The Sinocism newsletter is compiled by Bill Bishop, and republished here with permission. Be Informed About China. The Sinocism China Newsletter. Free.
Interview With Hillary Clinton – NYTimes.com– on chen guangcheng negotiations// [On Thursday], I had a lunch that include the main negotiators for the Chinese side and then I went to a large event on our people-to-people relationships. There were two incredible, attractive young people, one Chinese and one American, and they stood up and spoke about how important this relationship was and how valuable their experiences had been. Most of the main players on the Chinese side were there. It was a moment when I looked at all of them, and I know they’re thinking: “We don’t want this all to break up over this guy. What are we going to do?” I could just see it. The next morning we had a pre-existing event with American and Chinese business people, and we were back in one of the big beautiful all-glass pavilions. And I sent a note to Dai [China foreign policy official Dai Bingguo] saying, “You and I have got to talk.” I made what I knew would be the kind of final argument about why, but we couldn’t risk seeing our relationship founder over this. We would never agree on what happened and why, but we had to resolve it. So then Dai gave the go-ahead for his side to negotiate with ours again and we got an agreement. It was incredibly intense, but I was always confident.
Politics of pollution: China’s oil giants take a choke-hold on power | Reuters– With widespread and rising public anger changing the political calculus, it also poses a broader question of whether the incoming administration led by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping will stand up to powerful vested interests in a country where state-owned enterprises have long trumped certain ministries in the quest for economic growth at all costs. “I think the Communist Party’s new government should weaken CNPC and Sinopec,” said Wang Yukai, a professor from the National School of Administration. “These interest groups have too much power.” Delays in implementing stricter emission standards are rooted in money — chiefly, who should pay for the price of refining cleaner fuels? By some estimates, auto emissions contribute as much as a quarter of the most dangerous particles in Beijing’s air.
State-owned oil companies in firing line over Beijing’s pollution | South China Morning Post– Bureaucratic fighting between the environment ministry on the one hand and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Sinopec Group on the other has thwarted stricter emission standards for diesel trucks and buses – a main cause of air pollution blanketing dozens of cities. To be sure, many sources contribute to air pollution levels that hit records last month, but analysts say the oil companies’ foot-dragging and disregard of environmental regulations underscore a critical challenge facing a toothless ministry in its mission to curb air pollution.
专家称中国户籍管理漏洞百出背后是社会不公_网易新闻中心– China Youth Daily on the multiple hukou scandals exposing the loopholes and injustice in the hukou system..perhaps these scandals will be a fillip to real hukou reform…// 这名拥有两岸三户籍的女商人迅速引起舆论关注。不过，她并非第一个走进公众视线的”户口姐”。在这之前，”房妹”、”房姐”等一系列持有多户口、多身份的”房×”已陆续遭到警方调查。其中，陕西省神木县农村商业银行原副行长龚爱爱被发现拥有4个户口，41套在京房产，面积近万平方米。 1月31日，龚爱爱事件的7名涉案人员被刑事拘留，其中4人为公安民警。随后，与龚爱爱共同拥有某处房产的高引娥也被发现拥有多个户籍。 户籍乱象引发追问，这里面管理漏洞究竟有多少？
China services’ slow uptick highlights mildness of recovery | Reuters– The services industry has so far weathered the global slowdown much better than the factory sector, with the PMI consistently signalling healthy expansion and hitting a 10-month high of 58.0 in March.That is partly due to a maturing economy as well as a historic shift in the last decade leading a majority of Chinese to live and work in cities rather than the countryside. The January index of expected activity also fell from December, but remained above 60, indicating that service sector enterprises continued to be optimistic, the bureau said.
The Gaokao Highway to Hell « Sinostand – For the past week I’ve been in my girlfriend’s Shandong hometown staying with her aunt, uncle and 17-year-old cousin Emily. Emily is a puny 90 pounds with the horrible eyesight common among Chinese youth. If given the chance, she’ll talk to you for hours about soap operas and schoolyard gossip. Two-and-a-half years ago she and her family came to visit us in Nanjing. It was a kind of celebration for passing the end of middle school test and getting into the town’s best high school. Since that trip, Emily’s life has been hell. This summer she’ll take the Gaokao. So each day she goes to school from 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM with a two hour lunch. She gets Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings off…usually.
