The Lion Awakes
Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China
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Wen seeks opinions on govt work report
BEIJING - Representatives from different sectors have given feedback on drafts of the government work report and China's economic and social development blueprint for the next five years, the State Council, China's cabinet, said Friday.
Premier Wen Jiabao chaired five seminars from January 20 to 27, at which representatives of various sectors of society were invited to voice their views on the documents, according to a State Council statement.
The 12th five-year program, or the national development plan for 2011 to 2015, and the government work report will be delivered for review at the plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, in March.
Experts from social economic organizations along with those from science and technology, education, health, culture and sports circles attended the meetings, as well as members of non-communist parties.
PBOC plans overhaul of money policy
Measure would give broader view of liquidity, help fight against inflation
BEIJING - China's central bank is planning to use an indicator measuring total financing quantity and broader measures of money supply, such as M3 and M4, to better monitor liquidity conditions and curb inflation, local media reported on Thursday.
The People's Bank of China has already prepared a draft version of the reform, the Beijing-based newspaper China Securities Journal cited an anonymous source as saying.
The new indicators will widen the current M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, to total social financing, including yuan and foreign currency loans, entrusted loans, trust loans, bank acceptances, corporate bonds, equity financing, foreign direct investment and debts.
"The broader measures will redefine liquidity, and probably affect regulators' judgment on the inflation situation and monetary policy choices," it said.
The bank vowed in a report published on Jan 30 that it will strengthen control over total financing quantity this year to keep inflation at a stable level.
Libraries, museums to be free to public
Entrance fees to cease being charges by 2012
BEIJING - Art museums, libraries and other public institutions in China have long been accused of catering to elite academics and professionals, rather than the general public.
A joint statement issued on Thursday by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance is aimed at changing that situation.
It stipulated that Chinese citizens will not have to pay to enter the country's public art galleries in two years' time.
China urges West to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe
HARARE - Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Friday called on the West to lift sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe while Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe applauded the Asian giant for its continued political and economic support.
Addressing journalists soon after meeting Zimbabwe President Mugabe, Yang, who is on a two-day visit, said Zimbabweans and other African people have a right to choose their own development path.
"We believe there should be the lifting of sanctions by certain countries. We think that is the voice of the Zimbabwean people and that is also the view of all the parties concerned here in Zimbabwe," Yang said, adding that no country has a right to dictate to another.
"We believe all nations should respect each others sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
"China believes that Africans have the right to choose their own way of development as they are the masters of the African continent. All others are just guests," he said.
Chinese company to build luxury helicopters
WENZHOU, Zhejiang - A Chinese motor home manufacturer has acquired licenses from regulatory authorities to build luxury helicopters using technologies from Eurocopter, sources told Xinhua on Friday.
Wu said that luxury helicopters would be powered by advanced turbo-charged engines instead of piston engines that are normally seen on private helicopters made by other Chinese companies.
He noted that the new helicopters would be delivered in June next year, with a price tag between 30 million yuan ($4.55 million) to 60 million yuan.
Chinese FM: Leave internal affairs to Egyptians
ABU DHABI - China believes that Egypt has sufficient wisdom and capability to overcome difficulties and realize national stability and development, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told his Egyptian counterpart in a telephone conversation Thursday.
Yang, who was on a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), told the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit that China pays close attention to the situation in Egypt, adding that Egypt, as an influential country in the Middle East, is vital to the region's stability.
Egypt's internal affairs should be resolved by Egyptians themselves and should be free of outside interference, he added.
Gheit briefed Yang on Egypt's situation, saying his government was taking measures to safeguard social stability and return the country to normality.
Both sides also expressed satisfaction with the development of China-Egypt relations in the past year, saying the strategic cooperation between the two countries has great potential and broad development prospects.
Yang arrived in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi late Wednesday for an official visit to the Gulf nation.
Kaixin OpEd – No way say’s America! Say’s who? Says me!
After all, America believes it knows what is best for the whole world, and if you don’t agree it will come over with a bloody big army and persuade you to agree.
Kaixin has likened America to a well meaning bumbling teenage before.
Like a teenager, America is absolutely sure it knows everything. Like a teenage it is prone to fits of irrational anger and at time violence. Like a teenage it is impatient.
