Sydney Morning Herald
Chinalco's Rio play in jeopardy
CHINA is under threat of losing its biggest overseas corporate investment - the 9 per cent stake in Rio Tinto held by Chinalco and Alcoa - after the collapse of the shareholding's custodian, the investment bank Lehman Brothers. The Herald understands Chinalco and Alcoa do not have access to the shares held by their joint venture investment vehicle, Shining Prospect, at present. It is unclear when - and if - the stake will be returned to its owners.
Fortescue renegotiates deals as China steel mills struggle
John Garnaut, Xingtai, China
FORTESCUE Metals Group has been forced to renegotiate iron ore delivery contracts with some struggling Chinese customers, as plunging steel prices push higher-cost mills to crisis point. FMG has locked in shipping freight contracts for a little over half of its customers and has contracted to pass on those costs to customers in China. But some mills have been stranded by tumbling shipping freight prices, which have fallen from a peak of $US50 ($A72) to as low as $US9.
Asia Times Online
'Red capitalists' unravel the party line
By Wu Zhong, China Editor
HONG KONG - In an apparent move to defuse a decades-old ideological debate, China's Vice President Xi Jingpin, who is widely tipped to succeed President Hu Jintao, has proclaimed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has turned itself from a "revolutionary party" into the "ruling party". For observers, it is plain to see that the CCP is the ruling party of China, so Xi's statement seems to be tautologous. But for party members and Chinese people in general, this is a new definition of the CCP which is of great significance in theory and in practice. It may even be a breakthrough for a new round of the "emancipation of minds".
From ATimes Letters to the Editor
Re Farm reform will force China to grow, Oct 15] The Chinese Communist Party's new plan to allow farmers to capitalize their land marks such a shift from the tenets of Mao that the party is becoming communist in name only ... Beyond agricultural and economic gains, time will tell how long the CCP can retain control of China as a single party unhinged from its core tenets.
William E Cooper