Thursday, 30 September 2010




The country faces crucial challenges in demographics, energy, the environment, balance of trade and ineqality.

Donald P. Kanak

Forbes, September 30, 2010

Arrive in Shanghai's airport today and you cover the 20 miles into the city in just over 7 minutes, on the Maglev train, capable of the fastest speed of any commercial train in the world. China today is moving on several tracks at unparalleled speed, from economic growth to urbanization to naval expansion. Last month the country passed Japan to become the world's second largest economy, and surpassed the United States in the size of its naval fleet.

Lost in these impressive statistics, however, are the perils China faces if it fails to maintain--or accelerate--the pace of change. Over the next three decades, China must run--and win--five simultaneous races in order to grow richer, smarter, cleaner and fairer before economic, demographic and environmental realities catch up. As hard as this will be, it is compounded by the fact that winning some of the races makes winning others more difficult.

First race: China is racing to grow rich before it grows old. As a result of the one child policy, China has an inverted age structure with a population pyramid skewed toward generations already in their working years. In 2005, China's working population was nearly 1.4 times that of India and more than four times that of the U.S. Between 2005 and 2030, however, whereas the U.S.'s working population will expand (by 13 million), and India's will soar (up 284 million), China's will remain flat. In fact, China's working population will begin to decline in 2015, and its number of aged, defined as people above 60 years old, will grow at double-digit rates to 2050 and beyond.

As the aged ratio rises rapidly, it will place increased stress on the country's nascent health care and pension systems. China will age as much in one generation as Europe did in a century. If China is to be affluent before it enters the ranks of "aging societies" like Japan and Northern Europe, it must continue to grow its GDP rapidly. That will requires lifting wages and skills of the urban workforce, moving low value-added manufacturing from the urban east to the poorer west, stimulating higher value-added economic activity, and building a vibrant service sector. Recent labor strife leading to large wage increases for certain manufacturers may be sporadic incidents or harbingers of a trend that is necessary for China to win this first race.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 28 September 2010




Historic party conference in Pyongyang may anoint Kim Jong-il's son as heir, but it's unclear if this is a probation period

Justin McCurry

The Guardian, September 28, 2010

The political parlour game of dissecting the arcane language of Stalinist idolatry was in full flow as North Korea watchers waited for further signs of fundamental change in the regime's secretive leadership, following the elevation of Kim Jong-il's son to general.

Reports say cadres from across the country have already begun approving senior appointments to the ruling Korean Workers' party, which is meeting for the first time in 30 years at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in the capital, Pyongyang.

The congress, twice postponed because of reported concerns for the health of the regime's leader, Kim Jong-il, takes place against a backdrop of economic failure and uncertainty over the future of a state thought to possess enough fissile material to build at least a dozen nuclear weapons.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 27 September 2010


The China Post


Interview by Sherry Lee

The China Post, September 27, 2010

Hu Angang, Director of Tsinghua University's Center for China Studies in Beijing, is a passionate and energetic academic who has been systemically researching the national conditions of China since as early as 1985. In his office are all kinds of population statistics, data on climate and environmental changes. Much like a supercomputer, his mind crunches numbers on the past and current state of China. Through interviews and writings, he trains his disciplined thoughts on the current state of China, and like the subject of his inquiries, he seems to be on the cusp of a period of highly compressed growth unparalleled in human history.

Last year, Hu stirred a great deal of excitement with his "green cat thesis."

Referencing Deng Xiaoping's famous quote, "Whether it's a black cat or a white cat, as long as it catches mice, it's a good cat," Hu advised: "China should bid farewell to its 'black cat' form of economic growth, and focus on becoming a 'green cat.'"

Economic development others have taken a decade to achieve, China has accomplished in two to three years, and the country still seeks to continue making miracles. But will those miracles all be so fortunate?

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 26 September 2010


El Pais logo2


La tercera economía de Asia logra su mayor crecimiento en dos años y medio, pero no logra contener la inflación

Fernando Cano

El País (Negocios), 26 de septiembre de 2010

El dato da vértigo. India elevó su PIB un 8,8% en términos interanuales durante el segundo trimestre de 2010, el mejor desempeño desde diciembre de 2007 y muestra clara de que lo peor ya ha pasado para la tercera economía de Asia. Esta cifra confirma además las previsiones del banco central indio, que hablan de un crecimiento del 8,8% para el año fiscal 2010-2011. Con estas cifras, India quintuplica las previsiones de la Unión Europea durante este año (1,7%) y triplica las de EE UU (2,7%), consolidándose junto a China como uno de los motores del crecimiento mundial.

Conocidos estos datos, todo son alabanzas para India. Incluso un estudio de la consultora PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) vaticina que para el año 2014 el país tendrá incluso más multinacionales que China, con 2.219 empresas fuera de sus fronteras. Las claves de su éxito no son nuevas: una inagotable fuerza productiva bien formada, una clase media de al menos 200 millones de personas ávidas por sumarse a la sociedad de consumo, un tejido industrial consolidado por empresas extranjeras que encuentran en el tigre asiático atractivas condiciones laborales y tributarias, y un creciente sector exterior.

Los datos del último trimestre confirman esta tendencia y reflejan un crecimiento de la producción manufacturera de un 12,4%, mientras que la construcción aumentó un 7,5%.

Durante la crisis financiera internacional, India solo ralentizó su crecimiento hasta el 6%, perjudicada también por las lluvias, que destruyeron las cosechas agrícolas del año pasado y paralizaron un sector que emplea a la mayoría de la fuerza productiva del país.

Pese a ello, el país aguantó el tipo gracias a los impulsos estatales y su reducida dependencia del extranjero. El comercio exterior solo representa el 20% de la economía india.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Malaysia Star


Tan Sri Lin See-Yan

The Malaysia Star, September 25, 2010

I am privileged to be associated with the Asian Economic Panel (AEP), first convened in 2002 on the initiative of the Centre for International Development at Harvard University, Keio University and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.

This forum promotes quality analysis of key economic issues in Asia, and offers creative solutions by drawing on the collective wisdom of worldwide economists. The prime movers were Prof Jeffrey Sachs and Prof Eisuke Sakakibara. When Jeffrey moved to Columbia, his new Earth Institute replaced Harvard. Brookings has since come on board.

AEP last met at Keio University (Tokyo) on Sept 11. Observations on what’s happening in Japan by Prof Yoshino, a respected insider with deep knowledge of official thinking, were insightful. He is optimistic Japanese economic activity will gradually improve, shake off deflation and return to steady nominal growth since the bubble burst in 1990. Sure, the economy is stuck with deflation; public debt is rising, population is ageing and Japan still has to define and find its “proper place” in the world.

But Japan is unique. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is simplistic to say all Japan needed is a strong leader with guts to do what everyone knows has to be done. Yes, Japan’s leaders have so far oscillated and shirked hard choices.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 24 September 2010




Pablo Bustelo

ARI, Real Instituto Elcano, nº 141, 24 de septiembre de 2010

Tema: Tras el agravamiento reciente de los problemas vinculados a la contaminación, resulta oportuno hacer balance de las medidas que el gobierno chino ha adoptado hasta la fecha en protección del medio ambiente.

Resumen: Algunas noticias de las últimas semanas han puesto otra vez sobre la mesa la grave situación medioambiental de China. En este análisis, se repasan, en primer lugar, las causas principales del grave deterioro del medio ambiente del país. Se exponen seguidamente algunos datos de lo que puede describirse como auténtica “pesadilla medioambiental”. En tercer lugar, se enumeran y valoran las principales políticas de protección del medio ambiente, para concluir que, con algunas excepciones, son bastante ambiciosas y, en cualquier caso, mucho más numerosas y estrictas de lo que suele pensarse en Occidente, aunque queda, obviamente, un largo camino por recorrer.

