Friday 12th of August 2022

a chinese christmas .....

a chinese christmas .....

from the BBC ….. Giant Christmas goods ship docks

‘A ship said to be the world's largest container vessel has arrived in a Suffolk port to unload 45,000 tonnes of Christmas goods from China. Hundreds of spectators lined the shore to watch the Emma Maersk as it was guided into Felixstowe by three tugs.

read more at the BBC

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Gus: this is ugly consumerism that may make the Chinese headquarters laugh a bit...

A Christian tradition of celebrating the birth of a poor kid in a stable, with oodles of useless gifts increasing at the rate of more than 30 per cent every year - in quantity and uselessness - all supposedly delivered by a funny fat man - "Ho Ho Ho" – who lives at the North Pole & does one day's work a year...

"Weird these Westerners ... but that's okay, we can make and sell
them anything ..."

My Christmas heart bleeds...

From Pommyland

Grim forecast for retailers' Xmas trade



Fiona Walsh, business editor
Monday November 27, 2006
Guardian Unlimited


Retail analyst Richard Ratner warned today that the stores sector is "teetering on the edge" of its worst Christmas for a quarter of a century, as interest rate rises and higher utility bills finally begin to bite.

Mr Ratner, of Seymour Pierce, bases his grim forecast on mounting anecdotal evidence from the retail sector.

The past two weeks particularly appear to have been "something worse than a disaster" for clothing retailers: "We are hearing suggestions that the bulk of the trade was down between 10-20% in this period."

sharing the spoils or spoiling the shares?

From the Guardian... quoting a book, Will Hutton's The Writing on the Wall to be published on January 18 in the UK...

"Absolute power corrupts, and the Chinese Communist party has become one of the most corrupt organisations the world has ever witnessed. The combination of absolute power and an ideology that palpably no longer describes reality is a virus that is morally and psychologically undermining the regime."

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Gus: Is this a disguise to promote a non communist full on capitalistic ideal in China?

Is not the US administration the most  "morally" corrupt government in the world, as the president and his team amongst other things have lied to the world in order to go to war — killing thousands — when war was not necessary? To grab some oil?

Are the UK arms deal with kickbacks just a side show to a good and fair private enterprise system or is there more of it everywhere but unspoken of? because in corruption is done in secrecy Is the corruption in China as systematic as ours?

What is reality?...

Is our way trying to get away with doing as little as possible for as much money as possible? Are we paying CEOs too much, and give them too much bonus when they leave after failures? (see the latest in the US with a couple of failed managers getting away with around 200 millions bonus each...)

Is it trying to sell many useless or vanitatious products to kids (their parents for the kids) to shape the addicted buyers of tomorrow?

Should we be looking at our navel as well and contemplate that our consumerism spurred by advertising, especially on the tele as well as many Internet sites, that encourage the brainless and may decimate the next generation of people who think in favour of those who buy?...or in favour of those who could not care less as long as they can grab what they are primed to want...? 

Ahh... The world is not what it used to be... and the more it changes... the more it becomes full of plastic useless thingys...

christmas is looming

October 23, 2008

China, an Engine of Growth, Faces a Global Slump

By JIM YARDLEY and KEITH BRADSHER

BEIJING — For three decades, China has fueled its remarkable economic rise by becoming the world’s workshop and unleashing a flood of low-priced exports. But faced with a possible global recession and weakening demand for Chinese exports, the question now is whether the ruling Communist Party can prevent the financial crisis from derailing the country’s economic miracle.

This question is pressing not just for China but also for the rest of the world. American officials and many economists say continued Chinese growth is vital to the global economy as the United States and Europe face severe downturns.

Yet to navigate the crisis, many analysts say, China will need to recalibrate its economic model, stoke domestic investment with heavy government spending and promote policies to increase consumer demand in a nation known for high savings rates.

The global crisis is also arising at a politically resonant moment for China. This month is the 30th anniversary of the reform policies that first ignited its market-oriented growth, a milestone that has raised inevitable questions about the next steps China must take to become a fully modern economic and political power.

