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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta China. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta China. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, febrero 12, 2015

China’s Unmassaged Growth Rate Plummets to 1.7%

Breitbart
By Chriss W. Street

Diana Choyleva of Lombard Street Research, who produces an “unmassaged” calculation of China’s true economic growth, just reported that China’s fourth quarter GDP growth plummeted to 1.7 percent, versus the official 7.4 percent rate.

According Choyleva, “Dire data out of China are competing head-on with the Greek political drama as the most destabilizing factor for the global economy and financial markets.”
Lombard Street calculates that in 2014, real annual GDP growth averaged 4.4 percent, versus the official government rate of 7.3 percent. But what is more foreboding for the Middle Kingdom is that they see economic growth sequentially collapsing. Choyleva estimates that China’s third quarter fell to 4 percent and fourth quarter growth plummeted to 1.7 percent.
Lombard Street was the first to understand that the Chinese government responded to the 2008 to 2009 financial crisis with a monetary stimulus that, adjusted for the size of economy, was twice as big as the U.S. stimulus and was injected twice as fast. The result was an epic economic boom in Chinese exports, real estate prices, and wage rates. For commodity-based economies, China’s demand created a boom that drove the commodity price index—including energy, materials, food, and raw materials—up by 50 percent.
While most analysts were praising China as an “economic miracle,” Choyleva warned 18 months ago that China was already in an economic “hard landing.” She argued China’s artificially driven “success” came at the cost of rising labor and manufacturing costs. With higher China costs being the “new normal,” multi-national corporations began skipping the Middle Kingdom for cheaper pastures such as Malaysia and Vietnam.
Lombard’s contrarian conclusions have been confirmed by UniGroup Relocation, which each year moves over 260,000 expat families worldwide for work. UniGroup found that in 2014, twice as many foreign nationals moved out of China than into the country. Steve Lewis, Managing Director of UniGroup Relocation Asia Pacific told the WSJ, “We have done some mass moves into Malaysia from China as certain people choose to do research and development and manufacturing there.”
With China running out of gas, and commodity prices that peaked in 2011 and 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported the orderly decline became a rout in 2014 as the commodity price index tumbled by 29.2 percent, led by energy prices down 39.0 percent, and iron ore prices down 49 percent.
As commodity prices have fallen on lower demand, China has been making the world suffer its problems by exporting deflation for the last 32 months. With the 28-nation European Union as its biggest export market, cheaper prices allowed China to increase EU exports by 17.0 percent. Surging Chinese imports caused the EU to enter deflation as prices fell by 0.1 percent in 2014. The pace of damage is accelerating as 16 EU members experienced annual declines in consumer prices in December, up from 4 in November.
EU central bankers have tried to claim falling prices don’t “necessarily” constitute deflation risks. But historically consumers and businesses cut spending as prices fall, expecting lower prices later. Lower spending then causes waves of output and employment declines pushing prices lower. This is exactly what is happening in Greece.
After crushing their customer’s economies with deflation, China’s exports fell by 3.3 percent last year. But during the same period, China’s imports tanked by a stunning 19.9 percent.
Lombard Street warns “China is beset by the largest capital outflows on record, which are tightening domestic monetary conditions, while industrial profits have stagnated for an unprecedented third straight year.” From a second highest capital inflow of $94 billion in the first quarter of 2014, the fourth quarter saw an all-time-record outflow of $95 billion as foreigners and locals desperately tried to get their cash out of China.
Lombard Street blames Beijing’s monetary stimulus, causing a 70 percent debt build-up to finance the national investment boom in new factories and housing. But the surge in spending also forced wages up to the point China is no longer noncompetitive.
Diana Choyleva believes that China’s currency is overvalued by 15-25 percent. “An expensive currency in a world of weak demand makes it impossible for China to rebalance its economy without a collapse.” She believes that China’s “only viable option” is to sell a substantial amount of its $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury Bond holdings to drive U.S. interest rates up. The action would strengthen the dollar and devalue the Chinese yuan.
With a growth rate under 5 percent, China is suffering a big spike in unemployment and corporate borrowing defaults. Although a big Chinese government-sponsored devaluation would resolve the crisis, such an action would destroy jobs in the U.S. and risk the outbreak of retaliatory tariffs. In the 1930s, Britain and the United States got into a trade war and plunged the world into a deflationary depression.

viernes, enero 16, 2015

China Arrests 60,000 in 'Unprecedented' 100-Day Drug Crackdown

BEIJING — Chinese police have arrested more than 60,000 people and seized more than 11 tons of drugs in a three-month nationwide crackdown, according to officials. The "100-day campaign" from September to Decmber was part of intensified crime-fighting operations ahead of next month's Chinese Lunar New Year.
China's top anti-drug official said the mass arrests had "sown terror" among drug criminals, according to a report Thursday in China's state-run newspaper Legal Daily. Liu Yuejin told the newspaper that he had called on China's police officers to use "unprecedented strength" and "extraordinary measures" in the operation. Legal Daily is controlled by China's Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs. The raids were also reported by China's state-run news agency Xinhua.
The widespread arrests come after a Beijing court handed down a six-month prison sentence to Jaycee Chan, the son of kung-fu movie star Jackie Chan, for providing a venue to drug users. Jackie Chan is China's anti-drug ambassador.

