This Week in China

Politics NG HAN GUAN/AFP/Getty Images Chinese President Hu Jintao publicly commented on events in Tibet for the first time Saturday, citing the unity of the nation as the issue at heart between Beijing and the “Dalai clique.” Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama’s aids have engaged in some talks with Beijing. The European Commission doesn’t support Olympic ...

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595421_080416_hu2.jpg

Politics

NG HAN GUAN/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese President Hu Jintao publicly commented on events in Tibet for the first time Saturday, citing the unity of the nation as the issue at heart between Beijing and the "Dalai clique." Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama's aids have engaged in some talks with Beijing.

Politics

NG HAN GUAN/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese President Hu Jintao publicly commented on events in Tibet for the first time Saturday, citing the unity of the nation as the issue at heart between Beijing and the “Dalai clique.” Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama’s aids have engaged in some talks with Beijing.

The European Commission doesn’t support Olympic boycotts, but has “legitimate worries” about human rights in China ahead of Europe sending its largest trade delegation ever to Beijing.

The Chinese government has ordered a halt to construction projects and even outdoor spray-painting in the weeks leading up to the Olympics in order to improve the Beijing air. Smoking will still be permitted in bars and restaurants, however, due to pressure from businesses over potential revenue losses.

A historic 20-minute encounter between the Chinese President Hu Jintao and Taiwan’s Vice President-elect Frank Siew Saturday has Beijing “thinking deeply” about improving cross-strait relations and agreeing to direct flights and increased tourism between the mainland and the island. A Taipei Times editorial downplays the meeting.

The Olympic torch relay continues to be a security concern as the Pakistan leg today was confined to a heavily guarded stadium with an invitation-only audience. India gears up for its segment today in New Delhi and has shortened the run from 6 to roughly 2 miles. The main spectators? The 15,000 policemen guarding the route. Some in the Australian-Chinese community have vowed to protect their portion of the run next week in Canberra by forming a “people’s army” against pro-Tibet “scum.”

Chinese netizens have started their own anti-CNN Web site. The site came under attack from hackers (translated) last week, and CNN Jack Cafferty dumped more fuel on the fire by calling the Chinese government a bunch of “goons” and “thugs.” China is demanding an apology. Ironically, CNN ran an editorial the same day urging people not to demonize China ahead of the Olympics.

Economy

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange fund bought an almost 1 percent stake in British PetroleumBritain’s Finance Minister Alistair Darling  welcomes Chinese investment.

The New York Stock Exchange may be the first foreign stock allowed to list on a Chinese market. Caijing magazine cites an anonymous official as saying NYSE is attractive for its “market value, performance, and compliance.”

A series of lawsuits have placed mostly symbolic blame on Chinese companies for forgery. Gucci won a suit against Yaohan and Senda for trademark infringement over merchandise bearing the “GG” logo. Senda paid $26,000 USD in damages. Last week, Italian confectioner Ferrero also won a suit against Chinese firm Montresor for selling a copycat product and received about $79,000 USD in damages.

China Power Development International Ltd. plans to double power generation capacity by 2010. By the end of this year, it projects generation capacity of 10,000 MW or roughly five Hoover Dams.

Commentary

Brookings features an interview this week between Diane Rehm and a panel discussing the Olympics controversy. Brookings Senior Fellow Cheng Li says the Xinjiang Olympic terrorist plots are a real problem but are also inflected with government strategy to emphasize anti-terrorism. IOC member Dick Pound says an international torch relay is not a good idea. Whoops.

Kent Ewing with the Asia Times explains how Chinese nationalism is resisting a supposed onslaught of humiliation from the West, and the effect of the “wheelchair angel.”

Matthew Forney of the International Herald Tribune talks about why the Chinese youth are so supportive of their government. George Vecsey weighs in on why we shouldn’t boycott the Olympics, as all games have had their flaws. 

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