Last week it was reported  that the 18th Party Congress could see contested elections this week for seats on the Communist Party's Politburo, and possibly even the Politburo Standing Committee; for the Central Committee, which shapes the two bodies, it was also said the differential rate  of vying candidates against the number of contested seats could be raised from the 8 per cent rate allowed during the 17th Party Congress in 2007 to 20 per cent.
Yesterday, however, New York-based Chinese news site Mingjing, quoting inside sources, claimed an exclusive tip-off that there won't be any significant increase in the number of Congress delegates competing for Central Committee seats or competitive elections to form either of the two higher bodies.
And there definitely is no sign of budding intra-party democracy, wrote  Mingjing, quoting its source:
More than 4,000 journalists are in Beijing to do interviews at the 18th Party Congress, but aside from photo ops and a few tidbits, they have no way of finding out what's really going on inside.
Not quite breaking news, but it is something to keep us going until news does start to trickle out tomorrow, the final day of the Congress.
-- China's Filipino Gold Rush  A vast and growing river of gold, much of it illegal, is being mined in the Philippines by Chinese companies and is pouring into Hong Kong before most of it is transshipped into China.
-- Chinese J-31 stealth fighter for global market  In 2020, the PAF would also have four squadrons of Lockheed Martin F-16s, two squadrons of the J-10 from CAC, and three squadrons of older Chinese F-7TGs. The close relationship between the PLAAF and the PAF is evident from the presence at the Zhuhai Air Show of three PAF JF-17 fighters, which will be flying displays during the show.
-- Obama Visit to Firm up US Policy on Asia  Despite the media spin that the US engagement with Asean comes at the region’s repeated request, the rise of China and its growing confidence remains a major focus, if not obsession, of the US re-balancing in the Asia-Pacific.
-- Analysis: 4 more years from a Middle Eastern angle  Regarding Syria, will the American president be able to convince Russia and China to join a coalition that will force Bashar Assad to accept a compromise?
-- Huawei deploys 100G WDM network in Africa  Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is a technology which combines a number of optical carrier signals onto a single optical fibre by using different wavelengths of laser light. This network will offer Unitel a future-ready intelligent and infinite Bandwidth Cloud.
-- China's ethnic tinderbox  ...recent events suggest that China may well be increasingly insecure regarding not only these nationalities, but also its own national integration.
China Bubble Watch
-- Why Should I Care about the Power Transition in Beijing?  Jacques argues that unity is the core value of Chinese civilization. I find it offending that he feels comfortable to assume the huge population in China composed of diverse communities share one value.
-- China's Other Transition  Unlike most other armies, the PLA is not a national military, but a party army -- the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party. As a result, its top officials transition roughly in tune with the rest of the party...
Globe and Mail
-- Picking China’s leaders: secret decisions, no attack ads and no public dissent  To understand how China is choosing its new political leaders, just think of the election in the United States – although the winners of the two top spots were determined in advance, nobody knows exactly why they were chosen and any voting is done in secret by a select few.
New York Times
-- To Stem Protests, China Mandates ‘Social Risk’ Reviews for Big Projects  Powerful vested interests often have stakes in projects, and they have far more influence than local environmental officials. But when projects set off rioting, environmental regulators tend to be blamed for having allowed construction to begin.
-- Shanghaiist Infographic: Party Congress 101  Still confused about what's going on with the leadership transition in China? Shanghaiist presents an infographic explaining what's happening this week at the 18th CPC National Party Congress.
-- State Grid to continue overseas investment 
-- Intl board plan put on hold 
-- The importance of improving opening-up 
-- Kissinger predicts a more open China 
-- Sany searching for M&A deals in EU 
-- Patent applications, R&D spending up sharply 
-- China’s development will not sweep world like oncoming storm 
-- Stealth fighter, attack helicopters to be featured at Airshow China 2012 
-- Chinese attack chopper to debut at Zhuhai Air Show 
-- Open selections of uni presidents boost credibility 
-- Chinese overseas investment witnesses growth 
-- Xinhua Insight: China never to copy Western political system