Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
February 20, 2018, 07:52:45 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
107422 Posts in 2403 Topics by 1095 Members
Latest Member: dannysamuel
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  China
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 11 12 [13] Print
Author Topic: China  (Read 212544 times)
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 7832


« Reply #600 on: March 12, 2016, 09:45:03 AM »

Yes we spend hundreds of billions and probably trillions in R & D and they  just "march" in and steal the blueprints for comparatively nothing. 

So Gilder says 'big deal'?

He lost me on that one going back 16 yrs or thereabouts.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 15533


« Reply #601 on: March 12, 2016, 09:47:22 AM »

Yes we spend hundreds of billions and probably trillions in R & D and they  just "march" in and steal the blueprints for comparatively nothing. 

So Gilder says 'big deal'?

He lost me on that one going back 16 yrs or thereabouts.

It is a big deal, and not enough is being done.
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 9471


« Reply #602 on: March 12, 2016, 03:45:59 PM »

They steal intellectual property on a massive basis via hacking.

That's right.   We need enforcement,  not a trade war.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 7832


« Reply #603 on: March 13, 2016, 06:16:11 AM »

My question is 'why'?  Why is China increasing military power in the South China Sea?  No one is threatening them.  The sea lanes are open.  What do they hope to achieve?  It could only mean some sort of expansion.  ? Is this against Japan.  Taiwan?   Indonesia?  What?  It would be like us building up atolls with military offensive capability in the Caribbean.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/03/11/intelligence-chief-china-will-have-substantial-military-power-in-south-china-sea-by-2017/
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 15533


« Reply #604 on: March 13, 2016, 07:43:21 AM »

My question is 'why'?  Why is China increasing military power in the South China Sea?  No one is threatening them.  The sea lanes are open.  What do they hope to achieve?  It could only mean some sort of expansion.  ? Is this against Japan.  Taiwan?   Indonesia?  What?  It would be like us building up atolls with military offensive capability in the Caribbean.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/03/11/intelligence-chief-china-will-have-substantial-military-power-in-south-china-sea-by-2017/

China is the "Middle Kingdom", as in between heaven and earth. They see themselves as ascending to first a regional superpower and eventually a global superpower. They see it as a position wrongfully deprived of them in the past by imperialist powers that they will now claim.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #605 on: March 15, 2016, 08:02:17 PM »

Someone around here has been predicting this for quite some time  evil

by Anne Stevenson-Yang and
Kevin Dougherty
March 14, 2016 12:17 p.m. ET
12 COMMENTS

After initial declines in the Chinese market to start the year, the past few weeks have seen signs of what some would call a rebound. Lending in China rose by 67% in January, iron-ore prices initially rallied by 64% and housing sales in the top four markets surged. The yuan gained back half of the nearly 7% it had lost against the dollar since November, sending hedge funds that had shorted on the currency running for cover. And yet there remains no sign of life in the underlying Chinese economy.

More than $800 billion in credit that had been pushed into the economy in January failed to boost production or increase sales. Producer prices remained negative, dropping 5.1% in January-February, while the manufacturing PMI fell to 48 in February from 48.4 in January, indicating worsening contraction. That’s because the rally was the result of a coordinated government effort to restore confidence in the China Dream of limitless growth at home and glory abroad. The market, apparently, isn’t so easily convinced.

From hiding capital outflows to propping up real-estate values, manipulating futures markets and squeezing short-sellers of the yuan, Chinese authorities have been trying to bring back the old, quasisuperstitious belief in Beijing’s omnipotence. But the political desperation behind these efforts betrays a different story: that an impending currency crisis is a signal of the dream’s undoing.

That’s why in China getting money out of the country is now the major preoccupation of both families and corporations. Risk-averse individuals are trading out of the wealth-management products they used to buy for 10% yields and moving their money to safety in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Europe. Chinese companies are making extravagant bids for overseas assets such as General Electric ’s appliance division, the equipment maker Terex Corp. , the near-dead Norwegian web browser Opera, the Swiss pesticides group Syngenta, technology distributor Ingram Micro and even the Chicago Stock Exchange.

In the first six weeks of 2016, Chinese firms committed to spending $82 billion on such acquisitions. Last year saw nearly $1 trillion in capital outflows, including a decline of $512.66 billion in the foreign reserves. Although no one is sure how much of China’s reserves are liquid and available, it’s safe to say that, at this rate, China can’t afford capital flight for more than another year.

One way to stem the crisis would be through depreciation. That would be sound policy for the people of China, but it’s a dreaded last resort for a leadership that wants, more than jobs for its people, to bolster buying power and save political face overseas. Yet history shows that holding the line on the currency is a losing strategy. Tightened liquidity causes more pain to the economy and simply delays the inevitable.

National leaders, when faced with a disorderly adjustment, will inevitably resist markets, promise major structural changes (which are then slow to materialize), inject liquidity into financial markets and insist that everything is under control. But these measures rarely work and in fact have never worked when imbalances are as severe as they are in China today.