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see the toon at top...

jumping gas

April 2, 2009

China Invests to Be Leader in Electric Vehicles

By KEITH BRADSHER

TIANJIN, China — Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.

The goal, which radiates from the very top of the Chinese government, suggests that Detroit’s Big Three, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology than they do today.

“China is well positioned to lead in this,” said David Tulauskas, director of China government policy at General Motors.

To some extent, China is making a virtue of a liability. It is behind the United States, Japan and other countries when it comes to making gas-powered vehicles, but by skipping the current technology, China hopes to get a jump on the next.

lost and found...

"Lots of containers get lost, people don't hear about it and wonder why their Christmas presents don't get delivered," he said.

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Some yachts sink when sailing into submerged containers... Not new. But some of the containers sink to the bottom of the sea too. Is there a chance that these dangerous chemicals will blow up? Time will tell. A contaminated batch of 300 tonnes of amonium nitrate in Toulouse, France, exploded leaving a 50 metre deep crater, killing more than 30 people and injuring more than 4,000 — plus many broken windows for miles around...

In Australia, the manufacture of amonium nitrate is mostly in Newcastle... under strict supervision.

trade fist-punch-kick-arm-twisting-barney...

U.S. has the most to lose in a trade war

 

...

Chen Deming also said the U.S. government's "obsession" with China's exchange rate could not be seriously addressed until it stopped blocking the export of high-tech products, such as supercomputers and satellites, to China. "If some congressmen insist on labeling China as a currency manipulator and slap punitive tariffs on Chinese products, then the [Chinese] government will find it impossible not to react," Chen said in an interview with The Washington Post. "If the United States uses the exchange rate to start a new trade war, China will be hurt. But the American people and U.S. companies will be hurt even more."

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see toon at top...

more goodies from china...

Chinese Exports Rise 48.5 Percent

By BETTINA WASSENER

HONG KONG — Chinese exports in May jumped 48.5 percent from the same period last year, the country’s customs agency reported Thursday, showing that the European debt crisis has not yet significantly dented international trade or crimped the pace of growth in one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies.

Imports rose 48.3 percent from a year earlier, as domestic demand for raw materials and other goods was buoyed by a massive government spending program and a flood of easy credit from state-owned lenders.

Both imports and exports were flattered by the very low level of trade a year earlier, when the global economy was mired in the depths of financial crisis and a economic recession.

But the figures for last month, which made for a trade surplus of $19.5 billion, were much stronger than economists had expected, easing, at least for the time being, concerns that the global economy is about to slip into another recession.

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see toon at top...

china big...

China overtook Japan as the world's second-largest economy during the second quarter of this year, marking another milestone in the country's transformation from impoverished communist state to economic superpower.

With its red-hot economy growing at around 9% a year, some experts now expect China to outstrip the United States as soon as 2030, its financial strength carrying broad political implications.

Official data published today showed a faltering Japanese economy growing by just 0.1% in the three months to June, with GDP of $1.28tn (£826bn) eclipsed by China, which had economic output of $1.33tn.Although it is not the first time China has outpaced Japan in a single quarter, most economists now expect the emergent economy to end the year firmly ahead.

China's spectacular growth since Deng Xiaoping began to introduce free-market reforms three decades ago has seen it bounding up the world league of economic powers. Just 10 years ago, it was the sixth-largest in the world but has since outstripped Britain and France in 2005 and Germany in 2007. It overtook Germany as the world's largest exporter last year and also became the largest car market.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/aug/16/china-overtakes-japan-second-largest-economy1

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Gus: my guess earlier on this site was that China would outpace the US by 2015... Still is on track...

balance of shifting power...

The growth of China's military is shrouded in secrecy which could give rise to "misunderstanding and miscalculation", a US defence department report says.

China has been upgrading its land-based missiles, expanding its submarine force and nuclear arsenal, the Pentagon's annual report to Congress said.

It also said that China has extended its military advantage over Taiwan.

The report confirms US concerns about the rapid growth of China's military.

Frictions

China has 1,150 short-range ballistic missiles and an unknown number of medium-range missiles, the report says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10995111

religious memos...

A Federal Government staffer has been described as a "Grinch" for telling Centrelink and Medicare offices not to display nativity scenes as part of Christmas decorations.

