- At a forum hosted by The Economist, current U.S. Ambassador to China and former Washington State Governor Gary Locke called for an increase in “strategic mutual trust” between the U.S. and China. (Chinese language article)
- Chinese authorities have arrested seven Tibetans for purportedly convincing a man to self-immolate. The issue of Tibetan self-immolations has steadily grown in importance as its popularity as a form of protest has grown in recent years.
- Jia Qinglin, the head of China’s top political advisory body, has called for talks with Japan over the hotly disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.
- Several China watchers have begun considering whether a recent article published in the Chinese-language publication Observer News Weekly contains the first policy statement by the Xi-led administration. The article contains the so-called “eight musts,” a series of political, social and economic imperatives for the PRC moving forward.
Economics and Finance:
- The Telegraph (UK) highlights the growing importance of elder care in China by featuring one popular nursing home where the waitlist to get in is a century long.
- With issues regarding food security on the rise in China, the country’s wealthier citizens are increasingly importing their sustenance from abroad, according to the China Daily.
- China’s rural healthcare insurance scheme has been expanded to include 20 new illnesses, including stomach cancer and lung cancer. (Chinese language article)
- Rumors have been swirling that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba had hired several Western investment banks to plan an initial public offering. A spokesman for Alibaba, however, has refuted these claims.
- Apple is set to establish an R&D center in Beijing according to The Morning Whistle, a publication of the 21st Century Business Herald.
- China’s E-Commerce Research Center has released the first ever “China E-Commerce Legal Report.” Among the report’s findings is the fact that less than one-third of Chinese e-commerce enterprises were familiar with the relevant laws and regulations. (Chinese language article)
Energy and Environment:
- China’s water quality has come under scrutiny in recent days, with state-run news agencies saying that Beijing’s tap water “is not completely guaranteed” to be safe. Elizabeth Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations also recently published a post on the serious water crisis facing the country.
- Beijing’s struggles with air pollution are driving an expatriate diaspora out of the city, according to the South China Morning Post.
- A Fudan University climate scientist believes that vehicle exhaust is the leading contributor to air pollution in the PRC. If true, this doesn’t bode well for the future as surging personal income levels, especially in the country’s congested cities, are driving an increase in the demand for cars.
Culture and Society:
- The New York Times explores China’s massive investments in higher education and its potential social and economic implications.
- The Guardian (UK) has published a piece detailing how one American software programmer outsourced his own job to China.
Published January 17th, 2013