Will China Autos Trigger Next Economic Downturn? | New Eastern Outlook


17-06-19 10:31:00,


Sales of new cars in China, today the world’s largest automobile market, plunged a dramatic 16.4% in May, making the worst month in the history of the relatively new China auto industry. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the disastrous May sales came after declines of 14.6% in April and 5.2% in March. It is questionable if this can be blamed on the US-China trade war. The depression in China vehicle sales, however, is having a significant impact on foreign automakers, especially in Germany. Could this China turn presage a major new global economic recession or worse?

One indication that the US trade war is not the main cause is the fact that May 2019 marks the 12th consecutive month of auto sales decline in China. Sales between automakers in China and car dealers were down 44%. Moreover, domestic sales of Chinese brand autos in May were down a significant 26%. Baojun, Dongfeng and Trumpchi are Chinese brands that have fallen 40% so far this year. Only Japanese Honda and Toyota could show sales increases. Clearly something major and not good is afoot in China, the world’s second largest economy.

A clue to what is driving (pun intended) the drop was given by Xu Haidong, CAAM’s assistant secretary general. He said, “a decline in purchasing power in the low-to-middle income groups as well as expectations of government stimulus to encourage purchases” was a major cause.

Consumer debt

What the “decline in purchasing power in the low-to-middle income groups” means is the worrisome point. As I noted in an earlier piece, the years of Chinese prosperity, much like in the West, have been driven by easy credit, especially since the global financial crisis in 2008.

In 2009 China became the country producing the largest numbers of autos in the world. Many are US or Japanese or EU brands with Chinese production factories. Its car output since a decade has exceeded that of the USA and Japan combined, as well as that of the entire EU. By 2010 China was producing almost 14 million vehicles annually, largest of any nation in history and most of it for its “low-to-middle income” domestic market. China’s middle income earners saw car ownership as essential,

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China: Die Partei bestimmt «alles und jedes», nicht nur im Netz


04-06-19 09:56:00,

Peter G. Achten / 04. Jun 2019 –

Die Grosse Chinesische Internet-Brandmauer – Internet-Sicherheit oder Zensur? Die Wirklichkeit ist komplexer, als der Westen meint.

Glaubt man Kommunikationsexperten und anderen selbsternannten Pundits zur Lage der analogen und digitalen Medien im Reich der Mitte, müssten eigentlich Chinesinnen und Chinesen über nationale sowie internationale Angelegenheiten schlecht, ja gar bewusst falsch informiert sein. Dem ist aber nicht so. Die ältere und jüngere Generation, zumal die Digital Natives sind bestens informiert. Über offizielle Kanäle, aber auch über politisch weniger korrekte Wege, welche trotz maschineller Intelligenz und trotz ausgefeilter Algorithmen immer noch zugänglich sind. Zudem ist eine blühende Wirtschaft, selbst eine «sozialistische Marktwirtschaft mit chinesischen Besonderheiten», ohne einen gewissen Informationsfluss nicht vorstellbar.

Millionen im Ausland

Zudem reisen Millionen von Chinesinnen und Chinesen ins Ausland, Millionen studieren in Amerika, Australien oder Europa. Sie sind also global recht gut auf dem Laufenden, ebenso gut jedenfalls wie etwa Schweizer über China und Asien. Es ist übrigens noch keine dreissig Jahre her, dass im Westen mit Hinweis auf die universellen Menschenrechte empört Reisefreiheit für alle Chinesen gefordert wurde. Dass Visumvorschriften, zumal in der Schweiz, seither immer strenger und absurder wurden, sei hier nur am Rande vermerkt.

Goldenes Zeitalter?

Als in den Achtzigerjahren der Siegeszug des Internets begann, waren Wissenschaftler und Experten felsenfest davon überzeugt, dass autoritäre Regierungen fortan den Informationsfluss nicht mehr kontrollieren könnten. Das Goldene Zeitalter der freien Information schien angebrochen, die Deutungshoheit und der Informationsvorsprung repressiver Regime vernichtet zu sein. Mit andern Worten, das Internet kann nicht zensiert werden. Analog war das ja möglich, wie das Beispiel der eingeschränkten Pressefreiheit zeigte und zeigt.

Good News – Bad News

Jene im Westen, die bei Beginn von Chinas Wirtschaftsreformen gemäss der Konvergenztheorie glaubten, dass China sich nach und nach auch ideologisch liberalisieren werde, sahen sich getäuscht. Damals wie heute werden gewisse Bücher verboten. Zeitungen und Zeitschriften werden von Regierung beziehungsweise Partei herausgegeben. Sowohl analoge als auch seit Jahren die digitalen Medien werden mit detaillierten Anweisungen und Vorschriften der zentralen Propaganda-Abteilung der Partei sowie der Cyberspace-Administration von China – der obersten, direkt dem Staatsrat unterstellten Internetbehörde – redigiert und zensuriert. Zu heiklen Themen gibt es detaillierte Anweisungen, ob und falls ja, wie darüber zu berichten sei. Themen also wie Taiwan,

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China’s Huawei plans to promote smart cities in Africa


27-05-19 04:30:00,

The world’s second largest continent, Africa, is experiencing one of the fastest urbanization rates globally and Huawei wants to be a part of it, according to Adam Lane, senior director of public affairs at Huawei Technologies.

He told Xinhua News that Huawei is keen to boost environmental sustainability on the continent. African cities can adopt modern technology in the area of water and energy use, communications, security and safety improvement, explained Lane.

“Huawei is currently in talks with a number of African cities to promote the concept of smart cities,” he said during the Business Leaders Dialogue in Nairobi, Kenya.

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China pledges $60bn to Africa, rejects ‘debt trap’ claims

The Chinese company is already deploying smart technology in some cities in Kenya, Nigeria and Botswana, according to Lane. Smart technology can be used to better monitor use of environmental resource which improves the sustainability of cities, he said.

The Chinese tech giant has also developed innovations to improve the safety of urban residents in Africa. “We have developed advanced communication and coordination centers that improve the response time for police and ambulances during times of emergencies,” said Lane.

Among the top smart city initiatives on the African continent are Konza Techno City in Kenya which is known as Africa’s Silicon Savannah, and the new coastal city (Eko Atlantic) on Victoria Island in Nigeria.

Ghana’s own Silicon Valley, the so-called Hope City in Greater Accra region, is expected to change Africa’s skyline forever. Rwanda’s Vision City and South Africa’s Waterfall City are also among the top five smart cities in Africa.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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Are Rare Earths China’s Ultimate Weapon? | New Eastern Outlook


26-05-19 11:55:00,

neo china usa 2 740

In the dramatic escalation of tariff escalations and trade war tensions between China and the USA, China President Xi Jinping made a well-timed visit to see the JL Mag Rare-Earth Company Ltd., a state-owned complex in Ganzhou. Though he did not openly threaten, he sent a clear psychological message to Washington that China has more weapons in its arsenal to pressure the Trump Administration. What is the nature of the China role in rare earth minerals mining and how serious is the likelihood they could weaponize it?

In a May 20 article the China government paper, Global Times, wrote of the Xi Jinping visit, “The visit [is] seen as a sign of backing from the top leadership for the domestic rare-earth industry.” They further noted not so subtly, “Many have suggested that China should limit rare-earth exports to the US as a countermeasure to the US decision to slap tariffs on Chinese goods and cut supplies of semiconductors for Chinese companies.” The paper makes a point to note that rare earth metals from China were “among the few items excluded from the latest US tariff list.”

The question is how serious would it impact the US economy were China to ban exports of rare earths to the USA? Short answer, very serious.

In addition to its use in most electronic devices such as smart phones or laptops, rare earth minerals are absolutely essential to the Pentagon and the US military forces. According to Breaking Defense newsletter, rare earth components are essential for such major weapons systems as the nuclear-powered SSN-774 Virginia-class fast attack submarine; the DDG-51 Aegis destroyer; the F-35 Joint Strike fighter among others. They note that “Rare earths are also essential to precision-guided munitions, lasers, satellite communications, radar, sonar and other military equipment, added a 2013 Congressional Research Service report.”

Import dependency

Now the next question is to what degree is the US economy, especially its defense industrial base dependent on imports of China rare earths? The answer is almost 100%. According to a December, 2017 report by the US Geological Survey, China today supplies more than 90% of world rare earths. This has been the case since the late 1990s when the Government of China prioritized its development of the vital minerals.

