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2nd of April 2011


The Lion Awakes 

Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China









People's Daily




China prosecutes 16 officials in pork scandal

Chinese prosecutors have placed official charges against 16 officials for dereliction of duty, failing to ferret out and block contaminated pork produce in central Henan, the country's most populous province.

The scandal, having antagonized tens of thousands of consumers throughout China, involves the Jiyuan Shuanghui Food Co Ltd, headquartered in the province, producing and selling on the markets pork tainted with clenbuterol, a chemical addictive detrimental to human health.


Crises open doors for Sino-Japan cooperation

China and Japan should explore opportunities for cooperation in the massive reconstruction job Japan faces in the aftermath of its triple disasters, political and opinion leaders from both countries said on Friday.

Kenichi Matsumoto, special adviser to Japan's cabinet, said Japan will enter an era of reconstruction following the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, deadly tsunami and Fukushima nuclear crisis.

"The reconstruction will be unprecedented in Japan's history We hope we will get proper suggestions from the Chinese people," Matsumoto said on Friday after a preparatory conference for the Beijing-Tokyo Forum.


China to attract more overseas talents: senior official

China will make more efforts to attract specialized talents from both home and abroad and bring these new talents into full play, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said.


49 Chinese cities miss deadline for price targets

China will likely face a long and tough battle to curb soaring property prices, especially since most local governments failed to establish strong price control targets by a deadline set for the end of March, analysts said.

On Jan 26, the State Council, China's Cabinet, put into effect limits on the prices of properties and began requiring local authorities to set targets to control new home prices this year. Those policies and others were meant to cool down the country's overheated property market.



China needs to speed up development of marine economy: premier

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday said China should explore and utilize ocean resources scientifically and quicken the development of the marine economy.

This would step up transformation of the nation's economic growth pattern, and further boost the economic development in the eastern regions in the country, the premier said.



Chinese, U.S. steel firms open joint venture

Jinhuan steel, a leading private steel manufacturing company based in China's Hebei province, and Rigid Building Systems, a Houston-based steel building company, officially opened their joint-venture Rigid Global Buildings Friday.

Jinhuan Steel invested about 11 million U.S. dollars in Rigid Building Systems and now holds 51 percent of the shares of Rigid Global Buildings, and the two owners of Rigid Building Systems, hold 12 percent of the joint venture each, with the remaining 25 percent of shares being held by Citibank, said Liu Baozhong, president of Jinhuan Steel.


Advisable, China reset relations with Mideast

By Li Hongmei

The Western country have formed a popular perception that the Islam states of the currently unrest Middle East play an indescribable but indispensable role in deciding the rise or fall of any world power. Further, in the current context that the international system is in the phase of transformation, the significance of the Middle East "plate" looms large, geopolitically, economically and militarily. In addition, the region not only boasts abundant oil and gas reserves but has a strong and unique appeal in terms of culture and civilization. The Middle East, hence, could somewhat contain and block the extension of a power's comprehensive strength.

In what way a power, or a rising power like China, should do to deal with the strategically critical "plate"----flexing muscles for invasion or intervention, or treating each other at equal footing, seeking mutual respect and win-win----will undoubtedly determine life or death of any power's Mideast strategies.


Hukou - longest stopgap policy in China

By Li Hong

The discriminative home-buying policy, charted by Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities earlier this year, which permits permanent urban residents to buy two homes, but non-permanent migrant workers to purchase only one, again sheds light on a draconian systematic divide of Chinese people – the "Hukou", or residence registration regime -- a left-over from Chairman Mao Zedong's era.


Artificial beach debuts in Shanghai

A staff member opens a beach umbrella at the artificial beach along the Huangpu River, Shanghai on March 31. A golden artificial beach formally opened in the Bund district of Shanghai recently, allowing residents and tourists to sunbathe near the Huangpu River. It was reported that the artificial beach is one part of the ongoing renovation of the Bund. Construction of the second stage of the artificial beach will begin in the near future.


Flag-raising ceremony marks 3rd Serfs Emancipation Day in Lhasa

A national flag-raising ceremony is held at the Potala Palace Square in Lhasa, Tibet on March 28, 2011. More than 3,000 people participated in a national flag-raising ceremony on Monday to mark the third Serfs Emancipation Day. On March 28, 1959, China's central government announced it would dissolve the aristocratic local government of Tibet and replace it with a preparatory committee for establishing the Tibet Autonomous Region, putting an end to serfdom, and abolishing the hierarchal system characterized by theocracy with the Dalai Lama as the core of the leadership.

