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Thread: China







Post#1 at 12-12-2002 05:37 AM by bartelb [at joined Dec 2002 #posts 1]
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12-12-2002, 05:37 AM #1
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China

:o
I have read the fourth turning several times and generally agree with most of their writings. The area I am having most trouble with is the impact that I think China will have on the world and in particular the U.S. In particular Strauss and Howe see a less global economy, I disagree.

I am also assuming that the authors feel that America's society will be the dominant economy power in the 21st Century. I agree America will be the world?s only super military power but at what price?

Why my concern about China? I find China to be in the Second Turning ? Awakening and with its enormous and highly dedicated people, I feel that they will have such an impact on the world economics that we will eventually see our living standards lowered. They can afford to pay people $2 a day for the next 200 years without meeting a critical mass of workers, (a point at which labor unions become a force to reckon with?causing wages to raise which leads to higher living standards).

Living here in Seattle and seeing the impact that Airbus has had on Boeing only strengthens my belief that most discrete manufacturing will end up coming out of China and that we live in a truly global economy. I don?t see how Boeing can compete with its expensive Seattle based labor unions. I think they moved to Chicago because eventually they will move all manufacturing to cheaper labor sources and with the HQs in Chicago, they won't have to deal with civic and government leaders complaining about them moving their manufacturing and in turn killing the labor unions.

Also with the religious groups bringing ?stem cell? research to a dead stop in America and China having no regulations what so ever (on stem cell and bio-tech research) I worry about our ability to be the leaders in what I consider to be the next great industry, (Bio-Tech and nano-tech). Millions of U.S. jobs are at stake.

I am concerned, (only from a competitive perspective, not racial or cultural).

Any comments?
Bartel







Post#2 at 12-12-2002 09:03 AM by Tim Walker '56 [at joined Jun 2001 #posts 24]
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12-12-2002, 09:03 AM #2
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I recently had a conversation with the proprietor of a book store. He commented on Boeing seeking cheaper labor overseas. He said that everybody wants to sell to us, but pretty soon all the good job will be gone. We will be too poor to buy the goods even if they are cheaper. This, I think, will recreate the situation at the end of the 1920s-production was high, but there were too few customers.

If every company is allowed to maximize individual advantage, they undermine the very economy they seek to profit from.







Post#3 at 12-12-2002 10:18 AM by jds1958xg [at joined Jan 2002 #posts 1,002]
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And that's the point at which we move to a quasi-fascist semi-command economy.







Post#4 at 12-12-2002 11:25 AM by SJ [at joined Nov 2001 #posts 326]
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Re: China

Quote Originally Posted by bartelb
:o
I have read the fourth turning several times and generally agree with most of their writings. The area I am having most trouble with is the impact that I think China will have on the world and in particular the U.S. In particular Strauss and Howe see a less global economy, I disagree.

I am also assuming that the authors feel that America's society will be the dominant economy power in the 21st Century. I agree America will be the world’s only super military power but at what price?

Why my concern about China? I find China to be in the Second Turning – Awakening and with its enormous and highly dedicated people, I feel that they will have such an impact on the world economics that we will eventually see our living standards lowered. They can afford to pay people $2 a day for the next 200 years without meeting a critical mass of workers, (a point at which labor unions become a force to reckon with—causing wages to raise which leads to higher living standards).

Living here in Seattle and seeing the impact that Airbus has had on Boeing only strengthens my belief that most discrete manufacturing will end up coming out of China and that we live in a truly global economy. I don’t see how Boeing can compete with its expensive Seattle based labor unions. I think they moved to Chicago because eventually they will move all manufacturing to cheaper labor sources and with the HQs in Chicago, they won't have to deal with civic and government leaders complaining about them moving their manufacturing and in turn killing the labor unions.

Also with the religious groups bringing “stem cell” research to a dead stop in America and China having no regulations what so ever (on stem cell and bio-tech research) I worry about our ability to be the leaders in what I consider to be the next great industry, (Bio-Tech and nano-tech). Millions of U.S. jobs are at stake.

I am concerned, (only from a competitive perspective, not racial or cultural).

Any comments?
Bartel
You should check out the "Invasions from China/Latin America" discussion under the "Future" section. The present discussion is on the hard-line military perhaps dominating the civilian government, and therefore seeing the U.S. as the "enemy", rather than an economic competitor/partner.







Post#5 at 01-22-2003 03:06 PM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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Fast Food as a modernizing influence?

KFC seems to be eating McDonalds' lunch in China and on the verge of doing to China's agriculture what Micky D's did to ours--turning the most populous country into a "Fast Food Nation"!

Standard Fair Use Disclaimers apply.

KFC LEADS CHINA's NEW APPETITE FOR FAST FOOD
by Ruchard McGregor in Shanghai -- FINANCIAL TIMES 1/20/2003

Samuel Su, the head of Kentucky Fried Chicken's operation in China, pauses
when asked how many restaurants the group has on the mainland. "As we're
speaking, several are opening, so it's hard to get an exact number," he says.

With 200 stores opening last year, and at least the same number on track to
begin business in 2003, it's little wonder that Mr Su has trouble keeping
count. The one thing he does know is that "we are expanding at the fastest
pace in the entire of our history."

The success of KFC in China, and to a lesser extent, other global fast foods
giants, like McDonald's, is the result of a rapid transformation of Chinese
lifestyles, which are becoming more geared to speed, convenience and choice.

The spread of western diets are also changing the Chinese themselves, helping
make them taller, fatter and contributing to rising rates of diseases, such
as diabetes. But the most profound impact is likely to be on China's
800m-strong farming community, where the buying power and stringent quality
standards of the giant food companies are just starting to be felt.

KFC, the jewel in the crown in China for Yum Brands, formerly known as
Tricon, the US food and beverage group that also owns Pizza Hut and Taco
Bell, is by far the largest fast food company on the mainland. The number of
its stores doubled in two years between 2000 and 2002 and has put it far
ahead of its local and foreign competitors.

The company has grown by positioning itself in the slipstream of China's
expanding economy over the last decade, placing its stores near new
workplaces, housing developments and shopping centres.

KFC will have more than 1,000 stores in China by the end of this year, about
double the number of its biggest rival, McDonald's, with a presence in every
Chinese province except for Tibet.

"Our brand is doing very well, not just in terms of traditional food, but
also with dishes we have developed totally within China," says Mr Su. A range
of soups and Chinese-style chicken has been developed for the mainland
market, as has the practice of opening for breakfast, something that KFC does
not do in the US.

In addition to KFC, the 100th Pizza Hut restaurant has just opened and the
first Taco Bell in China is on the drawing board.

Yum does not publicise revenues or profits for China, but there seems little
reason to disbelieve Mr Su when he says the mainland has been a "high return"
business. That much can be gauged from the model it has used to build the
business in China -- using direct equity instead of the franchises deployed
in most other markets.

Of the 800 KFC restaurants in China, only about 10 are franchises. The rest
are run by KFC, alone or in joint ventures. There are a number of reasons for
this -- the lack of managers who understand franchising, the early
difficulties in establishing a large-scale supply chain and government
restrictions.

KFC sets the bar high for people who want to become franchisees -- the
company makes them buy an existing restaurant for about Rmb8m, a large amount
of money in China for an individual to stump up, and take its staff as well.

"It's a high barrier but we have a huge number of people sending applications
every day," says Mr Su. "What we're doing now is planting the seeds, to start
franchising with a lot of experiments."

Just as it did in the US, the influence of KFC, and also McDonald's, is now
spreading to food processors and through them, to Chinese farmers,
transforming their produce and upgrading the quality controls used in
growing. KFC sources about 95 per cent of its produce onshore in China,
creating entirely new markets in some products not usually grown by Chinese
farmers, such as iceberg lettuces.

