CSG news update -- 2006-12-17

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Sun, 17 Dec 2006 02:00:28 -0800

China Study Group news update

Engine of Chinese economy pressurized by "growing pains"
Xinhua | 2006-12-17
The booming eastern regions of China, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta in particular, or the engine of Chinese economy, are being compelled by a string of thorny problems to kick off a transformation of economic growth pattern.  It is believed that the problems, including mounting...

20 Million Years and a Farewell
New York Times | 2006-12-17
Andrew C. Revkin
The first species to be erased from this planet's great and ancient Order of Cetaceans in modern times is not one of the charismatic sea mammals that have long been the focus of conservation campaigns, like the sperm whale or bottlenose dolphin.  It appears to be the baiji, a white, nearly bli...

China's ultra-wealthy rev up in style
China Daily | 2006-12-16
Yu Qiao
How are rich people in China showing off their success?  Owning one or more luxury and even ultra-expensive cars appears to be one of the most popular ways.  Boosted by the ever-increasing numbers of people getting rich as a result of the nation's booming economy, demand for these cars is in...

Migrant workers face a bottomless pit of misery
AFP | 2006-12-15
In a small roadside eatery in northern China, a group of men drink, smoke and talk of the exploitation that is their daily fate as they wait for their shift to start.  Winter is approaching fast in Shanxi province, the heartland of China's coal industry, and the conversation is punctuated by t...

Battery firm sued after Guangdong plant deaths claim
Reuters | 2006-12-15
More than 100 women who say they were exposed to toxic cadmium while working at battery factories in China are suing their former employer after three co-workers were reported to have died and others fell sick.  Cadmium, when vaporized and inhaled, can cause flu-like fever, and with extreme exposu...

U.S.-China economic talks end with few signs of concrete progress
International Herald Tribune | 2006-12-15
Steven R. Weisman
Two days of economic talks between the United States and China that ended inconclusively on Friday have raised the ante for the administration of George W. Bush in one of its main international economic challenges: nudging China toward adjusting its policies and convincing Congress that a nudge is e...

Moderate fiscal policies made steady progress
China Economic Net | 2006-12-15
Sun Yong
The year 2006 is the second year for implementing moderate fiscal policies, and there have appeared changes concerning main contents and forms different from before.  In 2006, fiscal policies have been incessantly innovating fiscal adjustment measures and consummating contents of fiscal adjustment...

Soaring Chinese stock market breaks record
International Herald Tribune | 2006-12-14
David Barboza
Riding an incredible wave of investor optimism, the main Chinese stock index jumped Thursday to close at 2,249.11 points, breaking a 2001 record.  The run-up adds to a powerful rally in which Chinese stock prices nearly doubled in 2006, ending an ugly and debilitating four-year bear market in stoc...

Letter from China: The sex industry is everywhere but nowhere
International Herald Tribune | 2006-12-14
Howard W. French
What's the fastest-growing industry in China? Mobile phones? Computer components? Toys? The last wouldn't be too far off, but not in the sense that the word toys is conventionally understood. Call them playthings.  Anecdotal evidence is the best one can do for a field such as this, but a b...

China pledges further economic opening
Financial Times | 2006-12-14
Krishna Guha
China's vice-premier Wu Yi pledged to push ahead with "reform and opening up" of the economy at the opening session of the first US-China strategic economic dialogue in Beijing Thursday, even as she pushed back against US "misunderstanding" of China.  Ms Wu said China will "continue to deepen ...

Paulson, China and the turmoil beneath
Asia Times | 2006-12-13
Henry C K Liu
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, an expert on China with more than 70 business trips there as a private banker, is in China with six other cabinet members and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, to discuss US-China trade relations.  The venue is the first meeting of a newly crea...

Bernanke calls for renminbi revaluation
Financial Times | 2006-12-13
Krishna Guha and Edward Luce and Eoin Callan
Ben Bernanke stepped into a political minefield on Friday when he released remarks branding China's undervalued currency an "effective subsidy" for its exporters that was distorting patterns of production and trade.  Although the Federal Reserve chairman dropped the phrase in a speech in Beiji...

China plans audit of funds after scandal
Financial Times | 2006-12-12
China will launch a nationwide audit of provincial and city-level social security funds in the wake of the scandal in Shanghai over the alleged misuse of pension monies by senior leaders in the country's financial centre.  Li Jinhua, the head of the National Audit Office, said the checks would...

China loans create 'new wave of Africa debt'
Financial Times | 2006-12-07
Alan Beattie and Eoin Callan
The International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that China's emergence as an alternative lender was creating a new wave of hidden debt in Africa as it backed its companies' expansion overseas with increasingly aggressive lending.  Adnan Mazarei, a director at the fund, said action was n...