Sunday, 30 November 2008


Bibhudatta Pradhan and James Rupert

Bloomberg, December 1, 2008

India’s deadliest terrorist attack in 15 years has left a shaken population, shorn of confidence that its leaders can keep them safe and revive an economy growing at its slowest pace since 2004.

The Mumbai attacks that took the lives of at least 195 people pose an enormous political challenge to the Congress Party-led coalition government, which is obliged to call a national election by May. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday replaced Home Minister Shivraj Patil after the rival Bharatiya Janata Party took aim with quarter-page newspaper ads showing blood splattered on a wall and proclaiming “Weak Government.”

The 60-hour slaughter at five-star hotels, a Jewish center and a restaurant thrust Indian terrorism into the global limelight. Politicizing the killings risks inflaming India’s ages-old Hindu-Muslim divide, the root of 11 previous bombings this year that left 300 people dead in street markets, theaters and mosques.

“Undoubtedly, India’s image is hurt,” said D. Suba Chandran, deputy director at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi. “There is a need for a bipartisan approach that has been lacking.” By targeting foreign nationals, the attackers also struck at international links that have underpinned 9 percent average growth in the $1.3 trillion economy for the past three years.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 27 November 2008


James Rupert

Bloomberg, November 28, 2008

The terrorist attacks in Mumbai show India’s home-grown Islamic militant movement is aligning its campaign with those in the broader Muslim world, while seeking to hit economic interests, intelligence analysts said.

Gunmen who stormed hotels and other tourist sites in India’s financial capital -- leaving at least 121 dead -- displayed a greater degree of organization, sophistication and determination than in strikes of recent years, said B. Raman, the former counter-terrorism director of India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing.

The violence “seems to be part of a chain of attacks dating back to last year” by a domestic militant group called the Indian Mujahideen, which in recent statements has “made references to the ’war of civilizations,’” signaling a mindset close to international groups such as al-Qaeda, Raman said.

After years in which Indian Muslim extremists have focused on the country’s Hindu majority, the militants’ targeting of Americans and Britons gives them common cause with global Islamist groups like al-Qaeda and at the same time strikes the international links that have helped India’s economy grow at 9 percent or more for each of the past three years.

Previously, their aim was “to incite communal strife between Hindus and Muslims,” said Reva Bhalla, director of geopolitical analysts at Stratfor, a private intelligence company in Austin, Texas. The latest attacks were aimed at “spreading fear to Western tourists and businesspeople, hitting at India’s economic lifelines,” Bhalla said.

(...) [artículo aquí]


Somini Sengupta

The New York Times, November 27, 2008

MUMBAI, India — Coordinated terrorist attacks struck the heart of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, on Wednesday night, killing dozens in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a Jewish center, a movie theater and a hospital.

Even by the standards of terrorism in India, which has suffered a rising number of attacks this year, the assaults were particularly brazen in scale and execution. The attackers used boats to reach the urban peninsula where they hit, and their targets were sites popular with tourists.

The Mumbai police said Thursday that the attacks killed at least 101 people and wounded at least 250. Guests who had escaped the hotels told television stations that the attackers were taking hostages, singling out Americans and Britons.

A previously unknown group claimed responsibility, though that claim could not be confirmed. It remained unclear whether there was any link to outside terrorist groups.

Gunfire and explosions rang out into the morning.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


As the factory to the world, China may be the nation most vulnerable to collapsing global demand.

George Wehrfritz

Newsweek, issue dated December 1, 2008

Workers are losing factory jobs at the fastest rate in decades. Automakers—having failed to anticipate today's sales slump—are lobbying politicians for bailouts. The stock market is a crash heap, home prices are down by 35 percent or more in many cities and toxic assets have begun to weigh heavily on banks. America in 2008? Try China, where the global economic downturn now looks certain to end the country's 30-year growth boom, posing the greatest leadership challenge to Beijing since pro-democracy demonstrations threatened one-party communist rule back in 1989.

