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Premier Wen Jiabao seems worried about the economy. Yesterday he urged efforts to maintain growth – Xinhua and his comments made the front page of Monday’s People’s Daily–把稳增长放在更加重要的位置. Some bears are skeptical of the government’s ability to reinvigorate growth, believing that the government gas pedal may be connected through a fuel line with so much leakage that the gas will barely get to the engine now. Recently I have heard from too many very smart people who were not always so bearish that they now believe the tail risk of a serious crisis in China, while still relatively small, has gotten much fatter in the last couple of months.
Beijing appears to be trying to prop up the stock market. The latest attempted fillip can be seen with the news that China Will Speed Up Approvals for Qualified Foreign Investors. The costs of juicing the stock markets are relatively low in the short- to medium-term, a pop in share prices would be very positive for urban psychology during a time of increasing stress, and the government has levers that may still be fairly effective in artificially moving the market.
The Sunday Washington Post published the interesting “tick-tock” Negotiations over dissident Chen Guangcheng offered rare glimpse into how China’s leadership operates, U.S. officials say (See Politico’s The art of the ‘tick-tock’ if you want to know about this form of journalism). The Post story follows the May 9 “tick-tock” in the New York Times in Behind Twists of Diplomacy in Case of Chen Guangcheng and presumably includes some details US officials witheld until Chen and family were safely in the US.
While it is an interesting read, keep in mind that that the Post article makes extensive use of anonymous sources who clearly have an interest in spinning as positive a tale as possible. There also appears to be no input from the Chinese side. That does not mean much of it is not true, but read it with some skepticism.
Saturday’s Washington Post had a must read article about elite Chinese children studying in the US–Chinese communist leaders denounce U.S. values but send children to U.S. colleges. Hong Huang has the best quote in the story:
Hong said she sees no contradiction between the desire for an Ivy League education and the current principles of the ruling party and its leaders: “What part of China is communist, and what part of Harvard is against elitist authoritarianism?”
The Yang Rui “Foreign Trash Bitch-Gate” story has not gone away. Yang Rui announced on his Weibo that he retains the right to sue Charlie Custer, author of a Weibo and blog post calling for Yang’s dismissal. In It’s Not Just Yang Rui, Brendan O’Kane translates several of Yang’s Weibo statements and helps put this mess in a bit more context. Influential people are calling on foreigners to avoid appearing on his show, and as Jim McGregor quipped on Twitter “If Yang Rui keeps up this anti-foreign nonsense they will have to change the show to “Monologue” as no foreigners will want to go near him.”
Toxic food du jour is back, now with video. Enterprising Chinese journalists are out with a report about ginger sprayed with banned pesticides. I guess my daily dose of fresh ginger juice may be doing more harm than good…
If you are interested in arts and culture in China I highly recommend The Great Flourishing: China’s Cultural Rise, Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai’s excellent blog about arts and culture in China.
Today’s suggested reading:
- China remains world’s top instant noodle consumer and producer – Xinhua | English.news.cn
China remained the world’s top consumer of instant noodles last year with more than 100 million packs of instant noodles being consumed every day, officials and industry experts said Sunday.
- China Voice: U.S. reckless in imposing tariffs on China solar panels – Xinhua | English.news.cn
The U.S. move Thursday to slap harsh new tariffs on solar panels made in China is reckless as it runs against free trade which the world’s most powerful nation says it promotes.
- Editor’s choice: Photos of China’s aircraft carrier – Xinhua | English.news.cn
- State councilor visits teacher injured while saving students – Xinhua | English.news.cn
HARBIN, May 20 (Xinhua) — Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong on Sunday visited Zhang Lili, a middle school teacher in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province who was injured in an attempt to save some students.Zhang, whose legs have had to be amputated after she was run over by the bus, has regained consciousness but must wait for the most opportune time to undergo further surgery.