In other countries, currency crises usually followed a sudden and irreversible loss of confidence. The Asian Tigers were booming and then fell apart rapidly. Same in Russia. China faces the added difficulty of having little institutional memory and few tools to manage the economy in a time of capital scarcity. And there is no sign that capital-outflow pressure will ease.

And so a painful adjustment will be unavoidable: Property values will decline by an estimated 50% from the current reported average of $142 per square foot in tier-two cities, roughly equivalent to the national average in the U.S., where incomes are much higher. (Current price-to-income ratios in China are generally over 20, while the U.S. averages about three.) Excess industrial capacity will shut down. People will lose their jobs.

But Beijing still has a choice: Either let the yuan take some of the pressure of adjustment, or let all of it fall on the domestic market. Placed in such stark terms, a currency adjustment seems inevitable.

A likely depreciation of at least 15% against the U.S. dollar would take the renminbi back to where it was on the eve of the global financial crisis, before speculative capital inflows flooded into China and drove up the currency’s value. This would be a “reset event” globally. All forecasts for inflation/deflation, interest rates, currency crosses, growth and commodity prices would have to be ripped up and recalculated. It would likely lead to an emerging-markets crash. As a percentage of global gross domestic product, China today is nearly twice the size of Asia (excluding Japan) in 1997.

Commodities, emerging-market equities and multinationals with exposure to China have already started to realize significant losses. Soon major corrections will reach other assets boosted by the Chinese economy, such as property values in Hong Kong and Singapore. When this unfolds, U.S. government bonds may be the world’s only safe haven. The end of the China story is at hand.

Ms. Stevenson-Yang is co-founder of J Capital Research Ltd. Mr. Dougherty is chief investment officer of KDGF Asset Management.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #606 on: May 27, 2016, 12:15:01 AM »

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e99ff7a8-0bd8-11e6-9456-444ab5211a2f.html#axzz49pX8DbnI
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 9471


« Reply #607 on: May 27, 2016, 07:19:05 AM »



(subscriber content.)   Another look:
http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-pakistan-china-snap-story.html
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #608 on: May 27, 2016, 04:27:26 PM »

Good follow up.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #609 on: July 25, 2016, 04:34:39 PM »

 Dawn for the Dead Companies of China
Analysis
July 25, 2016 | 09:00 GMT Print
Text Size
China is grappling with how to handle unprofitable industries, many of them state-owned, that keep employment numbers up but threaten the nation's macroeconomic stability. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Summary

China is battling a ghastly economic problem. For months, the country's so-called zombie corporations — failing, mostly state-controlled companies — have been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, caught among high and rising levels of debt, ballooning debt-servicing costs and slim or nonexistent profits. In response, China's State Council released a statement July 18 describing a possible pilot program to enable indebted corporations to convert some of their outstanding debts to equities held by Chinese banks. On its own, a corporate debt-to-equity swap would do little to reform these companies into productive and profitable businesses, a key requirement if China is to "rebalance" to a more sustainable growth model. Even so, it would help lower the businesses' debt burden in the short term. For Beijing, bound as it is by the need to maintain employment and, in turn, social stability, that may be enough to stave off a crisis for the time being.
Analysis

Zombie corporations have been a serious problem for Chinese economic authorities since at least 2011. But when China's real estate sector entered a prolonged slowdown in 2014, the companies became an even greater risk. A large majority of them are state-controlled (or closely affiliated) enterprises engaged in property-related sectors, including residential and commercial development, infrastructure construction, steelmaking, and iron ore and coal production. Over the past two years, steady declines in real estate activity — which by some measures accounts for over a quarter of China's total economic output — have dragged down income and profits across the thousands of businesses in those sectors. As a result, foundering businesses turned to bank loans and shadow financing to cover the costs of maintaining their workforces, sending corporate debt levels soaring. In all but a few cases, the political imperative to prevent unemployment crises that could fuel broader social unrest — a powerful motivator for China's central and local governments alike — overpowered authorities' desire to reform the economy by letting failing companies fail.
A Staggering Problem

Now corporate debt is the greatest structural threat to Chinese macroeconomic stability. China's ratio of corporate debt to gross domestic product reached 165 percent by December 2015, up from 101.7 percent in 2008, the year before Beijing launched its emergency stimulus drive. By comparison, household and government debt equaled 40 and 22 percent of GDP, respectively, at the end of 2015 (though the government debt figure does not include debt held by local government financing vehicles, private companies responsible for raising money for local government investment since 2008-09). Corporate debt was by far the largest component of China's 247 percent total debt-to-GDP ratio, according to Moody's Investors Service.

