"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
I rebuilt my network with all new hardware and today have had the longest continuous Internet connection in more than two weeks. If this does not solve my connectivity problems I may have to resort to a pigeon edition of the newsletter. Thanks for your patience, apologies for the inconsistency recently.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Margin trading measures not stock market crackdown: regulator – Xinhua China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) spokesman Deng Ke said the notice aims to promote the balanced development of transactions in both directions of margin trading. Taking the rules for a crackdown on the stock market is a misinterpretation, Deng said, adding that short selling by borrowing stocks is a mature mechanism commonly adopted overseas that can reduce fluctuations, discover reasonable prices and hedge against market risks. Deng added that unveiling these measures was an implementation of a guideline promulgated in 2014 for further promoting healthy development of the capital market, which requires the improvement of market stabilization mechanisms and enrichment of risk management tools.// 证监会紧急澄清：“促进融券业务发展”并非鼓励卖空打压股市牛市点线面澎湃新闻-The Paper Clearly spooked by the futures sell-off Friday aftermarket.
Related: China Futures Tumble on Trust Curbs, Expansion of Short Selling – Bloomberg Business Regulators banned the margin-trading businesses of brokerages from using so-called umbrella trusts and allowed fund managers to lend shares to short sellers, statements on Friday showed. Investors have used umbrella trusts, which allow for more leverage than brokerage financing, to ramp up wagers on Chinese stocks
Related: 肖钢提醒投资者：理性参与股票投资_证券时报网 证监会主席肖钢昨日提醒广大投资者特别是新入市的投资者，参与股票投资要保持理性、冷静，决不可受“宁可买错，不可错过”等观点误导，要充分估计股市投资风险，谨慎投资，量力而行，不跟风，不盲从。 肖钢是在昨日举行的上证50和中证500股指期货上市仪式上作上述表述的。他说，在沪深300股指期货上市五周年的今天，资本市场迎来了上证50和中证500股指期货的挂牌上市，这是我国金融期货衍生品市场体系建设迈出的重要一步。
2. China unveils landmark plan to curb water pollution | Liu Qin – China Dialogue Under the long-awaited ‘Ten-point water plan’, China’s cabinet said it aims to lift the share of good quality water, ranked at national standard three or above, to more than 70% by 2020 in seven major river basins including the Yellow and Yangtze. The plan also wants at least 93% of urban drinking water supply to be at least level three by the end of the decade, and calls for comprehensive supervision of water quality from source to tap by local governments, performance that will be reviewed by central government and made public. The plan said impact on water supplies will become a key consideration on whether to permit industrial plants, adding that it will restrict building of petrochemical and metal refining along major rivers.
Related: Xinhua Insight: Cleaning up China’s big rivers – Xinhua On a recent fact-finding mission, a Xinhua reporter visited a tributary of the Huai in Anhui and found it covered in white foam and dead weeds with a foul smell. Local farmers said the smell is especially bad in summer and people who wade in the river develop a red rash. The problem is nationwide. The main streams of rivers are often given more attention than tributaries and lakes. It will be important to attach just as much importance to tributaries in order to hit the new targets, Wang said. “The response of the local governments to the plan matters,” he said. “Can local authorities come up with detailed and feasible policies?”
3. China Suspends Rules on Tech Companies Serving Banks – NYTimes China has suspended a policy that would have effectively pushed foreign technology companies out of the country’s banking sector, according to a note sent by Chinese regulators to banks. Dated Monday, the letter called for banks to “suspend implementation” of the rules, which have been at the center of a brewing trade conflict between the United States and China. // But this does not mean the rules won’t reappear. Meanwhile can foreign IT vendors expect any Chinese financial institutions to make significant purchases while there is still uncertainty about a final set of rules?
4. China Invests Billions in Its ‘All-Weather Friendship’ With Pakistan | Foreign Policy Just as Washington is straining to flesh out its pivot to Asia, provoked in part by worries over Chinese aggression, Beijing seems to be accelerating both the economic and security aspects of its own lurch west, with potentially big implications for India, South Asia, and the Middle East. Chinese president Xi Jinping will visit Pakistan next week bearing gifts, some $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investment deals, Reuters and other media reported Thursday. The two countries enjoy close relations, often touted as an “all-weather friendship,” and Beijing and Islamabad have talked up multi-billion dollar projects for years, involving everything from hydroelectric plants to highways. But bilateral ties are intensifying due to Pakistan’s need to short-circuit public unrest at acute energy shortages, and China’s desire to bolster the economic prospects of its own underdeveloped western provinces and find fresh opportunities as its domestic economy slams on the brakes.
Related: Spotlight: Xi’s upcoming visit to feature commitment to cooperation, common development – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel next week to Pakistan for a state visit and to Indonesia for an Asian-African summit and activities commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. The April 20-24 trip, which will be Xi’s first abroad in 2015, promises to mark a significant stroke of China’s neighborhood diplomacy, particularly with the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives on the background. It is set to help promote the all-weather friendship and all-dimensional cooperation between China and Pakistan, carry on the spirit of the Bandung Conference, and strengthen South-South cooperation.
Related: China Readies $46 Billion for Pakistan Trade Route – WSJ Beijing’s primary concern is that instability in neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan is spilling into China’s predominantly Muslim northwest, and could grow worse with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. China sees a historic opportunity to redraw the geopolitical map by succeeding where the U.S. has largely failed, building critical infrastructure that could kick-start economic growth and open new trade routes between China and Central and South Asia. A cornerstone of the project will be to develop the Pakistani port of Gwadar, a warm-water port run by the Chinese on the doorstep of the Middle East.
5. Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Pact – NYTimes In what is sure to be one of the toughest fights of his last 19 months in office, the “fast track” bill allowing the White House to pursue its planned Pacific trade deal also heralds a divisive fight within the Democratic Party, one that could spill into the 2016 presidential campaign. With committee votes planned next week, liberal senators such as Sherrod Brown of Ohio are demanding to know Hillary Clinton’s position on the bill to give the president so-called trade promotion authority, or T.P.A.
Related: Rush to China’s Bank Pushes U.S., Japan to Speed Trade Talks – Bloomberg Business China’s success in lining up 57 countries for a new infrastructure bank is piling pressure on the U.S. and Japan to advance a Pacific trade deal seen as critical for the allies to remain a center of gravity in Asia. U.S. and Japan negotiators huddled in Tokyo this week, aiming to reach agreement on their portion of the 12-member Trans Pacific Partnership before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets President Barack Obama late this month. TPP’s prospective members, which don’t include China, have missed a series of deadlines since the U.S. announced its participation in 2009.
6. BBC World Service – The Documentary, Stand Up for China Ever wondered what it takes to make the Chinese laugh? Comedian Des Bishop wants to find out, and he is doing it the hard way. Des has learnt Mandarin to take his jokes to China. He finds that there is a long tradition of comedy in China called Xiangsheng, or Crosstalk, often in the form of two comedians playing off each other.
7. The Wonderfully Elusive Chinese Novel by Perry Link | The New York Review of Books Perry Link on David Roy’s masterful, five volume translation of The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P’ing Mei // Chin P’ing Mei is about the rise and fall of a corrupt merchant named Hsi-men Ch’ing and others in his wealthy household, including his six wives, of whom Golden Lotus is one. Most of the characters accept that deception, bribery, blackmail, profligacy, flamboyant sex, and even murder are normal in life, although it is clear from the narrator’s pervasive irony that the author disapproves of each. A Buddhist frame for the story warns of consequences for karma—the effect on a person’s destiny of bad and good deeds. Readers are invited also to see a political allegory on corruption at the imperial court. The story is set during the reign of Emperor Huizong of Song (1101–1126 CE), but the allegory points clearly to contemporary Ming rulers as well…During the four hundred years since it appeared, Chin P’ing Mei has been known in China as an “obscene book.” Governments have banned it and parents have hidden it from children. One widespread anecdote—a false story, but a true indication of the book’s reputation—is that it originated as a murder weapon: the author applied poison to the corners of the pages and presented it to an enemy, knowing that his foe would need to wet his fingertips with saliva in order to keep turning the pages fast enough. The plan would not have worked, though, because the pornography is by no means so densely packed. Zhang Zhupo, the first significant critic of the novel, wrote in the late seventeenth century that “anyone who says that Chin P’ing Mei is an obscene book has probably only taken the trouble to read the obscene passages.”
8. How Do You Keep Your Kids Healthy in Smog-Choked China? – NYTimes At one point last year, we considered joining the exodus of expatriates and locals moving out of China altogether. In the end, we decided to move to Shanghai, where we found that five other families in our son’s kindergarten class had made the same decision. It is only a half-solution; the city of 24 million has its own serious pollution. Still, it has far fewer very bad days than Beijing. According to the air-quality charts that I keep, in 2014 Beijing had more than 60 days that averaged higher than 200, the threshold at which our sons’ schools cancel outdoor play. Shanghai had only four. // Don’t be surprised if that Shanghai-Beijing clean air ratio changes over the next few years as Xi makes sure Beijing is cleaned up. We are leaving Beijing for DC at the end of the summer, after almost 10 years here. The pollution is a factor but not the main one. We can’t get the kind of education here that we want our twins to have are very fortunate that we can in the DC-Area. I plan to continue Sinocism though not yet sure in what exact form and with what possible other collaborators
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
Zhou Says China Has Room for Monetary Easing; May Not Use It – Bloomberg Business “We have room in the reserve ratio and our interest rates are not zero yet,” Zhou, 67, said in a brief interview Saturday in Washington, where he was attending the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings. “There is definitely room. But we need to adjust carefully. It doesn’t mean we will have to utilize it or fully utilize the room.”
Financial sector should support real economy: premier – Xinhua Commercial institutions should push forward reforms to solve financing problems for companies and high financing costs, Li said, adding that they should support small and medium-sized companies in particular, as well as entrepreneurship and innovation. Banks should take multiple measures for lowering real interest rates, including extending loan periods when the borrower cannot repay in the contracted time, Li said. The country should create more government-supported financing guarantee institutions, mutual funds, and re-guarantee institutions, while liquidating existing capital through securitization of credit assets and loan transfers, Li said. Li added that direct financing should be promoted through a registration-based initial public offering system and the healthy development of a multi-layered capital market.
China Economic Watch | Real Value of China’s FX Reserves is Essentially Flat There has been a lot of debate lately about China’s foreign exchange reserves, whether the People’s Bank of China has been intervening, and in which direction. It appears from the data available that the PBoC has done little or no intervening in the exchange market. Data released this week shows that the value of China’s FX reserves has dropped for the third straight quarter, this quarter by $113 billion. But if you take into account that nearly 40 percent of its FX reserves are in non-USD currencies, and the relative weakness of those currencies versus the dollar, especially the Euro, then the real value of its reserves has not changed. As shown in chart 1, when adjusted for foreign exchange fluctuations, implying that there has been little or no net intervention by the PBoC since the 2nd quarter of 2014 (shown by the red line), although there could have been modest sales and purchases of foreign exchange. // really, little or no intervention?
