A report on the all-round reform from the 3rd Plenum

The King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Visits China
The cranes are flying

I finally tracked down a release of documents detailing the sixty points of reform from the 3rd Plenum just concluded in China. Aside from wanting to read through it and form my own opinions – I’d like to make it available for any of my readers.

What I am posting here is linked to an 8-page summary from the online edition of the China Daily. I’ll put up a couple of categories just to note the breadth of the document. I’m confident what I’m looking for is online already – Here is a brief note from China’s president Xi Jinping, as well. Google hasn’t been much of a help, frankly.

Much has come from the third plenum regarding the management of State-owned assets, particularly State-owned enterprises. The reforms are not going to wipe SOEs out of existence, however.

The communique said China’s basic economic system is one that depends on public ownership as its main body but allows for the prosperity of various ownerships. Both public and nonpublic ownerships are important components, it said…

China must accelerate construction of a new agricultural management system and give farmers more proprietary rights, to realize the equal exchange of production factors, achieve a fair allocation of public resources between urban and rural areas, and promote healthy urbanization, the communique said…

This milestone will bring concrete benefits to farmers, lay a foundation for modern agriculture, and pressure local governments to end their reliance on land transfers for large profits…

Guo Jianguang, a professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said the market, rather than the government, is likely to play a more important role in deciding China’s exchange and interest rates. As an effective measure to control the macroeconomy, the exchange and interest rates have long been tightly regulated, he said…

The communique points out that to better adjust to the new realities of economic globalization, China must accelerate the pace of opening-up, both internally and in terms of the outside world. The country will lower the thresholds for investment, accelerate the construction of free trade zones, and boost opening-up in inland and coastal areas…

The communique said China will strive to make social welfare fairer and more sustainable. Reform of social affairs is vital to guarantee all citizens enjoy the fruits of China’s development, it said.

Guan Xinping, director of the department of social work and social policy at Nankai University, said China has almost met the goal of universal social welfare coverage for its urban and rural populations, but a great disparity still exists among different professions and regions…

Regardless of personal and political ideology, the proposed structural changes in China will affect the world economy. Primary source information is always useful. There will be no shortage of analysts and pundits.

Strangest Creatures on the Planet

Nature can produce some incredibly complex creatures. These creatures can defy the human imagination and are often unique to the species of animals that we know of today. While not all of these may be big and scary, we are going to talk about the top 10 fantastically strange animals in the world.

Most of us have heard of the octopus, but how many of us have heard of the “Blanket Octopus”? This sea-based creature is awkward to say the least and contains three hearts, a parrot-like beak, and venomous saliva. It also has the ability to change color on a whim so that it can adapt to its surroundings. A lot of people refer to their tentacles as “intelligent arms” as they don’t necessarily need the brain to perform specific actions like catching prey. All in all, this is a very strange animal that is rarely seen and resides in the depths of the ocean.

The blanket octopus is #9 on this list – and a personal favorite. Click the link above and wander through one editor’s choices.

Chinese official offers glimpse of discussion on human rights

China still has “a long way to go” before its citizens can enjoy full human rights, a senior Chinese official said in a rare admission of the challenges ahead, pointing to social conflict and even rising house prices as stumbling blocks.

Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, said in a speech published in the English-language China Daily Wednesday that while China had made remarkable developments on this front, the way forward would be hard.

“Affected and restricted by natural, historical and cultural factors, and economic and social development levels, the cause of human rights in China is still facing many difficulties and challenges, and there is still a long way to go before achieving the lofty goal of the Chinese citizens fully enjoying human rights,” Wang said.

Our national development remains significantly unbalanced and uncoordinated because of … wide gaps in income distribution, increasing pressures on prices, soaring housing prices in some cities, food safety problems, insufficient and unevenly distributed educational and medical resources, unbalanced urban and rural development, and increasing social conflicts caused by illegal land requisitioning,” he said.

China has long rejected criticism of its human rights’ record, saying providing food, clothing, housing and economic growth are far more relevant for developing countries like it, pointing to success at lifting millions out of poverty…

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China Daily launches U.S. edition at NASDAQ in New York

China Daily, China’s national English-language newspaper, had Deputy Editor-in-Chief Qu Yingpu ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ Stock Market at 9:30 a.m. EST on Feb 23rd to mark the launch of China Daily’s U.S. edition. The event marks another milestone for China Daily, which is leading the way for Chinese media companies to expand their networks in North America and provide dedicated services to this key market. While on her first trip to Beijing as top diplomat, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also congratulated China Daily on launching the U.S. edition.

Joining Qu at the podium was David Wicks, vice president of NASDAQ OMX.

“The US Edition is focused on meeting ever-increasing demand for information on doing business with China,” says Qu. “NASDAQ’s community of technology, business and finance is the perfect place to celebrate this launch.”

Targeted at North American businesses and observers of China’s changing economic, cultural and political landscape, the U.S. Edition will feature reports of local events related to China in the U.S. It will also have analysis and opinions from American and Chinese thinkers and business leaders, and personal profiles of noted contributors to China and America’s growing understanding of each other.

That’s mostly PR speak – and translated from Chinese thought to Wall Street-ish, as well. Still, China Daily is a useful, accurate, journalistic source.