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Hoe China de standaard zet voor innovatie | Uitpers


25-05-19 06:42:00,

In het voorwoord noemt Peter Hinssen het boek ‘een gids voor iedereen die vat op de toekomst wil’. Volgens Hinssen is de toekomst digitaal, en China zal daarvan het middelpunt zijn. Wij hier onderschatten de innovatiekracht van dat land. Het boek van Coppens belooft onze ogen te openen.

Mijns inziens maakt het boek die belofte waar. Het is een hoopvolle eyeopener. Europa kan mee op de sneltrein naar de toekomst springen als het maar open staat voor China.

De auteur is sinoloog, woonde meer dan 20 jaar in China en werkte er in hoogtechnologische sectoren. Tussendoor maakte hij ook een sprongetje naar Silicon Valley zodat hij kan vergelijken. In een inleidend hoofdstuk brengt hij zijn belangrijkste stellingen naar voor.

Sinds 2013 geldt in China het ‘Nieuwe Normaal’. Het land moet de sprong van ontwikkelings- naar ontwikkeld land maken. Dat betekent een iets tragere maar nog steeds snelle economische groei in combinatie met omschakeling naar hoogwaardige producten en diensten. China innoveert heel snel, met bijzondere dank aan de mobiele digitale sector. Tegen 2030 zal China op een aantal technologische gebieden wereldleider zijn.

Het geheim van de snelle innovatie

Waarom kan China zo snel innoveren? Coppens verwijst naar de samenwerking consument-bedrijf- overheid die in elk hoofdstuk terugkeert. De drijvende krachten van de Chinese markt zijn de behoeften van de verbruikers. Wie daar het best aan voldoet groeit het snelst en heeft de beste overlevingskansen. De overheid steunt de innovatieve spelers die in het ontwikkelingsplan passen. In het Westen is de drijvende kracht de winst van de bedrijven. Innovatie gebeurt alleen wanneer men er een winstgevende markt kan voor creëren. Coppens vat hier in enkele zinnen het verschil samen tussen socialistische markteconomie op zijn Chinees en liberaal kapitalisme – zonder die termen te gebruiken.

De spil van de snelle innovatie in China is artificiële intelligentie (AI). Het gaat niet zozeer over sensationele toepassingen waarbij de AI van Google een Chinese kampioen Go verslaat, maar vooral om het groot aantal toepassingen in het dagelijks leven. Daarvoor is slechts ‘zwakke AI’ nodig; die is al disruptief genoeg. China heeft daarvoor de mensen, de hardware en de big data. Tegen 2030 wil het ook voor de chips de marktleiders bijgebeend hebben. In 2017 investeerde China reeds voor de helft zoveel als de VS,

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Amerika und China stoßen zum zentralen Konfliktfeld des Handelskrieges vor


25-05-19 07:53:00,

US-Präsident Donald Trump mit dem chinesischen Präsidenten Xi Jinping. (Foto: dpa)

US-Präsident Donald Trump mit dem chinesischen Präsidenten Xi Jinping. (Foto: dpa)

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Meanwhile In China: If You Don’t Recycle, Big Brother Will Get You


24-05-19 06:55:00,

Starting in September, residents of Xi’an, located in China’s northwest Shaanxi Province, will receive negative social credit points if they refuse to observe local garbage sorting regulations, according to the CCP-friendly Global Times

The Xi’an government requires its residents to sort their waste into at least four categories – recyclable, hazardous waste, kitchen and other waste. Those who refuse to fulfill the obligation will be recorded under the personal credit system or will be fined up to 200 yuan ($28). –Global Times

“Residents are forbidden from mixing industrial solid waste, construction waste, medical waste and animal carcasses in household garbage. Each residential area should have at least one “recyclable” and one “hazardous waste” collection container, the regulation says.” 

China’s social credit system is a technological behemoth of oppression – used to regulate public behavior with the goal of punishing people into compliance. People with great social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will be punished with restrictions and penalties.

Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang province, rolled out its social credit system earlier last year, rewarding “pro-social behaviors” such as blood donations, healthy lifestyles, and volunteer work while punishing those who violate traffic laws, smoke and drink, and speak poorly about government. 

According to a February report, Chinese officials collected 14.21 million pieces of information of “untrustworthy conduct” by both business and individuals – including failure to repay loans, illegal fund collection, false and misleading advertising, swindling customers, and – for individuals, acts such as taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals, SCMP reports. 

Meanwhile, around 17.46 million people who are “discredited” were prevented from buying plane tickets, while 5.47 million were disallowed from purchasing tickets to China’s high-speed train system. 

Tracking of individual behavior in China, meanwhile, has become more accessible to the government with apps such as Tencent’s WeChat and And Financial’s Alipay – a central point for making payments, obtaining loans and organizing transport. These accounts are linked to mobile phone numbers, which in turn require government IDs.

Other technologies, including social media,

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Handelskrieg: China legt weitere Gespräche auf Eis – Kein Ende der Streitigkeiten in Sicht | www.konjunktion.info


20-05-19 08:21:00,

Schiffscontainer - Bildquelle: Pixabay / Free-Photos; CC0 Creative CommonsSchiffscontainer - Bildquelle: Pixabay / Free-Photos; CC0 Creative Commons

Schiffscontainer – Bildquelle: Pixabay / Free-Photos; CC0 Creative Commons

China sendet Signale, dass man es nicht eilig hat, die Handelsverhandlungen mit den USA wieder aufzunehmen. Die Handelsgespräche zwischen den beiden Nationen wurden am vergangenen Freitag abrupt abgebrochen, nachdem die USA Zölle auf 200 Milliarden US-Dollar chinesische Importe erhoben hatten. Diese Woche revanchierte sich China, indem Zölle auf US-Waren im Wert von 60 Milliarden US-Dollar erhoben wurden, während das Weiße Haus den chinesischen Telekommunikationsgiganten Huawei aus Gründen der nationalen Sicherheit verbot.

Auf die Frage, ob die Gespräche wieder aufgenommen würden, sagte der Sprecher des chinesischen Außenministeriums, Lu Kang, am Freitag, dass die USA aufrichtig sein müssten.

“Aufgrund bestimmter Dinge, die die US-Seite während der vorherigen Handelskonsultationen zwischen China und den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika unternommen hat, glauben wir, dass es, wenn diese Gespräche einen Sinn machen sollen, ein Zeichen der Aufrichtigkeit geben muss”, sagte er laut Reuters. Gleichzeitig habe China “die Beilegung von Streitigkeiten zwischen den beiden Ländern durch Dialog und Konsultationen gefordert”.

(China is sending signals that it’s in no hurry to resume trade negotiations with the U.S. Trade talks between the two nations abruptly broke off last Friday after the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. This week, China retaliated by imposing tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods, and the White House banned Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on national security grounds.

Asked on Friday whether talks would resume, China foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the U.S. needed to show sincerity.

“Because of certain things the U.S. side has done during the previous China-U.S. trade consultations, we believe if there is meaning for these talks, there must be a show of sincerity,” he said, according to Reuters. At the same time, he said China “encouraged resolving disputes between the two countries with dialogue and consultations.”)

Wie ich seit Monaten schreibe, gehe ich davon aus, dass der Handelskrieg zwischen den USA und China zu keinem Ende gebracht werden wird, bevor der systemische Zusammenbruch in den Fundamentaldaten und auch bei den Aktien finalisiert ist. Der Handelskrieg ist ein Ablenkungsmanöver, ein Sündenbock für die Zentralbanken,

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EU And China Sign A Mandate For Trade Heaven


12-04-19 06:39:00,

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

Beijing promises an investment deal by next year, to curb industrial subsidies and the need for tech transfers, while the EU promises its own transport network…

Sparks did fly in Brussels, but in the end the European Union and China managed to come up with an important joint statement at their summit this week, signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and head of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

In theory, there’s agreement on three quite sensitive fronts: a complex, wide-ranging EU-China investment deal to be signed “by the end of next year, or earlier”, according to Li; Beijing to increasingly commit to erasing industrial subsidies and the obligation of technological transfers; and a substantial opening-up of the Chinese market to EU companies.

The EU is the largest combined market in the world and China’s top partner in trade, while China is the EU’s second largest trading partner. So, the EU-China summit on Tuesday was the real deal, unlike the endless Brexit soap opera.

