Domenico Musco is Coming to Guizhou

Mr. Domenico Musco  is an Italian Industrialist whose company, SPARK ELETTRONICA Srl (SPARK) is interested in developing cooperation with Guizhou companies.  SPARK has advanced expertise in electrical wiring systems, wire testers, automated sensors and control systems, and automated food sector production.

The food sector services provided by SPARK include extensive automated solutions to the beer and wine industry. Mr. Musco is particularly interested in Guizhou Province because of Guizhou’s prominence in these beverage industries. The automated systems provided by SPARK can greatly improve testing and feedback control systems, reducing human error and increasing production speed.


Mr. Musco and staff have over fifty years in the field of automation and sensors in a variety of industries. His wiring and control solutions have ranged from giga-ohm to nano-ohm systems.

Mr. Musco can be reached via email at .

Governor Snyder, from Michigan, is coming again.

My home state is Michigan and my (recently re-elected) Governor is coming on a trade mission.  Last year he came to Guiyang, but Guangzhou is the closest that he will come on this trip:  See:


Snyder spoke along with four other U.S. governors at the 45th annual joint meeting between the Japan-Midwest U.S. and Midwest U.S.-Japan associations in Tokyo in 2013. (Melissa Anders |

By Emily Lawler | 
on November 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

LANSING, MI – Gov. Rick Snyder this week led a state delegation to China, where he hopes to woo Chinese investment and tourism.

A concurrent trade mission is being led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which heads up the state’s tourism and economic development efforts. This trip includes nine Michigan companies that are looking to China for business opportunities.


• In 2013, Michigan ranked eighth in U.S. exports to China.

• Over the past eight years, Michigan exports to China have risen almost 500 percent.

• Michigan companies exported nearly $4.1 billion in goods and materials to China in 2013.

Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

“New business investment in Michigan from China has surged since we reopened relations there in 2011,” Snyder said. “China makes a great opportunity for Pure Michigan tourism with its growing middle class in a population four times larger than ours in the U.S. We see broad export opportunities for Michigan in China and will be working to expand on our recent successes in this realm as well.”

So what typically happens on a trade mission? A year ago, MLive Reporter Melissa Anders joined the state delegation to find out. Learn about the trip and see examples of somecompanies that have participated in the past.

This time around, Snyder and the Michigan delegation will lead trips to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. At that last spot he’ll be vising the Guangzhou International Auto Show.

In addition to Snyder, the state delegation includes:

• Michael Finney, MEDC president and CEO

• Kevin Kerrigan, MEDC senior vice president, Automotive Office

• Lindsay Eister, MEDC chief of protocol

• Brian Connors, MEDC international business development manager, China

• Jeanne Broad, MEDC director, international trade management

• Weiwei Lu, MEDC international trade development manager, China

• David Lorenz, MEDC travel industry relations and international marketing manager

• Emily Palsrok, MEDC managing director, public relations

• Birgit Klohs, The Right Place, president and CEO

• Maureen Kraus, Detroit Regional Chamber, vice president of economic development

• Matt Gibb, Oakland County, deputy county executive

• Camille Silda, Macomb County senior economic development specialist

• Allison Scott, executive assistant to the governor

• Sara Wurfel, press secretary to the governor

The following companies will be going on the concurrent MEDC mission:

• Air and Liquid Systems, Inc.

• ATCO Industries

• Coffee Beanery

• Corrigan Air and Sea Cargo

• Global Electronics

• Huron Technologies

• KC Jones Plating

• SmithGroup JJR Incorporated

• Tranor Industries

Previous trade missions to China have already brought $1 billion worth of investment to the state, according to information provided by the Governor’s office.

The mission began Nov. 19 and last for a week. According to the Associated Press, Snyder’s 2013 trip to China and Japan cost $251,000 and the concurrent MEDC trip cost $173,000. Of that, $219,000 was covered by MEDC “corporate” funds, money the MEDC gets from Native American casino agreements, and $32,000 came from the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, a non-profit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Emily Lawler is a Capitol/Lansing business reporter for MLive. You can reach her, subscribe to her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter:@emilyjanelawler


Express Mail from China

Sorry I didn’t vote this year. I tried, but I depended on the Chinese Postal Service and apparently, the US Mail.  That collaboration failed.  I was promised seven business day delivery. If you don’t count the day I dropped the ballot off at the China Post Office. It was 9 days, 7 business days to the election.   I paid 185 rmb, about $30 to vote this year and the ballot didn’t arrive until November 12, eight days after the election.

