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Thursday
Feb242011

24th of February 2011

 

The Lion Awakes 

Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

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China Daily

 

China sends planes to evacuate nationals from Libya

BEIJING - China's first chartered plane sent to evacuate its nationals from Libya left Beijing Wednesday afternoon.

Since the unrest erupted in Libya on Feb 16, people had been attacked and there had been vandalism, looting and arson, and Chinese firms had been attacked and Chinese nationals injured, China's Foreign Ministry said earlier.

Besides the chartered planes, four ocean liners, hired by Chinese embassies in Greece and Malta, were on their way to the waters near Libya, and the Chinese Embassy in Egypt also had hired about one hundred buses to evacuate Chinese nationals from the country, the ministry said.

Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Ioannis Diamantidis promised to provide assistance for China's evacuation of nationals from Libya.

 

Billions to be poured into ailing reservoirs

BEIJING - China will invest nearly 63 billion yuan ($9.3 billion) on reinforcing more than 40,000 small reservoirs across the nation as part of its efforts to cope with the ongoing risks of drought and flooding.

Before the end of 2012, a total of 24.4 billion yuan will be spent on repairing 5,400 small reservoirs that have a capacity of between 1 million cubic meters and 10 million cu m, the State Council, or China's Cabinet, said in a statement on Tuesday after an executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Another 15,900 small reservoirs with a capacity of more than 200,000 cu m will be consolidated by the end of 2013, thanks to an estimated investment of at least 38 billion yuan.

And the remaining 25,000 reservoirs will be improved with funding from local governments before the end of 2015, according to the statement.

The move means all of the country's reservoirs will have been repaired by 2015 in a campaign that will not only ensure they work efficiently but also eliminate potential safety hazards.

The spending plan is considered part of the country's efforts to reinforce water conservation initiatives and combat natural disasters, such as floods and droughts.

A villager collects water from a pond that is drying up in Jiangling village in Songxian county, Central China's Henan province, on Monday. A severe drought has made it difficult for 3,600 people and 970 cattle in the county to find adequate drinking water.

See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA

 

Draft bill says boss could be jailed for IOUs

BEIJING - Chinese employers who intentionally withhold workers' pay will face up to seven years in jail, according to a draft amendment to China's Criminal Law.

The amendment, submitted for the third reading Wednesday, targets employers who conceal assets or flee, and those who refuse to follow government labor department orders.

Those convicted of more "serious consequences" could face jail terms of three to seven years, according to the bill tabled at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

Those convicted could be fined too, although lawmakers have yet to detail the fines.

The amendment is aimed at discouraging wage defaulting, particularly against migrant workers, which has become a prevalent problem in recent years, especially in labor-intensive small and medium-sized business such as construction, garment-making and catering.

 

PBOC customizes reserve ratios for 40 local banks

BEIJING - The People's Bank of China (PBOC), or the central bank, said on Tuesday that it has implemented "dynamically differentiated required reserve ratios" among 40 local banks with low capital adequacy ratios (CAR) and which witnessed rampant growth in lending since January.

A PBOC spokesman told Xinhua on Tuesday that the central bank has formalized and boosted the transparency of the dynamically differentiated reserve requirement system, which requires different banks to set aside different levels of deposits with the central bank as reserves according to the individual banks' CAR levels and risk-control requirements.

The dynamically differentiated reserve requirement ratio system offers a more flexible mechanism to adjust lending growth and improve the risk prevention capability of banks, the spokesman said.

See Kaixin's - ECONOMIC CHINA

 

SOE's shedding real estate assets

Marginal effect on property market as they refocus on core businesses

BEIJING - More than 20 State-owned companies whose main business is not real estate will leave the property market this year, an industry watchdog said on Tuesday.

"Strengthening the core business is a basic requirement for SOEs. Fourteen State-owned companies have exited the real estate industry because it is not their core business," said Shao Ning, vice-chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

"So far, SOE's selling their real estate is going smoothly," he said.

The SASAC said in March that only 16 of 127 centrally-administered SOEs that are designated as property developers will remain in the market. The order for others to leave came amid complaints that land acquisitions by SOEs had fueled rises in urban housing prices.

"The departure of SOEs is not expected to have a large effect on the real estate sector because their market shares are pretty small," said Qin Xiaomei, chief researcher at the JLL Beijing property services group.

See Kaixin's - CHINA REAL ESTATE

 

Carrefour, Wal-Mart fined 9.5m yuan for cheating Chinese consumers

BEIJING - Nineteen stores of Carrefour and Wal-Mart in China were fined 9.5 million yuan ($1.45 million) for cheating consumers over prices, said China's economic planner and price regulator Tuesday.

