End Times and Current Events

General Category => Asia => Topic started by: Psalm 51:17 on December 26, 2011, 05:19:48 pm

Title: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 26, 2011, 05:19:48 pm


China, Japan to Back Direct Trade of Currencies

Japan and China will promote direct trading of the yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for companies involved in the exchanges, the Japanese government said. Japan will also apply to buy Chinese bonds next year, allowing the investment of renminbi that leaves China during the transactions, the Japanese government said in a statement after a meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing yesterday. Encouraging direct yen- yuan settlement should reduce currency risks and trading costs, the Japanese and Chinese governments said.

China is Japan’s biggest trading partner with 26.5 trillion yen ($340 billion) in two-way transactions last year, from 9.2 trillion yen a decade earlier. The pacts between the world’s second- and third-largest economies mirror attempts by fund managers to diversify as the two-year-old European debt crisis keeps global financial markets volatile.
“Given the huge size of the trade volume between Asia’s two biggest economies, this agreement is much more significant than any other pacts China has signed with other nations,” said Ren Xianfang, a Beijing-based economist with IHS Global Insight Ltd.

Title: China moving to more convertible yuan: Zhou
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 31, 2011, 09:19:28 am

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's central bank governor argued in comments published on Saturday that Beijing does not control the yuan's flow across borders as tightly as some think and that it is natural for the currency's trading band to be widened over time.
Zhou Xiaochuan said in an interview with Chinese magazine Caixin that China did not fare badly on an International Monetary Fund measure of currencies' convertibility under the capital account.
But he stopped short of calling for a fully convertible currency.
"If the highest standard of measurement is to have wholly unrestricted convertibility, then so many developed countries have not achieved 100 percent full convertibility," Zhou told the magazine.
Investors increasingly expect that China will give them more freedom to trade the tightly controlled yuan.


Title: Biggest China banks ramp up loans in Dec.: report
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 06, 2012, 08:18:24 pm
Biggest China banks ramp up loans in Dec.: report
6 January 2012, by China Bureau - Shanghai (MarketWatch)

China's four largest banks issued CNY210 billion (US$33 billion) of new yuan loans in December, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Friday, without citing a source.

The report said CNY80 billion of the new yuan loans were issued at the last five working days of the month, because a surge in the banks' deposits allowed them to extend more credit.

New yuan deposits in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. , Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. , China Construction Bank Crop. and Bank of China Ltd. increased by CNY1.25 trillion in December,

the largest monthly increase in nearly three years, said the report.

A large portion of the new deposits came from the Ministry of Finance, the report added, without elaborating.

Between January and November, financial institutions in China issued around CNY6.84 trillion of new yuan loans.

Newspaper website: http://www.21cbh.com

Title: S&P: China developers getting closer to "downgrade thresholds"
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 08, 2012, 02:30:40 pm
S&P: China developers getting closer to "downgrade thresholds"



HONG KONG (Reuters) - Tough operating conditions and heightened refinancing risks in China's property market are pushing more developers closer to their downgrade thresholds, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in a report on Thursday.

In the report titled "The Worst Is Yet To Come For Chinese Developers In Asia's Shaky Property Sector," S&P warned that more credit downgrades are likely in the next six months.

"Many developers in China may be at increased risk of refinancing due to weaker property sales, high funding costs, and tightened liquidity. And that will increase the pressure on ratings," S&P credit analyst Bei Fu said in a news release.

The company in the past month downgraded Yanlord Land Group, Coastal Greenland, Yuzhou Properties and Zhong An Real Estate. The rating agency says small developers that are highly concentrated in certain cities and projects are vulnerable to policy risk while bigger, diversified developers stand to benefit.


Title: China foreign investment falls 6.1% in March
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 17, 2012, 05:11:52 pm
China foreign investment falls 6.1% in March
16 April 2012, by V. Phani Kumar - Hong Kong (MarketWatch)

China received $11.76 billion as foreign direct investment in March, 6.1% lower than in the year-earlier period, according to data released Tuesday.

The inflow was greater than the $7.7 billion FDI in February.

FDI inflows in the first three months of this year stood at $29.5 billion, down 2.8% from the amount received in the year-earlier quarter.

Title: Re: China foreign investment falls 6.1% in March
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2012, 03:20:06 pm
China home prices fall in March, raising concerns
18 April 2012, by Chris Oliver - Hong Kong (MarketWatch)

March home prices in China fell in a majority of the cities tracked by the government, data released Wednesday showed, with one analyst saying the price activity suggested a deepening slowdown in construction activity.

Out of the 70 cities surveyed by the National Bureau of Statistics, 46 reported weaker prices from the previous month, up slightly from 45 cities that reported declines in February.

Prices were little changed in 16 cities, while 8 cities saw prices gains, according to bureau’s data.

Compared to prices from March 2011, 38 cities saw lower property values, compared to 27 cities that reported year-on-year price drops in February, according to the survey.


Title: China buying oil from Iran with yuan
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 08, 2012, 12:24:51 pm
China buying oil from Iran with yuan
8 May 2012
China is buying crude oil from Iran using its currency the yuan.
Oil transactions are usually settled in dollars but US sanctions make it difficult for Iran to accept payments in the US currency.
Iran is using the revenue to buy goods and services from China, Mohammed Reza Fayyad, Iran's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, confirmed.

China is the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil exports.
The US has been pressuring Beijing to join an international boycott of Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The Iranian ambassador's comments, reported by the Reuters news agency, confirmed a report in the Financial Times that claimed that Unipec - a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned oil firm Sinopec - was buying the oil through a trading unit called Zhuhai Zhenrong.

Meanwhile, China has been trying to promote usage of yuan as an international currency as a rival to the dollar, including the establishment of a new offshore trading centre in London alongside the existing centre in Hong Kong.

Title: China’s economy continues to cool off - Some analysts see cause for optimism ami
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 11, 2012, 04:15:56 pm
China’s economy continues to cool off - Some analysts see cause for optimism amid otherwise bleak data
9 June 2012, by Chris Oliver and Sam Mamudi - Hong Kong (MarketWatch)


Chinese economic data for May released Saturday showed a broadening deterioration in conditions, with the numbers coming on the heels of a surprise interest-rate cut meant to help the nation’s slowing economy.

China’s industrial production grew 9.6% in May from a year earlier, versus 9.3% growth in April, the Statistics Bureau said.

The result missed a 9.9% rise expected in separate surveys by Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters.

Fixed-asset investment in urban areas was up 20.1% in the January-to-May period, compared to a 20.2% rise in the January-to-April period.

The result outpaced expectations for a 20% rise, according to Dow Jones Newswires survey.

On the inflation front, consumer and wholesale price gains eased more than expected.

The May consumer price index rose 3%, cooling from a rise of 3.4% in April, while the producer price index fell 1.4%, signaling a deepening of the deflation seen in April’s 0.7% contraction.

The data compared to forecasts for a 3.2% increase for the CPI and a 1.1% contraction in wholesale prices.

“These data confirm a softening inflation in China, which will provide more room for further policy stimulus measures and utility price hikes,” said Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts in an email to clients Saturday.

“Moreover, the widening gap between year-on-year CPI and [wholesale] inflation suggests that profit margin could be improved for downstream manufacturing sectors.”

The analysts predicted CPI could fall to 2.5% in the coming months, but suggested that, absent a global financial crisis, there could be a rebound after August “on lower bases and a recovery of growth.”

Meanwhile, retail sales rose 13.8%, compared to a 14.1% gain in April, and weaker than analyst expectations for a 14.2% rise.

Analysts on Friday had been bracing for a disappointing batch of data, cued in part by a surprise interest-rate cut Thursday by People’s Bank of China (PBOC), marking its first policy easing since the 2008 global crisis.

Title: Re: China’s economy continues to cool off - Some analysts see cause for optimism ami
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 11, 2012, 04:37:20 pm
China data show growth slowing, analysts say
11 June 2012, by Chris Oliver - Hong Kong (MarketWatch)


China’s economy appears to be stabilizing at a slower level of growth, according to analysts, though government stimulus could be supportive in the second half of the year.

Citigroup analysts said on Monday the May data indicated that economic growth in the second quarter is set to cool to 7%-7.5% on an annualized basis unless there is a pick up in the June data.

While the May data release over the weekend included export growth that was much stronger than expected, some other sets disappointed, including a 13.8% rise in retail sales, compared to a 14.1% gain in April, and weaker than analyst expectations for a 14.2% rise.

See report on China data release. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinese-trade-numbers-up-but-economy-sags-2012-06-10

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 11:02:25 am

China loans rise could show government steps gain traction
Reuters – Mon, Jun 11, 2012 7:51 AM EDT

By Lucy Hornby and Langi Chiang

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's bank lending in May rose more than expected, suggesting fast-tracked infrastructure projects were creating loan demand and that measures to counter a sharpening economic slowdown may be taking affect.

New loans figures followed a flurry of May data at the weekend, which reinforced the view China is heading for its sixth quarter in a row of slowing growth and helping to explain a surprise interest rate cut last week - Beijing's boldest action yet to underpin economic activity.

The central bank said on Monday that banks issued more than 793 billion yuan ($124 billion) in fresh loans in May, up from 682 billion yuan in April and stronger than 720 billion yuan expected by financial markets.

"The rise is due to monetary easing and, more importantly, the government's quickening approval for new investment projects," said He Yifeng, an economist at Hongyuan Securities in Beijing.


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 31, 2012, 09:23:53 am

China’s fears grow over eurozone crisis
China has expressed deep alarm at the escalating crisis in Europe and warned against austerity overkill as Europe's crumbling demand sends shock waves through Asia.


Premier Wen Jiabao told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Europe must "strike a balance" between fiscal tightening and measures to promote growth. "Europe's debt crisis has continued to worsen, giving rise to serious concerns in the international community. Frankly, I am also worried," he said.

His comments mark a shift in Chinese policy. Beijing has until now backed austerity across Euroland, but the severity of China's own downturn has begun to rattle policymakers.

Exports of electronic goods to Italy crashed 43pc in July from a year earlier, and sales to Germany fell 11pc. Caixin reported that processing trade to Europe fell 21pc.

The country's two largest shipping groups COSCO and China Shipping both reported a drastic losses today. The Shanghai composite index of stocks threatened to break below 2000 today, the lowest since the Lehman crisis.

Mr Wen asked for clarification over whether Italy and Spain would adopt "comprehensive rescue measures" needed to unlock the EU bail-out machinery - and open the door to bond purchases by the European Central Bank.


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 21, 2012, 10:51:10 am


FirstEnergy Chief Sees Canada Clearing Cnooc-Nexen

Cnooc Ltd. (883)’s $15.1 billion bid for oil and natural-gas producer Nexen Inc. (NXY) will probably get approval from the Canadian government, said FirstEnergy Capital Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jim Davidson.

“My personal belief is they will find a way to allow this transaction to go forward,” Davidson said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office.

Nexen shareholders approved the $27.50-a-share takeover in a vote today. The deal still needs approval from the U.S., U.K. and Canadian governments. Canada reviews foreign acquisitions valued at more than C$330 million ($338 million) to ensure there’s “net benefit” to the country.

The government said Aug. 29 it had received Cnooc’s application to buy Nexen. Canada has 45 days to examine the deal and may extend that deadline by 30 days. Cnooc, China’s largest offshore oil and gas producer, announced the agreed offer July 23.

Closely held FirstEnergy, based in Calgary, is an oil and gas boutique investment dealer with about 130 employees in Calgary and London. It ranked 10th in Canada for equity and equity-linked sales last year, raising $772 million in 11 deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm ranks 22nd this year with four deals.


