In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Chinese soft power’

China ups the game in the South China Sea

Posted by seumasach on September 14, 2016

Pepe Escobar

Sputnik

12th September, 2016

The Joint Sea-2016 started this Monday; that’s the fifth annual China-Russia naval drill, featuring stalwarts from both navies in action at the eastern waters of Zhanjiang, in Guangdong province, the HQ of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Nanhai Fleet.

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Chinese political donations highlight Australian anxieties

Posted by seumasach on August 25, 2016

Since the anglo-saxon economic model is simply incapable of generating investment in the real economy Australia, like the UK and the USA, has become dependent on inward investment from China. It is now rebelling against this dependence, biting the hand that feeds it, along with it’s kith and kin in the USA and Britain in an alliance of losers. In this Oceanic dystopia “security concerns” trump economic interests. At the same time the notorious role of big money in running the political system suddenly becomes a problem when it’s a question of China rather than the homegrown oligarchy, or the Americans, buying politicians.

Asia Times

24th August, 2016

MELBOURNE–An influx of political donations from Chinese concerns has focused anxieties about the rising superpower’s growing influence here, while sparking calls for reform of the country’s lax political finance laws.

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Is Theresa May trying to replicate Merkel’s approach to China?

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2016

“At the moment, however, the Sino-British “golden era” in relations, ushered in by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cameron last fall, looks like in shambles. Faced with a choice between America and China, May could indeed think that the tested relationship with Washington remains “more special” than the blossoming one with Beijing.”

Asia Times

22nd August, 2016

While British Prime Minister Theresa May probably may like to take a leaf out of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s book, she is no stateswoman like her counterpart nor is Britain comparable to Germany in geopolitical terms. As Merkel effectively engages China and Sino-German trade turnover grows, Beijing sees Germany as the locomotive that pulls the EU economic and political trains. On the other hand, post-Brexit Britain, faced with a choice between America and China, may finally opt for the tested relationship with Washington.

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Will China change the rules of global order?

Posted by seumasach on August 17, 2016

This article gives an excellent overview of both China’s global strategy and systemic conflicts with the Western model. The authors correctly, in my view, identify the relationship of the financial system to the state as being at the heart of these systemic differences:

“To take one specific example, in Western economic thought, banks are seen as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders. Traditionally in Asia, however, banks are seen as instruments of state-directed growth and industrialization which take deposits and then use the savings through preferential allocation of credit to drive development in predetermined priority sectors of the economy.17 China’s People’s Bank, Ministry of Finance, and major policy banks, such as the China Development Bank and the State Export-Import Bank, have worked with their southern counterparts on how to become “responsible borrowers,” and how to identify and structure revenue and surplus-generating projects so that a stable supply of funds is available to repay loans.18 Chinese experiences on public financial and fiscal management are a core component in the curriculum of this government-to-government training.”

They also show great prescience in identifying the policy shift now crystalising out of Obama’s “pivot to Asia”:

 “China, however, should be mindful that, just as it can hedge, so can the West and its likely Asian partners such as India and Japan. A reversion to an old- fashioned “balance-of-power” scenario would be unfortunate for all, especially if absent effective coordination mechanisms between the paramount powers.”

They could have added South America, South Africa, Australia and the UK as being drawn into an anti-China reaction or , at least, being strongly pressured in that direction.

Gregory Chin and Ramesh Thakur

October, 2010

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The rising power of China will create new political fissures in the west

Posted by seumasach on August 17, 2016

Raising the spectre of a Chinese “security”threat is, of course, merely a pretext. Our hostility to China becomes China’s imagined hostility to us. The real issue is systemic: China’s financial system is subordinate to the state whereas our state is subordinate to the financial system. All this has been accentuated post-Brexit: at the same time as we shut out China we are directing more of our own resources to bailing out the financial sector.

Guardian

13th August, 2016

Whether he wins or loses the US presidency next November, Donald Trump has already come up with one of the defining slogans of 2016 – “Make America great again”.

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China warns ‘protectionist’ Australia on investment

Posted by seumasach on August 17, 2016

Asia Times

SYDNEY/BEIJING (Reuters) – Australia’s decision to block the A$10 billion ($7.7 billion) sale of the country’s biggest energy grid to Chinese bidders was a protectionist move that would negatively affect investment in the country, China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.

