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China Speak: Academic Freedom, Shadow Banking and Stability Preservation

Photo: Minister of Environment
Source: CCTV screen shot via Beijing Times

Quotes from around China this week

"The state of academic freedom is getting worse and worse. Nowadays, you don't have the right to debate anymore. A university is a place that should be free and open."
Economics professor at Peking University and outspoken critic of censorship Xia Yeliang, whose faculty peers will vote on whether or not to expel him from the university for his views. South China Morning Post

"I've heard that there are four major embarrassing departments in the world and that China's ministry of environmental protection is one of them."
China environment minister Zhou Shengxian, acknowledging the dire state of air, water and soil pollution in China. Reuters

"The mass line is not an effective substitute that can realise the function of democracy."
Communist party historian Li Haiqing, arguing that citizen participation in public affairs, rather than political sloganeering, is necessary to achieve party reform. South China Morning Post

"I wonder if some stability preservation work is really about maintaining the stable development of the local economy, or whether it’s for the sake of [officials] maintaining their posts."
Unnamed deputy township head in Luzhou who resigned his post on July 1, 2013 after two years in the position. China Media Project

"Leaders are right to worry about the possibility of a banking crisis in China. But instead of focusing their ire on shadow bankers, they should raise benchmark interest rates in order to reduce the amount of credit flowing to dodgy loans through the formal banking sector. The threat to China’s financial system is right there -- out in the open -- not lurking in the shadows."
Shadow banker Joe Zhang, on why demonization of his industry is misplaced. Bloomberg


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