Tag Archives: China

After nine years as China correspondent, Stephen McDonell farewells the ABC

Agen Sabung Ayam

Posted December 14, 2015 twelve:25:36

Stephen McDonell on mountain road to Deqin Image: Stephen McDonell is leaving the ABC soon after nine several years masking typhoons, earthquakes, economic boons and corruption crackdowns. (ABC Information: Robert Hill)
Map: China

China correspondent Stephen McDonell is leaving the ABC, ending nine years of masking earthquakes and economic booms, crackdowns and corruption in a dynamic and creating nation.

He has also protected Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Japanese tsunami, the Nepal earthquake and the MH17 crash in East Ukraine.

But in this, his closing term as an ABC correspondent, he clarifies why, when it came to a choice amongst the ABC and Beijing, China was a country he could not depart powering.

Leaving the ABC in Beijing has been an psychological encounter.

For nine several years my bureau colleagues and I have climbed mountains, stood up to thugs, crashed a auto, danced in Tibetan towns, watched tigers devour their prey.

We have traversed huge sand dunes and frozen deserts listened as mother and father informed the tale of dragging their useless young children from the earthquake rubble and viewed as police caught drug mules coming throughout the border from Burma — all in buy to provide China to Australia and the planet.

Cricket match amidst quake aftermath Image: ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell bowls to Nepalese young children during a recreation of cricket in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. (ABC News: Aaron Hollett)

Right after what we have been by means of, the ABC China team are and will constantly be my brothers and sisters.

When you are stuck on a frozen mountain on the border with North Korea and the People’s Liberation Army comes to your rescue, it delivers you nearer.

When you soar walls, disguise footage, negotiate highway blocks, chortle and cry collectively, your relationships will never ever be the exact same.

Stephen McDonell on assignment for Foreign Correspondent Image: Stephen McDonell on assignment for Foreign Correspondent in 2008. (ABC Information: Stephen McDonell)

The personnel utilized by information organisations close to the entire world are the unheralded champions of global journalism and possessing them is the variation in between superficial investigation and beginning to comprehend some thing of the complexities of a place.

The ABC cameramen in Beijing are like producers.

Each and every one particular I have worked with has picked up a bit of Mandarin and, much more importantly, an comprehending of China.

They know how considerably to thrust it and without their understanding our tales would’ve been not a patch on what we’ve been in a position to achieve.

As for me, it really is with unhappiness and the enjoyment of a new problem that I am leaving the ABC in purchase to continue being in Beijing as a correspondent.

China will get underneath your pores and skin — it truly is an unstoppable juggernaut of alter, and I just was not ready to permit it go.

China is a story machine: ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell reflects on ten years in ChinaVideo: China is a story machine: ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell demonstrates on ten years in China (ABC Information)

Subject areas: journalism, globe-politics, china


Just In

China Pushes Smaller Cities to Attract Rural Migrants

Agen Sabung Ayam

SHANGHAI—China is making an attempt to relieve a pair of knotty problems—population strain on its largest metropolitan areas and a glut of new houses elsewhere—by receiving scaled-down urban locations to provide housing reductions to draw in migrants from the countryside.

Encouraged by Beijing, some nearby governments are rolling out a range of housing subsidies, tax waivers and decrease home loan rates to draw in new residents. In Fuyang, an urban district around the properly-off eastern provincial funds of Hangzhou, the government is offering a one-time housing subsidy of as considerably as 800,000 yuan ($ 123,874) for new citizens with particular skills who purchase residences in the area. The central metropolis of Luoyang is subsidizing deed tax payments and mortgage fees for rural migrants purchasing properties in the metropolis.

The press by Beijing is meant to address a issue that has cropped up in recent several years as people depart the countryside for the towns for work: Most want to go to the largest, most prosperous cities, putting a strain on infrastructure and services in individuals spots. In the meantime, big elements of the relaxation of the country are overbuilt.

A consequence of this divergence is that, even though property rates are recovering in Beijing, Shanghai and some other major towns, many years of overbuilding plague most other urban areas and sum to a sizable drag on the economic system.

“It is becoming clear to Chinese officials that the property sector nonetheless retains an critical function in stabilizing the economy,” stated Chen Sheng, who heads the government-backed China Actual Estate Information Academy. “The thought is to stabilize, not to extremely promote the financial system.”

Although housing revenue have rebounded this yr, expenditure in actual-estate improvement has slowed to 1.3% in the very first 11 months this yr from the exact same time period a year earlier, while building starts off declined fourteen.seven% more than the identical period.

Final thirty day period, President Xi Jinping instructed a conference of economic and monetary officials that China need to take care of the housing stock predicament and guarantee the overall health of the property sector.

The endeavours to divert rural migrants to smaller metropolitan areas arrives amid a renewed hard work by Beijing to enhance the treatment provided to rural migrants.

The Point out Council, the government’s government human body, in excess of the weekend issued new suggestions for nearby governments, telling them to provide a a lot more comprehensive bundle of rewards, from housing financial loans to social providers, to incoming citizens, who could not have the suitable home registration paperwork, known as a hukou.

