China's Balancing Act

Today China's annual parliamentary session opened. It lasts two weeks. Yes, that's right, just two weeks. In any other country where the parliament met for only two weeks in a year, the nation would collapse for lack of leadership.Here, of course, the parliament is so utterly without power that it really doesn't make much difference. They could just get it over with in a half hour's voting session over coffee. Which doesn't mean that there aren't important things to be decided, but the parliament won't be doing the deciding, the Communist Party will. For instance, China is much admired for having survived the financial crisis, but property prices have risen into the stratosphere, and there's now talk of a bubble…. So here's a picture of China's 2010 balancing act: