Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

No cheap labor? China increases minimum wages [China Daily]

This is the key – ‘officials hint cheap labor may no longer be considered China’s sole competitive edge.’

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No cheap labor? China increases minimum wages
By Uking Sun
Source – China Daily, published July 2, 2010

At least 18 provinces, including big cities like Beijing and Shenzhen, have increased the minimum wage by an average of 20 percent from Thursday as officials hint cheap labor may no longer be considered China’s sole competitive edge.

Jiangsu province was the first to increase its minimum wage this year, ushering in the beginning of a nationwide wave that will be followed by 27 provinces and municipalities by the end of this year, the First Financial Daily reported.

Sun Qunyi, an expert with Wage Research Institute at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said this round of wage increases is compensation to low-income workers since the global economic crisis froze wages in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: China Daily, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Honda Strike in Foshan 2010, Lifestyle, Politics, Population, Social, Strategy

China’s Energy Grab Is No Green Affair [Forbes]

“Green energy is desirable, but try telling China to limit its consumption, production, and acquisition of traditional oil, gas, and coal resources and see how far you get.” According to this analysis by Dr. Economides, China’s love affair with green energy seems like a thinly veiled guise whilst it grabs foreign fossil energy resources elsewhere. I agree largely. Pragmatism for stable growth is always China’s main priority. Doing whatever it takes to keep that resource environment in their favour is exactly what they will do.

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China’s Energy Grab Is No Green Affair
Dr. Michael Economides
Source – Forbes Blogs, published June 17, 2010

During President Obama’s Oval Office address to the nation on the subject of the BP oil spill, the chief executive pointed to China as a leader in clean energy investment in hopes of urging Congress to enact legislation that would encourage the U.S. to expand its own green energy spending. While the president has the right to call for more green investment, his reference to the role of green energy in China told only a very tiny and self-serving part of the story.

China’s clean energy spending, indeed, is at a high monetary level, but what the president fails to mention is the utterly massive level of spending that the Chinese have embarked upon in pursuit of expanding their traditional energy portfolio. As Kate MacKenzie points out in her recent Financial Times piece, Chinese national oil companies have embarked on a “mega-spree” of fossil energy foreign acquisitions, accounting in fact for almost 20% of the world’s global deal value in the first quarter of 2010.

Recently, Chinese oil giant Sinopec paid ConocoPhillips $4.65 billion to acquire its share in a Canadian tar sands project. Weeks later came the company’s $2.46 billion acquisition of Angola’s deep water oil reserves and a $7.56 billion acquisition of Swiss-based Addax Petroleum. PetroChina has announced a$20 billion loan to Venezuela to be paid by oil and the company will spend at least $60 billion over the next 10 years to acquire more oil and gas assets abroad. Even more recently, CNOOC, China’s third largest oil company, paid $6 billion to acquire the Brazilian Peregrino field. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Forbes, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Resources, U.S.

[Beijing] Woman stops car and collects ‘toll’ wearing only a bra [AsiaOne]

A peek into the quirkiness of Beijing life.

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Woman stops car and collects ‘toll’ wearing only a bra
Source – AsiaOne, published July 2, 2010

Photo: AsiaOne

BEIJING – “Toll collectors” are a common sight but a new “collector” has outshined others, according to a report on the website Chinasmack.

A middle-aged woman wearing nothing but a bra and shorts was seen walking among the traffic recently, collecting “toll” from all the cars passing through the intersection of Xihuamen and North Street.

She would signal for a car to stop before walking over to its windows to collect her “toll”, the report said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Culture, Lifestyle, Social

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July 2010

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