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China Daily


Reserve currency status has long-term costs: PBOC chief

BEIJING - Issuing a global reserve currency gives countries some benefits in the short term, but this special status may harm their long-term economic development, China's central bank chief said in a statement on Friday.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), said that the priority in reforming the international monetary system was to ensure it was stable, benefiting all sides.

The statement was posted on the central bank's website following the conclusion of meeting of the Group of 20 leading economies on Thursday, where countries edged toward a consensus about according China's yuan greater international profile.



China, Turkey carve joint path

BEIJING - As another economy on the fast track, Turkey is looking for more economic and political cooperation with China, Turkey's deputy prime minister said on Friday in Beijing.

"We hope that trade settlements can be conducted using our currencies - China's yuan and Turkey's lira," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said in an exclusive interview with China Daily. Babacan is on an official visit to China until Sunday.

Babacan attended a G20 seminar on Thursday in Nanjing, where he talked with Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.


Crises open doors for Sino-Japan cooperation

Reconstruction to be major topic of discussion at Beijing-Tokyo Forum

BEIJING / TOKYO - China and Japan should explore opportunities for cooperation in the massive reconstruction job Japan faces in the aftermath of its triple disasters, political and opinion leaders from both countries said on Friday.

Kenichi Matsumoto, special adviser to Japan's cabinet, said Japan will enter an era of reconstruction following the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, deadly tsunami and Fukushima nuclear crisis.


Cross-border renminbi trade increases in 2010

BEIJING - China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange said Friday that the country saw a rapid growth in cross-border renminbi trade settlements last year as more Chinese and foreign-funded companies chose to pay and be paid in renminbi, the Chinese currency.

The total cross-border renminbi transactions hit $58.7 billion in 2010, 13 times the amount of one year earlier. The increase is attributed to China's continued efforts to make the currency more international, the country's foreign-exchange regulator announced in its 2010 China international payments report.



PMI rise indicates more growth

Expansion looks set to continue as index rises to 53.4 in March

BEIJING - The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) increased to 53.4 in March from 52.2 in February.

The official increase was shadowed by a PMI report from HSBC released on Friday, which rose slightly to 51.8 in March. The figures indicate that the world's second-largest economy may continue to expand at a rapid pace this year, and avoid the risk of a "hard landing", analysts said.



Shanghai launches prosperity index

SHANGHAI - Shanghai on Friday signed an agreement to launch the city's first financial prosperity index. The agreement underscores the city's determination to become an international financial center by reflecting the development of, and problems with, its financial sector.

The index, which will be released by the Shanghai Financial Association and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, will be based on questionnaire replies and statistical analysis.

It will track six aspects of the city's financial industry, including markets, institutions, innovation and environment.


Beijing looks to control population

BEIJING - Expecting to see the number of people living in Beijing increase by about half a million people a year for the next 10 years, city authorities are under pressure to bring the ever-expanding population in the capital under control.

Beijing saw its population increase by about 520,000 people a year from 2006 to 2010, a trend that is expected to continue until 2020, Ding Xiangyang, vice-mayor of Beijing, has said.

Such rapid population growth has strained the city's capacity to provide public services and social welfare. The municipal government now considers dealing with the population increase to be one of its central tasks in the next five years, Ding was quoted as saying on Thursday by the Beijing News.


Mass disturbance over Yunnan dam

BEIJING - More than 2,000 residents in a county in Southwest China disrupted local traffic for five straight days until Tuesday.

The residents participating in the country's first mass disturbance this year were protesting against compensation plans for requisition of their homes and land due to the construction of a dam, local authorities said on Thursday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, all the protesters, mostly villagers from rural areas, had dispersed and social order had been restored in Suijiang county of Southwest China's Yunnan province, said the county government in a statement published on Thursday.


100 million in poverty by new standard

BEIJING - The number of Chinese living in poverty is expected to reach 100 million if the country decides to consider people who earn up to 1,500 yuan ($229) a year as being poor, a senior poverty alleviation official has said.

To now be deemed impoverished, a person must make less than 1,196 yuan a year.


Poor inland region to hike minimum pay by 25%

YINCHUAN - Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region will increase its minimum wages, currently the lowest in the country, by 24.9 percent on average starting April.


Death sentence upheld for former deputy mayor

NANJING- The Higher People's Court of east China's Jiangsu Province on Thursday handed down a final verdict in which the court upheld a death sentence for Jiang Renjie, formerly deputy mayor of Suzhou City of the province.

The Higher People's Court of Jiangsu heard that between the first half of 2001 to that of 2004, Jiang took the advantage of serving as deputy mayor of Suzhou City and being tasked with the responsibilities for urban construction, planning and real estate development to seek benefits on behalf of others, and in return he took bribes including 108.57 million yuan (about $16.6 million) and $4,000 in cash from property developers.