IMF Official Says Yuan Nearing Point Where No Longer Undervalued – Bloomberg Business “We are now reaching a point where” the yuan is close to “no longer being undervalued,” Markus Rodlauer, deputy director of IMF’s Asia Pacific Department, said at a briefing in Washington on Friday. There has been “very significant appreciation” of the currency in real effective terms, he said.
China wants to follow rules on currency basket: IMF official | Reuters can the IMF include the RMB in SDRs without US approval, if the percentage is below a certain threshold? Could the US be setting itself up for a redux of the AIIB debacle? // The IMF, which is due to review the basket’s composition later this year, must deem any new currency “freely usable,” or convertible – seen as a key obstacle for the yuan, also known as the renminbi. But the Fund also could change its criteria, or have a phased entry for the renminbi after it meets the standards, as some officials have suggested. “I can tell you that the Chinese have been quite clear in saying that they understand the broad rules that apply, and they wish to qualify under the current criteria,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton said in an interview during the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington.
Over half Chinese small firms failed to profit in Q1: research – Xinhua how many honestly report their numbers? // Less than half of Chinese small-and-micro businesses made profits in the first quarter this year, according to an academic report released on Friday. Only about 46.3 percent of enterprises surveyed made a profit in Q1 while nearly a quarter were in the red, up 13.8 percent year on year.
China, U.S. to exchange negative lists of investment treaty talks – Xinhua China and the United States are expected to exchange negative lists of bilateral investment treaty (BIT) “this month or next month,” which could pave the way for substantial achievement on the negotiations in this regard in September, China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said Friday…Zhu said it’s not realistic to expect the BIT talks to be concluded in September when President Xi Jinping makes his first state visit to the United States, but the two sides could reach “a big achievement” on the talks by then. // will that negative list be any different than the revised FTZ one due imminently? And will the US Senate go for a deal that does not allow US investment in Chinese media and other restricted sectors?
Private entrepreneur’s letter to premier becomes online sensation – Global Times In an unprecedeted open letter addressed to Premier Li Keqiang, Wu Hai, an ordinary private entrepreneur, vented the frustration of 20 years of dealing with government bureaucracy in China. His letter struck a chord with other enterpreneurs. // 桔子水晶CEO吴海向总理说句话：做企业这么多年，我太憋屈了! I was an early investor in Orange Hotels. long since sold (way too early), hear the company is doing well, working on an IPO, hope this does not cause him problems
那些被“不良”拴住的行长们：想辞职都脱不了身要闻一财网 CBN reports that some bank branch managers’ compensation now tied to bad loans and they are not being allowed to quit their jobs // “我们行不少支行行长想辞职，现在都脱不了身。”某上市银行中层对记者说，他任职的银行已将业务人员的薪酬，直接与不良贷款挂钩，一些支行行长因任内发生较多不良贷款，不仅工资和奖金下降，甚至连离职都不被允许。
AIIB launch: China offered Japan No. 2 post at new bank- Nikkei Asian Review China offered Japan the post of the top-ranking vice president at the planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Japan did not accept the offer, and instead toed the U.S. line, according to informed sources. At Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Jin Liqun, a former deputy finance minister, spoke with Takehiko Nakao, president of the Asian Development Bank, on March 22. Jin told Nakao that China wanted Japan to join the bank, and expressed his willingness to travel to Japan and explain Beijing’s case if necessary. // any other confirmation of this report?
POLITICS AND LAW
China’s Levels of Bureaucracy Have Gotten ‘Ridiculous,’ Premier Says – WSJ According to the official Xinhua News Agency, which didn’t say how long the meeting lasted, Mr. Li expressed his displeasure by interrupting subordinates and at times speaking in a “harsh” tone. “In some cases after the senior leaders study an issue for over a year it takes another year to get the implementation procedures settled. Isn’t this ridiculous?” Mr. Li was quoted as saying. // 【解局】总理发话了，处长为何敢不听人民日报
China jails outspoken journalist, 71, for seven years – Yahoo News The ruling said Gao — who was jailed for seven years — had leaked a 2013 directive by the ruling Communist Party named “Document number 9” to a Hong Kong media outlet. The document warns of the “dangers” of multiparty democracy, independent media, “universal” definitions of human rights and criticism of the party’s historical record, according to copies widely circulated online…The prosecution said she had used the online telecommunications tool Skype to transfer the document to Ho Pin, head of Hong Kong-based publishing house Mirror Books, one of many outlets which has released the text in the last two years. Mirror Books denied receiving the document from Gao in a statement posted online Friday.
