In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Chinese soft power’

Gold in 2016

Posted by seumasach on January 10, 2016

Alasdair Macleod

Gold Money

7th January, 2015

Advance signs of a global slump in economic activity emerged in 2015

Furthermore, the dollar’s strength, coupled with widening credit spreads confirms a global tendency for dollar-denominated debt to contract. These developments typically precede an economic and financial crisis that could manifest itself in 2016, partially confirmed by the disappointing performance of equity markets. If so, demand for physical gold can be expected to escalate rapidly as a financial crisis unfolds.

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As the East creates, the West tries to destroy

Posted by seumasach on January 2, 2016

William Engdahl

New Eastern Outlook

28th December, 2016

I’m feeling more and more in recent months that, as difficult as it may be to believe, our world is moving away from seemingly endless wars. Make no mistake, we haven’t seen the end of wars at all. The dynamic and the war energy is changing, however. Not without a frenzy of self-conceit does the so-called Western World throw forks, china, pots, pans, rolling pins–anything it can get its bloody hands on–like a spoiled child throwing a gargantuan temper-tantrum. It tries to deny this reality over which it has less control by the second. The world is moving away from wars, from an, if-you-will, patriarchal psychosis of control–a matrix of fear, shame, guilt, rage, hate. What is beginning to emerge in what we in the West have egoistically termed the East, is construction, building new great projects to uplift a sector of mankind ignored for more that a thousand years. This transformative positive motion is what, if anything, will save our humankind from the mass death and destruction some in the West so devoutly wish for us.

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Investment by Chinese firms supported by domestic finance sector

Posted by seumasach on December 6, 2015

Global Times

26th November, 2015

As more and more Chinese enterprises expand into Africa, there has been increasing interest in China’s economic activities in the continent. As well as positive feedback, there have also been some negative comments, with China having been accused of neo-colonialism, of grabbing resources and dumping low-quality products.

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Brief note on the Xi/Ma summit

Posted by seumasach on November 10, 2015

Asia Times

8th November, 2015

The historic meeting between the leaders of Mainland China and Taiwan is the first ever of its kind. All previous meetings were between leaders of the two parties, the Communists of the Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalists of the KMT.

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Xi-Ma summit has changed the status quo

Posted by seumasach on November 10, 2015

Asia Times

9th November, 2015

My good friend, a university mathematics professor and keen observer of Taiwan politics, pointed out to me that by virtue of the Xi-Ma historic summit having taken place, the goal posts of Taiwan’s status quo has already moved a step farther from independence.

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UN chief, China, Germany, prioritize Syrian stability to resolve refugee crisis

Posted by seumasach on November 9, 2015

 

“He also noted that Berlin’s interests are “more in line with those of Russia and China than those of the US,” echoing what German political scientist Matthias Küntzel in 2009 referred as the emergence of a “new constellation” of powers with USA/UK/France on one side and Russia/China/Germany on the other.[8]

With the recent upgrade of Sino-British relationship to “comprehensive strategic partnership” and EU members clamoring to join China’s AIIB and ‘One Belt One Road’ initiatives earlier this year, the Beijing-Moscow-Berlin based constellation may actually be expanding.[9]

Asia Times

9th November, 2015

In 2003, Germany opposed US invasion of Iraq, and again in 2011 when US bombed the Gaddafi regime that tragically transformed Libya from a relatively stable country to a failed state.[1]

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World yuan-ization thanks to the City of London

Posted by seumasach on November 5, 2015

Voltairenet

5th November, 2015

The Government of China promotes the internationalization of «the people’s currency» (‘renminbi’) through a policy of alliances that does not take ideological barriers into account. In a first moment the diplomatic forces of the yuan were concentrated in Pacific-Asia, but in a second moment, it became necessary to gain the support of the West. After the President Xi Jinping visited London, between the 19th and the 23rd of October, the bases of the «golden age» between China and the United Kingdom were established, with which both countries looked to push the yuan-ization of the world economy.