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Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), Anhui province



Witness of Tibet Photography Contest and Exhibit

2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet, and the magazine China's Tibet and Federation of Literary and Art Circles of Tibet Autonomous Region are jointly holding a "Witness of Tibet, 1950-2010" photography contest. In addition to prizes, all winning works will be exhibited in Beijing and Lhasa in May 2011.

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CCTV China, Germany call for resolution in Libya VIDEO

Germany's Vice Chancellor and foreign minister Guido Westerwelle is continuing his three day visit to China, where he has talked to senior leaders about the ongoing crisis in Libya.

Both China and Germany have called for a diplomatic and political solution, instead of military action to end the conflict in Libya.

Both countries abstained in a UN Security Council vote, that authorized the establishment of a no-fly zone.

Earlier on Friday, Westerweller co-chaired the first bilateral ministerial-level strategic dialogue with Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi.

China and Germany have held four strategic dialogues at the vice-minister level since 2006. Both countries agreed in 2010 to upgrade the dialogue to the ministerial level.


CCTV Studio interview: How will China build trust VIDEO

For more analysis into the national defense white paper, we are joined in our studio by Major General Zhu Chenghu, a Professor at the Defense Affairs Institute of the PLA National Defense University.

Q1: The white paper states that China's annual defense expenditure has been kept at a reasonable level, and is in line with its economic development. But some countries are skeptical about the transparency of China's defense budget, and see China's military development as a threat. What's your view on this?

Q2: As China's economy and military power gets stronger, it is developing a growing assertion over its sovereignty claims. But this is seen by some countries as a growing threat to China's neighbors. Do you think China is taking a more active role in defending its territorial sovereignty? And how does China build trust with its neighboring countries under such circumstances?

Q3. In the white paper, China has mentioned for the first time expanding military exchanges between the Chinese Mainland and Taiwan, and the possibility of setting up a cross-strait military security mechanism. Is the Chinese Mainland gradually changing its military strategy towards Taiwan as the cross-strait relationship continues to improve?


CCTV Foreign militaries comment on PLA dev't VIDEO

With the release of China’s Defense White Paper, the country’s modernization and its new policies in military development are drawing much attention worldwide.

On Thursday, more than 100 military attaches from 80 countries attended an introduction of the paper arranged by the Ministry of National Defense.

Briefing foreign military attaches on China's National Defense policy is a routine practice of the Ministry. And a key part is clearing up doubts.

Thosmas Siegel, German Deputy Military AttachÉ, said, "The white paper says there are three stages for military development. And by 2010 you finish the first stage. How do you evaluate the situation now? ”


CCTV Tele interview: How to improve int'l monetary system? VIDEO

For more insight, we're joined on the phone by Francoise Nicolas. He's the Director of Center Asia at the French Institute of International Relations.

1) Francoise... there's a lot of talk about reforming the global monetary system. How can it be improved, to provide a more solid foundation for the global economy?

2) The dollar's dominance has been blamed by some, for financial turmoil in the past. Do you agree?

3) Seminar participants have called for a broader basket of currencies to underpin the IMF's international reserve assets... that could include currencies of emerging economies like China's yuan. What's your take on that?

4) And just briefly, can you outline what you think will add uncertainty to the global economic recovery this year?


CCTV Hu: China disapproves of use of force in int'l relations VIDEO

President Hu Jintao has met with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

President Hu says the Sino-French relationship has made great progress during the past year, adding that both sides should continue to enhance cooperation in the economy, astronomy and new energy, and particularly in nuclear power safety.

The situation in Libya was also discussed. President Hu said China maintains that Libya's sovereignty, independence, unification and territorial integrity should be respected, adding that China always disapproves of the use of force in international relations.

Meanwhile, Sarkozy stated he looks forward to exchanging views with President Hu concerning the international monetary system reforms at the G20 Summit in November.


CCTV China enacts new smoking ban VIDEO

hina has enacted a new rule to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces. The new rule will take effect on May 1 and has been added to the revised regulations on health management in public places from the country's Ministry of Health.

The revised regulations also stipulate that business owners with public places should put up non-smoking signs, carry out promotional activities to warn people of the danger of smoking and dispatch personnel to dissuade smokers.

Furthermore, the smoking area in outdoor locations should not occupy people's paths and cigarette vending machines should be excluded from public places. However, the new rule does not list any penalty provisions for violators, which arouses doubts over how the new legislation will be implemented.


