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Dec152011

15th December 2011

 

The Lion Awakes 

Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People's Daily

 

US auto imports face anti-dumping duties

BEIJING - Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties will be placed on vehicle imports from the United States for two years, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.

The move is in accordance with domestic legislation and the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and shows China is finally learning how to protect its interests under international trade rules, analysts said.

 

Too early to loosen China's property controls

China's real estate controls are paying off. It should be noted that it is not the right time to end the property cooling measures now that housing prices are finally starting to fall.

Prices still too high


The purpose of the cooling measures is to "bring home prices down to a reasonable level," but the country's housing prices remain obstinately high, with major indicators such as the home price-to-income ratio and price-to-rent ratio still beyond a reasonable level.

Housing prices are still likely to rebound due to certain factors. Only by constantly improving and effectively implementing property cooling measures will the Chinese government achieve its goal of bringing home prices down to a reasonable level.

 

China-U.S. relations witness gains, obstacles in 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The relationship between China and the United States not only yielded remarkable results but also encountered obstacles in 2011, a typical year in its eventful, nearly four-decade history.

Mirroring a pattern of periodic ups and downs, it began with a good start but is now poised to conclude with a more tense end.


Jiashao Cross-Sea Bridge under construction in E China

the Jiashao Cross-Sea Bridge under construction in Haining, east China's Zhejiang Province. The Jiashao Cross-Sea Bridge, the second cross-sea bridge in the Hangzhou Bay, is expected to be completed and open to traffic at the end of 2012.

 

China's oldest couple at 106 and 109

Jin Jifen, 106, and her husband Yang Shengzhong, 109, have a meal at home, Dec 6, 2011. The couple has been recognized as the oldest living couple in the country by the Gerontological Society of China. Living in a village in Southwest China's Guizhou province for more than 100 years, Yang used to be a carpenter and Jin a housewife. They have been married for almost 90 years and the family has five generations. "She has been nice to me my whole life and still cooks for me," said Yang.

 

PLA Navy on imperative route to power through reform

At the Party congress of the People's Liberation Army Navy held on Dec. 6, 2011, Chinese president Hu Jintao urged the navy deputies to accelerate the transformation and modernization of the Navy, and make extended preparations for warfare in order to make greater contributions to safeguarding national security and world peace.

 

China shows sincerity at Durban Conference

The 17th Conference of Contracting Parties (COP17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which closed on Dec. 9, focused on the issue of how developed countries should prolong the Kyoto Protocol and fulfill their emissions reduction duties.

 

Environmental tax gets approval

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has approved an environmental tax and officials are now allowing the proposal to undergo scientific debate and evaluation, the Legal Mirror reported.

The tax will be levied on carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, wastewater and solid waste. The petroleum and petro-chemical industries that consume high amounts of energy will be the main targets, the Beijing-based newspaper reported on Saturday.

 

3,000 candles for Nanjing victims


Nanjing residents, visitors from Japan and South Korea, and Chinese and Japanese monks, lit 3,000 red candles during an assembly praying for peace last night at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre in the capital City of Jiangsu Province.

 

China an active supporter to European crisis settlement: Vice FM

VIENNA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China is one of the active supporters of the international community to European crisis settlement, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said here on Saturday.

Attending the fourth World Policy Conference, she voiced the hope that Europe could expand the mutually beneficial cooperation between Europe and China, and create a favorite condition for attracting investment from developing countries including China.

In the afternoon, Fu attended a seminar with the topic of "Europe as a laboratory for global governance" and answered questions from the attendants.

 

10 years in WTO, China's opening-up to continue

BEIJING / SHANGHAI - When China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) 10 years ago it opened up many of its sectors for the first time and embarked on a journey that would lead to it becoming the world's second-largest economy within a decade.

That journey will continue for the benefit of both China and the world, President Hu Jintao said on Sunday.

"China will follow a more active opening-up strategy," Hu said at a forum in Beijing to commemorate China's entry to the world trade body.

 

Climate talks deliver breakthrough: UNFCCC

DURBAN, South Africa, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Countries meeting in Durban, South Africa, have delivered a breakthrough on the future of the international community's response to climate change, while recognizing the urgent need to raise their collective level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep the average global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius, the UN said on Sunday.

 

US$27b to help poorer countries develop

CHINA has offered more than 170 billion yuan (US$27 billion) to aid the development of poorer countries in the past decade, and exempted their debts valued at nearly 30 billion yuan, President Hu Jintao said yesterday.

To help the economies of the least developed, China promised zero tariffs on 97 percent of categories of their exports to China, and provided training programs for over 60,000 people from 173 developing countries.

 

Making the Mekong safer for shipping

XISHUANGBANNA, Yunnan - International shipping traffic on the Mekong River waterway has been fully restored on Saturday, the first time since it came to a standstill two months ago after 13 Chinese sailors were murdered on the river.

On Saturday, the first voyage of the joint patrol law enforcement mission was launched. The joint patrols on the Mekong involve four countries - China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, and were launched from Guanlei Port in Xishuangbanna, southwest China's Yunnan province.

 

Report: China fuels world GDP growth

The State Council Information Office published its first white paper on foreign trade today, which found that China's economic development has brought substantial benefits to the world.

China's contribution to world GDP growth increased from 4.6 percent in 2003 to 14.5 percent in 2009, making it the largest contributor to world economic growth, according to World Bank calculations.

 

China continues to pursue peaceful development,opening-up: foreign minister

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Friday that 2011 marks a year of great progress for China's peaceful development course.

 

Vice Premier urges proper settlement of China-US economic, trade disputes

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Friday urged the United States and China to properly handle problems and differences via equal negotiations in order to bolster trade and economic ties.

Li made the remarks during a meeting with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in Beijing. He also urged the U.S. to take concrete steps to remove unreasonable restrictions in the economic and trade sphere.

 

China's property market predicts soft landing amid dropping housing prices, rising rent

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's housing market is expected to achieve a soft landing due to the effects that emerged from the government's strict house-buying limits, according to a think tank's report released Friday.

 

Qinghai-Tibet grid interconnection project begins trial run

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's Qinghai-Tibet grid interconnection project, which is expected to ease power strains on the frigid plateau, began a trial run Friday.

The project ends Tibetan power grid's isolation -- making the power system on the Chinese mainland fully integrated and providing a solid base to sort out power shortages in Tibet, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said at a ceremony in Bejing.

It plays a very important role in improving people's lives and protecting the environment in Tibet, Li said.

The 1,038-kilometer-power lines were laid at the plateau with an average altitude of 4,000 meters, which makes it the world's highest power project.