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Mark on February 11, 2013, 07:24:03 am
40 Ways That China Is Beating America

China is wiping the floor with the United States on the global economic stage, and most Americans are so clueless that they have absolutely no idea what is happening.  The number one global economic superpower is in an advanced state of decline, and the number two global economic superpower is becoming stronger with each passing day.  Unless something truly dramatic happens, it is only a matter of time before China overtakes America and become the dominant economic force on the planet.  In fact, China is already exercising economic superiority over the United States in a whole host of ways.  China produces more goods than we do, China does more total trade in goods with the rest of the world than we do, China produces more cars than we do, China produces more gold than we do, China consumes more energy than we do, China produces more coal than we do and China produces more steel than we do.  Every single year, we buy far more from them than they buy from us, and this has made them exceedingly wealthy.  Our politicians regularly make trips over to China to beg them to lend us back some of the money that they have taken from us.  Today, we owe China more than a trillion dollars and the Chinese are sitting on the biggest pile of foreign currency reserves that the world has ever seen.  All of this wealth has fundamentally transformed the nation of China over the past couple of decades.  Just check out the startling photographs of China from space in this article that show how China dramatically changed between 1992 and 2010.  As China continues to become stronger and as America continues to become weaker, will our children some day wake up in a world where the Chinese are telling them what to do?

China became the number one exporter of goods back in 2009, but now China has reached another milestone on the road to global economic dominance.

When you total up all exports of goods and all imports of goods, China now conducts more total trade in goods with the rest of the globe than the United States does.

China’s emerging role as the dominant player in global trade is shaking things up all over the planet.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article…

China’s growing influence in global commerce threatens to disrupt regional trading blocs as it becomes the most important commercial partner for some countries. Germany may export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to France, estimated Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jim O’Neill.

“For so many countries around the world, China is becoming rapidly the most important bilateral trade partner,” O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs’s asset management division and the economist who bound Brazil to Russia, India and China to form the BRIC investing strategy, said in a telephone interview. “At this kind of pace by the end of the decade many European countries will be doing more individual trade with China than with bilateral partners in Europe.”
If current trends continue, what will the world look like in 10 years?

Will the Chinese dominate the entire global economy?

What would that mean for America?

Sadly, Chinese dominance is already having very serious negative consequences in this country.

The following are 40 ways that China is beating America…

#1 As I mentioned above, when you total up all imports and exports of goods, China is now the number one trading nation on the entire planet.

#2 During 2012, we sold about 110 billion dollars worth of stuff to the Chinese, but they sold about 425 billion dollars worth of stuff to us.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#3 Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade that comes to more than 2.3 trillion dollars.

#4 China now has the largest new car market in the entire world.

#5 China has more foreign currency reserves than anyone else on the planet.

#6 China is the number one gold producer in the world.

#7 China is also the number one gold importer in the world.

#8 The uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team were made in China.

#9 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.

#10 The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.

#11 The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.

#12 One of the reasons it is so hard to export stuff to China is because of their tariffs.  According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.

#13 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.

#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#15 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#16 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#17 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

#18 China now produces more than twice as many automobiles as the United States does.

#19 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.

#20 After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government.  The price for entering into many of these “joint ventures” was a transfer of “state of the art technology” from General Motors to the communist Chinese.

#21 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.

#22 The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.

#23 China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment, but the number one U.S. export to China is “scrap and trash”.

#24 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now more than 30 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#25 China now consumes more energy than the United States does.

#26 China is now the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world.

#27 China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.

#28 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.

#29 There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.

#30 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.

#31 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.

#33 China now produces 11 times as much steel as the United States does.

#34 China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.

#35 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

#36 A recent investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services found more than one million counterfeit Chinese parts in the Department of Defense supply chain.

#37 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles.  But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.

#38 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.

#39 The average household debt load in the United States is 136% of average household income.  In China, the average household debt load is 17% of average household income.

#40 The Chinese have begun to buy up huge amounts of U.S. real estate.  In fact, Chinese citizens purchased one out of every ten homes that were sold in the state of California in 2011.

Are you starting to get the picture?

And in the years ahead China is projected to become even more powerful economically.

In fact, the IMF is projecting that China will surpass the United States and become the largest economy on the planet in 2016.

That is just three years from now.

Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that if current trends continue, the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

Could you imagine a world where China has vastly more economic power than the U.S. does and dictates the direction of the global economy?

That is where we are heading.

The dragon is rising and the torch is being passed.

So how do you think all of this will end?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below…


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 11, 2013, 04:46:31 pm


China Is America’s #1 Cyber Threat: U.S. Govt. Report

A new report by the National Intelligence Estimate confirms that China is America's biggest cyber threat.
The report is classified, but people with knowledge of the findings spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity.
"The United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country’s economic competitiveness," according to the article. "The report, which represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive."
But other industries have been targeted as of late, including the media and the U.S. Federal Government.
In recent weeks, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg disclosed cyber attacks traced back to China. Twitter was also hacked, but the origins of that attack remain unknown. But perhaps the most disturbing case of cyber-espionage involves the Federal Reserve and Department of Energy.
Related: Federal Reserve Gets Hacked!
These types of attacks threaten the economic competitiveness of America. While the intelligence report does not put a dollar figure on the financial impact of these cyber attacks, some experts believe it is upwards of $10 billion, according to WaPo.

For decades, China has been trying to speed up its technical prowess by both stealing technology and data from America and buying up U.S. companies. A recent Wall Street Journal article details how China has been trying to acquire American assets at a faster and faster clip.
While many of the bigger deals pursued by China have been rejected by the U.S. government due to security concerns, many of the smaller acquisitions have managed to be approved.
"Last year, Chinese buyers agreed to spend more than $10 billion in 46 deals to acquire U.S. companies or stakes in U.S. firms, according to Dealogic," the WSJ reports. "The volume was higher than the Chinese total from 2009 through 2011 combined."
The sale of battery maker A123 in January to China's largest automotive components manufacturer for roughly $250 million is the latest deal to get approved by the U.S. government. A123 makes batteries for commercial electric cars, but it also develops technology used by the military. The acquisition of a company with military ties was worrisome; thus the sale to the Chinese firm only involved A123's commercial division. But many experts assert that there is much overlap between the technologies used for commercial and military purposes.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 14, 2013, 02:53:49 pm
Wake-Up Call for America: China’s Currency Growing Worldwide


Sasha Cekerevac writes: While many people are aware that the Chinese economy is now the second-largest in the world, China’s currency, the yuan or renminbi, is also moving upward in the world rankings in terms of global transactions.
According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the world’s global payment system, the yuan has moved up from 20th in the rankings in January 2012 to 14th position in December 2012. The Chinese yuan is now above the Danish kroner in terms of global payments. (Source: “RMB Tracker: January 2013,” Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication web site, January 24, 2013.)

That is a significant move and an indication that the Chinese economy is becoming more integrated worldwide.
Why does this matter to the average American?
For a long time, America’s economy has been the global leader and the U.S. dollar has been the global reserve currency. Every other nation was seen as secondary to America’s dominance. This is now starting to shift.
As the U.S. national debt level continues to grow, the strength of the Chinese economy is enabling considerable efforts to be made at developing globally interconnected markets that can survive and thrive without the U.S. dollar.
While the Chinese economy is certainly not perfect, it doesn’t have to be. With the rising level of U.S. national debt, the Chinese economy just needs to be relatively better than the U.S. economy, though not in absolute terms.
The point is that the rise of the Chinese economy over the past decade and the looser restrictions that the Chinese government is placing on the yuan mean that global businesses and investors have an alternate choice to the U.S. dollar.
With the U.S. national debt level rising to mountainous status, business leaders and investors will begin to raise serious questions about the viability of America’s currency.
No longer is America the only formidable player in town.
Many investors have begun piling into the Shanghai Composite Index recently, believing that the Chinese economy is about to rebound. Chinese government officials have continued loosening restrictions on foreigners investing in that nation, which continues to help internationalize the yuan.
Recently, there are reports that Taiwanese investors might be able to invest directly in Chinese stocks and bonds. The China Securities Regulatory Commission has continued to eliminate any hurdles for foreign investors. (Source: Lim, W., “Shanghai Composite Enters Bull Market on Economic Growth,” Bloomberg, January 29, 2013.)
The fewer the restrictions, the more international investors and businesses will continue to adopt the yuan; this will establish greater legitimacy and potential for the Chinese economy over the long run.
China’s actions and the growing popularity of the yuan should be a wake-up call for America’s politicians. The Chinese economy will continue to expand over the next decade, along with the growing use of the yuan for international business transactions.
The real issue regarding the rising U.S. national debt level is the politicians in Washington who continually believe that somehow the U.S. national debt will magically disappear so long as they keep spending money.
While I’ve heard talk about reducing government expenditures, I see little evidence of any real change or action.
As American politicians bicker and fight with each other, the U.S. national debt level continues to grow, the Chinese economy continues to expand, and the Chinese yuan continues to increase its global use.
Einstein once stated that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Politicians talk a good game; but talk is cheap, and action counts.
The U.S. national debt continues to rise, and more businesses globally are using the yuan to conduct transactions. These are not ideas or theories, but hard facts.
Unless we decide as a nation to get our fiscal house in order, do not be surprised to see the Chinese yuan continue rising in status globally.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 16, 2013, 09:41:05 pm


U.S. hopes to finalize IMF vote reforms soon: U.S. official

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Obama administration is hoping to move ahead shortly with legislation to finalize IMF voting reforms agreed in 2010, which will make China the third-largest voting member in the global financial institution, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday.
The official, speaking at the end of a Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers in Moscow, said the administration was actively discussing legislation with relevant members of Congress.
The 2010 package cannot be finalized until it gets the go-ahead from the United States, which has effective veto power over the historic deal that was meant to have been approved by all IMF member countries in October last year, but was stalled by the U.S. presidential election.
It is part of a broader plan by the IMF to give emerging market powers greater voting clout in the organization.
China, Brazil and other large emerging market economies have long contended that the IMF's voting set-up unfairly benefits Europe and the United States, which dominated the IMF since its founding after World War Two.
(Reporting By Lesley Wroughton, editing by Mike Peacock)

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 17, 2013, 02:17:35 pm

China's power plays in the Middle East

02/15/2013 16:57

The Chinese New Year – the Year of the Snake – began auspiciously for the People’s Republic this week with China eclipsing the US as the world’s biggest trading nation. Its combined imports and exports reached $3.87 trillion in 2012, edging past the US’s $3.82 trillion in goods.

The American economy remains twice the size of that of China, but as the latter hurtles toward parity, its thirst for energy knows no limits. While the US is still by far the world’s largest consumer and net importer of energy, China is catching up fast. At the same time, developments in the international energy market, in particular new technologies and the discovery of huge shale oil and gas reserves in the US, mean that the America is moving toward energy independence, while China is becoming ever more dependent on Middle East oil. Within the next 20 years its consumption of Middle East oil is expected to dwarf that of the US.

That shift from West to East, say analysts, creates a common interest between the world’s only superpower and the world’s emerging superpower for regional stability.

Shraga Biran, a Tel Aviv-based lawyer and entrepreneur with diverse energy interests, who heads the The Institute for Structural Reforms, a think tank that promotes structural and political reforms based on technological advances or economic, social changes, argues that the shifting map of the global energy market creates historic strategic opportunities..

“The US is becoming energy independent, fulfilling its dream for energy security, while China has taken the place of the US in being dependent on Middle East oil, importing over 60% of its consumption from the region,” says Biran.

“Moreover, the two superpowers are coordinating and cooperating in the exploitation of new oil production technologies supplied by the American giants that have been the supply forefront of oil to the US in the past and today to China. The fate and the solution of the problems in the Middle East will be from now on dependent on the renewed interest of the US in the Middle East and its new partner in the energy game – China.”

Biran sees this as no less than a “historical political revolution” taking place in the Middle East. “It is,” he says, “creating an opportunity that must not be missed, an opportunity for peace in the region thanks to an alignment of interests that did not exist in the past between the two powers, the US and China, representing the West and the rising East.”