- 人民日报-冷战思维下的美国涉华动作(国际论坛) 钟 声
Zhong Sheng ways in on page 3 pg People’s Daily on cold war thinking and American’s actions in regards to China
- 陕北首富涉嫌侵占他人煤矿被查 政府人员卷入_新闻_腾讯网
Richest man in northern Shaanxi province under investigation, several officials dragged into the case. Who needs TV shows when you have the Sha’anxi/Shanxi Sopranos?
QQ News headline on He’s speech: “Those with ulterior motives are using corruption to reject our country’s political system”
- 人民日报-认清形势 坚定信心 深入推进党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争 贺国强
Almost all of Page 2 of today’s People’s Daily is an excerpt from a report on clean governance and the struggle against corruptio given by He Guoqiang on April at the Central Party School, Led with a banner on Page 1.
- 人民日报-温家宝在湖北考察时强调 把稳增长放在更加重要的位置
Page 1 People’s Daily coverage of Wen’s comments on the economy
- China Will Speed Up Approvals for Qualified Foreign Investors – Bloomberg
China will work to speed up approvals of qualified foreign institutional investors looking to buy into its domestic securities, as part of reforms aimed at adding depth to the country’s capital markets.
China’s foreign exchange regulator has approved $26 billion in QFII quotas for 138 qualified investors as of May 16, according to a statement posted on the State Administration of Foreign Exchange yesterday.
- Premier Wen Says China Will Focus on Growth, Xinhua Reports – Bloomberg
- Apache deal gives needed update to Taiwan’s military｜Politics｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com
Taiwan’s military development took a step forward on Friday when the country received 30 of its first Boeing AH-64D Block III Apache attack helicopters from the United States, reports our sister newspaper China Times.
- Chinese Collectors Will Keep Driving Sales, Sotheby’s CEO Says – Bloomberg
China’s economic slowdown hasn’t diminished the importance of mainland clients to Sotheby’s, chief executive officer William Ruprecht said.
Chinese demand for jewelry, wine, watches and ceramics will continue to drive sales this year even as economic growth slows, according to the New York-based auction house.
- Bo police chief in treason trial | SCMP.com
Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing vice-mayor whose attempted defection to the US in February brought down Bo Xilai, may go to court next month
- Premier Wen urges efforts to maintain growth – Xinhua | English.news.cn
• Premier Wen Jiabao urged more efforts to maintain relatively fast economic growth.
• “We should continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy,” Wen said.
• He said the central government will continue to strengthen and improve macro control efforts.
- Railway bidding to be fair and clear — Shanghai Daily
I would joke about this really happening when pigs fly but given what is in the animal feed here that may be more possible than we want to admit//
BIDS for railway contracts in China will open to local markets soon to ensure the transparency and fairness of the bidding process and prevent power-for-money deals, according to a document released yesterday.
- China activists fear ‘reckoning’ – FT.com
As Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese legal activist who escaped from seven years of persecution, prepares for a new life after his arrival in the US, friends and relatives he left behind are bracing for a new round of abuse.
- Fat Lady Finally Sings: Yahoo and Alibaba Set to Shake on $7 Billion Stock Sale Deal – Kara Swisher – News – AllThingsD
It’s mostly been over how they could get to the transaction they will be announcing later tonight (or morning in Hong Kong, which it is there now).
After many failed attempts to strike a tax-free deal — also involving Yahoo’s Japanese partner, SoftBank — collapsed, the pair settled on a taxable deal, which will net Yahoo upwards of $4 billion.
- Twitter Back Up In Pakistan After An Order From The Prime Minister | TechCrunch
A temporary solution to the drama that unfolded this morning when Twitter was blocked in Pakistan — some believe over representations of the Prophet Mohammed and Twitter’s refusal to block these images; and some believe while it was testing an image filtering service. Whatever it was, the site is now back up –after an order from Prime Minister.
