Friday, 31 December 2010

THE RABBIT

The Korea Times

2011 YEAR OF THE RABBIT

Lee Hyo-won

The Korea Times, December 31, 2010

Furry, long-eared and nimbly athletic, rabbits have long been a favorite pet and subject of cartoons. In Korea, these cute creatures have been characterized as being rather frail yet clever, as well as a symbol of abundance for giving birth to dozens of offspring at a time. Hence, the Year of the Rabbit 2011 is expected to be fruitful one.

Rabbit tells time and space

“Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” exclaims the pocket watch-bearing White Rabbit as he runs toward a rabbit hole in the Lewis Carroll tale of “Alice in Wonderland.” In Korea, the rabbit holds special meanings in terms of time and space.

It comes fourth among 12 zodiac animals and represents the month of February in the lunar calendar as well as “myosi,” the fourth division in the 24-hour clock or 5-7 a.m. It is also a protector of the eastern direction.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 30 December 2010

CHINA’S ECONOMY IN 2011

irishtimes-logo

NO CHINA CRISIS FOR ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE

Despite rising property prices and a festering global currency dispute, growth is set to surge

Clifford Coonan

The Irish Times, December 30, 2010

Rising inflation, surging property prices and increasingly thorny currency issues are set to dominate the agenda in China during 2011.

Beijing will be under intense pressure to stabilise prices and maintain growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The broader economic picture remains upbeat. Foreign direct investment leapt 38.17 per cent in November – foreign companies poured €31.3 billion into China’s services industry in the first 10 months of the year, up nearly 30 per cent on the previous year.

The wider economy is expected to have grown by 10 per cent in 2010, while unemployment is estimated to have run at just over 4 per cent.

These figures are all the more remarkable when you consider that just over 30 years ago, China’s financial health was only of interest outside the country to a handful of observers.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

NORTH KOREA AND THE FIVE

reuters-logo-dec_-2009-o

FACTBOX: WHAT REGIONAL POWERS THINK ABOUT N.KOREA

Reuters, December 29, 2010

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said on Wednesday the nuclear crisis on the peninsula must be tackled by negotiation, but chances of international talks are slim because of a gulf between the parties involved, and a lack of pressure on an emboldened North Korea.

Lee, who has vowed a tough stance against any further attack by the North, also called for fresh dialogue between the rival Koreas, saying a hardline military policy alone by Seoul will not ease the tension.

Here are the positions of the countries involved in the so-called six-party negotiation process, which stalled in 2008 when Pyongyang walked out. It had already quit a global nuclear anti-arms pact in 2003.

SOUTH KOREA

South Korea's position has eased since May, when it announced tough steps in retaliation for the sinking of the navy corvette Cheonan, blamed on North Korea, by dropping an apology from the North as a precondition.

It still says the North must make it clear it is serious about dialogue to reduce tensions and eliminate its nuclear programme. Seoul is working on a proposal for the North with preconditions for resuming the talks, details are unclear.

One of the conditions is that North Korea open up its previously undisclosed uranium enrichment programme to strict international monitoring.

South Korea wants the six-party talks, if resumed, to address the enrichment work and a separate accord on its oversight.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

INDONESIA RISING

The Jakarta Post4

THE WORLD IN 2011

Cyrillus Harinowo Hadiwerdoyo

The Jakarta Post, December 28, 2010

I flew Garuda Indonesia Airlines more than 50 times in 2010, so I can testify that most of those flights were full — or at least at 90 percent capacity — despite the rapid expansion of the airline’s fleet. The Garuda fleet currently boasts nearly 90 airplanes since the addition of more than 40 new Boeing 737-800 planes.

The route to Pontianak is one of many examples of Garuda’s growth. Flights to the provincial capital of West Kalimantan had been suspended for a number of years.

Two years ago, Garuda resumed flights to Pontianak, starting with one a day. After a few months the flights were increased to twice daily. In one year’s time they increased to three times daily, which continues today.

Moreover, the size of the aircraft also increased. Garuda started with the Boeing 737-500, which accommodates fewer than 100 passengers. Then it upgraded to the Boeing 737-300. In the last few months flights were mostly served by Boeing 737-400, accommodating more than 150 passengers.

What will happen in the coming years?

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 27 December 2010

CHINA’S THREE RATES

Reuters DEF

ANALYSIS: AS CHINA RAISES RATES, DON'T FORGET THE YUAN

Kevin Yao and Simon Rabinovitch

Reuters, December 27, 2010

BEIJING (Reuters) - China was Grinch-like in raising interest rates on Christmas Day, but in fact investors have good reasons to be grateful.

The government provided much-needed reassurance that it was determined to rein in price pressures -- and a salutary reminder that more yuan appreciation than the market expects could be in the offing.

The key take-away from the rate increase, China's second in just over two months, is that Beijing is softly, softly pulling every tightening lever within its reach.

"The central bank will only raise rates in small and steady increments in the coming months," said E Yongjian, an analyst at Bank of Communications in Shanghai.

"The yuan will also steadily climb next year, serving as one tool to alleviate the inflationary pressure," he said.

Ba Shusong, an economist with the Development Research Center, a think-tank under the cabinet, provided a neat summary of the government's strategy for taming consumer prices, which rose 5.1 percent in the year to November, a 28-month high.

"The rhythm of policies will become regular, something we call the simultaneous implementation of the three rates: banks' required reserve ratios, interest rates and the exchange rate," he said in comments published in the Economic Information Daily, a Chinese-language newspaper, on Monday.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 26 December 2010

INDIA, CHINA AND THE WORLD

The Deccan Herald

MANAGING INDIA-CHINA TIES

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, a hyphenation of expectations has appeared on the international stage that India and China with their consistent economic growth can contribute in a great measure to global economic recovery.

C V Ranganathan

The Deccan Herald, December 26, 2010

Such expectations may be exaggerated. However, this widely held perception in Asia and the West underlines what has been reiterated on numerous occasions when the premiers of India and China meet on official visits to each other’s countries.

The India-China joint communiqué released on December 16, 2010, at the conclusion of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India states: “India-China relations go beyond their bilateral scope and strategic significance”.