KFC was the first food company in China to outsource the cutting of
vegetables, to get consistency of their products in their restaurants
throughout the country. Other restaurant chains with more than 40 to 50
outlets have been forced to follow KFC's example. "KFC want to concentrate on
serving their customers, not on the wholesale price of lettuce in the
countryside," said one supplier.

KFC, and Japanese importers of farm produce, have also introduced stringent
controls unknown in China until the last couple of years, allowing them to
track produce from the time it is harvested to the consumers' plate.

As the food industry continues to expand, the greatest impact will be on
Chinese farms themselves, which are small by global standards and have
relatively low yields.

To sell to the KFCs of this world, Chinese farms will be under pressure to
consolidate into larger agribusinesses and be taken over by professional
managers, much as has happened in other parts of the world.

"We have become a very desirable customer for our suppliers," says Mr Su,
"and therefore, we can persuade them about what they need to do."
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#6 at 02-26-2003 06:06 PM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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China's foreign policy more pragmatic than ideological

Gee, I guess the people who promoted 'engagement' with China may have been right after all!

Standard Fair Use disclaimers apply.

CHINA REPLACES ITS "FIVE PRINCIPLES" WITH
FOREIGN-POLICY PRAGMATISM

by James Kynge and Richard McGregor
FINANCIAL TIMES -- Monday 2/24/2003

The image of an angry Chinese government spokesman stabbing the air with his
finger as he rails against the US is familiar to television audiences around
the world. In recent memory, the collision between a US spyplane and a
Chinese jet in April 2001, the US-led war in Kosovo and promised US arms
sales to Taiwan have all produced venomous tirades against Washington's
"hegemonism", "interference" or "arrogance".

But, as the US prepares for war against Iraq, Beijing has maintained a
meticulously low profile. The restraint that has characterised China's
response to the crises in Iraq and North Korea demonstrates a fundamental
shift in the way that Beijing pursues its foreign policy, Chinese academics
and foreign diplomats said.

As Colin Powell, US secretary of state, holds talks with Chinese leaders
today, the importance of Beijing's new-found pragmatism may be on display.
Chinese leaders are not expected to stand in the way of Washington's desire
to attack Iraq, nor are the two sides likely to hit an impasse over North
Korea, analysts said.

The reasons are deep-seated. Quietly and never in so many words, China has in
effect discarded the "five principles of peaceful co-existence" that have
formed the bedrock of its foreign policy since 1954.

Those principles stipulated mutual non-aggression and non-interference in
states' internal affairs. But the aloof, non-aligned posture that they
underpinned is now seen as untenable. China's dependence on the international
community has soared; last year it had a $103bn (64.5bn, ?‚?95.7bn) surplus
with the US, was the world's top destination for foreign investment and
derived around 30 per cent of its oil needs from imports.

"China now publicly tells the world that our foreign policy serves our
interests," says Yan Xuetong, director of the institute of international
studies at Tsinghua University. He points out that in the past diplomacy
cleaved to the five principles, and arguing on the basis of interests was
considered to be suspect.

When it comes to war in Iraq, China's interests appear clear: Beijing has
more to lose by trying to block a US attack than by quietly acquiescing, in
the United Nations, to the will of the world's only superpower, say analysts.
This is despite the fact that, publicly, China stands with France and Russia
in urging that UN arms inspectors in Iraq should be given more time to
complete their jobs.

Lu Jianren, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, notes that
if the US prevails in Iraq it may wield influence for some time over the
price and delivery of Iraqi oil. Beijing, which by 2030 is predicted to
import 84 per cent of its oil needs, does not wish to be shut out by a
vengeful US of any process through which Middle East oil is allocated.

On North Korea's threat to reactivate its nuclear programme, China's shared
interests outweigh its differences with the US. "If North Korea goes nuclear,
so will South Korea and Japan," says Prof Lu. "If you add that to a nuclear
India and Pakistan, it is an extremely dangerous situation."

China still opposes the US suggestion that economic sanctions be imposed on
Pyongyang, but it appears to be inching closer to accepting Washington's goal
of multilateral dialogue with North Korea's leaders, say diplomats. North
Korea wants to talk directly to the US.

This shift towards "pragmatism" in China's foreign policy has not come
without soul-searching. One group of scholars issued an open letter this
month condemning any possible US attack on Iraq as "an egregious violation of
international law".

"The US has always trumpeted the lofty ideals of human rights, but this
imminent war will violate the human rights of the Iraqi people by the most
brutal means, and on an unprecedented scale," the letter said.

Han Deqiang, a researcher at Beihang University in Beijing, was one of the
signatories. "If we [in China] care nothing about such life-and-death events
in the world," he says, "when we are in hot water, who would help us?"
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#7 at 02-26-2003 06:08 PM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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And more on liberalization *within* China

Beneficial effects of capitalism on cultural and political life described here.

Standard Fair Use disclaimers apply.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/12/in...ia/12CHIN.html

CHINESE FREER TO SPEAK AND READ, BUT NOT ACT
by Elisabeth Rosenthal -- NEW YORK TIMES, Wednesday 2/12/2003

BEIJING, Feb. 11 ?€” An article last month insisted that China's Communist
leaders must learn from the capitalist West, embracing "democracy and the
rule of law." But this screed did not come from a dissident's pen, and its
author is not in hiding. It appeared in the Communist Party's Southern Breeze
magazine ?€” the words of a senior retired official.

As China has edged toward more pluralism and openness in recent years, that
much celebrated and persecuted class ?€” dissidents ?€” has struggled to
redefine its role in a society where once radical ideas are increasingly
mainstream.

Many former activists have come in from the cold to promote their ideas as
lecturers, editors or authors. With China's private sector booming, they can
now do so with a degree of intellectual and financial freedom.

The authorities still punish those who dare to undermine the Communist
government's power, for instance by organizing a political party or a
workers' protest. On Monday, China imposed life imprisonment on Wang
Bingzhang, a dissident charged with buying weapons and plotting an
underground movement.

But ideas that once could land someone in prison are acceptable commerce
today.

"A Chinese friend who lives in the U.S. came back here recently for a visit,
and he kept asking, `Where is the space for dissidents these days?' " said
Liu Suli, a former pro-democracy activist who spent two years in prison for
his role in the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square, and is now a successful
bookstore owner. "He said that people would probably think you were mad if
you stood up and gave a speech these days."

Even those who still advocate the dissident cause, and so cannot publish
their work in China, admit that they are less isolated. They have found
outlets for their essays on overseas Web sites and have been cooperating with
intellectuals at universities, where talk of multiparty democracy and free
trade unions ?€” ideas that would have meant jail time a decade ago ?€” are now
common cafeteria discussions.

"It's a big change that they are willing to have activities with us and are
very sympathetic," said Liu Xiaobo, who still lives under police surveillance.

But he and others worry that the increasing acceptance of traditional
dissident ideas may actually kill the movement before their mission of
political change has even started. "Even officials now say they want
democracy, but they still oppress us, arrest us and exile us," said Ren
Wanding, 58, who has spent his adult life as a dissident, in prison or under
the eye of the police.

Human rights activists complain that dozens if not hundreds of dissidents are
still in prison for espousing ideas that are now commonplace.

Dr. Hu Shigen, a physician, is halfway through a 20-year prison term for
suggesting that China permit press freedom and trade unions. Jampel Changchub
was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 1989 for translating United Nations
human rights documents into Tibetan.

"Many of the ideas that these people represent wouldn't merit prison time or
even attract much attention today," said John Kamm, director of the Dui Hua ?€”
or Dialogue ?€” Foundation in San Francisco, which monitors the status of
Chinese political prisoners. "But that hasn't helped these folks get out of
prison."

Mr. Kamm estimates that 500 to 600 traditional dissidents remain in jail,
most imprisoned before 1997, when China ended the crime of
"counterrevolution." Hundreds fled overseas after the 1989 military crackdown
on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Ren estimates that several hundred activists in China like himself have
lost their jobs for their political beliefs, cannot publish their writings
and live under surveillance.

