Ford Trumped

Ford TrumpedAsia-Pacific governments need to keep a close eye on what the bosses of America’s largest companies are saying and doing about President Donald Trump’s protectionist drive. Companies that for years have said they wanted equal access to markets and investment opportunities are now falling over themselves to embrace Trump’s reversal of the open trade that…

According to Bowring: G20 Illusions

The claim of the G20 finance ministers and central bankers to have put an end to the threat of a currency war is pure illusion. Yes, they have all agreed on the merits of market-determined exchange rates and to not engage in competitive devaluations, but without benchmarks and definitions that is meaningless. In one respect…

According to Bowring

It can be at least as dangerous a business exposing corruption and worse in high places in Malaysia as getting on the wrong side of the Russia's now out-of-control secret service. The murder by slow-acting but untreatable poison of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London attracted international attention, at least two books and the…

According to Bowring

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo was very much an "own goal" for Beijing. Quite likely he would not have won if China had not made a crude and overt threat to the Norwegians that relations would suffer if Liu did get it. The Norwegian committee was thus pushed into showing…

According to Bowring: Future Shock

The US dollar was back on the rack this week in expectation of more money-printing – politely known as QE2 or a second round of quantitative easing. But the standout currencies were not the yen nor the euro, let alone the yuan. No, it was the commodity currencies – the Malaysian ringgit, the Aussie dollar,…

Scenes from the New Socialist Countryside

Here are some images from a recent trip to a 'new socialist countryside' in Henan.  Since 2006, the Chinese Communist Party has been investing more in rural areas and agricultural subsidies as well as improved social services for the 800 million people living in China's hinterland.  This 'new socialist countryside' investment, at least in the…

Hong Tang, Spring Festival 2008

Although I'm not a stranger of Chinese villages and have always enjoyed my time there, it was my first time in a village during the Spring Festival.  There was lots of food and tea consumed (Fujian is one of the centres of tea growing in China), a Fujian opera troupe was hired to perform throughout…

Photos: Chinese New Year Cleaning in a Public Housing Flat

It is customary for Chinese to clean house before Chinese New Year.  Chinese new year holidays are a time of family gatherings and joy in the community.  However, for many lonely senior citizens in Hong Kong, there is little joy and prosperity.  One afternoon this week, I joined a volunteer team that went to senior…

Mask of China: Xinzhi New Citizen School

Over the Christmas holidays, I accompanied some members of the Chinese media and Chinese NGO representatives on a visit to a school specifically for migrant workers in the outskirts of Beijing.  With the massive numbers of rural migrants flooding Chinese cities in search of work, many of the their children do not have access to…

Tin Shui Wai: City of Sadness

Tin Shui Wai has been dubbed the 'city of sadness' for its high rate of unemployment, suicides, and spousal and child abuse. Over the last eight years, about  20 people have died in 6 suicides, including a mother and her two children in November. Due to poor city planning, Tin Shui Wai was originally planned…
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