Departing from concentric circles of posturing, the EU did not even blast China as a “systemic rival” – following the recent report EU-China: A Strategic Outlook. And there were no accusations of “unfair” trade hurled at Beijing.

Crucially, Brussels and Beijing seem to be finally engaging in building some sort of synergy between the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and something only Eurocrats know actually exists – the EU Connecting Europe and Asia project, which in theory should advance in conjunction with the Trans-European Transport Network – a rail, road and air connectivity drive.

Diplomats in Brussels said off-the-record that the run-up towards this entente cordiale was as bumpy as a trail in the Tibetan plateau. EU negotiators did try to walk away from the table without even talking to their Chinese counterparts, over Beijing’s much promised, and always delayed “market reforms”.

It’s as if the EU – in practice, the leading Franco-German duo – was trying to pull a Trump, employing hardcore pressure to extract concessions. It worked.

Before the summit,

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China’s Special Forces To Station In Zimbabwe, Build Secret Underground Base To Protect Natural Resource Claims


09-04-19 05:55:00,

Spotlight Zimbabwe has reported that China is preparing to station elite special forces in Zimbabwe, as Beijing increases military cooperation with Harare, amid concerns that the Asian powerhouse is set to construct a secret underground military base in the country.

The new report comes one year after Spotlight Zimbabwe revealed that China installed next-generation surface-to-air missiles (SAM) in the country, the same ones that are deployed to the South China Sea on Woody Island.

China’s new military base is set to protect its large diamond claims and gold mines across the country, where some of its SAM launchers are already located.

According to a former minister of ex-leader President Robert Mugabe’s administration, China has been planning on sending their special forces to the country since 2014 “to offer technical assistance and support” to the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA). However, Mugabe called off the plan several years ago, after accusing the Chinese of corruption, and the plunder of natural resources in Marange.

“They (China) have been itching to set a permanent military presence in this country, to protect their vast economic interests here but Mugabe was resisting the overtures,” said the former cabinet minister. “Although the cover argument was around offering technical assistance and support to our armed forces, it later became clear that Mnangagwa had his own agreement and arrangements with China. This infuriated Mugabe, and it was also during the same period Mnangagwa had first traveled to China as vice president, holding high-level meetings which his boss had not fully been briefed on. The incident increased Mugabe’s political mistrust for Mnangagwa, whom he suspected was presenting himself to President Xi Jinping, as the best political actor to secure China’s investments in Zimbabwe after he steps down. The rest is history. Mnangagwa has since invited China back to mine diamonds in Marange, and their special force has received the greenlight from vice president Rtd General, Constatino Chiwenga, to find a station in the country. Now there is every reason to believe that Mugabe’s November 2017 ouster, could have been a result of China viewing his stay in power as a threat to their economic investments, especially after having stripped them of diamond mining rights.”

Zimbabwe has seen billions of dollars of Chinese investments over the last few years,

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Waarom China veel in Latijns-Amerika investeert


07-04-19 08:43:00,

Latijns-Amerika stond lange tijd onder bewind van de koloniale grootmachten Spanje en Portugal, om vervolgens tot ‘achtertuin’ van de Verenigde Staten te worden. Nu verwerft China echter steeds meer invloed in Midden- en Zuid-Amerika.

China is vandaag de dag de grootste geldschieter van landen als Brazilië, Venezuela en Ecuador. Deze en andere Latijns-Amerikaanse landen kregen in de afgelopen tien jaar meer dan 200 miljard dollar aan kredieten van Peking – veel meer dan de Wereldbank en het Internationaal Monetair Fonds in hetzelfde tijdsbestek beschikbaar stelden. Inmiddels staat alleen Brazilië al 90 miljard in de schuld.


Bovendien investeerde de Volksrepubliek ook grote sommen geld in de infrastructuur van de regio, onder andere om deze aan de handelsroutes van en naar China te verbinden. Begin 2015 kondigde de Chinese president Xi Jinping aan dat Peking in de volgende vier jaar nog eens 250 miljard dollar hiervoor beschikbaar zou stellen – en zo geschiedde.

Blijf op de hoogte van nieuws, opinie en achtergronden: Volg Novini!

Niet in de laatste plaats daardoor nam het handelsvolume tussen het ‘rijk van het midden’ en Latijns-Amerika tussen 2002 en 2017 toe van 17 naar 257 miljard dollar. Daardoor groeide China uit tot belangrijkste handelspartner van Brazilië, Chili, Argentinië en Peru. China importeerde vooral ruwe grondstoffen uit Midden- en Zuid-Amerika, terwijl de regio een afzetmarkt werd voor Chinese industrieproducten.

Voor wat hoort wat

De Chinese expansie in Latijns-Amerika was mogelijk doordat zowel de VS als de EU steeds minder omkeken naar de regio. Mede tegen deze achtergrond moet dan ook de recent hernieuwde Amerikaanse aandacht voor Latijns-Amerika begrepen worden. Die uit zich bijvoorbeeld in de intensivering van militaire samenwerking met Colombia en in de inspanningen voor regime change in Venezuela.

Wat de Chinese ontwikkelingshulp aantrekkelijk maakt voor Latijns-Amerikaanse landen is dat ze niet gebonden is aan politieke eisen ten aanzien van de binnenlandse aangelegenheden van de ontvangers. In het buitenlands beleid geldt wel het principe van ‘voor wat hoort wat’, bijvoorbeeld in de Taiwan-kwestie.

Taiwan heeft spanning met Volksrepubliek China bewust uitgelokt

Inmiddels hebben de Dominicaanse Republiek, El Salvador en Panama hun diplomatieke betrekkingen met Taipeh reeds verbroken. De verwachting is dat landen als Guatemala,

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China – and Macron’s U-Turn – Global Research


01-04-19 08:25:00,

Less than a week ago, President Macron was lambasting Italy for signing agreements with China in the context of their New Silk Road, alias President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in the same breath he was criticizing China for attempting to undermine Europe with new trade individual country deals under the pretext of BRI. However, Italy, also scolded by Brussels for her single-handed deals with China, was, in fact, the first G7 country for signing a number of contracts with China to use Italian ports under the BRI, making Italy also the first official EU partner of China’s BRI.

In his zeal of becoming Europe’s new king, Macron also called on all EU members not to go their own way with China, but to jointly negotiate with China “new deals” under the BRI. A joint EU to be strong and equal to the economic and trade behemoth, China. Indeed, solidarity is always ‘good’- but Europe is the last bit of Mother Earth’s territory that has ever shown any solidarity and cohesion among her neighbors and co-members of this illustrious non-union club, called the European Union.

Yet, surprise-surprise! On President Xi’s next stop, Paris, coming from Italy, Macron rolled out the red carpet for the Chinese President and, according to RT, went on to sign billions worth of new contracts with the Asian leader. If this looked like a Macron U-turn, it was a Macron U-turn. As an afterthought he invited German Chancellor, Madame Merkel and EU President Junker to Paris for a photo-Op under the Arc de Triomphe – just to make sure his about-face was not to be misinterpreted.

President Xi also signed a multi-billion-euro deal – may be as much as € 30billion – for some 300 passenger jets from Airbus. Though Airbus is a European venture, its main manufacturing plants are in France. This is an especially hard blow to Boeing, after the company’s 737 MAX disasters. Weakening Boeing is also weakening an important US military contractor.

As was to be expected, Washington didn’t like Italy’s moving closer to the East by signing several BRI contracts, and even less so, while the EU, represented by Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel, Germany and Emmanuel Macron, France, were welcoming President Xi today in Paris.

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China verstehen und als Chance begreifen


29-03-19 10:17:00,

Die während des Europabesuchs des chinesischen Präsidenten Xi Jinping mit Italien vereinbarte Kooperation wirft die Frage auf, ob den Offerten Chinas zu trauen ist

In den vergangenen Jahrzehnten war es das Profitstreben der weltgrößten Konzerne, das sie zu einem Engagement in China veranlasste und den wirtschaftlichen Aufstieg des Landes förderte. Sind es jetzt der Kredithunger und das Interesse an neuen Absatzmärkten, das EU-Staaten dazu bewegt, mit China zu kooperieren und es dadurch politisch zu stärken?