I will try to find out what happened.  Here is the note that I sent to the Township Clerk:

Thanks for your note.  I take it that you received the envelope on the 12th.  That is a far cry from the seven business days that they guaranteed.  We have some serious credibility problems with the post. It was received in the USA on November 7 after a flight that apparently lasted for ten days. It went into US Customs on the 7th and out about noon on the 8th. If the USA side was competent the package should have been delivered on the 10th. Perhaps that was a holiday. They claim attempted delivery on the 11th, and still no record of delivery. Yikes. I have a website for foreigners in China at .  I plan to put this email and your response online for the benefit of other people who want to vote in the USA from China.  Do you know the date and time that the ballot was delivered? Did it come via US Mail, or a private carrier?  Thanks for your help.
It is 5:00 pm on the 13th here in China.Here is the tracking:

2014-10-26  15:30:00 GUIYANG Posting
2014-10-26  17:18:00 PENGZHI Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-10-26  21:55:52 GUIYANG Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-10-27  02:32:49 GUIYANG Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-10-27  20:42:00 GUANGZHOU Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-10-28  02:44:00 GUANGZHOU Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-11-07  08:22:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ISC CHICAGO IL Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-11-07  08:23:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ISC CHICAGO IL Handed over to Customs
2014-11-08  10:56:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ISC CHICAGO IL Released from Customs
2014-11-10  08:23:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 49643 Arrival at Delivery Office
2014-11-10  08:42:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 49643 Attempted delivery

Detroit’s Bankruptcy Plan – The Economist

Detroit’s bankruptcy plan

A phoenix emerges

Nov 7th 2014, 22:47 BY V.V.B|newe|10-11-2014|

“THERE is an exciting feeling of a new beginning,” says John Pottow, a bankruptcy expert at the University of Michigan. After years of decline that ended in disaster when Detroit filed for bankruptcy last year, one of America’s biggest cities has been given a new lease of life. Today Steven Rhodes, a bankruptcy judge, approved Detroit’s plan for the adjustment of debts that will allow the city to slash $7 billion of unsecured liabilities off its $18 billion debt mountain.

Detroit has a long history of mismanagement. But the handling of its bankruptcy so far has been a textbook example of efficiency and pragmatism. Much of the credit for getting Detroit back on track in less than 16 months must go to Kevyn Orr, the bankruptcy lawyer appointed by the state of Michigan to sort out the mess. Mr Orr had the powers of a “benevolent dictator”, says Mr Pottow, and he used them well. Under the agreement both pensioners and bond holders will take pain, albeit at varying degrees. The pensions of retirees will be cut by 4.5% and the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) will go. Retirees from the police force and the fire brigade will have to live with a reduction in COLA from 2.25% to 1%.  Health-care benefits will be reduced by 90% for all retirees. Bond holders, such as Syncora, a bond insurer, had to accept a huge haircut. Syncora will get 26 cents on the dollar. Another bond insurer with a claim of $1 billion, Financial Guaranty Insurance, had to accept big losses.

Mr Orr managed to save the art collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) from sale in what is referred to as “the grand bargain”. Foundations, private donors and the state of Michigan raised $816m to protect the DIA from the city’s creditors. The funds raised will help to pay public worker’s pensions—and the ownership of the museum was transferred from the municipality to an independent charitable trust.

The exit from chapter 9 (the part of the American bankruptcy code that deals with municipalities) gives Detroit some breathing space. But it’s only a first step on the long way to recovery. The big question is whether Detroit will manage to become an attractive city again where people want to live, invest, work—and pay taxes. At the moment this seems a long way off: roads are in disrepair; more than one-third of city lights don’t work; public schools are failing the pupils who bother to turn up; ambulances break down; thousands of households don’t have water and there are 84,000 blighted and vacant parcels of property. (The city is demolishing 200 houses a week at a cost of, on average, more than $8,000 each.)

