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China

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Introduction US Presidents, European leaders and their academic spokespeople have attributed China’s growing market shares, trade surpluses and technological power to its “theft” of western technology, “unfair” or non-reciprocal trade and restrictive investment practices. President Trump has launched a ‘trade war’, - raising stiff tariffs, especially targeting Chinese exports – designed to pursue a protectionist... Read More
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"This is a Game We Can Win"
In 2003 I congratulated a young Chinese banker on his country’s accession to the WTO, cautioning that the trade body was a Western ideological post-Cold War creation designed not merely to enshrine export-oriented development models but to advance neoliberal trade norms. After a moment’s reflection he responded, “I agree with your view of the WTO’s... Read More
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America's greatest strategic mind of global recognition, Alfred Thayer Mahan, in his seminal work The Influence of Sea Power upon History saw the World Ocean and activity in it as the foundation for national greatness and power. The pivot of this greatness was a powerful navy. Through Mahan, the Theory of Navalism reached American elites... Read More
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Shake Up and Shake Down
Introduction Major changes are roiling the states, societies and ruling classes of the biggest industrial economies, oil regimes and military complexes. China is re-allocating its economic wealth toward building the most extensive modern infrastructure system in history, linking four continents. Saudi Arabia is transferring a trillion dollars of pillage from princes to princes, from old... Read More
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(Lumpen Capitalism refers to an economic system in which the financial and military sector exploits the state treasury and productive economy for the 1% of the population.) Introduction US journalists and commentators, politicians and Sinologists spend considerable time and space speculating on the personality of China’s President Xi Jinping and his appointments to the leading... Read More
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That's the Rub, It Can't
In order to understand China and how the world works, I am very lucky to have lived here during two very different time periods. It started 1990-1997. In the first book of The China Trilogy, 44 Days Backpacking in China, I called this period the Wild East Deng Xiaoping Buckaroo Days. It was intense, crazy... Read More
A Broad Spectrum Column
OK, I’m trying to figure out cars. Especially the electric and nuclear-powered ones. Mostly the fizzing and fuming about how great electrics are, or maybe the end of civilization, seems political. Liberals love them because they will prevent pollution, end global warming, and maybe stop hair loss. Libertarians hate them because they associate them with... Read More
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Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune. Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a... Read More
Ancient Silk Road Routes.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads: A New History of the World shows why we need to re-vision history
The word revisionist derives from roots meaning "to look again." And since history is an ongoing project, whose main purpose is to help us understand where we have come from and where we are going, we obviously need to keep taking fresh looks at the past as we propose new visions of the future. Obligatory... Read More
Pretty much everything our media tells us about China is wrong–or at least one-sided–including its tales of a China ‘debt problem’. The Chinese are, in all times and places, debt-averse and China’s government which, unlike ours, must take long-term responsibility for the economy, is no different. Mao set the example and grew GDP by 6.2... Read More
To one watching the advance of Chinese science and technology, or to me anyway, several things stand out. First, the headlong pace. Second, the amount of it that appears aimed at making China independent of the West technologically and getting the United States off Beijing’s back. Third, the apparent calculated focus. It looks like intelligent... Read More
If One Arm is Right, the Other Will Be Left, No?
This worthy and public-spirited column seldom dives into the thickets of military hardware, which it regards as excessively technical. However, the arms race between China and Washington is of enough gravity that its more exotic armaments may be of interest. Herewith, the truly dangerous weaponry of the contending sides. C-919 A Chinese narrow-body intended to... Read More
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Introduction: From their dismal swamps, US academic and financial journal editorialists, the mass media and contemporary ‘Asia experts’, Western progressive and conservative politicians croak in unison about China’s environmental and impending collapse. They have variably proclaimed (1) China’s economy is in decline; (2) the debt is overwhelming; a Chinese real estate bubble is ready to... Read More
Mock-up of planned Russian-Chinese airliner to compete with Boeing and Airbus. To enter service by 2025. Ambitious? Oh yes. Remember when we laughed at Toyota, Airbus, and Trump? Credit: Sputnik News.
