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China releases two NGO activists ‘on bail’ ahead of president’s US trip

Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun, detained former members of the influential Beijing Transition Institute (now shuttered), have been released on bail by Chinese authorities. Some analysts see the move as a symbolic concession to US concerns over Beijing’s human rights record. What might their release mean going forward? Radio Free Asia reports.

Beijing: Enough snow for 2022 Winter Olympics

Now that Beijing has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, talk has moved from the problem of snow in a city distinctive for its arid climate, sandstorms and perpetual lack of water, to the virtues of artificial snow (despite the amount of water fake snow takes to manufacture). Meanwhile, a long-long range weather forecast, conducted by the city’s meteorological bureau, predicts natural snowfall is likely to increase in the areas slated for competition action in seven years’ time.

China’s unspeakable consensus

“The Three Gorges Dam must be dismantled, and China’s political system must be changed,” writes veteran Chinese journalist Xiao Shu in this piece first published by the Taipei-based online news site, Storm Media. “To a great extent,” the author continues, “the Three Gorges Dam is the most apt metaphor for China’s political system.” A significant must-read.

China’s gloomy future

China’s increasing financial and economic assertiveness suggests its star is only set to rise on the world stage and that has prompted some major swagger on the part of its leaders. Swagger the nation’s long-term view doesn’t warrant. Commentary by John Robson.