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mrnyc

In The World: China

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This is not good for anyone, IMO. There's about to be a massive liquidity black hole in Asia, and while that could mean less of a trade deficit in the short run as some Chinese companies go bust, generally it will mean slower global economic growth.

 

The Communist party has raised money in the following fashion for its local/regional governments for the last ten-twenty years: 1) Seize land, because land belongs to the government. Pay compensation to current residents/tenants varying from grossly unfair to generous to excessive. 2) Auction it off to developers for tons of money. 3) Developers sell it to money for even more money. 4) People invest enthusiastically because of a lack of investment options/cultural bias for home ownership. If that cycle goes away, they've just lost the best tool in their toolbox, and slower growth will force them to adopt more traditionally socialist policies, offering people low-paying but 'safe' jobs to allay concerns about social stability, which will just further aggravate the liquidity situation...but they do have a huge pile of money, so it's possible they can weather the storm, as they have every economic crisis for the past 30 years. This one, however, is mostly of their own making.

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China, India skyscraper boom may herald downturn

By ERIKA KINETZ | Associated Press – Wed, Jan 11, 2012

 

 

MUMBAI, India (AP) — A skyscraper building boom in China and India may signal an impending economic correction in two of Asia's largest economies, a new report says.

 

Barclays Capital has mapped an "unhealthy correlation" between construction of the world's tallest buildings and impending financial crises over the last 140 years.

 

Today, China is home to half of the world's skyscrapers — defined as buildings over 240 meters (787 feet) tall — currently under construction.

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-india-skyscraper-boom-may-herald-downturn-095904234.html

 

 

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China's housing market is set for a hard landing

By Shawn Tully, senior editor-at-large January 23, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

The numbers are grim: China's property bubble is heading for a spectacular burst, and its effect on the country's economy will be widespread.

 

FORTUNE -- The Chinese government's announcement last week that growth for 2011 slowed only slightly to a still impressive 9.2% was greeted enthusiastically by the world's stock markets. Investors also remain buoyant on China's future. They appear to be buying the official line that the gigantic property price bubble is gradually and smoothly deflating, posing little risk to an engine that's so crucial to the future of global trade.

 

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/23/china-real-estate-crash/?iid=HP_LN

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http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/11/0831/reshoring.html

 

"When adding logistics to the China price, the cost advantage of producing in China shrinks to 8 percent: $13.85 for a case-study product made in China versus $14.99 in the United States.

 

But when design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) software is applied to the same product, the China advantage vanishes. The China cost declines to $9.79 versus the U.S.-made product at $9.47. "

 

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A new study on China's censorship machine. Thought this was interesting, and reshapes the outsider's view of censorship in China.

 

How Censorship in China Allows Government

Criticism but Silences Collective Expression

 

Abstract:

We offer the first large scale, multiple source analysis of the outcome of what may be the most extensive effort to selectively censor human expression ever implemented. To do this, we have devised a system to locate, download, and analyze the content of millions of social media posts originating from nearly 1,400 different social media services all over China before the Chinese government is able to find, evaluate, and censor (i.e., remove from the Internet) the large subset they deem objectionable. Using modern computer-assisted text analytic methods that we adapt to and validate in the Chinese language, we compare the substantive content of posts censored to those not censored over time in each of 85 topic areas. Contrary to previous understandings, posts with negative, even vitriolic, criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored. Instead, we show that the censorship program is aimed at curtailing collective action by silencing comments that represent, reinforce, or spur social mobilization, regardless of content. Censorship is oriented toward attempting to forestall collective activities that are occurring now or may occur in the future --- and, as such, seem to clearly expose government intent.

 

http://gking.harvard.edu/gking/files/censored.pdf

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A new study on China's censorship machine. Thought this was interesting, and reshapes the outsider's view of censorship in China.

 

How Censorship in China Allows Government

Criticism but Silences Collective Expression

 

Abstract:

We offer the first large scale, multiple source analysis of the outcome of what may be the most extensive effort to selectively censor human expression ever implemented. To do this, we have devised a system to locate, download, and analyze the content of millions of social media posts originating from nearly 1,400 different social media services all over China before the Chinese government is able to find, evaluate, and censor (i.e., remove from the Internet) the large subset they deem objectionable. Using modern computer-assisted text analytic methods that we adapt to and validate in the Chinese language, we compare the substantive content of posts censored to those not censored over time in each of 85 topic areas. Contrary to previous understandings, posts with negative, even vitriolic, criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored. Instead, we show that the censorship program is aimed at curtailing collective action by silencing comments that represent, reinforce, or spur social mobilization, regardless of content. Censorship is oriented toward attempting to forestall collective activities that are occurring now or may occur in the future --- and, as such, seem to clearly expose government intent.

 

http://gking.harvard.edu/gking/files/censored.pdf

 

Interesting.  They don't really fear individual dissent but they do fear mass movements.

 

This ties into my early post.  The Chinese government values a highly stratified society, with them of course at the top and the masses being harnessed for their support.  This is, of course, completely consistent with Chinese history.

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apparantly the chinese government is actively stirring it up with japan over some disputed islands in order to distract its people from a shakeup in its leadership.

