Dec 06

- China’s Hu urges navy to prepare for combat (AFP, Dec. 6, 2011):

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urged the navy to prepare for military combat, amid growing regional tensions over maritime disputes and a US campaign to assert itself as a Pacific power.

The navy should “accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for military combat in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security,” he said.

Addressing the powerful Central Military Commission, Hu said: “Our work must closely encircle the main theme of national defence and military building.”

His comments, which were posted in a statement on a government website, come as the United States and Beijing’s neighbours have expressed concerns over its naval ambitions, particularly in the South China Sea.

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Feb 21


Police officers stand guard near a restaurant which was a planned protest site for ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in Beijing.

BEIJING – Several top Chinese rights activists have disappeared into police custody as a web campaign urged angry citizens to mark the Middle East’s “Jasmine Revolution” with protests, campaigners said Sunday.

Up to 15 leading Chinese rights lawyers and activists have disappeared since Saturday amid a nationwide police mobilisation, according to activists, while the government appeared to censor Internet postings calling for the demonstrations.

“We welcome… laid off workers and victims of forced evictions to participate in demonstrations, shout slogans and seek freedom, democracy and political reform to end ‘one party rule’,” one Internet posting said.

The postings, many of which appeared to have originated on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and 10 other major Chinese cities.

Protesters were urged to shout slogans including “We want food to eat”, “We want work”, “We want housing”, “We want justice”, “Long live freedom”, and “Long live democracy”.

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Jan 21

- Obama: “We Welcome China’s Rise” (CBS NEWS)

China’s rapid growth is often painted as a threat to American interests. But President Obama said today that the country’s economic progress benefits the United States and opens the door to greater international stability and humanitarian progress.

“We welcome China’s rise,” Mr. Obama said at a press conference at the White House with Chinese President Hu Jintao. “I absolutely believe that China’s peaceful rise is good for the world, and it’s good for America.”

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Nov 14


Barack Obama greets China’s Paramount Leader, Hu Jintao (Photo: Getty)

Here’s a finding that will have any red-blooded American spluttering into his cornflakes. According to the Conference Board, a highly respected economic research association, China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy by 2012, or within two years.

OK, so in dollar terms, that’s obviously not going to be the case. It will be a lot longer than two years before China overtakes the US on that measure. But in terms of purchasing power parity, according to the Conference Board’s latest world economic outlook, China is already nearly there, and by 2020 will have reached a size of output which is nearly half as big again as the US.

Here’s the Wkipedia link explaining what PPP is
, but broadly speaking the idea is to measure output according to the volume, not the price of goods and services produced. The assumption made is that identical goods will have the same price in different markets. In practice, this is obviously not the case. A taxi ride in Beijing, for instance, will cost you approximately a tenth of what it costs in London. But it is essentially the same service.

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Nov 14

The Chinese elitists treat their own people like worthless shit and built their power on the desperation of the poor and on the destruction of the environment.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Flashback:

- Mao Zedong ‘Killed 45 Million In Four Years’, The Greatest Mass Murderer In World History


China believes its economic success reflects its superior culture.


President Barack Obama (left) meets Chinese President Hu Jintao for a bilateral meeting in Seoul ahead of the start of the G20 summit  Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The leaders of the G20 group of rich and developing nations met in Seoul this week for what might reasonably be described as their first post-crisis summit. But it also had the feeling of the first post-Western summit. China, the world’s second richest nation and its rising power, believes that the financial crisis was actually a “North Atlantic crisis”. Now that the worst of it is over, Beijing sees little reason to swallow the medicine for someone else’s sickness. The summit therefore broke up – none too amicably – without really addressing the trade imbalances that were one of the root causes of the crisis, or America’s worry that Beijing is gaining an unfair advantage by artificially keeping its currency weak. Instead, China flexed its muscles and got what it wanted: a watered-down statement that will not force it to change course. If President Obama hoped that the G20 would burnish his image as a world statesman after the disaster of the midterm elections, those hopes were disappointed.

It is inescapable that we are witnessing a historic shift of economic power from West to East. David Cameron has certainly taken this on board, judging by the caution with which he and his Cabinet members treated China during their visit earlier this week. The Prime Minister approached the subject of human rights far more obliquely than he did as leader of the Opposition. Whether this was wise judgment or a failure of nerve is difficult to say. Although China treats dissidents with gross inhumanity, the more it is lectured on the subject, the more intransigent it becomes. In a sense, that is convenient for Mr Cameron: if protesting about repression makes the situation worse, then Britain can concentrate on trade with a fairly clear conscience.

