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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Beijing Explores Ways to Address Hong Kong Discontent – WSJ Beijing is exploring ways to address public unhappiness with the electoral revamp package that sparked the nearly two-month-long protests, a person familiar with the discussions said. Advisers and officials in Beijing are focusing on the nominating committee that will select candidates running for Hong Kong’s chief executive post in 2017, according to this person with knowledge of the matter. They are considering adjusting the committee’s makeup to better represent the city’s population, in particular the pro-democracy camp, while still giving Beijing control of the election process, the person said…Any shift by Beijing wouldn’t be presented as a concession or even a compromise, the person familiar with the discussions said, but instead should be seen as a clarification of the August ruling by the National People’s Congress.
Related: Hong Kong Plans to Start Clearing Mong Kok Protest Site Today – Bloomberg Hong Kong’s police plan to back up bailiffs today as they start to clear a pro-democracy protest site in Mong Kok, the scene of clashes during the past two months between demonstrators and their opponents. Police will give “fullest support” to bailiffs executing a court order to remove blockades from part of Argyle Street, the government said in a statement on its website yesterday. The release doesn’t refer to the main occupation area, a strip of busy Nathan Road.
Related: Split within Occupy deepens as splinter group challenges leadership | South China Morning Post The split among pro-democracy protesters deepened last night with radicals confronting the campaign leadership to demand an equal say on the movement. The drama began as dozens of protesters who answered an internet appeal to confront the leadership marched, some wearing masks, to the main stage of the Admiralty rally site at 8pm. They carried placards reading “you do not represent us” and shouted at speakers on the stage
Related: China corruption watchdog launches inspections, eyes Sinopec | Reuters China’s corruption watchdog has launched a series of inspections into state-owned enterprises and government bodies including China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group), Asia’s largest oil refiner, state media said on Monday. The inspectors, part of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), will focus on senior figures within Sinopec who may be promoted to leadership roles.
3. China mulls more strict tobacco control – Xinhua China is mulling a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products, according to a draft regulation on Monday. The draft published on the legislative affairs office of the State Council website, pending public consultation, also includes plans to ban certain smoking scenes in films and TV shows. The draft bans smoking in all kinds of indoor public places and outdoor living space in kindergartens, schools, colleges, women and children’s hospitals as well as in fitness venues. Smoking in outdoor space is only allowed in designated smoking areas.
Related: 我国拟全面禁止烟草广告 影视剧播吸烟最高罚3万_国内_新京报网 on the draft new rules on tobacco. // 今日下午，国务院法制办公布《
Related: China considers tougher tobacco controls: Xinhua | Reuters The government’s heavy dependence on tobacco taxes has been a major impediment to anti-smoking efforts. Last year, the tobacco industry contributed more than 816 billion yuan ($131.70 billion) to government coffers, an annual rise of nearly 14 percent. Sources told Reuters in September that intense lobbying by the powerful state tobacco monopoly had resulted in the weakening of controversial legislation that had meant to introduce a complete advertising ban.
4. Senior leader wants greater public sense of Internet security – Xinhua “While enjoying the various conveniences the Internet offers, we should see clearly the occasional occurrence of online attacks, frauds and copyright infringements as well as rampant online pornography, gambling, drug deals, violence, terrorism and rumors, despite crackdowns,” Liu said, adding that these issues severely harm national security and people’s interests. Urging improved laws and regulations on the management of the Internet and resolute crackdowns on Internet-related crimes, Liu noted that it had become “people’s common outcry” to ensure online security, regulate Internet orders and cleanse the online environment. // Liu Yunshan’s role as a vice chair of the Internet Security and Informatization leading group a reminder that propaganda control over the Internet seen as a core security issue…
Related: Country enhances security checks for govt websites – China Daily “We will make a unified logo for qualified government websites and ask them to put it on their homepages to help residents quickly identify whether a website they visit is operated by a government department or not,” Yang said. The unified logo will be issued on Tuesday, she said, hoping it will be uploaded on the verified sites in 2015. The National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team and Coordination Center said that 2,430 government websites were hacked in 2013, up by 34.9 percent year-on-year.