Kaixin likens China to a wise old man who is content to be patient and wait for things to evolve in their own time.
Everyone knows what your average teenager thinks of ‘oldies’ …. has-beens who simply don’t understand …
Kaixin is unsure about the rulers of Egypt. Their rule smacks too much of the repression China suffered under Mao.
Maybe all this strife will throw up a Deng Xiaoping in Egypt.
So, the Chinese FM is probably right. Egypt will work a way through its own problems.
What Egypt does not need is a solution forced upon it by a well meaning teenager.
HEAR!! HEAR!! … does Kaixin hear faint shouting coming from the direction of Iraq and Afghanistan??
Oil! … what oil?? I don’t see any oil.
Employers look for migrant workers in Yiwu, East China's Zhejiang province
Kaixin OpEd – Did you pay attention?
This is a picture of Employers looking for employees.
Not, workers looking for jobs.
Go figure ….
See Kaixin's - ECONOMIC CHINA
CCTV Reasons behind labor shortage in cities VIDEO
There are always two sides to a coin and with prices rising across China, some prospective employers are facing a shortage of workers. Even at job fairs, many vacancies are overlooked and as Jie Bai finds out, it is causing alarm in many industries.
Lao Yu manages a small department store in Nanjing. He's looking for cleaners and pays 14 hundred yuan per month along with meals and accommodation. But nearly all job seekers are snubbing his offer.
Lao Yu, employer in Nanjing, Jiangsu province,said, "There's too much competition among employers but few applicants. The minimum wage set by the government is actually only 11-hundred and 40 yuan. But I still couldn't find one worker for that money. "
Three days have passed and Lao Yu is still waiting to interview the next applicant.
What's worse, many factories that use cheap labor are moving to the countryside, further draining labor from cities.
CCTV Employers offer higher salaries due to labor shortage VIDEO
The labor shortage at the end of last year has been a big headache for many employers in manufacture and service industry. To avoid similar trouble, the employers are advertising opportunities with handsome salaries.
It's easy to find a job now. That's the thought most job haunters share at one of the major job fairs in Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong Province.
Du Yibin has been working in the city for more than a decade. And he's now going for a job with higher pay.
Du Yibin said, "I don't have much skills. I just want to find a job with higher pay, at about two to three thousand yuan per months."
Even without much expertise, it won't be difficult for Du to find a job, because he has much more choices.
Google exec behind organization of Egypt's protests
CAIRO - A Google Inc. executive was behind the Facebook page which has helped spark the mass protests in Egypt.
Wael Ghonim, 30, a marketing manager said in a television interview broadcast on Monday after he was released from days of detention that he was behind the organization of the anti- government protesters.
Internet services such as Facebook and Twitter were believed to have played a key role for the organization of the mass protests in Egypt.
Internet service was cut off on January 28 in Egypt, apparently in a bid to stop protesters from using it to spread information. The service resumed on Feb 2.
Opposition demonstrators protest at the Tahrir Square in Cairo
Kaixin OpEd – What!
The darling of the democratic west, in particular America, shuts down the Internet and we hear next to nothing.
The Street in Egypt raised its voice and the powers that be …. suppressed it.
Washington remained stonily silent on the issue, preferring instead to concentrate on criticising China and blaming China for its economic woes.
Readers of Kaixin’s OpEd will know what Kaixin thinks of that.
Food scarcity is stalking the globe.
Riots in Egypt, droughts in China, the world’s poor finding it harder and harder to afford basic food (see below) … are these the first rumblings of an event that will threaten International Peace?
It is commonly believed that access to water will be the cause of the next major conflict.
Perhaps it will be food.
America needs food, China needs food, and Europe needs food. What will they do if they do not have enough?
Oh yes … the poorer nations need food also, but who really gives a toss.
Asia Times Online
'Sheik al-Torture' is now a democrat
By Pepe Escobar
If French philosopher Jean Baudrillard were alive, he would say revolution in Egypt never took place except on the world's television screens. The regime was never shaken to the core - because the army remains in charge and it is comfortable with "acting president" Omar Suleiman (aka "Sheik al-Torture") running the show. So are the democrats in Washington.