Perhaps more concerning is the fact that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) account for 55 percent of total outstanding corporate debt, according to the International Monetary Fund, though they produce only 22 percent of China's total economic output. This imbalance helps explain the state's disproportionate representation among China's zombie corporations. On one hand, SOEs enjoy easy access to bank credit long denied to their private-sector counterparts. On the other, they face enormous pressure from their overseers in local, provincial and central governments to maintain stable output and employment. Combined, these factors give SOEs powerful incentive to keep borrowing and producing regardless of the wider economic costs. While China's private sector has steadily improved its efficiency, productivity and profits, the state sector has, by and large, lagged. In the coal and steel industries, dominated by hundreds of local and provincial state-controlled businesses, the contrast is especially pronounced. In many cases, these companies are too small, and their ties to local officials and banks too tight, for Beijing to control.
A Temporary Solution

The debt-to-equity swap proposal reveals Beijing's efforts to reconcile its growing desire for industrial reform and consolidation with local political and economic conditions. China's central government remains committed to reforming and restructuring Chinese industry, and, in particular, the state sector. At the same time, however, it understands that it can go forward with the measures only as long as the workers affected are taken care of, at least well enough to prevent unrest. Given China's weak economy and slowing industrial profits, that objective will entail finding new ways to temporarily offset borrowing and other costs for deeply indebted enterprises.

To be sure, a debt-to-equity swap program could itself be a means to achieve industrial reform and restructuring. Combined with serious corporate governance reforms and forced consolidations of truly moribund enterprises, the swap could help put struggling but fundamentally sound businesses on surer financial footing going forward. Chinese authorities will certainly try to play up this aspect of the program. Nonetheless, the primary purpose and effect of the swap in the short run will be to reduce borrowing costs for corporations, much as the debt-to-bond swap program for local governments has served mainly to offset localities' borrowing costs. Without corporate governance reforms and industrial restructuring — changes that will depend on deeper adjustments to China's political incentive structure — the swap program would not go far in making Chinese SOEs the pillars of productivity that Beijing envisions.

Like the local government bond program before it, the new swap program will probably come into being slowly. In light of the State Council's announcement, some form of pilot program could well be in place by the end of 2016. But in all likelihood, it will be at least six months and probably longer before a program on a scale sufficient to address China's overall corporate debt exists. In the meantime, China's leaders will struggle to manage the country's corporate bankruptcy risks. If the housing sector falters again in the second half of the year, this will prove an even greater challenge.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #610 on: September 19, 2016, 11:26:40 PM »

The WSJ catches up with my table pounding here  grin

China’s Growing Credit Risk
The bubble grows as Beijing keeps pushing growth before reform.
Sept. 19, 2016 7:30 p.m. ET


Respectable financial analysts once derided the tiny coterie of “China bears” for warning that the country could face a financial crisis. But over the last year the risk of a bad loan reckoning has become conventional wisdom. While Beijing possesses the resources to shore up the banking system, its continuing efforts to stimulate growth with more lending are complicating China’s economic and political predicament.

The latest alarm comes from the Bank for International Settlements, the clearing house of central banks in Basel. Its latest quarterly review shows that China’s credit-to-GDP gap, which measures credit growth above a country’s long-run trend, is now 30.1%. Anything above 10% is usually considered a red flag.

The idea behind the ratio is that there is no specific debt level that causes problems in all economies, but a sudden borrowing spree is a good predictor of a crisis. It suggests a mania in which loans create the illusion of high returns, which justifies more borrowing. The U.S. credit-to-GDP gap breached the 10% level in 2007 right before the housing bubble burst. As Goldman Sachs warned earlier this year, “Every major country with a rapid increase in debt has experienced either a financial crisis or a prolonged slowdown in GDP growth.”

The speed of China’s borrowing was staggering as Beijing opened the credit taps to stop the effects of the global financial crisis from reaching China. Total debt in the economy zoomed to more than 250% at the end of last year from less than 150% at the end of 2007.

This is especially worrying because the ratio continues to climb despite Beijing’s decision last year to rein in wasteful investment and undertake supply-side reforms. The government promised to stop state banks from evergreening, the practice of making new loans so troubled borrowers can repay old ones. Such zombie companies were supposed to go bankrupt. Instead China has seen few defaults.

Beijing has a good political reason for its caution. Carrying out reform promises would slow growth, and every time that happens social unrest soars. The protests this year in the town of Wukan seem to reprise the violence seen there in 2011, the last time the economy went south.

In the past few months Beijing has encouraged the three policy banks to finance new investments by state-owned enterprises. Banks have also fueled a mortgage boom that has boosted property prices. While the central bank hasn’t cut rates or reserve requirements, it has used open-market operations to give banks more liquidity.

Government statistics show that the banks’ nonperforming-loan ratio is approaching 2%, an 11-year high. But even officials acknowledge that the real number is much higher. Banking analyst Charlene Chu has predicted that it could reach 22%. That would require Beijing to recapitalize the banking system as it did in the early 2000s.

Fixing the financial system could be much messier this time, due to the advent of shadow banking. The state banks have created a complex web of “wealth management products” that attract investors with higher returns than ordinary deposits. According to Ms. Chu, WMPs grew by $1.1 trillion last year, accounting for nearly 40% of total credit growth.

These short-term liabilities fund long-term assets, a mismatch that has exacerbated crises elsewhere. And many of the buyers are other institutions, reminiscent of the U.S. mortgage-backed securities in 2008. Savers don’t understand the risks, and banks have been forced to repay their principal when the WMPs fail. A run on these investments could cause serious unrest and erode middle-class trust in the government.

