Analysis: Hong Kong is Less Competitive, Thanks to the Heavy Hand of China

 and  write: For the first time in a decade, Hong Kong no longer tops the list of competitive cities in China, and its due to the stifling hand of the Chinese regime, commentators note.

 “On the surface, Hong Kong’s economy is in the hands of the mainlanders.”

— Canada-based political commentator Meng Tianyu

According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ recently released Blue Book on Urban Competitiveness—a survey of 294 China cities, Taiwan included—Hong Kong now ranks number two, falling behind its neighbor just across the border in mainland China, the metropolis Shenzhen.

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“If this situation continues and Hong Kong loses its judicial advantages, its financial and information center position would inevitably disappear. Hong Kong, the well-known Pearl of the Orient, would be gone.”

Epoch Times Hong Kong branch president Ms. Guo Jun

The survey report claims Shenzhen topped Hong Kong, a bustling international financial hub and former British colony, because the mainland city better backed innovation—in 2014, Shenzhen government spent 4.05 percent of its gross domestic production supporting its innovation and technology sector compared to Hong Kong’s 0.73 percent.

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The report also said Hong Kong’s standing was affected by last year’s student-led Occupy protests. From the end of September to mid December, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers held three areas of the city to protest a restrictive Beijing diktat on political reform in Hong Kong.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ ranking is suspect, writes Canada-based political commentator Meng Tianyu in her regular column for the Chinese-language Epoch Times. But Meng says Hong Kong has been slipping as a competitive place to do business since 1997—the year the Chinese regime assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong from the British.

Economically, Hongkongers have been overtaken by mainlanders, Meng says, citing the increased Chinese shares in Hong Kong’s real estate, finances, power, construction and stock market. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Chinese Police Discover 51 Migrants Packed Into Six-Seater Van 在移民面包车

If you thought your commute to work was bad, spare a thought for these Chinese construction workers.

The migrants were on their way to a building site in Guiyang, Guizhou province, on Sunday when a police officer spotted their slow-moving vehicle swaying in the traffic.

Standing room only: 49 people found packed into the back of a minibus along with the driver and one lucky seated passenger

Upon closer inspection, he was astonished to find dozens of people crammed into the back of the six-seater minibus. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] This Road in China Got Covered in Almost 15,000 Pounds of Live Catfish

Thousands Of Kilograms Of Catfish Scatter In Kaili

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We’re back with more catfish! I discovered and posted a link to small item about this here, yesterday, but was disappointed to not find any additional reporting on it, but most of all, disappointed to find no photos. Thankfully, images are coming in. A story about a gigantic catfish-in-the-streets catastrophe is obviously a lot less fun without pictures.

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images

When the door of a delivery truck in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou swung open, 15,000 lb. of catfish came spilling out, covering the road in a flopping, scaly mess.

Remarkably, with the help of community members and the local fire department, a two-hour rescue effort was undertaken and the shipment was not wasted, according to the Shanghaiist. Their task was arduous but simple — workers basically sprayed the fish with water to keep them alive while others picked them up and returned them to the truck…(read more)

TIME  –  Shanghaiist

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images


Medicated in Hotpot Paradise: Restaurants in China Serving Food Enriched with Opium

"I just got back from China, and I'm so high, I have no idea where I am. What parking lot is this? Is this Boston? San Francisco? Hong Kong?

“I just got back from China, and I’m SO high…I have no idea where I am. What parking lot is this?”

“Hotpot, noodles and lobsters are the most common dishes to get this treatment…215 restaurants in Guizhou province were shut down for spiking their food with opiates.”

For China Real Time, Richard Silk reports: Chinese consumers are used to food safety scandals, from toxic heavy metals in their rice to cooking oil scraped up from the gutter. After those outrages, they might be grateful for some good old-fashioned painkillers in their soup.

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“Last month a noodle shop owner in Shaanxi province admitted dosing his dishes with poppy buds after a customer tested positive on a drug test.”

The website of Xinhua, the Chinese government’s official information agency, reported Thursday that restaurants around the country are routinely spiking their dishes with poppy shells, which contain opiates like morphine and codeine, to keep customers coming back.

Hotpot, noodles and lobsters are the most common dishes to get this treatment, Xinhua said. The tactic isn’t new – 215 restaurants in Guizhou province were shut down for spiking their food with opiates way back in 2004 – but has been receiving increasing media coverage as multiple incidents have come to light. Read the rest of this entry »


China-Style Obamacare for One Billion People

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At Bloomberg, Natasha Khan and Daryl Loo describe China’s $180 billion push to extend basic health coverage from 80 to 800 million rural residents:

wholefamonbikeToddler Wang Xiaobu was struck down in July by a motorcycle outside her home amid the rice terraces of Languan, a village deep in the mountains of the poorest part of Guizhou, China’s poorest province.

The 3-year-old was rushed by her parents past chicken coops and duck pens to the village clinic, a home doubling as a bare-bones dispensary. Xiaobu’s bloodied head was bandaged by an attendant who lacked the skills and equipment to stitch her wound or check for internal bleeding.

Four years ago, the story would probably have ended there, with Xiaobu’s parents – unable to afford even to fix their broken mobile phone – taking her home to recover or die. Instead, the biggest health-care overhaul in history meant government subsidies would now cover almost half their daughter’s medical bills, so they bundled Xiaobu into a borrowed van and raced 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the city hospital. Read the rest of this entry »