Make Money, Not War
Is Washington really going to start a trade war with China, or is it just huffing and puffing for position? I don’t know. Mr. Trump has inexplicably failed to brief me. A point worth bearing in mind: The United States cannot compete commercially with a developed Asia, or China. America has nowhere to go. It... Read More
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Almost six years ago, President Putin proposed to Germany ‘the creation of a harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.’ This idea represented an immense trade emporium uniting Russia and the EU, or, in Putin’s words, “a unified continental market with a capacity worth trillions of dollars.” In a nutshell: Eurasia integration. Washington panicked.... Read More
The concentration and centralization of the agro-business multi-nationals advances with gigantic strides: Potash Corp and Agrium have combined into a $30 billion monopoly over the world fertilizer market. Dow Chemical and DuPont combine in a $130 billion dollar deal in the seed and agricultural chemicals sector. ChemChina prepares to takeover Syngenta in a $44 billion... Read More
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What has just taken place in Hangzhou, China, is of immense geoeconomic importance. Beijing from the start treated the G20 very seriously; this was designed as China’s party, not the declining West’s. And much less Washington’s. Outlining the agenda for the discussions, President Xi Jinping went straight to the point also geopolitically, as he set... Read More
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Introduction: China and the United States are moving in polar opposite directions: Beijing is rapidly becoming the center of overseas investments in high tech industries, including robotics, nuclear energy and advanced machinery with collaboration from centers of technological excellence, like Germany. In contrast, Washington is pursuing a predatory military pivot to the least productive regions... Read More
Reflections from a Former Life
Ages ago, for reasons I no longer remember, I was wandering across Asia and decided to spend some time in Taiwan. The Chinese interested me, and Taiwan was then as close as it was practical to get. Then, as now, the Chinese were thought by many to be exotic, inscrutable, devious and unlike normal people... Read More
Suppose a country owes money to another nation’s government or official agency. How can creditors collect, unless there’s an international court and an enforcement system? The IMF and the World Bank were part of that enforcement system and now they’re saying: ‘We’re not going to be part of that anymore. We’re only working for the... Read More
There has been a concerted campaign to depict the South China Sea as an indispensable artery for commercial shipping and, therefore, a justifiable object of US attention and meddling. This flagship of this effort is invoking the “$5 trillion dollars” worth of goods that pass through the SCS each year. Reuters, in particular, is addicted... Read More
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Here Are the Lessons of History the Press Ignores
“You cannot hope to bribe or twist – thank God! – the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to.” So wrote the witty early twentieth century British man of letters Humbert Wolfe. His assessment of American journalists isn’t recorded but, where pivotal issues are concerned, they have probably... Read More
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As Russia and Asia move to circumvent the stranglehold of an aging, U.S. dominated international financial and legal system with its promise of endless austerity and privatization by foreign investors, the IMF and World Bank double-down by making it more difficult for them to transact business and administer credit. A nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical... Read More
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Silk Roads, Night Trains, and the Third Industrial Revolution in China
The U.S. is transfixed by its multibillion-dollar electoral circus. The European Union is paralyzed by austerity, fear of refugees, and now all-out jihad in the streets of Paris. So the West might be excused if it’s barely caught the echoes of a Chinese version of Roy Orbison’s “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” And... Read More
China’s wealthiest classes have secured their recent fortunes through various means, both legal and illegal: These include (1) the privatization of public enterprises; (2) the savage exploitation of cheap labor after destroying workers rights , protections and social welfare legislation; (3) large-scale, long-term corruption of government officials; (4) the often violent state-sponsored land-grabs from towns,... Read More
Following Monday’s historic stock market downturn, many politicians and so-called economic experts rushed to the microphones to explain why the market crashed and to propose "solutions” to our economic woes. Not surprisingly, most of those commenting not only failed to give the right answers, they failed to ask the right questions.Many blamed the crash on... Read More
My father, a New York financier, used to call dubious stocks or bonds, “Chinese paper.” Last week, we saw a blizzard of Chinese paper, both in China and around the world. As manager of a sizeable investment portfolio (an unwelcome second job from my main work, journalism), I watched last week’s near death experience on... Read More
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Watch the video on the Democracy Now site Black Monday is how economists are describing Monday’s market turmoil, which saw stock prices tumble across the globe, from China to Europe to the United States. China’s stock indices fell over 8 percent on Monday and another 7 percent today. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial... Read More
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It’s “Why Didn’t Interference Work?”