The hukou technique was imposed decades back to hold rural Chinese out of metropolitan areas, when China was much poorer. It has progressed into a advantages management program, defining entry to well being care, employment, education and other social rewards. Typically these positive aspects are better for individuals with an urban hukou, and the recent system has been commonly criticized as unfair by usually denying holders of a rural hukou access to those services in the cities to which they shift.

Scaled-down metropolitan areas have in the earlier experimented with to attract in rural migrants by offering them city hukou. But still migrants have chosen larger towns with a lot more vivid occupation marketplaces. And some analysts have said that metropolitan areas will have to do a lot more than offer you reduce housing charges.

Liu Dan, a Hangzhou-based mostly style designer in her mid-20s, states that aside from housing expenses, she will have to evaluate task potential customers, social networks and proximity to her loved ones in the northwestern region of Xinjiang before taking into consideration settling down in a metropolis.

“It is about becoming familiar with a place,” mentioned Ms Liu, who has labored in Shanghai and Qingdao ahead of. “I’ve been in Hangzhou for more than a yr now, but I’m nonetheless not utilized to this area.”

Some analysts have voiced skepticism that urbanization will treatment China’s housing surplus, noting that in some locations, it is turning out to be far more hard to get rural dwellers to uproot themselves.

“There is a perception that there isn’t a lot reward shifting into the metropolis,” stated Track Huiyong, analysis director at property consultancy Shanghai Centaline House, including that scaled-down housing models and mediocre employment prospects stemming from a slowing financial system deter them way too.

“They also know their rural land is worth much more now, and are unwilling to give up these rights.”

Several of these subsidies are short-term, long lasting only a handful of months as queries stay on how neighborhood governments could raise funds to foot the invoice for these expenses. Some regional governments have also requested state-owned companies and financial institutions including coverage banking institutions to aid with these fees.

Create to Esther Fung at esther.fung@wsj.com


WSJ.com: World Information

China Economy Shows Signs of Steadying, More Policy Support Needed

Agen Sabung Ayam

BEIJING: China’s activity data was much better than anticipated in November, with factory output progress finding up to a 5-month higher, signalling that a flurry of stimulus actions from Beijing might have set a flooring underneath a fragile financial system.

Nonetheless, analysts imagine far more policy steps are necessary to weather conditions nagging headwinds from a cooling property market place, risks from substantial domestic credit card debt stages, and weak world-wide demand from customers as monetary marketplaces brace for curiosity fee rises by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“Genuine curiosity charges are even now large owing to falling producer charges,” Wang Jun, senior economist at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), a Beijing-based mostly believe-tank.

“It really is even now essential to minimize interest costs to help financial development and overcome deflation.”

Factory output grew an annual six.two % in November, information from the National Bureau of Data(NBS) showed, quickening from October’s 5.6 p.c and beating expectations of 5.6 p.c.

Growth in China’s mounted-asset investment decision, one particular of the primary motorists of the financial system, rose ten.2 % in the initial eleven months, unchanged from the gain in January-October, and greater than an envisioned ten.1 p.c increase.

Retail revenue grew an yearly eleven.two p.c in November – the strongest enlargement this calendar year – when compared with eleven. per cent in Oct. Analysts had forecast 11.1 percent development in November.

“Although minimal base could be the issue driving the headline development, we nonetheless have to acknowledge that China’s information are illustrating symptoms of stabilization, albeit at a minimal degree,” explained Zhao Hao, senior economist at Commerzbank in Singapore.

The information arrived right after weak trade and inflation readings previously this week, which underscored the persistent slack in the financial system.

WEAK Demand from customers, OVERCAPACITY

The world’s second-largest economic system has been hit by weak demand from customers at property and abroad, manufacturing unit overcapacity and challenges posed by its transition to a use-led growth product from one reliant on investments.

With the Fed poised to increase desire prices for the first time in practically a decade at following week’s review, the danger of intensifying funds outflows has included to Beijing’s plan problem.

Leading Li Keqiang has recently pledged to phase up “supply-aspect” reform to produce new expansion engines in the economy although tackling manufacturing unit overcapacity and so-referred to as zombie firms.

With its trade sector ailing, there are also signs China is ramping up attempts to send out a lot more surplus creation abroad with tax cuts for the export sector.

China’s output of crucial industrial commodities which includes coal and metal remained weak in November amid long-term oversupply as slowing development demand from customers took its toll.

“Supply-facet administration must be supported by loose fiscal and financial policy,” Li Huiyong, an economist at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities said.

Li stated the economy faced “elevated uncertainties” from a cooling house marketplace, extra manufacturing facility capacity, substantial credit card debt stages and Beijing’s anti-corruption generate. He expects the central bank to reduce interest rates by 50 foundation points in the following 12 months, on prime of a lot more cuts in financial institution reserve ratios.

More than the earlier 12 months Chinese authorities have released the most aggressive plan stimulus since the 2008/09 worldwide monetary disaster, such as cutting desire charges six instances since late 2014 and decreasing financial institution reserve specifications.

