First off…HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Crisis of faith for Catholics in Macao – The article talks about the sharp decline of Catholicism in Macao in the last few years. This is not shocking to me as I have talked about Christianity and China before a few times. Confucianist based societies do not easily mess with Christianity or Abrahamic faiths for that matter.

‘Lust, Caution’ has its way with bourgeois China – I think Mr. French is almost a decade late. Most Chinese people I know buy the bootleg version that is uncensored. He is talking about elites traveling to Hong Kong to see the movie uncensored, meanwhile average people are watching it on their computer and in their home a day after the movie came out in Hong Kong or Taiwan. I think what is new is that people are publicly starting to complain about state censorship. I still have not got a look at Tang Wei this flick!! I am obviously opposed to any government media censorship.

Young population dwindles as birth rate declines – More stats and predictions concerning China’s population demographics. The gist of it is that the Chinese population is aging rapidly, part of this is due to the one-child policy, this trend is likely accelerated by the fact China has a huge gender imbalance which will knock a lot of young men out of the breeding pool. There is more on the gender imbalance issue here. I imagine this will likely put a strain on China’s growth, as the amount of labor will decline fairly fast, while the number of retirees dependent on the state increase. I would assume that China’s challenge is to move into more value added/less labor intensive markets before this occurs.

Class of ’77 has withstood the test of time in China – The greatest generation? They have my vote as I have been privileged enough to meet several people “sent down” during the Cultural Revolution (Wen Ge). Here is an interesting factoid, “The 4.7 percent of test takers who won admission to universities – 273,000 people – became known as the Class of ’77, widely regarded in China as the best and brightest of their time. (By comparison, 58 percent of this year’s 9 million exam takers won university places.)”. My friends mother and a Chinese History professor I had were both part of the class of ’77. After 10 years of oppression at the hands of the state, it must have been an amazing things to be part of; to know that you actually had an opportunity to succeed on merit. The fire in their bellies must have been enormous. It was succeed or go back to hard labor for many; I know it was for the people I know.

Africa: New Cable Promises Faster Internet – If the net spreads the way telephone use has, “Mr. Karuranga is one of an estimated 120 million Africans using phones, up from just 2 million in 1998.” this is positive news indeed. I also like this will be owned and operated by African entities and the fact that coastal nations will serve as nodes for landlocked nations. So far, about half the countries in Africa have signed on (23).

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