When the White House created a petitioning website in 2011, it surely didn’t count on Barack Obama being asked to invade China, rule on the flavour of tofu and investigate a two-decade old Chinese poisoning case.
But that is exactly what has happened over the past week as Chinese people, motivated variously by a sense of justice, powerlessness or just plain humour, have flooded the White House “We the People” website. Continue reading »
What’s the connection between China, Christie’s, two bronze heads and the portfolio investor?
Quite a lot, actually. There’s a lesson for everyone doing business in China in the recent settlement of the long-running row between Beijing and the international auction house over the heads of a rabbit and a rat that once adorned the Emperor’s Summer Palace. Continue reading »
By Julie Zhu and Stefan Wagstyl
A Chinese local government official caught entertaining guests to a lavish meal has suffered a spectacular humiliation – thanks to president Xi Jinping’s austerity drive, the internet, and the fury of local people.
Zhang Aihua’s party was broken up by scores of people who invaded the party in an industrial park reception centre. They filmed the scene and watched as he knelt on a dining table and delivered a public apology. His weekend debacle was complete when the clip was distributed on the web (see below). Continue reading »
Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday, was more popular abroad than she was at home – and the emerging markets were no exception.
Beijing had a particularly soft spot for her after she agreed to hand back Hong Kong to China without much fuss under the 1984 Sino-British joint declaration.
So, it’s no surprise to see that the tributes to her in the Chinese official online media have been especially fulsome. But it’s still a touch ironic to see the champion of free markets lauded by the People’s Daily, the Communist party mouthpiece. Continue reading »
Is it party time again for Chinese distillers? It has been a rough few months for the makers of China’s fiery baijiu spirits. Their sales and stock prices slumped after Xi Jinping, the incoming president, railed against corruption and banned the boozy banquets loved by officials across the country.
But like a passed-out drinker getting a second wind, the distillers picked themselves off the floor in rousing fashion to end the week. The share prices of many of China’s biggest brands – Kweichou Moutai, Wuliangye and Jiugui – leaped 4-10 per cent over the last three days of the week, while the broader Chinese stock market fell 5 per cent, its worst week since mid-2011. Continue reading »
By Shujie Yao of Nottingham University
In less than two months since the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China has investigated five big cases of corruption involving high-level political leaders in Chongqing, Guangdong and Sichuan.
But simply launching investigations won’t be enough. China’s leaders must also reform their political, economic and social systems to root out the causes of corruption. Continue reading »
Here, unveiled on Thursday for all the world, are China’s new leaders, the seven members of the Communist Party of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, headed by Xi Jinping (top).
In the middle, left to right are: Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng. At the bottom: Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.
While they were welcomed by the audience in Beijing’s the Great Hall of the People, the market reaction was less than enthusiastic. Continue reading »
Is it China’s worst-kept secret? Or its cleverest bluff?
With less than 24 hours to go before the Chinese Communist party unveils its new leaders, a very detailed list of who they are and what jobs they will do has spread widely in political circles and on the internet in Chinese. Continue reading »
By Michal Meidan of Eurasia Group
At the end of the week, China’s new leaders will step out onto the stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in order of seniority. Their policy choices will have an impact that extends far beyond China’s borders and yet for now, no one knows who they are, and how they view China’s future.
Indeed, even though Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are virtually assured to assume the presidency and premiership, respectively, all the other positions are still open. The final makeup of the Politburo Standing Committee, and the order in which China’s new leaders will take the stage, will hold a number of clues regarding their ability, and appetite, to pursue economic and financial sector reform. Continue reading »
By Qu Hongbin of HSBC
As the west wobbles, all eyes are now on China to see what the country’s new leaders will do to stimulate the economy.
While we have little doubt that policy makers will gear up their monetary and fiscal easing, focusing on short-term stimulus misses a far more important trend – a swathe of co-ordinated reforms that will revolutionalise the country’s financial system over the next three to five years. Continue reading »
As America votes, Chinese official media and the country’s netizens have offered a wide range of views on events across the Pacific, but one aspect keeps cropping up – the money. Continue reading »
There was a time when experts furiously debated how to define the Beijing model of government and whether its lessons could be applied to other developing countries.
Reading through an official guide to the upcoming Communist party congress (aka the once-in-a-decade leadership transition), it struck me that, at least in its management of media, China has simply stolen a page from Sir Humphrey’s playbook. That is, it has mastered the art of how to say nothing of consequence in the most bureaucratic terms possible. Continue reading »
Next month, China is set to unveil the new membership of its highest governing body, the Politburo standing committee. The change in leadership will kick off at the 18th party congress on November 8, just two days after the US presidential election. But unlike the US, the leadership transition in Beijing has no opinion polls, debates or town hall meetings. Instead, the capital is gripped with rumours and speculation about who will be the next nine – or seven – leaders of the world’s second-largest economy. Continue reading »
By Guo Yu of Maplecroft
As China prepares for its once-in-a-decade leadership transition at the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party on November 8, the country faces a crucial set of domestic challenges.
The identities of most members of the new regime remain unknown and only vice president and president-in-waiting Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, the current first vice-premier, look set to stay in the politburo standing committee, the hub of political power. But despite the lack of transparency and the uncertainty surrounding the new leadership, radical domestic policy changes are unlikely. Continue reading »
Records of properties owned by Cai Bin and his wife (source: China Daily)
Chinese bloggers have scored another success in their campaign to catch out officials living beyond their means.
Cai Bin, who earns around Rmb10,000 ($1,600) a month from his job with the Guangzhou Municipal Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau, has been suspended after he and his wife were discovered to own 21 properties – worth an estimated Rmb40m. Continue reading »