中国电信原副总冷荣泉疑涉令完成案公司频道财新网 Leng Rongquan, former deputy GM of China Telecom detained, Caixin says linked to Ling Jihua’s brother Ling Wancheng and possibly an unnamed US-listed Chinese firm..IDG Venture Capital keeps getting mentioned in connection with deals it did with Ling Wancheng, thay can’t be too happy about this PR // 冷荣泉落马与全国政协原副主席、中央统战部原部长令计划案有关，他与令计划的幼弟令完成有多年商业往来，此次落马可能与一家在美上市公司有关
中央警卫局原副局长王庆少将疑遭调查_中国-多维新闻网 Duowei on rumors going around that Wang Qing, the former deputy director of the Central Guards Bureau, is under investigation for role in investigation/coverup of Ferrari crash that killed Ling Jihua’s son in 2012 // 此前被疑与令计划之子法拉利车祸有关的警卫局副局长王庆又传被查，再次引发关注。北京时间4月16日，大陆网络盛传，解放军信息工程大学副校长王庆，被有关部门传唤协助调查。
原广州日报社长获刑11年 其妻称系冤案将上诉资讯频道凤凰网 凤凰资讯 4月17日，东莞市中级人民法院对原广州日报社社长戴玉庆案作出一审判决。法院判决被告人戴玉庆犯受贿罪，判处有期徒刑11年，剥夺政治权利1年，并处没收个人财产人民币50万元。 戴妻杨兰凌称，“冤案令人发指，维护国有资产的人有这样的结局，不仅仅是我们家的悲剧，也是法治环境的悲剧。”杨兰凌表示，她将上诉..财新网报道，在2014年3月28日庭审中，戴玉庆数次提到自己案件的背景。他认为，此案案由与过去他与上级官员的矛盾有关。这位官员担任宣传部长时，试图插手广州日报业务，他曾尝试抵制。
湖北日报传媒集团原总经理杨步国被查政经频道财新网 former head of Hubei Newspaper Media Group under investigation
Ex-official who helped shape ‘Great Firewall’ arrested over graft | South China Morning Post A former senior official who reportedly worked on internet censorship at the Ministry of Public Security has been arrested for suspected corruption. Ma Xiaodong, the former deputy chief at the ministry’s science and technology information bureau, was detained on suspicion of taking bribes, a statement issued by prosecutors in Shaanxi province said. No other details were given about the allegations.
云南中炬董事长香港坠亡 旗下高楼曾由仇和命名新闻腾讯网 而针对香港当地媒体报道中，提及的中炬集团总裁兼董事长朱景图于4月13日在香港坠楼身亡，或由于政治因素或公司资金运转问题。公司营销部总监这样回应：“董事长朱景图先生自2014年起就在港养病，而公司作为一家专业化运转企业，目前运转良好;而日后，有任何新的进展都将与媒体及时沟通，同时，地产行业作为公司的主营业务，也同样是资金密集型行业，虽然目前全国地产形势不容乐观，但目前公司项目运转良好。” // chairman of Yunnan’s ZhongJu conglomerate dies in a fall in Hong Kong, had been connected to the Qiu He case
China says using young, educated anti-graft officials as ‘fox hunters’ | Reuters China’s team charged with hunting down officials suspected of corruption who have fled overseas is aged 30 on average, speaks foreign languages and is well educated, a Chinese official said, giving rare details of a secretive operation. The government launched Operation Fox Hunt last year to go after suspects who have left China to try and seek refuge abroad, often taking large sums with them, though little information about the project has been made public.
加强中央纪委派驻机构建设工作培训班举办 王岐山出席开班式并讲话—中央纪委监察部网站 Wang Qishan’s speech at training session for CCDI cadres stationed in various organizations/institutions// 日前，中央纪委举办加强派驻机构建设工作培训班。中共中央政治局常委、中央纪委书记王岐山出席开班式并作了学习习近平总书记系列重要讲话精神的辅导报告。他强调，要把实现中华民族伟大复兴中国梦放到中华民族历史中思考，充分认识中国特色社会主义道路是历史的选择，深刻理解全面从严治党与两个百年奋斗目标和实现中华民族伟大复兴的关系，切实担负起从严治党的政治责任。
胡耀邦百年诞辰 中央党校将出书纪念新闻腾讯网 lots of talk about Hu Yaobang and how the 100 anniversary of his birth will be celebrated later this year // 新京报快讯(记者李丹丹)今年11月20日是原中共总书记胡耀邦百年诞辰纪念日。记者今日从“胡耀邦暨经济思想座谈会”上获悉，为纪念胡耀邦百年诞辰，胡耀邦在中央党校任职时的讲话和批语将成书出版。 中央党校教授沈宝祥是该书的主编，自1965年1月他便开始在中央党校工作。自1977年6月起，沈宝祥就在胡耀邦指导下参与筹办《理论动态》，时为理论动态组成员，后任理论动态组副组长、组长，理论动态编辑部主任、主编。在拨乱反正中，撰写多篇有影响的文章。
Working with Iron: Meet Xi Jinping’s English Translator – WSJ The government translator has had an important role in shaping another big international communication initiative: “Xi Jinping: the Governance of China.” Mr. Huang was a senior English translator for the compilation of 79 speeches and interviews by the president that China calls a best-seller and will be officially launched in the U.S. next month at a book fair in New York City. “Chinese President Xi Jinping realizes we have to speak out,” according to Mr. Huang, a 61-year-old who has had several official roles including doing translation work for each of the past three Chinese presidents, and who is now secretary general of the Translators Association of China.
