CHINA Current EventsBen Judge
China faces "diabetes epidemic", research suggests
Summary: According to the New England Journal of medicine there are 90 million people living with diabetes in China, this number would put China at the largest diabetic population in the world above India. This has been attributed to a rapid growth in the economy and increased accessibility to fast food and an increased sedentary lifestyle. On top of the 92 million that have it already there are about 150 million more that show the early signs of the disease and this could go out of control in the next few years. The main source of such a growth is because of the changing lifestyle of the average Chinese citizen and when people have more money to spend they start to become lazier and they start to become less active. Overall according to US research diabetes is becoming a global problem and over the next few years 60% of the new diabetes cases will come from the continent of Asia.
Analysis/Compare: I think that this comes as no surprise to most people in the world. When any country develops there are always increases in incomes and weight, with the decreased prices in vegetable oil there is more fast food available for much cheaper and frankly it really comes as no surprise to me. China's government can control most facets of life but it is difficult to control people's weight and I think this will continue to be an issue over the next few years. I think that frankly China wont really pay attention to this issue as long as the GDP is increasing at the rate it is and I believe that these more social and political issues will be resolved as the miracle of economics that China is experiences comes to an end then these issues will be resolved. I think that the average Chinese citizen can take a few pages from the US's book and start to eat better and to exercise more but they could be a few years behind us, with the healthy revolution.

Darien Lombardi
US firms worry over business chill in China
Summary: Western technology companies operating in China have found that investing their company heavily in such a restricted government atmosphere might have detrimental long term effects as the google encounter is showing. 57 percent of U.S. IT firms in China expect new rules for government purchases will hurt their business in the fast-growing Chinese market. The Chinese market is reported to grow to become the third largest economy in the world by the end of this year. Speculation grows from technology companies around the world that the two-month standoff between Google Inc. and Beijing will soon end with the Internet giant leaving the world's largest online market. Michael Barbalas, president of the American Chamber of Commerce China, said that while he hasn't heard of other technology companies following Google's lead, new rules requiring government agencies to purchase goods from "indigenous" companies is having a chilling effect on sales. "Google is sort of in its own little category of concern," said Barbalas, referring to the dispute between the company and Beijing over censorship and cyber attacks on Google that emanated from China.

Analysis/Comparison: If major technology companies pull out of China due to censorship regulations and restrictions that control business success and revenues then China will further isolate itself from the world stage of globalized interconnectivity. The google situation has worried potential technology corporations from investing in China even though it is soon to be the largest economy in the world in just a matter of time. Clearly China needs to adapt to the changing global influences pressing on all sides of their culture. The youth are seen as wanting the technologies and freedoms that western youths have access too and China needs to adapt to support its growing population and economy by letting in innovative ideas from the west to invest themselves in their economy.

Darien Lombardi
China's Migrant Restrictions Stirs Outcry
Summary: Parents of school children outside of the Great Beijing area are undergoing a large ordeal to get their children education and health care. The Parents have jobs in the suburbs of China and are not being recognized as residents of the City. They typically do not have a "hukou" -- the Chinese word for the equivalent of a permanent residency card. Without the "hukou" they may as well be considered illegal immigrants and are denied access to education or health care. "The hukou system has created a situation where rural migrants are denied many of those benefits when they move to the city to find work," said Shawn Hsieh, a visiting scholar at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. "They either have to go without them or pay for them out of pocket. It has created a group of second-class citizens. It's a source of social stratification, inequality and discrimination, and that is why many feel it should be removed." The National peoples congress met on March 1st to discuss and edit the repeals process for the hukou system. People inside their own country have a right to migrate freely and without consequences.
Comparison / Analysis: China's willingness to admit and change it's policies towards migrants from Southern China is a sign of progress for a government that has shown to ignore the social issues of its people. As mobility is more available to Chinese citizens and they can move to areas of greater opportunity there must be a change in the system of residency so that it is free and fair. The health care reforms that have happened in the United States are seen as change that China could be picking up on.

Darien Lombardi
Activist: China Trying to Silence Critics
Summary: A Chinese activist by the name of Ai Weiwei has become outspoken against China's lack of common sense and humane treatment of its people. He says that the Communist party will crack down and suppress anyone who contests their rule, which we all have come to know and realize. "they crack down on everybody who has different opinions -- not even different opinions, just different attitudes," Ai told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. "Simply to have different opinions can cost (dissidents) their life; they can be put in jail, can be silenced, and can be disappeared," he said. If you thought he got away with all of this blasphemy, you would be wrong. He says he was beaten in a hotel room by Chinese police that had raided it and then later he had to go to the hospital for brain surgery as a result. They shut down three of my blogs in seven minutes, so you can see how fearful they are about somebody speaking out their mind." He said 12 million people were reading his blog posts until they were closed. "Now we have about 50,000 people -- writers, editors, journalists -- who can get the information. And they can get whatever we say in the West," he added.
Comparison/ Analysis: We have all known what Ai Weiwei has been describing. China has cracked down with brutal censorship like this since Mao's communist takeover. The progress of technology however is something changing and its presence in China is a huge deal and has the ability to challenge the government itself. The upheaval of the governments ideals may very well start from its people with their keyboards and screens instead of their pens and papers. Ai Weiwei brings up that their reporters in China can go through channels to reveal all of their governments acts of oppression to the world.

Amelia Fisher.
China Warns Google to Obey Censorship
Summary: If Google stops filtering its search results in China, there will be grave consequences. There is very little room that China is willing to compromise on the subject censorship. This duel between two superpowers, Google and China, will set precedents for international business in the country. This could also escalate tensions between the Chinese and U.S. governments. Google is making the country with the world’s biggest market of Internet users unhappy, which is certainly not in their best interest. Google said China’s restriction of freedom of expression and cyber attacks that came from China is what set the company off.
Analysis/Comparison: Google is talking with different Chinese agencies about whether or not in can operate unfiltered as well as how other Chinese operations would be affected. Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, said "I hope Google can respect Chinese rules and regulations. If you insist on taking this action that violates Chinese laws, I repeat: You are unfriendly and irresponsible, and you yourself will have to bear the consequences." Clearly China is sending an equally as strong as message as the United States and Google as sending. This will have a significant impact on China-U.S. relations.

Carolyn Motta
Google shuts China site in dispute over censorship
Google recently shut down its site in mainland China, and started redirecting Chinese Google users to its uncensored search engine site in Hong Kong. Google executives claim this to be “entirely legal,” as it was their attempt to go around censorship laws without necessarily breaking Chinese laws. The Chinese government has made it perfectly clear through legal agreements and requirements that companies must self-censor their site if they are to be operating in China. Shutting down its site in China is a risky move for Google, as it will be basically shutting out 400 million Chinese web users. However, China only accounted for a small fraction of Google’s revenue, and advertisements will still run on the uncensored site in Hong Kong. Even though Google is no longer operating in China, officials have said that this should not affect US-China relations “unless politicized” by others.
Analysis/Comparison: Shutting down the Chinese site is very risky for Google. By doing this, Google could cause an escalation in the conflict, which could possibly lead to Google being completely eradicated. Currently, Google still has some operations in China, but the search engine is not active. It was expected that with the Google search engine operating in China, many citizens would gain more information and the Chinese government would loosen its control on the Web. However, because Google is now pulling out of China, this may not happen. The fact that Google cannot exist in China shows a worsening business climate in China for foreign operations and indicates that China’s status as a rising power may be heading the other direction.

Kendyl Cole
China Migrant Restictions Cause Outcry
Summary: A hukou in China is the equivalent of a green card in the US. Every family in China is part of the hukou system, which severely limits a family's ability to move. Migrant workers who have moved from rural China to the cities for work have been denied a hukou. Without a hukou, the family is technically illegal and are denied access to public services like health care and education. With more and more people moving from rural China to find work, these circumstances involving hukou have greatly risen,"They either have to go without them or pay for them out of pocket. It has created a group of second-class citizens. It's a source of social stratification, inequality and discrimination, and that is why many feel it should be removed." One week before the annual NPC meeting, many newspapers in Bejing ran editorials appealing for a reform of the hukou system. One of the editorials said, "The NPC deputies and CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) National Committee members should "press related ministries and departments to provide a clear timetable for a national household registration reform and gradually use personal information registration to replace household registration and then finally eliminate it."
Analysis: The fact that this unfair hukou system is occuring in China doesn't surprise me at all. What does surprise me is the demand for reform of this system by not only the people, but the media. Not only is the media not being censored, but it is in fact using it's power to ask the NPC to consider reforming the system. People demanding changes in policies to the government? This doesn't sound like China to me. It's an amazing example of democratization that is occurring currently, and it's a beacon of hope as well.
Comparsion: The hukou system is modeled from Stalin's,"propiska, the hukou system was introduced in the 1950s to implement the socialist command-economy and to facilitate control over China's burgeoning population." The similarities in how the Chinese government works today and how the Stalinist government use to run are evident. Though the U.S.S.R has collapsed, the effects it had on the world, and it's fellow communist countries is still obvious to this day.
Audrey Fisher

China PM Defends Assertive Trade, Foreign Policy

Recently China has met pressure from western countries- specifically the US over it's questionable economic policies- a government run economy that has seen a growth of 10.7 % in the last year alone. Obama specifically has criticized China for their great amount of exporting from Beijing and lack on importing that has become dictated by the government. In his defense premier Wen Jiabo "cited high unemployment rates, debt crises in nations such as Greece and high government deficits abroad, while at home, he said, there are worries about inflation and businesses' over-reliance on the massive stimulus and loans China used last year to keep the economy running." High government spending approved in China has lead to benefits such as education and housing in China. Wen says that China is doing what it needs to, to keep the country out a recession and despite many critiques China will continue it's policies concerning the economy.

Lindsay Kornegay
//Heavy security in Tibet ahead of protests' anniversary//
Summary: With the approaching second anniversary of the violent 2008 Tibetan protests, Chinese security forces have launched a campaign to prevent another outbreak. Special police groups have been deployed around the Tibetan capital of Lhassa, reportedly seizing guns, ammunition and knives. Police have also been checking identity papers and searching homes. One Lhasa citizen even claims that police sweeps begin at dusk and go well into the night. A few days ago the Dalai Lama said that China's goal is to abolish Buddhism in the Himalayan region and that monks and nuns were being kept in prison-like conditions.
Analysis/Conclusion: This article reminded me of how the U.S. handled airport security on the anniversaries following September 11th. Airport officials went to ridiculous measures, searching the completely innocent to throwing away women's makeup, even though another terrorist attack was nearly impossible. Similarly, China's government lives in fear of not having control over their people. Therefore they do whatever it takes to maintain that control, even if it means violating essential human rights. I believe these search campaigns are just another example of that fear, and that the more rights they violate the more protests they will see.

Brian Hughes
Tibet's Progress "On Track" According to Beijing
Summary; After the riots of March 8 2008, which cast a shadow over the reigon, China is finally focusing on its stated economic and political agenda. Actually reading the article, a casual reader can find none of the ways that the Chinese government is working to stimulate the economic conditions of those living in Tibet, or trying to advance their status socially- its more of a tribute to how great the Chinese government is, and how it is working to help the best interests of the people in the reigon, depsite the medeling, terrorist funding Dahli Lama.
Analysis/Comparison- A piece of propaganda at its finest. From the article, a reader learns absolutly nothing about the reigon of Tibet, its peoples, and the government of China's economic and social practices in the area, all of which are infered as critical parts of the article. I was hoping to see how the Chinese view this issue, and instead I got this.
Ben Judge
China hits back at US over Taiwan weapons sale

Summary: After US companies has made a deal with Taiwan to sell over 6 billion dollar worth of arms to the island nation, China has struck bad with sanctions on the military companies and that it will suspend all further military exchanges with the US for now. This comes after relations between the US and China are strained due to clashes over internet freedom and trade problems. The US has said these weapons will be used to help the security of the region and to allow Taiwan to defend itself from any attacks by China. It is known that there are hundreds of missiles pointed at Taiwan in Mainland China that could be used if Taiwan declares formal independence. Since the selling of arms to China was banned in 1989 after the Tianamin Square issue more companies have been selling to Taiwan in the past years. This deal mainly deals with patriot missiles and mine hunting ships but there are no f-16's even though Taiwan has been seeking to get some from other countries. This comes down to a confidence issue and that with these new defense technologies then Taiwan will better be able to defend itself.
Analysis/Compare: I believe that this is not the greatest diplomatic move by the US at this point. Since China basically controls our economy at this point we do not want to strain relations even more then they are right now. But I understand how they want Taiwan to be more secure when dealing with China because at this point with a point of a finger the island of Taiwan could be destroyed. But this is the US trying to make a power move on China and I believe that this is not the best way to get leverage on China and that there are better ways of going about looking big and scary in the worlds eyes. I believe that it will be interesting to see how this develops in the coming weeks and to see the reactions to the actual sale and what kinds of consequences will be inflicted on the US.

Kendyl Cole
China Denies Problems With Tibet
Summary: After the Dali Lama's recent meeting with President Obama and appearance on the Larry King Live Show, China is claiming that Tibetans are "very happy ... much, much, much better than previous Tibet." The Dali Lama spoke about how he still receives reports of supression and restrictions of the Tibetian people, though he is living in exile in India currently. China denies these claims, and still refuses to give Tibet it's independence. The Dali Lama told King that Tibetan's don't want to be independent, because, " Tibet [is a] landlocked country, materially backward. Every Tibetan want modernized Tibet, so for that reason, [we] remain within the People's Republic of China."
Analysis/Comparison: I find the situation with China and Tibet incredibly interesting. The Dali Lama speaks openly about the mistreatment of Tibetan's, trying to spread awareness of China's opression, but the people of Tibet themselves don't want to be independent. On the other hand, China see's the Dali Lama as a threat, though there really is no threat of Tibet trying to gain it's independence. The Chinese government strongly objected the meeting between President Obama and the Dali Lama, warning that it would strain ties between the two super powers. China is full of empty threats, Tibet is whining, and Obama is just trying to appease everyone.

Audrey Fisher
China Unloads Some of U.S. Debt
All Things Consider interviewed Adam Davidson of NPR's Planet Money to discuss the exchange of U.S. debt between China and Japan. The way national debt works the US does not borrow directly from a certain country but sells US Treasury bonds that anyone can buy. In the past few months Japans has increasingly bought more and China increasingly less. This means that like any creditor China has become less inclined to finance US loans- meaning a higher interest rate for US loans, slowly increasing our debt as we pay it back. The control China and other countries have over US money has become very influencial as we continue to borrow more money and attempt to work out our debt. The money we owe connects us politically to the countries we borrow from as well, giving them more influence over the US. But in the long run if other nations were to stop lending to us and the US economy was to collapse it would effect every lender as they too are heavily invested in our economy. So China has the power to bully the US but cannot stop financial aid entirely because their country depends on the success of ours very much.

Lindsay Kornegay
China urges checks after deadly fireworks blast
Summary: After a New Years fireworks explosion killed 21 and injured 48 China has ordered local authorities to strengthen their safety measures. Authorities have reported that an initial investigation found a pile of fireworks were set off in an open space thirty yards from a residential building. Footage showed that the explosion ripped through a six-story apartment building, blowing out windows, a ground wall, and melting the exterior of a car parked next to it. Lantern festival fireworks last year started an inferno that destroyed a nearly completed hotel and earlier this month fireworks displayed a 1,600-year- old city gate causing about $150,000 dollars in losses.
Analysis/Conclusion: I think it is crazy how out of control New Years celebrations have gotten in China. If I did not know the context of the story I would have thought that the deaths were a result of a bombing or some other terrorist-related incident. If something like this happened in the United States
this would be a national incident rather than just ordinary news. It will be interesting to see how this will affect Chinese New Years celebrations in the future. We will see if the government actually gets something done or just brushes this aside as fireworks are seen as an essential element to the holiday.