(...) [texto aquí]


Indian Express


Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Indian Express, September 24, 2010

A us-style EPA is what we need. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t make for either good or credible custodians of the environment

The current debate concerning development versus environment is premised on the fatal assumption that the two are in contradiction with each other. The background to the debate is the recent activism of the Union environment and forests ministry.

That we need economic development to meet our most pressing challenge of bringing 400-500 million citizens out of poverty and deprivation is unarguable. Economic growth is the only way to create jobs and help people achieve their aspirations. Take a poll anywhere in India today and if asked to choose, a vast majority of Indians would choose economic development over environmental protection. It’s not necessarily right, but it reflects the priorities as people see it. Wallets will win over the environment for a vast majority.

What the current debate is doing is spotlighting the nature and consequences of this economic growth. The general perception of the exploitative nature of a large number of investments has helped fuel the recent backlash against the anything-for-economic development model. However, neither is the extreme alternative practical. India is a large nation with serious challenges that have to be met through economic development. This is a given and some costs in terms of environment will have to be borne by the nation. The challenge is to quantify the environmental costs and to ensure that these are the minimum possible as we develop a more consistent approach to environmental regulation.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 23 September 2010




Marianne Barriaux

AFP, September 23, 2010

BEIJING — Han Mei knew when she fell pregnant for the second time that she was facing an extortionate fine, a salary drop and even the loss of her job for having flouted China's infamous one-child policy.

With her first child, a girl, she went on maternity leave a month before the birth, which was paid for by her employer.

When she had her son she waited until the day she went into labour to stop work and paid for the caesarean section herself.

The population control law that limits many in China to one child in a bid to improve people's lives marks its own 30th birthday on Saturday, having been formally implemented in 1980.

The risks Han faced were severe. "Anyone who illegally gave birth to a second child would be punished, and the penalties would be dismissal from school, a downgrade in wages or a fine," she said.

"If you didn't have money to pay the fine, your house would be demolished or the furniture and appliances moved away by the family planning officials," the retired teacher, now 50, added.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


China Real Time Report


China RealTime Report, September 22, 2010

Stephen M. Young, America’s top diplomat in Hong Kong, said Tuesday he expects military-to-military dialogue between the U.S. and China to resume within the next couple of months.

“Our diplomats are confident that we are moving toward the resumption of mil-to-mil dialogue,” said Mr. Young. It would happen “not because it’s somehow a favor to us, but because we have enough issues with China that we should really have that dialogue.”

China cut off most links between the two militaries in January after the U.S. announced an arms sale package to Taiwan. The mini-thaw on the military front comes as there are tentative plans for Chinese President Hu Jintao to visit Washington in January.

“There are a whole lot of mechanisms that have been in a place for a while between our two militaries that were put on hold in January and we hope will resume soon,” he said.

Mr. Young, counsel general to Hong Kong, was speaking to a group of U.S. news outlets when he made his comments Tuesday. It was his first wide ranging, on-the-record talk with American media since arriving to Hong Kong in March.

On the diplomatic fracas between Japan and China over a set of disputed islands in the East China Sea, Mr. Young repeated previous calls by the U.S. for the two sides to resolve their differences diplomatically. “Obviously we hope [the Japanese] and the Chinese can find a means of talking about this,” he said. “You never like to see a situation like this escalate.”

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 21 September 2010




Kim Jong-il's dictatorial reign in North Korea may approach its end next week when a key party conference gathers in Pyongyang to elect a new "supreme leadership body".

Malcolm Moore

The Telegraph, September 21, 2010

The last time the North Korean Workers' Party held a party conference, England were World Cup champions in 1966.

Ostensibly the conference will celebrate 65 years of the Workers' Party and elect new provincial and senior leaders to bring about a "fresh revolutionary surge" in the rogue state.

