Archive for May, 2012


* Iran cancels $2 billion dam deal with China

Iran has cancelled a $2 billion contract for a Chinese firm to help build a hydroelectric dam in the country, Chinese state media said on Thursday, a move that risks upsetting Beijing, one of Tehran’s most important economic and political allies.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to visit China next week for a security summit, where he is expected to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

In March 2011, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said China’s Sinohydro Corp. had signed a contract with Iranian hydro firm Farab to build the dam, described as the world’s tallest, in Iran’s western province of Lorestan. It was designed to support a 1,500-megawatt power station.

The Global Times, a popular tabloid owned by Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, said the Iranian government had decided to cancel the contract. The report did not cite sources or give a reason for the cancellation.

But it quoted Iranian media reports as saying Iran’s central bank was “dissatisfied” with financing options offered by China.

From China Daily Mail blog

Iran cancels $2 billion dam deal with China « China Daily Mail.


* Senior leader says to promote Xinjiang’s leapfrog development

Xinhua: “Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for more support to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to achieve leapfrog development and long-term stability in this westernmost region of China. Li made the remarks at the 3rd National Work Conference on “pairing assistance” projects to support Xinjiang’s development.

Maps of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of Ch...

Maps of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China Español: Región autónoma de Xinjiang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Hu Jintao met the delegates to the annual conference and thanked them for their efforts made in accelerating Xinjiang’s development. Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping, both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China CPC Central Committee, were present at the meeting.  Zhou Yongkang, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also met with the delegates and attended the conference.

Huge achievements have been made in the past two years under a large number of pairing assistance projects for Xinjiang, especially projects concerning Xinjiang people’s well-being, said Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Vast land, abundant resources and huge development potential make Xinjiang a major area to implement China’s strategy to expand domestic demand and the strategy to develop the country’s western regions, Li said, adding Xinjiang is also a key area to accommodate transfer of domestic industries. Xinjiang is one of the bridgeheads for China’s opening to central Asia and Europe, said Li, calling for speeding up the opening of China’s western border areas while enhancing the openness of its eastern coastal regions.

Li noted that assisting the development of Xinjiang is a long-lasting, arduous and imperative task. More efforts and higher effectiveness are needed to advance the programs concerning the well-being of local people, such as housing, employment, medical care and social insurance, while the infrastructure construction and environmental protection should be further improved, said Li. More support regarding technology, education, talented people and excellent cadres should be provided to Xinjiang, and the exchanges between Xinjiang and inland areas should be enhanced, Li added.”

via Senior leader says to promote Xinjiangs leapfrog development – Xinhua |

Xinjiang and Tibet are the two areas where ethnic minorities do not see eye to eye with the Han majority. Interestingly, both are strong adherents of religion; Buddhism in the case of Tibet and Islam in the case of Xinjiang. Until and unless the central authorities can convince these minorities that they have some form of self-determination (after all both are called ‘autonomous regions’ of China), unrest will continue.


* New punishments for police abusing prisoners

China Daily: “Chinese police will face punishment ranging from demotion to dismissal if they are found to have abused inmates or connived in the maltreatment of prisoners, according to a provision published by the Ministry of Supervision on Wednesday.

Police will be fired if prisoners die as a result of their beating, corporal punishment or maltreatment, as well as their manipulation or connivance in similar misconduct, reads the provision. Dismissal also applies in cases of police found to have harbored criminal activities committed by inmates, or to have helped prisoners escape.

The provision, which will take effect on July 1, serves as a discipline guidance for police in prisons and labor camps, meaning police will face criminal charges simultaneously if their misconduct breaks the law.

In China, those who commit misdemeanors are normally placed in reeducation-through-labor centers instead of prisons. China promulgated a six-article ban governing the conduct of prison and labor camp police in 2006. It prohibits police from abusing prisoners, collecting money and belongings from prisoners families, gambling and drinking in working hours.”

via New punishments for police abusing prisoners |Society |

Another sign of the Chinese government trying to establish the rule of law; part of the reform urged by Premier Wen.

Related post: 


* Bikram Singh assumes charge as new Army Chief

The Hindu: “Gen Bikram Singh, a veteran infantry officer, on Thursday took over as the 25th Chief of the Indian Army succeeding Gen V.K. Singh whose 26-month tenure was mired by controversies.

The 59-year-old Gen Bikram Singh will have a tenure of two years and three months in the top post. Prior to his appointment as Army Chief, Gen Bikram was commanding the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Command.

