Wandering China

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

Hospitals should be city’s priority – SHANGHAI [Global Times] #RisingChina #Healthcare

Global Times: Chinese fourth estate at work, using a foreign voice to draw attention to China’s public healthcare chasm.

‘Upon arriving at the hospital, I was struck by the number of people lying on gurneys in the reception area, the hall way, the corridors and throughout the hospital. China’s population problem was all the more evident from the overcrowding in the hospital. Before I could be seen, I first had to pay to register. While in some countries in the West this is commonplace, I come from England, and the idea of paying for health care was alien to me.’

– – –

Hospitals should be city’s priority – Shanghai
By Rebecca Flood
Source – Global Times, published July 7, 2013

20130707-075020.jpg
Illustration: Lu Ting/Global Times

I recently experienced firsthand the Chinese health care system after a nasty cut on my arm left me needing stitches. Most people’s worst nightmare when abroad is illness or injury; from food poisoning to broken bones, a medical emergency seems worse when you’re thousands of miles from home.

I had lacerated my right arm on a rusty metal fence, and the cut was so deep, you could see the layer of fat under my skin. I made my way to the Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was struck by the number of people lying on gurneys in the reception area, the hall way, the corridors and throughout the hospital. China’s population problem was all the more evident from the overcrowding in the hospital. Before I could be seen, I first had to pay to register. While in some countries in the West this is commonplace, I come from England, and the idea of paying for health care was alien to me.

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

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Health, Human Rights, Infrastructure, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Rules shouldn’t be made to be broken – Shanghai [Global Times] #RisingChina #CivilisedSociety

There is still some way to go before Beijing consensus and civilised society go hand in hand. How the new leaders set an example is vital.

‘...following a rule is not considered a matter of pride in China. Many people think of rules as an obstacle to surmount rather than a positive social norm that can protect us from danger, chaos or unfairness, and moreover, contribute to the establishment of a lawful society. Hence, breaking a rule is regarded as a way to cut corners and save hassle. In this case, for example, the customers brought their own cart because they didn’t want to bother moving the heavy water from a supermarket trolley to their own cart. Sadly, they didn’t think of the possible consequences of their action.’ Zhang Yu

For instance, smokers are still aplenty in restaurants across all the Chinese cities I’ve traveled to. This is despite a ban since 2011 that still sees regular violators today. On occasion a waitstaff would try to dissuade the smokers but upon revelation of their party (actual or perceived) status,  the service staff always take a step back, the smoking continues. See – New Smoking ban effective in China (Xinhua, May 2, 2011) That said in 2009 – nearly 8% of Chinese revenue came from tobacco-related taxes and profits.

– – –

Rules shouldn’t be made to be broken
By Zhang Yu
Source – SHANGHAI – Global Times, published July 3, 2013

20130704-070255.jpg
Illustration: Lu Ting, Global Times

Last month, at a supermarket in Shanghai’s Jiading district, a 66-year-old woman was struck and killed by an overloaded pushcart on an inclined moving walkway. The pushcart, which was brought into the supermarket by two customers, lacked the safety devices all supermarket trolleys have that automatically lock the wheels onto walkways. As 15 boxes of bottled water were loaded onto the cart, it plunged rapidly down the walkway after the men lost control of it.

A shocking detail of this case was the fact that not only are these carts forbidden to be used in the supermarket, but the security guard on duty noticed the cart beforehand. He tried to dissuade the men from taking the moving walkway, but after they insisted, the guard gave in, finally leading to the tragedy.

This is a classic case of rules being ignored and flouted, eventually leading to a tragedy that could so easily have been prevented. But I don’t want to assign all the blame to the two customers who used the cart or to the security guard who let them in. The deeper problem lies in our society which lacks a basic respect for rules, whether it’s a supermarket regulation or a national law.

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

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, global times, Government & Policy, Ideology, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity

Parents learn a costly lesson on homes [China Daily] #RisingChina #Education

The commodification of education meets the Chinese mind.

A 28-sq-m one-bedroom apartment recently sold for 2.35 million yuan – an incredible 83,000 yuan per sq m – in the downtown district of Jing’an. The buyers bought their apartment simply so their child would be eligible to attend a well-respected school, the Shanghai Morning Post reported in June.

To keep up to date on China’s education reforms, please check out the China Daily special here.

