A few good posts over on Paul Midler’s The China Game blog over the last couple days. In the first, he reproduces a letter from a reader drawing an important distinction between China’s financial and “real” economies, and how exposed each is to external forces:
One point that I think needs to be borne in mind is the difference between the financial economy and the real economy. In China’s case, the financial economy is not integrated into the global economy (you can’t move large sums in to invest or repatriate or invest-out large sums without bureaucratic approval and good reasons), which is one reason people say Western financial conditions have limited impact on China. This is why many large financial firms are clamoring to get into China, not only because it’s a promising new market but because it represents diversification in the way few overseas markets do these days. As far as the real economy of imports and exports etc. goes, I think there’s little doubt that China is significantly integrated into the global trading system, for good and for ill.
In another post, Midler highlights a welcome introduction to the (English-language) China blogosphere, Pomfret’s China written by John Pomfret of the Washington Post, formerly that paper’s China bureau chief and the author of Chinese Lessons, which is a great read. He’s only starting, and like most blogs that have mentioned T!b3t in the past several weeks, it’s already attracted swarms of comments that are as valuable for their insight into the massive support the crackdown has received in China (and by native Chinese abroad) as they are disposable for the quality of their reasoning.
Finally, there is an interesting post from today on a Chinese drug firm that may have accidentally disqualified the Greek weightlifting team from performing in the Olympics by supplying it with “tainted” health supplements:
A surprise inspection of the Greek team by the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed that 11 of the team’s athletes had unapproved substances in their systems. The Chinese firm has already apologized for providing the bad product, saying: “We send [sic] you L-tyrosine mixed with something else that it [sic] only for research purposes.”