That's not the conventional take on China—yet. But with most industrialized countries now in recession and countries the world over hoping against hope that the planet's most buoyant major economy might somehow dampen the global downturn, it's a forecast that increasingly rings true. The reasoning goes something like this: China, despite its deep pool of savings and $2 trillion in foreign reserves, is unprotected from the fall in global demand that began in earnest in mid-2008. Notwithstanding all the hoopla about the rise of China's billion consumers, the body blow that's now landing in the industrial heartland will debunk the notion that China has already begun transitioning toward a new growth model based less on exports and investment and more on household consumption. "We would love to believe it too, but it just ain't so," wrote Standard Chartered bank's highly respected China economist, Stephen Green, last month. He says expecting Chinese spending to save the world from recession is "a pipe dream."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Henry Sanderson

Time, November 25, 2008

(BEIJING) — Newly released scientific results show one-third of the famed Yellow River, which supplies water to millions of people in northern China, is heavily polluted by industrial waste and unsafe for any use.

The Yellow River, the second-longest in China, has seen its water quality deteriorate rapidly in the last few years, as discharge from factories increases and water levels drop because of diversion for booming cities.

The river supplies a region chronically short of water but rich in industry.

The Yellow River Conservancy Committee said 33.8 percent of the river's water sampled registered worse than level 5, meaning it's unfit for drinking, aquaculture, industrial use and even agriculture, according to criteria used by the United Nations Environmental Program.

A 2007 survey covered more than 8,384 miles of the river, which flows from western Qinghai province across China into the Bohai sea, and its tributaries, a notice posted on the committee's Web site Saturday said.

Only 16.1 percent of the river samples reached level 1 or 2 — water considered safe for household use.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 24 November 2008


Bill Faries and Shamim Adam

Bloomberg, November 24, 2008

Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim nations said the world financial crisis may force a breakthrough on a global trade deal that’s been stalled for seven years, and warned against protectionism as they headed home from a summit in Lima.

With a slowdown pushing countries into recession from the U.S. to New Zealand, heads of state of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum concluded two days of meetings yesterday, saying a preliminary agreement may be reached next month in World Trade Organization talks known as the Doha Round. The negotiations began in 2001.

“This crisis may turn into an opportunity for world leaders to resolve the Doha Round,” Kazuo Kodama, spokesman for Japan’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Lima after the summit ended.

Still, the annual APEC meeting failed to produce specific new proposals to ease the crisis, and leaders said their free- trade ambitions may rest on bilateral efforts or actions by individual countries. The leaders lent their support to a Nov. 15 statement from the Group of 20 developed and emerging economies, which encouraged interest rate cuts and fiscal stimulus to foster growth.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Xinhua, November 23, 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward proposals for dealing with major issues in international economic and social development and tackling the ongoing global financial crisis at the 16th APEC economic leaders' meeting here on Saturday.

Hu presented five proposals for addressing the prominent issues in international economic and social development.

First, APEC member economies should build consensus and promote sound development of the multilateral trading regime, Hu said. (...)

Second, APEC member economies should take up responsibilities and jointly tackle climate change, he stressed. (...)

Third, exchanges and cooperation should be conducted and efforts joined to combat natural disasters, Hu said. (...)

Fourth, regulation and guidance should be enhanced and corporate social responsibility strengthened, he said. (...)

Fifth, APEC members should take coordinated actions and ensure world food and energy security, Hu emphasized. (...)


"The rapidly-spreading international financial crisis, with its extensive impact, constitutes the most severe challenge confronting world economic growth," Hu said.
It is a major and urgent task for all countries and regions to deal effectively with financial risks, maintain international financial stability and promote world economic development, he added, lodging three proposals.

First, to curb the worsening financial crisis, all countries should take prompt and effective measures, enhance macroeconomic policy coordination, improve information sharing, help each other as much as possible, and employ all necessary fiscal and monetary means to stop the spread and development of the financial crisis, bring stability to global financial markets, stimulate economic growth, minimize the damage of the financial crisis on the real economy and avoid a global economic recession.

Second, the international community should earnestly draw lessons from the ongoing financial crisis and, based on full consultations among all stakeholders, undertake necessary reform of the international financial system in a comprehensive, balanced, incremental and result-oriented way, with a view to establishing anew international financial order that is fair, just, inclusive and orderly and fostering an institutional environment conducive to sound global economic development. (...)