The staff member reportedly sent the directive in a memo.

Tanya Plibersek, the Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion, has sent an email in response to the memo, saying she has "ordered that the Grinch be found and counselled".

Ms Plibersek says the memo was sent by a junior departmental officer.

"It is perfectly reasonable for departmental staff to display Christmas decorations, including nativity scenes, in their workplaces," she said.

"I also support staff who wish to celebrate Eid, Hanukkah, Deepavali, the Lunar New Year or any other occasion of religious or cultural significance."

She says the suggestion about nativity scenes is disappointing.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/02/3083090.htm

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Gus: although I am a fierce atheist, I do not begruge other people's celebration of Christmas.

Just for your info — this old email having done the round:

In her radio show Dr Laura Schlesinger said that homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.  The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a  US  resident, which was posted on the Internet.

 

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.  I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can.  When someone tries to defend the
homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22
clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of
God's Laws and how to follow them.

 1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female,
provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.  A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians.  Can you clarify?
Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus
21:7.  In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for
her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24.  The problem is how
do I tell?  I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates
a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9.  The problem is my neighbors.  They
claim the odor is not pleasing to them.  Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.  Am I morally
obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.
I don't agree.  Can you settle this?  Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight.  I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.  Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27.
How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm.  He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).  He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot.  Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble
of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.  Couldn't we
just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people
who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal
and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University  of  Virginia

P.S. It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian    

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Meanwhile in the Everglades...:

Scientists have long suspected high mercury levels in the Everglades might be crimping the breeding efforts of wading birds.

A new study of white ibises by University of Florida researchers suggests the pollutant could have a far more profound impact than imagined: It turned a good chunk of a captive flock gay.

The study, published online Wednesday in a biological journal, documented a number of changes in the mating behaviors and reproductive success of four groups of ibises fed varying levels of mercury over a three-year period.

By far the most surprising effect was on the courtship inclinations of male ibises. In the first year, 55 percent of the males given the highest doses of mercury in their feed hooked up with other males during breeding season.

``They pretty much did everything except lay eggs,'' said Peter Frederick, a UF wildlife ecologist who led the study. ``They built nests, they copulated, they sat in the nests together.''

While the study raises concerns about mercury impacts on wildlife, Frederick flatly dismissed the idea of extrapolating the result to humans, saying that would be a serious misreading.

``Honestly, there is zero relevance for humans,'' he said.

Until a boom in breeding over the last decade, populations of wading birds had sharply declined in the Everglades. Development and declining water levels were primarily to blame, but there was another potential, poorly understood contributor -- mercury, which filtered into the Everglades over the decades, largely from the stacks of medical and municipal waste incinerators.



Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/02/1952905/mercury-makes-ibises-gay-study.html#ixzz16wI6Ov97

 

 

not just making toys for xmas...

China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output possibly as soon as 2013 - far earlier than expected.

That is the conclusion of a major new study by the Royal Society, the UK's national science academy.

The country that invented the compass, gunpowder, paper and printing is set for a globally important comeback.

An analysis of published research - one of the key measures of scientific effort - reveals an "especially striking" rise by Chinese science.

The study, Knowledge, Networks and Nations, charts the challenge to the traditional dominance of the United States, Europe and Japan.

The figures are based on the papers published in recognised international journals listed by the Scopus service of the publishers Elsevier.

'No surprise'

In 1996, the first year of the analysis, the US published 292,513 papers - more 10 times China's 25,474.

By 2008, the US total had increased very slightly to 316,317 while China's had surged more than seven-fold to 184,080.

Previous estimates for the rate of expansion of Chinese science had suggested that China might overtake the US sometime after 2020.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12885271

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see toon at top and read article above....

a fool’s errand...

Chinese Exports Hit Record for April
By

HONG KONG — China’s exports surged last month to a record level, as Chinese factories appear to have passed on rising costs to buyers who are finding that they have few alternatives in other countries.

