the interests of China and the rest of the world to keep their financial systems separate. The rapid growth of indebtedness and the size of its financial system represent a threat to global stability. China needs to rebalance its economy and stabilise its financial system before opening up capital flows. Western financiers will have a different view. We should ignore this sectional interest.


Why is Xi Jinping giving Guangdong a rare thumbs-up ahead of China’s power reshuffle? | South China Morning Post In an “important instruction” issued on April 4, Xi “fully endorsed various work in Guangdong since the 18th party congress”, provincial party mouthpiece Nanfang Daily reported on Wednesday. Just two days after Xi’s instruction, Hu Chunhua made a high-profile trip to Wukan, a village at the centre of a crackdown on grass-roots democracy. The trip, analysts said, was to draw attention to his loyalty and hardline stand.

Party investigates Hebei official – China Daily Yang Chongyong, vice director of the Hebei Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee, has been placed under investigation for “serious violation of Party disciplines,” according to the Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on Tuesday.

Reviewing the Supreme People’s Court Report on the People’s Assessor System Reform: Pt. 2 – NPC Observer This post continues Part 1 with a summary of the second half of the Supreme People’s Court’s (SPC’s) midterm report on pilot reform of the people’s assessor system—authorized by the NPC Standing Committee in April 2015. This part of the SPC’s report concerns the problems the Court identified with the pilot projects as well as its suggestions for further advancing the reform. In the days since we published Part 1, we have learned that the NPCSC is poised to renew the pilot projects (at least for another year, we think). One therefore could expect the SPC to focus on the difficulties discussed below in the next phase of the reform.

We (can’t) Chat: “709 Crackdown” Discussions Blocked on Weibo and WeChat – The Citizen Lab This report is a continuation of research documenting content filtering on WeChat and Sina Weibo. Censorship on these platforms is dynamic and often reactive to news events. Through a series of tests we found content related to the “709 Crackdown” blocked on both platforms. This censorship is implemented in ways that are not transparent to users, a continuation of trends we have seen in past research. Additionally, we provide evidence of images related to the event filtered on WeChat in both chat and WeChat Moments. This finding is the first documentation of image filtering on the app. Similar to keyword filtering, censorship of images, is only enabled for accounts registered to mainland China phone numbers. Our findings serves as a reminder to China-focused NGOs and individuals of the potential hindrances they may face when communicating on Chinese social media platforms.

Authorities Urge Kyrgyz Herdsmen to Spy on Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang-RFA Local authorities are urging Kyrgyz herdsmen in the mountains of a far-western prefecture in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to report suspicious people and events to the government in a new move to move to monitor Muslim Uyghurs in the restive area. Liu Huijun, party secretary of Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture, and prefecture governor Dilshat Kidirhan published an open letter to the Kyrgyz herdsmen on the government’s news portal on March 31, local police told RFA’s Uyghur Service.

Rewards of up to 5 million yuan offered for terrorism tip-offs by remote area in China’s Xinjiang | South China Morning Post Altay, which is close to Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, is offering up to 5 million yuan (US$725,000) for tip-offs, the prefecture’s police authority said in a statement on its social media account. The rewards dwarf the 500,000 yuan rewards offered by the state security bureau in the capital Beijing to help catch foreign spies.

CPC elects more grassroots delegates to upcoming national congress – China Daily Nationwide, a total of 2,300 delegates will be elected before June to represent China’s 88 million CPC members to take part in the national congress.

China unveils 10-year plan for youth development – Xinhua “Youth” in the context of the plan released by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council refers to those aged from 14 to 35. The Middle- and Long-term Youth Development Plan (2016-2025) sets a general goal of establishing a “youth development policy system and work mechanism” by 2020 and improving the system by 2025.  中共中央、国务院印发《中长期青年发展规划(2016—2025年)》 

Political advisors discuss training more patriotic religious elites – Xinhua Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top advisory body, chaired the biweekly meeting. Members of the CPPCC National Committee said that generally the country lacks high-caliber and influential personages among various religious groups.

China Jails Social Media User For Two Years For Satire About President, Chairman Mao-RFA Wang Jiangfeng, who reportedly referred to the head of the ruling Chinese Communist Party as “Steamed Bun Xi” in a group message to the smartphone apps WeChat and QQ, was sentenced by the Zhaoyuan People’s Court last week after being found guilty of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble.”


Duterte cancels visit to disputed South China Sea island after warning from Beijing | The Guardian Philippines’ president backs down on vow to plant flag on Thitu island, citing ‘our friendship with China’

South Korea opposition to seek summit with China if frontrunner elected | Reuters Yun Ho-jung, the chairperson of the Democratic Party’s policy committee and a long-time acquaintance of presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in, said the economy faces risks from possible protectionist policies from China and the United States. Moon currently holds the lead in a majority of polls, but he is closely being followed by a candidate from another opposition party, Ahn Cheol-soo.