 

Baidu accused of abusing dominant position

BEIJING - Baidu Inc may face anti-monopoly scrutiny after a Chinese website launched a complaint against the country's biggest search engine.

Hudong.com, an online encyclopedia, is alleging that Baidu unfairly blocks its Web pages from search results in favor of its own encyclopedia service, Baidu Baike.

The complaint will be a new test for China's anti-monopoly watchdog, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), which launched new regulations in January to facilitate more investigations, according to analysts.

 

Year of Youth for China and EU launched in Beijing

BEIJING- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the opening ceremony of the China-EU Year of Youth in Beijing on Wednesday, encouraging young people from China and the EU to build a brighter future for bilateral strategic partnerships.

 

Rare species battle Yangtze's tide of death

River's deteriorating ecological environment hastening demise of finless porpoises. Li Jing reports in Hunan.

Conservationist Zhao Jianguo still remembers the pain when Qi Qi, the world's last known living Yangtze River dolphin, died in 2002.

Four years later, a group of international scientists declared the functional extinction of the 20 million-year-old species, nicknamed "the goddess of the Yangtze" locally, after a six-week intensive search found no trace of the animal in China's longest river.

"It really hurts to learn that Baiji (the Chinese name for the species) was extinguished in our generation," recalled Zhao, a veteran program officer with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Now he fears the fate of the Baiji may recur with the Yangtze finless porpoise, a freshwater toothed cetacean whose population has plummeted in the past 20 years as a result of water pollution, illegal fishing and excessive dredging.

 

 

 

CCTV

Learn Chinese Online

 

 

 

 CCTV Tele interview: Chen Yunlin's schedule to Taiwan VIDEO

For more on Chen Yunlin's (Chen Yunlin 陈云林is the current chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), the body responsible for negotiations with Taiwan in the People's Republic of China) visit to Taiwan, we're joined on the line by Lu Yuhan, a journalist in Taipei. Hello, Lu Yuhan. Thanks for joining us.

Q1: What's Chen Yunlin's schedule for the visit, and what arrangements are being made by Taiwan for him?

Q2: What is the Taiwan public's reaction to his trip and what are their expectations of the visit?

 

CCTV Tele interview: Significance of Chen Yunlin's visit CCTV

For more on Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan, we're joined on the line by Joanna Lei, who is the managing director of Azul Management . Hello. Thanks for joining us.

Q: What's the significance of Chen Yunlin's visit and how will it affect the cross-strait economic relationship?

 

CCTV Cross-Straits body meets on business cooperation VIDEO

A business delegation from the Chinese mainland is visiting Taiwan to attend the first meeting of cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee which opened Tuesday in Taiwan's Taoyuan County.

A spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council told a press conference in Beijing that during the meeting, six working groups will be established. Yang Yi said ARATS president Chen Yunlin will also pay a six-day visit to Taiwan to learn about the island's agricultural sector.

 

CCTV China reviews vehicle tax bill VIDEO

The size of your engine will determine what tax you must pay. That is the assessment of China's top legislature after conducting a second reading of a draft law on taxing vehicles and vessels.

At present a one size fits all process is used when it comes to tax and vehicles. If a new tax bill is approved by the National People's Congress Standing Committee during its ongoing session taxes will be charged at seven different levels, depending on the size of the engines. Bigger means you'll pay more while you'll pay less for a smaller car.

 

CCTV Yang Jiechi visits South Korea VIDEO

Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, has arrived in Seoul for a two-day visit. He'll discuss the resumption of six-party talks on the DPRK nuclear program with South Korea's leaders.

During the meeting with his counterpart, Kim Sung-hwan, Yang said China will continue to make joint efforts with other countries concerned to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Sung-hwan said resuming six-party talks will be based on the DPRK taking responsibility for last year's two deadly attacks, and said that they should take concrete steps in demonstrating its demilitarization commitments.

 

CCTV Chinese citizens and companies based in Libya VIDEO

China and Libya established diplomatic relations in 1978. About 30-thousand Chinese citizens currently live there, mainly in the capital, Tripoli.

Most Chinese work for railway construction and communication companies, and in the oil industry. Several large Chinese companies have projects in the country.

These include China State Construction International Corporation, the China Rail Group and the China Civil Engineering Construction Company.

As a result of the unrest in Libya, some of the companies' building sites have been vandalized and robbed, and most of them have postponed their operations there.

 

CCTV Chinese president invited to visit Kazakhstan VIDEO

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao has been invited by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to visit Kazakhstan as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) celebrates its tenth anniversary later this year in the Kazakh capital city of Astana.