I suppose much of the journo commentariat was born since 2008 and therefore has no memory of TARP, Too Big To Fail, or Jamie Dimon rolling around naked inside a gigantic vat of taxpayer money, so there has been a considerable amount of handwring about how the CCP defiled the purity of the stock market... Read More
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How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations --... Read More
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For many U.S. and British economic commentators, recent developments in China have been only slightly less scary than the seemingly endless Greek debt crisis. Supposedly if the Chinese stock meltdown gets much worse, China could be headed for the sort of depression the United States suffered in the 1930s – and perhaps bring the rest... Read More
With the Shanghai index down nearly 20 percent from vertiginous heights reached in mid-May, a lot of people are wondering what next – and not a few are suggesting the Chinese economy is headed off a cliff. Pat Choate begs to differ. “The connection between Chinese stocks and the real economy is zero,” he pronounces.... Read More
President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was at least temporarily sidetracked yesterday by a vote in the lower house of Congress. The TPP is a proposed trade and investment pact that would join the United States with eleven other Pacific-fringing nations. Presented as a major part of Obama’s “pivot” to Asia, the pact notably excludes China... Read More
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The Saker Interviews Michael Hudson
Cross-posted from The Saker The Saker: We hear that the Ukraine will have to declare a default, but that it will probably be a “technical” default as opposed to an official one. Some say that the decision of the Rada to allow Iatseniuk to chose whom to pay is already such a “technical default”. Is... Read More
The New Silk Route/Silk Road. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Wikimedia Commons
The Skirmish in the Spratlys
The vast build up of military assets in the Asia-Pacific signals a fundamental change in U.S. policy towards China. Washington no longer believes that China can be integrated into the existing US-led system. Recent actions taken by China– particularly the announcement that it planned to launch an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that would compete... Read More
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Seven Mistaken Assumptions, Presumptions and Prescriptions
Introduction The highly influential Council on Foreign Relations recently published a Special Report entitled, “Revising US Grand Strategy toward China”, (Council on Foreign Relations Press: NY 2015), co-authored by two of its Senior Fellows, Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis (‘B and T’), which proposes a re-orientation of US policy toward China. The Report a policy... Read More
Paul Craig Roberts, Keynote Address to the Annual Conference of the Financial West Group, New Orleans, May 7, 2015
The defining events of our time are the collapse of the Soviet Union, 9/11, jobs offshoring, and financial deregulation. In these events we find the basis of our foreign policy problems and our economic problems. The United States has always had a good opinion of itself, but with the Soviet collapse self-satisfaction reached new heights.... Read More
The Financial Times this morning carries an important exclusive on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s defiance of a White House effort to counter Chinese financial power. The White House had been trying to organize a G7 boycott of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is seen in Washington as a Chinese-inspired rival to the... Read More
U.S. corporations have sometimes made the mistake of believing they are loved for their own sake in China. In reality an ever-calculating Beijing has welcomed the intellectual property and marketing expertise they bring. And now that they have been largely sucked dry, Beijing no longer sees any need to make nice. Quite the contrary. Under... Read More
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New Silk Roads and the Chinese Vision of a Brave New (Trade) World
BEIJING -- Seen from the Chinese capital as the Year of the Sheep starts, the malaise affecting the West seems like a mirage in a galaxy far, far away. On the other hand, the China that surrounds you looks all too solid and nothing like the embattled nation you hear about in the Western media,... Read More
The news from China today is that President Xi Jinping has sensationally ratcheted up his anti-corruption campaign. Although the Western press has mostly taken it at face value, something else has evidently been going on – something perhaps so destabilizing that the tremors might be felt around the world. What is clear is that the... Read More
APEC meetings November 12, 2014 President Putin Pledges to Increase Trade with China and Asia to Rebuke Sanctions SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. During this year a number of governments applied sanctions against Russia for its involvement in the alleged pro-Russian... Read More
Chinese leader Xi Jinping knows something Barack Obama doesn’t: America is finished. The U.S. economy is an ocean liner holed below the waterline. In the stateroom, the band plays on – but, on the bridge, the outcome is clear. With the arguable exception of the late-era Soviet Union, America is sinking faster than any Great... Read More
Note: Several statements in this commentary have been disputed by Stanford University. A spokesman has suggested that Stanford’s relationship with Beijing may be “different” from those of other universities. He added: “Stanford has not ceded academic autonomy.” My response is that almost every Confucius Institute can claim uniqueness in some respect but this does not... Read More
The Chinese government is not used to defeats but it was dealt a stinging one yesterday when the University of Chicago announced it will close its Confucius Institute, a controversial school for teaching Chinese culture and the Chinese language. Explaining the move, the university commented that it was “guided by its core values and faculty... Read More
I have seen a few toppy stocks in my time but rarely have I seen anything as blatantly overpriced as Alibaba. Although in the short run this stock will probably scale even higher heights (thanks to bull market mania and the selling skills of Alibaba chairman Jack Ma), the longer run will surely prove quite... Read More
Later this month the Chinese government will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of its worldwide network of Chinese-language training schools. Big deal, you might think, but not everyone is greeting the event with a yawn. Far from it. In an illustration of how complicated our globalized world is becoming, the anniversary is posing... Read More
Those of us who hark back nostalgically to the glory days of Anglophone financial journalism in the 1960s and 1970s know that little of that tradition survives. For the most part the great newspapers of those days have fallen prey to bureaucracy and cost-cutting. Worse, their editors seem to care more about pandering to the... Read More
Disclosure: I own stock in GlaxoSmithKline. It sometimes seems like foreigners can’t win in China’s corrupt distribution system. On the one hand, they feel pressured to offer “consultancy fees” and other questionable incentives to move their goods. On the other, they risk being hung out to dry the next time the Beijing government launches one... Read More
At 83, anthropologist Marshall Sahlins is a veteran of many controversies, but even for him the scale of his current confrontation is a first. The issue at stake is nothing less than American intellectual freedom, and no opponent comes more formidable: the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Sahlins is trying to roll back the advance... Read More
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