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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 125119 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #600 on: January 18, 2018, 01:44:35 PM »

Exactly so.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #601 on: January 20, 2018, 12:51:50 PM »

With US Trade, China Plays a Dangerous Game

January 19, 2018

The U.S. has promised to get tougher on China for almost a year now. On the campaign trail, presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that, under his administration, China would not be allowed to take advantage of the U.S. through its trade practices. The tough talk ended once Washington realized it needed China’s help resolving the North Korea crisis. And now that that appears to have hit a dead end, Trump may soon make good on the threats he issued during the presidential campaign.


(click to enlarge)

The United States would have the upper hand in a trade war, but Beijing is not without weapons of its own. U.S. companies have made a fortune in China over the past 20 years, and they would like to make more over the next 20 years. Beijing knows this and is sending a message to those companies that they access the Chinese market at the pleasure of the Chinese Communist Party. Last week, the Shanghai branch of the state cyberspace administration shut down Marriott International’s website in China because the hotel chain listed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries in a customer questionnaire. The questionnaire set off a firestorm on Chinese social media that eventually made its way to China’s Foreign Ministry. A spokesperson for the ministry said that if foreign businesses wanted to continue to do business in China, they should “respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by Chinese law, and respect the Chinese peoples’ feelings.”

Then, on Jan. 12, China’s aviation authority singled out the second-largest U.S. airline, Delta, for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website. It called for an investigation and an immediate apology.

The businesses were not chosen randomly. Marriott owns 569 properties in the Asia-Pacific region, 300 of which are in China. The chain plans to build or acquire at least 300 more hotels there, which would mean nearly 10 percent of its properties would be located in China. For its part, Delta is in the midst of a multi-year restructuring of its Asia-Pacific operations. It plans to move its main hub in the region from Tokyo to Shanghai – the “hub of the future” in the words of Delta’s CEO.

The significance of U.S.-China trade relations shouldn’t be understated. Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, economic dependence has been the only thing tying U.S. and Chinese interests together. China sees the coming storm and is demonstrating what it can do if the Trump administration gets tough on trade, the area where the U.S. can hurt China the most. China is playing a dangerous game, but at this point it has no other choice
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #602 on: January 21, 2018, 06:49:43 AM »

Australia: Australia’s prime minister is visiting Japan, where he is expected to sign a visiting forces agreement. Some reports say this is a prelude to a formal alliance. How long has this been in the making? Is it a stark change of policy, or is it the formalization of aligned Australian-Japanese interests? How will China respond?
•   Finding: Talks on a VFA have been ongoing since 2014 but picked up steam early last year following Donald Trump’s election. This is a landmark step for Japan, since it would be its first VFA (its agreement with the U.S. is somewhat different) and one that would add further momentum to its remilitarization. Notably, Japan is also negotiating a VFA with the United Kingdom, with which it is also eager to more regularly conduct joint drills. But it’s not a shift in trajectory; both Japan and Australia have gradually been building toward this. The basic utility of a VFA is to put formal structures in place that make it easier to conduct joint drills, position materiel at each other’s bases and so on. The functional goal of the emerging “quad” framework (involving the U.S., Japan, Australia and India) is to have these sorts of technical matters ironed out so that the quad can be elevated into a more formal alliance quickly should the need arise.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #603 on: January 21, 2018, 07:27:18 AM »

second post



For These Young Entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley Is, Like, Lame

China’s startup founders used to see a pilgrimage to tech’s mecca of innovation as a rite. Now, not so much.
By Li Yuan 
Updated Jan. 18, 2018 11:39 p.m. ET

Last week, a group of Chinese startup founders and investors made a pilgrimage to Silicon Valley. They toured a Tesla assembly line, complained to senior Apple executives about its slow app-reviewing process in China and brunched on baked eggs and avocado at Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner’s hilltop mansion.


Silicon Valley has loomed large in China’s tech world in the past two decades. China’s internet industry started by copying Silicon Valley technologies and business models. That’s why there’s the Google of China ( Baidu  Inc. ), the Uber of China (Didi Chuxing Technology Co.) and the Groupon of China (Meituan-Dianping). Some of the biggest Chinese internet companies, such as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding  Ltd. , were funded by Silicon Valley money. Translations of best-selling books by Silicon Valley sages, such as “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel and “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz, became instant best sellers in China too.



 
Fast Money

China leads the world in e-commerce and mobile payments—far surpassing the U.S., the world's largest economy.



