From Henan Business News, Summarized with comments by Xiangfeng Yang, via Chinaelections.org:
In an unusually high profile manner, seven “prominent” Henan-based (“prominent” in the sense that they are not really nationally known) economists announced that they will set up a “New Academic Club” (xin xueshu julebu) intended to have an impact on policy making not only in Henan province but also on Beijing. The club will convene its first meeting on January 13 and will turn these social critics into advisors and opinionators (moushi).
According to Mr. Song, one of the initiators, the reason they want to start this is because for so many years whenever major policies were made, Henan’s voice was rarely heard or listened to. In response to the many problems resulting from the fast socioeconomic transformation there are different answers; each comes with a combination of regional interests and a series of other factors such as educational attainment of the individuals. Should Henan remain silent in the national competition of discourses? According to another scholar, Henan’s interest would not receive due attention and its economic development would be hurt. [Full Text]