Kerry must engage China – Harvard – Belfer centre – Nicholas Burns – hasn’t the US been engaging China for 30 years? who is advocating we stop? // My Harvard colleague, Joseph Nye, suggested wisely in a recent New York Times op-ed that we not seek to contain China but continue the more nuanced Clinton-Bush policy of “integrate but hedge” instead. The hedge is clear — Obama’s smart and welcome drive to reinforce our alliances with the democratic countries of Asia. But he and Kerry now need to try to “integrate” China more deeply into the global trade and commercial system and find a way to make it a more reliable partner on critical issues such as climate change and North Korea. How might the United States better engage China in 2013? First, Obama and Kerry should commit to more frequent meetings with the new Chinese leadership. American leaders still spend far more time with their European and Middle Eastern counterparts than they do with Chinese leaders. Engaging China is not a panacea but is the only way to begin building greater confidence and trust. Personal ties often matter in international politics. Thus, early meetings withXi Jinping are imperative.
人民日报-新型大国关系 不是空洞概念 钟 声 – Zhong Sheng on new type of great power relations between US and China…not much detail, but does warn that blocking China’s protection of its sovereign territorial rights and unification will seriously hurt the feelings of 1.3 Billion people// 中美合作要顺利推进，要以相互信任为基础，尊重彼此的核心利益。中国有权和美国享有同等的尊重。企图阻碍中国维护领土主权完整和实现国家统一的努力，势必会严重伤害十三亿中国人民的感情。中美不仅要以建设性姿态管控好矛盾分歧，同时也要为存在的问题探索解决办法。只有以和平合作的思维取代冷战思维，以接触对话取代对抗遏制，中美关系才能健康发展。当前，两国应抓住机遇，开诚布公地进行对话，以实际行动为中美关系注入正能量，共同构建相互尊重、合作共赢的新型大国关系。
Ahead of the Tape: Yum’s Chinese Yuck Factor – WSJ.com – the problems may run deeper than a 45 day bird// You won’t find “45-day chicken” in any cookbook, but it has become a potential recipe for disaster at Yum Brands Inc. The term for preternaturally fast-growing birds allegedly pumped full of dangerous hormones, all over China’s media and blogosphere in December, threatens the fast-food giant’s critical business in that country. An exposé in local media may have dented same-store sales there by 6% during the final quarter after they grew by 9% through the first nine months of 2012. Yum has said its products are safe but that it will strengthen its supervision of suppliers.
China to postpone widening of property tax pilot program: report | Reuters – of course they will postpone it..career suicide to implement it given the numbers of properties owned by officials..amazing how often this story gets reported, then corrected…fun for punters// China will postpone the expansion of a pilot program to implement a property tax, the official China Securities Journal reported, citing anonymous official sources, who added that Beijing intends to keep a tight lid on the property market through other means in tier 1 cities.
China property: virtuous circle – FT.com – This time last year doom was being predicted for China’s property developers. The economy was slowing and officials were clamping down on what was, at the least, a frothy housing market. This year the official curbs continue, but they have not stopped some of the biggest developers from raising a combined $5.4bn last month – almost half what they borrowed in the whole of last year.
China Blames International Miners for Plunging Steel Profit -Caijing – China reported a steep drop in profits of its steel companies in 2012 as it accused international miners including BHP Billiton of lifting exports prices which had taken most of the profits. Profits of China’s steel companies plunged a whopping 98.22% last year with 28.75% of the companies suffering losses, China Iron and Steel Association said Thursday. Higher prices of imported iron ore mainly contributed to the poor performance, deputy secretary of the association Zhang Changfu explained.
京沪高铁部分投资者提议退出_公司频道_财新网 – 尽管京沪高铁运营形势超出预期，平安资产管理有限责任公司和全国社保基金理事会却出人意料地提出了退股的要求。据财新记者了解，两家投资机构于2012年下半年分别提出希望京沪高铁股份有限公司（下称京沪高铁）大股东中国铁路建设投资公司（下称中铁投）代表铁道部回购股份。目前，铁道部甚至更高层面仍在协调此事。京沪高铁股东”用脚投票”，尽显了铁道部市场化融资中的种种尴尬。
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