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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

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.

Far from allowing a more open nomination process for leadership candidates, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has declared that all candidates must secure more than 50% support from a "broadly representative" nominating body.

In some ways this seems even more restrictive than existing arrangements, and is unlikely to be endorsed by Hong Kong's Legislative Council.

But Chinese officials insist Hong Kong's chief executive must be subordinate to Beijing and that open nominations for the post would create a "chaotic society".

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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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GlaxoSmithKline's China scandal: A cautionary tale?

File photo: A Chinese flag is hoisted in front of a GlaxoSmithKline building in Shanghai, China, 24 July 2013
GSK has apologised to the Chinese authorities over the bribery scandal

To observers of China's contemporary business culture it will come as no great surprise that the latest twist in GlaxoSmithKline's China crisis is a sex tape.

The secret filming of business, political and love rivals in intimate situations is now commonplace in China and motivations range from whistle-blowing to blackmail or revenge.

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What could China learn from UK?

Chinese premier Li Keqiang and David Cameron during the latter's visit to China in December
Li Keqiang's first UK trip as Chinese premier is about much more than business deals and handshakes

We're about to witness a blizzard of big numbers around the business deals between China and the UK.

But guess what? I've spent the past ten days asking business insiders (Chinese, British, European) and they all say the deals worth having would happen with or without a prime ministerial handshake.

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Why Tiananmen still matters

On the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen, here are 25 thoughts on why 1989 still matters:

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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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