China’s imports lagged, causing its trade surplus to widen sharply from the first three months of this year, to $11.43 billion. That was lower than last year, but still high enough to increase trade frictions with the United States and other countries worried that China is using a weak currency to claim an unusually large share of global job creation as the world economy climbs out of the recent economic downturn.

China’s regularly scheduled release of trade statistics came in between two days of negotiations in Washington between senior American and Chinese officials. In the first day of talks on Monday, American officials pressed China to improve its human rights record and allow interest rates and the Chinese currency to rise, while Chinese officials called on the United States to lead a global economic recovery and suggested that their shrinking trade surplus should not be a big concern.

China’s General Administration of Customs said that exports rose 25.9 percent in April compared with a year earlier, to a record $155.69 billion, exceeding a previous record of $154.12 billion in December. The increase was somewhat surprising because the spring is traditionally a weak period for Chinese exports.

Chinese imports rose at a slower 21.8 percent, to $144.26 billion, as government policies took effect to restrict bank lending in an attempt to control inflation.

Labor costs are surging by 10 to 30 percent a year in China and commodity costs are rising around the world, leading to warnings by suppliers of Western retailers that price tags will start rising globally. Many companies are searching for alternatives to manufacturing in China, but finding that nowhere else offers China’s combination of a large labor supply, world-class highways and ports and strongly pro-business policies, including a strict ban on independent labor unions that tended to hold down wages until very recently.

Josh Green, the chief executive of Panjiva, a New York company that advises 3,000 corporate buyers of goods from Asia, said his clients were extremely worried about the pace of price increases that they face from Chinese suppliers.

“That’s all I’ve been hearing from them over the past year, is concern verging on panic about the changing cost structure in China,” he said. “That has led to the hunt for the next China, which is a fool’s errand.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/business/global/10yuan.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

gold bars at the ATM...

Worldwide sales of luxury goods are booming and predicted to keep on growing, but the history of luxury shows us just how much the concept of luxury has - and is - changing.

In Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel it's not only cash that people want to get their hands on quickly; they have a machine dispensing gold bars. Just in case you don't have any easily at hand to buy that Bentley.

Luxury is big business and it's not only among a wealthy few. The luxury goods market is expanding worldwide and is expected to rise by 8% and be worth a cool £164bn by the end of this year.

China is the nexus. There are now around 500,000 millionaires in the country and the Chinese buy 12% of all luxury goods in the world, according to Barclays Capital.

By 2020 it's predicted to be the world's largest luxury goods market and account for 44% of all sales. By then the Chinese will be buying more luxury products than the entire world is now.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13875014

destroying the planet for crap...

 

Nature is tedious, plastic is thrilling. The inner-city children I took to the woods a few weeks ago would tell a different story, but hammer home the message often enough and it becomes true.

Christmas permits the global bullshit industry to recruit the values with which so many of us would like the festival to be invested – love, warmth, a community of spirit – to the sole end of selling things that no one needs or even wants. Sadly, like all newspapers, the Guardian participates in this orgy. Saturday's magazine contained what looks like a shopping list for the last days of the Roman empire. There's a smart cuckoo clock, for those whose dumb ones aren't up to the mark; a remotely operated kettle; a soap dispenser at £55; a mahogany skateboard (disgracefully, the provenance of the wood is mentioned by neither the Guardian nor the retailer); a "pappardelle rolling pin", whatever the hell that is; £25 chocolate baubles; a £16 box of, er, garden twine.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/christmas-selling-things-nobody-wants

 

Give your neighbour a triffid for Xmas, It will come back to haunt you... See story and toon at top...

 

christmas to be replaced by "mostly-chinese-gift-holiday"...

Christmas and Easter have been stricken from next year’s school calendar in Montgomery County. So have Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.

Montgomery’s Board of Education voted 7 to 1 Tuesday to eliminate references to all religious holidays on the published calendar for 2015-2016, a decision that followed a request from Muslim community leaders to give equal billing to the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha.

In practical terms, Montgomery schools will still be closed for the Christian and Jewish holidays, as in previous years, and students will still get the same days off, as planned.

