This Week in China

Taiwan SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images Taiwan held its presidential election Saturday, and the winner is… Ma Ying-jeou, who advocates closer economic ties to mainland China. In addition, the referenda on U.N. membership failed. Ma is already laying out his plans for change. Frank Hsieh, Ma’s defeated opponent, is stepping down as DPP party chair. U.S. President ...

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595786_080326_ma2.jpg

Taiwan

Taiwan

SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

Taiwan held its presidential election Saturday, and the winner is… Ma Ying-jeou, who advocates closer economic ties to mainland China. In addition, the referenda on U.N. membership failed. Ma is already laying out his plans for change.

Frank Hsieh, Ma’s defeated opponent, is stepping down as DPP party chair.

U.S. President George W. Bush sees a “fresh opportunity” in cross-strait relations, but President-elect Ma is not likely to get a White House visit. U.S. policies forbid Taiwan’s diplomats from entering the White House or the State Department. Instead, they “meet senior U.S. administration officials in coffee shops and restaurants,” the AP reports.

UBS analyst Ken Chen says decreased political risk and closer mainland ties mean that Taiwan will “outshine other markets” and bring in $50 billion in investment over the next few months.

Taipei Airlines Association is jumping at the opportunity to set up direct flights with the mainland. The proposed new flights could draw 3,000 mainlanders a day to Taiwan, Ma claims. The flights would also allow Taiwanese professionals easier access to mainland job opportunities and make it easier for the nearly half a million already living in Shanghai to visit home.

China

Protests in Tibet are ongoing as an estimated 660 people are in custody over the violence. Details are thin as foreign reporters have difficulty getting into the region, save for 26 journalists on a state-sponsored access pass.

The United States is still pushing for dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday urged “a more sustainable policy for the Chinese government concerning Tibet.” Chinese ex-official Bao Tong, ousted after the Tiananmen Square incident, also called for talks with the spiritual leader.

China is firing back at Western media coverage of Tibet. It goes without saying that censorship is widespread in China, and CNN and other news channels often go dark there when politically sensitive issues receive coverage.

The alleged perpetrators in a botched plane attack on March 7 from Xinjiang to Beijing hail from Pakistan and Central Asia and advocate independence for Xinjiang, China’s predominantly Muslim western province. China Southern Airlines gave a cash reward to the crew that foiled the attack.

China will redouble efforts to preserve its cultural heritage in arts and architecture. About 100 forms of Chinese opera, for instance, have died out in the past 60 years.

Economy

By 2025, China will have 221 cities with over one million residents. A report by McKinsey Global Institute recommends the government build supercities to reduce strain on land, water, and energy resources while boosting productivity and efficiency.

A diesel shortage has hit China’s east coast due to a harsh winter and increased demand as spring approaches.

China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp., and China Life Insurance Co. bought into Visa’s IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history with stakes of $100 million and $300 million respectively.

Analysis

The Carnegie Endowment’s William Chandler argues for Sino-American emissions cooperation in Breaking the Suicide Pact: U.S.-China Cooperation on Climate Change.

Robert Kagan, also of the Carnegie Endowment, questions what a “responsible stakeholder” in the world order means for China in light of its autocratic behavior.

And finally, China will attempt to modify the weather during the Beijing Olympics to provide the best conditions possible for athletes. ABC reports that in 2010, if the experiments this summer are successful, China will create a government ministry devoted to weather modification and double its current efforts at taming Mother Nature.

Tag: China

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