Beijing faces a daunting challenge of engineering a market-driven deleveraging of an economy that has become dependent on monetary and fiscal stimulus. Managing the inevitable political fallout could be as dangerous as the economic risks.
 
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #611 on: October 22, 2016, 08:47:55 AM »

http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/30008

I have repeatedly made this point here for many years.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #612 on: February 10, 2017, 07:28:43 AM »

China’s foreign exchange reserves fell below $3 trillion for the first time in nearly five years in January, according to data released Feb. 7, the Financial Times reported. The $12.3 billion drop, a fall of 0.4 percent over December, marked the seventh consecutive month of foreign exchange declines. The Chinese central bank has been spending reserves on propping up the value of the yuan, as well as imposing capital controls to contain outflows. The yuan remains 4.4 percent weaker than a year earlier. While China's foreign exchange reserves have been dropping relatively swiftly over the past two years, at $3 trillion, they are still at levels most countries would consider incredibly high, and there has been no sense of urgency to taper the drawdown. 
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #613 on: May 16, 2017, 09:41:39 AM »

China Now Has a Rail Link Into the Heart of Europe

Beijing touts globalization and freight shippers hail revival of Silk Road on eve of ‘One Belt One Road’ summit
Reviving the Silk Road
Under the One Belt, One Road initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping aims to revive the ancient Silk Road trading routes with an infrastructure network that he hopes will widen Beijing's clout.
By Trefor Moss
May 11, 2017 12:23 p.m. ET
46 COMMENTS

ALASHANKOU, China—The trains chugging along the ancient Silk Road through this gateway city to the West are growing in numbers and freighted with geopolitical significance.

China’s reboot of old trade routes—President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign-policy initiative, known as One Belt, One Road—was designed to link Chinese companies with overseas markets. Four years on, it is emerging as the cornerstone of China’s bid to be the guarantor of globalization at a time when protectionist winds are blowing abroad.

Mr. Xi is likely to tout that theme when he welcomes leaders from about 30 countries to a belt-and-road summit in Beijing that starts on Sunday. Chinese state media have described the project as a “wide and open avenue for all.”

“There aren’t many ambitious international visions on the world stage right now,” said Jonathan Hillman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think tank. “One Belt, One Road is one of them.”

For all the hype, a relatively modest share of the major infrastructure investments pledged by China have become reality. China’s slowing economy and mounting debt load risk interfering with Beijing’s ability to finance its sweeping effort to cement trade routes with two-thirds of the world’s population—in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

One solid example of Mr. Xi’s globalist outreach, however, is China’s use of existing Eurasian railways to transport high-value goods between China’s remote northwest and Europe.

After Mr. Xi launched his grand trade plan in 2013, China began consolidating a maze of railroads into three primary routes, coordinated regular timetabled service and simplified customs procedures. Beijing backed the project—the “belt” as opposed to the ocean-shipping “road” portion—with lavish cost-cutting subsidies.

Alashankou, a far-flung outpost in China’s northwest, is the primary exit point for Europe-bound trains and the quintessential belt-and-road boomtown. Its population has tripled to 32,000 in five years and new public projects include a sports complex and an opera center, said Wang Yong, the local deputy Communist Party secretary.

In the vast emptiness of this desert region, long-distance trade is the main lifeline. Mr. Wang said 1,220 Europe-bound trains rumbled through here last year, a small but growing part of the town’s rail traffic.


Trains carrying consumer electronics and auto parts toward European cities like Hamburg, Warsaw and Rotterdam return with sports cars, baby food and Scotch whisky. Authorities recently added routes including Xiamen to Moscow, Yiwu to Tehran, and Xi’an to Budapest. China Railway Corp. signed a deal in April to streamline service with rail operators in six European countries.

In recent years, China has sent about 3,700 trains to Europe, almost half in 2016, as the rate accelerates. It has set an annual target of 5,000 trains by 2020.

“There were doubts about the viability of doing this,” said Michael White, international marketing manager at UPS. But now, he said, the momentum is undeniable.

There are still plenty of challenges, including whether the rail component of Mr. Xi’s vision can thrive if Beijing curbs its subsidies. Another is persuading European companies; about three times as many goods-laden trains leave China as return to it.

“It’s not easy to start a new service, even though it’s all being supported by the [Chinese] government,” said Oscar Lin of U.K.-based OneTwoThree Logistics. The company operated London-to-China train service in April in a publicity coup for Mr. Xi’s globalization drive.

Rail freight will never supplant ocean transport: A container ship can handle 100 times the cargo of a train.

But for quick delivery of high-value goods—such as products from consumer electronics makers HP Inc. and China’s TLC—shipping containers by rail is ideal, logistics companies say.

DHL says it would cost about $5,000 and take three weeks to send a 20-ton container by rail to Hamburg from Chengdu in southwestern China. By air, it costs $30,000 and takes a week; by ocean, $2,000 and seven weeks.

Logistics companies regard the trains as a breakthrough. Several had previously tried China-Europe rail freight but found time-consuming border checks and incompatible rail gauges to be prohibitive obstacles.

For inland Chinese manufacturing cities, the trains allow them to send goods directly west rather than east to coastal piers.