Board members said Tuesday that the new calendar will reflect days the state requires the system to be closed and that it will close on other days that have shown a high level of student and staff absenteeism. Though those days happen to coincide with major Christian and Jewish holidays, board members made clear that the days off are not meant to observe those religious holidays, which they say is not legally permitted.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/christmas-stricken-from-school-calendar-after-muslims-ask-for-equal-treatment/2014/11/11/f1b789a6-6931-11e4-a31c-77759fc1eacc_story.html

a quiet chinese...

“One Belt, One Road,” China’s $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, is a massive undertaking involving highways, pipelines, transmission lines, ports, power stations, fiber optics and railroads connecting China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa. According to Dan Slane, a former adviser in President Trump’s transition team, “It is the largest infrastructure project initiated by one nation in the history of the world and is designed to enable China to become the dominant economic power in the world.” In a Jan. 29 article titled “Trump’s Plan a Recipe for Failure, Former Infrastructure Advisor Says,” he added, “If we don’t get our act together very soon, we should all be brushing up on our Mandarin.”

On Feb. 12, Trump’s own infrastructure initiative was finally unveiled. Perhaps intending to trump China’s $1 trillion megaproject, the administration has now upped the ante from $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, or at least that’s how the initiative is billed. But as Donald Cohen observes in The American Prospect, it’s really only $200 billion, the sole sum that is to come from federal funding. And it’s not even that after factoring in the billions in tax cuts in infrastructure-related projects. The rest of the $1.5 trillion is to come from cities, states and private investors, and because city and state coffers are depleted, that chiefly means private investors. The focus of the administration’s plan is on public-private partnerships, which, as Slane notes, are not suitable for many of the most critical infrastructure projects, because they lack the sort of ongoing funding stream—such as a toll or fee—that would attract private investors. Public-private partnerships also drive up costs, compared with financing through municipal bonds.

In any case, as Naked Capitalism blogger Yves Smith observes, private equity firms are not much interested in public assets, and to the extent that they are, they are more interested in privatizing existing infrastructure than in funding the new development that is at the heart of the president’s plan. Moreover, local officials and businessmen are now leery of privatization deals. They know that the price of quick cash is to be bled dry with user charges and profit guarantees.

The White House says its initiative is not a take-it-or-leave-it proposal, but the start of a negotiation, and that the president is “open to new sources of funding.” But no one in Congress seems to have a viable proposal. Perhaps it is time to look more closely at how China does it.

China’s Secret Funding Source

While American politicians argue endlessly about where to find the money, China has been forging full steam ahead with its megaprojects. A case in point is its 12,000 miles of high-speed rail, built in a mere decade, as American politicians were still trying to fund much more modest rail projects. The money largely came from loans from China’s state-owned banks. The country’s five largest banks are majority-owned by the central government, and they lend principally to large, state-owned enterprises.

Where do the banks get the money? Basically, they print it. Not directly. Not obviously. But as the Bank of England has acknowledged, banks do not merely recycle existing deposits but actually create the money they lend by writing it into their borrowers’ deposit accounts. Incoming deposits are needed to balance the books, but at some point these deposits originated in the deposit accounts of other banks. Because the Chinese government owns most of the country’s banks, it can aim this funding fire hose at its most pressing national needs.

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, issues money for infrastructure in an even more direct way. It has turned to an innovative form of quantitative easing, in which liquidity is directed not at propping up the biggest banks but at surgical strikes into the most productive sectors of the economy. Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter calls this “qualitative easing” to distinguish it from the quantitative easing engaged in by Western central banks. According to a 2014 Wall Street Journal article:

In China’s context, such so-called qualitative easing happens when the People’s Bank of China adds riskier assets to its balance sheet—such as by relending to the agriculture sector and small businesses and offering cheap loans for low-return infrastructure projects—while maintaining a normal pace of balance-sheet expansion [loan creation]. …

The purpose of China’s qualitative easing is to provide affordable financing to select sectors, and it reflects Beijing’s intention to dictate interest rates for some sectors, Citigroup’s economists said. They added that while such a policy would also put inflationary pressure on the economy, the impact is less pronounced than the U.S.-style quantitative easing.

