» Some critics of the deal: Is China ignoring the danger of human rights abuses and corruption by making these investments? That’s one critical line of thinking about China’s deal to give the continent a leg up. But Chinese leader Hu Jintao isn’t selling that line of thinking, pointing out the potential to improve education, the labor force, safety and the environment in the region. South Africa’s Jacob Zuma is thankful for the investment, meanwhile, if a little wary. ”We are particularly pleased that, in our relationship with China, we are equals,” he said at the conference. “But Africa’s past economic experience with Europe dictates a need to be cautious when entering into partnerships with other countries.”
While we recognize Hong Kong’s achievements 15 years after the handover, we must also be conscious of the deep disagreements and problems in Hong Kong society.Chinese President Hu Jintao • Speaking on Sunday regarding the swearing-in of Leung Chun-ying to a five-year term as Hong Kong’s leader. The administrative region, which was handed over to China in 1997, has seen deep divides of late, and annual mass protests, numbering 100,000, broke out after the speech. The country is significantly more democratized than the mainland, but not entirely — but the region is pushing for full democracy. The British government handed ownership of Hong Kong over to China 15 years ago today.
» Two separate incidents in Tibet on Monday: The self-immolation incidents quickly raised tensions near the Buddhist temple in Lhasa, leading many to believe that the tide is turning against Chinese rule in the region. ”For the Chinese authorities, it has very serious implications and suggests that the movement is spreading among Tibetans,” said Robbie Barnett, an expert on Tibet at Columbia University. ”It could lead to an increased severity of restrictions and controls.” One note: Most of the self-immolation incidents listed above didn’t take place in Tibet, but in Tibetan-populated areas in southwestern China.
» Two differing visions: In China, Alibaba is a giant. The online global trading company has a valuation of $35 billion, based on this sale (which was mostly in cash with some stock), but with investments from both Yahoo and Japan’s Softbank, the company has had clashes for its overall vision. The sale will give the company controlling influence over itself — Yahoo and Softbank will cap their voting rights at less than 50 percent. But one thing that won’t change? Alibaba will still run Yahoo’s portal in China for the next for years — and pay $550 million for the right.