Archive for China

Opinion | Trump to China: ‘I Own You.’ Guess Again. – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

Shopping in China

“Early in the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” a Chinese-Singaporean father admonishes his young kids to finish their dinner, saying, “Think of all the starving children in America.” I’m sure that everyone of my generation in the theater laughed at that joke. After all, we’d all been raised on the line: “Finish your dinner. Think of all the starving children in China.”

That little line contained within it many messages: The first, which any regular traveler to China’s biggest urban areas can tell you, is that rich China today — its luxury homes, cars, restaurants and hotels — is really rich, rich like most Americans can’t imagine.

The second is that this moment was destined to be a test of who will set the key rules of the global order in the 21st century: the world’s long-dominant economic and military superpower, America, or its rising rival, China. And this test is playing out with a blossoming full-scale trade war.

What does such a test of wills sound like? It sounds like a senior Chinese official telling me at a seminar at Tsinghua University in April that it’s just “too late” for America to tell China what to do anymore on issues like trade, because China is now too big and powerful. And it sounds like President Trump, in effect, telling China: “Says who? Show me what you got, baby!” Or as Trump actually tweeted last week: “We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us. … If we meet, we meet.” “

Source: Opinion | Trump to China: ‘I Own You.’ Guess Again. – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy

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Editorial | Will Donald Trump Stand Up to China? – The New York Times

“President Xi Jinping has imposed China’s most sweeping internment program since Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, when more than one million people were killed and millions of others were imprisoned, tortured and humiliated.

Citing credible reports, a United Nations panel last month said up to one million Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim minority, are being held in detention camps without benefit of any formal legal process. The repression is severe enough to have raised concerns even within the Trump administration — not known for a preoccupation with human rights abroad — and the administration is weighing possible sanctions against the regime, a step that justice clearly demands.

Mr. Xi is China’s most powerful modern leader, and he is turning his country into an economic and political powerhouse. But his achievements are deeply tainted by human rights abuses, including the repression of the Uighurs, the largest of the Muslim ethnic groups in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China.”

Source: Opinion | Will Donald Trump Stand Up to China? – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  I support this editorial, but not holding my breath.

Here are some good comments which I endorsed:

Jim Hugenschmidt
Asheville NC

How can we accuse China of violating the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights when was are the ONLY industrialized country that has never ratified that pact?

Our history of standing up for human rights in other countries has been based on self-interest. Why would we intervene on behalf of a people with no oil or strategic value?

I will say that while our own history of human rights violations is nothing to brag about, we have made progress, albeit uneven, and are doing better than many places. We need to hold the belief that we are committed to human rights here and abroad and that this commitment should be renewed by this administration.

The one thing that stymies my imagination is Donald Trump making a speech in sympathy with the Uighurs.

Larry Eisenberg commented September 18

Larry Eisenberg
Medford, MA.

I do hate at this point to tattle
D. Trump is outmatched in this battle,
Purely on IQ’s
Trump is bound to lose
The bars of his Playpen he’ll rattle.

Bikome commented September 18

Bikome
Hazlet, NJ

President Trump does not care two hoots about human rights. He instead admires dictators and autocrats. He could be hypocritical in many things but not when it comes to administration of totalitarian regimes.

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China

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Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked – By Steven Erlanger and Jane Perlez – NYT

 July 18, 2018 134 查看本文简体中文版查看本文繁體中文版

BRUSSELS — From trade to regulation to security, America’s traditional allies are accelerating their efforts to buttress a global system that President Trump has seemed prepared to tear down.

After months of stunned indecision, they have undertaken a flurry of efforts intended to preserve the rules-based order the United States created after World War II and championed ever since.

The most obvious example came on Monday, the same day a stunned world watched Mr. Trump praise President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as a competitor after having dismissed Europe as an economic “foe.” A few thousand miles away, in Beijing, the leaders of the European Union and China held a long-scheduled meeting of their own.

In the past, expectations for such meetings were low, given the conflicts on trade and human rights between the Europeans and the Chinese. But while those differences remain, this summit meeting produced an unusual joint declaration and a common commitment to keep the global system strong.

The next day, the Europeans traveled to Japan and signed the biggest free-trade agreement in history, just the sort of deal the Trump administration has criticized.

And on Wednesday, Europe’s top regulator announced a $5.1 billion fine against Google, another strong indication that Brussels is not just fighting to maintain the rules-based trading order, but is also positioning itself as the watchdog of that system.

After months of denialangerbargaining and depression, Europe and other parts of the world have accepted that Mr. Trump and his mission of disruption are not going away.”

