Cnooc is getting pumped up! While all those foreign girlyman competitors are cutting back on costs and trimming production capacity, China’s largest listed offshore oil and gas producer expects crude oil and natural gas production to rise by 16-18% this year. Not to mention a 19% rise in capital expenditure to US$6.76 billion, or “pocket change” as translated into putonghua. It’s not just Cnooc flexing a little muscle either. The WTO has agreed to rule on a dispute launched by China against the US over curbs on imports of steel pipes, tires and woven sacks. The details will bore you to tears, but the case is significant because it’s the first time China has initiated a dispute panel at the WTO. Millions of US woven sack makers wait on pins and needles. Meanwhile there are also signs that China’s economy might need a shot in the arm (or the glutes). The urban unemployment rate rose for the first time since 2003, up to 4.2% at the end of 2008 from 4% even at the end of September, and those numbers don’t even account for China’s 220 million migrant workers.
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