After centuries of western dominance, the world’s centre of economic and political weight is shifting eastward.
In just 30 years, China has risen from long-standing poverty to being the second largest economy in the world – faster than any other country in history.
From angry farmers to weary migrant workers, powerful politicians and everyone in between, what China says and does, has become of undeniable importance to the entire world.
WHO IS KIM JONG UN ? ….A PROFILE OF THE MYSTERIOUS NORTH KOREAN LEADER
Leftist terror group claims responsibility for U.S. Embassy bombing
- Officials confirm attacker’s identity through forensic testing
- Terror group claims responsibility and criticizes Turkey for its ties to the West
- “E. Alisan Sanli has become a martyr,” the group’s website says
- Authorities have detained three people for questioning over the attack, semi-official media reports
See this sobering graph from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA):
As the data show, China is now burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world — combined. And despite impressive support from Beijing for renewable energy and a dawning understanding about the dangers of air pollution, coal use in China is poised to continue rising, if slower than it has in recent years. That’s deadly for the Chinese people — see the truly horrific air pollution in Beijing this past month — and it’s dangerous for the rest of the world. Coal already accounts for 20% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, making it one of the biggest causes of man-made climate change. Combine that with the direct damage that air pollution from coal combustion does to human health, and there’s a reason why some have called coal the enemy of the human race.
Beijing choking on thick smog — again
- Flights canceled, highways closed
- Air quality ‘hazardous’ for 24 hours
- Snow, rain may bring relief Wednesday
(CNN) — Hazardous smog was covering Beijing on Tuesday, reducing visibility to less than 200 meters (200 yards) in parts of Chinese capital while forcing the cancellation of airline flights and the closure of highways, Chinese state media reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported that at 8 p.m. local time Tuesday air quality had been at hazardous levels for the past 24 hours, meaning that “everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low,” according to the embassy’s website.
Openness, reform and peacefulness is transforming modern China
The recent Chinese Communist Party conference has laid down the touchstones which will define China’s future, reports Liu Xiaoming.
On a recent trip home to Singapore, I was startled to learn just how much housing prices in the city-state have risen in my absence.
A cousin said he had recently paid over S$600,000 — about US$465,000 — for a yet-to-be-built 99-year-lease flat. Such numbers are hardly out of place in any major metropolis but this was for a state-subsidised three-bedroom apartment.
Soaring housing prices have fueled popular discontent — little wonder as median monthly household incomes have stagnated at around S$5,000.
For its part, the government — which houses 80 percent of people on the densely populated island — insists that public housing prices are shaped by ‘market forces’, pointing to a raft of financing schemes to help first-time buyers.
What’s less contentious is that Singapore is only part of a regional real estate boom that has driven property values by as much as 70 percent since the start of 2009 in cities such as Sydney, Hong Kong and Beijing.
Like Singapore, the government in China is acting to cool house prices that have skyrocketed in recent years out of the reach of a large swathe of its middle classes.
Chief among Beijing’s policy arsenal is social housing. The government is stepping up construction of public housing, targeting a rollout 36 million affordable homes from now until 2015. At the same time, clampdown on property speculation has also helped ease Chinese housing prices.
A spectacular fall
Sep 29th 2012, | BEIJING
IF HE ever fell, it was going to have to be a great spectacle. And so it has become. Bo Xilai, a former member of the Politburo who had aggressively sought promotion to the most elite circle of power, was expelled from the Communist Party of China in grand communist fashion, with a litany of lurid charges (including mistresses and bribe-taking) heaped high upon him in an account released on Friday, September 28th by Xinhua, an official news service.
( Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor )
A boat passes a group of large lanterns during the Wuhan-Chengdu International Panda Lantern Festival on Donghu lake in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.