They have also taken other measures, such as an announcement on Friday to lock-in more investments as Beijing attempts to set a ground underneath the financial system.

But the govt has been battling to get to its economic growth concentrate on of about 7 per cent this 12 months, which would be the weakest pace in a quarter of a century. Numerous analysts suspect genuine growth is lower than official figures suggest.

WEAKER House Investment

A cooling residence industry has weighed greatly on China’s economic system in excess of the past 12 months. House sales and rates have increased in larger metropolitan areas more than latest months, served by a barrage of govt actions.

Info issued by the data bureau on Saturday showed property investment decision grew 1.3 percent in the first 11 months of 2015 from a calendar year previously, slowing from 2. p.c rise in January-Oct and hitting the weakest rate because early 2009.

Whilst noting the chance posed by large inventories of unsold properties, China’s President Xi Jinping mentioned very last thirty day period that China essential to lessen housing overhang to ensure sustainable improvement of its property market place.

Xi has mentioned that China need to preserve annual typical development of no much less than 6.five percent more than the up coming 5 several years to strike the country’s aim of doubling gross domestic solution and for every capita cash flow by 2020 from 2010.

The New Indian Specific – Top News – http://www.newindianexpress.com/top_information/

South China Morning Post sold to e-commerce giant Alibaba

Agen Sabung Ayam

Posted December 12, 2015 11:fifty one:10

Alibaba has agreed to acquire Hong Kong’s flagship English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Put up, the most politically delicate acquisition by the e-commerce large to day.

Alibaba and SCMP Group Ltd announced on Friday that the Hangzhou-dependent business would buy the 112-yr-old newspaper and other media houses for an undisclosed quantity.

The purchase, which follows a string of media discounts by Alibaba, is likely to elevate concerns in Hong Kong, exactly where the South China Morning Put up occupies an critical position amid the English-talking elite who nonetheless dominate the previous British colony.

Chinese-language dailies may possibly be more influential than the Post, but adjustments in its editorial course are seen as a barometer for push flexibility underneath Chinese rule.

Alibaba has acquired or invested in a developing portfolio of media and material businesses in latest several years.

“The SCMP has iconic standing in the region, with a strong popularity internationally for the high quality and trustworthiness of its journalism over the many years,” Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, said in a letter to SCMP audience.

“Like several print media, nevertheless, the SCMP faces difficulties amid the spectacular alterations in the way news is reported and dispersed. But these modifications play to Alibaba’s strengths, which is why we believe the two firms complement each and every other well.”

New proprietors seek out to tackle considerations about independence

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is no stranger to controversy at the newspaper.

In 2013, a reporter for the Publish give up after quoting Mr Ma as getting made remarks in assistance of Beijing’s violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Mr Ma denied at the time that he had made these kinds of an assertion.

Mr Tsai sought to address worries about editorial independence in his letter.

“In reporting the information, the SCMP will be aim, exact and honest… day-to-day editorial decisions will be pushed by editors in the newsroom, not in the corporate boardroom.”

Nevertheless, some SCMP personnel associates stated the takeover was unlikely to have much effect above the publication’s articles, and greeted the information with resignation.

“The SCMP has not had an editorial equilibrium for more than a 10 years. We do not believe that will change underneath a mainland Chinese operator,” mentioned an editor who has worked at the newspaper for much more than a ten years.

Friday’s settlement includes SCMP Group’s other media assets, such as licenses to the Hong Kong editions of Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

Monetary phrases of the deal ended up not disclosed.

Reuters

Subject areas: print-media, info-and-conversation, media, industry, china, hong-kong


Just In

China Faces Balancing Act in Slowing Business to Reduce Pollution

Agen Sabung Ayam

BEIJING—As authorities lifted a air pollution “red alert” that experienced shut down companies across northern China to distinct the pollution, a query lingered: What will be the economic effect if such drastic steps grow to be the new standard?

At the Shahe Jindong Glass Co., about 270 miles south of Beijing in China’s industrial heartland, Vice President Liu Zhiqi stated the firm was trying to do its component to minimize emissions by slashing manufacturing by fifty% this 7 days, even although it intended postponing some orders. “We comprehend the seriousness of the pollution, and we want to cooperate,” he said.

For now, economists say a number of times of these kinds of manufacturing unit closures is likely to barely sign up on progress or at the very least to be a scaled-down blip than clampdowns to very clear Beijing’s skies in advance of a summit of planet leaders last 12 months or a military parade to mark the conclude of Planet War II in early September.

But the 1st-ever purple notify over Beijing smog highlights the dilemma for leaders of whether to sacrifice economic activity at a time of previously sagging progress to clamp down on pollution.

On the 1 hand, leaders are currently trying to steer away from a reliance on industries that are between the severest polluters, and economists say the heightened consciousness of pollution hurt could velocity up a shift toward cleaner and higher-benefit industries that can generate development.

But any decline of economic exercise is a problem as authorities battle to meet a growth goal of about 7% this 12 months.