See Kaixins - Beijing-to-Lhasa train journey

 

Structure of African trade ties must be changed

BEIJING - China needs to expand its trading volume with Africa and balance its structure, according to experts.

"At present, the trading volume with Africa is quite small and the structure is not balanced. In the near future, China needs to develop new trading opportunities and expand imports from Africa, while promoting investment in Africa by Chinese businesses," said Cheng Zhigang, secretary-general of the China Africa Industrial Forum, in an address to the Second China-Africa Industrial Cooperation and Development Forum.

The forum, held in Beijing on Nov 28 and 29, serves as a platform for officials and experts to discuss the prospects for cooperation between China and Africa and to allow Chinese businesses to investigate investment projects on the continent.

 

Embattled West unprepared for rise of a practical China

Despite its swift growth, China's image has hardly improved in the West. More than a few Western observers argue that China's model is barely sustainable due to so-called authoritarianism, and that China is very reluctant to take on more international responsibilities.

I do not agree with such criticism. China is viewed through an ideological lens. Its model has been grilled, partly because the West, whose own capitalism is going through a severe crisis, is instinctively reluctant to accept the success of an emerging nation. In other words, an embattled West has been caught unprepared by a defiant but practical China.

 

Chinese investments benefit European companies

Chinese enterprises have 70,000 employees in Europe


The first China-E.U. Business Cooperation Forum, also known as the Antwerp Forum, was held in Antwerp, Belgium from Nov. 22 to Nov. 23.

The trade value between China and Europe reached 480 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 and is expected to hit 570 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, said Sun Yongfu, director of the European Affairs Department of the Ministry of Commerce of China, said during the forum. The European Union has beeen China's largest trade partner for seven consecutive years.

 

 

 

 

 

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China Daily

 

 

 

Carter recalls his lifelong fascination with China

BEIJING - When a 7-year-old farmboy in Plains, Georgia, opened a package from his seafaring uncle nearly eight decades ago, he found a delicate model of a wooden Chinese junk - and at that moment a lifelong fascination with China was born.

 

Government set to act as export expansion slides

BEIJING - With China's export growth continually decelerating and possibly falling to zero next year, the government is set to take action to prevent further declines, said the Ministry of Commerce on Monday.

 

US envoy vows to extend common ground with Beijing

BEIJING - US special representative on Korean policy Glyn Davies said he is looking forward to upcoming meetings with senior Chinese diplomats and will extend common ground between the two sides.

US special representative on Korean policy Glyn Davies speaks to the media in Beijing on Tuesday. During his three-day stay in Beijing, Davies is scheduled to meet with Chinese diplomats, including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, to discuss issues related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

 

Fears from offshore yuan use overblown

BEIJING - The quickly increasing overseas demand for yuan will have little effect on the Chinese mainland's financial industry because of the modest amount of the currency that is in circulation overseas and the government's control of it, analysts said on Monday.

 

Putting high-speed travel back on track

Experts call for reforms as ministry looks to restore confidence in rail network. Xin Dingding reports in Beijing.

China's bullet-train ambitions hit a number of snags in 2011 and ultimately slowed down. It was not what the Ministry of Railways had pictured.

Last December, when China became the first Asian nation to host a global high-speed rail summit, Liu Zhijun, the country's railways minister at the time, said China had 7,531 kilometers of railways running at 200 km/h and faster, including 4,322 km of newly laid track.

More than 10,000 km of high-speed railways were also being rolled out across the country, he said, with the majority set to open to public in 2013. By 2020, China's high-speed network would increase by 16,000 km, he said.

 

Planting roots in Shanghai

Three Gorges Dam project migrants were advised to 'relocate first, live steadily and then get rich'. And this is what they are doing. Qu Yingpu and Xu Xiaomin report.

Xu Jibo was full of apprehension in 2000 when he was moved from his ancestral home in Chongqing municipality to make way for the huge Three Gorges Dam project. He was 40 at the time.

 

US bill proposes visas for realty

If passed it would be no guarantee of full citizenship but the Chinese are interested

BEIJING - Is it a good deal for wealthy Chinese to spend at least $500,000 buying a home in the United States in exchange for visas that could allow them to live in the country?

In October, Charles Schumer, a Democrat Senator in New York State, and a Republican colleague in Utah State, Mike Lee, introduced a bill that would grant foreigners visas if they spend at least $500,000 on residential housing in the US.

The answer, according to industry experts, might not as alluring as it seems to be.

 

Tighter regulations to ensure TCM's safety

BEIJING - China will strengthen the regulation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to ensure its quality and to assist the country's plans to provide universal healthcare.

The initiative in the national drug safety plan approved by the State Council came after TCM scandals, such as where dealers smoked TCM raw materials with sulfur to make them look better. Such scandals aroused public concerns over safety.

In response to those concerns, the production and processing of Chinese herbal medicines will be standardized in the next five years, according to the plan. A system to track these medicines to their origin will also be established.

 

'Prudent' path for economic policies

Experts expect easing process will be carried out gradually

BEIJING / HONG KONG - Chinese leaders pledged on Friday to maintain the country's prudent monetary policy, despite expectations that the easing of inflation would lead to a more growth-oriented stance.

The country will "ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth, while adjusting the economic structure and regulating inflationary expectations next year", the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the country's top decision-making body, announced on Friday.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with Industrial Bank, said the announcement indicates that any abrupt or aggressive move by the policymakers to loosen monetary tightening is unlikely.

"Unless the global economic situation worsens sharply, China's monetary easing process will be gradual."

 

Weighing foreign direct investments

Chinese firms are establishing affiliates abroad at an accelerating pace. So far, however, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States has been negligible, although it is beginning to increase. This is not surprising. If anything is surprising, it is that there has not been more Chinese FDI in the US. This country is, after all, the world's single most important market and consequently also the most important host country: In 2010, the US attracted $228 billion in FDI flows, some one-fifth of global FDI outflows that year.

But the question arises: Is the US ready for FDI from China? We examined this question in the framework of a joint project between the US Chinese Services Group of Deloitte LLP and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, with the results published by Edward Elgar in a volume titled Investing in the US: Is the US Ready for FDI from China?

The short answer is: yes. The US has one of the most open FDI environments in the world, confirmed in June 2011 in a statement by US President Barack Obama. The long answer is more complicated because there have been incidents in which Chinese investments in the US (China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Huawei, for example) were stymied or otherwise faced opposition.

