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China the monster.
blacksheep
post Posted: Yesterday, 07:36 PM
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Interesting read - also the video showing the ghost towns
China's looming great wall of debt may have 'major global implications'
By Tasha Wibawa
Posted earlier today at 5:49am
QUOTE
While many countries struggled following the 2008 global financial crisis, China appeared as though it had largely escaped unscathed.

But observers are becoming increasingly concerned Beijing will struggle to repay an ever-increasing mountain of debt, with potential detrimental consequences for the global market.

China's debt has been a key factor to its economic success in riding out the GFC, due to a large government stimulus injected into its economy.

However, the financial boost has mostly led to China having one of the highest corporate debts in the world, only second to the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.

The past year has been a tumultuous one for the Chinese market: it was hit by an economic downturn, and for the first time in two years, exports unexpectedly plunged to its lowest point, all of this against the backdrop of an ongoing trade dispute and punishing tariffs by the US.

Beijing made moves to solve its issues by slashing central bank reserves earlier this month — the fifth time within a year — freeing up $US116 billion ($161.3 billion) to stimulate more economic growth.

But forecasted figures by a number of global financial institutions are not looking too positive for the global superpower, and adding to the debt fears is an opaqueness and inability for analysts to completely obtain information and understand the full extent or impact of the potential looming problem


QUOTE
According to the Bank for International Settlement (BIS), China's overall debt currently sits at 255.7 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), with its corporate debt standing at 160.3 per cent, well ahead of Japan and the US.

However, the concerns do not surround the amount of China's accumulated debt, but rather the rate of its corporate debt and its growth since the GFC, which also includes State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) and local governments, prompting fears of a financial crisis with a domino effect.


read more - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-20/chin...ection=business



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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington

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triage
post Posted: Jan 18 2019, 06:36 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ Jan 18 2019, 05:00 PM

Nip - At the moment I'm reading a book called "The Tiananmen Papers" which is a chronologue of internal Communist Party reports leading up to the 4 June massacre. The striking thing for me is how all along Deng Xiao Ping and the other elders wanted to close down the "turmoil" being caused throughout China by university students protesting because it put at risk the clear strategy of reform and opening of China. Even though Li Ping should have been installed as the boss of the Communist Party during this period, Deng and Co plucked a little known Jiang Zemin out of Shanghai who had no experience in the Party Central in Beijing to be the big boss. Li was rejected by the elders to a large extent because he was a conservative not a reformer whereas Jiang was a pragmatist who knew to follow the codified instructions of the Party elders.

So this strategy of economic reform and opening - political reform and opening was never a starter - had been in place from Deng and Chen Yun to Jiang and onto Hu Jintao which is a span of about 35 years. It is true that it seems that Xi Jinping is attempting to turn back the tide by effectively renationalising much of the Chinese economy but it might be some time yet before we know that Xi's strategy is worse or better than the reform and opening strategy.




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"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." John Maynard Keynes

"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

Mozart fixes everything and Messi is a dog
 
nipper
post Posted: Jan 18 2019, 05:00 PM
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QUOTE
Germany's top industry organisation [has] called time on the myth Xi ever intended to open up China's economy.

"China is no longer developing structurally in the direction of a market economy and liberalism but is in the process of consolidating its own political, economic and social model," the Federation of German Industries (BDI) said in a position paper calling for a tougher line on China from the European Union.

"The Chinese model of an economy marked by substantial state control thus enters into systemic competition with liberal market economies."

This statement – a more sophisticated version of US President Donald Trump's mantra that "China has been ripping us off for years" – shows German industry, the epitome of rational policy making, now sees China as more threat than opportunity.

https://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/how-did...20181127-h18e36

- meantime, the relativities have altered; hard to prise loose the grip on sectors of the global economy



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jan 15 2019, 10:04 AM
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Interesting article appearing in The New York Times - Competing Against Chinese Loans, U.S. Companies Face Long Odds in Africa

QUOTE
China is aggressively seeking investments and contracts around the world, and perhaps nowhere is this more visible than Africa, where Chinese companies have won contracts to build dams, roads, stadiums, airports and railways. In country after country, governments have borrowed heavily from China to pay for these projects.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/13/world/af...africa-usa.html



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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
triage
post Posted: Jan 10 2019, 08:40 PM
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"Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-west region, saying the weapons have the capacity to destroy US ships entering disputed waters in the South China Sea....


