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June 17, 2011



Expanding on the managed democracy theme, students at the university have been given strict instructions on how to behave when Wen addresses the Confucius institute there. They are encouraged to bring their friends, provided they "look like students".

China seems to specialise in coming to the aid of countries with few options and few friends. Moldova was lent $1bn a couple of years ago when it couldn't meet IMF conditionality for lack of a government. Hungary dumped the IMF last year, and its government has no friends in the EU. A couple of billion in budgetary support in exchange for a European bridgehead and some sycophantic praise from Hungary's pretend Mahathir looks like a pretty cheap way of gaining some modest influence.

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