 

Mandarin necessary for future exchanges

WASHINGTON - Citing the strategic importance of the relationship between the United States and China, the US government has a strong desire to learn Mandarin, according to a senior adviser at the US State Department.

"Some of the study abroad programs funded by the US government are focusing on languages, and Mandarin is definitely one of them," Carola McGiffert, director of the 100,000 Strong Initiative, said on Thursday.

"We are actively, as a government, trying to train more Mandarin speakers," she said.

Before her trip to Beijing to discuss the 100,000 Strong Initiative and the State Department's involvement in the Booey Lehoo benefit concert in Beijing on Dec 17, McGiffert, who is also senior adviser to the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, highlighted the importance of Mandarin in the US.

 

 

 

Behind the brands

A survey confirms China's luxury goods buyers are young and keen on pampering themselves.

Lu Jing is 22 and works at a Shanghai-based advertising agency. She earns less than 6,000 yuan ($943) a month but is the proud owner of a 20,000 yuan Louis Vuitton (LV) bag. She says she lived on instant noodles and took buses instead of the subway to save 5-yuan a day in order to buy her dream bag. Lu's American colleague, Niki Anderson, who has been interning in Shanghai for the last four months, notes that almost every young woman in her office owns a brand name bag - but thinks brands like LV are old-fashioned. Anderson's observation reflects a point highlighted in the 2011 China Luxury Forecast, a survey mainly examining China's "post-1980 generation" luxury consumers, predicting future trends for China's prestige market.

See Kaixin's - 10 Status Symbols in contemporary China

 

Rural banks lend hand to farmers

Less-developed areas offer huge opportunities for small lenders, Wang Xiaotian reports from Hubei, Chongqing and Shandong.

When Hu Jizheng wanted to upgrade the facilities on his pig farm, he decided to do something unique.

Get a loan from a bank.

"In the past we used to borrow from relatives and friends," said the 48-year-old, who is raising more than 4,000 pigs on his farm in Hubei province.

A rural bank nearby, however, was offering money at an interest rate of 8.6 percent - less than he would pay elsewhere. So in April he borrowed 2 million yuan ($314,000) and expects the revamping of his equipment and purchase of a methane tank will bring his annual revenue to more than 15 million yuan.

"I never imagined a bank could lend me so much money at such a cheap rate."

He had earlier visited all traditional major lenders in the area. They all rejected him.

"To my surprise, unlike common banks, the working style of this rural bank is surprisingly good," Hu said. "Surely it's time for me to change my outlook and turn to rural banks for capital instead of private lenders."

Here comes the money: This farmer got the first loan from a village bank in Guangan, Sichuan province, after it opened last Dec 18. Rural banks have helped support small-business owners and farmers in underserved areas.

Kaixin OpEd - I still don't think the 'west' realises the economic potential that is unlocked in rural china.

 

Beijing blackout as air quality is unmasked

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. This is a photo of China's capital taken from the exact same spot over the last four days. The combination image, taken from Dec 2 to 5, captures staggering changes in the air quality in Beijing. The photos show the visibility in the area ranging from Central Business District in Chaoyang District to Communication University of China. A photographer consecutively took photos at this same place for two weeks from Nov 22 to Dec 5 to record the "fog" in this area. The recent frequent "fog" blanketing Beijing has spurred the public to call for a revamp of the air pollution regulations in China, in particular the decision to monitor levels of ultra-fine particles known as particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) which is deemed by some experts as the major cause of the choking smog.

 

 

 

 

 

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China to maintain prudent monetary policy next year: central economic work conference

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China will maintain its prudent monetary policy and proactive fiscal policy in 2012, according to the annual central economic work conference that closed on Wednesday.

The main theme of next year's economic and social development will be "making progress while maintaining stability," according to a statement issued after the conference.

The country will ensure that macroeconomic regulation policies and overall consumer prices remain "basically stable," and will guarantee the steady growth of the economy and maintain social stability, according to the statement.

 

China vows to maintain yuan exchange rate "basically stable"

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China will maintain the exchange rate of the yuan, or its currency Renminbi, "basically stable" next year, said a statement issued after the country's central economic work conference closed on Wednesday.

The country will also deepen the market-oriented reform of its interest rate and reform on the formation mechanism of the yuan's exchange rate, according to the statement.

 

Chinese vice premier urges deepening China-Russia partnership

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Monday called for the consolidation of the friendship between China and Russia, and for further growth in the bilateral all-round strategic cooperative partnership.

 

Ten years on, challenges remain for China

BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- For China, the past decade is a period of historical changes.

Ten years ago this Sunday, China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO membership heralded unprecedented economic growth for China, helping it grow into the world's second largest economy and largest commodity exporter.

The export-oriented economy pattern gifted China with the world's largest stockpile of foreign exchange reserves, which ballooned to 2.85 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of 2010 from only 212.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2001.

 

Chinese delegation hails progress made at Durban climate conference

DURBAN, South Africa, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese delegation said here Sunday that the just-concluded United Nations climate change conference produced "progressive and balanced outcome."

After 14 days of gruelling talks, the conference passed a package of decisions on such subjects as the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the Green Climate Fund and a new process to arrange emission-cutting pledges after 2020.

Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation, told Xinhua that the outcome is fully in accordance with the mandate of the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Roadmap.

 

Chinese President calls on nation to learn from scientist Qian Xuesen

SHANGHAI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao has called on the nation to be patriotic and learn from the innovative spirit of Qian Xuesen, the late scientist considered the country's "father of space technology."

Hu made the remarks in his instructions on the opening of a library named after Qian at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Sunday.

The opening of the library was also part of the commemoration of the centennial birth of the reputed aerospace scientist.

 

China to maintain economic stance but fine-tune policies

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- China will maintain its prudent monetary policy and proactive fiscal policy next year, but fine-tune these policies as conditions change, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee announced on Friday.

At the meeting chaired by President Hu Jintao, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, it was agreed that the country will make its policy responses more targeted, flexible and forward-looking next year.

The country also pledges to maintain control over the intensity, pace and focus of macroeconomic regulation and preset or fine tune policies in light of changes in economic development, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

 

China refutes "land grab" claims in Africa

BEIJING, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday refuted claims that it has been buying up land in Africa, calling for "concrete" efforts to help the continent's agricultural sector develop in a sustainable way.

"China always seeks food self-sufficiency through its own domestic output," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing.

Instead of grabbing land in Africa, China has been providing as much technical assistance as it can to help develop agriculture there and enhance the continent's capability of using its natural resources and addressing issues such as climate change and food security, Hong said.

"Those efforts are welcomed by the African nations," he added.