Certainly, China is leaving Seoul with even more of a swagger in its step. Its regional ambitions are unchecked: if anything, they have been further provoked by America’s insistence that the resolution of territorial disputes in the South China Sea is a “national interest”.

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Nov 07

Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, has been named the most powerful person on Earth knocking Barack Obama off the top spot.


G20: Tensions rise over the future of the global econom Photo: GETTY

The annual list, compiled by Forbes, the business magazine, places David Cameron, the British prime minister, at seven, behind Angela Merkel, the German chancellor in the list of 68.

Forbes explained that those on the list had been chosen “because, in various ways, they bend the world to their will”.

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia came in third behind Mr Jintao and Mr Obama, while Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister was fourth, ahead of Dmitry Medvedev, who only came in at 12.

Pope Benedict XVI was in fifth place, while the rest of the top 10 was rounded off by Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, Sonia Gandhi, the Indian president, and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mr Gates finished ahead of Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, who was in 17th place.

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Apr 04

(Adds former China adviser’s comment in 13th paragraph, trade chamber’s report in 22nd.)

April 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner delayed a scheduled April 15 report to Congress on exchange-rate policies, sidestepping a decision on whether to accuse China of manipulating the value of the yuan.

Geithner in a statement yesterday urged China to move toward a more flexible currency and said a series of meetings over the next three months will be “critical” to bringing policy changes that lead to a stronger, “more balanced” global economy. The delay comes as Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to visit Washington for a nuclear summit April 12-13.

The Treasury chief faces demands from Congress to label China a currency manipulator for keeping the value of the yuan little changed from about 6.83 to the dollar for almost two years. Geithner is instead betting that China will take steps on its own in the next several months to strengthen its currency, analysts said. Continue reading »

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Jul 08

china-unrest
A young man who was mistaken for being a Uighur is chased by a mob of Han Chinese in Urumqi, China, on July 7, 2009. Photographer: Ng Han Guan/AP via Bloomberg News

July 8 (Bloomberg) — Hundreds of military police patrolled the western Chinese city of Urumqi, as the worst violence since last year’s uprising in Tibet prompted President Hu Jintao to cut short a trip to the Group of Eight summit in Italy.

Two days of rioting in the capital of Xinjiang, a province rich in oil and natural gas, left at least 156 people dead. At least 20 trucks of armed police assembled near the Hai De Hotel in Urumqi, where a press conference, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time, was postponed until 6:30 p.m.. The Xinjiang press office declined to confirm or deny that Hu will attend the event.

Hu’s decision to cancel participation in a gathering of leaders from the world’s biggest economies reflects how significantly China views internal challenges to its leadership. Hu had been expected to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama and others to discuss the global economic crisis.

Hu’s return “sends a message of seriousness,” said Phil Deans, a professor of Asia Studies at Temple University in Tokyo. “Some will certainly see it as a sign of weakness, and say that the Communist Party isn’t as strong as it used to be.”

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Jun 22

China has broken silence on the developing situation in Iran. This comes against the backdrop of a discernible shift in Washington’s posturing toward political developments in Iran.

Related articles:
- Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: Is This the Culmination of Two Years of Destabilization? Are the Iranian Protests Another US Orchestrated “Color Revolution?” (CounterPunch)
- Britain evacuates families of embassy staff in Iran (Guardian)
- Ahmadinejad is who Iranians want (Guardian)
- Pre-election Iranian poll showed Ahmadinejad support (Reuters)
- Ahmadinejad won. Get over it (Politico)

The government-owned China Daily featured its main editorial comment on Thursday titled “For Peace in Iran”. It comes amid reports in the Western media that the former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is rallying the Qom clergy to put pressure on the Guardians Council – and, in turn, on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – to annul last Friday’s presidential election that gave Mahmud Ahmadinejad another four-year term.

Beijing fears a confrontation looming and counsels Obama to keep the pledge in his Cairo speech not to repeat such errors in the US’s Middle East policy as the overthrow of the elected government of Mohammed Mosaddeq in Iran in 1953. Beijing also warns about letting the genie of popular unrest get out of the bottle in a highly volatile region that is waiting to explode. Tehran on Friday saw its sixth day of massive protests by supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, whom they say was cheated out of victory.

