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19th January 2012


The Lion Awakes 

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 Xiaosui Zhou is the owner & editor of Kaixin

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People's Daily


China to increase its voice in 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- China will have a more open posture and adopt more forceful measures to spread its voice in 2012, as it seeks to obtain increased understanding from the world about its values and development pattern, a senior official said Wednesday.

Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, said China also hopes to seek a better understanding about its national conditions as well as domestic and foreign policies from the international community.


China signs currency swap deal with UAE

People's Bank of China, China's central bank, said on Jan. 17 that it has signed a 35-billion-yuan (5.6 billion U.S. dollars) currency swap agreement with the Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


China to help drive world GDP expansion

EIJNG - Despite registering a slowdown, China's growth will play an increasingly important role in the global economy, as forecasts suggest the world is on the verge of another major downturn in 2012, according to experts.

A report by the United Nations, released on Tuesday, put the outlook for global economic growth at 2.6 percent this year and 3.2 percent for 2013, as compared with 2.8 percent seen in 2011.


China, India sign pact on border affairs

NEW DELHI - China and India signed an agreement here Tuesday on establishing a working mechanism for consultation and coordination over their border issues.


Chinese premier urges greater China-Saudi business links

RIYADH, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged Saudi and Chinese enterprises to expand cooperation and mutual investment here Sunday.

Wen made the remarks while meeting Saudi entrepreneurs, including Abdul Rahman Al-Jeraisy, president of the Saudi Arabia-China Friendship Association.

The Chinese premier said his visit to Saudi Arabia this time was aimed at seeking cooperation and strengthening friendship between the two countries.


Cross-border RMB business grows steadily

Li said that with the approval from the State Council, the pilot program of RMB settlement in cross-border trade has been expanded to the entire country, covering all cross-border current account transactions such as goods trade and service trade as well as certain capital account activities. The program has facilitated Chinese direct investment abroad and foreign direct investment in China using RMB funds.

China will promote its cross-border RMB business steadily, in a bid to boost trade and investment facilitation.

Currently, 181 foreign countries and regions have cross-border actual RMB receipt and payment business in China and the business scale has been enlarging stably, Li said.


China cannot stop buying Iranian oil

t is said that the United States wants China to cooperate with it through stopping buying oil from Iran, so as to tighten sanctions against Iran. However, China has no reason to blindly follow the economic sanctions against Iran initiated by the United States, no matter which side is considered. Particularly, it is impossible for China to stop buying Iranian oil.


China to boost Central Asia energy ties

BEIJING - China will continue to expand energy ties with Central Asian countries, which have proven to be a fruitful model of mutually beneficial cooperation, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday.

Zhang Hanhui, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of European-Central Asian Affairs, said the Central Asian economy showed strong momentum last year with 7 percent growth in GDP, and cooperation between nations in the region and China has great potential to be upgraded to a new level.

Chinese energy enterprises have participated in oil and gas development in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, he said.


28th China Harbin Int'l Ice and Snow Festival kicks off

Two kids play with each other in the Ice and Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 5, 2012. The 28th China Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival and the 13th Harbin Ice and Snow World opened here on Thursday. Made of 180,000 cubic meters of ice and 160,000 cubic meters of snow, the Ice and Snow World will put on show a wide range of ice and snow sculptures, including those of many cartoon figures worldwide.





Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



China Daily


Chinese economy heads for soft landing in 2012

BEIJING - China's economy can achieve a soft landing in 2012 despite a global economic slowdown, World Bank chief economist Justin Lin said Wednesday.

China's massive foreign exchange reserves will help the world's second-largest economy shrug off external pressures and maintain a growth rate above 8 percent this year, Lin said at a press conference on the global economic outlook.

As official data show that the government's fiscal deficit is equivalent to about 25 percent of its gross domestic product, China has "lots of room" for a stimulative fiscal policy to stabilize its economy and maintain rapid growth, due to its low debt levels, Lin said.


US must be objective, Xi says

Vice-President marks Nixon trip with vision of future ties

BEIJING - The United States should view China's strategic intentions in an objective way and ensure that disputes between the two countries do not harm ties, Vice-President Xi Jinping said on Monday, ahead of a key visit to the US.


Iron ore trade platform will improve price transparency

BEIJING - China launched its first iron ore spot trading platform on Monday, a move meant to help the nation - the world's largest user and importer of the commodity - gain more influence in global pricing.

The China Beijing International Mining Exchange (CBMX) launched the online platform together with the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) and the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters.