Young minds remodel future style

The ongoing China Fashion Week in Beijing is providing a platform for new comers and new ideas. This season, the fashion fiesta is holding seven professional competitions. Our reporter Zhang Song went to the one presented by young fashion designers from China and the United States.

Zhang Song, Beijing said "I'm here at the 798 contemporary art zone in Beijing -- famous for presenting new ideas. And now it's offering a fitting backdrop for the semiannual China Fashion Week. Young designers from China and abroad won't miss the opportunity to interpret the style of future."







CCTV China makes first voluntary carbon deal VIDEO

China, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, is making new environmental protection commitments, now highlighted by the first voluntary carbon credit purchase in Beijing. Tuesday's buy falls under the Panda Standard, which is the country's carbon credit evaluation and calculation mechanism.

The world's fastest growing economy is looking to move into one of the globe's hottest new financial markets: carbon trading.

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CCTV Tibet chairman delivers speech on 52nd anniversary of emancipation VIDEO

Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the emancipation of millions of Serfs in Tibet. On Sunday, the region's chairman delivered a speech to the Tibetan people.

Padma Choling, Chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region, said, "The democratic reform has freed millions of serfs in the autonomous region. Since then, the Tibet Autonomous Region has followed a road from darkness to brightness.

It is developing from poverty to affluence. It is a period that has seen the region become more open. The people of the Tibet Autonomous Region should remember this day!"


Studio interview: Changes brought by serf emancipation

And for more discussion on the changes brought about by serf emancipation, we're now joined in the studio by Mr. Da Wa Tse Ring, from the China Tibetology Research Center. Welcome ...

Q1: As a Tibetan, can you tell us about the changes serf emancipation has brought to the Autonomous Region?

Q2: Some experts and institutions in the West have a different perception about the current conditions and development strategy in the Autonomous Region. Why is this? And what can be done to better promote what is really happening in Tibet?


CCTV Destinies of two generations in Tibet VIDEO

Kesong village in the Shannan area of the Tibet Autonomous Region was the first village in Tibet to implement democratic reforms 50 years ago. Our reporter Liu Ying has visited a Tibetan family living in the Kesong village and tells us their story.

37-year-old Nima Zhuoga is an expert of growing vegetables in the Kesong village. She only had three years of primary school education, but with the help of the local Women's Federation, Nima Zhuoga was offered training and mastered the techniques for growing vegetables. And she has soon turned the knowledge into a fortune.

Nima Zhuoga, Kesong Villager, said, "Our family's life has improved significantly since 2004. Now, besides growing wild oat and greenhouse vegetables, we also raise livestock. Last year, we bought a Toyota offroad vehicle with credit from the bank to engage in tourist business. We earned a total net income of 100 thousand yuan last year."


Tibet's great achievements belie false hoopla

SAPPORO, Japan, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Tibet has witnessed "great" achievements in its socioeconomic and cultural development in recent decades, advances that powerfully refute distorted reports by some Western media, says a senior Chinese professor.

Recalling his visit to the autonomous region about half a year ago, Dr. Zhu Jianrong, head of the Society of Chinese Professors in Japan, told Xinhua in a recent interview that he was deeply impressed by Tibet's advancements in economy, social welfare, culture, education and many other fields.

He said that in numerous talks with local lamas, students, and other residents, he and his eight fellow travellers were all convinced that significant improvements had been made to the living conditions across the elevated region, which mostly lies on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, or "the roof of the world."

Local Tibetans told them that thanks to the central government's guidance and support, Tibet's development has been gaining momentum since the 1959 initiation of democratic reform in Tibet, particularly since the 1978 launching of China's reform and opening-up drive, said Zhu, a professor of humanities at Toyo Gakuen University.

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This is Tibet - TV Series

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Archive of Stories






Global Times

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The UK taught the world how to produce in the 19th century, the US showed the world how to consume in the 20th century, and China needs to demonstrate how to develop in a sustainable way in the 21st century.



Backlash for West's cocky Libya gamble

The West has hailed the defections of Libya's foreign minister along with other senior officials as being a body blow to the embattled regime, casting the image of Gaddafi as being abandoned by his allies and more isolated by the day.

However, many Western media are pointing out that the chance for a quick resolution to the Libyan civil war from inside is looking tricky. The departure of his inner clique has painted Gaddafi into a corner, and the window for political negations is fast closing.

On Thursday, Gaddafi once again appealed for a cease-fire but vowed to "fight until the last drop of his blood." This defiant stance seems to be the only genuine card Gaddafi feels he has left to play.

Fact can often be a far crueler mistress than fiction. Loyalists and rebels, with their polar allegiances to Gaddafi and to the West, have stabbed at each other. When seeing the rebels losing ground, the West took the field, encouraging the rebels to topple the regime.