Given that the notify was declared on Monday, Yuan Qiwei, manager of a Beijing gym chain referred to as I Physical fitness, which operates three fitness centers in the town, explained he noticed a thirty% drop in visitors, as residents huddled indoors. “We are making an attempt to figure out techniques to deal with this,” he explained.

University closings or the purchasing of countless numbers of autos off the highway are only some of the inconveniences for Beijing residents as authorities react to increasing community strain to battle smog.

“For inhabitants of large metropolitan areas like Beijing, I feel tolerance for purple-warn times will speedily dissipate,” explained Mary Gallagher, director of the University of Michigan’s Lieberthal-Rogel Heart for Chinese Studies.

On Wednesday, Mr. Wang, a driver for Uber, picked up about 17 travellers, down from his typical 24 rides a working day. “It’s kind of frustrating,” he said as he drove his tan Volkswagen Passat, 1 of seven cars he owns that all have even-numbered license plates. “My wife doesn’t operate so it has an effect on me a good deal.” Mr. Wang, who declined to give his very first name, said if these kinds of alerts turn out to be commonplace, he will require to buy an odd-numbered license plate to ensure he gets regular function.

In Beijing by itself, about two,a hundred factories shut down or minimal operation close to the funds for the duration of the 2½-working day notify, in accordance to the Beijing Municipal Fee of Economic climate and Information Technologies.

That appeared to be a considerably less serious evaluate than for the duration of the guide-up to a armed forces parade to mark the end of World War II in early September, when the federal government ordered more than 10,000 factories across northern China to shut down for about one particular week. It was unclear how several factories ended up closed in the newest shutdown.

The parade shutdown contributed to the Caixin Producing PMI falling to a six-and-a-50 percent yr lower in August, according to investigation firm Money Economics. Industrial generation was also weaker than envisioned in the month ahead of the parade.

This time, “the affect is transitory,” stated Mizuho Securities Asia main economist Jianguang Shen.

The two in August and now, authorities referred to as for a halt to building, to restrict dust from developing sites. But this late in the yr, many building web sites experienced previously shut down for wintertime.

However, Li Zifeng, 37, who has been operating at a development site in Tianjin since August, mentioned “no a single has requested us to quit functioning.” Mr. Li, who helps make 200 yuan (about $ 31) a day, said that was not the case for the duration of the army parade in early September, when the air pollution shutdown prompted him to return to his hometown as operate dried up.

In most situations, standard employees—such as workers at the Shahe Jindong Glass factory—still get compensated even during shutdowns. But short-term employees really do not get compensated when they do not operate, which could direct to more discontent and unrest if pollution shutdowns turn out to be commonplace.

“People will undergo financial losses if they are not capable to work and make their salaries, specifically reduced-amount employees who are compensated by the hour,” stated Ms. Gallagher of the College of Michigan.

Economists say frequent warnings in the potential could have an affect on numerous sectors of the economic climate, this sort of as tourism. Euromonitor senior analyst Fangting Sunshine called Beijing’s air pollution a “major threat” to inbound tourism.

In the long phrase, economists say red alerts could market a feeling of urgency that could aid break the nation’s decadeslong dependence on manufacturing for growth.

Leaders say investment in clear strength infrastructure—such as wind, solar and other technology—will provide as development motorists in the coming many years, as towns attempt to limit pollution although nevertheless assembly substantial power desire. Such state-led investing will ultimately give an economic increase, states HSBC economist John Zhu.

More repeated red alerts could also spur Beijing and neighboring regions to reduce their reliance on coal, which still heats numerous residences. “It’s a very good thing to remind folks how serious the air pollution is,” Mizuho’s Mr. Shen stated. “These alerts could accelerate eco-friendly-energy assignments and develop a new period for expense.”

On Thursday, the Asian Advancement Financial institution accepted a $ 300 million loan to China to cleanse up Beijing’s air by assisting Hebei province—often deemed the location most in need to have of cleanup—develop applications to reduce air pollution and guide cleanse-power investments. Hamid Sharif, China director for the lender, mentioned one of the most important areas of the bank loan was supplying funding for monitoring and enforcement.

Beijing programs to double the 36 air-air pollution monitoring stations it has set up all around the city, Vice Mayor Li Shixiang informed reporters on Thursday. Hebei, meanwhile, is requiring polluting enterprises to set up monitoring techniques that make it more difficult to change off pollution-scrubbing products when regulators are not seeking.

“When it arrives to controlling air pollution, we generally know what we require to do. But it’s actually not simple,” mentioned Yang Chongyong, Hebei’s executive vice governor.

As blue skies returned to Beijing, Shahe Jindong Glass turned to total capability Thursday. Mr. Liu stated there had been no subsidies from the authorities to support with dropped revenue as a outcome of the shutdown. “We have to bear the decline by ourselves.”

He mentioned, “We surely will be asked to reduce manufacturing once again. That will make it harder for us to run.”