Source: Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Globalization and Trade, Japan

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China’s Taste for Soybeans Is a Weak Spot in the Trade War With Trump – By Raymond Zhong – NYT

XIAOWUSILI, China — For all its economic might, China hasn’t been able to solve a crucial problem.

Soybeans. It just can’t grow enough of them.

 

That could blunt the impact of one of the biggest weapons the country wields in a trade fight with the United States.

Beijing placed a 25 percent tariff on American soybeans last week in retaliation for the Trump administration’s levies on Chinese-made goods. Last year, soy growers in the United States sold nearly one-third of their harvest to China. In dollar terms, only airplanes are a more significant American export to China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Source: China’s Taste for Soybeans Is a Weak Spot in the Trade War With Trump – The New York TimesMay

 

David Lindsay:  Maybe. Here are the three most recommended comments, that doubt some of what this article says:

Kathy Chenault
Rockville, Maryland

Although you say U.S. soybean producers “could take a hit,” you fail to realize they already have been hurt deeply and they suffer more each day this ruinous trade manipulation continues. Farmers need to be selling significant percentages of expected production throughout the growing season on futures contracts. This usually begins even before they have planted their crops in the spring. I grew up on a family farm in Nebraska and still am involved in its operations. (Each year, about half of our acres are planted in soybeans.) Commodity prices already were trapped in a low cycle before Trump’s disastrous trade moves. Farmers know how to deal with the usual ebb and flow that comes with such a long-range economic pursuit like farming. But then came the trade war that Trump says he wanted. Farmers now face these perilous conditions: Rising interest rates, decreasing land values because of falling commodity prices, and higher equipment costs and operating expenses because of other non-farm tariff threats by Trump. Our foreign grain markets, including but not limited to China, have taken decades to develop. All that work is being undone daily by Trump. The short-sighted focus of your story fails to take that into account — just as it appears the Trump administration has failed to truly understand the very nature of our farm economy or how rural America is affected by his actions. Shame.

donald.richards commented July 9

donald.richards
Terre Haute

Monsanto grows plenty of soybeans in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. I’m sure they won’t have any problem wiping out more of the rain forest to meet Chinese demand.

And when they do more American farmers can apply for food stamps. They might want to reconsider that work requirement for eligibility though.

Ruralist commented July 9

Ruralist
Upstate

The article seems to assume that the rest of the world produces no soybeans, but that is far from true. The biggest of the other exporters in Brazil. In fact, Brazilian farmers saw this coming and started expanding their plantings earlier this year.
They are also buying US soybeans at the great discount the trade war creates ($7.80), and selling them to other customers at the Brazil price ($10).

The competition is smart and well-informed.

 

 

 

Posted in: Agriculture, China, Trade and Trade Policy

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In a High-Stakes Environmental Whodunit, Many Clues Point to China – NYT

Just now

About this article
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David Lindsay:  Yes, thank you for this story. It makes me sick and heartbroken. I have endorsed the one comment now at the NYT:
Judith Nelson
Manhattan

The Montreal protocol, which banned chlorofluorocarbons, was a significant landmark and the efforts against climate change. Together with the Clean Air Act of 1970 and requirements for improving gas mileage for American cars, these were early proof that laws CAN be passed for the good of the environment. Unfortunately, market forces and lack of regulation are now undermining the CFC ban, and the Trump administration wants to roll back or eliminate mileage requirements and other EPA rules.
What’s needed is tough international enforcement of existing laws, and a return to sanity in the US government regarding the environment. We worked hard to clean things up, once; surely we can find the political strength and will to do it again.

Posted in: China, Climate Change Polluters

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Opinion | China Has a Vast Influence Machine- and You Don’t Even Know It – By Yi-Zheng Lian – NYT

By Yi-Zheng Lian

Mr. Lian, a native of Hong Kong, is a former lead writer and chief editor of the Hong Kong Economic Journal. May 21, 2018 Image CreditMatt Chase

“Amid all the hoopla about Russia’s covert attempts to manipulate the 2016 American presidential election, one state has been conspicuously quiet: China. Yet its leaders may well be sneering at the Russians’ heavy hand. Since the project masterminded from Moscow largely relied on social media in the United States, American techies were bound to find out about it soon enough. Likewise with the baldfaced poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Britain, which has also been pegged to Moscow. Too crude, too traceable, these operations could only generate a backlash.

China, too, can be a bully, especially with Asian governments in its immediate sphere of influence — imposing economic sanctions on South Korea for deploying defensive missiles or orchestrating the kidnapping of book publishers from Hong Kong and Thailand. But it doesn’t usually set out to openly hurt or antagonize stronger opponents like the United States; instead, it tries to quietly gain an edge for the long haul.