That alignment of interests, says Biran, derives inter alia from an interdependence between the two powers based on the one hand on the US’s military dominance in the region and protection of maritime routes vital for the transport of oil and on the other the fact that China is not only the US’s second largest trading partner, but also holds more than $1.2 trillion in US debt.


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 13, 2013, 08:54:16 pm
China will keep the world on edge
Commentary: State Council needs a steady hand on the tiller

The 30 or so officials that the National People’s Congress will this month name as new five-year members of that powerful cabinet body will oversee a sweeping economic transformation with global consequences. How smoothly they manage China’s planned transition from an unsustainable growth model that’s been based on exports and state-directed investment toward an open, consumer-driven economy will have vast implications for the rest of the world.

The 30 or so officials that the National People’s Congress will this month name as new five-year members of that powerful cabinet body will oversee a sweeping economic transformation with global consequences. How smoothly they manage China’s planned transition from an unsustainable growth model that’s been based on exports and state-directed investment toward an open, consumer-driven economy will have vast implications for the rest of the world.


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 23, 2013, 11:57:25 am
With US-Russia relationship toxic, Moscow looks to strengthen ties with China

China's new President Xi Jinping chose Moscow, where he arrived Friday for a three-day visit, to be his first foreign destination, highlighting strengthening ties between China and Russia.

It's probably no coincidence that newly-minted Chinese leader Xi Jinping chose Moscow, where he arrived Friday for a three-day visit, to be his first foreign destination.

Over the coming weekend Mr. Xi will huddle in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and other Russian officials to discuss the usual list of items on the two countries' burgeoning bilateral trade agenda: Russian gas, oil, arms, and engineering goods in exchange for Chinese consumer products. Official sources say they expect about 30 agreements to be signed, mainly in the field of energy.

But underlying that is a growing sense that the two countries are being driven together by shifting geopolitical winds, which are alienating each from the West while intensifying the need for more reliable partnerships. As Xi arrived in Moscow Friday, Mr. Putin stressed that ties between Russia and China have never been stronger, and they are set to grow warmer still.


Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 25, 2013, 12:23:22 pm
China, France vow to promote 'multipolar' world

Chinese, French leaders vow to seek 'multipolar' world as French president visits China


BEIJING (AP) -- China's President Xi Jinping and France's President Francois Hollande pledged to push for a world free of domination by any superpower Thursday as the French leader visited the Chinese capital on a mission to boost trade amid his country's worsening economic woes.

Both leaders stressed their desire for a "multipolar" world that would dilute Washington's influence — though they did not mention the U.S. in their comments.

"China and France are both great countries with a strong sense of independence," Xi said at a news conference, adding that the two countries would "actively promote a multipolar world and the democratization of international relations."

Xi and Hollande, who is traveling with a delegation representing scores of French businesses, spoke to reporters after meeting at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

"China and France both want a multipolar world. We want there to be a balance. We refuse a world of powers, and of superpowers," Hollande said. "When China and France agree on a position, we can drive the world."

Officials from the two countries signed an agreement for China to buy 60 planes from France-based Airbus. In addition, French nuclear giant Areva signed an agreement with China National Nuclear Corp. to build a used fuel treatment and recycling facility in the country.

French businesses hit by domestic declines are hoping for additional deals in China in areas including car making, nuclear energy and food exports. France registered a $34 billion trade deficit with China last year and accounts for less than 2 percent of the Asian giant's foreign trade.

"There is an imbalance in our foreign trade, and we hope to correct that," Hollande said. "Not by reducing our investment and exports, but by increasing them further, and we will be discussing this throughout our meetings and this trip."

At a second news conference later in the day, Hollande said his talks with Xi had touched on human rights and the recent string of self-immolations among Tibetans protesting Chinese rule.

"Let me say again, we discussed all the issues. Moreover, it was in a very frank and mutually respectful manner. This entirely serves the friendly relations between the people of our countries," he said.

China is extremely sensitive to criticisms of its human rights record and uses diplomatic and economic means to retaliate against countries it sees as lacking in respect. China lashed out at France after Hollande's predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, met with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in 2008.

Chinese officials have also shunned high-level exchanges with British counterparts since Prime Minister David Cameron met the Dalai Lama last May, and ties with Norway remain frozen following the awarding of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident writer Liu Xiaobo.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 26, 2013, 04:57:11 pm
Turkey becomes partner of China, Russia-led security bloc
ALMATY (Reuters) - NATO member Turkey signed up on Friday to became a "dialogue partner" of a security bloc dominated by China and Russia, and declared that its destiny is in Asia. "This is really a historic day for us," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty after signing a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary General Dmitry Mezentsev. "Now, with this choice, Turkey is declaring that our destiny is the same as the destiny of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries."

China, Russia and four Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - formed the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan. Since then, Central Asia's former imperial master Russia has watched with unease China's economic expansion in the resource-rich region, with Beijing investing billions of dollars in oil and gas and issuing large loans to local governments.

Turkey has displayed interest in closer ties with the SCO at a time when it is upset by the slow progress of accession talks with the European Union. Ankara began talks on joining the EU in 2005 but has only completed one of the 35 policy areas, or "chapters", every candidate must conclude to be allowed entry due to disagreements largely over the divided island of Cyprus. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called Turkey's wait to join the bloc "unforgivable" and has accused Brussels of not being a fair or genuine negotiating partner.

While China vies with Russia and the West for access to Central Asia's vast natural resources, some analysts view the SCO as a potential counter-balance to NATO. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan speak Turkic languages, and while pledging to cooperate with the SCO economically and in fighting terrorist threats and drug trade together, Davutoglu stressed common historic roots. "Turkey will be part of a family, which is composed of the countries which lived together not for centuries - for millennia," he said. Turkey's "dialogue partner" status, also granted to Sri Lanka and ex-Soviet state Belarus, is below that of observer status held by India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan which participate in SCO meetings but have no right to vote.

Davutoglu, upbeat and smiling, stressed however that this status was "just the beginning". "I hope at the next summit in (the Kyrgyz capital) Bishkek we will be present, as well as at ministerial meetings," Davutoglu said. "This is the beginning of a long way, walking together, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder."

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 31, 2013, 11:37:44 am
China chemical leak in Shanghai 'kills 15'

A chemical leak of liquid ammonia from a cold storage unit in Shanghai has killed 15 people, according to China's official news agency.

There were also 26 people injured in the leak at around 11:00 local time (03:00 GMT), Xinhua reports.

Local media published pictures of firefighters at the scene.

China's industrial safety regulations are sometimes ignored by local authorities focused on boosting economic development, observers say.

Local media say that the incident occurred in the city's northern district of Baoshan at a refrigeration unit owned by a seafood company, AFP reports.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 12, 2013, 09:16:37 pm
USDA: Chicken Processed in China Can be Sold in the US Without Labels to Say So

Catching up to this news, which dropped quietly just before the holiday weekend: In a first, the US Department of Agriculture has given permission for chicken products processed in the People’s Republic of China to be sold in the United States without labeling that would indicate where the chicken products came from.

The news was broken by Politico, whose writers obtained USDA documents before the agency released them, and then followed up by the New York Times, with some no-holds-barred analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that food safety in China is well below US standards. (See this post for stories of toxic vinegar, glow-in-the-dark pork, and more.) So it may be a surprise to hear that birds grown and slaughtered outside that country, but cooked and made into products in it, would be acceptable for sale here. Especially since the plants that USDA has approved for sales into the US market will not have USDA inspectors on site.

Here is the USDA notice, in the form of an audit issued by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

This development fascinates me; it touches so many issues that have been percolating through food production and food safety.

First, there’s the decade of maneuvering between the US and China over meat exports in both directions. China, along with a number of other Asian nations, blocked US beef imports in 2003 after a Washington state cow tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy,  “mad cow” disease. Then in 2004, avian influenza flared in Asia; the US blocked imports of Chinese poultry, and in 2009 China brought a restraint-of-trade action against the US in front of the World Trade Organization. It won in 2010 — at about the same time that it accused the US of dumping chicken parts at below-market prices and slapped American poultry with tariffs of more than 100 percent.

The audit process that approved the Chinese plants began after the WTO decision; the USDA inspected, asked for corrective actions, inspected again, and finally approved the deal on Aug. 30. The audit allows China to sell back to the US only poultry that was raised and slaughtered in the US, or (as the audit documents say) a country “that FSIS determined to have a poultry slaughter inspection system equivalent to the US system.” But the magazine World Poultry notes: “Experts suggest that this could be the first step towards allowing China to export its own domestic chickens to the US.”

Second, there are the most recent moves around ensuring that imported food is safe. Most of the food consumed in the US is overseen not by USDA but by the Food and Drug Administration, which has been struggling for years with guaranteeing the safety of imports. Reports by the Government Accountability Office, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Pew Charitable Trusts and Center for Science in the Public Interest all found that the FDA could not keep up with the task; estimating that its inspectors were able to lay hands on no more than 2 percent of imported foods. The massive Food Safety Modernization Act tried to revamp the system for policing imports, which make up about 15 percent of the US diet; last July the FDA proposed regulations under that new law which said the best way forward was for companies handling imports to police their foreign suppliers themselves. The FDA rule is not final, but the USDA China audit seems to be following a similar pattern.

Third, there’s the already-contentious topic, “country of origin labeling,” known as COOL for short. The USDA has been implementing COOL for the past few years, requiring that retailers label meats, fish and shellfish, fruits and vegetables, and some nuts if they originated outside the US. Much of the US meat industry has been fighting COOL in court; the most recent hearing (covered by Food Safety News) was Aug. 27. Yet according to the USDA, the Chinese processing allowed under the new audit elides COOL requirements, because — no matter what is done in processing — the chicken meat originated in the US.

Last, there’s how neatly this spotlights the global nature of food production, especially the way that inexpensive transport has changed how food is raised and made. Just to reiterate what’s going to be allowed: chickens raised in the US (or “equivalent” countries), and slaughtered in the country where they were grown, are going to be shipped across the globe to be turned into processed products, and then shipped back to be sold. Developing-world labor, and containerized shipping (so well explained by Rose George in the new book Ninety Percent of Everything), are both so inexpensive that it is cheaper to send a chicken nugget around the world to be ground, formed and breaded than to do all that in the place where the chicken was raised.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Kilika on September 13, 2013, 04:49:00 am
Debtors don't have much choice do they? They do the bidding of their creditors.

...containerized shipping...are both so inexpensive...

Wait, what? Inexpensive? I thought oil prices are about high as they have ever been! So who's lying?  ::)

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 30, 2013, 07:47:16 pm
China $3 trillion local government debt stirs alarm

By Aileen Wang and Koh Gui Qing

BEIJING (Reuters) - Calls for China to accelerate financial reforms grew louder on Monday after figures showed its indebted local governments owe nearly $3 trillion in a debt build-up that some analysts called alarming.

The National Audit Office, China's state auditor, said in a report local governments had total outstanding debt of 17.9 trillion yuan at the end of June, a sum that includes contingent liabilities and debt guarantees.

The debt load is in the middle of market forecasts and leaves China with total government debt of around 58 percent of gross domestic product.

Analysts said this suggested China is not on a verge of a fiscal crisis - the figure is less than half the debt burdens in Japan and Greece where public finances are strained - but warned the world's second-biggest economy needed to urgently reduce debt if it wanted to safeguard growth and financial stability.

This is especially because the long-awaited report showed some governments were using new loans to repay more than a fifth of their debt, and that authorities still relied heavily on selling land to pay off old loans.

China's mountain of local government debt is among the biggest threats to its economy as investors worry a good part of it cannot be repaid since most of the money borrowed had paid for non-lucrative public infrastructure.