– – –

Parents learn a costly lesson on homes
By Wang Ying
Source – China Daily, published July 2, 2013

The battle for a better education goes beyond schools, as Wang Ying reports in Shanghai

University lecturer Jiang Ying is a typical Chinese parent. She has high expectations for her daughter and adheres firmly to the following logic: To be successful in competitive Chinese society, you have to graduate from a prestigious university.

Before that, you must attend a respected middle school, which means, in most cases, you will need quality education at primary school.

Although her daughter is only 3, Jiang has become embroiled in a battle to win admission to a well-respected primary school in southwest Shanghai’s Xuhui district.

“We’ve lived in Minhang district for years. We have a nice apartment and are familiar with everything there, but I have given up a convenient lifestyle for the sake of my child,” said Jiang.
Under China’s nine-year compulsory education system – six years of primary schooling followed by three at middle school – parents are not allowed to choose the public school their children attend. Instead, they can be enrolled only at the school nearest their home.

Please click here to read the entire article at China Daily.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Confucius, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Lifestyle, Peaceful Development, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity

Why Indonesia Can Only Wait for Rain as Riau Burns and Singapore Chokes [Jakarta Post] #Singapore #Indonesia #Haze

A test of interconnectedness – the neighbors are a direct and critical cog of Singapore’s regional production and resource network. There is little deviation along the compass point when fingering the transnational capitalists or lamenting at political rhetorical ellipse. Anticipating wind patterns before the burn should have been a smarter way to do the inevitable; and for leaders to be a step ahead.

Further reading:

Burning Borneo Causes Worldwide Concern (June 22, 2013)

Singaporeans Slam Leaders for Not Ordering Work Halt Amid Smog (June 22, 2013)

Interestingly enough, the notion that Singapore is part of China persists…

Haze puts S’pore on map, millions surprised to find it there (Business Times, June 22, 2013 by Joyce Hooi)

THE world reacted with incredulity yesterday when it discovered what a “Singapore” was. Some clues to the existence of the city-state began emerging on Wednesday, when millions of orders for respiratory masks began crashing Amazon’s servers.

“I’ve seen that word before on one or two orders, you know?” an e-retailer told The Business Times yesterday. “But I got like a million orders from these Singaporeanese this week, and I thought, ‘boy, the air in China must be getting a lot worse’.”

Some, however, have expressed doubt at its existence. “I can’t see it on Nasa’s website of satellite images. There’s a patch of white smoke where people say it should be,” a forum member on Reddit said.

And in perhaps getting to the root…

Indonesia names Sinar Mas, APRIL, among eight firms behind Singapore haze (Eco Business, June 21, 2013 by Jessica Cheam)

+

See: The guilty secrets of palm oil: Are you unwittingly contributing to the devastation of the rain forests? (The Independent, May 2009)

It’s an invisible ingredient, really, palm oil. You won’t find it listed on your margarine, your bread, your biscuits or your KitKat. It’s there though, under “vegetable oil”. And its impact, 7,000 miles away, is very visible indeed.

The wildlife-rich forests of Indonesia and Malaysia are being chain-sawed to make way for palm-oil plantations. Thirty square miles are felled daily in a burst of habitat destruction that is taking place on a scale and speed almost unimaginable in the West.

When the rainforests disappear almost all of the wildlife – including the orangutans, tigers, sun bears, bearded pigs and other endangered species – and indigenous people go. In their place come palm-oil plantations stretching for mile after mile, producing cheap oil – the cheapest cooking oil in the world – for everyday food. Martin Hickman for the Independent, 2009

– – –

Why Indonesia Can Only Wait for Rain as Riau Burns and Singapore Chokes
Source – Jakarta Post, published June 21, 2013

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Motorcyclists drive through the smog in Dumai, Riau on June 21. (Reuters Photo)

Indonesia has accepted international praise for its deforestation legislation but has failed to invest in its enforcement, two top environmental groups said on Friday as fires continued to burn through protected peatlands in Sumatra.

The Ministry of Forestry lacks the resources to police the million of hectares of forest protected under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s acclaimed deforestation moratorium, Greenpeace Indonesia said. Fires in Riau province have burned for nearly a week, blanketing portions of Sumatra, Malaysia and Singapore in a thick cloud of smog.

More than 140 hotspots have been observed in satellite images across Sumatra and Kalimantan since the start of the week. Environmental activists and the ministry disagree over the number of hotspots burning in protected forests. Environmental groups estimated that number was close to 70. The ministry said fires were reported in only “five or six” protected forests.

“It’s nowhere near 50 percent,” said ministry spokesman Sumarto.