 

CCTV Analysts: Housing prices not likely to fall by much VIDEO

Some expect that dozens of cities in China will step up property market curbing measures in near future. Analysts say these moves may cut trading volumes by 20 to 30 percent. Housing prices may also fall, but not significantly.

Analysts say the curbing measures will encourage more Beijing house hunters to wait and see, and the trading volume will slump in near future - by up to 30 percent. But due to insufficient supply, property prices aren't likely to fall by much. As the measures taken in second and third tier cities aren't as restrictive as those implemented in first tier cities, trading volumes there will only fall by 5 to 10 percent.

See Kaixin's - CHINA REAL ESTATE , where we say much the same thing.

 

CCTV Studio discussion: China's stand on imbalance indicator VIDEO

For a Chinese perspective on the G20 meeting, we're joined by Liu Baocheng from the University of International Business and Economics here in Beijing.

Q1: Host country France has been urging agreement on the imbalance indicators and put forward its own proposals. President Nicolas Sarkozy described the subject as "somewhat technical and indeed very political". What did he mean by this?

Q2: Chinese Finance Minster Xie Xuren suggested the G20 should use trade figures rather than current account balances to assess economic distortions. What does this mean and what are his reasons?

 

CCTV China's politburo vows to stabilize prices VIDEO

China's top decision-making body has pledged to keep prices stable this year, and prevent big fluctuations in its economic growth. The Communist Party's Political Bureau reiterated on Monday, that China will continue to pursue an active fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy in 2011.

The bureau also said China will properly handle the relationship between ensuring stable and relatively fast economic growth, adjusting the economic structure, and managing inflation expectations.

The bureau made the comments at a conference to discuss drafts of the government work report, and the 12th-five-year plan. They'll be submitted to the upcoming annual session of the country's top legislative body.

 

CCTV Review of Sino-Kazahk ties VIDEO

One of the aims of Nazarbayev's visit is to boost cooperation. Let's take a look at how China and Kazahkstan have built ties over the past few years.

Recent years have seen frequent top-level exchanges by top leaders of the two countries.

In June 2010, President Hu Jintao visited Kazakhstan.

During his meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Hu Jintao stressed the importance of boosting bilateral exchanges in political, economic,and cultural fields.

Both sides also agreed to help each other tackle terrorism and maintain regional safety.

 

CCTV Tel interview: Significance of Nazarbayev's visit to China

For more insight on Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's visit to China, we're joined on the line by Professor Feng Shaolei, head of Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University.

Q1: Over the past number of years there has been deeper cooperation between China and Kazakhstan in economic and political fields. What's the significance of the President's visit?

Q2: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is playing a more important role as the defender of regional security and stability. Later this year will also see President Hu Jintao visit Kazakhstan and participate at a summit celebrating the 10th anniversary of its establishment. What is the main functions the SCO in broadening multilateral and bilateral cooperation among its members?

 

CCTV More benefits for migrant workers VIDEO

Labor shortage is a big headache for Chinese companies. Many businesses in the Pearl River Delta are struggling to recruit enough staff. And the situation is now spreading to other areas such as Anhui and Henan province.

Labor shortage is a hot topic in China and the issue is getting worse, as rural people are becoming less willing to move to the cities for work.

Lin Jiang, China Youth Univ. for Political Science, said, "Most migrant workers who graduate from high school have the ability to learn and acquire information. So there are more opportunities for them; they can make choices about what they do. Working away from home is no longer their only option, as they can start businesses in their hometowns."

Another reason for the labor shortage is that migrant workers don't want to be separated from their families - especially their children. Currently, about 58 million children's parents are working away from home. 40 million of them are under 14 years old.

 

 CCTV

Archive of Stories

 

 

 

Global Times

Learn Chinese Online

 

 

The UK taught the world how to produce in the 19th century, the US showed the world how to consume in the 20th century, and China needs to demonstrate how to develop in a sustainable way in the 21st century.

 

 

Unrest tests wisdom of world powers

Revolution in the Middle East may gravely disrupt global development and profoundly change the world's interest structure that was established over the past half-century. The consequences of these changes will not be evenly distributed around the world. As such, how China turns these risks into opportunities will be vital to its rise in the decades to come.

National competition in the era of globalization is more cruel than it seems to be. Changes in global positioning could once be achieved through internal development or regional adjustment, but they now require global "re-identification," which cannot be achieved in a short space of time.

China's reform and opening-up was luckily easier than the former Soviet Union's equivalent. Therefore, China has gained the most from the last round of international development, and has been seen as reaping great rewards from globalization. Despite foreign criticism of China, its progress over the past three decades is unmatched and has strengthened the conditions of its future growth.

