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Pundit Planet

Editor, www.punditfromanotherplanet.com
Pundit Planet has written 101 posts for China News Stories

Dazed and Confucius: Nine common myths about China


Chinese Whispers was once a party game. A message would be relayed in hushed tones through a long line of people and emerge at the other end amusingly garbled. Most of us have found alternative amusements nowadays, but the name survives as a figure of speech; an idiom used to signify how facts or a … Continue reading

Xi’s neo-Maoist mass line campaign casts a dark shadow over China


China’s mass line campaign is well in gear: self-criticisms are grabbing headlines, ideological warfare against all things foreign is underway and China’s online world continues its descent into digital hell. As it nears its fourth month, the government is trying its level best to make clear that this mass line is the future. Since its … Continue reading

Critics take advantage as China celebrates sensitive 64th birthday


A country’s 64th birthday is usually the sort of humdrum occasion that is briefly marked and quickly forgotten. Not so in China on Tuesday, where the sight of 64s splashed across TV screens and on billboards has been jarring for many. The number is highly charged in China due to its association with the post-Mao … Continue reading

China-U.S. military ties grow as they eye each other at sea


China’s official People’s Daily newspaper lambasted the U.S. when it led the most recent RIMPAC naval drill, the Pacific Ocean military simulation held every other year. The 22-nation exercise reflected Washington’s bid to “contain the military rise of another country,” it said. Next year, Chinese ships will join the Rim of the Pacific exercise for the first time. During a … Continue reading

China’s online crackdown prompts outrage: social media empowers environmental activism


Activists like Deng Fei demonstrate that “even the simplest Weibo message can become a movement,” writes the FT’s Leslie Hook: Earlier this year, Deng asked his followers to post photographs of polluted rivers and lakes in their hometowns. The outpouring of images prompted a series of press articles and shamed several local governments into cleaning … Continue reading

‘Hidden income’ makes China’s rich wealthier than thought


Hong Kong — China’s urban rich are making far more than they officially report, suggesting the wealth gap in the world’s second largest economy is much higher than previously thought, according to a new study. The China Society of Economic Reform released a survey Monday that found “gray income” was 6.2 trillion yuan (U.S. $1 … Continue reading

Rich Chinese hire American surrogate mothers for up to $120,000 a child


Surrogacy agencies in China and the United States are catering to wealthy Chinese who want a baby outside the country’s restrictive family planning policies, who are unable to conceive themselves, or who are seeking US citizenship for their children. “I would be surprised if you called me back in four months and that number hadn’t … Continue reading

China’s Wanda unveils global domination plans


China’s Dalian Wanda Group has unveiled plans to become one of the world’s biggest film companies. At a glitzy ceremony in the port city of Qingdao, attended by top stars from China and Hollywood as well as senior Hollywood executives, Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin broke ground on a new mega studio. He also revealed alliances with Hollywood studios and … Continue reading

Hacking US secrets, China pushes for drones


For almost two years, hackers based in Shanghai went after one foreign defense contractor after another, at least 20 in all. Their target, according to an American cybersecurity company that monitored the attacks, was the technology behind the United States’ clear lead in military drones. “I believe this is the largest campaign we’ve seen that … Continue reading

For China, a new kind of feminism


If you want to Lean In in Chinese, you “Take One Step Forward.” That’s how the title of Sheryl Sandberg’s contemporary feminist manifesto, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” has been translated here. And you do it with gusto, judging from the reactions of about a thousand students and businesspeople at two … Continue reading

China broadcasts “confession” of Chinese-American blogger


Chinese state television on Sunday broadcast a startling video of a famous blogger in handcuffs, renouncing his Web posts and saying how dangerous the Internet would be if left uncontrolled by the government. The 10-minute news report featuring Charles Xue — a Chinese American businessman and one of China’s most popular bloggers — was the latest step … Continue reading

Apple’s iPhone problem in China has an answer


It’s been several days since the release of the new, less expensive iPhone 5C, and no one has quite gotten over how expensive it is. It’s a common view that pricing a phone that was supposed to appeal to the Chinese market at $735 in Beijing dooms the entire project from the start. The solution for Apple (AAPL) is to make buying … Continue reading

Is China really ready for the next influenza outbreak?