"The iron ore market should be determined by and reflect real supply and demand. However, monopoly practices and price manipulation have exerted a big impact on prices" and hurt many Chinese companies, said Wang Xiaoqi, vice-chairman of CISA.

China accounts for 60 percent of the global iron ore trading market. The nation's iron ore sources increased from 48 countries in 2010 to 67 in 2011, and there was a marked expansion in physical transactions.


Taiwan's Ma wins tight re-election race

BEIJING / FUZHOU - Incumbent Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou won a close re-election bid on Saturday, leveraging his message of greater prosperity through expanded ties with the Chinese mainland to beat his populist-minded opponent.

The elections had been expected to be tight, but the "Central Election Commission" said Ma and his running mate Wu Den-yih had garnered 51.6 percent of total votes, against 45.6 percent for Tsai Ing-wen and her running mate Su Jia-chyuan of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).


US curbs on Chinese firm 'puzzling'

BEIJING - China on Saturday voiced its "strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition" to sanctions imposed by the United States on a Chinese company for allegedly selling refined petroleum products to Iran.

The Obama administration on Thursday invoked US law to sanction China's State-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, barring it from doing business in the US.

"Like many other countries, China maintains normal cooperation with Iran in energy, the economy and trade," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement issued on the ministry's website late on Saturday.


US visa applications sharply rise in China

WASHINGTON - The number of applications for US visas that were processed in China and Brazil in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2012 increased more than 50 percent from the same period last year, the US State Department said Thursday.

In China, US consular officers adjudicated nearly 260,000 visas in China in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, which lasted from October to December 2011, compared to 175,000 in the same period in fiscal 2011, an increase of 48 percent.


China's forex reserves drop

BEIJING - China's central bank said Friday that the country's foreign exchange reserves as of the end of the fourth quarter last year had fallen to $3.18 trillion, down $20.6 billion from the previous quarter.

The net quarterly decrease was a rare case in recent years for the country, which is currently the world's largest holder of foreign exchange reserves


Premier Wen looks at the big picture

China and the US should focus on common interests, premier says

BEIJING - China and the United States should enhance economic and trade cooperation rather than politicize economic issues, leading government officials said on Wednesday.

"China insists that dialogue is better than confrontation, cooperation is better than containment," Premier Wen Jiabao said as he met US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

"We should take care of the core interests and concerns of each other, and resolve friction appropriately," Wen said.

"Both countries should take concrete measures and promote cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure and high-tech, in a wider, closer, more balanced way."

Wen's remarks came against a backdrop of economic and trade friction between China and the US.



Millions on move as peak travel season starts

BEIJING - China started the Spring Festival peak travel season Sunday, with tens of millions of passengers, mainly migrant workers and college students, on the move in the world's largest seasonal migration.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on January 23 this year. It is the most important traditional Chinese festival for family reunions.

A total of 3.16 billion passenger trips are expected during the 40-day peak travel season, or Chunyun (Spring transportation) in Chinese, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.



Your hair or your uncle? There can only be one!

With the approach of the Chinese New Year, many Chinese people have to make a choice: to cut their hair or lose their uncles (here, 舅舅 jiùjiu, your mother's brothers).

It's obvious uncles are much valuable than haircuts, especially during the Spring Festival, when uncles are quite useful for handing out lucky new year's money (压岁钱 yā suì qián). So no matter whether you are a boy or a girl, in order to save their uncles' lives, everyone would prefer to have their hair cut before the eve of the Spring Festival (除夕夜 chú xī yè). That's why barber shops are always so busy this time of the year.

How did this custom come about?



Share your China stories!

The China Daily website is inviting foreign readers to share their China stories with our worldwide audience. Please send your story with your contact information to Photos of the author or the story are also welcome.




Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



XinHua News


China to continue support for Europe's efforts in solving sovereign debt issues

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- China here on Tuesday said it will work with the international community to continue support for Europe's efforts in solving sovereign debt issues.


China pledges to support Iceland's financial stability, economic growth

ABU DHABI, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Monday that China supports the efforts of European countries, including Iceland, to preserve financial stability and maintain economic growth.


Chinese premier calls for concerted global efforts to secure energy supply

ABU DHABI, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday urged the world to work together to secure a safer and more stable and sustainable supply in the global energy market.

"To reduce the problems and inequality brought by the energy and resources issues, countries in the world should take further action and exert more effort," Wen said in his keynote speech at the opening of the 5th World Future Energy Summit (WFES).

He offered a four-point proposal to achieve the objectives.