At a basic level, the statement is obvious enough. The two countries, neighbours and civilisation states, containing 40% of the world’s population have outpaced the GDP growth rates of the advanced countries in recent years.

This in itself, where several millions have reached middle-class status, is a phenomenon which has global implications. This is despite the vast size and scale of the challenges which each country faces in spreading distributive equity and achieving environmentally sustainable models of development.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 24 December 2010

NORTH KOREA’S THREATS

reuters-logo-dec_-2009-o

ANALYSIS: KOREA THREAT SEEN RHETORIC BUT RISK STILL WATCHED

Peter Apps

Reuters, December 24, 2010

LONDON (Reuters) - Political analysts and local markets may largely write off North Korea's threat of a nuclear "sacred war" as rhetoric, but the risk of conflict on the peninsula has clearly reached the radar of global investors.

North Korea's minister of armed forces accused South Korea of trying to start a war by conducting live fire drills on Thursday, saying Pyongyang was prepared to wage war against its neighbor "at any moment necessary."

While local Korean and Japanese markets have tended to shrug off repeated threats from Pyongyang, partly because of a perceived very low risk of war already priced into assets, wider global investors have begun to take much more notice.

"In terms of rhetoric, this is the sort of thing we've heard before," said Alastair Newton, a former British diplomat and senior Cabinet Office official who is now political analyst for Japanese bank Nomura. "But there's no doubt we are... in the most dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula in decades."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 23 December 2010

CHINA’S ECONOMY IN 2011

International Business Times

HOW WILL CHINA'S ECONOMY PERFORM IN 2011?

Jijo Jacob

International Business Times, December 23, 2010

As the global economy is entering arguably another tumultuous year, spotlight is sharply on the prospects, policies and risks of China's economy, which has all but sailed past Japan's as the world's second largest after the United States.

The following is a look into Chinese economy's prospects in 2011 and the nature and gravity of the challenges it faces.

GDP GROWTH

The fast-growing Asian giant's economy grew an average 10.6 percent in the first three quarters of 2010 though signals of a moderation in the pace of growth have risen of late. A Reuters poll has shown China's growth next year will be marginally weaker. Economists surveyed for the poll said the economy will slow to 8.9 percent in 2011. However, a poll in the previous quarter had shown that growth could be 9 percent next year.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

INDIA’S GROWTH

economic_times

THREATS TO INDIA GROWTH STORY

Motilal Oswal

The Economic Times, December 22, 2010

The GDP growth of 8.9% in 2QFY11 is a resounding validation of the India growth story. India has effectively endured a global crisis and the worst drought in 30 years. It continues to be one of the fastest growing economies - its GDP is likely to grow at ~9% in FY11 and well into FY12.

With nominal GDP growth of 14-15%, at constant exchange rates, India's next trillion dollars (NTD) will come in just five-seven years. We juxtapose the NTD idea with the GDP growth of China to arrive at India's GDP of almost $5 trillion by 2020. India's current gross domestic saving is at 34% of GDP. In line with the long-term trend, we expect this to rise to 40% by 2020. This translates to cumulative decadal saving of over $10 trillion, compared with $2.7 trillion during the current decade. The large savings pool presents a huge opportunity for many businesses.

India enjoys a special demographic advantage. With over 200 million households, India is not only a huge consumer market but also an attractive investment destination. However, the journey is unlikely to be smooth - a number of speed-breakers and roadblocks will be encountered along the way. The fallout of the lack of radical reforms has shown up in high consumer inflation which, though trending down, continues to persist. The rising global commodity prices are adding further fuel to the fire. Interest rates are headed up. The speed with which the reforms process is progressing is less than desirable. Macroeconomic and business headwinds apart, markets have reason to be concerned about the serious and relentless issues of corporate and political governance, which India is currently embroiled in.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

ASIA’S NEW GROWTH PATH

Finance Asia

ASIA'S RE-BALANCING ACT

Asia is rapidly becoming less reliant on the G3 economies, but needs to implement key macro measures to prevent setbacks, says Nomura's Robert Subbaraman.

Rupert Walker

Finance Asia, December 21, 2010

“The debate over Asia 'decoupling’ is too black and white for our liking,” said Robert Subbaraman, Nomura’s chief economist for Asia ex-Japan.

Global financial markets are too integrated for Asia to fully decouple from the major industrialised countries. But, on the other hand, Nomura believes that Asia’s economies are in the process of rebalancing towards domestic demand, China, and emerging markets in general.

“This process is happening faster than most people realise,” said Subbaraman during a media call on December 15. He added that Asia is becoming less reliant on the G3 economies of the US, Europe and Japan, and “is well on the way to being able to achieve its full growth potential, even with only 1%-2% growth in the G3”.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 20 December 2010

JAPAN’S NDPG AND CHINA

idsa

CHINA THREAT PROPELS A NEW DEFENCE THINKING IN JAPAN

Shamshad A. Khan

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, December 20, 2010

Concerned with Chinese military assertions and increased surveillance around its southern islands, Japan has unveiled its will in its new National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) to fill the “defence vacuum” by deploying permanent troops to these “outlaying islands”. The approval of the new defence guidelines by the Japanese government comes at the backdrop of Japan and China’s diplomatic spat following Chinese fishing trawler’s collision with a Japanese coast guard’s patrolling vessel off the southern Senkaku Islands. The uninhibited Senkaku Islands are under effective administration of Japan since 1895, but its sovereignty is contested by its two other neigbours-Taiwan and China.

Japanese new defence thinking of deploying troops to secure its southern Islands reflects the fact that Japan gears itself to counter any assertion by China over its territory and therefore the guideline has identified Nansei Islands, Ishigaki Islands and Yonaguni Islands - all in the geographical proximity of China and Taiwan - where it would double the presence of its Self Defense Force (SDF) and will also reinforce the presence of the Air and the Maritime Self-Defense Force.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 19 December 2010

NORTH KOREA’S POSSIBLE COLLAPSE

Miami Herald

IN SOUTH KOREA, CONCERN OVER THE NORTH'S POSSIBLE COLLAPSE

Tom Lasseter

The Miami Herald, December 19, 2010

As politicians and analysts argue about the health of Kim Jong Il and his totalitarian regime in North Korea, Woo Kee-sup is troubled by a more basic concern - if the North were to fall, how many of its 24 million residents would be ready to live in a modern society?

