Wandering China

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

China unveils a new round of electric car subsidies [BBC] #RisingChina #ElectricCar

Those who have set foot in China in recent years will know: it can be difficult to spot a motorcycle run on gasoline. Across the cities, there are >120m electric-bikes zipping around in numbers.

Electric car sales in China are currently miniscule, said Jeff Schuster, an industry analyst with LMC Automotive. Out of 18 million passenger vehicles sold in China last year, just 22,000 were plug-ins. That number is expected to grow to 60,000 next year, however. CNN August 2013

Can they pull off the same with cars? … perhaps Tesla Motors can stimulate this shift with the nifty Model S.

Also, see New-energy vehicle policy shifts gears in the China Daily (September18, 2013)

– – –

China unveils a new round of electric car subsidies
Source – BBC, published September 18, 2013

20130919-051204.jpg
China has unveiled a new round of subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles in a bid to combat rising air pollution in its major cities.

The government will provide up to 60,000 yuan (£6,160; $9,800) to buyers of all-electric, “near all-electric” and hydrogen vehicles until 2015.

The policy is expected to boost Chinese automakers such as as BYD, which makes electric cars and batteries.

However, the programme does not include gasoline-electric hybrid cars.

Please click here to read the entire article at the BBC online.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Environment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Modernisation, Peacekeeping, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, Trade, Transport

Chinese ship takes shorter Arctic Route [Straits Times] #RisingChina #ArcticRoute

To complement its string of pearls: China eyes  the Bering Strait and Russian coastline to solidify access to the European market worth US$550 billion in two-way trade last year.

Made navigable by shrinking Arctic ice, this route potentially shaves 12-15 days off the journey through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

Also, please see the prelude China Granted Access to Arctic Club as Resource Race Heats Up [Business Week] earlier in 2013 and

Chinese cargo ship sets sail for Arctic short-cut [Financial Times, August 11, 2013]

The Yong Sheng, a 19,000-tonne vessel operated by state-owned Cosco Group, set sail on August 8 from Dalian, a port in northeastern China, bound for Rotterdam. According to an announcement on Cosco’s website, the journey via the Bering Strait could shave as much as 15 days off the traditional route through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea.

Chinese ship plys new Arctic trade route [Sydney Morning Herald, August 11, 2013]

For more info on COSCO and its fleet of ships (including the Yong Sheng), please click here.

– – –

Chinese ship takes shorter Arctic Route
by the AFP
Source – Straits Times, published August 11, 2013

Source - Straits Times, 2013

Source – Straits Times, 2013

Filed under: Arctic, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, String of Pearls, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, Transport

Interview: U.S., China strategic talks show commitment to broaden dialogue: expert [Xinhua] #RisingChina #US

Thumbs up for the sensible move facilitating more face-to-face channels for peaceful co-development.

Also, see

1 – ‘4 Promising Themes Emerge In U.S.-China Agreements At Strategic And Economic Dialogue and U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track’ (World Resources Institute, July 12, 2013)

from the U.S. Department of State

2- ‘U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track‘ (July 13, 2013)

3 – Report of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (July 10, 2013)

and

In Columbus, Ohio and the Chinese city of Hefei, we are building electric cars with new technology. In New Orleans and Shanghai, wetlands are being conserved, thanks to shared research. And in Charlotte and Langfang, our utility sectors are learning to create electricity in smarter, cleaner ways. These solutions matter to the United States, they matter to China, and they matter to our planet. 4- Remarks With Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the EcoPartnership Signing Event (July 11, 2013)

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Interview: U.S., China strategic talks show commitment to broaden dialogue: expert
Source – Xinhua, published July 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) — The just concluded fifth round of annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) between the United States and China have shown a commitment from both sides to broaden the dialogue, a U.S. expert said Friday.

Besides real progress in areas such as investment and climate change, the U.S. and Chinese sides have shown commitment to ” sustain and to broaden what goes on within these dialogues,” Jonathan Pollack, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings Institution, told Xinhua in an interview.

He stressed the importance of the commitment at the senior level, saying that “because without a commitment in both leaderships to sustain these processes, momentum and progress will stall very quickly.”

Please click here to read the entire article at Xinhua.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Green China, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Spying, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Why Indonesia Can Only Wait for Rain as Riau Burns and Singapore Chokes [Jakarta Post] #Singapore #Indonesia #Haze

A test of interconnectedness – the neighbors are a direct and critical cog of Singapore’s regional production and resource network. There is little deviation along the compass point when fingering the transnational capitalists or lamenting at political rhetorical ellipse. Anticipating wind patterns before the burn should have been a smarter way to do the inevitable; and for leaders to be a step ahead.