...Late last year, Chinese Navy Rear Admiral Luo Yuan suggested Beijing could sink two US carriers in a bid to deter the US from entering the South China Sea.

Admiral Lou was quoted in Taiwanese media as stating that destroying two carrier would kill around 10,000 US personnel, claiming that this would be the best way to hurt the US as 'America is most afraid of the death of its people.'"

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-10/chin...-ships/10705594

I don't think the Chinese are that stupid or ill-informed. The US came into existence on the battlefield and ever since has been a warrior nation, having fought against just about every major nation, in a steady procession of wars. They are not "most afraid" of the death of their countrymen, rather that is what riles them the most. They have tens of thousands of battle tested soldiers, and hundreds of senior officers that know how to fight and win battles and wars. Pretty much all of their military technology has been on-the-job tested and they still possess overwhelming military force. Mao thought he could overpower the US in the Korean War by inflicting maximum casualties on them but he was wrong. The US public opinion against the Vietnam War turned as much from the pointless loss of Vietnamese lives as American lives. And of course the attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese turned American public opinion from a disinterest in getting involved in the war to being fully in favour of it.

In contrast the last time the Chinese faced an enemy force was the Sino-Vietnam war in the late 70's in which the battle-hardened Vietnamese belted the snot out of the Chinese forces (though strategically Deng achieved what he set out to do) and Vietnam was only acting defensively. Not saying that the Chinese would be a walk-over or are not an impressive military power, but I do think it is naive to think the Americans would turn chicken.



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"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." John Maynard Keynes

"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

Mozart fixes everything and Messi is a dog
 
nipper
post Posted: Oct 6 2018, 03:21 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ Oct 6 2018, 12:18 PM

China’s Crisis of Success; End of an Era; Imperial Twilight; Unfabling the East
by Paul Monk
QUOTE
China’s importance to the global economy has never been greater, its ambitions in world affairs never more overweening, but its internal affairs are under such severe strain that all this is now in jeopardy. These four new books are a significant resource for those seeking a ­judicious assessment of the situation.

In Unfabling the East, Jurgen Osterhammel re-evaluates Enlightenment efforts to understand Asia before the Manchu Empire was humbled by the Royal Navy in the Opium Wars. In Imperial Twilight, Stephen Platt ­provides an illuminating history of the origins and course of this conflict. He is especially good on the debates within the British and Chinese camps in the years before the hostilities.

In End of an Era, Carl Minzner, an American scholar of Chinese law, offers acute insights into the stagnation of reform in China and its implications. He throws light on the challenges the Communist Party has brought on itself by failing to foster institutional reforms that would have made possible the mutation of its rule into a more open and flexible constitutional order.

William Overholt’s career has been in banking, risk analysis and high-level geopolitical consultancy. But under the auspices of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, he has written an incisive book on China’s looming ‘‘crisis of success’’, which throws into high relief the sources of this crisis and how ­serious it could soon become. If you read only one of these books, make it China’s Crisis of ­Success, especially if you are working in the ­policy arena or doing serious business in China.

The West’s engagement with much of the Asian world has been bedevilled for half a ­century by intellectual mindsets, often pioneered in Paris, that would have us believe our modern discourse about Asia is inherently ­‘‘Orientalist’’, ‘‘neocolonial’’ and autistic. ­Osterhammel’s patient and deeply informed work is a much needed corrective to this. As an inquiry into Enlightenment intellectual debates, it belongs with such excellent recent scholarship as JGA Pocock’s six-volume work on Edward Gibbon, Barbarism and Religion, and Pierre Briant’s The First European: A History of Alexander in the Age of Empire. It shows how ­serious scholars inquire, think and learn.

