CSG news update -- 2007-08-03

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Fri, 3 Aug 2007 02:00:31 -0700

China Study Group news update

After the floods, China battles heat and drought
Reuters | 2007-08-03
More than 7 million Chinese were short of drinking water on Friday as heat prolongs weeks of drought across the northeast and south, while floods remained a threat after killing more than 700 this summer, state media said.  As much as a third of all farmland across the southern provinces of Jiangx...

Business as usual for Mattel in dusty south China
Reuters | 2007-08-03
James Pomfret
 GUANYAO, China, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Thousands of young Chinese toymakers dressed in pink and blue Mattel T-shirts spill from the U.S. toy goliath's factories in Guanyao after an 11-hour overnight shift, as the dawn shift took their place.  Street hawkers on motorbikes sell warm soy milk, steami...

Chinese go online to kill corrupt civil servant officials
Independent | 2007-08-03
Richard Spencer
 PUNISHING corrupt officials is the year's big theme for the Chinese Communist Party after a succession of government scandals.  But no-one expected computer game addicts would be allowed to join in and vent their frustration with such enthusiasm that they would crash the website that allowed ...

China's Massive New Dam Passes Its First Real Test
Washington Post | 2007-08-03
Edward Cody
JIANLI, China - The Yangtze River, flowing more than 3,900 miles from the mountains of Tibet through fertile plains here in Hubei province and on to the East China Sea, was playing its traditional life-giving role Thursday, feeding the Chinese economy as it has for centuries.  As barges laden with...

China demands removal of two border bunkers
The Times of India | 2007-08-03
 GANGTOK/KOLKATA: China has demanded the removal of two bunkers set up by the Indian Army on the Sino-Indian border close to the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet, an intelligence source said on Wednesday.  The demand comes close on the heels of the controversy over the continued presence o...

Australian Wool Prices Drop 5.9% as China Buyers Slow Purchases
Bloomberg | 2007-08-02
Australian Wool Prices Drop 5.9% as China Buyers Slow Purchases 
Wool prices in Australia, the world's biggest producer and exporter of the fiber, fell to the lowest in more than seven months as sales to China slowed.  Benchmark prices fell 55 cents, or 5.9 percent, this week to A$8.74 ($7.50) a kilogram on the Eastern Market Indicator at the close of sales...

Engineer pleads guilty to economic espionage
MSNBC | 2007-08-02
SAN JOSE, Calif. - An engineer pleaded guilty to stealing military training software and trying to sell it to the Chinese Navy, becoming only the third person to be convicted on the rare charge of economic espionage, prosecutors said Thursday.  Xiaodong Sheldon Meng, 42, pleaded guilty in San Jose...

US Treasury says law on China forex could backfire
Reuters | 2007-08-02
Doug Palmer and Glenn Somerville
 WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - The Bush administration warned Congress on Thursday that a legislative drive to force China into letting its currency rise in value more quickly could backfire and damage the U.S. economy.  Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Sobel warned a House of Representati...

Group: China Cracking Down on Activists
Washington Post | 2007-08-02
BEIJING -- One year before the start of the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government has failed to live up to promises of greater human rights and has instead clamped down on domestic activists and journalists, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.  China, which has long been criticized for its human ...

A rare happy ending for China miners
LA Times | 2007-08-02
Mitchell Landsberg
BEIJING  Zhang Shuansuo was deep underground, working on a coal conveyor, when he heard a strange whooshing sound, "like a bellows." At first he thought something was wrong with the conveyor.  But with the help of a co-worker, his supervisor soon found the source of the unusual noise: Water...

D'oh! Homer 'photo' exposes Chinese media piracy
Computerworld | 2007-08-02
Steven Schwankert
(IDG News Service) -- A photo of Homer Simpson accompanying a genuine article about multiple sclerosis (MS) has exposed Chinese state-run media's penchant for using images without permission.  The article, which appeared on China's official Xinhua News Agency's English news site on Mon...

Shenzhen property rules likely to deflect HK investment
The Standard | 2007-08-02
Victor Cheung
Restrictions on foreigners buying residential property in Shenzhen are likely to temper Hongkongers' desire to enter the mainland city's real estate market and might divert their investments to other areas in China, a property consultant said.  Land Power International predicts a 10 percen...

Malaysia rebuffs homesick Chinese guerrilla
The Standard | 2007-08-02
Malaysia's High Court has virtually rejected an appeal by the country's most famous communist rebel to end his 47-year exile by ruling that he must first produce birth and citizen certificates, his lawyer said on Wednesday.  Lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira said there was no way Chin Peng, now ...

Aggrieved Chinese citizens discovering the lawsuit
Christian Science Monitor | 2007-08-02
Simon Montlake
Beijing - It's a parent's nightmare: a routine vaccination gone wrong. For Liang Yongli, whose bright-eyed daughter suffered brain damage and paralysis after a mandatory shot, it triggered a four-year search for compensation, justice, and an explanation.  He tried to sue the hospital for m...

The long march to be a superpower
Economist | 2007-08-02
THE sight is as odd as its surroundings are bleak. Where a flat expanse of mud flats, salt pans and fish farms reaches the Bohai Gulf, a vast ship looms through the polluted haze. It is an aircraft-carrier, the Kiev, once the proud possession of the Soviet Union. Now it is a tourist attraction. Chin...

Developing World Seeks Funds And Technology To Tackle Climate Change
Energy Daily | 2007-08-01
Gerard Aziakou
Rich nations were challenged Wednesday to make deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide the developing world with funding and technology to help it tackle climate change. Developed countries "have a specific responsibility" to carry out deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emission "in ...

China open to currency changes, U.S. Treasury chief says
IHT | 2007-08-01
BEIJING: The U.S. Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson Jr., said Wednesday that he was assured that China was committed to currency flexibility and more financial reforms.  But Beijing offered no specific changes that could help appease U.S. congressional ire about the huge Chinese trade surplus.  ...

China's Local Censors Muffle an Explosion
Washington Post | 2007-08-01
Edward Cody
TIAN SHIFU, China -- By 9 p.m., the Tianying karaoke bar was jumping. Two co-ed parties were underway, with celebrants drinking and singing. In the bathhouse section, men were soaking in hot tubs and enjoying the company of prostitutes, while other customers tried their luck in a pocket-size gamblin...

CCTV fires one third of work force
China Herdald | 2007-08-01
Fons Tuinstra
China Central TV might shed between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs or one third of its work force, summarizes China Media News in a round up of the rumors at China's central TV-station in Beijing. The dismissals seem to focus on un-licensed journalists, temps and part-time university students in an effor...