September 30, 2009
76 Missiles in Beijing's Parade
The Chinese Communist Party threw a big parade in Beijing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China
. At this point in America's history, it was 1836 and President Jackson failed to contain a financial panic after he collapsed the nation's central bank. The USA entered a severe depression the following year. In 2014 Japan may mark the 60th year since the nation regained sovereignty back from the USA. Beijing's parade was intended for a domestic audience and no doubt succeeded immensely in that sense. But for outside viewers the parade was catastrophic PR. The screenshot shown at left from Yahoo! news sums it up. China Marks 60 Years of Communist Rule by driving tanks through the streets of its capital -- not to mention the nuclear missiles!
For Chinese turning 60 is an important milestone. In the past not many lived to see their 60th birthday. On that occasion a person has cycled through all the elements (earth, wind, fire, wood, and metal) and returned to the point in the Chinese astrological system where they were born. It is often marked with big parties and special gifts. In Lahaina, Maui, at the Wing Ho Society museum there is an elaborate giant screen made in the 19th Century for a prominent Chinese citizen's 60th birthday. A whole section of the Forbidden City with a huge Chinese opera stage was erected for the dowager empress's (Pinyin: Cixi) 60th birthday in 1895 the same year China lost Taiwan to Japan.
In 1969 the People's Republic of China celebrated its 20th anniversary. At that time the People's Daily was the most widely distributed newspaper in China and the front page of its 1 October addition was devoted entirely to a photo of Chairman Mao. Twenty years later on the 40th anniversary Jiang Zemin looked past the Tiananmen Square riots
and proclaimed that China would achieve economic modernization by the middle of the 21st Century. With four decades yet to go until 2050 China appears to be right on track.
Labels: communist china
Huayi Bros Media to IPO on GEM
China Wants Nigeria Offshore Oil
China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) (NYSE: CEO
) announced it is discussing major acquisitions in Nigeria
valued up to $30 billion (US dollars). This will mean directly taking on western oil and gas majors Shell, Chevron, Total, and ExxonMobile which currently dominate oil production in Nigeria. Nigerian petroleum minister Odein Ajumogobia says not so fast however but admits his government is considering an offer. Ajumogobia may be getting pressure from Washington as Nigeria is the perrenial number 5 supplier of crude oil to the USA. Many analysts believe that CNOOC may pursue new offshore blocks. Chinese firms are leading deepwater explorations around the world....
Labels: foreign investment, foreign relations, oil, peak oil
September 29, 2009
Give GEM A Chance
ShenZhen Stock Exchange's Growth Enterprise Market or GEM board opens soon and most commenters have already declared it dead on arrival
. The new board is meant to be a sort of NASDAQ for Chinese small and medium (SME) size businesses to list shares. The requirements for an initial public offering are far less stringent although Beijing's China Securitites Regulatory Commission will ultimately decide who gets to IPO. Many critics believe GEM won't have much of a chance as previous attempts at such boards in East Asia have fared poorly and China's giant state owned enterprises (SOEs) suck up liquidity and investor appetite.
But let's put GEM in perspective. The dominance of SOEs in Chinese stock markets is not unlike the dominance of chaebol firms in (South) Korean markets and the keiretsu on the Tokyo bourse. Just a little more than decade ago only 3 chaebol - Samsung, Daewood, and LG - dominated Korean stocks and accounted for almost 10% of Korea's GDP. Japanese keiretsu continue to dominate Tokyo. As for previous experience, Tokyo's first attempt at a SME board, the JASDAQ, was a flop listing only 3 companies in as many years. Just 10 years ago Tokyo set up the MOTHERS board (Market of the High Growth & Emerging Stocks) and Hong Kong set up its own GEM board. MOTHERS has fared better but it remains lackluster.
Time will tell if ShenZhen GEM follows the performance of other East Asian SME boards. But the biggest hindrance may come from Chinese stock traders as SME stocks are meant to be held long term not traded on market whims....
Labels: chinese stocks, shenzhen
September 28, 2009
Half a Billion on the Move for "Golden Week"
Chinese television is reporting
that over 500 million people will travel throughout the nation during the National Day "Golden Week." China has two "Golden Weeks" - week long national holidays - one at Chinese New Year (still officially called Spring Festival) and one around National Day (the Chinese equivalent of July 4 for Americans). For the first time mainland Chinese may travel to Taiwan (the government on Taiwan still observes the "double ten" anniversary or October 10 that commemorates the Wuchang uprising against the Qing Dynasty).
This year's Golden Week is special as it is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. New China has now cycled through all the elements of the Chinese calendar and is back where it began in 1949 in the hard working year of the Earth Ox....
