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13:15 01.09.2006

A less ideological Chinese text puts Mao in his place
By Joseph Kahn The New York Times

Published: August 31, 2006

BEIJING When high school students in Shanghai crack open their history textbooks this fall, they may be in for a surprise. The new standard world history text drops wars, dynasties and Communist revolutions in favor of colorful tutorials on economics, technology, social customs and globalization.

Discussion of socialism has been reduced to a single, short chapter in the senior high school history course. Chinese communism before economic reform in 1979 is covered in a sentence. The text mentions Mao Zedong only once, in a chapter on etiquette.

Nearly overnight, the country's most prosperous schools have s*****d the Marxist template that had dominated standard history texts since the 1950s. The changes passed high-level scrutiny, the authors say, and are part of a broader effort to promote a more stable, less violent view of Chinese history that serves current economic and political goals.

Supporters say the overhaul enlivens mandatory history courses for junior and senior high school students and prepares them better for life in the real world.

Previously, textbooks, not unlike the ruling Communist Party, changed relatively little in a quarter-century of market-oriented economic reforms. They were glaringly out of sync with the realities students face outside the classroom.

But critics say that the new textbooks trade one political agenda for another, that they do not so much rewrite history as diminish it.

For a one-party state that has largely abandoned its official ideology, it is apparently considered better that people think more about the future than the past.

The new text focuses on ideas and buzzwords that dominate the state-run media and official discourse: economic growth, innovation, foreign trade, political stability, respect for diverse cultures and social harmony.

J.P. Morgan, Bill Gates, the New York Stock Exchange, the U.S. space shuttles and Japan's bullet train are all highlighted in the new textbooks. There is a lesson on how neckties became fashionable. The French and October Revolutions, once seen as pivotal turning points in world history, now get far less attention. Mao, the Long March, colonial oppression and the Nanjing massacre are now taught only in a compressed history curriculum in junior high school.

"Our traditional version of history was focused on ideology and national identity," said Zhu Xueqin, a historian at Shanghai University. "The new history is less ideological, and that suits the political goals of today."

The changes are at least initially limited to Shanghai. That elite urban region has leeway to alter its curriculum and textbooks and has in the past introduced practices that the central government subsequently instructed the rest of the country to follow.

But the textbooks have provoked a lively debate among historians in advance of their full-scale introduction in the autumn term. Several Shanghai schools began using the texts on an experimental basis in the last school year.

Many scholars said they did not regret leaving behind the Marxist perspective in history courses (it is still taught in required classes on politics).

But some criticized what they saw as an effort to minimize history altogether. Chinese and world history in junior high school have been compressed into two years from three years, while the single year in senior high school devoted to history now focuses on cultures, ideas and civilizations.

"The junior high textbook castrates history, while the senior high school textbook eliminates it entirely," one Shanghai history teacher wrote in an online discussion on the subject.

Zhou Chunsheng, a professor at Shanghai Normal University and one of the lead authors of the new textbook series, said that his purpose was to rescue history from its traditional emphasis on leaders and wars and make people and societies the central theme.

"History does not belong to emperors or generals," Zhou said in an interview. "It belongs to the people."

"It may take some time for others to accept this, naturally, but a similar process has long been under way in Europe and the United States," he said.

Zhou said the new textbooks followed the ideas of the French historian Fernand Braudel, who advocated including culture, religion, social customs, economics and ideology in a new approach to "total history." That approach that has been popular in many Western countries for more than half a century.

Braudel elevated history above the ideology of any nation. China has steadily moved away from its ruling ideology of communism, but the Shanghai textbooks are the first to try examining it as a phenomenon, rather than preaching it as the truth.

Socialism is still referred to as having a "glorious future." But the concept is reduced to one of 52 chapters in the senior high school text. Revolutionary socialism gets less emphasis than the industrial revolution and the information revolution.

Students now study Mao, still officially revered as the founding father of modern China but no longer regularly promoted as an influence on policy, only in junior high. In the senior high school text, he is mentioned just fleetingly as part of a lesson on the custom of lowering flags to half-staff at state funerals, like Mao's in 1976.

Deng Xiaoping, who began China's market-oriented reforms, appears in both the junior high school text and the senior high school version, with emphasis on his economic vision.

Gerald Postiglione, an associate professor of education at the University of Hong Kong, said the mainland Chinese education authorities had searched for ways to make the school curriculum more relevant.

"The emphasis is on producing innovative thinking and preparing students for a global discourse," he said. "It is natural that they would ask whether a history textbook that talks so muc
22:30 02.09.2006

Revenue of information industry grows 26 percent in first seven months

China's electronic information industry saw a rapid growth in the first seven months of this year, with revenue rising by 26.6 percent over the same period last year to 2.2 trillion yuan (275 billion U.S. dollars).

Data from the Ministry of Information Industry showed the sales income of the manufacturing sector grew 26.6 percent to two trillion yuan, and that of the software industry was up 26.2 percent to 190 billion yuan.

The profit of the manufacturing sector hit 67.7 billion yuan, up 25.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. The ministry said the software industry had maintained a rapid development in both services and exports, with export volume standing at 1.68 billion U.S. dollars from January to July, up 32.2 percent from the corresponding period of 2005.