The prospect of defaults have raised fears that they could saddle Chinese banks with a load of bad debt and destabilise China's financial system.

"While China's total government debt remains low by the OECD standards, the pace of the rise is still alarming," ANZ economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao said in a note.

"This national debt audit result could indicate that China's local government debt almost doubled in about 2-1/2 years."


Beijing acknowledges the risks and have promised to curtail fiscal dangers by revising policies. New policies include letting investors pay for the building of some public works, allowing governments to tap more financing sources, and pegging performances of governments to total debt incurred.

Monday's results are a first step in China's latest efforts to tidy its public finances. Beijing had ordered the audit in August, the first of such since 2011, amid growing public scepticism about the accuracy of official debt data.

Despite reiterations from Beijing that China's local government debt levels had stabilised in the past three years, Monday's results showed debt incurred by local authorities was up 67 percent compared to the 2011 audit.

However, the audit is more comprehensive than 2011's because it includes money borrowed by more than 33,000 township governments. In all, the auditor reviewed the finances of nearly 36,300 local governments to compile the latest figures.

Prior to Monday, the most pessimistic market estimates of what local governments owe have been close to $4.1 trillion.

"China's government debt risks are in general under control, but some areas have certain dangers," the state auditor said.

It said risks include fast rising debt levels, with county governments seeing the quickest increase in leverage, heavy debt burdens in some unnamed regions and sectors, and government dependence on land sales to repay loans.

About 37 percent of debt owed by provincial, city and county governments are backed by land sales revenues, it said. Of all debt directly incurred by China's central and local governments, 5.4 percent are overdue and have not been repaid.

"Although current overall risks of local government debt are under control, risks would definitely increase sharply if the debt continues to rise so quickly," said Pan Xiangdong, chief economist at Galaxy Securities in Beijing.

"We expect the (central) government to restrict the borrowing behaviours of local governments."

Under China's laws, local governments are barred from borrowing directly from banks or investors to protect the country's fiscal health.

Yet despite not being able to borrow, local authorities are responsible for most of China's public spending but take only half of fiscal income. Local governments in 2010 received 48 percent of total fiscal income but were responsible for 80 percent of public spending.

The funding shortfall has forced local authorities to set up firms over the years to borrow on their behalf, leading to a rapid rise in government debt outside official balance sheets.

"We expect the government to unveil detailed plans for fiscal reform," said Shen Jianguang, an economist with Mizuho Securities in Hong Kong.

"The key to solving the debt (problem) depends on changing the distribution system for fiscal income between central and local governments, as well as (changing) local governments' over-reliance on land sale revenues." Shen said.


No credit rating agency was immediately available for comment on Monday about whether the figures would have an impact on China's sovereign credit rating.

Fitch, which cut China's long-term local currency credit rating to A-plus from AA-minus in April, estimated then that China's government debt was equivalent to 49 percent GDP.

At 58 percent of GDP, China's total debt is a long way from Japan's 240 percent and Greece's 160 percent, ANZ data showed.

Still, if Beijing forces local governments to reduce their debt and borrowings in coming months, that may deal another blow to China's already slowing economy, ANZ warned.

As it is, China's $8.5 trillion economy is forecast to grow at its slackest pace in 14 years this year at 7.6 percent.

To keep its economy on an even keel, Ting Lu from Merrill Lynch-Bank of America said Beijing should aim instead to pick up some of the debt burden from local authorities, and replace short-term borrowings with longer-duration loans.

"To maintain both economic growth and financial stability, China should avoid simplistic deleveraging and debt reduction," Lu said. ($1 = 6.0686 Chinese yuan)

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2014, 10:59:52 am
China’s Treasury Holdings Climb to Record in Government Data

China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased $12.2 billion to a record $1.317 trillion in November, data released on the Treasury Department’s website showed.

The figures, scheduled for release at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Washington, were inadvertently posted on the Treasury’s website. Japan’s holdings rose $12 billion to $1.186 trillion, the figures showed.

China’s swelling foreign-exchange reserves, reported today to have reached a world record $3.82 trillion at the end of December, may sustain the nation’s appetite for U.S. debt. Capital inflows and intervention to limit gains in the yuan have contributed to China building up currency holdings that are a third of the global total.

“Large interest-rate differential and steady appreciation of the renminbi contributed to large arbitrage inflows into China, a situation made all the more easy with China’s increasing financial integration and renminbi internationalization,” UBS AG Hong Kong-based economist Wang Tao wrote in a report on China’s data.

China’s pace of foreign-exchange reserve accumulation will be slower this year due to the Federal Reserve’s monetary tapering, likely widening of the yuan’s trading band and tighter controls on arbitrage activities, Wang said.

Early Release

A Treasury spokeswoman said that because of an error, limited amounts of data were posted on the department’s website ahead of the official release, and were removed as soon as it was discovered. The full November 2013 data will be released as previously scheduled at 9 a.m. tomorrow, she said.

The yuan this week reached 6.0406 per dollar, the strongest since the government unified the official and market exchange rates at the end of 1993. The latest data on China’s foreign-currency holdings contrasted with Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, saying in November that it was “no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves.’

The U.S. data showed net long-term portfolio investment outflow was $29.3 billion in November after a revised inflow the month before of $28.7 billion, the Treasury’s figures showed. The total cross-border outflow in November, including short-term securities such as Treasury bills and stock swaps, was $16.6 billion, after a revised inflow of $188.1 billion in October, the data showed.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) gained 2.8 percent in November. Investors in Treasuries lost 0.4 percent that month, according to Bloomberg World Bond (BUSY) Indexes. The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the greenback’s value against 10 major currencies weighted by liquidity and trade flows, gained 0.9 percent in November.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 24, 2014, 10:03:01 am
Is The China Bank Run Beginning? Farmers Co-Op Unable To Pay Depositors

While most of the attention in the Chinese shadow banking system is focused on the Credit Equals Gold #1 Trust's default, as we first brought to investors' attention here, and the PBOC has thrown nearly CNY 400 billion at the market in the last few days, there appears to be a bigger problem brewing. As China's CNR reports, depositors in some of Yancheng City's largest farmers' co-operative mutual fund societies ("banks") have been unable to withdraw "hundreds of millions" in deposits in the last few weeks. "Everyone wants to borrow and no one wants to save," warned one 'salesperson', "and loan repayments are difficult to recover." There is "no money" and the doors are locked.

The locked doors of one farmers' co-op...

Via China CNR,

Shadow Banking has grown remarkably...

...in recent years, opened dozens of Yancheng local "farmers mutual funds Society", these cooperatives approved the establishment by the competent local agriculture, and received by the local Civil Affairs Bureau issued a "certificate of registration of private non-enterprise units."

As savers are promised big returns...

Deposit-taking and lending by cooperatives operated operation, and to promise savers, depositors after maturity deposits not only can get the interest, you can also get bonuses.

But recently things have turned around...

However, beginning in early 2013, Yancheng City Pavilion Lakes region continue to have a number of co-op money people to empty, many savers deposits can not be cashed, thus many people's lives into a corner.

Dong-farmers in Salt Lake Pavilion mutual funds club, a duty officer's office, told reporters, because many people take money, put out loans difficult to recover, leading to funding strand breaks.

Rough Google Translation:

Salesperson: ...the money has been slowly falling and in the end is difficult to ask for money, right? And now there is no money coming in, now people don't want to save money, and take all the money.

Reporter: But it's their money, they should be able to...

Salesperson: I know I should [given them money]; however, when the turn started, their is no money, we get cut off and lenders and borrowers took off...

One depositor blames the government (for false promises):

The bank has a deposit-taking his staff, he would say that he is a government action that has the government's official seal, to give you some interest, as well as the appropriate dividends, because we believe that the government, so we fully believe him , we put the money lost inside, who thought in November, Xi Chu who told us that something was wrong.

But don't worry - this should all be settled by 2016...

Yu Long Zhang: we put all of his certificates of deposit are received out. You are only responsible for the loan out of the money back to the people against. The people's money has been invested in other projects go, we have to be tracked to ensure no loss of capital assets, can dispose of his assets disposed of, can recover quickly come back.

Reporter: There is a specific timetable yet?

Yu Long Zhuang: 2014 cashing out the entire program.

Reporter: When did all of these things can be properly resolved?

Yu Long Zhuang: the latest is 2015, 2015, all settled.

So, for the Chinese, their bank deposits have suddenly become highly risky 2 year bonds...

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 24, 2014, 10:08:17 am
Two Of China's Biggest Banks Have Stopped Lending At Some Of Their Branches

Branches of Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have stopped lending amid the country's current liquidity squeeze, according to Caixin Online. 

The two banks, are part of the country's Big Four. Bank of China was reportedly having a hard time meeting loan-to-deposit requirements before the liquidity squeeze and it plans to resume lending on July 15.

Meanwhile, ICBC's headquarters set a cap on lending, but what was unusual was that "headquarters had cut down on the quotas to make room for its own operations," according to Caixin. Other sources however said this wasn't a major problem.

Chinese interbank rates, or the rates at which banks lend to each other, began spiking before the Dragon Boat festival earlier this month.

The People's Bank of China alleviated some of the pressure by injecting liquidity into some banks and saying that it would use various tools like short-term liquidity operations to help stabilize rates.

But it's important to remember that the "PBOC promised more liquidity but not enough to support the equity markets or enough to drop rates below 4%," according to Robert Savage at FX Concepts.

And the Chinese central bank's initial decision to let rates peak is still being interpreted as its way of punishing certain banks that had runaway credit growth. From Société Générale's Wei Yao:

The PBoC makes clear that it wants more responsible and less risky behavior from financial institutions, including the strengthening of liquidity and asset-liability management, and calls on large banks to help stabilize markets. Secondly, the PBoC calls on financial institutions to balance liquidity and profitability and other business objectives according to macroprudential requirements. Lastly, it calls on financial market participants to strengthen market discipline, particularly related to Shibor.

Jim O'Neill said China was never at risk of a genuine liquidity crunch. But there definitely are concerns of a credit bubble so we will be following these developments closely.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/some-chinese-banks-halt-lending-2013-6#ixzz2rFKPCHuI

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 26, 2014, 03:59:07 pm

The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse – Global Financial Crisis Next?

 By Michael Snyder, on January 20th, 2014

Did you know that financial institutions all over the world are warning that we could see a "mega default" on a very prominent high-yield investment product in China on January 31st?  We are being told that this could lead to a cascading collapse of the shadow banking system in China which could potentially result in "sky-high interest rates" and "a precipitous plunge in credit".  In other words, it could be a "Lehman Brothers moment" for Asia.  And since the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, that would be very bad news for the United States as well.  Since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, the level of private domestic credit in China has risen from $9 trillion to an astounding $23 trillion.  That is an increase of $14 trillion in just a little bit more than 5 years.  Much of that "hot money" has flowed into stocks, bonds and real estate in the United States.  So what do you think is going to happen when that bubble collapses?

The bubble of private debt that we have seen inflate in China since the Lehman crisis is unlike anything that the world has ever seen.  Never before has so much private debt been accumulated in such a short period of time.  All of this debt has helped fuel tremendous economic growth in China, but now a whole bunch of Chinese companies are realizing that they have gotten in way, way over their heads.  In fact, it is being projected that Chinese companies will pay out the equivalent of approximately a trillion dollars in interest payments this year alone.  That is more than twice the amount that the U.S. government will pay in interest in 2014.

Over the past several years, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England have all been criticized for creating too much money.  But the truth is that what has been happening in China surpasses all of their efforts combined.  You can see an incredible chart which graphically illustrates this point right here.  As the Telegraph pointed out a while back, the Chinese have essentially "replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system" in just five years...

Overall credit has jumped from $9 trillion to $23 trillion since the Lehman crisis. "They have replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system in five years," she said.