Labels: direct links, taiwan
USA-China Oil & Gas Industry Forum
September 25, 2009
China to Build Sustainable Skyscrapers and Cities
India Air Force Chief Says No Chinese Air Violations
TRADE WAR: US Court Rules Against Chinese Tire Tariff
September 24, 2009
Pipelineistan Oil and Gas Flows to China
China SWF Continues Commodity Focus
The China Investment Corp. (CIC), Beijing's Sovereign Wealth Fund now valued near $300 billion (US dollars), surprised commodity markets with a $2.75 billion investment in two commodities firms
- PT Bumi Resources, an Indonesian coal miner and Noble Group a commodities conglomerate based in the autonomous Chinese alpha city Hong Kong. This past summer CIC investested $1.5 billion in Canada's largest diversified mining conglomerate Teck Mining. The investment in Bumi is further evidence that China will continue to power its grids with coal burning for the foreseeable future....
Labels: foreign investment, foreign relations, swf
September 23, 2009
Foreign Investors Prefer CUIB Over BRIC
According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2009 World Investment Report
, the world's largest transnational (multinational) corporations' planned foreign direct investment (FDI) in the short to medium term (next 3 years) will most likely go to China, USA, India, and Brazil or CUIB (pronunciation is up to you but the writer thinks "quib" sounds about right ;-) . China alone received 7% of global FDI flows in 2008. Click here for a fact sheet
on FDI in China....
Labels: BRIC, foreign investment, un
Sarah Palin: China Makes People Nervous
With much fanfare and behind closed doors, Sarah Palin delivered the keynote address to the CLSA China Forum
in Hong Kong today. CLSA is an investment arm of French financial giant Credit Agricole. Palin's speech was promised as a discussion on China but from most accounts it was a banal recap of accepted China policy positions in the US regardless of party affiliation
On one hand Palin said "China rightfully makes a lot of people nervous" and paid lip service to the usual "human rights" targets (Tibet and now Xinjiang) yet she also said the USA should be "more open to Chinese investment." To validate her neo Reagan-Thatcher free market beliefs she criticized Obama's punitive tariffs on Chinese tires. The text of her speech is not available at this time....
Labels: foreign investment, free trade, politics
September 22, 2009
Greater Chinese Prosperity Zones
New York is the scene for a blizzard of China pow wows as President Hu Jintao met with the new Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama and President Obama. Hatoyama waxed eloquently about turning the East China Sea into a "sea of fraternity" and proposing the creation of an East Asian Community
based on the EU model. Hu invited Hatoyama to Beijing for a regional summit in December.
Labels: foreign relations, hu jintao, japan, obama, un
Ford to Build Greenfield Auto Plant in ChongQing
September 21, 2009
China Watchers Can't See the Tea for the Leaves
The 4th plenary session of the 17th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee ended in Beijing last Friday. According to China watchers and so-called "experts" the party meeting was a bust primarily because their prediction that party secretariat (and current Vice President) Xi Jinping would be promoted to China's Central Military Commission fell flat.
Mainstream media China commenters and analysts
along with most of the traditional "gatekeepers" of China disinformation believe Xi Jinping will be the next president of China because he is supposedly aligned with Jiang Zemin. What is lost in this interpretation is the sea change that occurred in the first ever peaceful transfer of power in 2003 when Jiang Zemin stepped down and in the last party congress that selected the current leadership. Hu Jintao's power does not derive from alliance with a former great leader a la Mao or Deng but from his political base the Communist Youth League. Also from the Communist Youth League is Vice Premier Li Keqiang.
According to mainstream China watchers Li will be Wen Jiabao's replacement as PM in a new administration. But this writer believes Li has every chance of becoming China's next president. Here's why: the Chinese Communist Party is changing rapidly
. Membership is growing fast and members are getting younger. Over 70% of delegates to the last party congress were under 55 with several hundred under 45. These party members were only teenagers or even younger when Chairman Mao died. They are not committed to "follow the leader" political successions.
Labels: democracy, elections, hu jintao, reform
September 18, 2009
Obama Hu to Meet at UN
India-China Border Brouhaha
Indian war hawks are abuzz over alleged Chinese military incursions across the vast and largely unpatrolled borderlands of Aksai Chin and Kashmir. In a show of force today the Indian Air Force landed one of its Antonov transport planes near Leh
in Kashmir where there were reports recently of Chinese helicopters violating the airspace. But locals in the area known as Ladakh are less concerned
than the hotheads in India proper that want more military spending on the region to keep up with the new paved roads and shiny speed boats and helicopters on the Chinese side of the border.
Fact is the area has virtually open borders and trade flows freely as it has for decades. On the Indian side the border with Tibet's Ngari Prefecture at gorgeous Pangong Tso (Lake) was opened to tourism a few years ago. As recently as 2008 on the Chinese side Burang County was also open to travelers. Even today with restrictions on Tibet travel it is possible with the right paperwork and connections to obtain permits to travel the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway and visit the area. Without military tension the region is ripe for tourist development.