Third, from a long-term perspective, it is necessary to change those models of economic growth that are not sustainable and to address the underlying problems in member economies.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 22 November 2008


People’s Daily, November 22, 2008

Following his trip to Washington for the Group of 20 summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Costa Rica, Cuba and Peru in the past week to promote ties with Latin America.

As the international situation undergoes profound changes, President Hu's trip was aimed at injecting new vitality into China-Latin America relations, which have been moving forward on a sound development track since early this year.

During this period, the respective presidents of Chile, Mexico and Venezuela paid visits to China, which also hosted a business summit for entrepreneurs from the two sides.

More remarkably, the Chinese government issued an unprecedented document clarifying China's policy goals on Latin America and put forward guiding principles for China-Latin America cooperation, thus establishing a stronger basis for the continued, healthy and stable development of mutual ties.

To better unite and cooperate with developing countries has been a fundamental standpoint of Chinese diplomacy. As China is the largest developing country and Latin America one of the major developing regions, the two sides are in similar developmental stages and share broad common interests.

[artículo aquí]

Friday, 21 November 2008


The Times of India, November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON: China and India are likely to emerge atop a multipolar international system as the US economic and political clout declines over the next two decades, according to US intelligence agencies projections.

Not only will new players — Brazil, Russia, India and China — have a seat at the international high table, they will bring new stakes and rules of the game, said the National Intelligence Council analysis "Global Trends 2025- A Transformed World" released on Thursday.

The whole international system, as constructed following the Second World War, will be revolutionised, said the report based on a global survey of experts and trends by US intelligence analysts.

It was timed to be ready for the incoming administration of US President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office Jan 20.

Although the rise of no other state can equal the impact of the rise of such populous states as China and India, other countries with potentially high-performing economies could play increasingly important roles on the world stage, the report said.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Samuel Bleicher

Asia Times, November 20, 2008

A recent New York Times editorial gives China broad advice on the economic and financial crises, most of it wrong. Headlined "As Goes China, so Goes ..." (an allusion to the old US presidential election bromide, "As goes Maine, so goes the nation), the editorial distills the essence of the macroeconomists' conventional wisdom about the proper future direction of the Chinese economy: reduce exports, expand imports, and create a modern consumer economy.

The Times implies that China's government budget surplus, high individual savings rate, and endless consumer and social welfare needs make the task easy, if only Chinese policymakers would catch on. In fact, this transformation would be far more disruptive. Moreover, neither China nor the world can survive the creation of a clone of the 20th-century US economy in the coming era of high-cost energy and low-carbon footprints.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Tariq Ali

Asia Times, November 19, 2008

Afghanistan has been almost continuously at war for 30 years, longer than both World Wars and the American war in Vietnam combined. Each occupation of the country has mimicked its predecessor. A tiny interval between wars saw the imposition of a malignant social order, the Taliban, with the help of the Pakistani military and the late Benazir Bhutto, the prime minister who approved the Taliban takeover in Kabul.

Over the past two years, the United States/North Atlantic Treaty Organization occupation of that country has run into serious military problems. Given a severe global economic crisis and the election of a new American president - a man separated in style, intellect and temperament from his predecessor - the possibility of a serious discussion about an exit strategy from the Afghan disaster hovers on the horizon. The predicament the US and its allies find themselves in is not an inescapable one, but a change in policy, if it is to matter, cannot be of the cosmetic variety.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Andrew Jacobs

The New York Times, November 18, 2008

BEIJING — A high-ranking Chinese military official has hinted that China’s fast-growing navy is seeking to acquire an aircraft carrier, a move that would surely stoke tensions with the United States military and its allies in Asia.

In an interview published in The Financial Times of London on Monday, the official, Maj. Gen. Quan Lihua, did not say whether China was building a carrier. But the general, a senior official of the Ministry of National Defense, said having one was the dream of any great military power. He suggested that the United States had nothing to fear should China acquire one for strictly defensive purposes.

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier,” he said in the interview. “Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”
In recent years, Pentagon officials have been following Beijing’s naval buildup. Since 2000, China has constructed at least 60 warships. Its fleet of 860 vessels includes about 60 submarines.