However, analysts believe that 68-year-old Kim Jong-il will use the conference to unveil his third son, 28-year-old Kim Jong-un, as his successor.

The two previous such conferences, in 1958 and 1966, saw the "election" of several senior officials. Kim Jong-il himself was anointed during a party congress in 1980, although he only formally took over after his father's death in 1994.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 20 September 2010


WashPost logo


William Wan

The Washington Post, September 20, 2010

BEIJING - The Chinese government suspended high-level exchanges with Japan on Sunday after weeks of heated arguments between the two countries, triggered when a Chinese fishing boat collided with Japanese Coast Guard ships in disputed waters.

The diplomatic wrangling is over custody of the Chinese boat captain, who is under arrest in Japan. But fueling the abundance of strong posturing is a struggle between China and Japan for regional dominance as well as long-standing disputes over territory.

And the angry rhetoric, which has come more from the Chinese side than the Japanese side, is the latest indication that a newly assertive China is looking to flex its muscles on an international stage.

Since the boat collision, several other disputes have flared up, ranging from serious (threats on both sides to start drilling for gas in the East China Sea) to bizarre (Chinese investigators were sent to look into the death of a Chinese panda at a Japanese zoo).

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 19 September 2010


LAT logo DEF


Its economy is growing at 10% a year, but Chinese officials worry that they may run up against an old economic proverb: If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

Doyle McManus

Los Angeles Times, September 19, 2010

The world sees China as an economic juggernaut. It's growing at a dizzying annual rate of 10% as the rest of the world struggles out of recession. Its big cities are jammed with new cars, new buildings and Prada, Gucci and Cartier boutiques — the real thing, not knockoffs. It just blew past Japan to become the world's second-largest economy.

China has even offered to build a high-speed railway in California. The state's first long-distance railroad, in 1869, was wrought with American capital and Chinese labor; this time it could be Chinese capital and American labor. Even for a high-speed rail fan, that doesn't sound like good news.

In short, China's on the way up and we still seem to be going sideways. So an American visitor to Beijing, which is where I was last week, quickly feels an unfamiliar and unsettling sense of inferiority, at least when it comes to economic strategy.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 17 September 2010


Bloomberg logo


Bloomberg News, September 17, 2010

Li Pingri remembers swimming with fish and shrimp as a boy in Guangdong’s Chigang waterway in China. Today, even after the city spent 48.6 billion yuan ($7.2 billion) on a cleanup, he can’t stand the canal’s smell.

“We are surrounded by black and smelly waterways, breathing the foul air every day and paying the price at the cost of our health,” said Li, 79, a former researcher at the Guangzhou Institute of Geography. “If we can’t breathe clean air or drink clean water, high economic growth is meaningless.”

China, the world’s worst polluter, needs to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product a year -- 680 billion yuan at 2009 figures -- to clean up 30 years of industrial waste, said He Ping, chairman of the Washington-based International Fund for China’s Environment. Mun Sing Ho, a senior economist at Dale W. Jorgenson Associates and a visiting scholar at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, put the range at 2 percent to 4 percent of GDP.

Failure to spend that much -- equivalent to the annual GDP of Vietnam -- may cost the Chinese economy half as much again in blighted crops, health costs and pollution-related expenses, He said: “The cleanup can’t catch up with the speed of pollution” if spending is less.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 16 September 2010


The Japan Times


The whence and whither of Japan — How not to get caught in a never-ending time loop

Noriko Hama

The Japan Times, September 16, 2010

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

This passage from "Nineteen Eighty-Four," George Orwell's pseudo-futuristic satire on the totalitarian state, is a sinister comment on power-hungry men's attempt to rewrite history. However, at least the first part of the quote can be paraphrased into something less chilling by substituting knowledge for controls. "Who knows the past knows the future" is a reasonable enough proposition. Winston Churchill evidently thought so. For it was he who said: "The further backward you look, the further forward you can see."

