November, 2007

Shangri-La: paradise found, and now lost?

When James Hilton wrote the novel Lost Horizon, he probably didn’t know that he would an inspire an enterprising town to change its name to Shangri-La (the mythical ‘heaven on earth’ spot in Lost Horizon). The Chinese central government officially recognized the town of Zhongdian, Yunnan province in China as Shangri-La in 2001.

Why vacations in China cause more stress, not less

The Chinese government has started to solicit public opinion about changing the country’s vacation schedules. Currently, Chinese get three “Golden Weeks” off per year. These include weeklong vacations around May 1st Labor Day, October 1st National Day and Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year).

A play on Chinese timber

The timber industry has recently been getting more and more attention as an alternative investment at pension funds and university endowments. In light of this interest, the Red Cat Journal highlights one Chinese timber play: Sino-Forest. Although Sino-Forest’s operations are mainly in southern and eastern China, the company is a Canadian corporation and was started in 1994.

Who owns China's air pollution?

Al Gore’s Nobel prize for his work related to climate change highlights the increasing profile that global pollution is receiving.

How the US dollar is creating billionaires in China

Forbes magazine recently released its list of the richest people in China. Of the top 10, 5 made the list primarily as property developers while another 3 have real estate interests in addition to their primary businesses. The poorest of this top 10, had US$3.6 billion, while the wealthiest was worth US$16.2 billion.

Gui Lin: where to go to understand Chinese paintings

In China, there is a saying: “Gui Lin’s scenery of mountains and water is the best under heaven”. Visitors to Gui Lin, no matter their home country, never cease to be amazed by the unique scenery. From the Red Cat Journal’s vantage point, Gui Lin is also a good place to better understand China’s art.

"Through-train" program may be scrapped!

The South China Morning Post reports that China may be considering scrapping the “through-train” program allowing domestic retail investors in China to directly purchase Hong Kong shares. Instead, a more comprehensive system for qualified institutions, instead of individuals, to invest in Hong Kong would be developed.

When a smile is not as it seems

If you have an interest in Chinese contemporary art and live nearby New York City, perhaps you should make your way to the Queens Museum of Art before January 6th, where there is an exhibition of Yue Min-Jun’s work. His paintings have become representative of modern Chinese art. He is famous for painting smiling figures of himself but his smile is not what it seems at first glance.

More supply of A-shares coming to market

The South China Morning Post reports that the Shanghai Stock Exchange is set to accept a slew of A-share offerings on an accelerated schedule from large mainland Chinese enterprises currently listed only on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Why never to give a Chinese a clock

While gift-giving is common in Chinese society, one thing you should never do is give a Chinese person a clock. In Mandarin Chinese, the word for clock is “zhong”. The pronunciation is the same as another Chinese word, written differently, that can mean death (or the end or finish of something).