Beijing smog makes city unliveable, says mayor

This scrapbook of links was compiled 29 January 2015

Cartoon showing gavel marked 'Power' ina  cage marked 'System'; from the People's Daily: What are the Party's rules? 中共的政治规矩是什么

Cartoon showing gavel marked ‘Power’ ina cage marked ‘System’; from the People’s Daily: What are the Party’s rules? 中共的政治规矩是什么

Pollution
The Guardian: Beijing smog makes city unliveable, says mayor
People’s Daily: 北京市长王安顺:宜居之都是我们的目标

Zhou Youguang
The Nanfang: “God Forgot About Me”: Father of Pinyin Turns 109
Xinhua: 周有光迎110岁大寿 解玺璋赞其“勇者不惧”

Censorship and dissent
Wall Street Journal: Criminal Speech? The Weibo Posts That Could Send Chinese Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang to Prison

Zhao Benshan
China.org.cn: A star is falling, Icarus-style

The mysterious fall from grace of China’s most prominent comedian is testament to a culture mired in political innuendoes and the uncomfortably close link between politics and entertainment…
…His troubles seem to have surfaced when he was conspicuously absent from the autumn pow-wow with President Xi Jinping, when 72 of the nation’s “representative” artists were in attendance. A subsequent provincial-level meeting, again, did not extend invitation to him. His TV shows were canceled. The public did not believe this was a coincidence.

Xi at the Helm

CAPTION

Image from Xinhua: The day Chairman Xi stood guard with us 那一天,习主席和我们一起站岗

Global Times: 日媒谈习近平八个特征:敢于打破陈规旧习
习近平谈做官做人:家庭影响决非像别人想象的那样
Xinhua: 那一天,习主席和我们一起站岗

Alibaba
The Paper: 淘宝大战工商总局无赢家:阿里市值一日蒸发110亿美元
Wall Street Journal: A Closer Look At China’s Alibaba Allegations
The State Administration of Industry and Commerce’s white paper marks an unusually direct criticism of Alibaba Group Holding, an Internet giant that’s normally seen as a darling of Chinese commerce. The report paints a stark and colorful picture of a whole host of alleged offenses and misdeeds of Alibaba’s managers and the merchants who use its online trading platforms…
…Among the paper’s highlights:
PROBLEMATIC PRODUCTS
BULLYING
BRIBERY
FAKE TRANSACTIONS

The Yuan
Xinhua: RMB enters top five of world payments currencies

The Chinese yuan has overtaken the Canadian and Australian dollars since November 2014 to enter the top five world payments currencies, said SWIFT in a recent report.
The yuan, or renminbi (RMB), now trails only the Japanese Yen, British pound, Euro and U.S. dollar as a global payments currency.

The New Normal
115961392-1QQ News: 26省份下调GDP目标 淡化GDP成地方两会新常态 (source of chart at left)
China Daily: Cities cut GDP growth targets to adapt ‘new normal’

With the big downward pressure on the economy, 26 out of the 31 provincial regions in Chinese mainland have lowered their gross domestic product (GDP) growth targets for 2015, Chinanews.com reported Thursday.
Among the 28 provinces that have revealed their GDP targets, only Tibet in Southwest China kept its new target equal with that of last year at 12 percent, and Shanghai municipality even scrapped the target number.