Among the targets of these surgical strikes with central bank financing is the One Belt, One Road initiative. According to a 2015 Bloomberg article:

Instead of turning the liquidity sprinkler on full-throttle for the whole garden, the PBOC is aiming its hose at specific parts. The latest innovations include plans to bolster the market for local government bonds and the recapitalisation of policy banks so they can boost lending to government-favoured projects. …

Policymakers have sought to bolster credit for small and medium-sized enterprises, and borrowers supporting the goals of the communist leadership, such as the One Belt, One Road initiative developing infrastructure along China’s old Silk Road trade routes.

‘Nonperforming Loans’ or ‘Helicopter Money’?

Critics say China has a dangerously high debt-to-gross domestic product ratio and a “bad debt” problem, meaning its banks have too many “nonperforming” loans. But according to financial research strategist Chen Zhao in a Harvard University study titled “China: A Bullish Case,” these factors are being misinterpreted and need not be cause for alarm. China has a high debt-to-GDP ratio because most Chinese businesses are funded through loans rather than through the stock market, as in the U.S., and China’s banks are able to engage in massive lending because the Chinese chiefly save their money in banks rather than investing it in the stock market, providing the deposit base to back this extensive lending. As for China’s public “debt,” most of it is money created on bank balance sheets for economic stimulus. Zhao writes:

During the 2008-09 financial crisis, the U.S. government deficit shot up to about 10 percent of GDP due to bail-out programs like the TARP. In contrast, the Chinese government deficit during that period didn’t change much. However, Chinese bank loan growth shot up to 40 percent while loan growth in the U.S. collapsed. These contrasting pictures suggest that most of China’s four trillion RMB [RMB refers to renminbi, the official currency of the People’s Republic of China] stimulus package was carried out by its state-owned banks. … The so-called “bad debt problem” is effectively a consequence of Beijing’s fiscal projects and thus should be treated as such.

China calls this government bank financing “lending,” rather than “money printing,” but the effect is very similar to what European central bankers are calling “helicopter money” for infrastructure—central bank-generated money that does not need to be repaid. If the Chinese loans get repaid, great; but if they don’t, it’s not considered a problem. Like helicopter money, the nonperforming loans merely leave extra money circulating in the marketplace, creating the extra “demand” needed to fill the gap between GDP and consumer purchasing power, something that is particularly necessary in an economy that is contracting due to shrinking global markets following the 2008-09 crisis.

In an article last December in the Financial Times, titled “Stop Worrying about Chinese Debt, a Crisis Is Not Brewing,” Zhao expanded on these concepts, writing:

[S]o-called credit risk in China is, in fact, sovereign risk. The Chinese government often relies on bank credit to finance government stimulus programmes. … China’s sovereign risk is extremely low. Importantly, the balance sheets of the Chinese state-owned banks, the government and the People’s Bank of China are all interconnected. Under these circumstances, a debt crisis in China is almost impossible.

 

Chinese state-owned banks are not going to need a Wall Street-style bailout from the government. They are the government, and the Chinese government has a massive global account surplus. It is not going bankrupt any time soon.

What about the risk of inflation? As noted by the Citigroup economists, Chinese-style qualitative easing is actually less inflationary than the bank-focused quantitative easing engaged in by Western central banks. And Western-style quantitative easing has barely succeeded in reaching the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target. For 2017, the Chinese inflation rate was a modest 1.8 percent.

What to Do When Congress Won’t Act

Rather than regarding China as a national security threat and putting our resources into rebuilding our military defenses, we might get further ahead by studying its successful economic policies and adapting them to rebuild our own crumbling roads and bridges before it is too late. The U.S. government could set up a national infrastructure bank that lends just as China’s big public banks do, or the Federal Reserve could do qualitative easing for infrastructure as the People’s Bank of China does. The main roadblock to those solutions seems to be political. They would kill the privatization cash cow of the vested interests calling the shots behind the scenes.

read more:

 

https://popularresistance.org/chinas-state-bank-explains-why-their-infra...

 

 

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The People’s Republic of China has just provided a significant amount of humanitarian aid to Syria. It takes the form of goods to be allocated to Syrians living in Syria and other goods meant for Syrians who have taken refuge in Lebanon.

