Archive for the ‘China’ Category
WASHINGTON TIMES: It might not be the beginning of a Chinese tea party movement, but some citizens are railing about bureaucratic waste as the Communist Party releases some details about government spending.
Internet-savvy Chinese are using social networking to share their complaints about extravagant government spending. Even the state-controlled media are starting to grumble. Caijing magazine called for the government to prosecute bureaucrats who still ignore the June 30 deadline for reporting on some expenses.
“They just don’t have a sense of how much money they’re spending,” said Liang Xiaoqin, a Chinese college student from Nanjing.
So now how will we finance this $15 TRILLION federal debt?
CNS: China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.
Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less that are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt.
MARKET WATCH: The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed.
For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.
According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.
Put that in your calendar.
It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.
NEW YORK TIMES: China escalated its opposition to American-led airstrikes on Libya on Tuesday, joining Russia and India in calls for an immediate cease-fire and suggesting that coalition forces were imperiling civilians by exceeding the United Nations-mandated no-fly zone.
The rising criticism among the so-called BRIC group of emerging powers — Brazil, Russia, India and China — came amid allegations by the Libyan government that allied bombings have killed or wounded scores of civilians, a claim refuted by American military officials.
On Monday, hours after the departure of President Barack Obama, Brazil’s government issued a statement condemning the assault and urging “the start of dialogue.”
China’s response to the allied campaign has been the most forceful, with warnings that the assault could bring about a “humanitarian disaster.” In a regular news briefing on Tuesday, Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called for an end to hostilities. “We’ve seen reports that the use of armed force is causing civilian casualties, and we oppose the wanton use of armed force leading to more civilian casualties,” she said.
Yup, it’s good to be the dictator
HOT AIR: And you know who endorses that notion? Thomas Friedman. In a New York Times report giving a presidenting-is-so-hard spin to Barack Obama’s vacillating incoherence on the unrest sweeping the Arab world, reporters Mark Landler and Helene Cooper offer this nugget at the end:
Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, “No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.”
Bill Kristol uses few words to savage Obama for this sentiment:
If you’re president of China, people around the world who are fighting for freedom don’t really expect you to help. If you’re president of China, you don’t have to put up with annoying off-year congressional elections, and then negotiate your budget with a bunch of gun-and-religion-clinging congressmen and senators. If you’re president of China, you can fund your national public radio to your heart’s content. And if you’re president of China, when you host a conference on bullying in schools, people take you seriously.
Well, Hu Jintao is technically “President” of China at the moment, but he has a lot of other titles that make the nature of that government more clear. Among them: “Paramount Leader,” “General Secretary of the Communist Party,” and “Chairman of the Central Military Commission.” Being “president” in China isn’t the same as being President of the United States; it’s a dictatorship, or at the very mildest, the strongest position in an autocratic and thoroughly entrenched and unaccountable political system.
AFP: Postings circulating on the Internet have called on disgruntled Chinese to gather on Sunday in public places in 13 major cities to mark the “Jasmine Revolution” spreading through the Middle East.
The calls have apparently led the Chinese government to censor postings containing the word “jasmine” in an attempt to quell any potential unrest.
“We welcome… laid off workers and victims of forced evictions to participate in demonstrations, shout slogans and seek freedom, democracy and political reform to end ‘one party rule’,” one posting said.
The postings, many of which appeared to have originated on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and 10 other major Chinese cities.
Protesters were urged to shout slogans including “we want food to eat,” “we want work,” we want housing,” “we want justice,” “long live freedom,” and “long live democracy.”
PAT BUCHANAN: “O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us,” wrote the poet Robert Burns.
As Hu Jintao wings his way home, America’s hectoring still ringing in his ears, he must be thinking that maybe we Americans should stop lecturing them and take a closer look at ourselves.
Revalue your currency, we demand of the Chinese, stop running these trade surpluses at our expense, start practicing free trade, and abandon these mercantilist and protectionist policies.
Obama just sat there smiling like and idiot, taking it all in. What a pie in the face this was.
EPOCH TIMES: Lang Lang the pianist says he chose it. Chairman Hu Jintao recognized it as soon as he heard it.Patriotic Chinese Internet users were delighted as soon as they saw the videos online. Early morning TV viewers in China knew it would be played an hour or two beforehand. At the White House State dinner on Jan. 19, about six minutes into his set, Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War: the theme song to the movie “Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”
The film depicts a group of “People’s Volunteer Army” soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military “jackals.”
LESLIE GELB-DAILY BEAST: This U.S.-China summit was a test of the balance of power between the two superpowers. President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao were well aware of the summit stakes. Obama’s strategy was to push as hard as he could, and he did. He needed Chinese concessions for a successful summit. Hu’s strategy was to resist as hard as he could, and he did, because all he wanted was a summit that did not fail. The Chinese side won this test of wills and power for two reasons. First, they had the easier bargaining position: All they had to do was hold the line, while Washington had to gain concessions. Second, Hu was in a far stronger position overall because China’s economy continues to grow in double digits, while the American economy remains troubled.