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Old 01-23-2005, 08:15 AM   #16
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Adding an article on the current situation:

EU vs. U.S. vs. China: Partnership paradoxes
Richard Bernstein International Herald Tribune
Friday, January 21, 2005
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BERLIN Probably the next big strategic difference between Europe and the United States won't be about Iran or the Middle East or even on the broader question of unilateralism versus multilateralism. It's going to be about China, which, in the official European view is a "strategic partner," even as Chinese-American rivalry looms.

Two events in the past few days illustrate the European-American divide on this question.

First was the decision of China's government to make a nonevent of the death of Zhao Ziyang, the former party chief and prime minister, who fell out of favor in 1989 when he opposed the use of military force to quell the student-led democracy protests of that year, and remained under house arrest until his death this week.

And second was the decision by the United States to penalize eight Chinese companies, including some of the country's biggest military contractors, for supplying missile technology to Iran.

The relegation of Zhao to nonpersonhood shows that when it comes to sensitive issues of Communist Party prestige and authority, China, contrary to widespread belief in the West, is still very much a Communist dictatorship, a country whose leaders, as Orwell might have put it, sometimes require that the truth be made falsehood and falsehood made truth. And the leftover Orwellian nature of the Chinese government has tended to have more weight in U.S. policy making on China than it has in Europe.

The arms transfers to Iran, a more practical problem, illustrate the widening European-American divide on strategic thinking about China, with Europe less inclined to impose restraints on China than the United States. And, of course, this difference relates to the biggest area of trans-Atlantic disagreement, the emerging consensus in Europe that the arms embargo the European Union members have maintained against China since 1989 has become an anachronism, and that, probably before the end of this year, it is going to be lifted.

Indeed, who can entirely disagree with such a decision? It has been almost 16 years since Tiananmen. China's leadership today, may as in the Zhao case, still resemble the old gang that ordered the assault on the democracy protesters, but the assault's instigators, like Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng, have passed from the political scene. China in general shows no signs of playing a rogue role in global affairs.

Moreover, European diplomats argue that any lifting of the arms embargo would not be followed by actual arms sales to China. The effect, they say, would be largely symbolic. The European Union, sensitive to American concerns, would strengthen what is called the Code of Conduct governing arms sales that would severely limit the kinds of military technologies that China could actually acquire.

"China and Israel are the two countries that have already agreed to participate in Galileo," Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana. Galileo is the proposed EU rival to the American satellite navigation system, the Global Positioning System. "This does not match with an arms embargo," Gallach said. "There is a total incongruity, and the Chinese in particular are keen to remove this incongruity."

Could that lead to conflict with the United States, the country that would face China militarily if it ever came to war with Taiwan? "We look at the Chinese as a strategic partner," Gallach said. "Some Americans might have the temptation to look at China as a strategic competitor in the long term, so we have to start by analyzing the situation in a sober manner, and to try to work together with the Americans."

Many American experts on China, and some in the Bush Administration, think that the strengthened Code of Conduct would be a fine way of squaring this particular circle. And yet, from the American standpoint, there remains something unsettling about a "strategic partnership" between China and Europe.

David Shambaugh, a China specialist at George Washington University, writing in a recent issue of Current History, observes that China and the European Union constitute "an emerging axis in world affairs," one of whose common points is "a convergence of views about the United States, its foreign policy and its global behavior." In other words, China and the EU agree that the United States has to be constrained. Strategic partners indeed.

But there is a paradox here - perhaps difficult to believe in the wake of the Iraq war - but true nonetheless. It is that it is easier for countries and groups of countries that are not superpowers and have no global strategic interests to act without constraints than it is for the sole superpower.

To some extent, this has to do with the weight of a gesture, which is where China's instructions to its press to ignore Zhao's death comes into the picture. A superpower does not always get its way in the world, but its words and gestures and policies have consequences in a way that those of middle-size powers do not.

It's easier in this sense for Europe than the United States to relinquish its human rights rhetoric when it conflicts with other interests, such as economic advantage. That is why most European members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights have voted against or abstained in the unsuccessful U.S. effort to have the Chinese record officially scrutinized there.