miércoles, enero 07, 2015

China se compromete a invertir US$5.296M en Ecuador

Pekín. China se comprometió a invertir US$5.296 millones en diferentes proyectos de movilidad, educación, sanidad y seguridad, en Ecuador, según anunció en Pekín el ministro de Finanzas ecuatoriano, Fausto Herrera.
En una rueda de prensa, Herrera detalló así el contenido de la reunión que el presidente ecuatoriano, Rafael Correa, mantuvo hoy con el presidente del Banco de Importaciones y Exportaciones de China (Eximbank), Li Ruogu, con motivo de la visita de Estado que realiza esta semana al gigante asiático.
El ministro de Finanzas de Ecuador avanzó también que a estos US$5.296 millones que el Eximbank concederá al país sudamericano, en unos créditos que en promedio tienen 30 años de plazo y 2% de interés, se suman otros US$250 millones de un préstamo comercial otorgado por la entidad china.
Estos convenios está previsto que sean ratificados este miércoles tras la reunión bilateral que Correa mantendrá con su homólogo chino, Xi Jinping, en el Gran Palacio del Pueblo de Pekín.
Herrera explicó que parte de la financiación que el Gobierno ecuatoriano ha pactado con el Eximbank corresponde a los 10.000 millones de dólares que Xi ofreció invertir en proyectos en América Latina en su viaje a Brasil del verano pasado.
"Nosotros aspiramos a conseguir un 15% de esto, US$1.500 millones dentro de estos proyectos", señaló Herrera, quien añadió que el gobierno de Ecuador espera utilizar esta cantidad en 2015.
El ministro de Finanzas dijo también que hay "potencialidad" de que una parte de esta financiación se destine al metro de Quito.
"Está abierta la posibilidad, está dentro de un cronograma que hemos negociado con el Eximbank. También hay proyectos de infraestructura de riego para Santa Helena, infraestructuras para las cuatro universidades estatales y para la desconcentración en distritos de circuitos", indicó Herrera.
"Podríamos utilizar estos recursos para completar ciertos distritos de ciertos circuitos, la infraestructura en educación, salud y seguridad", agregó el ministro ecuatoriano.
Sobre el recorte presupuestario de 1.420 millones de dólares anunciado este lunes por el Gobierno de Ecuador ante la caída en los precios del petróleo, Herrera destacó que, por una parte, se han retirado inversiones "con un alto componente de importación" y, por otra, se ha suspendido la subida de salarios públicos prevista.
El mayor recorte, de US$840 millones, se ha ejecutado en la partid de inversiones, mientras que el resto se ha reducido en el gasto corriente.
"Hay una reducción de importaciones de hidrocarburos y también una reducción en salarios. En la planificación del presupuesto habíamos contemplado un incremento salarial en el sector público, pero debido a las condiciones coyunturales mundiales, hemos decidido no hacer este incremente salarial", explicó el ministro de Finanzas.
"Las hidroeléctricas tienen que continuar, tenemos un plan para terminar las hidroeléctricas en el 2015 y 2016, estamos terminando ya también las grandes obras nacionales, en unos dos meses vamos ya a inaugurar la primera hidroeléctrica", manifestó Herrera.

jueves, diciembre 25, 2014

Germany Looks to Russia and China

It's complicated: Putin and Merkel in Berlin, June 2012 (Thomas Peter / Courtesy Reuters)

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was a strategic shock for Germany. Suddenly, Russian aggression threatened the European security order that Germany had taken for granted since the end of the Cold War. Berlin had spent two decades trying to strengthen political and economic ties with Moscow, but Russia’s actions in Ukraine suggested that the Kremlin was no longer interested in a partnership with Europe. Despite Germany’s dependence on Russian gas and Russia’s importance to German exporters, German Chancellor Angela Merkel ultimately agreed to impose sanctions on Russia and helped persuade other EU member states to do likewise.
Nevertheless, the Ukraine crisis has reopened old questions about Germany’s relationship to the rest of the West. In April, when the German public-service broadcaster ARD asked Germans what role their country should play in the crisis, just 45 percent wanted Germany to side with its partners and allies in the EU and NATO; 49 percent wanted Germany to mediate between Russia and the West. These results led the weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel, in an editorial published last May, to warn Germany against turning away from the West.

Germany’s response to the Ukraine crisis can be understood against the backdrop of a long-term weakening of the so-called Westbindung, the country’s postwar integration into the West. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the enlargement of the EU freed the country from its reliance on the United States for protection against a powerful Soviet Union. At the same time, Germany’s export-dependent economy has become increasingly reliant on demand from emerging markets such as China. Although Germany remains committed to European integration, these factors have made it possible to imagine a post-Western German foreign policy. Such a shift comes with high stakes. Given Germany’s increased power within the EU, the country’s relationship to the rest of the world will, to a large extent, determine that of Europe.

THE GERMAN PARADOX
Germany has produced 
the most radical challenge to the West from within.
Germany has always had a complex relationship with the West. On the one hand, many of the political and philosophical ideas that became central to the West originated in Germany with Enlightenment thinkers such as Immanuel Kant. On the other hand, German intellectual history has included darker strains that have threatened Western norms—such as the current of nationalism that emerged in the early nineteenth century. Beginning in the latter half of the nineteenth century, German nationalists increasingly sought to define Germany’s identity in opposition to the liberal, rationalistic principles of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment. This version of German nationalism culminated in Nazism, which the German historian Heinrich August Winkler has called “the climax of the German rejection of the Western world.” Germany, therefore, was a paradox: it was part of the West yet produced the most radical challenge to it from within. 

After World War II, West Germany took part in European integration, and in 1955, as the Cold War heated up, it joined NATO. For the next 40 years, the Westbindung, which led Germany to cooperate and pursue joint security initiatives with its Western allies, became an existential necessity that overrode other foreign policy objectives. Germany continued to define itself as a Western power through the 1990s. Under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a reunified Germany agreed to adopt the euro. By the end of the decade, the country appeared to have reconciled itself to the use of military force to fulfill its obligations as a NATO member. After 9/11, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder pledged “unconditional solidarity” with the United States and committed German troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Over the past decade, however, Germany’s attitude toward the rest of the West has changed. In the debate about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Schröder spoke of a “German way,” in contrast to the “American way.” Since then, Germany has hardened its opposition to the use of military force. After its experience in Afghanistan, Germany appears to have decided that the right lesson from its Nazi past is not “never again Auschwitz,” the principle it invoked to justify its participation in the 1999 NATO military intervention in Kosovo, but “never again war.” German politicians across the spectrum now define their country as a Friedensmacht, a “force for peace.”

Germany’s commitment to peace has led the EU and the United States to accuse Germany of free-riding within the Western alliance. Speaking in Brussels in 2011, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that NATO was becoming “a two-tiered alliance . . . between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership, be they security guarantees or headquarters billets, but don’t want to share the risks and the costs.” He singled out for particular criticism those NATO members that spend less on defense than the agreed-on amount of two percent of GDP; Germany spends just 1.3 percent. In the past few years, France has similarly criticized Germany for its failure to provide sufficient support for military interventions in Mali and the Central African Republic.

One reason Germany has neglected its NATO obligations is that the Westbindung no longer appears to be a strategic necessity. After the end of the Cold War, the EU and NATO expanded to include some central and eastern European countries, which meant that Germany was “encircled by friends,” as the former German defense minister Volker Rühe put it, rather than by potential military aggressors, and it was therefore no longer reliant on the United States for protection from the Soviet Union.

At the same time, Germany’s economy has become more dependent on exports, particularly to non-Western countries. In the first decade of this century, as domestic demand remained low and German manufacturers regained competitiveness, Germany became increasingly dependent on exports. According to the World Bank, the contribution of exports to Germany’s GDP jumped from 33 percent in 2000 to 48 percent in 2010. Beginning with Schröder, Germany began to base its foreign policy largely on its economic interests and, in particular, on the needs of exporters.