揭秘：中央部委两千名局处级这两天集中看啥大戏新闻腾讯网 在中央纪委官网4月18日下午3时27分挂出的一篇由中央国家机关纪工委提供的通稿报道中，演出活动后，观众们深有感触地说，贪念私欲让“全家福”跌入了“全家苦”、“全家哭”的结局，耐人回味，令人警醒。作为中央国家机关的党员干部，一定要对手中的权力心存敬畏和戒惧，珍惜自己、珍惜家庭、珍惜名节，让良好家风涵养廉政文化，筑牢拒腐防变的思想道德防线，用清正廉洁守护好“全家福”。 什么样的剧，要让近2000名局处级集中观看？//2000 central government cadres watch a Henan Opera on clean government
XUAR Government Notice on Strengthening the Management of Internet Information Security | Human Rights in China 中国人权 | HRIC On Christmas Eve in 2014, the government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (‘XUAR’) released this Notice on Strengthening the Management of Internet Information Security. The Notice requires Internet information service providers who serve users in the XUAR to give the government their encryption technology, to require information regarding real identity as a condition of providing services to their users, and to maintain their servers within the territory of the XUAR. The notice also requires service providers to manage, stop, and record the flow of a very broad variety of content and information including that which ”undermines national religious policies,” “disturbs social order,” or “harms national honor and interests,” amongst other things. These requirements needed to have been complied with by March 24, 2015.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China stresses discipline for CPC members in military – Xinhua The Central Military Commission (CMC) issued a circular requiring efforts to strictly discipline Communist Party of China (CPC) members in the army. The document, which was published on Thursday, has been approved by Chinese President and CMC Chairman Xi Jinping. The circular called on CPC members in the army to strictly follow the Party’s instructions in their practices and maintain firm and correct political faith. “Political liberalism must be prevented and corrected and the organizational rules of the Party must be strictly observed,” it said. // 经习近平主席批准 中央军委印发《严格军队党员领导干部纪律约束的若干规定》
习近平批准清理整顿军队对外有偿服务新闻腾讯网 本报北京4月15日电 经中央军委主席习近平批准，2015年将开展全军对外有偿服务清理整顿，集中解决存在的违纪违法问题。全军对外有偿服务管理工作领导小组日前印发《全面开展军队对外有偿服务清理摸底工作实施方案》，部署先期清理摸底工作。 据介绍，这次清理整顿紧紧围绕党在新形势下的强军目标，坚决贯彻习主席和中央军委关于依法治军、从严治军、加强作风建设的一系列决策部署，牢固树立战斗力这个唯一的根本的标准，进一步摸清底数，严肃查究违规问题，消除负面影响，维护军队形象，为深化改革创造条件。
Leaked papers reveal NZ plan to spy on China for US – NZ Herald News Snowden, Greenwald et al continue to be the gift that keeps giving for Beijing // Our spies and America’s top government hackers cooked up a plan to crack into a data link between Chinese Government buildings in Auckland, new Edward Snowden documents reveal. The project appeared aimed at tapping data flowing between the Chinese consulate and its passport office in Great South Rd — and using the link to access China’s computer systems.
China concerned at reports of New Zealand-U.S. plan to spy on diplomats – Xinhua China on Sunday expressed concern about a report that New Zealand and United States spy agencies planned to hack into a data link between Chinese government buildings in Auckland. The plan was revealed in documents from U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Herald on Sunday newspaper reported. The project run by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the NSA appeared aimed at tapping data flowing between the Chinese Consulate and its visa office in Auckland.
Rudd’s China policy failures undermine his advice | Business Spectator Kerry Brown does not seem to be a fan of Kevin Rudd // For at the same time as Rudd is the best placed individual to write about these sorts of grand strategic issues in the Sino-American relationship, ironically his words are also the easiest to dismiss. Alone amongst all commentators active now, we know what a national policy towards China would look like if he were in a position to create and try to implement one. As Prime Minister twice, from 2007 to 2010 and then again very briefly in 2013, this is precisely what he did. So, after reading his US-China report, critics, particularly in China or the US, only have to look at Rudd’s own record in order to evaluate just how seriously to take his advice.
‘Fear and greed’ drive Australia’s China policy, Tony Abbott tells Angela Merkel-Sydney Morning Herald Tony Abbott has admitted at the highest international level that Australia’s policies towards China are driven by two emotions: “fear and greed”. The Prime Minister’s candid appraisal of Australia’s primordial motivations, given with a grin in private conversation with Germany’s Angela Merkel last November, is a long way from the prolix platitudes of official documents. And it sits in awkward contrast with Mr Abbott’s personal assertions of friendship, such as the one that he made to his Chinese counterpart the following day.
North Korea Borderlands Reporting Project by Chad NK News — Kickstarter Help send journalists to the China-NK border region – and tell us what you want them to investigate
China’s New Airstrip in the South China Sea Is Almost Completed | Foreign Policy some U.S. analysts see less threat from Chinese reclamation activity. M. Taylor Fravel, an expert on Asian maritime disputes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, questions whether isolated airfields without a full panoply of supporting structures such as refueling and maintenance facilities would do much to bolster China’s military reach. At the same time, he said, they would remain vulnerable to any U.S. attack. Furthermore, they would also be vulnerable to weather. “A major typhoon could wash all this away,” agreed Rapp-Hooper. The war of words over 10,000 feet of concrete on Fiery Cross underscores the degree to which airstrips are and have long been the currency of power projection in the vast distances of the Pacific
Dreaming of Uighuristan – BBC News The Uighurs of north-western China have long fled to neighbouring countries of Central Asia to escape restrictions on their freedom at home. But now – as China’s influence grows across the region – campaigning for Uighur independence has become impossible in Central Asia too.
