Monday, 31 January 2011




Shaun Rein, January 31, 2011

The protests in Egypt are unsettling regimes around the world as thousands of everyday Egyptians rise and declare that they want an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. Time will tell if Mubarak’s regime really will collapse or be forced to undertake major reforms, but what is true is there are lessons for China's leaders as well as those through the Middle East.

The turmoil along the Nile is being led by disenfranchised middle class who feel they have no future because of overwhelming corruption and limited job opportunities. The situation isn't too different from China, with many commentators pointing to the growing income gap between the rich and the poor as a potential source of instability. 

However, while China’s government does need to care for its poor, peasants are unlikely to cause systemic instability. While there are riots in many of China’s smaller cities and counties, they are often short-lived focused on local problems involving corruption, not national ones. Even if discontent were to turn toward the central government, peasants do not have the financial resources to sustain long-term protests – they literally have to work to eat – and they lack the means to rally large-scale support.

If countrywide protests do occur in China, the far more likely source will be university graduates who feel marginalized and unable to find good jobs.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 30 January 2011


The Independent


As another Chinese New Year dawns this week, Jonathan Fenby assesses the world's second-biggest economic power - and charts the risks ahead

Jonathan Fenby

The Independent, January 30, 2011

China enters its lunar new year on Thursday in anything but rabbit fashion. Having overtaken Japan to become the world's second biggest economy late in 2010, it has just unveiled economic figures that underline its continuing ability to deliver high levels of growth (10.3 per cent) accompanied by a string of superlatives – from having the world's biggest car market (13.8 million sales) to holding the largest cache of foreign reserves ($2.85trn). Goldman Sachs forecasts that the last major power ruled by a Communist Party will surpass the United States by 2027. Others see this happening earlier.

For many Americans, China's ascendancy appears already to be a fact: though the US economy is well over twice as big as China's, a recent poll of Americans showed 47 per cent naming China as the world's leading economy compared to 31 per cent who opted for their own country. The US magazine Forbes recently named the Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, as the most powerful man on earth. In a recent article, the historian Niall Ferguson wondered if, when they met at the G20 summit in South Korea in the autumn, President Barack Obama saw a thought balloon over Hu's head reading: "We are the masters now."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 29 January 2011


The China Post


John J. Metzler

The China Post, January 29, 2011

The recent State Visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to the United States evoked a business trip as much as a glittering diplomatic sojourn.

The three-day venture was a smoothly scripted event showcasing China's "peaceful rise." Meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama, and congressional leaders provided the backdrop.

The People's Republic of China strives to appear and be treated as an equal "fellow global player" not an aspiring political adversary or for that matter recalled as the world's largest authoritarian dictatorship.

So when Hu Jintao went to Washington DC, it evoked a visit from America's largest Banker or Lender rather than the trip by the Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

Shortly after Jimmy Carter the human rights president opened full diplomatic ties with Beijing the world's largest dictatorship in 1979, I vividly recall when then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping visited America; the diminutive dictator was touted in many American cities. In Atlanta after visiting Coca Cola, one newspaper gushed "Teng Twinkles, Atlantans Learn."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 28 January 2011




Arun Maira

The Economic Times, January 28, 2011

Indian manufacturing has failed to be an engine of growth, which it must urgently become. Rather than exceeding and leading the overall growth of the economy as it should, manufacturing has just about come along. Moreover, the formal manufacturing sector has added few jobs in the past decade.

And worryingly, it is losing depth. While China's GDP is 3.8 times larger than India's, its production of machine tools, the 'mother industry' of manufacturing, is 55 times more! India needs a strategy to grow manufacturing 12% to 14% per annum, create 100 million new manufacturing jobs in the next 15 years to realise its 'demographic dividend', and create more depth in capital goods industries and innovation for its manufacturing sector to be competitive and sustainable.

China's remarkable success in manufacturing is the result of a strategy to win, as was the growth of the other Asian industrial powerhouses, Japan and South Korea. Having built its manufacturing base, China is scaring the world with its strategy to build 'indigenous innovation'. India too has announced its intention to strengthen innovation. An innovation strategy must be closely intertwined with a manufacturing one.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 27 January 2011


The Trumpet


Beijing is not satisfied with the status quo and is maneuvering to expand its reach, especially in Asia.