Increasing anti-American sentiment among ordinary Germans has contributed to the foreign policy shift, too. If the Iraq war gave Germans the confidence to split from the United States on issues of war and peace, the 2008 global financial meltdown gave it the confidence to diverge on economic issues. For many Germans, the crisis highlighted the failures of Anglo-Saxon capitalism and vindicated Germany’s social market economy. The revelations in 2013 that the U.S. National Security Agency had been conducting surveillance on Germans and eavesdropping on Merkel’s cell-phone calls further strengthened anti-American sentiment. Many Germans now say that they no longer share values with the United States, and some say that they never did.

To be sure, Germany’s liberal political culture, a result of its Western integration, is here to stay. But it remains to be seen whether Germany will continue to align itself with its Western partners and stand up for Western norms as it becomes more dependent on non-Western countries for its economic growth. The most dramatic illustration of what a post-Western German foreign policy might look like came in 2011, when Germany abstained in a vote in the UN Security Council over military intervention in Libya—siding with China and Russia over France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some German officials insist that this decision did not prefigure a larger trend. But a poll conducted shortly after the vote by the foreign policy journal Internationale Politik found Germans to be split three ways over whether they should continue to cooperate primarily with Western partners; with other countries, such as China, India, and Russia; or with both.

THE NEW OSTPOLITIK
Germany’s policy toward Russia has long been based on political engagement and economic interdependence. When Willy Brandt became chancellor of West Germany in 1969, he sought to balance the Westbindung with a more open relationship with the Soviet Union and pursued a new approach that became known as the Ostpolitik, or “Eastern policy.” Brandt believed that increasing political and economic ties between the two powers might eventually lead to German reunification, a strategy his adviser Egon Bahr called Wandel durch Annäherung, “change through rapprochement.”

Germans are split over whether to cooperate with Western partners or with countries such as Russia and China.
Since the end of the Cold War, economic ties between Germany and Russia have expanded further. Invoking the memory of Brandt’s Ostpolitik, Schröder began a policy of Wandel durch Handel, or “change through trade.” German policymakers, and particularly the Social Democrats, championed a “partnership for modernization,” in which Germany would supply Russia with technology to modernize its economy—and, ideally, its politics.

These ties help explain Germany’s initial reluctance to impose sanctions after the Russian incursion into Ukraine in 2014. In deciding whether or not to follow the U.S. lead, Merkel faced pressure from powerful lobbyists for German industry, led by the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, who argued that sanctions would badly undermine the German economy. In a show of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Joe Kaeser, the CEO of Siemens, visited the Russian leader at his residence outside Moscow just after the annexation of Crimea. Kaeser assured Putin that his company, which had conducted business in Russia for roughly 160 years, would not let “short-term turbulence”—his characterization of the crisis—affect its relationship with the country. In an editorial in the Financial Times in May, the director general of the Federation of German Industries, Markus Kerber, wrote that German businesses would support sanctions but would do so “with a heavy heart.”

Germany’s heavy dependence on Russian energy also caused Berlin to shy away from sanctions. After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Germany decided to phase out nuclear power sooner than planned, which made the country increasingly dependent on Russian gas. By 2013, Russian companies provided roughly 38 percent of Germany’s oil and 36 percent of its gas. Although Germany could diversify away from Russian gas by finding alternative sources of energy, such a process would likely take decades. In the short term, therefore, Germany has been reluctant to antagonize Russia.

For her support of sanctions, Merkel has faced pushback not just from industry but also from the German public. Although some in the United States and in other European countries have accused the German government of going too easy on Russia, many within Germany have felt that their government is acting too aggressively. When the German journalist Bernd Ulrich called for tougher action against Putin, for example, he found himself inundated with hate mail that accused him of warmongering. Even Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, long perceived to be sympathetic to Russia, has faced similar accusations. The National Security Agency spying revelations only increased sympathy for Russia. As Ulrich put it in April 2014, “When the Russian president says he feels oppressed by the West, many here think, ‘So do we.’”

That type of identification with Russia has deep historical roots. In 1918, the German writer Thomas Mann published a book, Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, in which he argued that German culture was distinct from—and superior to—the cultures of other Western nations, such as France and the United Kingdom. German culture, he argued, fell somewhere between Russian culture and the cultures of the rest of Europe. That idea has experienced a dramatic resurgence in recent months. Writing in Der Spiegel in April 2014, Winkler, the historian, criticized the so-called Russlandversteher, Germans who express support for Russia, for repopularizing “the myth of a connection between the souls of Russia and Germany.”

In crafting a response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, then, Merkel had to walk a fine line. She sought to keep open the possibility of a political solution for as long as possible, spending hours on the phone with Putin and sending Steinmeier to help mediate between Moscow and Kiev. It was only after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, allegedly by pro-Russian separatists, that German officials felt comfortable adopting a tougher stance. Even then, public support for sanctions remained tepid. An August poll by the ARD found that 70 percent of Germans supported Europe’s second round of sanctions against Russia, which included banning visas for and freezing the assets of a list of prominent Russian businesspeople. But only 49 percent said that they would continue to back sanctions even if they hurt the German economy—as the third round of sanctions likely will.

Popular support for sanctions could slip further if Germany goes into recession, as many analysts say it might. Although German businesses have reluctantly accepted the sanctions, they have continued to lobby Merkel to ease them. And even as its economic efforts come under threat, Germany has made it clear that military options are not on the table. Ahead of the NATO summit in Wales in September, Merkel opposed plans for the alliance to establish a permanent presence in eastern Europe, which she argued would violate the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act. Put simply, Germany may not have the stamina for a policy of containment toward Russia.

PIVOT TO CHINA
Germany has also grown closer to China, an even more significant harbinger of a post-Western German foreign policy. As it has with Russia, Germany has benefited from increasingly close economic ties with China. In the past decade, German exports there have grown exponentially. By 2013, they added up to $84 billion, almost double the value of German exports to Russia. Indeed, China has become the second-largest market for German exports outside the EU, and it may soon overtake the United States as the largest. China is already the biggest market for Volkswagen—Germany’s largest automaker—and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The relationship between Germany and China grew only stronger after the 2008 financial crisis, when the two countries found themselves on the same side in debates about the global economy. Both have exerted deflationary pressure on their trading partners, criticized the U.S. policy of quantitative easing, and resisted calls from the United States to take action to rectify macroeconomic imbalances in the global economy. Germany and China have, simultaneously, become closer politically. In 2011, the two countries began holding an annual government-to-government consultation—in effect, a joint cabinet meeting. The event marked the first time that China had conducted such a broad-based negotiation with another country.