Thanks to China’s subsidies, Chengdu-based car dealer Xiao Lin said he only pays $1,000 to send a container filled with Maserati and Mercedes-Benz cars from the Netherlands by rail via DHL in just three weeks. The 10-week ocean delivery time deterred impatient Chinese buyers, he said. “It’s good for our business model.”

U.S. sports-equipment maker Core Health & Fitness, which has a plant in Xiamen in southeastern China, said the ability to meet rush orders by train has enabled it to win contracts with European gyms.

“The One Belt, One Road initiative changed everything,” said Steve Huang, chief executive for DHL Global Forwarding in China. He said customs checks are now minimal, and containers are quickly hoisted from one train to another where rail gauges are different.

Turloch Mooney, senior editor at IHS Markit said costs may fall as the market matures—which would be vital to the trains’ survival once Chinese subsidies end. Down the line, he said refrigerated containers could make rail attractive for pharmaceutical companies and food producers.

As container trains clanked through Alashankou this week, Mr. Wang, the deputy Communist Party secretary, was upbeat. “More trains will lead to more cargo, and the efficiency of the service will improve,” he said.

—Junya Qian contributed to this article.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #614 on: July 24, 2017, 08:53:18 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/5-maps-that-explain-chinas-strategy-2016-1?IR=T%2F%2F/#ethnolinguistic-groups-1
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #615 on: September 17, 2017, 09:13:42 PM »

Another Paradise Lost to China's Ambition
A Keriyan senior citizen picks Euphrates poplar tree branches in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
(China Photos/Getty Images)
Stratfor

The tale of the Silk Road is one of intrigue, war and cities lost. But within this complex and quixotic tableau, it is the story of China's Tarim Basin that best echoes the age-old warning: History is doomed to repeat itself.

The ill-fated river network comprises the Kashgar, Yarkant, Hotan and Aksu rivers, which stream from the glacial and snow melt of surrounding mountaintops to converge at Aral, where they merge into the Tarim River. The waterway then flows through the Taklamakan Desert, a sea of sand in the shadow of the Tianshan Mountains and one of the driest regions in the world. The name Taklamakan means "once you enter, you don't come out" — an accurate description, not just of the experiences of hapless ancient travelers but also of the river system whose waters never escape the desert.

The remains of the lost city of Niya lie deep in the Taklamakan Desert.
(International Dunhuang Project/Wikimedia Commons)

Few of the rivers that feed the Tarim flow year-round, particularly in recent decades as agriculture has strained the limited basin's supplies. But the burden farming has placed on the region's resources is hardly new. The westernmost reach of the Chinese world has long been essential to the country's aspirations of building a buffer against foreign invasion, and at the height of the Silk Road era, it provided the empire with access to lucrative trade networks that stretched across the Eurasian landmass. Sustaining the sizable populations needed to secure and defend the region naturally required funds and food, resulting in the adaptation of intensive agricultural practices and irrigation. From antiquity to modernity, this practice has caused rivers to run dry and lakes to vanish.

Even so, some areas of China have begun to make an effort to restore the vital waters. Nationwide environmental reforms, backed by growing popular support, have only bolstered this local initiative. But sprawling cotton farms, an emerging energy sector and the surrounding Xinjiang province's role as a link in Beijing's crucial Belt and Road Initiative could jeopardize the basin's nascent recovery.

By the Waters of the Taklamakan

Throughout history, the parched lands of the Taklamakan Desert have experienced some brief flashes of relief. Cities and kingdoms thrived near oases, creating stops along the Silk Road's northern branch. And where the Tarim River spilled its waters near the Kuruk-tagh ("dry mountain"), there was once a lake known by some as Lop Nur, and by others as the Puchang Sea. The body of water is estimated to have been somewhere between Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan in size, and it fed the Loulan Kingdom from 200 B.C. to 220 A.D. during the Han dynasty.

By 645, however, the settlement had been abandoned. According to recent sediment studies, its rapid collapse stemmed from the overuse of the region's water resources, which reached a level comparable to the desiccation of the Aral Sea taking place in this century. Lop Nur — and the Tarim Basin that fed it — simply wasn't up to the task of sustaining the needs of an empire. The westward expansion that the Han dynasty oversaw brought an unprecedented number of people to the region to live in fortified cities and trading posts. Large-scale irrigation emerged in the first century A.D., a novelty in a corner of the world where cultivation was confined to lands surrounding natural oases.

A satellite image shows the dried up lake of Lop Nur.
(NASA)
Growing Cotton in the Desert

Over a millennium later, the waters of the Tarim Basin are once again straining to meet the needs of the local population and economy. Already showing increasing levels of salinity — a sign of overuse — the waters began to face worse conditions in the latter half of the 20th century. Between 1959 and 1983, the rate of desert absorption of the Tarim Basin increased from 66 to 81 percent. Lop Nur, which had persisted in a diminished form as a "wandering lake," disappeared completely in 1964.

