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China Will Be Old before It Becomes Rich

Economic Information, a publication under Xinhua News Agency, published an article on September 16, 2011, titled “Before China Gets Rich, It Will Be Overwhelmed with Old People.” Out of 23 provinces and 5 autonomous regions, 26 are considered to be aging societies, which means that senior citizens who are 65 years old or older comprise over 7% of the population.

According to China’s 6th National Population Census of 2010, 119 million people are 65 years old or over, which constitutes 8.87% of the total population of China; 177.65 million people are 60 years old or over, which is 13.26% of the total population. It is estimated that, within the next 5 years, China’s elderly population will increase to 221 million; that is, 16% of China’s population will be old people.

Source: Economic Information, September 16, 2011

Chinese Scholar: 9/11 Gave China the Opportunity for Rapid Development

On September 11, 2011, China Review News (CRN) published an article titled “After 10 Years of Struggle, the United States Has Lost the Anti-Terrorist War.” Shao Yuqun, an Afghanistan expert and deputy director of the South Asia Research Center, Shanghai Institute of International Studies, told CRN that the United States rushed into the wrong war, misjudged the nature of the enemy, ruined its international image, consumed enormous human and material resources, and still has not curbed the terrorists. To the contrary, the United States has gotten itself into “an endless war with no resolution in sight.”

According to Shao Yuqun, when President Bush took office, he viewed China as a strategic competitor and was preparing to focus fully on dealing with China. However, 9/11 diverted the United States’ attention away from China. Over the past 10 years, while the United States was busy dealing with the terrorists, China developed rapidly, increasing its power in diplomatic discourse.

Source: China Review News, September 11, 2011

China Review News: Ten Years of U.S. Counter-Terrorism Enabled China’s Speedy Rise

On September 13, 2011, China Review News published a commentary stating that the United States’ 10 years of counter-terrorism has shaken and weakened its dominant position in the world. Meanwhile, those 10 years of counter-terrorism enabled China, Russia, and other so-called “post-communist” countries to rise rapidly and join the global system.
The commentary concluded, “Those 10 years of counter-terrorism were 10 years over which the United States declined. What matters more is that, even if the United States can recover and find its lost self, the world around it will surely be quite different.”

Source: China Review News, September 13, 2011

Chinese Netizens Discuss the Relationship between Wealth and Students’ Classroom Success

Recently, an Internet posting titled “Nowadays Children from Poor Families Have Few Opportunities to Achieve Excellence” has attracted over 400,000 hits and more than 2,900 replies. A “teacher with 15 years of teaching experience” posted it. The posting said that students from rich families tend to have better grades because their parents have the money for extracurricular classes and even private tutors. Compared to 20 years ago, a student’s achievement is in inverse proportion to his family’s economic condition (Ed: Twenty years ago, China’s higher education provided a way for poor students to improve their social status.) Nowadays, studying hard is far from enough. Money produces good grades. Children from poor families lose from the start.

One reply said, “Due to the increased pressure to survive, poor people are no longer interested in a long-term investment in education.” Another reply said, “Education has been industrialized. Schools need to make money. Thus, children from wealthy families have more advantages. Many people are born into social classes.”

Source: Yangcheng Evening News, August 5, 2011

The Brand Name Chteau Lafite Rothschild at Chinese Officials’ Dinner Table

Lafite is a trademark not registered in Mainland China. Château Lafite Rothschild, a wine estate in France, produces 15,000 to 25,000 cases of wine annually, or about 200,000 bottles. China’s annual quota of Lafite wine imported from France is only 50,000 bottles. However, the annual sale of Lafite in China exceeds 3 million bottles, meaning 80 to 90 percent of Lafite sold in China is fake. In less than 10 years, the price of Lafite has risen 857%.

Over time, Lafite in China has gradually lost its original nature and now serves a social function. It is used to judge someone’s economic situation. To show off their status, people dare not to comment on Lafite. Even if they have bought fake Lafite, they silently accept it, fearing ridicule for not being able to recognize true Lafite. Lafite’s high price and the reputation of the wine of kings satisfies the proclivity of government officials, who, at a party, must drink the best wine. The rising demand has resulted in a higher price for Lafite, which, in turn, makes Lafite more popular among government officials and elite groups. “Lafite,” a symbol of status, has become the “official wine.” The taste and color are no longer important. A businessman observed, “I cannot take the risk of not providing Lafite at the dinner table.” 

Source:, August 15, 2011

Schools Use Students for Profit-making

On July 5, 2011, a Shenzhen local newspaper published a report calling public attention to the fact that some college and graduate students have become tools for making a profit. The article gives a few examples: graduate students call their advisor “boss” and spend a lot of time as cheap labor working on their advisor’s research and projects; in Xi’an, a music college forces poor female students to dance with bankers; the Nanjing Normal University forces female students to dance with government officials. Quite often, the college and university’s administrators use not issuing a diploma to force students into submission. 

A Shenzhen Security Services Company pays a monthly stipend of 1,600 yuan to each student intern, who in the end only receives 600 yuan; the Guangxi Institute of Technology, where the students are from, takes the rest. By listing these non-isolated cases, the article concludes that the relationship between the school and student has degenerated into a commercial relationship.

Source: Jing Bao, July 5, 2011

The Chaos of College Recruitment in China

On July 4, 2011, China Review News published the first in a series of articles exposing the intense fighting among China’s well-known universities for students who had the top scores on the national college entrance exams. For fame and self interest, they used many underhanded means, such as deliberately belittling their competitors, sending false messages in the name of competitors (such as admission cancellation letters) to high-scoring college candidates, and openly applying constant one on one persuasion. Some high schools and local authorities pressured high-scoring college candidates to apply to Beijing University or Tsinghua University, the top universities in China, to improve the local government’s achievement record, even though the students wanted to apply to another university.

“On the surface, each school tries hard to recruit talented students. Actually, they are fighting for fame and self interest. … It reflects the universities’ utilitarian spirit.”

Source: China Review News, July 4, 2011

China’s Red Idol Dramas Target Young Audiences

In the coming three months, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television will release 90 “red” movies and TV dramas to celebrate the Chinese Communist Party’s 90th anniversary. Unlike the old revolutionary dramas usually performed by middle-and-old-aged actors, the new shows feature young performers, born in the 1980s and 1990s. The plots, with the unchanging theme of glorifying the Party, are tailored to the taste of the younger generation. These new “innovative” products have been given a new name – “Red Idol Dramas.”

Source: Xinhua, June 1, 2011