In response to a question on neo-colonialism, Hong said that "there is indeed neo-colonialism in Africa, but absolutely not from China." The spokesman did not identify which countries are the neo-colonialists.

 

China, U.S. start Megaports Initiative pilot project to boost cargo security

SHANGHAI, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States kicked off a Megaports Initiative pilot project in Shanghai on Wednesday, amid efforts to improve security via radiation checks for cargo carriers at the city's Yangshan Port.

The initiative, an important part of the China-U.S. cooperation on fighting terrorism, is aimed at preventing the illegal transport of nuclear and other radioactive materials by installing detection systems in relevant ports.

The two nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the initiative in November 2005 and began technical talks on the MOU's 11 annexes in February 2006. The talks finished in May 2007.

 

China Int'l Environmental Protection Expo opens in Jiangsu

NANJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The 2011 China International Environmental Protection Expo opened in east China's Jiangsu Province Friday, attracting more than 240 enterprises from home and abroad.

The most advanced environmental protection technology and products from around the world will be showcased at the expo held in the provincial capital of Nanjing.

China will invest a total of 3 trillion yuan (470 billion U.S.dollars) in its environmental protection industry during the country's 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).

 

 

Biz China Weekly

 

 

 

Global Times

 

Economic roadmap eyes stability

China's economic objective in 2012 will be to seek relatively fast growth while maintaining stable consumer prices, said a government statement issued yesterday, wrapping up the three-day central economic work conference.

"The theme of next year's economic and social development is to make progress while maintaining stability, which means to maintain basically steady macro-economic policy, relatively fast economic growth, stable consumer prices and social stability," the statement said.

The country will preset or fine-tune monetary policy according to changes in economic development, harness multiple monetary policy tools and maintain a "reasonable increase" in money and credit supply.

It will deepen interest and exchange rate formation mechanism reforms, with the exchange rate of the yuan to be kept "basically stable."

 

Canada withdrawal foretells chaotic future

Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent declared on Monday that his country will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. This decision has drawn criticism and is perceived as a step backward from the achievements of the Durban climate conference.

Canada is one of the richest countries in the world. Its natural resources per capita are also among the highest. Yet it has failed to honor its committed emissions target. Staying in the Protocol would force the country to pay a $14 billion fine which drove it to quit.

Western countries have not enjoyed good reputations in curbing their emissions. Despite their lofty slogan of saving the earth, Western countries prioritize their own interests much more than cooperation. The US, for instance, is still outside the Protocol. The climate change campaign was initiated by those developed countries, but it seems that they are quite at ease with the contradiction between their big words and their selfish actions.

Can international relationships become more civilized? Can humankind put aside individual interests for the larger good of the world? The outcome of the climate change campaign will provide answers to these questions. Canada's decision has warned us not to get too optimistic, as it has revealed the bitter truth that morality is still powerless to overcome selfishness in policymaking.

 

Should we be so anxious over the economy?

Public opinions have diversified over the trend of Chinese economy. Different ideas have emerged in discussion about the country's economic policy for the next year. However, the Central Economic Work Conference, to be held from December 12 to 14 in Beijing, should draw a clear conclusion for the path to take in 2012.

Policymakers in China are also carefully examining predictions for the global economy from other countries. This could have been the reason why this year's economic conference has come late compared to previous years.

It is a tough time for the world economically. Although its problems look to run less deep, China shares the anxiety of the world.

 

'Carriers or rice' misleading question

What should the government do? What should the central government do? For now, the Chinese public is unable to decide what the right answer is.

 

Durban shows West's two-tiered worldview

A deal has finally been struck in Durban at the end of grueling talks. The EU has signed up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol along with several other developed countries, while the world has agreed to set up a Green Climate Fund to help poor countries struggling with climate change.

However, developed countries were a disappointment over the course of the conference.  Their behavior proved that the world is still dominated by selfish interests.

Instead of shouldering their responsibilities, developed countries have poured more efforts into shifting the blame.

In the past, they either accused China of ruining previous climate talks, or used the country as an excuse for not cutting their emissions. Their argument is that China is no longer a developing state. As one of the biggest emitters, it must have a compulsory emission target similar to its developed counterparts. But without the right technologies in place, answering this demand will bring considerable damage to China's development.

In fact,  developed countries are well aware that China still belongs to the developing world. A decent life is still a dream for a larger number of ordinary people. Some even find life difficult. Shabby cities and dirty streets are familiar descriptions of China in foreign media.

 

WTO glory sets path for future challenges

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization. Given the impact of its membership, the de facto benefits to the nation's economy have surpassed the bold "rosy picture" depicted a decade ago.

Some negative prospects have been eclipsed or replaced by positive development. A mixed strategic choice 10 years ago has become an overwhelming success. We worried that the domestic auto industry might be crushed by the influx of foreign brands. Domestic automakers, such as Geely with its acquisition of Volvo, have changed China into a most dynamic and largest market in the world.

China's fast development after its WTO entry bears universal value to its high efficiency and rapid speed. China's rise steadily brought it into the world economy. The truth is, however, our increasing power to set our own destiny plays a bigger role than most of us expected.

When we hesitated to join the WTO a decade ago, we were utterly confused about the risks ahead. But we chose not to avoid these challenges. We were determined to reduce the risks along the way and accept those that could not be eliminated.

Fortune favors the bold. History has shown that, when we are devoted to seeking benefits, risks will be curtailed. When we choose to seek benefits despite potential obstacles, we are in a more secure position and will more easily achieve our goals.

 

 

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 CHINA

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Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains - FEATURE

 

 

2000 years ago, the cavalries of the Han Dynasty ensured that the trade route to the west regions of China remain unobstructed. Silk became the luxurious commodity of the choice of the nobles of Ancient Rome. A thousand years before that, the Shang Dynasty´s huge armys stepped on the same route, at the other end of the route lay the treasures the rulers longed for - jade.

 

 

Central Economic Work Conf.  

 

 

Central Economic Work Conf.  

 

Transport Bring Goods to Tibet  

 

 

China's Ten Years in WTO  

 

China's Ten Years in WTO

 

 

 

Durban Climate Change Talks  

 

Durban Climate Change Talks  

 

China Fights Climate Change  

 


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The Wall Street Journal

 

China’s Banking on Growth

More evidence of loosening in China’s macro-policy – this time from the banking regulator.

On Wednesday, local media reported that the China Banking Regulatory Commission was planning to go slow on the implementation of Basel III capital requirements (in Chinese). That’s important because lower requirements make it easier for China’s banks to increase lending without tapping the capital markets for more funds.


