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Rare Earth Reserve

There are many places on this planet I would hardly dare visit, much less seek to live near. One of those places is remote Baotou, in Inner Mongolia, a boom region where much of our planet’s rare earth industry is located. It becomes obvious as you read Tim Maughan’s BBC

How to Occupy Hong Kong

The fight for freedom doesn’t stop at the border. Hong Kongers, we are with you. Your protest against continued tyranny by mainland China is a just cause. The Communist Party of China may no longer be in Marx’s pocket, but its members remain greedy and dictatorial and oppressive. Leung, the

Copper Tubes in Alabama

You’ve gotta be somewhere, so you might as well choose where that somewhere is in a non-random fashion. That seems to be the rule. One consequences of this is that we now have local government officials and functionaries jet-setting the world promoting their towns, counties, cities . . . their

Too Much Truth

Both what to report and when to report it can be legitimately debated in an editorial room. But not whether to accept demands to conceal “unflattering” truth for the sake of being allowed to report at all. That’s the “dilemma” some news organizations face when they wish to report from

The Wars on Dogs, Drugs, Etc.

China is waging a war on dogs taller than 13.7 inches. The basis is a long-dormant law prohibiting Beijing residents from owning dogs “too big” for — well, for the law prohibiting dogs that big. In addition to losing their furry friends, flouters are subject to fines but not jail

Ding Jinhao Was There

Boys will be boys. And tourists will be tourists. Not long ago, a graffito was spotted on an ancient Egyptian wall — a stone relief, with pictographs and representations and the whole gamut of ancient Egyptian art — photographed and then posted to the Internet, where it got more than

Apple Abjectly Apologizes for Arrogance

Apple is a huge company, selling gadgets around the world. One of its biggest markets turns out to be China, which is also a supplier of many components. And working within a quasi-capitalist/quasi-post-communist dictatorship does have its problems. Yesterday we learned that Apple’s head honcho, Tim Cook, has openly apologized

What Goes Up, China Edition

Skyscrapers inspire. Sometimes they inspire shudders. I am an admirer of such neo-Babels, and you can’t find a better Schelling point for New York than the Empire State Building. Civilization’s highest erections symbolize something good about humanity. And yet, I wonder about the latest Chinese engineering effort, Sky City, to

China Syndrome, 2012

The two major presidential candidates, incumbent Obama and challenger Romney, must spend their final weeks of the campaign appealing to Members of their respective parties disappointed enough to stay home on election day — or vote the dreaded “Third Party” ticket; Independent voters apt to find something distasteful about both

Moving to China?

Venture capitalist Eric X. Li, in an op-ed for the New York Times, “Why China’s Political Model Is Superior,” credits the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre with producing the “stability” that “ushered in a generation of growth and prosperity.” As for America, Li explains that our problem is an “expanded” political

Blame China

The Great Depression was made “great” by government mismanagement. Political action, first under Hoover and then under FDR, made things a whole lot worse. And it wasn’t just the Democrats’ misguided New Deal barrage of regulation, cartelization, and general anti-business central planning. The Hoover Era Smoot-Hawley Tariff, a huge Republican

Tire Trade War, Tiring

Political folly comes around, again and again, like a puncture in a rapidly deflating tire as you drive down the freeway. The end is never good. President Obama and congressional Democrats pushed a tariff hike on China-made tires, up to 35 percent — and the WTO okayed it. They excuse

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