But the primary distinctions between these activists and mainstream liberal
thinkers now are methods and lifestyle. "There is very little difference in
the political ideas of dissidents and intellectuals," said Liu Xiaobo,
drawing on a cigarette and openly discussing his life at a Beijing
restaurant. "It's just that the intellectuals are not so direct in their
social criticism and they can exist within the system."

Young liberal intellectuals today often add their names to dissident
petitions, he said, noting, "It's hard to imagine that kind of thing
happening 10 years ago."

Still, the dissident life is difficult. Mr. Ren said his computer access had
been blocked for more than six months, leaving him isolated, in an apartment
10 miles outside Beijing where the government had relocated him to discourage
visitors.

The police still guard dissidents' apartments during important political
events, like the coming National People's Congress, although the tenor of the
interactions has changed.

Mr. Liu said his guard had sometimes asked to read his essays and had offered
to convey them to higher leaders if he agreed not to publish them. Still, Mr.
Liu said: "No one wants to be a dissident. You're forced into this by the
government."

In today's looser intellectual environment, some who had seemed headed for
dissident status have avoided it. In 1999 the government blacklisted Liu
Junning, a popular liberal lecturer and essayist and founder of the journal
Res Publica. He left China, accepting a fellowship at Harvard.

But last year he decided to return home, where he has been treated as a hero.
His articles on constitutional theory are appearing in influential journals
like Strategy and Management, he secured an academic job and he is fielding
increased requests for university lectures and Chinese media interviews.

"Before, people got scared and considered me quite sensitive," Liu Junning,
dressed in a preppy blue sweater, said in a wood-paneled conference room
where he works. "But now I am quite acceptable, and more and more people are
developing an interest in democracy."

The government's newfound tolerance has mostly benefited liberals like Mr.
Liu, who is more interested in writing articles on political theory than
inciting the masses. And it is applied unevenly and unpredictably. It did not
extend to Liu Di, 22, a Beijing university student and chat room organizer,
charged this year with subverting state power for posting satirical essays on
the Internet.

Some human rights advocates say the increased tolerance reflects the police
preoccupation with newer and bigger threats to Communist Party control, such
as China's proliferating religious sects, and the rising number of worker
protests.

"I think the police are as strong and as arbitrary as ever," Mr. Kamm said,
"but in a sense they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the dissidence ?€”
not dissidents ?€” in Chinese society, and they have to prioritize these days."

In the small space that is created, longtime dissidents say they are finding
new outlets for their work and new ways to live. Since last year, Mr. Ren
said he and other activists had been "working on building a democracy
movement culture" through the Internet. He and others can now earn decent
incomes as freelance book editors, for example.

"As China's computers multiply, China's democracy movement has entered the
information age, and we can organize without meeting," he said. But, after 25
years as a dissident, he rejected the notion that he might joint the
mainstream, saying that dissidents were the only ones promoting "true
democracy."

Many younger dissidents, in contrast, have been infected with the optimism
that pervades Chinese society and are now willing to pursue their goals from
within.

"I don't think China's fundamental problems have been solved, but the system
is changing, becoming more public and open," said Liu Suli, sitting amid
ferns in the coffeehouse of his Wan Sheng bookstore. "People go to extremes
when they feel there is no hope. But I think many people feel there is
movement forward now."

Shortly after Liu Siuli got out of prison, he opened his bookstore in a small
alley, stocking it with political and social science texts. It became a
gathering place for liberal intellectuals and has expanded by leaps and
bounds. Last year it moved into a multistory building. "The dissident
community is weak and not in a position to engage in confrontation with the
government," he said. "But people have found indirect ways to express their
ideas and values."
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#8 at 03-11-2003 03:19 AM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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China's Silent peers finally take charge...

...just as Silents are on their way out here. Oh, well, China's leadership always takes charge at an advanced age and seems to lag a generation behind ours.

BTW, notice the Adaptive/Artist emphases of the reforms--food and drug, rational streamlining of the processes of government, and a more sophisticated approach.

Standard Fair Use disclaimers apply.

China approves sweeping change

BEIJING, China --China's legislature has approved a sweeping restructuring of the country's cabinet, bringing it more in line with Western models.

Beijing will turn its sprawling ministries -- devised over decades of communism that focused on state planning and control -- into a streamlined operation that will bolster policing of financial systems to prevent corruption as markets open to the world.

The rubber-stamp National People's Congress, in the middle of its annual two-week session, endorsed the government's proposal by a vote of 2,699 to 88 on Monday. There were 105 abstentions.

The move comes as the nation of 1.3 billion people grapples with a swathe of economic and social changes following two decades of capitalist-style reforms.

While pulling back from economic control, China wants to make sure that endemic corruption and graft do not sink its ship. It is also keen to cut back on bureaucratic overlap.

As part of its revamp, China will set up special agencies to oversee banks and state assets, as more foreign investment enters the country.(Factbox of ministerial revamp)

The Banking Commission will guide China's efforts to turn its bad-debt laden banks into profitable financial houses.

The State Development Planning Commission, entrusted with carrying out the five-year plans of the Communist Party's controlled economy, will be renamed and revamped, cementing its status as a super-ministry in charge of guiding overall economic reform.

Another commission will manage government stakes in thousands of state-run firms and is expected to help Beijing gradually divest many such holdings.

The changes represent a fundamentally different approach to regulation by China's government, which long has favored separating the duties of administration among many ministries.

Most other major countries have, during the past century, consolidated operations into fewer cabinet-level departments or ministries in the interests of efficiency.

"There is an extreme need for this," delegate An Zhisheng, of the northern province of Shaanxi, told The Associated Press just before the vote.

"If we don't do it, there will be a big waste of personnel. We'll have one department doing something and another department doing the same thing."

The moves are in line with the government's attempts to build what it calls a "socialist market economy" that reduces central control in favor of market forces.

The revamping also includes:

-- A State Food and Drug Administration to "reinforce supervision over the safety of food, health products and cosmetics."

-- An upgrade of the State Family Planning Commission to "beef up research of the population development strategy." The world's most populous nation has come under frequent global criticism for its population-control policies limiting many families to one child.

-- Replacing the foreign trade ministry with a Ministry of Commerce, overseeing both international and domestic trade.

The 13-day National People's Congress will mark the culmination of sweeping leadership changes pre-approved by the Communist Party last year, in the first orderly transfer of power in China's communist history.

Premier Zhu Ronji is expected to transfer power to his prot?g?, Vice Premier Wen Jiabao, 60, and China's President Jiang Zemin, 76, will be replaced by Vice President and party chief Hu Jintao, 60.

Also Monday, Li Peng presented his final work report before he steps down as legislative chief.

As premier in 1989, Li announced martial law in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests -- a move that eventually would lead to the crackdown in which hundreds, perhaps thousands, died.

That earned Li the moniker "Butcher of Beijing."

Using revolutionary language to invoke modern themes, Li prescribed allegiance to the new leadership Monday.
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#9 at 03-12-2003 04:05 AM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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Re: China's Silent peers finally take charge...

Quote Originally Posted by Vince Lamb '59
...just as Silents are on their way out here. Oh, well, China's leadership always takes charge at an advanced age and seems to lag a generation behind ours.

BTW, notice the Adaptive/Artist emphases of the reforms--food and drug, rational streamlining of the processes of government, and a more sophisticated approach.
My comments above prompted a quizzical response in an email. My response follows:

Actually, I'm also convinced that China is on the same cycle as North America.
However, I think that they are a few years delayed behind the US. China's
revolution didn't end until 1949, which means their crisis didn't end until
then, either. BTW, that corresponds with both the trough of the secular bear
market and the end of the fourth turning in Europe. Work backwards 18 years
for a standard modern turning length and we get 1931, the year Japan conquered
Manchuria. That makes for a good crisis catalyst. Work forward 3-4 years for
a regeneracy and we get 1934-1935, the Long March, which propelled Mao to the
leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and Gray Champion status. Fits
nicely enough for me!