Young village head forges new direction
XI'AN - For the village of Gaojie, good things have come in a young package.
Unable to pick a new leader from a crop of older candidates, the villagers roundly threw their support behind a 19-year-old sophomore, who became the youngest and most educated leader the remote village has ever had.
"The villagers hoped to have a young and more educated person lead them into modern production and living," said Bai Yitong, who has now served two years as head of Gaojie village, in Qingjian county, Shaanxi province.
"I have fulfilled some of the promises I made in my campaign speech and I have another year to go, which will give me time to fulfill my other promises," Bai told China Daily.
Over the past two years, Bai has joined her villagers building a 48-kilometer road, 12 baking barns for jujube processing, 13 greenhouses for vegetable growing, two dams for water storage and a breeding base for some 100 ostriches.
"The young girl also facilitated the restoration of our cultural theater stage, originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and built a new square in front of the stage for our villagers' entertainment," said Bai Fuzhou, director of Gaojie village election committee.
Bai Yitong, then a 19-year-old sophomore, smiles with an old villager on Jan 14, 2009 after she was elected head of Gaojie village, in Qingjian county, Shaanxi province.
CCTV China suffers worst drought in 60 years VIDEO
Minimal rainfall or snow this winter has crippled China's major agricultural regions, leaving many of them parched. Crop production has fallen sharply, as the worst drought in six decades, shows no sign of letting up.
Shandong province has seen only 12 millimeters of rain since last September, fifteen percent of the normal level.
Despite more than 4-thousand pumping stations continuing to supply water, the situation is severe.
More than half the 4 million hectares of land used for growing wheat have been hit by drought.
Special funds are now being allocated to combat the situation.
CCTV China inject 1.2 bln yuan to help farmers VIDEO
The State Council has held a executive meeting to discuss government efforts to boost grain production throughout the country. The meeting decided that the central budget will increase funding to ensure the country's grain security in face of the current drought.
CCTV 16 mln acres of wheat affected by drought VIDEO
The severe drought impacting many parts of China this winter has lasted for more than 100 days. The Ministry of Agriculture's Wednesday meeting discussed emergency measures being carried out to battle the dry spell.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, about 16 millions acres of wheat, across eight provinces, have been affected by the drought. That equals 22% of all the land allocated to growing the crop in these areas. And the dry spell shows no sign of letting up.
CCTV Anhui: Local farmers battles winter drought VIDEO
The northern part of eastern China's Anhui Province is among the hardest hit by drought conditions. With the region being the major wheat production hub for the country, the prolonged drought is raising daunting challenges for farmers during the spring season.
CCTV High-speed railway gains popularity VIDEO
The Spring Festival travel rush may be a headache for many passengers, but Shanghai residents now have a novel option for their holiday trips. A new high-speed train line to Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, is now in operation. Jay Nuttall tells us what commuters think about it.
For some east China residents, the first item on their Spring Festival "to do" list, is boarding the new Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed train line.
Stations in the two cities have experienced major passenger volume increases since the holiday period began.
These trips are different from typical outings around the country at this time of year, with many families traveling together and carrying gifts for their relatives, rather than carting around loads of heavy luggage.
Most say the main reason for these getaways is having fun.
CCTV China attracts more foreign travellers VIDEO
China has surpassed Spain as the world's third-most popular tourist destination. And the country is turning on the charm to boost its international image and attract even more foreign holidaymakers.
With its long history spanning thousands of years, diverse culture and culinary delights, China is now the world's third-most popular holiday destination. The UN World Tourism Organization says China saw over 55 million tourist arrivals last year, marking a 10 percent increase. But the country is not resting on its laurels. China wants to soften its international image, by promoting its culture and lifestyle. It's hoping to attract more visitors, and cushion the impact of its growing assertiveness in global politics.
Water will define China's future
2011 in China began with a severe dry spell. However, the nation needs to fight not only against a year but a century of drought ahead.
This is now the third severely dry season in three years. Persistent drought now appears to be a common natural scenario. China's water usage per capita is merely 28 percent of the world's average level, whereas the nation is setting an ambitious goal to exceed the global average living standard during this century.
It can be predicted that China will have to contend with a developing yet thirsty civilization.