Revolutions in the Middle East may be seen as the most important political changes the world has seen in 20 years, bringing about a period of chaos where some countries will weaken while others emerge stronger.

In fact, those Arab countries in trouble today are those that have benefited least from globalization to date. The disintegration of the Soviet Union left the Arabian world at a disadvantage in its stand-off with Israel. The strategic adjustments of these countries have not been good. While some turned to the US for support, most of them failed to seriously consider new ways of developing.

These revolutions will be amplified in the era of globalization, but many countries do not have the internal capacity to deal with the effects of this upheaval. For example, Islamic fundamentalism may rise in the Middle East. How much risk does this entail for regional powers? The Middle East will spend a long time cementing nascent democracy. What attitude should the outside world take?

...

 

Reading too much into a jasmine bunch

A few people in Beijing, Shanghai and several other Chinese cities attempted to mimic the "Jasmine revolution" Sunday, as highlighted by mainstream Western media. These people, however, are like beggars in the streets - they never fade away, while the rest of the country moves forward.

The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have spread in the Middle East, and some in the West want China to become "the next Egypt." This is simply impossible. China is huge and will always contain certain problems. But a few people chanting slogans or throwing jasmine flowers in the street will not slow the country's momentum.

China's government holds the support of the majority of society. Some people do complain - occasionally because they enjoy the thrill of standing up to authority and showing off their bravado - but Chinese society as a whole cannot be represented by these agitated few. There is no collective will for revolution in China.

After more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, Chinese society has developed a strong forward momentum, working tirelessly to solve and curtail its problems. The government has been fomenting this momentum and won plaudits from the public for doing so. Most believe that through normal channels, many problems in China will be incrementally solved, and that gradual reform is the most economical path to social progress. The country understands that a revolution can be destructive.

The reality in China now is that extreme thoughts and behavior will always endure, as per Sunday, when a few people drew attention to them-selves through "performance art." But their push for a "revolution" will falter, as the public is opposed to it. That authorities are taking a strong line against these people is supported both by law and public opinion.

Some Western media outlets have tried to play up these incidents. This is understandable to a certain extent. At the moment, the social turmoil spreading in the Middle East has held up a mirror to political leaders in the US and Europe.

By comparison, China appears unscathed. It would likely spare certain feelings in the West, were China to fall to trouble.

Nevertheless, China is in a very unique position. Neither throwing jasmine flowers in Beijing nor hyping social disruption in Western media will stir up public interest in overturning social progress.

 

The Middle East has a place for China

Social revolution is reshaping the Middle East, but China has remained a spectator of this revolution, reducing the diplomatic risks at play. In terms of shaping the future of the Middle East, there is little China can do. The changes in the Middle East do affect the global outlook, with China's interests at play.

Although the US has pretended to support street democracy in the Middle East, its real support lay in a different area to that which was claimed. The US has strongly promoted the expansion of street protests in Tehran, but has not commented on the police repression in Bahrain. The reason for this is that the former is an open enemy of the United States, while the latter is the home of the US Fifth Fleet.

The hurricane of revolution is likely to greatly change the Middle East, and it is difficult to predict which "dictator" will remain standing. Due to this uncertainty, diplomats from the US and other major players have become very active in the Middle East, as they try to ensure continued support for American values in new regimes.

China's trade in the Middle East has grown rapidly in recent years, but China does not seek to affect these nations' political processes. Traditionally, China has had no intention to develop the capability to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

Being a victim of Western countries' interference policy, China views non-interference in other countries as a kind of defense. China is very cautious in wielding its political influence in smaller countries.

Yet the expectations for China's behavior are changing. China's society has more and more resources to help resist external political interference.

Diplomacy should be rational. However, weaker countries usually tend to be rational while stronger countries like to "break traditions" and adopt "double standards." China seems to be the only country that is growing stronger but still adheres to diplomatic principle.

However, as China does not involve itself in the political process in the Middle East countries, it will only be to analyze future advantages and disadvantages in the new Middle East, but will not be able to shape these at first as the US will due to its steps in the region.

However, as the world's second largest economy, it is normal for China to begin exploring changes to its behavior.

China should begin to plan for its influence in the Middle East. In fact, China's development model is attractive to the Middle East since major countries there will enjoy more profits that emerge from China's economic development. China has many advantages in sharing its influence.

Pro-China forces in the Middle East should get more benefits, including political gains, so that future influential figures will adopt a pro-China stance rather than use it as a bargaining chip.

First, this does not conflict with China's principles and second, as difficult as the process may be, it will be worth it in the long run.