The part you may have misunderstood is that China's leaders usually occupy the
Elderhood bracket, unlike the US, where they usually occupy midlife. This
means that they are a generation behind the US even though their turnings are
only a few years behind. I count Mao as a very late Prophet, not a Nomad. He
managed to last until the next Awakening (I think that the Cultural Revolution
would then be an attempt to control the direction of the early Awakening,
although it smacks more of last gasp High witchhunting to me)! Deng was a
Nomad and governed like one. He managed the Awakening into Unravelling
transition (this would make Tienanmin Square a failed end of Awakening event as
much or more than an Alienating event for Nomads). Jiang Zemin would then be a
late Hero, even though he presided over most of the Unravelling. So China
would still be primed to go into crisis, but with old Artists in charge, not
the expected midlife Prophets!
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#10 at 03-20-2003 03:40 AM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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03-20-2003, 03:40 AM #10
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A docile China is bad for world peace?

That seems like a paradox. However, read the following article for the rationale behind it. Standard Fair Use disclaimers apply.

A DOCILE CHINA IS BAD FOR GLOBAL PEACE
by Minxin Pei -- FINANCIAL TIMES, Tuesday 3/11/2003

The writer is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace.
__________________________________________________

China's relative silence on the crisis in Iraq is in keeping with its
low-profile foreign policy. Next week Jiang Zemin is expected formally to
cede the presidency to Hu Juntao, while holding on to the chairmanship of the
state military affairs committee. Mr Jiang will thus retain a firm grip on
external relations.

But the retirement of Qian Qichen, the chief architect of foreign policy for
the last 15 years, and the possible appointment of Li Zhaoxing as foreign
minister, have raised a question few in China seem willing to answer: Will
the policy change?

This question may strike many in Beijing as absurd. Keeping a low
international profile, maintaining a stable relationship with the US and
capitalising on globalisation to spur economic growth have served the country
well. Why change?

Indeed, few would dispute that, on balance, Beijing's foreign policy has
demonstrated increasing maturity and sophistication. Yet, China's handling of
the crises in Iraq and North Korea also shows the risks and costs of
passivity. It is time the leadership re-evaluated the geopolitical
assumptions underlying Chinese foreign policy.

In the crises in Iraq and North Korea, the desire to keep a low profile has
led China to adopt a more ambiguous stance and lose whatever influence it may
have had in shaping their resolution. Unlike Russia, which has taken a more
proactive approach, China has been missing in action. Its position on the use
of force against Iraq is unclear. Its declared goal of keeping nuclear
weapons out of the Korean peninsula has not been accompanied by visible
diplomatic measures.

Inaction becomes harder to defend when one considers what is at stake for
China. Its immediate economic interests in Iraq are modest. But, because of
its growing dependence on Middle Eastern oil, which accounts for 60 per cent
of imports, it may better serve its interests by getting more actively
involved and taking a clear stand. Quiescence risks marginalisation.

In dealing with an unfolding nuclear confrontation in North Korea, Beijing's
inaction has disappointed its friends and irked Washington. Although it does
not have to toe the US line toward Pyongyang, China needs to come up with an
alternative to Washington's policy of no negotiation.

If it allows the crisis to spiral out of control, it could be dragged into a
nuclear maelstrom with devastating consequences for peace and prosperity in
the region.

In a world where the threats from rogue states and international terrorism
are at least as dangerous as rivalry among major powers, Beijing can better
defend its interests by modifying its diplomatic strategy. While it should
continue a policy of co-operation with the US, it must use its growing
influence to assume a more active role in the international community.

This may require Beijing to break some old habits, such as its aversion to
substantial participation in peacekeeping missions, reluctance to increase
its financial contributions to the United Nations, and abdication of any
leadership role in multilateral organisations.

Chinese leadership will be necessary above all in reshaping its own volatile
neighbourhood. To be sure, its initiative to establish a free-trade zone with
the Association of South-East Asian Nations is a good start. But Beijing can
do much more to allay the fears of its neighbours about China's growing
power. This may require it to adopt a new two-pronged regional strategy.

First, China should use its clout to push for regional integration and
co-operation. On the top of this agenda should be expanded regional free
trade. Despite Tokyo's lukewarm response to Beijing's proposal for a
Japan-China-Asean free trade agreement, China should continue to push this
initiative.

Second, Beijing needs to mend its frayed ties with Tokyo, where sinophobia is
at a feverish level. To reassure Japan, China must be more transparent about
its military modernisation, stop using Japan's war guilt as a diplomatic
tool, and start treating it as a full co-equal partner in maintaining peace
and prosperity in East Asia. A genuine Sino-Japanese reconciliation is the
requisite for regional collective security.

No doubt, this may seem an ambitious agenda for China's new foreign policy
team. It also goes against ingrained thinking in Beijing's diplomatic
strategy. But, if Chinese leaders do not seize the current opportunity to
reshape their regional environment, others will do it for them -- and not
necessarily to their liking.
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#11 at 05-22-2003 03:10 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Here is an article giving some indication of developing Chinese power.

The Renminbi Zone

Driven by the country's economic success and with quiet support from
Beijing, China's currency is more and more welcome across the region for
business and tourism. And it could be on its way to a much bigger role
in Asia

By Michael Vatikiotis/HONG KONG and Bertil Lintner/CHIANG MAI

Issue cover-dated May 29, 2003

SOMETHING SURPRISING is happening to China's currency. Although not
fully convertible, the renminbi, the "people's money," is growing in use
as a hard currency outside China--the first sign of its potential role
as "Asia's money." In Hong Kong and along China's borders with Southeast
Asia, an emerging renminbi zone can be traced, fuelled by burgeoning
Chinese trade and tourism.



WHAT GIVES THE RENMINBI REACH
• The growth of China as a market and export base
• Beijing's drive to deepen its trade ties with Asia
• Growing renminbi use in areas bordering China
• Full convertibility is an eventual goal for Beijing
• Rising domestic demand

In Hong Kong, which has its own currency pegged to the United States
dollar, the renminbi is used to buy goods at electronics stores in the
busy shopping areas of Kowloon. At some automated teller machines in
Hong Kong, customers already have the option of withdrawing renminbi or
Hong Kong dollars. Mainland banks in Hong Kong issue
renminbi-denominated credit cards. Fewer Chinese who travel exchange
renminbi for foreign currency before leaving China--as they're supposed
to. Instead, they do so at their destinations. The renminbi is, for
instance, listed among exchange rates of hard currencies at Chiang Mai
airport in northern Thailand. More than 16 million mainland Chinese went
abroad in 2002. The renminbi is also increasingly used in commercial
transactions across wide stretches of Southeast Asia close to the
Chinese border.

"China is effectively managing a hard currency," says Michael Kurtz,
chief analyst for Bear Stearns in Hong Kong. "The move is almost
effortless, backed by solid reserves and wise economic policies." What's
more, adds Steve Xu, a Chinese economist in Hong Kong, "this is all
driven by market forces, not a deliberate policy."

The rise of the renminbi is a quiet result of the rapid growth of
China's economy, and a conscious effort by the government in the past
few years to deepen trade ties with the rest of Asia. The International
Monetary Fund estimates that 40% of total trade within non-Japan Asia is
intra-regional, and trade with China accounted for 40% of the increase
in 2002. As well as reflecting China's growing economic influence in the
region, experts say that Beijing is counting on the currency acting as a
strategic tool to consolidate China's power and influence in Asia,
possibly paving the way for the renminbi's debut as a regional reserve
currency. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said recently that a strong
and stable renminbi is good for Asia.