China flaunts rows of mighty missiles on state TV | Daily Mail Online China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday revealed footage of the country’s various missiles in a daily military programme. According to media, one of the weapons featured in the programme was DF-21 missile. The anti-ship ballistic missile boasts a firing distance of up to 1,926 miles (3,100km) and has been dubbed ‘the killer of aircraft carrier’.

Chinese Political and Military Thinking Regarding Taiwan and East and South China Seas | RAND Tim Heath Testimony presented before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on April 13, 2017

Chinese Contingency Planning for Regional Hotspots | RAND Mark Cozad Testimony presented before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on April 13, 2017

Japan scrambles jet fighters at record pace as Chinese military activity rises | Reuters Japan’s Air Self Defence Force reported its fighters scrambled 1,168 times over the 12 months, up from 873 last year. A record 851 jets headed off approaching Chinese planes, or 280 more instances than in the corresponding period last year.

China urges correcting “historical injustice” to allow Palestinian state | South China Morning Post Palestinians must be allowed to build an independent state, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday after meeting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, who pushed Beijing to do more in the Middle East peace process.

China Gifts Military Equipment to Laos | The Diplomat On April 11, China presented defense equipment to Laos in another sign of the enduring importance of the security relationship between Beijing and the tiny, landlocked Southeast Asian state.

More Chinese-Owned Banana Plantations to Close in Laos-RFA Lao government orders closing down environmentally destructive Chinese banana farms, first reported in January in Bokeo province, are now in force in six other provinces in the Southeast Asian country, sources say.

Russian President Putin confirms to attend Beijing’s Belt and Road Forum – People’s Daily Online Russian President Vladimir Putin said here on Thursday that he is glad to attend the Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation to be held in Beijing on May 14-15.

China Again Asked U.S. to Return Fugitives-Washington Free Beacon A Justice Department official acknowledged that the issue was raised during the summit. Among the high-priority targets sought by the Chinese is Ling Wancheng, younger brother of Ling Jihua, an aide to former Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao who was imprisoned last year.


China Gets Creative in Boosting Box-Office Returns – WSJ By including online booking fees, China reported a mere 0.1% drop in ticket sales

China’s Xinhua News Agency Teams Up With Alibaba In Bid To Transform Itself – China Money Network Shanghai-listed Xinhua Net Co., an online news platform majority owned by Chinese state media organization Xinhua News Agency, plans to set up a joint venture with units of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. in a bid to transform itself to compete in today’s mobile and smart media environment.

Chinese internet giant Baidu snaps up U.S. computer vision firm xPerception | VentureBeat | AI | by Reuters xPerception, which makes vision perception software and hardware with applications in robotics and virtual reality, will continue to develop their core technology under Baidu’s research unit, the Chinese firm said in a statement on Thursday.

[视频]“净网2017”公布8起典型网络案件_CCTV 全国“扫黄打非”办公室12日对外公布了今年查办的北京“夜魅社区”传播淫秽色情信息案、江苏常州“微笑直播”平台传播淫秽色情信息案等6起淫秽色情信息案件,以及近日审结的浙江台州陈某翚等人微信传播淫秽物品牟利案等2起案件。

‘Red Army’ Defends China on the Virtual Battlefield | Sixth Tone From among a group of red-clad game avatars, a voice calls out in Mandarin: “There’s a foreigner; the guy in the black shirt is a foreigner! Kill him!” A bugle sounds, and the foreign gamer is immediately surrounded by a group of Chinese players before uttering his last words to a teammate: “It’s the Red Army, dude!” Scenes like this one have become common in “H1Z1: King of the Kill” — a popular online “deathmatch” survival video game — ever since 32-year-old gamer Gu Wenlong began leading the virtual militia of fellow Chinese players into battle against foreign enemies two years ago.


Li Rui: China’s red rebel turns 100 – BBC News The BBC’s Carrie Gracie met the former secretary to Chairman Mao – a man who dared to speak out then, and who remains an independent voice to this day.

China’s Highest Court on the Legality of Infidelity | Sixth Tone On Wednesday, just as social media was atwitter with the rumor that actress Bai Baihe was having an affair — by Thursday, hashtagged posts on the topic had received more than 1 billion views on microblog platform Weibo — the Supreme People’s Court published an article on so-called loyalty agreements, which spell out how spouses who engage in extramarital affairs ought to be punished. “What?! Yet another celebrity affair?!” began the court’s essay, before going on to explain that loyalty agreements, which can be signed when a couple gets married, serve as reminders to people considering an affair, and could help repair a relationship and avoid divorce. “Essentially, a loyalty agreement is in accordance with the spirit of the marriage law, which says in its fourth article that husband and wife need to respect each other and be faithful,” the court wrote.

