The China Dream is in trouble according to a recent report by The Mirror. The investigative report, published on February 7, said the number of impoverished counties in China rose from 331 in 1985 to 592 in 2012.
This purported slide into poverty runs contrary to three decades of explosive economic growth and seriously clashes with the government’s official reporting of 98.9 million people in poverty nationwide.
But rather than unmasking a hidden class of impoverished citizens...
A jet-black Audi A6 with government plates rolls down the streets of Beijing and stops at a school, mall or restaurant. Out steps a teenage girl, backpack in tow, who surely can't be a government official -- but just might be the daughter of one. Secretly, every pedestrian scoffs and/or hisses.
If last November’s Communist Party announcement about the procurement and use of government cars actually pans out -- eliminating all but a select number (取消一般公车) -- familiar scenes like these may no longer dominate urban landscapes.
It took a manager in a Chinese state-owned enterprise asking me to help double-team his mistress in a Shanghai hotel for me to realize why The Wolf of Wall Street was my favorite film of 2013.
Predictably, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is now blocked in China. Unfortunately for the Chinese Communist Party, this story just isn’t going away.
1. Between $1 trillion and $4 trillion in untraced assets have left the country since 2000.
2. It's kind of our fault.
As reported last month, former security chief Zhou Yongkang, now retired, has been the target of high-level corruption probes since at least late August. "How far and high is [Xi Jinping] willing to go to clean up China’s political elite?" the New York Times's Chris Buckley asked in a September 25 article.
Now we kind of know. The South China Morning Post reported today, citing unnamed sources, that Xi Jinping is overseeing a "special unit" to investigate Zhou, "bypassing the Communist Party's internal disciplinary apparatus."
Yang Dacai, dubbed the "smiling official" after he was pictured grinning ear-to-ear at the scene of a horrific traffic accident last August, has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for accepting bribes. He smiled. As Wall Street Journal notes, he looked "oddly beatific."
If you listen really carefully, you can hear the world smallest violin playing for all the corrupt officials in the People’s Republic – the campaign against corruption and wasteful spending means they’re no longer allowed to splash out on 8,888 yuan on bottles of fine tiger penis wine or whatever they drink. However, there’s always... Read more »