- 同城约会 – 网易婚恋交友网，全国最大、诚信会员最多的交友约会平台
- CCTV host may sue over xenophobia claim|Hot Issues|chinadaily.com.cn
- The Great Flourishing | Commemorating Mao’s “Yan’an Talks”
China’s Ministry of Culture has announced a month of celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of Chairman Mao Zedong’s “Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art.”
The “Yan’an Talks,” as they are known, are Mao’s seminal statement on the role of art in revolution; their influence on cultural policy remains powerful to this day. Events to mark the anniversary will include a major exhibition of art from the Yan’an era at the National Art Museum of China; a May 23rd performance at the Great Hall of the People of the ballet version of an opera created at Yan’an, “The White-Haired Girl;” a series of “Arts Enter the Universities” events in multiple provinces and many other events.
- 纪念毛泽东《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》发表70周年 广电总局组织20位电影编导赴华西村采风 – 新华社会 – 新华网
- » It’s Not Just Yang Rui Rectified.name 正名
is Yang Rui a xenophobe? Has CCTV picked a racist to head up one of the highest-profile programs in its bid for international media relevance? The WSJ post translates one of Yang’s Weibo postings — the one that started the whole mess — but there is more to Yang’s outburst than that, and since I failed Mind Reading 101 in college and have not got access to the inside of Yang Rui’s head, it seems fairest to let him speak for himself via his Weibo updates, which I’ve translated below as fairly and directly as I can.
- Negotiations over dissident Chen Guangcheng offered rare glimpse into how China’s leadership operates, U.S. officials say – The Washington Post
The negotiation room at the Foreign Ministry compound in East Beijing was set up with two long tables, each with a microphone. Elaborate Chinese art hung on the walls.The Americans were greeted at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 29, by familiar faces from the ministry — chief among them Cui Tiankai, a diplomat they had dealt with countless times. But on either side of the Chinese diplomats were two men who did not introduce themselves and were not introduced by others.Not until days later, with an initial deal in sight, did the Americans learn that one of them was a representative of China’s Ministry of State Security — a powerful branch in charge of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. The other, the Americans later surmised, was from an unidentified branch of China’s intelligence apparatus.On the U.S. side were six State Department officials, including Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, who had been brought from Washington; legal adviser Harold Koh, who happened to be in the country for a conference; and the U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke.The Chinese officials — 10 in all — conferred periodically in quiet huddles, but in a show of discipline, almost none uttered a word to the Americans over the course of four days. Only Cui talked.
- CCTV current job vacancies CCTV News – CNTV English–Yang Rui is Hiring
News Editors – Dialogue
Dialogue is the flagship topical talk show on CCTV News, with lively studio debate focusing on international and domestic news, politics and current affairs.
- 北京晚报的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
and now the us embassy in beijing has a traffic accident problem.. a chauffeur claims his BMW was hit by a car w US embassy plates, will take a month to fix during which time he will lose most of his salary. The police say the driver of the car with diplomatic plates is at fault, the embassy told the chauffeur to sue them if he wanted compensation for lost wages
- Dashan Online 大山网宅
- State Council Commission Censors Own Website to Remove Reference to “Hostile Western Forces” -William Farris – Google+
The screenshots show that the web page was subsequently updated to remove the following paragraph:(5) Developments in the International Labor Movement Situation Are Creating New Challenges for SAC Mass Work at All LevelsPresently, there are new development trends in the international labor movement. Within the global scope labor-capital relations are complex and multi-faceted, the gap between rich and poor is growing, and every now and then there are major conflicts between labor and capital. Last year, there were repeated large scale strikes and marches in western countries. Greek labor organizations launched several large nation-wide strikes. The “November 30” strike in England was that nation’s larges workers’ movement in the last 32 years. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement spread quickly to sweep across America and had a deep influence. Western hostile forces are seizing this opportunity to take up the “rights defense” banner, and are scheming to incite China’s working masses to manufacture disturbances, and have a negative impact on the task of developing the masses.
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