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China is rising as the US declines

Posted by seumasach on October 21, 2015

Britain can’t ignore this reality

Guardian

19th October, 2015

Who would have guessed just three years ago that the David Camerongovernment would be the author of the boldest change in British foreign policy since the second world war? That is exactly what is now unfolding.

 

Posted in Multipolar world, UK economy | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The left on the horns of a Chinese dilemma

Posted by seumasach on October 4, 2015

Cailean Bochanan

4th October, 2015

I had the impression that Osborne’s recent and startling announcement of various deals with China, including the integration of our financial markets, no less, had been met by a stunned silence. But John McDonnell, the new Shadow Chancellor made this reference to them in his speech to the Labour Party Conference:

“I found the Conservatives’ rant against Jeremy’s proposal to bring rail back into public ownership ironic when George Osborne was touring China selling off to the Chinese state bank any British asset he could lay his hands on.”

“Ironic” is putting it mildly: The Chancellor has essentially admitted the failure of the Thatcher revolution and called in the state to rescue Britain. Only it’s not the British state, which no longer knows how to run anything unless it’s into the ground. You might have thought the left would be enjoying this “irony” a bit more than they appear to be. More, for example, than William Keegan writing in the Guardian who is dismayed that Osborne is “kowtowing to a communist Chinese government” and denounces his “cloying approach to a regime notorious for its abuse of human rights”. Keegan is something of a soft left neo-keynesian and , therefore, those criticisms could be largely expected. What about the hard left?
In an article in Socialist Worker Alex Callinicos gives us the line. He is, of course, scrupulously politically correct:

“The problem here isn’t that the companies are foreign-owned.”

Why shouldn’t foreign companies take the place over? Don’t they have rights too? The problem lies elsewhere. Callinicos points out that Chinese companies are “still subject to considerable state control” and that capital “is still not allowed to flow freely in and out of the country” However, Callinicos insinuates this is changing and China is embracing the free movement of capital.
So we have two major threads in this leftist discourse: on the one hand, dealing with China is wrong because China is communist and , on the other , it is wrong because China is no longer communist.
Callinicos goes on to denounce the fact that Chinese investment will be centered on the the City of London at the expense of the “national base of companies operating in Britain.” Callinicos’ thinking in all this is particularly fuzzy. Capital exported from China can still be and is controlled by the Chinese leadership for all their rhetoric about free markets. This is particularly true of the banks. As Dend Xaoping himself used to say:”Whatever you do keep control of the financial system!” In addition, I don’t believe the behavior of Chinese banks will merely replicate that of our own: riding high on bubbles and carry trades, manipulating rates and prices and laundering funds of dubious origin. If they did China certainly wouldn’t be in the position it is today. Anyway, as Osborne announced, there is already large scale Chinese investment in the real economy, largely in infrastructure and housing. There is every reason to believe that this would increase with funding available from Chinese banks operating in the City. The principles of Chinese finance contradict completely those the City of London. We are, therefore, looking at systemic change in the British financial system.
The British left desperately need to get to grips with this issue and quickly. This is because they have essentially abandoned their neo-Keynesian perspectives and accepted the need to balance budgets. But how can they reconcile this with their claim to be anti-austerity. Balanced budgets imply genocidal austerity unless there is some countervailing tendency. That tendency is incoming investment something which, seemingly unbeknown to the left, we have been beneficiaries of for decades. All that is happening,as Osborne’s policy shows, is that the form this investment takes is changing.
For a long time China was obliged to accept fiat pounds to cover its massive trade surplus with Britain and reinvest these pounds in UK government bonds. This was win/win for Britain and largely explains the surprising prosperity of post-Thatcherite Britain. The bankruptcy of the City and its subsequent bailout changed all that. China ceased to buy new UK government bonds (note that, in addition to its massive trade deficit, Britain no longer has a current account surplus not including trade) although they agreed not to divest from existing bonds, sinking sterling. Instead, they wanted to reinvest the surplus funds in the UK. So, on the one hand, we can no longer fund our deficit with Chinese bond purchases and on the other we have the prospect of hundreds of billions worth of inward investment. So balanced budgets and Osborne’s policy are two sides of the same coin. It would be truly reckless to embrace balanced budgets without wholeheartedly welcoming the incoming investment which will render the outcome far less austere. The left are caught in a dilemma which they must resolve if they don’t want to be outflanked by the Tories.