Running a small private school that works with North Korean defectors in their teens and 20s, Woo has a firsthand look at students produced by the educational system in the Hermit Kingdom, and the news isn't good, he says.

"Some of them have graduated from high school in North Korea, but their learning capacity is very poor," said Woo, a 64-year-old retired technology executive. "In some cases, we start out teaching them at the elementary school level."

Although the Yeomyung School that Woo heads near central Seoul offers just a snapshot of the issue, it's a worrying reminder for South Korean leadership that should the North collapse, millions of undereducated, traumatized and malnourished North Koreans might come flooding across the border.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 18 December 2010

TWO KOREAS

The Star - Toronto

A TALE OF TWO KOREAS

Sarah Barmak

The Toronto Star, December 18, 2010

All eyes are on North Korea’s military, which has vowed to launch an attack “of intensity and range” on South Korean much greater than recent skirmishes if the country goes through with a live-fire drill on a border island, planned to take place by Tuesday.

North Korea has made hyperbolic threats against its neighbour to the south in the past. But the international community has been on heightened alert after the North Korean military shelled Yeonpyeong Island, the front-line site of the upcoming drill, last month. Two civilians and two marines were killed in the exchange, and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon joined with world leaders to condemn the attack.

The two Koreas have engaged in a series of skirmishes over the past decade, most instigated by the North, but not all. In 2002, a North Korean patrol ship fired on a South Korean ship, killing four civilians; around 30 Northern sailors were then killed or injured when the South retaliated. In March of this year, a Northern submarine torpedoed and sank a Southern naval corvette, killing 46 — although Pyongyang has continued to deny any responsibility for the attack.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 17 December 2010

JAPAN’S NEW DEFENSE POLICY

Bloomberg_logo

JAPAN SHIFTS DEFENSE POLICY TO COUNTER CHINA'S RISING MILITARY INFLUENCE

Sachiko Sakamaki and Takashi Hirokawa

Bloomberg, December 17, 2010

Japan will shift the focus of its national defense toward China and away from Russia, three months after Coast Guard vessels collided with a Chinese fishing boat and re-ignited a territorial dispute.

Japan will deploy troops to its southwestern islands and strengthen its air force in Okinawa, according to military guidelines approved by Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Cabinet today. Personnel and tanks will be moved from the northern island of Hokkaido, close to Russia, which were put in place to counter Cold War threats.

"China is continuously increasing its defense budget, modernizing the military power of its naval and air forces including nuclear and missile capabilities," today’s report said. "These kinds of movements are, along with China’s lack of transparency in military and security, becoming a concern to the region and the international community."

The government will order 10 patrol planes from Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. under the five-year plan. The administration put off deciding whether to relax a ban on exporting weapons as sought by manufacturers including Kawasaki and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., in the face of opposition from a small party Kan is courting to help pass his budget.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 16 December 2010

CHINA TONES DOWN

The Diplomat

CHINA FOREIGN POLICY SHIFT?

Will China tone down its more assertive foreign policy? Straws in the wind suggest that it might.

Rajeev Sharma

The Diplomat, December 16, 2010

The first indications came from Chinese-controlled state media on December 10—the day the Nobel Committee went ahead with its scheduled function to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo. The Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize not presented in Stockholm, but in Oslo. And, despite Chinese threats over the prize, Norway ignorered Chinese pressure and went ahead with the prestigious annual event. The presentation ceremoney was attended by representatives of 46 of the 65 countries that maintain diplomatic missions in Norway.

The same day, an article in the Communist Party of China-backed Global Times talked about the countries that succumbed to Beijing’s pressure and boycotted the ceremony. Russia, Iran and Pakistan were among the 19 absentees from the award presentation. However, the Global Times quoted Shi Yinhong, a researcher at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, as saying: ‘It has done harm to the bilateral relations between China and Norway. But China's expressing of discontent with Norway on this specific issue does not represent the long-term direction that China will adopt toward Norway.’

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

INDIA-CHINA RELATIONS

Indian Express

WORKING BOTH WAYS

Pranab Dhal Samanta

Indian Express, December 15, 2010

This time everyone’s making the right noises, at least so far. No outrageous Chinese statement like the one on Arunachal Pradesh before Hu Jintao’s visit or any other diplomatic harshness that could sour Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s trip. The statements have all been forward-looking and, at the same time, realistic. Ahead of the visit, a lot of groundwork has gone into getting the atmospherics right and that’s been made possible at the cost of taking expectations to the lowest point on both sides.But India has done a lot more to set things right in the past year or so, and therefore, it does beg the question: why is New Delhi not pegging its expectations much higher?

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

POLLUTION IN CHINA AND INDIA

WashPost logo3

WHO'S MORE TOXIC, CHINA OR INDIA?

Brian Palmer

The Washington Post, December 14, 2010

Politicians opposed to unilateral reductions in U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions often claim that China and India are the real problem. Some have even supported legislation barring federal regulation of carbon dioxide emissions until the world's most populous nations do the same. China and India are always lumped together. But which of the two countries is more dangerous to the environment?

Before pitting Asia's behemoths against one another in a cage match of environmental destruction, we should note that Westerners remain unsurpassed in the field. Take, for instance, greenhouse-gas emissions. As of 2007, the average American was responsible for 19.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, with Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians in hot pursuit. China (at 4.7 metric tons per person) and India (1.2 metric tons) lag far behind. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, neither country is likely to surpass the United States for decades.

It also bears mentioning that China produces one-third of its CO2 emissions manufacturing goods for export. Forty percent of the consumer goods purchased in the United States are made in China, representing more than 18 percent of China's total exports. So blaming China for climate change is a bit like blaming your chauffeur for using so much gas.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 13 December 2010

CHINA AND THE WORLD ECONOMY

People's Daily logo

CHINA TO BECOME DOMINANT FORCE IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH

Liang Jun

People’s Daily, December 13, 2010

According to data from the third quarter of 2010, China's economic growth rate stood at 9.6 percent, which means the rate has begun to slow. The International Monetary Fund said China's economic growth accounts for almost one-fifth of the world total, and China's purchasing power is only one-fourth of the world total.