It is irresponsible for the West to abandon all political solutions but to adopt a life-and-death attitude toward the Libyan people. The West is waging a war by proxy, uncaring about the loss of civilian lives.

Libya has fallen under the influence of political conflict, marching in lockstep to the beat of Western drums. Western media spare no effort to paint Gaddafi as a consummate villain. Treacherous reports, including some barely more than rumors, are reported and spread rapidly. The only place for Gaddafi to flex his muscles is on the battlefield.

 Despite being blessed by oil and awash with subsequent riches, the Middle East remains politically entrenched. As a result, its nations lack the experience to deal with drastic social changes. The disturbance in Libya has turned into a war, threatening to do harm to the whole region.

When observing the situation, outsiders usually have a clearer mind than the Libyans themselves. The Allies have sacrificed the interests of local people to secure their share of the loot, both politically and economically.

For example, Robert Kaplan, a senior fellow at the Center for New American Security, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week that, from the US' standpoint, the spread of democracy in the Middle East was second to the power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

One thing is for certain, the street battles seen across Libya are nobody's first choice. This leads to heightened body counts and prolonged conflict. The West will find out soon: Following such a policy can only result in sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind.


UN resolution legality needs a gatekeeper

On March 29, Gaddafi's army recaptured two cities. This new twist to the Libyan military situation has heaped political embarrassment on the West. It is now time to prevent the West from further abusing Security Council Resolution No. 1973.

The Western powers have acted beyond the resolution. Although the leaders of the US, Britain and France have said their military actions are only aimed at establishing a no-fly zone, the Western air strikes have directly attacked Libyan government forces and provided air support for the opposition. They have jointly demanded Gaddafi to step down immediately, which has nothing to do with Security Council resolutions.

In the absence of China, Russia, the African Union and most members of the Arab League, the London conference centered around the political landscape of the "post-Gaddafi era." This countermands the authority of the United Nations and goes against the Western declaration of "letting Libyan people determine by themselves."

The intensification of Western direct military intervention could force Gaddafi to step down soon. But the West has two obstacles: the Security Council resolution does not grant them such authority and they have to consider public opinion. The greater the opposition of global opinion, the more hesitant the West will be.

China should unite with Russia in requiring the US, Britain and France to respect Security Council resolutions.


China needs flexible diplomacy in Mideast

London held an international meeting yesterday to map out what a post-Gaddafi Libya might look like. The US is looking to step back, but as long as its stalwart allies in the UK and France insist on military action, it will not let them stand alone.

Among the international powers, China is relatively detached from the conflict. To maintain and expand China's diplomatic initiative on the Libyan issue will better aid China in dealing with the Middle East.

As long as its society is not infected by the chaos sweeping the Middle East, China possesses a strong foundation for strategic initiative. The past two months have proven that the Chinese public desires stability and remains cool-headed toward the Middle East revolution. This enables China to consider its Middle East policy based on regional geopolitics and China's global interests.

China should set out to contact the Libyan opposition forces in time. We should neither rush to recognize them, nor continue seeing them as "rebels." We should also maintain contact with Gaddafi, too. This is real detachment in diplomacy.


Mending ties main priority for Japan

Japan vowed to use diplomacy to tackle "the biggest national crisis in the postwar period" in an annual report on its foreign relations released on Friday.

The topics included repairing ties with China after the ship collision off the Diaoyu Islands last year and strengthening its traditional alliance with the US.


Three outspoken academics

Zhang Ming

Position: Professor, political sciences, Renmin University

Born: 1957

He Weifang

Position: Law professor, Peking University

Born: 1960

Chen Danqing

Position: Painter

Born: 1953



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A 30 Minute Current Affairs Programme on CCTV - 9 (In English) where current issues are discussed by experts from China and Internationally:




Libya Reports:

Dialogue 11/03/23 Air strikes continue in libya

Dialogue 11/03/22 Disputes over Libya
Dialogue 11/03/21 Libya faces a divided UN
Dialogue 11/03/20 International military intervention against Libya

Dialogue 11/03/19 Enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya







International News Sources

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The Wall Street Journal

China Meeting Highlights Currency Conflict

NANJING, China—Top officials at a meeting of the world's major developed and emerging economies offered starkly different views on exchange rates and other elements of the international monetary system, underlining the challenges facing efforts to find a new global financial architecture.

Highlighting the tensions at the one-day meeting of Group of 20 officials here, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner emphasized the importance of flexible exchange rates in prepared remarks that were a thinly veiled criticism of China's currency policy—which Beijing had insisted shouldn't be discussed at the meeting.