Please click here to read the full article at the Jakarta Post.

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Filed under: ASEAN, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Indonesia, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Resources, Singapore, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

Can China’s middle class spend the world out of recession? [BBC] #RisingChina #WorldsBiggestMiddleClass

Again, the fact that China’s urban population has only just surpassed its rural equivalent is an important consideration. Zooming in – In a way, it also depends on what this generation of young parents imbue their young with to keep up the next leg of China’s revival. The current generation X and Y retain the lineage of the family-centric worldview of consolidation and growth. When they spend its often with family at the forefront of major decisions.

A pal of mine foots a huge bill raising his daughter in Chengdu. With his wife they make a decent living but raising a child in the urban centers becomes possible only by extended family effort. On top of that, the scarcity of experienced healthcare staff make a grim overview to what should otherwise be a great time to raise a child along with China’s step up. The price of everything has gone up, impacting all demographics.

Along with the optimism, perhaps certain teething problems can be addressed and sorted out with this crop. The root of what others often misunderstand is to the Chinese, a simple act of reciprocating to benefactors and family. It will be hard to go away. The form may change, but the function remains.

– – –

Can China’s middle class spend the world out of recession?
By John Sudworth
Source – BBC News,
Zhengzhou, China,
published 19 June 2013

Meet the Zhangs, one of China’s new middle-class families who some economists believe are going to spend their way to a revival of the global economy.

Zhang Dongyang runs his own construction company in Zhengzhou, one of China’s fastest growing cities.

His wife, Zhang Min, is a hospital administrator, and together they earn about $40,000 (£25,000) a year.

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My parents didn’t even have enough to eat, and enough to eat, and weren’t that keen on children’s education. We can afford almost anything we want” Zhang Min, Hospital administrator

They own their own apartment, mortgage free, drive a Japanese-made Lexus car and will, they say, soon start taking not one, but two holidays a year.

Their six-year-old son, Zhang Zhiye, attends a private school.

“Yes I do feel middle class,” Mr Zhang tells me, adding that it’s now become acceptable to admit it.

“People who are more capable rise to the top. This is natural. It is the survival of the fittest.”

Please clIck here to read the full article at the BBC website.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Green China, Health, History, Ideology, Inflation, Influence, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Poverty, Property, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Percussion shows me the world [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #GlobalPulse #Percussion

Good stuff! No pulse = no life.

Better days ahead for the global pulse…

without the excess baggage of visual culture nor colour symbolism.

– – –

Percussion shows me the world
Edited and translated by Huang Jin
Source – People’s Daily Online, published June 14, 2013

The performance “Mountain Drums” played by 39 visually impaired students from Guiyang Special School won gold prize at Disabled Arts Festival of Guizhou Province on June 7, 2013. The 39 students, from 9 to 21, are from a world without color.

Because of the visual impairment, the practice is very hard for them. However, the percussion brings them happiness and tears, and shows them the world…

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto - Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto – Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

A teacher holds the students' hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

A teacher holds the students’ hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disabilities, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Music, Peaceful Development, People, People's Daily, Population, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

No pulling punches over China’s ‘gaokao’ [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Gaokao

One chance against ten million in the cohort. That narrative, down to the wire, is the full-frontal reality of Chinese human capital to come.

– – –

No pulling punches over China’s ‘gaokao’
Exam fever strikes as parents attack teachers for foiling kids’ cheating bids
By Ho Ai Li China Correspondent In Beijing
Source – Straits Times, published June 14, 2013

20130614-084706.jpg

The ugly scenes involving mobs of parents and students at a school in Hubei province last weekend sparked concerns about the distortion of values over the gaokao or university entrance exams. — PHOTO: WEIBO

MOST parents would get upset if their children cheat during examinations. That was what a group of Chinese parents did – except that they directed their anger at the teachers, with some even resorting to violence.

A father punched a teacher in the face for foiling his son’s attempt to cheat during China’s national university entrance exam; separately, nearly a hundred parents and students laid siege to an exam centre, angry with invigilators for being too strict.

These ugly scenes, which took place outside a school in central Hubei province last weekend, have sparked concerns about the kind of values parents are teaching their children and the excessive pressure from the high-stakes exam, known as gaokao in Chinese.

Please click here to read the full article in the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Population, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

China’s Expanding Life Spans—and Waistlines [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Health #Urbanisation

Checking the rear view mirror of China’s rise: Urbanisation and public health concerns over the creeping obsolescence of physical activity in China’s time-compressed concrete jungles.