 

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They're definitely having some issues.  China's regularly-scheduled power transfer is imminent and they just christened their first aircraft carrier.  I think they're doing the island thing just to do it.  Can't let too much time pass without stirring up nationalism.  They're seeing increasing signs of a worker revolt in an ostensibly communist country.

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It's not just Japan. China has disputes over islands with half a dozen or so countries in the region. China is trying to "negotiate" with each individual country, while the US State Department is pushing the countries to band together against China's push.

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It's been a while since we checked in on China.  How's it going?

 

131022092026-01-china-smog-1022-horizontal-gallery.jpg

 

Airports, schools remain closed as thick smog blankets Chinese city of Harbin

By Paul Armstrong, CNN

updated 11:35 AM EDT, Tue October 22, 2013

 

(CNN) -- Schools, major roads and an airport remained closed Tuesday, as a thick cloud of filthy smog smothered the northeastern city of Harbin. ... Video from China's state-run CCTV showed some people -- obscured by smog even just steps away -- wearing masks over their mouths as they walked in the province.  Some drivers who braved the roads flashed hazard lights.

 

Kindergartens, primary and junior middle schools were ordered to suspend classes for a second day, while Harbin Taiping International Airport remained closed -- with 250 flights canceled on Monday alone, according to Chinese state media.

 

MORE + SLIDESHOW at http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/22/world/asia/china-smog-lingers/

 


Beijing announces emergency measures amid fog of pollution

By Paul Armstrong and Feng Ke, CNN

updated 2:39 AM EDT, Wed October 23, 2013

 

(CNN) -- With its skies regularly shrouded by a filthy film of gray smog, bringing chaos to the transportation network and forcing millions to seek refuge behind surgical masks, Beijing has been forced to take more extreme action.

 

Officials in China's capital this week announced a raft of emergency measures in a bid to tackle the problem, including mandatory factory closures and bans on cars entering the city on days when pollution levels are particularly high.

 

While Beijing is not alone when it comes to smoke-filled skies, this city of more than 20 million people has come to symbolize the environmental cost of China's break-neck economic growth.

 

MORE at http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/23/world/asia/china-beijing-smog-emergency-measures/

 

131023011948-china-smog-story-top.jpg

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For all things China that don't fit into other threads.......

 

This is from the Washington Post's news editor:

 

eric rich ‏@ericrich  18m18 minutes ago

NOAA said Nat'l Weather Service satellites were down for maintenance. Turns out Chinese hackers had breached them. http://wapo.st/11i78Nu


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Ah, the China scare.  I remember Japan in the 90's and the Soviet Union in the 80's.  Any prediction on who is next?  I'm pulling for either Malta or Texas.

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There is an absolutely perverse pleasure in the fact that all NSA personel had *all* their privacy stolen by China: http://t.co/FgYyguZZiT


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Social media users in China posted videos and photos showing a massive explosion — or what appears to potentially be a quick series of explosions — in Tianjin, a port city in the country's northeast.  It became clear that this was a major incident.  Videos and photos posted at the links below:

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/12/explosion-chinese-port-city-tianjin

 

http://www.vox.com/2015/8/12/9144123/china-tianjin-explosion

 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/12/asia/china-port-explosion/

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Last I heard over 50 were announced dead. Hundreds injured.

 

Also, China is letting the market decide the value of their currency, which is causing it to lose value (so far several percentage points against the USD). This is going to cause Chinese goods to become cheaper in the world market, which should help to slow down the demise of manufacturing there as workers get higher wages and better working conditions.

 

Also, when international news covers events in Boston, San Diego, Miami, etc. do they say "the port city of Boston"? I was thinking about that the other day. Does anyone know? Or is that an American/English thing to help give you some contextual idea of where it is?

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Last I heard over 50 were announced dead. Hundreds injured.

 

Also, China is letting the market decide the value of their currency, which is causing it to lose value (so far several percentage points against the USD). This is going to cause Chinese goods to become cheaper in the world market, which should help to slow down the demise of manufacturing there as workers get higher wages and better working conditions.

 

Also, when international news covers events in Boston, San Diego, Miami, etc. do they say "the port city of Boston"? I was thinking about that the other day. Does anyone know? Or is that an American/English thing to help give you some contextual idea of where it is?

 

It makes more of a difference in China, where there is a huge difference between the economies inland and on the coast.

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My guess is that it's something that's simple to say, distinguishes the city at least a little bit, and doesn't take up much column space.  Like "capital of _______ province" or something similarly generic.

 

Just from memory, I don't recall foreign media doing that with respect to cities like Washington D.C. and NYC (I guess they assume everyone knows), but I think they might with respect to places like Houston.

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Yeah, I figured some of the largest cites like New York, Los Angeles, etc. wouldn't get that treatment, but I figured maybe some lesser known cities like Boston and San Diego could get it from other countries. And DC isn't really a port city, so I wouldn't expect it when talking about DC  :wink:

 

You never hear American media refer to really large, well known cities as "port city" like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Sydney, etc unless they are talking specifically about shipping. I think it's only used when most people don't really know where it is. I remember hearing it a lot when the media was covering Ukraine. The port city of Mariupol, Sevastopol, Odessa, etc. I just found it interesting.

