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Unwanted Ships, Unconditional Aid and Unqualified Accountants

“If you read the books of well-known [American] China specialists, they are slinging quotes around very freely and don’t usually tell you that the people they are quoting, for example, are liberal professors in international relations at Peking University who happen to agree with them.”

Former White House national security official Aaron Friedberg, now with Princeton University

Washington Times


“For the first time in [the] party’s history you don’t have a higher power to anoint a successor,”

Victor Shih, a professor at Northwestern University

Financial Times


“They figured me out ... so they changed their strategy to force me to feel like a criminal ... because, according to their theory, a prisoner should be reformed through labor”

Charles Lee, who spent three years imprisoned for religious dissidence

Al Jazeera


“The largest Chinese social networks have all changed direction toward the same idea: to become a Face- book/Tumblr hybrid with Twitter functionality.”

Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson



“The Chinese banking system is built on quicksand, and that’s the one thing a lot of people don’t realize.”

Jim Chanos, founder of hedge fund Kynikos Associates Ltd.



“I’m pretty sure that Vale themselves have by now realized that they made a big mistake […] I find it really incredible that they committed so much money in this project without first getting written assurances from the Chinese side that they would be able to use the ships.”

Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at shipbroker Banchero Costa & Co.



“I can add another example: In China, we don't want foreign assistance if it comes with conditionality. For example, with the World Bank, there's no conditionality saying you must change your political system, you must set up an NGO, whatever. So when we offer our assistance it is no strings attached.”

Director of African Studies at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, He Wenping

Lowy Institute for International Policy


“I wanted access to the education system and health care of a developed country,”

Li Weijie, 43, whose other businesses include one of Beijing’s largest private taxi companies, two car dealerships, and a real estate company.



"I have received two short messages claiming my scores can be changed […] This is the third year I have taken the exam, but the first time I have ever heard of such a thing." 

Someone surnamed Lai who is a candidate in China's national accounting certificate exam

Global Times


"Actually, I don't really have any strong feelings toward the U.S. […] But there is something about the cowboy culture, and being near the mountains here, that gives you a feeling of total freedom."

Jiang Xiaotian, a Hong Kong corporate executive

Foreign Policy


"China's democratic construction has not stood still. Compared with the situation five years ago, China has more channels to express opinions and there are more restraints on administrative powers. The country's accountability system is working, many officials have fallen from grace after their scandals were exposed on the Internet. These things could not even be imagined five years ago."

Editorial in the Global Times


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The Economic Observer's editorial staff are always on the look out for interesting, fresh and high-quality China-related content. Whether it's the latest buzz on Weibo, links to insightful articles or updates on the latest books and reports, through China Buzz we'll keep you in the loop about what's going on in the world of Chinese politics and economics.

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