U.S.-China Trade Spat Escalates to Autos

China said on Wednesday that it will levy duties on imports of some U.S.-made cars in retaliation for U.S. trade policies, the latest volley in an escalating trade spat between the world's two largest economies.

 

Land Dispute in China Town Sparks Revolt

Guangdong Standoff Underlines Anger

A fishing village of about 20,000 people in southern China is in open revolt against the local government a day after it announced the death in police custody of a villager who had led protests over an alleged land grab, according to residents.

Villagers say the man was murdered, but police say he died of a heart attack.

 

E-commerce Taps China’s Homegrown Designers - VIDEO

Asia Today: China's homegrown fashion designers are starting to make a bigger name for themselves through Western online boutiques. WSJ's Deborah Kan and Andrew LaVallee discuss.

 

China’s Top 50 Brands: Huge at Home, Unknown Abroad

Outside of China, the majority of consumers can’t name a single Chinese brand.

According to research from agency Millward Brown and media company WPP on the top 50 most valuable Chinese brands, 83% of consumers beyond China’s borders couldn’t recall a Chinese brand or company.

 

China Property Debate Heats Up

BEIJING--Debate is heating up in China over the country's property-market controls, as some government figures are urging a partial loosening of restrictions in the key sector.

In a commentary published Tuesday, Li Daokui, a prominent academic adviser to the central bank, stressed that China must ensure a soft landing for the real estate sector, and suggested that the government should "fine tune" some of the controls that have brought down prices to-date.

At the same time, official voices are stressing that there should be no change in policy. A front-page commentary ...

 

As China Goes, So Go Commodities

The outlook for global prices depends heavily on whether the country maintains its voracious appetite for oil, copper and other products

You want to know where the global commodities markets are heading in the coming years? Then it's probably best that you remember a single word: China.

 

Asia Today: Would You Pay $15,000 for a Bottle of Wine? - VIDEO

A Chinese collector bought a 55-bottle superlot of burgundy for $800,000 at a year-end auction in Hong Kong, the most expensive lot sold world-wide this year.

 

Asia Today: Currency Traders Bet Against China Growth - VIDEO

Fears over the impact of Europe's problems on China lead more traders to short currencies directly linked to China's growth. WSJ's Deborah Kan and Jake Lee discuss.


Beijing Environment Official: City Air Faces ‘Crisis’

Beijing is facing its third air-pollution “crisis” of recent years and needs to crank up its efforts to cut emissions, a city environmental official said Monday, acknowledging a big metaphorical cloud hanging over the city.

 

Cloudy Risk View in China

BEIJING—The International Monetary Fund's top banking official, assessing the strength of China's financial system, said Chinese regulators need to improve the data they use to assess whether their banks could withstand a sudden economic downturn, and also should better explain what level of capital banks need to hold.

"There are important constraints and gaps in the available data" for stress tests of China's banks, said José Viñals, the IMF's director of monetary and capital markets, in written responses Sunday to questions from The Wall Street Journal. "The key constraint was the lack of consistent time series of data on credit ...

 

China Steel Output Drops as Property Sector Remains Weak

BEIJING—China's production of crude steel in November fell to its lowest level in 13 months, as a weakened real-estate sector and external headwinds undermined steelmakers' confidence, government data showed.

 

Property Hit Leaves Choice for Beijing

It's crunch time for China's property sector.

Sales of residential real estate look as frosty as the Beijing winter. The government has chased speculators from the market, and falling prices have others waiting on the sidelines. November data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed sales volumes fell 3.3% year to year, after an 11.6% drop in ...

 

Stage Set for China to Launch Stimulus

BEIJING—With growth slowing and inflation becoming less of a problem, China's Communist Party leadership indicated it was ready to stimulate the economy further, underlining a challenge facing not just Beijing but other emerging markets as well.

 

Economists React: Inflation Plunges in November

China’s consumer price index rose 4.2% in November from a year earlier, sharply slower than a 5.5% year-to-year rise in October and the lowest inflation reading since September 2010. Analysts weigh in:

 

Ronnie Chan: Don’t Forget China’s Problems

Hong Kong property mogul and public personality Ronnie Chan is worried about the state of the world, especially China. With everyone focused on Europe, he fears the world is underestimating the potential severities of China’s economic problems. Mr. Chan, chairman of Hong Kong-based Hang Lung Properties and an active member of the city’s powerful real estate community, is thankful his company hoarded cash for a “rainy day,” because he says banks aren’t lending and the economy is slowing. “It’s raining,” he says.

 

Private-Equity Firms' Yuan Funds Soar

BEIJING—Private-equity firms raised more money in China for funds denominated in the country's currency than for those in dollars, according to a report issued on Thursday, as cash-rich Chinese companies and wealthy individuals seek higher returns on their money.

 

300-Meter Banyan Tree Made of Steel and Light in … Taichung?

Even in an era of stadiums shaped like birds nests and skyscrapers that look like sails, Sou Fujimoto’s design for a 300-meter triangular steel structure inspired by the banyan tree manages to surprise.

Dubbed “The Taiwan Tower,” Mr. Sou’s building is slated to go up, not in Beijing or Dubai, but in Taichung, Taiwan’s third most populous city.

 

 

 

Bill Gates Discussing New Nuclear Reactor With China

BEIJING — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates confirmed Wednesday he is in discussions with China to jointly develop a new and safer kind of nuclear reactor.

"The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste," said the billionaire during a talk at China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

 

Zhang Yimou’s ‘Flowers of War’ Sumptuous But Lacks Subtlety

Leading Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou is hoping to hit it big in China and globally with his new film, “The Flowers of the War” (金陵十三钗). The question is, can he do it?

Featuring Hollywood star Christian Bale, “The Flowers of the War” is China’s Academy Award entry for best foreign language film and tackles subject matter familiar within China: Japan’s brutal occupation of China’s southern city of Nanjing in 1937.

 

 

Amy Tan Q&A: China Then and Now, and How to Bridge the Gap

Novelist Amy Tan has spent most of her life examining the divide between China and America through novels that examine the emotional minefields of families and the clashes that come from cultural misunderstandings.

 

 

 

Photos: Liu Bolin, Vanishing Artist

 

See Kaixin's FEATURE on Liu Bolin with plenty of Photos

 

 

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The New York Times

 

Fine-Tuning the Chinese Economy

Economists said comments from Beijing suggest that the country prefers to generally pursue its current policies, rather than venture into an outright monetary easing mode to shore up growth.

