Changing China

Giant on the move

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from Sebastian Tong:

Stop pushing and we’ll do it

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The growing acrimony in the international debate over China's currency policy has led some to warn that Beijing could dig in its heels if pushed to hard to let its yuan rise. crybaby

But Barclays Capital says Beijing could let its currency strengthen as early as next month, notwithstanding its public resolve against Washington's threat to label it as a currency manipulator.

"They do have a 'If you stop pushing, we'll do it' attitude, which is kind of childish, really. But it will happen because they are the only country in the world, besides India, where there is a whiff of inflation," says Barclays' asset allocation head Tim Bond.

"It's in their own interest. It's the right thing to do."

Barclays expects the relaxation of China's de facto dollar peg to result in the equivalent of a five percent annual appreciation over the next year.

from Global News Journal:

Interview with North Korea border crosser Robert Park

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KOREA-NORTH/CROSSING

 (Photographs by Lee Jae-won)

North Korea said on Tuesday it had  detained a U.S. citizen who entered its territory, apparently confirming a report that an American activist crossed into the
state to raise awareness about Pyongyang's human rights abuses.   Robert Park, 28, walked over the frozen Tumen river from
China and into the North last Friday, other activists said. The Korean-American told Reuters ahead of the crossing that it was his duty as a
Christian to make the journey and that he was carrying a letter calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to step down.

Park had an exclusive interview with Reuters last week before starting on his journey. The following are excerpts from the conversation. He requested that the comments be held until he was in North Korea.  

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Can China help stabilise Pakistan?

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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?

Obama at the Great Wall

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Aides say U.S. President Barack Obama really enjoys sightseeing breaks during the hectic schedules of his foreign trips, since they let him clear his head.

The blustery wind on the Great Wall on Wednesday may have helped as well, as Obama broke away from tour guides and walked alone for a few minutes to Badaling’s third watchtower.

An Unlikely Couple

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Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao, arguably the world’s two most powerful men, stand shoulder to shoulder for their respective national anthems in Beijing on Tuesday.

But there are few smiles ahead of a morning of bilateral meetings on everything from the value of China’s currency to global warming. With their nations’ fates so bound to the relationship, and faced with the challenge of juggling trade and Tibet, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going through their minds.

“Wonderful Tonight”

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                                              By Lucy Hornby

The setting for Barack Obama and Hu Jintao’s “date night” on Tuesday was magnificent — the Gold Room in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, with its lush red carpets and elaborate murals. 

On Obama’s trail in Beijing

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Guan Yongning is a senior cameraman with Reuters Television in Beijing . In  15 years in the field,  he has covered stories ranging from natural disasters to politics and major sporting events.  Guan was one of the chosen few reporters able to follow U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit in China up-close.  He tells the story of what reporters have to go through to capture a few precious shots of the U.S. leader.

The reporters able to cover Obama’s visit up close might be considered the lucky ones. Following the American commander-in-chief means long hours working days,  skipping meals, lugging around heavy gear and enduring the harsh Beijing winds. But would they give up the chance?

U.S. expats discuss Obama’s visit over a beer

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Beijing’s local Americans believe Obama can maintain his popularity with the Chinese public just as long as he focuses on their main interests - trade relations and the fate of the huge Chinese holdings of U.S. government debt.

Tim’s Texas BBQ restaurant offers Beijing’s several thousand expat Americans grilled ribs, beer and live TV coverage of the President’s visit to China, from  November 15 to 18.  Chinese President Hu Jintao and American President Barack Obama are expected to discuss a wide range of issues from trade to currency imbalance and climate change to human rights.

Hair, wax Obama models

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U.S. President Barack Obama’s first state visit to China has sparked a creative urge among Chinese sculptors to produce models of him, ranging from  traditional sculptures to some truly unique designs.

(Hairdresser Huang Xin and waxwork sculptor Er Baorui)

 

 

Video Credit: Christina Hu and Anita Li

Freudian Slip?

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U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk had an amusing slip of the tongue during remarks to U.S. businessmen in Beijing on Monday, ahead of the arrival of his boss, President Barack Obama.
Talking about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kirk referred to her instead as “President Clinton”.
Click on the video to see his good-humored comeback from what he called his YouTube moment.

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