Wandering China

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

Wandering China Day 10: Reflections on the way back

On board a flight back to Australia from Hong Kong –  In the June 29, 2011 copy of the South China Morning Post (a seemingly pro-Beijing Hong Kong English language newspaper with a run of 104,000), three articles caught my eye besides the 3-4 pages dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Communist party.

China eyes Canada’s Oil Sands
Associated Press | Calgary

 Canada becomes a resource chess piece between the U.S. and China. Canada’s oil sands, seen as ‘dirty oil’ by environmentalists is the centre piece. Alberta holds the world’s third largest oil reserves, standing at 170 billion barrels, this means it has more oil than Russia or Iran. Whilst American environmentalists might scorn at the idea of oil that increases greenhouse emissions, China seems to have no such current major concern. Canada’s only major oil export market is the US, and China is waiting in the wings to pounce should green concerns prevents the Americans from having first option to these expansive resources. As it is, China intends to invest heavily in Canada, with a USD$300 billion sovereign wealth fund being parked in Toronto for its first overseas office.

China among headaches for G20 grain database
Reuters | Paris

 A global initiative to take stock of global grains seems set to face transparency issues as large countries such as China, India and Russia might be adverse towards revealing politically sensitive food policy from market forces. Additionally, the challenge of surveying geographically extensive territories compound the problem.

 And most significantly,

 Six Decades of Suspicion Finally Over
Lawrence Chung | Taipei

‘Advocators of the notion that Taiwan and China have serious military concerns can sit back, relax and take a chill pill when using cross-strait relations as a reason to impose military and strategic self-interests. A programme to allow 170,000 individual mainland tourists marks a tangible and non-rhetoric start toward mending fences between the two Chinas. Mainland visitors have been allowed to visit the island in large groups since 2008 when Taiwan leader Ma Ying-Jeou, of the increasingly mainland friendly former-foe, the Kuo Ming Tang adopted a policy of engagement with Beijing.  Close to 300 mainland individual visitors arrived in Taiwan on the 28 June 2011 marking the first time in 60 years since the KMT ‘lost’ the civil war to the communists that mainlanders were allowed to make visits individually or in small groups. Of note was one visitor who touchingly and perhaps quite representative of how the civil war tore apart many families – arrived to bring back the ashes of her late father back to Beijing for burial. I am sure it’s more than meets the eye though – from further reports I understand that movement of these visitors are regulated although there are anecdotal accounts of mainland visitors opting to stay in their hotel rooms to tune into uncensored Taiwanese news programs that have a habit of being rather critical of the communist cousins.


Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bob's Opinion, Canada, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Democracy, Economics, Environment, History, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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