 

Dreaming About a Life Free of Lies

A recent event in Guangdong to honor recipients of the "China Dream" award suggested social and intellectual changes that were as significant as the economic changes that began in 1976.

 

Chinese Manufacturer Restricts Business With Iran

The maker of telephone equipment said it would not seek new customers in Iran and would limit business activities with existing customers because of the situation there.

Inflation Cooling Off in China

Consumer prices in November rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the Chinese statistics bureau reported Friday, continuing a steady easing of inflationary pressures.

 

Pac-12 Hopes to Establish Presence in China

Commissioner Larry Scott’s current trip to China is intended to lay groundwork for conference games there.

 

A River's Gifts
By SHENG KEYI


When I was younger I was ashamed to admit I came from a remote village, yet I lacked the courage to claim I was from a city, so I usually said simply that I came from an outlying township. Now I must tell the truth, that I was born in an isolated village.

 

  • Will China Stumble? Don't Bet on It

    6 days ago ... I remain staunchly optimistic that China will continue to be the world's greatest machine for economic expansion.

     

    China’s W.T.O. Anniversary Shows a World of Difference

    As China celebrates its 10th anniversary since joining the World Trade Organization, the country has been reflecting on its success as a top trade partner.

     

    Inflation Cooling Off in China

    Consumer prices in November rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the Chinese statistics bureau reported Friday, continuing a steady easing of inflationary pressures.

     

    U.S. and China Meet in Annual Military Review

    Top American and Chinese military officials began an annual review of major issues in Beijing on Wednesday pledging to seek greater cooperation and trust.

     

    An Entrepreneur’s Rival in China: The State

    Private companies have been the prime engine of China’s economic miracle, and economists warn that the Chinese government’s eagerness to control more of that wealth could stifle innovation.

     

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    Asia Times Online

     


    SINOGRAPH
    China and the shadow
    of German history

    At this point in history for China there is room to argue that the nation is faring better than Europe or the United States. Mounting internal criticism of the "Peaceful Evolution" doctrine and resistance to political and economic reform ignore the fact that China's model is creating a growing misalignment of interests between China and the rest of the world. The shadow of the history of Germany 100 years ago holds a warning for China today. - Francesco Sisci


    China's toxic soup


    Kent Ewing


    As a potentially deadly smog cloud with a toxicity that was off the charts hit Beijing last week, a haze of misinformation seen in low official readings had many city-dwellers turning to microblogs for accurate air-quality information. A cold front has cleared the fearsome fog, but the apathy of the leaders and the environmental consequences of rapid growth will likely see another soon descend. - Kent Ewing

     

    China 'easing' outlook boosts Asian stocks
    By Olivia Chung


    HONG KONG - The prospect of China loosening its monetary policy helped to drive up Asia's markets on Monday as the country's leaders gathered for their annual Central Economic Work Conference, which will set the tone for next year's economic policy.


    China tunnel and nuclear warhead follies
    By Peter Lee

    The recent hubbub over the size of China's nuclear warhead stockpile and its underground maze of missile hidey-holes, the notorious "Underground Great Wall of China" is, on one level, a battle between sensationalizing amateurs and incensed arms control professionals.

    On another level, it highlights a continuing nuclear security stand-off between the United States and China.


     

    INTERVIEW
    Eagle and dragon lock claws in mid-flight


    Benjamin A Shobert talks to Aaron L Friedberg, the author of A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia


    America's focus on the emerging challenge posed by China was first distracted by the "war on terror" and then the 2008 financial crisis, says author Aaron L Friedberg. In the meantime, Beijing advanced economically, developed asymmetric capabilities and grew assertive. China may not want to conquer Asia. However, it could extend a preponderant political influence over the region with dire consequences for the US.

     

    THE ROVING EYE

    An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news has taken him to all parts of the Pepe Escobar globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination

     

     

     

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    Caixin Online

     

    Closer Look: Companies Backtrack on Real Estate

    Mainland-listed companies are moving to minimize their exposure to the real estate market in a marked reversal from previous years

     

    Yuan Expansion Hits Hurdles

    Market analysts indicated the appreciation of the yuan will slow down amid the European debt crisis and decrease in exports, among other factors

     

    China's Solar Sector Sees Sunrise with Sunset

    Risks abound for Chinese solar manufacturers as world demand softens, but the big companies are still expanding

     

    China Gets Fresh Chance to Float the Yuan

    Today's crisis-environment opportunity to liberalize the economy through foreign exchange reform must not be missed

     

    Hu Pledges to Address Trade Imbalances

    Citing projections that retail sales are expected to grow by 15 percent annually, Hu indicated China's trade surplus would gradually level out on policies to increase domestic consumption

     

    andy
    Well-paid corporate managers, lawyers and doctors are contributing to the demise of an entire economy

    When Public Prurience Meets Media Mea Culpa

    Driven to the edge by a rapist and reporters, a Shenzhen couple's story points to what's wrong, and right, with the media

    Australia's China Challenge

    Derived from the growth of the Chinese economy, the speed of Chinese investment into Australia is predicated on productivity drivers that now face major difficulties


    New Mantra for Monetary Policy: Easy Does It

    Yet the jury is out over whether the central bank's decision to cut bank-reserve ratios set the stage for more loosening in 2012.

    Some called it a symbolic adjustment when China's central bank dug into its toolbox and gave the go-ahead for more lending and spending November 30 by lowering the nation's bank deposit reserve requirement a half-percentage point.

     

    China Seeks Balance in Wobbling World Economy

    Experts weigh in on what must be done to avoid the developed world’s economic malaise and domestic inflation


    China Raises Electricity Prices

    The NDRC, China's top economic planning body, said price increases for retail and on-grid electricity prices will not extend to the majority of household power consumption
    12.01.2011

    With Higher Poverty Line, Antipoverty Funds Reconfigured

    A new poverty threshold has raised the number of impoverished to 120 million people, and officials are now addressing how exactly they will fund and increase antipoverty subsidies in tandem

     

    PBOC Cuts Bank Reserve Requirements

    China's central bank announced the lowering of reserve requirements for commercial lenders for the first time in three years

    (Beijing) -- China's central bank has cut bank reserve requirements for the first time in nearly three years, with many market analysts interpreting the move as a sign of monetary easing after three years of cautious tightening.

     

    Former Central Banker: China Under No Obligation to Rescue Ailing Economies

    Wu Xiaoling, former People's Bank of China official, said China should look to rebalancing the domestic economy as a means to aid the global economy

    (Wuxi) – China is neither obligated nor capable of saving the world from another financial crisis, said Wu Xiaoling, former deputy governor of China's central bank and current vice chairperson of the Finance and Economics Committee of the National People's Congress.