Amelia Fisher
Paper Tiger: China's No Threat to the U.S.
Summary: Some Chinese leaders think Beijing can use its financial position to influence the United States, but this article says that Americans have no need to worry. Beijing views economic warfare as a legitimate tactic against the United States. The threat of financial retaliation has been repeatedly raised bypeople within the People's Liberation Army. China has $700 billion to $800 billion worth of U.S. and around $1.4 trillion in American dollar assets overall. The dumping of all of this money would lead to a fall in the value of Chinese currency and significantly devalue Beijing's international assets.
Anaylsis/Compare: In reality, the proportion of U.S. government debt financed by Chinese foreign exchange reserves has been falling significantly since 2008. The yuan is still 25%-50% undervalued. The deliberate suppression of the value of the yuan is designed to help protect its export sector, which generates jobs for millions of Chinese citizens.Allowing the free conversion of dollars into yuan would cause a rise in the value of the Chinese currency and a significant decrease in the price competitiveness of Chinese exports.Beijing's economic choices are limited, as is its leverage over the U.S. The United States may hold more power of China than they think.

Laura PC
"Dalai Lama: China denies problems in Tibet"
Summary: China is currently “denying there is a problem” between its government and Tibet. China is notorious for ignoring and rejecting Tibetan claims of independence and autonomy and it claims to have sovereignty over the region. The Dalai Lama, who was a guest on the CNN show “Larry King Live” said that Tibetans “are not seeking independence.” He also said, “Every Tibetan wants modernized Tibet, so for that reason, [we] remain within the People’s Republic of China.” The Dalai Lama also met with Obama, which China was not too happy about as it thought it would hurt connections between Beijing and Washington D.C. Beijing views Obama as a “separatist” that is trying to split up Tibet and China and make Tibet free. The Dalai Lama believes that the main issues with Tibet have to do with the people’s basic rights and culture, but he does not speak ill of China.
Analysis: This article isn’t much of a surprise, in my opinion. For a long time, there has been a great deal of tension between China and Tibet and it’s hard to determine the future of this relationship. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that China views Obama as a “separatist” and that China doesn’t want to acknowledge that there is an issue with the region of Tibet. I also think that what the Dalai Lama said was extremely respectful. He didn’t vilify China but he did make it a point to say that he has had some irritation with Chinese hardliners but the majority of the time, he practices love and peace with the nation of China. He truly seems to be looking out for the rights and needs of the people of Tibet, both old and young, and China needs to acknowledge that. A lot of the Chinese see themselves as superior to Tibetans and I really hope that someday, Tibet earns much more autonomy than it already has while still having a good relationship and strong connection with China.
China certainly isn’t the only country to deny issues that are actually going on. There are lots of things this particular situation can be compared to. For one, when Mao Zedong took the Great Leap Forward in China, he completely denied the huge famine that followed. In Germany, Hitler denied many of the millions of deaths that he ordered. In Russia, which we are studying now, we see plenty of human rights violations and particular denial of certain events that the not-so-free press isn’t allowed to report on. China certainly has issues with Tibet, and China needs to face and fix them. A huge part of this is giving Tibet more power to rule itself while still supporting the region with money and assistance. Otherwise, China will continue to control Tibet, similar to how Turkey refuses to give more autonomy to Cyprus.

Emily Jackson
China communists get new anti-corruption ethics code
Summary: In addition to the Chinese courts giving harsher punishments to corrupt party officials (see Kendyl's, below), the Chinese Communist Party has issued a 52-point ethics code, which prohibits members from "property speculation, money-making deals, and lavish expenditure." It also bans flamboyantly expensive weddings and funerals, as well as overseas tours, ridiculously expensive government buildings and flash cars- officials often are chauffeured around in luxury vehicles. This is mostly to prevent officials from spending government money on luxuries and engaging in profit-making deals. They are supposed to serve the people and not use their influence to their own personal advantage.
Analysis: The last time the CCP issued any kind of ethics code was 13 years ago, and corruption in the party keeps growing as officials continue to test their limits as per how much they can use their authority to their advantages. The fact that it is the CCP itself issuing the new code is encouraging, because it means that the party might actually intend to do something about its corrupt officials rather than facilitate their actions.
Compare: Though the corruption situation in the Chinese government is becoming quite similar to that of Mexico, the difference here is that the Chinese government actually has the authority to do something about it. The Mexican government is so overrun with corruption that at this point it would take years to pick it all apart and form a corruption-free system. The CCP, as the ruling party and decisive voice in the Chinese state system, may actually be able to do something about its corrupt officials, but only time will tell if the party is serious about this or if it is just a façade to fool the world into thinking that they are trying to change.

Ben Judge
China tightens internet controls
Summary: In the recent weeks the Chinese government has taken more measures to make sure that the internet is censored. In this new round of restrictions new website owners to meet with regulators of the government and to produce ID. The government says this is just to protect the people from the pornography industry but some human rights activists say this is just more government control that is lessening the rights of the Chinese people. Since China has such a large internet population at 380 million, this has not decreased with these new restriction. In the past years the internet has been used to show corrupt officials and show cases of social injustice. As the restrictions increase the domain makers seem to be one step ahead of the government, although China has claimed that more people have been arrested because of the pornography industry.
Analysis/Comparison: I think that these new restrictions are just China once again over reacting to a relatively small issue in their country. Or that the reason they are so worked up over it is because of other motives. For the record to China, if there is an internet, there will be porn that is just how it works. Also, I find it disturbing that China is making all of these restrictions and there is not that much uproar over it, I feel like with these more restrictions the people would begin to question the government but I suppose that China is always one step ahead in quelling rebellion. I think that this is a power play to prevent further embarrassment from the people on public officials being corrupt and about how the government is committing social injustices. This is similar to the crackdowns under Putin in Russia but is different because in China people are not being killed.

Kendyl Cole
China Cracks Down On Corruption
Summary: China's top court has made a pledge to crack down on corrupted officials and the punishments they receive. The Supreme People's Court has begun to detail crimes that deserve harsh or lenient punishments. This document focuses on government employee's and officials as a target for this newly heightened harshness. It states that, " no leniency will be granted to officials involved in offenses such as gang crimes, serious work safety accidents and counterfeiting or adulterating food or medicines." Government employees and officials will be punished even more severely if they claim to be not guilty. This move is a result of President Hu Jintao's effort to fight against corruption, which he has said is, "persistent, complicated and arduous." Last year, 15 officials had been investigated for corruption, and 9 of them were prosecuted, including the for Supreme People's Court Vice President.
Analysis/Comparison: I feel that this new crack down on corruption in China is a really great thing. Corruption have always been a major part of the communist government, and it's a very great thing that the court system is attempting to fight against it. Democratization is slowing creeping its way into the Chinese way of life, slowly but surely. Though this new claim is very exciting, it's also pretty unlikely that anything will actually happen. Considering that it is the Supreme People's Court who are pledging to do this, and they have very little power, this might just be a pretty distraction to appease the people. If the CCP was saying they wanted to crack down on corruption, that would be a whole other story.

Laura PC
"China searches for tainted milk"

Summary: China has seized 72 tons of milk powder that have been discovered to contain melamine. There was a huge scandal in 2008 with melamine found in baby milk powder because it killed six children and made 300,000 more children ill. The melamine was added to the powder in order to artificially boost protein levels, but it ended up only being harmful. Melamine is also used in making plastics and fertilizer, and when it's added to food it makes it seem like there's more protein but it can lead to health problems like kidney stones. The powder was supposed to be destroyed after the issue in 2008, but the company that had been using it instead gave it to another company as debt payment. At this point, 72 tons of melamine have been tracked but there are supposedly another 100 tons still out there in circulation somewhere.
Analysis: The part of this whole ordeal that puzzles me the most is why the 170 extra tons of contaminated milk powder are still in circulation and they weren't completely disposed by of by the company that used it. Furthermore, you'd think that the milk powder wouldn't be out there somewhere if the people that prosecuted the company made sure that the powder was completely thrown away. It's ridiculous how many babies became ill because of the melamine in 2008, but it's even more ridiculous that it's likely for it to keep happening. It's a good thing that China found 72 tons of it, but it really needs to find the other 100 tons before bad things start happening again. China is dealing with a lot on its plate right now and this isn't a scandal that it needs getting super publicized and tarnishing the country's name and reputation. This issue isn't exactly new and it's best if they deal with it as quickly and efficiently as possible so as to avoid any potential illnesses and so that the country can focus on other issues.
Compare: China dealt with a wide scale melamine scandal back in 2008, but there have been other similar scandals that led to recalls. Some of these have taken place in other parts of the world but many of them have happened in China because China is such a manufacturing and goods production powerhouse. Companies like Fisher-Price and Mattel were forced to recall certain toys because they were discovered to have lead in them and were killing the infants that were playing with them because they were often sucked on by younger children. In the U.S., there was a big recall issue with peanut butter that was believed to have salmonella in it. The bottom line is that recalls aren't new but they need to be dealt with immediately in order to avoid bad publicity and prevent harm of the people.

Darien Lombardi
Switzerland to Take Uyghur Pair from Gitmo

Summary: Two Uyghur brothers that were detained in Guantanamo bay are being released but they are not being sent back to China to mysteriously disappear like all the others. Instead, they Switzerland is annexing them according to the Uyghur American Association. China has responded with a demand to return them to China because of their involvement in separatist groups. They were captured and sent to Guantanamo by Pakistani forces in 2001 on suspicion of terrorist activities.
Analysis/Comparison: I would imagine that if this situation continues Tension would grow to uneasy proportions between China and all the countries that are involved in annexing Uyghur criminals. Many countries see violations of human rights in China when dealing with Uyghur protest populations. Uyghur criminals that are sent back to China are never heard from again and the world knows what happens to them.

Amelia Fisher

How Rio Tinto trials may play out in China

Summary: Four employees of Rio Tinto have been charged with bribery and stealing commercial secrets, which have really upset foreign investors in China. These men could face up to seven years for commercial secrets charges and twenty years for bribery. Foreign businesses and Chinese industry will be watching to see if they get the short or long end of those ranges. China has been following its own laws in dealing with this case, so they will likely be tried in Shanghai’s Intermediate People’s Court.
Analysis/Comparison: This seems a little bit ironic to be after learning about china’s patron-client system. In this case, though, this bribery and selling secrets is going against the government, which is not allowed. China is deciding on using its own laws and court systems to try these four men, even though the laws are relatively new. The men might have a relatively light sentence to reduce diplomatic fallout. The government really wants to sweep this upset under the rug. A light sentence would also vindicate Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's discreet dealings with the case. Australian relations with China are expected to improve as recovering minerals prices boost Chinese demand for Australian commodity exports.

Lindsay Kornegay
China 'airport limbo' activist allowed into Shanghai
Summary: Feng Zhenghu, a Chinese rights activist, has finally been allowed admission back into China after his initial attempt in June. Zhenghu left China last April, and after several failed efforts to return, set up a protest in Japan's Narita International Airport in November. He has resided there for the last three months, living off donated food and using his phone and laptop to blog about his situation. Upon his return to China, a number of Zhenghu's supporters had gathered at the airport in hopes of meeting him. However, he took an alternate exit, and his family later stated that he had returned home safely.
Analysis/Comparison: I think this is another great example of the gradual liberalization of China's policies. The Chinese government is beginning to feel more and more pressure to allow for protests such as these. They are realizing that in order to please and keep their people under control they will have to loosen up. I am very surprised though that they actually agreed to admit Zhenghu back into the country. In many other cases, such as with the famous "tank man" the opposed party simply disappeared. Only time will tell if they will continue to permit him freedom or in fear of the uprising of the people, apprehend Zhenghu, never to be seen again.

Carolyn Motta
Wanted - Rental Boyfriend for Lunar New Year
Summary: Many people in their late twenties realize that their families will become more and more expectant that they pick up either a boyfriend or girlfriend as they approach their thirties. And with the Lunar New Year coming up so soon, they remember that their parents will be very critical of them if they come home without them. The Lunar New Year is the most important day in the Chinese Calendar, so people will be visiting their families and feel the dire need to impress them. Because Chinese parents can be so critical and judgmental, many young people have resorted to finding boyfriends/girlfriends on the internet...and not a typical dating or match-up site. They are simply renting people out to spend the holidays with them. Thousands of ads can be found online looking for someone to "rent out," and there are also many ads in which people offer themselves as dates. A typical "rentee" will make about 5000 renminbi, or $735, during the Lunar New Year Holiday. However, many people are in fact against this because they say that it goes against Confucian ideals, but some people also argue that younger generations are still trying to uphold Chinese traditions, in a new way though.
Analysis and Comparison: I thought this was a really funny and interesting article. This just sounds like something that Americans would do, not Chinese people. It is interesting though to think of how this is an attempt to uphold traditions. Zhao Xudong, the dean of the sociology department at China Agriculture University, believes that the fact that young people are finding boyfriends and girlfriends online shows that "Chinese traditions still play a role in people’s lives. But it also shows that our young generation is smart, using capitalism to solve major problems facing our society and culture.” It is also interesting that a lot more women "rent dates" than men, considering how many more men there are in China, due to the one-child policy. Like I said before, this seems like something that Americans would do. And it sort of is; many Americans have ordered mail-order brides, most of them coming from Asian countries. It's pretty interesting to see how technology has such a big role in how people are finding significant others these days.

Ben Judge

Australia-China mine deal mix-up

Summary: In the recent weeks China and Australia has been working out a deal to ship more then 30 million tons of coal a year over 20 years with a 60 billion dollar deal. This deal is between Roadhouse and China Power international Holding. Since CHina is so reliant on coal energy at this point and their markets are always spreading this is a step to increasing their presence in foreign markets. SInce the boom in China's economy after the stimulus the need for coal has increased greatly. The plan will involve building a plant in Queensland and there will be over 300 km of railroad built to ship the coal to the coast. It is said that the deal will begin in 2013 and the plant will be able to churn out about 40 million tons of coal a year.
Analysis: This is China once again getting into other markets and practically starting to drain the resources from countries in exchange for incentives and other benefits. China has doesn't this so much in the past that at this point it does not really surprise me. People are willing to invest in China because it will have the highest rate of return of capital but I believe that China's massive growth will slow eventually and this taking of resources will not continue. But for now it what China must to do grow but it endangers the environment of these countries and their futures with China taking their natural resources. Overall this shows that China is willing to do alot for resources and shows how dependent they are on coal and other fossil fuels. I believe that China should work towards becoming greener.
Compare: with the recent resurgence of the world economy there has been a lot of countries producing and selling more fossil fuels again. The US demand has gone up as well as Great Britain and many western powers are working to expand their market bases and China is no exception to this. It will be interesting how the race for resources develops as the years go by.

Kendyl Cole

Uighurs Returned To China Disappear:

Summary: A group of Uighurs who fled to Cambodia in July have, "disappeared into a black hole on their return to China". In response to the violent ethnic riots that occurred last July in Xinjiang, this group of 20 Uighurs sought out asylum in neighboring Cambodia. They were not kept safe for long, and Cambodia flew them back on a plane to China in December. Despite opposition from the US and the UN, these refugees were returned to China and have not been seen since. HRW (Human Rights Watch) has said that, "China has a history of executing or imposing harsh sentences of Uighurs sent back from abroad and that there were unconfirmed reports some members of a group previously returned had been sentenced to death in western Xinjiang province".
Analysis/Comparison: I think that it is just disgusting how China is able to so openly violate the rights of its citizens and get away with it. Though China has not spoken about this incident, it's very clear, given the history of punishment, that these refugees have been tortured or killed. Despite both the UN, US, and HRW speaking out on this occurrence, nothing has been done. In class, we've been talking about the racial riots in Xianjiang, and how they have negatively affecting the countries image. What happened in Xianjiang back in July was very public and well known, but what has happened since these riots has been kept under cover. The outcome of these refugees lives is unknown, and that is not okay.

