March 28, 2008
What this tells us is just how vulnerable China really is. One channel barely the length of an American aircraft carrier must funnel all the ship traffic from the East China Sea and beyond to Shanghai up the Yangtze to Wuhan - the heart of industrial China.
And yet the Pentagon expects us to view China as a threat.
Why They Hate China
A must read from Justin Raimondo of Anti-War.com on the moral righteousness of the "Free Tibet" and "Save Darfur" crowd.
Some salient grafs:
After all, what if Chinese government leaders constantly reminded the world that the American Southwest was stolen from Mexico? Imagine the Chinese and Mexican ambassadors to the U.S. demanding independence, for, say, California – or better yet, its return to Mexican sovereignty! Shall the Olympics be forever barred from Puerto Rico, which was forcibly incorporated into the U.S. "commonwealth" in the invasion of 1898?
. . . . .
In short, the popular narrative of the pacifistic Buddhist Tibetans as the good guys and the Han Chinese as the bad-guy aggressors is the stuff of pure myth, pushed by union propagandists, lefty Hollywood do-gooders, and trendy sandal-wearing Western camp followers of the Dalai Lama, who has become a secularized yet "spiritual" substitute for Mother Theresa.
March 27, 2008
The Shanghai Composite Index, a benchmark of Chinese shares owned inside and outside China, fell again today to its lowest level in almost a year. The index closed down almost five and half percent March 27 to 3,411 representing a loss now of well over 30% probably close to 40% from its peak last year.
March 26, 2008
Taiwan Gains Chinese Bear All in the Family
full transript at www.sinomania.com: A political shift in Taipei with the election of Ma Ying-jeou and the Kuomintang win for Taiwan, the week's Alpha Bet, and Chinese markets bearish predicament...
March 25, 2008
Minuteman Missiles on Taiwan?
The Pentagon today acknowledged that devices for intercontinental ballistic "Minuteman" missiles were shipped by the Air Force to Taiwan. The devices are "component[s] for the fuse in the nosecone for a nuclear system" according to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. Wynne said the shipment was supposed to be helicopter batteries and is being investigated.
According to the joint Sino-USA communique of 1982:
"... the United States Government states that it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and that it intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution."
March 21, 2008
Panic of '08 Hits Shanghai - Beijing Elections - Special Comment on Tibet
Full transcript at www.sinomania.com
Chinese stocks plummet with signs of a bear market, the National People's Congress holds elections and six out of ten are new politicians, and is inflation and poverty the real issue in Tibet ...
Sinomania! Volume II Webisode 52, March 17, 2008
Meanwhile On Taiwan
Taiwan reunification is poised for a major step forward in Satuday's elections for President of Taiwan if Kuomintang (Nationalist) candidate Ma Ying-jeou wins, as expected, over the flailing DPP nominee Frank Hsieh. (Note: Taiwan continues to use the old Wade-Giles Chinese-English transliteration system developed in the 19th Century.)
Of course the possibility of "dirty tricks" exists but after the last-minute "assassination" attempt and recount dramas of 2000 it is doubtful Taiwan voters will fall for it this time. And the last polls (no polls have been allowed since last week) showed Ma with a healthy margin (54% or higher) over Hsieh.
The win by the KMT will represent a watershed in Taiwan-Beijing relations and mark a major setback for the influence of the American Republican Party overseas.
As President Ma promises direct air links to mainland China and business relations. This will begin the process of economic absorption of Taiwan much in the way Hong Kong was absorbed long before the official 1997 "handover".
Goldman Sachs is predicting a bull run in Taipei Stocks with the TAIEX Index reaching 10,000.
March 14, 2008
Riots in Tibet
Consider the words used in the news coverage of the riots in Tibet: the protestors we are told are “anti-China,” “pro-democracy,” it is an “intifadeh” according to TIME magazine, and all wire services condemn China’s use of “brutal force.” The latter words are straight from the lips of the Dalai Lama whose press releases have eerily matched the timing of each showy demonstration from the beginning of this week to today’s well photographed shout matches outside the United Nations building, in London, and elsewhere.
The reports of “gunfire” can be traced to the United States embassy in Beijing which says it heard of gunfire from phone calls to the embassy. Other sources of what’s happening in Tibet right now are the numerous, nameless “rights groups” that have the ear of Taiwan newspapers, the NED funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, and the Agence France Press.
So out of 2,000-odd headlines currently aggregated by Google News relating to these events of Tibet and Tibetans what do we really know?
The Chinese government is officially blaming the Dalai Lama himself for much of the agitation. This may surprise most Americans and many in Paris, London, and Berlin, since the luxury loving, alcohol drinking, meat-eating, Dalai Lama has so successfully branded himself to “peace” and “spiritual fulfillment,” but His Holiness is a very active and opportunistic politician. As I pointed out on this blog and in a video that was banned by YouTube the Dalai Lama is a tool of the American government. And the USA does influence China’s Himalayan border from Laos to Afghanistan with CIA psy-ops and actual troop presence as it has for over 60 years.
