February 03, 2011


2011 Year of the (metal) Rabbit! I hope it is a great one for all of you. I know I am looking forward and anticipate some real positive change...


Media Coverage of Egypt Riots Uses 'Tam '89 Style Book

Anglo-American media interpret the mobs that shut down Cairo and other cities of Egypt as "pro-democracy protesters" that riot for "freedom" leading Americans to believe that the most important thing to a poor Egyptian is whether he/she can Twitter without obstruction. The coverage of the riots in Egypt is shockingly sloppy - celebrity journos are all on the scene and as in the late stages of the Tiananmen riots in 1989 they report mostly from the top floor suites of luxury hotels overlooking and speculating on events on the ground. At what point will any real reporting be done about the true underlying causes of the frustration in Egypt? The grinding poverty that gives Egypt a per capita income about one half that of China and without the sizeable affluent class structure. And more importantly the population explosion underway in the country. Egypt's population is set to grow 94% and peak at 136 million by 2075 according to UN statistics making Egypt one of the 15 most populated nations in the world for the next two or three centuries! There are so many interesting stories behind the riots that could help us understand the changes going on in places like Egypt instead of nonsense about "marching for freedom."

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Obama's Sputnik Moment Means Cold War with China

It was extremely disappointing to hear President Obama talk only of competition with China in his 2011 State of the Union address to the American Congress. Chinese children learn science and math at an earlier age, Chinese trains are faster, and China's airports are newer we are told. It seems Obama's "Sputnik Moment" for the current generation is that we must compete with China. This is thinly veiled indication that we are in a new Cold War with China where we will compete for technology, resources (oil in particular), and the minds of our youth. And what an awkward Cold War it is - Beijing buys Washington's debts, essentially paying for its own containment. And unlike the previous Cold War there are no centers devoted to researching, studying, and understanding the Chinese. Worse Washington and the American people wallow in utter ignorance of what really makes up the vast nation we call China and its complex government. Congress calls Chinese President Hu a "dictator" while oblivious to the huge ideological differences between the four major factions within the 70+ million strong Chinese Communist Party and unaware of the Chinese political process from village election to the workings of the party conferences. Dangerous times are ahead....

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January 18, 2011

US-China Summit: China Policy in Disarray

WASHINGTON, DC -- On the 20th anniversary of the fist Gulf War crisis Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived today for a state visit. Chinese flags fluttered across the cold American capital as the usual China gatekeepers pontificated in print and airwaves about the need for China to be "responsible" and the importance of the stale policy concerns of Washington toward Beijing.

America's China policy is bereft of innovation and woefully outdated. Now defined by both State and Treasury Departments neither Tim Geithner nor Hillary Clinton offer anything new. Geithner continues to stress currency an issue where he knows the USA has no high ground (the USA is as much a currency "manipulator" as China or Japan or the EU) and Geithner knows full well the USA will never get China to budge on Yuan appreciation. As for State Hillary Clinton trotted out human rights concerns that sounded like leftovers from her time at the UN Conference on Women in Beijing. China's human rights record hinders investment she says. Really? Yet China remains the world's top destination for foreign direct investment.

The reason the unacknowledged anniversary of Gulf War I is important is because both nations are dependent on the steady flow of Persian Gulf oil - China even more so than the USA. In January 1991 China came out in full support of Kuwait and the rhetoric behind the air strikes against Saddam Hussein. Only a few months earlier in July 1990 Beijing established relations with Saudi Arabia and the quest was on for oil contracts Chinese leaders knew the country would soon need. By 1993 China became a net oil importer. Around the same time US oil imports grew faster as domestic production peaked and began a steady decline. Yet there is no talk of "peak oil" or the resource competition underway between our two nations - the world's top two energy users and polluters.

Meanwhile in the background the Pentagon and its friends in the Anglo-American media beat the war drums with scary stories about missile gaps (China's "carrier killer" missiles may make our 12 Navy aircraft carrier groups obsolete!) and Chinese planes that might achieve 1980s level technology.

So can we expect more of the same stupid discourse on China in the 2012 election cycle? Unless something different emerges from this week's meetings I fear we will again kick China policy and our need for cooperation further down the road to mutual destruction.

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December 28, 2010

Guess What? China Didn't Collapse!

I am back from China and have much to say but first the holidays! 2011 will bring many changes to the Sinomania! website.

This past Spring the China doomsayers called for a collapse by end of the year. Well it didn't happen and most likely won't happen for a very long time. Yet mainstream media continues to broadcast and print coming collapse of China pablum. Fortune magazine just featured Jim Chanos on its cover. I believe we may well be in an age of Chinese exceptionalism much as America created its own trends throughout the 20th Century with global implications. Must we fear this new environment?

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and the warm hospitality of the Chinese people. If more Americans actually went to China our perceptions would change immediately. The ghosts of two Chinese giants from the past century (both born in the 19th Century) - Mao Zedong and Henry Luce -continue to haunt our thoughts of China. Yet their world is long gone for better and for worse.

A new China policy is needed in the USA one that works constructively to foster change in China. Without positive increased cooperation with China fearmongers will propel us to nuclear war. Politicos of all stripes in America are gearing up to blame China for all of the USA's problems in the 2012 election cycle. Yet their arguments are almost entirely based on myths. The time has come for the USA to stop blaming China and stop misunderstanding China.

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October 12, 2010

Is the Mekong River Shrinking?

The New York Times says the Mekong is shrinking and China may be hoarding its flow but from where I sat for lunch today along the river at the Laotian border it is very high and rising....


Sinomania! On Assignment

Exploring Chinese influence in southeast Asia before making my way through China until I reach Chongqing. I will be posting as I can....


October 08, 2010

Chinese Household Wealth May Double in 5 Years

A new report by Credit Suisse says Chinese personal wealth my increase to $35 trillion by 2015 second only to the USA. The huge number of Chinese with increasing discretionary incomes will reshape the global economy according to the private bank. Sectors expected to see significant growth in China include transportation & communications, recreation & education, housing & utilities, and healthcare....

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October 06, 2010

US China Policy Should Be Campaign Issue

Christine O'Donnell the much maligned Republican nominee for Deleware's open US Senate seat says China has a secret plan to take over America. O'Donnell made the claim in a 2006 debate for the nomination. The transcript of her remarks obtained by The Washington Post contain several lies about China that have currency in anti-China circles: China is "taking American oil" by drilling off the coast of Florida; in China you are "not allowed to be Christian" or read the Bible. But the flap over her remarks do point out the necessity to bring US policy on China and Americans ignorance about China and Chinese people into national focus.

China policy should - must - be a national campaign issue in the next election cycle in 2012. See my new group Americans for a New China Policy....

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October 04, 2010

China Saves Greece

Chinese PM Wen Jiabao is touring the EU on feel good missions to assure China's support for the region's economies and currency. Wen will attend an East-West Summit in Brussels and meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Over the weekend in Greece Wen announced that Beijing would buy Greece's debt in a confidence bid on Greek turnaround. One commentator sees opportunity with recent Greek programs to push solar power. As regular readers know China is developing container terminals and greatly expanding the port at Piraeus in a larger shipping and logistics strategy. You can read my 2008 report on it here....

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