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Nuclear espionage charge for China firm with one-third stake in UK’s Hinkley Point

Posted by seumasach on August 11, 2016

A timely intervention by the Americans just to make sure there’s no backsliding on their post-Brexit, “containment” of China policy for us.

Guardian

11th August, 2016

The Chinese company with a major stake in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been charged by the US government over nuclear espionage, according to the US justice department.

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Does TPP matter? Does Singapore matter?

Posted by seumasach on August 10, 2016

“A purely military containment strategy worked against the USSR since the Soviet Union and its satellites formed an inward-looking economic autarchy, and Western Europe inevitably looked to the US and its massive economy as its only option for economic integration.

Not so in Asia.  The PRC under Deng Xiaoping made the decision to eschew the autarchy model and embed China in the world and regional economy.”

That’s why “containment” is more about regime change in countries which engage too closely with China. There have been successes so far in Brazil, Argentina and the UK but these may end up being Pyrrhic victories: the USA offers no alternative developmental model to the enormously successful Chinese one.

Asia Times

9th August, 2016

During his recent trip to the US, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, along with US President Barack Obama, made a joint pitch for the ratification of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. However, the hope that the TTP would form the foundation of a robust and prosperous East Asian security regime centered on economic integration and positive US engagement is fading as China has chosen to react to The Hague ruling by unilaterally redefining its role in East Asia in opposition to the security and economic regime the US is seeking to reinforce.

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Brexit meets Russia

Posted by seumasach on August 10, 2016

Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy: detente with Russia, containment of China. This, presumably, is merely a reflection of US foreign policy- the culmination of the Obama doctrine and the policy basis of the next US presidency.  There is a logic here: just as confrontation with both Russia and China is unrealistic, so is detente with both together. If we are to finally bring an end to the Cold War then this is to be applauded. Russia and China cannot be turned against each other: this is not 1972. At the same to “containment” of China may turn out to be just a posture, although a very expensive one, especially for the UK. Washington intends to hold back, Canute-style, the incoming waves of China’s economic development model, partly by mimicking it with a neo-Keynesian policy shift. Neo-Keynesianism in one country is not possible: it has to be carried out globally on the basis of a new global financial architecture, a reset of the global currency system. In the end , constructive engagement with our main creditor and the world’s productive centre is inevitable.

Theresa May speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since becoming Prime Minister

Independent

10th August, 2016

Theresa May has spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin for the first time since she became Prime Minister.

The Kremlin said both leaders expressed dissatisfaction with UK-Russian relations and pledged to improve ties.

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Venezuela’s opposition attacks “neocolonial” China

Posted by seumasach on August 4, 2016

China is a long-term player in Venezuela’s energy future

Dialogo China

23rd June, 2016

China’s continued financial support of Venezuela’s floundering government through oil-backed loan deals has been the subject of fierce criticism from the Venezuelan opposition, which has already taken steps towards a recall referendum to remove President Nicolás Maduro from office.

By providing a lifeline to a regime with scant financing options in order to ensure preferential access to Venezuela’s enormous oil reserves, China has been accused of acting as a neo-colonial power. The opposition has denounced that closer ties have also paved the way for an invasion of cheap, so-called “made in China” manufactured products which have negatively impacted Venezuelan industry.

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Australia faces fresh test on Chinese investment

Posted by seumasach on August 4, 2016

“In March Australia tightened its foreign takeover rules to ensure all sales of ports, electricity networks and other public infrastructure were scrutinised by the Foreign Investment Review Board. This followed the contentious A$506m sale to China’s Landbridge Group of a 99-year lease on Darwin port — a strategically important area as US marines are stationed at a nearby naval base — without a formal review by Firb.”

“Mr Xenophon expressed concern about State Grid’s market dominance if its bid was successful. He also asked whether Canberra had sought the advice of the intelligence and defence forces in relation to the proposed sale, adding that he intended to table a bill to tighten Australia’s foreign investment rules when parliament resumed.” 

FT

24th July, 2016

The newly elected government of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is set for its first big test on foreign investment, with two Chinese companies bidding for control of the country’s largest electricity network.

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