Die USA und ihre Verbündeten Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien werfen der italienischen Regierung vor, bei der Verfolgung eigener Ziele von westlichen Interessen und Werten abzurücken. Da es sich bei den Vereinbarungen zwischen Peking und Rom lediglich um eine Absichtserklärung handelt, überrascht die Vehemenz der Reaktion. Artikulieren sich hier Ängste vor einem Bröckeln der westlichen Dominanz?

Der wirtschaftliche Aufstieg Chinas erscheint unaufhaltsam. Dessen kaufkraftbereinigtes Bruttoinlandsprodukt übertraf das US-amerikanische im Jahr 2017 bereits um 20 Prozent und dürfte inzwischen jenes der EU überrundet haben. Der chinesische Erfolg wird im Westen vielfach auf unlauteren Wettbewerb zurückgeführt, der den Export begünstigt. Der Regierung werden massive Eingriffe in das Wirtschaftsleben vorgeworfen: Die Wechselkurse würden manipuliert, gegen Patentschutzverstöße und die Kopie von Markenprodukten werde nicht energisch vorgegangen, Exportzuschüsse würden Dumpingpreise ermöglichen, der staatliche Sektor könne sich unbegrenzter Kreditierung erfreuen.

Zentrale der Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Peking. Bild: Max12Max / CC BY-SA 4.0

Ähnliche Praktiken beflügelten allerdings auch den Wirtschaftsaufschwung anderer Staaten Ostasiens. Bekanntermaßen beruhten die Exporterfolge Japans auf einer Bündelung der wirtschaftlichen Potentiale durch das Handels- und Industrieministerium (MITI) zum Zweck einer systematischen Eroberung ausländischer Märkte. Wettbewerbsverzerrende Maßnahmen gibt es gleichwohl im Westen: Der Marktzugang für ausländische Anbieter wird durch Normen, Standards und andere Bestimmungen erschwert, eigene Unternehmen werden mit Subventionen und staatlichen Aufträgen konkurrenzfähig gemacht. Erwähnt sei etwa die Schrittmacherfunktion von NASA, Pentagon und US-Geheimdiensten bei der Einführung und Verbreitung neuer Technologien.

Globales Kräfteverhältnis und Weltmachtambitionen

Weil wirtschaftlicher und politischer Aufstieg nicht zu trennen sind, wird China im Westen zunehmend als Hauptkontrahent begriffen. Daher ist nicht verwunderlich, dass Donald Trump trotz seines rüpelhaften Stils Unterstützung bei dem Bestreben findet, den Chinesen Zugeständnisse abzuringen. Ein rationales Abwägen möglicher Szenarien lässt es für die chinesische Seite ratsam erscheinen, einzulenken.

In einem kürzlich vom nationalen Volkskongress verabschiedeten Gesetz werden ausländischen Investoren bessere Rahmenbedingungen sowie effektiver Schutz geistigen Eigentums zugestanden.

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US Scrambles as China Extends Influence Everywhere; EU Caught in Middle


21-03-19 07:51:00,

Facing China’s irresistible rise all across the chessboard, and under relentless US pressure, the not exactly democratic EU leadership is on a backbreaking exercise to position itself between a geopolitical/geoeconomic rock and a hard place.

The 28-member EU holds a crucial meeting next week in Brussels where it may adopt a 10-point action plan detailing, in a thesis, the terms of an equitable economic relationship with China going forward.

This will happen as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Italy and then France – ahead of the very important, annual China-EU summit in Brussels on April 9, to be co-chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

That’s the crucial context under which the European Commission (EC) has recommended what it describes as 10 concrete “actions” to the EU Heads of State for their debate at the European Council in March 21 and 22.

The full report, EU-China – A Strategic Outlook, is here.

The EC shows how in 2017 – the latest available figures – the EU was “China’s largest partner with a share of 13% of imports of goods in China and a share of 16% of exports of goods from China.” At the same time, the EC stresses that China is an “economic competitor” and “a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.”

Yet the EC’s “contribution” to the European Council debate next week is far from confrontational. It is a balancing act couched in Eurocratic terminology attempting to shape common “resolve” among the 28 member-states.

Predictable real problem

Coming from the EC/EU, support for “effective multilateralism with the United Nations at its core” is the norm – with China fully integrated.

Beijing is praised for its support for the Iran nuclear deal, its role in the denuclearization of North Korea, its upcoming role in the peace process in Afghanistan and tackling the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. The real problem, predictably, is China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Virtually no one apart from Brussels Eurocrats knows about the existence of an “EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia.”  That’s one of those joint communiqués that no one reads, issued late last year, “enabling the Union to seek synergies between the EU and third countries,

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China clones ‘Sherlock Holmes of police dogs’ to cut time and cost of K9 training


20-03-19 07:50:00,

Beijing used the skin of a veteran police dog, credited with helping to solve many murders, to create its younger clone. Officials hope that the K9 cloning program will drive down cost and time required for dogs’ training.

A three-month-old pup named Kunxun, China’s first ever cloned police dog, arrived at a canine-training base in the nation’s southwestern Yunnan Province, local media reported. She is a Kunming wolfdog, a breed similar to a German shepherd. Kunming dogs are widely used in China by the military, police, border guards and firefighters.

Read more

Cloned woolly mammoths will roam Siberia again within a decade, region head predicts

Kunxun’s DNA is 99.9 percent identical to veteran police dog named Huahuangma, whose skin was used as genetic material for the clone, police officials stated. Huahuangma is said to have earned the name ‘Sherlock Holmes of police dogs’ after helping to crack “dozens” of murder cases. The embryo, created from her DNA, was later implanted into a beagle, which gave birth to Kunxun via cesarean section.

The Ministry of Public Security launched a program on cloning top-performing police dogs in hopes to save time and cut the cost of the training.

“By cloning veteran dogs, we can greatly improve the success rate and the number of quality Kunming police dogs available, bolstering national security as a result,” Wei Hongjiang, a professor at Yunnan Agricultural University, which participated in the cloning, said.

Kunxun just started basic training course, and police say that she demonstrated “good aptitude” in passing tests. “It seems like that its genetic potential is better than other Kunming wolfdogs,” Wan Jiusheng, a senior researcher at Kunming Police Dog base, noted. Whether the clone truly has an upper hand against fellow canine will be determined by further training.

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China: Schrumpfende Bevölkerung, schrumpfende Städte


19-03-19 09:15:00,

Tianjin. Bild: Nangua 1/CC BY-2.0

Trotz Ende der 1-Kind-Politik bricht die Geburtenrate dramatisch ein, ein Drittel aller Städte soll bereits schrumpfen, während Stadtplaner weiter auf Wachstum setzen

Schon länger ist klar, dass auch die chinesische Bevölkerung, lange Zeit geplagt von übergroßem Wachstum, in ungewohnte demografische Fahrwasser gerät. 2017 hatte bereits der an der University of Wisconsin-Madison lehrende Mediziner Yi Fuxian, behauptet, dass die chinesische Regierung die Bevölkerungszahl bis zu 100 Millionen zu hoch einschätzt und China mit 1,28 Milliarden Menschen anstatt 1,38 nur noch hinter Indien das Land mit der zweitgrößten Bevölkerung sei. Yi, der als scharfer Kritiker der Geburtenkontrolle durch die 2015 beendete Ein-Kind-Politik hervorgetreten ist und Auf-und Niedergang von Nationen demografisch bedingt sieht, stieß damit auf Skepsis.

Im Januar erklärte er, die chinesische Bevölkerung sei erstmals 2018 um 1,27 Millionen Menschen geringer geworden, weil mehr Menschen starben, als Kinder geboren wurden (Bevölkerungszahl 2018 erstmals seit Gründung der Volksrepublik zurückgegangen. Yi hat dies mit einem Kollegen aus offiziellen Daten berechnet. Nach Zahlen der China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) würde allerdings die Bevölkerungszahl noch bis 2020 wachsen. Mit dann erreichten 1,44 Milliarden Menschen würde erst das Schrumpfen beginnen – “mit unerfreulichen sozialen und ökonomischen Folgen”.

