Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China officials slam themselves – on TV [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Self-Cleansing

China: reflexive days ahead?

Also, see Sweating and on the verge of tears: Chinese officials carry out self-criticism on TV

by Zhang Hong (South China Morning Post)

Source - SCMP, September 28, 2013

Source – SCMP, September 28, 2013

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China officials slam themselves – on TV
Criticism session part of CCP’s self-cleansing campaign: Observers
Source – Straits Times, published September 28, 2013

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IT WAS a made-for-television criticism and self-criticism show.

In an unprecedented move, China’s state broadcaster CCTV showed top officials of Hebei province criticising “impatient” superiors even as they admitted to overspending on things like official cars and lavish dinners.

Observers noted that the programme televised on Wednesday is a first, and shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intensifying its “self-cleansing” campaign.

They also said other provinces might follow Hebei’s lead, and that the people would dismiss such “self-criticism” sessions as a mere show, unless errant officials were also taken to task.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times online.
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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Hunting tigers: In cracking down on corrupt officials, Xi Jinping must not forget fundamental reforms [Economist] #RisingChina #Reform #Corruption

Another tiger bites the dust? Jiang Jiemin 蒋洁敏 (here for biography) removed as head state asset regulator.

China sacks head of state asset regulator Jiang Jiemin amid graft probe (SCMP, September 3, 2013)

China Probes State-Assets Head as Anti-Graft Push Widens (Bloomberg, September 2, 2013)

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Hunting tigers- In cracking down on corrupt officials, Xi Jinping must not forget fundamental reforms
Source – Economist, published Sep 7th 2013 | From the print edition

20130908-103610.jpg
photo source -AP

A DRIVE against corruption? Or a political purge? Or a bit of both? Outside China, not many people noticed the dismissal of Jiang Jiemin, the minister overseeing China’s powerful state-owned enterprises (SOEs). His charge—“serious violations of discipline”—is party-speak for corruption. Officials at CNPC, a state-run oil giant which Mr Jiang used to run, have also been charged. But in Beijing it fits a pattern. It follows on from the trial of Bo Xilai, the princeling who ran the huge region of Chongqing and was a notable rival of Xi Jinping, China’s president. Mr Xi now seems to be gunning for an even bigger beast: Zhou Yongkang, Mr Jiang’s mentor, an ally of Mr Bo’s, and until last year the head of internal security whom Mr Bo once hoped to replace (see article).

Mr Xi vows to fight corrupt officials large and small—“tigers” and “flies” as he puts it. He has certainly made as much or more noise about graft as his predecessors. If Mr Zhou is pursued for corruption, it will break an unwritten rule that the standing committee should not go after its own members, past or present. And there are good reasons for Mr Xi to stamp out corruption. He knows that ill-gotten wealth is, to many ordinary people, the chief mark against the party. It also undermines the state’s economic power.

But this corruption drive is also open to another interpretation. To begin with, the tigers being rounded up are Mr Xi’s enemies. Mr Bo had hoped to use Chongqing as the springboard to the Politburo’s standing committee. The verdict on Mr Bo, expected any day, is a foregone conclusion. His sentence will be decided at the highest levels of the Communist Party, and it can only be harsh. Party politics, as seen by its players, is an all-or-nothing game, and the stakes are even higher when family prestige and fortunes are at stake.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Economist.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The Economist

Discipline bodies launch website [Global Times] #RisingChina #Corruption #CCDI

Rising China, corruption and social levelling via Web 2.0: new website launched for the Chinese to anonymously report on cheating officials.

New anti-graft site allows people to report cheating officials (SCMP September 3, 2013)

The site is jointly run by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (中国共产党中央纪律检查委员会) and the Ministry of Supervision 监察部.

– – –

Discipline bodies launch website
Zhang Xiaobo
Source – Global Times, published September 3, 2013

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Ministry of Supervision on Monday jointly opened an official website, offering the public a new online channel to report corrupt officials.

The website will play a key role in combating corruption by releasing official statements and providing a new means for online corruption reporting, read a notice on the site.

“This is a great move for the Party to push forward the online anti-corruption drive, as it allows Net users to report corrupt officials via a new channel, instead of merely posting exposés on Weibo,” Li Danyang, a research fellow on public administration with the Beijing-based Beihang University, told the Global Times.

