Hu Shuli 胡舒立, founder of Caijing Magazine stepped down back in November. Hu Shuli is known to have backing from the CCP Standing Committee, enabling her to safely report on policy, corruption, law and human rights from a relatively independent perspective. Her situation is quite unique in China.
In September last year, Hu Shuli started stepping away from Caijing due to editorial constraints that were starting to impact the magazine. The scope of coverage started tightening in July, not due to editorial, but due to the magazine’s chief investor (Wang Boming 王波明) calling for caution. The All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce/中华全国工商业联合会, the party-led organization of businessmen that holds the magazine’s publishing license. Desk editors told reporters they wouldn’t be running any politically controversial stories — indefinitely. The move was related to the general restrictions of all forms surrounding the Oct 1st, 60 year anniversary of the CCP.
There are some things that even Caijing would have never been able to report on…
The untouchables are known among foreign media as “the three T’s and one F”: Tiananmen, Tibet, Taiwan, and the Falun Gong. Jeremy Goldkorn, who runs a Web site about Chinese media called Danwei.org, adds, “You don’t directly criticize central government and top leaders, and you don’t question their legitimacy. You can criticize lower-down officials, specific actions, and talk about local problems.”
Our worries seem to be over. This wasn’t a long term crackdown on transparency. It was only only an admission of frailty in preparation for the 60th anniversary military parade.
Although parallels with other bubble markets, the China bubble is not quite so easy to understand. In some places, demand for upper middle class housing is so hot it can’t be satisfied. In others, speculators keep driving up prices for land, luxury apartments, and villas even though local rents are actually dropping because tenants are scarce. What’s clear is that the bubble is inflating at the rich end, while little low- cost housing gets built for middle and low-income Chinese.
Koyo Ozeki, an analyst at U.S. investment manager Pimco, estimates that only 10 percent of residential sales in China are for the mass market. Developers find the margins in high-end housing much fatter than returns from building ordinary homes.
The central government now faces two dangers. One is the anger of ordinary Chinese. In a recent survey by the People’s Bank of China, two-thirds of respondents said real estate prices were too high.
The second danger is that Beijing will try, and fail, to let the air out of the bubble. Pulling off a soft landing means slowly calming the markets, stabilizing prices, and building more affordable housing.
One difficulty in handicapping the likelihood of a nasty pullback is the opacity of the data. As long as property prices stay high, the balance sheets of the developers look strong.
Funny enough, Biáng is actually a word and yes, it’s written like below. You can check out the stroke order here.
Biáng biáng noodles are a type of noodle popular in China’s Shaanxi province. The noodles, touted as one of the “ten strange wonders of Shaanxi” (陝西十大怪), are described as being like a belt, due to their thickness and length. The “Noodle King” chain in Beijing (梆梆麵北京連鎖店) serves biáng biáng noodles.
Made up of 57 strokes, the Chinese character “biáng” is one of the most complex Chinese characters in contemporary usage, although the character is not found in modern dictionaries or even in the Kangxi dictionary.
Pinyin doesn’t actually include the sound “biáng”, so people often use substitutes like 棒棒麵 (bàng bàng miàn) or 梆梆麵 (bāng bāng miàn).
The New Yorker put together an interesting discussion about Chinese consumption.
“[In China]consumption accounts for just thirty-five per cent of G.D.P., significantly lower than for most Asian countries and only half the rate in the United States. Chinese households set aside a quarter of their disposable income…
This makes the economy more dependent than ever on exports and investment, creating an imbalance in the global economy. It also means that Chinese consumers aren’t really reaping the full fruits of their labor.
China’s policy of holding down the value of its currency means that consumer prices are higher than they would otherwise be, which obviously discourages spending.
The inadequacy of the social safety net forces the Chinese to engage in “precautionary savings,” buffering themselves against disaster.
There is a point at which you can oversave, and overinvest, and that’s where China seems to be.
There are lots and lots of items that I felt were valuable, but not necessarily extremely so. However, if you are learning Chinese, I can’t imagine 3 more valuable resources.
There are lots of features of Pleco that will appeal to you regardless of your current proficiency in Chinese. Be it a beginner, intermediate, advanced – unless you attended K-12 in China and got your masters in Chinese Literature, then Pleco has something useful for you.