We cannot expect more precipitations to ease this reality. More and more Chinese citizens now want a modern life - equipped with modern bathrooms, washing machines or using the car wash. All these call for more water.
The 21st century will be the driest of China's history. Unfortunately, applicable drought combating experiences from other countries are limited. The Western civilization rose with abundant water resources. The US and Europe have plenty of water resource and arable land but still give resources over to gardening. Israel is quite successful in fighting against drought, but the experience from that small country is hardly replicable here.
China has to launch a large-scale water-saving movement. People should be well aware of water conservation and recycling practices. The entire nation should become a huge reservoir, for example, maximizing the usage of rainfall run-offs.
China should stand out as a pioneer in watercourse regulation. Ancient China once towered in this regard - as exemplified by the Dujiang Dam.
In recent decades, modern China diverted massive amounts of water from the south to the north. Other miracles in managing water will continue to emerge, and become a cultural legacy for future generations.
China also needs to sharpen its technology for seawater desalinization. Such technology now supports the major water usage in small booming Middle East countries. China should further develop this technology, and gradually apply it to serve densely populated cities.
Fresh water is essential for life, and China will witness an increasingly sensitive struggle between various interests all craving a limited water supply. The Chinese government must now gear up for this fight. China's rise needs to be irrigated by water, and the government should build indisputable expertise in water usage regulation.
Lagging behind the US in overall water storage, China faces huge challenges in creating a huge modern civilized state in the 21st century. Can China realize such a goal?
Each Chinese citizen is weighing on the decision when they turn on the tap.
See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA
Africa can be a heartland for collaboration
It is now certain that Sudan will be split into two countries due to the referendum in southern Sudan. Political changes in Egypt are clear and others may occur across the region. Obviously, Africa and the Middle East have entered their most important political period in recent decades.
Twenty years ago, changes in Africa had little effect on China, but now the situation is different. Current Sino-African relations are already very "complex." China is the largest single investor in Africa and its trade volume to Africa has surpassed that of the United States, but China's impact on African politics, culture and military affairs is still weak.
China is not ready to interfere with African changes, nor does it have any real method of doing so. China now relies on local forces in Africa, including the power of the West, to protect its interests in Africa.
A series of changes in Africa have demonstrated the strong influence of the West. But at the same time, these changes have not caused embarrassment for China, implying that the much-touted competition between China and the West in the international arena is not as severe as imagined.
Sino-European or Sino-US competition in some regions is totally different from the confrontation between the United States, Europe and the Soviet Union in the past.
The independence of southern Sudan brings no more risk to China than to other countries with oil operations in the region. Some say the splitting of Sudan and the undermined Mubarak administration will influence China. However, China is incredibly large and even the disintegration of the Soviet Union did not greatly affect China.
The recent situation in North Africa indicates China and the West have room for cooperation there, so neither side should be blinkered.
A 30 Minute Current Affairs Programme on CCTV - 9 (In English) where current issues are discussed by experts from China and Internationally:
See Also - The New York Times 31/1/2011
China Might Force Visits to Mom and Dad
Under a proposal from the Civil Affairs Ministry, adult children would be required by law to regularly visit their elderly parents. If they do not, parents can sue them.
Kaixin OpEd – ‘Once ensconced in intimate neighborhoods of courtyard houses and small lanes and surrounded by relatives and acquaintances, older people in China are increasingly moving into lonely high-rises and feeling forgotten, he said.’
Welcome to the west!
This proposed law is founded in compassion but will be dashed on the rocks of reality.
Xiaosui and our friends in China agree that the elderly are being forgotten, however a law will not address the issue. It will take either a change of attitude or the revival of the old ways where the elderly were treated as respected members of the family, not burdens.
How do you ‘prove’ in a court of law such a proposition? What defences will be allowed?
The first generation of only children are far more mobile, often live in different cities and are facing increasing costs of living. Many have neither the time nor means to visit their parent, even if they wanted to.
Will lack of money be a defence?
The elderly in China, and Asian societies in general, feel an obligation to their children. It is why the suicide rate is climbing. They are lonely and isolated, but do not want to be a burden on their children.
High quality aged care is probably the answer. The west has some good models to work from.
It is not ideal, but perhaps it is better than being alone and isolated in a high rise apartment.