Firstly, increasing energy efficiency should be put on top of the agenda to establish national economies that featured reduced energy input, lower energy consumption and less emissions.

Second, the development of renewable energy should be promoted by adopting more favorable policies to help expand the technological application in an effort to cut costs.

His third proposal was to actively promote new technologies to enhance efficiency. As long as intellectual property was properly protected, developed countries should help developing and under-developed countries to step up technology transfer endeavors, Wen noted.

Lastly, the premier urged countries to effectively safeguard energy security. To this end, Wen proposed establishing a global energy market management mechanism based on the principle of mutual benefit and within the framework of G20.


Chinese premier calls for end to violence in West Asia, North Africa

RIYADH, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday called for an end to violence against civilians in West Asia and North Africa.

The Chinese leader made the remarks during a meeting with Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in the Saudi capital.

Wen said China and the OIC shared common interests in safeguarding peace and stability in West Asia and North Africa, adding the OIC and the Arab League could play an important role in this regard.


Falling forex reserves, yuan funds trigger concerns of capital outflow, policy easing

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's central bank said Friday that the country's foreign exchange reserves as of the end of the fourth quarter last year had fallen to 3.18 trillion U.S. dollars, down 20.6 billion U.S. dollars from the previous quarter.

The net quarterly decrease was a rare case in recent years for the country, which is currently the world's largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.


China faces greater pressure to ensure energy supply in 2012: energy chief

BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's energy chief said here Tuesday that the country is under greater pressure to ensure energy supply this year as both demand and international competition for resources grows.

Liu Tienan, head of the National Energy Administration (NEA), made the remarks when speaking at a national energy work conference.

"It is always worrisome to have to sustain supply of energy and resources for a country with 1.3 billion people," Liu said.

As China is facing a "grim situation" in energy saving and emission reduction, Liu noted, it is urgent to restructure the country's energy use and control the gross consumption volume this year.

To ensure a stable energy supply, China will optimize the layout of energy exploration, start construction of energy-transmission projects and other major energy programs while boosting reserves of oil, natural gas and coal in 2012, Liu said.





Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



Global Times


China’s scale brings own set of challenges

The Taiwan leadership election touched a nerve of the Chinese mainland. If the Democratic Progressive Party had come to power, the atmosphere today would be quite different. The mainland was relieved once the election was over.

But can it also feel relieved over the South China Sea disputes, Tibetan and Xinjiang separatist forces and increasing Sino-US competition in Northeast and South Asia? China's troubles are seemingly everywhere.

Problems on the Chinese mainland are already abundant, but are enlarged by external influences.





Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."






News and Current Affairs


2012 Spring Festival  


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Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



The Wall Street Journal


China Sees Drop in Property Prices

SHANGHAI—Property prices in 70 Chinese cities in a government survey fell in December from the previous month, marking the third straight decline after developers cut prices to boost sales amid Beijing's campaign to cool the property market.


Fidelity’s Bolton Reiterates Bullish Stance on China

Fidelity Worldwide International’s fund manager Anthony Bolton has had a rough run in Hong Kong, but he’s still bullish on China.


China Finds a New Route to India

India's economy rarely opens the front door to China. But New Delhi shouldn't be too concerned that China has found a new point of entry.


Chinese Put Money in Gold

Chinese consumers are loading up on gold ahead of the Lunar New Year. Is that demand strong enough to influence the metal’s price? The WSJ’s Deborah Kan speaks to Ken Brown in Hong Kong.


China Turns Predominantly Urban

Transfer of Millions to Cities Is Double-Edged Sword; Property Demand a Factor in Land Grabs

BEIJING—China has announced that people living in its towns and cities now outnumber those in the countryside, making it a predominantly urban nation for the first time in Chinese civilization.


China’s New Strategic Target: Arctic Minerals

As policymakers in Washington focus on China’s expanding presence in Africa and growing assertiveness in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean region, Danish diplomatic assistance is opening the gate for China to establish a strategic foothold in the Arctic.


Introducing: China Real Time’s China Econtracker

To save hours that would be spent navigating the maze of government websites, we present China Econtracker, an interactive tool for tracking the country's economic indicators.


China's Growth Engine Slows

BEIJING—China's GDP growth slowed to 8.9% in the last quarter of 2011, compared with a year earlier, showing that the world's fastest engine of growth is downshifting.


China Speeds Up Approvals for Foreign Investors

SHANGHAI—China accelerated approvals for foreign companies to invest in its domestic capital markets in December, taking another step forward in its campaign to inject much-needed confidence into a sagging domestic stock market.


