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China Speak: Baijiu Bowls, Ghana Gold and Smelly Oceanauts

Quotes from around China this week

“Central bankers that pull the punch bowl -- or the baijiu bowl -- rarely win popularity contests in the moment, but history usually serves them well.”
- David Loevinger, former U.S. Treasury Department senior coordinator for China affairs, referring to China central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan’s resolve to curb speculative lending. Bloomberg

"It shows the incompetence of the entire public security system and the inefficiency of anti-terrorist mechanisms. I don't think this will be very helpful because the ties between the police and the public in the region are obviously not strong enough to generate meaningful tips."
- Jiang Zhaoyong, Beijing-based expert on minority affairs, questioning the effectiveness of a public engagement campaign by Xinjiang police offering financial rewards for turning in violent individuals. South China Morning Post

“Laojiao is elastic enough to include most, if not all, offences….nothing stops the police from imposing laojiao to whatever eligible offences that have been authorized by laws, regulations and policies.”
- Hong Kong legal scholar Fu Hualing on China’s “Re-education Through Labor” police detention system. Wall Street Journal

“My son might be killed in Ghana, but if he comes back he’s dead anyway.”
Shen Aiquan, whose family borrowed 3 million renminbi, to build a mining operation in Ghana. New York Times

“The Chinese are trying and they are publishing guidelines, such as the requirement for ex-ante environmental impact statements for all projects they finance. On paper these folks are doing great and it’s great that they are thinking about these things. But if you look at the individual scores for everything they do, the one thing they are falling very short on is transparency and accountability. Even though their guidelines require that they do an ex-ante environmental impact statement, nobody I know has ever seen one!”
- Kevin Gallagher on Chinese banks’ efforts to integrate environmental impact assessments into lending practices. China Dialogue

“This is a big problem, exacerbated by Chinese information control policies. Rumors fly during any crisis (they certainly flew in the US in 2008) but in the US/Europe for example there are trusted media outlets who can quickly confirm or refute a rumor, and the market will generally believe their reporting. In China, if official media refutes something the first reaction of many is ‘so it must be true’. If there comes a time when there is a real panic the damaged official credibility could end up having an accelerant effect.”
- Bill Bishop on media censorship of reporting on the recent financial turmoil. Sinocism

"We all know to cherish our elderly parents, but sometimes we are just too busy trying to make a living and the pressure is too much."
"It's fine that no-one is paying for us to visit our parents, but is there someone who can give us time off to do it?"
"Family bonds should be based on spontaneous emotions."
"It's funny to make it part of a law; it's like requiring couples to have a harmonious sex life after marriage."
Weibo users comments referring to the newly effective Elderly Rights Law, which prescribes penalties for grown children who do not spend sufficient time with aging parents. BBC

"If a person doesn't smell good, he or she is not qualified to be an oceanaut. Because of the small space of Jiaolong, the Chinese submersible, and the long hours they will spend in there, it would be a disaster."
Liu Baohua, deputy director of the National Deep Sea Center, on new selection criteria for deep sea divers. China Daily


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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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