 

Democracy is more colorful than imagined

The worldwide shift toward democracy is unstoppable. However, with globalization, democracy has become more like a Russian doll: you always see the one on top, but not those hidden inside.

From the perspective of history, the global wave of democratization will remove a Western-focused center of interest.

The beginning of the Egyptian revolution is like a constitutional revolution. There seems to be a wide gulf between Egypt and Western cultures, with some external influences blocked out and some allowed in.

In the future, the US-backed Egyptian military and democrats will compete with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is still too early to assert that Egypt and the Middle East will embark on an anti-American road.

But it is even more foolhardy to conclude that the Egyptian revolution was a victory for the West. The current world order is unfair, just as a nation's richest city is filled with affluent Western influences while many live on in poverty. They will ask: Why?

The late American scholar Samuel P. Huntington wrote in The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century that elections in non-Western countries often induce politicians to come up with the claims that can win the most votes. These often have racist, religious and nationalist hues and will aggravate divisions, leading to more support for anti-Western rhetoric and policies.

For some Muslim countries, Huntington's conclusion is that people there can only choose between anti-democratic secularism and anti-Western democracy.

Huntington's judgments will undergo testing in decades to come. In the past few years, a sweep of left-wing governments have been elected in Latin America, in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and more. They are more anti-American and anti-Western than previous military governments.

Many pro-Western regimes brought by democratization occurred in former Soviet Union countries, such as Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic countries, which were under Russian influence in the last century. Democracy in East Asia did not bring anti-American regimes and the rise of China and India seems to ease the pressure on the West.

The more globalized democracy is, the more complex its performance will be and the more difficult to distinguish its benefits and drawbacks. But one point is certain: democratization will not lead to global "Westernization."

The attractiveness of Western countries is not their political program, but their lifestyle, partially obtained on global resources.

However, the dream of imitating emulating Western countries will shatter for many. The ballot box must reflect the characteristics of different countries, lands, regions and nationalities.

After the Egyptian revolution, the West joined in cheers with Iran and Hamas, an all too rare phenomenon. But history will prove that some of them were laughing bitterly.

Kaixin OpEd - As Kaixin has constantly argues, Democracy is neither generally understood or defined in the 'west'. It is seen as a political utopia.

Just what does the right to vote deliver to the average person in the west?

At the beginning of the 20th century it gave a voice to the man on the street in the west. It delivered real power to the man on the street.

By the end of the 20th century that power had been highjacked and the man on the street was once again without effective power.

The right to vote is not democracy, though used properly it can be very effective. It theoretically allows for a revolution, a change of government, with bloodshed.

Now, the voice of the people being heard by the powers that be, is closer to real democracy.

For democracy, however defined, to succeed in a nation it must grow out of the very soil of that nation. It cannot be imposed, and the western model of democracy evolved for those countries. Not for China, not for Iraq, not for Afghanistan …

The ‘Street’ is calling for democracy in Egypt. However, it is likely that if you asked the average person on a Cairo street what he or she means by democracy and just what they want democracy to achieve, you would be many different answers.

 

Housing policies not to please everyone

Real estate restriction orders are in effect in cities across China, seeking to immediately suppress the number of over-heated transactions. But opposition is rapidly building. The criticism centers around the binding of urban household registration, which makes it difficult for migrants to buy a home.

Before the restriction order was introduced, public opinion was set against high house prices. But just when it seems that the house prices could be brought to heel, criticism is renewed all the more. This illustrates the true picture of modern China society: No matter what policy is introduced, it will face a considerable number of opponents. Think of Barack Obama's tortuous experience in promoting health care reform in the US.

Chinese society is witnessing an increasing number of debates on many issues. This does not mean decisions should be infinitely debated. There may be a hundred points of view around the housing market, but we can only take one path or the other.

Both the central and local governments should accept the fact: The interests of Chinese society around the housing issue are split. In a city, those owning homes and those not will have different demands. People in different regions hold different attitudes toward macro-control. Therefore, it is impossible for the government to introduce a policy that will satisfy everyone.

The government should have a clear goal in regulating housing market, and its measures should be limited. Here, the goal is to suppress house prices and reduce rampant speculation. This policy will certainly cause some negative effects. But so long as these do not outweigh the benefits, the government should not overly worry about the outcome.

The housing issue is a real test for China's governance and an exercise for democratic politics in China. With different demands, the government satisfies some while angering others. Great benefits inspire people to violate rules or even laws. The government is used to "satisfying the people," but is facing an unprecedented embarrassment, as this utopic goal is out of reach this time.