Further reading:

Burning Borneo Causes Worldwide Concern (June 22, 2013)

Singaporeans Slam Leaders for Not Ordering Work Halt Amid Smog (June 22, 2013)

Interestingly enough, the notion that Singapore is part of China persists…

Haze puts S’pore on map, millions surprised to find it there (Business Times, June 22, 2013 by Joyce Hooi)

THE world reacted with incredulity yesterday when it discovered what a “Singapore” was. Some clues to the existence of the city-state began emerging on Wednesday, when millions of orders for respiratory masks began crashing Amazon’s servers.

“I’ve seen that word before on one or two orders, you know?” an e-retailer told The Business Times yesterday. “But I got like a million orders from these Singaporeanese this week, and I thought, ‘boy, the air in China must be getting a lot worse’.”

Some, however, have expressed doubt at its existence. “I can’t see it on Nasa’s website of satellite images. There’s a patch of white smoke where people say it should be,” a forum member on Reddit said.

And in perhaps getting to the root…

Indonesia names Sinar Mas, APRIL, among eight firms behind Singapore haze (Eco Business, June 21, 2013 by Jessica Cheam)

+

See: The guilty secrets of palm oil: Are you unwittingly contributing to the devastation of the rain forests? (The Independent, May 2009)

It’s an invisible ingredient, really, palm oil. You won’t find it listed on your margarine, your bread, your biscuits or your KitKat. It’s there though, under “vegetable oil”. And its impact, 7,000 miles away, is very visible indeed.

The wildlife-rich forests of Indonesia and Malaysia are being chain-sawed to make way for palm-oil plantations. Thirty square miles are felled daily in a burst of habitat destruction that is taking place on a scale and speed almost unimaginable in the West.

When the rainforests disappear almost all of the wildlife – including the orangutans, tigers, sun bears, bearded pigs and other endangered species – and indigenous people go. In their place come palm-oil plantations stretching for mile after mile, producing cheap oil – the cheapest cooking oil in the world – for everyday food. Martin Hickman for the Independent, 2009

– – –

Why Indonesia Can Only Wait for Rain as Riau Burns and Singapore Chokes
Source – Jakarta Post, published June 21, 2013

20130622-113111.jpg

Motorcyclists drive through the smog in Dumai, Riau on June 21. (Reuters Photo)

Indonesia has accepted international praise for its deforestation legislation but has failed to invest in its enforcement, two top environmental groups said on Friday as fires continued to burn through protected peatlands in Sumatra.

The Ministry of Forestry lacks the resources to police the million of hectares of forest protected under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s acclaimed deforestation moratorium, Greenpeace Indonesia said. Fires in Riau province have burned for nearly a week, blanketing portions of Sumatra, Malaysia and Singapore in a thick cloud of smog.

More than 140 hotspots have been observed in satellite images across Sumatra and Kalimantan since the start of the week. Environmental activists and the ministry disagree over the number of hotspots burning in protected forests. Environmental groups estimated that number was close to 70. The ministry said fires were reported in only “five or six” protected forests.

“It’s nowhere near 50 percent,” said ministry spokesman Sumarto.

Please click here to read the full article at the Jakarta Post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: ASEAN, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Indonesia, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Resources, Singapore, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

This is Shanghai [Rob Whitworth/Vimeo] #RisingChina #Timelapse

0-4000 skyscrapers in three decades: no mean feat.

Timelapse of Shanghai’s skyscrapers from that many angles and vantage points – no mean feat either.

That this was accomplished with local Shanghainese synergy – bonus feat!

A wonderful example of cross-pollination significant in painting the narrative that it’s not all just us and them.

To understand the city, the team carried out rigorous urban exploration. In the words of JT “we walked, walked and walked, the Jane Jacobs way”. Weibo, China’s main social media platform was used to ask local Shanghainese people to share ideas of different vantage points and what they thought were the over-riding characteristics of the city. Stealth and curiosity were required to find and gain access to rooftops and locations. It became addictive for the team discovering breath-taking vantage points of the city. There was always an adrenaline rush upon reaching the top of a different building to see the vast urban jungle of Shanghai….

– – –

This is Shanghai
by Rob Whitworth
Source – Vimeo, published April 2013

In 1980 Shanghai had no skyscrapers. It now has at least 4,000 — more than twice as many as New York. ‘This is Shanghai’ explores the diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai going beyond the famous skyline.

Photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces combining deep city exploration and pioneering filmmaking. ‘This is Shanghai’ is a roller coaster ride seamlessly weaving between the iconic, sparkling and mismatched buildings of the financial district travelling by boat and taxi touring Shanghai’s impressive infrastructure whilst glimpsing some of the lesser-known aspects of Shanghai life such as the lower stratum areas or the stunning graffiti of Moganshan road. And of course there is the opportunity to try some of the vast variety of street food and Shanghai’s most popular homegrown delicacy, the pan-fried pork dumplings, the shengjian bao. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Civil Engineering, Climate Change, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Nationalism, People, Population, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Video

China solar panel duties imposed by EU [BBC] #RisingChina #Solar #TradeWar

A free market on whose terms – is this really a fruitful solution or does it simply carve out more finely the edges to the us and them narrative.

