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China

Meet China's Most Open Party Leader

Both by what he says and what he blogs, Chinese politician Zhang Chunxian appears to want to truly hear from the people he's charged to lead. But he may have pushed his luck by posting messages on his microblog account directly from inside a Comm

Zhang Chunxian (E.O.)
Zhang Chunxian (E.O.)


BEIJING - From the transport ministry to Hunan party secretary then boss for the restive region of Xinjiang, Zhang Chunxian's every promotion is tracked by Chinese journalists. But in certain circles, Zhang is best known as the highest-ranking official in China to communicate directly through a Twitter-like microblogging platform.

Hong Kong's media christened him "the most open secretary" in China, and he's known to Internet users as the "online secretary." But the 300,000 people who follow his account on the microblog Tencent Weibo haven't heard from him in nearly a year. On March 18, he announced a break from tweeting, shortly after the conclusion of China's most closely-watched political event, the so-called two sessions of the National People's Congress where he garnered headlines by tweeting from within the proceedings.

During the congress, he also sent a message of congratulation to Alim Halik, a Xinjiang-born lamb kebab seller who was getting married. Halik had previously impressed Zhang by donating 100,000 yuan ($16,000) - most of his profits for the last eight years – to support poor students and, with Zhang's endorsement, had been voted Person of the Year for 2010 in an internet poll organized by state news agency Xinhua.

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Economy

The Bogus Concept Of "Carbon-Neutral" Oil

The Colombian president recently said that the country had exported one million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset oil. But in an unregulated carbon market, such a claim is pure greenwashing.

People walk in the streets of Bogotá

María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ - In March this year, various national and corporate leaders met in Houston, Texas, for CERAWeek, an annual conference to discuss the world's energy challenges. Colombia's President Iván Duque took the opportunity to remind participants that his country produced just 0.6% of the world's carbon emissions even as it had raised crude production to one million barrels a day.

He said oil should not be seen as an enemy, since the fight was really against greenhouse gas emissions. He also revealed at the event that the country's national oil firm, Ecopetrol, had sold the Asian market its first million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset crude, consisting of the entire extraction, production and exportation chain.

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