The website consists of 10 sections, including an online forum where the public can leave their opinions and proposals, as well as ask questions about anti-corruption work. It also outlines the discipline watchdog’s structure, giving the public more information on how the agency operates.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Corruption, Democracy, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

More than minerals | Chinese trade with Africa keeps growing; fears of neocolonialism are overdone [Economist] #RisingChina #Africa

Other powers have had their chance to shine to help the cradle of civilisation stand up. Unfortunately some find it hard to divorce the  imposition of ideology from economics. China seems to be able to do this better and true to form of the lingering narrative of middleman – its focus remains on trade and investment. Also see – China’s independent foreign policy of peace.

Africans are far from being steamrollered. Their governments have shown a surprising assertiveness. The first person to be expelled from Africa’s youngest country, South Sudan, was a Chinese: Liu Yingcai, the local head of Petrodar, a Chinese-Malaysian oil company and the government’s biggest customer, in connection with an alleged $815m oil “theft”. Congo kicked out two rogue commodities traders in the Kivu region. Algerian courts have banned two Chinese firms from participating in a public tender, alleging corruption. Gabonese officials ditched an unfavourable resource deal. Kenyan and South African conservationists are asking China to stop the trade in ivory and rhino horn.

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More than minerals | Chinese trade with Africa keeps growing; fears of neocolonialism are overdone
NAIROBI print edition
Source – The Economist, published Mar 23rd 2013

Source - Eyevine, in the Economist

Source – Eyevine, in the Economist

A GROUP of five tourists from Beijing passes low over Mount Kenya and into the Rift Valley in their private plane before landing on a dusty airstrip surrounded by the yellow trunks and mist-like branches of fever trees. They walk across a grassy opening where zebras and giraffes roam, snapping pictures while keeping an eye out for charging buffaloes. When they sit down at a table, they seem hungry but at ease. “Last year I went to the South Pole with some friends,” says one of two housewives, showing off iPhone pictures of a gaggle of penguins on permafrost.

Source - Africa Research Institute, IMF

Source – Africa Research Institute, IMF

Chinese are coming to Africa in ever greater numbers and finding it a comfortable place to visit, work in and trade. An estimated 1m are now resident in Africa, up from a few thousand a decade ago, and more keep arriving. Chinese are the fourth-most-numerous visitors to South Africa. Among them will be China’s new president, Xi Jinping, who is also going to Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo on his first foreign outing as leader.

The origin of China’s fascination with Africa is easy to see. Between the Sahara and the Kalahari deserts lie many of the raw materials desired by its industries. China recently overtook America as the world’s largest net importer of oil. Almost 80% of Chinese imports from Africa are mineral products. China is Africa’s top business partner, with trade exceeding $166 billion. But it is not all minerals. Exports to Africa are a mixed bag (see chart). Machinery makes up 29%.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Economist. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, BRIC, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Economist, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Migrant Workers, Modernisation, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Population, Poverty, Precious Metals, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, The Economist, Trade

Death Row Interviews [BBC, 2012] #RisingChina #DeathRow

This program ran across two important periods in defining how  China sees the point of no return. 

With an updated outlook in 2011, it shed 13 crimes from its list of the unpardonable.  This series would have captured this transition with a source of personal narratives that would otherwise never would never see light of day. In some ways this program demonstrated a willingness of the state to give some latitude toward intense self-examination. No longer running, Interviews Before Execution first aired in 2006 and covered 226 interviews with death row inmates until 2012.

Also, see

Why China Executes So Many People (The Atalantic, May 11, 2013)
The Bureau Investigates – The dead talking (March 13, 2012)
NBC’s Behind the Wall: Chinese TV show ‘Interviews before Execution’ stirs controversy (March 13, 2012)

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Death Row Interviews
Source – BBC on Youtube, Published on 16 May 2013

Every Saturday night in China, millions gather around their televisions to watch Interviews Before Execution, an extraordinary talk show which interviews prisoners on death row.

In the weeks, days or even minutes before they are executed, presenter Ding Yu goes into prisons and talks to those condemned to die. Combining clips from the TV show, never-before-seen footage of China’s death row and interviews with a local judge who openly questions the future of the death penalty in China, This World reveals a part of China that is generally hidden from from view.

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Wukan: After the Uprising [Al Jazeera] #RisingChina #Democracy

A recommended watch to see through the monotheistic narrative that commonly misrepresents China in global media. The southern Chinese have been inciting uprisings against their perceived injustices since the Ming dynasty, a lineage continued during the time of Sun Yat-Sen. It looks like it exists till today.

Watch the documentary here:

(Running time 25 min)

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Wukan: After the Uprising
Source – Al Jazeera, last modified July 5, 2013

China is no stranger to rural uprisings. Tens of thousands of protests erupt across the country each year, many over the illegal sale of communal village land by corrupt local officials. Few demonstrations lead to real change, but in 2011, one community defied the odds.

Wukan, a village in China’s southern Guangdong province, captured the world’s attention when it achieved a rare victory.

After weeks of noisy protests, a crackdown by local authorities and the death of a leading activist, demonstrators succeeded in ousting the village committee, which had held power for more than four decades. Democratic elections were announced and Wukan made international headlines.

Wukan: After the Uprising tells the story of the village’s journey following its extraordinary victory. This four-part observational documentary series looks at the challenges of a community’s transition to democracy, through the eyes of former rebels now entrusted with the task of leading the village and regaining lost land.

As the international press left Wukan after its historic vote, Al Jazeera stayed on to follow the newly elected village committee in action. Over the course of more than a year, filmmakers Lynn Lee and James Leong documented Wukan’s unique experience with democracy.

From the high of the elections, to the grind of everyday work, to the dilemmas of leadership, this is a rare and intimate portrait of rural China in the midst of remarkable change.

watch Episode 1: Rebels to Politicians

Please click here to read entire article at Al Jazeera.
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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Uncategorized, Wukan

What to Make of Xi Jinping’s Maoist Turn [WSJ] #RisingChina #NewLeadership

Thoughts from the WSJ on Xi’s apparent Maoist turn.

…these Party editorials are intended for cadres, not citizens. The idea is for officials to sit up, take notice of their shortcomings and start working differently. Citizens aren’t being coerced or prepared for disappointment; it’s cadres who are being told to change.

20130622-085035.jpg

– To believe that a set of instructions would serve its dominant hegemonic purpose with full fidelity is a huge overstep. The range of publicly available party literature can be staggering, just rock up to any of the Xinhua bookstores. This was taken in Chongqing earlier in 2013.

Additionally, mass line in the English language does not carry the semantic gravitas of 群众路线. For more on the 群众路线 mass line , see 人民日报评论部:群众路线是“执政生命线” People’s Daily, June 18, 2013

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What to Make of Xi Jinping’s Maoist Turn
By Russell Leigh Moses
Source – Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report, published June 21, 2013

20130622-083525.jpg

by Tim O’brien

Is Xi Jinping lurching towards a Maoist revival?

With a number of Mao-like pronouncements emanating from Beijing in recent months, some observers of Chinese politics think he might be.

The most recent example is an editorial published earlier this week in the authoritative People’s Daily (in Chinese), which argues that the “mass line is the ruling lifeline” for the Communist Party.

In the days since, that phrase has proliferated through state media, with the official Xinhua news agency announcing on Thursday that the Communist Party had published, not one, but two new books on interpretations of “mass line” by everyone from Friederich Engels to Jiang Zemin.

The concept of a mass line harkens directly back to the Maoist era. It denotes the need for officials to get close to the masses, and to know their needs and demands intimately. References to “taking the mass line” have reappeared only sporadically in the years since reform took hold, as revolutionary visions were largely supplanted by slogans emphasizing China’s need for scientific development.

Xi himself took this new campaign high-profile in a videoconference meeting Tuesday (in Chinese), outlining the need for a crusade to educate Party members about the evils of the “Four Winds,” namely “formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and waste.” He argued that cadres “should focus on self-purification, self-improvement, self-innovation, self-awareness”—or, as he put it in a folksy way, “”watching from the mirror, grooming oneself, taking a bath and seeking remedies.”

Please click here to read the full article at the Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Maoism, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Xi Jinping

China’s Xi harks back to Mao in party ‘cleanup’ [AP] #RisingChina #Corruption

The exemplary clean up is inevitable with every leadership change – how far down the root it goes is the question that remains unanswered – will there be no sacred cows this time?

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China’s Xi harks back to Mao in party ‘cleanup’
by GILLIAN WONG
Source: Associated Press Mobile, published June 20, 2013

In this June 18, 2013 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's President Xi Jinping addresses a conference on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) campaign aimed at boosting ties between CPC members and the public, in Beijing. China’s leadership wants to show a cynical public that it’s modernizing and serious about graft, but it appears to be favoring a top-down ideological campaign - with study sessions, self-criticism and propaganda - over imposing real checks on power. That worries many observers, not only because they doubt it will work, but because the tactic appears to be ripped out of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s playbook. Photo - AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Jiansheng

In this June 18, 2013 photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, China’s President Xi Jinping addresses a conference on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) campaign aimed at boosting ties between CPC members and the public, in Beijing. China’s leadership wants to show a cynical public that it’s modernizing and serious about graft, but it appears to be favoring a top-down ideological campaign – with study sessions, self-criticism and propaganda – over imposing real checks on power. That worries many observers, not only because they doubt it will work, but because the tactic appears to be ripped out of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s playbook. Photo – AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Jiansheng

BEIJING (AP) – China’s new leader Xi Jinping is commanding wayward Communist Party cadres to purify themselves of corruption, and he’s summed it up in a pithy slogan as Mao Zedong might have done: Look in the mirror, take a bath.