In 2009, China accounted for 46 percent of the world's total consumption of coal, aluminum and zinc and the consumption of the crude steel was twice as much as the total of the European Union, the United States and Japan, according to figures released by the World Coal Institute.

In addition, demand for mobile phones in China will exceed the combined demand of all other countries in the world.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 12 December 2010

NORTH KOREA’S BEHAVIOR

SF Chronicle

NORTH KOREA IS THE WORLD'S PROBLEM CHILD

Joel Brinkley

San Francisco Chronicle, December 12, 2010

No other country presents so serious a problem for the world today, and no other problem seems as insoluble. Right now, North Korea's malign behavior could conceivably draw the United States into still another war.

As Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, said on Monday, "tensions" on the Korean peninsula could "spin out of control."

Almost everyone considers North Korea mercurial, unpredictable. But in fact, its behavior usually follows a pattern - if you consider its two greatest needs. It demands to be respected, and it covets copious aid.

Look at what happened in the weeks before North Korea opened fire on Yeonpyeong, the South Korean island. Earlier in November, the United Nations reported that North Korea desperately needed food aid. Half the nation's children are malnourished, some starving. North Korea's leaders obviously don't care much about that. But if the people are starving, then the "Great Leader" Kim Jong Il and his mandarins probably don't have everything they want, either.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 11 December 2010

CHINESE IN INDIA

The Times of India

THE CHINESE ARE COMING

Kanti Bajpai

The Times of India, December 11, 2010

Premier Wen Jiabao of China will come calling next week. China is India's largest and most powerful neighbour by far and therefore in a strategic sense the most consequential. It is also India's biggest trading partner, which makes it vital to the Indian economy. How should we at this juncture think about the relationship with China?

By way of context, it is crucial to remember that China is the second largest economy in the world and probably the second greatest military power as well. By any reckoning, it will be the greatest power on earth in 30 years if not sooner. It is hard to see what could stop its rise. There is a view that China's internal political and ethno-religious problems, its ageing population, and its peculiar state-led crypto-capitalist economy will singly or in combination constrain its elevation to the world's pre-eminent power. However, we should remember that before China both the US and UK had internal problems prior to their rise. Those problems did not fundamentally stop their ascent.

When Wen arrives in Delhi, he will set foot in the Indian capital as the leader of the next superpower if not the next global hegemon. Projections of China's GDP as a proportion of world GDP, in 30 years from now, range from roughly 25 per cent to 40 per cent. Whatever we may say about Indian economic growth, it is highly unlikely our country will be in the same position. However much it may gall us, we must acknowledge that the next century will be China's.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 10 December 2010

CHINA AND THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Bloomberg_logo

NO-SHOWS FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE REVEAL CHINA'S INFLUENCE

Meera Bhatia and Marianne Stigset

Bloomberg, December 10, 2010

At least 20 countries will be absent from today’s ceremony bestowing the Nobel Peace Prize on Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in the wake of his government’s campaign to portray the award as a western effort to undermine its authority.

Those absent will include countries with unelected rulers such as Cuba and Saudi Arabia, Chinese neighbors Kazakhstan and Vietnam, and U.S. allies Colombia and Egypt. Their decision to skip the ceremony in Oslo comes as Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu derided the award as a “farce” bestowed by “clowns” in comments to reporters in Beijing on Dec. 7.

The no-show list, double the number from two years ago, reflects China’s growing global influence as its economic power expands, says Iver B. Neumann, Research Director at the Oslo- based Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

“China is the rising power of the century,” said Neumann in an interview Dec. 8. “This seems to be one of the central dramas of world politics today. The discussion will certainly not blow over.”

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 9 December 2010

SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN

Time

FIGHTING AND FEASTING: ON THE GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN

Joe Klein

Time, December 9, 2010

On a moonless, pitch-black but impossibly starry night in early December, I traveled with a U.S. Army patrol through the town of Senjaray, in the Zhari district of Afghanistan's Kandahar province. Our mission was to attend a dinner party at the local police station. The soldiers, members of the 1-502 regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (famously known as the Black Hearts), were led by their executive officer, Captain Cullen Lind. He, and they, assumed the dinner was a celebration of recent events in the district: after an extremely tough fight, the Taliban had been driven out of the area. The summer fighting season was over; there had been only one violent incident in the past two weeks.

When we arrived at the mud-walled police fort, the soldiers were surprised by the elaborate nature of the party. There were musicians; there was a feast — lamb and rice, fresh bread and vegetables, deliciously prepared. "We've never seen anything like this before," Lind told me. As the musicians, who were excellent, played the desultory Afghan national anthem, a ragtag row of a dozen police officers — some in uniform, some not; some with rifles, others not — stood at strict attention. "The song is good for our national spirit," said Karim Jaan, the local police chief. "It is a way to build power."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

CHINA AND THE US

forbes_logo_main

NATIONALISM AND WESTERNIZATION: CHINA’S PLACE IN THE WORLD?

Helen H. Wang

The Chinese Dream (Forbes), December 8, 2010

The latest The Economist ran a 14-page special report on China’s place in the world. One analysis points out that China’s increasing nationalism could pose a threat to American power and undermine global stability.

The report cited that many Chinese scholars do not believe a partnership with the U.S. is realistic. As Wang Jisi, dean of the School of International Studies of Peking University, was quoted as saying: “Most Chinese would say the U. S. is the enemy.”

I do not want to doubt the source or accuracy of The Economist article. After all, it is one of the best publications that I routinely read – a publication with the most sensible arguments and balanced views.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

CHINA’S ENVIRONMENT

China Real Time Report

FAILURES IN ENFORCING CHINA’S GREEN LEGISLATION

Stanley Lubman

China RealTime Report, December 7, 2010

China, the world’s largest polluter, has been adopting laws to control and reduce pollution since 1979, and there are frequent reports in the press emphasizing efforts to control pollution. But regardless of how many new environmental laws are adopted, enforcement remains a critical problem.