5. Beijing to step up tax evasion campaign after US multinational firm caught | South China Morning Post A US multinational had admitted tax evasion and its mainland subsidiary had agreed to pay the central government 840 million yuan (HK$1.06 billion) in back taxes and interest, as well as more than 100 million yuan in additional taxes a year in the future, Xinhua reported on Sunday…The state news agency did not name the company, identified only as M, but said it was a “globally well-known company that has long been among the world’s 500 biggest firms”, headquartered in the US, and had established a wholly-owned foreign enterprise in Beijing in 1995. US software giant Microsoft did not reply to South China Morning Post inquiries about whether it was the company involved
6. 解振华：让气候目标倒逼改革_专题频道_财新网 Inte
7. Despite Persecution, Guardian of Lake Tai Spotlights China’s Polluters – NYTimes Environmental activist Wu Lihong was jailed for speaking out about pollution in China’s Lake Tai. Now he is free, but still protesting the industrial waste that streams into the lake…“If you jumped into this water, you’d shed a layer of skin,” he said one recent afternoon. “The government claims they are cleaning up the lake, but as you can see, it’s just not true.”
8. In New Plan, China Eyes 2020 Energy Cap | The Diplomat China’s State Council unveiled its Energy Development Strategy Action Plan on Wednesday, creating a road-map for China’s energy use and development from 2014 to 2020. The complete Chinese-language document can be found here, with an English summary also available courtesy of Xinhua.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
Outside Forces Drive China’s Big Flip-Flop – Bloomberg View By Mohamed A. El-Erian-China’s apparent flip-flop on policy illustrates a bigger reality facing emerging economies. Even well-managed ones such as China have difficulty in navigating a fluid global economy that has been distorted by the West’s incomplete response to its problems and its prolonged reliance on experimental central bank policies, including negative real interest rates and other measures to artificially boost asset prices.
Chinese government further cuts redtape – Xinhua | English.news.cn According to a decision issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet, a total of 58 items requiring government review and approval will be canceled or delegated to lower-level governments to streamline government administration. Overall, 45 of the items concerned businesses and investment whereas another 12 were related to finance. // the list 国务院关于取消和调整一批行政审批项目等事项的决定
经济参考网 – 降息刺激一二线城市看房量骤升 业内称房价预期转好，但短期内市场大幅反弹概率较低 Econo
一线城市下调住房公积金贷款利率_财经频道_一财网 CBN reports tier 1 cities cut the interest rates for loans from their housing provident funds by 0.25%
经济参考网 – 第二批地方坏账银行试点开闸 坏账处置力度大增，盘活存量将成金融改革“强心剂” Econo
Signal vs noise from the PBoC | FT Alphaville Policymakers have issued a few measures in an attempt to help banks dispose of bad loans more easily. The ongoing local government debt restructuring may help free up banks’ balance sheets to some degree as well, but the bigger concern lies with state-owned enterprises (SOE). We estimate SOE debt at close to 100% of GDP, twice as much as private corporate borrowing. Given that banks have always preferred SOEs, a disproportionally large part of banks’ balance sheets is probably locked into low- to non-performing SOE loans. Without meaningful SOE reform, China’s private sector will continue to see difficult credit conditions.
经济参考网 – 原油熊转牛难改本周油价九连跌 下调幅度或缩减至每吨150元到180元 9th consecutive gasoline price cut expected in China Friday
央行降息互联网货基收益将持续下降 破四恐难避免- CAIJING Internet money management funds yields look set to drop below 4% in wake of PBoC rate cut
China Stock Surge Before Rate Cut Raises Investors’ Worries – WSJ A sudden surge in China’s stocks hours before Beijing cut interest rates on Friday has drawn complaints from some investors who suspect that word of the central bank’s surprise move was leaked to the market ahead of time. Authorities have in recent years sought to crack down on insider trading in the country’s volatile stock markets. But the unusual rally adds to worries the illegal practice remains // shocked, just shocked…
Property, manufacturing woes help trim China’s shadow banking | Reuters In the three months ended Sept. 30, the shadow banking portion of what China calls total social financing – a broad measure of liquidity in the economy – contracted for the first time on a quarterly basis since the 2008/09 financial crisis…October lending data, released last week, showed further contractions in these types of shadow banking.
非农建设用地入市方案已上报 最快年内出台 – CAIJING
POLITICS AND LAW
Court to Rehear 1996 Murder Case that Ended with Suspect’s Execution – Caixin A rape and murder case in Inner Mongolia that ended 18 years ago with the suspect’s execution will be reheard by a court, after years of complaints the original verdict was flawed. The High Court in the northern region said on November 20 that the 1996 case involving an ethnically Mongolian man named Qoysiletu who was found guilty of the crimes will be reexamined.(The man preferred to use a Mongolian name instead of a Han Chinese name like his parents.)