The ratio of credit to GDP has jumped by 75 percentage points to 200pc of GDP, compared to roughly 40 points in the US over five years leading up to the subprime bubble, or in Japan before the Nikkei bubble burst in 1990. "This is beyond anything we have ever seen before in a large economy. We don't know how this will play out. The next six months will be crucial," she said.

As with all other things in the financial world, what goes up must eventually come down.

And right now January 31st is shaping up to be a particularly important day for the Chinese financial system.  The following is from a Reuters article...

The trust firm responsible for a troubled high-yield investment product sold through China's largest banks has warned investors they may not be repaid when the 3 billion-yuan ($496 million)product matures on Jan. 31, state media reported on Friday.

Investors are closely watching the case to see if it will shatter assumptions that the government and state-owned banks will always protect investors from losses on risky off-balance-sheet investment products sold through a murky shadow banking system.

If there is a major default on January 31st, the effects could ripple throughout the entire Chinese financial system very rapidly.  A recent Forbes article explained why this is the case...

A WMP default, whether relating to Liansheng or Zhenfu, could devastate the Chinese banking system and the larger economy as well.  In short, China’s growth since the end of 2008 has been dependent on ultra-loose credit first channeled through state banks, like ICBC and Construction Bank, and then through the WMPs, which permitted the state banks to avoid credit risk.  Any disruption in the flow of cash from investors to dodgy borrowers through WMPs would rock China with sky-high interest rates or a precipitous plunge in credit, probably both.  The result?  The best outcome would be decades of misery, what we saw in Japan after its bubble burst in the early 1990s.

The big underlying problem is the fact that private debt and the money supply have both been growing far too rapidly in China.  According to Forbes, M2 in China increased by 13.6 percent last year...

And at the same time China’s money supply and credit are still expanding.  Last year, the closely watched M2 increased by only 13.6%, down from 2012’s 13.8% growth.  Optimists say China is getting its credit addiction under control, but that’s not correct.  In fact, credit expanded by at least 20% last year as money poured into new channels not measured by traditional statistics.

Overall, M2 in China is up by about 1000 percent since 1999.  That is absolutely insane.

And of course China is not the only place in the world where financial trouble signs are erupting.  Things in Europe just keep getting worse, and we have just learned that the largest bank in Germany just suffered " a surprise fourth-quarter loss"...

Deutsche Bank shares tumbled on Monday following a surprise fourth-quarter loss due to a steep drop in debt trading revenues and heavy litigation and restructuring costs that prompted the bank to warn of a challenging 2014.

Germany's biggest bank said revenue at its important debt-trading division, fell 31 percent in the quarter, a much bigger drop than at U.S. rivals, which have also suffered from sluggish fixed-income trading.

If current trends continue, many other big banks will soon be experiencing a "bond headache" as well.  At this point, Treasury Bond sentiment is about the lowest that it has been in about 20 years.  Investors overwhelmingly believe that yields are heading higher.

If that does indeed turn out to be the case, interest rates throughout our economy are going to be rising, economic activity will start slowing down significantly and it could set up the "nightmare scenario" that I keep talking about.

But I am not the only one talking about it.

In fact, the World Economic Forum is warning about the exact same thing...

Fiscal crises triggered by ballooning debt levels in advanced economies pose the biggest threat to the global economy in 2014, a report by the World Economic Forum has warned.

Ahead of next week's WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the forum's annual assessment of global dangers said high levels of debt in advanced economies, including Japan and America, could lead to an investor backlash.

This would create a "vicious cycle" of ballooning interest payments, rising debt piles and investor doubt that would force interest rates up further.

So will a default event in China on January 31st be the next "Lehman Brothers moment" or will it be something else?

In the end, it doesn't really matter.  The truth is that what has been going on in the global financial system is completely and totally unsustainable, and it is inevitable that it is all going to come horribly crashing down at some point during the next few years.

It is just a matter of time.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Kilika on January 27, 2014, 03:59:24 am
Interesting article. An incredibly complex topic with SO many factors in play, it's hard to pin down who really is doing what. Personally, I'd expect the Chinese as a policy, would be seeking to "pump and dump" the US, take whatever assets they can get their hands on, and run to the bankruptcy courts. That's how western business does it, so the Chinese are just doing what the west has been doing all along.

I do agree that the current situation isn't sustainable. It's clear now that a "debt-based economy" only work for the main lenders (and the big banks just keep getting "fined"wink wink and promising changes and nothing changes). Everybody else loses. Watch how this all plays out with China.

Scripture makes it clear what happens when the people are motivated by the love of money. As Jesus says, what people sow is what they will reap, no matter what their "financial advisers" tell them.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 27, 2014, 10:23:38 am
Proverbs 11:1  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Pro 11:4  Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Pro 11:15  He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 14, 2014, 01:54:04 pm
China plans the world's longest undersea tunnel

China is planning another engineering marvel: a tunnel more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel underneath Bohai Bay


At more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel, China's latest mega project is not short of ambition.

A 76-mile-long tunnel will run between the northern city of Dalian with Yantai, on the east coast.

"Work could begin as early as 2015 or 2016," said Wang Mengshu, an expert at the Chinese academy of Engineering, to the China Daily.

He added that the new tunnel will knock 800 miles off the current route between the two cities.

It will also form a vital link in a high-speed rail line from China's frozen north to the tropical island of Hainan, in the south.

China has a history of epic engineering projects stretching back to the Great Wall. More recently it has built the world's largest high-speed railway network, longest bridges, and several of its tallest skyscrapers.

Even so, the new £22 billion sea tunnel will present several challenges. Engineers will attempt to bore three tunnels - one for cars, one for trains and one for maintenance - through the hard rock, 100ft below the sea bed.

Vertical shafts will be dug on islands along the route to provide ventilation.

But the area is prone to earthquakes and the tunnel will traverse two major fault lines. In 1976, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the nearby city of Tangshan killed hundreds of thousands.

Experts warned that excavation work through an active fault needs special attention.

"The government is being cautious about the project
," said a leading researcher on the tunnel at East Shandong University, who asked not to be named.

"We proposed this idea of a tunnel 20 years ago and many research teams have been looking at it since.

"We set up a special group to study the Channel Tunnel. In fact, every undersea tunnel engineer in the world has learned from the Channel Tunnel because it is the best example in the world. We learned some construction techniques and also some ways of financing our tunnel."

The Channel Tunnel, dug between 1987 and 1991 showed that bores could excavate undersea at high pressure. But technology has improved to such an extent that much more ambitious projects are possible.

Longest transport tunnels in the world* 

1. Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland – land railway tunnel beneath Alps connecting Uri and Ticino, opens 2016 – 35.5 miles

2. Seikan Tunnel, Japan – undersea railway tunnel connecting islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, opened 1988 – 33.5 miles

3. Channel Tunnel, UK/France – undersea railway tunnel connecting Folkestone and Coquelles, opened 1994 – 31.4 miles

4. Lötschberg Base Tunnel, Switzerland – land railway tunnel beneath Alps connecting Berne and Valais, opened 2007 – 21.5 miles

5. New Guanjiao Tunnel, China – land railway tunnel beneath Guanjiao Mountains connecting Xining and Golmud, opens 2014 – 20.3 miles

* excludes urban metro tunnels

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 17, 2014, 10:17:50 pm
Christianity's Churchianity's giant sleeper - China

Churches — both legal and illegal — are booming in China. Some view them as a welcome counterpoint to rampant materialism. Others see ghosts of a colonial past.
By Alex Jürgen Thumm

It was my last Sunday morning in China, my last chance to experience church in a Communist country where, as far as I could tell, Christianity was basically forbidden. It was 2011, and I had been in Beijing for five weeks to study Mandarin. In that time, I hadn’t seen a single cross, church or Bible. In fact, I read at customs that you couldn’t bring in more than four Bibles from abroad. I had no idea that I was in the third-largest Christian country in the world.

In Liangmaqiao, a Beijing neighbourhood that’s home to the foreign and the wealthy, I arrived at the 21st Century Hotel, where the Beijing International Christian Fellowship (BICF) holds services. The parking lot was full of Rolls-Royces and BMWs bearing Jesus-fish decals. At the building entrance, two parishioners acting as doorkeepers asked me for ID — by government order, only foreigners may attend church. I had forgotten my passport, so the doorkeepers made me sign a slip of paper attesting to my alien status.

Inside, 3,000 people packed into various auditoriums, each offering worship in a different language. I opted for the Mandarin service. Imagine an evangelical megachurch of hundreds of Chinese people with American passports. There was an excited but orderly choir, rock music and long, passionate praying. The Chinese-Californian minister preached about outreach and marriage. I recognized most of the songs from my Canadian Baptist upbringing; they had just been translated into Mandarin.

After I’d spent a couple of hours watching the service on jumbo-sized screens (which provided the clearest view), my first megachurch experience came to an end. Just before I managed to escape, someone wanted to talk. This was to be expected — I was one of three white people in the congregation. She was a teacher, she said, from the Philippines. But once we left the hotel and had walked a few blocks, she confessed she was actually a missionary. It was too risky to say so in the church auditorium, which was likely bugged, she said. She asked me directly whether I could secure a church sponsorship for her in Canada. We exchanged e-mail addresses, but I never heard from her again.

'Misconceptions abound about China, and that’s no less the case when it comes to the country’s Christian population.'

Misconceptions abound about China, and that’s no less the case when it comes to the country’s Christian population. Many assume a Communist country that is officially atheist would allow no religion. (Mao Zedong once said “religion is poison.”) But religious freedom is guaranteed in the 1978 constitution — or at least what the government considers “normal religious activity,” occurring in government-sanctioned places of worship serving one of the five official faiths: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism. Religion is on the rise in China, with one-third of people claiming an affiliation. To all my Chinese friends’ surprise, there are as many as 130 million Christians in China; the only countries with more are the United States and Brazil. Churchgoers in China outnumber those in all of Europe.

Given figures like these, understanding China’s relationship with Christians is essential to predicting the future of Christianity globally. Whether Chinese Christians refuse or accept state-sanctioned religion, or whether the state itself loosens or tightens its restrictions on the faithful will in turn shape the international body of Christ. In other words, what happens in China won’t simply stay in China. David Wang, co-founder of the Hong Kong-based mission agency Asian Outreach, says Chinese people are busy planting churches abroad; Metro Vancouver alone is home to over 100,000 Chinese Christians. “It’s now the era of ministry from China,” he told Christianity Today magazine.

Christianity and missionaries have been present in China — on and off, officially and covertly — since the eighth-century Tang dynasty. A further wave of tolerance for missionary work washed in during the 13th-century Mongolian Yuan dynasty. This was a time when the Chinese referred to Muslims, Jews and Christians all by the same name, hui hui — a stark contrast in a country that now considers Catholicism and Protestantism as two separate religions.

During a walking tour of Shanghai’s French Concession, I learned about the Taiping Rebellion, which took place between 1850 and 1864. It led to 20 million deaths and, interestingly enough, the foundations for Chinese communism. The cause for all the bloodshed? A certain Hong Xiuquan announced he’d had a vision that revealed he was Jesus’ brother. Over time, he gathered tens of thousands of armed followers seeking to establish the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

Contemporary Chinese Christianity can probably be traced to 1951, with the founding of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, one of two state-sanctioned Protestant organizations. Its three “selves” are self-governance, self-support (financial independence from foreigners) and self-propagation (homegrown missionary work). The principles were meant to assure the government that the church would be loyal to the People’s Republic of China.

Perhaps ironically, today’s Christianity was also shaped by the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, when religion was banned, faith leaders persecuted and places of worship destroyed or converted for secular use. Amid this upheaval, secret house churches sprang up, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement went underground (and was officially restored in 1979) and today’s church elders came of age.

More recently, in 2007, 70 leaders of illegal house churches convened in Wenzhou to develop seven core values. Several of them are distinctly Chinese. For example, intentional non-denominationalism reflects the Chinese value of wholeness and oneness.

