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China Speak: Xiaosan, Credit Crunch & a Chinese Gorbachev

Quotes from around China this week

"[Bo Xilai] was into power and women. Money was always second."
- A Taiwanese businessman close to the Bo family. LA Times

“It is no secret that declining [salmon] sales in China are connected to the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a difficult political situation between Norway and China, and not something that can be solved by the industry.”
- Alf-Helge Aarskog, chief executive of Marine Harvest, one of Norway’s biggest salmon farmers. Financial Times

“It’s an economic crisis just like the United States has had; just like it. There’s no cash, everyone stays home without a job, there’s no way the economy can recover.”
- Wang Ting, an operator of an illegal casino near the once-thriving Northeastern city of Shenmu, which has been crippled by a credit crunch. New York Times

"The Chinese Communist Party has, after many years of scrutinizing the causes of the Soviet collapse, concluded that it was precisely Gorbachev who precipitated it. This is not to say that the Party didn't conclude other systemic factors played significant roles, but Gorbachev was considered the catalyst that triggered the implosion of the Soviet state."
- David Shambaugh, author of China's Communist Party: Atrophy & Adaptation. The Atlantic

“In China, a woman having an affair is increasingly known as a xiaosan– ‘little third,’ a belittling term since she is usually much younger than her patron. At a time when the income gap is widening, such mistresses are despised.”
- Zhang Lijia, author of an upcoming book on prostitution in China. China Speakers Bureau

“Whenever there’s a problem exposed, the public needs an explanation. But you have to consider that training a cadre isn’t easy, so ‘removal’ is often used. It gives the public the illusion that officials have been held accountable, but it won’t have a real impact on their political careers.” 
- Wang Guixiu (王贵秀), a professor from the Central Party School, on the frequent political resurrections of cadres sacked for major scandals. Economic Observer



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