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China’s Heroin Usage Skyrockets

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China Power

China’s Heroin Usage Skyrockets

Plus, the economist behind Deng’s reform and opening up policy has died. Wednesday China links.

Some Tuesday China links:

China Digital Times reports that demand for the narcotic heroin in China (including Macau and Hong Kong) has risen so sharply that drug traffickers are struggling to keep up. One report that CDT notes says that 90 percent of heroin smuggled through the so-called Golden Triangle is shipped to China. The UN estimates that China and Taiwan account for 70 percent of all heroin consumption in East Asia.

Yu Guangyang, an economist who helped Deng Xiaoping launch his market reforms in the late 1970s, died this week at 98, South China Morning Post noted commemorative report.

Political analyst Chen Ziming told SCMP, "Yu was one of the most liberal party officials and influential economists in the late 1970s and 1980s." The well-known economist not only assisted Deng, but was also an advisor to Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. He famously helped co-write the 1978 third plenum speech, which launched Deng’s landmark reforms.

Xinhua reports that members held a Politburo Standing Committee study session in a “Beijing technology hub known as China’s Silicon Valley." According to the report, it was the first time such a study was held outside of Zhongnanhai.

Yesterday, Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone (FTZ) published a list of sectors that will remain off limits to foreign investors. Prohibited industries include those involved with gambling, sex and pornography, rare earth exploration, internet data centers, compulsory education, transgenic crops, cultural heritage auctions, golf courses and armament industries. While not completely banned, there will be restrictions on other industries including telecommunications, media and online games – according to the China Daily.

In China’s latest foray into space, the Shanghai Daily reported last Wednesday that one of China’s top scientific research institutes is developing five space research satellites. One will particularly focus on searching for dark matter. Three or four of the satellites should be launched before 2015.

One of China’s latest media sensations is Guo Zhihui, a surgeon at Fujian Medical University Union Hospital. He has constructed an extra nose out of a patient’s rib cartilage and implanted it on the man’s forehead. When ready, the nose will be grafted over the patient’s original nose, which was damaged in an accident. "We sculpted the nose three-dimensionally, like carpenters," Guo told the Associated Press in an interview.

Finally, in other medical news, starting on Tuesday Chinese authorities have vowed to crack down on illegal clinics and unlicensed doctors as part of a one-year campaign to improve China’s healthcare system. The National Health and Planning Commission announced the campaign will be deployed by several government and military organs led by the commission and the Ministry of Public Security, according to Xinhua.

Elleka Watts is an editorial assistant at The Diplomat.