On a Carousel

If you're involved in the online expat scene in China, there are a few people you come to know, very quickly, almost all in a very positive light, but one name has stood out over the years and it doesn't bring with it positive connotations, Chris Devonshire-Ellis. FOARP has the best, most comprehensive introduction of Mr. Devonshire-Ellis around.

The name led to many stories and blogs in previous years, but little has been heard about him lately, though recently he was back to his old ways, threatening the dean of Shanghai blogging, Wang Jianshuo. However, recently it appears Devonshire-Ellis did something unprecedented among bloggers in China and quite possibly around the world.

In his firm's "China Briefing" newsletter, he published a statement from a chummy "interview" with a Chinese government official in which the official makes very remarkable statements about the yuan, the Chinese currency, that, it seems were completely fabricated. China Law Blog has a great look at the whole story, breaking it down with links to other bloggers and some pertinent questions. Though it's doubtful that CDE could face legal charges for his questionable article, whatever connections he has to the Chinese government are certain to be burned. Pretending to be a journalist will get you in trouble in China, but when you do so and it influences the country's currency, I'd expect major ramifications.

This story is causing a mini-storm on twitter and could end up being the expat community's story of 2009, even though the year's only 2 months old.