Understanding China


Chinese completes tracks for a new railway station in 9 hrs.:

Beat that!!!



China Labour Watch: Sponsored by your friendly CIA??:

From this article in the now defunct “The Awl”:

Same as that other reliable source of information about China: ChinaAid:


From The Economist last week:


Mao in China and Stalin in Russia, its whole new world…
( soon to add Najib in Malaysia)
dictators everywhere


Good article… More evidence against the case that China displays “the good kind” of nationalism and only wants peace and Harmony for all.

This will end up in a shooting war before it’s over… They’re gonna keep pushing and pushing until somebody pushes back. My guess is the breaking point will be when (not if) they make their move on Taiwan.


they make lots of stuff but still havent invented anything after paper and gunpowder.
When we all have a product at home or work that is a Chinese invented technology, let me know.


I like the idea of being able to travel in china and russia. Not like it was when i was a kid. on the other hand, there are far more countries one won’t want to go to now!!! How long till Egypt destroys the pyramids because they were built by ‘Heathens’? , for that matter, why does SW Asia even use cell phones… other than to set off bombs!
RE: global warming… like health care, free trade and other boon dongles, it will eventually be proven to be nothing more than a revenue creating device under the guise of helping the little people. It’s usually about money and money flow. (read power)


In the 1960’s, yes I am old enough to remember that, one did not want to be caught with anything that said “Made in Japan” it was an indication of cheap crap that wouldn’t last as long as the bag it came in. Later Korean merchandise from radios to TVs started showing up and the proud US citizens looked down their nose at them too. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic became sought after. Be careful about disparaging the Chinese, the parallels are similar . They have been merchants and traders for longer that most countries have existed. Their political beliefs are just a means to an end for them. At their heart they are traders and merchanilists and they’ll eat your lunch at the end of the day if you don’t invest in your own country. The USA and many EU countries use their profits for stock buy backs and other “financial engineering” rather than invest in their own facilities,except the ones they build in China. That is not China’s fault.


Is this a rhetorical question or a sarcastic one perhaps? If not, the answer lies in much lower infrastructure costs, plain and simple. Much easier to set up cell phone towers than run phone lines.


Well, your illustrious leader just push a bit too far. Not that China will engage in a shooting war if they are not attacked, but they will have him eat his words by hitting back where it counts.

China is importing a lot of agricultural products from USA to help balance the trade at least a little bit, not because they cannot find alternative suppliers.

China is buying hundreds of planes from Boeing, which they could get from Airbus, and will soon be making themselves.

China is buying US bonds and other debt to keep their export trade to US flowing. They could invest their money more profitably in other projects, in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, all places that appreciate Chinese investment.

The present US leadership appears to think that they are playing in a Kindergarten, not on a world stage. It will only end up in a shooting war if America feels that they have to start one because they see their world dominance is slipping away and they cannot handle it as adults.


I have always been able to travel to China, Russia and even North Korea. In fact I visited all these countries in the 1960’s. I have not visited Cuba, but not because the Norwegian Government restrict me from going there, or anywhere else in the world.

People in SW Asia (aka the Middle East) does use smartphone as much as anybody, but I assume you were trying to be funny. In fact, many of the countries there (that hasn’t been bombed to oblivion) has better networks and more up to date applications than much of the west.
Hightech isn’t developing more Social network, or new and improved ways to gather personal date for the advertising industry. (Which shows up to have other applications as well)

Use of smartphones to do banking, make payment w/o cash, security etc. is widely used both in SW Asia, Africa, South Asia and especially in China, where cash is just about obsolete.
Of course you can also make telephone calls with them, but that doesn’t appear to be a main function any more.


I agree with what you are saying.
Proud Americans are still looking down their nose at a lot of things and will probably do so for a long time to come. It would be smarter to cooperate, trade and learn from other countries, rather than ride the nationalistic horse.

It appears that confrontation and creating enemies out of friends are flavour of the day with the present administration though.


It’s really simple. Every country needs to buy from the US approximately the same amount as they sell to the US.


Unless you’re China… Because their nationalism and desire to keep their population homogeneous is “the good kind” according to you


This is really true. All they did was take advantage of the piss poor policies put in place by our own politicians. The problems were then compounded as those same politicians (or new ones just like them) got reelected/elected over and over again.

The result? 20T in debt, most decent paying jobs shipped overseas, and every effort being made to have H1-B holders fill the ones that remain. What an amazing fall from where we were at the end of WW2. The saddest part is that it was fully self inflicted.


Two things going on with the USA and the world.