It is not 1984 but actually 1982 to which this commemorative edition of The Japan Times looks backward. It is a backward look that is well worth attempting. For it was in the 1980s that the seeds of much that the Japanese economy struggles with today were sown. All in all, the 1980s was a strange decade. It was a strange decade in what one might call "the dog that didn't bark in the night" way: Things that should have happened at the time didn't happen.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Chosun Ilbo


The Chosun Ilbo, September 15, 2010

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appointed his third son Jong-un as his successor in January of 2009 and apparently informed his closest aides of his decision first. The selection came just five months after he suffered a massive stroke in August 2008, and North Korean officials got to work immediately to cement Jong-un's position.

In February, just one month later, the North Korean leader attended a military performance where he heard for the first time the song "Footsteps," which obliquely praises the younger Kim.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 14 September 2010




The "China decoupling" story holds that as China's households grow wealthier then China will no longer need export markets in the E.U. and the U.S. The story is appealing but the facts don't support it.

Charles Hugh Smith

Benzinga, September 14, 2010

For years, many have argued vociferously that China's economy will "decouple" from that of the U.S. and the E.U. The theory--more like a quasi-religion in some analysts' minds--is that as China's consumers grow wealthier they will absorb all its vast production, and as a result China will no longer be dependent on exports.

There's just one problem with this theory: it rests entirely on a superficial understanding of the Chinese economy and the limited role of households in its Central-State planned economy.

Many who hold that China will not only decouple from the U.S., but that its hundreds of millions of newly minted middle-class consumers will actually pull the U.S. out of its deflationary slump with their insatiable demand for consumption. Here is a typical mainstream listing of China's growth as a reason the U.S. won't slip into recession [1] again.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 13 September 2010


China Real Time Report


China RealTime Report, September 13, 2010

China’s growing relationship with Africa is a crucial topic for Mthuli Ncube, the recently-appointed chief economist of the African Development Bank. The Wall Street Journal caught up with him at the World Economic Forum meeting in Tianjin, China, and asked for his assessment of how trade with China is changing a continent of a billion people. Here are some edited excerpts from the interview:

What impact has trade with China had on Africa’s own manufacturing sector?

Ncube: Initially I was concerned, because China imports only oil and resources from Africa, and Africa imports back equipment and machinery and cheap goods. So that’s a problem in that it destroys manufacturing. But if Chinese companies are now investing in factories in Africa, they are creating jobs. They are manufacturing for the local market but also for the export market, and those revenues do come back to the country in taxes. That’s positive.

The trick is really for African governments and policymakers to realize that these new Chinese investors ought to partner with local entrepreneurs. They should use it to leverage the development and growth of local entrepreneurship. To me, that is the key. If they can crack that, I think it is really, really positive, absolutely.

They [Chinese companies] are operating in isolation, and you need integration. You need joint ventures. If we’re going to give you land for industrial parks, you must partner with local entrepreneurs. It’s never a good thing to go into a country and create an enclave for yourself. There’s always pushback. Once you are very successful, there’s political pushback, unfortunately. So you’re buying insurance through doing JVs. I think companies from the U.S. and U.K. did that when they came to China. It’s very similar.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 12 September 2010


The Korea Herald


Frank Ching

The Korea Herald, September 12, 2010

Thirty years ago, China’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping designated Shenzhen, a sleepy fishing village next to Hong Kong, as the country’s first special economic zone. Today, it is the fastest growing city in China with a population of 14 million people.

On Sept. 6, Shenzhen celebrated the 30th anniversary in grand style, with President Hu Jintao complimenting the city on its achievements in economic reform and calling on it to continue playing its role as a forerunner, including in political reform.

The anniversary is providing the occasion for renewed discussion of the need for political reform in the country, a very sensitive subject.

While China has made great strides in economic development in the last 30 years and is now the world’s second largest economy, this has not been matched by similar progress in political reforms, largely because the ruling Communist Party is fearful of instability and desires to ensure its own monopoly of power.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 10 September 2010


The Diplomat


China is exerting pressure on India on a range of fronts. It’s time for India to push back—and to reach out to Taiwan.