中国空军院校时隔8年再次配备喷气轰炸机新闻腾讯网 2007年，承训空军轰炸机飞行学员的某型喷气式轰炸机退出现役，取而代之的是某型螺旋桨式轰炸运输教练机。 “此次进入空军飞行院校的某型喷气式轰炸机同时在空军作战部队服役，主要担负战术战略轰炸、侦察、反舰、巡逻监视等任务。”空军军训部门相关人员介绍说，喷气式轰炸机重返飞行院校，能够有效缩小院校与部队的训练跨度，缩短轰炸机及大型运输机飞行人员培训周期，缓解部队改装训练任务压力，有利于进一步发挥现有装备训练效
中国30多年无战事血性全无 称是独生子不能死-搜狐军事频道 精神不是万能的，没有精神却是万万不能的。我国已30多年无战事，人民军队是否还保持着当年那股“血性”？答案不容乐观。当你走进军营，总能听到个别军人把以人为本和严格管理对立起来，把满足正当需求与强化自我约束相提并论，把关爱身心健康与降低训练标准画上等号。有的甚至错误认为：“年年喊狼来了，狼在哪儿呢？”“准备打仗，不等于真要打仗，打仗也不一定能轮上我。”“不是我怕死，而是我是独生子，我死了家里人怎么办？”凡此种种，如果任其下去，军人身上的“血性”没了，“骄娇二气”盛了；敢打仗打胜仗的勇气没了，畏缩不前的懦夫多了。这不能不令人痛心和发人深思。
梅德韦杰夫下令开建首条中俄跨黑龙江铁路桥(图)|俄罗斯|梅德韦杰夫_凤凰资讯 President Medvedev of Russia tells his minister of transportation to start building a rail bridge across the Amur river to connect with China // 中新网4月18日电据俄媒报道，俄罗斯政府网站星期六(18日)发布消息，俄罗斯总理梅德韦杰夫委任交通部部长马克西姆·索科洛夫在2015年5月5日前采取措施，开始建设跨阿穆尔河(黑龙江)的自俄罗斯至中国的铁路桥。
Hillary Clinton, Cisco And China: Company Funded Foundation, Was Lauded By Clinton Despite Role In Repression the issue of Chinese repression — and Cisco’s role — was already known by then. In 2009, weeks after Clinton’s State Department had named Cisco a finalist for the secretary of state’s Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE), a report from the Electronic Freedom Foundation noted “Cisco’s deep involvement” in building the Chinese government’s censorship system. The report pointed out that “Cisco engineers gave a presentation acknowledging the repressive uses for their technology.” In 2010, the Clinton Foundation gave Cisco CEO John Chambers a high-profile speaking role at its “Turning Ideas Into Action” annual meeting. Cisco also won an ACE that year — just before the Human Rights Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against Cisco outlining what the foundation’s executive director, Terri Marsh, said was the “key role Cisco played in the design, construction, and maintenance of China’s Internet surveillance system.” // and yet Cisco’s business in China has fallen off a cliff…has to be a case study and lessons in this…
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
As Tsai Ing-wen Enters Taiwan’s Presidential Race, the China Challenge Looms Large | The Diplomat As expected, Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on April 15 confirmed that chairperson Tsai Ing-wen would be the party’s candidate in next year’s presidential election. And just as expected, no sooner had the eight-minute press conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei concluded than Beijing was issuing a stern reminder that relations in the Taiwan Strait could quickly sour should Tsai flirt with “splittism.” Yes, whether we like it or not, the China issue will once again be a major factor in the elections.
University of Hong Kong plan to enforce student visits to mainland China sends ripples across campus | South China Morning Post sounds like HKU may be backing off already // A policy under which University of Hong Kong undergraduates will spend time on the mainland as part of their degree has sent ripples across the campus amid fears some students will lose out. The policy, to be introduced in phases until 2022 and which may be mandatory, was revealed by HKU vice-president Professor Ian Holliday at a dinner with the student union on Friday.
TECH AND MEDIA
刘延东调研中关村创业大街：大众创新创业将成燎原之势新闻中国创新网 Liu Yandong makes an inspection tour to Beijing high-tech corridor in Zhongguancun to talk innovation, visits 3W Cafe // 15年4月15日，中共中央政治局委员、国务院副总理刘延东一行来到中关村创业大街调研。全国政协副主席、科技部部长万钢，国务院副秘书长江小涓，发改委副主任林念修，教育部副部长杜玉波，人社部副部长信长星，北京市副市长张工等陪同调研。中共北京市委委员、中共北京市海淀区委书记隋振江，中关村管委会主任郭洪、副主任宣鸿，海淀区区长孙文锴，常务副区长穆鹏、副区长孟景伟等接待了来访领导一
刘延东：狠抓政策落实 完善服务模式 为大众创业万众创新营造良好环境-新华网 Liu Yandong also visited Kai-fu Lee’s Innovation Works // 刘延东到北京中关村考察了创新工场、天使汇、3Ｗ咖啡、36氪等创业服务机构，在天津考察了青年创业园、南开大学青年创新创业基地、骑鹅公社大学生创意创业基地以及天津卓朗科技公司等，与创业者深入交流，并在中关村主持召开座谈会，听取创投机构和创业者代表对创新创业的意见建议。刘延东充分肯定北京、天津在发展科技服务业、推进大众创新创业、扶持科技型中小企业发展方面取得的显著成绩。
【舒立时间】李开复归来：癌症是我最好的老师 Kai-fu Lee is back, he sits for a video interview with Hu Shuli to discuss his health, investments, career
“苹果”背后那行字-新华网 top read story in online edition of Friday People’s Daily is article asking when Chinese products can have an inscription like Apple does, except saying “designed and made in China” // 细心的人会发现，在“苹果”产品的背后，印了这样一行英文——“Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China”。翻译过来就是“加利福尼亚苹果公司设计，中国组装”。按说这只是一个客观表述，没有特别涵义。但是，对于谋求转型发展、怀揣创新型国家梦想的中国来说，这行字值得我们深思。 事实上，众多跨国品牌在中国都有生产基地，不过一般只是标注“Made in China”（中国制造），像“苹果”这样在产品上强调在本国设计的很少。这样的做法当然是企业行为，没什么好去挑理儿。不过，这行字儿对于我们来说，应该也是个提醒：中国再也不能仅仅满足于“组装”了。
A Comics Industry with Chinese Characteristics: Manhua Publishing in the PRC and Hong Kong – Nick Stember The fact that so much contemporary manhua is visually indistinguishable from manga (cf. above) doesn’t help things, either, unless of course one is going after the manga demographic. So in large part my work with publishers so far has been to steer them towards Chinese comic book artists with more unique styles that touch on topics which would appeal to a more general comics reader. It’s much easier said than done, however, since artists with more unique styles tend to also be iconoclasts in their storytelling as well. In this post I’m going to introduce some of the major players in the Chinese-language comics industry, and also talk a little about the economic side of making comics in mainland China and Hong Kong.1
Newsonomics: Why The Economist decided now’s the time to speak Chinese » Nieman Journalism Lab With its newly launched (and multlingual) Global Business Review, The Economist is taking advantage of the scale digital distribution can offer.
