The Sinocism newsletter is compiled by Bill Bishop, and republished here with permission. Be Informed About China. The Sinocism China Newsletter. Free
Our kids started their five week Chinese New Year vacation at 10 AM today, so just links this morning, back with commentary Friday.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
Xi questions propaganda chief’s handling of censorship row – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun– hear from other reporters that this report could be credible, that this paper has had other scoops recently..if true then very interesting// At a meeting in Zhongnanhai in Beijing on the night of Jan. 9, Xi, visibly displeased, asked if the media control division was not adding to confusion, sources familiar with the discussions said.Xi was responding to a report from Liu Yunshan, chief of the propaganda department of the party central committee, on censorship of the Southern Weekly, the sources said.
Chinese leader calls for dialogue to resolve Diaoyu Islands issue – Xinhua | English.news.cn– dangerous dance…talks, drills, rhetoric..hopeful this will not go over the line into conflict, but risks of mishaps growing//Top political advisor Jia Qinglin said Wednesday that China and Japan should resolve the Diaoyu Islands dispute through dialogue and consultation.”The two sides should handle the Diaoyu Islands dispute properly in order to ensure that bilateral relations remain on a track of healthy and stable development,” said Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), while meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
China’s J-10 fighter joins live fire drill – Xinhua | English.news.cn– The fighters were organised into 10 formations and used several tactics to approach the target more than a 1000 kilometers away. The drill also included strong electromagnetic interference to simulate a real combat scenario. The fighters covered for each other in a concealed raid and the targets were hit. The drill was launched after the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army issued the Military Training Instructions for 2013. It said all army forces and armed police should strengthen combat and information warfare training and step up the modernization of the military, so it can engage in and win wars.
Commentary: Rational policy needed from Abe government on China-Japan ties – Xinhua | English.news.cn– At a meeting in Beijing on Monday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying and former Japanese Education Minister Kenji Kosaka agreed that the two countries should shift their focus back to development of the strategic relationship of mutual benefit. The talks, expected to pave the way for a possible visit to China by Abe’s special envoy Masahiko Komura, marked the first time a Japanese ruling party lawmaker met with a senior Chinese official since the launch of the Abe government.
人民日报-“新四化” 新意在何处（新论） 易 鹏 People’s Daily on the “new four modernizations” Li Keqiang stressing//梦想激励人们前进，实现需要脚踏实地。”四个现代化”的宏伟理想激励几代中国人为之奋斗，今天的中国因此取得了巨大成就。15日，李克强同志在国家粮食局考察调研时强调，推进新型工业化、信息化、城镇化和农业现代化的”新四化”建设是中国现代化的必由之路。”新四化”，更具时代感地勾画了建设中国现代化的具体之路。
China’s Tencent Apologizes for Message Problems – WSJ.com– It is standard practice to block sensitive terms in China. The government gives Internet companies such as Tencent general guidelines for censorship, leaving most companies to make their own decisions in many cases. That sometimes leaves individual companies to make the tough calculation between pleasing domestic censors and serving international users. Activists also say Chinese Internet services are broadly used by the Chinese government to track their movements. Last week, an anticensorship activist at the Southern Weekly protests who had been detained by authorities for a day told The Wall Street Journal that his only activity before he was picked up was communicating with his friends via WeChat. Tencent didn’t respond to requests for comment on the issue.
Struggle Is The Enemy, Weed Is The Remedy: The Truth About Marijuana in North Korea | NK News – North Korea News – sounds like a joint CIA/NIS operation to seed the DPRK with 30%+ THC strain seeds could be in order?// NK NEWS receives regular reports from visitors returning from North Korea, who tell us of marijuana plants growing freely along the roadsides, from northern port town Chongjin, right down to the streets of Pyongyang, where it is smoked freely and its sweet scent often catches your nostrils unannounced. There is no taboo around pot smoking in the country – many North Koreans know the drug exists and have smoked it. In North Korea, the drug goes by the name of ip tambae or “leaf tobacco.” It is reported to be especially popular amongst young soldiers in the North Korean military – rather than getting hooked on tar & nicotine like their contemporaries in the West, they fraternize without fear of repercussion by lighting up king-sized doobies during down time on the military beat.
United Family Home Health – interesting new service, probably a big market among rich Chinese in Beijing..house calls the ultimate luxury, especially in China// United Family Home Health is one of the first home care services in China with a medical focus, and its vision is to provide clients and their families with United Family Healthcare’s world-class medical care from the comfort of their homes.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
China Set to Exit Slowdown as Government Supports Infrastructure – Bloomberg – The National Bureau of Statistics will report tomorrow that gross domestic product expanded 7.8 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 53 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. That’s up from a three-year low of 7.4 per cent in the previous period. The risk is that the rebound may fade in the second half as the boost from railways and road projects ebbs and the government grapples with rising inflation and the expansion of shadow banking. While the nation is set to reverse its slide in economic growth, the pace remains short of the 10 per cent average of the past two decades as higher wages and weakness in global demand limit export gains
China Loses Edge As World’s Factory Floor – WSJ.com – Foreign capital helped build China into a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse and global growth engine. But its increasingly urban population now has higher expectations in terms of wages and working conditions and louder objections to the pollution that often comes with low-level manufacturing—demands that have eroded China’s cost advantage.