Sujit Dutta

The Diplomat, September 10, 2010

China loves to keep the pot boiling with countries it perceives as potential rivals, a fact no more evident than it is with its dealings with India in recent years. China’s recent decision to deny a visa to Indian Lt. General B. S. Jaswal, head of the Northern Command, is therefore just another example of its determination to find new issues to further complicate the already complex web of India-China differences.

The game is being played at multiple levels with Jammu and Kashmir, which is seen by China as an area of ‘international dispute’ in the same way as Arunachal Pradesh. At first glance, it seems a relatively recent diplomatic gambit. But it’s one that was first introduced some years ago, when the planned visit to Ladakh by the People’s Liberation Army Commander of the Lanzhou Military Region that covers Xinjiang (which sits opposite Jammu and Kashmir) was cancelled at the last moment by China on the grounds that Pakistan had protested that the territory is disputed. This move was soon followed by a visa denial to an official from the state on similar grounds, while last year, the Chinese embassy followed up by inventing a new method of giving stapled visas.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Daily Times


Govt task to lower down effects on national economy

Razi Syed

Daily Times, September 9, 2010

KARACHI: In 2010, Asian export recovery has been largely driven by intra-regional trade with the US and Europe, making limited contributions, analyst said Wednesday.

US and Europe were directly responsible for less than 15 percent of Asian economies’ export growth in H1-2010 (with the exception of China and the Philippines).

In Pakistan, floods have hit economy hard, with losses estimated at $4 billion (2% of GDP). The heavy floods in the Indus River resulting from monsoon rains have caused widespread damage to the economy, Sayem Ali, economist Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan said.
He said nearly 20 million people have been displaced, making this one of the worst natural disasters in history.

Nearly 1.25 million houses have been completely destroyed, leaving most of the affected households without shelter. Losses to the economy are estimated at close to 4 billion (2 percent of GDP), Sayem maintained. The country expects a significant slowdown in GDP growth in FY11 (ends June 2011) and lower growth forecast to 2.5 percent from 4.5 percent, this would follow growth of 4.1 percent in FY10. It is expected FY11 inflation to jump sharply to 15 percent, versus earlier forecast of 12 percent, depending on the extent of the damage and the measures taken by the government to reconstruct and rebuild the affected areas, he added.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 8 September 2010




2point6billion, September 8, 2010

China overtook the United States for the first time to claim the sole top spot in Ernst & Young’s quarterly renewable energy country attractiveness index [1], effectively crowning the emerging Asian superpower the world’s most worthwhile market for green technology investment.

The United States had previously topped the index since 2006, but strong government resolve together with good infrastructure and a robust market has aided the Asian nation in its drive to become a global leader in the renewable energy sector.

“We would expect to see China retaining a dominant position,” Ben Warren, Ernst & Young’s environment and energy infrastructure advisory leader, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “China has all the benefits of capital, government will and it’s a massive market.”

In particular, Ernst & Young ranked China as the most attractive market for investment in wind and solar projects in the report. Beijing is planning to launch 90,000 megawatts worth of wind farms by 2015 and is currently looking at developing 13 solar power projects in the country’s western region which will have a combined capacity of some 280 megawatts.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 7 September 2010




Sanjeev Miglani

Reuters, September 7, 2010

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Trade between India and China is booming but diplomatic ties have become increasingly fraught over an unsettled border, the disputed Kashmir region and the competing global aspirations of the world's most populous nations.

China is seeking to expand its influence in South Asia and could use India's "soft underbelly" of Kashmir to box it in, a newspaper quoted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying, a rare public criticism of his giant neighbour.


