Could Premier Wen Jiabao become the trust buster of the East? It seems that will likely become a truth. The main difference is that instead of Roosevelt’s attack on monopolies of private businesses Wen is going after state owned banks. The banking sector has been one of the last remaining hold outs for the state owned enterprises but it seems that their days are numbered. With the chance for competition now when it comes to lending, small to medium business will likely benefit but is China ready to take on the other aspects that will come with competition in this sector? For example, the article mentions that a stable yuan could be a contender to replace the dollar as a reserve currency for developed nations. However, this would spell trouble for the U.S. economy that has enjoyed this position for some time now and what hurts the U.S. economy will certainly be felt in the Chinese economy.
This is a rather amusing effort about China copying US policy towards China and flipping it right back at the US underlines many of the tactics the US has also used against any Latin American government that has tried to assert sovereignty over economic or political affairs.
The cracks in China’s hold on its peripheral regions are becoming more and more evident with each new movement. The protests and acts of self-immolation that have taken place in Tibet and in Qinghai are the most visible and publicized but the protests in other regions like Hong Kong have been left out of the attention of the media. It seems that a general question of autonomy is being called upon by many of the government’s ordained “autonomous regions”. The idea of autonomy for the people that live in these regions and what the government believes to be autonomy are drastically different and I feel this is where the protests are getting much of their complaints. Hong Kong, like Tibet and Xinjiang, have a culture and language all of their own and therefore hold a strong sense of regional identity. However, because of the paranoid nature of the Chinese government, if national identity is not the only or top form of identity then it is perceived as threat. With this mentality more protests will arise and the ones that are already in action will continue and most likely gain ground. The Chinese government is in a drastic need for revision of what they will consider a threat to national identity because the stance that they hold now will likely lead to a complete break down of legitimacy in their autonomous regions. Lets hope that the protest in Hong Kong remain peaceful and productive.
Most are aware of China’s heavy investment in Africa for the purpose of resource acquisition but China’s involvement in Latin America is much less known. Several Latin American countries are very resource rich and have been relatively untapped as far as the extraction of these resources. Like many other nations around the world this is an ideal situation for China to step in and put for the capital that is need to access these resources. It will be interesting if this recent Chinese investment in the region will have any affect on Chinese relations with the region. Also, if this investment has an affect on Brazilian dominance and growth in Latin America.
I feel that the arguments being made about the possibility of a Chinese economic dip could be all too real. All of the warning signs are there for a possible recession. Like the reporter mentioned, a bust for China could be terrible for the recovering economies of the world. The Chinese economy is too interwoven into many large economies around the world for a Chinese economic bust to be limited to East Asia. Chinese expectations for economic growth need to be more realistic so that they can effectively address their growing problem.
This rise of defense spending by China is something that has been expected for years. Of course a country with an economic boom and a desire to become more of a regional power would invest more in its military. The real question is how much is China actually spending on its military. The Chinese government has many loopholes that allow it to invest hundreds of millions into projects without making them public knowledge. Regardless of their visible investments such as the aircraft carrier, stealth bomber, and anti-satellite missiles, they are still many years away from being able to effectively project their power through their military in the region let alone the world. Like the article mentioned the US still invest $740bn annually into its defense programs so while we may see a more visible Chinese military presence in their own backyard they still will not be a challenge to the US military.
It seems that all parties involved are ready for a less aggressive NK. NK has been one of the main reasons for the heightened military tension in East Asia for many years and this was perpetuated by Kim Jong Il. Also, very similar promises were made under his reign that were never kept up. However, I think most of the international community is hoping that the apple has fell far from the tree with Kim Jong un. The renewal of six party talks and the following through with these promises that Kim Jong un has made could set the tone for his leadership. Also, the acceptance and completion of these agreements could drastically change the climate in East Asia. Not only will the NK people be receiving the aid that they so badly need but tension in the region could see a decline for once. What would a more open and less hostile NK look like? What would this mean for SK and NK relations if it follows through?
The issue in Syria could be reaching a tipping point. If the French resolution was to pass and humanitarian corridors were opened into Syria it could tip the conflict into an open military engagement. These corridors will need to be protected and this would come from UN peacekeepers. This means that UN troops would be in Syria protecting these corridors and their bases of supply that would have to be established as drop off points for the supplies. These drop off points may even take on green zone status which would mean defensive perimeters would be established. I feel that this could add a lot of tension to an already tense situation. However, Assad knows this and will most likely oppose this resolution and with Russian and Chinese support they will be able to prevent it from ever coming to fruition.
Despite the controversial vetoes from China and Russia on the last draft UN resolution on Syria, China is showing some signs of much need diplomacy on the side supporting Syria. The talks started by Chinese envoy to Syria Zhai Jun shows that China acknowledges that there is a problem on the ground in Syria and that they see the fallacies of Syria’s actions in this tragic conflict. However, as stated in the article, “the international community must respect Syria’s sovereignty.” Therefore it seems that China will continue to veto any draft UN resolution that they view is in violation of Syrian sovereignty. Yet as the article has stated the Chinese are not simply sitting back and letting the Syrians continue the attack on their people. China is utilizing the only means by which it can try and facilitate an end to this conflict and that is dialogue. While this may not seem like much coming from other nations the Syrians should take the Chinese words to heart because China blatantly put itself on the forefront of international scrutiny in the defense of Syrian sovereignty. If the Syrians want to continue to see open Chinese support as opposed to abstentions then they need to acknowledge some of the Chinese requests for an end to the internal fighting.
While I feel that it is good that there is a dialogue going on about this issue, I feel that if the US does not add some teeth to their argument then little change will be seen. From the perspective of the Chinese it makes no sense to appease the Americans when they were forced to go from developing country to developed country way before they should have and thus missed out on international aid to their poorer regions. China still has extremely low average wage standards when compared to other developed nations and just a few months ago changed its minimum wage from $1.00 to $1.10. Why would the Chinese want to “play by the same rules” when they have a massive poor population they need to take care of? The US wants to have its cake again and eat it too, at the expense of the many impoverished Chinese trying to make a living.
How many self-immolations need to take place before this issue and the grievances are legitimately addressed by the Chinese government? I agree with the article when it is stated, “The Tibetan-populated parts of China are experiencing their worst unrest in four years, ahead of the Tibetan new year on 22 February.” I Hope the protests that will most likely take place do not have lose of life and that something positive comes of them.