河北高院再次婉拒聂树斌案阅卷请求_新闻_腾讯网 // on another case of miscarried justice, the 1995 execution of Nie Shubin
China Fires Journalist Who Tweeted In Support of Occupy Central Wang Yafeng, who wrote editorials for Communist Party mouthpiece the Jiaxing Daily in the eastern province of Zhejiang, lost his job after sending out tweets highly critical of state media’s line on the Hong Kong protests on his personal microblog account. “People who, without understanding the situation, launch their invective at Hong Kong’s citizens’ protest deserve to spend the rest of their lives as slaves,” Wang tweeted last week.
茅台镇五成中小酒企或将停产 several liquor firms in Maotai Village are in dire financial straits, may halt production.
中纪委废止“宽松”党规 党员公民将一视同仁_新闻_腾讯网 CCDI gets rid of 626 Party regulations, including some that allowed more lenient Party discipline for crimes than the law calls for // 在中共中央统一部署下，
Chinese officials sell govt posts for millions One evening, a man arrived at the home of Zhang Xiaodong, the Communist Party chief of Anyang in Henan province, with a heavy suitcase. He took out one million yuan (US$163,000) in cash, handed it to Zhang and went home. “Return this illegal money,” Zhang’s wife told him — but Zhang refused. During his 11 years in office from 2002 to 2013, Zhang received a total of 21.23 million yuan and US$10,000 from selling positions in the government. This was revealed on November 14 on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the party’s top anti-corruption body, headed by Wang Qishan.
弘扬中国精神 凸显文艺灵魂–时政–人民网 Vice Minister of Propaganda Huang Kunming on page 7 of Tuesday’s People’s Daily with some thoughts on Xi’s culture symposium…so I guess we will be hearing much more about “真善美 Real, Virtuous, Beautiful”?// 习近平同志强调，
Paper published by Communist Party endorses charge against veteran journalist Gao Yu | South China Morning Post The Global Times said yesterday that Gao Yu was clearly guilty of leaking an internal party document on ideological instruction. It said such documents were classified as secret unless the party decided to make them available to the general public. The editorial also took aim at overseas criticism of Gao’s case, calling it part of a campaign to smear China’s reputation.
Report outlines regional terror crackdown – China Daily One-hundred fifteen terrorist cells were eliminated in the past six months in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, stopping most terrorist attacks before they could be undertaken, local media reported. Xinjiang Daily reported the region’s work since a yearlong crackdown on terrorism was launched on May 23. Authorities said the campaign, which will run through June, involved “extremely tough measures and extraordinary methods” after a bloody attack in Urumqi, the capital, left 39 people dead on May 22.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China, Russia and the ‘Sinatra doctrine’ – FT.com Behind this muscle-flexing, however, the Russians and Chinese are pushing for a broader reordering of world affairs, based around the idea of “spheres of influence”. Both China and Russia believe that they should have veto rights about what goes on in their immediate neighbourhoods.
China is trying to intimidate America-Hugh White I think there may be a more specific answer: the main target of China’s sticks in the East and South China Seas is not its neighbours themselves, but Washington. It wants to convince America to step back from leadership in Asia by convincing Washington that it will have to confront China militarily to preserve its regional primacy, and that the costs and risk of doing so would be immense. It is trying to intimidate America, in other words. There is a good chance that it is working. Most people are surprised that China would think in these terms. It does not fit our model of how the world works these days. But my whole point is that the world is working differently now from what we have known, because for the first time in decades we are seeing real strategic rivalry between great powers. China is deadly serious about its ‘new model’, and will run real, if carefully calculated, risks to create it.
China defies U.S. call to stop island project in South China Sea | Reuters Media reports over the weekend cited U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Pool as urging China “to stop its land reclamation program and engage in diplomatic initiatives to encourage all sides to restrain themselves in these sorts of activities”. China reiterated that Beijing had “indisputable sovereignty” over the Spratly Islands, where most of the overlapping claims lie, especially between China and the Philippines. “I think anyone in the outside world has no right to make irresponsible remarks on China-related activities,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.