Annual growth rates in China of about 8%, boosting regional trade and
tourist flows, seem to be achieving such an aim. Some experienced
financiers worry that sceptics may be ignoring a dawning reality. A
particularly strong advocate of the currency is John Wadsworth, an
advisory director of Morgan Stanley based in San Francisco. "The
renminbi will be free to trade, it will be a strong currency, Chinese
banks will be dominant, and it is highly likely that there will be four
major currencies in the world within 10-15 years," he says. Adds Edward
Zeng, CEO of Sparkice, a leading Beijing-based electronic-commerce
company: "It amounts to a gradual move toward convertibility."

The authorities in Beijing tentatively support this development. Guo
Shuqing, a deputy governor of China's central bank and the chairman of
the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, told local media in March
that the government's attitude "is both supportive and cautious" about
the increasing internationalization of the renminbi.

Guo estimated the total amount of renminbi in circulation outside China
at greater than 30 billion renminbi ($3.6 billion). "Not only in
neighbouring countries, but even in the United States, there are places
for the exchange of renminbi. The circulation of renminbi demonstrates
confidence in the Chinese economy," Guo said.

China's membership of the World Trade Organization only accelerates the
emergence of a strong, unified Chinese currency. This, in turn, will
increase the desirability of a fully convertible renminbi, both as a way
of smoothing the integration of China's economy into the world economy,
and as a way for China to exercise its economic might more directly.
Full convertibility is a stated goal, but no fixed timetable has been set.

The renminbi's gradual emergence is consistent with past Chinese
experiments in economic and political reform. "Since China trade is
becoming an important part of intra-regional trade, China will be happy
to see the renminbi used," says Andrew Freris, chief economist at BNP
Paribas in Hong Kong. "China turns a blind eye to all this and sees an
upside in terms of acceptance of the currency," concurs a senior
economic adviser at HSBC in Hong Kong.

This willingness to experiment could explain why a blind eye is being
turned to the flouting of foreign-exchange restrictions normally applied
to Chinese citizens travelling abroad (officially there's a limit of
6,000 renminbi each). The renminbi is already in wide circulation in the
countries favoured by Chinese tourists in Southeast Asia, principally
Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

For its part, Hong Kong is open to increased use of the renminbi to buy
goods and services. Joseph Yam, chief executive of the Hong Kong
Monetary Authority, says the city as an international financial centre
in China should "capture any international financial intermediation
activities denominated in renminbi." A spokesman for Hong Kong's
Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau says: "The growing use of
renminbi in Hong Kong is a natural development along with the financial
integration between Hong Kong and the mainland." Economist Xu, a
research fellow at the Hong Kong think-tank Civic Exchange, estimates
that renminbi worth HK$30 billion-40 billion ($3.8 billion-5.1 billion)
is in circulation in the territory.

Then there's the growing use of the currency in areas bordering on China
that increasingly rely on cross-border trade. For now, the heart of this
creeping renminbi zone is focused on some of the region's most marginal
economies. The renminbi is the principle trading currency in northern
Laos and northern Burma as far west as Mandalay and south to Kentung,
just 150 kilometres from Thailand. It is also widely used for business
in Cambodia and Vietnam. According to some reports, the renminbi is
being hoarded as a hedge against inflation in Cambodia, alongside the
dollar.

In Burma and Laos, the Chinese currency is a hard substitute for weak
local currencies like the Burmese kyat and Laotian kip. The blackmarket
rate for the kyat is as low as 1,000 to the dollar, from 250-300 in
1997. The official rate of the kip has slipped from 960 to 10,500 in the
same period. More conveniently, the renminbi can be used for purchases
and any kind of deal across the Chinese border.

Cross-border trade has increased in recent years. Consumer goods,
machinery and fruit come in from China; timber, minerals and smuggled
cars leave Burma, Laos and Thailand. All these transactions, amounting
to hundreds of millions of dollars in annual value, are settled in
renminbi--greatly helped by lax controls over carrying currency in and
out of China. An official from the Yunnan provincial government told a
recent Asia Society conference in Hanoi that more than a million people
crossed the border with Vietnam in the previous 15 months.

Along the Thai banks of the Mekong River, Chinese traders from Yunnan do
business without converting their renminbi into Thai baht. All over
Thailand, an underground banking network enables traders to transfer
funds in and out of the Chinese currency. A similar system works in the
Pearl River Delta region connecting Hong Kong with Guangdong province.
Says Marc Faber, one of Asia's most experienced financial analysts: "The
renminbi is the strongest currency in Asia right now; the problem is
there isn't enough of it in circulation."

It's a curious situation because the renminbi is still subject to rigid
capital controls. Regional central banks will not hold the renminbi as a
reserve currency, nor do they issue debt in renminbi because China keeps
it to a de facto peg of nearly 8.28 to the dollar. The renminbi is not
freely convertible on the capital account, and most analysts don't
expect this to change for some years. The fear is that opening the
country's capital account too soon will lead to huge outflows because of
a lack of confidence in the banking system.

Of course, China has already used its currency to play a leading
regional role. Pledges to maintain a stable renminbi were a key source
of confidence for Southeast Asia during the 1997 financial crisis. China
signed currency-swap agreements as part of an Asia-wide currency safety
net under the Chiang Mai Initiative, designed to ward off future
financial crises. China's $300 billion in foreign reserves are the
second-largest in the world and will likely play a central role in a
planned Asian bond market quietly backed by Beijing. China and the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations have agreed to form a free-trade
area within a decade.

In the longer term, these developments foreshadow what some experts see
as the evolution of the renminbi into a regional currency floating
against the dollar, euro and Japanese yen. A Chinese currency that
becomes a regional currency would validate and facilitate China's
emergence as a global economic power and reduce dependence on the
dollar. It would also make possible renminbi financing throughout the
region. Chinese official data show illicit capital inflows in 2002
instead of the usual drain, indicating new confidence in the Chinese
currency.

Japan's latent banking and debt crisis makes the yen less suitable as a
vehicle for wider Asian monetary integration, some experts believe. In
turn, the mighty dollar could become relatively less important in an
area dominated by trade links with China. So argue George von
Furstenberg and Jianjun Wei of Indiana University, in a recent academic
paper proposing that a fourth major international currency, after the
dollar, euro and yen, will have to crystallize in continental East Asia.
"If and when China's currency . . . develops into a major international
denomination rivalling the yen, it could become one of the two pillars
of a multilateral monetary union with most other East Asian (and some
Southeast Asian) countries," they write.

Long-term trends lend support to this view. There is the growing size
and importance of China's financial system, assuming sustained economic
growth, and the fact that the relative importance of the U.S. market to
China and Hong Kong is shrinking. "China is today a medium-sized economy
with GDP equivalent to that of Italy," writes Jonathan Woetzel, a
Shanghai-based director of consultants McKinsey & Co. in his new book
Capitalist China. "What makes it distinctive is its growth. By 2010, it
is expected to almost double in size to rival Germany. With continued
growth it will surpass Japan by 2020."

There are signs that East Asia's combined real GDP could even exceed
that of the United States if productivity growth and technology catch-up
continue at a rapid pace. "Based on this outlook," argue the paper's
authors, "we do not share the view that maintaining a U.S. dollar peg,
particularly with the yen-dollar rate on the loose, would continue to
bring the blessings of stability to a continental East Asian monetary
area far into the future."

That's not to say the renminbi will emerge as the dominant Asian
currency in the near future. After all, Japan tried and failed to build
a yen-trading bloc in Asia at the height of its boom. But the needs of
hungry Japanese corporations overseas meant that Japan's banks went on a
lending spree that contributed to the weakening of the yen. And some
analysts see an interim period during which China will rely more heavily
on the dollar as it pulls in foreign direct investment, bolsters its
reserves and stretches its trading wings farther afield.