This kills off a Chinese pet project in one flex of foreign and economic policy, one the Chinese state has been happy to fund and use as the spear tip in their economic incursions abroad.

They thought wrong about what the world wanted.

In their minds, value and efficiency were probably paramount, thinning margins no barrier to demands from markets in the West. Famously, only one dollar goes out if every Levi’s jeans made goes to the worker, and little more to the factory.

The authors of the free market are not prepared to truly shake its center and make it competitive globally. it seems demarcation by regionalism is the new cool in the semantic range of what free means. Of course it pleases business as it restores margins designed to feed an expected and established standard of living.

The Chinese now know there is divergence in consensus across the notion of global village, despite economic interdependence as a big player in global production networks – – – what free market means to them is little more than subtext to hypocrisy now. Despite bailing out Europe more than once and financing growth by sheer Chinese demand in so many areas, this is their reply.

In one act of posturing, the West gains an upper hand as it nips away at the supply carts of the Chinese green technology vanguard.

One thing is for sure as to what the Chinese will not do. Especially in this day and age.

They will react.

But, it is easy to hide intent behind words. Some taunting outside the walls of the foe’s gates will probably suffice now.

For more, see…

The US and the EU are clearly redefining their economic strategy, trying to defend their energy companies from Chinese competition. But some European partners seem uncertain what to do.

Germany won’t accept losing significant trade with China, and even Washington’s closest European ally, Britain, is worried about the consequences of these possible measures against China.

The EU Commission doesn’t seem to be really interested in the first two aims of renewable sources, environmental protection and energy diversification, but just willing to boycott Chinese production through an alliance with US. All these point to an old question: Is the “free market” really free?

Sino-EU solar trade war is lose-lose choice By Andrea Fais
Global Times OP-ED , June 4, 2013

– – –

China solar panel duties imposed by EU
Andrew Walker
Source – BBC, published 4 June 2013

Analysis

BBC World Service Economics correspondent
How likely is a trade war? China is certainly angry about the tariffs and there is a lot of trade at stake – 21bn euros worth in 2011, according to the European Commission. But anti-dumping actions are an everyday feature of the global trade landscape. There has been an average of more than 200 a year. They are perfectly legal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, provided they follow the WTO’s procedures. Indeed China is a fairly big user of anti-dumping actions itself. The European Commission’s plan to start the anti-dumping duty tariff relatively low, and then increase it later, looks like a negotiating tactic. If the Chinese firms were prepared to undertake to charge a sufficiently higher price, the Commission could accept that. The duties are provisional at this stage and they could be removed if the EU countries decide to do so in December. That is a possibility. So the heat is on now, but there are still opportunities to extinguish the trade fires.

Andrew Walker

20130605-043350.jpg
The anti-dumping case is the biggest undertaken by the European Commission

The European Commission has announced it is imposing temporary anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports.

It comes despite opposition from Germany and other European Union members, and amid fears it could spark a trade war.

Please click here to read the full article at the BBC website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Green China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Law, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

China Granted Access to Arctic Club as Resource Race Heats Up [Business Week] #RisingChina #ArcticResources

China granted observer status by the Arctic Council.

“The Arctic is another Africa for China,” Humpert said in an interview, referring to China’s investment in Africa for its natural resources. “With minimal investment, they can be in a position, twenty, thirty, fifty years down the road, to yield a big return and have a controlling influence.” Malte Humpert, executive director of the Arctic Institute, a Washington policy group

For more, see What Is China’s Arctic Game Plan? (the Atlantic, May 16, 2013)

– – –

China Granted Access to Arctic Club as Resource Race Heats Up
By Nicole Gaouette and Niklas Magnusson
Source – Bloomberg Businessweek, published May 15, 2013

China was granted observer status by the Arctic Council, giving the world’s second-largest economy more influence amid an intensifying search for resources in the globe’s most northern region.

The eight-member council at a summit today in Kiruna, Sweden, also granted observer status to Japan, India, Italy, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea. The European Union application was deferred until members are satisfied that issues of concern — largely Canadian objections about EU restrictions on seal products — have been allayed.

“The symbolic importance for China shouldn’t be understated,” said Malte Humpert, executive director of the Arctic Institute, a Washington policy group. “China has identified the Arctic as a strategically and geopolitically valuable region,” and “having a seat at the table, albeit only as a permanent observer, has long been an essential part of the country’s regional strategy.”