Jeremiah Jacques

The Trumpet, January 27, 2011

“Anybody who ignores China would have to reexamine his head,” said the Philippines Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile last month. And a growing number of Asian policymakers are demonstrating that they agree with Enrile.

Wielding the twin forces of soft-power diplomacy and intimidating military growth, Beijing is rapidly expanding China’s reach throughout Asia. Viewed individually, the gains China has made don’t appear terribly significant, but, when analyzed together, they paint a sobering picture of a rapidly rising Chinese powerhouse and of a dramatic shift in Asia’s balance of power.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 26 January 2011




Katrina Nicholas

Bloomberg, January 26, 2011

Inflation in China could hinder Asia’s economic growth and damage the ratings outlook for countries in the region this year, according to Fitch Ratings.

China’s policy makers are likely to face greater difficulty as the world’s fastest-growing major economy battles “hot money inflows” and consumer prices that rose 4.6 percent in December after advancing 5.1 percent in November, Andrew Colquhoun, Senior Director and Head of Asia Pacific Sovereigns, said today.

“If we see evidence inflationary pressures are worse or more intense than we thought, that could lead to slower growth which would be negative for the region,” he said in a telephone interview in Singapore.

Surging prices prompted China’s central bank to raise its lending rate twice last quarter and lift banks’ reserve requirements four times in about two months. Inflation may peak at 6 percent this month as snowstorms damage crops and disrupt transport ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, Daiwa Capital Markets said in an e-mailed note today.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

ASIA 2050

The Jakarta Post4


Maria Monica Wihardja

The Jakarta Post, January 25, 2011

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) along with Indonesian ministries including the Trade Ministry and the National Development Planning Ministry, held a symposium on “Asia's Development Agenda in Regional and International Forums” on Jan. 18, 2011, and a consultation meeting on “Asia 2050” on Jan. 19, 2011.

These themes are timely since Asia still faces developmental challenges despite its growth miracles, while Asia's stake in the global economic recovery is high with the ADB projecting Asia's global economic share to be 61 percent by 2050.

Asia's success is not pre-ordained, said Shigeo Katsu, a senior associate of the Centennial Group, at the Asia 2050 meeting. He proposed three possible scenarios for Asia in 2050.

First is the benchmark case of “converging Asia” in which production chains and networks and total factor productivities, especially in China and India, continue on their current tracks. Second is the “non-converging Asia” in which Asian countries, especially India and China, are trapped as middle-income countries with poor institutions and governance as well as growing inequalities and urbanization buzz. Third is the “prosperous Asia”. 

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 24 January 2011


WashPost logo3


Robert J. Samuelson

The Washington Post, January 24, 2011

By all appearances, Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington last week changed little in the lopsided American-Chinese relationship. What we have is a system that methodically transfers American jobs, technology and financial power to China in return for only modest Chinese support for important U.S. geopolitical goals: the suppression of Iran's and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. American officials act as though there's not much they can do to change this.

It's true that the United States and China have huge common interests in peace and prosperity. Two-way trade (now about $500 billion annually) can provide low-cost consumer goods to Americans and foodstuffs and advanced manufactured products to the Chinese. But China's and America's goals differ radically. The United States wants to broaden the post-World War II international order based on mutually advantageous trade. By contrast, China pursues a new global order in which its needs come first - one in which it subsidizes exports, controls essential imports (oil, food, minerals) and compels the transfer of advanced technology.

Naturally, the United States opposes this sort of system, but that's where we're headed. Clashing goals have trumped shared interests.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 23 January 2011


The Washington Post


Keith B. Richburg

The Washington Post, January 23, 2011

IN BEIJING China's grand ambitions extend literally to the moon, with the country now embarked on a multi-pronged program to establish its own global navigational system, launch a space laboratory and put a Chinese astronaut on the moon within the next decade.

The Obama administration views space as ripe territory for cooperation with China. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called it one of four potential areas of "strategic dialogue," along with cybersecurity, missile defense and nuclear weapons. And President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed after their White House summit last week to "deepen dialogue and exchanges" in the field.

But as China ramps up its space initiatives, the diplomatic talk of cooperation has so far found little traction. The Chinese leadership has shown scant interest in opening up the most sensitive details of its program, much of which is controlled by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

At the same time, Chinese scientists and space officials say that Washington's wariness of China's intentions in space, as well as U.S. bans on some high-technology exports, makes cooperation problematic.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 22 January 2011


The Irish Times


Luxury goods are selling fast, houses are barely affordable, and there are too many office buildings. China’s economy is showing signs of overheating, but economists say it won’t boil over. Sound familiar?