Maps That Tell You When It’s Safe to Breathe – Bloomberg Business The three Chinese companies offer mapping features that Google doesn’t. Alibaba’s mobile apps, Amap and Anav, show local pollution readings culled from China’s Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs and can plot routes inside about 2,000 commercial buildings. Baidu Map is also experimenting with indoor routes by mapping shopping malls; it displays real-time traffic patterns and public-transit alerts, too. Tencent Map also provides current traffic data, plus location tracking that sends users coupons for businesses along their route. All three are racing to chart the rest of the country.
Baidu, Vietnam, and the Bordered World of Chinese Internet Companies | CGCS This research project focuses on Baidu’s expansion into Vietnam, largely because it appears to have not gone according to plan. Like China, Vietnam is a one-party state with a strong interest in information control. One would expect Baidu to be a ‘censor of choice’ in Vietnam, and as China’s largest search engine it should have the financial means and the experience to dominate such a market. However, Baidu failed in Vietnam…Baidu’s entry and withdrawal into Vietnam is firmly situated within these geopolitical tensions, making its adventure into Vietnam a useful case study of the impact – if any—of such geopolitics on Chinese information technology companies.
Baidu admits defeat, shuts Japanese search engine – TechInAsia hard to see how Baidu has much hope of building material businesses in any international markets..and the “Great Cannon” won’t help // Chinese tech giant Baidu has shut down the Japanese search engine that it first launched in 2007. The Baidu.jp site, which used to feature a Japanese-language search engine that hoped to rival Google and Yahoo in the country, now just features a mission statement and a bunch of email addresses for its business partners to reach out to. A Baidu spokesperson confirmed today to Tech in Asia that the Baidu Japan search engine is now shut. “[B]ut that doesn’t preclude the possibility that we will bring it back one day, or introduce our search technology services through other platforms in Japan,” he added.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
The Expensive Antics of China’s Gaudiest Billionaire – Bloomberg Business President Xi Jinping’s austerity drive has sent China’s high rollers running for cover, emptying casinos and golf courses as vin ordinaire becomes the new Chateau Lafite. Billionaire art collector Liu Yiqian doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. The Shanghai-based former taxi driver is on a buying binge that has left rivals gasping at auctions as he outbids all comers for ancient scrolls, Tibetan silk embroideries and imperial porcelain. He’s built and filled two museums with more than 2,300 works, including contemporary pieces by Jeff Koons and Yayoi Kusama. In the past year he’s spent more than $115 million picking up such treasures.
Jiàoliàn – Coach – A Look into the CBA | Indiegogo Jiàoliàn [Coach] is a feature length documentary about 27 year-old Norman de Silva who overnight was given the head coaching job of the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) Foshan Long Lions.
Once-Prized Tibetan Mastiffs Are Discarded as Fad Ends in China – NYTimes Tibetan mastiffs are so 2013. Instead, earlier this year Nibble and 20 more unlucky mastiffs found themselves stuffed into metal chicken crates and packed onto a truck with 150 other dogs. If not for a band of Beijing animal rights activists who literally threw themselves in front of the truck, Nibble and the rest would have ended up at a slaughterhouse in northeast China where, at roughly $5 a head, they would have been rendered into hot pot ingredients, imitation leather and the lining for winter gloves.
Q. and A.: Willis Barnstone on Translating Mao and Touring Beijing With Allen Ginsberg – NYTimes Willis Barnstone is a polymath author of more than 70 books — a poet, translator and scholar of Gnosticism and the New Testament. But the 87-year-old also has had a long and colorful relationship with China, translating Mao Zedong’s poetry and befriending numerous Chinese artists and political leaders in the 1980s.
广东退休官员修墓被指破坏邻居祖坟风水，双方百人火拼现枪声直击现场澎湃新闻-The Paper anger that an official’s elaborate tomb in Lufeng, Guangdong harms the fengshui of the neighboring one leads to a pitched battle of dozens at the grave site. Video, clearly there is a fengshui problem
China to introduce soccer textbooks to schools in fall – Xinhua The textbooks have been compiled with input from soccer coaches and experts by state-managed publisher the People’s Education Press (PEP). Aimed at primary school students from grades three to six as well as junior and senior middle school students, they cover soccer’s basic skills and rules as well as the sport’s culture, according to the PEP.