 

 

 

 

Dialogue

A 30 Minute Current Affairs Programme on CCTV - 9 (In English) where current issues are discussed by experts from China and Internationally:

 

 

Wilder impact of food price hikes

 

Controversy over fireworks in China

 

Security adversity on China's periphery

 

Tiger mother & Chinese dragon

See Kaixin's - Tiger Mum - Amy Chua 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother'

 

 

 

 
 

International News Sources

Learn Chinese Online

 

The Wall Street Journal

Cleaner than Coal: Pitching Siberian Power to China

United Co. Rusal has billed itself as a low-cost producer of aluminum because of its access to Siberian hydroelectricity. Now its parent company is making a similar sales pitch for selling that electricity across the border to China.

 

Yuan Liberalization Could Be Faster Than Expected

HONG KONG—A Chinese central-bank official said the pace of the yuan's convertibility could happen "quicker than we imagined before," a sign of Beijing's comfort with moves to liberalize trading of the Chinese currency.

See Kaixin's - YUAN REVALUATION & INTERNATIONALISATION

 

Hoover Institute

Splits in the Politburo Leadership?
Alice Miller

Several events in recent months—remarks by Premier Wen Jiabao on
political reform, foreign travels of party security chief Zhou Yongkang,
and the elevation of Xi Jinping to a key military policy-making post—
have prompted conjectures about splits among China’s top leadership.
This article assesses the evidence for these speculations.

Kaixin OpEd - A detailed academic analysis

 

China Plans Overseas Iron Ore Asset Spree

BEIJING—China plans an aggressive expansion of its iron-ore holdings overseas to increase the share of its imports from China-invested mines, an influential industry official said Wednesday.

China Iron & Steel Association Vice Chairman Luo Bingsheng told an industry conference Wednesday that China would seek to derive 40% of ore imports from Chinese-invested sources by 2015.

It is unclear what percentage of China's iron-ore imports currently come from mines part-owned by Chinese companies. Mr. Luo didn't give a figure. But the comments from Mr. Luo, who is to retire from the association this week, underscore the desire of China—which produces about ...

 

Microsoft to Add Staff in China

HONG KONG—Microsoft Corp. plans to increase the number of research and development staff in China this year by around 10%, an executive said, as the software giant looks to boost its presence in the country's fast-growing smartphone market and strengthen its capabilities in areas such as Internet search and cloud computing.

Ya-Qin Zhang, chairman of Microsoft's Asia-Pacific R&D Group, said in an interview the Redmond, Wash., software maker plans to add between 300 and 400 R&D staff in mainland China this year. It currently has about 3,000 people working on research and development in mainland China, and another 600-700 in ...

 

China’s Other Problem with Protests Abroad

Talk of a “Jasmine Revolution” online and a subsequent stepping up of censorship by Beijing authorities this week has helped thrust the Internet—microblogging in particular—to the center of the conversation around how China’s government manages problems at home. But as the upheaval in Libya grows increasingly violent, microblogs are also serving to highlight a challenge China faces abroad: The presence of tens of thousands of Chinese nationals, many of them workers for state-owned enterprises, living in potential conflict zones in Africa and elsewhere.

Kaixin Oped: Looks like the journalist, Josh Chin is either a xiang jiao or has an application in to the Nobel Committee in the hope of scoring the million bucks. Another 'lets get on the hit China bandwagon' without any real cause.

Xiaosui, on the other hand, has a real cause to hate the Communist Party, yet she sees it all in the conext of the times and is immensely proud of China.

Then again, she stayed to see the rise and rise of China. She has seen the worst and she has seen the best coming out.

She has a right to complain, but she doesn't.

See Xiaosui's:

The Cultural Revolution through my eyes

Growing up in China

 

Analysis: A Groupon Rival in China? (Video)

Alibaba’s retail Website is beefing up its group buying offerings just as Groupon appears to gear up for a launch in China. On Asia Today, Asia Heard on the Street Editor Mohammed Hadi and WSJ’s Andrew LaVallee discuss that development, plus the resignations of Alibaba.com’s CEO and COO following an internal fraud investigation:

 

Economic Observer

Foxconn to Raise Base Salary of New Employees


Foxconn International Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd - a Taiwan-listed contract manufacter of electronic goods, has announced it plans to once again adjust the salary packages of some of the more than 220,000 individuals it employess in a number of huge factories in the southern manufacturing center of Shenzhen.

 

Bloomberg

Volvo Cars Said to Select Chengdu for First Chinese Factory


Volvo Cars, the Swedish automaker acquired by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. last year, will build its first Chinese assembly plant in the city of Chengdu, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said.