Reports on China’s recent response to the outbreak of novel influenza have reflected broad international satisfaction. While we share this satisfaction, we are nonetheless concerned that the international public health community overestimates China’s ability to effectively contain and control a future returning, or newly occurring influenza outbreak. The influenza virus – a leading cause of … Continue reading

China warns Japan against stationing workers on disputed isles


China said it would not tolerate provocation after Japan’s top government spokesman said on Tuesday Japan might station government workers on disputed islands in the East China Sea to defend its sovereignty. Relations between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies have been strained over the uninhabited isles which Japan controls but both countries claim. The isles are known … Continue reading

Longer wait for China residency permits irk foreign firms


Foreign executives in China are upset at a new rule that allows authorities to hold passports for up to 15 working days when processing and renewing residency permits, saying it could disrupt essential business travel within China and abroad. The changes are evidence to those who argue China is becoming a harder place to do business, especially … Continue reading

China releases reporter jailed in Yahoo email case


A Chinese reporter who was sentenced to prison in 2005 after Yahoo Inc. disclosed details of his email has been released, a writer’s group announced Sunday. Shi Tao was released August 23, 15 months before the end of his sentence, the Independent Chinese Pen Centre said in a statement. There was no indication why Shi was released early. Shi … Continue reading

China looks west as it bolsters regional ties


President Xi Jinping of China, evoking the camel caravans of the old Silk Road that traversed the ancient plains of Kazakhstan on their way from China to Europe, said Saturday that he wanted to create a contemporary version that would bind together China and its Central Asian neighbors. Fresh from the Group of 20 summit meeting in … Continue reading

China graft inquiry sweeps up billionaire oil entrepreneur


A billionaire Chinese petrochemical entrepreneur on Monday became the fifth senior industry figure in a week to become enmeshed in a corruption investigation that continues to reach higher into China’s political and economic elite. The entrepreneur, Hua Bangsong, 47, is “now assisting the relevant authorities in the P.R.C. in their investigations,” according to a filing … Continue reading

China: Hong Kong doctor offers revolutionary treatment to blinded Chinese six-year-old


A six-year-old Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out by a woman believed to be his aunt may one day see again after a Hong Kong hospital offered him “electronic eyes”. Hong Kong-based eye expert Dennis Lam said his team would provide the treatment for free to Guo Bin – known as Bin-Bin – … Continue reading

China President Xi Jinping urges military to expand, strengthen


As China becomes a superpower, so with it comes the need for a stronger military. President Xi Jinping told the Navy this weekend that he wants his military to train harder, strengthen their defense capabilities and protect the country’s “sovereignty, security and development.” Last week, President Xi was at the Shenyang military theater of operations where he … Continue reading

China: Police say woman who gouged out boy’s eyes was aunt who later killed herself


Chinese authorities said Wednesday that they suspect that the woman who gouged out a 6-year-old boy’s eyes was his aunt who later killed herself, adding a surprising twist to a gruesome case with conflicting details. The attack on the boy horrified the Chinese public and added to outrage over violence against children in the wake … Continue reading

Air-Sea Battle: A dangerous way to deal with China


On the face of it, the Pentagon’s Air-Sea Battle plan makes eminently good sense; it is a clear response to a clear challenge. China has been developing a whole slew of weapons (especially anti-ship missiles) over the past two decades that are of great concern to the U.S. military. These weapons, known in Pentagon-speak as … Continue reading

China kicks off European tour at Venice Film Festival


China is increasingly looking to Europe as a potential partner in the global movie biz. That was the message delivered at the Venice Film Festival by both Beijing Intl. Film Festival topper Zhao Zhiyong, on the Lido for the first time, and Vincent Fischer, CEO of European talent agency ECI, with offices in Beijing, Los Angeles and … Continue reading

China’s Xiaomi’s app market has double downloads of competitors; international success could follow


Xiaomi, the break-out smartphone star of the Greater China market, is receiving lots of attention thanks to the somewhat salacious tale of ex-Android VP Hugo Barra and his recent move to the Chinese company. Xiaomi is looking to sell around 20 million smartphones by the end of 2013, and is doing so well that it’s challenging Samsung, a … Continue reading

China moves to isolate Philippines, Japan


The Philippines and Japan’s charm offensives towards China appear to have failed as Beijing seeks to isolate both powers within the region. In recent weeks both the Philippines and Japan have made a number of overtures to China aimed at mending strained bilateral ties. Just this week, for instance, the chief of staff of the … Continue reading