Rather than coercing, China manipulates, preferring to act in moral and legal gray areas. It masks its political motives behind laudable human-interest or cultural projects, blurring the battle line with its adversaries. When the job is done, the other side may not realize it was gamed, or that a strategic game was even going on.”

Source: Opinion | China Has a Vast Influence Machine, and You Don’t Even Know It – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Intelligence

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Opinion | What Really Happens in China’s ‘Re-education’ Camps – By Rian Thum – NYT

“What does it take to intern half a million members of one ethnic group in just a year? Enormous resources and elaborate organization, but the Chinese authorities aren’t stingy. Vast swathes of the Uighur population in China’s western region of Xinjiang — as well as Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other ethnic minorities — are being detained to undergo what the state calls “transformation through education.” Many tens of thousands of them have been locked up in new thought-control camps with barbed wire, bombproof surfaces, reinforced doors and guard rooms.

The Chinese authorities are cagey and evasive, if not downright dismissive, about reports concerning such camps. But now they will have to explain away their own eloquent trail of evidence: an online public bidding system set up by the government inviting tenders from contractors to help build and run the camps.

Uighurs have more in common, culturally and linguistically, with Turks than Han Chinese, and many Uighurs are Muslim. Resentful of China’s heavy-handed rule in the region, some have resisted it, usually through peaceful means, but on occasion violently, by attacking government officials and, exceptionally, civilians. The state, for its part, fuels Islamophobia by labeling ordinary Muslim traditions as the manifestation of religious “extremism.””

Source: Opinion | What Really Happens in China’s ‘Re-education’ Camps – The New York Times

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China

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Opinion | The U.S. and China Are Finally Having It Out – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

“The assumption was that as China grew, and the W.T.O. moved to a new regime, China would quickly cut its tariffs — like its 25 percent tax on car imports, compared with the 2.5 percent tariff imposed by the U.S. But the W.T.O. still has not completed a new trade round and China has refused to voluntarily lower its tariffs.

Moreover, China developed an industrial policy that often bent W.T.O. rules. The government gave away cheap land, and state-guided banks granted cheap loans for new industries, but foreign companies that wanted access to China’s market were forced to pay to play — to have a Chinese partner and be willing to transfer their advanced technology to them.

As a result, over time, Beijing was able to force multinationals to shift more and more of their supply chains to China, and grow Chinese competitors to Western companies in its protected market, and then, once they were big enough, unleash them on the world as giants.

Even when the U.S. protested to the W.T.O. — as in the case of how China unfairly kept U.S. credit card companies out, then lost the arbitration case at the W.T.O. — China still dragged its feet before following through on promises made 17 years earlier to open up. By then, Chinese companies, like UnionPay, so dominated China’s credit card market that U.S. companies, like Visa, were left with the crumbs.

Meanwhile, Chinese government-guided companies and investment funds went abroad and began to buy up strategic industries to bring their technology back to China — like Germany’s biggest and best robotics company, Kuka.”

Source: Opinion | The U.S. and China Are Finally Having It Out – The New York Times

Thank you Thomas Friedman. Yes. And here are some of the top comments at the NYT I recommended.

allan slipher
port townsend washington
Times Pick

“..there is a trade imbalance today because we’ve been investing in our future and you Americans have been eating yours.”

Spot on. Wake up call, America.

Our choice is self indulgent consumerism, cheap political theatrics, empty celebrity worship, and self absorbed rants, or redirecting ourselves and doubling down on basic research, education, infrastructure, well paid work, investment in the well being of our children and grandchildren and upholding the rule of law.

Bruce Rozenblit commented May 1

Bruce Rozenblit
Kansas City, MO
Times Pick

China employs state run capitalism. The US employs market capitalism. China views government as an asset. The US views government as an enemy. China pays to have its brightest students educated in the worlds greatest universities. In the US, we question why we even have universities, let alone want to pay for them. China follows decade long economic plans. The US is ruled by quarterly profits. China cheats. We don’t tax the billionaire class. In China, civil rights are forfeit. In the US, money has more rights than people. China is destroying the environment for quick growth. In the US, we want to destroy the environment for feeble growth. China pursues multi-national trade and investment policies. In the US, we used to and now want to pursue only unilateral policies.

So who wins? China will win. Trump did have the right idea about China getting away with murder. Many of our largest corporations made a fortune off of cheap Chinese goods, so we went along with it for years.

Until and unless we straighten out our twisted and self defeating ways, we cannot out compete China. The first step is to stop demonizing the government and allow government to participate in business. The ExIm bank is a good example. Big business in the rest of the industrialized world has government involvement. It’s about time we joined the club. We call it redistribution. They call it public investment.