For now, and perhaps the next few years, there are clear limits to the
scope of the renminbi. The overwhelming majority of foreign-exchange
transactions in the world involve the trading of shares, bonds and other
financial instruments. Actual transactions involving goods and services
amount to probably less than 10%. China's currency won't figure in
financial-service transactions until full convertibility.

Even if 30 billion renminbi is circulating outside China, that's barely
2% of the total value of the currency in circulation. The dollar will
likely continue to dominate the region because the U.S. is a net
borrower. "The reason the yen and the euro are not as strong as the U.S.
dollar is because both Japan and the European Union are net lenders, not
net borrowers," says Freris of BNP Paribas. China is also a net lender
with a total estimated foreign debt of $170 billion against its reserves
of $300 billion--much of this denominated in U.S. treasuries.

While its spread across Asia presages a wider role, the renminbi's
strength against the dollar and yen are far from assured. China may have
another economic downturn, or a banking crisis that would puncture
confidence. The renminbi also needs to secure legitimacy in the free,
open market, rather than in shadowy corners of Southeast Asia's marginal
economy. As Zeng of Sparkice points out: "It is only when China has
surpassed Japan economically and Japan is bogged down in stagnation that
the renminbi can acquire the position as a common currency in Asia."

Susan V. Lawrence in Beijing contributed to this article







Post#12 at 08-15-2003 01:38 AM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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08-15-2003, 01:38 AM #12
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Weird science from the people's republic:

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 14, 2003; Page A04
Scientists in China have, for the first time, used cloning techniques to
create hybrid embryos that contain a mix of DNA from both humans and rabbits,
according to a report in a scientific journal that has reignited the smoldering
ethics debate over cloning research.

More than 100 of the hybrids, made by fusing human skin cells with rabbit
eggs, were allowed to develop in laboratory dishes for several days before the
scientists destroyed them to retrieve so-called embryonic stem cells from their
interiors. Although scientists in Massachusetts had previously mixed human
cells and cow eggs in a similar attempt to make hybrid embryos as a source of
stem cells, those experiments were not successful.
Researchers said yesterday they were hopeful that the rabbit work would lead
to a new and plentiful source of embryonic stem cells for research and,
eventually, for medical use. But theologians and others decried the work as
unethical.
Some wondered aloud what, exactly, such a creature would be if it were
transferred to a womb to develop to term.
The vast majority of the DNA in the embryos is human, with a small percentage
of genetic material -- called mitochondrial DNA -- contributed by the rabbit
egg. No one knows if such an embryo could develop into a viable fetus, though
some experiments with other species suggest it would not.
Congress has been mulling legislation for years that would outlaw certain
human cloning experiments, with some opposed to any creation of cloned embryos
for research and others sympathetic to research uses as long as the embryos are
not allowed to grow into cloned babies. No law has been passed, however, in
part because of researchers' warnings that the proposed restrictions are so
far-reaching that they would hobble development of new medical treatments.
The new work, led by Hui Zhen Sheng of Shanghai Second Medical University,
appears in the latest issue of Cell Research and was highlighted in a news
report in the journal Nature. Cell Research is a peer-reviewed -- if
little-known
in the United States -- bimonthly scientific journal affiliated with the
Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Some
researchers yesterday said they were frustrated by the lack of details in the
paper.
The team said it retrieved foreskin tissue from two 5-year-old boys and two
men, and facial tissue from a 60-year-old woman, as a source of skin cells.
They fused those cells with New Zealand rabbit eggs from which the vast
majority
of rabbit DNA had been removed. More than 400 of those new, fused entities
grew into early embryos, and more than 100 survived to the blastocyst stage --
the point at which coveted stem cells begin to form.
The approach could help scientists wishing to mass-produce human embryos as
sources of human embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can morph into all kinds of
tissues and may be able to reverse the effects of various degenerative
diseases. But to make cloned embryos, scientists need both normal body cells --
such
as skin cells -- and egg cells, which have the unique capacity to "reprogram"
the genes in body cells and make them behave as though they were embryo cells.
Because human egg cells are difficult and costly to retrieve from women's
ovaries -- and because human egg retrieval poses risks to the donors --
scientists have been wanting to know whether animal eggs may serve as well. A
major
question has been whether the remnants of mitochondrial DNA that typically
remain
in an animal egg would be compatible with the nuclear DNA contributed by the
human cell.
The new work suggests that the answer to that question is yes, scientists
said -- though with a number of caveats. Most important, researchers said, the
paper stops short of proving beyond a doubt that the stem cells retrieved from
the hybrid embryos are truly capable of growing for long periods of time in lab
dishes, and that they can turn into every known kind of cell.
Even so, said Douglas Melton, a Harvard University cell biologist and cloning
expert, the work is a big advance because it offers a new system for
exploring the mechanisms by which egg cells get adult cells to act in embryonic
ways.
That could provide deep insights into human development, wound healing and
tissue regeneration.
He noted that although this is the first creation of a human "chimeric"
embryo -- a reference to the fabulous chimera of Greek mythology, which had a
lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail -- it is not the first time
scientists have blended human cells into lab animals. Some mice, for example,
have
been endowed with human brain cells or portions of the human immune system for
research.
The Chinese work, Melton said, is "extremely interesting, and I hope they
pursue it."
R. Alta Charo, an associate dean of law and professor of bioethics at the
University of Wisconsin at Madison, noted that the work passed muster with
Chinese ethics authorities, who had demanded, among other things, that the
embryos
not be allowed to grow more than 14 days.
"Short of putting one of these embryos into a woman's body for development to
term, I don't think this work harms anyone alive," Charo said.
She said the experiments should force opponents of cloning research to
identify more clearly than they have until now exactly where they would draw
the
line against human embryo cloning -- in effect: How human does an embryo have
to
be to have the moral standing these advocates confer on embryos?
Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he felt
certain that the human-rabbit embryos were human enough to deserve
protections.
"I think because all the nuclear DNA is human," Doerflinger said, "we'd
consider this an organism of the human species."
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#13 at 09-30-2003 11:43 AM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Disintegration of China

Back around, say 1984, nobody ever imagined that only a few short years later, the USSR would dissolve into a score of smaller countries.

Is it possible that in the next decade or two, something similar could happen to China, with areas such as Tibet and the western Muslim provinces of China peeling off and going at it alone?

Any thoughts? This is pure daydreaming on my part, not the result of anything I've read or heard. :wink:
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#14 at 09-30-2003 12:43 PM by Tim Walker '56 [at joined Jun 2001 #posts 24]
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Distintergrating China?

Actually, I recall seeing a book about that very subject. Unforetunately, I don't recall the author or title. *** ***







Post#15 at 10-01-2003 09:45 AM by Prisoner 81591518 [at joined Mar 2003 #posts 2,460]
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Re: Disintegration of China

Quote Originally Posted by The Wonk
Back around, say 1984, nobody ever imagined that only a few short years later, the USSR would dissolve into a score of smaller countries.

Is it possible that in the next decade or two, something similar could happen to China, with areas such as Tibet and the western Muslim provinces of China peeling off and going at it alone?

Any thoughts? This is pure daydreaming on my part, not the result of anything I've read or heard. :wink:
Jenny, I'm afraid that my 'daydreams' about China's possible future borders go in the opposite direction, with the Ural Mountains as China's new western border, with not only Taiwan, but Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and most of Kyrgyzia also becoming part of China. Quite possibly both Koreas, and maybe even Japan, as well. (That is, unless China decides that it wants the rest of the Russian Republic, too.)

The farthest east I can honestly see China's borders being confined to would still add Taiwan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzia, and the part of Kazahhstan to the southeast of Lake Balkhash. Also the Gorno-Altay Autonomous Oblast, the Khakass Autonomous Oblast, the Tuva Autonomous Republic, and all the rest of Siberia east of the Yenisey River. And that's if Russia and Kazakhstan are lucky!







