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Topic: China (Read 74287 times)
Reply #550 on:
February 19, 2014, 09:29:54 PM »
Jane Goodall alarmed China plundering Africa, but admits destructive habits changing
China is exploiting Africa's resources just like European colonizers did, with disastrous effects for the environment, acclaimed primatologist Dr Jane Goodall told AFP.
On the eve of her 80th birthday, the fiery British wildlife campaigner is traveling to world capitals lecturing on the threats to our planet.
During the past decade China has been investing heavily in African natural resources, developing mines, oil wells and running related construction companies.
Activists accuse Chinese companies of paying little attention to the environmental impact of their race for resources.
“In Africa, China is merely doing what the colonialist did. They want raw materials for their economic growth, just as the colonialists were going into Africa and taking the natural resources, leaving people poorer,'' she told AFP in an interview in Johannesburg in South Africa.
The stakes for the environment may even be larger this time round, she warns.
“China is bigger, and the technology has improved... It is a disaster.''
Other than massive investment in Africa's mines, China is also a big market for elephant tusks and rhino horn, which has driven poaching of these animals to alarming heights.
But Goodall, who rose to fame through her ground-breaking research on chimpanzees in Tanzania, is optimistic.
“I do believe China is changing,'' she said, citing as one example Beijing's recent destruction of illegal ivory stockpiles.
“I think 10 years ago, even with international pressure, we would never have had an ivory crush. But they have,'' she added.
“I think 10 years ago the government would never have banned shark fin soup on official occasions. But they have.''
Her organization Roots and Shoots, founded over two decades ago to instil conservation values in children, has also become involved in China.
“We work with hundreds of Chinese children, and they are not different from children we work with here. They all love nature, they love animals, they want to help, there's no difference because they're Chinese,'' she said.
Young people's enthusiasm to change the world gives her hope.
“These young people will become the next parents, the next teachers, the next lawyers, the next business people and the next politicians, some of them.''
“The biggest problem is that people understand but don't know what to do,'' she said.
“If you have one thousand, one million or eventually several million people all making the right choice, all thinking about the consequence of their behavior, then we're going to see big change.''
Another glimmer of hope is “this amazing resilience of nature,'' she continued, citing as an example the China's Loess Plateau on the Yellow River bouncing back after massive soil erosion.
“It was set to be the biggest totally destroyed ecosystem in the world,'' she said.
A US$400-million project funded by the Chinese government and international donors introduced better farming methods in the area, which greatly reduced erosion and lifted 2.5 million people out of poverty, according to the World Bank.
“That took a lot of money, but if you look at it now, it's all green, lush and farmland, and children have come back from the cities. It's even got a whole area for wildlife,'' said Goodall.
“We still have a small window of time to change things.''
Reply #551 on:
February 19, 2014, 10:07:20 PM »
while speaking of Jane goodall one must watch this video and as noted anyone who watches should bring their hanky along;
It is the window video in the third picture box 3 minutes long:
bahttp://www.care2.com/causes/the-heartfelt-hug-that-said-it-all-chimp-thanks-jane-goodall-for-rescue.htmlck in the wild
Richard Young; Marc Faber:Bankruptcies coming and it won't be pretty
Reply #552 on:
March 20, 2014, 02:43:46 PM »
SHOCK: Wave of Bankruptcies Set to Hit China
March 17, 2014 by Young Research
Print This Post
In a shocking admission Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned lenders in the country to prepare for a wave of defaults on debt in the coming year. China had so far been able to prevent embarrassing defaults among its corporations, even by presumably bailing out the world’s largest bank earlier this year (no one knows exactly what happened here but common sense would point to a hidden government bailout). But the government couldn’t, or wouldn’t, act fast enough to save Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy last week. It’s a signal from the Communist Party that Beijing is getting out of the bailout business. Borrowers, lenders and investors should take heed. Phillip Inman reports that the Middle Kingdom is facing serious challenges.
Li’s warning followed the failure of Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy to make a payment on a 1bn yuan (Ł118m) bond last week. The default was the first of its kind for China and widely seen as pointing to the end of 11th-hour government bailouts for troubled enterprises.
Some analysts said the decision to let some indebted firms collapse was a sign the authorities had learned from the Japanese boom and bust experience of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Tokyo was plunged into two “lost” decades of stagnation after it prevented zombie companies from declaring bankruptcy – even blocking petitions from bondholders in the courts – when a property collapse exposed debts many times the value of their businesses.
However, figures this week revealed that Beijing is copying the Japanese tactic of ramping up public infrastructure spending to replace the steep slowdown in private sector investment. Fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 17.9% during the first two months of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
If China’s economic troubles force it to reduce purchases of U.S. treasury securities, and the Fed continues to taper its own purchases, there’s no telling what could happen to interest rates. There could be serious risks to America’s ability to fund itself. You can find our advice on profiting from the risks and opportunities of such shocks in our premium strategy reports, Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report and Young Research’s Global Investment Strategy.
Reply #553 on:
March 21, 2014, 10:36:05 PM »
"If China’s economic troubles force it to reduce purchases of U.S. treasury securities, and the Fed continues to taper its own purchases, there’s no telling what could happen to interest rates. There could be serious risks to America’s ability to fund itself. "
I think they mean there could be serious risks to our continuing ability to
China Property Collapse Has Begun
Reply #554 on:
April 14, 2014, 02:39:23 PM »
As predicted here...
China Property Collapse Has Begun
Nothing is going right for Hangzhou at this moment. Walmart will be closing its Zhaohui store in that city on April 23 as a part of its overall plan to dump marginal locations—about 9% of the total—in China.