Last month China refused a visa to an Indian military general based in the disputed region of Kashmir, prompting New Delhi to suspend defence ties, a defence source and local media said. Defence relations between the two countries, which fought a brief border war in 1962, are in any case limited to visits by military officials and the occasional, low-level exercises, nowhere near the scale and sophistication of the wargames that India conducts with the United States each year.

Beijing had for decades maintained a low profile on Kashmir, where Indian forces have been trying to quell a 20-year separatist revolt that New Delhi blames on Pakistan. But China signalled a more assertive policy last year when it started issuing different visas for residents of the territory.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 6 September 2010


The Chosun Ilbo


The Chosun Ilbo, September 6, 2010

All eyes are on an extraordinary gathering this week of senior representatives of North Korea's Workers Party, the first one to be held in 44 years. According to regulations, such a gathering takes place between annual conventions only to handle emergency issues, such as policies and strategic planning. Until now, only two such congresses have taken place, one in 1958 and the other in 1966.

North Korea's state-run Rodong Sinmun daily said in an editorial on Thursday, "Today socialist China is growing rapidly, guaranteeing the country's prosperity. Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party headed by Comrade Hu Jintao, the people of China are engaged in a bold struggle to build a unique socialist society under the banners of Deng Xiaoping's doctrine, three chief ideologies and scientific development." The Deng doctrine served as the basis for China's own style of reforms, while the three chief ideologies stipulate that the Chinese Communist Party must embrace laborers, intellectuals and capitalists. It is rare for North Korea's party newspaper to praise Chinese-style reforms.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 5 September 2010


El Pais


A la deflación y el débil crecimiento se suma ahora una fuerte subida del yen

Andrés S. Braun

El País (Negocios), 5 de septiembre de 2010

Hace tiempo que la economía japonesa está estancada. Y por si fuera poco, este verano ha deparado al país asiático datos aún menos halagüeños. Agosto trajo primero la noticia de que en el segundo trimestre China superaba por primera vez a Japón en términos de PIB nominal y se posicionaba como segunda economía del mundo, solo superada por EE UU. Mucho más problemático es lo que trajeron los últimos días del mes: una gran subida del yen. A una deflación endémica y a una recuperación de la crisis más lenta de lo esperado se suma ahora este factor, nefasto para una economía tan dependiente de las exportaciones como la japonesa. En agosto, la moneda nipona se ha apreciado hasta el mayor nivel con respecto al dólar y el euro en 15 y 10 años, respectivamente.

Lo peor es que el bache económico nipón se alarga ya casi dos décadas, desde el estallido de la burbuja de activos a principios de los noventa. Los que vivieron el periodo más boyante del país en los felices ochenta ven cada vez más lejana aquella época, de la que se recuerda a la gente gastando alegremente pequeñas fortunas en restaurantes o cogiendo taxis para ir a la vuelta de la esquina. Los hijos de muchos de ellos no han conocido eso. Han crecido escuchando términos como estancamiento o deflación.

"La deflación de Japón se debe a que el sector empresarial ha sufrido un problema de sobredeuda durante mucho tiempo después del estallido de la burbuja", opina Naoyuki Haraoka, director ejecutivo de la Japan Economic Foundation. "Es por eso que se redujeron drásticamente los precios de sus activos al tiempo que aumentaba su deuda. Las corporaciones no han hecho otra cosa desde entonces que devolver el dinero prestado a los bancos y apenas han invertido. Esto nos ha llevado a esta fase deflacionaria actual, con una falta significativa de demanda", explica Haraoka.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 4 September 2010


BBC News


As Europe seeks closer ties with China, the emerging superpower appears anxious that EU aid and investment should reach beyond its cities.

Michael Bristow

BBC News, September 4, 2010

Guizhou is one of China's most beautiful provinces, with picturesque villages surrounded by forested hills and paddy fields. It is also one of China's poorest regions. Economic development is not as evident here as in other parts of the country.