Platt’s previous book, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (2013), on the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), explored the apocalyptic revolt against the Manchus, which killed an estimated 20 million people. He now covers the antecedents to that upheaval, examining how China was decaying administratively and economically from the 1790s.

Given the relentless emphasis by the Communist Party on China’s ‘‘century of humiliation’’, from the First Opium War and to the party’s seizure of power in 1949, this is a subject of considerable historical importance.

Serious examination of what happened at that time is badly needed, and in Imperial ­Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age Platt delivers a scrupulous ­account, one that contains important lessons for us now. He begins with the White Lotus Rebellion (1796-1804), its social and religious roots and its aftermath, which preceded the breakdown in relations between China and Britain. He then looks at the outbreak of war in 1839 and the long-term impact of the British victory.

His analysis is nuanced, subtle, intelligent and anything but Orientalist or neocolonial. He is especially good in showing the complex internal debates in London, Canton and Beijing in the lead-up to the crisis. We need just this kind of analysis right now in dealing with China.

Like many external observers and Chinese reformers, Minzner has long held to the hope that the party would find a way to open up civil society and step back from authoritarian rule as the Chinese economy grew.

His concern is that under President Xi ­Jinping it is ­demonstrably moving in the ­opposite direction: “China’s heady accomplishments have been grounded in a set of norms and policies — ­political, economic and ideological — adopted in the last quarter of the 20th century. These are now unravelling.’’

He doesn’t mince his words:

China’s reform era trajectory is being reversed … Beijing’s failure to deepen political reform when it had the chance to do so — during the last two decades of the 20th century and the first decade of the twenty-first — is now leading the entire system to cannibalise itself and its own prior efforts at political institutionalisation.

There are ‘‘dangerous shifts … beginning to take place within China’’, he argues. It appears increasingly probable that we ‘‘will see a hard landing of its political system … Many are in ­denial. They cling to a linear, short-term, ­ahistorical view of China’’. We now need to think in terms of ‘‘various hypothetical scenarios’’, none of them reassuring.

In the 1980s, Chinese reformers around Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang tentatively began to tackle the thorniest of all issues: party control. They attempted to disentangle party and government power. Both were brushed aside by party conservatives when their leadership ­inspired students to demand substantial political change, between 1986 and 1989.

The 2003 Open Constitution Initiative and 2008 Charter 08 petition movements were also brushed aside. The jig was up. Zhao died in 2005, just as economic ­reform was stagnating. This is an excellent ­context for pondering his secret journal, Prisoner of the State, published by Simon & Schuster in 2009, the year liberal reformer Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison for co-­authoring Charter 08.

The political and economic foundations of China’s late-20th-century economic achievements remain poorly understood by too many in the West, but pivotal to them was the judgment at the upper levels of the party that Mao Zedong’s dictatorial style of rule had retarded China and had to be abandoned.

Both Minzner and Overholt argue that it was the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) that convinced party elites of this reality.

In fact, as Dali Yang showed in 1996, it was the catastrophe of the Great Leap Forward (1959-61) that triggered this shift in perception, but reform had to wait until Mao died, in 1976.

Twice purged during the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping took the helm in 1978 and began a cautious, pragmatic reform program.

Minzner and Overholt concur Xi is now pulling away even from Deng’s reforms, with disturbing implications. They are correct.

Overholt’s assessment is noteworthy, ­because he has long had a strongly pragmatic, iconoclastic and empirical cast of mind and brings to the subject a depth of practical experience in merchant banking, risk analysis and geopolitical consulting that is extremely rare in the halls of academe.

I first encountered Overholt a generation ago, reading his 1993 book China: The Next Economic Superpower, when working in the ­Defence Intelligence Organisation on East Asia.

