Xi Dada in Hong Kong
A photo of Xi Jinping (above) standing confidently surrounded by his aides as he waits for a meeting in Hong Kong has gone viral, with many internet users comparing the scene to that of a crime boss attended by his lackeys.
Xi is in Hong Kong for the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the former British colony returning to Chinese rule. Below are some media reports worth your time:
- SCMP: All the president’s men — the key players at Xi Jinping’s side in Hong Kong
NYT: Once a model city, Hong Kong is in trouble (paywall)
“Caught between…Beijing’s dictates and the demands of local residents…the authorities have allowed problems to fester, including an affordable housing crisis, a troubled education system and a delayed high-speed rail line.” Worth reading side by side with this from Xinhua: Hong Kong and the motherland — reunited forever, thriving together.
- Reuters: Celebration and protest as China president visits Hong Kong and From 1997 to 2017: Hong Kong in pictures
- The Guardian: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong detained by police before Xi visit
In other Xi Jinping news, Xinhua News Agency’s top story (in Chinese) for June 29 is a piece of sycophancy that would make Donald Trump or Mao Zedong happy, if it were directed at them. The article is a paean to Xi, calling him a “pioneer of new concepts” (新理念的倡导者 xīn lǐniàn de chàngdǎozhě) for — among other things — advocating “win-win” cooperation as a way to avoid the Kindleberger trap, being a “shaper of a new image” (新形象的塑造者 xīn xíngxiàng de sùzào zhě) for his Belt and Road Initiative and global diplomacy, and being an “implementer of new plans” (新方案的推行者 xīn fāng’àn de tuīxíng zhě) for his book The Governance of China.
All you ever wanted to know about Guo Wengui
This week is Guo Wengui 郭文贵 week at SupChina:
- Yesterday, we published “Who is Guo Wengui?” by Lorand Laskai, an attempt to make sense of the many conflicting stories about the erratic tweeting billionaire.
- Today, we release our Sinica Podcast interview with Mike Forsythe and Alexandra Stevenson, two New York Times journalists who have recently spent many hours in close conversation with Guo.
Ministry of Finance turns attention to healthcare costs
In March this year, Beijing’s hospitals began testing new payment schemes intended to ameliorate some of the problems that plague China’s healthcare system: overprescribing and overcharging for drugs and consultations. Hospitals and doctors do this because they are underfunded, and the easiest way to make money is to generate profit from expensive medicines and treatments.
The Ministry of Finance has now added its significant authority to pressure for reform on all hospitals in the country with a statement (in Chinese) calling for an end to “unreasonable fees” (不合理支出 bù hélǐ zhīchū) for medical treatments, and promising reform of the healthcare payment system and diversification of health insurance options. Reuters has a short summary of the statement.
- Sixth Tone reports on a panic among elderly Beijing residents who have been stockpiling prescription drugs because they fear healthcare reforms will greatly increase their prices.
- The South China Morning Post notes that “nearly one in two Chinese have diabetes or are likely to get it, making [the] country’s epidemic the world’s biggest.”