Archive for December 15th, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wen Jiabao in India: Proposals for Business Cooperation

Chinese chief state councillor Wen Jiabao made a four-point proposal for expanding Indian-Sino relations, during a Business Cooperaton Summit (中印商务合作峰会) in New Delhi on Wednesday, China News Net (中国新闻网) reports – republished here.

1. Making full use of (potential) trade opportunities. As feasibility studies on regional trade between the two countries had been completed, negotiations should start as soon as possible. China attaches importance to balanced trade and is willing to gradually provide easier conditions for Indian information technology, pharmaceutical and agricultural products to enter Chinese markets. Disputes should be settled by consultations, and protectionism be opposed.


2. Efforts should be made for improved investment environments. The businesses of both countries had rather high expectations on mutual investment, and the governments of China and India should provide judicious guidance, conscientiously imlement investment promotion and protection agreements already signed, ease approval procedures, capital flows, border-crossing procedures and other constraints, and create still easier conditions.


3. Bilateral cooperation should be expanded. Trade and economic cooperation shouldn’t be limited to trade, linvestment, building of infrastructure, but be expanded towards the fields of finance, tourism, energy, environmental protection etc. Both sides’ inancial industries should be encouraged to strengthen their business links, and the banks of both sides to establish branch offices in the respective other country.


4. The business communities were encouraged to strengthen exchanges. Industry and commerce should establish forums for CEOs to develop entrepreneurs’ knowledge and influence, and to offer advice for the promotion of trade relations between the two countries. Trade associations should develop intermediary and bridging effects, assist companies in tapping the markets of the other country respectively, actively propagandize the fruits of the to countries’ trade and economic cooperation, remove misunderstandings, increase trust and dispel suspicion.


The two countries had a wide range of common interests in the international trade system, they were in similar stages of development, identical or similar positions concerning climate change, the Doha negotiations, and the reform of the international financial system, and other trade and economic issues. They should strengthen their c0mmunication and cooperation, to make the world listen more closely to the voices of developing countries, which would help to maintain their common interests, China News Net quotes Wen Jiabao.


“Provide Guidance to the Public”, Deccan Herald, December 13, 2010
“Hawkish Groups in New Delhi Getting above Themselves”, Nov 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eastday: Behind the Bund

The Bund’s magnificient old buildings attract many tourists, but what many people don’t know is the small lane next to No. 13, the Industrial and Commercial Bank. You turn left into a small lane and you will get a different impression. There are cracks in the building structure, a mix of bricks and concrete, which are displaying cracks. 73 households are spending their days in fear,

an Eastday (Shanghai) reporter – republished by Enorth (Tianjin) – describes a building in East-2 Zhongshan Road. It’s an “A”-shaped, four-storey building, built in 1910. At first, it belonged to the port authority and was also known as 港四大楼 (gǎng sì dàlóu). It is now run by the Shanghai Duanzheng Property company (上海端正物业有限公司). The youngest inhabitant has just celebrated man yue; and the oldest is an 85 year-old lady.

First problems had emerged in 2004, and the state of the building had recently deteriorated further and more seriously, Eastday quotes the residents’ representative. An old resident told Eastday that all she can do is to use letter envelopes to obturate the cracks in the walls.

The Eastday reporter adds some of his own observations, concerning immediate risks in the building structure and safety equipment.

The Duanzheng company was apparently established in 2003, and is a subsidiary of a larger property company. Originally, it had been state-run, but has been privatized (民营化转制, mínyíng huà zhuǎnzhì) since. The company profile says that a considerable part of the 2.5 million square meters of living space it is operating belong to rather old buildings, which involves the need for a lot of maintenance, and efforts to build a harmonious society (为构建和谐社会尽了努力).

One of the letters, apparently of a reply by the company to a letter by the residents, acknowledges the need for maintenance work (see fourth photograph).

Property developers aren’t facing a very friendly press these days. Generally, the underlying structures for such “contradictions” lies in the way new property is developed. But given that the Eastday article refers to an area at the center of one of China’s biggest cities which has long been residential – and probably mostly inhabited by people who had long been used to state-supplied housing, at moderate rents and correspondingly moderate service levels, this doesn’t look like a typical housing problem.


提心吊胆, tí xīn diào dǎn, to be scared / to be in constant fear
心, xīn, heart
胆, dǎn, gallbladder (also: courage)
吊, diào, to hang, to mourn
– a feeling also referred to as 吊胆提心.


Shanghai reopens Bund after £280m restoration, The Telegraph, March 26, 2010

Update / Related
First Snow of Winter expected, Shanghaiist, December 14

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