But the fuss on the Indian side may be due to the discovery a few years back of very high quality uranium deposits
in the area around Pangong. Even with access to uranium supplies courtesy the USA-India nuclear deal, New Delhi may want to hold fast to the region lest Beijing attempt an economic absorption. Will the people of Ladakh go along or will the region be plunged into the type of chaos and instability found just a few hundred miles away in Gilgit-Baltistan and Afghanistan?
Labels: india, nuclear, strategic
September 17, 2009
Will California Make Chinese Cars?
Alameda County, California, supervisors arranged a visit this week by an unnamed Chinese delegation to the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., (NUMMI) plant in silicon valley
. The plant currently produces Toyota
Corollas and Tacomas but will shut down in March, closing the last of California's auto manufacturing businesses. Toyota is pulling out since its partner GM quit the joint venture earlier this year. No details are given of the Chinese visit but word from the county is that other delegations are planned including a group from Korea. The NUMMI plant began as a GM factory but closed in 1982 only to reopen in 1984 when the partnership with Toyota was formed.
Labels: automobiles, chinese autos, foreign investment, gm
September 16, 2009
China US Treasuries Over $800 Billion
September 14, 2009
TRADE WAR: Obama & USW vs China & the American Consumer
Attention Walmart shoppers: all tires at twice the price!!
Late Friday President Obama proclaimed
that additional duties on Chinese tires would be imposed although the top rate of the tariff was reduced to 35%. With this move Obama sets the stage for a difficult time in China trade for the rest of his (first?) term in office. After 2013 the USA will lose the ability to protect American industries from Chinese imports according to the 2000 China Trade Relations Act
. Obama has clearly sided with his union constituents - the complaints originate with the United Steelworkers Union - and short term political gain. How hard will Beijing's Tit be for this Tat?....
Labels: foreign relations, foreign trade, free trade, wto
September 11, 2009
Paper: Obama Should Reject Tire Tariff
"This case gives Mr. Obama a chance to show that he defines American economic interests broadly, not in response to the demands of particular interests".....
Labels: foreign trade, free trade
Reunification Watch: CHEN SHUI-BIAN GUILTY
The ex-President of Taiwan from 2000-2008, the man who survived a last minute "assasination" attempt on the eve of the 2004 election, the man former US President George W Bush said he would send the state of Texas to defend, the darling of the American Republican Party, has joined his former benefactor ex-US House Majority Leader Tom Delay in disgrace. Chen was found guility
after a lengthy trial (and numerous hunger strikes and other antics) of corruption and embezzlement of millions from the state and from bribes. His punishment, life in prison....
Labels: chen shui-bian, reunification, taiwan
September 10, 2009
Western US States Embrace China
In less than a 48 hour period, the western American states Nevada
signed investment deals with Chinese state and business delegations. Nevada's governor is a Republican and Colorado's a Democrat so the desire to bring China in is a bi-partisan affair.
The various deals planned are around investment in clean tech or alternative energy including the possibility of Chinese solar firms setting up factories and power plants. Interestingly, one of the areas singled out for Chinese investment is mining. Both Nevada and Colorado are centers of gold mining in the USA. Nevada is by far the leading gold producing state
Labels: alternative energy, clean tech, foreign investment, foreign relations, free trade, gold
Chinese Firm Will Complete Atlantic City Mega Casino
Trade War: USA Imposes Extra Tariffs on Chinese Steel Goods
The US Commerce Department slapped imports of Chinese oil country tubular goods - steel pipes used in the oil industry - with countervailing duties over 30%
until a final rule is made on a dispute reported on previously here.
Meanwhile the "Summer Davos" meeting of the World Economic Forum has opened in Dalian, China, with a round of America bashing
. Bank of China President Zhu Min criticized the attitude on Wall Street as over-confident and as though the "crisis never happened." Morgan Stanley Asia head Stephen Roach believes there are good odds the USA may lead the world back into recession....
Labels: foreign trade, free trade, steel
September 09, 2009
China Says No AF-PAK & Expanded US Embassy in Pakistan
On this day (September 9) in 1976 Chairman Mao died. For all the attempts to paint Mao as a Chinese Stalin
, it must be remembered that Mao emancipated Chinese women. The plight of women in China was always a concern to Mao despite his troubled relations with the many women in his life. In some of his earliest writings Mao bemoaned the Chinese practice of selling girls and the complete lack of economic opportunity outside of marriage and prostitution. The constitution that Mao introduced to China and the 1960 marriage and divorce laws gave Chinese women greater rights than existed in many western nations at the time.
Although China remains a patriarchal society the independence of women in China today stands in stark contrast to many other nations in Asia (i.e., India) and other parts of the world....