Die chinesische Statistikbehörde gibt für 2017 noch ein Bevölkerungswachstum von 5,32 Prozent an. Nach den Vereinten Nationen liegt China mit über 1,4 Milliarden Menschen (2017) weiter vor Indien mit 1,34 Milliarden. Die Geburtenzahl ist allerdings auf einem Tiefstand von 15,23 Millionen im letzten Jahr gefallen. Die Regierung hatte nach dem Ende der 1-Kind-Politik auf einen Geburtenboom gesetzt, um die Vergreisung zu verlangsamen. Aber der hat sich nicht eingestellt, in manchen Städten fiel die Geburtenrate von 2017 auf 2018 sogar in zweistelliger Höhe, selbst auf dem Land wurde ein Geburtenrückgang um 11 Prozent beobachtet. Nach Zhai Zhenwu, Präsident der Chinesischen Bevölkerungs-Vereinigung, war 2018 eine “Wendepunkt” mit einem erstmals negativen Bevölkerungswachstum. Er schätzt die Zahl der Neugeborenen auf etwas mehr als 10 Millionen, die der Todesfälle auf 11,6 Millionen. Nach offiziellen Zahlen würde die Bevölkerung ab 2027 zu schrumpfen beginnen.

Man muss die Zahlen wohl mit Vorsicht nehmen,

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China Is Spending Billions To Dethrone The U.S. In Race For The World’s Fastest Supercomputer


19-03-19 09:10:00,

China is currently in the midst of a multi-billion dollar investment cycle to upgrade its supercomputer infrastructure in a bid to pass the United States for fastest supercomputer in the world after the United States regained the title for fastest supercomputer in 2018, ending a five-year reign of Chinese dominance.

As SCMP notes, China had been first on the global Top 500 list of supercomputers since the launch of Tianhe-2 in 2013. In June 2018, the U.S. Summit supercomputer bumped China from the number one spot. 

As a result, as part of the computer arms race, China is aiming for its newest supercomputers to operate about 50% quicker than the best machines in the United States. Should these aims come to fruition, China would once again take the title of having the world’s fastest machine back from the United States.

The next generation Chinese supercomputers will be delivered to the Centre of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing, where the global top 500 rankings for the world’s fastest computers are compiled.

Supercomputing is a key metric in determining any nation’s technical ability, as these machines are widely used for tasks ranging from weather production to even simulating nuclear explosions. Demand for supercomputing and commercial applications for supercomputing are also on the rise, driven by developments in artificial intelligence.

In 2015, President Barack Obama signed an executive order authorizing the creation of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), in order to accelerate the development of supercomputing in the United States.

In the world of supercomputing – an extremely sensitive issue in the ongoing trade and tech war between the US and China – the competition has been narrowed down to the United States and China. Together, the two countries account for a combined 67.2% of the top systems globally. Next in line is Japan, with 6.2% and the United Kingdom at 4%. The rivalry between the US and China has also, to a big degree, been reflected in the trade war between the two companies, especially as Chinese technological advancements continue to accelerate and have prompted a forceful US rebuke to Chinese “technological transfers.”

After the Obama administration banned the sale of high end U.S.

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EU dilemma: how to deal with China | The Vineyard of the Saker


19-03-19 08:49:00,

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times ) by special agreement with the author)

Facing China’s irresistible rise all across the chessboard, and under relentless US pressure, the not exactly democratic EU leadership is on a backbreaking exercise to position itself between a geopolitical/geoeconomic rock and a hard place.

The 28-member EU holds a crucial meeting next week in Brussels where it may adopt a 10-point action plan detailing, in a thesis, the terms of an equitable economic relationship with China going forward.

This will happen as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Italy and then France – ahead of the very important, annual China-EU summit in Brussels on April 9, to be co-chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

That’s the crucial context under which the European Commission (EC) has recommended what it describes as 10 concrete “actions” to the EU Heads of State for their debate at the European Council in March 21 and 22.

The full report, EU-China – A Strategic Outlook, is here.

The EC shows how in 2017 – the latest available figures – the EU was “China’s largest partner with a share of 13% of imports of goods in China and a share of 16% of exports of goods from China.” At the same time, the EC stresses that China is an “economic competitor” and “a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.”

Yet the EC’s “contribution” to the European Council debate next week is far from confrontational. It is a balancing act couched in Eurocratic terminology attempting to shape common “resolve” among the 28 member-states.

Predictable real problem

Coming from the EC/EU, support for “effective multilateralism with the United Nations at its core” is the norm – with China fully integrated.

Beijing is praised for its support for the Iran nuclear deal, its role in the denuclearization of North Korea, its upcoming role in the peace process in Afghanistan and tackling the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. The real problem, predictably, is China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Virtually no one apart from Brussels Eurocrats knows about the existence of an “EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia.”  That’s one of those joint communiqués that no one reads,

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China, Venezuela en het failliet van een supermacht; Karel van Wolferen en Jan van der Putten – Café Weltschmerz


17-03-19 07:03:00,

Een gesprek over het machtigste land van de Wereld en wat het nog voorstelt. De macht van Amerika is tanende. Maar het probeert die tanende invloed op de ontwikkelingen in China en Venezuela te bevestigen. Wat kunnen we geopolitiek verwachten als de huidige ontwikkelingen tussen deze landen onder deze nieuwe verhoudingen zich voortzetten?

00:28 min. Over China
Volgens Van der Putten hebben wij altijd gedacht dat China zal worden als ‘wij’. Vanuit de perceptie dat na de val van de muur, er nog maar één ideologie die overbleef. Het is opmerkelijk dat de politiek gedurende 40 jaar gebaseerd is geweest op een mythe. Een groot misverstand is, dat China zal worden zoals ‘wij’, terwijl ze niets anders wil zijn dan ‘zichzelf’, maar dan in de moderne tijd.

29:26 min. Over Venezuela
Latijns Amerika wordt van oudsher de achtertuin van Uncle Sam genoemd. Voor geldt; Amerika voor de Amerikanen en Latijns Amerika voor de Verenigde Staten. In Latijns America heeft men gedurende decennia de Westerse Koloniale machten buiten hun economische en politieke ontwikkelingen proberen te houden. Dat idee is inmiddels gekanteld…..

Jan van der Putten is classicus en heeft naam gemaakt als correspondent in Latijns Amerika voor de voormalige kwaliteitskrant de NRC Handelsblad.

📌Help Café Weltschmerz met een donatie of adopteer een aflevering: tnv Coöperatie Weltschmerz NL23 TRIO 0390 4379 13. Https://www.cafeweltschmerz.nl/doneer



Dit delen:

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China ante portas


15-03-19 09:15:00,

Die imposante Skyline von Hongkong ist nach den Regeln von Feng Shui gestaltet.

Beat Gerber / 15. Mär 2019 –

Hongkong bietet Globalisierung pur. Ungleichheit, Übertourismus, 5G und Anweisungsdichte werden bald auch die Schweiz beschäftigen.

Good luck! Anfang Februar hat das chinesische Jahr des Schweins begonnen. Der Neujahrstag wurde ausgiebig gefeiert. In Hongkong lockte der Umzug Hunderttausende auf die Strassen, wo sie die bunte Parade begeistert beklatschten. Das Schwein ist klug und bringt Glück, es verspricht Wohlstand und Fortschritt. So sehen es zumindest die Chinesen, die in den zahlreichen Tempeln ihre Götter mit brennenden Räucherstäbchen inbrünstig um Gesundheit und Vermögen (health & wealth) baten, ein erstaunlich abergläubisches Volk.

Hongkong ist seit 1997 eine Sonderverwaltungszone von China und geniesst aus der vorherigen Zeit als britische Kronkolonie (noch) gewisse Vorrechte bei Steuern und politisch-wirtschaftlicher Autonomie (siehe Ergänzung Nr. 1, hinten aufgeführt). Doch der starke Arm von Peking rückt näher, augenfällig etwa bei der Transportinfrastruktur. So wurden im vergangenen Herbst die 55 km lange Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macau-Brücke wie auch eine Schnellbahnverbindung zwischen der chinesischen Hightech-Metropole Shenzhen und Hongkong eröffnet. Die Waren- und Menschenströme aus dem chinesischen Festland sind seither stark angeschwollen.

Übermächtiger Hub für Finanzen und Hightech

Das Gebiet mit elf Grossstädten an der Mündung des Perlflusses ins südchinesische Meer soll zu einem übermächtigen Hub für Finanzen, Technologie und Handel werden, wie kürzlich ein Entwicklungsplan aus Peking darlegte (South China Morning Post, 19/02). Dabei soll Hongkong eine führende Rolle spielen; viele Ansässige sind aber misstrauisch gegenüber dem ehrgeizigen, vollmundig angekündigten Vorhaben (25/02).