Thanks to the world’s largest retailer, another large block of space in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, will go on the market at a time when there is generally too much supply. The problem is especially pronounced in the city’s premium office market. Hangzhou’s Grade A office buildings at the end of 2013 had, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, an average occupancy rate of 30%.
The real weakness, however, is Hangzhou’s residential sector. The cause is simple: massive overbuilding. Sara Hsu of the State University of New York at New Paltz writes that Hangzhou faces “burgeoning swaths of empty apartment units.”
Hangzhou’s market has not yet collapsed. There are still secondary sales, for instance. Singapore’s Straits Times reports Allen Zhao, a businessman, has been looking to sell his two-bedroom flat in Hangzhou for 2 million yuan. His neighbor just let go a similar unit for 1.7 million. If Zhao also sells for that amount, he will make a profit, but he will be disappointed. “That is not much more than the price I paid in 2012,” Zhao told the paper. “Now I’m regretting not selling earlier—more bad news about the property market keeps coming in every day.”
New homes also face price pressure. Developers in Hangzhou are now offering deep discounts, and investors and owners are noticing. And not just in that city. “It seems that the 30% price cut in Hangzhou really changed the way Chinese people think about real estate,” writes Anne Stevenson-Yang of J Capital Research, “and I doubt there is any turning back from here.” (more at link)
China housing bubble about to burst 2.0?
Reply #555 on:
April 15, 2014, 12:02:43 PM »
WSJ: China's growth struggles
Reply #556 on:
April 21, 2014, 07:19:12 AM »
Addresses themes I have discussed here for years, but comes to a more optimistic sense of things. I can't this this is wrong though , , ,
China's Growth Struggles
Market reform is crucial to avoiding the middle-income trap.
Updated April 20, 2014 5:16 p.m. ET
China's first quarter growth of 7.4% beat expectations last week, but it was a six-quarter low and below Beijing's 2014 target of 7.5%. Some analysts worry the country is vulnerable to a property market collapse and explosion of bad bank loans. So is the main engine of global growth about to stall?
One thing most everyone agrees on: China is in transition from a go-go phase driven by abundant capital and labor (think of the U.S. in the late 19th century) to a more mature development track in which growth depends on productivity gains. At this point other countries such as Brazil and Malaysia fell into the "middle-income trap" and stagnated, while South Korea and Taiwan powered through to become wealthy, although not without crises along the way.
Through the 2000s, Beijing struggled to rein in growth to avoid inflation, and any time the economy looked to be slowing it simply eased restrictions on investment and was off to the races again. Now gross capital formation, which averaged 15% from 2000-10, is around 10% as costs rise and profits are squeezed. The economy is overleveraged, with total debt (government and private) exceeding 200% of GDP. Negative purchaser managers index (PMI) indicators reflect the realization that companies can't rely on high GDP growth to repay loans.
Beijing's new leaders seem to recognize that financial reform and a period of deleveraging are needed to meet this challenge. Since slower growth is a necessary part of this program, the current slowdown could be read as a positive sign that the days of growth at any cost are over. The announcement last month that deposit rates will be liberalized over the next two years signals an end to financial repression, by which interest paid on savings was kept low to make borrowing cheaper. That suppressed consumption and led to the most lopsided economy the world has ever seen, with investment accounting for about 50% of GDP.
Like many of China's past reforms, de facto deposit-rate liberalization started well before the official announcement, in the form of what's been called the shadow banking system. While dangerous risks may be hidden here, there is a considerable upside: The state banks created entities to attract deposits at market rates of interest.
This "reform" came about because banks found that profit margins were shrinking on traditional loans to state-owned companies and local governments. So they sold high-return "wealth-management products" (WMPs) to investors and used the money to lend at still higher rates to private companies. By pricing risk, WMPs make the allocation of capital more efficient.
Another piece of good news is that access by private companies to bank loans has grown dramatically, surpassing the loans to state enterprises in 2012. This would have happened even faster if Beijing's post-2008 stimulus hadn't given a big boost to state firms. Private firms now account for two-thirds of investment, up from 40% a decade ago.
Over the last decade, demographic trends have pushed wages up faster than productivity growth. You wouldn't know it with all the angst about high inequality, but this trend has put pressure on managers to find efficiency gains. And it will help force Beijing to sell off state-owned enterprises that can't keep up. All of this suggests that China may follow South Korea and Taiwan and avoid the middle-income trap.
But it doesn't say whether a crisis is brewing in the next few years. Most crisis scenarios concern the property market, which accounts for almost a quarter of the economy. The problem is not so much high prices, since the average cost of an apartment has tracked rising urban incomes. Nor is it leverage, since regulations restrict mortgages and many buyers pay with cash. It is simply volume.
A side-effect of China's low bank-deposit rates and dysfunctional stock market is that many households have put their savings into empty apartments, which are so numerous they have spawned "ghost cities." When prices begin to fall, most owners will likely hold on and wait for a rebound. That means a long period of stagnation as the excess supply gradually comes onto the market.
The loss of such a big driver of growth will be painful, but by itself it shouldn't trigger the kind of financial crisis the U.S. saw in 2008. Chinese firms, ever flexible, will seek out new opportunities, and that could pay some surprising dividends. One reason China has been slow to produce innovative firms or global brands is that much of the country's talent and capital have been sucked into the production of empty buildings.
China's economic slowdown recalls Adam Smith's remark, often quoted by Milton Friedman : "There is much ruin in a nation." It is a reminder that even though many things go wrong, market forces, if allowed to operate, generally bring about a positive outcome. We can't rule out that there is so much malinvestment on balance sheets that a crisis is coming. But the fact that China's leaders still have the courage to expand the market's role gives hope that this slowdown doesn't herald the end of its growth story.
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