China Reserve Changes Weighed

BEIJING—China may eventually invest more of its $3.2 trillion foreign-exchange reserves in stocks, enterprises and other assets as it looks for ways to boost returns on its reserves, according to Jiang Jianqing, chairman of China's largest state-owned bank.


City of Beijing to Continue Property Curbs

SHANGHAI—The Beijing municipal government will continue home-purchase restrictions this year to curb speculation and reduce prices, city mayor Guo Jinlong said Thursday.

Beijing house prices fell 11%, last year. Private house sales in the city fell 14% in the period. Close to 90% of homes sold in 2011 were to first-time buyers, Mr. Guo said in an annual work report to city officials.

There have been calls for the Beijing government to ease restrictions on home purchases by people who aren't permanent residents. The city does not allow home purchases by those who haven't paid social-security or income taxes for five consecutive years. Some had called for this requirement be reduced to three years but Beijing's vice mayor Chen Gang said that is "impossible," according to a Beijing News report.




Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



The New York Times


For Intrigue, Malaria Drug Artemisinin Gets the Prize

A researcher’s award becomes part of the complicated history of a medicine inspired by Mao Zedong.


In Wukan, China, Protest Leader Is Made Party Boss

Despite the new political appointment in the local Communist Party, some villagers in Wukan say their grievances have yet to be addressed.


Wen Jiabao in Middle East as China Evaluates Oil Policy

The Chinese prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates may suggest that China is reconsidering its strategic alliance with Iran.

Warming to U.S. Plea, Japan Pledges to Cut Oil From Iran

The move was in response to a request from the visiting United States Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, who was rebuffed by China on the matter a day earlier.




Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



Asia Times Online


Ma's re-election rings
loudest on the mainland

The re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan probably has more important consequences for Beijing than for the island. Political reunification is far in the future, but the political questions are on the agenda and de facto pressing Beijing's own political reforms schedule today.
- Francesco Sisci


China weighs 'right side of history' in Gulf
While a tour by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was solidifying political and energy ties with Sunni Gulf countries, Beijing was at the same time standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Shi'ite Iran over United States sanctions. That the Saudis invited Wen despite tensions with Tehran shows China's diplomatic hedging is paying off. Meanwhile, Washington's attempt to sanction a Chinese oil firm smacks of desperation.
- M K Bhadrakumar


Taiwan vote may trip up US and China

The United States and China share many reasons to hope Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou is re-elected in Sunday's elections. All the same, victory for the anti-unification Democratic Progressive Party's Tsai Ing-wen in the close race is unlikely to spur major policy shifts in Washington or Beijing. While Tsai is reluctant to roll back cross-strait relations, China has little incentive to punish the island.
- Jens Kastner


South China Sea: Call for US build-up
A think-tank with close ties to the administration of President Barack Obama has called for Washington to pursue a policy of "cooperative primacy" in the South China Sea to both avoid future conflict with Beijing and preserve freedom of navigation and the independence of smaller countries in the region. First though, the US needs to bolster its navy, the report suggests.
- Jim Lobe



Hu warns successors
over 'peaceful evolution'

President Hu Jintao's call for China to resist ideological infiltration by "hostile forces" was widely seen as a declaration of war against Western culture, similar to spiritual pollution campaigns in the 1980s. However, Hu was actually warning those who will take power at this year's 18th Communist Party congress to stay awake to the greatest threat to communist rule - "peaceful evolution".
- Wu Zhong


Grim future for Wukan model
Optimism that China's land seizures, inequality and corruption could be solved by simply listening to activists rather than through suppression, as apparently happened in Guangdong's Wukan village, is undermined by pressures on local governments to contribute to the national growth rate. With land transactions accounting for at least half of revenues, regional administrations are unlikely to soon stop cracking heads. - Willy Lam


China's new role in the making of Europe
If China opts to support the eurozone it will become a significant investor in European integration, while helping to create a world where the United States dollar loses absolute pre-eminence. The level of Sino-European interdependence achieved during China's renaissance will likely accelerate as Europe better understands China's governance and as Beijing greater appreciates the complexities of the continent. - David Gosset (


Guangdong boss bets on velvet glove
Villagers from Guangdong's Wukan have welcomed the provincial authorities' decision to investigate land seizures that spurred attention-grabbing protests there. While local party chief Wang Yang hopes his handling of the case secures a Politburo Standing Committee seat at this year's leadership shuffle, his softer line is up against Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai's more "ruthless" approach to crime and corruption.
- Kent Ewing


