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China’s Toy Exports Grew In 2007

China’s toy exports totaled US$ 7 billion from January to October of 2007, a 20.1 percent increase from the year before. The official statistics showed that following the large scale of toy recall, toy exports were down 6.2 percent in September. The number then rebounded back to 21 percent, consistent with the growth in the first ten months. The European Union and the US are two of the largest markets and account for 67.6 percent of toy exports. It has been predicted that the increasing cost, operation model and reduced export taxes may affect future toy exports. China remains the world’s largest toy export country.

Source: BBC Chinese.com January 6, 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7170000/newsid_7173600/7173685.stm

Consumer Price Increase Burdens Low Income Families

On January 3, Social Sciences Academic published the “Blue book of Chinese Society.” It stated that with China’s GDP growing over 10 percent in 2007, mid to low income families are facing increasing financial pressure. The consumer price increase will continue to be a serious factor in 2008. The Blue Book disclosed that 10 percent of the low income group spent close to 50 percent of their income on food consumption, in addition to the rising cost of living and medical expenses. This group is thus the least capable of surviving. The report also warned that the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor continues to be a threat to social stability.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 4, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/01/04/income/

China Interim Government Established Anticipating Communist Fall

On January 1, 2008, a group of democratic activists outside China founded the China Interim Government. The founding document, the Declaration of the China Interim Government, states that the goal of this interim government is to serve as a catalyst for the disintegration of Communist rule in China.

”All political objectives of the China Interim Government can be summarized as follows: dispel Marxist-Leninist ideals; reconstruct China; negate tyranny and establish civil rights; adopt the rule of law; protect human rights, freedom and democracy; create a constitutional government; respect the autonomy of ethnicities; and found a federal republic.”

On December 1, 2007, Future China Forum released a public statement on the preparation for the establishment of the China Interim Government.

Source: Future China Forum, January 1, 2008 http://bbs.futurechinaforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=29497&sid=73748aa720c75e153b77efa287598eac

New Labor Law Took Effect January 1; Enforcement is the Key

A new labor law, intended to improve the rights of Chinese workers, took effect on January 1, 2008. The law, which includes measures that set standards for wages, mandatory contracts and severance pay, aims to improve protection for employees’ legal rights, and toughen the punishment for government officials who abuse their office.

The real question is whether the new laws will be enforced, how they will be enforced, and against whom they will be enforced.

Source: People’s Daily, December 29/2007 Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2007
http://www.chinalawblog.com/2007/07/chinas_new_labor_law_enforceme_1.html

Forty Percent of Chinese Use Mobile Phones

The Ministry of Information Industry of the People’s Republic of China reported that there were over 539 million mobile phone users in China in November 2007, an increase of 78 million compared with the number of subscribers in 2006. The reform of mobile phone roaming tariffs was part of the reason for the rapid increase.

Guangdong province took the lead with 77 million cell phone subscribers while Tibet has only 765,000 subscribers. According to People’s Daily, the number of text messages sent over cell phones exceeded 535 billion in November 2007.

Source: Ministry of Information Industry Website, January 3, 2008/People’s Daily, December 25, 2007
http://www.mii.gov.cn/art/2008/01/03/art_2001_35674.html

Unwelcome Guests: Military Bombers Fly over Japanese Gas Field

According to Asahi Shimbun, on September 11 and 12, 2007, Chinese military bombers flew over a gas field in the East China Sea more than forty times. Japan‘s Self-Defense Forces’ F4 fighters scrambled to respond. At times, Chinese bombers and Japanese F4 fighters were only 5 kilometers apart. The encounters were confirmed by Taiwan‘s military sources and by the Japanese government. The gas field is Chunxiao gas field, which Japan has named ”Shirakaba,” or white birch.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, December 31, 2007
http://www.asahi.com/world/china/news/TKY200712300153.html

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