Clifford Coonan

The Irish Times, January 22, 2010

The view from the 52nd floor of the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai is spectacular: China’s high-net-worth individuals can gaze across some of the world’s most expensive properties while choosing pricey reds from the encyclopaedic wine list and tucking into antipasti so authentically Tuscan they are guaranteed to melt the heart of even the stoniest of billionaires. The sleekly groomed staff are French and Indian as well as Chinese, and the sight of Shanghai’s new rich is so far removed from the China of 20 years ago that it has an almost science-fiction quality.

Could all this simply go pop? Something about the sheer level of luxury brings to mind the decadence of the last days of the Raj, ancient Rome or the latter part of the Celtic Tiger. It’s not hard to see why people are fearful that the strong rise in China’s property market, which is a key factor in the country’s economic rise, could turn out to be a bubble that will burst and take the fragile global economy with it.

Satellite images released recently showed thousands of empty “ghost towns”, much like the ghost estates in Ireland, and there are lots of empty offices in the central business districts of many major Chinese cities.

A few floors down in the same hotel, at a showcase fair for China’s luxury-minded billionaires, Norah Jones warbles softly through Harman Kardon speakers as Rupert Hoogewerf, publisher of the Hurun Report, which counts China’s wealthy and analyses what they do, lists off the brands favoured by the country’s rich: Patek Philippe watches, Mercedes E-Class cars, Gulfstream jets, Armani suits, Azimut yachts and Louis XIII brandy.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 21 January 2011


Times of India


Rukmini Shrinivasan

The Times of India, January 21, 2011

NEW DELHI: Did China overtake the US as the world's biggest economy in 2010? New numbers for the GDP of different countries at purchasing power parity (PPP) seem to suggest so. They also suggest India's economy is significantly bigger than previously thought.

While market exchange rates have traditionally formed the basis for comparison of GDP across countries , this method increasingly came under criticism as it did not take into account the differential costs of goods and services in countries at different levels of development. As a result, the idea of PPP, in which the prices of a basket of goods and services forms the basis of comparison, came into being. While various agencies, including the IMF, calculate GDP at PPP, the Penn World Tables brought out by the Center for International Comparisons at the University of Pennsylvania (CICUP) since 1970 have come to be regarded among economists as the definitive source.

The yet-to-be-released latest version of the Penn World Tables corrects for biases in past measurements , such as the collection of only urban prices in China, which resulted in China's GDP being understated . Factoring in these corrections has resulted in China's GDP at PPP being revised upwards by 27% and India's by 13% for the year 2005, CICUP data made available to TOI show.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 20 January 2011




Nicholas Johnston and Michael Forsythe

Bloomberg, January 20, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao of China said their countries can keep fostering commercial ties while working through differences on currency policy and human rights.

Meeting yesterday for the eighth time, both leaders stressed the benefits of increased trade. Obama told U.S. and Chinese chief executives at the White House that the relationship goes beyond “old stereotypes” of cheap Chinese labor taking away American jobs. Hu, the head of China’s ruling Communist Party, said he would encourage investment in the U.S.

That didn’t stop Obama from criticizing China’s policy on the yuan, blamed by his administration and lawmakers for making American exports too expensive, curbing job growth and contributing to a U.S. trade deficit with China that reached a monthly record of $28 billion in August.

“The RMB is undervalued,” Obama said during a joint news conference with Hu, using an acronym for the currency also known as the renminbi. “The Chinese government has intervened very forcefully in the currency markets -- they’ve spent $200 billion just recently, and that’s an indication of the degree to which it is undervalued.”

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


WashPost logo3


John Pomfret

The Washington Post, January 19, 2011

The arrival of Chinese President Hu Jintao in the United States brings him face to face with an Obama administration that has grown more hard-nosed about the course of what is arguably the most important relationship the United States maintains with a foreign power.

Hu landed at Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday afternoon and had a private dinner with President Obama before substantive talks were to begin Wednesday on security, economic and political issues. Hu will meet congressional and business leaders in Washington on Thursday before heading to Chicago for a day.

