The China Beat is a great blog and I have no problem promoting it. However those links made it look like I was promoting my own blog. I've always detested excessive self-promotion, and I'm very bothered by those automatic links.
Similar things also happened on my blog. Recently I often see the so-called "links to" appearing under a post of mine, but a check on those links showes they are not actually linked to my post. That is, they are fake. In most cases I tolerate the fake links, but I have also deleted a few that are obviously irrelevant to my blog content.
So the question is, who, or what, is creating the fake links? One suspect is Sphere, which I first noticed a while ago on CNN. Often one can see under a CNN report the "From the blogs" feature, marked "powered by Sphere."
Sphere offers a so-called "contextual widget" free to bloggers; at first I was intrigued and even considered installing it. However after I saw the irrelevant fake links appearing on my blog and fake links using my blog's name appearing excessively on other sites, I became sick of it.
So, my message to Sphere or any similar program: it is obnoxious and violation of my right of authorship when you insert fake links that are not actually linked from my blog posts. Please stop doing this!