  1. The corporations and financial services outfits [which produce nothing but DO suck money out of the economy] bought into the macro world economy, which was inevitable in a changing world. That the USA has no national strategic industrial policy is by design of the policy makers who are the two entities listed above. The voters are of no consequence as there are only 2 political parties in the USA, both of which have been captured by the financial and multinational corporations.
  2. Many in USA naively believe they can reverse time and revert to the USA of 50 years ago and that is just not going to happen. The current scatter-gun approach to dealing with foreign trade and monetary policy will only hasten the USA’s shrinking influence in the world. China soon won’t even need to sell anything to the USA as they have built alliances with other countries plus they have a 1.5 billion population to sell to which consists of a growing middle class that wants to buy stuff… It is only a matter of time before they become a reserve currency. They already have an oil trading market set up which will soon be a major world player.


USA worlds biggest high dollar consumer, everyone wants to sell into America
Japan, Korea, China etc couldnt have grown without the deal of the USA buying their crap and the other end buying Treasury Bills
Americans have lived beyond their means since Nixon dropped the gold standard but so has just about every other OECD country.
Debt is the new weapon and sometimes it goes off in your own hand.
China has a serious internal problem at the moment with that as they just printed their monopoly currency to grow the internal economy but they didnt get any real growth or return.
One day you have to pay the piper, they will be doing very well to smooth over this issue.
Stopping cash leaving ( they have currency controls) is a start and swapping digital wigits for local cash is well on the way.
Imported goods all have extra tax on them like more expensive than most places in the world.
( trade war, they already started it)
Have you noticed the big Chinese companies are desperate to buy into overseas concerns…


After I made my post regrading China I stumbled across a transcript of a conversation between a financial reporter and the Chief Investment Officer of Saxo Bank.
In that conversation he talks a lot about India with it’s population also. It is interesting. But here’s the China bit.
So the great irony is, I think, the hardest hit on this I think would be the US consumer. They will get higher prices for all products, but mostly only from an economic point of view, if you think about the US, you’ve been running a current account deficit for many, many years, courtesy of being a reserve currency. If you run a current account deficit, you’re actually spending more money than you have. So let’s presume that Trump is successful, he reverses the trade deficit to a surplus, and in the process the current account, that will mean that the US consumer would have to be living below his means for a long, long time to come back to a norm.

So it’s extremely complicated, but I do know that people are underestimating this. Look through the history of America First as a slogan, Pat Buchanan, second World War. I mean, the whole concept is this dream about yesteryear, and a time past, where American cars and everybody was happy in the 50s and 60s, and it’s not the reality of the world. On the other hand though, you know, it’s pretty clear that China and the other countries are violating property rights and other things. So you need to clamp down. But this escalation out of trade twitters and the likes is not the conducive way. And I think the single biggest risk, if we all combine everything we talked about, to growth, to a recession, is actually the gentlemen who borrow and those in the White House. I think those two advisors are directly, probably culpable on seeing US growth go lower, especially to implement some of these trade sanctions against the rest of the world.

Chris: Well, I guess there’s two ways to sort of get what Trump says he wants in terms of trade policy. One would be to have that trade war. The second would be to have a much weaker dollar. China’s probably going to have to respond at some point beyond rhetoric. And I’m looking here now, killed or abandoned under Trump, a list of things of companies that have been blocked in terms of takeovers in the United States since Trump took office. This Qualcomm one that just got blocked, the would-be acquirer of Broadcom based out of Singapore. The next country that got blocked after that was China. Then China, then China, then China, then China, China, China, China, China, China, then China, and the last one on the list is Germany. So it’s really beginning to look like Trump’s got a point to make here. How could China respond beyond allowing the dollar to weaken?

Steen: To expand into one belt, one road. Don’t forget, since we talked we’ve had the Communist Party conference, and the Chinese then said, we’re no longer aspiring to number one, we want to be number one. And as you know, aspiring to something and expressing that you want to be something, it’s very different. So I think what we will see over the next ten to twenty years is a very clear, de-dollarization from the Chinese and the Asian region. The first step in that is actually the Shanghai Commodity Exchange, which in March will introduce a crude contract. China is the biggest importer of crude in the world. Why would they want to go through a US based contract to do that when they can’t have a third party involved?

China wants to get their currency to be stronger, so it can be a reserve currency. They will probably have to build up their reserves in gold to match what is already in place with the IMS in Europe and the US, about ten to fourteen thousand tons. So I think China’s policy is pretty clear. They’re going for the long haul. The long haul is that they have ability to create infrastructure and strategic alliances all the way through Asia and the Middle East. And using their leverage and their purchase and net demand leaves them in a better negotiation position as seen from Being relative to the US.

