Friday, 21 August 2015

Dead fish 死鱼

The disaster in Tianjin was of course, like so many others, a "disaster waiting to happen". Yes, a tragic cliché. I respond viscerally to incidents like this because as an infant I suffered permanent damage to my lungs living in Huddersfield, an industrial city in Northern England where the air used to be filled with fumes from the ICI sulphuric acid plant and many other polluting facilities. (ICI later moved to Scotland and has tried to move to Xiamen.) I then, unaware of its nickname, "The Smoke" or "The Big Smoke", moved to London, but moved out just before the big smog that killed thousands in just a few days.

And I remember Minamata Disease, Lucky Dragon III, Chernobyl, Bhopal and many more around the world. So it's not just China. But it is China now. The rest of us have learned something from these dreadful experiences. The London smog disaster was followed by the Clean Air Act that very quickly rendered "A Foggy Day in London Town" just a folk memory.

Friday, 5 June 2015

No standard blueprint for democracy

This article by Ken Davies appeared in China Daily, Hong Kong Edition on 21 May 2015:
On June 19 this year the world will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta on the banks of the River Thames in England. What has this to do with constitutional development in Hong Kong?

Friday, 20 March 2015

OECD Economic Survey of China now out

20/03/2015 - After three decades of extraordinary economic development, China is shifting to a slower and more sustainable growth path. Further reforms are now needed to ensure that future growth is resilient, inclusive and green, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of China. The OECD forecasts that China’s GDP will grow by 7% this year and 6.9% in 2016.
“Following one of the most tremendous economic expansions in world history, China’s gradual transition
 towards a ‘new normal’ of slower, more sustainable growth is to be welcomed” 
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said. “China knows how to grow at a blistering pace. 
The challenge now is to ensure that future growth occurs on a more durable and inclusive footing.”

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ken Davies' article on China's new investment rules (Nikkei Asian Review)

February 20, 2015 7:00 pm JST
Ken Davies

China's new investment rules: A step forward, but more is needed

The Chinese authorities are at long last starting to simplify the law on foreign investment in line with recommendations from trading partners and international organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. While this is a step forward, it does not yet provide a completely open and nondiscriminatory environment for foreign investors.
     The Ministry of Commerce, in charge of framing and implementing policies on both inward and outward investments, published a draft Foreign Investment Law on Jan. 19. This followed over a year of public consultation and there was a short window of opportunity -- until Feb. 17 -- for comments to be submitted before the law is finalized.