Top Francophone economists & diplomats (namely H El-Karoui from Morocco, T Thiam from Côte d'Ivoire, L Zinsou from Benin, J-M Severino and H Vedrine from France) submitted a joint report [fr] that outlines the strategy that France should implement to remain competitive on the African Market in the near future. Joel Té-Léssia highlights 15 key points [fr] from the report, one of which is to do away with the “Zone Franc” policy and to allow the regional currency to fluctuate with respect to the Euros. Té-Léssia also underlines the fact that the report is clearly devised to counter growing influence of China and other emerging nations in the Africa continent. Africa economic growth is projected at 5.2 % in 2014.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + China
Offbeat China introduced a new popular TV program called “Where Are We Going, Dad?”. The show arranges five celebrity dads and their young kids to fulfill various outdoor tasks in the form of competition without the presence of moms. Below is one of the netizens’ comment quoted by the blogger:
‘Where Are We Going, Dad?’ becomes a hit show not only because it’s based on a new and interesting idea, but more importantly because it echoes our society’s thirst and expectations of more care and love from dads.
Peter Vernezze from Chengdu Living wrote a very elaborated interpretation of the low budget but record-breaking Chinese movie, Lost in Thailand, by looking into its reflection of middle class Chinese’ dream of personal success.
The Chinese government has restricted artist-activist Ai Weiwei from traveling outside the country since 2011 when he was prosecuted with Tax evasion. To express his discontent, he decided to put flowers on his bike outside his studio. @dgatterdam retweeted @aiww's picture with a brief note.
— dgatterdam (@dgatterdam) November 30, 2013
Tiananmen student activist, Wu’er Kaixi, was landed in Hong Kong International airport today (November 25), initially for flight transit. However, he refused to get onto the plane and asked the Hong Kong government to arrest him as he is a most-wanted fugitive since the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. He explained in his statement to Hong Kong citizens:
As someone who is wanted by the Chinese government, why am I attempting turning myself in to the Chinese government, and why am I doing it in Hong Kong, which has its own laws, according to the constitutional principle of “One Country, Two Systems?” Moreover, why am I doing this in transit at Hong Kong International Airport? The reason is because it is my last resort. Since 2009, I have made similar attempts in Macau, Japan, and the United States to either enter China or Chinese embassies to face the Chinese government’s charges directly, but I have been denied every time. What I’m doing today is a result of the Chinese government’s absurd act of ordering my arrest, while at the same time refusing to allow me to return.
China Law Blog's guest writer Greg Anderson commented on the recent announcement on General Motors’ decision to move its international headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore. To answer the question, the writer asked why did GM move its headquarter to China back in 2004.
In hindsight, it seems GM became overly excited about China as Hu Jintao began to halt the reform momentum inherited from his predecessors (following Jiang Zemin’s retirement from the Central Military Commission in 2004). And now that Xi Jinping may be preparing to implement some big changes in China’s economy, GM is bailing out.
TeaLeafNation translated some Chinese netizens’ reactions to the document released after the Third Plenum, a high-level meeting to discuss China’s future development. Many Chinese find the document, called Plenum Communiqué confusing and vague. For example, one comment says:
I can’t understand why after a meeting lasting three days, the only thing they can produce is … a document that has to be decoded. It’s like a high school exam.
Off-beat China translated some Chinese netizens reactions to the loosening up one-child policy. The new “long-term balanced development of the population” approach will give more autonomy for city residents to have more than one child. However, many find the ease not really helpful. For example, one comment says:
A second child is out of the question because I can afford none. I don’t even know whether I can earn enough to support myself. If I cannot give my kids a decent life, it’s better not to have them at all.
David Bandurski from China media project looked into the media policy of the new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, in particular after the Third Plenum meeting. Against the background of the setting up of a new national security committee, the question to be addressed is:
How might the Party re-tool and redefine its approach to the internet and social media in light of its shifting approach to national security?
Marco Loglio, a long-term Shenzhen expat from Italy, attempted to apply for Chinese Communist Party Membership to help protect the environment and conserve the culture. But he found out that has to give up his or her nationality and become a Chinese national first. Nanfang Daily has the story.
November 11 is the Bachelor's Day in China and a time for online shopping. Yesterday the online e-commerce platform Alibaba set a world record when it processed more than $5.75 billion in online payments. More from China Digital Times.
Beijing Foreign Studies University Gender Activism Club organized an online photo display of “My Vagina says…” Joe from ChinaSMACK translated a number of vagina statements.
The Li-Ning Tower details how Beijing's air pollution has affected world's top tennis players such as Rafael Nadal and how it may affect future tournaments in China.
Liz Carter from Tea Leaf Nation introduces the readers to a viral video teaching parents how to explain sex to their kids. Most parents in China will tell their kids that they are picked up from the garbage bin, the video offers some tips to explain sex without actually talking about it.
Andrew Chubb from South Sea Conversation highlighted a “leaked” documentary video produced for China's People Liberation Army on U.S foreign politics and its role in the disintegration of former USSR and its threat to the one party regime of China.
Jocelyn Eikenburg from Speaking of China shared her experience in cross-cultural dating in China. The three lessons she had learned are: 1. Actions matter more than words; 2. Keep that past relationship in the past; and 3. It takes a lot longer to meet the parents.
China Watch Twitters spotted a news tweets which was quickly deleted about the government's investigation on Zhou Yongkang's corruption case. Is it a rumor? Or a glimpse of the truth? Beijing cream put a spotlight on the discussion.
Qian Gang looks into the political implications of recent state propaganda of “Fengqiao experience” (or Maple Bridge Experience) which took place in Zhejiang province during the Mao's era in early 1960s as a local governance model under the new China leadership.
Joe from ChinaSMACK translated a news story about a middle school in Guiyang city, Guizhou province, that forced students to wear SWAT police uniforms and participate in the demolition of illegal structures. In China, demolition armies are as notorious as Chengguan on account of their violent actions against rural villagers who resist land grabbing.
David Bandurski from China Media project reported on the World Media Summit which took place in Beijing between October 8-10.
To sum up, the World Media Summit, this ostensible back-slapping affair offering an opportunity for media leaders to talk media strategy, is fundamentally about China projecting its influence over global media agendas.
Fauna from China SMACK translated a terrible news story about a man in rural China who sawed off his own leg at home because he had no money to go to hospital to have a proper surgery.
Zhao Huimin, director of the Beijing Foreign Affairs Office, was quoted in a T.V interview:
Our Chinese cooking styles also contribute a lot to PM 2.5 density. We hope Beijing citizens corporate with us and work with the government to clean the air.
Offbeat China wrote a round-up on Chinese netizens’ reaction.
In the wake of the National Holidays, China's state media CCTV interviewed people on the streets and asked: “what is patriotism?”. You can imagine the huge gap in response between young and old (or conservative versus liberal). Offbeat China has translated some comments online and the discussion continues there, begging the question of just what is Patriotism to the average person? To some it's nationalism, to some it's progressivism, and to some it's an opportunity to take a sarcastic jab at the powers that be, one netizen said:
To be a patriot is to immigrate to reduce the country’s burden.
Chinese netizens expressed their discontent on the draft inheritance tax law as the proposed exclusion starts rather low at RMB 800,000 yuan. Instead of balancing the wealth gap, netizens believed that the new law is to steal money from the working middle class. More from Offbeat China.
The public opinion in China is in support of capital punishment. However, many netizens reflect upon their stand after the execution of street vendor Xia Junfeng. Offbeat China highlights the discussion.