The United Church of Canada has a long history with China, beginning in the mid-19th century with three missions led by the Presbyterian Church, one of the United Church’s founding denominations. Missionaries such as Very Rev. James Endicott, the United Church’s second moderator, carried this work into the 20th century. Endicott’s missionary son, Rev. James G. Endicott, later drew controversy for his support of the Chinese Communist Party.

'Perhaps ironically, today’s Christianity was also shaped by the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, when religion was banned . . . '

Gary MacDonald told me about his 19 years of Christian life in China, beginning in 1992. As a United Church global mission worker, he lived in three different rural areas educating teachers with the Amity Foundation, one of China’s largest relief and development agencies and a United Church partner. In these partially illiterate rural communities, being known as a Christian was both a title and a standard. Sermons were over an hour long, and church meant giving, singing, praying spontaneously and forgiving neighbours’ Cultural Revolution betrayals, some of which involved torture. “To have an elderly person — blind and physically challenged because of having been tortured for his or her belief — lead in prayer during a church service is something I shall never forget,” he says.

Today, Chinese Christians can choose between two official Protestant church movements and Catholicism. I’m told these services are much the same as evangelical Chinese churches in the West, with one major difference: the church leaders are required to maintain a relationship with the government.

A separate category of legal worship in contemporary China is exclusive to foreign passport-holders: the international churches. “The Chinese government respects the freedom of religious belief of foreigners in China and they may attend religious activities in temples, mosques, churches and other religious places,” claims the tourism website beijingchina.net.cn. As long as foreigners do not try to establish or change Chinese religious organizations and practices, they are free to participate in worship.

Evangelism, sharing religion with minors and worshipping in public space are prohibited. The government fears that a congregation outside state control could grow too large and too influential.

Shan O-Yuan moved to Beijing from his native California a decade ago for a job in the construction industry and has been active with the BICF from the start. Sure, he says, you have to learn “how to work within regulations,” but for him, the Chinese Christian life is a happy and exciting one. As he sees it, people who live abroad have left familiar cultural constraints behind, so they’re more open to asking spiritual questions. Many rediscover their Christian faith while in China.

O-Yuan, who is in his 30s, has warmed up to his status as a religious minority. Being a Christian in China is a distinction. Unlike in the West, where what O-Yuan describes as a “so-called enlightened, post-Christian” view puts people off organized religion, in China they’re curious, “and it creates conversation.”

Despite evangelism being officially off-limits, O-Yuan claims you can evangelize in China in a way that you simply can’t in the United States. For example, because the Beijing expat community is a transitory one, when you “invest” in people who then return home, your actions ultimately have a global impact.

O-Yuan realizes there are difficulties, however, having faced some himself. “They want you to stay in your own little western enclave,” he says, “and keep your religious life to yourself.” It took a BICF project that he was involved with three tries to get a church planted in Beijing’s central business district. The 2008 Olympics, in particular, put the authorities on edge.

But in China, O-Yuan has found a place where he says God’s will is active and present. He’s witnessed successful church projects, including the establishment of orphanages. Gary MacDonald also told me about a church in Gansu province that refused to obey an order a few years ago to move to the edge of town and hand over its land. It stood up for its property rights, something MacDonald says wouldn’t have happened a decade earlier.

One aspect of the international church that excites O-Yuan is the absence of denominations. People find their common ground in Jesus and in being an expat. Though O-Yuan admits worship is strongly influenced by American evangelism, he insists it would be easier for a non-evangelical to find a spiritual home in China than in the United States: “The evangelical church in China is a lot more open.”

The third category of churches in China is illegal house churches, which operate underground and beyond the state’s control. (In order to keep a low profile, they typically split up once they reach about 100 members.) Those who join are keen to be part of a Christian community — for both its social and religious benefits — and are not intimidated by state threats. Though it’s impossible to know how many people attend house churches, some sources estimate between 45 million and 60 million Protestants, and their numbers are growing — a fact that even the government can’t ignore. In 2012, the State Administration for Religious Affairs created a plan to “guide” illegal house churches into becoming state churches.

Last summer, I returned to Beijing for three months to work as an English-teaching au pair for a wealthy, two-child Chinese family. One Sunday afternoon, after attending a small international church service in a business district, I was invited to a “gathering.” We got in a taxi and arrived at an apartment tower. My new acquaintance forgot which floor to go to. We tried cold-knocking a few doors and asked the doorkeeper if he had seen a large group of foreigners around. Finally, we tried one last floor, and it was the one. It was only when we walked in — late — that I realized it was a house church. I found myself in an apartment larger and more sophisticated than I’ve ever stayed in. It was packed with over 50 Chinese citizens, foreigners and Asian Americans, most of them working professionals and students. The service was long, passionate, hopeful and heavily influenced by American evangelism. It was also surprisingly loud, for an illegal gathering. I now know it was a typical Beijing house service. I wanted to return, but I knew the church would relocate before I’d have the chance.

The most famous illegal house church is Beijing’s Shouwang Church. Founded in 1993, it has grown to include over a thousand members, some of whom reportedly hold memberships in the Communist party. In 2011, having been evicted for the 20th-plus time (the landlords were under pressure from the state), Shouwang started to meet outdoors in the Zhongguancun area of Beijing, sometimes referred to as China’s Silicon Valley. A few dozen worshippers are arrested at every outdoor Shouwang service and usually held for a few hours. Despite the notoriety of the church, its name cannot be found on Chinese websites.

Many other Chinese Christians don’t let themselves be intimidated by the government, often drawing courage from Bible stories such as Daniel in the lion’s den. The Texas-based organization China Aid reports that from 2005 to 2006, 1,958 Christians were arrested in China. Wiretapping is not unheard of. China Aid also reports that house church leaders were arrested at a Christian leadership conference in Shandong province in 2007 and subsequently sentenced to multiple years in a labour camp.

These days, there are hints the Communist party may be more favourably disposed toward faith than in previous generations. China is experiencing a 1960s-style sexual revolution and 21st-century materialism all at once. With a frighteningly large share of the population concerned with little but socio-economic success, values such as politeness, honesty, sexual fidelity and community are taking a direct hit — especially in the cities.

Is Christianity a solution? China’s former premier Wen Jiabao regularly invoked the importance of spiritual growth. The Communist party has also expressed interest in American evangelical-style marriage courses to combat the explosive divorce rate.

Before becoming a Christian himself, the well-known Chinese economist Zhao Xiao pointed to Christianity and its positive impact on the historic economic success of the West. In his 2002 article, “Market Economies With Churches and Market Economies Without Churches,” he argued that China needs a moral foundation and therefore needs Christianity. After his field study in the United States, Zhao concluded that a strong economy requires a moral force to transcend the drive for profit and to infuse the business community with respect for people, contracts and the planet.

Is the Chinese state correct in its judgment that Christianity is a foreign-controlled import? Or can Christianity become indigenous to China? And what does Chinese Christianity look like: Bible-reading followers of Jesus who submit to state control? Would they quote Confucius, venerate ancestors and enjoy traditional Chinese festivals, rooted in Buddhism and luck? After all, many Chinese mix faiths, calling themselves Taoist and Buddhist, for example.

At the same time, one also has to wonder whether Christianity ought to be indigenized — would Chinese Christianity ultimately have a positive impact on China and the rest of the world? Would it even be Christianity?

Many more questions remain. In China, there are no guarantees; the uncrossable line is always fluctuating. Trust can be precarious. Are Christians still persecuted? None of the six pastors I contacted would give me an interview, saying it’s just not the right time. What move will the government make next? When will Christian members of the Communist party take a stand, and when will the party’s treatment of religion estrange a critical mass? What role can western Christians ethically play without compromising the Chinese church’s independence?

For now, O-Yuan believes that the best Chinese Christians can do is tell their story.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Kilika on February 18, 2014, 03:56:23 am
I had no idea that I was in the third-largest Christian country in the world.

Well, you were mistaken! There is nothing Christian about China as a country, and the vast majority of those people aren't Christians, but churchianity clones. China is one of the least Christian countries in the world.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 21, 2014, 12:53:19 pm
Thousands of Chinese spent their “best years” making Nike shoes and now have no pensions

article in link(having trouble copying and pasting)

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 11, 2015, 09:38:39 pm
LONG read, but WELL worth it - FYI, don't be fooled by this article's definition of "persecution". IOW, both these government-runned churches there are quietly working arm-in-arm with the China government(even though outwardly they look like they're warring against each other).

In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world's largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown.


There’s nothing secret about Chongyi Church, one of the largest in China. Its lighted steeple and giant cross penetrate the night sky of Hangzhou, the capital of coastal Zhejiang Province. Nearly everything at the church is conspicuously open: the front gate, the front door, the sanctuary, the people, the clergy. Chinese or not, you are welcome seven days a week. No layers of security guards or police exist. Walk right in. Join up. People are nice; they give you water, chat. Do you have spiritual needs? Visit their offices, 9 to 5.

For China, it is a stunning feeling. Most of the society exists behind closed doors and is tough, driven, material, hierarchical. The country values wealth, power, and secrecy – not to mention that both government and schools officially, at least, promote atheism.

Yet Chongyi looks and feels like any evangelical megachurch in Seattle or San Jose. There are big screens, speakers blaring upbeat music, coffee bars. The choir is a huge swaying wash of white and red robes. Chongyi seats 5,000 people and holds multiple services on Sunday.

Recommended: Are you smarter than an atheist? A religious quiz

“Some Sundays we are full,” says Zhou Lianmei, the pastor’s wife. “We also have 1,600 volunteers.”

While Christianity is waning in many parts of the world, in China it is growing rapidly – despite state strictures. The rise in evangelical Protestantism in particular, driven both by people’s spiritual yearnings and individual human needs in a collective society, is taking place in nearly every part of the nation.

Western visitors used to seeing empty sanctuaries in the United States or Europe can be dumbfounded by the Sunday gatherings held in convention center-size buildings where people line up for blocks to get in – one service after another. In Wenzhou, not far from Hangzhou, an estimated 1.2 million Protestants now exist in a city of 9 million people alone. (It is called “China’s Jerusalem.”) By one estimate, China will become the world’s largest Christian nation, at its current rate of growth, by 2030.

Indeed, an acute problem facing urban churches in China is a lack of space. Chongyi Church is building a million-dollar underground parking lot to replace one that worshipers under age 30 have taken over as a meeting place.

“I come because I found a love here that isn’t dependent on a person,” says Du Wang, a young businesswoman in Hangzhou. “It is like a river that doesn’t go away.”

Yet there is also trouble brewing for China’s faithful. As evangelical Christianity grows sharply, officials fear it could undermine their authority. Already, Christians may outnumber members of the Communist Party. That has far-reaching implications both for Chinese society and for a party that frowns on unofficial gatherings and other viewpoints. In China, party members cannot be Christian.

More than half of China’s Protestants attend illegal “house churches” that meet privately. The rest go to one of China’s official, registered Protestant churches, such as Chongyi. The official or legal churches, known since 1949 as the “Three-Self Patriotic Church,” operate under an arrangement that says in effect: We are patriotic, good citizens. We love China. We aren’t dissidents. We go to official theology schools. So the party will let us worship freely.

And – until recently – it has.

Yet in the past year authorities have attacked and even destroyed official Protestant churches, as well as unofficial ones. Many Evangelicals feel they are now on the front lines of an invisible battle over faith in the world’s most populous nation, and facing a campaign by the party-state to delegitimize them. Underneath it all is a question: Will China become a new fount of Christianity in the world, or the site of a growing clash between the party and the pulpit?

“There’s an enormous struggle across China brought by the rise of worshipers that seem to really believe,” says Terence Halliday, a director of the Center for Law and Globalization in Chicago who has worked in China. “Christianity now makes up the largest single civil society grouping in China. The party sees that.”