Tensions between China and the United States were heightened last month after the Pentagon announced the sale of $6 billion in advanced weapons to Taiwan. China warned that the move could worsen relations between the countries. The deal includes Apache attack helicopters and an array of missiles, radars and antiaircraft defense systems.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 17 November 2008


Jason Clenfield

Bloomberg, November 17, 2008

Japan's economy, the world's second largest, entered its first recession since 2001 last quarter and the government and economists say conditions may get even worse.

Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.4 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. Economists predicted the economy would grow 0.1 percent after contracting a revised 3.7 percent in the previous period.

The slowdown may deepen as the global financial crisis hurts exports, prompting companies from Toyota Motor Corp. to Canon Inc. to slash profit forecasts and cut investments. Japan has the lowest interest rates among the 20 biggest economies and public debt that exceeds 180 percent of GDP, limiting the government's ability to stimulate growth.

“It's only going to get worse,” said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Tokyo. “Japan may be entering its deepest recession in a decade as the global financial crisis cools demand overseas.”

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 14 November 2008

The Economic Times, November 14, 2008

MUMBAI: Despite China and India adopting different growth paths, the two economies are suffering from the global turmoil in similar ways. External demand is evaporating, weighing on the performance of the Asian giants' exports. Foreign direct investment is also losing steam amid a global credit squeeze and rising risk aversion.

Optimists had expected the two giant Asian economies to help prevent a global recession. However, because of globalisation, economies around the world have become increasingly intertwined. The two powerhouses are not immune as slowing exports and investment weigh on their growth momentum.

"Although China and India account for 40 per cent of the world's population, their 2007 GDPs add up to less than 10% of global output in nominal value, or around 15% on a purchasing power parity basis. Moreover, their economic health is still highly dependent on the global environment. Thus, they are a long way from being able to play the leader or saviour role in shielding the rest of the world from a substantial downturn. That said, China and India's relatively strong demand for imports - for infrastructure development - has already cushioned the adverse impact of the global crisis by providing much-needed support to trade-dependent economies, especially those specialising in resources and technology," said Sherman Chan, economist with Moody's

China, in particular, has been helped through its cash-rich financial institutions and its $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, established in 2007 thanks to the country's massive foreign reserves, which stood at $1.9 trillion at the end of September. In its most notable rescue role so far, China Investment Corp. had bought a 9.9% stake in Morgan Stanley in December, in the early stages of the financial storm. However, with the fund's first investment in a Western financial firm - in private equity firm Blackstone Group - suffering a huge paper loss, the authorities have become more cautious in assessing such opportunities. Furthermore, the plunge of domestic stock markets this year has prompted the government to direct the sovereign wealth fund to shore up the Shanghai exchange, at the expense of bailing out other troubled firms in the West.

(...) [artículo aquí]


N. Ram

The Hindu, November 14, 2008

Frankfurt: Three points will be highlighted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, which is being held in Washington on November 14 and 15. The first point is the need for greater inclusivity in the international financial system. The second is the need to ensure that developing country growth prospects do not suffer. The third is the need to avoid protectionist tendencies.

These points are indicated in Dr Singh's departure statement of November 13 and Finance Minister (FM) P. Chidambaram elaborated on them in an interaction with journalists on board Air India One.

"The key point," Mr. Chidambaram noted, "is we must agree to a new order of global oversight. And this can come only by, as Prime Minister said, greater inclusivity in the international financial system. In many ways, the IMF is unable to be an early warning system. The G7 is too narrow and too small. A more inclusive system, we believe, can provide better global oversight and serve as an early warning mechanism."

Elaborating the second point, Mr. Chidambaram observed that "as the world grapples with the crisis and the countries most hit by the crisis find their growth prospects hampered, we must not forget that there are only a handful of economies that are driving world economic growth." Among these countries were China, India, and a few other countries. There were also some countries that have "the ability to become drivers of economic growth." So it was vital that the few countries able to drive economic growth and other countries that have "got on to the bandwagon of development" should not suffer in "the period in which we grapple with the economic crisis." This meant resources should be made available to these countries, including India, "so that they can continue to grow and drive world economic growth."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 13 November 2008


Choe Sang-Hun

The New York Times, November 13, 2008

SEOUL, South Korea — In its first major act of defiance since Senator Barack Obama’s election, North Korea said Wednesday that it would bar international nuclear inspectors from taking soil and nuclear waste samples, which are considered crucial to determining the extent of its weapons program.

