Top Story – Economy in Communist China continues to slow: The cadres’ official growth figures for domestic economy were at 7% for the second quarter (April-June), which may sound great except for two things – population growth that is typically at or over that figure, and the cadres’ penchant for fudging economic numbers, which likely means the actual figure could be below 6%, or even below 5% (Washington Post).
Many analysts suspect Chinese government statistics — and its GDP figures in particular — are manipulated or manufactured to suit the government’s needs.
‘Last year the economy officially grew at 7.8 percent, but the consensus is that it was probably closer to 5.5 percent, and even that probably overstates it,’ said Michael Pettis, a Peking University finance professor.
As one would expect, the Chinese Communist regime is trying to claim that it’s all just part of the great transition plan, but the Post isn’t buying it:
The overarching goal, according to key leaders such as Prime Minister Li Keqiang, is to transform China from the world’s factory, dependent on exports and investment, into a more balanced economy driven by domestic consumption.
Doing that, however, will require significant political control and stamina. The leaders will need to reform a current system that is lucratively beneficial to political elites who control China’s massive state-owned enterprises.
I don’t see that going well, either.
Meanwhile, ordinary Chinese continue to be the victims of the cadres’ corruption and incompetence (Epoch Times).
Guangdong nuclear protest may be a sign of greater organization outside the CCP: While the two Epoch Times stories – one on a protest against a nuclear power plant in Jiangmen, the other regarding the proliferation of unregistered grass-roots organizations – seem unrelated, it could very well be that the former is driven in no small part by the latter.
Xi Jinping putting allies into the Party structure: The new Communist Party boss is trying to get control of local regimes with loyal cadres in “a range of key local positions” (Epoch Times). Of further note is that Xi is relying on the stomping grounds of Hu Jintao, the fellow he muscled out last fall.
Obama commits to US to supporting Taiwan in international organizations: The president signed HR 1151, which “commits Washington to full support of Taiwan’s membership of organizations where statehood is not a requirement” (Taipei Times). The Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan’s anti-Communist opposition party, and a favorite of yours truly) expressed its gratitude to the paper – and will do the same to the president this week.
Other Taiwan News: Attempts by the Taiwanese government to save money on pension reform were wiped out due to “a net increase of about 12,000 civil servants in the past two years” (Taipei Times).