For Germany, the relationship is primarily economic, but for China, which wants a strong Europe to counterbalance the United States, it is also strategic. China may see Germany as the key to getting the kind of Europe it wants, partly because Germany appears to be increasingly powerful within Europe but perhaps also because German preferences seem closer to its own than do those of other EU member states, such as France and the United Kingdom. 

The tighter Berlin-Beijing nexus comes as the United States adopts a tougher approach to China as part of its so-called pivot to Asia—and it could pose a major problem for the West. If the United States found itself in conflict with China over economic or security issues—if there were an Asian Crimea, for instance—there is a real possibility that Germany would remain neutral. Some German diplomats in China have already begun to distance themselves from the West. In 2012, for example, the German ambassador to China, Michael Schaefer, said in an interview, “I don’t think there is such a thing as the West anymore.” Given their increasing dependence on China as an export market, German businesses would be even more opposed to the imposition of sanctions on China than on Russia. The German government would likely be even more reluctant to take tough action than it has been during the Ukraine crisis, which would create even greater rifts within Europe and between Europe and the United States.

A GERMAN EUROPE
Fears of German neutrality are not new. In the early 1970s, Henry Kissinger, then the U.S. national security adviser, warned that West Germany’s Ostpolitik could play into the hands of the Soviet Union and threaten transatlantic unity. He argued that closer economic ties with the Soviet Union would increase Europe’s dependence on its eastern neighbor, thereby undermining the West. The danger Kissinger foresaw was not so much that West Germany might leave NATO but, as he put it in his memoir, that it might “avoid controversies outside of Europe even when they affected fundamental security interests.” Fortunately for Washington, the Cold War kept such impulses in check, as West Germany relied on the United States for protection against the Soviet Union.

Now, however, Germany finds itself in a more central and stronger position in Europe. During the Cold War, West Germany was a weak state on the fringes of what became the EU, but the reunified Germany is now one of the strongest—if not the strongest—power in the union. Given that position, a post-Western Germany could take much of the rest of Europe with it, particularly those central and eastern European countries with economies that are deeply intertwined with Germany’s. If the United Kingdom leaves the EU, as it is now debating, the union will be even more likely to follow German preferences, especially as they pertain to Russia and China. In that event, Europe could find itself at odds with the United States—and the West could suffer a schism from which it might never recover.


sábado, diciembre 06, 2014

Chinese government gaining a foothold on US campuses, scholars say

www.wantchinatimes.com
China's authoritarian government is gaining a foothold on American campuses by funding dozens of institutes that project a rose-tinted view of the Asian nation that compromises the academic integrity of U.S. universities, a congressional hearing was told Thursday.
Scholars of China testified that these state-funded Confucius Institutes teach nonpolitical subjects like Chinese language and culture but suppress discussion on sensitive topics like Tibet and the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown on democracy protesters.
The hearing was chaired by House Republican Rep. Chris Smith, an arch critic of Beijing, who questioned whether American education was "for sale."
Students from China now make up 31 percent of all international students in the United States. Last year, Chinese students in U.S. colleges and universities contributed $8 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the Commerce Department.
U.S. colleges such as New York University are also opening campuses in China, hoping to tap into the country's enormous, growing pool of students.
The Chinese Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Perry Link, a China expert and chancellorial chair at the University of California at Riverside, said independent scholar-to-scholar exchanges with China should be encouraged.
But he said the Communist Party of China opposes the exchanges and prefers to negotiate campus-to-campus cooperation. He said inexperienced U.S. academic administrators, eager for funding, reach protocols with party officials that allow authorities in Beijing to choose teachers and set curricula that provide a rosy "cameo" of China.
Thomas Cushman, a professor in social sciences at Wellesley College, said the Chinese government's effort to forge ties with U.S institutions is part of a more general "soft power" strategy toward the West.
There are now about 90 Confucius Institutes in the U.S., part of an expanding network of more than 400 worldwide.
There has been some push back from scholars and colleges in the U.S. In June, the American Association of University Professors called on universities to cancel their current agreements with Confucius Institutes, and this fall the University of Chicago and Penn State ended their relationships with the institute.
The Chinese state-funded outreach comes amid growing restrictions on scholars at home as President Xi Jinping's government has tightened controls over a wide range of society since he took power early last year.
"For decades, the primary strategy of the CPC in censoring its own people has been to induce self-censorship," Link said, referring to the Communist Party of China. "Now the CPC, stronger and wealthier than before, is looking to project these battle-tested methods onto the world stage."
Cushman said U.S. scholars of China are careful what they say in public so they can keep visiting. He said that leads to a "beautified" version of China that avoids the realities of repression.
Link said he's been blacklisted since the mid-1990s and gets two or three inquiries per month from younger scholars wanting to know what they should avoid saying in order not to be barred.
Cushman also contended that professors on U.S. campuses may avoid discussing sensitive tops about China in their classes out of fear of negative evaluations by the growing number of Chinese students.

martes, diciembre 02, 2014

Xi Jinping obligará a los artistas a vivir en el campo y las minas para que hallen 'inspiración socialista'

El Gobierno de China ha ordenado que los artistas del país vivan un mes como mínimo en comunidades rurales y zonas de producción minera con el fin de que hallen "inspiración" para sus obras, informa la agencia oficial de noticias Xinhua.
La medida, que forma parte de la campaña del dictador Xi Jinping para que la cultura represente "los valores del socialismo", se concretará en viajes trimestrales organizados por la Administración de Prensa, Publicaciones, Radio, Cine y Televisión, que informó sobre la campaña en un comunicado, reporta EFE.
Dentro de esta iniciativa la citada administración, que también se encarga de aplicar la censura en el país, enviará además equipos de rodaje a distintas zonas rurales de China para que "convivan con las masas" y creen cinco películas y series de televisión con temáticas dictadas por el Gobierno.
Por otro lado, un centenar de periodistas, presentadores y directores de programas televisivos serán llevados a trabajar a zonas habitadas por minorías étnicas, a las fronteras o a "áreas que contribuyeron a la victoria en la guerra revolucionaria".
La administración estatal señaló que estas medidas, a largo plazo, "ayudarán a que los artistas se formen un correcto punto de vista en el arte y creen más obras maestras".
En la Revolución Cultural (1966-1976) miles de artistas, entre otros muchos intelectuales, fueron enviados al campo para "reeducarse", en la mayor parte de los casos durante años, y algunos de ellos fallecieron víctimas del hambre o las enfermedades.
La campaña se produce dos meses después de que el presidente chino, Xi Jinping, señalara en un encuentro a artistas del país que deberían centrarse en crear obras "que sirvan al pueblo y presenten los valores clave del socialismo".
Xi señaló entonces, en un muy comentado discurso, que los artistas no deben ser "esclavos del mercado" y su trabajo no ha de seguir "el olor del dinero".
Paralelamente, este año se han producido sonadas detenciones de artistas, especialmente actores, por consumo de drogas y contratación de prostitutas, en lo que también se percibe como una campaña contra la relajación de costumbres en los círculos artísticos nacionales.
Entre los detenidos destacaron el actor Jaycee Chan, hijo de la estrella de las artes marciales Jackie Chan, o el director de cine Wang Quanan (galardonado en 2007 con el Oso de Oro de Berlín).
A raíz de estas detenciones, el Gobierno chino prohibió a las televisiones y otros medios del país que emitieran canciones, películas y otras producciones de artistas implicados en casos de drogas o prostitución.