Die vibrierende Wirtschaftsmetropole zählt 7,5 Millionen Bewohner und ist extrem dicht bevölkert (6500 Menschen pro km², Schweiz: 215). Die Folgen der Globalisierung sind unübersehbar, so schreitet die Gentrifizierung einzelner Bezirke unaufhaltsam voran. Die Stadt ist eine lärmige Riesenbaustelle. Wohnungen in den zentralen Quartieren sind für Normalverdienende unerschwinglich geworden. In hübsch gelegenen Bezirken wie Kennedy Town oder Stanley kostet ein relativ kleines Apartment (unter 100 m², ohne Meerblick) umgerechnet mehrere Millionen Franken. Auch in der Schweiz ist die Luxussanierung von Quartieren zu beobachten, am eindrücklichsten in Zürich (z.B. Europaallee, Langstrasse und Seefeld).

Ein Fünftel unter der Armutsgrenze

In Hongkong residieren weltweit (relativ gesehen) am meisten USD-Milliardäre (2).

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Bahnbrechend: China will „Kunstsonne” noch 2019 fertigstellen


11-03-19 08:15:00,


19:03 11.03.2019(aktualisiert 19:07 11.03.2019) Zum Kurzlink

Chinesische Forscher wollen laut dem Portal „Science Alert“ den Bau des Weltraum-Solarkraftwerks HL-2M Tokamak, der so genannten künstlichen Sonne, noch im laufenden Jahr vollenden.

Duan Xuru, Mitglied des 13. Landeskomitees der Politischen Konsultativkonferenz des Chinesischen Volkes (PKKCV), erklärte demnach am Sonntag, dass die Bauarbeiten plangemäß in diesem Jahr abgeschlossen würden.

Weitere Sputnik-Artikel: Chinas Militär bastelt an Ausbauplänen für WeltraumWeitere Sputnik-Artikel: Künstlicher Mond statt Straßenlaternen? China arbeitet an außergewöhnlichem Projekt

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Marco Polo Is Back in China – Again – Global Research


11-03-19 02:15:00,

President Xi Jinping is due to arrive in Italy for an official visit on March 22. The top theme of discussion will be the New Silk Road, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

A day earlier, in Brussels, the EU is to debate a common strategy related to Chinese investments in Europe.

A substantial part of the EU is already linked de facto with BRI. That includes Greece, Portugal, 11 EU nations belonging to the 16+1 group of China plus Central and Eastern Europe and, for all practical purposes, Italy.

And yet it takes an undersecretary in the Italian economic development ministry, Michele Geraci, to tell the Financial Times that a memorandum of understanding supporting BRI will be signed during Xi’s visit, for all (White House) hell to break loose.

The FT is not shy of editorializing, calling BRI a “contentious infrastructure program.” BRI is a vast, far-reaching, long-term Eurasia integration project, and the only quasi-global development program in the market, any market. It’s especially “contentious” to Washington – because the US government, as I detailed elsewhere, decided to antagonize it instead of profiting from it.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson deriding BRI as a “made by China, for China” project does not make it so. Otherwise, no less than 152 – and counting – nations and international organizations would not have formally endorsed BRI.

China’s semi-official response to the White House, eschewing the usual diplomatic remarks by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, came via a scathing, unsigned editorial in the Global Times which accuses Europe of being subjected to Washington’s foreign policy and a transatlantic alliance that is not coherent with its 21st century needs.

Geraci states the obvious; the BRI link will allow more of Made in Italy to be exported to China. As someone who lives between Europe and Asia, and always discusses BRI while in Italy, I see that all the time. The appeal of Made in Italy for the Chinese consumer – food, fashion, art, interior design, not to mention all those Ferraris and Lamborghinis – is unrivaled, even by France. Chinese tourists just can’t get enough of Venice, Florence, Rome – and shopping in Milan.

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US, China Compete to Build World’s First Nationwide Cyber-Gulag


06-03-19 01:32:00,

By now it’s no longer restricted to individual companies or even to the internet sector. It has spread across a wide range of products, services, and economic sectors, including insurance, retail, healthcare, finance, entertainment, education, transportation, and more, birthing whole new ecosystems of suppliers, producers, customers, market-makers, and market players. Nearly every product or service that begins with the word “smart” or “personalised”, every internet-enabled device, every “digital assistant”, is simply a supply-chain interface for the unobstructed flow of behavioural data on its way to predicting our futures in a surveillance economy.

– From the must read piece: ‘The Goal Is to Automate Us’: Welcome to the Age of Surveillance Capitalism

A lot of my content over the past couple of years has focused on the momentous geopolitical changes I see on the horizon, and this macro perspective reaches two significant conclusions. First, that the planet is moving away from a unipolar world dominated almost entirely by the U.S. toward a more multi-polar world. Second, that this fundamental shift in geopolitical landscape, coupled with what appears to be a forthcoming reckoning with the largest global debt bubble in human history, will lead to a once in a generation reset of the world economy and the global financial system that keeps it functioning.

As has become increasingly clear in recent months, the two primary protagonists in this major historical shift are the U.S. and China. While I’ve speculated about how increased tensions between these two economic giants will likely usher in the end of globalization as we know it (and possibly a bifurcated global economy), I’ve spent less time talking about what the internal situations will look like within individual countries themselves. This is a major oversight because what really matters to Chinese and U.S. citizens ten years from now isn’t which nation has more military bases abroad, but what will everyday life be like for regular people?

In this regard, China and the U.S. both seem to be headed in similar and very dystopian directions when it comes to the freedom-destroying marriage of overbearing government and ubiquitous surveillance technology. I read a couple of excellent articles on this topic over the past week, which forced the issue to the top of my mind.

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Orwell lässt grüßen: China vor dem Nationalen Volkskongress


05-03-19 11:15:00,

Mit einer App buhlt die kommunistische Führung um die Loyalität ihrer Untertanen, aber der Anspruch ist in Wahrheit wenig “smart”

In den letzten Jahren hat die Kommunistische Partei Chinas (KPCh) zunehmend Anstrengungen unternommen, junge Chinesen mit modernen Methoden zu gewinnen, etwa durch Rap-Songs, Comics oder WeChat-Sticker. Im Herbst 2018 startete ein lokaler Fernsehsender in der Provinz Hunan eine Spieleshow, deren Ziel hauptsächlich darin bestand, die Teilnehmer auf ihr Wissen über die Ideologie der Partei zu testen. Und auf der allseits beliebten Video-Site Bilibili begann gar die Ausstrahlung einer siebenteiligen Cartoon-Folge über den “sozialistischen Revolutionär” Karl Marx.

Die Stimme der Partei

Zunehmend setzt die Partei bei ihren Propagandafeldzügen auf das Internet. Das wurde in China immer stark zensiert, aber jüngst kam von höchster Stelle die Forderung, “the voice of the party can reach all kinds of user terminals directly”. Was die Propagandaspitzen dazu veranlasste, Spezialisten für neue Medien zu rekrutieren – die sollen einen zeitgemäßen Beitrag dazu leisten, die Parteilinie mittels Plattformen zu fördern. Die Erkenntnis dahinter ist einfach: Die Chinesen sind smartphone- und social-media-bewusste Bürger einer technikversessenen Nation.

Zur beliebtesten Smartphone-App in China ist so binnen Kurzem ein Programm namens Xue Xi Qiang Guo (学习强国) aufgestiegen. Die App war zeitweise das in China am häufigsten heruntergeladene Element aus dem App Store, und sie übertrifft die unter den jüngeren Chinesen begehrten Social-Media-Anwendungen WeChat oder TikTok. Und das will schon was heißen. Für viele Staatsbedienstete ist sie allerdings auch einfach verordnetes Pflichtprogramm – eine Methode, sie auf die neu definierten Ziele des Sozialismus einzuschwören.

“Xue Xi Qiang Guo” (auch: Xuexi Qiangguo, engl: “study powerful country”) heißt übersetzt so viel wie “Mächtiges Land studieren” oder: “Lerne über das starke Land”. Mit dem eingängigen Slogan soll zweifellos das Image von Xi Jinping aufgewertet werden.

“Xue Xi Qiang Guo” wurde im Januar von der Werbeabteilung der Partei veröffentlicht. Es verlangt, dass sich die Benutzer mit ihren Handynummern und Klarnamen anmelden. Den Glücklichen dient es sodann als Plattform für Nachrichten, Artikel, Videoclips und für nicht enden wollende Dokumentationen über die politische Philosophie von Staats- und Parteipräsident Xi Jinping. Der Kult um seine Person wird wieder unübersehbar sein, wenn in Peking in dieser Woche der Jahr für Jahr stattfindende Nationale Volkskongress (NPC) beginnt.