He has held several important appointments in counter insurgency areas as the Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps and Akhnoor-based 10 Division as Major General.

The officer, better known as ‘Bikki’ to his friends, was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry regiment on March 31, 1972 after attending the prestigious Indian Military Academy IMA.”

via The Hindu : News / National : Bikram Singh assumes charge as new Army Chief.


* Myanmar can be link between India, China: Indian PM

Times of India: “Looking to quell speculation about India and China taking their rivalry to gas-rich Myanmar, PM Manmohan Singh said the country was perfectly placed to play the role of an economic bridge between China and India. While Indian officials have often described Myanmar as India’s gateway to Aseancountries, this is the first time Myanmar has been spoken about by the government as a link between India and China.

English: Manmohan Singh, current prime ministe...

English: Manmohan Singh, current prime minister of India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While China alone accounts for more than 70% of investments into Myanmar, India stands at the 13th position in terms of its investments into the country. Despite its attempts to play a larger economic role there, India continues to be looked upon as a Johnny-come-lately whose infrastructure projects, including the ambitious Kaladan multimodal transport facility, have hardly taken off. On the other hand, Beijing is even building a gas pipeline from Myanmar to China.”

via Myanmar can be link between India, China: PM – The Times of India.


* Rising costs, regulations deter European firms from China

From Business in Hong Kong & China blog: PRODUCTION: Rising costs, regulations deter European firms from China.

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* Apple CEO wants to make less products in China


From China Daily Mail blog: Apple CEO wants to make less products in China.

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* Tainted children’s clothes scandal in China

A finding of cancer-causing chemicals on children’s clothes sparked public fear yesterday, after a report aired on national state broadcaster China Central Television(CCTV).

The station’s Weekly Quality Report investigative programme carried the report, claiming that a recent Beijing Consumer Association test of 63 samples of children’s clothes sold on the mainland revealed that nearly a third failed to meet quality and safety standards.

The association said that problems included excessive levels of formaldehyde and other carcinogenic chemicals.

The investigation began after consumers started complaining that their children had developed skin rashes after wearing the clothes.

From China Daily Mail blogTainted children’s clothes scandal in China.


* China Buys Spanish Assets

WSJ: “A debt-laden Spanish construction firm became the latest European company to unload assets onto eager Chinese buyers, as Europes debt woes force firms to look to China for cash.

State Grid Corp., China’s government controlled power-grid operator, said Tuesday it would buy high-voltage electricity transmission assets in Brazil from Spain’s Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA  for 1.86 billion reais ($938.2 million), including debt. The deal is State Grid’s second investment in Brazil and its fourth major investment overseas, and is the most recent in a string of deals in which a European company has looked to exit an investment amid financial troubles facing the region. ACSs standing has weaken because of its debts and the falling value of investments made during Spain’s boom years. Chairman Florentino Pérez, who is also the president of Spain’s soccer club Real Madrid CF, led ACS’s expansion when liquidity was abundant and Spain’s economy was booming on the back of a real-estate bubble that imploded about five years ago. As credit dried up, ACS began to cut down on debt by shedding assets. ACS currently has more than €9.33 billion ($11.70 billion) in debt, about a half of what it had a few years ago.

Other southern European companies have also been selling their crown jewels abroad to raise cash. Portugal, for example, is attracting significant investments from China because of its presence in former colonies that are resurfacing as high-growth markets, rich in natural resources. In December, fellow state-controlled power giant China Three Gorges Corp. won a 21% stake in EDP-Energias de Portugal SA— which has significant Brazil operations—with a €2.69 billion bid.

via China State Grid to Buy Brazilian Assets –

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* First batch of 20,000 North Korean workers in China

Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily reports: According to South  Korea’s  “Korean Daily”, the Chinese government is issuing work visas to allow 20,000 North Koreansto work in the three Northeast provinces.

The Korean paper cites diplomatic sources in Seoul, that in order to ease the labour shortage in the three Northeast provinces, the authorities have decided to let in 20,000 North Korean labourers to work as “industrial study students”. An enterprise in Tulin, Jilin Province has recently employed 29 North Korean women and another batch of 160 North Korean women will be sent to that area. Sources say the monthly pay for a North Korean worker exceeds US$150.


In my previous posts on Sino-North Korean and US-North Korean relations, I said that China would be benefited from North Korea’s isolation in exploiting North Korea’s cheap labour and rich natural resources. It seems this process has now begun on quite a large scale.

From China Daily Mail blog:  First batch of 20,000 North Korean workers in China.

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