For These Young Entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley Is, Like, Lame


So the trip to Silicon Valley is something of a rite for ambitious Chinese startups and investors looking for inspiration in global tech’s mecca of innovation.

But for most of the 18 entrepreneurs and investors, and especially for those in their 20s and 30s, last week’s visit largely failed to impress. To many in the group, northern California’s low-rise buildings looked shabbier than the glitzy skyscrapers in Beijing and Shenzhen. They can’t believe Americans still use credit cards and cash while they use mobile payment for almost everything back home, including settling bets for their Texas Hold’em games one night in Palo Alto.


Google and Intel Beware: China Is Gunning for Dominance in AI Chips

Chinese companies want to take the lead in building processors that use artificial intelligence to make phones, cars and home appliances interact with us more seamlessly. And they have a lot going in their favor.
Click to Read Story
 

In 2018, Tech’s Cowardly Lions Need Courage

In 2017, Silicon Valley did some soul-searching about tech’s role in spreading fake news that exacerbated social divisions in the U.S. Chinese tech firms should do some soul-searching too, given they work with an authoritarian government skilled in using technologies to try to control society.

Click to Read Story
 



 



They didn’t see the shared bikes that are ubiquitous in China’s cities nor could they order meal-delivery service at any hour. Office buildings don’t use facial recognition to gain entry.

As China’s internet industry has grown larger and its companies have become more competitive and confident, Silicon Valley’s allure is fading.

“The age that Silicon Valley serves as the teacher and China follows step by step is becoming the past, at an accelerating pace,” Li Gen, founder of online media startup QbitAI in Beijing, wrote about the trip on his company’s official WeChat social-media account.

That feeling was reinforced throughout their trip. Mr. Milner, an early Facebook investor who has also backed big Chinese startups, told his brunch guests that China leads the world in mobile payments, e-commerce and online services.

At several meetings, presentations included slides showing the volumes of China’s online meal delivery and mobile payments are many times that of the volumes in the U.S. Their slides also said e-commerce makes up more than 20% of China’s retail revenue while making up about 10% in the U.S.

“I’ve read about this before from the media and wasn’t sure if it’s for real,” says Ding Jichang, founder and chief executive of Mobiuspace, a mobile app developer. “Now I know we’re not self-delusional.”


That Chinese entrepreneurs had to travel to the U.S. for a shot of confidence about their tech prowess isn’t so strange. China blocks Facebook, Google’s search engine and some other U.S. internet services while Chinese companies are hitting barriers in the U.S. too. As a result, the biggest companies in the two markets rarely compete head-to-head.

One startup founder didn’t recognize the famous “like” button in the Facebook giftshop. On a giant digital world map showing where Facebook’s two-billion-plus monthly active users are, China is a big black blotch. A company employee told them that the only other country strangling access to Facebook is Iran (North Korea is largely disconnected from the global internet).

Last week’s tour was put together by Kai-Fu Lee, chief executive of Beijing-based venture firm Sinovation Ventures and former head of Google China. Mr. Lee believes that China has the talent and competitiveness to go head-to-head with the U.S. in the next important tech frontier—artificial intelligence.





Still, Mr. Lee thinks Chinese tech entrepreneurs have much to learn and should be less focused on financial results and on going public. He tried to expose the group to the more creative side of Silicon Valley, arranging for them to spend an afternoon listening to futuristic ideas at Singularity University. The think tank’s co-founder Peter Diamandis wowed the group with his asteroid-mining venture, Planetary Resources Inc., in which Sinovation Ventures is an investor.

They were wowed again when meeting with two startup founders funded by Coatue Management LLC, a hedge fund. One of the founders, a serial entrepreneur working on an artificial-intelligence chip startup, told the group that his firm has spent $30 million in two years on research and development and won’t have a product until later this year.

While the few older 40-somethings in the group admired Silicon Valley’s idealism, the younger ones were less impressed. They said that moonshot ideas and long development times don’t work in China because investors are less patient and copycats are so rife that businesses have to get products to market superfast.

“China is like a startup. The U.S. is like a big corporation,” says Mr. Ding, whose company is developing an app to improve video-watching even on cheaper smartphones popular in emerging markets. “China runs very fast, tweaking along the way. The U.S. runs at a steady pace, doing a lot of research and development. It’s hard to tell who will win in the end.”

Write to Li Yuan at li.yuan@wsj.com
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