Audrey Fisher
For China's Gay Community, The Show Doesn't Go On
I found this article on NPR and thought that it would be interesting to compare Gay Rights in China versus gay rights here in the US. This story focused on the "Mr. Gay China" pageant that was held in early January in Beijing, China. The event was intended to be discrete and free of media coverage but the international media immediately showed major interests. There are estimated to be between 36 and 48 million homosexuals in China but the 8 contestants of the pageant did not want attention from the media. In China most people have yet to " come out of the closet" and announce their sexual orientation and until 1997 it was illegal to be gay- called a "crime of hooliganism" and was then pronounced a mental illness up until 2001. A source told the reporter that the gay community in China was content to remain patient in hopes that future generations of homosexuals will be accepted by China.
In the US we still struggle to accept gay rights in Chapel Hill we don't experience the same amount of discrimination or hostility as many rural and southern cultures that still hold on to traditional ways. But still we have come a long way and in my opinion China is on the right track but a transition in cultural values is a big step for any society and it will take time.

Amelia Fisher
Standing up for Taiwan: U.S. arms sales help cross-Strait relations.
Summary: Taiwan bought a $6.4 billion package of arms sales from the Obama administration this past Friday, which predictably upset Beijing. China’s threats show the importance of arms sales are to China’s security. This package was organized under the Bush Administration. The arms include 114 antimissile system and 60 Blackhawk helicopters, all defensive weapons. This doesn’t do much to alter the military power in the Taiwan Strait; it still leans heavily in China’s favor.
Compare: Taiwanese voters have began to question whether or not an economic pact with China may be the best thing for the island. Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said that this arms package helps mitigate the imbalance occurring in the strait. It will help Taiwan’s negotiating position with China.
Analysis: This is a delicate subject for relationships between China and the United States concerning Taiwan. China is angry with the arms sales. They have threatened grave consequences. China has also announced a halt to military exchanges with the United States’ companies involved with the Taiwan arms contracts.

Brian Hughes
Ministry of Education Urges Primary and Secondary Schools To Use Internet Filtering Software
Summary: China's Ministry of Education has urged local education administrations to adopt what is called "Internet Filtering Software", for the purpose of protecting the students from vulgar, decadent and offensive content, including pictures, articles and video. It is also requiring of the local administrations that they install said filters onto the computers and servers. The reasoning given is that "the transmission of decadent and harmful information will bring negative affects on the youth." In addition, the administrations are requested that they teach the students how to use computers in compliance with Chinese law, and to report any decadent or offensive material immediately.
Analysis: Frankly, I do not see the point of this, as most search engines that operate in China practice strict self-censorship anyway, and are obviously not going to change lest they lose to lucrative Chinese market, as seen with Google. This leads me to believe that the spat with Google has shaken the leaders of China, and though China holds the upper hand in any arguments with search engines, obviously the leadership feels that self-censorship can no longer be counted on.
Comparison: With the failure of self-censorship by Google, China is now aware of the power of multinational corporations. Just as the U.S. is powerless to stop the movement of American jobs to poorer reigons in the world, China may soon have little control of the internet if others follow Google's example.

Emily Jackson

Four more death sentences over Xinjiang unrest

Summary: Four more people have been sentenced to death over the Han-Uighur riots in Xinjiang province last July. The current total sentenced is thought to be 25. Nine were executed in November. Eight others were sentenced to life in prison and one to death with a two-year reprieve, which will probably be commuted to a life sentence. It was not explicitly stated which ethnic group they all belonged to, but their names, which were released, indicate that they are Uighurs.
Analysis: This is unsurprising, considering that 197 people were killed in the riots in July. However, those sentenced were found guilty of crimes including murder, damage to property, arson, and robbery. While it is impossible to say for sure, it's a pretty safe bet to guess that not all of the people sentenced to death committed the only one of these crimes that, in the United States at least, can elicit capital punishment (murder, of course). It is also noted that the sentenced are all Uighur, though the Han also participated in the riots, even if they didn't necessarily incite them. The sentences have all been handed down by a provincial court, which would obviously favor the Han, since they are now the majority in the area although that wasn't the case a few years ago.
Comparison: We have spent some time talking about the riots, so I thought it was interesting to find a very current article that was about this issue. To me, it all seems so far away, but it was just last summer. This situation is also another example of religious oppression, as the Uighurs are discriminated against not only for being a minority but also for being Muslim in spite of the government's strict religious restrictions. Jews used to be discrimination's religion of choice- now I guess it's Muslims, in China, France, the UK, Switzerland, even certain sects in the Middle East. I just pray that the bigotry will be resolved before another religious genocide takes place.

Carolyn Motta
Consumers to drive growth: Vice-Premier
Summary: China's booming economy is growing even more lately, and with hope for more growth in the near future. China's Vice-Premier, Li Keqiang, announced that they hope to boost domestic consumption, as they have realized that export growth alone cannot support them. In boosting domestic consumption, China will increase employment as well as income levels. A former member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers has noted that China is our "biggest hope, and our biggest fear." In 2009 alone, China's economy grew about 8.7%. There are high expectations that China's growing economy, and by extension, a greater involvement in the world economy, can help the world.
Analysis: With China's economy already booming, and set to improve, they are almost surpassing Japan as the second largest this year, and as the "voice of the developing world." China plans to become more involved in the global community, and recently passed Germany as the top exporting country. However, I think China still has a lot of work to do internally. When people think of China, they often think of the big cities: Beijing, Shanghai, etc. But, there is a lot more to China than those prosperous, successful cities. Many people, especially in the countryside of China, are living in poverty. China also has a very low per capita GDP, being 106th on the world list. While it is good that China is planning more domestic development, like the increase in employment and income, it is still important that this not be overlooked.

Laura PC
"Google 'sister' launches in China"
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Summary: Recently, a new search engine and social network called "Goojje" has appeared online in China. The logo looks practically the same and the final syllable, "jje," sounds like the Mandarin word, jiejie, for older sister. Like the old google, the results on Goojje are filtered for sensitive content in accordance with Chinese rules and regulations. This means that the people there can't see what the government doesn't want them to see if they use the Goojje search engine. As we know, Google recently pulled out and objected to the restrictions that China was putting on the results it could release, but Goojje is actually encouraging Google to also keep doing business with China. Google, after discovering that hackers had tried to infiltrate the system, decided that it would only keep working with China if the country relaxed censorship rules. Google has declined to make any comments about Goojje.
Analysis: It's a really good thing that Google finally pulled out of its agreement with China - it took some hackers to make it happen, but the important part is that it happened. I find it interesting that Goojje has appeared online and is basically Google without the restrictions, yet the company is still urging Google to stay in China. My best guess for why this is is that Goojje obviously isn't as well known or popular, and I'm sure a lot of people in China have become accustomed to using Google. China probably knows that Goojje won't get as much usage, which is why they don't want China to leave them totally alone. The name coincidence is a bit funny as well - Goojje sounds like "sister" and the word Google sounds a lot like the Mandarin word gege, which means "big brother." It's as if Goojje is expecting Google to team up with them and become a sort of power online search engine team. Either that, or Goojje is just trying to be way too much like Google in the hopes of increasing the number of people that use it.
Compare: As we all know, China is pretty big on censorship of free press. One of the most shocking restrictions the country had on Google was on pictures and information about the massacre at Tiananmen square. Tons of students of this generation hadn't even heard about the massacre because no one really talks about it and there were no pictures or anything on the internet. Other countries like Russia have also been known for censoring the press, and not only that, but exterminating any people that questioned the government (including any reporters that were encouraged to ask questions). Similarly, even when aspects of their press were hindered, they were able to find alternatives in keeping with their usual regulations, similarly to how China has created Goojje.

Benjamin Judge (I will not delete everything this time)
China rejects claims of cyber attacks on Google
Summary: In response to the recent allegations that the Chinese government attacked google to gain information about leading human rights activists, the China government has said it did not launch the attacks and it is insulted that the US would think it was them. This comes after Hillary Clinton asked the Chinese government to look into the attacks it was responded with negative results including that the US had no grounds to suspect the Chinese government. Recently the Chinese run newspapers has said that the US is being hypocritical and it is exploited the Chinese and that it does not own the internet. Although the US has a market of about 1 bn dollars in the search engine industry in China 35% of internet users use google and there is a huge gap in the market without it. This is making both governments heated and tensions will continue to rise.
Analysis: I believe that these attacks were done by the Chinese government like they have done in the past to take information from US companies and to find information about the leading human rights activists. I believe that the Chinese are so against coming out with the truth is that they would make them look bad. I think that China and the US needs to work on their relationship because they are such major trading partners and they have to work out their differences in order to maintain a calm relationship with each other. I believe that unless there is some mutual respect for the other party then there will be difficult times ahead for the US and China
Compare: THis compares to the strained relations with other countries China is experiencing, because they are closed to the rest of the world and do not have the free press that all of the other major countries has it is under pressure although it is the fastest growing economy.

Lindsay Kornegay
China's Bubble Trouble
Summary: There is currently a "housing bubble" situation in China. With China's booming population and economy there has been a significant increase in the demand for housing which has caused a major rise in house prices. This may seem like a positive at the moment, but soon it could lead to the downfall of China's economy. The new prices can only be afforded by the upper class of China, forcing the average Chinese family to spend most of their funds on housing and sacrifice other consumer goods. This could end up having detrimental effects on the economy as some of the major industries of China will lose their money to the growing housing market.
Analysis/Comparison: I think this situation is ironic in comparison to many of the world's countries who have experienced a crash in their housing market. For example, in the U.S. people would do anything for their houses to be sold, even causing people in California to burn their houses just to collect the insuance money; while in China people have trouble finding a home as they are selling so fast. However, I think that this situation could in the end be the cause of an economic crash in China and the bankruptcy of thousands of average Chinese families. The Chinese government needs to step back and realize that although right now this boom has given China one of the most successful economies of the world, it is not worth the economic trouble it will end up causing the middle and lower classes.

Rosie Scanga
Skewed Birth Rate in China

Summary: There is currently a major shortage of women in China. By 2020 over 24 million men of marrying age will be left without a spouse. The major contributing factor to this is gender specific abortions. Because of tradition and the one child policy many girls have been aborted. This could have many different effects on men in China. Men who do not make a lot of money are going to have a harder time finding a woman to marry. Many men will be marrying later in life or just remaining single. Trafficking of women is already seen in China and this could be on the rise with more single men. In 2005 there were 119 boys for every 100 girls. Men may need to marry people from other countries more often and this could affect family lineage.
Analysis: This shortage of women is going to become an issue for China in the future. It shows the government’s strict control and the influence of tradition on Chinese society. The government has asserted their force and control on the people with the one child policy and it is eventually going to start having major effects. The gender discrimination is prevalent and it is becoming more and more of an issue. Chinese men are going to need to look elsewhere for spouses and hopefully globalization will help them find spouses. Old Chinese traditions are still revered in Chinese society, the need for a son to carry on the family name, and the traditions do not fit with the modern laws. Chinese men generally are the ones that can bring home the most money so this society will be successful economically but the people will not be happy.

China executions shrouded in secrecy

Hailey Johnson

China hold more executions and gives the death penalty as ultimate punishment to more people each year than the rest of the world countries combined. China's court system has always been very shady, there is continually a mystery surrounding each case in China which makes it impossible for the rest of the world and people to find out what is going on with the trial and if it was even a fair one. The exact number of executions is unclear, all we know is that it is large. The Chinese Government never gives out a number and has always kept quiet about the subject, though they give this punishment quite often. About one in ten executions is for a non-violent crime. The procedure for most death sentences are carried out with a single gun shot to the head, yet more and more are using lethal injections, there is no one, uniform standard procedure. "The courts here describe themselves as independent, but the reality is the Communist Party controls them." However, within the last two years, numbers seemed to have dropped. The Supreme People's Court now have the final say over whether the death sentence is carried out or not. Before the decision was left to the lower courts. Human rights groups have collectively agreed that the number of executions in China is now lowering by the thousands.
China's Government has always had a less than perfect reputation. If China wants to keep up and stay on top of the international stage, they need to be doing more to appeal to human rights. It has, in the past, been a big problem with other western countries. China's coldhearted ability to give the death penalty has been seen as inhumane and immoral. Specifically the Akmal Shaika case (A clearly mentally handicapped British citizen, that brought 9 pounds of heroine into China has been sentenced to death)has been a major problem with the UK, that even Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has gotten involved with. if China continues it's ways it will lose in the long run.

New law proposed for drunken drivers

Tess Micheli

Summary: With an increasing number of drunk drivers and fatalities from drunk driving-related accidents, the Chinese government is now considering the death penalty for drunk drivers. This would only be for people who caused fatal accidents and then tried to resist arrest or flee the scene. The new charge would be called "dangerous driving" and would be punishable by death. Currently it's possible for a drunk driver who caused an accident to be executed, but unlikely.

Analysis: There are two significant things about this: one, that the death penalty would even be considered for drunk driving - which is very typical of China's strict discipline, especially as it faces increasing problems related to cars and other technology. The other interesting thing is that this isn't just the government's decision; there has been a lot of public support for harsher punishment for drunk drivers as well.

Comparison: Obviously, China's laws in general are much harsher than ones in democratic countries like the US or UK. However, it does have similarities to Iran, where people can be put to death for just about anything, including things that seem incredibly minor to us as Americans. China isn't as bad as Iran, but the government has a lot more power, for example detaining prisoners without trial. The fact that people in China are in favor of the death penalty for drunk drivers says something about the culture's tolerance (or lack thereof) for crime that causes property damage and loss of life, even if it isn't intentional.

Ty Fenton

Contrarian Investor Predicts Economic Crash in China

Summary: James S. Chanos, the very same man who predicted, and make a fortune out of the US's infamous market crash just last year, is now predicting the very same for China's high flying economy. China, who has been reporting annual growth rates of over 8% has some traits that make this eye popping growth seem somewhat unlikely. "Its surging real estate sector, buoyed by a flood of speculative capital, looks like Dubai times 1,000 — or worse,” says Chanos. James Chanos even suggests that China may be filling in the books, and forging reports in order to keep China's capital and supposed growth rate consistent. Although the vast majority of investors still believe that China's economy is stable there are a few, such as Chanos who assert the opposite.
If China were to collapse the effect on the rest of the world would be immediate. Although it may seem somewhat American to root against a powerful communist such as China, the implications of the lone economic power going under could cause more problems for the economies of the world. America and much of the western world is debatably clawing their way out of the depression, due in some parts to investments from China among others. Without the possibilities of such investments, the world might be resigned to a very long depression.
Comparison: Although there is not a strong comparison in history, comparing China to one of the major investment companies such as AIG is somewhat appropriate. Although they are obviously very different, the investments and support provided by China is influential to millions of companies, people and hundreds of countries.

Meredith Allen
Year of Gay China
Summary: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people, or LGBT has had a monumental year in advances for their community. As the community grows, public events that increase awareness have become more and more popular and even acceptable. The leaders of this sexual revolution in China are a young group mostly in their 20s and 30s who live in many big cities, mainly Bejing. In recent years, the LGBT community has made a lot of headway concerning the law. Sodomy was removed from a list of crimes in 1997, and in 2001 homosexuality was no longer seen as a mental disorder.
Analysis/ Compare: While it seems like China is a country that puts restrictions on all behaviors, I was shocked to learn that there has been progress on this front. The Chinese government is notorious for suppressing rising powers and I am thrilled to see how far the activism from the citizens has brought for the good of the people. The famous activist working with LGBT is Li Yinhe who hopes to propose a same-sex marriage bill this year.