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China: Reiseverbot für Bürger mit schlechtem Sozialrating


04-03-19 08:06:00,

China: Reiseverbot für Bürger mit schlechtem Sozialrating (Symbolbild)

Die Behörden Chinas haben ein Sozialranking nach Punkten eingeführt. Bei Verhaltensdelikten entzieht das System den Bürgern Punkte und senkt ihr Sozialrating. Infolgedessen müssen Menschen mit einem niedrigen Sozialkredit mit Konsequenzen rechnen und dürfen beispielsweise keine Bahn- und Flugtickets kaufen. Insgesamt sind Menschen rund 23 Millionen Mal am Ticketkauf gehindert worden.

Das Verbot wurde bereits 17,5 Millionen Mal beim Kauf von Flugtickets und 5,5 Millionen Mal bei Zugtickets registriert. Die offizielle Begründung dafür lautet, dass Bürger dadurch motiviert werden sollen, sich an das Gesetz zu halten. Wie Associated Press berichtet, wünscht sich die Regierungspartei die Einführung eines derartigen Systems bis zum Jahr 2020 landesweit. Ein in den staatlichen Medien häufig wiederholter Slogan lautet: “Wenn Sie das Vertrauen verlieren, werden Sie überall mit Einschränkungen konfrontiert.” China soll laut dem Bericht seit dem Jahr 2014 mit dem Sozialkreditsystem experimentieren. Die Strafen werden für verschiedene Verstöße angewendet – von der Nichtzahlung von Steuern bis zum Gassi gehen ohne Hundeleine. Seit Mai 2018 gelten auch Rechtsbrüche in den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln wie Rauchen an dafür nicht geeigneten Orten oder die Verwendung von abgelaufenen Fahrkarten ebenso als Grundlage für die Senkung des Ratings. Menschenrechtsgruppen befürchten, dass das System außerdem Zugriff auf mobile Anwendungen und Konten in sozialen Medien erhalten werde, um die Onlinepräsenz der Chinesen zu bewerten.

Mehr zum Thema – Chinesische Investitionen in US-Biotechnologie – Daten könnten zur Erpressung missbraucht werden

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China entwickelt 6G-Technologie


02-03-19 01:26:00,

Eine Besucherin informiert sich auf einer Technologie-Messe in Schanghai über 5G-Anwendungen. China beginnt in Kürze mit der Entwicklung von 6G. (Foto: dpa)

Eine Besucherin informiert sich auf einer Technologie-Messe in Schanghai über 5G-Anwendungen. China beginnt in Kürze mit der Entwicklung von 6G. (Foto: dpa)

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US Already at War with China and Russia: The Rest of Us Are Collateral Damage | New Eastern Outlook


01-03-19 08:07:00,


At the end of World War 2 the United States was the strongest economy and military force on the planet. It used that position to impose itself upon the world for the next 60 years.  Potential threats to that hegemony were crushed, through persuasion, economic blackmail via the dominant position of the US dollar, regime change of recalcitrant governments, and in many cases invasions and occupations.  Tens of millions died and social structures were devastated.

The lack of any serious challenger during those decades bred a mentality of exceptionalism: that the ordinary rules of civilised conduct did not apply; that their way was the only acceptable way; and that their hegemonic monopoly would last forever.

Despite the constant propaganda, the Soviet Union was never a serious threat, and China was too preoccupied with internal convulsions to have much influence beyond its own national borders or those countries immediately adjoining.

The past two decades however, have seen significant changes, the pace of which is accelerating.  After the Yeltsin era of the 1990s, Russia began a steady rejuvenation off its economy and political status.  China began its true Great Leap Forward following the reform and opening up of its economy and society under Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s.  The results are unparalleled in modern history. Per capita income in China is 25 times what it was when Deng’s reforms began. Poverty levels, as measured by the World Bank have shrunk from more than 90 percent of the population in 1978 to less than 2 percent today.

China’s GDP growth rate has been sustained at a level about three times the rate of most developed economies, and has done so for several decades. On a parity purchasing power basis, China is now the world’s largest economy, and that superior economic position will continue and grow for the foreseeable future.

Not the least of the reasons for China’s dynamic growth is their investment in education and in particular science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  About one quarter of all STEM workers in the world today are Chinese. The expectation is that by 2025 (a key date in Chinese planning) there will be more Chinese STEM workers than in the whole of the OECD combined.

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China Bans Millions From Flights, Trains In Social-Credit Crackdown


21-02-19 11:30:00,

China has banned millions of people from any number of activities for being labeled as ‘untrustworthy’ on the country’s Orwellian social credit system

Banned from things such as air and train travel, blacklisted individuals are being punished in a broad effort to boost “trustworthiness” among the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens tracked by the massive system – which assigns both positive and negative scores to various metrics, reports SCMP.  

People with great social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will be punished with restrictions and penalties.

Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang province, rolled out its social credit system earlier last year, rewarding “pro-social behaviors” such as blood donations, healthy lifestyles, and volunteer work while punishing those who violate traffic laws, smoke and drink, and speak poorly about government. 

Human rights advocates have voiced concerns that the social credit system does not take into account individual circumstances, and has unfairly labeled people and companies as untrustworthy. 

Over 3.59 million Chinese enterprises were added to the official creditworthiness blacklist last year, banning them from a series of activities, including bidding on projects, accessing security markets, taking part in land auctions and issuing corporate bonds, according to the 2018 annual report released by the National Public Credit Information Centre. –SCMP

According to the NPCIC report, Chinese officials collected 14.21 million pieces of information of “untrustworthy conduct” by both business and individuals – including failure to repay loans, illegal fund collection, false and misleading advertising, swindling customers, and – for individuals, acts such as taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals, SCMP reports. 

Meanwhile, around 17.46 million people who are “discredited” were prevented from buying plane tickets, while 5.47 million were disallowed from purchasing tickets to China’s high-speed train system. 

Besides restrictions on buying tickets, local authorities also used novel methods to put pressure on untrustworthy subjects, including preventing people from buying premium insurance, wealth management products or real estate, as well as shaming them by exposing their information in public.

A total of 3.51 million untrustworthy individuals and entities repaid their debts or paid off taxes and fines last year due to pressure from the social credit system,

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China Programming AI Drones To Autonomously Murder Without Human Input


11-02-19 08:21:00,

China is programming new autonomous AI-powered drones to conduct “targeted military strikes” without a human making the decision to fire, according to a new report by the Center for a New American Security, a US national security think tank. 

Authored by Gregory C. Allen, the report is a comprehensive look at Chinese AI (and American officials’ underestimation of it). Allen notes that drones are becoming increasingly automated as designers integrate sophisticated AI systems into the decision-making processes for next-generation reconnaissance and weapons systems. Before writing his analysis, Allen participated in a series of meetings “with high-ranking Chinese officials in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leaders of China’s military AI research organizations, government think tank experts, and corporate executives at Chinese AI companies.” 

“Though many current generation drones are primarily remotely operated, Chinese officials generally expect drones and military robotics to feature ever more extensive AI and autonomous capabilities in the future,” writes Allen. “Chinese weapons manufacturers already are selling armed drones with significant amounts of combat autonomy.“

“The specific scenario described to me [by one anonymous Chinese official] is unintentional escalation related to the use of a drone,” said Allen in a Wednesday report by The Verge

As Allen explains, the operation of drones both large and small has become increasingly automated in recent years. In the US, drones are capable of basic autopilot, performing simple tasks like flying in a circle around a target. But China is being “more aggressive about introducing greater levels of autonomy closer to lethal use of force,” he says. One example is the Blowfish A2 drone, which China exports internationally and which, says Allen, is advertised as being capable of “full autonomy all the way up to targeted strikes.” –The Verge

“Mechanized equipment is just like the hand of the human body. In future intelligent wars, AI systems will be just like the brain of the human body,” said Zeng Yi, a senior executive at Chinese’s third largest defense manufacturer, who believes AI will be at the core of warefare in the future. 