Many factors led to the unsustainable consumption behind these waterways' decline, but agriculture was undoubtedly the most culpable. The Chinese government has built numerous reservoirs and dams to alter the flow of the region's intermittently supplied rivers, including the Tarim, and today farming accounts for nearly half of Xinjiang's gross domestic product. Lately the region has only gotten thirstier. Throughout most of the past century, 60 to 80 percent of the land has been dedicated to growing grain, but by the 1990s the production of cash crops — primarily cotton — had skyrocketed.


Xinjiang's cotton industry is now caught in the middle of the tug-of-war taking place between China's geopolitical imperatives and the environment's limits. The region contributes more than 50 percent of China's total cotton production and about 10 percent of the world's supply each year — output supported by the Taklamakan Desert's water resources. At the same time, Xinjiang's population is expanding once again, and by some estimates it will maintain its double-digit growth through 2020. As a result, the pressure mounting on the Tarim Basin is unlikely to ease in the years ahead, even as the Chinese government sinks billions of yuan into restoring parts of the river.

Ironically, climate change has granted the Tarim River a temporary reprieve: Warming temperatures have accelerated the runoff from nearby glaciers, adding to its supplies in the short run. Still, this much-needed boost is finite. Current temperature projections indicate that glacial waters, which account for roughly 40 percent of the volume of rivers nearby, could permanently dry up in the long run.

Brimming With Discontent

To make matters even more complicated, the issue of water scarcity is closely intertwined with the fraught minority politics of Xinjiang — a region that China's Han majority shares with the Turkic Uighur minority. The Han control much of the area's cotton production through the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, which functions as a blend of paramilitary and business units. Such bingtuan systems have deep roots: In the final centuries B.C., Han troops were responsible for implementing the region's first massive irrigation and land reclamation projects. This "Tuntian" model of military colonization was highly successful, leveraging the power of the state to see through the massive and complicated undertakings needed to ensure that agriculture flourished in Xinjiang.

The Tuntian model still exists today, though it has given rise to a glaring imbalance between large quasi-military operations and small civilian farmers. While local family plots in the region rely on public infrastructure for access to water, subjecting them to usage regulations, bigger farms can afford to install their own pumps, which aren't necessarily beholden to the same laws. Meanwhile, the runoff from agricultural pursuits pollutes what water resources are left. Each of these issues disproportionately affects native Uighurs, an ethnic group that has traditionally relied on oasis-based smallholdings and animal husbandry to survive. Alterations in the water system are deeply disruptive to this way of life, and as water scarcity worsens in Xinjiang, so, too, may the discontent simmering among its Uighur community.

Such discord could certainly throw a wrench in Beijing's plans for Xinjiang. The region is a cornerstone of China's newest Silk Road, the sprawling Belt and Road Initiative. Through Xinjiang, Beijing hopes to connect its lands westward to Europe, by way of Central Asia, and southward to the Indian Ocean, by way of Pakistan. But doing so would require maximizing Xinjiang's output — including in cotton-based textiles — for export along these trade routes.

After nearly two decades of restoration efforts in the Tarim Basin, it is still unclear whether the the region's water resources will be able to shoulder their newest burden. After all, attempts to line canals and improve irrigation efficiency can only go so far when it comes to growing cotton in the desert. If Xinjiang maintains its current level of production, it will likely come at the expense of an ecosystem that boasts one of the highest concentrations of rare vegetative species in the world. And though it won't be the first time a nation's imperatives trump environmental conservation, it could be the last in the Tarim Basin if Beijing stretches the river's resources too far.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 7832


« Reply #616 on: October 26, 2017, 09:47:16 AM »

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/18/xi-jinping-speech-five-things-you-need-to-know

By contrast what are our 30 yr goals? 

I don't know of any unified vision for this?

I don't recall any from any politician.  We think in 2, 4 yr  cycles.

You carbon energy free by 2050 etc yada yada .......

By then the debt could be 30 trillion and we have 65% not working .

We could have a goal of turning us into a Spanish speaking country by 2050.

Atheism by 2050 the majority?

More females in the military then in law school?

The nation according to big tech far more then even now?

We are like a huge ship just drifting at sea................





Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #617 on: October 30, 2017, 11:29:26 PM »

It sounds a bit like you are being taken in my the siren's song of central planning there , , ,

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 7832


« Reply #618 on: November 26, 2017, 11:49:41 AM »

In Djibuti :

https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-displays-global-expansion-military-115118157.html

to protect their interests in Africa and of course, for peace keeping

 shocked shocked shocked
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 15533


« Reply #619 on: November 26, 2017, 12:31:15 PM »

In Djibuti :

https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-displays-global-expansion-military-115118157.html

to protect their interests in Africa and of course, for peace keeping

 shocked shocked shocked

Expect many more to pop up around the world.

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #620 on: December 30, 2017, 02:05:58 PM »

China’s Thin Red Line
Dec 27, 2017

 
By Jacob L. Shapiro
China declared war last week, though few seem to have noticed. The coming conflict will not be against North Korea, against which battle plans for a later fight are already being drawn. It will not be against the United States, despite the escalating tensions between them. It will not be against India, its adversary in a border dispute earlier this year. Nor will it be against South Korea, which defied Beijing by deploying ballistic missile defense systems. No, war was declared against enemies Beijing considers far more insidious and subversive than any nation-state: financial risk, poverty and pollution.