This poverty is why Chinese officials brought Lady Ashton to Guizhou. The EU is currently reviewing its policies towards Beijing, and China wants Europe to know it still has many major problems to sort out. Lady Ashton, who admitted she had little knowledge of China beyond its trade policies, made it clear she understood the official message. China's carefully choreographed tour took her to a school in the village of Shanping, an hour's drive outside the provincial capital Guiyang. The school's relative poverty is revealed in its poorly dressed children and lack of books.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 3 September 2010


The Independent


China’s environmental reputation is not among the best in the world, but it is taking steps to improve with a number of green and energy commitments

Clifford Coonan

The Independent, September 3, 2010

When it comes to environmental issues, China tends to generate negative headlines – its badly polluted skies, its dirty rivers, and its melting glaciers are all images we associate with China’s remarkable economic rise. What is less well known is that China is leading the world in adopting key green technologies to help to fuel the country’s economic boom. The central government in Beijing has set a target of generating 15 per cent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and the effects of China going green will be felt all around the world.

There is a lot to do. China assumed the mantle of the world’s largest carbon emitter from the United States in 2007, and its people are forced to live with the consequences of rapid industrialisation, mostly driven by burning fossil fuels. Coal provides nearly 70 per cent of China’s energy needs, and this is not likely to end any time soon, but what is crucial is the mix of how China supplies its energy.

According to REN21’s 2010 Renewables Global Status Report, China added 37GW of renewable power capacity, more than any other country, to reach 226GW of total renewables capacity. Globally, nearly 80GW of renewable capacity was added, including 31GW of hydropower and 48GW of non-hydro capacity. China was the top market for windpower, doubling its windpower capacity for the fifth year in a row. China added 13.8GW of windpower, representing more than one-third of the world market – up from just a 2 per cent market share in 2004. China has nearly doubled its hydropower capacity during the five years to 2009, adding 23GW in 2009 to end the year with 197GW. Moreover, more than 70 per cent of the world’s solar hot-water heaters are in China, and they are the main source of hot water for many households.

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Thursday, 2 September 2010


Asia Sentinel


Coal surge is unabated, raising environmental concerns

Siddharth Srivastava

Asia Sentinel, September 2, 2010

India's quest for overseas coal continues, driven by the country's burgeoning economy and energy needs. South Africa shipped an estimated 35 percent of its thermal coal exports – 2.1 million metric tons – to India in July, almost twice June's 1.2 million tons.

India has averaged buying 34 percent of South African exports throughout 2010, making up for weak European buying in the wake of the continuing economic downturn. Earlier this year, Raymond Chirwa, CEO of Richards Bay Coal Terminal, said there has been a marked shift in coal buying by Indian power firms.

As an indication of India's thirst for coal, "Of the total exports (of 60 million tons from South Africa) in 2009, 41 percent was shipped to the Asian markets, and out of this 29 percent was for the Indian market," Chiwa said. "18 percent was exported to the Asian market during 2008, of which India accounted for 11 percent."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


WashPost logo2


Andrew Higgins

The Washington Post, September 1, 2010

BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN - Beset by mounting casualties on the battlefield and deepening disquiet at home over the United States' longest war, President Obama's Afghan policy now faces another big headache: the unraveling of central authority in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian nation that hosts a U.S. air base critical to the battle against the Taliban.

Just a month after agreeing to extend for a year a $60 million lease on a U.S. air base here, Kyrgyzstan's generally pro-Western but increasingly impotent president, Roza Otunbayeva, has retreated from U.S.-backed security programs that Washington hoped would help fortify a fragile Kyrgyz government. These include a counterterrorism and anti-narcotics training center and an international police mission.

The government's paralysis, most notable in its inability to control truculent Kyrgyz nationalists in the south of this former Soviet republic, does not pose any immediate physical threat to the U.S. air base, which is about 20 miles from the capital, Bishkek, in the north. But it does raise the prospect of prolonged and possibly bloody clashes ahead and strengthens forces inimical to Washington's interests in the region.

(...) [artículo aquí]