The summit with Obama will probably be Hu's last as China's president; he is set to retire in 2012 and be replaced by the vice president, Xi Jinping. One tangible outcome of the summit is expected to be an invitation to Vice President Biden to go to China, which would set the scene for Xi to visit the United States, a rite of passage for those about to rise to the chairmanship of China's Communist Party.

Analysts say Hu is eager to burnish his legacy as a competent steward of China's ties with the United States. But he will find an administration that views his government with significant misgivings.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


WashPost logo3


The Washington Post, January 18, 2011

THE OBAMA administration's policy toward China shows signs of a significant adjustment on the eve of a state visit to Washington by President Hu Jintao. The potential change was embedded in a major speech on U.S.-Chinese relations delivered Friday by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was Ms. Clinton who disastrously declared early in the administration's tenure that human rights concerns would not be allowed to "interfere" with U.S.-Chinese relations. In her latest speech she addressed the issue at length, making the case that "the longer China represses freedoms, the longer . . . empty chairs in Oslo will remain a symbol of a great nation's unrealized potential and unfulfilled promise."

Ms. Clinton also spoke of the economic agenda with Beijing and the need for China to revalue its currency and enforce intellectual property laws - matters addressed in separate speeches last week by the Treasury and Commerce secretaries. She covered the often difficult U.S.-China dialogue over North Korea, which lately appears to have achieved convergence on a strategy of supporting improved relations between North Korea and South Korea.

But the novelty in the secretary's speech was the introduction of China's repression of peaceful dissent and its unjust and cruel treatment of political prisoners as a major theme in the administration's public diplomacy toward China. Ms. Clinton specifically cited Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize winner prevented from attending the prize ceremony in Oslo, and Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who has been illegally held incommunicado since last April. Ms. Clinton argued that "those who advocate peacefully for reform within the constitution . . . should not be harassed or prosecuted" and that liberalization of freedom of expression and civil society would "help address some of China's most pressing issues."

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 17 January 2011


The Korea Times


Kang Hyun-kyung

The Korea Times, January 17, 2010

Some defense watchers note that East Asian nations are becoming more conservative of late, voicing concern that this could produce the possibility of an arms buildup in the region. They allege that an assertive China and provocative North Korea together are playing a role in changing the security landscape, adding this could motivate regional players to upgrade their weapons’ capability.

The concern was addressed days before U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with his Chinese Counterpart Hu Jintao in Washington to discuss issues of mutual concern. The Obama-Hu summit coincides with a growing concern in Seoul over the Cold War-like confrontations between the blocs of South Korea, the United States and Japan, and China and North Korea looming large on the Korean Peninsula.

“When China bashes Japan about the islands (Senkaku in Japanese and Daioyu in Chinese); that has a strong impact on Japanese’ behavior and also on Korean behavior,” a U.S. defense expert told The Korea Times last week on condition of anonymity. “North Korea on the nuclear front especially prompts the Japanese to think that a missile defense system is good, but I think Chinese behavior is much more important in shaping the general need for security in the region.” The expert noted that there was a possibility of an arms race in East Asia.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Sunday, 16 January 2011


WashPost logo3


David Ignatius

The Washington Post, January 16, 2011

Everything is going right these days for India, except for one big problem: It is living next to a Pakistan that is coming apart politically, and Indian leaders insist with a tone of resignation that there's nothing they can do about it.

Starting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top Indian officials know that their booming democracy is endangered by the growing chaos across the border. They say that they're willing to revive back-channel negotiations with Islamabad to resolve the long-festering problem of Kashmir. They favor confidence-building measures to reduce the risk of war between these two nuclear-armed nations.

And then, in the next breath, Indian officials insist that such positive steps won't make any difference. The Pakistani military doesn't want any reduction in tensions, they argue. The civilian government is crumbling and incapable of making a deal. Even Singh, long an advocate of better relations with Pakistan, is said to have concluded that hopes for better relations are "wishful thinking."

A few hundred miles away in Islamabad, you'd hear the same bleak message from Pakistani military and political leaders. Yes, they know that the immediate threat to Pakistan is from Islamic militants, not India. Yes, they know that restoring a back-channel dialogue with New Delhi might ease tensions. But no, they don't see any way to step back from the brink. The Indians, in their view, are conspiring to undermine Pakistan.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Saturday, 15 January 2011


The Diplomat


Currency revaluation, trade surpluses and globalization—there’s plenty to talk about during Hu’s upcoming trip to the US.