The adjustment plan approved by the judge sets aside $1.7 billion over the next nine years for investment in basic services and infrastructure. It is a vast sum for a city that has trimmed investments to a minimum in recent years, but Detroit’s needs are such that this pot could run out in as soon as five years. The city must rebuild its credibility, otherwise no one will lend to Detroit, says James Spiotto, a bankruptcy expert at Chapman Strategic Advisors.

After a judge approves a bankruptcy plan objectors have 14 days to file appeals. Yet appeals are unlikely at this stage as the tough battles with retirees and creditors have all been fought. Many are now optimistic about Detroit’s chances for recovery. “It can be done,” says Mr Spiotto. His colleague, Mr Pottow, compares the city to an alcoholic who has sobered up. The question is whether Detroit will have the strength and support to avoid past temptations of profligacy, mismanagement and corruption.


As a Michigan (ex)patriot I have followed the bankruptcy of Detroit and the plight of the US cities. My background includes both real estate appraisal and politics. Chinese are often pointing to Detroit as an example of why their system is better than the American system. That hasn’t deterred Chinese from investing heavily in Detroit, at what many consider bargain prices.

The Michigan election is in the can and so is the bankruptcy proceeding for the City of Detroit. The solution to the immediate crisis of Detroit was part political and part financial.  The Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, was re-elected and details of the uniquely American solution to the Detroit malaise (as reported in the NY Times) has emerged . . .

Finding $816 Million, and Fast, to Save Detroit


 Detroit Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, which pledged $125 million to help Detroit fix its financial affairs. Credit Joshua Bright for The New York Times


DETROIT — Late one afternoon last November, leaders of some of the nation’s top foundations were invited into a private meeting in a courthouse conference room here as Judge Gerald E. Rosen, the appointed mediator in this city’s federal bankruptcy case, made an unheard-of request.

He wanted the philanthropic groups, some with ties to the city, to help rescue Detroit from bankruptcy by donating hundreds of millions of dollars to spare retirees from deeper pension cuts and protect the city’s famed art collection.

The pitch went on for about three hours.

“My initial reaction was, this is a crazy idea,” Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, remembered thinking as he listened that afternoon. “Eight hundred million dollars from a group of foundations? I thought it was rather over the top in its boldness,” Mr. Walker said, adding of the mood in the room: “I think there was a collective gulp.”

At the center of Detroit’s swift exit on Friday from the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy is a $816 million deal that has come to be known as “the grand bargain,” an improbable arrangement hashed out in many months of behind-the-scenes negotiations with foundations, the State of Michigan and the Detroit Institute of Arts Officials in Detroit celebrated “a new day” after a federal judge approved a plan to bring the city out of bankruptcy.

Mediation in the bankruptcy case was private, with participants bound to court-ordered confidentiality rules, but new details give a glimpse at how the bargain came together despite early uncertainty from foundations, headwinds in the state’s Legislature, and vehement objections from some financial creditors who initially argued that the deal was unfair and improper.

The significance of the deal became clear on Friday as Judge Steven W. Rhodes of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan accepted Detroit’s plan to leave bankruptcy after less than 16 months, allowing the city to shed $7 billion in debt and to invest about $1.7 billion into long-neglected services and repairs.

To reach this moment, retired general municipal workers had to agree to 4.5 percent cuts to their monthly pension checks, an end to cost-of-living increases, higher health care costs and a mandatory forfeiture of previous payments from the pension system that were deemed improper. Retired police officers and firefighters accepted smaller reductions. And, in an exit plan that was more a stack of negotiated and interconnected settlements than a court-ordered antidote, other creditors agreed to accept pennies on the dollar for their loans to the city.

But at the base of all those settlements was the grand bargain, which, in addition to preserving the museum’s vaunted collection, allowed Detroit to grant all of its retirees a better deal than first expected. The arrangement moves the art collection into a private trust that is bankruptcy-proof, while the money from foundations, museum donors and the state goes to the pension plans over the next two decades.

“This is really different,” said Joel L. Fleishman, a professor of law and public policy at Duke University and an expert on nonprofit groups. “In terms of foundation giving, there is nothing comparable to the scale or purpose of this. There are plenty of examples to point to of foundations getting together on an issue, but I don’t know of a single example of an effort to come in and save a city from bankruptcy.”