Beijing was an important partner of the Syrian industrial-military complex during President Hafez el-Assad’s term, notably on the Scud missiles issue.

Although China did not participate in the military operations during the military aggression against Syria, leaving the defence of the country to Russia and Iran, it did, nonetheless, send a number of instructors tasked with providing training on how to use and maintain various types of weapons.

It is asserted that in 2013, jihadists had used chlorine gas against the Syrian Arab Army and that this gas came from China North Industries (Norinco). Chinese Intelligence Services had discovered that its Western partners had succeeded in siphoning off certain quantities of this substance manufactured in China so that they could accuse Damascus of using chemical weapons.

During recent months, a great many Chinese businessmen have come to Damascus so that they could evaluate the potential for them to invest in reconstructing Syria.

Translation 
Anoosha Boralessa

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article199925.html

US President Donald Trump trade wars...

US President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $US60 billion ($77 billion) of imports from China, sending shivers through Wall Street and prompting a vow from Beijing to "fight to the end".

Key points:
  • Mr Trump will target the Chinese imports only after a consultation period
  • The United States runs a $486 billion goods trade deficit with China
  • Alleged intellectual property law breaches by China will also be pursued through the WTO

 

Under the terms of the memorandum, Mr Trump will target the Chinese imports only after a consultation period, a measure that will give industry lobbyists and legislators a chance to water down a proposed target list which runs to 1,300 products.

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-23/trump-sets-china-tariff-plan-edges...

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we so used to love the chinese...

devine chinese

 

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Who are we now? – Sovereignty and confidence

 


By PAUL WRIGHT | On 14 December 2020

It’s gone a bit quiet this week, with our federal parliamentarians deciding to keep their heads down and not further antagonise their Chinese Government counterparts. But it was curious observing the Australian reaction and outrage expressed – and on balance rightly – about China’s demands that would impinge on our sovereignty and independence.

 

The initial uproar had echoes of John Howard’s more domestically attuned message in dog-whistle English that “we would decide who comes here and the manner in which they come” – regarding the status of refugees and asylum seekers boating over from the Indonesian archipelago.

When our sovereign interests are challenged, there is usually a rush to defend our independence as a nation, to loudly assert Australia’s priorities and position and to push back on any (un)real or perceived threat to that independence.

Of course, for those paying attention, the passion aroused by the questioning of our sovereign independence doesn’t seem to translate to a more considered and mature understanding of the abiding sovereignty of First Nations people over the lands they have occupied for time immemorial.

The response to China’s antagonisms in recent weeks has revealed once again that we lack a national self-confidence in the legitimacy of our own nationhood. We doth protest too much methinks.

If we were more assured in our claims to sovereignty, reconciled with the past and at peace with the shared truth of our beginnings, maybe we wouldn’t feel so threatened?

More than three years ago, the Uluru Statement was presented to the Australian people (not Government) as an invitation to take the next step to tackle the legal, constitutional and relational limbo we find ourselves in – an incomplete or stunted state of Australian nationhood.

Speaking of the sovereignty of the First Nations’ Peoples of this continent, the Uluru Statement eloquently lays out that:

‘This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown. 

How could it be otherwise?’

How indeed? After 230 plus years of European colonisation, this question has not been answered or addressed by the British Empire, the Australian Constitution (1901 or 1967), the High Court (via Mabo) or any of the Commonwealth governments that have formed since Federation.

There are genuine, though misguided, concerns about how the implementation of the Uluru Statement, Treaty, Constitutional reform etcetera may further entrench division in our society. Consider the feigned concerns of such elected leaders as former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who rejected the Uluru Statement out of hand:

 “Our democracy is built on the foundation of all Australian citizens having equal civic rights – all being able to vote for, stand for and serve in either of the two chambers of our national parliament.

 A constitutionally enshrined additional representative assembly which only Indigenous Australians could vote for or serve in is inconsistent with this fundamental principle.

 

First, our democracy is established on the foundations outlined in the Constitution, which went out of its way to make sure that First Nations peoples could not enjoy ‘equal civic rights’ as Australian citizens.