Amy Dreher
Warning issued over arms sales to Taiwan
Summary: Late Wednesday, the U.S announced that the company Lockheed Martin Corp. was allowed to sell an unspecified number of defense missles to Taiwan. It's said that the missiles could shout down the Chinese mainland short-range and mid-range missles. This is the last of a broad 6.5 billion arms package, approved by Beorge W. Bush in 2008. The Foriegn Ministry is urging the U.S. to stop the deal and wanting them to recognize the severity of the consequences of the arms deal. There's a belief that China will retaliate if the U.S. goes through with the deal. Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the International Studies School at Renmin University of China says, "It is likely to freeze military exchanges. It will make the US very uncomfortable because of all the world's strategic military powers, the US is most eager to learn about the PLA." There is a belief that China will sanction trade with the U.S, but the U.S would fight back. Chinese "netizens" have called for a boycott of U.S. companies from the arms deal. The "netizens" are said to hold powerful sway in diplomacy.
Analysis and Compare: China's "netizens" launched many boycotts, including on in 2008 against the French retail chain Carrefour and Louis Vuitton because of the interruption of the torch relay, for the Beijing Olympics, in Paris. I think that nothing good can come from the selling of arms to any nation, especially 6.5 billion dollars worth of weapons.

Rosie ScangaChinese Hospital Fines Overweight Newborns
In one hospital in Anyang, China implemented a policy that says that if someone has a baby that is over 8.8 pounds they will be fined. Each 50 grams of excess mass costs 100 yuan. The people at the hospital are punishing the mothers for "over nutrition". They say that larger babies usually lead to medical complications so they should be fined for the exceaa weight. People still go to this hospital because it is better than most. I think that this is pretty hilarious and clever. The women come to the hospital seeking a safe birth, they do not care about the possibility that they will be fined. The doctors know this so they put in the fine. It is obviously not going to stop people from comming to the hospital and it is a clever way to get extra money. Its just another way for them to make money and the women cannot control it.

China may rebuild demolition rule after suicide Micheli

Summary: Tang Fuzhen committed suicide by setting fire to herself on November 13 to protest the government's demolition of her husband's garment business. This Monday, Xi Xinzhu also set fire to himself when the demolition crews came to destroy his house. All of this is in protest of the 2007 Property Law allowing the Chinese government to seize property for demolition more or less whenever it wants. Five legal scholars wrote a letter to the government saying that it was a violation of the constitution, but it was the suicide and the second incident that really drew attention to the issue. Now they are considering revising the law.

Analysis: It seems very typical of China to have a law like this, since the general ideology of the government is that community is more important than individuals - it makes sense that they would be able to seize property for the "public good." What I thought was interesting was that, according to the article, almost everybody in China agrees that the government should be able to take land "for the public good," but they want "the public good" better defined. Despite protests, Chinese citizens are still not exactly rising up against this.

Compare: This kind of thing is more likely to happen in less democratic/more authoritarian countries like Russia or maybe Mexico. If it happened on such a large scale in the UK or the US, there would be huge outcries, especially after the two people setting themselves on fire.

China worried after 2 dogs contract SWINE FLU
Bradli Crump
also: WHO toll passes 6,250
and:China quarantines Mexicans over swine flu fears
Summary: Chinese state media reported to the public that two puppies were reported to have contracted the animal-version of swine flu, inciting a popular protection movement to guard pet health. Several citizens began walking thier dogs in wealthier Beijing neighborhoods dressed in not only the customary, couture apparel, but were also adorned with printed, fabric masks. The masks, however, are not as effective as the synthetic, human version. There have been no reported canine deaths associated with swine flu in China, though their has been speculation that at least one cat, and possibly a passel of humans, may have died from this disease in the United States.
Analysis: Somehow, this doesn't surprise me. On a more serious note, swine flu has indeed actually killed over 200 people in China (or at least have been recognized by the Chinese Health Ministry, the actual number is probably closer to 500), mainly in cases where the carrier has also contracted pneumonia. In addition, the World Health Organization has said that as of November 13, 6,254 people have died from swine flu in 206 different countries, and almost 2/3rds of those have been in the US and Mexico. Recent swine flu trends have been increases in infections in Europe and Asia, but have stagnated in North America, where it seems to have peaked. The recent introduction of the swine flu vaccination has led to super demand, especially in the United States, where the government has organized mass-vaccinations for government employees and high-level officials, and public hospital employees. Priority has been given for critical care patients and those with low immune strength, and teens, who have been most affected by death. (a new trend in modern viruses, which usually target the extremes of age groups) Despite Chinese government efforts to stop infectees from coming into the country, infection rates are increasing gradually.
Comparison: The third link is an older article from May of this year that talks about apparent discrimination in China against anyone with a Mexican passport. Because the flu is thought to have originated in Mexico, Chinese border security officials have been randomly detaining Mexicans whether or not they have the flu to see if they contract the virus. The picture with the article ironically shows the Mexican ambassador to China standing outside the hotel where the Mexican detainees are being held, trying to negotiate their return home.

Rosie Scanga
Five sentenced to death over deadly China riots
Summary: People in China’s Xingjian Province are being sentenced to death because of the riots. Nine people were sentenced to death last month that were members of the Han ethnic group. The five sentenced to death recently were all Uighurs. The riots killed 197 people and injured 1,700. Thirty-four people have been convicted for crimes during the rioting such as murder, arson, property damage, and robbery.
Analysis/Comparison: This article is sort of a follow up from last week’s article. In my article last week many people thought that ethnic inequality was lessening but other thought that it was still very much a part of Xingjian Province. This article is showing that people on both sides of the riot are being put on trial. But one side has more people being executed. So on the outside it really does look equal but if you look more into it you see that there are more people on one side being sentenced to death than the other side.

Amy Dreher
China arrests 85 in drugs raids

Summary: One of the largest drug busts in China happened this week. They arrested 85 suspects, and found eight factories. The police found 40 tonnes of drugs, a tonne is equal to 1000 kg or 2204.62 lbs. The investigation is has been going on for six months now. The gang is based out of Yibin, they found material to make methamphetamine, 18 million yuan, 2,6 million U.S. dollars, and handguns. The drugs were destroyed, but it's becomeing a growing problem in places where people have extra money to spend, says BBC. There is an estimated 1.2 million addicts in the country.
Analysis and Comparison: In June of 2000, china was reported for having a drug 'boom.' Though it's unexpected, 57,000 were arrested in 1999 for drug trafficing, and 100 people executed for it. Drugs started coming in ​to China in 1980, when it eased border control. China has had a growing rate of drug problems, and I don't think they really know how to handle it. They keep hunting down dealers and users, but crime isn't getting any better.

Meredith Allen
Mask or Smile?
Summary: At the Paris-Beijing Gallery in 798 Art District, a young Chinese artist named Wen Fang has very interesting art galleries up right now. The main attraction is the 600 sharp machette knives hanging from the ceiling. The hanging devices carry through man made waste to represent water pollution, somehow or another. Wen Fang calls this exhibit Birthday Present and offers it to her native country China for 60 years' development. Another exhibit was created after the Sichuan earthquake in her old hometown. Wen Fang used the broken bricks from the once sturdy walls of her home to form the words of a poem, "'Facing the sea, flowers blossoming in spring." The bricks are glued to a wall. The next exhibit is called Smile or Mask and it is a spider web or face masks that were worn by individuals protecting themselves from H1N1. The final exhibit is the favorite. The inspiration came from a French charity that supports orphan chinese children in remote places. Wen Fang traveled to these areas and photographed the sad tired faces of the children. She then bought 10 custom made desks and printed the pictures of the children on the desks. These are being sold and the money goes to the charity.
Analysis and Comparison : With all the news that we hear about coming from China, it is never as simple and beautiful as an artist sharing her work. When I cam across this article, I thought that it did not have enough significance for a politically centered class. But as I watched the video, I realized that this is extremely important. China is, like any other country, a place where individuals want to be represented. Wen Fang siezed an opportunity to express herself. Personally, I forget that China even has such people as artists. It seems as though everything within China is pre-approved by the government. However, some of the exhibits in the gallery would almost be considered controversial.

Ty Fenton
China's chequebook draws African nations
has taken advantage of a great need in Africa to establish connections with many nations. China's sudden connections are coming not from political policies, but from economic ones. China is pledging 10 billion along over the next three years to help establish infrastructure in Africa. Although the future benefits of helping Africa are obvious there are current benefits Since 2001 total trade between Africa and China has grown tenfold - last year it stood at $107 billion. Despite China's policies, many of which promote the implementation of clean energy and other positive factors, the method China has been using has been criticized by many. China has done little to deal with the corruption plaguing Africa. In fact, China has almost encouraged it, dealing directly with corrupt governments. Although the US still holds the largest influence in Africa with the declining global market many US banks are backing out of Africa while the Chinese economy, which was less effected is taking advantage of this vacuum to put their foot in the door.
Analysis: This is in my opinion the biggest foreign issue facing America and the world right now. Allowing China to replace the US in influence in Africa would be extremely detremental both to our economy and our world presence. Although Africa is currently on the decline their rise is inevitable and being their strongest trading partner and political ally when this happens would be huge. The US would be much better off to deticate their money to this issue rather than the iraq war.
Comparison: There is not a strong comparison to this issue throughout history other than the one I mentioned before about the US and south America, however I feel this issue is far more important. China is slowing building itself up while the US is slowly declining. If we do not watch out the US will soon find itself not only removed from the driver seat of the world, but ejected from the car entirely.

Police tighten road traffic checks
Tess Micheli
Summary: Recently there have been more fatal road accidents in China. In November, the increase was attributed mainly to people driving while tired, drunk, or speeding. It was estimated that 40 percent of accidents in which more than three people died were caused by "problematic driving." In response, China's government has announced that it is going to make more traffic checks and check "strictly" for driver fatigue, overloaded vehicles, drunk driving, and speeding. They also want there to be more driver education for people to prevent these situations. All of this seems reasonable, but actually there have been the same amount of accidents with more than 3 deaths as last year, and only 11 more cases of accidents with more than 5 deaths. However, they may not be overreacting because in one accident alone in the Heilongjiang Province on November 22, 37 people were injured or killed.
Analysis: I think it's interesting that China's response in this situation is not to try to make the roads safer or focus intensively on educating drivers, but mainly to stop people and make absolutely sure that they aren't doing anything wrong. In particular, checking for "driver fatigue" seems a little extreme. This is characteristic of China's government, which is very concerned about strict discipline and order and not so much with personal freedoms. Also, the overpopulation problem contributes heavily to the number of traffic accidents, since there are just so many people driving.
Compare: Obviously bad driving is a problem everywhere, but the responses aren't always the same. In America, for example, you don't usually get stopped randomly while driving and inspected for signs of fatigue. Also, the traffic isn't nearly as bad as in China, which has too many people and too little space, resources, etc. The UK is also somewhat overpopulated, but not to the same extent. As for the immediate and strict government response to it, it's something like you might see in Iran, except with less executions, or maybe Russia.

Hailey Johnson
China executes two over tainted milk powder scandal
Summary: Six babies died and over 300,000 were made ill by contaminated milk powder coming from one of China's largest milk powder producing plant. Two men have been executed after being charged with selling over 770 tons of milk powder formula that contained melamine, a chemical used to make plastics and fertilizer products and apparently when consumed, not only boosts protein, but causes kidney stone and kidney failure as well. Not only did these men sell the contaminated powder but they knew it was contaminated. Nineteen others involved were arrested and giving prison sentences.
Analysis and Compare: This article really reminded me of the scandal a few years ago that occurred in china concerning lead in children’s play toys. This did not only affect China, but the world. China is a world power and world leading producer of almost any and all goods. It is very dangerous that these goods are circulating the world and affecting the health of the world's population. China is slowly losing their credibility and now has a pattern of making children sick. The government is getting involved, but there is not much they can do other than hand out compensation payments to families. Maybe now the world will think before choosing Chinese products.

Meredith Allen
China Rejects U.S., EU, Mexican Requests for WTO Panel on Raw Materials
Summary: There is no doubt that China will be admitted to the World Trade Organization at some point in time. With the eleventh largest trade economy in the world, China is well within the criteria of joining the group who already has 132 countries as members. While it may be definite that China should join the World Trade Organization, the only thing that remains is "when and under what conditions?" So far, the US, the EU, and Mexico, many of the big players in the World Trade Organization, have filed complaints. These complaints have said that China has been holding out on raw materials to trade with these three countries. The United States in particular has issued a complaint saying China had restricted exports of "numerous raw materials critical to U.S. manufacturers and workers." This is a direct violation to the rules of the World Trade Organization. This is something that will delay the time China will join the group.
Analysis: A panel will be held to decide what to do with China and the expectant membership. China is still waiting as they work to meet requirements and join this prestigous club. China is a growing economy. They have over one billion people in their ever-expanding country working towards a strong economy. This country would definitely be a huge advantage to have in the World Trade Organization. It is unfortunate that at this time they are being accused of breaking simple rules of the World Trade Organization. Even if they were holding out on raw materials to these countries, they have not officially joined the World Trade Organziation yet, and should not be reprimanded as of right now. The U.S., the EU and Mexico are all very important countries when it comes to the WTO. One would think that these countries, rather than filing complaints, would be trying to help China be admitted to the group quicker.

Rosie $$$canga
Xinjiang Violence: Views from China
Summary: This article gives four different Chinese citizens’ thoughts on the situation in Xinjiang. Henry He, thinks that the situation is improving for ethnic minorities. He says that there is a special quota for Uighurs to help them get into college. He says that he wants to talk about the situation but he knows that if he does his comment will be deleted by the government but he believes that this a good thing, preventing violence. Kalder, a member of the Hui ethnic group was surprised to hear about what happened because his relationships with other ethnic groups has always been fine. He also feels like the situation is getting better. One Uighur man says, “Attacking people and ransacking shops is definitely wrong, because it undermines national unity.” Wang Bin, thinks that “the gap between poor and rich within the Uighur ethnic group has become very big” and he wants the government to start treating ethnic groups equally.
Analysis: This shows that people in China still have mixed feelings about the tension between the Uighurs and the Han Chinese. One man said that he didn’t even want to talk about it over the internet because he knew that the government would just suppress his comment. This shows how much control the government has over the media. But the man strangely enough to us, he liked it that way. He thought that if everyone could voice their opinion it would result in more violence. This shows the extreme trust that the Chinese people have in their government. One man was upset about the riots because violence undermines national unity. But the last man did have his own opinion and thought that the government was being unfair. This article has only 1 in four men disagreeing with the government.

Amy Dreher
China, Vietnam make border progress
Summary: China and Vietnam signed an agreement about the demarcation, or the creating of a boundry, to help them finally set a final boarder. They want to create a 1,3000 kilometer boundary. In 1999, China and Vietnam signed a land boundary to set up a joint committee, and in 2008 they set 2,000 border markers. The border starts at the junction of China, Vietnam, and Loas, and goes along the Beilun River to the coast. Along with the signing of the agreements the vice foriegn ministers agreed to keep working on solving their sea issue
Analysis and Compare: I think this is a good thing, seeing as China and Vietnam haven't always gotten along in the past. It's good that they are working together to solve their problems instead of fighting and causing violence. They even agreed to keep working out their issues. Demarcation lines have been drawn in many places. In 2000 the US had one made between Lebonan and Isreal to see if Isreal had fully pulled out of Lebonan.

