CSG news update -- 2007-08-22

From China Study Group <chinastudygroup@gmail.com>
Date Wed, 22 Aug 2007 02:00:32 -0700

China Study Group news update

Asia looks for consensuses
The Asia Times | 2007-08-22
Scott B MacDonald
NEW YORK - Asia has reached an interesting point in its development. For a long period behind the West in economic terms, Asia is now in the process of convergence. Although there remains considerable ground to be traversed before Asian economies are at the same average level of most European or Nor...

China takes a currency leap forward
Asia Times | 2007-08-22
Wu Zhong
HONG KONG - China has taken a significant move to ease further its foreign-exchange controls with a pilot program that allows citizens to buy hard currency to invest in overseas securities, according to an announcement by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).  The Hong Kong Stock Ex...

Northeast's revival tied to private investment
China Daily | 2007-08-21
Private and foreign ventures are being encouraged to play a major role in the revitalization of Northeast China, the country's old industrial base, a high-ranking official said yesterday.  "The Northeast must rely on reform and further opening up to ensure its rejuvenation," Zhang Guobao, vice...

Aluminum spill kills 14
China Daily | 2007-08-21
Fourteen people have now died as a result of an aluminum spill in East China's Shandong Province on Sunday night. Fifty-nine others remain in hospital, but the death toll is unlikely to rise further as they are all in a stable condition, local government sources said yesterday.  Hao Jian, head...

High hopes for Beijing's bicycle rental scheme
China Daily | 2007-08-21
Two years ago, Katie Melua had a hit with her song about there being "9 million bicycles in Beijing".  Now, authorities in the city are hoping a new bike promotion campaign will be equally popular and reinforce its status as the capital of the "Kingdom of the Bike".  Following the success of the...

China goes on the offensive to protect its reputation
The Economic Times | 2007-08-21
BEIJING: Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy  China's quality watchdog chief gave his verdict on Sunday on the storm surrounding the quality of Chinese goods, describing it as a 'cold wind'. Li Changjiang told a carefully choreographed talk show on state...

Death toll rises to 29 after Typhoon Sepat hit China
The Hindu | 2007-08-21
Beijing, Aug. 21 (PTI): At least 29 people have died and 14 others are missing in landslides and other mishaps triggered by Typhoon Sepat in east China's Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.  According to reports, over 200 cities and counties across Jiangxi are suffering torrential rain and...

China Coal Mine Rescue Effort Is Hampered by `Tough' Conditions
Bloomberg | 2007-08-21
Wang Ying
 Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Efforts to rescue 172 miners trapped in a flooded coal pit in eastern China for five days have been hampered by tougher-than-expected conditions at the site, an official from the nation's work safety administration said.  ``It is hard to predict when we will complete th...

 Throwback to Mao as China newspapers toe the line
Reuters | 2007-08-21
Lindsay Beck
 BEIJING (Reuters) - China's readers were given a taste of the Mao era at the weekend, when at least five state newspapers published nearly identical front pages, the latest sign of tightening control ahead of a Communist Party meeting.   All led with a story about China's leaders directi...

 Can the Paralympic games give China's disabled a boost?
Christian Science Monitor | 2007-08-21
Simon Montlake
 Beijing - As China counts down to the much-hyped 2008 Summer Olympics, a quieter effort is under way to prepare for its sister event, the Paralympics.   The Paralympics offer China an equal, if not a greater, chance of national sporting glory than the main event: Its athletes swept the medals ta...

 China: Death penalty for damage to grid
AP | 2007-08-21
 BEIJING - China says it will execute people who sabotage the electricity supply, reversing recent steps to rein in widespread use of the death penalty, the official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday.   Under a new legal interpretation by the Supreme People's Court, death can be ordered in extr...

 China hikes interest rates for fourth time this year
AFP | 2007-08-21
Verna Yu
 BEIJING (AFP) - China's central bank announced Tuesday it would raise interest rates for the fourth time this year in an effort to curb inflation that last month climbed to its highest level in over a decade.   The benchmark lending rate will rise by 0.18 percentage points and the benchmark ...