This Week in China

Politics AFP/Getty Images The Olympic torch relay has returned to China, passing through Hong Kong today. Three Danish pro-Tibet activists were denied entry to Hong Kong ahead of the events. Earlier, protests during the Seoul leg of the relay turned violent, and South Korea plans to deport the Chinese demonstrators involved. China announced its willingness ...

595254_080430_korea2.jpg
595254_080430_korea2.jpg

Politics

AFP/Getty Images

The Olympic torch relay has returned to China, passing through Hong Kong today. Three Danish pro-Tibet activists were denied entry to Hong Kong ahead of the events. Earlier, protests during the Seoul leg of the relay turned violent, and South Korea plans to deport the Chinese demonstrators involved.

Politics

AFP/Getty Images

The Olympic torch relay has returned to China, passing through Hong Kong today. Three Danish pro-Tibet activists were denied entry to Hong Kong ahead of the events. Earlier, protests during the Seoul leg of the relay turned violent, and South Korea plans to deport the Chinese demonstrators involved.

China announced its willingness Friday to talk with the Dalai Lama but condemned him on Monday for manipulating foreign opinion. 

In the first round of sentencing from the Lhasa riots, a Chinese court found 30 people guilty of crimes including arson to disrupting public services.

A deadly virus, EV71, has broken out in Anhui province with over 900 cases and the deaths of 20 children. The outbreak began in March but wasn’t reported until this past Sunday.

French supermarket chain Carrefour, in a bid to bolster its patriotic image, clad employees in new uniforms with the Chinese flag including hats bearing the Olympic rings and “Beijing 2008.” The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games promptly deemed the hats a copyright infringement.

A Chinese student threw a water bottle at a Tibetan monk during a lecture at the University of Southern California. Several other American universities have seen clashes between pro-Tibet and pro-China students.

A Guangzhou newspaper has uncovered a disturbing child-labor ring in Guangdong province. More than 100 children were rescued after reportedly being sold or kidnapped into labor and forced to work up to 300 hours per month.

Economy

China and India will likely sustain Asia through a global economic slowdown, according to Standard & Poor’s.

U.S. regulators are questioning China’s ability to control its products after at least 81 U.S. patients died from contaminated doses of heparin, a blood thinner. The contaminant was traced back to a Chinese supplier of an ingredient that gets processed into the final product by Baxter, a multinational company. The FDA suspects the act may have been intentional.

Officials were sacked and excessive speeding blamed for the worst train accident in a decade. The accident, which took place in Shandong province, killed 70 and left hundreds injured.

China may become a corn importer as government incentives are not pulling farmers away from other crops such as soybeans, green beans and red beans.  The reason? High fertilizer costs.

Taiwan

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Taiwan’s KMT leader Lien Chan met in Beijing Tuesday, though the contents of the meeting were not disclosed. Their fourth since 2005, the meeting has added significance now that Taiwan’s President-elect Ma Ying-jeou will be taking office on May 20.

Analysis

William F. Schultz, former head of Amnesty International USA, argues that pressuring Beijing over the Olympics will take more finesse than human rights groups are currently employing.

British politician Charles Tannock asks why the West embraces Kosovo and Tibet but is ignoring Taiwan in its struggle for nationhood in a piece for the Taipei Times.

A New York Times editorial looks at the contaminated Heparin case and asserts that U.S. companies need to ensure the safety of their products.

China’s energy outlook for the summer may be grim as demand outstrips supply causing more brownouts, according to Emma Graham-Harrison of Reuters. The energy shortfall will also produce an increase in oil demand, she predicts.

This week’s China moment

A vice-mayor of Tianjin ordered the removal of a 2 million yuan ($286,000) sculpture at a new airport terminal days before its official opening because he didn’t like the color. Gag orders were issued to the media but went unheeded as CCTV gave the story “unusually frank coverage,” according to Reuters.

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