The Counteroffensive

If it seems as though I’m taking the metaphor too far, it’s worth noting that the declaration of war was, in fact, literal. During the Central Economic Work Conference, held from Dec. 18-20, the government identified 19 missions it would undertake in 2018. But against financial risk, poverty and pollution, Beijing described its future efforts as “effectively prosecuting rigorous war.”

It’s hard to quibble with Beijing’s assessment. Financial risk? China’s debt now stands at roughly 260 percent of GDP. Poverty? For all its wealth, China still has more than 500 million people living on less than $5.50 per day. Pollution? The government itself claims that more than 20 percent of Chinese farmland has been contaminated by pollution.
China has begun its counteroffensive, but as is often the case in war, the results have been mixed. New reform measures have been resisted in important sectors such as banking, energy and real estate. Even the battle cry against financial risk is a confrontation with resistance. On Dec. 19, the Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing decided to downplay its newfound emphasis on lowering debt as early as Dec. 8. Beijing now seems content to merely limit borrowing. Barely a month into his dictatorship, President Xi Jinping is already settling for half measures.

The poverty issue is inseparable from the finance issue. Unless China is prepared to distribute wealth with an iron fist – a last resort that China has not yet had to employ – then Beijing must balance between improving the financial health of the country and encouraging growth, all while making sure the traditionally poor interior provinces benefit from the country’s newfound wealth. Growth, after all, is a potential solution to the poverty problem. But debt is growing faster than growth, and more than half of new bank loans are being taken out to aid real estate speculation, not to form competitive businesses. So even as China makes compromises on reducing debt to stimulate growth, the economy is not growing as fast as it once was. The danger is that any number of the bubbles in the Chinese economy will pop well before the have-nots get a chance to share in its prosperity – and, in their vast numbers, revolt against the government.
 
(click to enlarge)

And then there is pollution, an admittedly overlooked issue at GPF that is affecting the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China. Taking the lead against climate change on the global stage may be good optics for Beijing, but it’s hard to reconcile with the fact that its cities are covered in haze and its food and water supply are so toxic that it is having to transform the way it grows and buys food.

Here, too, the government is taking radical steps toward reform. On Dec. 22, the South China Morning Post reported that in Guizhou province party officials will now base political advancement on environmental progress instead of on economic growth. Local environmental departments will reportedly be empowered to enforce new standards – perhaps they will call them the Green Guards.

Being Combative

Most outside observers viewed Xi’s coronation at the 19th Party Congress as evidence that China is emerging as a global power capable of challenging the United States. Far from it. If China is to go through the transformations Xi laid out in his speech at the Party Congress, the next few years in China are going to be extremely tumultuous. The reforms Xi means to enforce will create enemies to his own rule and factions whose interests are not served by supporting the CPC. Xi must retain the power, then, not only to press his agenda, but to eliminate potential enemies. If Chinese history is any indication, he must also cultivate scapegoats for the inevitable policy failures or just to contain popular discontent. Mao, in whose likeness Xi has fashioned himself to a certain extent, was an expert at this.

Xi has been more cautious than Mao, of course. Mao’s leadership was intentionally chaotic. Where the country’s interests were at stake, no individual was too dear to sacrifice, no number of people too large. If China is indeed reverting to an authoritarian dictatorship, then the purges of the past five years are just a prelude to more to come. If Xi is really following in Mao’s footsteps, then we must keep a close eye on the company Xi keeps.

Wang Qishan is a good example. A top lieutenant and former enforcer of Xi’s corruption purges, Wang was left off the politburo in the 19th Party Congress. It’s possible that, as some have argued, he was excluded because he had reached the age of retirement and that Xi was merely following protocol. But that is unlikely. Xi has bucked convention time and again when it serves his purposes. After all, he didn’t even name his successor, an act more politically taboo than allowing an elderly man to continue working.

It is also notable that Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire who fled to the United States, has made Wang one of his key targets, eviscerating him in the American press with allegations of corruption. The Guo riddle has bothered us for a while at GPF. If Xi is so powerful, how could Guo have been allowed to escape? Is Xi less powerful than we think? Did he want Guo to make these allegations for all to hear? Is there another explanation we haven’t considered?

If Xi follows the pattern of previous Chinese authoritarians, eventually he will purge the purgers. This presents a unique problem. He has already created enemies by enacting such controversial reform. If he crushes those enemies, he will invite even more. If he fails to crush them, the government – and therefore the Chinese state itself – could break apart. We expect Xi to crush his opponents, so we will need to look at the relationships with even his oldest confidants in a new light.

If this all sounds combative, that’s because it is. By its own admission, China is at war. It’s just not the war that everyone thinks China is preparing for. China has to win the war at home before it can win wars abroad. But if the early reforms are China’s thin red line, then the results of the first battles don’t look overly promising.

