“When Delia Davin, the pioneer of Chinese women’s studies, arrived in
Beijing in 1963, aged 19, there were still camels carrying coal and
wooden ploughs in the fields outside the city. Davin, who has died of
cancer aged 72, quickly established a rapport with her students at the
Beijing Broadcasting Institute, whom she found to be ‘very serious about
their work, but [to] have a gaiety which saves them from being
priggish’. She taught them Irish songs as well as English grammar, and
one of them recited ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ to console
her, the student said, for not being in England on Shakespeare’s
are two things that China’s government wants very badly: first, for its
economy to remain on an even keel, keeping growth and employment high.
Second, for its currency, the renminbi, to become a pre-eminent global
currency that helps promote the country’s diplomatic goals and solidify
the country’s centrality to the global economy. Frequently those goals are in conflict. But Tuesday, it found a way to advance both at once.“
For more, see Neil Irwin, “Why Did China Devalue Its Currency? Two Big Reasons,” The New York Times (11 Aug 2015)
Image: Rolex Dela Pena / European Pressphoto Agency
“If modern material comforts are the measure of success, then Gere, a 59-year-old former yak-and-sheep herder in China’s western Qinghai Province, should be a happy man.In
the two years since the Chinese government forced him to sell his
livestock and move into a squat concrete house here on the windswept
Tibetan plateau, Gere and his family have acquired a washing machine, a
refrigerator and a color television that beams Mandarin-language
historical dramas into their whitewashed living room.
But Gere, who like many Tibetans uses a single name, is filled with regret. Like hundreds of thousands of pastoralists across China
who have been relocated into bleak townships over the past decade, he
is jobless, deeply indebted and dependent on shrinking government
subsidies to buy the milk, meat and wool he once obtained from his
flocks. ‘We don’t go hungry, but we have lost the life that our ancestors practiced for thousands of years,’ he said.”
“It is like a casino, but without rules, where ‘one player can see other players’ cards.’ That’s how prominent Chinese economist Wu Jinglian described the nature of the Chinese stock market last year during a finance summit when the stock market began to surge.”
Beijing, where pollution averaged more thantwice China’s national standard last year, will close the last
of its four major coal-fired power plants next year.
The capital city will shutter China Huaneng Group Corp.’s
845-megawatt power plant in 2016, after last week closing plants
owned by Guohua Electric Power Corp. and Beijing Energy
Investment Holding Co., according to a statement Monday on the
website of the city’s economic planning agency.
“Corruption is not only about the corruption of individuals… but also the process of privatisation through which many who are in power, together with investors, can shift money from public property into private pockets, and get rid of the state’s responsibility for the working class.”
"Chinese authorities greeted the 25th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square by detaining dozens of activists and lawyers, proving that Beijing continues to be haunted by the specter of those protests a quarter century after they ended. But another, less eye-catching series of detentions and convictions highlights a separate source of concern for the central government: swelling dissatisfaction among workers."