     

    ICBC's Jiang Likes Big Banks for Small Clients

    The chairman of China's largest bank ICBC tells Caixin why the small business market is getting even more important


    Small business shutdowns blamed on a lack of reliable credit brought Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the commercial city of Wenzhou recently, and later prompted a State Council call for more bank support

     

    China Lifts Punitive Reserve Requirement on Rural Cooperative Banks

    China Lifts Punitive Reserve Requirement on Rural Cooperative Banks

     

    Regulators May Be Loosening Monetary Strings
     
    Credit restrictions continue to confound banks, but the days of tight monetary policy may be numbered in China

    China's tight-minded policymakers have taken what appear to be the first, cautious steps away toward a more relaxed monetary course.

     

    Central Bank: Broadened M2 Reflects Abundant Money Supply
    China's central bank says it will continue to implement monetary policies due to abundant money supplies and persistent high inflation

     

    baker
    Reviving loose monetary policy would reward speculators and redundant property developers while stoking inflation

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • China's Hot Money Outflow
      China's Hot Money Outflow
      Tim Condon, chief economist, head of research, Asia, ING financial markets, discusses how China's hot money outflow has caused the Chinese government to consider cutting the reserve requirement ration (RRR).
    • Analysis: Increasing U.S.-China Friction
      Analysis: Increasing U.S.-China Friction
      Mark Matthews, Head of Research Asia at Bank Julius Baer talks about why the US-China rhetoric is getting so heated.
    • Lieberthal on U.S. Presidential Campaign and China
      Lieberthal on U.S. Presidential Campaign and China
      Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, spoke to Caixin about the foreign policy stances of U.S. presidential candidates and how China will factor into the 2012 election.
    • Marriott's Grand China Ambitions
      Marriott's Grand China Ambitions
      Simon Cooper, President and Managing Director, Asia-Pacific of Marriott International discusses the hotel chain's expansion plans in the mainland
    • Will China Bail Out Europe?
      Will China Bail Out Europe?
      Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group, says China is more likely to keep its war chest for itself than to offer it to Europe.
    • China to Maintain Property Curbs
      China to Maintain Property Curbs
      Martin Lamb, director of Asia Pacific Real Estate Investments at Russell Investments, talks about the Chinese State Council's decision to press on with property tightenign for the rest of 2011.He adds that property investors should look to tier-2 Chinese cities, because speculative activity is lower than in tier-1 cities.
    • High Labor Costs in China
      High Labor Costs in China
      Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group, says Chinese companies are operating on razor thin margins and are getting hurt because of rising labor costs in China.
    • S&P Expects a Soft Landing in China
      S&P Expects a Soft Landing in China
      Lorraine Tan, VP, Standard & Poor's Equity Research says China's domestic strength remains despite weakness in the external sector, and so expects more of a soft landing.
    • No Surprises in China GDP Data
      No Surprises in China GDP Data
      Mark Matthews, head of research Asia, Bank Julius Baer, discusses China GDP data and what it means for the economy
    • Investing into Chinese Consumer Space
      Investing into Chinese Consumer Space
      Vineet Sharma, head of consumer, Asia Ex-Japan Equity Research at Barclays Capital, advises to stick to market leaders in Chinese consumer sector.
    • Chinese Developers to Face Liquidity Risk
      Chinese Developers to Face Liquidity Risk
      Bei Fu, Director of Corporate Ratings at Standard & Poors, thinks that chinese developers will face liquidity risk because of uncertain sales prospects and questionable funding access.
    • Slowdown in China Not A Big Worry
      Slowdown in China Not A Big Worry
      Donna Kwok, Greater China Economist at HSBC, thinks that the slowdown in China is government induced, and its debt is not a big worry because the government is capable of paying it.
    • Upbeat on China & India
      Upbeat on China & India
      Andrew Pease, Investment Strategist at Russell Investment Group, says China and India are standout markets in Asia, in terms of value.
    • Dim Sum Bonds Look Appetizing
      Dim Sum Bonds Look Appetizing
      Zhang Zhi Ming, Head of China Research at HSBC, says the recent correction in dim sum bonds offers a good entry point for investors

     

     

     Caixin Photo Galleries offer a selection of the day's most important news photos and cultural images.

     