This is true in the case of regulation by local Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs), and also when citizens try to sue polluters in the courts. Both enforcement mechanisms are marked by the ongoing challenge of balancing environmental protection against the promotion of economic growth and by the tensions between central and local governments. Both also highlight broader systemic problems in Chinese governance.

There are numerous reasons why effective enforcement both by the EPBs and civil suits is greatly hampered. Local EPBs are only “nominally responsible” to the ministry-level Environmental Protection Administration in Beijing, as Elizabeth Economy notes in her 2004 book “The River Runs Black,” and rely on local governments for “virtually all their support.” Local government officials also benefit from higher levels of output in their region, as Gregory Chow has observed, noting that “they receive credits for economic development and sometimes bribes from polluting producers.” Local governments, the courts and the EPBs give protection to key local enterprises.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 6 December 2010

CHINA’S INFLATION DANGER

The Telegraph

CHINA'S CREDIT BUBBLE ON BORROWED TIME AS INFLATION BITES

The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to take out protection against the risk of a sovereign default by China as one of its top trade trades for 2011. This is a new twist.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The Telegraph, December 6, 2010

It warns that the Communist Party will have to puncture the credit bubble before inflation reaches levels that threaten social stability. This in turn may open a can of worms. "Many see China’s monetary tightening as a pre-emptive tap on the brakes, a warning shot across the proverbial economic bows. We see it as a potentially more malevolent reactive day of reckoning," said Tim Ash, the bank’s emerging markets chief.

Officially, inflation was 4.4pc in October, and may reach 5pc in November, but it is to hard find anybody in China who believes it is that low. Vegetables have risen 20pc in a month.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 5 December 2010

NORTH KOREA’S COLLAPSE?

The Korea Times

CHANGE IN NORTH KOREA

Time to prepare for collapse of Kim regime

The Korea Times, December 5, 2010

President Lee Myung-bak hinted at the possibility that the Kim Jong-il regime of North Korea may collapse in the face of people’s call for change. “There is no political power in history that can go against people’s aspiration for change,” Lee told a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Social Cohesion at Cheong Wa Dae, Friday.

Lee said he believes that there has been a positive change in the North. He pointed out that North Koreans can tend a vegetable garden in their backyard and trade goods in a market in their neighborhood. He added a growing number of North Koreans are coming to South Korea. His remarks indicated he has hope that people in the North may bring change to the repressive and brutal regime there.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 4 December 2010

THE NEW SILK ROAD

economic_times

ASIAN HIGHWAY HAS A LONG WAY TO GO

The Economic Times, December 4, 2010

Since the fabled Silk Road fell into disuse some six centuries ago, Asian commerce has been largely carried by sea. Today, as dynamic and resurgent Asia finds trade within the region growing at almost twice the pace of trade with the outside world, there is a flurry of multimodal connectivity projects involving road, rail, air, pipeline and shipping infrastructure across the region.

The Asian highway (AH) network has the potential of an important building block for pan-Asia integrated intermodal transport system.

Expanded in stages, now comprising over 141,000 km of roads through 32 of the Unescap member countries, AH would extend from Tokyo in the east to Kapikule (Turkey) in the West, and from St Petersburg in the north to Denpasar (Indonesia) in the south. The initial AH routes AH1 and AH2 aimed at linking Bangkok with Tehran through Yangon, Dhaka, New Delhi, Rawalpindi and Kabul, with further connections to Turkey and the E-roads system in Europe.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 3 December 2010

SOUTH KOREA’S MILITARY

NYT_logo_2_thumb

SOUTH KOREAN OUTLINES MILITARY POSTURE

Mark McDonald

The New York Times, November 3, 2010

SEOUL, South Korea — In outlining a muscular new military posture in South Korea, the four-star general selected last week to become the new defense minister said on Friday that the South will “definitely” use airstrikes against North Korea if there are further provocations by the North.

The minister-designate, Kim Kwan-jin, also criticized the military because it had “failed to carry out its basic duty” in defending against North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23 and preventing a torpedo attack on a South Korean warship in March.

His comments came during his confirmation hearing at the National Assembly.

The artillery exchange between the Koreas killed two marines and two civilians on the island. In response, defense officials said, South Korea put fighter jets on alert but they did not take off.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 2 December 2010

CHINA’S LEVERAGE OVER NK

The New Republic

KIMPOSSIBLE

China can't fix North Korea, so don't ask it to try.

Joshua Kurlantzick

The New Republic, December 2, 2010

As the North Korea crisis spirals into its second week, and seemingly out of control, many American policymakers and pundits agree on one thing: China needs to do something about Pyongyang. “China is not behaving as a responsible world power,” Senator John McCain told CNN.  “They could bring the North Korean economy to their knees if they wanted to.”  State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley  echoed that sentiment, saying that “China does have influence with North Korea and we would hope and expect that China will use that influence.”

But in reality, China’s leverage over North Korea is far more limited than it often appears. China’s strategy has been to demonstrate to Kim Jong Il that he could copy Beijing’s economic reforms without losing his grip on political power, while simultaneously using multilateral talks—and occasional demonstrations of Chinese pressure—to show other countries that Beijing is committed to a peaceful resolution of the Korean crisis.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

US-CHINA TRADE

guardian_logo

MAKING PEACE IN THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR

We think of our trade imbalance as a bad thing. Looked at another way, China is paying US workers to take vacation

Dean Baker

The Guardian, December 1, 2010

Trade disputes with China have been heating up lately, but there really is no reason for the hostility. Essentially, China's government is saying is that it has no better use for its money than subsidising the consumption of people in the United States and other wealthy countries, by propping up the value of the dollar. That may seem surprising since per capita income in China is less than $8,000 a year, while it is over $45,000 a year in the United States, but if this is what China's leaders insist, who are we to argue?

But this is raising objections from the United States and other wealthy countries, since Chinese imports are displacing domestic output and thereby costing jobs. But it need not be this way, if governments in the United States and other countries were more effective in managing their economies.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

OUTSOURCING IN INDIA AND CHINA

Computer World

OFFSHORE OUTSOURCING: INDIA VS. CHINA

Computer World UK, November 30, 2010

For nearly a decade, China has been touted as the biggest threat India's supremacy in offshore outsourcing, and its central government has been funneling money into developing the country's growing IT outsourcing (ITO) industry.