Invisible walls in Xinjiang
The tree that bleeds: a Uighur town on the edge
by Nick Holdstock

A snapshot of Xinjiang province's Yining city four years after deadly ethnic riots in 1997, this book provides insights into how fraught relations between Uyghurs and Han Chinese were worsened by Beijing's divisive rules and policies, particularly in education. The separate dormitories, canteens and admissions described as the ethnicities "pretend the other doesn't exist" make recent violence easier to understand. - Michael Rank


China sends a message to Nepal
The most recent manifestation of Nepal's political crisis is handwringing over the postponement of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit. Beijing's decision gives traction to the perception that the Nepalese government, under (India-educated) Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, is determined to strengthen relations with India - at China's expense if necessary. - Peter Lee


China and Japan find
common ground

A significant monetary agreement between China and Japan could become a platform for political convergence. In the short term, the currency swap makes it easier for Beijing and Tokyo to help America and Europe. In the long term, a new regional order could be built around North Korea that sees Japan and the US become China's important strategic partners.
- Francesco Sisci


China rallies behind supreme leader
China's desire for a smooth power transition saw it swiftly back Kim Jong-eun following his father's death, with Beijing inviting him for a visit and urging Seoul and Washington not to promote regime change. China is not only concerned over instability causing a refugee influx, it also needs a Northeast Asian buffer against the United States' "return to Asia".
- Yvonne Su


Trying times in US-China ties
Both China and the United States enter 2012 fragile, needing one another to be strong while at the same time resenting the vestiges of strength each appears to have over the other (China bridling at America's regional position and military power while America resents China's seemingly stable economy). This is in a nutshell the peril: both have as much to gain from seeing the other stumble as from pursuing stability.
- Benjamin A Shobert


A future with China
China and the Credit Crisis: the Emergence
of a New World Order
by Giles Chance

The book explores the inter-connection between United States policy and China's participation in globalization. The presentation on what the current economic crisis means for the future of the US dollar and the necessary adjustment by the world's financial and regulatory systems to incorporate China's needs are balanced and satisfying. Yet the most important reason to read this work may be what it has to offer about how these troubled times will reshape US-China relations.
- Benjamin A Shobert


Getting the dragon onboard
The Chinese may have an attitude whereby they want to exploit the rest of the world for their own benefit. They do not see themselves yet as a responsible leader of the world economy. The issue is how can China be brought to stand alongside Europe and America? So asks Giles Chance, author of China and the Credit Crisis in a conversation with Benjamin A Shobert





An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news has taken him to all parts of the Pepe Escobar globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination







Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."



Caixin Online

Shanghai to Spend 1.2 Bln Yuan on Airport Renovation

Shanghai Pudong International Airport's terminal one will undergo refurbishment to increase passenger capacity from 20 million to 36.8 million people per year


Liu Mingkang: Responding to the Challenges of 2012

Interview with Liu Mingkang, former chairman of the China Banking Regulation Commission


China Premier: Protect Farmers' Land Rights

The Chinese government for the first time emphasized that urbanization and industrialization cannot come at the cost of farmers'land rights, a state expert said


Forced Demolitions Getting Creative

New rules last year set out to end forced demolitions, but local officials have instead resorted to legal loopholes to continue the controversial practice.


How Britain and China will Rise or Fall Together

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, Sino-British engagement i


To take the next step in its development, China must commit to a broad range of structural reforms this year

Gao Hua, Controversial Historian, Dies at 57

The historian's major work the 1940s is still banned in the mainland for exposing the Communist Party's power struggles at the time.


Soft Power and Hard Choices

What tools do Chinese policymakers have on hand to counter the influence of U.S. cultural exports?


Strategize, Adapt, Reform

In an interview, the influential governor of China's central bank retraces 2011 economic policy steps and forecasts the 2012 pace


Water Diversion Blues

Rapidly growing cities need more water, and plenty of it – but experts say China faces a sobering outlook on the impacts of water diversion projects


A Garment Industry in Tatters

South Africa was once a good fit for Chinese clothing manufacturers, but wage issues are threatening their existence


China to Put Brakes on Foreign Investment in Auto Sector

The turnaround in preferential policies to promote foreign investment comes after the withholding of core technologies to Chinese companies, say analysts

Policymakers Issue New Guidelines on Foreign Investment

China revised its foreign investment catalog, making the first changes since October 2007

China is running a deficit in 'intellectual trade' with the United States and needs to make a greater effort to understand its partner and rival




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