martes, noviembre 25, 2014

Ortega, Wang Jing y el canal por Nicaragua

www.elsalvador.com
La semana pasada asistí a un evento abierto a la prensa organizado por el Consejo Superior de la Empresa Privada (Cosep), en el que la empresa china concesionaria del canal interoceánico y los representantes gubernamentales de la Autoridad Nacional del Gran Canal supuestamente brindarían a las cámaras empresariales información más específica sobre el estado en que se encuentran los estudios de factibilidad técnica, económica-comercial y de impacto ambiental, de este megaproyecto.
Lamentablemente, las presentaciones que brindaron los voceros de la empresa china Hong Kong Nicaragua Development (HKND) y la consultora ambiental Environmental Resource Management (ERM) otra vez fueron bastante generales, y aunque al final accedieron a responder algunas preguntas, sus respuestas fueron más bien vagas y evasivas y no brindaron mayor claridad ante las interrogantes planteadas.
Por ejemplo, cuando le pregunté al representante de HKND quiénes son los inversionistas internacionales del canal interoceánico y por qué, a pesar de que en octubre del año pasado Wang Jing, presidente de HKND, dijo que en diciembre presentaría al público un consorcio internacional, nueve meses después no ha cumplido su promesa, me respondió con un alegato inverosímil. Dijo el vocero de Wang Jing que no era posible revelar los aportes financieros, la identidad o el origen de los inversionistas por razones de “confidencialidad’, “secreto comercial”, y por el tipo de obligaciones que establecen estas entidades privadas que cotizan en la Bolsa de Valores.
Dice el vocero de Wang Jing que no es posible revelar aún los aportes financieros por razones de confidencialidad
Esta interpretación secretista sobre el esquema de financiamiento de esta obra de 50.000 millones de dólares contradice la promesa de transparencia que inicialmente se hizo sobre esta iniciativa, de manera que ahora resulta imposible conocer si se trata de un proyecto internacional, o si únicamente estará soportado por capitales y empresas chinas. Al margen de que la forma en que se otorgó la concesión es en sí misma negativa para el país, la diferencia entre un proyecto global, con participación de capitales e intereses de distintos países, y un proyecto exclusivamente chino, sería sustantiva. Nadie duda que China cuente con los recursos económicos y la capacidad para realizar gigantescas obras de infraestructura como el canal por Nicaragua, pero si éste es un proyecto cuya viabilidad depende enteramente de la voluntad política del estado de la República Popular China, las implicaciones geopolíticas, ambientales e institucionales, serán completamente distintas para nuestro país. Si ese es el caso, como parece indicarlo la tónica secretista, entonces estamos ante un proyecto que promoverá los intereses de la potencia china a cualquier costo, y con mucho mayor razón se requeriría de una salvaguarda especial de los intereses del Estado y la nación nicaragüense.
La concesión otorgada de forma apresurada por decisión unilateral del presidente Ortega a la empresa HKND no solo fue lesiva de la soberanía y los intereses nacionales, sino que comprometió el futuro de varias generaciones de nicaragüenses. En un país cuya institucionalidad democrática ha sido demolida por el autoritarismo, el poder sin límites ni contrapesos ejercido por Ortega otorgó un enclave y una cadena de concesiones a granel a una empresa privada y/o potencia extranjera.
Las consecuencias de cómo opera esta relación sui generis Ortega-HKND, que no se rige por las normas básicas de transparencia, ya las estamos padeciendo. La primera es el secretismo y la falta de respuesta a las preguntas que con sentido común han formulado a HKND distintos sectores nacionales:
¿Cuáles son las credenciales empresariales del señor Wang Jing? ¿Tiene un récord público que permita a los nicaragüenses y a la comunidad internacional verificar cómo logró amasar su capital y qué actividades económicas desarrolló antes de comprar Xinwei en el 2010?
¿Cómo se explica que 19 meses después de que Telcor le otorgara a Xinwei una concesión para invertir en telecomunicaciones en Nicaragua, aún no ha instalado una sola línea de telefonía rural o celular?
En un país cuya institucionalidad democrática ha sido demolida, Ortega otorga concesiones a una empresa privada y/o potencia extranjera
¿Qué garantías tiene el estado nacional de que un inversionista que ya está incumpliendo con una concesión para invertir 2.100 millones de dólares en telefonía en tres años, pueda acometer un proyecto de construcción de 50.000 millones de dólares, como el canal, en el que no tiene ninguna experiencia previa?
¿Cuál es el calendario de ejecución y cuándo concluirán los estudios de factibilidad técnica, económica y de impacto ambiental del canal?
¿Se someterán estos estudios, que han sido pagados por HKND, al escrutinio y evaluación de un comité independiente de expertos nacionales e internacionales?
¿Si estos estudios aún no han concluido, y por lo tanto no se puede conocer con certeza la viabilidad del proyecto y sus impactos ambientales, cómo se puede afirmar que la construcción del canal interoceánico empezará en diciembre y concluirá en cinco años?
¿Cuál será el impacto ambiental del dragado en el lago Cocibolca y las obras de excavación y mantenimiento, y cómo impactará en la preservación y la calidad del recurso hídrico estratégico más importante del país?
¿Quién vela por los intereses nacionales ante la inoperancia de la Autoridad del Gran Canal, que en su primer año de funciones ha demostrado precisamente que carece de autoridad y autonomía?
La segunda repercusión es el cambio en las reglas del juego de la concesión canalera, cuando ni siquiera ha empezado ninguna obra de construcción. Al amparo de la discrecionalidad absoluta otorgada por el Gobierno a la empresa HKND, han surgido nuevas iniciativas de negocios denominadas “subproyectos del canal”, que originalmente no fueron contemplados y que no tienen nada que ver con la obra canalera.
En el nuevo proyecto ya no se incluyen el oleoducto de petróleo o el canal seco contemplados en la ley original, pero desde hace un mes HKND reveló sorpresivamente que desarrollaría “proyectos vacacionales’. Ahora la empresa china ha anunciado el gigantesco proyecto turístico “San Lorenzo”, ubicado a más de 10 kilómetros al sur de Brito, es decir, a considerable distancia de la ruta canalera. Se trata de un zona de siete kilómetros de playas -Ocotal, Majagual, Pitahaya y Maderas- situada a 12 kilómetros al norte de San Juan del Sur, donde existen centenares de propiedades privadas de ciudadanos nicaragüenses y extranjeros y una decena de hoteles, entre ellos uno de renombre internacional como es el ecoturístico Morgan’s Rock.
Al imponer este proyecto ordinario de negocios bajo la cobija extraordinaria de la ley canalera, están atentando contra los derechos de propiedad en todo el territorio nacional. La voracidad enmascarada tras ley Ortega-Wang ya había sido advertida por los expertos jurídicos al aprobarse la concesión, pero nadie imaginaba que ocurriría tan temprano y con tanta desfachatez.
Durante la conferencia de las cámaras del Cosep con HKND y la autoridad gubernamental, le pregunté a los voceros oficiales si la inconstitucional cláusula expropiatoria de los derechos de propiedad contemplada en la ruta canalera se aplicaría también a los “subproyectos turísticos” y otros negocios concebidos al amparo del canal. Era una magnífica oportunidad para que la empresa china aclarara sus intenciones y su interpretación de una ley redactada a su medida.
La respuesta del representante de Wang Jing fue un silencio elocuente, ante la atenta mirada del “promotor de inversiones” Laureano Ortega Murillo, hijo del presidente Ortega y enlace oficial con el concesionario chino. Una señal inequívoca para que inversionistas nacionales y extranjeros tomen nota y saquen sus propias conclusiones.
Carlos F. Chamorro, periodista nicaragüense, es director de Confidencial.com.ni