Better education for Asia proposed at education forum
Summary: The 2009 Educational Forum for Asia: Euro-Asian Education Cooperation Conference was held in China and just finished on November 17. In the conference, Asian countries discussed how best to adjust education in order to keep up with an ever-changing world. It was part of the Euro-Asian Economic Forum for the second time, which shows that Asian countries are considering it increasingly important to keep their education at a high standard. A main concern was raising money through charity for students who can't afford to go to school and/or stay in school, since the representatives at the forum believe that when people go to school it helps the entire country and is "the best investment" a country can make.
Analysis: In America we tend to think of Asian education being extremely strict and rigorous, and we tend to think only of Chinese/Japanese/Korean education. To an extent this is true. However, there are many Asian countries with poor education systems and also even in places like China enough poverty so that a lot of students can't go to school or achieve higher education. Also, this conference suggests that the focus of learning is going to be less on discipline and memorization and more on innovative, creative thinking for a world that is always changing.
Compare: A lot of this is what we talked about at the beginning of the year, focused on America, but also worldwide. Education is a very important investment for a country, and one of the best predictors of how well its citizens will do in life. And, since so many students will have jobs that don't even exist yet, it's very important to learn not just facts but how to think.

China pledges $10bn Africa loans Ty Fenton
Summary: China has announced their intent to give Africa $10 Billion in concessional loans (Low interest rate and long pay back period) over a three year period. this was announced at a two-day forum on China-Africa cooperation in Sharm el-Sheikh, attended by officials from 50 nations. "We will help Africa build up financing capacity," Mr Wen told the summit. China pledged $5billion at the last cooperation summit in 2006, looking to relieve or cancel the debt of more than 30 African countries.
Analysis: This is very significant because it shows how China, a country who was previously so caught up in internal development, has broken out. China is quickly becoming a leading world power, already working towards establishing long term relationships with the developing world. By crafting these long term relationships China has ensured their continuing power for years to come. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing, simply a change. A change that many western countries are not happy to see. China's state owned Global Times Newspaper perhaps summed it up best stating that, "The West is envious of China and Africa drawing closer," and quoted one Chinese Africa expert as saying "Europeans view Africa as their own backyard". These actions by China are something that we will not see the outcome or results of for years to come, but still have the potential to completely change the global balance of power that is in place today.
Comparison: This is in many ways similar to the United States aid towards Latin American countries during the cold war. Although the end goals are different here, the general idea is the same. It will be interesting to see how the aid effects Africa because it seemed to have a very small beneficial effect on Latin America.

Backgrounder: China-African Cooperation Forum
Bradli Crump
Summary: China and several African nations of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) are scheduled to meet in Egypt to review a Chinese initiative to help out African governments get their social and economic problems fixed. The coalition of sorts will meet on November 8-9 to discuss further initiatives for each side to help each other. In 2000, which was the first conference establishing this meeting, was created with the purpose of addressing globalization and the South-South low distribution of international wealth. In a sense, China is reaching out to African nations to strengthen relations and in an attempt to break down the idea that China is strictly isolationist.
Analysis: The interesting thing here is the actual participation of the Chinese government in a forum where they probably cannot recieve much benefit. One could argue that Chinese-Middle Eastern relationships could be for an oil interest, but with Africa, which is often frought with corruption and political as well as social turmoil, the cynical analyst cannot immediately detect a Chinese motive. Perhaps the Chinese government really has decided that it would simply be a just (moral relativism, perhaps?) path to pursue. Most Americans would probably guess towards a Chinese ulterior motive, but on the other hand, maybe the American perception of the Chinese government is baised because of their communist party.
Comparison: Western nations like the United States and the United Kingdom have large grassroots organizations intending to help repair the broken and fragmented quality of life for many Africans during an increasing population boom, so it should only be safe to assume that other nations, such as China, with large, industrialized economies would have similar interests.

China's richest see their wealth double
Tess Micheli

Summary: While billionaires in other countries around the world have been losing money with the economic crisis, Chinese billionaires are still going strong. The Chinese stock market has risen 74% this year, and billionaires like Wang Chuanfu, the richest man in China with $5.8 billion. To get on the top 40 richest chart in China this year, you needed $1.45 billion as opposed to last year's $790 million. In short, China's richest citizens are getting richer despite the economic recession.
Analysis: The fact that China is still seeing such strong growth in its economy is a testament to the way its economy has been growing and developing in recent years. Of course, the thing about China you have to remember is that there are many very, very poor people and that the gap between the rich and the poor is enormous. The article didn't mention whether China's poorest have seen their wealth increase too.
Compare: China's economy is doing a lot better currently than many of the other countries we're studying. On the other hand, it should be taken into account that the richest Americans have a LOT more than $5.8 billion. China is definitely still a developing economy, and in that way it's more similar to Mexico than to, say, the UK or the US.

Amy Dreher
China defends export restrictions
China placed a curb on some of its raw materials, such as bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon metal, silicon carbide, yellow phosphorus and zinc. The US, EU, and Mexico have been fighting with China to get to remove it.
But China's Ministry of Commerce told AFP says that it protects the environment and the limited resources. Though the US says that this causes billions of dollars tof impact on global trade. Along with export restrictions, the US wants chinese restrictions lessened on US agriculture, telecommunications, business services, and pharmaceuticals.
Its also been announced that China will be investigating suspicions that US carmarkers are getting government subsides, or selling their products in China for less than cost of their production.
Analysis and compare: Though saving the enivornment is important, I feel like that isn't the whole reason China is holding back on minerals. Trading raw materials also beneifs the Chinese economy, which is always a good thing in todays recession. This summer India had a curb on rice and wheat. India happens to be the second biggest producer of wheat and rice in the world, they were trying to protect the prices of these goods from inflation especially in an election year for India.

Rosie Scanga
China Battles Surge in Swine Flu
Summary: The amount of swine flu cases is rapidly rising in China. There have been seven deaths and 50,000 confirmed cases. China originally tried to prevent the disease by protecting their borders. Most of the earlier cases had come from people coming in to the country. They would quarantine people that showed symptoms of H1N1. Now 80% of the people in China with the flu have the H1N1 strain. In three days there were 4,000 new cases of the swine flu. Children that come to school with temperatures are sent home. China has developed a vaccine for the virus and is hoping to produce more doses.
Analysis: The Chinese government is all about controlling the people and the things that happen in the country. They even prevent it from raining so that they do not look like they made a false prediction. The fact that H1N1 has infiltrated the borders and is becoming so widespread among the people of China is sort of showing a weakness in the government to the people. The government has been in control of stopping this virus and now it has finally got out. It just shows that the Chinese government cannot control everything.

Meredith Allen
Shanghai Disneyland Project Gets Approval
In Shanghai, news spread of November 4th that a new disneyland project was now in the makings. China’s central government approved the project. It will take a full five years of construction for the first phase of the park to be completed. How long it will take for the entire park is not even estimated yet. The area that is being used for the new park will take up seven square kilometers and will cost 25 billion yuan, approximately 3.66 billion US dollars.
The news of the new park does not seem to bother many Chinese citizens. Already in Hong Kong there is a disneyland. While disneylands across the globe have seem to suffered because of the economic downturn, people say that the Hong Kong Disneyland will stay prosperous, even with the new disneyland opening. On the day that the annoucement was made for the plans of the new disneyland, the land and property on the future site immediately went up in prices. People will be kicked out of their homes to make room for the park, but so far the response has not been negative. One man said, "One the one hand, I can bring my grandson to visit the park. On the other hand, I am expecting a handsome removal compensation since my house would be torn down for the park." This attitude may not clearly represent many, but is the one that the government would like to see.
In many other situations similar to this one, I have seen the people who have been evicted from their homes be extremely angry. When the government institutes a decision that clearly does not support certain citizens, often times you see the people protesting. Although the article only voiced one person’s thoughts, and those coincided with the governments, I wonder if there are any people who would stand up for their homes.

Hailey Johnson
Chinese scientists claim responsibility for causing Beijing snow
Summary: Yesterday it snowed in China, the earliest it has ever snowed in China in the past ten years. The Chinese government is claiming that they were the ones who made it snow. A team of scientists working for the government are said to have “seeded” the clouds over China with silver iodide, to try and make it rain over the Northern part of China, who has been hit heavily by drought over the past few years. After the scientists had seeded the clouds a cold font came in and made it snow instead of the predicted and anticipated rain. Most of China’s agricultural crops rely on only rain water because of the lack of irrigation systems in the country.

Analysis & Compare: If what the Chinese government is saying is true, then China could have discovered a way to irrigate all the crops over the globe and end world hunger, water would be available for everyone. However, if China got angry or had bad relations with another country, they could use weather as a weapon. They could flood their enemies or snow them in. China is saying that they basically control the weather. This might be in fact possible, but many scientists from around the world are skeptical. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that similar stories came up surrounding the USSR. The Soviet Union would do mysterious things like not report any air plane crashes, exaggerate accomplishments, and make absurd claims like they invented baseball.

Jasmine Cho Subway line to traverse Yangtze River in central China Summary: China built its first road tunnel in Wuhan and it opened for traffic last December. Another two road tunnels under the Yangtze River in Shanghai and Nanjing (the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province) are expected to open for traffic by the end of 2010. Now China is taking another big step by beginning construction on the first subway tunnel traversing the Yangtze River. The Yangtze River is 6,300 km long, flowing through 10 provinces, and is a major transport link between the east and west China. This construction will be 3,100 meters long and the subway tunnel is expected to undertake 50% of the city's traffic flow across the river. Officials say about 14.9 billion yuan will be invested into the construction of the metro line and it will be able to withstand a 6.0-magnitude earthquake. Analysis and Comparison: The construction of the underground subway tunnel is a major event for China economically and socially. The Yangtze River is such an important geographic aspect and China is really taking full advantage of it. This new subway tunnel will help the people get from one place to another faster and also goods as well. In this economic downturn, China is spending big money in hopes that the money for this project. This construction of this the underground subway tunnel also exemplifies the technological sucess that China has had and is having. The dangers and failure of architectural structures is apparents all over the world when natural diasters hit such as the U.S. and Samoa. But China is taking extra care by building a underground subway tunnel that can withstand a 6.0-megnitude earthquake.

Alexis Strobin


Title: Shandong county closes cyber cafes

Summary: In the Shandong province, authorities have suspended the business of all cyber cafes for at least 2 months in an effort to drag teenagers who are online all the time back to reality and school. China Youth Daily Newspaper reported that 21 internet cafes were ordered to suspend their business in the province. Citizens in the area were concerned about how much time their children were on the internet, and so they appealed to the local government. Teenagers have been spending more time in internet cafes than studying for school, which is a serious problem in the province as well as in the whole nation. The local government is giving up revenue due to the suspension, as each cyber cafe pays about 1000 Yuan ($150) in monthly taxes. Government officials have not said whether the closing of internet cafes is permanent or temporary. There are 338 million internet users in China, and more than 60% are younger than 30. About 80% of Chinese primary students started using the internet before age 9. China has a law prohibiting minors from entering internet cafes, but many internet bar owners break the law in order to make more profits. This has been criticized as a major cause of many young children’s internet addiction. The suspension of the internet cafes has sparked lots of controversy in the province.

Analysis & Compare: Closing the internet cafes in the Shandong province causes problems for everyone. In addition to the children being mad and sad about not being able to go on the internet, adults who can’t afford and don’t own a computer now have no way of accessing the internet, since all of the cafes are closed in the province. Because the children used the internet in a place that was illegal for minors, everyone has to suffer. Some people think that it’s a good thing that the cyber cafes were closed, others think it was a bad thing. All I can say is that if something like this happened in the United States, everyone would be extremely mad and go crazy. Everything happens online nowadays and without the internet, people would go crazy. People communicate online, information is accessed online, jobs are sometimes online, and lots more things are online. I can’t imagine a world without internet access, we rely on it for so many different things. What’s more is that virtually all ages use the internet-from very young children to senior citizens.

Reade Paterno China, Russia Take Friendship Forward Summary: This article is about a meeting that occurred between Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The talks were described as “frank, efficient, pragmatic, and in-depth.” They discussed a mutual cooperation between their two respective countries, and signed 11 agreements and memorandums. These agreements covered a variety of subjects, from extraterrestrial exploration to environmental protection to telecommunications. They also agreed to build a pipeline between the two countries, so Russia could start providing China with oil by 2011. They agreed to oppose all types of trade and investment protectionism. Analysis and Comparison: This is a very important event. These are two very powerful countries, and the fact that they’re forming such a strong coalition will probably make them even stronger. As the countries develop more together, it will probably become harder for China to keep such strong control over its people. This will also largely increase globalization, as both countries agreed to no protectionism policies for trade and investments. They also agreed to make the customs process more transparent for Chinese exporters, which will also increase trade and globalization as more goods will float between the two countries. Another large part of the agreement is that each country will notify the other before it launches missiles or carrier rockets. This forms somewhat of a military alliance between the two, and at the least will give each of them some sort of military advantage. This is sort of similar to the IGO’s that we’ve studied in class. Both involve several independent governments that come together to combine their resources in order to make things better for their government.

Maria C. Romano Source: Topic: China Ranked Second Among Developing Countries Fighting to End Hunger Summary: ActionAid's report, Hunger Free, says hunger is "a choice that we make, not a force of nature". Their studies estimate that one billion people (about 1 in 7 people in the world) are malnourished. Brazil and China have been commended by ActionAid for their “outstanding” efforts to tackle hunger, in a report released to coincide with UN World Food Day. ActionAid report also criticizes India and the US for not doing enough to alleviate the situation. The agency ranked industrialized nations in addition to developing countries, saying Luxembourg is trying hardest to end global hunger, while the US and New Zealand rank dead last. Brazil, in first place among developing nations, was praised for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's support for land reform and community kitchens for the poor and China, in second place, has reportedly reduced the number of hungry people by 58 million in 10 years through strong state support for smallholder farmers. Comparison and Analysis: These reports by ActionAid show what some IGOs like the UN are able to do in terms of promoting awareness to people in industrialized nations who are not otherwise put into daily contact with problems like hunger and malnourishment. This article certainly seemed like a wake up call for Americans, considering we have our own predispositions towards countries like China especially. We criticize the Chinese government for being authoritarian and for breaching civil liberties and basic human rights, but when it comes down to it, it seems they are trying to do more good, in terms of fighting hunger, than we are. Now, this statistic may be skewed in that China has more people and more hungry people in their country than the US does, but this shouldn’t mean that the US can’t help other countries in Africa like Chad and the District Republic of Congo who have been labeled as countries with an “extremely alarming” state of chronic hunger on the scale set up by ActionAid. Robert Dekker, the World Food Programme's (WFP) DR Congo director, told the BBC that Congolese people live almost exclusively on a diet of cassava flour. While health experts recommend adults eat 2,100 kilocalories a day for a healthy diet, in Congo the average is 1,650 a day. While some of this can be attributed to droughts and other climatic reasons, a lot of it has to do with poor road systems leading to inaccessibility to food, as well as simple unequal distribution of goods and unfair pricing of these necessities for people who simply can’t afford it. In addition, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana and Ethiopia have seen an "invasion" of bio and agro-fuel producers from the West, using up land that could be used to grow food. It seems to me that many industrialized nations need to revisit what they are doing to help this growing problem and maybe take out a page from Brazil or China’s playbook.

Alexis Xenakis


Title: US criticises 'inflexible yuan'

Summary: The US government is criticizing China because the “yuan”, their currency, is not freely convertible. Although China has said it wants its currency to be “internationally convertible” it has “appeared reluctant to relinquish control of the currency and economic policy in general”. China may be “reluctant” to do so because the country, by “undervaluing” their currency, has actually gained an advantage. Since last year the country jumped 20% to a record $2.27 trillion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of the summer.