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Osborne blazes the Deng Xiaoping trail

Posted by seumasach on September 28, 2015

Cailean Bochanan

28th September, 2015

Once again I have been proved to be wrong. I had interpreted the decentralization of the British state as the key development linked to inward, especially Chinese, investment and predicted that a Tory/SNP duopoly would dominate Britain in the coming years. But Osborne’s barnstorming performance in China, following on from Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, opens up completely different perspectives. His idea of integrating our financial markets with those of China suggests nothing less than a Chinese takeover of the City of London rather than piecemeal investment in Britain’s devolved regions/nations. This chimes in too with Corbyn’s plan for a National Development Bank which is tantamount to central planning, hitherto an absolute taboo. It is not difficult to see that the kind of infrastructure overhaul that Britain requires cannot be done merely through devolved assemblies and combined councils but must be Britain wide and centrally planned. It also makes much more sense for China to finance the whole thing through the banks which can issue credits for projects as required just as they would do in China. And so we go from the Panarin-type post-imperial scenario of fragmentation to one of systemic transformation of Britain as a whole.

Such a radical revolution is inconceivable without opposition. It is striking that as Osborne blazes the trail down China way, the knives are out for Cameron back home. Cameron has been until recently vociferous in his claim that Assad must go. He obviously had an intuition that someone must go: but it has turned out to be himself. He has called it a stab in the back but the blows are coming from all sides, decisively from Michael Ancram, et tu Ancram, who has raised the specter of Libya, hitherto the politically correct war, ominously drawing the parallel between Cameron and Libya and Blair and Iraq. This is deadly and given the reality of what was done to that once thriving country and its catastrophic consequences for Africa and Europe this just won’t go away. Of course, just about all of us were implicated, but all the more need for a scapegoat.

An excellent analysis of recent events in Australia by WSWS focuses on a conflict between the ardently pro-Chinese Malcolm Turnbull and “powerful sections of the Australian military and intelligence apparatus as well as the media and political establishment, not least within the Liberal-National Coalition”This presumably parallels tensions here and it looks like Cameron has found himself on the wrong side of this argument. In other words, the proposed financial merger with China will go ahead over the dead bodies of assorted dead-enders, security state and MIC interests and neocons. In these historic September days the Blairites and the Cameronites have commenced their exit from the British political scene.

Is this another Glorious Revolution? In 1688 certain Dutch financial interests were invited to take over Britain to establish a financial system orientated towards war and empire. This time we have invited a foreign power in the to rebuild an economy gutted by a failed hegemonic project. We have come a full circle since this marks decisively the end of empire and a new historical époque in which war will no longer be the normal state of affairs

Posted in British economy, Multipolar world | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Foreign policy dilemmas over China confront new Australian PM

Posted by seumasach on September 20, 2015

“above all in our darkest hour, when our foes were literally on our doorstep, when our cities were under direct military attack—then at that tipping point in our history, China was our staunch, indefatigable ally.”

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s new PM affectionally known in China as “sweetie pie”, a homonym of Turnbull in Mandarin.

Interestingly Turnbull’s son is married to the daughter of a top Chinese Communist Party official and used to work for- needless to say- Goldman.

 

WSWS

18th September, 2015

Newly-installed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has signalled the importance he attaches to economic relations with China by fast-tracking legislation on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

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