The politics behind China's stock market turbulence

  • 27 August 2015
  • From the section China
File photo: New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, from left, Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng and Wang Qishan stand in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, 15 November 2012
Image caption Presenting a public united front is key to the Communist Party

One of the most extraordinary things about the world's number two economy is that when it faces a crisis, the leadership carries on in public as if nothing has happened.

Decisions which affect the fate not just of 1.4 billion people in China but as we now know, the rest of the world as well, are made in secret by a handful of men.

This week, China's top political leaders have made no mention of the crisis, flagship mainstream media avoided touching on it, and government censors constrained discussion on social media within firm boundaries.

'New normal'

Does this matter? It is certainly different from any other major economy where the causes of such a crisis and competing solutions would have been thrashed out day in day out for the past two months.

Stepping back from the stock market turmoil, the central challenge for China's policy makers is whether they can build a prosperous advanced economy with sustainable long term growth before the old-style investment driven economy grinds to a zero growth catastrophe.

Read full article The politics behind China's stock market turbulence

China stocks trader counts his losses: 'Never trust the government'

  • 2 August 2015
  • From the section China
Plato, a Chinese investor, checks his phone
Image caption Plato is just one of the individual investors who dominate China's stock market

Plato got his nickname when he was a student in Manchester. But he's not feeling like the philosopher king now.

His finance degree helped him get a management job at a Beijing hospital. But it didn't warn him off the rollercoaster Chinese stock market. Monday's plunge in prices was the last straw.

Read full article China stocks trader counts his losses: 'Never trust the government'

Taiwan president rues lack of progress with China

  • 27 July 2015
  • From the section China

The president of Taiwan has said that political progress in mainland China is unstable. Speaking in a rare interview with the BBC, Ma Ying-jeou said he was disappointed that despite improvements in the economic relationship during his two terms as president, there had been no meeting between himself and President Xi Jinping of China.

"Mainland China is only 100 nautical miles away from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Therefore it's a big risk and a big opportunity for us. Any leader here has to learn how to minimise the risks and maximise the opportunity. That's what I've been doing for the past seven years," he said.

Read full article Taiwan president rues lack of progress with China

Public disturbances in the spotlight in China

  • 24 July 2015
  • From the section China
Men dressed in Spartan-style costumes walk through a commercial plaza in Beijing on 22 July 2015
Image caption This publicity stunt sure got a lot of attention - but the authorities moved quickly to stop it

All kinds of people have been "disturbing public order" this week in China. It almost, but not quite, makes you feel sorry for Big Brother.

Could China's security forces ever have predicted the "Spartans", a sales force of 100 half-naked foreign male models with ripped torsos and leather hotpants marching through the streets of Beijing?

Read full article Public disturbances in the spotlight in China

Chinese police tight-lipped about 'Ordos ordeal'

  • 18 July 2015
  • From the section China

The last of 20 foreign tourists arrested in Ordos, Inner Mongolia are to be deported from China.

The group, which included nine Britons, were detained on 10 July during a tour of ancient China and accused of watching banned terrorist videos.

Read full article Chinese police tight-lipped about 'Ordos ordeal'

China struggles to contain the environmental damage of its rapid growth

  • 16 July 2015
  • From the section China

At a conference in Ethiopia this week, the world is discussing the funding for a new set of international goals on sustainable development. Any global attempt to push for sustainability will need the world's biggest country on board. China represents a fifth of the world's population, and after more than three decades of high speed growth it is grappling with the challenge of cleaning up environmental damage and creating a more sustainable future. China Editor Carrie Gracie visited Hunan Province in central China to assess the progress of the cleanup there.

Water should be a life giver. But in the fields of Zhubugang it is a silent killer.

Read full article China struggles to contain the environmental damage of its rapid growth

Rule of law in China, a country which locks up its lawyers

  • 13 July 2015
  • From the section China
The Chinese Supreme People's Court building in Beijing 30 March 2006.
Image caption Last year saw reforms designed to make courts less corrupt and less embedded in local politics

Dozens of Chinese lawyers have been detained or interrogated over recent days in what seems to be a co-ordinated roundup.

The crackdown has targeted those who take on cases involving free speech, human rights and abuses of power, presenting many of them as motivated by greed and a reckless disregard for social order.

Read full article Rule of law in China, a country which locks up its lawyers

Investigator Peter Humphrey warns over GSK China ordeal

  • 10 July 2015
  • From the section China

It's exactly two years since the door of Peter Humphrey's Shanghai bedroom was kicked in by police and he disappeared into a prison nightmare which ended only three weeks ago with his deportation from China.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, the British corporate investigator who became embroiled in GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) China corruption scandal tells me his story is "a cautionary tale which many people can learn from".

Read full article Investigator Peter Humphrey warns over GSK China ordeal

South China Sea: David v Goliath as dispute goes to court

  • 6 July 2015
  • From the section China
Activists hold a rally
Image caption Activists in Manila have voiced their anger at China's actions

It's a David and Goliath struggle at a United Nations tribunal in The Hague on Tuesday. Or it would be if Goliath had turned up.

In 2010, China's then foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, told uneasy neighbours: "China is a big country, other countries are small countries, and that's just a fact."

Read full article South China Sea: David v Goliath as dispute goes to court

Panic, invincibility and blame in China's stock market

  • 6 July 2015
  • From the section China
shanghai stock exchange
Image caption China's latest emergency measures to calm its stock markets follow a slew of others over the course of the past week

Mainland shares have seen several days of erratic trade in recent weeks - despite moves by the Chinese securities regulator to calm markets.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite surged as much as 8% on Monday morning following a weekend of emergency meetings and more attempts to correct the volatility. It finished the trading day up 2.4%.

Read full article Panic, invincibility and blame in China's stock market