The story most deserving of your attention this week can by found on Foreign Policy, and was written by Charlie Custer of ChinaGeeks.org, highlighting the problem of kidnapping in China (hopefully you already noticed the link on the right hand side of this page). According to the U.S. State Department there are nearly 20,000 kidnappings every year in China, which is over 100x higher than in the US. It is a heartbreaking story, and Charlie is working on a documentary called “Living with Dead Hearts” to draw more attention to this epidemic.
Although there have been stories circulating for nearly a year about China’s possible economic problems, it seems like this week the evidence of a slow down started bubbling to the surface. Throughout China the shift from 11% growth to 9% is causing problems for some business models. It seems that the rapid growth of the past decade allowed for very high interest rates on private loans. Wenzhou, a city famous for business, has had nearly 90 local business owners skip town to escape loan sharks.
Even though the Senate has passed a bill that would force the US to take action against China’s unfair trade practices, Gary Locke continues to win the hearts and minds of Chinese citizens. China Daily struggles to comprehend why he is so effective in spreading his message, again claiming that people only like him because he shares Chinese ancestors. They must have missed this photo-op in Shanghai, that shows Locke connecting with local people in a way that is rarely seen with Chinese officials. China Daily’s article about the American dream in China, shows a number of problems brewing just beneath the surface in China; like the fact that 50% of those interviewed said corruption and lack of an effective legal system keep the dream out of reach for mainlanders.
Global Times earned a second spot in the round up this week with the article “Beatings more usual than bonuses for women in China.” Which shows quite clearly that Mao proclaiming that “women hold up half the sky” was not nearly enough to undo centuries of sexism.