China’s economy weakens as it tries to strengthen its hand in the Asian penisula

China’s economy continued to feel the effects of the global slowdown as manufacturing activity fell to a new low.

Kenneth Rapoza, however, notes in Forbes that China’s slowing manufacturing production is not quite the “hard landing” some analysts contend.

“The economy is growing above 7 percent. Below 7 percent is considered by economists to be a hard landing. Sure it is not 8 percent growth for China and we are all used to 10 percent and more. But 8 percent is not a hard landing. Nor is 7.5 percent. China is in limbo, between the hard landing 7 and the soft landing 8. It’s official now. China is neither here nor there,” he writes.

While China’s economic growth may be envied by some, their foreign policy is again drawing scorn from the international community.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged ASEAN nations to reach an agreement on a code of conduct on the South China Sea. Clinton will engage in separate discussions with China in hopes of getting leaders to sign onto the agreement. China is not a member of ASEAN.

Clinton’s entreaty, however, drew only criticism from China, which views US involvement as Western encroachment.

In other developments in China, another scandal involving government officials emerged over the weekend. The son of Ling Jihua, a top ally of Chinese president Hu Jintao, was arrested in a fatal hit-and-run accident and his father was demoted as the goverment sought to contain another scandal.

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