Basketball Star Stephon Marbury Gets His Own Postage Stamps, Permanent Residency in China | the Beijinger e’s won three Chinese Basketball Assocation (CBA) championships in four years and named this year’s final series most valuable player, had a statue of him erected in front of the MasterCard Center in Wukesong, starred in a play about him, has been named one of Beijing’s 10 model citizens
南京警方调查德州扑克赛涉赌 汪峰经纪人澄清–法制网 Big Texas Hold ’em tournament in Nanjing shut on suspicion of gambling, organizers in custody…shocked, just shocked… // 中新网南京4月18日电 (记者 申冉许兴昆)18日下午，南京警方向社会通报：日前在该市五台山体育馆举行的2015年中国(江苏)德州扑克智力大赛(即主办方广告所说的：2015中国(江苏)扑克锦标赛南京站赛事)涉嫌赌博违法犯罪，现已依法立案调查。本网记者从警方获悉，据目前调查情况，涉案人数逾千，涉案金额近八百万，参加者可多次购买筹码或为涉赌主要原因，而主办方的负责人目前也已被警方执行强制措施。
生个美国人——中国妈妈的梦想与坎坷 – 纽约时报中文网 国际纵览 interesting NYT Chinese package on Chinese parents who go to the US to have babies // 纽约时报中文网采访了此次调查的相关人士，包括了一位调查涉及的母亲、一位代表住在被关月子中心几位家长的律师、在美待产的母亲，以及从事生育旅游的中介机构负责人。以下采访经过编辑。
China Cracks Down on the ‘Sport for Millionaires’ – NYTimes.com After years of warnings, the National Development and Reform Commission said on March 30 that 66 illegally constructed golf courses in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and 20 provinces had been closed — and indicated that its investigation was continuing. // but any famous/connected ones?
Interview: Huan Hsu, Author of ‘The Porcelain Thief’ : NPR In his new book, The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China — which is part travelogue, part cultural history, part memoir — Hsu recounts his search for that buried treasure 70 years later. It was not a journey he ever expected to make. When he was growing up, he wasn’t even familiar with, or interested in, this part of his family history. He was an “ABC” — American-born Chinese — living in Utah and trying to fit in. // the book on Amazon
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Shenzhen Businesses Set to Save Money on Electricity Bills, Gov’t Says – Caixin The commission said the price reduction is one of the achievements of a pilot reform of the city’s electricity transmission and distribution system that started on January 1. The three-year pilot was designed to let market forces, rather than transmission companies, determine prices, and peg the fees to the real costs of sending electricity from plants to users.
China builds mother ship for 11,000-meter manned submersible – Xinhua The ship,”Zhang Jian”, named after the founder of Shanghai Ocean University, is 97 meters long and 17.8 meters wide. It has a designed displacement of around 4,800 tonnes and a 15,000-nautical mile endurance ability. Designed to carry 60 people, the ship will be equipped with advanced laboratories, data processing and information centers and other devices. The “Zhang Jian” ship will serve the manned submersible “Rainbow Fish” which is capable of diving to a depth of 11,000 meters, and general ocean expedition missions, deep-sea engineering, rescue and salvage, underwater archaeology and film shooting, said Cui Weicheng, head of the Hadal Research Center at Shanghai Ocean University.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES
China’s Big Reserves of Grain Come with Equally Big Problems – Caixin China is building up the world’s largest stockpiles of grain in a bid to address food security, but this comes at the expense of higher costs, a distorted market and exhausted land. Although the country has reported grain production increases for 11 straight years, the government has never reduced the importance it attached to food reserves. From November 25 to March 31, the authorities purchased 76.1 million tons of corn from domestic farmers to put into national granaries, up nearly 13 million tons from the same period last year. Reserves of rice and wheat have also increased significantly.
曝中储粮用陈粮顶替新粮赚取差价 每吨达700元_网易新闻中心 近日，据粮商实名举报，记者调查发现，辽宁吉林等地一些粮库和粮商相互勾结，用陈粮顶替新粮赚取差价，每吨达700元，若买2万吨，差价可达千万！从业10年的粮商透露，陈粮变新粮在业界已不是秘密。散发霉味、质量难保的陈粮就这样走向百姓餐桌。
China’s grain self-sufficiency policy lives on after its official demise | CER On paper and in pronouncements, the contentious policies that regulate China’s great waves of grain have undergone a sea change in the last two years. 2014 saw reports claiming China had axed its contentious grain self-sufficiency policy, and this year officials were said to signal a policy shift away from just bumper harvests to focus more on food safety and sustainability. In practice, though, these policy bombshells have proved more bluster than boom.
北京四所大学特招农村考生 清华最多可降65分_网易新闻中心 Four top Beijing Universities, including Qinghua and Beida, to lower test score threshold for rural applicants // 昨天，清华大学、北京大学、北京师范大学和北京航空航天大学，公布了各自针对农村考生的招生计划。清华、北大和北师大要求考生自荐报名，北航规定须由中学推荐。四校给出的录取优惠，从降30分到降至一本线录取不等。
首都图书馆规定借阅古籍需研究生学历被指歧视新闻腾讯网 本报讯（记者 高语阳）近日，有市民反映，根据首都图书馆历史文献阅览室规定，阅读该阅览室图书需要具有研究生及以上文凭或是具有中级以上职称的专业研究人员，这一规定被读者质疑“有歧视嫌疑”。为此，北京青年报记者前往首都图书馆历史文献阅览室探访。工作人员表示，确实有此规定，但规定的目的是为了保护古籍等历史文献，减少使用频率。
经济参考网 – 京津冀筹建高效密集轨道交通网 2017年实现京津保1小时交通圈 据《经济参考报》记者了解，在交通一体化方面，即将出台的京津冀协同发展规划将从“对接”入手，提出建设高效密集轨道交通网络的目标，计划到2017年客运专线覆盖所有地级以上城市，实现京津保地区1小时交通圈。此外，在公路、港口、航空、城市公交等方面同步推进，分2017年和2020年两个阶段，最终构建起互联互通、安全便捷、绿色环保的综合交通运输体系。
北京去年各区县PM2.5均不达标 通州大兴“最差”特别报道新京报网 2014年北京PM2.5年平均浓度值为85.9微克/立方米，超过国家标准35微克/立方米1.45倍。各区县PM2.5年平均浓度范围在73至105.9微克/立方米，均未达标。其中，通州、大兴和经济技术开发区年均浓度破百成“最差”。
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