Kai-Fu Lee & The China Tech Fantasy | TechRice– Given how separate China’s Internet now is, a better title might be “One World, Two Internets.” But that, of course, would be undiplomatic again as it frames the issue as China vs. the World rather than China vs. America.At least Kai-fu Lee is realistic when he writes of “the never-ending China-America chasm”. There is certainly no end in sight.
Caught up in the jade craze|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – The price of fine nephrite, just natural stone, has climbed from 10,000 yuan a kilogram to at least 1 million in 10 years. Top-grade art work in Hetian jade? Possibly priceless. An exhibit of works such as this in Beijing ended this week. [Provided to China Daily]
Initial Thoughts on PBOC Easing « Patrick Chovanec – I think it’s more accurate to say that Chinese leaders were hoping that vibrant export demand would offset the need for a more substantive adjustment within the Chinese economy, and that hasn’t materialized. So their sole — and highly problematic — alternative is to try to reflate China’s investment boom through monetary easing. The PBOC, and China’s more perceptive leaders, know this is not a sustainable solution, but they’re stuck. My guess is that this is what Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan meant when he recently told U.S. trade negotiators that “an unbalanced recovery is better than a balanced recession.”
China PMI Falls for First Time Since 2009 – Bloomberg – Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.0 in November from 50.4 in October, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a statement today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 18 economists was 49.8. A level above 50 indicates expansion.
China Economic Watch | China’s Carefully Managed Local Government Bond Issuance– Local governments’ first “independent” issuance of debt was carefully orchestrated in order to guarantee success. In many ways they differed little from the debt offerings done by the Ministry of Finance on local governments’ behalf.While local government bonds may ultimately prove to be a positive step in developing better financing channels, this first round of bonds told us nothing in terms of the actual risk associated with local government debt. It will be interesting to see where rates go once the training wheels come off.
The Axis of No – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace– Remember the Soviet-Sino split? Moscow and Beijing don’t appear to. On the current developments in the Middle East and North Africa, at least, China and Russia have been increasingly coming together. At the U.N. Security Council, they either oppose Western initiatives or voice their reservations. To some, this looks like solidarity between two authoritarian governments; to others, a coordinated effort to dilute, and eventually dismantle, U.S. and Western domination of global politics. Although both these elements are involved, the reality is broader, and it needs to be better understood by Western publics and policymakers.To begin with, there is no ideology involved. Although China still calls itself communist, it has long rejected the Maoist dogma, including in its foreign relations. Russia ditched communism exactly two decades ago. It is true that both countries are authoritarian, even if one is of a milder, and the other of a harsher variety. However, there is no such thing as an “authoritarian internationale” to inspire solidarity between the ruling autocracies. (Nor is there such a thing in the Middle East, if one looks at how Qatar has dealt with Muammar al-Qaddafi, or how Saudi Arabia is dealing with Bashar al-Assad). Both Russia and China are, above all, pragmatic.
China’s Assertive Behavior—Part Three: The Role of the Military in Foreign Policy – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – In examining the origins, characteristics, and likely future course of a more “assertive” China, many analysts point to the supposedly growing role of the Chinese military (or People’s Liberation Army—PLA) in Beijing’s overall foreign and foreign-related policy process. For such observers, the PLA—as a conservative, highly nationalistic, and increasingly capable and confident actor in the Chinese political system—is the main, if not sole, force behind a range of more assertive and/or confrontational actions undertaken by the Chinese government in recent years, from the deployment and sustainment of large numbers of ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan to widespread cyber attacks on the U.S. government to official PRC criticism of U.S. military exercises in the Western Pacific, more vigorous challenges to U.S. military surveillance activities along China’s maritime periphery, and the testing of new weapons during visits to China by U.S. officials. In addition, some observers view the PLA as an interest group that pressures the civilian Chinese leadership to adopt a more assertive stance toward Washington overall, and in this way allegedly influences the leadership succession process.
U.S. Hunting for Chinese Telecom Spyware – Bloomberg – The U.S. is invoking Cold War-era national-security powers to force telecommunication companies including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to divulge confidential information about their networks in a hunt for Chinese cyber-spying.
In a survey distributed in April, the U.S. Commerce Department asked for a detailed accounting of foreign-made hardware and software on the companies’ networks. It also asked about security-related incidents such as the discovery of “unauthorized electronic hardware” or suspicious equipment that can duplicate or redirect data,
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