Write to Alyssa Abkowitz at alyssa.abkowitz@wsj.com and Brian Spegele at brian.spegele@wsj.com


WSJ.com: Globe News

China Moves to Normalize the Status of Millions of People on Margins

Agen Sabung Ayam

BEIJING—China mentioned it would normalize the standing of tens of millions of folks who had lived on the margins of culture, a transfer supposed to deal with social inequities and to spur inhabitants and economic progress.

Beijing’s decision to grant household registrations to these individuals, introduced late Wednesday, is element of endeavours to overhaul a a long time-previous method that was developed to suppress rural migration to overcrowded metropolitan areas. Those rules are out-of-date as Beijing pushes the bulk of its almost one.4 billion folks to go to cities to assist spur growth.

The registration system, acknowledged as hukou, has also been blamed for aggravating social inequality by reducing off unregistered citizens from social welfare and leaving rural migrants to dwell as 2nd-course citizens in city locations.

“This is a essential stage for China to modernize China’s political program as it now recognizes hukou as each and every citizen’s standard appropriate,” mentioned Cai Yong, a demographer and sociologist professor at the College of North Carolina.

The hukou program, which dates to the fifties, ties benefits like health care and pensions to a person’s area of birth. Without having a hukou, which acts as a social-positive aspects management system, citizens simply cannot lawfully sign up for college, get married, open a financial institution account or entry well being insurance policy.

The new policy could gain the thirteen million people who lack a hukou, according to the formal Xinhua News Company. Numerous of them ended up born in violation of the Beijing’s 1-child plan, which leaders said in October they would stop and enable all citizens have two youngsters. Other individuals had lost their hukou papers or unsuccessful to register.

At a Wednesday conference chaired by President Xi Jinping, a best govt committee fixed to “comprehensively solve the issue of hukou registration for people with no hukou,” Xinhua, citing a government assertion.

“It is a basic lawful correct for Chinese citizens to lawfully sign up for hukou,” the company mentioned, quoting the statement. “It’s also a premise for citizens to take part in social affairs, appreciate legal rights and fulfill duties.”

Wednesday’s move also addresses strategies to produce far more equal obtain to wellness care by consolidating rural and city wellness insurance programs. Rural citizens now endure with an inferior program.

The transformed occur late for folks like Li Xue, a 22-yr-outdated woman in Beijing, whose lack of a hukou denied her possibilities in education and employment. As next child, Ms. Li was born in violation of the one-little one policy, and her mother and father weren’t ready to afford the fines they needed to spend to sign up her for a hukou.

“I’ve dropped out on nine years of obligatory schooling,” stated Ms. Li, who relies on her mothers and fathers and elder sister for sustenance since she can not legally uncover work. “But at the very least I can get a diploma to earn my possess dwelling and raise my family members rather than letting them feed me.”

Such an result would dovetail with Beijing’s hopes of reworking unregistered citizens, colloquially identified as “black hukou,” into economically successful citizens.

“It’s an financial perform,” in accordance to Frank Hong, a partner at law agency Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He stated the overhaul will assist men and women journey freely and established up businesses around the region. It will also make it less difficult for Beijing to check its men and women, he explained.

Expanding hukou registration also supports Beijing’s press to promote births, a important plank in the government’s bid to head off economic and social pressures stemming from a swiftly ageing population.

“The rationale for not supplying a hukou to these hukou-considerably less folks has been substantially weakened after the 1-kid policy is abolished,” explained Kam Wing Chan, a geography professor at University of Washington who studied urbanization in China.

Mr. Chan urged caution, even so, noting that past hukou revamps had typically been instances of “loud thunderclaps, modest raindrops,” as policies get watered down in the course of implementation.

Beijing has lengthy pushed to ease the hukou method. But regional officials usually worried a surge of migration would overwhelm their towns and balked at this kind of adjustments.

Regional variants are very likely to emerge in attempts to decrease “black hukou,” as diverse metropolitan areas established varying thresholds for acquiring regional home registration, said Zhang Xiaoyu, an affiliate professor of legislation at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing. “In Beijing and Shanghai, hukou needs are still really stringent, so black hukou in these areas could persist.”

With regards to unregistered residents, “a lot of operate and time will nonetheless be needed for these individuals, or their dad and mom, to gather beginning papers” and other paperwork necessary for registration, and even overcome new hurdles that regional bureaucrats may erect, Mr. Chan stated.

Ms. Li, for her element, stated she has mixed feelings about the prospect.

“In my 22 many years, I’ve read of various authorized revisions and new policies, but I have nevertheless to experience the alterations in reality,” she mentioned. This time, “I hope it will be actually carried out.”


WSJ.com: Planet News

OECD: Growth to Steady After China, Brazil Slowdowns

Agen Sabung Ayam

Expansion is established to steady following slowdowns in China and Brazil, and decide up in France and India, according to top indicators launched Tuesday by the Organization for Financial Cooperation and Development.

The Paris-dependent research physique mentioned its gauges of potential economic activity—which are primarily based on information offered for October—point to slowdowns in the U.S. and the U.K.