The Foreign Ministry said that American experts would be allowed to visit the main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of the capital, Pyongyang, to review documents and interview engineers, according to the North’s state-run Korea Central News Agency. But no samples can be taken, it said.

The North also said any inspections by American and United Nations experts must be confined to Yongbyon, where a plutonium-based nuclear plant is being dismantled. That limitation complicates Washington’s attempts to determine whether the North has been pursuing a separate uranium-enrichment program and exporting nuclear technology to countries like Syria.

North Korea detonated a plutonium-based device in 2006, adding urgency to arduous six-nation talks to halt the North’s nuclear program. As part of the eventual deal, the North made a declaration in June of its nuclear activities. President Bush then said he was prepared to remove North Korea from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, and the North demolished the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear plant.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Thomas Fuller

The New York Times, November 12, 2008

BANGKOK — The remnants of the last financial crisis are still arrayed across this sprawling city, half-finished buildings covered with mold and rust stains, reminders of a real estate bubble a decade ago that burst with a loud bang.

The crisis of 1997 was breathtaking for its suddenness and ferocity. Banks collapsed, companies went under and erstwhile millionaires, desperate for cash, sold their belongings at what became known as the market of the formerly rich.
Now as another global financial crisis unfolds, the signs of distress in Southeast Asia are much more subtle.

Traffic has thinned by 6 percent on Bangkok’s expressways. Indonesian farmers who harvest the red fruit from oil palm trees are having trouble finding buyers. House prices in Vietnam, a relative newcomer to capitalism, have come down 30 percent in recent months, following years of steep rises.

Stock markets in Southeast Asia have slid downward almost in lockstep with those in New York, London and Tokyo. But outside of trading rooms, there is none of the palpable panic of a decade ago when the region was ground zero in what the Thais called the “tom yam crisis,” after the famous spicy soup that can burn one’s tongue.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Jane Perlez and Pir Zubair Shah

The New York Times, November 11, 2008

When Pakistan’s army retook this strategic stronghold from the Taliban last month, it discovered how deeply Islamic militants had encroached on — and literally dug into — Pakistani territory.

Behind mud-walled family compounds in the Bajaur area, a vital corridor to Afghanistan through Pakistan’s tribal belt, Taliban insurgents created a network of tunnels to store arms and move about undetected.

Some tunnels stretched for more than half a mile and were equipped with ventilation systems so that fighters could withstand a long siege. In some places, it took barrages of 500-pound bombs to break the tunnels apart.

“These were not for ordinary battle,” said Gen. Tariq Khan, the commander of the Pakistan Frontier Corps, who led the army’s campaign against the Taliban in the area.

After three months of sometimes fierce fighting, the Pakistani Army controls a small slice of Bajaur. But what was initially portrayed as a paramilitary action to restore order in the area has become the most sustained military campaign by the Pakistani Army against the Taliban and its backers in Al Qaeda since Pakistan allied itself with the United States in 2001.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 10 November 2008


Li Yanping and Chia-Peck Wong

Bloomberg, November 10, 2008

China, the biggest contributor to world growth, unveiled a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) plan to sustain its economy, spurring gains in stocks, metals and oil.

China's cabinet pledged “fast and heavy-handed investment” in housing and infrastructure through 2010 and a “relatively loose” monetary policy, according to a State Council statement yesterday.

Copper jumped more than 7 percent and Asian stocks rallied on optimism the package will limit the depth of a looming global recession and encourage coordinated efforts to revive growth. President Hu Jintao will join crisis talks with world leaders this weekend in Washington, where President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to pass stimulus measures.

“This plan is, by all measures, too large to be ignored,” said Kevin Lai, an economist at Daiwa Institute of Research in Hong Kong. China may “help the rest of the world by creating more demand for foreign goods and services.”

China's CSI 300 Index of shares jumped 5.2 percent as of 1:01 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper increased as much as 7.7 percent in London. Crude oil, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares, and some Asian currencies also climbed.

