Changing China

Giant on the move

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from Left field:

Best view of the Tiger? Join the People’s Liberation Army

PLA soldiers watch Tiger Woods of the U.S. as he plays on the green of the fourth hole during the final round of the 2009 HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai

The huge galleries following the final round match-up between Tiger Woods ("Laohu" to the locals) and Phil Mickelson at the WGC-HSBC Champions last Sunday made life uncomfortable for player and spectator alike on a humid day in Shanghai.

China's wealthiest had paid up to 3,500 yuan ($513) for their tickets but the best view, on the fourth green at least, went to the soldiers in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) barracks on the other side of the canal which runs alongside the hole.

As of 2007, a private in the PLA earned just 1,800 yuan ($264) a year but these guys got a close up of one of the key moments of the day, when Woods plunged his drive into the water and started a downturn in fortunes that ended his attempt to win a first title at the Sheshan International Golf Club.

Mickelson, who missed a putt of less than two feet to bogey the hole, subsequently recovered his nerve and went on to win the tournament for a second time, despite a late charge from Ernie Els.

Beijing’s graffiti: art or mayhem?


Beijing’s young graffiti artists use derelict buildings as the canvas to share their take on the world.


Armed with spray paint, the graffiti team known as “Beijing Penzi” enthusiastically sets to work, giving a derelict building a new lease on life.

from Global Investing:

From Reuters TV: ING’s Greater China fund likes telcos, banks

Michael Chiu, senior investment manager at ING Investment Management, has China Mobile as its biggest holding, and is overweight the banks as it plays down the potential impact of NPLs.

China’s changing palette


Pampered grapes and expensive price tags in China’s growing wine market.

The specially imported grapes at Bodega-Langes winery in Heibei province enjoy a constant concert of classical music from the vineyard right through to the cellars.

Just in case they suffer culture shock.    

China’s increasingly affluent society is testing its palette on grape wines, both premium and budget, and the potential market of 1.3 billion customers has enticed both foreign and local investors.

from Photographers' Blog:

Temple of Heaven

China's elderly find life and joy in exercise

By Grace Liang and Lucy Hornby

BEIJING - Gao Mingyuan has found joy at age 66.

Joy, in his case, consists of bending himself double and hooking his legs around a pole that runs behind his shoulders, in a Chinese meditative martial arts tradition.

Gao is one of many Chinese seniors, freed from the rigors of work and raising children, who are turning to martial arts such as tai chi, bopping to trendy beats or singing patriotic songs as they seek health and friends in parks across the country.

China mimic – birdsong in Beijing


Bird’s singing, horses galloping, trains trundling along and even planes taking off are no challenge for Chinese professional mimic Cheng Jiaqiang.

He can imitate more than 100 noises, a skill he learned from his father, who in turn, learned it from his father.

A Hu-Ma summit in 2012?


When Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was elected ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in July, pundits jumped on the idea that he would use his new title to help secure a meeting with China’s President Hu Jintao. The first-of-a-kind summit would follow six decades of strained relations including China’s threats of military force against the island.

Ma’s new job, which he will take in mid-October, allows him to meet Communist Party Chairman Hu in a party-to-party role, laying aside each side’s presidential title. China does not recognise Taiwan’s presidency or other government institutions as it claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

How cheap is cheap?


How cheap is cheap?

That was the most frequently asked question among bankers and private equity experts attending a recent forum in Hong Kong, as they swapped strategies about how to pick up stressed assets during the financial crisis. 

When Lehman Brothers collapsed a year ago, everyone shared the same view: The global financial crisis was just beginning.

That’s right, Grandpa Wen!!


China’s propaganda machine and Internet are once again agog over Premier Wen Jiabao, whose public comforting of Chinese earthquake victims last year cemented his reputation for having a common touch.

China’s Communist Party rarely admits mistakes, but Wen got kudos for facing up to his.