Formers Leaders of Chinese Football Confess to Corruption on TV
In an anti-corruption documentary aired on January 9, shocking revelations have emerged regarding Li Tie, the former head coach of the national men’s football team. Li admitted to paying bribes totaling 3 million yuan (US$418,500) to secure his position as the national team coach. Additionally, he confesses that the two teams he coached are involved in match-fixing on their way to promotion.
Li disclosed that in the 2018 season, he lobbied Wuhan Zall FC to pay 2 million yuan in bribes to Chen Xuyuan, the former head of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), and 1 million yuan in bribes to Liu Yi, former CFA secretary-general, in exchange for his appointment as the national team’s head coach. Li then signed a contract with Wuhan Zall FC for 6 million yuan, which served as a cover for the corrupt deal. As an exchange, he selected four players from the Wuhan club for the national team.
Li Tie’s confession led to an investigation by supervisory authorities, which subsequently exposed several other officials suspected of corruption and other wrongdoing within Chinese football. This scandal has further tarnished the reputation of the sport in the country
Taiwan Accidentally Issues Fake Missile Alert Amidst Satellite Launch
On January 9, the Xichang Satellite Launch Center successfully launched the Einstein Probe satellite into its designated orbit at 15:03 local time. The satellite’s launch was a resounding success, marking a significant milestone for China’s space program. However, the incident took a comical turn when Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities reacted in an alarmist manner.
According to reports from Taiwan’s United Daily News, the DPP’s defense department issued two alerts in both Chinese and English, declaring a so-called “island-wide” warning. The alerts urged citizens to stay vigilant as a missile allegedly flew over the southern part of the island. However, the English version of the alert referred to the satellite launch as an “air raid alert” and even referred to the satellite as a “missile”, causing unnecessary panic among the public.
With election coming up, the incident has sparked debates about the DPP’s handling of defense-related matters and its potential political motivations. Critics argue that the false missile alert was an attempt to manipulate public sentiment and create a sense of crisis. In response to the uproar, Taiwan’s defense department issued a statement acknowledging their mistake and apologizing to the public for the confusion caused by the inaccurate translation. They admitted that the alert should have referred to the launch as a satellite, not a missile.
Beijing Jiaotong University Professor Highlights Risks of Housing Price Declines on Household Wealth
At the 2023 “Annual Financial Thinkers” gala, Professor Ruan Jia from the School of Economics and Management at Beijing Jiaotong University shed light on the fragile state of household assets in China, referencing the People’s Bank of China’s “2019 Survey on the Assets and Liabilities of Urban Households.” The survey revealed that the average urban Chinese household holds housing assets valued at 1.87 million yuan, accounting for 59% of their total assets. Professor Ruan cautioned that a significant drop in housing prices could lead to substantial wealth loss for the average citizen, with a 10% decrease in urban housing prices potentially slashing each family’s assets by 187,000 yuan.
Further, Professor Ruan explained that the phenomenon of “assets falling short of debts” after taking out mortgages to buy homes is not due to an increase in “debts” but rather a decrease in “assets,” which is a direct result of the depreciation of property values following a drop in housing prices. This highlights the critical impact housing markets have on personal wealth and the potential vulnerability of Chinese households to real estate fluctuations. The professor’s insights underscore the importance of a stable real estate market for maintaining the financial security of the populace and the need for careful consideration of housing market policies and economic planning.