Participants voiced agreement that the International Monetary Fund's role should be larger, ...


China Banks Begin Trading Onshore Yuan Options

SHANGHAI—China's first onshore yuan foreign-exchange options made a muted debut in the country's opaque and tightly regulated market Friday, after Beijing gave its approval for the long-awaited derivatives product that will offer businesses another hedging tool as China relaxes restrictions on its currency.

Full Text: Geithner’s Remarks at G-20 Currency Conference

Here is the official Treasury Department transcript of remarks U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was scheduled to deliver Friday at the Group of 20 nations seminar in Nanjing on the international monetary system:



G-20 Officials Differ Over Monetary Goals

NANJING, China—Top officials at a meeting of the world's major developed and emerging economies offered starkly different views on exchange rates and other elements of the international monetary system, underlining the challenges facing efforts to find a new global financial architecture.


Western Union Could Double China Agent Locations

BEIJING—Western Union Co. could more than double its number of agent locations in China and also hopes to offer domestic payment services, expanding from the cross-border payment services it currently offers in the country, the company's chief executive said Thursday.

China March PMIs Rise, Inflation Remains High

BEIJING—Growth in China's manufacturing activity rebounded in March, while inflation pressures stayed high even though the rate of price rises eased, according to two surveys issued Friday.



Eight Questions: Susan Shirk, ‘Changing Media, Changing China’

The effort to make sense of what’s happening in Chinese media is one of the most fascinating, but also confusing and exhausting, jobs of the China watcher. That job was recently been made easier with the publication of “Changing Media, Changing China,” a collection of essays from Oxford University Press, dog-eared copies of which grace multiple desks inside The Wall Street Journal’s Beijing bureau.





Tiger Mom…Meet Panda Dad

By Alan Paul

I have watched the uproar over the Tiger Mom debate with growing annoyance that one simple question remains unasked: Where are the dads?

Eight Questions: Alan Paul, ‘Big in China’

Mr. Paul has compiled the experiences documented in his column into a book, “Big in China,” released by Harper Collins last week. China Real Time caught up with him by email and asked him eight questions about the book, the band and how he’s dealt with going back to the U.S. ...


Montecito Acquires Film Rights to 'Big In China' (Exclusive)

Journalist Alan Paul's new memoir about his unlikely adventures in Beijing is being developed with an eye for Ivan Reitman to direct.

Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock’s Montecito Pictures has acquired the film rights to journalist Alan Paul’s new memoir Big in China: My Unlikely Adventure Raising a Family, Playing the Blues and Reinventing Myself in Beijing.
Big in China is being developed with an eye for Reitman to direct. Project is out to writers.


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The New York Times

Memoir (or Is It?) of Sex and Opium

HONG KONG — There are things we know about Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, 2nd Baronet, of England: He was one of few Europeans to live among the Chinese in the early 20th century, and his writings greatly influenced the way the West saw Peking. Then there are fuzzier facts, like his claim that he had affairs with both Oscar Wilde and the Empress Dowager Cixi.

The sexually explicit “Décadence Mandchoue,” written in 1943, when Backhouse was 70 and dying, recounts his time as a young man as he explored Peking’s gay haunts and what he described as wanton practices within the Imperial Court.


Sir Edmund Backhouse from 1943



Project Syndicate

The Sources of Chinese Conduct
Yan Xuetong

BEIJING – Six decades ago, the American diplomat George Kennan wrote an article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” that galvanized American and world opinion, which soon hardened into the rigid postures of the Cold War. Today, given China’s decisive influence on the global economy, and its increasing ability to project military power, understanding the sources of Chinese conduct has become a central issue in international relations. Indeed, better understanding of China’s foreign policy motivations may help prevent relations between China and the United States from hardening into rigid and antagonistic postures.



Caixin Online

CICC: Housing Price Controls Weaker Than Expected

CICC said measures to address the overheated real estate market through price caps do not look promising

(Beijing) -- Recent housing price caps set by local governments have fallen short of market expectations, and may further fan speculation over price increases, according to China International Capital Corp (CICC).


Changing Profit Landscape for Property Sector

A cooling residential market is forcing property developers to consider subsidized housing and commercial projects

The good old days of easy money appear to be fading fast for real estate developers in China now that the government has implemented new-home purchase limits and credit lines are tightening.



First Comes Love, Then Comes the Sperm Bank

Last year, 95 percent of donors to the Guangdong Sperm Bank, one of five facilities of its kind in China, were students in nearby universities. The rise in sperm donations comes at time when subsidies have been dramatically increased – as well as social attitudes to the practice. Students that donate the maximum amount of times, as some have done, receive 3,000 yuan per year, equivalent to half a semester's tuition. Reasons provided by donors range from social responsibility to a part-time job that pays for new hi-tech gadgets.