While the bargain was widely praised among leaders here, including Judge Rhodes, it has also raised questions for some critics. With top foundations sending such large grants to Detroit, will there be less to give to other, smaller programs? And will other financially troubled cities now turn to foundations for answers to their problems, too?

The idea began with Judge Rosen, who is also the chief United States judge for the Eastern District of Michigan and who was appointed by Judge Rhodes, the federal bankruptcy judge in the case, to lead a team of mediators seeking settlements between the city and its many creditors.

The city’s problems were enormous — $18 billion in debts, miserable services and annual deficits. But two problems were among the most sensitive. City retirees, many of them barely getting by, were looking at significant cuts. And creditors seemed to be circling around the Detroit Institute of Arts, founded in 1885, with its widely respected collection of treasures by van Gogh, Matisse and others that some creditors argued should be sold to help pay off the city’s debts.

So for the mediators, the thought of solving both problems in a single swoop was tantalizing.  Not long after the city filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, Judge Rosen had jotted a note to himself — one some involved now point to as a historic document — with the words “state,” “art” and “pensions” and arrows between them.

Along the way, leaders of the museum agreed to raise $100 million from its donors. Those involved in talks said a smaller sum had been discussed until museum leaders got a personal request from Gov. Rick Snyder.

The state, too, was asked to provide $350 million over 20 years — a prospect that initially was met with skepticism from a Republican-held State Legislature, resistant to suggestions of a bailout for troubled Detroit.

In weeks of private conversations, though, one provision helped. As part of the deal, the state would be ensured oversight of Detroit’s finances even after bankruptcy by a commission including state appointees. Another factor also helped convince lawmakers: By the time the Legislature approved giving state money in June, the foundations had already pledged $366 million — surprising many, even themselves.

In the fall of 2013, Mariam Noland, the president of the Detroit-based Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, ran into Judge Rosen in a deli near the courthouse. She said she had heard that he was working on the city’s bankruptcy case, and offered, somewhat offhandedly, her help. Not long after, Judge Rosen called. He asked her to call foundation leaders and invite them to Detroit for a meeting.

At first, Ms. Noland had doubts. “They needed a lot — and fast,” she recalled, referring to Detroit. “And those two things together don’t normally happen with foundations.”

In truth, when more than a dozen foundation leaders met with the mediators in the courthouse conference room, most seemed to have doubts.

But after the insistent pleas from Judge Rosen, the mood began to change. And after a dinner that followed with a smaller group at Ms. Noland’s home, some came away convinced that Detroit needed their help.

Alberto Ibargüen, the president and chief executive officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, remembered driving Mr. Walker, who had been named president of the Ford Foundation only months earlier, back to his hotel that night.

For this to work, he remembered Mr. Walker saying, the Ford Foundation would need to “come in big.”

“I said if you do $100 million, we should give $20 million,” Mr. Ibargüen remembered telling Mr. Walker. “He said, ‘I think we have a beginning of a deal.’ ”

To the boards of most of the foundations, the concept was peculiar. There was no program for a bankrupt city. And for Ford, based in New York, and Knight, based in Miami, Detroit’s problems were remote. Yet, the Ford Foundation had its roots in Michigan, established in 1936 by the family that founded the Ford Motor Company.

And the Knight Foundation had ties to Detroit, too, one of the cities where family members had owned newspapers.

In a matter of months, Ford had pledged $125 million, the Knight Foundation $30 million, and the Kresge Foundation, which is based in Michigan, $100 million. And nine other foundations have pledged other sums.

“There are often skeptics who have given up on American cities,” Mr. Walker said not long ago. “And this is a big mistake. We can’t give up on our cities.”

Randy Kennedy contributed reporting.



Ivy’s Birthday Party

On November 8 we celebrated my friend Ivy’s birthday.


Halloween at the Kempinski

The Kempinski Hotel had another theme party for Halloween. Located near Dong Men and Xiao Shi Ze, the Kempinski’s sixth floor Paulaner Brew Pub hosted a Halloween party. The place was decorated appropriately and many guests had Halloween costumes.