International News Sources
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. to Pursue WTO Cases Against China
BRUSSELS—The U.S. said Friday it would go ahead with a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization over restrictions on foreign payment-card firms like Visa Inc. and American Express Co.
The U.S. also said it would challenge antidumping duties imposed on imports of U.S. steel in 2009, signaling that the Obama administration is intent on pursuing a muscular trade policy with China.
EnCana-PetroChina Deal Subject to Review
TORONTO--PetroChina Co.'s planned 5.4 billion Canadian-dollar ($5.42 billion) deal to acquire a 50% stake in EnCana Corp.'s Cutbank Ridge natural-gas reserves in Western Canada will be reviewed by Industry Canada, a federal ministry, to determine if the proposed transaction generates a net economic benefit for Canada.
"I can confirm that this transaction is subject to review under the Investment Canada Act," Industry Canada Minister Tony Clement said in an emailed statement. The deal can't proceed unless the government decides the transaction passes the Investment Canada Act's net economic-benefit test.
PetroChina, an arm of China's state-owned National Petroleum Co., plans to ...
Diamond Demand in China, India Lift De Beers
LONDON—Diamond producer De Beers SA reported Friday a rise in profit and sales for 2010, driven by a recovery in diamond prices and strong demand from India and China, and said it's optimistic the demand environment will continue to improve along with the economy.
Panel Likely to Recommend Reversing Huawei Deal
A U.S. government panel is poised to recommend that the president unravel an acquisition made by China's Huawei Technologies Co., after the Pentagon sought review of the deal, people familiar with the matter said.
Club Med Hoping to Catch Air in China
The arrival of Club Med late last year to the snowy mountains of northeastern China has given another shot in the arm to the almost-there-but-not-quite story of skiing in the Middle Kingdom.
Stories have long been traded on Asia’s ski slopes of investors who set out in starry-eyed pursuit of opening powder bowls in far-flung Chinese destinations only to face-plant against the hard realities of geography and infrastructure.
Kaixin OpEd - What does that say about discretionary spending in China?
Test Confirms Happy End to Kidnap Case
The touching story of a father reunited with his abducted son that has gripped China since Tuesday appears to have reached a conclusion of sorts.
Peng Gaofeng, a payphone shop owner whose son Wenle was kidnapped three years ago, said an initial DNA test confirmed that a boy spotted by an Internet user and found this week is indeed Wenle.
‘Shaolin’ and Director Benny Chan
"Shaolin" -- the new movie from leading Hong Kong director Benny Chan -- has become only the second film to earn the Zen Buddhist temple's stamp of approval. Watch the trailer and stills from the movie.
See Kaixin's - Chinese Movies
The Guardian - SLIDESHOW
The price of success: China blighted by industrial pollution – in pictures
A Greenpeace report has called on the Chinese textile industry to clean up its processes after finding high levels of pollution in the southern industrial towns of Xintang – the "jeans capital of the world" – and Gurao, a manufacturing town 80% of whose economy is devoted to bras, underwear, and other clothing articles.
The report said the pollution is emblematic of textile manufacturing in China and the industry must review its practices.
Kaixin OpEd – In Kaixin’s opinion China’s Green Credentials are without doubt.
However it certainly allowed the environment to bear the brunt of its rapid economic growth over the first 30 years, from 1979.
The focus was not the environment, it was economic growth.
However the Chinese people are not stupid, nor are they mindless grey automons of the State. The Chinese people know a problem when they see it, and for many, breathe, drink and eat it.
Kaixin spoke to an American engineer in Li Jian in 2006. He had been living in China for many years and made the observation that much of the technology to clean up the environment in China had already been developed in the west. When China decided to focus on the environment it would not take long to address the problems.
From 2006 to 2011 China has certainly decided to focus on the environment. It is now a world leader in many areas and challenging the west.
However, after 30 years of environmental pillage and lax controls, there are still many areas to address.
Also, China is certainly wrestling with the problem of corruption ( as defined by the west). It was the way things were done in China for millennia, so it will take some time.
It allows instances like that reported to occur.
The central government is serious about controlling it (Kaixin does not believe they can stamp it out, and do they really need to follow the western model??).
The Chinese people on the street certainly are.
They are fed up with the vagaries of officials who respond to bribes. The Chinese people are using what Kaixin defines as Tech-Democracy (the www & mobile phones) to bring instances of corruption out into the light, to be dealt with.
However, the west has to have little patience. China is a large densely populated country and the further you are removed from Beijing the less effective is central government control.
The government in Beijing is often portrayed as all-powerful. It is very powerful, but it is not all-powerful.
Also, NGO’s such as Greenpeace can play a role when they highlight problems.
See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA
Our dollar, China's $2 trillion problem
Could the United States and China be even more co-dependent than we thought?
On Wednesday Fed chief Ben Bernanke became the first American official in recent memory to admit just how deep a hole we have dug ourselves with our biggest creditor.
"China will not break the yuan's peg to the dollar until it can resolve the matter of soaring dollar holdings, and that can be done only through financial reform," Scissors writes.
The New York Times
In China, Tentative Steps Toward Global Currency
Beijing has begun to loosen currency controls, which could strengthen China’s influence in financial markets.
China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramids
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Of course, China per se is not fueling the revolt here — but China and the whole Asian-led developing world’s rising consumption of meat, corn, sugar, wheat and oil certainly is. The rise in food and gasoline prices that slammed into this region in the last six months clearly sharpened discontent with the illegitimate regimes — particularly among the young, poor and unemployed.
The Arab world has 100 million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you have a very powerful change engine.
Kaixin OpEd - In China Kaixin calls it Tech-Democracy. The voice of the people shouting to the small group of people in control of the world that they have had enough.
Is this a call for democracy?
This is where it is important to define just what 'democracy' means.
Define clearly what it means to each person, to each group of people, to each stratum of society ...
Define what each person hopes democracy will achieve for them as individuals.
Define what benefits democracy will bestow on a country and the various social stratum within that country.
You see, Kaixin believes that most people do not have a clear idea what democracy means. Oh yes, they have a hazy notion that it means the right to vote, but it goes little further than that. Such notions as the finer points of democracy do not mean much to the majority people in the west who live very comfortable lives.
It is when you life ceases to be comfortable that you look around for an effective voice.
The Internet and mobile phones have provided an effective platform for everyone to voice their opinion. If that opinion resonates then it spreads quickly and cannot be stopped by governments or rulers in any country.
Kaixin defines democracy as the voice of the people being heard. Kaixin considers that in the west that voice has been smothered for some time, however life is still too comfortable, so the voice of the disaffected does not resonate.
In China Tech-Democracy has given a strong voice to the people, a voice that was lost under Mao but has slowly emerged over the last 30 years. It is interesting, and frustrating to many in the west, that the voice in China does not call for 'democracy'. Tech-Democracy is being used to address specific issues in China, but those issues do not provide a basis for revolution. Life is becoming more and more comfortable in China .... why rock the boat?
Egypt has clearly shown that the voice on the street has not been heard for many years. It is now demanding to be heard and is questioning the legitimacy and effectiveness of the current system of government. A system propped up by the 'west, in particular America, for its own ends. The voice on the street now has Tech-Democracy. The issues in Egypt do go to the heart of people's concerns and do resonate, hence the mass riots.
The small ruling elite in the Arab world are doing a Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cake", and shovelling money at the voice .... money they don't have it would seem.
It has worked before, will it work this time?
Kaixin has noted for some time the emerging crisis in food supply for the world.
While the world has been distracted with other issues, this issue has been slowly heating like a pot of boiling water. It would appear it is near boiling point.
It this the first signs of the pot boiling over?
The price of food (and water) will come down to simple economics, supply and demand. The price will rise as demand outstrips supply.
Those who can pay, will, those who can't, will go hungry.
No .... of course it is not that simple.
Will a country let its food be exported if it cannot feed its own people?
What if foreign countries or nationals own the land on which the food is produced? Is it not their food?
Will governments see their people go hungry or starve rather than take control of that land?
Will foreign countries with very big armies allow that to happen?