The leading indicators for China propose the world’s second largest economic climate will keep away from a sharper slowdown in financial growth and the “hard landing” feared by policy makers, investors and organizations.

China’s economic climate decelerated to progress of 6.9% in the third quarter of this yr, its slowest pace given that the world-wide fiscal disaster.

The major indicators also position to a pickup in expansion in France, which has lagged driving Germany and Spain during the eurozone’s financial recovery. But the OECD cautioned that the indicators were based on info mostly gained just before the Nov. thirteen terror assaults on Paris.

Taken as a total, the indicators advise the international economic climate is unlikely to weaken in coming months, even though 2015 is established to be an additional disappointing 12 months for development.

The U.S. and the U.K. have been the swiftest-developing of the large developed economies, but the leading indicators for both fell once again, pointing to continued slowdowns.

The foremost indicators for Russia pointed to a ongoing contraction in that oil-dependent financial system, although the actions for Germany and Japan pointed to continued weak progress. Revised figures for Japan unveiled Tuesday confirmed the world’s third largest economy averted slipping into the 2nd economic downturn of the Abenomics era more than the summer, as much better-than-envisioned capital spending assisted it grow in the 3rd quarter.

The OECD’s foremost indicators are created to give early signals of turning points in between the expansion and slowdown of financial exercise, and are dependent on a vast variety of data sequence that have a historical past of anticipating swings in foreseeable future financial action.

The OECD’s composite foremost indicator for its 34 members was unchanged at 99.eight. A looking through underneath a hundred. details to slowing progress.

Write to Paul Hannon at paul.hannon@wsj.com


WSJ.com: Entire world News

DFAT warns early release of Matthew Ng could threaten China prisoner swap deal

Agen Sabung Ayam

Current December 09, 2015 00:45:41

The Department of Overseas Affairs has warned the potential of Australia’s prisoner swap deal with China could be jeopardised if the Lawyer-Standard, George Brandis, grants businessman Matthew Ng an early release from prison.

Mr Ng was arrested in Guangzhou in 2010 after refusing to offer his $ 100 million stake in the travel firm, GZL, back again to the Chinese govt at cost value.

He was convicted of bribery and embezzlement a 12 months later on and sentenced to 11.five years’ jail.

In 2014, he turned the first Australian to reward from a prisoner swap deal in between Australia and China and is now serving out the relaxation of his sentence at the St Heliers Correction Centre in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Mr Ng has always preserved his innocence, and given that returning to Australia has pleaded for an early release from jail or a pardon.

In August, Mr Ng’s legal professionals produced a formal application for an early release, based on exceptional conditions underneath the Crime Act like his diagnosis with Publish Traumatic Anxiety Problem and a main depressive disorder, the volume of time he has previously served in China and the disproportionate length of his sentence.

But yesterday the Attorney-General’s office wrote to Mr Ng’s legal professionals rejecting the application, citing tips from the two the NSW Wellness Division and Office of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

“DFAT advises that the Chinese authorities have created distinct they are carefully checking the first productive transfer circumstances and will see them as take a look at cases for potential prisoner transfer amongst Australia and China,” the Lawyer-General’s department wrote.

“DFAT’s view is the granting of early launch or pardon would really most likely have a damaging impact on the procedure of the [prisoner transfer] scheme and prejudice other existing or long term cases.”

It is understood there are about 80 Australians imprisoned in China.

Ng experienced inhumane remedy in Chinese prison: legal professionals

The Attorney-General’s section also cast doubt on the severity of Mr Ng’s mental ailment, expressing he had not sought any aid for psychological problems at St Heliers and “appeared to be controlling his mental wellness conditions sufficiently”.

“Psychology advises … they are not likely to assist a ask for for early release primarily based on psychological health grounds owing to the commonality of described diagnoses and signs and symptoms in the correctional environment,” the office wrote.

Isabella Ng, daughter of Australian entrepreneur Matthew Ng Picture: Mr Ng was informed very last calendar year, although imprisoned in China, his eldest daughter Isabella experienced died. (Supplied)

That is at odds with health-related guidance received by Mr Ng’s legal professionals which states the “professional psychological treatment method of the type necessary by Mr Ng is not obtainable in a correctional facility” and goes on to say Mr Ng requires remedy “as a subject of urgency”.

Mr Ng’s sentence expires in 2022, but he will be eligible for parole in August next year.

His legal professionals argue there are adequate extraordinary situation to release Mr Ng from prison early presented his inhumane remedy, and trauma experienced, during his 1,475 times in prison in China.

In their letter to the Legal professional-Common, they mentioned Mr Ng was held in a jail cell with 18 other people and compelled to share a mattress with an additional inmate there had been no flushing bogs or showers and he was physically assaulted on a few situations.

Mr Ng’s 2nd relationship has also damaged down not too long ago and previous 12 months, even though imprisoned in China, he was knowledgeable that his eldest daughter Isabella experienced died, creating him a wonderful deal of distress.

His lawyers have right up until January 5 to respond to the department’s letter.