China accounted for 27 percent of global economic growth last year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. The government didn't say how much spending was previously allocated and indicated some will be private investment.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 9 November 2008


El gigante asiático ya nota el impacto de la ralentización económica mundial

José Reinoso

El País (Negocios), 9 de noviembre de 2008

Cuando el pasado septiembre estalló la tormenta financiera mundial, pareció que China atravesaría casi inmune el temporal, gracias a sus cuantiosas reservas de divisas (casi dos billones de dólares) y un sistema financiero cerrado. Pero, a medida que la crisis se profundiza, los efectos se están dejando notar sobre la cuarta economía del planeta, cada vez más interconectada con el resto del mundo.

Tras cinco años de crecimiento anual de dos dígitos, Pekín prevé que el PIB (producto interior bruto) aumente en 2008 a menor ritmo -un 9,8%-, mientras que los bancos de negocios extranjeros sitúan el porcentaje para el año que viene por debajo del 8%. Una cifra envidiable para otros países, pero peligrosa para China, ya que se acerca al mínimo del 7% que el Gobierno considera que debe crecer el país para crear suficiente empleo y asegurar la estabilidad social.

El primer ministro, Wen Jiabao, lo ha advertido sin tapujos. "Este año será el peor de los últimos tiempos para nuestro desarrollo económico", ha afirmado Wen en un artículo publicado el pasado fin de semana en Qiushi (buscando la verdad), una revista del Comité Central del Partido Comunista Chino. "La crisis financiera global y el descenso económico están empeorando. La presión inflacionista sigue siendo fuerte, mientras que los precios del petróleo, a pesar de algunas correcciones, continúan altos. Todos estos factores negativos han afectado y continuarán afectando a China".

La prueba ha venido con los datos del tercer trimestre, publicados el mes pasado, que mostraron una desaceleración continuada de la economía: creció un 9%, frente a un 10,1% en el segundo trimestre y un 10,6% el primero. El superávit comercial, aunque alcanzó 180.900 millones de dólares hasta septiembre, fue un 2,6% inferior al del año pasado por las mismas fechas, debido a la ralentización de las exportaciones.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 8 November 2008


Paul Panckhurst and Li Yanping

Bloomberg, November 8, 2008

China's economy may expand at the slowest pace in nearly two decades next year as demand for exports slumps in the U.S. and Europe and government spending fails to bridge the gap.

Gross domestic product may advance 7.5 percent or less, the weakest since 1990, according to estimates by Credit Suisse AG, UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG. Royal Bank of Scotland Plc predicts the economy will grow 8 percent next year, while 5 percent “can't be ruled out.”

China hasn't yet ramped up spending on railways, roads, and low-cost housing by enough to stop a slowing economy from cooling more, economists said. At stake is the contribution to global growth -- 27 percent last year -- that Premier Wen Jiabao says is the nation's way of helping the world through the financial crisis.

“The government's fiscal stimulus plan may not come in time to avert a deeper economic slowdown,” said Ha Jiming, chief economist at China International Capital Corp in Beijing. Growth may be 7.3 percent next year, he said.

Indicators from auto sales to power consumption and export orders are pointing down and a slump in the property market is also threatening growth.

“I'm getting pretty worried,” said Paul Cavey, an economist at Macquarie Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. “It really looks like things are slowing down quite sharply and there's nothing in the works that can turn it around in the next six months or so.”

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 7 November 2008


The Times of India, November 7, 2008

India's growth is likely to slow down to 6.3% in 2009 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasting growth contraction in advanced economies and an appreciably slower growth in emerging economies.

The latest IMF forecast for world economic growth, released ahead of next week's G20 summit here on global financial crisis has cut world growth by 0.75 percentage point to 2.2% with output in advanced economies forecast to contract on a full-year basis for the first time since World War II.

In emerging economies, growth is projected to slow appreciably but still reach 5% in 2009, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) published on Thursday, updating the projections in the October WEO.

In the case of India, the growth projection for 2008 has been lowered to 7.8%, 0.1 percentage points less than the October projection with a further slowdown to 6.3% in 2009, 0.6 percentage points down from October.

