Economists and pundits said China may have reached the bottom of its economic downturn, but it doesn’t look like anyone has told Premier Wen Jiabao, who once again warned that China’s recovery is not yet on solid ground. While on a tour of Zhejiang province, he said that the country “still faces many new difficulties and problems” despite “positive changes” in both the national and global economy. Wen pledged to maintain policies aimed at boosting domestic demand, maintain easy credit and promote efficiency. History seems to be repeating itself in other ways today. The Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco) has announced that it’s willing to speak to Australian miner Rio Tinto again after the failure of the two companies’ US$19.5 billion alliance earlier this year and the charging of four Rio employees by authorities in Shanghai for allegedly stealing commercial secrets. This time Chinalco wants to talk about bauxite and alumina production. The two companies own adjacent bauxite deposits in the Australian state of Queensland and have discussed cooperation in the area over the last few years. And are we seeing the beginings of another property boom? The total value of commercial property deals on the mainland in the first six months of the year reached US$31.2 billion, beating out sales in the US and UK. Analysts said the surge in China sales was due to high levels of liquidity, a favorable outlook for the retail industry and the prospect of real estate investment trusts (REITs) being introduced on the mainland.
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