Month: January 2012

  • Asia and the world in the State of the Union

    With a domestic economic focus expected to anchor the evening, the prepared text of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union speech (according to WSJ) is similar to last year’s in its emphasis on Asia. At least measured by the crude “word count” metric, China is mentioned five times, just over last year. Like […]

  • Minxin Pei: Why economic reform is impossible with CCP rule

    Minxin Pei, a political scientist known in part for his book China’s Trapped Transition, writes in the Financial Times that the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to maintain power are ultimately incompatible with economic reform. Pei writes: One may be tempted to blame leadership failure for the premature demise of China’s reform. While this is certainly […]

  • 'Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry' Debuts at Sundance

    Just as Ai Weiwei was detained in Beijing, Alison Klayman was working to finalize her years-in-the-making documentary on Ai’s life and his recent political outspokenness. I haven’t seen the full film, but it apparently received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend. “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” is something […]

  • Polluting in the new year!

    First, of course, happy new year to all those greeting the year of the dragon this week. I, for one, am suitably stuffed. Second, via Angel Hsu, this image depicting what is most likely a huge cloud of noxious firecracker emissions as Beijing celebrated the new year (which, being lunar, coincided with the new moon). […]

  • China reduces Iran oil buy as US and EU sanctions loom

    The United States and the European Union’s increasingly firm stance against Iran’s nuclear ambitions have, as my colleague Raymond Karam writes, potentially undermined the security of mideast oil supply. In the face of sanctions, Iran has had one relatively stable customer in China, but The Telegraph reports today that China has reduced its oil purchases […]