–1,968 officials punished for malpractice in local reshuffle – I do not mean to sound pessimistic, but I think these officials were the ones without adequate guanxi. They were not being punished because they were especially corrupt. It is funny that China was not always so corrupt, in fact most dynasties in ancient China started off strongly Confucianist and prided themselves on the virtue of officials. The corruption usually came toward the end of the dynasty; could it be the CCP is at the end of its life?
–US: China not manipulating currency – WOW! This is going to piss off a lot of Republicans and some Democrats on the Hill, but it is the truth. Most people don’t want to hear the truth though, they want to hear what they want to hear.
–China raises interest rates for 6th time this year – China is still fighting the inflation beast. I blogged about this a few times, but the most interesting article on it was here. This one is somewhat ominous though, but I have not seen a serious counterargument.
–U.N. death penalty moratorium snubbed – As I said before, the death penalty is rarely used in Japan and when it is; it is generally deserved. Most Japanese believe in the death penalty and no Euro promoted whining from the UN is going to change that. I do not believe Japan has to change its culture to make the UN happy. America certainly does not. I love Hatoyama’s comments on death penalty efficiency, that is very Japanese.
–S. Korean president-elect indicates tougher stance on North – Lee has already started criticizing N.Korea. I’m sure Japan and America are happy, but not so sure about China. This is a big change of policy for S.Korea, as there has been a liberal government since democracy started; with a policy of engagement (which became the Sunshine Policy). Well he has a mandate, winning almost 50% of the vote (having ran against 12 opponents). It will be interesting to see how this turns out.