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The public debate in Guangdong over how or whether to take the first step toward requiring officials publicly declare personal assets has lasted now for a week and, judging from the online backlash arising from this Nanfang Daily report of a meeting of Guangdong NPC delegates held yesterday, is finally making some headway.
"Officials are civil servants," said delegate Ye Pengzhi at yesterday's meeting in Guangzhou, "not slaves to the people."
The Communist Party already has plenty of ways to monitor officials, Ye argues, so declaring assets internally should suffice rather than making them public.
Using the same reasoning others have over the past few days why details of officials' assets should be kept private, Ye says once that bridge is crossed things are likely to spin out of control, adding the issue is being used as a guise for those pushing a "populist" agenda in the name of public opinion.
"Officials need privacy in the same way that sick people get privacy in medical records when they seek treatment...Is there even a legal basis in requiring officials publicly declare their assets?," he asks.
However, in an apparent last-ditch effort to reach a compromise, Ye suggested a lottery approach - similar to the way Beijing issues licence plates to its drivers - in which officials would be required to declare their assets publicly only if their name is drawn "randomly", and that quote of course made the perfect headline for all today's coverage of the closely-watched meeting.
-- Chinese media expands Africa presence Fresh evidence of China's growing media footprint in Africa rolled off printing presses for the first time in Kenya last month. Hitting news stands in Nairobi alongside the established likes of Daily Nation and the Standard was an African edition of China's biggest English-language newspaper.
-- Hillary Clinton on China and the Rest of the World We’ve had a couple of companies that were going to be in effect written out of the Chinese market by regulations, and I raised those at the highest levels of the Chinese government when I was there in May. And said, this really matters to us. And they began to, you know, change.
-- China central to Australia's new national security plan Australian Ambassador to China Frances Adamson said the strategy "recognizes China as an important regional and global player, and reiterates that Australia wishes to continue to build a comprehensive, constructive and cooperative relationship with China.
-- Greater yuan usage urged in China-Middle East transactions According to the authority, Chinese exports to the Middle East countries jumped to $47 billion in 2011 from $18 billion in 2006; while its imports from the Middle East nations soared to $87 billion from $27 billion in 2006.
-- China's Li Na to face defending champion in Australian Open final The 30-year old broke Sharapova's serve three times in the opening set and twice in the second to book her place in Saturday's final in Melbourne.
Seeing Red in China
-- Accounting Firms’ Gold Rush Puts US Credibility on the Line, by He Qinglian The SEC was supposed to make a decision at the end of the December, including the possibility of delisting all Chinese companies in the US exchange. But the “deadline” has long passed and we haven’t heard the outcome of the suit.
-- Investment from China supports jobs in America: U.S. trade group The U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) said in a report titled "China and the U.S. Economy: Advancing a Winning Trade Agenda" that Chinese investment is a crucial part of the U.S. economy, but now it is low compared with investments from other foreign companies.
-- Fewer Chinese overseas students staying abroad The survey, conducted by a research team with Tianjin-based Nankai University, polled 1,872 undergraduate students in 11 universities in Beijing and Tianjin. All respondents, majoring in 41 disciplines, are planning to pursue further studies in foreign countries.
-- One of China's Early AIDS Heroes Hounded into Hiding Identity After a glamorous time on TV and giving speeches, Dawei looked forward to helping people have a better understanding of what it means to be a gay man and HIV carrier. He thought he would make a lot of friends and that he would be famous. That didn't happen.
-- The Transparent Translator: Cindy Carter on “Dream of Ding Village” I don’t translate fiction by Yan Lianke, or poetry by Yu Jian, or films by Wang Bing, or projects by Ai Weiwei because their work is controversial, but because it is timeless: decades from now, we will still be reading their books, watching their films, viewing their art, and exploring new facets of what they created in this “here and now” (此时此地).
-- Calling China: How Mobile Startup Jolla Will Sell An Android Alternative So why would a handful of ex-Nokia engineers decide to get into the murderous smartphone business, taking on Google‘s Android platform, Apple and Samsung? Answer: China.
-- Why does shortcut mentality prevail in China? It is not a cultural transmission to be proud of. Instead, Chinese people's lack of rule consciousness and the mentality of taking a shortcut are worrying.
-- Dixia FM Tracks: Andy Best Dixia FM is Shanghai's first night dedicating to hanging out and listening to tracks from China's underground. It's happening at Inferno (where else?) on 30th January.