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Record High Investment in Beijing Olympics

According to Hong Kong based Ming Pao News, the current amount of money invested in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games has reached a record high of 28 billion RMB or $3.8 billion. The number is 2.2 times the figure estimated in 2001 when Beijing was bidding to host the event, compared to $1.5 billion for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and $2.4 billion for the Athens Olympics in 2004. As the construction of some stadiums and other facilities are not finally completed, the total amount invested is expected to be even higher than the current level.

Source: Asia Times, January 22, 2008
http://www.atchinese.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45188&Itemid=110

Pork Prices Hit Record High – Sign of Political Problem

An increase in the cost of feed coupled with a drop in the supply of pigs due to disease has made pork a top priority for the Chinese government. Pork is the most important staple meat for China’s 1.3 billion people. Any sustained interruption in supply would be a major political problem for the country. Premier Wen Jiabao provided confirmation of the crisis when he made a weekend visit on May 28, 2007, to a market in Shaanxi Province.

50,000 Residents without Clean Water for 5 Days

On January 7, 2008, water pollution caused by the discharge of industrial waste led to the shutdown of a water company. 50,000 residents in Chikan Town, Kaping City, Guangdong Province, went without water until the water supply finally resumed on January 11, 2008.

The electroplating workshop of at nearby company started discharging industrial waste into the river via a hidden duct, 100 meters from the intake pipe of the Chikan Water Plant. Residents waited in long lines for tanks of water transported from out of town. Others tried to hang on by cooking with bottled water and doing their laundry in the Chikan River.

Source: Xinhua, Janaury 12, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/local/2008-01/12/content_7409587.htm

China Reform Foundation Report: Urban Resident’s Grey Income as High as 4 Trillion Yuan

On June 11, Wang Xiaolu, the Vice Director of the National Economic Research Institute of the China Reform Foundation, released a report about "grey income," the income that is never officially reported. He found that the urban population has "4.4 trillion Yuan (0.55 trillion $US) of grey income that is not accounted for in China’s national statistics."

China Tightens Organ Transplant Tourism

On July 19, 2007, Southern Weekly, a newspaper based in Guangzhou, published a headline article "China’s ‘Organ Transplant Tourism Decreases.’" The report stated that the number of organ donors has dropped sharply this year and that China has profited enormously from organ transplants. It also stated that China’s Minster of Health openly admitted that the China has used organs from executed prisoners. It is hard to explain the sharp drop in organ donors.

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