But beyond the obvious similarities (they're both big-really, really big-and cheap in comparison to their Western counterparts), there remain major differences in the two mega-markets for offshore IT services, from language and management skills to industry focus to supplier and customer bases. We checked in to find out how the two countries compare today.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 29 November 2010

CHINA AND NORTH KOREA

Reuters DEF

Q+A: WHAT IS CHINA TRYING TO DO IN THE KOREA CONFRONTATION?

Chris Buckley

Reuters, November 29, 2010

China has launched a flurry of efforts aimed at easing tensions between North and South Korea and convening urgent talks among regional powers.

What can China realistically hope to achieve? Here are some answers:

WHAT'S DRIVING CHINA'S RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS?

Since North Korea's shelling of the South last week, the public talk from Beijing has been cautious, simply urging calm and avoiding taking sides.

Yet the calculus between Beijing's response is clear enough.

China wants to avert a spiraling standoff between its two neighbors. It also hopes to avoid estranging North Korea, a long-time ally Beijing sees as a buffer against U.S. influence.

North Korea depends on China for economic and diplomatic support, but can bristle against overt pressure from Beijing and does not automatically bend to China's wishes.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 28 November 2010

NORTH KOREA: LESSONS FROM NOV. 23, 2010

The Korea Times

CHALLENGES FROM YEONPYEONG

Tong Kim

The Korea Times, November 28, 2010

North Korea’s indiscriminate artillery attack of Yeonpyong Island, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians while injuring 20 more people, was an intolerable and inexcusable provocation that deserves strong condemnation. An exchange of artillery shelling between the North Korean MRLs (Multiple Rocket Launching Systems) with support of coastal howitzers and the ROK marines’ self-propelled artillery guns was the first of its kind since the Armistice Agreement of 1953, which ended the shooting in the war but maintained a technical state of war on the Korean Peninsula.

The North’s surprise attack triggered angry public resentment against the North Korean leadership, without whose order the attack would not have been launched. At the same time, the public was disappointed at the South Korean military’s poor state of combat readiness ― including the failure to anticipate such an attack, despite some physical evidence of the North Korean military maneuvers beforehand and a direct warning from the North against the live firings during the South Korea ``Hoguk” (Defense of Fatherland) exercise.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 27 November 2010

NORTH KOREA’S DANGER

Newsweek

NORTH KOREA’S NEW HARD LINE

The deadly attack on the South signals an extended period of aggression, due to a leadership shift in Pyongyang.

Jerry Guo

Newsweek, November 27, 2010

North Korea’s surprise attack last week on the South Korean outpost Yeonpyeong is sharply worrying not just because it marks the first time civilians have been targeted and killed since the end of the war more than a half century ago. Taken in context with its recent deadly brinksmanship—the sinking of the Cheonan, increasing border scuffles, the revelation of a secret nuclear-production plant—and it’s clear this is no longer mere theatrics on the part of the Hermit Kingdom.

Western officials and Korean hands, however, continue to see—or hope—that this latest escalation is North Korea’s jostling for a better hand at the negotiating table; in particular, the country continues to suffer severe food shortages. The uncomfortable truth? What we are seeing is more likely the start of a hardline policy shift, the likes of which the world has not seen since the Stalinist regime’s last power succession, when the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, took the reins from his father, Kim Il-sung. Why this scenario is so terrifying is that outside powers—even China, the closest thing North Korea has to a major ally—have little leverage in changing the North’s schizophrenic behavior.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 26 November 2010

NORTH KOREA’S ARTILLERY

The Chosun Ilbo

THE DEVASTATING POWER OF N.KOREA'S MLRS ARTILLERY

The Chosun Ilbo, November 26, 2010

The 122-mm Multiple Launch Rocket System shells North Korea fired on Yeongpyeong Island on Tuesday are fatal weapons that can kill people and devastate large areas with an extra-high penetration capability. They are among the weapons most feared by soldiers.

During World War II, the Soviet Union used a version called the Katyusha or "Stalin Organ" against the German forces, and in 1991, the U.S. military terrorized Iraqi soldiers by deploying a modern-day version of the MLRS. It is extremely rare for a country to use such weapons in peacetime and target unarmed civilians, which experts say deserves international condemnation.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 25 November 2010

THE KOREAS IN 2012

The Korea Times

2012 ON KOREAN PENINSULA

Lee Chang-sup

The Korea Times, November 25, 2010

2012 will be a critical year for the two Koreas and the surrounding powers. Korea, the United States, and Russia will hold presidential elections. Xi Zinping will take over China’s leadership, while in North Korea, it is the year marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung.

It is quite a coincidence for the countries in and around the Korean Peninsula to see simultaneous power transitions. South Korea will hold its presidential election in December 2012 to choose a successor to President Lee Myung-bak. The question is whether a conservative leader will run the country again or whether the liberal opposition party will retake the presidency.

Once the nation revises the Constitution, Korea will see a two-term, four-year presidency, or a parliamentary form of government. Barring a last-minute change of mind from Park Geun-hye and Sohn Hak-kyu, there is the remote possibility of a constitutional amendment.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

NORTH KOREA’S BEHAVIOR

NYT_logo_2_thumb

ANALYSTS PUZZLE OVER CAUSE OF FLARE-UP

Mark McDonald

The New York Times, November 24, 2010

SEOUL, South Korea — As nerves began to calm the day after a prolonged and deadly artillery exchange between North and South Korea, focus turned on Wednesday to the possible motivations for the assault and whether the South might have provoked it.

The Koreas blame each other for instigating the artillery barrages on Tuesday afternoon. The exchange, which lasted about an hour, centered on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, which lies in the western sea, eight miles off the North Korean coast.

The incident killed two South Korean soldiers and President Lee Myung-bak expressed regret Wednesday afternoon over “the passing of the two marines who met a glorious death in defense of the homeland.”