Would huge Nicaragua canal be win for China?

By Frida Ghitis
(CNN) -- When plans were announced to build a giant new transoceanic canal across Nicaragua, the young Hong Kong businessman leading the project acknowledged the widespread skepticism. "We don't want it to become an international joke," said Wang Jing, a 40-year-old with no significant engineering experience and a background he described as "very normal."
That was in June 2013, when the Nicaraguan legislature, controlled by President Daniel Ortega, had just allowed Wang to move forward with his five-year project .
It is not certain that the canal, which would be one of the most ambitious and expensive engineering projects on Earth, will ever get built. But it looks set to move forward, and even some of the most determined doubters are starting to reconsider.
Last Thursday, the government and Wang's company, Nicaragua Canal Development Investment, announced that construction will start on Dec. 22.
The development's estimated price tag -- $50 billion -- is four times the size of the entire Nicaraguan economy. The canal itself would be deeper, wider and longer than the Panama Canal, just a few hundred miles to the south. The Panama Canal's expansion is almost ready, which raises the question of why another costly canal is needed.
The Nicaraguan opposition has called the project the biggest scam in the country's history, and engineering experts are divided over whether the project is feasible.
Pedro Alvarez, chairman of civil engineering at Rice University, has expressed doubts that it will ever be completed. He worries that it will be abandoned. His greatest concern is severe damage to Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater reservoir in Latin America.
Other engineers say the quick turnaround between contract signing and construction leaves room for doubt that the plans are solid. And David Ashley, an engineering professor at the University of Nevada who was a consultant to the Panama Canal Authority, said the Panamanians examined the Nicaraguan idea and concluded that it did not pose a threat to their own expansion plans.
Mystery and suspicion have surrounded the proposal from the beginning. To this day, nobody understands who will pay. When Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Managua last July -- the first by a Russian president -- Nicaraguans wondered whether the canal figured in Russia's new geopolitical calculations.
But it is the Chinese government's role that has most people talking. The country is abuzz with rumors that Wang is a front for Beijing, which is looking for strategic security for its vital imports.
Wang, who was born in Beijing, has repeatedly denied the accusations. Nicaraguan officials also deny Russian involvement.
Wang was also in town last July, startling many Nicaraguans by revealing the exact route of the canal. The announcement made the project seem real, threatening the potential displacement of people living on its path and fueling concerns from environmental groups.
Chinese workers have started arriving for construction that will run from the Rio Punta Gorda on the Caribbean Coast to Brito on the Pacific. By some estimates, 30,000 people will have to be relocated to carve a path 172 miles long, up to 1,700 feet wide and 90 feet deep. The prospect is nothing short of alarming for those living in the area.
Demonstrators have launched at least a dozen protest marches, and an environmental lawyer has filed suit against the project at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, charging "The government has sold us to the Chinese."
The president says the project will mark a turning point in the country's development, creating tens of thousands of jobs and giving a long-term boost to economic growth.
But critics see something different. The idea of building a canal linking the Pacific and the Atlantic across Nicaragua dates back hundreds of years. This new, enigmatic venture, however, began almost as an Ortega family project. In 2012, the president sent his son Laureano to China. That's when Wang first made contact with the Ortegas. Not long after that, Wang was in Managua and by June of 2013, the president and the Chinese businessman signed the agreement to build the canal. The legislature quickly rubber-stamped it.
At home, critics say Ortega is relinquishing national sovereignty in order to help those close to him enrich themselves. Small farmers living along the planned path worry about displacement and environmental degradation. Environmentalists say the proposed route, which includes a large tract across Nicaragua's largest lake and its main water supply, will put the country at risk.
Whether or not Wang is a straw man for China's government, there is no question that a new Chinese-built waterway across Central America and a project of this magnitude would expand China's influence in the region. A transcontinental canal, of course, is an important strategic asset.
China's influence in Latin America is nothing new. Beijing has a voracious appetite for natural resources and very deep pockets. It is steadily supplanting the United States as the main trading partner in the region.
There is a difference between trade with China and trade with the United States. Commercial exchanges with American firms are, for the most part, conducted with the private sector of the United States, which has much weaker ties to the government in Washington than Chinese firms do with their central government.
Already China has become the top trading partner for major Latin American economies, notably Brazil and Chile. Beijing is lending money to Latin America, developing multiple projects and making more business inroads. Economic ties tend to translate into political links.
The skeptics still doubt the canal will be built, but the ambitious time line signals the parties are serious. The biggest mystery surrounding the project, whether it would ever get off the ground, is about to be resolved.
----------------
Editor's note: Frida Ghitis is a world affairs columnist for the Miami Herald and World Politics Review. A former CNN producer and correspondent, she is the author of "The End of Revolution: A Changing World in the Age of Live Television." Follow her on Twitter @FridaGhitis. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

martes, noviembre 04, 2014

Searching for Sacred Mountain

Pulitzer Center
The documentary tells the story of Liu Jianqiang, an investigative environmental journalist and Beijing editor of ChinaDialogue who has recently converted to Buddhism. The documentary includes footage of senior Chinese government officials declaring their commitment to an "ecological civilization" that draws on Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and other Chinese cultural traditions as a means of addressing the country's growing environmental challenges. It also shows that leading Chinese academics are making the connection between such traditions and the protection of vulnerable lands and habitats.

miércoles, octubre 22, 2014

China's economy suffers its worst quarter since the financial crisis

HONG KONG (CNNMoney)

China's economy has clocked its worst quarter in more than five years, raising concerns over Beijing's ability to meet its own annual growth target.

