Deeplode has returned from the Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong where much fun was had. It takes more than a global meltdown to ruin the mood of the Chinese during New Year.
The fireworks were spectacular, the Flower Show at Victoria Park as well attended as ever and the restaurants were packed. The visits to the shrines and temples were as usual.
But underlying the celebrations were unspoken concerns about the year of the Bull...one certainly wouldn't articulate them during the New Year period but hope is replacing reality.
Indeed one of my friends who had been up in the southern province of Guangdong reported that a daily queue was forming every day in front of a giant replica of the Wall St. Golden Bull so they could touch it for good luck!!
Meaning the people feel more than ever that luck is needed!
However Xie Xuren, China's finance minister, did acknowledge the financial problems in his New Year greeting . The situation, he said, was now "very severe".
An unusual comment at this time of the year.
It indicates a nervousness amongst China's leaders about potential civil unrest which can spread like wild fire in some of the provinces.
The USA's current comments about manipulation of the yuan will not help ...indeed it was one of the factors in China and Russia attacking the USA this week as being the cause of the meltdown. The USA must be careful not to put themselves on the outer and at the same time giving reason for other countries to form "economic blocs". That we do not need.
Much will now depend on how President Obama handles relations with China and the Middle East. Russia needs some allies at the moment and it would be unwise of the USA to provide them with disaffected leaders of countries the West needs.
President Obama was born in the Year of the Ox and this could be very helpful in winning the trust of China.