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

BOMBARDEO DE COREA DEL NORTE

El Pais logo

SALTO CUALITATIVO

Pablo Bustelo

El País, 23 de noviembre de 2010 (online)

El ataque a la isla Yeongpyeong no es una simple escaramuza más de las registradas en la disputada región marítima fronteriza durante los últimos años. Supone un salto cualitativo importante: es la primera agresión sobre población civil desde el estallido de una bomba en un avión de Korean Air en 1987 y, sobre todo, es el primer bombardeo de suelo del Sur desde el final de la guerra de Corea, en 1953.

Es verdad que se produce apenas unos meses después del hundimiento de la fragata Cheonan, en marzo pasado, que provocó 46 muertos. La diferencia es que Corea del Norte ha negado siempre haber sido responsable de ese naufragio, pese a las abrumadoras pruebas en contra. Esta vez Pyongyang no puede decir que sus fuerzas armadas no han sido las responsables.

¿Qué es lo que explica la agresividad del Norte? Hay quien dice que se trata de una respuesta a las maniobras militares del Sur en la zona, previstas entre el 22 y el 30 de noviembre, y de la voluntad de poner en cuestión, a las bravas, la línea marítima fronteriza fijada tras la guerra de Corea y que Pyongyang no acepta. Es posible. Pero no cabe descartar razones más profundas.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 22 November 2010

JAPAN’S ECONOMY

idsa

WHY JAPAN’S ECONOMY IS AILING?

Rajaram Panda

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, November 22, 2010

Japan’s astounding economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s was the talking point in world capitals. This success story was possible because of coordination between the government and the private sector, in which the government encouraged competition between industries and thereby weeded out the weaker ones. From the beginning of the 1980s, this strategy has no longer worked. When the focus shifted towards knowledge-intensive industries, labour-intensive industries were transferred to nearby countries, thereby heralding the flying-geese pattern of economic development and the emergence of the Four Tigers. As wage levels increased and markets contracted, Japan started stagnating, while countries such as South Korea and Taiwan continued to reap dividends from the Japanese model of economic development. South Korea, for example, succeeded in putting in place a well balanced relationship between stable governments and the private sector.

From the 1980s, Japan has lost the way and is still struggling to come out of it. Eisuke Sakakibara, a leading Japanese economist and one of the architects of the Japanese “miracle” of the 1980s, now pleads that Japanese planners should emulate the South Koreans, whom Japan indirectly taught how to develop their economy.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 21 November 2010

NORTH KOREA’S ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

ap_logo

SCIENTIST: NKOREA BUILDS NEW NUCLEAR FACILITY

AP, November 21, 2010

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has secretly and quickly built a new, highly sophisticated facility to enrich uranium, according to an American nuclear scientist, raising fears that the North is ramping up its atomic program despite international pressure.

The scientist, Siegfried Hecker, said in a report posted Saturday that he was taken during a recent trip to the North's main Yongbyon atomic complex to a facility with a small industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility. The facility had 2,000 recently completed centrifuges, he said, and the North told him it was producing low-enriched uranium meant for a new reactor.

Hecker, a former director of the U.S. Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory who is regularly given rare glimpses of the North's secretive nuclear program, acknowledged that it was not clear what North Korea stood to gain by showing him the formerly secret area.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 20 November 2010

INDIA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH

Hindustan Times

INDIAN ECONOMY TO GROW AT 9-10% IN MEDIUM TERM: PM

Hindustan Times, November 20, 2010

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the Indian economy can grow at double-digit rates in the medium term and promised an environment for corporations to expand.

He also said appropriate measures were required to deal effectively with the threats of corruption and crony capitalism.

“We were among the few countries that recovered quickly from the after-effects of the global economic crisis,” Singh told delegates at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.

“Last year we grew at 7.4 %, this year I am confident that the economy will grow at 8.5 %, and next year, we hope to return the economy to a sustained growth of 9-10 %,” the Prime Minister said.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 19 November 2010

INDOCHINA

China Briefing

CAMBODIA, LAOS AND VIETNAM – INDOCHINA AND CHINA TODAY

Chris Devonshire-Ellis

China Briefing, November 19, 2010

Indochina, that area of Southeast Asia that so evocatively describes colonialism, decadence, war and strife, yet encompasses some of the world’s most beautiful archaeological and natural wonders. As a practice, my firm Dezan Shira & Associates established offices in Vietnam nearly three years ago, and we have long been attracted to this part of Asia. From the very subliminal Frenchness that still pervades, to the influence of the Southern Chinese, the region is a potpourri of influences and mystery.

Today, parts of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are increasingly being seen as ripe for potential investment. Indochina continues to open up its interior, allowing access across lands previously distant, and lies directly between the wealthy consumer markets of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and China. Talk is of opportunity and optimism, yet the three countries have distinctly different demographics and have evolved along rather different lines. While the naive may lump Laos and Cambodia together as “mini Vietnams” or even classify them as “appendages” of China, the reality is rather different. In this article we’ll take a look at each of these emerging economies and make comparisons.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 18 November 2010

MYANMAR

Reuters DEF

FACTBOX - MYANMAR'S ECONOMY AND INVESTMENT

Reuters, November 18, 2010

Military-ruled Myanmar, one of the world's most isolated states, appears to be taking steps to attract more investment after a new government was formed following the first election in 20 years on Nov. 7.

The resource-rich country has been hurt by decades of economic mismanagement and deep-rooted corruption. Western sanctions in place because of the regime's poor human rights record have squeezed investment and Myanmar has no access to loans from major financial institutions.

Analysts say it is possible sanctions could be reviewed when a new government is formed and if Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest on Nov. 13, leads a campaign to have them scrapped.

Following are details about Myanmar's economy, trade and investment.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

THE US AND ASIA

Manila Bulletin

OBAMA AND CLINTON IN ASIA

Beth Day Romulo

The Manila Bulletin, November 17, 2010

To reassure Asian countries that, despite its national problems of recession and unemployment, America intends to remain a strong presence in this part of the world, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently set out on Asian tours. The President took India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea, major allies and trading partners. And Secretary Clinton, on her sixth Asian junket as Secretary of State, covered seven countries – Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, and Samoa.