I fear the world is headed for what the Chinese saying warns against: "May you live in interesting times"
More Cities to Issue Restrictions on Home Buying
The number of cities to implement curbs on home purchases has doubled in the wake of a January 26 announcement by the central government on controlling housing price growth
(Beijing) – Scores of Chinese cities are set to carry out tighter policies on home purchases, rising from the current 36 cities to 72, following the central government's recent moves to adjust the property market, said the official Xinhua News Agency.
The China Electricity Council said that the overall power supply in China is expected to remain stable but may face strains due to weather and coal supply
(Beijing) -- China may confront a regional power supply shortage in 2010, with mounting pressures from thermal coal price rises, warned the China Electricity Council (CEC).
Asia Times Online
By Antal E Fekete
Japan, when the largest holder of United States debt, fell in line with US demands that it let its currency appreciate. China, having already erred by following its Asian neighbor as a record debt holder, need not follow it in listening to the siren-song of the American exchange-rate manipulators.
Antal E Fekete has since 2001 been consulting professor at Sapientia University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In 1996, Professor Fekete won the first prize in the International Currency Essay contest sponsored by Bank Lips Ltd of Switzerland.
China's yuan rises to new high Wednesday - China Daily
BEIJING - The Chinese currency, or the yuan, rose 10 basis points from previous trading day to a fresh high of 6.585 against the US dollar Wednesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.
The central parity rate of RMB, or the yuan, was 10 basis points stronger than the previous record of 6.586 set on February 1, 2011.
China has no yen for Japanese bonds - China Daily
TOKYO - China sold a net 177.3 billion yen ($2.15 billion) of Japanese bonds in December, capping the biggest yearly decrease since at least 2005, after the yen and benchmark government debt fell in November.
China sold a net 243.5 billion yen in short-term Japanese debt and bought 66.1 billion yen in long-term bonds, Japan's Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Tuesday. That resulted in net sales of 467.7 billion yen in 2010.
"As upward pressure on the yen has taken a pause, it seems China sold short-term notes to take profit," said Tetsuya Inoue, chief researcher for financial markets at Nomura Research Institute in Tokyo, a unit of Japan's largest brokerage. "On the other hand, China probably wants to have some yen-denominated assets in the long term, since Japan is a big trading partner."
The Bullet and the Elephant Express
By Raja Murthy
China is showing the world how to build high-speed trains and profit from them, leaving India, its closest rival in terms of rail-network size, standing at the station. Yet for passengers wanting to get a ticket from A to B, India sets the standard, however long the journey might eventually take.
Articles of interest from the week's news
Chinese New Year
The Year of the Rabbit
Brian Johnston watches the global powerbrokers at play in Beijing's sexy new bars, boutique hotels and chic restaurants.
From the air, the gateway to Beijing is shaped like a steel dragon. On the ground, the colossal columns of the arrivals concourse recall those in the vast audience halls of the Forbidden City.
Beijing makes me feel sad and nostalgic but excited, too. I'm glad to be boring in a country with so many possibilities.
CCTV Ferryman passes on the family barge pole VIDEO
Wan Qizhen is a ferryman, whose family has transported local villagers across the Dashahe River in Hubei province for generations. He recently became a well known media name, following his retirement after many years of service. Let's finds out how the old man spent his first Lunar New Year on dry land.
It's New Year's Eve in the Chinese lunar calendar. Local villagers paid early visits to the river crossing, to celebrate the holiday with their ferryman.
Wan Qifeng, Villager, said, "He is a very responsible ferryman. The entire village has come here to celebrate the Spring Festival, wishing him health and good luck."
Villagers say that Wan Qizhen would always help them cross the river whenever he was needed. He would even wait at the crossing during harvest time, when things were busy.
CCTV Blind date: Find your true love at temple fair VIDEO
This year's temple fair at Beijing's Temple of Earth is not just about traditional culture. It also offers a new opportunity for single people to meet their perfect partner during Spring Festival. Our reporter Ji Yi went to find out if the historic surroundings had any effect on helping love blossom, at this extra special blind date.
Activities like massaging a stranger make the young visitors more relaxed in this special blind date.
Games are arranged to break the ice between single men and women. But when it comes to talking about what they're looking, everyone has their own ideas.
See Kaixin's - Marriage in China Ancient & Modern
See Kaixin's - Women in China
Photo taken on Feb 6, 2011 shows lanterns at the Daguan Park in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan province. A lantern show was held during the Spring Festival holiday here at the Daguan Park.