 

Caixin Online

In China, Another Bout of Fannie-Freddie Fear

Chinese government agencies and banks will have a lot at stake as the U.S. mortgage giants scale back

(Beijing) – When the U.S. government recently announced plans to wind down its monolithic mortgage institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fresh shock waves rippled through some of China's largest, state-backed foreign investors.

And for good reason: Fannie and Freddie owe hundreds of billions of dollars – about US$ 454 billion combined as of June 2009 – to a wide range of Chinese investors, including the central government's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) and some of the country's largest banks.

 

China to Build Strategic Reserves for Iron Ore

A leading official at the China Iron and Steel Association said that national strategic reserves are part of the steel industry development strategy for the 12th Five-Year Plan

(Beijing) -- China is set to build national strategic reserves for iron ore in order to ensure supply for the steel industry, according to the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), a government-backed industry association.

 

Asia Times Online

SINOGRAPH
China balks at speeding fine
By Francesco Sisci


After the Group of 20 summit in Paris last week seemed intent on imposing a speeding fine on China for breakneck economic growth and its resistance last year to demands to help address global imbalances, political solitude is perhaps Beijing's greatest risk. American proposals for a new bomber able to penetrate China's air defenses add to the price of hubris.

 

 

 See Over for the 23rd of February 2011

 

 

 

CULTURAL CHINA

Articles of interest from the week's news

Insights into China's Society & Cutlure

 

 

CCTV Afternoon tea culture in Shanghai VIDEO

It's refreshing. It's elegant and it's convenient. What am I talking about? Afternoon tea. What a great way to grab a peaceful moment in a bustling city.

So on today's feature story, we'll take you to Shanghai to explore the diversity of that city's afternoon tea culture.

 

Daluo, where you flow - VIDEO

Is there a place where you don't feel walking but flowing? China Daily's multimedia journalist Feng Xin takes you to explore that place: Daluo.

 

 

 

He saved 20,000 Chinese in Nanjing Massacre

Sindberg helped to save nearly 20,000 Chinese in Nanjing Massacre

Sindberg's heroic feat was re-discovered after the diaries of John Rabe were published in 1997

"To us Chinese people, especially the people in Nanjing, he (Sindberg) is a friend in need and a friend indeed, who is entitled to our everlasting gratitude and respect." -- Chinese Ambassador

AARHUS, Denmark -- Bernhard Arp Sindberg, a Dane who helped save thousands of Chinese lives during the Nanjing Massacres of 1937-38, was honored and commemorated on Saturday in his hometown Aarhus, Denmark.

"We remember Mr. Sindberg for his heroic acts during the horrendous Nanjing Massacre, when up to 300,000 Chinese were murdered by Japanese occupation forces," said Rabih Azad-Ahmad, vice mayor of Aarhus, at the ceremony.

"As a Dane and a member of the City Council, I am very proud to know that a fellow Dane from Aarhus found the courage to stand up against the Japanese occupation forces, and by doing so, saved the lives of thousands of Chinese," Azad-Ahmad said.

"And I am grateful that Sindberg proved that even in the most difficult times, there is always the little glimpse of hope."

See Kaixin's - Nanking Nanking

 

Emperor's private collection opens in New York + VIDEO

Currently showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City showcases about 90 works of art created for the emperor Qianlong (1736-95), a man whose desire to unify "all under heaven" is clearly noted in the extravagance of this loan exhibition organized by the Peabody Essex Museum.

 

 

Sky lanterns light up the sky at a square in Pingxi, a rural district in the eastern part of New Taipei city, Taiwan, Feb 17, 2011. People in Taiwan celebrate the annual Lantern Festival by flying sky lanterns, which are made of oiled paper and bamboo frame, and contains a candle or other lighting inside.

 

Students read excerpts of Confucius' analects during a memorial ceremony at the Confucius Temple of Nanning, capital of Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Feb 20, 2011. More than 2,600 students from Fuzhuang School, mostly children of migrant workers, took part in a memorial ceremony for Confucius here on Sunday, to mark the start of a new semester.

 

Mausoleum find rekindles ancient horse legend

XI'AN - The bones of 80 horses unearthed from the mausoleum of a Chinese emperor who lived more than 2,000 years ago have rekindled an ancient legend about blood-sweating "heavenly" horses from central Asia.

The skeletons were found in two sacrificial pits within the mausoleum of Emperor Wudi of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-8 AD) in Xingping city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, said Yang Wuzhan, a researcher with the provincial archeological institute.

Yang and his team began excavating the two pits in September 2009, but had published few of their findings until Monday.

Each of the two pits was a huge cavern containing 20 caves - each "guarded" by two stallions and a terracotta warrior, Yang said.

