Wandering China

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

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

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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

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.

8 things about independent Chinese travelers [Affinity China] #RisingChina #OutboundTourism

Affinity China offers a first-hand account that can also be seen as eight resets to update one’s view of the Chine outbound upper crust. As the author states, her time studying in the US was helpful in more than one way during her travels in Europe.

More about Affinity here.

Cue expiring 20th century sepia-toned postcard-themed notions of Chinese travelers?

Bottomline – despite its steady climb the yuan at today’s rates, is still 5-6 yuan to a greenback. It is not hard to quickly extrapolate where Chinese outbound tourists stand in the Chinese food chain. Especially so if they have the means to flaunt it with the Euro.

The luxury market in a way is at the tip of China’s spear to send feelers experimenting with the best the world has to offer. In a positive light, Where they travel, there is a more synergistic transfer of wealth to host country where common language grows to common cultural respect. Over time the good ones too will enculturate the rest of the Chinese demographic.

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8 things you should know about independent Chinese travelers
LIN XU
Source – China Luxury Network, published month n.d, 2013

Tell us how much we are saving when we shop in your store.
Everyone already knows by now that Chinese travelers love shopping for luxury goods when they travel overseas. Everyone also knows by now that this is because retail prices of luxury goods in mainland China are much higher than Europe and North America. Many of my friends from China travel overseas just to shop. They often complain about the complexity and the long wait at the airport to receive tax returns and all the research they have to do on prices in each different market on the globe before they go shop.

It would be a really effective sales tactic if the brand’s sales representatives saved them the trouble of researching and let them learn how smart a purchase they would have made on items in the store – how much lower the prices are, how the styles are exclusive in your store vs. the counterparts in China. Keep the fact sheet handy for the big spenders. I understand that from a global brand perspective this is probably not a standard sales training tactic on how to sell to Chinese travelers, but the fact is they are already going to great lengths to do this research themselves before they walk into your store. From a customer experience perspective, being greeted by friendly sales staff overseas who can share exactly how much the Chinese travelers would be saving by shopping in their store would help generate more short term sales and help create a long term affinity for the brand.

Do you offer a global warranty and customer service in China for products we buy overseas?
If you present yourself as a global brand in China, you need to ensure your customer service is global too. It really becomes an uncomfortable dilemma for the Chinese traveler when they have to choose between a better priced item that is 20% lower overseas but comes with no warranty once they bring it back home or buying the higher priced item in China with a 2-year standard warranty. Again, from a customer standpoint we don’t understand why there should be a difference. Your brand is a global brand to us and therefore the warranty and service you offer should be too. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Entertainment, Europe, Finance, Food, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, U.S.

[Full text] Li Keqiang’s article published in Swiss newspaper [China.ORG] #RisingChina #LiKeqiang

The Chinese have much to glean from the Swiss model. For instance – they too share the  ambition of mastering topography. The Swiss proved centuries ahead with mass transit across the most heinous terrain  accomplished already in the late years of the Qing dynasty.

Top of the Jungfrau, often marketed to tourists as the top of Europe – is a plague and bit of Chinese cultural capital (see the locks?) that is revealing.

Top of the Jungfrau - Swiss with the foresight of the Chinese tourism wave back in 2004.

Top of the Jungfrau: Swiss with the foresight of the Chinese tourism wave – back in 2004. 

Switzerland is the first European destination on the list of countries I will visit after becoming China’s premier. In Chinese culture, being “first” always carries symbolic meaning. My choice of Switzerland is in no way haphazard: we have got a few important things to do here. They are all landmark events in China’s opening-up, and they all have something to do with Switzerland. Li Keqiang

– – –

[Full text] Li Keqiang’s article published in Swiss newspaper
published in Neue Zuricher Zeitung
Source – Xinhua, published May 24, 2013

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang published on Thursday a signed article titled “Why Switzerland?” in Neue Zuricher Zeitung, a German-language Swiss daily ahead of his visit to the European country.

The following is the full text of the English translation of the article:

Switzerland is the first European destination on the list of countries I will visit after becoming China’s premier. In Chinese culture, being “first” always carries symbolic meaning. My choice of Switzerland is in no way haphazard: we have got a few important things to do here. They are all landmark events in China’s opening-up, and they all have something to do with Switzerland.

The first job is to secure progress in the building of China-Switzerland FTA. It was during my last visit in 2010 that the two countries agreed to speed up preparations for an FTA. Over the past three years and more, the relevant departments and agencies of the two countries have worked energetically in the negotiations, and reached the final conclusion after nine rounds of talks. With the advent of FTA, Switzerland will become the first country in continental Europe and the first of the world’s top 20 economies to reach an FTA with China, the implications of which will be significant. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Europe, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Switzerland, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tourism, Trade

Chinese firms’ S$741b war chest [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Econo

Straits Times China Correspondent: According to private equity fund A Capital – Chinese firms to look outward and spend US$600 billion (S$741 billion) to assimilate resources and assets from abroad to help restructure the Chinese economy.

– – –

Chinese firms’ S$741b war chest
That’s the amount they’re likely to invest overseas in next 3 years, says report
By Grace Ng, China Correspondent, In Beijing
Source – Straits Times, published April 17, 2013

CHINESE firms are set to spend some US$600 billion (S$741 billion) over the next three years to buy overseas resources and assets offering them the brands and technology to become powerhouses in China’s restructuring economy, a new report has predicted.

And Europe, where Chinese investments grew an impressive 21 per cent last year, will likely continue to be a top destination, private equity fund A Capital said in a report released yesterday.

The fund’s cornerstone investors are China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, and Belgium’s Federal Holding and Investment Company.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Europe, European Union, Finance, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, 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.