China steps up the space race: lunar rover by end of the year


China will launch a lander and rover to the moon by the end of this year, officials announced Wednesday, part of an ambitious plan to return samples from the lunar surface by 2017 and send humans within the next decade. China will send a rover to the moon by the end of the year, officials … Continue reading

Too weird to be true? In China, you never can tell


A police officer tickets a young woman for parking a Maserati on the double yellow lines in the middle of the street in Chongqing, China. Stories like this one that go viral in China are increasingly available to English audiences, thanks for a new breed of websites such as ChinaSMACK. Here are some of the recent news … Continue reading

Denial-of-service attack shuts down Chinese Internet on Sunday morning


The attack began at 2 a.m. Sunday morning and was followed by a more intense attack at 4 a.m., according to the China Internet Network Information Center, which apologized to affected users in its statement and said it is working to improve its “service capabilities.” The attack, which was aimed at the registry that allows users to … Continue reading

Chinese Police Detain Online Commentator Xue Manzi


Chinese authorities are sending a chill through the country’s boisterous community of online social commentators as police detained a prominent Web user and state media stepped up calls for a crackdown on what they describe as spreading rumors online. Xue Manzi, above, spoke at the China Internet Conference 2013 on Aug. 13. He has been … Continue reading

Chinese boy has his eyes gouged out


It’s beyond horrifying: a six-year-old Chinese boy lured into a field has his eyes gouged out by an assailant, blinding him forever — even more unthinkably, the woman suspected of committing the monstrous crime may have been trying to harvest the child’s corneas for cash. According to China state media via Reuters, the boy, who was from … Continue reading

China launches three ASAT satellites: Small maneuvering orbiters include one with a robotic arm


China’s military recently launched three small satellites into orbit as part of Beijing’s covert anti-satellite warfare program, according to a U.S. official. The three satellites, launched July 20 by a Long March-4C launcher, were later detected conducting unusual maneuvers in space indicating the Chinese are preparing to conduct space warfare against satellites, said the official … Continue reading

Chinese hatred of Japan; real or government-created?


“On this day in 1945, Japan announced unconditional surrender.” The official account of China Central Television posted this information on Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms, and it quickly spread. Three trending posts, with a combined 236,000 retweets, identified the day’s significance and emphasized the number of Chinese who had been wounded and killed during … Continue reading

Poll: Young Chinese use ‘daddies’ to get ahead


To get ahead in China, you need the right daddy. So says a recent online survey showing that nearly 84% of respondents believe the young people around them would prefer to play a game of pin die rather than work hard. Meaning something like “powerful daddy,” the phrase refers to competing on the basis of … Continue reading

Millions face arsenic contamination risk in China


Nearly 20 million people in China live in areas at high risk of arsenic contamination in their water supplies, according to a study published on Thursday. The Chinese government has labelled arsenic contamination, which it first diagnosed in China in the 1970s, as one of the country’s “most important endemic diseases,” due to the chronic side effects which include … Continue reading

Mooncake crackdown: China’s annual Mid-Autumn Festival centrepiece banned


First baijiu, then red carpets, and now mooncakes. For Chinese government officials, the list of taboos keeps getting longer. One month before the country celebrates its annual Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese authorities said Wednesday that they are barring officials from buying mooncakes – a centrepiece of the holiday – as well as giving presents or hosting … Continue reading

Hong Kong survivors of Manila bus hijacking suing the Philippines


Survivors of a 2010 bus hijacking in Manila are suing the Philippine government in Hong Kong, a move that comes on the third anniversary of the incident that left eight dead. According to Hong Kong-based solicitor John Clancey, two survivors of the hijacking who suffered bullet wounds, as well as the mother of slain victim … Continue reading

Analysis: Why China is better than you think


The “imminent” demise of China will have to be postponed…again. The risk to third quarter growth forecasts in the market are now to the upside. On  Thursday, HSBC’s China Flash PMI data showed a sharp rebound to 50.1 in August from 47.7 in July. Consensus estimates had it rising slightly to 48.2. Today’s manufacturing data is consistent with headline … Continue reading

Ziyi Zhang’s ‘My Lucky Star’ set for North American release


China Lion has acquired North American rights to Ziyi Zhang’s “My Lucky Star” and will release the Chinese-language comedy Sept. 20 in North America day-and-date with Mainland China. The film, directed by American helmer Dennie Gordon, stars Zhang and Chinese singer Wang Leehom in a project with a similar story line to “Sophie’s Revenge.” Producers are Ming Beaver … Continue reading