    • Dozens Protest Kunming Real Estate Company
      Dozens Protest Kunming Real Estate Company
      Dozens of protestors gathered outside the sales office of a Kunming real estate developer to protest its launch event. The demonstrators claimed that the developer, named Kunbai, was not honoring the terms of a recently-signed contract that gave customers the option to purchase property at certain discounted prices. Carrying large blue and white banners, the protestors blocked the entrance to the developer’s sales office, delaying the start of the event A scuffle with security officers ensued, before the officers locked the protesters out of the sales office altogether.
    • Vigil Held for School Bus Crash Victims
      Vigil Held for School Bus Crash Victims
      One day after a nine-seater van full of 62 kindergartners crashed in Gansu Province--killing 19 children and both adults on board--local residents gathered for a candlelight vigil to mourn the victims. The accident has brought attention to the issue of school bus overcrowding and a general lack of school transportation oversight in China. Many children ride to school in unsafe conditions, varying from packed busses to overcrowded vans to open-bed trucks. Often those affected are China’s so-called "left behind" children, whose parents have left for work as migrant laborers in other cities. Chinese government officials have pledged to invest more money and to provide more oversight to combat the issue.
    • Ten Killed in Hunan House Collapse
      Ten Killed in Hunan House Collapse
      A house collapse in China’s Hunan Province left ten dead and twelve injured on November 14. The victims were gathering to prepare for the funeral of the homeowner’s deceased uncle, when the house collapsed on top of them. An investigation is currently underway to identify the cause of the collapse.
    • Deadly Explosion Rips Through Xi'an Restaurant
      Deadly Explosion Rips Through Xi'an Restaurant
      A massive explosion at a fast food restaurant killed seven people and injured another 31 in the early morning hours of November 14, according to state media outlets. The explosion occurred around 7:30 a.m. during the morning rush hour in Xi'an, the capital of northwestern Shaanxi province. The victims were pedestrians walking by or waiting for a bus near the restaurant, and many were children. A Xi'an fire prevention bureau spokesman told Xinhua News Agency reporters that the explosion was an accident, caused by a liquid natural gas leak. State media also reported that the blast blew broken window shards as far as two to three kilometers from the site. Officials sealed off the area to guard against any more potential explosions or casualties.
    • Ruins of Illegal Real Estate in Fuzhou
      Ruins of Illegal Real Estate in Fuzhou
      After a new road opened outside Fuzhou in southern Fujian Province, many passers-by noticed a strange sight: massive heaps of rubble covering the surrounding farmland. According to local residents in the nearby Wufeng Village, the rubble is from an illegal real estate development that the local Bureau of Land and Resources shut down and demolished in 2008. But in the three years since, there has been no effort to clean up the 20 acres of rubble that remain. When asked by a local reporter, officials from the administrative district responsible for the area said a lack of funds, as well as personnel changes, had delayed the cleanup. The officials promised that the rubble would be cleaned up, and that they would station guards around the rubble to prevent people from entering dangerous areas.
    • Changsha Cattle Graze on Garbage
      Changsha Cattle Graze on Garbage
      On November 6, reporters made a disturbing discovery at a landfill on the outskirts of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province: more than a dozen cows grazing on rotten garbage. An expert quoted in the local media said that mold and heavy metals present in the Heimifeng landfill could render beef from the cows toxic to humans, and that local law prohibits livestock grazing at garbage dumps. But according to workers at the landfill, cattle from a nearby village are often allowed to graze on trash there. Ever-expanding landfills have become increasingly problematic in some parts of China, as they grow to encroach on cities and farmland. The Heimifeng site first opened in 2002 as the largest of its kind at that time, in China. According to an article in the state-run People's Daily, the site is outfitted to be environmentally-friendly, by trapping gas emissions given off by garbage and recycling it for heating, power generation and irrigation.
    • Officials Begin Destroying Millions of Fake Goods
      Officials Begin Destroying Millions of Fake Goods
      On November 6, officials began destroying 25 million counterfeit products seized over the past year from 182 major cities across China. The seized items covered the full spectrum of anything that could be copied: agricultural products like pesticides and seeds, industrial materials, designer brand clothing, food, drugs, books and CDs. Since November 2010, Chinese authorities have closed down over 22,000 counterfeiting operations and broken over 6,700 counterfeiting rings. In total, officials have seized over 18 million yuan in fake goods, according to the state news agency Xinhua.
    • "Villages in Cities" Torn Down for Affordable Units
      Earlier this year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development announced plans to build 10 million units of affordable housing in 2011, as part of a larger commitment to construct 36 million low-cost homes in the next five years. By the year’s end, reconstruction of sub-standard housing in cities (also known as “villages within cities”) as well as properties in state-owned industrial, mining, forestry and reclamation areas will yield four million new units. The slum reconstruction project commands a 500 billion yuan pricetag, 40 billion of which will come from the central government. The effort has come under scrutiny, however, because some local governments have also turned to tearing down and reconstructing regular housing in high-value locations, for the sake of raising funds. Some residents in Harbin's 18-year-old Youlian community, for example, have questioned why the government is tearing down their reliable homes, in the name of upgrading slums.
    • Photography Feature – The City Flows
      Photography Feature – The City Flows
      In the instant of a moment, the city changes. Beijing-based photographer Mo Yi has traversed the landscape of China's new urbanism by documenting both the integration and estrangement of its residents. Mo Yi's photography goes beyond capturing the expressions of urbanites, often tinged within difference in moments of movement, but also the experience of the city coded in black and white tonal contrasts. Photos Courtesy of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
    • Shenzhou-8 Spacecraft Blasts Off
      Shenzhou-8 Spacecraft Blasts Off
      In the early morning of November 1, China's unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft blasted off from the Jiaquan Satellite Launch Center, which is based in the desert of Inner Mongolia. Soon after the launch, the commander-in-chief of China's manned space program declared it a success. Propelled by an upgraded Long March-2F rocket, the Shenzhou-8 reached its designated orbit as planned. Up next for the Shenzhou-8 is a rendezvous with the Tiangong-1 space module for a trial run at China's first in-orbit space docking. If the docking proceeds successfully, it will show that China's space program is capable of difficult in-orbit docking maneuvers, and enable Chinese scientists to proceed with plans to launch and dock the Shenzhou-9 and -10 spacecrafts in 2012 and finish a permanent space station around 2020. A spokesperson for the manned space program announced on October 31 that at least one of the 2012 missions will be manned, sending Chinese astronauts back into space for the first time since 2008.
    • Heavy
      Heavy "Fog" Cancels Beijing Flights
      A thick haze rolled into most of northeast China on October 30, lowering visibility and cancelling or delaying more than 150 flights out of Beijing Capital Airport. While state media quoted China's top environmental ministers as saying the air was “slightly polluted” that day, the U.S. embassy in Beijing went to the other extreme and posted issued its two highest air-quality warnings ("very unhealthy" and “hazardous”) via Twitter . Additionally, a local environment bureau advised citizens to stay indoors, if possible. The discrepancy in air quality readings and the state media’s use of the word “fog” to describe high levels of pollution led many to question just how polluted China really is. In response to the public outcry, an editorial in the state-affiliated Global Times on October 31 said that both local governments and the media must stick to accurate reporting when it comes to discussing fog and air pollution. "Local governments need to establish absolute authority over monitoring pollution without concealing information," the editorial said.
    • Seven Dead in Henan Coal Mine Blast
      Seven Dead in Henan Coal Mine Blast
      A coal mine explosion in Henan Province has left seven miners dead, with 11 still missing. The accident occurred in the early morning hours of October 27, when a sudden and explosive pressurized gas leak sent an estimated 1,500 tons of coal flying, effectively blocking the mine shaft and delaying rescue efforts. Run by the state-owned Henan Coal Chemical Industry Group Co Ltd., the mine is located in the city of Jiaozuo. The accident comes almost a week after China's top official in charge of coal mine safety announced that coal mine deaths are down this year, with 27 percent fewer fatalities through the first nine months of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010.
    • Shanghai Homeowners Protest Price Cuts
      Shanghai Homeowners Protest Price Cuts
      On October 23, about 300 early buyers of homes in a Shanghai real estate development gathered to protest at the developer’s office, following news that the company had dropped prices in the development by 6,000 yuan per square meter. After hearing that the company, China Overseas Property Group Co., would not cancel or refund contracts, the buyers scuffled with security personnel, causing minor damage to company property in the office. This latest markdown in real estate value is part of a general trend over the last few weeks, which has caused similar homeowner protests across Shanghai. Real estate prices in some parts of Beijing have also declined, and the government has hinted through its official news agency that further price drops may be necessary to curb China’s real estate bubble.

     

     

     

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