So I think very shortly, and maybe even in this year, a lot of people will have to – a lot of countries, a lot of Prime Ministers – will have to decide: are you with the US or are you with China? And unfortunately, I think a lot of people will be with the Chinese in this situation, partly because of the policy implemented by the US, but also because the pure mechanics of this. Think about it, there are about four billion people in Asia, and if we are very nice to North America, there’s about six hundred, seven hundred million clients, right. So the companies that’s going to be built and produce and sell in Asia will have an audience which is at least four times, five times, as much in size bigger than the ones that is in US.


China’s military growth:

BEIJING (AP) — China’s defense budget will rise 8.1 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($173 billion) this year as the country prepares to launch its second aircraft carrier, integrate stealth fighters into its air force and field an array of advanced missiles able to attack air and sea targets at vast distances.
The figure released in a report Monday to the ceremonial National People’s Congress is an increase in the growth rate from last year, when finance ministry officials said the budget was rising 7 percent to 1 trillion yuan ($151 billion).
Years of double-digit percentage growth have given China the world’s second-largest defense budget after the United States, which is in a class of its own with a proposed budget of $716 billion for next year.
“We will stick to the Chinese path in strengthening our armed forces, advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness,” Premier Li Keqiang said as he read a report to nearly 3,000 delegates at the Great Hall of the People.
The armed forces will “firmly and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests,” Li said.
China has the world’s largest military by number of personnel, but Li said the country had “basically completed” the target of reducing the size of the armed forces by 300,000 troops. That would leave the People’s Liberation Army’s strength at around 2 million troops.
But China’s defense spending as a share of GDP and the budget remains lower than that of other major nations, Zhang Yesui, a spokesman for the legislature, said Sunday.
This year’s defense budget comes to about 1.3 percent of last year’s GDP of 82.7 trillion yuan ($12.4 trillion).
Analysts don’t consider China’s publicly announced defense spending to be entirely accurate since defense equipment projects account for a significant amount of “off book” expenditures.
Noting that this year’s increase was roughly the same as last year’s when adjusted for inflation, Shanghai military expert Ni Lexiong said China was seeking to avoid a full-on arms race based on quantity of weapons, choosing instead to invest in high-tech systems and training.
Rivals such as the U.S., Japan and India should be less anxious at the moderate rate of budget growth, although they “won’t feel happy” to see rapid enhancements in China’s air, naval, missile and anti-satellite capabilities, said Ni, a professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.
China’s defense budget is so large now that double-digit annual percentage increases are no longer necessary, said military commentator Song Zhongping.
New funds are going mainly to raise living standards for service members, increase training and prepare for potential crises on the Korean Peninsula, the border with India or in the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait, Song said.
Much of China’s energies have been focused on what is known as anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD operations, which seek to scare the U.S. Navy and other forces far from China’s shores.
China’s navy has been training rigorously on the Liaoning aircraft carrier, which was bought from Ukraine and heavily refurbished. In April, it launched a 50,000-ton carrier built entirely on its own based on the Ukrainian model.
It will join the improved Type 093B Shang class nuclear-powered attack submarine equipped with anti-ship missiles — considered only slightly inferior to the U.S. Navy’s mainstay Los Angeles class boats — and the Type 055 guided-missile destroyers at the forefront of China’s naval technology.
Such vessels stand to alter the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, where the U.S. Navy has long been dominant and regional rivals such as Japan and India are stepping up their presence. Most navy ships already have anti-ship cruise missiles with longer ranges than those of their U.S. counterparts.
China’s navy is also relying on numerical superiority to boost its influence.
All three of China’s sea forces — the navy, coast guard and maritime militia — are the largest of their types by number of ships, allowing them to “maintain presence and influence in vital seas,” according to Andrew S. Erickson of the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute.
All three fleets are growing “leaner and meaner” due to a greater emphasis on technical sophistication, Erickson wrote, adding that the U.S. also anticipates facing a Chinese submarine fleet twice its number, though less technologically advanced.
In the air, China last month said it had begun equipping combat units with its J-20 stealth fighter jet, the country’s answer to fifth-generation jets such as the U.S. F-22 and F-35. No less impressive is China’s missile technology, particularly the DF-21D, which is built to take out an aircraft carrier, and a new air-to-air missile with a range of some 400 kilometers (249 miles) that could attack assets such as early warning aircraft and refueling tankers crucial to U.S. Air Force operations.
In a further display of sophistication, China said in early February that it had successfully tested a mid-course anti-missile defense system, deploying similar technology to that used to destroy a defunct Chinese satellite in 2007.
China’s military planners have also taken note of the U.S. shift this year in its threat analysis from terrorism to rivals Russia and China, said Yue Gang, a retired colonel and military analyst.
Though China doesn’t wish to be seen as a Russian ally, there is a renewed sense of big-power competition, Yue said.
“The smell of gunpowder is growing thicker,” he said.