Asia Times Online

Tripoli, the new Troy
By Pepe Escobar

Muammar Gaddafi is "winning" like the king of besieged Troy did for 10 years. The problem with the Odyssey Dawn script is that a rebel Ulysses or a Helen is nowhere to be found and a cast of characters of infiltrated special forces including Central Intelligence Agency covert ops will be key. Many a Libyan will eventually have to acknowledge it's best to beware of Westerners bearing gifts.


Endgame: Divide, rule and get the oil
By Pepe Escobar

Western moral uprightness on Libya to coalition Gulf countries goes something like this: If you sell us a lot of oil, buy our weapons, and smash al-Qaeda, that's fine; you may even kill your own people, provided it's dozens, not thousands. That's how Saudi Arabia can get away with anything. The forces of counter-revolution are now joined at the hip with the West.


Syrian sauce for the Chinese gander
By Peter Lee

The official Chinese mood over Libya is shaped by the speed with which a regime was stripped of legitimacy and exposed to military intervention, but whether it will shake the convictions of China's interventionist liberal hawks is another matter. The darkening fate of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, which models itself on China, is altogether more pertinent to Beijing's yearning for stability.

The issue in Libya is the astounding ease with which a regime that found itself at cross-purposes with the United States was unilaterally stripped of its legitimacy and exposed to military intervention through aggressive and creative interpretation of an ambiguous UN resolution - in a mere three days.

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 See Over for the 1st of April 2011






Articles of interest from the week's news

Insights into China's Society & Cutlure



Monkey finds the road to redemption

Monkey, or Journey to the West, is a fictional account of the legendary pilgrimage of Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) monk Xuanzang to India, to obtain Buddhist scriptures.

Inspired by Bodhisattva Guan Yin, his four disciples - Sun Wukong (Monkey), Zhu Bajie (Pigsy), Sha Wujing (Sandy), and the dragon-prince-turned white horse - protect him along the way, to atone for their past sins.

The intelligent and mischievous Monkey was born from a stone. He learns the 72 transformations, the secret of immortality, and earns himself the title "Great Sage Equal to Heaven". His hubris leads to his rebellion against Heaven and Buddha traps him under a mountain for 500 years.




Age of restoration for ancestral temples

Heritage buildings reflect clan history, Zhang Yuchen reports from Hunan.

Song Huaiying feels content. His family's ancestral temple, after lying in ruins for 40 years, has been restored, enhancing clan unity and spiritual awareness.

The Song temple in Dianhua village fell victim to marauders during the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976). Others met a similar fate or were displaced by land reform starting in the early 1950s. Now, hereditary buildings are rapidly appearing in the countryside.

Song Huaiying poses in front of the Song temple that he and his fellow villagers rebuilt.


Inside the Lu family's ancestral hall in Jinshan village, Rucheng.


Tibet through the Lenses-Potala Palace

The first part of the series is fully packed with pictures of Tibet's landmark structure—Potala Palace. The photos taken by three photographers, who are each connected with Tibet in their own way, capture the centuries-old world heritage in different moods and weather conditions.


China Green - VIDEO

Feature: Fate of Old Beijing

In the face of China’s rapid modernization, the world’s most populous country is struggling to preserve its cultural heritage, and nowhere is this more visible than in the ancient alleyways and courtyards of Beijing.

Once a ubiquitous feature of Beijing, the hutongs are more than simply housing; they are actually a way of life. Entire families live in single, crowded courtyards, often with no bathrooms. Yet despite the lack of modern amenities, the communal aspect to life within the hutongs means that few want to leave – even as their neighbourhoods are being demolished and redeveloped. UNESCO estimates that more than 88 percent of the city’s old residential quarters are already gone, most torn down in the last three decades.

In a three-part series, filmmakers Jonah Kessel and Kit Gillet explore the vanishing world of Beijing’s hutongs, the realities of life within the narrow streets, and the future for these culturally-irreplaceable areas of China’s capital.


Calligraphy on a grand scale

Artist Wang Dongling creates calligraphy on a gigantic piece of traditional Chinese paper on Tuesday at a gymnasium at China Academy of Art’s Hangzhou campus in Zhejiang province. The new piece, called Xinjing or Heart Sutra, is 7.3 meters high and 17 meters wide. The piece will be put on show in Hangzhou in October.



China Fashion Week

A model presents a creation for the 2011 Aimer Swimwear Collection during China Fashion Week in Beijing.