Comparison/Analysis: Because China already has the largest foreign exchange reserve, some US lawmakers and industry speculate that China keeps its currency at “artificially low levels against the dollar to gain advantages in trade”. By undervaluing their currency this means that Chinese products are cheaper for US consumers (which is a plus for Americans) but American products cost more in the Chinese market, thus the Chinese will not consume many American goods because they are just too expensive. This trade deficit that the US has with China is larger than that of any other country. When the “yuan” depreciated 6.9% in value compared to the dollar in February 2009, claims that China was “manipulating its currency” were quickly shut down when they “sparked vehement denials from China”. The Obama administration stepped down promptly, however, their inability to talk and/or resolve this dispute with China will only leave the US at a disadvantage.

Bobby Mook Source:

Title: Guinea and China “agree big deal”

Summary: China and Guinea have sealed a large deal as the title suggests, and since china is involved it is a big deal to the world. A Chinese firm will invest more then seven billion dollars, in return the company will be a strategic partner in all the mining projects of the mineral rich nation. Controversy has surrounded this agreement because two weeks ago dozens of people on strike of the mineral industry were killed by soldiers during a rally. Guinea is in danger of becoming a dictatorship once again because junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, a general who took power in a military coup might stand in as president in the scheduled January 2010 election. All of Guinea’s mining permits and projects will be put into the Chinese company. China will have a complete monopoly in this country on what is thought to be the world’s largest reserve of aluminum ore, bauxite. China has not issued a statement on the matter.

Analysis: Yet another controversial dealing in Africa for China, this development in Guinea is interesting because China has done both a positive and negative thing at the same time. This is very similar to China’s dealings in Africa in Sudan for Oil and overlooking the genocide in Darfur also blocking any UN action against Sudan for economic purposes. In this instance however I think that China is doing something that the rest of the world should scrutinize and under better circumstances follow. The obvious problem with China’s dealings is that Guinea is dangerously close to becoming a military dictatorship and that they have civil rights violations and violence. But if one were to overlook this fault there is inherent goodness in China’s actions. China is giving over seven billion dollars for infrastructure in Guinea which up till now is unheard of in most African trades where the African countries are mostly taken advantage of for resources and left out to dry. What China is doing to me at least is better then all the foreign aid the US has given to Africa because China is giving Capital which will lead to Guinea being much more self sufficient and supporting.

Amy Bourret


Title: China to lead Asian recovery with 8.5% growth in 2009: IMF Summary: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently projected in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) that China's economy will grow by 8.5% this year and 9% in 2010. The IGO, which focuses on economic policy and analysis, said Asia's recovery has been "led by a rapid rebound in China," one of the few Asian countries (along with India and Indonesia) that managed to avoid a severe recession. (Elsewhere, such as in the manufacturing-based economies of South Korea and Singapore, major declines in industrial production were reported.) The momentum of Asia's recovery is predicted to build during the second half of 2009 and culminate in a moderate 2010 recovery, led by expansionary monetary policy, a rebound in financial markets and the growth of industry following inventory adjustments. Asia is expected to grow by 5.0% in 2009 and 6.8% in 2010. China (8.5% growth) and India (5.4% growth) are leading the expansion due in part to a large stimulus that is increasing demand from domestic sources. According to the WEO, "The policy stimulus in China could support recoveries in other parts of Asia." The IMF also said the global recession "is ending," raising its forecast for world economic growth in 2010 from 2.5% to 3.1%.

Analysis: This report from the IMF further cements the idea that China and India are becoming increasingly important world economic powers. During the 60 years it has existed as a communist state, the People's Republic of China has transformed its economy through socialist industrialization. China has been celebrating its economic and industrial achievements at the huge parades marking its 60th anniversary. China's burgeoning economy is clearly a point of pride for the entire country, and will most likely advance its standing in the world. The fact that China was one of only a few countries that escaped a severe recession is impressive and shows the strength of its economy as well as its policymaking (the stimulus). China's economy has clearly been a beacon of hope for Asia in these dark economic times, and its regional dominance may make it a global power player. Comparison: The global economic crisis and recession is something that has affected all countries, including our core nations. With globalization causing economies to be increasingly interconnected, economic success or collapse in one part of the world inevitably affects the rest of the world. We see this in China's stimulus helping support the recovery of the larger region of Asia. As more and more places become hubs of economic activity, countries in different regions have the potential to lift up surrounding areas. China's already-growing economy combined with its smart monetary policy seem to have largely steered it clear of the economic disaster that has faced the U.S., the U.K., and many other countries. China, along with India, is taking part in the "Rise of the Rest" that encompasses many newly industrialized countries. Furthermore, with the ongoing trend of globalization, intergovernmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund will be even more important in the future.

Reade Paterno

Topic: China Vows to Curb Industrial Overcapacity

Summary: My article is about how the Chinese government plans to cut back on its steel, aluminum, cement, and wind electricity. It claims that a lot of these products are illegitimate anyway, and were produced without approval from the government. China will ban the new production of many of these products for at least a year, in order to use up some of the overstock it already has. China sees this as part of their economic recovery plan, and they think that if they don’t ban new growth, then their economy will suffer.

Analysis and Comparison: This article is important, because China is the world’s largest steel producer and consumer, and cement producer and consumer. China is undergoing so much growth right now, that it needs all of these materials for its new buildings, and new infrastructure. Without the expansion or creation of new projects, many people are probably going to lose their jobs and money, which is also going to harm China. China is the number one world producer for both of these items, so the world is going to be greatly affected by it too. With China producing less steel and cement, the price for these two goods are probably going to go up. This regulation is a little bit similar to what Thatcher did with the coal miners. She shut down a lot of exhausted coal pits because they weren’t useful anymore, even though there were still people working there. She hurt a smaller part of the population for the greater good of the whole country, which is what China is trying to do.

Alexis Strobin Title: Animal Killings Arouse Controversy

Source: Summary: In the Sichuan Province, the killing of cats and dogs by township government officials because of one probable rabies death has aroused public anger and controversy. About one month ago, Chen Shengcai had his finger bitten off by a dog at his neighbor’s home. A few weeks later, he started to feel dizzy and developed many headaches. Shortly after he started to vomit. Later, he became extremely afraid of water and would bite anyone he met. He was soon hospitalized but died on September 14, 2009. Doctors said he might have died of rabies, and soon other villagers who had been bitten by the same dog became frightened. The township government soon intervened and decided to kill all dogs and cats in the township. The government asked villagers to kill their own animals, and if they did not comply, a so-called dog-killing team (consisted of village and township government officials) would kill them. The weeklong slaughter ended last Wednesday, and more than 4,000 cats and dogs were killed (including those who had been vaccinated against rabies). About 60% of the animals were killed by villagers. The government is going to inspect villages in this township regularly, and will kill any dog or cat they encounter to ensure that there is not a single dog or cat in the township for three years. Since the township has had a high incident of rabies, most villagers complied. Many people in these villages keep dogs to ward off thieves when they are away from home, and now without dogs, who knows what will happen. Li Jia, a middle aged woman whose 2 month old dog was killed, said that “the government should have taken action to ensure that each dog or cat had been vaccinated instead of killing them casually.”

Analysis: Finally, after a week of slaughtering innocent animals, people have been starting to think that this may have been the wrong thing to do. A good amount of the animals had been vaccinated against rabies, yet the government still felt the need to kill them. The government got rid of the problem for now, but what happens after three years, when animals are allowed in the village? The government needs to do something so that next time (if there is a next time) instead of killing all the animals, they can handle the situation in a way that doesn’t hurt animals that do not have rabies. It was unnecessary to kill more 4,000 dogs and cats-especially the ones who had been vaccinated against rabies.

Comparison: In the United States, this type of killing would most definitely have not occurred. The U.S. might have first tested the animals to see whether or not they were infected, and if they were infected, they would have taken action then. The U.S. is free of canine rabies (meaning that dogs will not catch dog-specific rabies from another dog). The U.S. government clearly has the situation under control, but China on the other hand still needs to find a solution.

