CSG news update -- 2006-09-24

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Sun, 24 Sep 2006 02:00:26 -0700

China Study Group news update

Glittering golden floor in northeast China hotel sparks debate
Xinhua | 2006-09-23
The use of 270 kg of gold bullion as a floor inlay has turned a newly inaugurated hotel in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, into the center of a debate.  Paradise Island Hotel, located on Zhongyang Street in downtown Harbin, started business on Tuesday. The gold bull...

Coal mine accidents kill 2,900 people Jan.-Aug.
Xinhua | 2006-09-23
Coalmine accidents in China killed 2,900 people in the first eight months of the year, according to the country's State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).  The death toll is down by 993, or 25.5 percent, on the same period of last year, according to SAWS's meeting on coalmine gas accide...

More foreign capital pours into Beijing's real estate market
Xinhua | 2006-09-23
The real estate sector in China's capital gobbled up more foreign capital in the first eight months of the year, despite government efforts to tighten control over speculation by foreign investors in the area.  According to the latest data provided by the municipal statistical bureau, 36 forei...

Top 3 concerns of urban Chinese: housing, social security, employment 
Xinhua | 2006-09-23
Housing prices, social security and employment are the top three concerns of Chinese living in big and medium-sized cities, according to an online survey on urban life quality.  The survey, to which 773,325 people in 287 county-level cities responded, covered income and consumption of urban reside...

China's Great Terror
The New York Review of Books | 2006-09-23
Jonathan D. Spence
Mao's Last Revolution by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals  Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 693 pp., $35.00  Long before August 1966, when immense chanting crowds of young Chinese Red Guards began to mass before Chairman Mao in Tiananmen Square, alerting those in the wider...

To Build Trust, U.S. Navy Holds a Drill With China
New York Times | 2006-09-23
Michael R. Gordon
The United States Navy reached a modest but noteworthy milestone this week when it conducted an exercise with a Chinese ship off the coast of southern California, the top American commander for the Pacific region said Friday.  The exercise, conducted Wednesday, was the first time that ships from t...

Paulson Ends China Visit With Little Progress but Gratified to Be Talking
New York Times | 2006-09-23
Steven R. Weisman
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., winding up a four-day visit to China, met Friday with President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and said afterward that he was encouraged by their willingness to engage in a new effort to resolve economic disputes between the countries.  Mr. Paulson...

Private firms powering the economy in China
China Daily | 2006-09-22
After creating half the country's wealth in 2005, private enterprises are poised for an even bigger role in the years ahead, a key government think-tank said yesterday in Beijing.  "The non-State-owned sector is projected to contribute three- fourths of China's GDP in five years, when at l...

Can China win a Western game?
International Herald Tribune | 2006-09-22
James Kanter
CAMARET-SUR-AYGUES, France Yi Liu has spent five long years trying to persuade Europeans that Chinese tomatoes can match the quality of produce ripened in the Provencal sun - and at a lower price.  Today, Liu's triumph seems complete: Le Cabanon, a struggling farm cooperative he bought two yea...

China + U.S. = G-2, the New World Economic Order: William Pesek
Bloomberg | 2006-09-22
William Pesek
Economist Donald Straszheim calls it the Group of Two.  When we think about the world's most important economies, the Group of Seven springs to mind. Anyone attending this week's events in Singapore, where the International Monetary Fund held its annual meeting, could be excused for thinki...

Tackling China's water crisis online
chinadialogue | 2006-09-21
Naomi Li
Naomi Li: The IPE website looks like a daring project. You map out levels of water pollution in various parts of China, and even name companies whose pollution discharges exceed statutory levels. What made you embark on this project?  Ma Jun: Water pollution is the most serious environmental issue...

In China, the upper-class quest starts low - at age 5
New York Times | 2006-09-21
Howard W. French
SHANGHAI - Every day this summer, Rose Lei drove her 5-year-old daughter, Angelina, to a golf complex at the edge of central Shanghai for a two-hour, $200 individual lesson with a teaching pro from Scotland.  Now that the school year has started, Angelina will have to cut back on golf, limiting he...

China fund to invest abroad
Reuters | 2006-09-21
BEIJING - China's national welfare fund will start investing overseas soon, with European markets among potential destinations, the top fund official said Thursday.  The fund had assets of 230 billion yuan, or $29.02 billion, invested in financial instruments including bank deposits, bonds and...

Big bad wolf
The Economist | 2006-08-31
"HAD Mao died in 1956, his achievements would have been immortal. Had he died in 1966, he would still have been a great man but flawed. But he died in 1976. Alas, what can one say?" That was how Chen Yun, for decades one of China's senior Communist leaders, tried to summarise the complex histori...