Trends and Buzz
Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 7:05 PM
NPC delegates consider the tough issues facing China - image from Do Not Associate
The event is a source of frustration for journalists who have to cover it, because it's essentially a rubber stamp affair where nothing exciting happens. It's also a bit a bore for the delegates who attend the meetings, as illustrated by the photo on the left of sleeping NPC delegates. Which is why the most interesting reporting to come out of the annual snoozefest is usually of the 'weird news' variety.
Such as this Reuters story:
Smoking curb could "upset China stability"
There's an opinion piece in response to this on Sina.com (in Chinese), in which the author says that the talk of threatening social stability is nonsense, because it was not an outright ban being proposed, but rather curbs on availability of cigarettes and public places where they may be smoked.
UPDATE:As pointed out in the comments, the number quoted above for tax revenues from cigarettes in China — 80 billion yuan ($10.33 billion) per day — seems highly improbable.
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