The post China’s Thin Red Line appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #621 on: January 04, 2018, 10:56:12 AM »

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2018/01/chinas-socially-networked-repression.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FrzYD+%28Global+Guerrillas%29
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 42478


« Reply #622 on: January 04, 2018, 03:45:59 PM »

second post

Stratfor Worldview
craftydog
TAKE THE TOUR
WORLDVIEW HOME

Search for ’’

No matches. Check your spelling and try again, or try altering your search terms for better results.
craftydog
Stratfor Worldview

    Forecasts

    Forums

    Snapshots
    Stratfor Snapshots

    These concise, timely reports shape our broader assessments. They identify the importance of singular events and explain how they fit into the bigger picture
    Assessments
    Stratfor Assessments

    From a foundational report to the most detailed analysis, our assessments cover every corner of the world. Reflections on daily events, guidance for the week ahead and forward-looking geopolitical evaluations are found here.
    Columns
    Stratfor Columns

    Written by Stratfor’s senior analysts, columns put our weekly reports into the proper context.

        Global PerspectivesGlobal Perspectives

        World-class analyses from Stratfor’s external Board of Contributors, network of global experts and international partners.
        Situation ReportsSituation Reports

        Swift and succinct accounts of breaking events and matters of geopolitical significance.
        MediaStratfor Media

        A compendium of Stratfor videos, maps, infographics and interactive content.
    Explore & Discover
        Themes
        Commodities: A Cautionary Tale
        A Crude Recovery
        European Disintegration
        Echoes of the Cold War
        Broken Contracts in the Middle East
        China in Transition
        See More
        Topics
        Iran's Arc of Influence
        The New Silk Road
        Brexit and Beyond
        The Kurdish Struggle
        Tracking U.S. Naval Power
        The Syrian Civil War
        See More
        Series
        Water Scarcity
        Considering NATO
        Handling a Nuclear North Korea
        Kremlinology
        The Future of America's Space Strategy
        Framing China's Future
        See More
        Regions & Countries
        Yemen
        Americas
        Europe
        Venezuela
        India
        France
        See More

snapshots

Jan 4, 2018 | 20:32 GMT
3 mins read
China: A Friendlier Environment for Green Initiatives
(Stratfor)
Connections

    Articles

    Regions & Countries

    Topics

    Themes

Print
Save As PDF
Listen
Forecast Update

In our 2018 Annual Forecast, we wrote that China would accelerate its fiscal reforms in 2018, channeling more money toward the regional level and implementing reforms, such as environmental taxes and enforcing existing environmental regulations. As the new calendar year has arrived, that forecast has proven accurate with the implementation of initiatives designed to achieve precisely those goals.
See 2018 Annual Forecast

China is setting its sights on a new growth model, and putting environmental protection as one of the country's top priorities. In 2017, China focused intently on better enforcement of its environmental policies. From increasing inspections and fines throughout the industrial sector to setting new goals for integrating new energy vehicles into the domestic fleet, Beijing has worked to bring environmental protection measures under more national, centralized control. In 2018, China is poised to move full steam ahead in continuing this strategy.

The new year brought the kick-off date for two new initiatives. On Jan. 1, numerous automobile models suspended manufacturing, taking more than 500 versions of different vehicles off the assembly line. The cars targeted included domestic producers as well as joint ventures with major automobile manufacturers, such as Volkswagen. But even with the large number of models leaving production, Chinese officials have noted that the market share of the models being banned is limited. By coupling the new initiative with an extension of tax credits for electric vehicles, Beijing is looking to not only increase the number of electric cars on the road, but to improve their quality and actual environmental benefit as the country looks to eventually ban fossil fuels.

The second new initiative is a tax aimed at environmental protection, which also took effect Jan. 1. An environmental tax — along with several other changes to the country's tax code — is a key component of the ongoing fiscal reform aimed at bringing the country's socio-economic shift in line with its objective for healthier, more balanced growth. Announced in October 2017 and passed in December, the tax will be based on the amount of pollutants emitted by specific operations. Though the tax sets national standards and general guidance, it is similar to many other environmental policies that have taken effect in recent years. Like others, the new policy provides ample room for discretion in enforcement and tax rate, and regions are allowed to tailor their specific regulations to local circumstances. The new policy effectively brings an end to a one-time pollutant discharge fee that China has collected since 1979, and has an estimated potential to collect $7.7 billion annually throughout the country. That revenue will be kept at the local level, both to help incentivize local governments to enforce environmental protection measures, and as part of Beijing's ongoing fiscal rebalance away from solely focusing on economic development.

While the recent past has brought evidence of greater success in the enforcement of environmental policies, this newest environmental tax will be especially difficult to implement from a technical standpoint. The numerous potential hurdles ahead of local governments include inadequate or unclear standards, as well as potential shortages in staff or funding. Ambiguities in how pollutants are tracked and measured increase the risk that compliance and corruption could limit the policy's successful implementation. Regions such as Hebei and the northeast, where pollution is the heaviest, will be key locales to watch. The ability to hold on to the revenue may incentivize local compliance, but local governments will need to strike a careful balance to keep from hurting local industries and employment situations, as well as avoid corruption.
Stratfor
YOU'RE READING
China: A Friendlier Environment for Green Initiatives

Logged
Pages: 1 ... 11 12 [13] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!