Post#16 at 10-10-2003 01:46 PM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
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I know there is a "Space, the final frontier" topic in which China's manned space program was discussed, but I couldn't find it. Instead, I'm posting it here. I guess redundancy pays.

Click on the link below to get to the links for the rest of these stories.

More Stories

NASA and China Should Work Together, Apollo Moonwalker Says

Shenzhou Secrets: China Prepares for First Human Spaceflight

Pentagon Report: China's Space Warfare Tactics Aimed at U.S. Supremacy

Zoom In: Satellite Spies Restricted Chinese Launch Site

China's Lunar Ambitions Have Produced Tensions at Home

Standard disclaimers apply.

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches...ch_031010.html

Enthusiasm for Manned Chinese Space Mission Grows as Launch Window is Firmed
By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 10:33 am ET
10 October 2003

Enthusiasm for China's first launch of humans into space is growing as a launch next week became more certain Friday.

The People's Daily Online, a Chinese news service, reports that the time window for launching a piloted Shenzhou 5 spacecraft is between Oct. 15-17, citing an unnamed official in charge of the country's manned spaceflight program.

Similarly, the official Xinhua News Agency in China noted the same launch dates, adding that all is progressing smoothly for China to become the third nation capable of rocketing humans into Earth orbit. The launch has for weeks been surrounded by rumor and speculation with little official word.

A Long March 2F booster will boost the Shenzhou spaceship from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province in early morning daylight, circle Earth for some 21 hours, then parachute into an Inner Mongolia target zone before nightfall.

Crew readied

The People's Daily also reported that an "astronaut crew" for this landmark project in China's space history has been selected. A group of 14 candidate pilots have undergone strict examination. Also, the group has been put through a comprehensive set of drills at the Jiuquan launch complex.

There has been no confirmation, as of yet, regarding who or how many people are to put the Shenzhou 5 through its space paces.

Chinese television officials have said they will cover the launch live.
Enthusiasm grows

Meanwhile, it appears that the Chinese public's enthusiasm about seeing their fellow countrymen go into orbit has stepped up.

Two major Chinese news websites -- www.sina.com.cn and www.sohu.com have launched an on-line survey on what a Shenzhou astronaut may say while circling the Earth.

The answers vary from "My dear wife, I love you," or "This is the first time I'm calling outside the Earth," to "Here I am representing one-fourth of the world's population."

Internet surfers in China have also been asked to guess which province the astronaut is from, even how tall that person might be.
"Dans cette epoque cybernetique
Pleine de gents informatique."







Post#17 at 10-14-2003 10:52 PM by Virgil K. Saari [at '49er, north of the Mesabi Mountains joined Jun 2001 #posts 7,835]
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Yellow Peril

First Japan, now China is the culpritMr. Joseph Stiglitz opines in the
15 October 2003 number of
The Guardian(UK)


For those who recall east Asia's crisis of five years ago, much of this seems to run counter to what was said then. China was urged not to float its currency. Until Argentina's peso imploded, fixed exchange rates were fine. The US treasury welcomed government intervention in exchange rate markets, and encouraged the IMF to support such interventions with mega-billion dollar loans. If China had let its currency float back then, it would have depreciated in value, deepening the crisis.

Countries were warned: avoid trade deficits and build up reserves, because they are the key frontline defence. East Asia's countries followed that advice, and for a good reason: they had seen the consequences of a lack of reserves. East Asia's governments knew then that the IMF's policies would deepen their downturns, but were helpless to resist. The IMF had the money they needed. China and Malaysia, lucky enough not to have to turn to the IMF or brave enough to set their own course, did what every textbook said to do: they pursued expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. China's economy continued to grow at 7%; Malaysia had the shortest and shallowest downturn.

To understand what is at stake, a few basic economic points need to be spelled out. First, international trade is based on the principle of comparative advantage: countries export goods in which they have a relative advantage and import goods in which they have a relative disadvantage. America now has a relative disadvantage in manufacturing, while China has a relative advantage. China should be exporting manufactured goods to the US.

Second, if a country invests more than it saves, it will need to borrow, and the counterpart to that borrowing is a trade deficit. America's burgeoning trade deficit is a result of Bush's unprecedented mismanagement. Tax cuts that the US could ill afford turned a huge fiscal surplus into a massive deficit; rather than saving, America is borrowing, much of it from abroad. That - not China's exchange rate policy - is the culprit.

In fact, China's overall trade surplus today is small, around 1% of its GDP. Of course, the Bush administration wants to shift the blame, but neither China, nor anyone else, should be fooled. This is reminiscent of what happened 20 years ago, when President Reagan engineered huge tax cuts which incited huge fiscal deficits, which in turn led to huge trade deficits. Back then, Japan was blamed!

The harsh truth is that neither the IMF nor the Bush administration really believes in free markets. They interfere with markets when it suits their purposes. Bush supported bailouts for airlines, unprecedented subsidies for agriculture and tariff protections for steel.







Post#18 at 10-15-2003 10:34 AM by Prisoner 81591518 [at joined Mar 2003 #posts 2,460]
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Quote from an article on yesterday's launch:
"China's leaders long ago replaced their leftist ideology with sweeping economic reform, and resort instead to flag-waving nationalistic appeals to bind their nation together - a strategy reflected in Beijing's successful campaign for the 2008 Summer Olympics."

Now I see why Brian Rush is so quick to discount China. What else can they expect for betraying their principles, and becoming everything he so absolutely detests, where once he might have admired them, let's say, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - which the Chinese now call the Ten Wasted Years.







Post#19 at 12-06-2003 03:57 AM by Tom Mazanec [at NE Ohio 1958 joined Sep 2001 #posts 1,511]
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China says to deal with Taiwan issue ''at any cost''



BEIJING, Dec. 5 ? State media said on Saturday China would safeguard its sovereignty over Taiwan at any cost, just one day before Premier Wen Jiabao heads to the United States for talks on the island's recent gestures over independence.




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Beijing's latest threats, carried on the front page of the overseas edition of the People's Daily, came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sought to calm rising tensions by reaffirming Washington's stand against Taiwan independence.
The United States is Taiwan's biggest ally and arms supplier.
A proposal by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian to hold a ''defensive referendum'' on the island's sovereignty alongside presidential elections in March was ''an extremely dangerous provocation,'' official news agency Xinhua said in a commentary published in China's most influential papers.
Chinese people on the mainland ardently hoped reunification with Taiwan could be achieved peacefully, the commentary said.
''But if the Taiwan authorities and separatists collaborate to seek independence, the Chinese government and people will spare no efforts to maintain national sovereignty and territorial integrity of China at any cost,'' it said.
Chen, who has focused his advance campaign on an asserting that Taiwan is a separate country, had tried to impose his independence views on all Taiwan people ''even at the cost of putting everyone at risk,'' the commentary added.
''It is irresponsible, ignominious and immoral of Chen, as a politician, to do so,'' it said, adding that attempts to challenge the ''One- China'' principle were ''impossible and dangerous.''
China has been an ideological foe of Taiwan since the end of a civil war in 1949.
Tensions flared late in November after Taiwan lawmakers passed a bill allowing for referendums but which dropped sections providing for votes on independence or on changing Taiwan's flag or official name -- the Republic of China.
Chen has said he aims to hold a referendum in March by invoking a clause in the bill saying a ''defensive referendum'' could be held in the event of a foreign attack.
He told U.S. officials on Thursday the referendum aims to protect the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, not seek independence.
In comments published by Xinhua, Chinese army officers this week threatened war with Taiwan if the island persisted with independence moves, even at the risk of boycotts of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
($1-8.276 yuan)


Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.