Cap’n Dan Mathews commented May 1

Cap’n Dan Mathews
Northern California

So everything you wrote is pertinent, Friedman. What you fail to mention is that China did not engage in expeditions in search of missions, including the Iraq war which you enthusiastically supported, thus saving untold trillions of yuan which they used to do much of what you mention regarding enhancing their position.

Golflaw commented May 2

Golflaw
Columbus, Ohio
Times Pick

Tom, nothing new here regardless of your 3 part play. Some of us dumb intellectual property lawyers wondered 30 years ago why our US Fortune 100 clients had us draft joint venture agreements with Chinese companies that licensed US high end intellectual property to those ventures. We were told it was worth it to have access to a market of more than a billion people. Never happened but the Chinese got US technology and
US companies got rid of US factories and employees for higher profits of Chinese “stuff” exported to the US and sold at WalMart.

Christy commented May 2

Christy
Times Pick

If this is a battle for the future we are not only late getting out of the starting block but racing to the past. While China invests in infrastructure and education we have allowed our infrastructure to crumble and stifled education spending. As a result, we have fallen far behind the rest of the world in STEM graduates. While Xi focuses on next-generation industries like artificial intelligence, renewable energy, biotech and aerospace, Trump wants to reopen coal mines, keep us dependent on fossil fuels and restore a nostalgic but hopelessly out of date manufacturing base. While the rest of the world embraces science and accepts the challenge of climate change, we have a political party in charge of government that denies science and dismantles the environmental protections enacted by prior administrations. And we have a president intent on tearing up all the treaties and alliances that help preserve our national security.

Posted in: China, Thomas Friedman

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Opinion | China Has Donald Trump Just Where It Wants Him – by Roger Cohen – NYT

November 11, 2017

“There could scarcely be a more explicit offer of China as an alternative, single-party, authoritarian model to the liberal democratic system of the United States (of which Trump has been such a feeble advocate). China is now “actively pursuing almost an ideological competition with the United States,” said Yun Sun, a senior associate at the Stimson Center. Xi’s speech was “a declaration of the Chinese saying that we have won this game, we are winning this game.”

They are, for now. The Chinese gambit — in the past, China has been reticent about offering itself as a global paradigm — comes at a moment of American democratic fracture. It’s a good moment for Beijing to talk of arriving “center stage.” Trump does not really have ideas. He has impulses (like his dangerous infatuation with Saudi Arabia).

On his Asian swing, the president spoke of pursuing a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” built around democracies including India, Japan and Australia. This was the right thing to say to counter China. Hundreds of millions of Asians outside China don’t want to find themselves obliged to study Xi Jinping Thought. They prefer liberalism to Leninism.

Xi Jinping Thought calls for building the Chinese military into “world-class forces that obey the party’s command, can fight and win.” It portrays the leadership of the Communist Party as “the defining feature” of Chinese society.”

Source: Opinion | China Has Donald Trump Just Where It Wants Him – The New York Times

Posted in: China

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Xi Jinping and China’s New Era of Glory – By Ian Johnson – NYT

“BEIJING — Two weeks after taking China’s top office in November 2012, Xi Jinping took part in what seemed like a throwaway photo op. He took his top lieutenants to the newly renovated National Museum of China, a vast hall stuffed with relics of China’s glorious past: terra-cotta soldiers from Xi’an, glazed statues from the Tang dynasty and rare bronzes from the distant Shang dynasty.

But Mr. Xi chose as his backdrop a darker exhibition: “The Road of Rejuvenation.” It tells the story of how China was laid low by foreign countries in the 19th and 20th centuries but is now on the path back to glory. There, in front of images of China’s subjugation, Mr. Xi announced that his dream was to complete this sacred task. This soon became the “China Dream” and has shaped his rule ever since.

With Mr. Xi about to be reappointed to another five-year term in a Communist Party conference that begins on Wednesday, it’s worth remembering this visit. Many of Mr. Xi’s accomplishments and his likely plans for the future are underpinned by an idealistic view that China’s 200-year eclipse is ending now, and it is his mission to lead a rigidly controlled China back to the center of the world stage.

For foreigners, this means getting used to a China that is stronger and more assertive — but possibly more brittle — than in the past. If Mr. Xi is successful, his China could become a model for digitally driven authoritarianism around the world, while failure could force a reconsideration of the wisdom of trying to force-march a country to modernity.

China’s new role is hard to miss in foreign affairs. For decades, Washington has been urging China to get more involved in the world. Usually this meant asking China to help solve international crises — to become a “stakeholder,” in foreign policy jargon. But to many people’s surprise, after years of playing a mostly passive role in world affairs, China has taken a forceful approach.”

Source: Xi Jinping and China’s New Era of Glory – The New York Times

Posted in: China

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