今日观察-September 14

Background: Unlike previous posts that examine 今日关注 on CCTV 4, this post looks at an episode of 今日观察 which airs of CCTV 2, the economics channel. Also, the show aired while the so-called “Summer Davos” took place in Dalian. While part of the news cycle in China, this story gained a prominent place in the Italian press as one of the main weekly magazine, L’Espresso, featured Finance Minister Tremonti on its cover dressed in a Chairman Mao suit. L’Espresso three articles on the issue and the tittle of the most telling one is “La Paura divenne la speranza”–Fear becomes hope. In this hour of crisis, fear of China–the idea that low-cost Chinese labor is threatening traditional Italian industiries–gives way to a hope that China may yet play an important role if Italy is to surmount their present difficulties. For video of this broadcast see here.

Italian Finance Minister Tremonti

Topic: 意大利国债 中国要不要出手—Should China extend a hand to Italy?
First Five minutes: After a short video explaining the origins of the Italian debt crisis, the anchor poses the main questions for the show: Should China but large amounts of Italian debt? If so, how can the safety of the investment be guaranteed? She then proceeds to ask one of the guests if they China should buy a significant amount of Italian debt. The first guest argues that China should approach this as a business decision and not as a form of charity. While perhaps obvious this point is important since many Chinese netizens reacted unfavorably to the news that China might invest in Italian debt. Their argument was simple: With so many problems yet to be solved here in China, how can investing in Italy be justified?

Key Vocab:
拯救-to save, to rescue
定论-to reach a final conclusion, or agreement
扑朔迷离-impossible to unravel, confusing
沸沸扬扬-abuzz (Used to describe a news story that everyone is talking about)
缩计划-austerity plan
From Five Minutes to Fifteen Minutes:During this part of the show the host and guests survey different points of view, from both netizens and experts and the current official government position. For the government point of view, there is a clip of the spokeswoman for the foreign ministry who states that China supports and believes that the European nations themselves can reach an appropriate agreement. The program then quotes Premier Wen Jiabao who states that China is willing to help Italy if European leaders are willing to take a more “strategic” view of relations with China i.e. change certain trade regulations that place barriers on Chinese imports in certain sectors.

Vocab:
苗头-first sings, development of a situation
澄清-to clarify (我要澄清一下)
担保-to guarantee
求援-to ask for help
贴水-to charge a premium. (Risk premium is 风险贴水)
举措-to move,to act (Here it is used by the foreign ministry spokesperson (我们支持欧盟国家采取应对欧债危机的举措,我们也相信,欧元区的国家会采取整体的协同的举措).

Last Ten Minutes: To begin the last part of the program the host frames the issue by stating that buying Italian debt is essentially a bet that the situation in Europe will not worsen. One guests refines this point and argues that buying Italian sovereign debt is more of a bet that Germany will not allow a break up of the European monetary union (The Italian Minister Tremonti, pictured above, made a very similar remark over the weekend). The other commentator builds on this idea by arguing that the best scenario for China would be to buy a part of several Italian state owned enterprises instead of simply investing of Italian bonds. For him, the period may be a crisis for most of the world but it is an opportunity from a Chinese point of view. The program closes with several phone interviews with economists who remind viewers that China must strike a balance in investing its foreign exchange reserves between assets that are both safe, have a return, and serve to diversify the overall investment portfolio.

Vocab:
猜测-to guess, conjecture
跌幅-decline in value, percentage drop
震荡-to shake unsteadily
资产-assets
外汇储备-foreign currency reserves
愈演愈烈-of a problem, getting more and more critical
回笼-to withdraw a currency from circulation
协力-to unite in a common effort

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About chinanewsprograms

Summary and analysis of Chinese TV programs by a PhD student in Chinese history.
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