China can sell missile technology to Iran in part because it has no strategic interests in the Middle East - only the narrow national interest of ensuring oil supplies. And Europe can lift its arms embargo against China because the EU, however it might want to play a big role in a multipolar world, has no strategic interests in Asia - only the narrow interest of benefiting from the China trade.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:29 AM   #17
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
Adding an article on the current situation:


It's easier in this sense for Europe than the United States to relinquish its human rights rhetoric when it conflicts with other interests, such as economic advantage. That is why most European members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights have voted against or abstained in the unsuccessful U.S. effort to have the Chinese record officially scrutinized there.
Funny (in a sad way) just how much hypocrisy there is on both sides.

Europeans are much more likely to lecture the US on human rights issues such as Gitmo, the Death Penalty, the Iraq war, etc while at the same time totally ignoring the Genocides being perpetrated in the Balkan conflicts of the early '90's and working harder ot deal with the Chinese. And Vice-Versa.

The Governments of neither the US or the European Communities really gives 2 hoots about putting human rights over Politics and Business IMHO.
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:03 AM   #18
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I agree cardosino.

It's all about the benjamins. Another example is how the US government treats Cuba, a Communist country, so differently than China, a Communist country. Or Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, both dictatorships versus Iran or Syria. My reasoning, the economics and the politics. Every government is guilty of this kind of behaviour. Shameful.
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:55 AM   #19
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
You´re both looking at the past. I´m talking about the future. China has (officially) been (regarded) a superpower for the last decade. Wake up!

Without going into detail, the example with the recording industry does not make sense. Record sales are not comparable with the state of economy. For some products, China will be a market far more interesting than the U.S. (I´m not an expert in agriculture, but if you have a billion people to feed, you need many agricultural machines, for example), whereas in other industries - namely entertainment - a certain Western cultural perception and traditional trade relations are dominating.
NO, were not looking at the past, were looking at the LATEST economic data and military data from 2004! I can go into greater detail. The Majority of China's military is equipped with technology from the 1960s! Its most advanced weapon systems have been purchased from Russia. Its GDP is less than half of the United States and the per capita GDP is the equilavent of poverty here in the USA.

The fact is, most people in China are just as poor as people in the Palestinian Occupied Territories as noted by the latest Human Development Report. China in a few decades will have the worst aging crises in the world, as the ratio of young workers to older pensioners will severely strain the economy. This is partly because of China's "one child policy".

Strength in the global market place is a two way street. For China to grow economically stronger, they will need for America to continue to grow stronger as well. They will also become very dependent on oil supplies from the Persian Gulf, oil supplies that they do not have the military capability to help keep secure by themselves.
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:48 AM   #20
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Re: EU + China = bad news for US

Quote:
Originally posted by medmo
Things would change in many ways for the US if this happened, obviously, and Bush would not be judged very kindly by American history books. On the other hand, if his plans succeed, he will go down as a visionary. It is possible for both to happen, I guess, but the result would still be the US losing its position in the world. After all, the US and a handful of fledgeling democracies doesn't exactly pack the same punch as the EU and China.

This is nothing more than the slightest of possibilities, of course, but still interesting to think about.
Having opposition isn't always an indicator that you're a bad president. Lincoln for example overcame massive opposition, and as you said, went down as a visionary.
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:50 AM   #21
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Originally posted by STING2
The fact is, most people in China are just as poor as people in the Palestinian Occupied Territories as noted by the latest Human Development Report. China in a few decades will have the worst aging crises in the world, as the ratio of young workers to older pensioners will severely strain the economy. This is partly because of China's "one child policy".
And CHINA will have to face serious regrets on that policy, and serious regrets about their government promoting a lack of ambition.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:29 AM   #22
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well, hong kong is sending their old and poor to china now, and in the future china can send its old and poor to... i dont know, central asia maybe?

or maybe theyll just shoot them all and be done with it

on a serious note, i think IF china gets rid of the one child policy they will definitely become a superpower halfway through this century, although it might be spending half of the world resources by then
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Old 01-26-2005, 12:59 PM   #23
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http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-chinaecon26jan26,1,2383514.story
THE WORLD
China's Economic Growth Sizzles
Unexpectedly big gain has major bearing on U.S. Beijing likely to be pressured on currency.
By Don Lee and Evelyn Iritani
Times Staff Writers

January 26, 2005

SHANGHAI — China's economy grew at a surprisingly breakneck pace at the end of last year, the government said Tuesday in a report sure to increase pressure on Beijing to address its burgeoning trade imbalance with the United States and other countries.