Subject areas: criminal offense, prisons-and-punishment, world-politics, federal-government, australia, china

Very first posted December 08, 2015 23:48:04


Just In

China Detains Labor Activists in Sweep

Agen Sabung Ayam

BEIJING—Chinese authorities detained or interrogated more than a dozen labor activists in a southern manufacturing hub this week, a sweep that underscores Beijing’s growing anxiety over worker unrest.

The activists, mainly based in the cities of Guangzhou and Foshan, were rounded up by police for questioning Thursday, according to some of the activists and their associates. They said as many as 19 people were taken in, though a precise number wasn’t clear because those detained work for different groups.

Fellow activists and friends say those detained or interrogated are current and past staffers at four labor-rights nonprofits active in Guangdong province.

They said some activists were released Friday, but at least 10 people remained out of contact as of Saturday evening, including three activists who have been placed under criminal detention, which allows police to prepare for a formal arrest and possible prosecution.

Of the three under criminal detention, two were accused of “assembling crowds to disturb public order,” while the third person was accused of “duty encroachment,” which is defined as a form of embezzlement in Chinese law, according to their associates and copies of detention notices reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Phone calls to Guangdong police went unanswered Saturday, and efforts to contact police in Guangzhou and Foshan were also unsuccessful.

It wasn’t clear what prompted the sweep, though authorities in the Pearl River Delta region—a sprawling industrial slice of Guangdong that produces more than a quarter of China’s exports—have increasingly clamped down on industrial unrest that has swelled over the past year, amid an economic slowdown that has led to a rise in layoffs and wage disputes.

China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based watchdog, counted more than 2,300 strikes and labor protests on the mainland so far this year, far surpassing the 1,379 incidents recorded in the whole of 2014. In November, the group counted 301 incidents in what it called a record monthly tally, including dozens of protests in Guangdong linked to unpaid wages and factory closures.

Most of the detained activists couldn’t be reached for comment, and it wasn’t clear if they had legal representation. However, one of them, Chen Huihai, said in a brief phone interview that he was being held under police supervision in Guangzhou’s Nansha district, pending further investigations.

“It’s not convenient for me to speak now,” said Mr. Chen, who heads his own nonprofit that assists workers involved in labor disputes. He said he knew some of his fellow activists had also been detained, but wasn’t aware of the details.

Scholars say the crackdown appeared to target activists who focus on organizing workers involved in labor disputes and advising them on how to collectively negotiate over unpaid wages and other grievances.

Collective bargaining—the process of negotiating terms of employment between employers and organized groups of workers—is a touchy subject in China, where state-controlled unions are the only legal form of organized labor tasked with negotiating on behalf of workers. The practice has increasingly featured in industrial disputes in Guangdong, as workers and activists try to circumvent the government-backed trade unions, which many workers say they don’t represent their interests.

“The authorities are worried about efforts to organize workers beyond their ambit of control,” said a Beijing-based academic affiliated with China’s official trade-union federation, who declined to be named for fear of retaliation. “They are drawing a line in the sand, to warn activists and workers against stirring trouble.”

One of the activists under criminal detention is Zeng Feiyang, founder of the Guangdong Panyu Migrant Workers Center, which has been assisting workers in collective negotiations, including in a recent dispute between sanitation workers and their employment agency. Mr. Zeng, 40 years old, couldn’t be reached for comment and his mobile phone has been switched off since Thursday.

“This is a very sensitive time to be engaging in collective bargaining,” said Chen Weiguang, a retired unionist and former chairman of Guangzhou’s official trade-union federation. “Some labor NGOs have been perceived as adopting radical tactics in organizing workers, which may be harmful to social stability, particularly in the context of a slowing economy.”

In March, top Communist Party and government officials called for greater efforts to foster labor harmony, signaling Beijing’s growing concern that festering industrial tensions could soon threaten social stability or even weaken the Communist Party’s grip on power.

Local officials meanwhile have adopted increasingly aggressive tactics against unrest, arresting activists and workers, as well as deploying riot-control police to break up strikes. They have also forced some labor nonprofits to regularly relocate their offices in a bid to disrupt their work, activists say.

Write to Chun Han Wong at chunhan.wong@wsj.com


WSJ.com: World News

China Probes a Senior Oil Official’s Mysterious Death

Agen Sabung Ayam

BEIJING—Authorities are investigating the sudden dying of the leading anticorruption formal at one particular of China’s largest oil organizations, say individuals common with the investigation, a matter that is roiling Beijing’s political elite.

Zhang Jianwei, who was helping to direct a Communist Social gathering-requested clean-up of graft and other alleged wrongdoing at China National Offshore Oil Corp., was found lifeless close to lunchtime on Nov. three at his place of work, these men and women say.

Authorities have been seeking into the prospects of foul engage in or suicide, say these folks. Neither Cnooc nor Chinese authorities have announced Mr. Zhang’s demise Cnooc had him outlined on Wednesday as a best govt on its website.