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It's definitely because the majority of Americans have probably never heard of Tianjin let alone be able to locate it on a map.

 

It's interesting, cities that are a part of our rhetoric and are well known by basically everyone such as Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Venice, Florence, etc. are significantly less important and significantly smaller cities than the endless large cities in China. China currently has 50+ regions of over 2,000,000 people. That's insane. Five of those are over 10,000,000 and the largest is about twice the size of the New York City Region. Yet if you asked the average person where Guangzhou is most would have absolutely no idea. Yet it's a region of 44,000,000 people. That's like California in one region with a couple other states tacked on for good measure.

 

The scale of cities in China is something that's hard to really fathom properly. I need to visit. Preferably when they're not exploding.

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The AP Stylebook dictates which American cities must be accompanied by their state.  AP Style is followed by most American newspapers but television and radio have been steadily drifting away from that standard in the decades since radio booths and TV studios were populated by transferred newspapermen.  I doubt that the AP Stylebook has any dictates for Chinese geography, and if it did, TV and radio sure as hell would be ignoring it.  I haven't looked at it in at least ten years so perhaps they have updated it. 

 

 

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Loved it. Both sides of the political spectrum like to find a boogeyman to blame everything on, especially rabid populist movements. China is the target du jour. I doubt we'd find many Americans who would rather have been born in China. Even among those Americans who take Mandarin in college and expatriate to China and are actually educated about the situation... I bet they're all glad they're American. China's just a good place to go to make money.

 

Technological advancement, more than anything, is the cause of our economic woes. And technological advancement certainly is a good thing... we just need to learn to manage certain aspects of it more.

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The point about the limits of the GDP stat is particularly relevant, because we're guilty of the same offense routinely here, albeit to a lesser extent.  If you spend $1 billion paying people to dig holes and fill them in again, you've still technically increased GDP by $1 billion as an accountant would measure it, but it is low-quality GDP that will not lead to follow-on economic activity.  This applies to both wasteful government spending based on either the pretext or the prayer that it will generate positive returns ("stimulus") as well as wasteful private spending (whether just to take advantage of tax advantages, or due to distorted credit or regulatory systems, or simply because people get caught up in the hysteria of a momentary fad ... Beanie Babies).  It's very easy to get caught up in the trap (I do it myself) of believing that GDP growth and economic growth are synonymous.  GDP is the closest readily-ascertainable metric we have to economic growth, but it is not quite the same thing, particularly when goosed by public or private actors that have an interest in making the stat misleading.

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Loved it. Both sides of the political spectrum like to find a boogeyman to blame everything on, especially rabid populist movements. China is the target du jour. I doubt we'd find many Americans who would rather have been born in China. Even among those Americans who take Mandarin in college and expatriate to China and are actually educated about the situation... I bet they're all glad they're American. China's just a good place to go to make money.

 

Technological advancement, more than anything, is the cause of our economic woes. And technological advancement certainly is a good thing... we just need to learn to manage certain aspects of it more.

 

China is an aristocracy.  The fact that communist rhetoric is now one of  the bases of this aristocracy is one of history's great ironies.  But once again, traditional Chinese viewpoints absorbed the invaders.

 

They have been willing to let a small middle class develop in order to gain power and influence for the nation.  But ultimately, they are about as interested in advancing the economic status of their masses as Americans are in adopting the principles of "Juche".

 

Americans in China have a special status.  As a Lois McMaster Bujold character once observed, "egalitarians adjust to aristocracies just fine, as long as they get to be the aristocrats."

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This ain't about the Phillipines....

 

U.S. ramps up military presence in Philippines, starts joint patrols in South China Sea

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/us-ramps-up-military-in-philippines-starts-joint-patrols-in-south-china-sea/2016/04/14/5f312bc9-4cf8-4c44-902c-9a2861cc5386_story.html?tid=sm_tw


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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This thing is weak:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_AIRCRAFT_CARRIER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-25-22-36-23

 

They hype this thing up in the headline but the fact is this is a 1950s-era aircraft carrier by U.S. standards.  We have 12~ nuclear-powered carriers with launch mechanisms launching the best aircraft in the world -- and lots of them. 

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^ Yeah China's first carrier was just a rebuild of an old, unfinished Soviet carrier and this one is just a carbon copy of that one. The real headline will be if they ever get their Type 002 working (which is based on the design of US carriers). They've been fumbling around with steam catapults since the 1980s, when they managed to get their hands on one off of an old Australian carrier that was supposed to be in a scrap yard. The lack of a catapult and flat runway limits flight operations quite a bit because the launch weight is much lower - so planes either end up with less fuel/range or fewer weapons.

 

But even when the Type 002 rolls out, it will already be behind the new US Gerald Ford Class carriers - which have moved past the old steam catapults to an electromagnetic launch system.

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How Do You Control 1.4 Billion People?China's social credit system, which becomes mandatory in 2020, aims to funnel all behavior into a credit score.

https://newrepublic.com/article/148121/control-14-billion-people


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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