•     •     •

When China opened and rejoined the world in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter asked China’s Deng Xiaoping for three “favors.” Mr. Carter asked that churches shut during the brutal Cultural Revolution be reopened. He asked that the printing of Bibles resume. And he asked that missionaries be allowed back into China. Mr. Deng accepted the first two requests, for open churches and Bibles. But he rejected the one for missionaries.

Thus began a slow restoration process harking back more than a century. The first Protestant church in China was built in 1848 in Xiamen, known then as the Port of Amoy. By the 20th century, American and British missionaries saw China as a rich field. Every city of importance had a church. Missionaries founded China’s first 16 colleges, and they spurred the first reforms for female emancipation.

But after Mao Zedong’s victory in 1949, authorities chased out the missionaries. During the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1972, officials closed and trashed churches as China turned violently inward. Mao partly justified the violence as necessary to bring China into the 20th century. But much of it was used to kill off his enemies, real or imagined, including the faithful.

The era produced “the most thorough destruction” of religion possibly in “human history,” write scholars David Palmer and Vincent Goossaert. Authorities threw Christians in prison. They burned Bibles and executed believers to make an example.

Philip Wickeri, a leading Anglican in Hong Kong, shows visitors two Bibles that illustrate how far things went in the 1960s, and how much they have changed since. One is a small plain New Testament made of mimeographed sheets embossed with hand-written Chinese characters. It is a Cultural Revolution-era “samizdat” Bible, painstakingly produced. Different church cells memorized single books of the New Testament, copied them, and then combined them to form a single gospel. The shadowy venture lasted several years, during which 150 Bibles were made.

Mr. Wickeri’s second Bible is gilt-edged and nestled in a rich box of bamboo. It is dated 2012 and was produced by the Amity Printing Company in Nanjing. It was part of a run that included the 100 millionth Bible published in China since the opening in the early 1980s.

•     •     •

For decades, Christianity here was considered something for older female peasants. But the demographics of religion are changing dramatically. China’s new faithful are younger, more educated, more urban, and more affluent.

One surprising change is that a majority of believers no longer view Christianity as something foreign. They increasingly view faith as transcending its Western missionary-derived system. Many Chinese no longer accept the idea that being Christian means forfeiting a Chinese identity.

Last summer, China’s religious affairs chief said that 500,000 Christians are baptized each year in the country. A joint study between Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Peking University in Beijing estimated that there are now 70 million Christians over age 16 in China. Communist Party membership is about 83 million.

Even so, no precise numbers exist for the total number of worshipers. Chinese government statistics put the rise in Protestants in the official churches at 800,000 in 1979, 3 million in 1982, 10 million in 1995, and 15 million in 1999. There the accounting stops.

Carsten Vala, an expert on religion in China at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, says 40 million to 60 million is “the low end of a conservative” estimate of the number of Evangelicals. Fenggang Yang, director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University in Indiana, says he thinks there are more than 80 million Christians and that China will have 245 million by 2030 if growth is steady – making it the world’s most populous Protestant nation.

In some ways this surge seems counterintuitive. Being a Christian in a country that sees worship as odd or superstitious does nothing to boost one’s status. “There is absolutely no social advantage to being a Christian in China,” says Bob Fu, a pastor who escaped a Chinese police crackdown in the 1990s and now runs Texas-based ChinaAid, which monitors Christian rights in the country. “There are no cookies, no status, no outward rewards, no privileges in choosing Christianity.”

Yet as Chinese achieve material wealth and success, many feel lost. The success of economic reforms under Chinese leader Deng, launched in the early 1990s, has not helped rebuild China’s spiritual infrastructure, decimated during war and the Cultural Revolution. China’s rise has come with a cost: a loss of traditional values and the rise of cheating, corruption, and fierce competition. As Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, points out, there are 150 billionaires in China but little certainty.

“Everyone is groping and grasping,” he says. “People are turning to Buddhism, Christianity, self-help, and Taoism. CEOs and billionaires run around with their spiritual masters and visit meditation rooms.”

In dozens of interviews with believers in official and house churches, the word they use most for why they turn to church is “love.” “Chinese have a yearning heart, that is really the reason,” says one woman who goes to the Zion house church in Beijing, which has more than 10,000 attendees and whose pastor is Korean. “We need love, and in some ways it is that simple.”

One Chinese intellectual and former newspaper editor agrees that China has become sated and corrupt. But he doesn’t agree there is a significant turn toward spiritual matters.

“We are too comfortable and willing ... to say ‘yes’ to anything,” says Li Datong. “I wish there was more spiritual hunger.”

Yet Chinese parents complain of a society that teaches math and science in schools but does little to address conduct or character. The case of Little Yueyue is a symbol of the moral void. The 2-year-old girl was hit by a van in Guangdong a few years ago. The driver didn’t stop. The girl was thrown to the side of the road, and 17 people walked past before an itinerant migrant stopped to help. The event was captured on a video that went viral and spurred some national soul-searching.

Experts say the Chinese have a practical nature, and if they adopt the evangelical message, especially after years of required wrestling with Marxist thinking, they usually don’t take it lightly. Many work hard at it.

“Chinese Christians know the Bible better than some Southern Baptists,” says Wickeri in Hong Kong. “That’s not a small thing.”

Typical is the pastor Han Yufang at Chongwenmen Church in Beijing. Ms. Han is one of many women now being ordained in official churches. But for years her father forbade her to look into Christianity. She did anyway, studying it for seven years, the final two praying for most of each night. One evening she was on her knees by the bed and prayed to God, “Father, not my will but thine be done.” She says she felt a clear urge to study at a divinity school.

Another woman, a mother in her 40s, first went to church with friends. She says she felt nothing but kept going to be part of the group. She dabbled. She tried Buddhism, but, “for all the quiet, I never really found peace.” During one service the concept of “forgiveness came from nowhere and washed and melted me in a way I can’t describe,” she says. At the time she was “always fighting” with her husband. After the experience, the tension stopped. He also started attending church services with her, as did their son, who finds Bible stories “compelling.”

For the most part, Protestants try to keep the altruistic activities they do in society quiet and low-key. China officially recognizes five faiths – Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, and Taoism. But only Buddhism and Protestantism are experiencing lively growth. Evangelicals do not want to draw attention to themselves and perform most of their good works without publicity.

Yet in cases such as the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, which killed 70,000 people, churches sent groups to help on the ground. By some estimates, as many as half the volunteers were evangelical.

Some Christians are trying to improve business practices and fight corruption as well. One business group asks members to pledge a “Ten Commandments” of good behavior that includes no bribing, no taking mistresses, no avoiding taxes, and no mistreating employees. Zhao Xiao, a researcher at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing, tells of a Christian in Harbin who lost $8 million his first year applying the principles but is now a leader in his industry.

•     •     •

One January morning last year in Hangzhou, Chinese officials showed up unexpectedly at the Gulou Church. It is a massive gray-stone edifice across the famed West Lake from the Chongyi Church. The Gulou clergy was informed that the cross on their edifice was scheduled to come down.

Church leaders were stunned. It was the first they’d heard of any plan to remove the cross. Then for much of the spring, they and other Christians in China heard of little else, as both official and unofficial churches were raided, destroyed, or dismantled in a campaign that has lasted more than a year.

Gulou itself was established by Presbyterian missionaries in the 1880s. The cross atop the steeple was enormous, a fixture next to a well-known highway overpass. It is dear to members as a symbol of their faith, says a pastor who declined to be named. For months, Gulou’s leaders delayed the removal of the cross. Meanwhile, authorities attacked churches and, as of this writing, have stripped or desecrated more than 426 of them, including knocking one down while President Obama was visiting Beijing last fall. In many cases, tearful worshipers surrounded the churches and scuffled with police. Zhejiang itself has become ground zero in China’s growing clash between church and state.

On Aug. 7 at 5 p.m., authorities returned to Gulou. They summoned the head pastor and said that at 10 p.m. the cross would be removed by crane. Word got out (the pastor only told one person since he could otherwise be jailed for calling an unofficial gathering). The church was surrounded by worshipers praying and chanting “cross, cross, cross.”

“We felt helpless,” a junior pastor says. “We told them how important this cross is, but they didn’t listen.”

“They can take the cross from our church,” he adds, “but they can’t take it from our hearts.”

Crackdowns on Christians are nothing new in China. What is different is how broad and systematic the suppression has been and how the state, for the first time, is attacking official churches. To be sure, it was clear by summer that Chinese President Xi Jinping was conducting a harsh roll-up of civil society in general – artists, lawyers, scholars, as well as Christians – as part of a new emphasis on orthodox party thinking and rules.

“The party isn’t satisfied with just keeping people behind a great firewall,” says one lawyer. “They actually want to indoctrinate.”

So far, the cross on Chongyi Church remains intact. But Evangelicals here who thought they were adhering to the proper political decorum are not happy. “People are angry and feeling betrayed,” says a local volunteer who did not want to be named for fear of retribution. “If I were the government I would not do this.”

Why authorities would alienate believers who think of themselves as loyal Chinese is unclear. Many local Christians first thought it was a mistake or something engineered by local authorities in Zhejiang Province. Officials said large crosses near highways were a driving hazard.

But as more churches lost their crosses, many far from highways, and other official churches were bulldozed, feelings changed. One church quietly offered to pay a series of fines, thinking the attacks were about money. “We were fooled at first,” says one local pastor. “Then we discovered they didn’t care about fines. They went after our crosses and gave the impression they enjoyed it.” The aim was to humiliate and shame, he says.

In recent years, Evangelicals in east China were “doing well,” the pastor continues. “But that is now changing. We are going backwards now. Everything is changing with the new leadership in Beijing. We know what is happening. We are not visitors here.”

Zan Aizong, a local journalist who became an Evangelical, says the government is trying to clamp down on churches and faith without causing a global outcry. Officials “use the legal system,” he says. “They go after crosses and building codes because it will not cause an uproar abroad. They want to turn Christianity into Chinese Christianity, controlled by the party.”

In August, amid the suppression in Zhejiang, the party issued a statement that it would soon unveil an official Christian theology. Wang Zuoan, head of China’s religious affairs ministry, told the state-run Xinhua news agency that Christianity was spreading so rapidly that a new theology was needed to avoid problems. “The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China’s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture,” he said.

As the attacks continue, church leaders are debating how to respond – whether to publicly challenge the crackdown or try to ride it out, the argument being that authorities could do much worse things if provoked.

“Many Christians are scared of the government,” says Ling Cangzhou, a Christian blogger in Beijing. “In China you rely on the government for jobs, position, for money. Families and relatives are affected. Dissidents don’t get promotion or advancement.”

•     •     •

One effect of the new religious persecution in China is that it is bringing the official and unofficial wings of the Protestant Church closer. For years, the two sides have often been clashing siblings: In essence, private house churchgoers saw the Three-Self churches as compromised by the party. Official churches often saw house churches as misbehaving cults.

Yet now, as they share a common threat and as more young people take up Christianity who have little knowledge of the historical divide, the two wings are starting to converge, reinforcing a grass-roots movement that has already been under way for some time.

Worshipers are being introduced to Christianity in official churches and then moving to house churches for a deeper experience of Bible study and preaching. In turn, house churches are becoming less secretive and are reaching out to influence the official churches. “There is a growing but quiet cooperation among Three-Self pastors who aren’t as invested in the institution – who care more about church and the basic evangelical mission,” Mr. Vala says. 

To be sure, real differences remain between the two sides. Three-Self pastors are trained at theology schools watched by the party. Mr. Zan, for example, attended one and says that former President Hu Jintao’s concept of a “harmonious society” was taught as something to emphasize in preaching, which Zan calls “propaganda.” “Official churches are not allowed to touch subjects like the Apocalypse or eschatology,” he says. “A lot of the preaching is about how to be good and loving and ethical, which is fine. But they are often antiseptic and less radical.”