The number of new observers reflects interest in the region’s burgeoning economic opportunities as climate change alters the physical landscape. Rapidly melting ice is opening new shipping routes that will make the trip from Europe to Asia shorter and cheaper during the summer months. The softening of Arctic ice could also bring within reach the 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas reserves and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil that lie under the Arctic Ocean floor, according to the U.S. Geological Survey estimates.

Please click here to read the full article at Bloomberg Businessweek

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Arctic, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Government & Policy, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Beijing cracking down on illegal barbecues [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #BeijingBBQCulture #Pollution

Perhaps a shift to hot plate technology is in order.

– – –

Beijing cracking down on illegal barbecues
By Zheng Xin
Source – Peoples’ Daily, published May 14, 2013

Beijing is stepping up efforts to reduce illegal barbeques, to cut down on roadside airand noise pollution.

May is the peak time for outdoor grill cooking, which takes a heavy toll on air quality,traffic and residents, said Dang Xuefeng, spokesman for the capital’s bureau of cityadministration and law enforcement.

“As the weather warms up, the streets gradually fill up with roadside barbecue spots,sizzling kebabs on the grill and cold beer, which also create serious air pollution andundesired noise for the neighborhoods,” he said.

Please click here to read the full article at Peoples’ Daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Entertainment, Environment, Influence, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, People's Daily, Pollution, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade

Suntech’s bankruptcy: Beyond Profit [Economist Blogs] #ChinaSolar

The Economist on the harsh environment overarching China’s plans for solar power eminence.

For a strong Chinese view from Xinhua:

Globally speaking, new energy is closely related to the welfare of mankind. China has already become a leader in new energy development and will contribute even more in the future. To that end, it would be prudent for all the world’s countries to refrain from engaging in trade wars and protectionism targeting new energy products.

See: Suntech bankruptcy hurts new energy drive in Xinhua, March 21, 2013

– – –

Suntech’s bankruptcy
Beyond Profit
by V.V.V.
Source – The Economist, published March 21, 2013

Photo source - AFP

Photo source – AFP

BP, an oil giant formerly known as British Petroleum, ran an ill-fated marketing campaign some years ago proclaiming itself “Beyond Petroleum”. The idea was to trumpet its big investments in renewable energy, especially its brief position as one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of solar panels. That effort came to be seen as greenwash as punters realised that the company’s dabbling in greenery did not take away its zeal to produce—and alas, it turned out, recklessly spill—gargantuan quantities of the mucky black goop that has always been the main source of its profits.

Not long after that, Suntech, a Chinese solar-panel manufacturer, skyrocketed to the top of the world solar industry. So stratospheric was the rise in the firm’s valuation after it went public in 2005 that Shi Zhengrong, its founder, was briefly China’s richest man. At the peak of his wealth and his company’s prospects, he grandly even declared his ambition for Suntech to become as big as BP.

As a clean-energy company, Suntech at least had the chance to fulfil BP’s misleading promise of going beyond petroleum. Alas, Suntech has instead ended up beyond profit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bankruptcy, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Communications, Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, Government & Policy, Green China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Politics, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade, U.S.

Who guards the green guards? [China Daily] #GreenChina #China

Chin Daily performing role of fourth estate on China’s gaps in its green leap forward.

– – –

Who guards the green guards?
By Wu Wenchong and Jiang Xueqing
Source – China Daily, published February 21, 2013

20130222-084411.jpg

Children from a primary school in Longling county, Yunnan province, introduce endangered fish into the Jinsha River near the Xiangjiaba hydropower project, which borders Longling in Yunnan and Yibin in Sichuan province. [Zeng Lang / for China Daily]

The system tasked with safeguarding and assessing the possible environmental damage caused by infrastructure and construction projects is outmoded and badly in need of reform, as Wu Wenchong and Jiang Xueqing report from Beijing.

‘Smog” and “haze” have become buzzwords this winter after severe air pollution choked China for several weeks. Equally severe are the country’s polluted surface water, ground water and farmland soil. In the face of the worsening levels of pollution, experts have blamed the problem on the disorderly discharge of all kinds of fumes and waterborne waste. They come from factory processes and emissions as well as auto exhausts, during China’s 20-plus years of rapid industrial development.

The laws and regulations, which date to the 1970s, were designed to tackle much lower levels of environmental pollution, and now insiders say that only the Environmental Impact Assessment system – tasked with assessing the potential environmental risk posed by any given project before construction begins – has the ability to be the first line of defense against pollution.
However, many experts believe that the system, instigated with the intention of preventing pollution before it can occur, no longer serves the purpose for which it was established, because the pass rate of projects under assessment is almost 100 percent.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at its source.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Climate Change, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Green China, Pollution, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity

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