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News roundup: How is Trump similar to the Chinese government? Plus GDP and matrimonial apartment woes

op China news for October 19, 2016. Get this daily digest delivered to your inbox by signing up at
11 months ago
The editors Creativa Images, Joseph Sohm and Africa Studio

BUSINESS Images Images

China’s GDP grows 6.7 percent in the third quarter, hitting expectations but raising questions about slowdown

The expansion of China’s economy in the third quarter matched the pace in the first and second quarters, a remarkable consistency that generates doubt amid analysts about the numbers. Looking ahead, the growth in 2016 is lining up to be slower than 2015’s, which was the weakest in 25 years. The slowdown has experts mainly considering three potential outcomes of the end of China’s years of blistering development: a debt-engendered financial crisis; a reinvigoration of the economy through investment; and a long period of economic stagnation. / The New York Times

Ups and downs:

  • Economists say China’s economy appears on track after latest GDP report, but stimulus-driven ‘borrowed time’ and the property market remain worries / WSJ
  • China’s economy grew 75.9 percent from 2008 to 2015, but salaries rose just 10.6 percent, a study says / Caixin
  • A survey finds that 86 percent of Chinese are satisfied with the economy and 82 percent expect kids to do better than their parents / YaleGlobal
  • Sinica Podcast: Arthur Kroeber on the challenges of China's slowing economy / SupChina


  • With 95 percent of China’s richest people making rather than inheriting their fortunes, passing on their wealth to their kids is a new and anxious undertaking / Jing Daily
  • After the arrest of an Australian casino company’s employees, worries rise about a broadening of China’s crackdown on gambling / The New York Times


Opinion: Trump’s rhetoric and China’s criticism of the U.S. election are similar in their obfuscation of bigger problems

“Trump, by telling lies and lobbing ever more non sequiturs, has successfully distracted a good part of America, and arguably the world, from focusing on the matter at hand: his incompetence and unsuitability for the position of President of the United States,” writes Jiayang Fan. “Similarly, in criticizing the admittedly circus-like nature of the American election season, the Chinese government hopes to shift focus away from its singularly oppressive rule, one that has conferred economic prosperity and violated human rights.” / The New Yorker

Trump talk:

  • China’s English learners, once admirers of Trump’s simple speaking style, become discouraged by his bluntness and lack of logic / South China Morning Post
  • Sinica Podcast: Why does Trump appeal to Chinese? / SupChina


  • President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines does all he can to charm economic aid out of China, including saying ‘I’m Chinese’ / TIME
  • In a sign of shifting relations, the Philippines and China appear likely to make a deal on a joint energy project in the South China Sea / Quartz
  • Opinion: If the U.S. reduces its role as an international leader, China will offer a poor but increasingly credible alternative / Bloomberg
  • Pro-Beijing lawmakers in Hong Kong’s legislature stage a walkout during the swearing-in of 'localist' colleagues, marking the second delay of the procedure / BBC News

SOCIETY Studio Studio

As residential construction halts amid a struggle to urbanize smaller cities, weddings tied to new homes are held up

With ownership of a new apartment viewed as a prerequisite for marriage, some couples are postponing their wedding date as their homes remain unbuilt due to developers’ problems with completing construction. The challenge is one of many facing China’s urbanization efforts. / South China Morning Post


  • Shanghai’s IKEA closes its cafeteria doors to anyone not eating, after elderly singles spend hours at the location meeting and dating / Foreign Policy
  • The divorce of the actor Wang Baoqiang and Ma Rong becomes a news media hit in China / South China Morning Post and a related Sinica Podcast
  • Two astronauts complete first step of historic space mission with successful docking at the Tiangong-2 station / BBC News
  • A Chinese immigrant family’s lawsuit against Mississippi public school segregation, lost in 1927, ended up empowering the racist practice / TIME
By The editors
Jeremy Goldkorn, Lucas Niewenhuis, Jia Guo, Jiayun Feng, and Sky Canaves.
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