Labels: human rights, mao
Chinese Congress Leader to Meet Obama
China Trains Afghani Police
September 08, 2009
What Laura Ling and Euna Lee Didn't Report
Missing from all the coverage of the arrest and imprisonment of US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee along the frozen banks of the Tumen River between North Korea and China is any mention, let alone discussion, of the Greater Tumen Initiative
. Underway this week in Changchun, China, capital of Jilin Province, is the 5th NorthEast Asia Economic Cooperation Forum
. High level talks are taking place between China, Russia, Mongolia, North and South Korea, on the long-range plans to develop the Tumen River area that forms the border between China, North Korea, and Russia, into a major crossroads for trade and potentially open up North Korea
. The Greater Tumen Initiative is a UN sponsored entity and around it are a host of development projects that aim to develop a seaport for central and northern Manchuria close to the population and energy centers of the Russian Far East. It is an important region to watch as it is ripe for transformation....
Labels: foreign investment, foreign relations, russia, un
Will China Switch to a Gold Standard?
A swirl of pitches from "gold bugs" and currency commenters say China is buying gold and so should you
. The excited headlines are based on various remarks
by former and current Chinese government officials on Beijing's concern over the health of the almighty (US) dollar. Many of the remarks most often cited were said over the past year and some date back several years.
It is true Beijing is buying gold from domestic production, slowly, and some say secretly - initially off the official statements of the People's Bank of China. But the amount of gold held is a tiny fraction of the $2.13 trillion (as of 6/30/2009) foreign exchange reserves Beijing holds.
Will China switch to a gold standard? That question has tantalized speculators on and off throughout history. Little more than a century ago, Beijing's decision to not follow the USA and Japan with a gold standard may have contributed to the collapse of the Chinese currency (based on a silver standard) by the 1940s.
One thing stands out - talk of internationalizing Renminbi is everywhere. Henry Kissinger predicted on Bloomberg TV just a few weeks ago that an alternative international currency will probably emerge based around the Yuan. Investment guru "Dr. Doom" Marc Faber once predicted that the world's finances would become based on the dollar, euro, Yen, Yuan, and gold.....
Labels: currencies, dollar, euro, gold, renminbi, yuan
China's Challenge to Boeing, Airbus Revealed
September 04, 2009
Reunification Watch: Spirit of '92
It's back to the future with Taipei-Beijing relations as Taiwan dropped its annual UN membership ritual
for the first time since 1992 the year Taiwan and China agreed to a consensus on bi-lateral relations based on acceptence of the "One China" principle. An independent Taiwan is looking increasingly unlikely as the economic integration with the mainland deepens every day....
Labels: reunification, taiwan, un
September 03, 2009
Beijing Converts 50 Billion $ to SDR [CORRECTION]
[CORRECTION: Reuters reports
that the People's Bank of China will use Yuan not dollars to buy the IMF SDRs.]
Labels: dollar, financial news, forex, gold
USA CHINA War Games
The head of the US Pacific Command (USPACOM
), Admiral Timothy Keating, said in Australia that he would like to engage China in joint war games with the US Navy and the Australian military. According to Reuters
both nations have agreed to invite the Chinese Ministry of National Defense to naval and possibly land exercises.....
Labels: australia, defense, navy, pentagon
September 02, 2009
Obama to Decide on Chinese Tire Duties
The office of the US Trade Representative has sent its recommendation to President Obama on countervailing duties on imports of Chinese tires
for Obama's decision. The report was sealed so specifics of the recommendation are not known but the quasi-federal International Trade Commission had previously suggested additional tariffs of 55% of value. The challenge on Chinese tires, reported on previously by Sinomania!, was brought by the United States Steelworkers union but is opposed by the US Tire Industry Association and American tire manufacturers and importers. Will Obama side with or against the USW? He must decide by September 17....
Labels: foreign trade, free trade
China's Rare Earth Monopoly
China mines 90% of the rare earth elements in the world and 75% of China's reserves of rare earth products are found in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. A number of reports are speculating on a recent decision by Beijing to limit exports of rare earth metals. Some believe China is hoarding the elements which are vital for many high tech industries. Neodymium, for example, is essential to the batteries used in the Toyota Prius and other hybrid vehicles. But Beijing is also guiding Inner Mongolia to consolidate the industry and shore up rare earth prices
. There are many mining businesses and rare earth producers but one company is singled out as the new dominant firm: Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Company, Ltd
., or IMBREHT. The firm was established in 1960 and is listed on the Shanghai Securities Exhange as a domestic A share (SS:600111
). Its earnings are down considerably for the first half of 2009. Consolidation around IMBREHT will form a virtual monopoly on rare earth elements and make the company a force to be accepted in the medium to long term....
Labels: exports, high-tech
September 01, 2009
Urumqi Trade Fair Brings Together Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran
Thailand, Russia Explore Yuan Currency Swap
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