Jasmine Cho

Title: New China’s road from farming nation to leading automaker


Summary: Since the mid-1900’s, China’s government has been pushing the Chinese people to work toward an industrial nation. Due to political chaos and war, China has to import nearly every basic necessity and therefore the government launched a reform movement to inject market forces to boost productivity and to emphasize on heavy industry. After the 1970’s, new technology was brought to china’s workshops that helped sharpen manufacturing skills. Now China is the world’s biggest steel maker, the 5th largest oil producer, and the world’s largest exporter of goods. China’s success is apparent in its success in the auto industry in that it has surpassed the US as the world’s top automaker. With this new found success, China is now constructing the world’s leading information super highway. Analysis/Comparison: This article is a great example of how China is growing as a global economic leader. Despite the gloomy global economy, China’s auto production and sales has exceeded one million units. As the other countries in the world are suffering, China is still making great progress. I think a lot has to do with the pure man power that China has. They are very labor intensive and thus can create more products. China also focused heavily on education which molds more innovative and intellectual kids. This is a huge stab to the heart for the U.S. because it has always been the powerhouse and force behind the auto industry. How will the U.S. compete now? Alexis Xenakis Alexis Xenakis Title: China Set for Mass Celebrations Source: Summary: Since the start of politics, the world has seen few countries that have chosen the path of communism. In fact, the world has only ever seen twenty-three communist countries, eighteen of which no longer exist. However, out of those that are still practicing communism (China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam), China has seemed to shine above all. For sixty years, China has employed a communist government and for China nothing could be seen as a greater feat than the mark of the 60th anniversary of communist rule. China sees communism as “the start of its transformation from an impoverished country to a global contender”. Although the country has struggled though hard times, it now plans to commemorate its founder, Mao Zedong, and the true start of their country with a day of festivities. On this day 30,000 people will flood the streets of China in the Tiananmen Square area to view an event some may call more fabulous than the Olympic Events. Not only will the country “use twice as many fireworks as featured in the opening ceremony to last year's Olympic Games” they will also be “showcasing previously unseen missile technology”. A new portrait of Mao Zedong will be hung in the square and a “pageant featuring ordinary people” will also take place. The day of celebration will go down forever as a day for Chinese citizens to never forget. Analysis/ Comparison: All over the world countries create a day much like China has to commemorate the founding of their country. Although China is celebrating the start of communism, for the Chinese that marks the true start of the country. In America the Fourth of July is celebrated annually as a way to rejoice our independence that was gained in 1776 from Britain. Parties and parades are the norm. We too set off fireworks. However, one thing that we, in America, do not do is show off new missile technology. I suspect that China is parading their weapons at this time of celebration to show that they are a force to be reckoned with. Even though they are one of the five communist countries left in the world, they still have the power to battle with the capitalist countries of the world. Maria C. Romano Source: Topic: Chinese President President Hu Jintao speaks out G20 Summit. Summary: “President Hu Jintao on Friday asked world leaders to continue with their stimulus packages in a more coordinated way to ensure that early signs of economic recovery translate into lasting growth” Many supranational organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank are working on passing reforms that will enable rising economies to participate more fully in the decision-making process. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stated that the US supported China's position on this matter of opening up these organizations to developing countries and economies. Given the rise of China's economy, Geithner said "it's the right thing and Europe, too, realizes that.” The most pressing task for these organizations has been and will continue to be to deal with the current global financial crisis. Now, with early signs of recovery, some countries also need to figure out their exit strategies after implementing these huge bailout bills and reforms. But Hu warned that despite the positive signs, the foundation for recovery is still unstable, and uncertainties are still present in the world economy. He stated that it will take a "long and tortuous process" for it to fully stand on its own. He said that China is firmly against "trade protectionism in any form" and calls for the establishment of a "fair, open and free" global trade and investment system. Hu urged the rich countries to fulfill the pledges they made to poor nations, including technology transfer and funds to fight global warming. The leaders at the Summit agreed to give Asian and Latin American countries a greater voice and, in conjunction with this, they decided that Canada and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will hold a G20 summit in June and November next year. The ROK will become the first Asian country to host the summit. Comparison and Analysis: Our class has talked briefly about the G8, the G20, the IMF, and the World Bank, and I think it is really significant that these organizations are shifting away slightly western-centered viewpoints and leadership. After all, the G8 were quite simply a false representation of the largest economies and needed to be revised. I think President Hu’s comments on equality and greater involvement for developing nations may stem from his communist political persuasion, but there may be some truth to the observation that out lopsided world economy comes from this large gap between LDCs and MDCs. I think the world’s awareness of our environmental situation is constantly growing, and it seems at least, that world leaders are taking a more active stance on how to develop sustainable practices in poorer nations. This article showed that more western countries are willing (or maybe are still unwilling, but recognize this necessity) to work with countries like China or at the very least have peaceful relations with them. Bobby Mook Topic: 60 candles for China Summary: My article is about how China is about to throw down in celebration of its 60th birthday. Besides the 60 year land mark there will be a few others included in the celebration. There is expected to be previously unseen missile technology unveiled and showcased to the world. There will be a pageant featuring ordinary people in Tiananmen Square. The transit systems of Beijing will be closed including all roads, the international airport, and subway systems. Some reports even say that the celebration will use twice as many fireworks as the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This Highly anticipated landmark has been hugely built up by the Chinese government and all of china is encouraged to watch the ceremony in Beijing on television. Analysis and Comparison: This Ceremony is huge for China just as the Olympics were. During the Olympics China was given an opportunity to show off to the world how much it had improved and it opened its doors at least to the better sectors and let the world see. This 60th year celebration is similar but also different to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It is again providing a chance for china to in essence flex for the world but this time the celebration is more for the people. The Celebration has been blown up by the government for mostly one reason, they think china is ready. They think China is ready to be the dominant world power militarily, economically, and ironically enough socially. There is great pride in china about Chinese culture and ideals and one effect of this ceremony and celebration is to usher in the full fledged nationalistic spirit and to usher in the new era of China, an era where they are a if not the top world power. This celebration is very similar to China’s opening ceremony as I mentioned before but also it is very similar to North Korea’s yearly nationalistic celebration which brings in masses of trained performers who train all year every year to celebrate North Korea and the Nation’s pride and founding leader Kim Jung Ill. The difference is China’s will be much more meaningful because the government will use the land mark to usher in changes and reforms as they see fit because of the great rise of nationalism that will ensue. Reade Paterno Source: Topic: Adhere to Chinese Socialism: President Hu Summary: My article discusses some comments made by President Hu to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) right before their 60th anniversary. He stated that he wanted them to follow Chinese socialism, and not fall into the Western democratic ways. President Hu believes that CPPCC is a great democratic system in China, and that he wants it to grow and cooperate more with other parties. . He does however believe that CPPCC should follow Chinese democracy, and not the Western way. Wu, the leader of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) said that China should be made up of several cooperating parties, and that they should all work under the Communist Party of China. The CPPCC consists of Communist party members, eight democratic parties, people without party affiliation, religious groups, Hong Kong representatives, Taiwan representatives, Macao representatives, eight major mass organizations, and 56 different ethnic groups. The National Committee of the CPPCC meets once a year. Analysis and Comparison: This article is really interesting, because it shows us how different democracy can be in different states. China technically has some democracy in its political system, but when it is really broken down, we can see that it is actually ineffective. For one, the CPPCC only meets once a year, so it is hard to imagine that anything gets done. Also, all of the different parties are expected to cooperate, so they can’t really argue for their own ideas. On top of all of the parties having to work together, they all have to work under the Communist Party. No matter what they decide on, the Communist Party has the ultimate say. This fact alone proves how ineffective their democracy is, as there is division of power or accountability. The CPPCC can come up with policies, but the Communist Party is the only body that gets anything through. Even though this is a very loose form of democracy, it is still democracy. The fact that democracy can exist in China, even if it is very restricted, is very revealing as to how far democratization has reached. Not only does it exist in China, but President Hu wants it to grow in China. This is so different from Great Britain, where there is a multi-party system, and all of the parties are proportionately represented. There is no dominating party, and the power is actually divided between several different and opposing bodies. There is accountability in Great Britain with the vote-of-no-confidence rule, while China doesn’t have anything that even comes close. They are both called democracy, but a huge rift separates them. Amy Bourret Source: Title: Beijing birth defects rise again Summary: Chinese officials say that the birth defect rate rose again in the capital of Beijing last year. These abnormalities include babies born with extra fingers and toes, cleft lips, and congenital heart disease. The rate of birth defects was 170 per 10,000 births, significantly higher than the global average. This figure for Beijing has almost doubled in the last decade. Reports from both rural and urban areas all across China have mirrored this trend, with the highest rates in provinces with large coal and chemical industries. The cause is unclear, but thought to be related to heavy pollution in the country, and concern is growing over the health effects of this pollution. This is a sensitive issue for the Chinese government, which suggests "modern urban lifestyles" could be another possible factor for the increase and stresses that more research is needed to understand the correlation between birth defects and pollution levels. Analysis: This article was sad, but could have important political implications in China. It would be interesting to know if there is any sort of stigma attached to babies born with birth defects and what quality of medical care they are able to receive. If these children are in some way looked down upon, it must be an especially upsetting issue due to China's current one-child policy - how would parents feel if their one child was born with a birth defect? The degree to which the increase in birth defects is linked to pollution is also important. China is a huge polluter and the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It is rapidly developing its economy, but at high environmental cost, and is sensitive to being painted by other countries as an "eco-villain" (for example, it went to great lengths to cover up pollution in the capital during the 2008 Beijing Olympics). Thus, the government has tried to assure people that other factors could be responsible for the birth defects, but it is still widely believed to be related to pollution, which is even influencing rural areas. In the past, China has sometimes focused on national unity and industrialization at the cost of human rights, and in this case, the threat to human health. Many questions remain regarding its future actions: will the rise in birth defects of its people have any effect on China's attitudes towards the implications of its economic actions? How open will the state-run media be about the connection between state-caused pollution and health issues? Will these statistics help raise environmental concern and/or awareness? Compare: Pollution is an environmental issue that affects the entire world, due to both wind and water currents that can carry it to other areas and the overall effect that emissions can have on global warming. The modern "green" movement has led to the widespread belief that we must make the transition to renewable energy and cleaner technology, but these measures can be expensive. Many developing countries, like China, are more focused on growing their economies as quickly as possible than on environmentally regulating industries. We in America see pictures of huge clouds of smog coming out of Chinese factories and often harshly judge the Chinese for what we see as their lack of concern for the environment, but is it really fair to judge? China is the most heavily populated country in the world and is still developing. The U.S. consumes an enormous amount of energy for the size of its population and was only recently overtaken by China as the world's largest polluter; the effects of our pollution are just not as immediately apparent. Environmental problems affecting the health of citizens are a common issue among our core nations, from high air pollution in Mexico City to high cancer rates in areas of Russia exposed to nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster. In these increasingly globalized times, we must work together to balance industry with environmentalism and reduce pollution and the effects of global warming, or the consequences will affect us all. Alexis Xenakis Source: Title: China's controversial Polish contract Summary: Recently Poland has decided to embark on a mission of not only building two large motorway sections in the country, but awarding China the contracts to do so. This is “the first time the Chinese have won such a contract in Poland and it is believed to be a first within the EU”. The Chinese state-owned company that was awarded these contracts not only cut the estimated prices of these motorways, but “slashed it to pieces” as Rob Broomby of BBC News exclaimed, “offering to build the road for 60% less than the guide price - saving taxpayers millions”. But at what cost can the Chinese make this possible? The Polish are now worried that the Chinese will take over all jobs dealing with this project; they want to first “hire the workers from [their] market” states Andrzej Maciejewski of the Polish Roads Agency (GDDKIA) and only after that has been done can “Chinese workers help with the construction”. Analysis: Poland may have just bitten off more than it can chew. The country now has to deal with two large problems. It can either let the Chinese bring in their own workers at a very low cost to the project, or the country can let its people take the wage hit in order to keep this a more nationalized project. The reason the Chinese were able to save the taxpayers millions of dollars was because they had planed from the beginning to “practice wage dumping”. When asked of this problem the mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, formerly Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, stated that “the company will probably employ a mixture of Chinese and local workers” but that it was “a good challenge for Europe to have lower-cost workers”. Lastly, Broomby stated that “this might be the first motorway contract for the Chinese in the EU but it is unlikely to be the last”, which further hints at the fact that the Europeans are going to have to cut wages in order to compete with the Chinese. Compare: At the moment the Chinese are globalizing their people in attempts to work on projects with other countries and make money for themselves in return. Although this may be the first large scale European project the Chinese is working on, the Chinese have been working with the United States for decades, manufacturing our goods at cheap prices which makes it hard for even United States businesses to carry on. The Chinese are very good at making a profit, it is just sad to see the lack of concern for humanities. Maria C. Romano Source: Title: Twitterers get around the “Great Firewall of China” (By Krassimira Twigg) Summary: On the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square the Chinese government went to great lengths to block social networking sites such as Twitter to discourage widespread discussion of the topic. Twitter is huge in China, and the Tiananmen Square killings of 1989 have become one of the most popular topics during its anniversaries. One “twitterer” wrote: "I cried when I watched a video about 4 June 1989. All my memory came back. We are living inside a big wall, like in prison." Even though twitter was blocked, many people shared advice on how to access it and other sites such as Facebook were not restricted at all, resulting in thousands of pictures and explanations of the event for those whose living memory did not reach back to 1989. There is even a Facebook group for fans of the “Tank Man” (the iconic man who is pictured standing in front of a line of tanks at the protest in Tiananmen Square). Twitter remained blocked for an extended period of time even after the anniversary due to the enormous amounts of posts on the “touchy” subject. Analysis: The Chinese people are beginning to see how “trapped” they truly are, regarding personal freedoms. In the article, several students mentioned that internet censuring makes it increasingly difficult to conduct research. Another individual noted that this censuring will ultimately hurt China because it blocks the process of globalization and the spread of innovative ideas. This person stated, "While the world evolves into information society, China blocks the information flow.” The blocking of these internet sites is frustrating many young adults who “care about things happening to them, close to their lives, like unsafe food, corruption and unfair legal cases and need a place to talk about these things.” All of this commotion really could prompt a forceful response from the Chinese people in the future, "Those websites give us the opportunity to get different ideas. I am certain that Chinese people won't be so easily fooled anymore, which will make our government's job a lot tougher and will eventually bring about democracy in China." Comparison: China has done its best to block true, factual details of the Tiananmen Square killings, but people are not necessarily oblivious like we discussed in class. One individual recalled the event and posted, "I was fifth grade at school that year. There were students gathering in the town square. I could feel that there was a different atmosphere in our small town, but I couldn't understand why. It wasn't until I went to university that I learned about what had happened." People have access to foreign news sources and archives, so the information is out there for them to discover. Also, through this article we can see that censuring by the Chinese government certainly has its loopholes. Alexis Strobin Source: Title: 'Terror gang' rounded up in Xinjiang Summary: The raids last Wednesday broke up a terrorist bomb-making operation in Xinjiang in Northwest China. The six alleged terrorists were hoping to create terror and panic in the already troubled region by carrying out suicide bombings. While investigators were conducting operations in Aksu, the southern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, they discovered bomb-making materials. The gang is believed to have made more than 20 bombs hidden in three locations in Aksu in the aftermath of the riots in Urumqi. Authorities say the group was planning to carry out motorbike explosions, suicide bombings, and detonate car bombs. Two of the six alleged terrorists have been named and are said to be the leaders of the group. Li Wei, director of the center for counterterrorism studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, says that terrorists are looking for new ways to spread fear. "Terrorists have gone underground to organize different forms of terror attacks in Xinjiang, after the July 5 riot in Urumqi, such as the recent syringe attacks in the region and plotting bomb attacks," said Li. China’s anti-terror network announced on Aug 3 that the authorities had successfully crushed five organized terror plots - in Urumqi, Kashgar, Aksu and Ili - since the July 5 riot. Little did they know what would happen following August 3. Analysis: All of the violence happening in the last few months shows how unfair China seems to many citizens. China’s communist leadership is now realizing that leaving these tensions unacknowledged risks its credibility. China has rapidly transformed into a highly competitive society and due to this, many citizens have lost the secure of lifetime jobs that they had a generation ago. Since standards of living have risen, frustrations occur more frequently when people think that something is unfair. Government officials say that much of the violence was started by the people in Southern Xinjiang, who are Uighur migrants who go to Urumqi looking for work and often take low-paying jobs. Comparison: Part of the violence in Xinjiang is due to China’s allegation that some of the Uighurs are associated with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which was said by the United States and the United Nations to be an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization. Just like how the United States was (and still is) dealing with terrorists, China is now. Jasmine Cho Source: **** Title: The party under siege in Urumqi Summary: In early September, thousands of ethnic-Han Chinese protested the government on the streets of Urumqi after the government failed to stop alleged violence by members of Xinjiang's main indigenous ethnic group, the Uighurs. Since mid-August the Uighurs have been accused of widespread stabbings using objects such as needles, safety pins, and syringes. There were some concerns that the sharp objects contained bacteria or diseases but doctors have released statements confirming that they did not contain anything. Since the protests and violence broke out, the city's security has been tightened. There are guards with rifles, tear-gas, and batons standing at many intersections and breaking up protests. This has been embarassing for Xinjiang's leaders especially with the shouts of "down with Wang Lequan"(the Communist Party chief of Xinjiang) because such outspoken-ness against the government is rarely seen against government leadership. Analysis and Comparison: This news story demonstrates how democratic and communist countries differ and the ethnic differences in China. It is normal for citizens of democratic countries to question their government and leaders in order to better the lives of the citizens. On the other hand, China's citizens rarely do this because of fear of punishment. Since the Han Chinese were the ones protesting the government, I wonder if the same things would've happened if the Uighurs protested. The Han Chinese are obviously the majority in China and are seen as more important. Would the city be more flexible with the Han Chinese than with the Uighurs? I think so. Bobby Mook source title: Behind Shanghia's "two child policy" Summary: In Shanghia there has been an instance of some Chinese mobility. That statement sounds very qualifying because that is exactly how Shanghia's new policy is highly regulated and kept under tight regulation. The official policy of china is that every family is entitled to one baby and they have community officers monitor each family's growth. However in Shanghia's case (this is the only spoken of case in China) some families may qualify to be able to have more babies. people like Gu Mei Qin a community officer goes around to her families and due to new policies will tell qualifying families that they can have more then one child (for everyone else the one child policy still applies). One example given is neither a wife nor her husband have any siblings so they can have more then one child. Qualifications like these that have been put in place in Shanghia because the area has an exceptionally low growth rate and the Shanghia government wishes to passively increase their birth rate with out being admonished by the government of China Analysis: this news story is fascinating for a number of reasons because of what it shows in Chinese culture. Firstly the One Child rule for sensible reasons was implemented and has been followed without question. The blind following of the Chinese is hard to grasp because our culture is dominated by free thinkers or at least people who attempt to think for themselves. In China however it is a duty of the people to obey laws that regulate ones life. Secondly this story shows exactly how much political mobility there is in china because it shows the lower leucocratic government trying to alter their situation without upsetting the Chinese government. Because of China’s policy of equality this understandable altercation to the one child rule to the Chinese is very wrong because it isn’t fair. “Not enough of the city's residents are having children - and they're trying to address this without breaking the rules set out in the