This Week in China

MARK WILSON/Getty Images Top Story China’s GDP growth dipped to 9 percent in the past three months, the slowest rate in five years. The economy has been dragged down by a slump in the real estate market, weak exports, and a softening of consumer spending, in addition to increased pressures from the global financial crisis. ...

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591920_081022_hu2.jpg

MARK WILSON/Getty Images

Top Story

China's GDP growth dipped to 9 percent in the past three months, the slowest rate in five years. The economy has been dragged down by a slump in the real estate market, weak exports, and a softening of consumer spending, in addition to increased pressures from the global financial crisis.

MARK WILSON/Getty Images

Top Story

China’s GDP growth dipped to 9 percent in the past three months, the slowest rate in five years. The economy has been dragged down by a slump in the real estate market, weak exports, and a softening of consumer spending, in addition to increased pressures from the global financial crisis.

President Hu Jintao and U.S. President George W. Bush spoke over the phone Wednesday about the ongoing crisis. Hu seems to be growing more concerned about the condition of the U.S. financial system. Some analysts believed that resiliency in the Chinese economy could head off a worldwide recession, but slowing domestic demand will make China more vulnerable to decreases in investment from abroad.

The government has taken such measures as waiving fees on real estate transactions and offering export rebates to bolster the economy. The recent slowdown, however, has not necessarily been unwlecome. China’s economic planners have spent years enacting measures to prevent the economy from overheating. The question is: Is economic growth now down to a sustainable level, or were these moves too heavy-handed?

General News

Pro-Taiwan activists assaulted an envoy from the mainland on Tuesday in southern Taiwan.

President Hu Jintao met with the Vietnamese prime minister in Beijing Wednesday. They pledged more high-level contacts between the two countries.

Officials are taking measures to ease a drought in Hunan Province that has led to shortage of water for 78,000 rural people.

Politics

Former Beijing Vice Mayor Liu Zhihua received a suspended death sentence this week for taking 6.97 million RMB (US$1.02 million) in bribes while in office.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou vowed no war will break out with the mainland while he is in office.

Business & Economy

PetroChina announced it may acquire overseas oil companies that have been hurt by the global financial crisis to meet growing domestic demand.

Microsoft Windows users got an unwelcome surprise with their latest software updates. In an effort to crack down on pirated copies of Windows in China, the new patch from Microsoft turns users’ screens black and admonishes them for using pirated software.

Science & Environment

Beijing’s government plans to award companies up to 2.3 million RMB (US$336,500) for cutting high-pollution production.

In an interview with Science, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao commented that future economic growth in China is to be accompanied by a 4 percent annual decrese in energy consumption.

China Moment

Too many people, not enough beds? German photographer Bernd Hagemann has a collection of photos showing Chinese people taking naps on any surface, in all manner of contorted poses.

Jerome Chen is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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