English Testing

Recent publications in China, as reported by BBC Monitoring suggests IELTS and TOEFL are becoming relatively more important:
6 November 2014, BBC []

And finally, some papers are discussing the “credibility” of China’s national English test after top universities in Hong Kong recently refused to recognise the system.

According to the Southern Metropolis Daily and the Beijing News, University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong have announced that they will not accept the scores of the mainland’s College English Test (CET) for admissions.

Instead, they have asked applicants to submit scores of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Reflecting on the decision, an article in the Henan Business Dailycriticises the mainland English language education for its emphasis on memorising grammar rules and vocabulary, but not on practicality.

“Some students have obtained high marks in the test, but they are not able to communicate fluently and are ‘deaf’ (when it comes to listening skills)…,” it says.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring,click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.


Guiyang-Guangzhou High Speed Rail


Guiyang-Guangzhou high speed rail to open this December

2014-09-16 05:54:30 []

The construction of the Guiyang-Guangzhou high speed rail has come to an end and its debugging is being carried out to make sure the line is put into operation by the end of the year, the Guiyang-Guangzhou high speed rail scheduling conference was told.

It is expected that the standard speed of the Guiyang-Guangzhou line will be 250 km/h. With a total length of 857 kilometers, the high speed rail will start from north Guiyang, stopping at Longli, Duyun, Danzhai, Rongjiang, Congjiang, Guilin, Gongcheng, Hezhou, Zhaoqing, Sanshui and Foshan, to arrive at its terminal Guangzhou.

There are 21 stops in total, and 8 stops among them are inside Guizhou province.

After completion, the duration from Guiyang to Guangzhou will be reduced to only 4 hours, from as long as 20 hours before.

Tunnels will carry more than 80 percent of the Guiyang-Guangzhou high speed railway. And for convenience, a 3G and 4G network will cover most of the tunnels.

Source: China Daily

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Guiyang–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Guiyang–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway – Wikipedia, the…

Guiyang-Guangzhou High Speed Railway is a major trunk route selected in the 11th Five Year Plan by the Chinese government. It will allow a fast link bet…
Preview by Yahoo


Guiyang-Guangzhou High Speed Railway is a major trunk route selected in the 11th Five Year Plan by the Chinese government. It will allow a fast link between the South-West Chinese provinces of Sichuan,ChongqingGuizhou and Guangxi to the economic power houses of China in Guangdong and Hong Kong. It will allow for a massive reduction travel time between Guiyang and Guangzhou from 22 to 4 hours.

The 857 km route of this railway is more direct than current routes. This is due to the exceptionally difficult and mountainous terrain, making this high-speed project very expensive to construct. Project cost is estimated at 85.8 billion RMB (USD$12.6 billion).[1] This means 209 tunnels are required over the length of this route, some being in excess of 14 km in length.[2] It will pass through the major tourist destinations of Guilin and Yangshuo in Guangxi province with its unique karst landscape.

Construction commenced in 2008 and is expected to take 6 years to complete.

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High-speed train to arrive in Guilin this year



The joint commissioning and integrated testing of the Guilin-Liuzhou section of Hengyang-Liuzhou high-speed railway started on July 19, 2013. The Guilin–Liuzhou high-speed rail is expected to open this year, with a travel time of only one hour between the two cities.The joint testing and commissioning of Guilin-Liuzhou high-speed railway

The Hengyang-Liuzhou high-speed railway serves as an important part of XiangGui (Hunan to Guangxi) railway expansion renovation project. It is the first one to make the testing and commissioning among the high-speed rails in Guangxi. This 497.9-kilometer-long rail route is expected to put into operation on a trial basis, in August, and be ready to open at the end of 2013.
The Xianggui railway, a 723-kilometer track, links the city of Hengyang, Hunan province and Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi; And, the Guiguang high-speed rail, linking the city of Guiyang, in Guizhou province, with Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, will pass through Guilin.
High-speed ralway network in South China


It is reported that as many as seven high-speed rails in Guangxi are expected to go into service this year. Thus, Guangxi is stepping into an era of high-speed railways. For travelers, it will be possible to enjoy the Guilin sunshine of a morning, go shopping in Guangzhou after 2 hours, and taste the famous Peking duck in the evening.