– – –

China’s Expanding Life Spans—and Waistlines
By Christina Larson
Source – Bloomberg, published June 11, 2013

Photograph by Wang Zhide. ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

Overweight students exercise in a gym during a weight-loss summer camp in Weifang of Shandong Province. Photograph by Wang Zhide. ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

Over the past two decades, China’s population has grown richer, older, more urban—and fatter. From 1990 to 2010, public health authorities in China made significant progress in stemming several of the medical challenges common in poor countries, including reducing childhood mortality and rates of infectious diseases. However, China’s population now faces additional health pitfalls exacerbated by urban smog, more sedentary lifestyles, and the rise of KFC (YUM) and cheap fast food.

In short, China’s public-health challenges now look more like America’s, for better and worse. That was a main finding of researchers at the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Peking Union Medical College, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which published a collaborative paper on public health in China in the June 8 issue of the British medical journal the Lancet. Their findings draw upon data in the World Health Organization’s 2010 Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study.

From 1970 to 2010, the average life span for men in China climbed 12.5 years (to age 72.9). The average lifespan for women climbed 15.5 years (to age 79). A major factor behind these gains has been a steep drop in childhood mortality, due in part to improved neonatal and maternal care. In 1970, 100.6 children out of a thousand died in China before they reached age 5; by 2010, that number had dropped to 12.9 deaths per thousand. (Meanwhile, even as people are living longer, fewer are being born: The average number of children born to each woman in China dropped from 4.77 to 1.64 over those 40 years.) The result is a quickly graying country.

Please click here to read the full article at Bloomberg.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Food, Government & Policy, Health, Ideology, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Population, Poverty, Reform, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity, Trade

Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban [ABC News Australia] #RisingChina #Huawei #Telecommunicatioms

So it seems to wearing made in China is fine, or eating out of plates made there does not require too much afterthought. However, using their information infrastructure and equipment to send messages from A to B – requires an ideological leap of faith for some.

Well, it’s not quite time to chuck away the image of China simply being the world’s factory of cheap and good, where excellent margins to those willing to leverage the Chinese model are the key draw. Today, they’re moving up the food chain and it will be a mistake not to take notice.

The land down under is seeing an increasing number of rising China’s foreign vanguard of products tested with the Aussie market prior to going global. This even includes the Great Wall make of SUV and Utility Vehicles.

Rewind – a year back Huawei was barred from tendering for Australia’s National Broadband Network based on intelligence and cyber espionage concerns. See China hits back at NBN bid rejection (The Age, March 29, 2012)

Fast forward a year and check out how Huawei has responds in  the 7.5min video accompanying the article – with ABC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell.

– Over in the UK – Huawei has become embedded into UK telecoms infrastructure [Financial Times] – June 6, 2013

– Can it look any more ominous than this  (see photo below)? Inside The Chinese Company America Can’t Trust [Time Magazine] – April 15, 2013

Source - DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

Source – DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME
myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

That said, it is probably useful to get a clearer picture of what Huawei does:

To read a perspective of Huawei Its annual revenue is more than $35 billion. It is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Huawei components feature in networks serving one-third of the world’s population… Huawei is not really a manufacturing company. It makes some of its most sensitive equipment, but it contracts out most routine manufacturing. Just under half – 70,000 – of its staff are directly involved in research and development. It has sought 55,000 patents and been granted 30,000 of them. Thirty thousand of its employees worldwide are non-Chinese. It is really a giant R&D, design, marketing and brand company. A questionable risk to security – Huawei an extraordinary creation (The Australian, May 18, 2013)

See also from WC //

Huawei a victim of its success [China Daily] – May 26, 2013

Huawei calls US Congress report ‘China bashing’ [AFP/Sydney Morning Herald] – October 8, 2012

– – –

Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban
By China correspondent Stephen McDonell
Source – ABC News Australia, published June 10, 2013

The Chinese company blocked from working on Australia’s National Broadband Network has set its sights on shaking off its image as a stalking horse for Chinese spies.

Telecommunications giant Huawei was banned from tendering for the network as Australia followed the lead of a similar government ban in the United States due to espionage fears.

The company, based in southern China’s Shenzhen province, has refuted claims by the US House Intelligence Committee that the company could potentially build so-called “backdoors” into the likes of the NBN to allow for Chinese eavesdropping.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: ABC News, Advertising, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.K., U.S.

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)

– – –

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

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