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Death Toll from Sichuan Earthquake Reaches 38

As of September 2, 2008, the death toll from a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Penzhihua, Sichuan Province on August 30 rose to 38, with 589 injured. The official Xinhua news agency reported that 941,000 of the population were affected, 181,2000 were evacuated and 392,000 homes were destroyed. A 7.9- magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern province on May 12, killing 69,226 people and leaving 15 million homeless.

Source: Xinhua, September 2, 2008

Decline in Economic Growth Seen as Main Foe

Government think tanks are gathering in Beidaihe seeking solutions to contain inflation and curb the decline of economic growth, said Nanfang Daily August 22, 2008. Sources reveal that the think tanks have unanimously agreed, “Decline in the economic growth is worse than inflation.” “The government will be able to stand a 6% annual inflation rate, but if the growth reaches below 10%, bad debts of financial institutions would be appalling.”

Source: People’s Daily, August 22, 2008

Mayor of London Criticized for Lack of Manners in Olympic Closing Ceremony

An internet posting on “sports 366”, a popular sports forum site, criticized Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, for his rude behavior and lack of manners during the Olympic closing ceremony. The posting accused him of wearing an unbuttoned jacket, showing sloppy body language with his right hand in his pocket when coming to the podium, handing over the Olympic flag with one hand, and having an arrogant attitude in terms of not shaking hands leaders from Beijing on the stage and shaking hands late with Beijing’s mayor.

Source: Sports366, August 25, 2008

Chinese Commodity Prices Increased by 9.4% in July

People’s Bank of China announced that July’s commodity price rose 9.4 % compared to July 2007.  Agricultural produce prices increased by 6.8%.  Mineral products and thermo electricity prices went up by 18.3% and 26.7% respectively.
Source: Xinhua, August 20, 2008

Party Leaders Worry about Chinese Economy

The State People’s Daily published editorials three days in a row from August 13 to 15 discussing how to ensure the speedy and healthy development of the economy this year. Analysts observe that this is unusual particularly during the Olympics, the most important political campaign since 1949. The move highlights Communist leaders’ worries of the grave economic situation.

People’s Daily, August 13, 2008
People’s Daily, August 14, 2008
People’s Daily, August 15, 2008

Study Times: Olympics Has Little Bearing on China’s Economy

Study Times, a publication of the Party School of The Communist Party of China, commented on the ramifications of the Beijing Olympics on the economy on August 11. According to Study Times, the Chinese economy started a cyclical adjustment in 2008. The preparation and holding of the Beijing Olympics will not likely make any major direct contribution to economic growth. Neither will the end of the Olympics impact negatively the fundamentals of the economic development and the growth potentials of the economy.

Source: Study Times, August 11, 2008