 

'Naked' Marriage - Shanghai

As a young girl from Shanghai, Fan Fan used to dream: she would meet a handsome, kind man, he would lavish romantic gifts on her, their families would approve, and after a blissful wedding they would move into a large penthouse apartment that her doting husband had bought for her. Like I said...that was her dream.

As a pretty woman in Shanghai, it wasn’t that she was short of suitors. “A lot of boys liked me,” she quietly giggled, “but most of them were stupid. I guess I just care more about love than money.”

She finally found a man she loves, but with his salary, he could never afford an apartment in Shanghai. She admitted, in a serious tone, “He might not even have money to buy me a ring... But I can accept a ‘naked marriage.’ I think he is a good man.”

Don’t get too carried away. By “naked,” Fan Fan doesn’t mean they won’t wear clothes at their ceremony. It’s a Chinese expression (裸婚) that means getting married with no house, no car, no diamond ring and no proper wedding ceremony. With the insane housing prices in China today, it’s a growing trend that makes quite a bit of sense, especially for people like Fan Fan and her boyfriend. But my contacts in Shanghai tell me that most girls in the city aren’t going to get married without a place to call home... their home.

See Kaixin's - Marriage in China: Ancient & Modern

 

CCTV Sweet Ball festival held in Qingdao VIDEO

The annual Festival of Sweet Ball -- a traditional snack food in north China, is being held in the costal city of Qingdao. The sweet event has attracted many people from home and abroad.

Sweet balls are sticks of sugar-coated haws. Different kinds of sweet balls are showcased here, which enable visitors to taste a variety of this delicious snack. Children come together with their parents to participate and enjoy the fun.

 

 

Maotai Riddle: Pricier in China, cheaper abroad

BEIJING - Foreign luxury products have monopolized the shopping list of Chinese tourists heading overseas for years, but more Chinese tourists are grabbing up Chinese brands sold on foreign markets, since they are sold at lower prices.

When a man surnamed Li, a clerk from a foreign company in Beijing, returned from the United States after visiting his family, he brought home several bottles of Moutai, one of the best known Chinese liquor brands.

"It is much cheaper abroad, many of my friends also buy high-end tobacco and wine of Chinese brands from overseas," Li said.

 

CCTV Universities pioneer new entrance tests VIDEO

A new type of entrance exam is being pioneered by some of China's top higher learning establishments. It's hoped the process will be more convenient for applicants applying from remote areas and also ease pressure on students taking enrollment exams.

The tests are being conducted in 29 sites around the nation. The new exams mainly focus on testing student's knowledge, potential, and practical and analysis capabilities, which is different from the tradition college entrance examination. The old exams focussed on general knowledge taken from text books and used a grade point average to select candidates.

 

CCTV Panda mother and cub adapt to new home in Sichuan VIDEO

A panda and her young cub have moved into their new home at a wildlife sanctuary in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The pair is adapting well to life in captivity, where they will spend the next two years before being released into the wild.

Cao Cao started her training program last summer at Wuloong Panda Reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Just a month later, she gave birth to her first cub. The pint-sized male panda has been in special care ever since.

Huang Yan, Deputy Engineer of Giant Panda Protection and Research Center, said, "The panda cub has had little contact with people since his birth. He sleeps in the open air, despite the chilly weather. The good news now is that he no longer relies on pandakeepers to survive."

 

CCTV Ullens' collection's planned $16.7 m sale at Sotheby in Hong Kong VIDEO

Sotheby's in Hong Kong is to offer 106 works from the famed collection of Guy Ullens. The Belgian ranks as one of the most noted collectors of Chinese contemporary art and founded the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2007.

The Belgian Baron has been collecting Chinese contemporary art for the last 30 years and the works all date from the 1980s and early 90s - before China's contemporary artists aroused significant attention in the West.

The auction is expected to earn up to 16.7 million US dollars with a likely focus on Zhang Xiaogang's 1988 triptych "Forever Lasting Love", which bears a presale estimate of 3.2 to 3.8 million.

Other highlights include key early works by Zhang Xiaogang, Mao Xuhui, and Zhang Peili, which were first shown in the seminal 1989 "China/Avant-Garde" exhibition.

 

Chinese mummy on display in Philadelphia

A 3800-year-old mummy is on show during the "Secrets of the Silk Road" exhibition, featuring archeological findings in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region at the museum of Pennsylvania University in Philadelphia, Feb 18, 2011. It is the third leg of the exhibition in the US, which will last until March 28, 2011.

 

 

 

 

ChinaLoveCupid/ChineseLoveLinks - Serious Chinese Dating Relationships