Trump’s personal politics, China’s LGBT victory and other stories you may have missed
A recap of some China stories that may have gone under the radar
What’s the story: US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner appear now to be America’s best hope to repair relations with China after Washington’s recent raft of decisions put Sino-US ties under new strain. But their efforts could backfire. Old China hands lay out the risks.
Why it matters: Analysts expect personal politics to trump traditional Washington structures in dealings with Beijing under the current US president. The approach, while not new to China, could spell disaster this time, experts say, and their consequences will send ripples around the world.
What’s the story: As China’s millions of fresh college graduates jostle to start their careers in the big cities, the smaller ones are throwing out generous amounts of cash, subsidies and other attractive perks to recruit the country’s best and brightest. But is money everything? Graduates tell us what really matters to them.
Why it matters: China saw almost 8 million young people graduate from college this summer – that’s bigger than the size of Hong Kong’s population. Whether the second-tier cities manage to attract a sizable number of young, educated people will have implications on their economy. The graduates’ responses also shed light on the mindsets of China’s young millennials today.
What’s the story: Foreign credit ratings firms like Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch could soon be allowed to rate China’s onshore bonds, a top central bank official revealed this week. Until now, ratings of the nation’s onshore bond market – the world’s third biggest – have been dominated by domestic firms, which have often been generous in their assessments. But China hasn’t had good experiences dealing with such foreign ratings agencies in the past.
Why it matters: Under the new regime, foreign players would be able to do business directly. The move would promote deeper and more balanced assessments of the risks of Chinese corporate bonds. But there are also other implications.
What’s the story: A gay Chinese man won a legal battle against a mental hospital for forcing him to undergo “conversion therapy”, in what LGBT activists hailed as China’s first such victory. The man, 38, had been sent to the hospital by his wife and relatives after he tried to get a divorce. The court in Henan province ordered the hospital to publicly apologise to the man and compensate him 5,000 yuan.
Why it matters: The victory is major for China’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights movement, which is only now slowly emerging from the fringes. China has some 70 million LGBT people but only 4 per cent have dared step out of the closet, according to a survey last year.
What’s the story: A Chinese driver knocks down an elderly man on the road. She and her friends put him on their motorised tricycle and drive him several kilometres away from the accident scene before dumping him in a village where he succumbs to his injuries and dies.
Why it matters: The incident is the latest in a long string of cases in China where victims of traffic accidents die after failing to receive the medical help they require.