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News 2009/10/30

China's Growing Economy Mints Billionaires 
BEIJING — The superrich in China have bounced back from the financial crisis with a vengeance, and China now has more known U.S.-dollar billionaires than any other country except the United States, according to a report released Tuesday. The annual Hurun Report said that China has 130 known dollar billionaires, up from 101 last year. The number in the United States is 359, while Russia has 32 and India 24, according to Forbes magazine.

iPhone Enters Shanghai

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Contestant on Shanghai TV talent show draws barrage of internet abuse because of her skin colour  
The China Daily newspaper also published a sterling defence of the young theatre student, written by one of its top columnists. "There are two factors at work here," wrote Raymond Zhou. "Lou Jing is not a pure-blood Chinese and anyone who marries a foreigner is deemed a 'traitor' to his or her race. More relevant, Lou's father is black."

African view: China's new long march 
Ghanaian writer and former government minister Elizabeth Ohene considers China's impact on Africa.

China's Graduate Glut Grows  
An explosive report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in September said earnings of graduates were now at par and even lower than those of migrant laborers. The news came as a blow to many high-aspiring parents and youngsters in a country that has for centuries prided itself on cultivating elite Confucian intelligentsia.

China Student Surge in USA

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Chinese police rescue 2,000 kidnapped children
Thousands of children go missing each year in China. Male children are more highly-prized, thanks in part to the one-child policy, and there is a thriving market in young boys, who can sell for as much as 40,000 yuan (£3,600). However, human traffickers also kidnap girls in order to sell them as brides in areas where there is a high ratio of men to women. Some families also sell their female children in order to be able to try again for a boy.

Shanghai may greet Obama with Disney park deal 
2009/10/28 |
SHANGHAI/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With President Barack Obama due to visit China next month, speculation is swirling Walt Disney Co may finally be about to announce a long-awaited deal to build a theme park in Shanghai.

Disney and the Shanghai government have been waiting since January for Beijing's approval to move forward with what would be the country's second Disneyland, after a Hong Kong park opened in 2005 to a string of operational problems and lackluster attendance.

China Looks to Export Censorship
2009/11/02 | 
A few days before the start of this year's Melbourne International Film Festival its executive director received an "audacious" telephone call. An official from China's consulate in the city called him to "urge" the festival to withdraw a film about the Chinese activist Rebiya Kadeer. Beijing then tried to persuade the organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair not to allow two Chinese writers to attend an event. China says it does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. But some see these acts as an attempt by China to use abroad the tough censorship measures it constantly employs at home.

China to End Required Testing for Hepatitis B
By ANDREW JACOBS | 2009/10/12
BEIJING — Chinese health officials will abolish mandatory testing for hepatitis B during physical exams given to prospective college students, factory workers and government employees, according to Xinhua, the state news agency. . . estimated 120 million people in China thought to be infected. . . Many of those who carry hepatitis B in China were infected by contaminated syringes during childhood inoculation campaigns in the 1970s and ’80s. Others contracted it from their mothers during childbirth.

China Aims to Steady North Korea
CHOE SANG-HUN | 2009/10/06
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s leader gave an unusually exuberant welcome this week to the prime minister of China, whose trip was intensely monitored by the rest of the world for progress on efforts to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

China's Class Ceiling
Ian Buruma | 2009/10/11,0,8205.story
For the nation's growing economic elite, life is sweet. 
For    s and peasants, it's a different story. . .

Fu Ying, China's Ambassador to London.

Asia's two giants still cannot agree where one stops and the other begins 
Economist | 2009/10/29 
Disputes over the western and eastern ends have been unresolved since a bloody war in 1962. In the west, India claims Aksai Chin, a high plateau controlled by China, as part of Kashmir. In the east, China disputes the McMahon Line, agreed by British India and a Tibet then under British rather than Chinese sway. The line is in effect the border today, but China claims a large chunk of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, . .

Venture Capital in China
From The Economist print edition 2009/10/22 | HONG KONG
WESTERN private-equity firms trying to enter China run into two problems: getting their money in and getting their money out.
. . Infinity I-China, an Israeli-Chinese venture-capital fund, unveiled returns that show just how lucrative China can be. It received $11m in cash . .

China at 60
It has been 60 years since Mao Zedong told his people on Oct. 1, 1949, that "the Chinese people have stood up" and declared the founding of the People's Republic of China.

News 2009/10/23

Shanghai Taxi-fare Increases 2009/10/12
Taxi passengers in Shanghai will pay about 10 percent more from Monday as the city raises fares for the first time in three years to offset higher fuel prices and environmental protection costs. The changes include raising minimum fares by 1 yuan to 12 yuan and increasing the per-kilometer charge by 0.3 yuan to 2.4 yuan after the first 3km, according to the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

In Chinatown, Sound of the Future Is Mandarin 
NYT 2009/10/21
He grew up playing in the narrow, crowded streets of Manhattan’s Chinatown. He has lived and worked there for all his 61 years. But as Wee Wong walks the neighborhood these days, he cannot understand half the conversations he hears.