Gross domestic product expanded by 7.3% in the third quarter versus the same period last year, according to government data, the weakest performance since the global financial crisis.



While that figure is slightly ahead of the 7.2% median growth forecast by economists in a CNNMoney survey, it still falls short of last quarter's growth.

With only a few months left in the year, China is running out of time to meet its own 7.5% target. The government has said it's willing to accept a slightly slower rate, but it has also adopted incremental measures to boost the economy.

Today's figures "remain consistent with our view that relatively weaker data in the third quarter reflects the government's shift towards tolerating lower growth," Barclays economist Jian Chang wrote in a research note.

Economists surveyed expect full-year GDP to come in at 7.3%, with growth forecast to dip further to 7% in 2015. Chang expects the government to continue rolling out targeted efforts and investment projects to support growth.

China averaged economic expansion of around 10% a year over the past three decades, pushing it up the list of biggest economies and boosting household wealth. But now, the pace of economic expansion is languishing -- China recorded GDP growth of 7.7% in the last two years, versus 9.3% in 2011 and 10.5% in 2010.


China's GDP growth remains the most comprehensive gauge of the country's economic health -- an important number to watch as the government works to reform the world's second-largest economy and shift to consumption-driven growth after years of exponential expansion. 
Six out of 10 economists surveyed before today's GDP data was announced identified the real estate sector as the biggest risk to the Chinese economy. After years of breakneck development, the sector now suffers from excess supply, slack investment and falling home prices. Data points from September have continued to disappoint.

Experts are also sounding the alarm over ballooning corporate debt, according to the CNNMoney survey.

A few Chinese companies have defaulted on their debt in recent months-- a previously unheard of phenomenon -- and no government bailouts are in sight.

Worries have also escalated over the use of unconventional financing. Some firms, for example, have been using copper as collateral to secure loans. Experts are concerned that some companies are even using the same copper stockpiles to take out multiple loans, borrowing far more than they can repay.

lunes, septiembre 29, 2014

Culture matters when thinking about China's future

globalguerrillas
China is in the process cracking down on democracy protesters in Hong Kong. 
ByoL54DCIAAENbS
It's important to remember that China is a dictatorship.  It's almost always been a dictatorship.  It also has a long history of extreme insularity and xenophobia.
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That's why it's important to consider this when investing in Chinese companies.  
As a dictatorship, China can nationalize all assets and shut its borders tight overnight.  It's done it many times before.  
This isn't ancient history.  Forty years ago, this government engaged in ruthless social engineering that killed an estimated twenty million people.
This and more is why investments in China, in particular the amazing valuation given to Alibaba ($200 billion plus) is nonsensical given the potential downside risks ($0 valuation overnight).
In contrast, countries like the US have a long tradition of economic and personal freedom.  It's one of the best features of American culture.  
How many countries have demonstrated that for 200 years plus?  
Very, very few.
Culture matters.  Don't discount it.  

lunes, agosto 04, 2014

World's highest rail track reaches Everest gateway city

(CNN) -- The world's highest railway rolls even closer to Mount Everest this month when China inaugurates a stretch of track connecting the Tibetan cities of Lhasa and Shigatse.
Traversing valleys, mountains and crossing the glacier-fed Brahmaputra River, the line takes in breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and majestic plateaus as it wends from the territory's capital to its second city.
The track is an extension of the Qinghai-Tibet line -- an engineering marvel named the "closest stretch of railway to the sky" after it first carried passengers above 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) in 2006.
Work on the new $2.1 billion line across the roof of the world began in 2010.
When it opens, it will allow passengers to connect by rail from Beijing all the way to Shigatse, a gateway to Everest, which lies just 240 kilometers (150 miles) away, on the border with Nepal.
Suolang Deji, an officer with Shigatse's tourism department, told CNN the railway would be inaugurated at the end of August and would initially carry Chinese visitors.
"The first batch of tourists are from Shandong provice," she said.
Huge investment
With the arrival of the train, the journey from Lhasa to Shigatse shrinks five hours of driving over terrain ranging in altitude from 3,600 to 4,000 meters, to two hours by rail.
The railway is part of a huge Chinese investment program in the infrastructure of its remote western territories that is seen as an effort to consolidate Beijing's economic and political control of the autonomous region.
Such developments have not been welcomed by some Tibetans who say China invaded their land in 1950 and dispute Beijing's claim that the Himalayan plateau has historically been part of China.
Political tensions mean that access to the railway for non-Chinese tourists is likely to be subject to tight controls.
In addition to Chinese visas, foreign visitors already require special permits to enter Tibet and the availability of these is subject to sudden change.
Anyone hoping to travel on from Shigatse to Everest or Nepal will have to wade through further red tape.

sábado, julio 19, 2014

Forbes Media's websites will now be majority owned by a Chinese company

Back in 2007 Forbes magazine purchased 51 percent of the then-wildly growing website RealClearPolitics.com. Now, in 2014, a Chinese company has purchased a majority position in Forbes itself.

A highly visited site, RealClearPolitics.com was created in Chicago in the year 2000 by John McIntyre and Tom Bevan and grew at an amazing rate, becoming one of the most trafficked political sites on the web. By 2007 Forbes Media took notice and purchased a 51 percent share in the site.
Upon the purchase, Forbes Media decided to let McIntyre and Bevan continue to run the site as they had always done before.
For the last year or so, Forbes itself has been up for sale, and after eight months on the block, this sale was anything but a sure bet as one company after another bowed out of the running. At last the media company found an investor in China.
This week Forbes Media confirmed that it has sold a controlling interest in the company to Hong Kong-based Integrated Asset Management, founded by Tak Cheung Yam. The price tag reportedly tops $300 million.
The Forbes family will hold a minority stake in the 97-year-old company that bears their name.
"This is a major milestone for the company and our family, and we're pleased to partner with a forward-looking investor group to further drive the evolution and growth of this exceptional company," current company chief Steve Forbes told the media Friday.
As of now, Steve Forbes, the company's chairman and editor, and chief executive Steve Perlis will remain with the company.
In a statement, new majority owner Mr. Yam said, "Given the tremendous growth of digital in the past decade, Forbes Media's future plans include additional Internet and social media expansion projects."
With over 27.7 million unique visitors, Forbes Media's websites will now be majority owned by the Chinese company.
However, Steve Forbes went to pains to insist that the magazine and the company's various websites will retain editorial control here in America.
"To mess with that would undermine the investment," he said.
Signs that this was a last-ditch effort to save the company were everywhere. The Forbes family has undergone a long campaign of selling off assets in hopes of keeping the nearly 100-year-old company afloat. The family sold out many of its real estate holdings, closed its longtime Greenwich Village headquarters, and even sold off its impressive collection of Fabergé eggs.
Perlis, though, assured employees that there would be no layoffs.
"This is an investment move," the chief executive said. "The reason it took as long as it did to do the deal was that we were looking for a particular kind of buyer who would understand the tradition of the Forbes brand and an investor [who] would back the family’s and current management’s plan to grow the company."