Don’t be fooled: China-Vatican deal not on the horizon soon ucanews What this surprising report really represents is a deliberate leak by the Communist party in a bid to increase pressure on the Vatican to accept its proposal while generating sympathy for its position so that when talks inevitably fail, Beijing can say that the Vatican is to blame. That an unnamed Communist Party official leaked details of the secret talks to a pro-Beijing newspaper and that this was then reported on the mainland by the state-run Global Times indicates it is little more than a familiar Chinese gambit. // by a foreign journalist in Beijing writing under a pseudonym
Venezuela: China to the rescue? | beyondbrics The $4bn is not fresh finance but a transfer to the central bank ordered by President Nicolás Maduro from funds provided under agreements with China. Caracas has borrowed some $50bn from Beijing in recent years. Critics have complained of the opacity of these loans, which do not normally enter the country’s reserves as cash but are kept aside in earmarked funds not open to parliamentary scrutiny. Only last month, Caracas tweaked the terms of a loans-for-oil arrangement with Beijing.
New, Better Chinese Spy Satellite Hits Orbit | Popular Science Yaogan 24 takes an orbit 400 miles above the ground, similar to that of other optical imagery Yaogan variants, so it is likely to be an improvement over previous Chinese imagery satellites. While the resolution of Chinese imagery satellites has hovered at around 1 meter in the past, the Yaogan 24 would have a resolution of 0.6-0.8 meters, assuming its resolution is better than its predecessor, Gaofen 2, which had a 0.8 meter resolution.
Xu Caihou sought to appeal to Jiang Zemin before downfall: report｜WantChinaTimes Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet, suspects that certain Hong Kong media outlets have been fed inside information about the case by Beijing in order to craft a specific narrative…Beijing appears to be keeping a tight leash over the narrative, leaking insider information to test the waters on the one hand while stamping out uncontrolled speculation on the other to prevent rumors from spiraling out of control, it added.
我军援利抗埃医疗队现场传真 A look at the PLA teams fighting Ebola in Africa
China builds hydroelectric dam on Brahmaputra in Tibet, India fears flash floods – The Times of India India has repeatedly expressed concern about the dangers of damming the Brahmaputra, one of the strongest Himalayan rivers, in upstream areas in Tibet. China has routinely responded saying its plans were restricted to run-off-the-river dams focussed on generating electricity, which posed little danger.
印媒炒作藏木水电站“威胁” 外交部：不影响生态防洪_国际新闻_环球网 Foreign Ministry and Global Times are not pleased with India’s comments about the new dam in Tibet
As India and Pakistan Spar, China Gains Influence in South Asia – Bloomberg “Modi is quite focused on shoring up relations with neighbors to balance China’s attempts at expanding its influence in South Asia,” said Richard M. Rossow, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies based in Washington. While it’d be best for India and China to collaboratively develop the region, now their actions are “being played out like a zero-sum game.”
India plans high-speed rail project with China – China Daily China is in discussions with India to help it build the world’s second-longest high-speed railroad with a price tag of 200 billion yuan ($32.6 billion), its latest efforts to push for a bigger share of the overseas high-speed market. The Delhi-Chennai high-speed rail corridor will see trains running at 300 km/h, covering up to 1,754 kilometers. The railway is proposed to be developed jointly with China…several Indian media organizations reported over the weekend, citing senior officials with India’s Ministry of Railways.
A dozen Chinese fishermen jailed in the Philippines for 6-12 years for poaching | South China Morning Post They were the first foreigners to be found guilty of violating the law, according to Herminia Caabay, legal officer for a council that helps the western province of Palawan protect its natural resources. The fishermen are still on trial for possession of protected species within the park, Alaska said, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The Philippine coastguard had said hundreds of dead and frozen pangolins were seized from the Chinese fishing boat.
New law may authorise Chinese military to fight terrorists abroad | South China Morning Post The draft of the country’s first counterterrorism law includes clauses that would authorise the army and the paramilitary police to carry out counterterrorism missions abroad if the deployment had the consent of the countries involved, Chinese delegates told the Xiangshan Forum last week, according to analysts at the regional security meeting.
TECH AND MEDIA
中兴、华为向小米等发函维权 21 Century Business Herald reports that Huawei and ZTE lawyers have sent letters to Xiaomi and other Chinese mobile phone manufacturers accusing them of violating their WCDMA patents // 近日，21世纪经济报道记者获悉，中兴、华为已经向包括小米(
Xiaomi Delays Overseas Push Amid Talks With Foxconn on Output – Bloomberg Xiaomi and Foxconn are discussing making phones in India and Brazil, Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president in charge of global operations, said in an interview yesterday near New Delhi. Beijing-based Xiaomi, the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor, may also consider manufacturing in Indonesia, Barra said.