Apple’s grip on China tablet market loosens


Apple’s grip on China’s tablet market has loosened as Asian tech companies increase sales with cheaper Android tablet computers, a market report showed Thursday. Dickie Chang, senior market analyst at research firm IDC, said Apple supplied 28 percent of tablet computers in China during the April-June quarter, down from 49 percent dominance a year earlier. … Continue reading

Zombie borrowers haunt Chinas shadow banks


Call it the new China Syndrome: Although Asia’s biggest economy is slowing down markedly, credit continues to surge. Dead-end projects and dying industries are sucking up an ever-larger portion of new credit, while more productive borrowers are starved for funds. Nowhere is this more evident than in China’s shadow banking sector, the non-bank financiers that … Continue reading

Chinese man pays fine in coins


Bank workers in Kunming spent eight hours counting 5,000 yuan in one jiao 0.1 yuan coins thanks to a Chinese man who paid an assault fine with some serious spite. Last year, a woman with the surname Wu was eating at a noodle shop where she and her husband reportedly got into an altercation with … Continue reading

Is China’s space program shaping a celestial empire?


China is pressing forward on its human space exploration plans, intent on establishing an international space station and, experts say, harnessing the technological muscle to launch its astronauts to the moon. Highlighting China’s intent, the country is working with the United Nations to stage a major workshop on human space technology, to be held Sept. … Continue reading

Politics, cost of living push Hong Kong residents overseas


Prior to 1997, a flood of residents left Hong Kong’s shores, worried about what would happen when the former British colony returned to Chinese control. Now, more than 15 years after the handover, the number of people emigrating from the city has started to tick up again. In the first six months of this year, … Continue reading

China: Spending a penny could cost 100 yuan in Shenzhen


People with a poor aim are to be fined if they miss their mark when using public toilets in Shenzhen, officials said – provoking online derision over how the rule will be enforced. The penalty will apply to those who urinate outside the bowl of facilities in Shenzhen, although draft regulations did not specify a … Continue reading

In Hong Kong, inflation spooks the spirit world during China’s “Ghost Festival”


Comfort in the afterlife requires lots more ‘Ghost Money‘ – a $1 trillion bill. Deep in China’s spirit world, an inflation crisis is brewing that would give central bankers chills. For hundreds of years, Chinese have burned stacks of so-called “ghost money” for their ancestors to help ensure their comfort in the afterlife. The fake … Continue reading

Apple CEO meets Chinese mobile carriers in Beijing


Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is in Beijing this week meeting with China’s largest mobile carriers as the company faces a tougher environment in its second-largest market. Mr. Cook met with China Mobile Ltd. Chairman Xi Guohua on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the carrier said. Apple’s CEO also met with officials at China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. on Wednesday, a person … Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping disappoints world by promoting Maoist revival


In a move sure to dismay the people inside and outside China who hoped Xi Jinping would begin a new era of democratic reform, China’s president has “lurched” to the left, as the WSJ reports, promoting a revitalised version of nationalist Maoism across the country. ”Our red nation will never change colour,” Xi said during a ceremony … Continue reading

Chinese zoo disguises dog as lion


A Chinese zoo is under fire today for trying to disguise a dog as a lion. Zoo officials said in their defense that the Tibetan mastiff, which has a lion-like mane, was only a temporary replacement for the King of the Beasts. A Chinese zoo has been accused of lying about a lion and trying … Continue reading

China summons Japanese ambassador over shrine visit


China summoned Japan’s ambassador on Thursday to lodge a strong complaint after two Japanese cabinet ministers publicly paid their respects at a controversial Tokyo shrine for war dead, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. The ministers’ visit to the Yasukuni Shrine “seriously harms the feelings of the people in China and other Asian victim countries”, the … Continue reading

Hong Kong nets record cocaine haul bound for China


Hong Kong customs seized a record haul of cocaine at its international airport this week, foiling two passengers who tried to smuggle 58 million Hong Kong dollars (US$7.5 million) worth of the drug in their luggage. One 35-year-old man arrived Tuesday from São Paulo, Brazil, after transiting in Beijing with 48 kilograms (105 pounds) of cocaine … Continue reading

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