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China Speak: Finnegans Wake, Spousal Abuse & Interest Groups

Kim Lee after winning her divorce case against Crazy English Founder Li Yang. Photo: Global Times

Quotes from around China this week

"If you do a survey of all the ordinary people asking who they like – it must be Chen Guangbiao. But in China there are some big entrepreneurs and some mayors and officials who are more opposed to me. If my wisdom could get support from officials, I think society would move forward 20 years. Chinese society does not make good use of my wisdom – [if they did] my spirit would influence the whole world, not only China.”
- Billionaire and famous self-promoter Chen Guangbiao. Recently he’s distributed cans of “fresh air” to call attention to Beijing’s air pollution. The Guardian

“Look at my watch. I have 200-million yuan [$32-million]. I am a so-called corrupt official. But I would sacrifice my life anytime for my homeland.”
- A man claiming to be an official with the Ministry of Railways in Shanxi on the need to take military action against Japan over the Diaoyu Islands. The Globe and the Mail

“[On Thursday], I had a lunch that include the main negotiators for the Chinese side and then I went to a large event on our people-to-people relationships. There were two incredible, attractive young people, one Chinese and one American, and they stood up and spoke about how important this relationship was and how valuable their experiences had been. Most of the main players on the Chinese side were there. It was a moment when I looked at all of them, and I know they’re thinking: ‘We don’t want this all to break up over this guy. What are we going to do?’ I could just see it.
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the negotiations over Chen Guangcheng last year. New York Times

"I think the Communist Party's new government should weaken CNPC (China National Petroleum Corp.) and Sinopec. These interest groups have too much power." 
- Wang Yukai, a professor from the National School of Administration, on mitigating air pollution. Reuters

"It was dull and depressing during the first two years. I was also starting to have doubts about the project because I'd spent two years on the book but not a single word was translated."
- Fudan University Literature Professor Dai Congrong on the eight year process of translating James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.Reuters

“We are [nearly] all retired. We just want to enjoy life. But they cannot entertain it. We have the money, we want to travel, to see the world, to understand your country. But [the UK is] not so friendly. I am disappointed.”
- Shanghai-based Tony Weng minutes after getting rejected for a visa to visit the UK. British business leaders say Britain may be missing out on revenue from thousands of would-be tourists like Mr. Weng. The Telegraph

“You can pick up the law or you can pick up a fruit knife. But it’s still easier for people to pick up a knife than the law, and that’s what’s happening.”
- Kim Lee, referring to Li Yan, a woman in Sichuan province sentenced to death for murdering her abusive husband. International Herald Tribune

“I dared them to throw me in jail and then watch how many human rights and journalism awards I win. In the end, they turned white with fear.”
- Zhu Ruifeng, the journalist who released the sex tape of Lei Zhengfu, recounts being interrogated by state security agents. New York 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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