Guanxi for Sale
A manager of a state-owned enterprise
in Guizhou province named Lu Guiming was caught together
with prostitutes in a surprise police raid. To avoid
prosecution, he called upon his guanxi wang or "network
of connections." The police chiefs Deng and Liu from
his hometown went to the police station where Lu Guiming
was arrested, and used their relations with the police
chiefs Sun and Wang in that station to obtain the release
of Lu. As soon as Sun and Wang spoke with Deng and Liu,
because of their relations, the decision was made to
release Lu Guiming. However, in exchange for his speedy
release, Lu Guiming was required to donate rmb20,000
as a charity gift to the police station where he was
incarcerated. The excuse was that the police station
needed some physical repairs.
The following day, Lu Guiming paid an additional rmb20,000,
giving rmb10,000 each to police chiefs Sun and Wang,
explaining, "This is in honor of our new relationship."
As for his two "old friends" Deng and Liu, Lu Guiming
gave them rmb5,000 each for their "help" in introducing
him to "new friends."
Fixing to Die
In the Zhejiang province town of
Jiaowu there are many marvelous stone tombs being built
resembling great statues and towering monuments. Have
the Ming emperors made a comeback? Not quite. The local
Party Secretary Comrade Wang has become a trend-setter
in his own right. Comrade Wang was very interested in
preserving his legacy for posterity. So the party secretary
began to construct a massive mausoleum for himself.
This marvelous construction project was more than 140
square meters in diameter and more than six meters high.
The two-storey edifice was "made of the finest stone"
featuring "carvings of dragons, phoenixes and swans."
The entrance to the tomb also had "carved statutes of
lions and elephants."
Following Party Secretary Comrade Wang's model mausoleum,
many other nouveau-riche cadres have joined in this
new trend, building horrific-looking monuments and tombs
for themselves. Upon hearing about this trend journalists
went to interview Comrade Wang and investigate. During
the interview Comrade Wang was very defensive, arguing
"All of this construction is legal. I have all the planning
approvals to build this tomb. Moreover, I even bought
the land-use rights for rmb125."
Qianjiang Evening News
U.S. intelligence experts admit they
have obtained Chinese high tech secrets through international
exchanges, the China Market Economy Times reports. A
former CIA Director says "We got a lot more from visiting
Chinese scientists than they got from us." At the beginning
of the 1980s, the U.S. knew almost nothing about Chinese
nuclear weapons and guided missile development. Yet
after several hundred exchanges between Chinese and
American scientists, the U.S. was able to make up for
its ignorance in this area. This included detailed information
about the Dongfeng 31 guided missile. The Dongfeng 31
was the first Chinese solid fuel missile. The missile
was mounted on a truck and is capable of hitting targets
5000 km away in Hawaii and Alaska.
In 1996, after a failed Long March rocket launch, Chinese
scientists gave a report on the accident to the Loral
Space and Communications Co. Today that company is being
investigated for suspicion of helping China improve
its rocket technology and giving sensitive material
to the Chinese. In analyzing the report the CIA and
Pentagon stated that the accident report revealed important
information about the Long March rocket, and how the
rocket launch was monitored and controlled. The report
also provided valuable telemetry information related
to the Long March launch.
Sina.Com Secures US$60 Million
Chinese Internet portal Sina.com
says it has secured USD60 million in funding from Dell
Computer Corporation, Pacific Century CyberWorks and
other investors. Strategic investors in Sina.com's Series
C or third round financing also include Creative Technology
Ltd. and various venture funds affiliated with Softbank
Corp., Sumitomo, Trend Micro Inc. and United Overseas
Bank Ltd. of Singapore.
Separately, Sina said Softbank's chief financial officer,
Yoshitaka Kitao, has joined the Chinese portal company's
board of directors. Sina.com president and chief executive
Wang Zhidong says he is "delighted" to have attracted
leading companies in several strategic industries as
"The proceeds from the Series C funding will support
activities that further our mission to provide the highest
quality Internet content and services to Chinese language
users globally," Wang says. In a June survey by the
China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), which
provides Internet statistics in China, Sina.com was
ranked as the most popular site on the Chinese mainland.
Rival China.com was ranked 39th in the same survey.
"Dell believes in solutions that improve the customer
experience, and Sina. com is making great strides in
this area with technology that localizes and simplifies
the Internet experience for Chinese computer users,"
Dell president David Chan says in a statement.
Let's Make a Deal
Sporadic negotiations with China
over a major market-opening trade agreement suddenly
are under way again, and supporters in Congress say
a deal appears to be close.
President Clinton ordered a high-level negotiating team
to head to Beijing for two days of talks this week to
try and reach a deal clearing the way for China to become
a member of the World Trade Organization. U.S. Trade
Representative Charlene Barshefsky and Gene Sperling,
the president's chief economic adviser, are heading
a U.S. delegation that also includes officials from
the departments of Treasury, State and Commerce. The
team met with Chinese officials Wednesday and Thursday.
"Ambassador Barshefsky and Mr. Sperling have gone over
there to work on it, and we are doing our best," the
president told reporters at the White House. The fact
that Clinton is sending a high-level delegation to Beijing
with little notice raises hopes of supporters in Congress
for a market-opening agreement long sought by U.S. manufacturers
and farmers, who currently face high barriers trying
to export to China.
"This is spectacular news," says House Rules Committee
Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif. "I can only surmise
that for both Gene Sperling and Charlene Barshefsky
to quickly go to China, there is a good offer on the
China must reach market opening agreements with the
United States and other major countries to gain membership
in the 134-nation WTO, which sets the rules of trade
worldwide. It hopes to achieve that goal before a new
round of global trade talks are launched in Seattle
Nov. 30-Dec. 3.
Greg Mastel, director of the global economic project
at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank,
says a trade deal is "the administration's most important
priority with China right now, given that there are
few other signs that the administration's engagement
policy is working."
Clinton was heavily criticized for failing to get an
agreement when Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Washington
last April. Zhu made a market-opening offer that many
U.S. corporations and farm groups viewed as a sizable
dismantling of Chinese trade barriers they have long
complained about. However, steel and textile industries
said the pact did not go far enough. Sen. Max Baucus
of Montana, top Democrat on the Senate Finance trade
subcommittee, says he believes any new agreement will
stick very closely to the April proposal.
"It will be substantially the April offer, and I think
Congress will pass it next year," Baucus says.
The Clinton administration made Zhu's April package
public in hopes of building support for a deal in the
U.S., but the move backfired when it triggered heavy
criticism in China from forces opposing Zhu's aggressive
economic reform program.
Then talks were suspended by the Chinese for five months
to protest NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in
Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin agreed to
restart the WTO talks in September, but the two sides
have so far been sparring about whether all China's
April offer remains on the table. Chinese negotiators
have been seeking to scale back some of them, which
the administration considers unacceptable. Congress
must approve any market opening offers made by the Chinese
in a bid for WTO membership because it would have to
vote to end the current requirement that tariffs on
Chinese imports to the United States are subject to
annual review by Congress. The WTO requires its members
to grant other members permanently low tariffs that
are not subject to review.
The annual debate on China's trade status has been used
by opponents in Congress to attack China for its record
on such issues as human rights, Taiwan and allegations
of nuclear espionage.