Many house meetings last all day, whereas official churches have 60- to 90-minute services. “The [Three-Selfs] are too big,” says a musician from Anhui who started at an official church but moved on. “You can get lost in them. Smaller is more like home, more like the love you feel at home.”

In Beijing, the official Chongwenmen Church is near the train station, found by walking through a rabbit warren of streets and noodle shops. It is old and slightly creaky. Services are packed and believers are devout. Across town, the official Haidian Church is a huge white modernist structure in a high-tech zone. Outside there is a band and chorus and kids with “I [heart] Jesus” caps. People wait in line for services by the hundreds.

One private Calvary church feels much different. Set in a seminar room in an office tower, it seems far less institutional but more intimate. The pastor is from Taiwan and won’t talk with reporters. Yet in all three churches the focus is on Christianity as a life practice and not a philosophy, and of the Bible as a revelation whose meaning brings change and redemption.

During services at these churches in August, as the cross removal campaign intensified, pastors spoke openly of the “meaning of the cross.” Hymns sung included “ ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’ ... with the cross of Jesus, going on before.”

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 05, 2015, 09:26:46 am
The Chinese have put out billboard ads announcing the renminbi as the new world currency

When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard—and it floored me.

The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.

It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.

And it’s true. The renminbi’s importance in global trade and as a reserve currency is increasing exponentially, with renminbi trading hubs popping up all over the world, from Singapore to London to Luxembourg to Frankfurt to Toronto.

Multinational companies such as McDonald’s are now issuing bonds in renminbi, and even sovereign governments are issuing debt denominated in renminbi, including the UK.

Almost every major global player out there, be it governments or major multinationals, is positioning itself for the renminbi to become the dominant reserve currency.

But here’s the thing. Nothing goes up and down in a straight line. And China is in deep trouble right now. The economy is slowing down and the enormous debt bubble is starting to burst.

A lot of people, including the richest man in Asia, are starting to move their money out of the country.

So while the long-term trend is pretty clear – China becoming the dominant economic and financial superpower – the short-term is going to look incredibly rocky.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Mark on March 06, 2015, 10:13:50 am

China Has Announced Plans For A ‘World Currency’

The Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer.  Chinese leaders have been calling for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the primary global reserve currency for a long time, but up until now they have never been very specific about what they would put in place of it.  Many have assumed that the Chinese simply wanted some new international currency to be created.  But what if that is not what the Chinese had in mind?  What if they have always wanted their own currency to become the single most dominant currency on the entire planet?  What you are about to see is rather startling, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.  When it comes to economics and finance, the Chinese have always been playing chess while the western world has been playing checkers.  Sadly, we have gotten to the point where checkmate is on the horizon.

On Wednesday, I came across an excellent article by Simon Black.  What he had to say in that article just about floored me…

    When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard—and it floored me.

    The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

    Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.

    It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.

This is the photograph of that billboard that he posted with his article…

Chinese World Currency

Everyone knows that China is rising.

And most everyone has assumed that Chinese currency would soon play a larger role in international trade.

But things have moved so rapidly in recent years that now a very large chunk of the financial world actually expects the renminbi to replace the dollar as the primary reserve currency of the planet someday.  The following comes from CNBC…

    The tightly controlled Chinese yuan will eventually supersede the dollar as the top international reserve currency, according to a new poll of institutional investors.

    The survey of 200 institutional investors – 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it – published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency.

    Optimism was higher within China, where 62 percent said they saw a redback world on the horizon, compared with 43 percent outside China.

And without a doubt we are starting to see the beginnings of a significant shift.

Just consider this excerpt from a recent Reuters report…

    China’s yuan broke into the top five as a world payment currency in November, overtaking the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, global transaction services organization SWIFT said on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar won’t be replaced overnight, but things are changing.

Of course the truth is that the Chinese have been preparing for this for a very long time.  The Chinese refuse to tell the rest of the world exactly how much gold they have, but everyone knows that they have been accumulating enormous amounts of it.  And even if they don’t explicitly back the renminbi with gold, the massive gold reserves that China is accumulating will still give the rest of the planet a great deal of confidence in Chinese currency.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Consider what Alan Greenspan has had to say on the matter…

    Alan Greenspan, who served at the helm of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, recently penned an op-ed for the Council on Foreign Relations discussing gold and its possible role in China, the world’s second-largest economy. He notes that if China converted only a “relatively modest part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold, the country’s currency could take on unexpected strength in today’s international financial system.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese have also been accumulating a tremendous amount of U.S. debt.  At this point, the Chinese own approximately 1.3 trillion dollars worth of our debt, and that gives them a lot of power over our currency and over our financial system.

Someday if the Chinese wanted to undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar and in the U.S. financial system, they have a lot of ammunition at their disposal.

And it isn’t just all of that debt that gives China leverage.  In recent years, the Chinese have been buying up real estate, businesses and energy assets all over the United States at a staggering pace.  For a small taste of what has been taking place, check out the YouTube video posted below…



Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 21, 2015, 03:18:33 pm
China signs deal paving way for first UK nuclear power plant

China signed a deal Wednesday to invest in French energy giant EDF's nuclear power plant project in the United Kingdom, Sky News reports. If completed, it would be the first new nuclear plant in Europe since the Fukushima disaster, and Great Britain's first in a generation.

The announcement, which was made as the Chinese president Xi Jinping continued his four-day state visit to the UK, raises concerns over the security implications of China's involvement in the nation's infrastructure.

Beijing has been accused of spying and cyber espionage, one of the biggest current threats to Britain's national security. There are fears China could identify weaknesses at vital facilities, which could then be exploited at a later date using malware.

But chairman of the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) He Yu said it's "highly committed to delivering safe, cost efficient, and sustainable energy and to supporting the UK's goal of becoming a low-carbon society,” Sky News reports.

"This decision proves that nuclear is an essential source of low-carbon electric power in Europe,'' EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy told Reuters.

The plant's start-up date has been pushed back by two years to 2025. China agreed to invest $9 billion in the $28 billion project, according to Reuters. CGN will have a 33.5 percent stake in Hinkley Point C, with the rest held by EDF.

The two companies also agreed to a wider partnership for the joint development of new nuclear power stations at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

Some 25,000 jobs will be created during the building phase of the plant, while it will support 900 direct jobs during its 60-year lifespan.

The project also aims to create 1,000 apprenticeships, along with $21 million of investment in education and training.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 06, 2015, 06:41:22 pm
Chinese naval ships to visit Florida port

Washington (CNN)Three Chinese naval ships are scheduled to visit Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday as part of a routine goodwill port visit. The ships are expected to arrive following visits to ports in Europe.

Sailors from both navies are expected to participate in sporting events and ship tours during the Mayport visit.

"Goodwill visits by ships from foreign navies help build trust and foster shared understanding," according to a statement from the U.S. Navy.

"Foreign navy ships routinely conduct port visits to Mayport, as ships from Peru and Canada have stopped here in the last few months," U.S. Navy spokesman Cmdr. William Marks said. "Engagements like this and the July 2015 port visit to China by USS Stethem demonstrate a continuous navy-to-navy bilateral relationship between our two countries."

This is the first visit by Chinese naval ships to Florida but not the first to a U.S. port. Last month, Chinese navy ship Zheng He visited Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

Related: U.S. not provoking Beijing in South China Sea

While the visit is aimed at building goodwill, it comes in the midst of tensions between the U.S. and China over disagreements around man-made islands that Beijing is constructing in the South China Sea. Beijing claims that the waters surrounding the artificial islands are under its control, but the U.S. disputes that claim and last week sailed U.S. warship within 12 miles of one of the islands.

Following the U.S. patrol, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that the U.S. operation is "a very serious provocation, politically and militarily," and the country's foreign ministry summoned Max Baucus, the U.S. ambassador to China, to express its "strong discontent" over the patrol.

But the visit of the Chinese navy this week is part of a broader U.S.-China effort to improve military-to-military contact and communication. These types of exchanges are often cited as a rare sign of positive progress in the relationship.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 02, 2017, 04:25:19 pm
China Just Made A Plea

China is pleading with the U.S. to not use the THAAD. China warns it will protect its interests.

RT reported: Beijing has called for an immediate stop to the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea and is ready to protect its interests, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang voiced the government’s position against the move during a briefing on Tuesday.

"We oppose the deployment of the US missile system to South Korea and call on all parties to immediately stop this process. We are ready to take necessary measures to protect our interests," he said, adding that “China’s position on the THAAD issue has not changed.”

The spokesperson didn’t specify what protective measures China had in mind. However, responding to the THAAD installation, China announced on Thursday that it will stage live-fire exercises and test new weapons to protect its security.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 16, 2017, 03:08:23 pm
UH-OH: China Opens A New Military Base In This Major Region

A new Chinese military base in Djibouti are a sign of the country's expanding military presence abroad

From The War Zone:

It’s a truism that if a country’s military, no matter how big, cannot operate for a protracted period beyond its own boundaries, then it is little more than a territorial defense force. Since the end of the Cold War, the People’s Republic of China and its People’s Liberation Army have been hard at work to shake this perception of their capabilities and expand their presence around the world. Now, Chinese troops are on their way to the Horn of Africa to staff the country’s first permanent overseas base, which opens the door for deployments well beyond the continent.

On July 12, 2017, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua reported that the first group of personnel and equipment was headed to the country'a new “support base” in the small East African country of Djibouti. China first announced the plan in 2015 and began building the facilities, situated in the capital Djibouti City, the following year.

“The support base will better serve Chinese troops when they escort ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, perform humanitarian rescue, and carry out other international obligations,” Xinhua explained, citing statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. “Moreover, the base will be conducive to driving Djibouti's economic and social development, and assist China's contribution to peace and stability both in Africa and worldwide.”

Though it can undoubtedly fulfill these functions, on closer inspection the site looks in line with a larger trend on the part of the PLA to take a more active role internationally. The base provides Chinese Forces a key stepping stone for persistent and independent access to the Middle East, Europe, and beyond, regardless of their mission.

What is China's plan?

The Chinese have been particularly sensitive about the new base and the contingent it would house, offering few specific details about the composition of either. In official remarks, neither Geng nor Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, head of the PLA Navy (PLAN), provided any additional information. However, previous reports suggest that there will ultimately be approximately 1,000 Chinese military personnel in Djibouti.

Officially, the job of this contingent is “logistics support” for PLAN forces in the region. Chinese ships have deployed to the Gulf of Aden since 2008 to help protect commercial shipping against piracy and other dangers. Though its forces have not part of any of the other multi-national counter-piracy task forces in the region, China has conducted this mission unilaterally under the broad mandate of a number of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Title: Re: Watch China
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 24, 2017, 04:29:41 pm
Rand Paul Just Made An Anti-America Statement


Senator Rand Paul on Sunday claimed that buying American isn't always the right choice.

Politico reported: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday there’s a reason why buying American-made goods is not always the best option: cost.

“You know, I think all of us have this goal to buy American, but we have to think this thing through,” Paul told Jake Tapper on CNN’s "State of the Union."

Tapper was pressing Paul on why President Donald Trump touted "Made in the USA" goods all week but still hires foreign workers at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Tapper also noted that Trump's company manufacturers a bevy of Trump-branded clothing products abroad.

The libertarian-leaning Paul said global trade, the same kind that candidate Trump slammed for “ripping off” the U.S., allows Americans to buy cheaper goods, stretching their dollars so they can then pay for things like a vacation or a new vehicle.

“It used to be a shirt, just a regular button-up shirt, might be $20, $25, and still might be in places. And at Wal-Mart, it's $7," Paul said. "And so that savings, though, allows working-class people to have savings to get a television set, to go on vacation, to buy gas for their truck. So trade is really a good thing.”