Changing China

Giant on the move

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How to Make an Ice Sculpture

thai sculpt stillReuters Television recently visited the ice sculpture competition at the International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, capital of China’s frozen Heilongjiang province.

If you would like to make your own ice sculpture, please follow the simple instructions in the video below.

Note: for those wishing to replicate the gargantuan castles and temples in the Ice and Snow World , we suggest you seek professional advice at the festival itself.

Why Taiwan mentioned China’s missiles

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Taiwan and China, once bitter political rivals, jubilantly exchanged gifts after upbeat trade talks this week. But the festive atmosphere faded when Taiwan’s top policymaker Lai Shin-yuan reminded visiting Chinese negotiator Chen Yunlin of an ominous, obvious fact: Taiwan’s public feels “uncomfortable” with China aiming missiles at it.
Taiwan accuses China of pointing 1,000 to 1,500 short-range or mid-range missiles in its direction to deter any move toward de jure independence. Taiwan is self-ruled today but China claims it. Missiles, however, weren’t on this week’s can-do agenda. Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou has said China-Taiwan talks for now should avoid political issues until more mutual trust accumulates through discussion of lighter topics such as trade.

And Lai’s statement did little good on the surface. Taiwan’s Chinese-language China Times newspaper said the Chinese negotiator replied that Beijing is in no hurry to discuss political issues. Another Taiwan paper, the United Daily News, reported that negotiator told Lai the missile issue would take time to solve.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Can China help stabilise Pakistan?

forbidden cityWhen President Barack Obama suggested in Beijing last month that China and the United States could cooperate on bringing stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and indeed to "all of South Asia", much of the attention was diverted to India, where the media saw it as inviting unwarranted Chinese interference in the region.

But what about asking a different question? Can China help stabilise the region?

North Korea, through a shopwindow darkly

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When people want to know what’s happening in North Korea, their first stop is often the Chinese border city of Dandong. It’s one of the few places where North Koreans interact with the outside world. There are truck drivers and traders, and also spies, missionaries and refugees, not to mention reporters.

 We went to Dandong this week to see if we could find out about the impact of North Korea’s currency change. The government has capped the amount of old currency that could be traded for new, effectively lopping off the savings of many small traders and a new merchant class.

from Global Investing:

What worries the BRICs

Some fascinating data about the growing power of emerging markets, particularly the BRICs, was on display at the OECD's annual investment conference in Paris this week. Not the least of it came from MIGA, the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, which tries to help protect foreign direct investors from various forms of political risk.

MIGA has mainly focused on encouraging investment into developing countries, but a lot of its latest work is about investment from emerging economies.

Seeing things in a new light (video)

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The residents of a Chinese community see the benefits of an innovative solar power project every day – and night.

Along the rolling hills of China’s southwestern Chongqing Municipality, three hundred solar panels follow the sun’s daily voyage across the sky.

China: Green or Gray?

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As Copenhagen’s climate talks draw near, more and more critics are turning to the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and asking how much damage has been done and what is being done about it?

China’s booming double-digit growth came with a price. Coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels produces 80 percent of the country’s energy. But China says change is already well underway. The government recently announced that it aims to cut 2005 carbon intensity levels by 40-45 percent by 2020.

from Global Investing:

Time to kick Russia out of the BRICs?

It may end up sounding like a famous ball-point pen maker, but an argument is being made that Goldman Sach's famous marketing device, the BRICs, should really be the BICs. Does Russia really deserve to be a BRIC, asks Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in an article for Foreign Policy.

Åslund, who is also co-author with Andrew Kuchins of "The Russian Balance Sheet", reckons the Russia of Putin and Medvedev is just not worthy of inclusion alongside Brazil, India and China  in the list of blue-chip economic powerhouses. He writes:

AIDS – The battle for life

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China is struggling to keep HIV-positive children alive. The problem is especially serious in its rural areas where a combination of stigma and a lack of proper care and medication leaves these children with an uphill battle against the deadly virus.

 

Bubbly, cheerful and playful. When I first met these five children at around 7.30am in the morning, they greeted me with their warm smiles and hearty giggles.

from Raw Japan:

Chinese activist in Narita holding pattern

A passerby walks in front of a retail shop displaying a sale advertisement in Tokyo July 10, 2009. Japanese wholesale prices fell at a record pace in June, showing that the world's No. 2 economy is still struggling with slack demand despite some recent tentative signs of improvement in its manufacturing sector. REUTERS/Issei Kato (JAPAN BUSINESS)

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