“AI may completely change the current command structure, which is dominated by humans,”

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Is Debt China’s Achilles Heel? | New Eastern Outlook


09-02-19 02:25:00,


China’s credits to various countries along its much-discussed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the most ambitious infrastructure undertaking in history, have recently been criticized for drawing poor countries into a debt trap by extending huge credits. Myanmar is often cited, as well as Sri Lanka. Malaysia and Pakistan are renegotiating multi-billion-dollar projects of previous regimes. What is not widely being examined however, is whether there is a danger that the China economy itself is vulnerable to a far larger debt trap, one that could spell trouble for the BRI project itself as well as for the unprecedented four decades of booming China economic growth. Could it be that debt is becoming China’s Achilles Heel?

The state of the Chinese economy is likely far graver than its leaders are admitting. The cause is not the effect of the US trade war. Rather it’s the structure of a debt-driven growth that has defined the unprecedented rise of China to a world economic power second only to the USA. What is called “socialism with Chinese characteristics” looks more and more like the Western debt-collapse model on steroids.

At the heart of the current problem is China’s home real estate debt market.

A debt trap is defined as a situation where a borrower takes on new debt to repay existing debt to a point where the terms of the original debt have drastically changed for the worse and default looms. During the Alan Greenspan US sub-prime debt bonanza more than a decade ago, millions of Americans took out loans, often with little bank checking, in a securitized mortgage market where home prices were rising so fast many believed they couldn’t lose. Until the bubble burst in early 2007.

In China over the past decade or more, a rising middle class began to realize for the first time they could buy goods never before possible. The American and European cars their labor produced were the first big consumer purchase boom. Over the past decade and more, that consumption has shifted to buying a home or apartment in one of China’s many growing cities. Much of the financial credit for the housing construction boom has come from unregulated local finance vehicles, a form of shadow banking, as the large state banks were tightly controlled.

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Burkina Faso: China dringt als financier Afrikaanse invloedssfeer Frankrijk binnen


05-02-19 06:12:00,

Begin dit jaar bezocht de Chinese minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Wang Yi met 44 miljoen Amerikaanse dollar voor de regionale interventiemacht G5 Sahel Joint Force op zak Burkina Faso, nadat het West-Afrikaanse land in mei vorig jaar verrasend de sinds 1994 bestaande diplomatieke betrekkingen met Taiwan verbroken had. 

Op het eerste gezicht leek dit niet meer dan het zoveelste succes van de chequeboekdiplomatie van de Volksrepubliek China en verdere verdringing van de door Peking als afvallige provincie geziene eilandstaat van het zwarte continent. In Nigeria en Zuid-Afrika zijn er weliswaar nog altijd Taiwanese diplomatieke vertegenwoordigingen, maar alleen Swaziland – ter gelegenheid van 50 jaar onafhankelijkheid van de Britten in april omgedoopt tot Eswatini – blijft de Republiek China op Taiwan trouw.

Druk van buurlanden

Maar de ommezwaai van Burkina Faso is mede het gevolg van de druk van buurlanden op president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Tsjaad, Mali, Mauretanië en Niger, oftewel de andere leden van de G5 Sahel, een in 2014 in de Mauretanische hoofdstad Nouakchott opgerichte instelling voor samenwerking in veiligheids- en ontwikkelingskwesties, hebben reeds lang met separatistische bewegingen van de op hun grondgebied levende Toearegs, islamitisch terrorisme en grensoverschrijdende georganiseerde misdaad te kampen. Burkina Faso bleef daar tot voor kort grotendeels van verschoond, maar sinds de val van de jarenlange machthebber Blaise Compaoré in 2014 was Ouagadougou meermaals het doel van grotere aanslagen door terroristen, die zich in Mali, Niger en het noorden van Burkina Faso ophouden.

Blijf op de hoogte van nieuws, opinie en achtergronden: Volg Novini!

Een billboard over een top van de G5 Sahel in Niamey, Niger (foto: NigerTZai)

G5 Sahel Joint Force

De in reactie daarop in 2017 in de Malinese hoofdstad Bamako in het leven geroepen, door de Afrikaanse Unie gesteunde en door de VN-veiligheidsraad erkende 5.000 man sterke G5 Sahel Joint Force werd zes maanden later voor het eerst ingezet. Maar niet alleen gebrekkig training en bureaucratische hindernissen, maar vooral geldgebrek bleken een belemmering. Dit ondanks de op een internationale conferentie in Brussel in februari 2018 toegezegde 440 miljoen euro en de ondersteuning door de voormalige kolonisator Frankrijk, die sinds 2014 vanuit N’Djamena in het kader van Operatie Barkhane met 3.000 eigen militairen in de regio aanwezig is.

Erkenning Taiwan

Peking had intussen duidelijk door laten schemeren dat zolang Burkina Faso Taiwan erkende,

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The Monitoring Game: China’s Artificial Intelligence Push – Global Research


03-02-19 12:52:00,

It’s all keen and mean on the artificial intelligence (AI) front in China, which is now vying with the United States as the top dog in the field.  US companies can still boast the big cheese operators, but China is making strides in other areas.  The UN World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Thursday report found that IBM had, with 8,920 patents in the field, the largest AI portfolio, followed by Microsoft with 5,930. China, however, was found dominant in 17 of 20 academic institutions involved in the business of patenting AI. 

The scramble has been a bitter one.  The Trump administration has been inflicting various punitive measures through tariffs, accusing Beijing of being the lead thief in global intellectual property matters.  But it is also clear that China has done much to play the game.

“They are serious players in the field of intellectual property,” suggests WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry. 

Machine learning is high up in this regard, as is deep learning, which saw a rise from a modest 118 patent applications in 2013 to a sprightly 2,399 in 2016.  All this is to the good on some level, but the ongoing issue that preoccupies those in the field is how best to tease out tendencies towards bias (racism, sexism and so forth) that find their way into machine-learning algorithms. Then comes that problem of technology in the broader service of ill, a point that never really goes away.

In other areas, China is making springing efforts.  Moving in the direction of developing an AI chip has not been missed, propelled by moves away from crypto mining. 

“It’s an incredibly difficult to do,” claims MIT Technology Review senior editor Will Knight.  “But the fact that you’ve got this big technological shift like it once in a sort of generation one means that it’s now possible, that the playing field is levelled a little bit.”

The nature of technological advancement often entails a moral and ethical lag.  Functionality comes before philosophy.  AI has been seen to be a fabulous toy-like thing, enticing and irresistible.  But what is good in one field is bound to be inimical in another.  The implications for this should be clear with the very idea of deep learning,

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China, Russia Preparing For “Blackout Warfare” With “Super-EMP” Bombs


31-01-19 10:14:00,

Russia, China and several other nations are developing powerful high-altitude nuclear bombs that can produce super-electromagnetic pulse (EMP) waves capable of knocking out critical electronic infrastructure, according to several declassified 2017 reports from the now-defunct Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from EMP Attack (see below). 

“Foreign adversaries may aptly consider nuclear EMP attack a weapon that can gravely damage the U.S. by striking at its technological Achilles Heel, without having to confront the U.S. military,” reads the report, which notes how foreign actors could use EMP attacks virtually anywhere in the world. 

“Super-EMP” weapons, as they are termed by Russia, are nuclear weapons specially designed to generate an extraordinarily powerful E1 EMP field. Super-EMP warheads are designed to produce gamma rays, which generate the E1 EMP effect, not a big explosion, and typically have very low explosive yields, only 1-10 kilotons … Even EMP hardened U.S. strategic forces and command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) systems are potentially vulnerable to such a threat. –Firstempcommission.org

“Nuclear EMP attack is part of the military doctrines, plans, and exercises of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran for a revolutionary new way of warfare against military forces and civilian critical infrastructures by cyber, sabotage, and EMP,” the report continues. 

“The Commission sees the high-altitude nuclear explosion-generated electromagnetic pulse as an existential threat to the survival of the United States and its allies that can be exploited by major nuclear powers and small-scale nuclear weapon powers, including North Korea and non-state actors, such as nuclear-armed terrorists.” 

Nuclear-electronic warfare is also known as “Blackout War” according to the Washington Free Beacon

EMP attacks will be carried out at such high altitudes they will produce no blast or other immediate effects harmful to humans. Instead, three types of EMP waves in seconds damage electronics and the strikes are regarded by adversaries as not an act of nuclear war.

“Potential adversaries understand that millions could die from the long-term collateral effects of EMP and cyber-attacks that cause protracted black-out of national electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures,”

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