After some pretty broad attempts to connect China and Gangnam Style, I have an indisputable relationship: Ai Weiwei has come out with his own cover of the hit song and video. Pretty bad, but, hey, its Mr. Ai, and the significance of handcuffs is obvious, if overdone.
Fortunately, Mr. Ai is an extraordinary visual artist–and heroic dissident, ’cause he sure can’t dance
The subtle dropping of references to late Chinese leader Mao Zedong from two policy statements over the last few weeks serves as one of the most intriguing hints yet that the ruling Communist party is planning to move in the direction of reform.
What is means has drawn mixed views. This from the Vancouver Sun:
“It’s very significant,” Zheng Yongnian, the director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, said of the removal of a reference to Mao Zedong thought and the implications of that for the direction leaders were taking.
In addition to political reforms, the public has also directed its attention to the amendment of the Party constitution at the upcoming Congress.
A Xinhua report on a Politburo meeting on Monday, during which Party leaders discussed a draft amendment to the Party Constitution and a draft report to the 18th National Congress, didn’t mention the words “Mao Zedong thought” and “Marxism-Leninism,” leading to speculation by Western media that the amendment would drop the wording in the Party constitution, which signals the CPC’s intent on reform.
However, Zhang [Xixian, a professor with the Party School] refuted such speculation as groundless, saying that it was an over-interpretation.
Over-interpretation or not, some interesting shifts may be taking place. Here’s NDTV’s take on the issue:
The Wall Street Journal’s ChinaRealTimeReport has a handy tool, the ‘China Econtracker.’ You can see graphs on key economic factors for one year or over time, by month or by year. As a bonus, you get the ChinaRealTimeTwitter feed.
Excellent analysis by Damien Ma of the Eurasia Group, interviewed by Foreign Affairs, about:
‘…China’s political transition, economic slowdown, and social inequality. Ma unpacks U.S.-Chinese relations, the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Island dispute, and the potential economic consequences of the Chinese political handover.’
If you thought it’s just Obama-Romney and Biden-Ryan who disagree about everything this election season, have a look at the debate between Ken Lieberthal of Brookings and Gordon Chang of The Coming Collapse of China fame.
During the presidential debate at Hofstra University, Mitt Romney called President Obama’s trade policy weak and China ‘a currency manipulator.’ Kenneth Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution and Forbes.com’s Gordon Chang talk with Jeffrey Brown about contrasting approaches to U.S.-China geopolitical issues and trade relations.
The Wenzhou collision and the downfall of Liu Zhijun have come to symbolize some of the essential risks facing the Communist Party. The crash struck at the middle-class men and women who have accepted the grand bargain of modern Chinese politics in the era after Socialism: allow the Party to reign unchallenged as long as it is reasonably competent. The crash violated the deal, and, for many, it became what Hurricane Katrina was to Americans: the iconic failure of government performance.
Mr. Osnos went on to discuss a dazzling series of issues in about 23 minutes: Bo Xilai, the leadership transition, the slowing economy, U.S.-China relations, and more. I am especially impressed at how he took on each of these complicated issues and give a quick, succinct, and very insightful answer. Wish I could do that. Well worth watching.
Well, at 7.4%, China’s Q3 GDP could have been worse–and it could have better, as I had predicted. (Wang Tao of UBS contends that the Bureau of Statistics added wrong this quarter–actual Q3 growth: 7.6%). Still one quarter to go.
Dariusz Kowalczyk, Credit Agricole: Clearly, concerns over continued slowdown can now be put to rest. The data is mostly above consensus and confirms that growth is picking up and that China is not at risk of hard landing.
Li-Gang Liu and Hao Zhou, ANZ: The central government has approved as much as 7 trillion yuan for infrastructure investments since May. We believe the implementation of these investment projects will accelerate after the leadership change.
Alistair Thornton, IHS Global Insight: The key issue to watch is, unsurprisingly, the More
When billionaire forestry mogul Long Liyuan died suddenly in December 2011, many suspected foul play. Long had been sharing a dish of slow-boiled cat meat stew, a southern delicacy, when he began feeling dizzy and sick, on admittance to hospital he went into cardiac arrest and died. Now a Guangdong agricultural official has confessed to poisoning Long.
Huang Gang was vice director of the Guangdong Agriculture Department, he took 2.54 million RMB from Long over the period 2009 to 2011, claiming the money was needed to help Long get approval to develop a piece of woodland. In actual fact, Huang gambled all the money away. Under pressure to pay Long back, he decided to kill the billionaire by poisoning his soup.
For a long time it’s felt as though Chinese were spending a lot of money overseas. But, was it just feeling, or was this really happening? The Wall Street Journal, in ‘In Reversal, Cash Leaks Out of China’, follows China’s money trail:
‘A Wall Street Journal analysis of that data suggests that in the 12 months through September, about $225 billion flowed out of China, equivalent to about 3% of the nation’s economic output last year.’
Here’s a chart showing how the WSJ figured this:
The WSJ supplemented its article with a good video:
Malcolm Riddell is president of RiddellTseng, a boutique investment bank and advisory firm, advises leading international companies, especially in financial services and real estate, on business, investment and joint ventures in China, and on winning financing from Chinese investors and lenders.... Read MoreMalcolm Riddell's LinkedIn Profile
RiddellTseng, a boutique investment bank and advisory firm, advises leading international companies, especially in financial services and real estate, on business, investment and joint ventures in China, and on winning financing from Chinese investors and lenders.... Read MoreRiddellTseng's LinkedIn Profile