I found it refreshingly free of cant and clutter and arranged to meet him in Hong Kong, where he was then head of Asia research for Bankers Trust.

He had argued throughout the 80s that Deng’s reforms would make China a great power again, whereas Mikhail Gorbachev’s strategy would destroy the Soviet Union.

As he recalls: “ … those arguments were the opposite of Western conventional wisdom. The leading ­review in London said that my bank must have paid me a lot of money to write such nonsense.”

Overholt now believes China has reached crisis point. He first expressed his misgivings in a 2012 essay in The Washington Quarterly, titled “Reassessing China”.

Six years on, he has laid out the case with remarkable clarity and exceptional attention to scruple, nuance and detail.

In Thunder from the Silent Zone: Rethinking China (2005), I wrote that there was too much linear thinking around and that we needed ­divergent scenarios in imagining China’s possible futures.

In 2012, Overholt reached the same conclusion, declaring that the time for confident predictions was past and we needed scenarios.

In 2005, I had spelled out four scenarios: ­mutation, maturation, militarisation and metastasis. He hasn’t laid out scenarios that crisply, but does see enormous uncertainty and the ­potential for widely divergent futures.

China still has an excellent economic reform plan, he believes, drawn up with input from the best international experts. But it faces ‘‘gigantic problems’’ of inequality, corruption, environmental stress, political gridlock and xenophobic nationalism.

His warning is stark: ‘‘If even one of these major social issues heads towards a disastrous outcome, then economic progress and political stability are threatened.”

In short, mutation (political reform and opening) is not happening and metastasis ­ (regime breakdown) is now distinctly possible.

China’s problems, Overholt argues, are solvable only through a vast reform effort.

But a massive conundrum confronts Xi: if the reforms are all done quickly, they will ­encounter simultaneous resistance from every powerful interest group in China. Yet they need to be done quickly, Overholt insists. Without them, China faces a future of very low growth, as witnessed in Japan since the early 1990s.

At its present level of per capita gross domestic product, which is much lower than Japan’s was in 1990, this would be a recipe for social upheaval, he ­believes.

Having prevented the development of alternative civil or political organisations over the past 30 years, the party has nothing to fall back upon if things go pear-shaped.

Minzner and Overholt, coming from different viewpoints, largely concur on this. They ­deserve close reading.
see titles below



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne

Said 'Thanks' for this post: triage  lgrif  balance  indeficit  mullokintyre  
 


nipper
post Posted: Oct 6 2018, 12:18 PM
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China’s Crisis of Success

By William H. Overholt
Cambridge University Press, 302pp, $33.99

End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival is Undermining Its Rise

By Carl Minzner
Oxford University Press, 272pp, $46.95 (HB)

Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age

By Stephen R. Platt
Atlantic, 560pp, $49.99 (HB),

Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter With Asia

By Jurgen Osterhammel
Princeton University Press, 672pp, $77.99 (HB)



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
mullokintyre
post Posted: Oct 5 2018, 10:18 PM
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In Reply To: early birds's post @ Oct 5 2018, 11:14 AM

Geez EB, are you trying to get me into trouble?
My wife saw me watching that Utube clip about renting a girlfriend and I was lucky to escape alive!
Mick



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early birds
post Posted: Oct 5 2018, 11:14 AM
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In Reply To: mullokintyre's post @ Oct 5 2018, 09:21 AM

tongue.gif , it's "old news" over two weeks or more Mick.

watch this video Mick kinda feel that you might pat more attention to it. lmaosmiley.gif

the video is english

http://www.wenxuecity.com/news/2018/10/04/7699342.html



 
mullokintyre
post Posted: Oct 5 2018, 09:21 AM
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China is getting a lot of adverse publicity recently.
Firstly, there was the row with a Chinese family who demanded to stay in the foyer of the hotel they had booked for the following day.
QUOTE
Sweden and China have become embroiled in an unlikely diplomatic row after three Chinese tourists were thrown out of a hostel in Stockholm in an argument over check-in times.