China Billionaire Minted as Venezuela Orders Oil Gear – Bloomberg – Sun Weijie, chairman of Yantai Jereh Oilfield Services Group Co. (002353), has become a billionaire as shares of the Chinese oil equipment and service provider he co-founded surged on a supply contract from Venezuela.Jereh has been picked by Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A to supply equipment and tubes valued at $178 million, the Yantai, China-based company said on Jan. 10. The deal is equal to 40 per cent of Jereh’s sales in 2012.
Cash wave washes China’s banks off course – FT.com -deep waters around the Tao case// This couplet, from eighth century Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, was meant to describe the Postal Savings Bank’s transformation from a stodgy savings network to a bank at the cutting edge of rural development. With hindsight, we now know that the poem in fact foretold a doomed voyage for Mr Tao. He could not ride the wind and was eventually swallowed up by the waves. Mr Tao was detained in June for an investigation into “personal economic issues”. State media reported last week that he has been formally charged with corruption. It is alleged that he made illegal loans with bank money for personal benefit. Mr Tao’s downfall is a timely reminder of what remains the biggest problem in the Chinese financial system: an excessive concentration of money in the hands of state-run banks.
Deloitte Tightens Client Screening After China Scandals – WSJ.com-a joke..Deloitte didn’t have standards before? and will this mean any deloitte-audited China firm should no longer be put on the “likely good short idea” list?// Deloitte’s Asia Pacific CEO, Chaly Mah, said the firm has specifically changed the work it does to test cash balances and introduced more stringent tests to determine whether to take on potential clients, for instance.”We have a multilayer process but if you have clients that are less than honest it is not easy,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Report says sick chickens sold|chinadaily.com.cn– A major chicken supplier in Central China has been suspected of selling sick birds to popular food chains including KFC, in the latest crisis to hit the country’s poultry industry.According to a report on china.com.cn on Tuesday, several chicken farms owned by Doyoo Group in Henan province have been providing sick birds to the group, which resells the chickens to fast-food chains such as KFC and McDonald’s.
Agricultural products price continually rises in China – Xinhua | English.news.cn – the price of agricultural products in 36 large-and-medium-sized cities across the nation continued to rise from Jan. 7, 2013 to Jan. 13, 2013, a continuous rising in 11 consecutive weeks
一线城市调控困境：国企的狂欢？|房地产|一线城市|调控_21世纪网 – real estate controls have turned out to be benefecial to the big SOEs, at least in first tier one cities…caused some pain at start but now they are most of the last ones standing…//核心提示：2012年，北京房企商品房销售金额排行榜中，北京城建、中海、保利、首开、中国铁建、中化方兴等国企以迅猛的态势抢占了前十名，民企只有龙湖、SOHO中国尚存。
茅台整改：反腐潮加快白酒业全面市场化 | 每经智库 – Moutai is in a big mess..not just corruption crackdown but big sales channel and administrative issues// 核心提示： 虽然这场貌似凭借反腐的东风，国家又动用了行政手段来限制茅台的价格，其实却是在动用市场经济的手，加速以茅台为首的高端白酒企业实现全面市场化的进程。
谁在推涨铁矿石_杂志频道_财新网 – Caixin on who is pushing up price of iron ore// 从2012年9月至今，进口铁矿石价格由不足90美元/吨一路狂涨至当前的155美元/吨，涨幅达75.1%。特别是进入12月以后，矿价加速上扬，短短一个月时间竟疯狂上涨了近40美元，涨幅高达31.4%。2013年1月8日，力拓的PB（皮尔巴拉混合矿）粉矿招标价格已接近每吨160美元。到底是什么因素在推动铁矿石价格的疯涨？
Corruption curbs crimp luxury market |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn– Ren said government officials, who used to be the main recipients of luxury watches as gifts, were unsure about the future policy environment.Several government officials who were noticed by the public to own luxury watches were investigated for corruption in 2012. One was the director of the provincial administration of work safety, who wore a Swiss watch when appearing at the site of a highway accident.Officials are cautious now about receiving gifts, Ren said.”It hurts the luxury watch business a lot,” since more than 25 per cent of the luxury items sold on the Chinese mainland were used as gifts.//surprised no one out with gold thread underwear with jade powder/rhino horn crotch patch..netizens might never see it, could be huge seller
房企饮鸩止渴 信托狼吞劣质开发贷_财经频道_一财网 – 《第一财经日报》查阅资料发现，近年来，海南珠江控股股份有限公司（000505.SZ，下称”ST珠江”）、深圳市国际企业股份有限公司（000056.SZ，下称”*ST国商”）、上海世贸控股有限公司等上市或非上市房地产开发企业，都曾通过信托贷款方式，”赎买”即将到期的银行借款。房企是不是在饮鸩止渴？信托是不是在火中取栗？抑或是有别于银行体系的风控标准，让信托在银行不敢涉足之地看到了利润之光？
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