As the IMF sharply revised its growth projections downward, saying that "global activity is slowing quickly", it urged countries to stimulate their economies in the face of a bigger-than-expected slowdown in the global economy triggered by the recent financial turmoil.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 6 November 2008


Channel News Asia, November 6, 2008

BEIJING: Chinese analysts said the administration of Barack Obama is unlikely to undertake major changes to US-China relations. But the newly-elected president is expected to place more emphasis on trade and currency issues, a traditional source of friction between US and China.

The historic moment for the US was also the time for China to figure out the most pivotal person they'd have to work with in the next four years. Chinese analysts believe that Obama appears to be a proponent of a fairer trading system. He believes that China's unfair advantage in wages and labour standards had taken jobs away from Americans and contributed to the US deficit. Therefore, higher labour standards, environmental protection and product safety are likely to top the newly-elected president's China agenda.

But given the ongoing global financial crisis, Mr Obama is also likely to seek Beijing's co-operation. He has also indicated the importance of China in helping to resolve the Iranian and North Korean nuclear situations.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


AFP, November 5, 2008

Champagne corks popped across Asia as former schoolmates in Indonesia, the Japanese town of Obama and thousands of American expats Wednesday celebrated Barack Obama's historic election as US president.

Bars were packed in cities from Beijing to Sydney as election fever gripped the region amid the Democratic candidate's win over Republican John McCain.

Former classmates of the new president-elect reacted with pride as the chubby little boy they knew as Barry sealed the win.

"It's just amazing, I mean we're so proud of him," said Dewi Asmara Oetojo, a lawmaker in Indonesia's parliament who was a school friend of Obama in the 1960s.

The champagne also flowed in the Philippines, where a group of Democrats celebrated Obama's victory victory in a modest home in upmarket Manila.

"It was a blow-out. I can't believe how happy I am," said Bill Fischelis of Boston as he handed out champagne in plastic cups and patted people on the back.

"Americans abroad say, Obama! Obama!," the group chanted.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Philip S Golub

Le Monde Diplomatique, November 4, 2008

The West dominated world trade and power for two centuries, disrupting the pre-1800 more balanced international distribution of wealth and power. Now, the global balance is shifting to the East, and to primary producers of commodities worldwide

“The rise of China,” writes Professor Angang Hu of Tsinghua University, “resembles that of the United States a century ago (1870-1913). In both cases one sees a strong rate of growth and a higher contribution to the increase in global GDP”. As with the US, this rise “will not only transform China itself, but will change the face of the entire world.”

There are indeed some striking similarities: the influx of foreign investment greatly aided both the economic and territorial expansion of the US in the first half of the 19th century, and the intensive industrialisation that took place after the Civil War (1860-65). Successive waves of investment played a vital role in capital formation, extending the transport infrastructure, in colonising and developing territories, and the creation of the integrated internal market. Without these transnational inflows, primarily, but not exclusively, from Britain, the US would not have developed and risen with such speed and vigour.

There is a paradox here. Capitalism is by its nature internationalist, transcending the boundaries of the nation state. At the same time, by investing in new territories, some more than others, it ends up creating powerful states, even hegemonies. The gradual integration of emerging regions into the global economy at the end of the 20th century differs fundamentally from the coercive integration that caused the great North-South divide and the lasting inequalities of the modern global economic system.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 3 November 2008


AP / Debby Wu

Time, November 3, 2008

The highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Taiwan since the two sides split in 1949 arrived Monday for economic talks that he says are crucial for building trust between the longtime rivals. The five-day visit by Chen Yunlin is seen as a direct result of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's efforts since taking office in May to improve ties across the Taiwan Strait and end decades of political rivalry.

Pro-independence activists planned protests during the visit. They accuse China of using business deals to buy support for Taiwan's unification with Beijing, which still claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory and has threatened to use force to counter any moves toward formal independence.

A black limousine escorted by police took Chen from the airport to the landmark Grand Hotel, where he spoke briefly in the lobby and urged both sides to treasure their recent warming of ties. "I am bringing the goodwill wishes to Taiwan's 23 million compatriots from the mainland's 1.3 billion people," he said. "This visit has not come easily. Only through talks can we build trust and only through cooperation can we create a win-win economic situation."

Chen, who heads the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, is to hold talks with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Pin-kung on cementing closer economic ties, especially transport links.

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