Analysis: China’s $300 billion fund a wake-up call to U.S. – Yahoo! News – BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s plan for a new $300 billion sovereign wealth fund is as much a warning to Washington as it is a body blow to Brussels.
It’s the clearest sign yet of Beijing’s waning faith in bonds issued by Europe and the United States. Europe’s festering debt debacle, record low yields on U.S. Treasuries and a depreciating dollar all add weight to the view in China that the time is ripe to change investment tack.
“China has decided that real assets are better than broken debt fix promises and low interest rates,” says Paul Markowski, president of MES Advisers and a long-time external adviser to China’s monetary policymakers on global financial markets.
An ex-ambassador in Beijing: Master of ping-ping diplomacy | The Economist- IT IS not often that an ambassador to China who leaves his post chooses to hold forth—on the record, and on Chinese soil—about the ups and downs of his former job. This is true for at least two reasons. First, Chinese government officials here are not exactly thick-skinned (nor short of memory). Second, those with future business here, whether diplomatic or more remunerative, tend to say nice things or nothing at all.Few diplomats understand that better than Geoff Raby, who from 2007 until this summer served as Australia’s ambassador to China. He now runs an eponymous consultancy in Beijing that trades on the connections he established over a career that took him to China in the 1980s, back to Canberra and back again
China’s deserted fake Disneyland | Photographers Blog – Situated on an area of around 100 acres, and 45 minutes drive from the center of Beijing, are the ruins of ‘Wonderland’. Construction stopped more than a decade ago, with developers promoting it as ‘the largest amusement park in Asia’. Funds were withdrawn due to disagreements over property prices with the local government and farmers. So what is left are the skeletal remains of a palace, a castle, and the steel beams of what could have been an indoor playground in the middle of a corn field.
The Siege of Wukan | ChinaGeeks | analysis and translation of modern China- UPDATE 3: Additional images from Weibo added, section on Weibo censorship added at the end of the post.UPDATE 2: One of the accounts posting images from inside Wukan — a young man who lives there — has been closed by Sina. Clearly, they’re taking this pretty seriously. I know of two other Weibo accounts from users inside Wukan, but I wonder how quickly their accounts will be closed, too. Also, Malcolm Moore tweeted that the villagers estimate they have food enough left for ten days.
Housing: Good times over for property flipper|Business|chinadaily.com.cn – BEIJING – “Cut the price from 2 million yuan ($315,000) to 1.95 million yuan!” Huang Zhen told an agent at Homelink Real Estate Agency Co Ltd, with a tone of frustration.
It was the third time that Huang, 35, had cut the price in the past few months. “But the bottom line is 1.9 million yuan, not one penny less!” he stressed.
Since leaving a State-owned company seven years ago, he has made money by flipping properties.
“I made more than 5 million yuan in the past few years, but this time I would be happy if I don’t lose money,” Huang said.
D.E. Shaw Said to Be in Talks to Buy Stake in China Investment Firm TEDA – Bloomberg – D.E. Shaw & Co., the $21 billion hedge-fund firm, is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Chinese state-controlled investment company Tianjin TEDA International Holding (Group) Co., said three people familiar with the matter.
D.E. Shaw, based in New York, is in negotiations to acquire 15 percent to 20 percent of TEDA International for as much as 6 billion yuan ($942 million), one of the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are confidential. TEDA International oversees the Tianjin city government’s investments in financial companies including China Bohai Bank Co. and Tianjin Trust and Investment Co.
Chinese fume over honor to tobacco academic – Yahoo! News – BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese health officials and commentators have assailed one of the country’s most prestigious academic bodies for recruiting a scientist who specialized in refining low-tar cigarettes — at a time when the government has said it is fighting smoking.
Xie Jianping, 52, who works for a research institute of the state-owned China National Tobacco Corporation, has been called the “Killer Academician” and “Tobacco Academician” on Chinese Internet sites after he was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering, an honorary body that also advises the government.
Chinese police besiege town and cut of food supplies in bid to quell riots – Telegraph – For months, the 20,000 villagers who live in Wukan, near Shanwei city in Guangdong province, have protested first at having nearly £100 million of their land seized and sold off by the local government, and then at the brutal tactics used by police to regain control of the village.
The latest protests began on Sunday, when police attempting to arrest a villager were repelled by villagers armed with sticks. The police fired tear gas before retreating.
At the same time, the local government brought the village’s simmering anger to a boil by admitting that Xue Jinbo, a 43-year-old butcher who had represented the villagers in their negotiations with the government, had died in police custody of “cardiac failure”.
AIT has nothing but praise for Tsai – Taipei Times – Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is a remarkably talented person. However, don’t take my word for it. It is a view secretly shared by US diplomats in Taipei whose job it is to gather intelligence on Taiwanese politics.
As a long-retired diplomat who once wrote (and read) US diplomatic cables from Taipei, I confess a guilty pleasure in reading the classified assessments from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) via that dastardly source, WikiLeaks. We old-school foreign service officers took great pride in our writing skills and I am gratified that the tradition still thrives in the AIT.
So, while the WikiLeaks release of secret US Department of State (and AIT) reports is indeed horrifying, illegal and unwarranted, it supplies powerful good reading. And, while WikiLeaks telegrams from the AIT have embarrassed many politicians in Taiwan, Tsai is not one of them.
The earliest WikiLeaks cables to assess Tsai’s career date from January 2006 when she was named vice premier. They are all very positive.
Teach Your Kids How To Code, Not How To Speak Chinese – There is a belief among some — perhaps out of fear, or prudence — that children today should study Mandarin Chinese as their second language. If China is going to rule the world in a few decades, at least my kid will be able to communicate.
That’s an interesting idea, but the reality is that no matter who is ruling the world, if your kids don’t live in China, their lives are much more likely to involve software than speaking Chinese.
Escaping Confucian disharmony – FT.com – Confucius would not be pleased. Not only are more and more Chinese children opting to live apart from their elderly parents – but more and more Chinese parents seem unaccountably delighted by the idea.
Yun Sun – Brookings Institution – Yun Sun was previously a China analyst for the International Crisis Group’s Northeast Asia Project, based in Beijing. Her expertise is in Chinese domestic and foreign policy, and U.S.-China relations.
Chinese Public Opinion: Shaping China’s Foreign Policy, or Shaped by It? – Brookings Institution – In recent years, “public opinion” in China has been accredited more and more often as a force driving China’s foreign policy. For example, analysts inside and outside China have attributed Beijing’s rising assertiveness in international relations in part to the need of the government to cater to rising nationalism at home. The logic of many of these analysts is that expressions of Chinese nationalism are becoming increasingly vocal and frequent, and that Beijing has to stand up against “hostile foreign forces” or it will lose legitimacy in the eyes of its own citizens. Ample cases of this dynamic have been identified, including the government’s hawkish response to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, controversies with Japan over the waters around the Diaoyu or Senkaku islands, and, more recently, China’s “aggressive” behavior against Southeast Asian claimants to areas of the South China Sea. More often than ever, especially in private conversations, Chinese officials and scholars seem to play the public opinion card to justify externally unpopular foreign policy moves.
Microblogs become crucial state tool | SCMP.com – Mainland government agencies and officials have caught microblog fever, with the number of governmentrelated accounts rising threefold since the beginning of this year.
The number of governmentrelated weibo accounts on Sina.com, the most popular microblogging service on the mainland, has reached nearly 20,000. This includes more than 10,000 for government departments and about 9,000 for officials from all provinces, according to a report released by People’s Daily Online’s Public Opinion Monitoring Office at a Beijing forum on Monday.