Finally handed the reins of China’s leadership, Hu Jintao has inherited a country with great potential but also with unprecedented problems. Just one month after he gained control over the military, a string of large-scale riots erupted in Central and Southwest China. Judging from government buildings in Chongqing being looted, ethnic clashes in Henan, and tens of thousands of farmers’ resistance to land seizures in Sichuan-social discontent, mainly towards corruption and suppression through the use of force, is seething and bubbling up to the surface. In each of the cases mentioned above, armed forces were called in to quell the riots.
These incidents pose a real threat to the Communist government, but the root causes behind them didn’t start overnight. In the recent years, Beijing has dealt with a record volume of petitioners coming to the appeals offices from all over the country, most of them with complaints against government officials that could not be resolved locally. In fact, at the local level most of them were suppressed and even retaliated against, serving to aggravate the problem. As the droplets of unrest and discontent gather up into a trickle, and then a stream, and finally a tsunami of petitioners, they threaten to engulf the nation in a maelstrom of turmoil. According to a report from Party magazine Outlook, there were more than 58,000 major incidents of social unrest in the country last year, about 160 per day on average.
We will delve into this important topic in this issue, as well as other topics of interest.
Doing business in China is not all about numbers. The "Do’s and Don’ts" is an entertaining piece anyone concerned about Chinese etiquette should read. If you are thinking about investing in China, this is a good read before your first trip.
When was the last time you came home from a shopping trip with a trunk free of merchandise not made in China? "Milking China for Products" is a revealing piece regarding the alarming quality control of Chinese products, some of which have been spotted on the streets of New York.
Is retail giant Gap Inc. setting a new trend by opting to shift the majority of its operations away from Mainland China? Perhaps the unique guide map to China in this edition will help you fill in the gaps.