Yukon Huang

The Diplomat, January 15, 2011

International concern remains high that China hasn’t done enough to rebalance its economy and help reduce global trade and currency imbalances. While Beijing continues to send reassuring messages about making its currency more flexible and relying less on exports, the reality over the past year suggests there are some less comforting nuances.

With Chinese President Hu Jintao preparing to head to Washington next week, there are four issues that are worth revisiting to better understand the situation.

The first is what has been the headline-grabbing issue of currency revaluation. China claims that it’s moving to a more flexible system and gradually appreciating the currency. Flexibility is clearly desired, but a major appreciation isn’t. Beijing tends to adjust its currency in light of international political considerations, and significant upward movement has been seen shortly before three high-profile events—Premier Wen Jiabao’s meetings with Barack Obama and European leaders in the early autumn, the G-20 meeting in November, and now Hu’s upcoming US visit—since the renminbi (yuan) was allowed to fluctuate in June 2010 following the collapse of the euro.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Friday, 14 January 2011


Reuters DEF


Sui-Lee Wee

Reuters, January 14, 2011

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' call for China's military to communicate better with its civilian leaders underscores the policy disconnect in Beijing and raises questions over who really wields control in China.

Beijing confirmed this week it had held its first test flight of the J-20 stealth fighter jet, surprising many in the international community who had underestimated China's ability to develop technology to one day rival the United States.

Was the timing of the launch meant to coincide with Gates' visit and, if so, why; and was Chinese President Hu Jintao genuinely unaware of the flight, signaling a worrying lack of communication between China's military and its civilian leaders?

Hu told Gates the launch was not designed to coincide with the U.S. Defense Secretary's visit.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Thursday, 13 January 2011


China Org Logo


Han Xudong, January 13, 2011

The U.S. has recently been flexing its military muscle in waters off the Korean Peninsula while simultaneously deploying additional troops in the western Pacific region. The troop deployments have created a new configuration of forces, with Hawaii, Guam and Okinawa as strategic islands, and carrier combat groups delivering troop transport capability.

The US troop deployments have upset the balance of forces in the western Pacific. They are changing the military pattern in East Asia, and pose a serious threat to China.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


The Korea Times


Joseph S. Nye

The Korea Times, January 12, 2011

CAMBRIDGE ― Last year, the leaders of all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council visited India, accompanied by delegations of business leaders. The Indian economy has been growing at more than 8 percent annually, making it increasingly attractive for trade and investment.

When U.S. President Barack Obama visited in November, he supported permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council for India. So did British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. But the last to visit, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, said nothing at all about it.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Bloomberg logo


Bloomberg News, January 11, 2011

China’s foreign-exchange reserves climbed by a record last quarter and lending exceeded the government’s annual target, increasing pressure on the central bank to tighten policies to rein in liquidity and inflation.

The currency holdings, reported by the central bank on its website today, rose by $199 billion to $2.85 trillion, the biggest quarterly gain since Bloomberg data began in 1996. Full- year yuan-denominated lending of 7.95 trillion yuan ($1.2 trillion) compared with a target of 7.5 trillion yuan.

The central bank may need to raise benchmark interest rates, boost reserve requirements for lenders and allow faster yuan appreciation, economists from Standard Chartered Plc and Credit Agricole CIB said. Policy makers may also experiment with more ways of encouraging outflows of capital, after expanding a program for exporters to park revenue overseas and letting some citizens invest directly abroad.

(...) [artículo aquí]

Monday, 10 January 2011




Michael Schuman

Time (Blog), January 11, 2011

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang has been on a shopping spree in Europe – not for fine French wine or the latest Italian fashions, but for greater influence. Just as Europe is desperate for a new source of ready cash, Li has offered up some of China's vast hoard of reserves to support the struggling euro zone through its debt crisis. In Madrid last week, Li pledged to buy more Spanish government bonds, saying that China “has confidence and great interest in the Spanish market.” With its bonds continuing to weaken, and its borrowing costs continuing to rise, Spain needs all of the customers it can find. (The two countries also signed $7.3 billion in business deals.) Then Li went on to Berlin, where he pledged in a speech that China would continue to support Europe and its monetary union. Li's comments follow similar statements made by Premier Wen Jiabao during the latter's visit to Greece in October. Wen, too, promised to aid Europe through the crisis by buying Greek debt.

(...) [artículo aquí]