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Jan 01

Hu Jintao has made his first visit back to the earthquake zone since the disaster struck in May after it emerged that millions of people were still homeless.


Destroyed buildings in Beichuan last May Photo: AFP/GETTY

Only a handful of the five million people whose homes were destroyed by the strongest earthquake to hit China in half-a-century have managed to rebuild before the arrival of winter.

Piles of bricks and bags of cement line the road to Beichuan, near the epicentre of the quake, as peasants desperately try to erect structures that will shield them from the elements. The temperature in this mountainous region has already dipped to zero and will fall to as much as minus 20 degrees centigrade in the coming months.

As he surveyed the refugee camps, where the cold weather has triggered flu outbreaks, Mr Hu said: “The most important thing is to make sure all people are housed, have clothes and quilts to resist the cold, have enough food for the winter and coming spring and [that] medical services and epidemic prevention are in place.”

Hong Xiuqiong, 34, lives in a shack made of reclaimed wood and with a straw roof. “The government has stopped paying out the relief money and we have barely any food,” she said. “We only have a plastic sheet to wrap around the hut to try to make it waterproof.”

Mrs Hong, who lives with her baby, her husband and his family in the tiny hut, said she thought her 90-year-old father-in-law “may not make it”. She added: “I was tempted to commit suicide myself after the earthquake.”

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Dec 15

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — Latin American and Caribbean leaders gathering in Brazil tomorrow will mark a historic occasion: a region-wide summit that excludes the United States.

Almost two centuries after President James Monroe declared Latin America a U.S. sphere of influence, the region is breaking away. From socialist-leaning Venezuela to market-friendly Brazil, governments are expanding military, economic and diplomatic ties with potential U.S. adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran.

“Monroe certainly would be rolling over in his grave,” says Julia Sweig, director of the Latin America program at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington and author of the 2006 book “Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century.”

The U.S., she says, “is no longer the exclusive go-to power in the region, especially in South America, where U.S. economic ties are much less important.”

Since November, Russian warships have engaged in joint naval exercises with Venezuela, the first in the Caribbean since the Cold War; Chinese President Hu Jintao signed a free-trade agreement with Peru; and Brazil invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a state visit.

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Dec 03


China Property Slump Threatens Global Economy as Growth Slows

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — House prices in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are plunging, and the global economy may grind almost to a halt next year because of it.

Construction of homes, offices and factories fell at least 16.6 percent in October after rising 32.5 percent a year earlier, according to Macquarie Securities Ltd. That’s squeezing an economy already slowed by recessions in the U.S., Japan and Europe that have cut demand for exports. Building is the biggest driver of China’s expansion, contributing a quarter of fixed- asset investment and employing 77 million people.

The central bank cut its key interest rate by the most in 11 years last week and the government said “forceful” measures were needed to arrest a faster-than-expected economic decline. Without more rate cuts and government spending, China is unlikely to contribute the 60 percent of global growth Merrill Lynch & Co. forecasts for next year, further slowing the world economy.

“China is now at the heart of the global slowdown,” said Jim Walker, chief economist at Asianomics Ltd., an economic advisory firm in Hong Kong. “It means that global growth is probably going to be dragged down close to zero next year.”

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Dec 01

The Chinese President has issued a rare warning to the ruling Communist Party, telling his officials that the global economic downturn is so severe that it could shake its 59-year grip on power.

President Hu Jintao’s remarks, at a weekend meeting of the ruling 25-member Politburo, appeared on the front page of the party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily. It was his bluntest message yet delivered on the crisis to China’s 1.3 billion people and more than 70 million members of the party.

The subtext of his speech was the increasing risk of social unrest caused by China’s rising unemployment, as a slump in exports leads to factory closures and a fall in property sales results in abandoned construction projects.

The President, who is also the head of the Communist Party, said: “In this coming period, we will starkly confront the effects of the sustained deepening of the international financial crisis and pressure as global economic growth clearly slows.” He said that the slowdown would “steadily weaken our country’s traditional competitive advantages”.

The speech is the most authoritative warning yet of the blow dealt to the world’s fourth-largest economy by the international financial crisis. Tens of thousands of migrant workers at failed factories are already heading back to their farms, and economists say that the real drop in export orders may not be felt until early next year.

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