This Week in China

ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images Politics Next stop for the Olympic torch? Canberra, Australia. Protests are already underway as two people were arrested for trying to unfurl a banner on the Sydney Harbour bridge. People also beamed a laser message on the bridge saying “Don’t Torch Tibet.” Needless to say, security will be high for the relay ...

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595350_080423_chinese_face2.jpg

ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images

Politics

Next stop for the Olympic torch? Canberra, Australia. Protests are already underway as two people were arrested for trying to unfurl a banner on the Sydney Harbour bridge. People also beamed a laser message on the bridge saying "Don't Torch Tibet." Needless to say, security will be high for the relay leg tomorrow.

ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images

Politics

Next stop for the Olympic torch? Canberra, Australia. Protests are already underway as two people were arrested for trying to unfurl a banner on the Sydney Harbour bridge. People also beamed a laser message on the bridge saying “Don’t Torch Tibet.” Needless to say, security will be high for the relay leg tomorrow.

French supermarket chain Carrefour’s chairman Jose Luis Duran told Xinhua his company would support the Olympics and that protesters have ulterior motives. He also denied supporting the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government praised the chain the same day as the interview.

The Tibet crackdown is still having some aftershocks, as a prominent Tibetan broadcaster/performer was detained.

The Financial Times is launching a Chinese-language publication ahead of the Olympic Games geared at China’s growing stock of professionals. Playboy is also expected to be granted circulation for a month “to meet the demand of overseas visitors during the Olympics,” according to Reuters.

Economy

China will continue rice exports, which may help alleviate the global food crisis. China produces almost a third of the world’s rice.

In China’s continued economic efforts in Africa, China Railway Group will embark on a $2.9 billion joint venture with Sinohydro Corp in a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The deal, which is awaiting the DRC government’s approval, includes a provision to limit Chinese workers to 20 percent of the total in an effort to curb local resentment.

Nationalistic fervor is hitting the racks as new T-shirts come out with slogans like “Go China!” and “Tibet WAS, IS, and ALWAYS will be a party of China!” Chinese officials say Olympic ticket sales have not been affected by the torch relay protests.

Although China claims “great progress” on intellectual property enforcement, the EU announced it will ask China to step up efforts ahead of the Olympics. According to the OECD, the global fake goods market is around $200 billion a year or 2 percent of the world’s trade, with much of it originating in China.

Taiwan

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou wants to implement tax incentives to lure investment to Taiwan, especially in technology. He also plans to make it a priority to remove the 40 percent cap on mainland investment designed to make Taiwanese multinationals more competitive (though HSBC analysts predict the move won’t help since production prices in China are soaring). Also, Chinese banks and insurance firms will be allowed to set up offices in Taiwan as soon as late May.

Taiwan is investing almost $1 billion in infrastructure to prepare for the influx of mainland tourists that Ma’s reforms are expected to bring. According to Reuters, 50 million mainland Chinese have expressed interest in visiting the island.

The U.S. is requesting $170 million for a new American Institute in Taiwan compound (the unofficial embassy) that may include a Marine barracks.

Analysis

In a piece for the Financial Times, Coca-cola Chief Executive Neville Isdell talks about the company’s role in politics relating to Darfur and the Olympics.

U.S. policy in the Pacific is weakening, according to Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute. And Philip Levy has a new working paper that discusses the potential for democracy in China in the wake of changes in the economy, technology, and the rule of law.

For more on the controversy surrounding China’s presence in Africa, check out Serge Michel’s “When China Met Africa” in the new issue of FP (subscribers only).

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