Top China stories of the week: 11/27-12/04
- China halts U.S. academic freedom at the class door, from Bloomberg, was the better of two excellent pieces this week on the topic of joint-managed colleges in China (the other being No academic freedom for China). This piece generated a lot of discussion about education, and one friend who actually studies at the school mentioned that the article should have also examined discussions in the classrooms that are actually much freer than she had expected.
- Hepatitis C outbreak hits Anhui, Henan, from Caixin, is an in depth look at how lax regulations and the recycling of used needles at local clinics led to over 110 people being infected. Supposedly this problem was fixed nearly a decade ago. This coming out near World AIDS Day is a reminder of how far China still has to come in the battle to control blood born diseases.
- More balanced ballots, from People’s Daily, explores how China’s local elections are changing. Since it comes from State media, be sure to read between the lines, as this is still a sensitive issue. Also the Fang Binxing mentioned in this article is credited as being the creator of the Great Firewall of China.
- Huntsman, China, and the Bears, from Evan Osnos at the New Yorker, takes a look at Huntsman’s recent claim that China’s internet generation is going to “take down China,” alongside worries about the real estate market.
- How China’s human rights record is like Michael Jackson, from the Atlantic, examines a Chinese diplomat’s recent claim that just like the King of Pop, China is unjustly scorned while generously giving to the needy. The author also looks at some of the less flattering ways that this makes an apt comparison.
- China’s superior economic model, by Andy Stern, promotes the idea that a mixture of open markets and planned economy is the best policy. While he makes a few strong points, he also fails to really understand what is happening on the ground in China as a result of these five-year plans, like ignoring how targets are met in ways that do far more harm than good. Very much worth a read none-the-less.
- China takes a tough line of poverty, from People’s Daily, shows what China’s poverty threshold increase means for millions of poor Chinese. It should be applauded that China greatly expanded their definition of “poor,” it is also worth noting that this is still below the international standard. Also China’s “poor” population expanded by 500%, but there was only a 21% increase in poverty reduction related spending.
Regarding the Andy Stern article, i think Tom has it right…Andy needs to come and live in China for a few years. While more coordinated government efforts in the US would be appreciated, no one with any credibility is suggesting the China model be adopted.
As to the efficacy of government led investment in emerging industries, the latest Michael Pettis blog post is worth reading.
Concur. What some miss out, at least in the short-term, is a doubling-dip US and a sclerosic EU (whether she solve her sovereign debt crisis or not) is on the horizon; China, with or without her economic flaws, will not be immune to the global downturn.
Even Jim Rogers – who initially was in utter denial of a property bubble – has come about face and acknowledge a downturn in the near future.