The Curious Incident of Jia Junpeng
The China Beat 2009/10/20 
On July 16, 2009, an anonymous internet user in a popular Baidu discussion forum posted a message titled “Jia Junpeng, your mother wants you to go home to eat.” The message has only twelve Chinese characters in its title and has no other content.Chiang Kai-shek

Featured Review: Re-evaluating Chiang Kai-shek 
China Brief Volume: 9 Issue: 21 2009/10/22
. . Chiang Kai-shek, one of the most important figures in modern China, but also one of the least understood and most regularly caricatured. Chiang unified his country with the Northern Expedition of 1925-29 and presided over the “Nanking decade,” a period of economic and institutional development as well as considerable freedom that was cut short by the Japanese invasion of 1937.

Beijing Cracks Down on Gangs 
NZ Herald 2009/10/23
He said an internal report by the national police ministry estimated that China had between two million and three million people involved in organised crime in 2004 and 4200 "mafia-style syndicates". He believes the number of participants may be as high as four million.. . . Gangsters are often hired as muscle to settle disputes.

The Value of the Rmb
CNN 2009/10/16
the Treasury did not say China was manipulating its currency, . .

Is China Heading for a Bubble Bursting Downturn? 
China-Briefing 2009/10/22 
I actually surmise that instead of a return to spectacular growth, it is a more likely scenario that to shift China’s economic model to one better balanced towards domestic consumption and less on exports will take three-five years.

A Bubble in Beijing?  
From The Economist print edition 2009/10/08
Not yet. But China will soon look dangerously frothy unless policymakers allow the yuan to rise.

News 2009/10/09

China Celebrates 60 Years of Communist Rule
BEIJING — China’s leaders marked their nation’s 60th anniversary on Thursday with a precision display of military bravado that included, improbably, a female militia unit toting submachine guns and attired in red miniskirts and white jackboots, and a fleet of floats with representations of a giant fish and Mount Everest.


People’s Republic celebrates its 60th birthday
Economist | 2009/10/01
SHORTLY before the 60th anniversary of communist China’s founding on October 1st, police in the south-western city of Chongqing opened an unusual exhibition. On display, to invited guests only, were 65 luxury cars formerly owned by the bosses of the city’s crime gangs as well as an assortment of jewellery, guns and drugs. Chongqing, the wartime capital of China, had been a hub of organised crime in pre-communist days. Now the gangs are back, . . .

China's Communists’ Rise
NYT By ANDREW JACOBS | 2009/10/01
CHANGCHUN, China — Unlike in other cities taken by the People’s Liberation Army during China’s civil war, there were no crowds to greet the victors as they made their triumphant march through the streets of this industrial city in the heart of Manchuria.

Created in China: part III
By Michael Rass | 2009/09/30
Innovation comes . . . from a culture that encourages originality and creativity, rewards risk-taking and tolerates failure. In the People’s Republic of China . . . Chinese children are not encouraged to be creative, . .

Beijing’s Afghan Gamble
NYT By ROBERT D. KAPLAN | 2009/10/06
IN Afghanistan’s Logar Province, just south of Kabul, the geopolitical future of Asia is becoming apparent: American troops are providing security for a Chinese state-owned company to exploit the Aynak copper reserves, which are worth tens of billions of dollars . . .

Taiwan & China
NYT | 2009/10/06
Taiwan’s position as a de facto independent state seems to be morphing very slowly toward the “one country, two systems” status of Hong Kong . . . . The trend could mean an erosion in the support Taiwan gets, albeit erratically, from the United States and Japan.

News 2009/09/29

Unicom to sell iPhones in China Thursday
CNN | September 29, 2009
iPhone is set to make its debut in China this week - Apple tie-in with China Unicom, the country's second-largest mobile operator - Phone will sell for 5,000 RMB ($732)

No Detail Is Overlooked as China Prepares to Celebrate 
The communist government, which will observe its 60th anniversary on Thursday in Beijing, has drilled soldiers, banned knife sales, and even grounded tame pigeons.

China party scholar hints at Xi Jinping promotion
Reuters | 2009-09-22
BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese Communist official on Tuesday held out the possibility that Vice President Xi Jinping could still be promoted to a military position, in a step toward ultimately taking over the nation's top leadership post....

China appeals WTO ruling on entertainment imports
Reuters | 2009-09-22
GENEVA (Reuters) - China appealed at the last minute on Tuesday against a World Trade Organization ruling upholding parts of a U.S. complaint about Chinese restrictions on imports of films, books and other audio-visual material....

China's president expected to announce radical climate change targets 
The Guardian | 2009-09-22
Anticipation grows that Hu Jintao is poised to declare China as a pioneer on the path to low-carbon development. Chinese president Hu Jintao is expected to lay down the gauntlet on climate change in New York today with a promise to reduce its carbon intensity — the rate at which emissions increase, while ...

Asia impacted by US missile shift 
Asia Times | 2009-09-22
When it comes to the economic and national security concerns of the United States, China - not Russia - is President Barack Obama's top priority. And North Korea's actions, not Iran's posturing, are what have preoccupied US missile defense planning so intensely over the past five years. - Peter J Br...

Epic film: The Founding of a Republic marks 60 years of Chinese Communism | 2009-09-16
The Founding of a Republic starring almost 200 of China's best known stars opens in cinemas across the country on Thursday....