March 2010

Maybe China is like Antarctica? The Big Bang Symphony

Big Bang.jpgJust heard a great interview by Lucy Jane Bledsoe, an artist and writer that has been to Antarctica three times.  She has also just released a new book that is worth a look.  During this interview, she was talking about what draws a person to the bottom of the world...

The first time you go down there, you do it for the money.  The second time you go is for the adventure.  And the third time you go is because you do not seem to fit in anywhere else anymore.

That sounds a lot like living here.  I mean, I didn't necessarily choose to be here for coming up on a decade.  In fact, it even sounds funny when I say it, "Yes, I am an attorney and I live in Mainland China."  But after while, you just get used to everywhere else feeling well... less.  Of course, less dirty, less crowded, less chaotic.  

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Big Bang.jpg

US tax law changing again...

D4zGs3aKpKDmAa5rA9bfNfQHAjmdJO6mpeJ85j.jpgOn Friday, 20 March, Congress passed and President Obama signed HIRE-FATCA. Among other things, both offshore banks and brokerage houses as well as U.S. tax return filers are now required to report annual information regarding accounts maintained by U.S. citizens and green card holders. Penalties for not reporting are rather severe. In ‘user-friendly’ English, Mr. Lipsher will review the new provisions of the law and the extended obligations of U.S. tax filers.

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Google threatens to leave China: Part II

Ok, so now that Google has stopped censoring it's China content and has started routing everything through their Hong Kong servers what is the end result?  
 
Zip...nada...diddly squat...
 
Nothing has changed.  There is a cool bit of flash on my desktop that tells me that I've been sent to Google Hong Kong rather than Google China, but there are no changes on what we have access to.  Yesterday and today are exactly the same...
 
So, if the idea was that Google was going to promote internet freedom in China by taking a stance and challenging the Chinese Government -- well congratulations ladies and gentlemen -- you pushed a few buttons, re-routed your traffic and just pissed a lot of people off all for no reason...
 
And that's probably what should have happened at this stage.  Why?
 

Gold Purchases ruled out to diversify Forex reserves

By DING QINGFEN AND XIN ZHIMING CHINA DAILYclip_image002.jpg
Published:3/10/2010

BEIJING — The government is unlikely to buy large amounts of gold as a means to diversify its $2.39 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, a senior official said, while stressing that “the US treasuries market is very important for China”.

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It will be another golden decade if...

From Zhu Qiwen of the China Daily in the Business Section yesterday.
 
"Three decades of nearly double-digit growth have made China into a unique economic miracle. Will it be able to continue its long-term growth story into the new decade?  
 
The V-shaped rebound of the Chinese economy last year has seemingly convinced many observers to givetheir vote of confidence for the largest developing economy.
 
With its beginning as a poor developing country hampered by poverty and underdeveloped economies, China has ascended to the world's largest exporter and the third largest economy with a per capita GDP of about $3,500 by 2009.
 
There were plenty of bumps along the road. Yet, even the worst global recession in several decades did not stop the Chinese economy from expanding by 8.7 percent last year.