China-linked investors target stake in Brentford football club-FT Consortium led by businessman Chien Lee in talks over potential £30m deal for 50% holding

China’s Rental Market Riled by Shady Tenants-Turned-Landlords | Sixth Tone The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, China’s top housing authority, listed standardizing the rental sector as one of its 2017 goals, after a year of inspections and investigations revealed a fraud-plagued market.  Illegal and unlicensed housing agents and secondary landlords have been caught raising rents randomly, forcing tenants out before their lease ends, refusing to return deposit fees when tenants move out, and flouting construction safety standards when remodeling properties, according to Lu Kehua, vice minister of the national housing authority said in February.

Deng Xiaoping Sees Khrushchevs | Wilson Center In recent years, China’s Party Literature Research Center, a research arm of the CCP’s Central Committee, has released a glut of new publications: from dense day-by-day accounts of an individual leader’s life (nianpu) to extensive multi-volume collections of documents (wenjian). In the 1990s and early 2000s, these sources were a boon to the China historian’s craft. The digitization and online publication of many of the official texts has made them even more useful.


Beijing Tree Pruners, Allergy Sufferers Stage Poplar Revolt – Caixin Poplar and willow trees were planted en mass in the capital in the 1960s and 1970s, because they were considered a cheap way to green the city. The species grew faster and cost less to maintain compared to alternatives such as ginkgo trees. But in hindsight, that may have proved to be the wrong choice. The forestry bureau says it plans to sterilize or remove blossoms from 400,000 trees this year. These efforts won’t make pollen from female poplar and willow trees totally disappear, but it will not create “any nuisance or pose hazards to the public by 2020,” a statement on Wednesday from the forestry bureau said.

China state planner asks utilities to discuss measures to lower coal prices -source | Energy & Oil | Reuters Beijing has asked the nation’s top power companies including China Huaneng Corp and China Datang Corp to meet to discuss measures to lower thermal coal prices and power market reform plans, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

Born in China | Disneynature  Disneynature, in its ongoing quest to bring the natural world to the big screen as never before, presents its most ambitious project to date, taking moviegoers on a grand journey into the wilds of China. “Born In China” follows the adventures of three animal families — the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey and the elusive snow leopard.


China’s ‘super hybrid’ rice expected to yield 17 tons per hectare – People’s Daily Online “This year, we are striving for a new yield of 1,130 kilograms per mu [about 0.07 hectares], or 17 tons per hectare,” Yuan Longping said on April 12 at the First International Forum on Rice in Sanya, Hainan province. “Our chance of reaching the target is 90 percent,” he added.

Trump’s Chinese Trade Tension Claims Grain as Latest Victim – Bloomberg Prices for U.S. distillers dried grains, a corn byproduct that’s used in animal feed, have tumbled to the lowest in a decade for this time of year. China’s move earlier in 2017 to impose import tariffs has significantly slowed American exports to the world’s biggest market.


Sanzijing, or “Three Character Classic,” the old Chinese text that Ivanka Trump’s kids recited for Chinese president Xi Jinping was long banned in China — Quartz For decades, Sanzijing had been banned from all public kindergartens and schools in China as the Communist regime cracked down on non-socialist ideas. In recent times, China’s rulers have softened in their attitude (paywall) to these kinds of older texts. In 2004 local authorities in several Chinese cities reintroduced Sanzijing to public schools, state media China Daily reported at the time. But still, Chinese schools have adopted different approaches to the classic.


Make America Friendly Again, Advises CEO of Chinese Travel Giant | Sixth Tone Ctrip boss says US should lay down the welcome mat if it wants to continue attracting big-spenders from China.

Donnie Yen says that United Airlines is now on his personal blacklist: Shanghaiist On Tuesday, the Ip Man and Rogue One actor posted on Facebook that United was now on his personal blacklist after his 9-year-old son had watched the disturbing video of Dao being forcibly removed from his seat by police officers and had asked him about it. “How do you teach your children of such uncivilized, injustice, discriminated, publicly and proudly assaulted a 69 year old man, treating him like trash. No one should be treated this way,” Yen writes.


Career Opportunities – The Aspen Institute – Program Coordinator- China Fellowship Program Location: Washington DC

Book Forum on Ian Johnson’s, “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion after Mao” | Center for Strategic and International Studies Tuesday, April 18, 2017 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor Conference Room B

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