Videos showing what China has described as the “brutal mistreatment” of a man and his elderly parents by Swedish police have been viewed more than 100 million people on social media, sparking a heated debate in the Chinese blogosphere.

The incident began innocently enough on 2 September, when a family identified as the Zengs arrived at the Generator Hostel in Stockholm one night before they had booked to stay.

The Zengs reportedly asked to wait out the night on the sofas in the hostel’s lobby, but were told they couldn’t and were asked to leave. When they objected, hostel staff called the police – at which point videos of the incident show Zeng being carried out by two officers, screaming in English: “This is killing, this is killing.”

Reactions on social media have been divided between those who question the Swedish police’s handling of the situation, and those who criticise the behaviour of the Zeng family. At one point in the videos, filmed by passers-by, all three are lying prone on the pavement calling out for “help” as the police officers stand around looking bemused.

The Chinese government, however, is taking the matter very seriously indeed. Two statements have been issued by the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, the first a safety alert warning would-be visitors to Sweden of incidents involving theft, robbery and poor treatment at the hands of the Swedish police.

The second statement ups the ante, explaining that China is “deeply appalled and angered by what happened and strongly condemns the behaviour of the Swedish police”. It claims: “What the police had done severely endangered the life and violated the basic human rights of the Chinese citizens.”


Early Checkin

Then we had the case of a Chinese reporter slapping the face of a UK Conservative party Aparatchik andshouting down the congress.

QUOTE
Another week, another nationalistic outburst by a Chinese citizen abroad goes viral.


Hu Xijin 胡锡进
@HuXijin_GT
Why can't Chinese reporters have the right to ask questions and express opinion at this conference? Why views from mainland were rejected? For future conference of such, please invite me to participate.😊

Benedict Rogers
@benedictrogers
CCTV Reporter Taken Away by Police after Screaming and Slapping at UK Conference on Hong Kong Autonomy - https://www.whatsonweibo.com/chinese-cctv-r...-kong-autonomy/ …

This time a state television reporter named Kong Linlin allegedly disrupting a discussion about human rights in Hong Kong, which was being held at the Conservative Party's annual conference in the UK.

Video of the scuffle shows the reporter slapping an organiser and then refusing to leave, declaring she has "the right to protest" in a "democratic UK".

She was removed and briefly arrested but it didn't end there.

As usual when these increasingly common events occur, China demanded apologies.

Two of them — one to Kong Linlin's employer CCTV, and another to the Chinese embassy, which said: "In a country that boasts freedom of speech, it is puzzling that the Chinese journalist should encounter obstruction."

In China, some of the country's 800 million web users questioned Ms Kong's actions, but on the popular and highly censored platform Weibo, there was widespread support, with some congratulating her for confronting, "poisonous Hong Kong separatists".

Hu Xijin, the editor of China's most nationalistic tabloid, the Global Times, used Twitter to ask: "Why can't Chinese reporters have the right to ask questions and express opinion at this conference? Why views from mainland were rejected?"


ABC NEWS




Now we have this startling article from Bloombergs.
QUOTE
In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA.

To help with due diligence, AWS, which was overseeing the prospective acquisition, hired a third-party company to scrutinize Elemental’s security, according to one person familiar with the process. The first pass uncovered troubling issues, prompting AWS to take a closer look at Elemental’s main product: the expensive servers that customers installed in their networks to handle the video compression. These servers were assembled for Elemental by Super Micro Computer Inc., a San Jose-based company (commonly known as Supermicro) that’s also one of the world’s biggest suppliers of server motherboards, the fiberglass-mounted clusters of chips and capacitors that act as the neurons of data centers large and small. In late spring of 2015, Elemental’s staff boxed up several servers and sent them to Ontario, Canada, for the third-party security company to test, the person says.

Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.

During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.


The full article is quite long, and makes fascinating reading. Like so much stuff on the internet, its very difficult to verify.
But on face value iys quite startling in its breadth.

Mick



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