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Carrie Gracie

Carrie Gracie BBC China editor

Welcome to my page, where I’ll be giving my perspective on 21st Century China

China Week: Scotland, litter and Li Na

19 September 2014
A pro-independence supporter is pictured in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on 19 September, 2014
Scotland has voted against independence from the United Kingdom

Here's what has caught my eye this week.

No to indyref in China

What a magnificent exercise in people power.

I grew up in Scotland but now live in a country where talking about independence is punishable by years in jail.

I wonder if the news from Scotland has reached the Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti in his Xinjiang prison cell. If so, it must be bitter to reflect that iPhones and trainers can be shipped from China to Europe but ideas still can't travel in the opposite direction.

The Chinese government has been tight-lipped on the Scottish referendum but privately, officials told me they were puzzled that the UK even contemplated shrinking its global influence by breaking into smaller parts.

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China Week: Bicycles, boredom and TV mix-ups

12 September 2014

China's week in news is never a simple zero-sum game of winners and losers. But it is not a monolith either. So indulge me just this once with a quick "who's up, who's down" assessment.

Tweet @BBCCarrie if you think I've got it wrong.

Down

A handout picture provided by the World Economic Forum shows Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2014 during the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, on 10 September 2014
Mr Li spoke about reform at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin on Thursday

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Alibaba IPO: Chairman Ma's China

8 September 2014
Alibaba founder Jack Ma speaking in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on 10 May 2013
Alibaba was founded by Jack Ma in 1999 and next week will mark its stock market debut

"All of our brains are just as good." So said Alibaba's great helmsman Jack Ma to the 17 friends who made up his embryonic company in an eve of battle call to arms.

Though they might be behind the US in many ways, he told them, on the application of intelligence they could win.

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Hong Kong's battle for hearts and minds

31 August 2014
Occupy Central protesters in Hong Kong. Photo: 31 August 2014
Occupy Central says it can mobilise 10,000 people for its sit-in protest

The Chinese government has clearly decided that facing down a campaign of civil disobedience in the short term is preferable to allowing Hong Kong the kind of political process which might create meaningful challenges to its own authority in the long term.

Sunday's announcement from Beijing leaves no room for compromise with Hong Kong's democratic forces.

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The Chinese cult that kills 'demons'

13 August 2014
Picture of Wang Jiannan at his father's tomb
Wang Jiannan's sister, who joined the cult, killed their father last year claiming he was a "demon"

China is about to try one of the most notorious murders in recent memory.

In late May a group belonging to a banned cult beat a woman to death in a fast food restaurant. Her only crime was to refuse to give them her telephone number.

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China bares its claws for 'caged tiger' Zhou Yongkang

Zhou Yongkang in 2007
Mr Zhou may not have been well liked - but he was widely feared

The Chinese Communist Party has announced an investigation into one of its most powerful politicians, the former security chief Zhou Yongkang.

In a move which signals President Xi Jinping's hard-fought victory in a battle for supremacy over the party high command, the Xinhua news agency says Mr Zhou is to be investigated for serious disciplinary violations, a shorthand for corruption.

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China Week: Typhoons to tantrums

I've been chasing a tricky story this week - endless assignations with strangers in hotel rooms. (Don't ask… it'll all become clear soon!) But while I was waiting for planes (delayed by air force exercises and a typhoon) and waiting for no-show interviewees (terrified of retribution from the organisation I'm trying to report on), these are the stories that caught my attention:

Food glorious food

McDonald's restaurant in Shanghai
McDonald's is one of several brands that have withdrawn Husi products from sale
Husi Foods employees stand idle, in this picture released by Xinhua news agency
Workers at Husi Foods have been sent home by the authorities

It's been a sickening week for Shanghai's Husi Foods after a TV expose showed staff mixing expired meat into products supplied to the big chains like McDonald's, KFC and Starbucks. By midweek, arrests were under way and China's food inspectors were out doing spot raids on Husi facilities nationwide.

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The knife attack that changed Kunming

China is in the midst of a massive security crackdown after a series of terror attacks it blames on Muslims from the Uighur ethnic minority in north-west Xinjiang province.

In recent weeks, hundreds of suspects have been arrested and mass sentencing rallies have been broadcast on state TV.

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All aboard: China's railway dream

At Asia's biggest rail cargo base in Chengdu in south-west China, the cranes are hard at work, swinging containers from trucks onto a freight train. The containers are filled with computers, clothes, even cars.

Until last year, all of it would have first gone more than 1,000 miles east to Shanghai and then to Europe by sea.

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About Carrie

Carrie has been reporting China for the BBC for 25 years. She was based in Beijing as a correspondent for most of the 1990s.

She covered the 2008 Olympics and has made many radio and TV documentaries including the award winning White Horse Village series.

Carrie has presented many of the BBC's flagship news and current affairs programmes and has a degree in Chinese.

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