More likely, however, the real culprit behind the trouble in Lhasa is inflation and poverty. The Chinese Parliament (which is in session – showing obvious political timing to the unrest) is grappling with record inflation. Food prices are up over 23% on average. Prices for all goods and staples are rising dramatically including fuel and cooking oil. Remember, it was a surge in cooking oil prices that sent the Burma (Myanmar) monks over the edge last fall.
The Beijing government's statistical bureau does not publish Tibet data individually, alone of China’s provinces and autonomous areas. The lack of transparency into Tibet may be because it is a very skewed place. Reports are that inflation may run as high as 300% in the region. And ethnic Tibetans are mired in poverty. It is also well known that Chinese dominate the day-to-day markets and businesses in Lhasa and the urban areas of Tibet. When wire reports talk of shops looted, markets ablaze, and overturned Audis set afire in the streets, something other than “democracy” is at issue.
March 12, 2008
Special Report: 11th National People's Congress - the Chinese Parliament 2008
Beijing Plays Musical Chairs: Report on the National Peoples Congress - Chinese Stocks Tank!
Full transcript at www.sinomania.com
Buffet and Greenspan on Sovereign Wealth Funds China Markets and IPOs
Rearranging The Deck Chairs
The biggest news so far of the 11th National People's Congress is a major restructuring of China’s state council, the day-to-day government of Beijing and the Chinese President’s cabinet.
New “super ministries” will be set up to prevent bureaucratic turf wars and bring central control down to at least the provincial level. There will be a new energy ministry charged with energy security that will be under the increasingly powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
A new ministry for industry and information, also under the NDRC, will integrate macro level economic data and control.
A new ministry of transport will be consolidated from the existing Ministries of Coomunications and Civil Aviation. This will create in effect a Chinese FAA and national postal service.
A new ministry for human resources and social security including a central government bureau for civil servants will be made out of the old Ministry of Personnel and Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
The Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration will become a cabinet level ministry of environmental protection, a Chinese EPA, if you will.
There will be a new ministry for housing and urban and rural construction to replace the Ministry of Construction. And the State Food and Drug Administration will come under direct control of China ’s Ministry of Health.
All told 15 central government departments are involved the most important reshuffle in Beijing for close to a generation. There will be significant impacts on the regulatory environment and business resulting from these moves, something to watch over the next few years as consolidation takes place.
March 11, 2008
The USA State Department released its annual report on human rights today. As expected the report derides China and accuses the Chinese of torturing prisoners.
Tibet Protestors Desecrate Historic, Holy Sites
Small groups of angry demonstrators demanding "peace" desecrated the historic site of the ancient Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece, and a Buddhist shrine in Nepal yesterday in a carefully orchestrated global publicity stunt connected to if not coordinated by the the Dalai Lama.
In Olympia, Greece, birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games, demonstrators were prevented from staging their "freedom run" by local police. Olympia Mayor Giorgos Aidonis said “Olympia is a site of peace, not a place for political conflict or the settlement of disputes.”
Other protests occurred outside the Boudhanath holy shrine in Nepal, in New Delhi, and outside the San Francisco City Hall.
March 06, 2008
National People's Congress Open For Business
The first session of the 11th National People’s Congress convened Wednesday (March 5, 2008) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Premier or Prime Minister Wen Jiabao opened the session with remarks on the state of the Chinese union emphasizing challenges ahead particularly dealing with inflation.
Beijing will pursue a “tight monetary policy” according to Wen signaling the central government’s worry over excessive liquidity and runaway growth in some areas.
As expected, Beijing will channel excess cash into more state investment, already accounting for over 45% of China’s Gross Domestic Product. Investment targets will be health care and social security bureaucracies based on United States models. Housing and safe drinking water for China’s impoverished classes will also receive state directed investment.
The Congress will vote on the candidates already selected last October by the Communist Party for top government positions. Hu Jintao will no doubt be elected for a second and final 5 year term as President.
But there are some interesting items to watch on the Congress agenda. For example, debate on “institutional restructuring of the State Council,” China’s day-to-day working government and a vote on changing the election law to adjust the level of representation for rural Chinese.
Currently, each rural delegate of the Chinese congress represents 4 rural residents. The aim of the reform is to increase representation for Chinese rural citizens. Also there will be discussion of a Congressional delegation for migrant workers.
And in another show of support to the vast floating population of migrant workers in China, by some estimates perhaps 200 million people, Wen Jiabao announced mandated paid vacations for migrants.
It is easy for foreign observers, particularly American media, to dismiss the National Peoples’ Congress as a rubber stamp farce. But as I’ve pointed out before, you ignore the work of the NPC at your peril.
The Congress affirms the direction China is going and gives law to Beijing’s policies. Each year thousands of petitions, white papers, and forums are presented by ordinary Chinese (an ancient tradition, by the way, that predates any Chinese republic) and in this great airing of gripes and views are clues to the aspirations and desires of the Chinese people.
The NPC will adjourn March 19. I’ll have a report on this year’s session in next week's episode of The Sinomania! Show video broadcast.
March 04, 2008
Pentagon Trades GWOT for China
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