CSG news update -- 2006-05-08

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Mon, 8 May 2006 02:00:28 -0700

China Study Group news update

China's "cancer villages" pay heavy price for economic progress
AFP | 2006-05-08
LIUKUAIZHUANG VILLAGE, China - Sitting on his bed in his spartan house in one of China's so-called cancer villages, a 77-year-old retired cadre sheds tears as he speaks of the pollution he believes is killing him.  "I just hope I can die sooner. I gave my life to the Communist Party yet I have...

Entering Splitsville, China
LA Times | 2006-05-08
Ching-Ching Ni
RENHE, China  Farmer Yan Shihai was happily married for more than 30 years. Then late last year, seemingly out of the blue, the 57-year-old grandfather and his loving wife got a divorce.  Within months, all three of his adult children and their spouses also split up. So did almost every oth...

Reckless development blamed for fouling of China's waters
Boston Globe | 2006-05-08
Jehangir S. Pocha
KUNMING, China -- The stench from Dian Lake smothers the tiny farming hamlets that dot its shores.  Until 2002, the lake supplied drinking water to Kunming, the scenic capital of southern Yunnan Province, and provided a rich bounty for fishermen and a playground for tourists. Now, untreated human ...

Law aims to balance industrial relations
China Daily | 2006-05-08
Wang Zhenghua
Labour experts have warned that China's imbalanced industrial relations system is placing labourers at a disadvantage and eroding social justice, posing a threat to both management and the workforce.  The government is attempting to address the issue by creating laws to hold back corporate pow...

Graduate jobs woe
AFP | 2006-05-08
Sixty percent of mainland college leavers looking for work later this year will be unable to find a job.  China is expected to face serious employment difficulties, according to a report published by the National Development and Reform Commission, Xinhua News Agency said.  The number of graduate...

BOC sits on powder keg
The Standard | 2006-05-08
James Rose
Milton Friedman would be horrified but, like it or not, today's business organization is deeply embedded in its wider social context. Profit-making is just one - albeit important - aspect of the 21st century business. So, when investing, it's vital to realize that the company you may be fund...

China Installs Bishop With Approval of Vatican
New York Times | 2006-05-08
Jim Yardley and Keith Bradsher
SHENYANG, China - Another Catholic bishop was consecrated in China on Sunday, the third in recent days, in a ceremony approved by the Vatican yet still unlikely to assuage the deepening rift between the Chinese government and Rome.  The consecration of an auxiliary bishop in this industrial city o...

State planner urges over-capacity sectors to upgrade structure
China Economic Net | 2006-05-08
Su Min
After seven ministries and commissions including the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) and the Ministry of Finance had jointly issued the Circular on Driving the Ferroalloy Sector to Accelerate the Restructuring, the reporter interviewed relevant SDRC personnel in charge on issues conce...

Top of the rubble heap
Asia Times | 2006-05-06
Erik Mobrand
CHENGDU - Old Horse Road lies in central Chengdu, an ancient city and the capital of China's Sichuan province. The Old Horse Road neighborhood was once home to some 4,000 people. Today, the old walled community is a sea of rubble, flanked by gleaming high-rise apartments.  Almost all residents...

Top of the heap
Asia Times | 2006-05-06
Jeremy Hurewitz
CHENGDU - This city in south-central China has never seen anything like The Waterfront. Situated on the Jin River and set to be completed by the end of the year, no other apartment complex in this capital city of Sichuan province has features that can compare to what Keppel Land - a Singaporean deve...

Cyanide fight at river with 17 still missing
AFP | 2006-05-06
Workers have been struggling to contain a cyanide leak from a gold mine into a river in rural northwestern China.  Five days after a dam burst at the mine near Miliang township in Shaanxi province, triggering landslides and sending waters laced with potassium cyanide into the Huashui river, 17 mis...

Setbacks won't hit China M&A hunt
Dow Jones | 2006-05-05
Chinese firms, burned by recent thwarted attempts to buy major overseas firms, are continuing to cautiously seek out possible acquisition targets, UBS head of Asian M&A Angus Barker said Thursday.  Hong Kong-based Barker said while China-based companies might be reluctant to pursue eye-catching bi...

Auditor hits Big Four on US$358b bad loans
The Standard | 2006-05-04
Amy Gu
China's four big state-owned banks are carrying US$358 billion (HK$2.79 trillion) in bad loans, almost triple the officially reported figure, according to audit firm Ernst & Young.  "China's banks are at a crossroads in addressing NPL [nonperforming loan] problems," the firm said in its an...

China gets energized over ethanol
Asia Times | 2006-05-04
Matt Young
SAO PAULO - Even knowing that Brazil heavily uses ethanol in transportation doesn't prepare one for the startling sight of roadside vendors selling beer to motorists during a recent rush hour traffic jam in Sao Paulo.  But the fact remains that many of the cerveja-swilling drivers had more eth...

New Medicare scheme emerging for farmers' interest
China Economic Net | 2006-04-30
Wu Jiajia & Wang Lei
When conducting interviews in rural areas, the reporter had heard of and seen some cases that farmers became poor or ran into poverty once again just because of getting ill. When referring to hospitals and medical expenses, farmers always have the impression of being "terribly expensive".  One of ...