As for “Easy Way to Learn Chinese Characters”, it’s just that. Chinese is actually really easy. Characters aren’t scary. They’re totally logical and easy to remember. They are just taught as badly as Calculus is taught in most universities. Personally, I couldn’t imagine trying to learn Chinese if I didn’t learn to read and write. That is basically saying that you’re goal is to be illiterate. Next time you meat an American who is illiterate, ask yourself if your goal is to speak Chinese as badly as an illiterate american speaks english.
Berlitz Immersion courses are very good to get the basics down. Enough to have very basic conversation and accomplish very basic tasks. Once you’re done with your Berlitz class, you’ll be a long, long way from language mastery, but you may already be fluent in the sense that you can begin to think in Chinese rather than translating ideas from your native language. Once you can think in the target language, you’re just a lot of rules, vocabulary, time and practice away from mastery – but the course is already set. You just need to persist.
Do you have trouble remembering each of the different years in the Chinese system? There is a poem that old Beijing people like to say that just combines the 12 heavenly branches (地支) with the 12 years, and when you read it off, it sounds like it’s an actual little story because of the similar words (形声字).
Note that the Heavenly Stems (天干) are： 甲、乙、丙、丁、戊、己、庚、辛、壬、癸
The Heavenly Branches (地支) which are used in calculations in conjunction with the heavenly stems are：子、丑、寅、卯、辰、巳、午、未、申、酉、戌、亥。
And a simple listing of the years are: 鼠、牛、虎、兔、龙、蛇、马、羊、猴、鸡、狗、猪
It’s been nearly 4 years since I first wondered how an income statement is supposed to look in Chinese, and today I think I basically have that answer – the short version of it anyway. Perhaps I’m just an operations guy at heart, but I’ve always been more attentive to the Income Statement than to the Balance Sheet. Granted there are ways to work the numbers on both sides – Enron for example took liberties with the Balance Sheet to make the Income Statement look good. Generally speaking though, if the Income Statement is good, then it will eventually show up on the Balance Sheet.
华佗[華-] Huà Tuó (?-220) n. 〈Ch. med.〉 a famous physician
穿山甲 chuānshānjiǎ n. ①〈zoo.〉 pangolin M:²zhī ②〈med.〉 pangolin scales
葫芦[-蘆] ¹húlu* n. ①bottle gourd; calabash ②〈trad.〉 sign of Chinese pharmacists/healers | Bù zhīdào tā ∼ lǐ mài de shì shénme yào. I don’t know what he has got up his sleeve. ③symbol of certain Daoist sages
药囊[藥-] yàonáng n. medicine bag M:ge/²zhī
药草[藥-] yàocǎo* n. medicinal herbs
In Ancient China there was a medicine doctor named “Hua Tuo“. He always carried a calabash filled with medicine bags and medicinal herbs.In modern Chinese culture, there is a animated cartoon called the “Calabash Brothers“, and one of the characters inside of the cartoon is a Pangolin. Calabash Brothers (or Hulu Brothers) was one of the most popular Chinese cartoons of the 80’s and a “Hulu Brothers Movie” was released last year.
Excellent Chinese language introduction. If you’ve every wanted to learn about the Chinese language – read this – about 27 pages. Here’s a brief excerpt.
Writing dates in the Lunar Calendar
If you are attempting to name a date in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, add the words ‘农历’ before the name of the month to distinguish it from the months of the solar calendar, although it is not strictly necessary. There are some differences: The words 日(rì)/ 号(hào) are generally not required when stating dates in the lunar calendar; it is assumed. Besides that, the 1st Month is called 正月 (zhèngyuè). If the number of the day is less than 11, the word 初 is used before the value of the day. Besides that, if the value of the day is more than 20, the word 廿 (niàn) is used, so the 23rd day is 廿三 for example.
15th day of the 8th lunar month (the mid-autumn festival)
(农历)八月十五 ( (nónglì) bāyuè shí-wǔ).
1st day of the 1st lunar month
(农历)正月初一 ( (nónglì) zhèngyuè chūyī).
23rd day of the 9th lunar month
( 农历) 九月廿三 ( (nónglì) jiŭ yuè niànsān).