CSG news update -- 2006-12-08

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Fri, 8 Dec 2006 02:00:28 -0800

China Study Group news update

China sounds alarm on falling greenback
The Standard | 2006-12-08
China's central bank issued a warning Thursday about the risks of dollar weakness, piling fresh pressure on the US currency after a steep drop over the past few weeks.  The warning was contained in the full version of the central bank's 2006 financial stability report, which it posted on i...

Wealth gap targeted by top leaders
AFP | 2006-12-07
Peter Harmsen
China's top leaders gathered Tuesday to determine economic policies for 2007, a "crucial" year that will see a renewed focus on a fairer distribution of the country's growing wealth, state media and officials said.  On the agenda at the annual closed- door Central Economic Work Conference ...

Cambodia feels China's hard edge
Asia Times | 2006-12-07
Yin Soeum
MONDOLKIRI, Cambodia - Chinese investments and contested land acquisitions in provincial Cambodia are stirring resentment and in some instances full-blown unrest, revealing a seldom-seen hard edge to Beijing's soft-power economic push into Southeast Asia.  Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has ...

The 'not an anti-American' bloc
Asia Times | 2006-12-07
Yu Bin
Great-power competition in Central Asia ebbs and flows in a timeless and tireless fashion. Unlike in Europe and East Asia during the Cold War and after, the fault line for the current jockeying for position in Central Asia between Washington and Beijing is not easily discernible. Instead, fluidity, ...

State firms to halve by 2010
Reuters | 2006-12-07
China has flagged a major restructuring of the big state firms that control vast swaths of the economy, pledging to cut their number almost in half by 2010.  Only 80 to 100 of the current 161 centrally administered state-owned enterprises will remain by 2010, according to the State-owned Assets Su...

China aims for 'stable and rapid' economic growth
Xinhua | 2006-12-07
China's 2006 Central Economic Work Conference closed in Beijing Thursday, hammering out major economic strategies and policies for 2007.  Policy makers will work to engineer stable yet rapid economic growth in 2007 by improving their ability to steer the economy.  Economist Zheng Xinli said ...

Asian Development Bank calls for collective action to manage dollar's slide
International Herald Tribune | 2006-12-07
Keith Bradsher
A senior Asian Development Bank official predicted on Thursday that the dollar was likely to decline further and called for East Asian countries to make sure that their currencies appreciate in unison - and do not start swinging sharply in value relative to one another.  The remarks by the officia...

China and Taiwan: Two Chens face two systems
Christian Science Monitor | 2006-12-07
Peter Ford
TAIPEI – As recent corruption scandals have ensnared top politicians on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, the differences between democratically ruled Taiwan's approach to corruption and mainland China's have been on graphic display in "the tale of two Chens."  In Taiwan, allegations in t...

China secretly executes anti-dam protester
The Independent | 2006-12-07
Clifford Coonan
Chinese officials have secretly executed a demonstrator who took part in a massive protest in 2004 against a hydro-electric dam in the south-western province of Sichuan, lawyers and family members said yesterday.  In a grim postscript to the summer of rural unrest that overtook China two years ago...

Gay man accuses Tsinghua of discrimination
China Daily | 2006-12-07
Kowk Keung
Xiao Tian, a gay man, sparked an uproar in the gay community in the capital after he accused the prestigious Tsinghua University of discriminating against gays, xmnext.com reported on December 6.  Xiao Tian, in his 20s, wears a signboard reading "I am gay and I hope to find my spouse on campus" at...

Coal-mine deaths rise as owners resisit closure
Bloomberg | 2006-12-07
China's coal-mine deaths rose to the highest in at least five months in November, as owners of small pits and local authorities resisted government closure orders.  More than 150 accidents killed 420 miners during the month, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its Web site this wee...

China's November trade surplus tops $23B
AP | 2006-12-07
BEIJING -- China's trade surplus reached its second-highest monthly level on record in November, pushing the total surplus so far this year to $157 billion, according to Customs figures reported Thursday by a state news agency.  The November surplus of $23.4 billion was just behind October&#39...

China's cotton conundrum
Asia Pulse | 2006-12-06
HANGZHOU, China - Rapid development of the textile industry has made China the world's largest cotton consumer and importer - cotton is the country's third-largest product import after soybeans and edible oil.  Quantity import of foreign cotton has met the demand and helped cut the product...

China to approve bankruptcy of 500 SOEs
Xinhua | 2006-12-05
China plans to approve the bankruptcy of around 500 more struggling state-owned enterprises (SOE) by the end of this year.  According to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council, more than 2,000 SOEs will go bankrupt before 2008. The commission ...

China Pursues Major Role in Particle Physics
New York Times | 2006-12-05
Dennis Overbye
Mao Zedong dreamed of splitting an electron.  This was no idle diversion. According to natural dialectics, which formed the philosophical underpinnings of Marxism, the entire universe, from top to bottom, was seething with tension and change. As a result, Mao thought, nature should be infinitely d...

Chinese dig for raw materials to sustain fast growth
Financial Times | 2006-12-04
Richard McGregor
China has long excelled at manufacturing. Now its companies are applying the same ruthless business methods to increasing production of mined and refined raw materials, in an effort to meet swelling domestic demand and cash in on high commodities prices.  This resources mini-boom has produced scor...

Oil lubricates Beijing-Caracas relations
Asia Times | 2006-12-02
Jose Orozco
CARACAS - As its trade with Venezuela increases, China's political influence in the Latin American country also grows, which may well serve both countries' interests.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' visit to China this August accomplished two goals, the signing of oil and infrastruc...