domingo, julio 06, 2014

El brutal entrenamiento deportivo a los ninos chinos

deportesonline



China's Massive Female Abortions Tied to Violent Crime by Unmarried Males

China’s one-child policy, instituted in 1979, has made it the most gender-imbalanced country in the world, with 117.78 boys for every 100 girls. Since the Chinese culture traditionally favors males, massive numbers of female babies have been aborted. 

While the policy is blamed for societal flaws such as a depressed “real exchange rate,” which damages the global economy, and a reduction in the labor force, perhaps the most disturbing outcome of having significantly more boys than girls is an increase in violent crimes.
Writing at the New Republic, Elizabeth Winkler reports that, in 2012, the Chinese government estimated that China had 40 million more males than females, with the difference growing larger each year.
While the country claims a reduction in the gender imbalance is a national priority, largely due to economic reasons, China, and much of the media, gloss over the fact that its one-child policy has been one of the great human rights atrocities in world history. As BBC.com reports, in 2000, for example, 90 percent of aborted babies were reportedly female.
Winkler writes that the resulting “gender imbalance” has likely led to the increase in China’s violent crimes.
In a recent study published in Asian Population Studies, economists Jane Golley and Rod Tyers determined that the higher number of males in China has led to excessive savings since families with boys are competing to match up their sons with girls, who are scarce. However, the investigators also found climbing rates of crime among unmarried males.
Projecting outward to 2030 using a global dynamic model, the researchers find “the proportion of unmatched unskilled Chinese men of reproductive age could be as high as one in four by that time.”
They write:
Policies to rebalance the sex ratio at birth will take decades to reduce the sex ratio at reproductive age and any associated allowance for higher fertility would slow growth in real per capita income. Yet our results suggest that more than offsetting gains could accrue from productivity improvements stemming from reduced crime.
The researchers tap into previous research that has determined that China’s crime rate has indeed doubled over the last two decades.
A March 2010 article in The Economist observes:
China alone stands to have as many unmarried young men—“bare branches,” as they are known—as the entire population of young men in America. In any country rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognised routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity.
Additionally, George J. Gilboy and Eric Heginbotham, writing at Foreign Affairs in October 2010, noted that China’s economy has continued to grow and its per capita income increased as it has repealed taxes and invested in infrastructure and a social safety net; nonetheless, social tensions have grown more pronounced.
The authors write:
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) estimates that incidents of social unrest have risen from about 40,000 in 2001 to “over 90,000” in 2009. CASS also reports that these incidents are becoming larger, more violent, more likely to cross provincial borders, and more diverse in terms of participants and grievances.
A 2008 study in Social Science Research Network links the increase in crime and violent behavior in China to the scarcity of females. The research indicates that crime rates almost doubled in the nation between 1992 and 2004, the same period in which sex ratios (males to females) in the age grouping of 16-25 years, which is characterized by a tendency toward crime, rose dramatically from 1.053 to 1.093.
The study found that "a 0.01 increase in the sex ratio raised the violent and property crime rates by some 5-6%, suggesting that the increasing maleness of the young adult population may account for as much as a third of the overall rise in crime."
As Winkler observes, anthropological studies confirm what instinctively seems true—that in cultures with excessive men, males tend to engage in risky, “wife-seeking” behavior. When the size of the pool of unmarried men is reduced and “normative monogamy” occurs more often, rates for rape, murder, assault, robbery, and fraud are all reduced.

domingo, abril 20, 2014

China faces 'most complex time in history' at home and abroad - Xi Jinping

borneobulletin.brunei-online.com
Chinese President Xi Jinping held the first meeting of a new national security commission on Tuesday, saying China needed a coordinated approach to domestic and foreign challenges, including social unrest, in "the most complex time in history".
China announced the formation of the commission in November at the end of a key party meeting to map out reforms, Reuters reports.
Experts say it is based on the National Security Council in the United States and will increase coordination among the various wings of China's security bureaucracy, split now among the police, military, intelligence and diplomatic services.
Possible international flashpoints for China include Japan, North Korea and the South China Sea. China says it also faces considerable threats at home, pointing to continued unrest in two regions heavily populated by ethnic minorities which chafe at Chinese rule - Tibet and Xinjiang.
Xi told the commission's first meeting that China faced the "most complex time in history" at home and abroad when it came to its security, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
China must "implement and put into practice an overall national security view, paying attention to external as well as internal security", Xi was cited as saying.
While Xi listed areas ranging from economic to nuclear security, he also said the commission had to "take political security as its base" and "seek stability", references to protecting the ruling Communist's Party hold on power and dealing with domestic unrest.
"Security is the condition for development. We can only make the country rich by building up military power, and only with military power can we protect the country," Xi said.
The report did not mention any specific topics that were discussed.
On Monday, Xi urged the air force to adopt an integrated air and space defence capability, in what state media called a response to the increasing military use of space by the United States and others.
While Beijing insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes, a Pentagon report last year highlighted China's increasing space capability and said Beijing was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.
Fears of a space arms race with the United States and other powers mounted after China blew up one of its own weather satellites with a ground-based missile in January 2007.
Visiting air force headquarters in Beijing, Xi, who is also head of the military, told officers "to speed up air and space integration and sharpen their offensive and defensive capabilities", Xinhua said.
It gave no details of how China expects to do this.
China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programs for military, commercial and scientific purposes. Xi has said he wanted China to establish itself as a space superpower.
But it is still playing catch-up to established space superpowers the United States and Russia. China's Jade Rabbit moon rover has been beset by technical difficulties since landing to great domestic fanfare in mid-December.
Source: Voice of Russia
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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Etiquetas

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NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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