At a sizzling 9.5%, growth in the fourth quarter was nearly a full percentage point higher than most economists had expected. What's more, the report comes as China is trying to slow its growth to a more sustainable pace.

The economic acceleration at year-end lifted growth for all of 2004 also to 9.5%, the fastest rate in eight years. By comparison, the much-larger U.S. economy has been increasing at about a 4% annualized rate.

China's fortunes have a direct bearing on many pocketbooks across the U.S.

Robust growth in the world's most populous nation is a boon for some, including California cotton farmers and Arizona copper miners, who are enjoying strong sales to China. But others, such as furniture and apparel makers, are suffering as a result of intense Chinese export competition, which also was reflected in the latest report.

Analysts said the larger-than-expected rise in China's gross domestic product was due at least partly to a widening trade surplus with other nations. As such, the latest statistics are likely to renew calls for Beijing to revalue its currency, the yuan, which is pegged to the dollar.

Because the dollar has been weak, the yuan's value has been lower, too, which makes Chinese products cheaper in overseas markets.

Americans have blamed a loss of U.S. jobs on an undervalued yuan, and U.S. and European trade officials have been urging Beijing to at least allow the currency to float in a broader range with the dollar.

"The Chinese economy continues to do great damage to the U.S. economy," said Peter Morici, a University of Maryland trade expert. "This growth is stolen from the American Midwest."

China could face a new round of demands to revalue the yuan at the Group of 7 meeting of central bankers and finance ministers in London next week. On Tuesday, a senior Chinese official reiterated that the country wasn't ready to take such a step.

It's far from clear that a revaluation of the yuan would make a big dent in America's trade deficit with China, which through November stood at a gaping $147.7 billion — up nearly 30% from a year earlier.

But the attention that the United States, Europe and others have focused on the matter underscores the increasingly important role of China's economy, which some analysts believe could overtake America's in size in 20 years.

The statistics released Tuesday showed China continues to be the fastest-growing major economy in the world. To support its massive industrialization, China has been a key driver of sales and prices of commodities such as oil, steel and cement.
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Old 01-26-2005, 01:03 PM   #24
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Associated Press
Economist: China Loses Faith in Dollar
01.26.2005, 03:25 PM

China has lost faith in the stability of the U.S. dollar and its first priority is to broaden the exchange rate for its currency from the dollar to a more flexible basket of currencies, a top Chinese economist said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum.

At a standing-room only session focusing on the world's fastest-growing economy, Fan Gang, director of the National Economic Research Institute at the China Reform Foundation, said the issue for China isn't whether to devalue the yuan but "to limit it from the U.S. dollar."

But he stressed that the Chinese government is under no pressure to revalue its currency.

China's exchange rate policies restrict the value of the yuan to a narrow band around 8.28 yuan, pegged to US$1. Critics argue that the yuan is undervalued, making China's exports cheaper overseas and giving its manufacturers an unfair advantage. Beijing has been under pressure from its trading partners, especially the United States, to relax controls on its currency.

"The U.S. dollar is no longer - in our opinion is no longer - (seen) as a stable currency, and is devaluating all the time, and that's putting troubles all the time," Fan said, speaking in English.

"So the real issue is how to change the regime from a U.S. dollar pegging ... to a more manageable ... reference ... say Euros, yen, dollars - those kind of more diversified systems," he said.

"If you do this, in the beginning you have some kind of initial shock," Fan said. "You have to deal with some devaluation pressures."

The dollar hit a new low in December against the euro and has been falling against other major currencies on concerns about the ever-growing U.S. trade and budget deficits.

Fan said last year China lost a good opportunity to do revalue its currency, in July and October.

"High pressure, we don't do it. When the pressure's gone, we forgot," Fan said, to laughter from the audience. "But this time, I think Chinese authorities will not forget it. Now people understand the U.S. dollar will not stop devaluating."
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Old 01-26-2005, 06:47 PM   #25
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It's very scary to me. I read several arrticles today that paint a bleak picture for the US. More and more the economist here and worldwide are seeing an Argentina type crash in our near future. Make those tax cuts permanent and we go down faster. We need to increase revenue to back those deficit dollars.

After the new deficit numbers came out Bush still says he will cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. The only way that can happen is to dismantle almost all the New Deal.
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