Post#20 at 12-22-2003 04:06 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Hell freezes over

Chinese legislators on Monday introduced a proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee private property rights the first such protection of the communist era...







Post#21 at 03-30-2004 01:38 AM by HopefulCynic68 [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 9,412]
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Taiwan AND China or Taiwan IN China

Amid all the uproar about Iraq, the rest of the world continues to go about its business, including some potentially very dangerous business.

The following is quoted for discussion purposes only without intention of infringement or profit. Whether it belongs on the China thread or not is a good question, and one that goes to heart of the dispute.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.j...toryID=4693472


Taiwan Sees Ties with China Deadlocked Forever




By Benjamin Kang Lim

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian saw ties with arch foe China forever deadlocked if Beijing insists on a single country and vowed to build an independent nation despite the risk of war, the Washington Post said on Tuesday.

Just days after Chen's narrow election to a second four-year term that faces an opposition challenge, China further isolated the island it claims as a rebel province by winning over one of Taiwan's few diplomatic allies, Dominica. Only 26 countries now recognize Taipei and not Beijing.

Chen rejected Beijing's "one China" policy in an interview with the Post, but held out a chance for reconciliation, saying he wanted to put aside political differences with Beijing to improve relations -- including establishing formal ties, opening direct air and shipping links and reducing military tensions.

If Beijing insisted on the "one China" principle as a precondition for talks, Chen said: "I believe the two sides will be forever deadlocked, major differences cannot be solved and it will be impossible for both sides to sit down and talk."

Beijing insists there is only one China and that the wayward province must return to the fold. The democratic island has ruled itself as the Republic of China since the two sides split at the end of a civil war in 1949.

Chinese generals have said Beijing would go to war if the island declared independence, even it cost China an international boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"The so-called one China does not exist now. Perhaps it will in the future," Chen said in the interview just days before a recount is expected on his hotly disputed re-election after a mysterious assassination attempt on the eve of the election.

"We should all be able to sit together and deal with the future one China issue together," said Chen, whose narrow re-election has triggered days of angry protests by the opposition and the demand for a recount.

In Beijing, the cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office canceled a routine media briefing for the second time in a month in an apparent attempt to buy time as policymakers pondered how to respond to Taiwan's political crisis.

Despite simmering tensions, trade, investment and tourism between Taiwan and China have blossomed since the late 1980s.

The Post said Chen declared he had won a mandate from voters and vowed to push ahead with plans to write a new constitution within two years -- a move that China has said amounted to a declaration of independence that would lead to war.


Chen said the new constitution had nothing to do with Taiwan independence and was aimed at deepening democratic reform and improving governance, the Post said.

"I think we have reached an internal consensus that insists on Taiwan being an independent, sovereign country," he said, referring to the election result, according to a transcript of the interview available on the Washington Post Web site.

His remarks within days of re-election could infuriate Beijing, which has long distrusted Chen.

The United States is worried it might be dragged into a conflict. Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but remains the island's main arms supplier and closest ally.

Chen denied opposition charges that he engaged in election fraud or staged the assassination attempt to win sympathy votes. After a shot by an unidentified sniper gashed his abdomen,Chen won re-election by a 0.2 percent margin -- the slimmest in Taiwan's history.

Three U.S. forensic experts joined an investigation into the attempted assassination this week in a move by the government to respond to opposition demands for an independent inquiry.

Chen also chastised Beijing for blocking democratic reforms in Hong Kong, a move that he said would make Taiwan even more determined to reject unification with China, the Post said.

"Right now, the people of Hong Kong are fighting for direct elections...but the Beijing authorities are unable to consent. They even say, 'Wait another 30 years and we'll see'," he said.

"I think this is very ridiculous," Chen said.

"For the 23 million people of Taiwan, this is the greatest warning and also the clearest signal," he said.







Post#22 at 08-10-2004 05:15 PM by Tom Mazanec [at NE Ohio 1958 joined Sep 2001 #posts 1,511]
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Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004,Page 8
A once-civilized sports competition became a "war" between China and Japan in the 2004 Asian Cup final at the Workers' Stadium in Beijing. China's sports fans are sore losers. They besieged the Japanese team buses, pounded a limousine carrying a Japanese embassy official, and burned Japanese flags. This sort of irrational behavior sets an extremely bad example and displays the barbarity of the Chinese people, something they try so hard to hide from the eyes of the world.

The result of the match was not the main reason for these violent emotions. Even if there was dissatisfaction with the "hand of God" decision which gave Japan its second goal, Japan's victory is undisputed. The real reason for the riots is the historical hatred caused by the Sino-Japanese War 60 years ago. This hatred has been manipulated by Chinese officials and the media under their control to periodically rouse Chinese nationalism and anti-Japanese sentiment. Now, that same hatred has made Chinese fans incapable of accepting the loss of the Asian Cup to Japan.

Now Japan has some idea of the hostility that China is capable of -- a hostility of which Taiwan has borne the brunt for over half a century. China has insisted that Taiwan is a part of its territory and continues to increase its verbal and military threats against this country. This country has shown nothing but goodwill in return -- not challenging the "one China" principle, but allowing Taiwanese businessmen to invest in China and trying to establish the three links across the Strait as soon as possible.

China, on the other hand, not only sneers at this, but continues to insist that Taiwan belongs to China. It has set out a timetable for attack, threatening to mobilize its troops if Taiwan continues to postpone unification.

In fact, when it comes to China's wider ambitions for power, the football riots in Beijing are merely the tip of the iceberg. Following Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's (李顯龍) visit to Taiwan, Beijing immediately penalized Singapore, virtually suspending all official relations and postponed free trade negotiations. Singapore's leaders have always enjoyed good relations with Beijing in the past, and even notified Beijing prior to the visit. Regardless, they were not to be spared.

China is currently mobilizing its academics and media to promote the "northeastern development project," which aims at claiming what used to be the kingdom of Koguryo as its own. The South Korean foreign ministry has strongly protested this distortion of history, pointing out that Koguryo is intimately connected with the origin of the Korean people and is of the utmost importance to the Korean sense of identity. They have requested that China change its position on the issue, but Beijing has pushed responsibility for this down to regional governments and has refused South Korea's requests. China is creating a historical construct to substantiate claims to sovereignty over the Korean Peninsula that it may some day seek to realize. This is the ultimate aim of the "northeastern development project."

China's actions in the South China Sea have also led to anxiety among southeast Asian nations. Apart from its arms buildup, it has led the movement towards an ASEAN ten-plus-three alliance. China is increasing its influence through southeast Asia and the Pacific to counteract US influence there. The Pacific Ocean is already the front line in a "Cold War" between China and the US.

China has been vigorously promoting the theory of "peaceful rising." But it is plagued by nationalism and internal political struggles. Moreover, it lacks the self restraint of a nation that claims to be part of the international community. Not only does it fail to present an impression of a peaceful rising, it also convinces everyone that China is a threat.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit.../10/2003198193







Post#23 at 08-11-2004 05:56 PM by Tim Walker '56 [at joined Jun 2001 #posts 24]
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These sort of issues were brought up in Fire in the East. Re: North Korean nuclear weapons project-could these end up being targeted at China as well as Japan? And would a nuclear armed Japan target both Korea and China?







Post#24 at 08-11-2004 10:03 PM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Quote Originally Posted by Tim Walker
These sort of issues were brought up in Fire in the East. Re: North Korean nuclear weapons project-could these end up being targeted at China as well as Japan? And would a nuclear armed Japan target both Korea and China?
I added that one to my Amazon wish list!
Americans have had enough of glitz and roar . . Foreboding has deepened, and spiritual currents have darkened . . .
THE FOURTH TURNING IS AT HAND.
See T4T, p. 253.







Post#25 at 08-17-2004 09:28 PM by Tom Mazanec [at NE Ohio 1958 joined Sep 2001 #posts 1,511]
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