Websites Offering Subtitles for Foreign TV Shows, Movies Shut Down – Caixin The government shut Yyets.com because it was providing subtitles to content that was not authorized by media regulators, a member of the volunteer community supporting the site said on an online bulletin board. Media regulators physically seized five servers from Yyets.com on November 21, said the source, who added that the government will shut down other sites. The government has not said it closed the two websites. // lucky if not arrested like QVod management
Chinese gamers accuse Xbox One of false advertising, attempt returns – TechInAsia The issue, according to Sina Tech, is that the Chinese Xbox One was advertised as including BesTV video streaming services. An official Microsoft weibo post from just before the console’s September release, for example, said that the console would include HD video streaming which would have “domestic and international blockbusters, with two movies free to watch each month.” But nearly two months after the Xbox One’s China launch, that streaming video service has yet to materialize.
Who audits Alibaba – update | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis Back in May I raised the question of whether PwC Hong Kong is the principal auditor of Alibaba given that most operations are on the mainland. The SEC has now released its correspondence with Alibaba and I found that they raised this issue with Alibaba. Here is the SEC’s question (italics) and Alibaba’s response…PwC HK does appear to be the principal auditor of Alibaba.
集成电路新政出台加速产业证券化 警惕虚火（股）_行业资讯_中证网 on the newly announced government support for the IC chip industry…lots of money going to be made, wonder if this time the policies will finally lead to technology catchup
Tencent Drafts Chinese Expats for U.S. Duel With WhatsApp – Bloomberg WeChat isn’t relying only on informal ambassadors to push deeper into the U.S. It has also been working to foster student usage in the country, organizing a program at the University of California at Los Angeles last November to spur downloads of the app beyond Chinese users. During the two-week program, eight WeChat “influencers” used 80 pizzas, 1,000 WeChat-branded sunglasses and 200 WeChat T-shirts to raise the app’s profile.
ZTE might have a chance to win the US market in 2015-TechInAsia ZTE has also been boosting its marketing efforts in a bid to gain brand mileage. The latest in its plan is partnering with the New York Knicks basketball team – a clever move given that basketball is one of America’s favorite spectator sports. The smartphone sponsorship deal comes on the heels of similar partnerships inked with the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
China to declare war on ‘bizarre architecture’ – Telegraph Beijing will soon unveil rules making it harder for “strange buildings” to be given planning permission, Yang Shichao, a senior official from southern China, was quoted as saying by the Guangzhou Daily newspaper. “It’s going to be difficult, but I believe it is a good thing that at least architects will design buildings that give more thought to the needs of the people and to environmental protection, rather than ones which seek simply to be eye-catching.”
艺术品融资风起 文交所“变身”互联网交易平台_财经频道_一财网 CBN on rush to raise money for art and cultural products, now moving onto Internet exchanges…what could go wrong? // 继保理、融资租赁、保单质押之后，
Anti-doping agency says no cover-up of Sun’s ban – China Daily Olympic and world champion swimmer Sun Yang’s short suspension for a doping violation in May was “appropriate”, a senior Chinese anti-doping official said on Monday, defending the delayed announcement and lenient punishment. The China Anti-Doping Agency announced on its website on Monday that Sun tested positive for the stimulant trimetazidine at an in-competition doping test during the national swimming championships on May 17.
80% of China’s Rich Send Children Abroad to Study, Highest in World | TheNanfang China’s wealthy want a western education for their children. An astonishing 80 percent of the country’s upper-class are sending their kids abroad to attend school, the highest rate in the world by far. Ten percent of Germany’s rich send their children away for school, while only five percent of the French upper-class do the same. In Japan, this figure stands at one percent.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
Report Faults Care of Peace Corps Volunteer – NYTimes.com In a detailed examination of the death of Nick Castle, a 23-year-old volunteer who was the subject of an article in The New York Times in July, the Peace Corps inspector general cited “cascading delays and failures in the treatment” of Mr. Castle as a factor in the death, and said the Peace Corps doctor, Jin Gao, had “failed to use prudent judgment.” Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE Trail of Medical Missteps in a Peace Corps DeathJULY 25, 2014 Dr. Gao resigned in September and could not be reached for comment.
Commuting time in Beijing averages 97 minutes- China.org.cn With a typical journey time of 97 minutes, exhausting trips are the unenviable cost of getting to work, a report by Beijing Normal University showed.
JOBS AND EVENTS
财经年会2015_财经网 – CAIJING looking forward to Al Gore’s speech this afternoon at the Caijing charity conference…the Caijing annual conference starts Wednesday