CSG news update -- 2007-01-15

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Mon, 15 Jan 2007 02:00:27 -0800

China Study Group news update

Land grab leaves farmers bereft
AFP | 2007-01-15
China's wealth is coming at a cost to peasants who have lost their livelihoods, writes Stephanie Wong  With her worn straw hat, deep tan and rough hands, Liang Haozhen looks out of place in Shunde, one of China's richest counties, and it seems local officials would be happier if she just l...

China exporters suffer as currency rises
AP | 2007-01-15
Dependent on exports to the United States, the Hebei Lihua Hat Co. saw its profits wiped out as China's currency rose steadily against the US dollar over the past year.  Hebei Lihua, which sold 90 percent of its 4 million hats to overseas markets last year, fought back by pushing its 1,800 wor...

In City Ban, a Sign of Wealth and Its Discontents
New York Times | 2007-01-15
Jim Yardley
Guangzhou, the chaotic export capital in southern China, appeared to hit a major Chinese milestone this month, becoming the country's first city to reach a per capita income of $10,000  more than five times the nationwide figure and a rough threshold for becoming a "developed" country. ...

The prickly side of China's foreign policy
Boston Globe | 2007-01-14
Cecil Johnson
China's growing thirst for oil is one of the primary reasons the government of Sudan has been able to continue its support of the bloodthirsty Janjaweed militias' genocidal rampages in Darfur, according to Peter Navarro, a business professor at the University of California, Irvine.  The Ch...

NDRC worried about enormous cost of fast economic growth
Xinhua | 2007-01-14
China's economy may be developing in the direction favored by macro-control policies, but the country has paid too dear a cost for its sizzling economic growth.  Ma Kai, the minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), made the remarks when reporting on the curr...

Instability fear in gender crisis
Reuters | 2007-01-13
China will be home to 30 million more men of marriageable age than women by 2020, said state media, citing a national report on demographics.  It warned the gender imbalance, along with an aging population and rapid urbanization, may be destabilizing.  China's population will peak at 1.5 bil...

China's rural-urban mortality gap widens
UPI | 2007-01-12
Mortality rates in China's rural region surpass urban areas by up to six times, says the latest U.N.-backed report on the disparity.  Three-quarters of the country's total death rates occur in China's underdeveloped rural areas, where almost half of its 1.3 billion people live, it said...

Rich prefer travel to family time
Reuters | 2007-01-12
Christopher Bodeen
China's newly wealthy rank travel as their top leisure activity, while spending time with their families places a distant seventh, according to survey results released Thursday.  Family time also ranked beneath activities such as swimming, golf and hiking, according to the survey conducted by ...

Pollution fears over China's growth
Financial Times | 2007-01-12
Richard McGregor
China has recorded double-digit growth for the fourth year in succession, according to the country's top economic planner, amid rising tension between the push for continued fast development and the environment.  Ma Kai, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on the agenc...

Beijing to set out finance reform at party conclave
Financial Times | 2007-01-12
Richard McGregor
China will set its priorities for finance reform for the next five years at a top-level party conclave next week expected to focus on rural banking and an enhanced role for the country's largest financial holding company.  The so-called finance work committee meeting, to be chaired by Wen Jiab...

Chinese bank takes over Manila project
Financial Times | 2007-01-12
Roel Landingin
The Asian Development Bank has lost to China a key water financing deal in the Philippines that the regional lender had hoped would be a showcase for a new flexible lending facility.  The state water agency has withdrawn its application for a $70m (€54m, £36m) loan from the ADB to repair an aqu...

The problem with Made in China
The Economist | 2007-01-11
AS A vote of confidence in Vietnam, the decision by Intel early in 2006 to spend $350m building a new factory in the emerging South-East Asian economy was hard to beat. And yet, before the year was out, the American chipmaker went further and raised its investment to $1 billion. In eight months Inte...

Major pollution spill 'every other day' in China
The Guardian | 2007-01-11
Jonathan Watts
China's breakneck growth took its worst ever toll on the environment last year, the state media said today quoting a report that revealed serious pollution spills are occurring almost every other day.  Although the government has made cleaner economic development a priority, the State Environm...

G.M. Sees China, and the Chinese, in a Chevrolet
New York Times | 2007-01-11
Keith Bradsher
YANTAI, China  Yang Luzhou, who lives here in an industrial town facing North Korea across the bay, is about as far as can be from Americana.  He is even farther from John Mellencamp's "Our Country," the flag-waving soundtrack for Chevrolet's latest marketing campaign in the United ...

China fails to hit target for saving energy
Financial Times | 2007-01-11
Richard McGregor
China failed last year to meet its target for improved energy efficiency, a senior official said, underlining the challenge faced by Beijing in balancing the need for fast economic growth with higher environmental standards.  The target, one of only two numerical benchmarks laid down in the latest...

Support for Chairman Mao lingers
BBC | 2007-01-10
James Reynolds
The true believers come out in the freezing cold. Just before dawn, several hundred people gather behind a line of policemen in Tiananmen Square.  They stamp their feet to keep warm. They've all come to watch the Chinese flag go up at sunrise - a ritual that began in the days of Mao Zedong. ...

US-China trade deficit at all-time high
Financial Times | 2007-01-10
Richard McGregor and Eoin Callan
China's trade surplus reached $177.5bn (£118.7bn) last year, 74 per cent higher than in 2005, a rise that will intensify pressure on Beijing further to open its markets and accelerate the revaluation of its currency.  The growth in the surplus reported by China's customs agency – up fro...