policy.” This dodging of policy instead of direct confrontation of the problem shows how center dominated the Chinese system is. Finally the community worker says, "Some people don't like us visiting them," she admits. "They refuse to let us in. I tell them: 'Don't avoid us; We are here to serve you.' We visit them again and again. Even if they say they don't need us to visit them, we keep visiting. Gradually their attitude changes." This statement to a westerner is hilarious because it is a nice way of saying we unrelentingly will bother them until they give in, which is one way the Chinese government goes about solving problems. Comparison: Of all these highlighted points it is interesting to contrast this society to ours because we seem to be polar opposites. In china they regulate the family size out of necessity, and here we are heavily regulating businesses now. In china they do not have much mobility in government because the central government is very powerful, but in the US we have the mobility but that mobility makes things move slower (like bills through congress, ECT.). And finally in china a function of government is to repeatedly bother people to get something done, but in the US that is the function of protesters who are key to our government. So despite differences we are fairly similar. Amy Bourret Source: Title: China ready to uplift Sino-US ties Summary: China’s top political advisor, Jia Qinglin, recently expressed China’s readiness to work with the United States to uplift cooperation between the two countries. Jia is the chairman of China's political advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). He met with a delegation from the Center for American Progress, headed by President and CEO John Podesta, which was visiting China at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. The American delegation engaged in dialogue with Jia and Chinese officials of different ministries and exchanged views on issues such as Sino-US relations, Taiwan, the world financial crisis, energy and climate change. Jia said China and the US share common responsibilities on major issues and said the two countries should "lift the mutually beneficial cooperation to a higher level," and that doing so would benefit the peoples of both countries as well as people around the world. Podesta confirmed that strengthening bilateral cooperation would be in the United States’ interest and would be “conducive to the stability and development of the Asia Pacific region and the world.” Jia also explained to the American guests China’s policies to promote “unity and social stability” in the aftermath of the riot in Urumqi, in west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 197 people died and more than 1,600 others were injured in the July 5 riot. Analysis: This meeting between delegations led by Jia Qinglin and John Podesta is a positive step forward in an important bilateral relationship. Currently, the relationship between the democratic (American) and authoritarian (Chinese) regimes is quite complex, as they are major trading partners but sometimes differ on political issues. As we learned from the article “The Rise of the Rest,” China has come a long way from its status 35 years ago as an adversary of the US, but is now “neither a friend nor a foe,” cooperating with the US on certain issues and disagreeing with it on others. However, China recognizes the importance of working with the powerful United States, and the United States recognizes China’s status as an emerging superpower. The ability of the countries to work together on economic and environmental issues is especially important as the US and China, respectively, have the world’s two largest economies and are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, contributing immensely to climate change. It is also critical that the countries are able to discuss human rights issues, and the fact that the riots in Xianjiang province (representing an ethnic, religious, and linguistic cleavage between the Uygurs and Han Chinese) were discussed is a good sign, although exactly what China told the US is unclear. Although there is still some skepticism in each country regarding the other, the states recognize each other’s legitimacy and have increasingly shown the willingness and desire to improve relations in many areas. Compare: Globalization is a major theme of Comparative Government and of this article. It is responsible for the increasing interconnectedness of China’s and the United States’ economies, societies, and governments. US relations with emerging superpowers China and Russia are especially important, as well as continued dialogue with our longtime allies, such as the United Kingdom. Our shrinking world provides a basis for many countries besides China and the US to strengthen their relations with each other. Many countries will work together to create policy towards “rogue states” such as Iran. Globalization and the strengthening of ties between nations may also help Mexico and Nigeria as they join “the rise of the rest.” Sino-US relations in particular have the potential to influence more than just the core nations studied in this class as the countries collaborate on economic and environmental policy – the global recession and climate change are issues that affect the entire world. Jasmine Cho Source: article from The Economist Title: Different Approaches Summary: There were high hopes for better relations between China and Australia when Kevin Rudd, a mandarin-speaking prime minister, came to power in 2007. Yet there have been many instances that have prevented a healthy relationship between the two countries. Earlier this month, China cancelled a visit by the foreign-affairs minister He Yafei who was supposed to discuss Rudd's plan for a new Asia-Pacific regional body involving China. On the other hand, there was a proposal deal for PetroChina to buy liquefied natural gas worth A$50 billion (41 billion) from Gorgon, off Western Australia's coast from Exxon Mobil. This gave hope that China would consider "commerical pragmatism" to dictate relations with Australia. China proved that these hopes were not going to be fulfilled easily. In June, Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining giant, declined an offer by Chinalco, a state-run aluminum firm, and instead made a deal with BHP Billiton, China's main competitor, to exploit together the iron-ore deposits of Australia. Then China detained Stern Hu, an Australian who heads Rio Tinto's iron-ore operations in China. At first China accused him of stealing state secrets and then charged him with commercial espionage and taking bribes which is less severe. According to the China Daily, Australia is "the champion leader of the anti-China chorus" Analysis: After China cancelled the visit by He Yafei, Rudd's plans for a new Asia-Pacific China were unable to be discussed. As the world powers and balance is changing, it is imperative that China be open to meeting with foreign officials to work together. Globalization is a huge part of the 21st century and China must keep up with the integration and open the lines of communication. The problem is obvious - China mixed political and economic issues and matters. It is part of its government type and policy but at the same time, it makes it very difficult to have positive and strengthening relations with other countries such as Australia. Economic relations are proving to interfere with political issues. In today's society, it is imperative that states see that globalization and integrating is the number one priority in order to grow. But if political and economic tensions are intertwined, peaceful relations are not difficult. Even though relations are tense, other countries will continue to have relations with China. Afterall, aren't they one of the next super powers? Compare: Australia is not the only country that China continues to have problems with. China's poltical policies that intertwine politics and economics prove to cause trouble with other countries as well. At the same time, having these relations with China is extremely beneficial especially for the U.S. Just a insignificant example but if you look a lot of "American" products, a majority is made in China. Alexis Strobin Source: Title: Vice premier: Economic policy to be 'consistent' Summary: China’s macro-economic policy is going to remain “stable” to create a base for economic recovery, according to vice premier Li Keqiang. Although many positive factors are accumulating, China’s economy still faces many challenges as the international financial crisis is still not over. The government is going to continue to stimulate consumer spending, to facilitate foreign investments to energize enterprises, and to maintain steady economic expansion. Northeast China, which is the country’s old industrial base, is going to play a key role in spurring domestic demand and conducting regional economic expansion. The Northeast Asian nations are going to be highly complementary in economic development. Strengthening trade and economic cooperation in this region will play a very positive role in boosting the world economy and regional development. According to Li, China is willing to enhance cooperation with other countries in the region with a positive attitude to create great results. Analysis: International trade has tremendously increased the past few years, and the increase in the trade of manufactured goods has exceeded the increase in the rate of the production of the goods by three times. As a result, consumers around the world have enjoyed a broader selection of products than ever before. Unfortunately since the global economy is so interconnected, when large economies suffer recessions, the effects are felt around the world. This directly relates to the concept of globalization, which we have been talking about in class the last few days. International trade can be great, but it can also have devastating consequences. There are many countries, especially these past few years, that have relied on China for its resources and exports. With China in a recession, what will happen to those countries? India is heavily dependent on imports of electronic goods from China to meet its domestic demand and 16.5% of the United State’s imports are from China. If China falls, many other countries fall with it. Compare: Many countries, including the United States, are having economic and financial crises. Russia, Venezuela, Germany, and Japan are just a few to name. The Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Argentina are all sliding towards bankruptcy due to the financial crisis. The economic crisis is destabilizing many developing countries, making it very likely that tens of millions of people will be pushed below the poverty line, which will weaken the governments. As we can see, these crises are everywhere, affecting everyone. Maria C. Romano Source: Anger in China over the Dali Lama’s trip to Taiwan. Summary: On August 07, 2009 Taiwan was hit with Typhoon Morakot, the deadliest typhoon in to strike the island in 50 years. The extreme amount of rain triggered enormous mudslides which inflicted damages of over $110 billion and a death toll of 461 dead and 192 missing, most of whom are now feared dead. One of these mudslides buried the entire town of Xiaoin, killing about 500 in this village alone. As Taiwan is home to over 8 million Buddhists (about 35.1% of the population), Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama implored the Taiwanese government for permission to console the many victims. Due to the new pro-Beijing President, Ma Ying-jeou, The Dalai Lama had not visited Taiwan since 2001. President Ma has, as of late, been trying to improve relations with mainland China, and fears that a visit from the Dalai Lama will hurt these attempts. Even so, the President has made an exception because he is being criticized for his late and ineffective responses to the disaster and considers a further dip in voter approval worse than China’s negative reaction to the decision. China has announced its “resolute opposition” to the visit because it considers the Dalai Lama a separatist seeking Tibetian independence and who wants to sabotage the improvement of cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan. Officials from Beijing state that "He raises the religious banner and continues to carry out attempting to split the country." Analysis: Taiwan developed its unique position with the Communist victory on the Chinese mainland in 1949. Two million Chinese nationalists fled to the island and established a government designed to rule all of China from the island. From then until 1971, Taiwan was recognized as “China” by the United Nations. In light of our current venture into the vocabulary of political science, The Republic of China is the state that governs over Taiwan, while the mainland is often referred to as the “People’s Republic of China”. The PRC supports the One-China policy which states that Taiwan and mainland China are one, and that the PRC is the only legitimate government of China. This policy is currently being implemented to foil the international recognition of the ROC as an independent sovereign state. However, this has not stopped the island’s development. It is currently home to almost 23 million people, which would make it the 48th largest country, if it were considered a country. Its GDP per capita is among the top 30 in the world, and it has its own Olympic team, currency and passports. Recently, Taiwan has lobbied strongly for admission into international organizations such as the United Nations, which mainland China has opposed. Comparison: Even though the leaders of both the mainland and the island are seeking to improve relations (mainly economic ones), official unification is often pushed by China and promptly rejected by Taiwan. Until President Ma’s election last year, Taiwan was rather threatened by mainland China, which approved an anti-secession law that allows a military attack on Taiwan to prevent the island from seeking independence. The United States has historically sold Taiwan military equipment in concordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (1979) which affirmed the U.S. support for the island’s democratic system. The disagreement over Taiwan has led to friction in US-China relations ever since. Alexis Xenakis Source: Title: China Admits Death Row Organ Use Summary: At the moment, China is struggling in finding organ donors for its 1.5 million people in need. Currently, less than one percent of the country receives the organ donation they require. So what happens to the other ninety-nine percent of the people who are left without medical attention? Well, they have one of two choices. First they can try to find somebody who will perform an illegal transplant and if that fails there is not much else left to do but struggle through life until the vital organ they needed a transplant for loses its last leg and they die fighting, hoping for the chance that they may be a lucky one percent. In an effort to save some of this ninety-nine percent, China’s government has utilized the bodies of those citizens whom were placed on death row. Although the ethics of the government are questionable in this circumstance, those on death row actually are a benefit to society. The “1,718 people given the death penalty in 2008,” (BBC) provided the country with “two-thirds of all transplant organs” (BBC). However, as Vice-health Minister Huang Jiefu said, “condemned prisoners are definitely not a proper source for organ transplants” (BBC); thus, China came up with a new scheme- one “designed to reduce the reliance on death row inmates” (BBC). This scheme entails providing financial aid to donors’ families. Analysis: In a country that holds more than one fifth of the world’s population it is hard to believe that one could struggle in finding an organ donor. But it is happening. This new scheme, although optimistic in its approach, seems rarely likely to work especially when one considers the fact that “nationwide only 130 donors volunteered their organs after death in the last six years” (China Daily). But why is this? Why would a nation who shares everything with each other be so greedy now? The fact of the matter is, is the Chinese people are now being greedy. “Traditionally, the Chinese are taught to treasure even a hair from their body as it is from their parents; and to keep their bodies safe from any injury” (China Daily), thus an act such as the giving of an organ to a complete stranger is “considered the very basis of filial piety” (China Daily). The Chinese cannot grasp the idea, or reason, why anybody would voluntarily move to the next world being incomplete. Compare: It is interesting to study other cultures that are so vastly different from the one in which we live in. Here in the United States being an organ donor is considered an honorable deed. Every time somebody eighteen or older goes to get their license, they are asked a simple question: would you like to be an organ donor. Next to this question are two boxes: one marked yes, the other no. Many check the yes box, realizing that once they die they will no longer need their organs, but somebody else may. Donating your organs in America is viewed as a last chance to help somebody in need. Reade Paterno More Growth for China Factories This article is about all of the growth that China has been experiencing. Recently, their economy had been hurting due to the global recession, and the earthquake that occurred in the south west of China. In an effort to increase their growth, the Chinese government has created a stimulus package of 586 billion dollars, to be spent by 2010. The money is meant for infrastructure and housing projects, as well as rebuilding after the earthquake. Since China is such a large exporting, its factories are also benefiting from the recovery of the global economy. HSBC’s index of manufacturing output rose to 55.1 in August from 52.8 in July, which marked its fifth month of growth. The Chinese economy grew at an annual rate of 7.9% between April and June, which is still smaller compared to what they had before 2007, but is still quite a large rate. In AP Comp we’ve been talking a lot about globalization lately. China, along with India, is one of the fastest growing nations in the world, and it is greatly benefiting from globalization. One of the reasons that its economy is growing at such a large rate is because of its mass exporting. So many countries, the U.S. included, are dependent on China for manufactured goods. This relationship is allowing China’s economy to grow at an increasing rate, and it probably won’t stop for a while. There are so many countries that are dependent on China that it is impossible for the global economy to increase without the Chinese one increasing too. If the world starts spending more money, you can pretty much guarantee that China will get some part of the money that is spent. Not only will China’s economy be growing, but their infrastructure and housing will increase too. This will also probably increase globalization, but more culturally than economically. The roads will most likely get better, and housing will increase which will increase the standard of living, and make more people want to live in China. With such a rapid growth in its economy, China will at some point probably see a lot of investors trying to get a share of the wealth. As the economies of the other core nations rise, the economy of China will most likely do the same. Since China exports so much, it depends on the other countries to buy its products and feed money into its economy. It is also interesting to see how China will play out, since as globalization continues it will be hard for China to keep its people oppressed. Since it opened up to capitalism, more and more economic globalization has occurred, which has inherently brought along cultural globalization. When countries like the UK and other capitalist nations mingle with China, it will be much harder for the Chinese government to keep control. Bobby Mook China Pupils told to love Nation ​the students of China in primary and secondary school are being encouraged or forced to watch a 2 hour special on the greatness of china and why they should love the nation when they went back to school after their break. it is being broadcasted to tens of millions of chinese children raising patriotism and national spirit on the eve of china's 60th year annaversary. the movie stars famous chinese men and women like jet Li. very appropriatly this video is being called "the first lesson at the start of school- I love you China". in school all children will have to write about the video (making the video mandatory for any student) and this totals up to 160 million students. this video and nationalistic media to come are all building hype for the 60th year anniversary which will be held in tiananmen square and will highlight the country's achievements over the last six decades. I think that this article is a very interesting one because it really brings out the differences between china and the USA. if the students were required to watch then report on an amazingly nationalistic and patriotic piece of propaganda there would be unrest of sorts. But i think that in China this is something that can be expected and their government is still playing the same game that it always has. But this got me thinking that maybe im to quick to judge the "propaganda" that the chinese government is forcing down the throats of the young students. if you think back there have been many nationalistic things done in school, at least in my classes. and at the very least the teachers can sway biase towards the good guy americans making young minds develope the thinking of superiorness, which is the essence of nationalism. is this propaganda video all that different from the US propaganda machine used against germany and then the soviet union. after all the mashing of ideas above ive come to the conclusion that although this video is a much more direct form of brainwashing persay, the US does similar things in the primary and secondary schools and we as americans shouldnt be so quick to judge. Audrey Fisher Population Growth at 47 Year High This article addresses the high rate of population growth that is rapidly occuring in the UK and relates the issue to the regulation of immigation in the UK. Reaseach has shown that in 2008 the total popultion grew 408,000 and surpasses 61 million for the first time ever. Most of this growth can be accounted for by a rapid increase of births in the country, 791,000 born in 2008 compared to 33,000 in 2007. The news story goes on to explain that immigration is at a low and backs this up with the fact that in 2008 the smallest number of people yet migrated to the UK. The organization of the UK's immigration policy is debated and some claim that immigration into the country may be higher but because of the loose system many immigrants are unaccounted for. People are also migrating from the UK because of the current economic recession. In short although the poplutation of the UK is growing the immigration levels are extremely low. In my mind the jump in population growth relates to our class disscussion of "The Rise of the Rest". Our class debated about what would happen if other countries began to demand the same amount and quality resources we are privy to in the U.S. Population growth on a global level is generally negative and puts pressure on the economic system world wide as well as many other affects such as a rise in unemployment or a demand for more resources that may not be avalible. To me the fact that the UK is growing is much more important than the legitimacy of it's immigration policy. No matter where people are located population growth will still have a global effect. Comparing the population growth and immigration policies in the UK to other nations such as China or India is somewhat miniscule. Countries like these are home to billions of people and account for a major percentage of the world's total population. Although the UK's growth is small on a global level it could be a warning sign and may predict a trend that is developing not just in the UK but in other countires as well. This trend could lead to an exploding level of population that the world cannoth physically handle on an economic, environmental, and social level.Economically an expanding population level may lead to dangerous competition and an increase demand for supply that cannot be met. Looking at the growth of our population on an environmentaly level the amount of polution through human activities could cause catostrophic damgae to the Earth. Social problems could arise as well as polictal views clash within governments. **,lasnflknafnalkdnf.,a ncvknad** China Tries to Expand the Use of its Currency Nick Persico China, in an attempt to expand its sphere of influence, is pressing foreign markets for wider use of its currency. The initiative has seen a series of currency swap agreements in the past few months, receiving a greater edge with recent criticism of the dollar-driven market. Premier Wen Jiabao last month warned he was concerned about China's huge investment in dollar-denominated assets. Since December six currency swap contracts have been signed totaling 650 billion yuan ($96 billion) with Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Belarus, Indonesia, and Argentina. The yuan so far plays only a minor role globally, partly because it is not convertible on the capital account, which makes it harder to remit money in and out of China. These contracts make it possible for overseas markets for Chinese goods to borrow yuan from their central banks, which would in turn make their assets safer from “volatility” in the US dollar. "The facts on the ground suggest the central bank would like to see the yuan more popularly used as an offshore trade settlement currency," said Ben Simpfendorfer, Hong Kong-based China economist for Royal Bank of Scotland. "That won't happen overnight. It will take years, but nonetheless, it may happen faster than people expect." China’s efforts were not simply spawned out of self interest, however. Other rising economies such as Brazil are in support of trade through the use of their respective currencies. According to Lu Zhenwei, a Shanghai-based economist with Industrial Bank, "If the US dollar framework remained unchanged, the emerging markets would have no channel to have a bigger say." In reality, any universal currency swap is decades away as so many requirments must first be met. "Theoretically, it's a good idea. But in reality, it would be very difficult to implement," said Lu of Industrial Bank. "It could be a direction for open discussion. But in the foreseeable future, that's not going to happen." Any major global role for the yuan might be as long as 10 years to 30 years away, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Other economic officials claim even longer. "Currencies don't become popular until they are widely adopted and transaction costs are low and there is some sense that you can use this currency to buy things in any country," said Simpfendorfer. "It is (a question of reaching a critical mass), and in that respect China has an advantage in being a very large trading country. But we need to see a stronger domestic demand, more Chinese buying goods from abroad."