The goals were relatively simple: To strengthen America’s leadership in the Asia-Pacific region, improve regional security, boost prosperity, and promote such universal values as human rights.

Secretary Clinton started out in Hawaii, the birthplace of President Obama and “America’s bridge to the East.” She called her mission “forward-deployed” diplomacy, a proactive program of the State Department which involves “the full range of our diplomatic assets” – the highest-ranking officials and development experts mandated to reach every capital of the Asia Pacific region.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

JAPAN AND ASIA

The Japan Times

JAPAN URGED TO COPE WITH CHANGING LANDSCAPE IN ASIA

Nation needs to refocus its ties with ASEAN in the face of waning influence, China's rise

Takasi Kitazume

The Japan Times, November 16, 2010

Japan needs to come to terms with its declining influence in Asia and readjust its strategy toward Southeast Asia, where its once-dominant position has been replaced by rising China, veteran journalists from the region said at a recent symposium in Tokyo.

Tokyo should widen the scope of its cooperation with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations not only in the economic arena but also to cover security and political dialogue, they said.

Journalists from six ASEAN countries were speaking at the symposium organized Oct. 15 by the Keizai Koho Center under the theme "Japan-ASEAN partnership for further growth and development in East Asia." Rinji Takeoka, senior general manager of international affairs at the Nikkei business daily, served as moderator of discussions.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 15 November 2010

SUU KYI’S RELEASE

The Diplomat

FROM ONE PRISON TO ANOTHER

Aung San Suu Kyi’s release is a gamble for Burma’s ruling junta. Will its post-election confidence prove to be misplaced?

The Diplomat, November 15, 2010

For Burma’s ‘black magic’ generals, known for consulting astrologers over every major move, November 13 must have seemed an auspicious enough day to release arch foe and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Her gently decomposing mansion on Inya Lake in north Rangoon has been barricaded with its celebrity prisoner inside for the past seven years.  Altogether, Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest here. But on Saturday, crowds started to build outside the army barricades on University Avenue. By late afternoon, the crowd of hard-core supporters—many bravely wearing t-shirts emblazoned with her image—began chanting her name and drawing closer to the barricades.

The soldiers began to get nervous. Reinforcements arrived in the form of helmeted riot police, armed with tear gas and stun grenades, who threatened to disperse the crowd unless it moved back. Army cameramen and ‘MI’ operatives filmed everyone, particularly the dozen or so journalists who had broken cover to report on events. At that point, no-one knew if ‘the lady’ would be released or if the country faced another, bloody, crackdown.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 14 November 2010

WILL THE G20 BE EFFECTIVE?

Japan Times

DILEMMA FOR THE G20

The Japan Times, November 14, 2010

The promise of the Group of 20 was a new system of global leadership that would be more representative of real economic power and, thus, more effective in decision making. The 2008 economic downturn thrust the G20 into the spotlight. The speed with which its participants found common cause and their readiness to initiate measures to deal with the crisis sparked hope of a new era of global economic governance.

As the crisis has lessened, so too has the sense of urgency to fix problems that created the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. For sure, progress has been made in identifying weaknesses in how the global economy works as well as in remedying some structural flaws in economic governance. But, at times, the G20 seems no better suited than its predecessors to making hard decisions or putting substance behind its declarations.

At last week's G20 summit, hosted in Seoul by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, participants agreed to curb the "persistently large imbalances" in consumption and savings. Tolerance for the steady and massive trade surpluses run by Germany and China, and for the corollary U.S. deficits, is the most important source of global economic instability.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 13 November 2010

CHINA’S GROWTH

Time

CAN CHINA TAP THE BRAKE ON GROWTH?

Dan Kadlec

Time, November 13, 2010

In a remarkably short time, China's economy has blossomed into the second largest in the world. Only five years ago, China's GDP was half that of No. 2 Japan, which the Chinese eclipsed earlier this year. Next stop: the mammoth U.S. economy — a milestone that is a decade or two away and yet all but certain.

China's epic growth is an old story; its economy has been racing along at 8% to 10% annual growth for 30 years. But now, with a GDP approaching $5 trillion (vs. $14 trillion in the U.S.), China is such a powerhouse that its every move ripples around the globe.

Which is to say you can't ignore China — even if you aren't directly invested — at least not for the next 100 years or so. Pay particular attention to China's latest move, which has been to rein in its breakneck growth. Most countries would love to have this problem. China raised interest rates last month for the first time in three years and has taken other steps to slow bank lending and cool a sizzling property market. Growth slowed to 9.6% in the third quarter, down from 11.9% in the first and 10.3% in the second.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 12 November 2010

THE YUAN AND THE G20

WashPost logo3

G-20 REFUSES TO BACK US PUSH ON CHINA'S CURRENCY

Vijay Joshi

The Associated Press

The Washington Post, November 12, 2010

SEOUL, South Korea -- Leaders of 20 major economies on Friday refused to endorse a U.S. push to get China to let its currency rise, keeping alive a dispute that has raised the specter of a global trade war.

At the end of their two-day summit, the leaders of the Group of 20 rich and developing economies - including President Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao - issued a watered-down statement that only said they agreed to refrain from "competitive devaluation" of currencies.

Such a statement is of little consequence since countries usually only devalue their currencies in extreme situations like a severe financial crisis. Using a slightly different wording favored by the U.S. - "competitive undervaluation" - would have shown the G-20 taking a stronger stance on China's currency policy.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 11 November 2010

CHINA’S ENVIRONMENT

Elcano

IS CHINA DOING ENOUGH TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT?

Pablo Bustelo

Elcano Royal Institute, ARI 141/2101, November 11, 2010

Summary: Some news in recent weeks has brought Chinas grave environmental situation back into the spotlight. This analysis looks, first, at the main causes of the sharp deterioration in the country’s environmental conditions. It then sets out some figures illustrating what might be described as a genuine environmental nightmare. Thirdly, the main policies for environmental protection are listed and assessed, to conclude that, with a few exceptions, they are actually quite ambitious and, at all events, much stricter and more numerous than is generally believed in the West, although evidently there is still a long way to go.

[full text here]