“This is out of Cnooc’s palms,” mentioned one particular of the folks, who included that Mr. Zhang experienced afternoon appointments scheduled on the day he died. After his death Mr. Zhang’s business office had been sealed with law enforcement tape, avoiding other people from entering, one more individual said.

Neither Cnooc nor its major shown device responded to requests for comment. The Beijing police department didn’t answer to a ask for for comment on regardless of whether it is included in these kinds of a probe. The identity of Mr. Zhang’s loved ones customers wasn’t obvious.

Mr. Zhang was well-identified between Beijing’s political elites as a previous senior formal in the party’s General Workplace, which manages the affairs of China’s best leaders which includes the president. He took more than as Cnooc’s inner graft-buster in 2011, a part that grew in importance in current years as the government stepped-up its combat in opposition to corruption. The placement gave him specific leeway to report wrongdoing immediately to top celebration authorities, explained the men and women acquainted with the matter.

The uncertain circumstances all around the loss of life of a figure nicely-recognized in get together circles quickly prompted queries and problem amongst members of the celebration elite, in accordance to the men and women shut to the investigation.

The investigation also has shaken the internal circle at Cnooc, numerous of whose leading officers have identified each other for many years as they have risen through the company’s ranks, explained individuals shut to the organization. The 18th flooring of its futuristic headquarters, exactly where Mr. Zhang’s physique was discovered, is identified as a extremely protected region the place leading executives hold their places of work, these individuals mentioned.

The folks common with the investigation mentioned Mr. Zhang, who would have turned 58 in November, wasn’t recognized to be in poor well being and that his dying didn’t seem to be from organic causes based on the sensitivity with which authorities ended up handling the issue. Chinese condition-owned enterprises have in some circumstances formerly disclosed executives’ deaths in a timely way when the cause of dying is identified.

China’s Condition-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Fee, which oversees China’s most significant condition-owned organizations, and the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Self-control Inspection didn’t answer to requests for comment on Mr. Zhang.

Chinese monetary journal Caixin reported Mr. Zhang’s death on Nov. four other media stores have adopted. China’s official Xinhua News Agency carried the Caixin report on the internet, but has not alone described on Mr. Zhang’s fate or on any investigation.

China’s oil sector has been a focal stage of President Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign given that its start off, and dozens of executives at condition oil giants, which includes at Cnooc, have been arrested or detained in the probes.

As a consequence, China’s energy companies—once the international flag-bearers to China’s vision of condition-led capitalism—have grow to be significantly far more cautious in their dealings. Deals activity has dried up above the earlier 3 a long time. The companies have slashed budgets for every little thing from leisure to procurement.

“The worst influence on the [point out-owned enterprises]—including the 3 oil companies—has been creating the administration gun-shy,” stated Victor Gao, formerly Cnooc’s basic counsel who now serves as chairman of the China Strength Protection Institute.

Mr. Xi’s anticorruption push has pumped worry and mistrust by way of the bureaucracy and China’s largest point out-owned enterprises. Condition media have described a quantity of suspected suicides by senior executives and regional officials.

“Problems have been rising in officials’ mental overall health,” stated an online editorial by a Xinhua-controlled magazine this year. It referred to as on authorities to intervene in “this disaster of psychology,” and said, “In fact, the scenario doesn’t at all give trigger for optimism.”

Despite the scrutiny of Cnooc, its outlined subsidiary has delivered stronger final results than its rivals after it minimize spending this yr by about one-third when compared with 2014 and ramped up manufacturing from domestic oil-and-gas fields. The measures assisted cushion a fall in earnings that has hampered the market globally amid reduce vitality prices.

Cnooc has worked for decades to placement by itself as China’s most globally minded oil organization and has sought to expand generation by way of international offers, including its 2013 acquire of Canada’s Nexen Inc. for around $ fifteen billion. At residence, it has cast partnerships with businesses including ConocoPhillips to tap reserves off China’s coast.

Since signing up for Cnooc in 2011, Mr. Zhang was some thing of an outlier at Cnooc, with a job that was seen by workers as far more politically-focused than the company’s enterprise-minded management staff. Unlike other Cnooc executives who analyzed engineering and management abroad just before investing many years in China’s oil patch, Mr. Zhang analyzed philosophy prior to working up the social gathering ranks.

“He was a comfortable-spoken dude,” explained one particular of the individuals familiar with the investigation, who achieved Mr. Zhang.

By numerous accounts, Mr. Zhang held a trying occupation inside of Cnooc. As component of Mr. Xi’s anticorruption push, social gathering investigators descended on the oil firm for two months of probes earlier this calendar year. A vital evaluation followed, and Cnooc in September vowed to fix troubles such as wayward overseas investments.

Amid other difficulties, according to a prolonged report showing up on Cnooc’s web site, the business hadn’t appropriately supervised its developing portfolio of abroad assets and assignments, which right now stretches from Australia to Africa and North The usa. Mr. Zhang and other Cnooc executives have been dependable for investigating the finances of the company’s abroad initiatives whilst revising how the projects have been managed.

Compose to Brian Spegele at brian.spegele@wsj.com


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