China again at the crossroads [The Age] #China #NewLeadership #XiJinPing

Xi Jinping follows Hu Jintao’s footsteps in a great display the Chinese continue to prioritize ties with their northern neighbours. Treating Russia with respect helps ensure the >;;3500 km Sino-Russia border is free of concern. Though fundamental that is now only the tip of the iceberg.

It has certainly provoked a response with Xi Jinping splashed with a rather dodgy title on the cover of Time magazine.

Here is an Australian perspective on the symbolism of China’s looking to Moscow.

– – –

China again at the crossroads
Xi Jinping will make his first presidential visit to Russia. But who will view it most favourably: conservatives or free marketeers?
By John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published March 14, 2013

20130315-080209.jpg

Illustration by Time Magazine, 2013

When Deng Xiaoping was rising to power Time magazine made him ”Man of the Year” for 1978 ”because of the tremendous enterprise he has launched to propel the nation into the modern world”.

But when Xi Jinping landed on the cover of Time at an equivalent point in his ascendancy, in October 2012, they drenched him in an eerie red, looking more like Satan than a hero, under a headline: The Next Leader of the Unfree World.

In January 1979 Deng defined the direction of the country by heading to the US where he donned a cowboy hat, symbolically steering his country away from the Soviet Union and towards the markets of the West.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Europe, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Xi Jinping

Reds link up with CCB #Football #Soccer #ManchesterUnited #ChinaConstructionBank #China #Finance [Manchester United Official Site]

Public Diplomacy and foreign policy mileage while leveraging an eager domestic audience: China’s increasing love for football solidifies further with China Construction Bank (founded 1954 turned commercial in 1994, listed on the HKSE since 2005) on a three-year sponsorship gig with Manchester United, the English Premier League’s most successful club. Anyone watching EPL games recently would have noted most advertising hoardings have already been dominated by Chinese companies in the past two to three years.

– – –

Reds link up with CCB
Source – Manchester United official site, published January 15, 2013

Image Source - Manchester United official site

Image Source – Manchester United official site

Manchester United has today (15 January) agreed a three-year sponsorship with one of China’s most prominent banking groups, China Construction Bank (CCB).

As part of the agreement, United’s first with a Chinese bank, CCB will hold the rights exclusively to produce the official Manchester United branded credit card in mainland China.

The CCB Manchester United Credit Card is set to be popular with the club’s fans in China, offering them a range of exciting benefits, including various club-related incentives. CCB will be marketing the card to its almost 102 million personal banking customers in mainland China. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Europe, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Sport, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., , , , ,

EU polysilicon probe sparks ‘trade war’ #solartradewars [Global Times]

Global Times: on the paradox of economic interdependence.

Solar power is great. I recently completed setting up a portable 100w solar rig at home and in some ways I understand what the fuss over the polysilicon in question.

Solar power is fundamentally about efficiency and making whatever light count. And this is something China does not have in large amounts itself. It has to import these materials from overseas – so sometimes it is funny when one blames ‘made in China’ without also thinking about ‘with materials from…’?

– – –

EU polysilicon probe sparks ‘trade war’
by Cong Mu
Source – Global Times, published November 2, 2012

Source – Global Times, 2012

China initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into EU-made solar energy material products Thursday, in response to a European probe into Chinese solar panels dating back to September.

A Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) press release showed that complaints had been received from a number of companies, including Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development, LDK Solar, Luoyang Sino-Silicon and Daqo New Energy, on September 17. These complaints requested an assessment of the negative impact they had suffered from solar-grade polysilicon products made in and imported from the EU, the ministry’s Bureau of Fair Trade announced.

The Chinese companies also requested that the investigation into the EU be combined with previous anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into US and South Korean polysilicons. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, European Union, Germany, global times, Green China, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , ,

Chinese, US and Russian rating firms set up a JV to rival the Big Three [Russia Today]

Russia Today and fresh off the agenices such as AAP and Reuters: Why play by the rules when new ones need to be made? Chinese ratings agency Dagong Global founded 1994, is the first agency to downgrade U.S. credit rating. In this announcement it joins forces in an international triumvirate to make an institutional challenge on the current credit rating megaphone.

“The current international credit rating system has proven inadequate to the task of producing responsible and reliable ratings,” Dagong said in a statement, adding that a new agency is needed to “mitigate economic risk in the development of human civilization”.

Further reading – see
Dagong Releases the Sovereign Credit Risk Report on Central Eastern Europe (October 17, 2012)

Dagong, the new bad Chinese or just a realistic and fair player? (Paris-headquartered Society for the Advancement of Credit Rating)

Dagong to unveil new ratings agency (AAP, in The Australian, October 23, 2012)

Ratings agency aims to rival ‘big three’ (China Daily, October 25, 2012)

– – –

Chinese, US and Russian rating firms set up a JV to rival the Big Three
Source – Russia Today, published October 23, 2012

Photo source – Reuters / Kacper Pempel, in Russia Today, 2012

China’s Dagong Global Credit Rating agency is to set up the joint venture with US-based Egan-Jones Ratings Co (EJR) and Russia’s RusRating JSC to challenge the three major US ratings agencies.

“The current international credit rating system has proven inadequate to the task of producing responsible and reliable ratings,” Dagong said in a statement, adding that a new agency is needed to “mitigate economic risk in the development of human civilization”.

The new institution, called Universal Credit Rating Group, will handle global ratings “as an entirely independent rating service provider”, which “do not represent the interest of any particular country or group”. Earlier this year the head of Dagong, Guan Jianzhong called for the creation of a global credit rating system with uniform standards. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Europe, European Union, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

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