Leap of adventure
Two geologic wonders far from the urban crowd offer scenery, exhilaration and adrenaline, as Suzanne Ma reports
For first-time visitors to China, Beijing and Shanghai are the default destinations. But for tourists who like to mix city travel with outdoor adventure, two natural landmarks stand out - Yellow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge. Both are among the country's most popular attractions. Yellow Mountain, or Huangshan, has been an icon in Chinese culture for centuries. Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan province ranks among the deepest gorges in the world.
Standing amid billowing clouds high atop Yellow Mountain, you will want to reach out and grasp the silvery wisps in front of you.
Then the clouds part to reveal a stunning mountain range of yellow granite ranging as far as the eye can see. A moment later, the scene changes once again as clouds drift on to reveal a canyon filled with a sea of peaks. The peculiar crests jut out amid smooth boulders. Tall Chinese pines appear rooted in the rocks.
Although the name Huangshan, which means Yellow Mountain, suggests a single mountain, it is actually a range that spans 150 square kilometers in southern Anhui province 480 kilometers southwest of Shanghai. Set aside at least two days for a visit.
Yellow Mountain is actually an entire mountain range spanning 150 square kilometers in southern Anhui province.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
As you hike Tiger Leaping Gorge, you will breathe crisp air under a high-altitude sun, gaze at snowcapped mountains in the distance and hear the churning, wild waters of the river somewhere down below. You probably will step in donkey manure, too.
This is a frontier adventure, after all, and a little donkey dung was not going to stop me, not even on the infamous 24-Bend Path, a rough and rocky road that spirals upward before finally reaching flatter terrain.
Local men who rent the donkeys targeted the women in our group, telling us we would be too weak to make it all the way up.
"Don't put yourself through it. Just hop on," they incessantly beckoned. But adrenaline and pride only goaded me forward and before I knew it, I had finished the 24th bend.
I stood 3,960 meters above the Jinsha River, hiked 29 kilometers on a rocky trail past cascading waterfalls and climbed down rugged cliffs on worn but sturdy ladders.
All the while, panoramic views beckoned of majestic green mountains dotted with the humble villages and terraced rice fields of the southwestern province of Yunnan. We came across plenty of goats and oxen in the fields but only a handful of other human beings on the way.
A tourist looks up at a cascading waterfall along a rocky trail in Yunnan's Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Famille Rose: something novel, something subtle
When western explorers first made contact with the Chinese, they returned with word of many fascinating art forms, products, and innovations. One of these art forms was Chinese porcelain, which subsequently became known as what else - china. The making of china is an art that goes back centuries in China, and it is one that evolved with the various dynasties that make up Chinese history. Over the years, the type of glazing and enamel applied to China changed as new designs and colors became fashionable.
It also became common for designs originating in China to become widely popular in Europe. In fact, many Chinese porcelain innovations were trend setters for the European markets. One of these innovations was the color "family" known as Famille Verte. But European influences can also be found to have influenced Chinese designs; this is the case with the color family and designs associated with Famille Rose.
Relics of the Tang Dynasty
On the Relics of the Tang Dynasty – the Exhibition of the Hoarded Classic Excavations from Hejiacun village opened at Shannxi Historic Museum, over 300 selected hoarded excavations from Hejiacun village were displayed, including the Gilded Ox Head Agate Cup, the Gold-decorated Handled Silver Pot with the Pattern of Parrots, the Gold-decorated Silver Kettle with the Pattern of a Dancing Horse and the Gold Bowl with the Pattern of Mandarin Ducks and Lotus Petals. For more than half of these items, this show marked their debut.
The Gilded Jade Armlet
A woman looks at a lacquer work at an exhibition in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, Feb 9, 2011. An exhibition featuring intangible cultural relics was held in Wuhan Wednesday. More than 200 items displayed at the exhibition attracted many visitors.
Literally meaning "sun and moon in heart" in Tibetan, Shangri-la, an ideal home only found in heaven, is located at the meeting point of Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan.
- The Forbidden City
- Experiencing Japan
- Portraying China
- The seven sages in the bamboo grove
- The Story of Wu