If the democratic foundations espoused by the establishment defenders of our Australian state are shown from the beginning to have been divisive, exclusive and racist, then how can we be so confident in the virtue of our sovereignty as it stands – or conversely, how can we so easily ignore the ancient and continuing sovereign claim of the Peoples that had occupied the Australian landmass for tens of thousands of years?

Division has been ever-present since 26 January 1788. The lie of terra nullius exposed by the High Court in its Mabo decision in 1992 made clear that a political settlement with First Nations peoples is essential to formalise how our overlapping claims of sovereignty can legally and peacefully co-exist. Ignoring this state of legal-political limbo is clearly not making the issue go away or allowing a complete reconciliation to be possible.

Last week, Reconciliation Australia released its biannual Australian Reconciliation Barometer, which showed that the community continues to be well ahead of the federal government in attitudes towards sovereignty, reconciliation and treaty. From a low base, the general community’s support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty has jumped another 8% in the past two years to 39%.

For a Treaty, a majority of Australians now want a negotiated settlement (53% up from 47% in 2018) and an increasing majority want to get on with reconciliation.

These numbers grow each year, as measured by RA’s Barometer, but good intentions are not enough. Clearly, the fears of division and the lack of confidence that our politicians feel so strongly are not shared by the community they are meant to serve.

In plugging her recent Quarterly Essay The High Road, which explores the social and political influence (or lack thereof) of Aotearoa, Laura Tingle has pointed out that New Zealand is way ahead of Australia in terms of its settled relationship with the Maori peoples. While it has been imperfect to say the least, the Treaty of Waitangi is the foundation stone of their nationhood, and over time the difference in outcome between having a treaty and not has become stark. Tingle has observed that:

Between terra nullius and the Treaty of Waitangi, it is hard to think of more opposite circumstances in which two places were settled, or in which the position of Indigenous people would be considered.

Indigenous people in both countries came off badly, in both their circumstances and their legal standing.

Yet there is an extraordinary relevance in how the Treaty of Waitangi has developed in the last half-century to the debate we are now having in Australia about Indigenous recognition and a Voice to Parliament. And to a debate we have generally not been having about truth-telling and reconciliation.

New Zealand isn’t a utopia of First Nations and Settler peoples’ relations, but its Treaty has made possible an evolutionary shift towards better outcomes for Maori people and, as Tingle has said, a more confident nation that celebrates and embraces Maori language, culture and representation with pride and confidence.

It feels like we’ve been stuck at the intersection waiting for the lights to turn green for decades now. Each new Commonwealth government promises some version of structural reconciliation and formal recognition, initiates an inquiry or consultation process and then inevitably finds it all too hard and kicks the issue off to the never-never.

The Australian people are more confident about who we are and who we can be than our governments give us credit for. The First Nations peoples are strong, resilient and enduring. Their culture should be embraced as our culture, their heritage and sacred sites should be cherished and protected for all Australians.

We are big enough to be one and many peoples under an Australian nationhood that embraces the sovereign claims of those that were here first (by some 60,000 years) and the more recent claims.

We are big enough to be both ancient and young. It’s a confidence thing.

 

Read more:

https://johnmenadue.com/who-are-we-now-sovereignty-and-confidence/

the big bad wolf is us...

China Is Not The Big Bad Guy In This Story


Our national security narrative is calculated misdirection. Look to domestic boardrooms, not Beijing, for the architects of American decline.



The globalist crowd seems intent on brushing aside the past four years as an anomaly. Yet there are solid reasons why a reality TV star came out of nowhere in 2016 to defeat the establishment favorite. No doubt it has something to do with the aforementioned celebrity broaching a taboo that officials on both sides of the aisle have studiously avoided. That is, the subject of billionaires playing a vicious game of global labor arbitrage. One that hollowed out America’s middle class by pitting national workforces against each other in an epic race to the bottom.

After years of being ignored and betrayed, large segments of the electorate were receptive to the celebrity’s atypical bluntness. Their misery had progressed to the point where some voters were willing to grasp at any alternative that might challenge the status quo. The same status quo that is slowly crushing them by design.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/china-is-not-the-big-bad-guy-in-this-story/