Bikini fever at China Fashion Week - VIDEO

A bikini show presented by Beijing Aimer Lingerie was the climax of China Fashion Week at D-Park Beijing House in the 798 Art District


Love hurts as wedding costs soar

Shanghai - Weddings are not only about love; they're also about money.

To celebrate this important event in their lives, members of the post-80s generation in Shanghai are facing huge costs, which are rivaling those in the United States and Europe, a recent survey has revealed.

See Kaixin's - Marriage in China - Ancient & Modern


Chinese kites - VIDEO

Kites were first used about 2,800 years ago in China. In the past, kites were used in the military to make a signal and test the wind. With the development of papermaking, people began using paper for the sails, and kite flying has been a popular outdoor game ever since.

Classic kites use bamboo for the spars and paper or silk for the sails. Then they're designed with many different shapes and forms, which represent the pursuit of happiness, longevity, joy and good luck. Many craftsmen believe the common materials in one's life best express a person's best wishes for a better life.

It's good for our health to fly kites in the spring. We can enjoy the spring sunshine, the fresh air and the blue sky. It's relaxing, and it brings us great pleasure. It is said that if you fly a kite and then cut the twine to let the kite go, all of your illness and troubles in the coming year will fly away with the kite.

Now that spring is coming, everyone should get out their kites and enjoy flying them with friends and family.


Old Boys enliven young dreams

BEIJING - What does it take to touch a generation?

It's a question faced hundreds of times by Xiao Yang, whose online film Old Boys is resonating deeply with Chinese born in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the movie, Xiao plays a wedding party host who loves singing, while his real life business partner Wang Taili plays a hairdresser who loves dancing.

But their youthful dreams have been replaced by reality.

At the end of the movie, the two old boys walk onto a talent show to realize their dreams, even though everyone is making fun of them.

When they sing a beautiful elegy to youth, a lament for all the things lost along the way, many were in tears. The song features the music of Ohashi Takya's Arigatou, with lyrics written by the pair, known in the film and in reality as the Chopstick Brothers.

The film has been viewed online more than 26 million times since its Oct 28 debut.

Xiao Yang, 31, director of the hit online film Old Boys, prepares music in a studio in Beijing on Tuesday. The film has been viewed online more than 26 million times since its Oct 28 debut.


“Old Boy” Popular Chinese Short Film Makes Male Netizens Cry + Video Preview


Paper Apple goods the latest gifts for Qingming

GUANGZHOU - While people rush to get the latest iPhones and iPads, the deceased can also enjoy these trendy high-tech devices, although theirs will be made of paper.

With the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, a time for paying respect to the ancestors, falling on April 5, some shops in Guangzhou selling sacrificial offerings have put paper-made versions of Apple products on their shelves.

A package of two iPads and four iPhones, paper-made and in different colors, goes for 6 yuan (90 cents), at a shop named Yongxinghang. A MacBook also costs 6 yuan.

Paper-made offerings are displayed at a market in Nanning city, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region



Investors get picky about rare, exotic teas

Afficionados are now treating the leaf-based beverage with reverence

BEIJING - While many rich Chinese people are happy to fork out $2,000 on a bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, one of the most expensive wines in the world, others are turning to a more traditional Chinese beverage with centuries of culture behind it.

Rare and exotic teas are fast developing into investment opportunities with the marketing potential that French vintage wines have possessed for decades.

Xinhua News Agency reported futures in the best quality Longjing (or Dragon Well) spring tea, the leaves of which will be picked before early April, have already sold out at 60,000 yuan ($9,146) a kilogram.


Tibet's achievements celebrated

LHASA - Padma Choling, chairman of the Tibet autonomous region, delivered a speech on Sunday to the Tibetan people in celebration of the Third Serfs Emancipation Day and promised more efforts for a new Tibet that is stable, united, democratic and well-developed.

An accreditation ceremony is held in Lhasa's Jokhang Temple on Saturday. Eight monks were certified to be Gashe, the highest level of attainment for monks studying the scriptures of Tibetan Buddhism, during the service.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TIBET


Tibet marks Serfs Emancipation Day - VIDEO

Lhasa celebrates third annual Serfs Emancipation Day

LHASA - To spread the word about changes that have taken place in Tibet since the adoption of democratic reforms in 1959, the third Serfs Emancipation Day was celebrated on Monday throughout Lhasa, the capital of the autonomous region.

A ceremony celebrating Tibet's third Serfs Emancipation Day began on Monday in the square in front of the Potala Palace, a pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists.

China Fashion Week


Cherry blossoms charm tourists in C China

An ancient building is seen through cherry blossoms in Wuhan University in Central China's Hubei province