China’s leadership wants to show a cynical public that it’s modernizing and serious about graft, but it appears to be favoring a top-down ideological campaign – with study sessions, self-criticism and propaganda – over imposing real checks on power. That worries many observers, not only because they doubt it will work, but because the tactic appears to be ripped out of the playbook of Mao, the founder of Communist China.

“Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the Communist Party’s survival or extinction,” Xi said in a message via teleconference Tuesday to top party cadres gathered in groups in their provinces and cities nationwide.

Please click here to read the full article at AP Mobile.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, AP, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

China’s former railways minister stands trial for corruption [Xinhua] #RisingChina #Corruption #Transport

Doing what has to be done to demonstrate that no ivory tower exists in the management of Rising China’s  arteries, at least for now at the ministerial level. Liu Zhijun 劉志軍, despite being head of China’s second most powerful ministry capable of some level of unilateral decision making (arguably, after the military )

Interesting his fact-file is still available on the Chinese government official portal.

For more, please see:

– Former railways minister seeks leniency on corruption charges (South China Morning Post, June 10, 2013)

– Chinese former minister Liu Zhijun’s trial on corruption charges begins (Guardian, June 10, 2013)

And a blast from the past – two years ago

– China’s railway minister under investigation over “disciplinary violation” (Xinhua, Feb 12, 2011)

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China’s former railways minister stands trial for corruption
Source – Xinhua, published June 9, 2013

Video grab shows China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse o

Video grab shows China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Source - Xinhua, by Gong Lei)

Video grab shows China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Source – Xinhua, by Gong Lei)

BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) — China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun stood trial in a court in Beijing on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

According to the indictment by the Second Branch of the Beijing People’s Procuratorate, Liu took advantage of his position and helped 11 people win promotions and project contracts, and accepted 64.6 million yuan (10.53 million U.S. dollars) in bribes from them between 1986 to 2011.

During his tenure as the railways minister, Liu is suspected of helping Ding Yuxin and her relatives to win cargo transportation and railway construction contracts. He also helped them in the acquisition of shares in a bullet train wheel set company and with enterprise financing, by breaking regulations and applying favoritism, which allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits, according to the indictment.

Please click here to read the full article at Xinhua. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, Transport, xinhua

Why China’s Current Anti-Corruption Campaign is Different [Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #Corruption #NewLeadership

By hook or by crook, this systemic dent has always impeded China’s full potential.

It has been one of its major Achilles heels since antiquity. That said and I argue again, it is not corruption that troubles, but the means of facilitating one’s ascent in contemporary Chinese society. One need to be a an increasingly big spender to afford an entourage. The entourage too has mouths to feed and the mouths are real. Desires are at a all fine high with advertising texts robbing Chinese skylines of their natural harmony with the environment – today feeding consumerism is the name of the game.

The one seeking ascendancy is no longer feeding an entourage of farmers from the village. The downstream effect that you have to be generous too their family to gain utmost trust is an expensive one in today’s terms.

A study of the major Chinese narratives and works of literature, right down to contemporary state sponsored Chinese-made TV today reveals much. It is an inherently deep Chinese lament. In the past when the Chinese echelons got corrupt and softened, foreign powers sat on their throne as recent as living memory.

Wang Qishan – man for the job to prevent this negative slide?

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Why China’s Current Anti-Corruption Campaign is Different
By Russell Leigh Moses
Dean of Academics and Faculty at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies
Source – Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report, published May 30, 2013

After witnessing previous campaigns against corruption fizzle out, or turn into an excuse for political backstabbing, the Chinese public might well be skeptical about President Xi Jinping’s latest attempt to rectify the Communist Party.

This present campaign, however, is beginning to look very different from the usual side-stepping that is done largely to impress the public.

And if reform-minded party cadres throw their support Mr. Xi’s way, it could turn into a broader effort to make the party more accountable.

Please click here to read the full article at the Wall Street Journal.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Corruption, Domestic Growth, Education, Finance, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Wall Street Journal

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