Sales income from computers was up 19 percent, communications equipment was up 36.3 percent and electronic components up 38.9 percent. The ministry said the industry's profitability had been affected by rising costs of energy and raw materials.
22:32 02.09.2006

The Chinese drank more than 30 million tons of beer last year and consumption per capita reached 24.2 liters, according to the country's alcoholic drinks industry association. China had been the world's largest producer and consumer of beer for four consecutive years, said Wang Yancai, secretary of the association, during the China International Wine Industry Expo 2006 here Friday.

As living standards of ordinary Chinese continued to rise, beer consumption had soared. China had more than two million people working in breweries, with the production value exceeding 400 billion yuan (50.3 billion U.S.dollars) in 2005.
22:49 02.09.2006

Searing growth clashes with a feeble infrastructure

Big as it is, Nhava Sheva is too small to handle the crush of traffic. John Deere tractors already wait as long as four days in containers at the dock before being loaded on a ship.

"If this pace of growth continues, we will see more congestion at the port," said Raj Kalathur, managing director and chief executive of Deere's operations in India.

China has faced capacity problems, too. A surge in steel production in early 2004 overwhelmed Chinese bulk cargo ports. Ships waited at anchor for as long as four weeks to unload iron ore, at a cost of $100,000 a day for the Chinese steel mills that had chartered them. Inflation quintupled in a year, to 5.3 percent, as bottlenecks at ports, highways, railroads and elsewhere in the economy drove up companies' costs.

The Chinese response was swift and decisive. The pace of port investment nearly tripled in six months. Work crews labored around the clock to erect more cranes and expand wharves.
India has struggled to build adequate roads. Four-lane divided highways now crisscross China, rivaling the best-designed superhighways elsewhere and cutting freight costs sharply. But India still has not knitted its four largest cities together with modern roads.

Belatedly, India's roads and ports are improving. Just four years ago, Sona Koyo Steering Systems, an auto parts maker, incurred hefty financing costs to keep a month's inventory on hand in case deliveries were delayed. Now the company's factory in Gurgaon makes six deliveries a day to a nearby Maruti car assembly plant. The 8-mile, or 13-kilometer, drive takes an hour or more because of constant traffic jams, but the deliveries get through.

India is also starting to address chronic power shortages; blackouts are rare now in many cities in central and southern India. Labor costs are often much lower in central and southern India as well, partly because unions tend to be weaker. Foreign manufacturers are directing much of their investment toward central and southern India even as many of the country's old-line industrial companies still depend heavily on factories in the north.

"I'm not going to deny infrastructure is bad," said Surinder Kapur, chairman and managing director of Sona Koyo. "But a lot of our vendors are around us, a lot of our customers are close to us."

For all of India's challenges, many experts say it is well on its way to meeting the government's ambitious target of 8 percent to 9 percent annual growth over the next five years. Despite corruption and inefficiency, the government is easing restrictions and supporting somewhat greater investment in power, export facilities, roads, and other infrastructure.

"There are things happening, and that is with minimal infrastructure," said Narhari Rao, the Asian Development Bank's principal economist in India. "With some quality infrastructure coming in, attaining the government's growth rate shouldn't be a problem."
21:22 03.09.2006

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Selby that the likelihood of an economic crisis in China is not great, but that the possibility of a "hard landing" for that economy can not be eliminated, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing Reuters.
Bernanke's August 30 letter said, "We believe that the chance of a Chinese economic crisis is very low for the foreseeable future."
"Although the banking sector is burdened with an enormous and probably growing stock of problematic loans, the government possesses sizable resources and is unlikely to allow the banking system to fail," Bernanke told the Alabama Republican.
Bernanke also said Beijing's large foreign exchange reserves made a currency crisis unlikely, the newspaper reported.
"However, we do not entirely discount the possibility of a 'hard landing,' in the form of significantly slower growth, as authorities attempt to reduce investment growth from its current rapid pace," he wrote.
The Fed chief said the rapid pace of investment in China was leading to overcapacity in some industries and likely adding to bad loans already on bank books, the report said.
"However, there is less evidence of widespread overheating. Inflation is still quite low," he added.
Bernanke said Beijing had indicated it wanted to rein in the pace of investment spending and reduce its reliance on export-led growth, according to the report.
"They have taken some steps to try to encourage consumption. However, they still have not allowed a substantial appreciation of the renminbi (currency), a step that many analysts argue would be the most effective way to address the imbalances in the economy," he wrote
14:32 04.09.2006

Chinese economy is powered by leading firms

ZHENGZHOU: The top 500 Chinese companies accounted for more than three-fourths of the national economy last year, but have a long way to go to catch up with the Fortune 500 in terms of competitiveness, investment in R&D and energy efficiency.

A report released by the Chinese Enterprise Confederation (CEC) on Saturday said the top players generated 14.1 trillion yuan (US$1.8 trillion) in revenues, which made up 77.6 per cent of the gross domestic product.

Oil and petrochemical giant Sinopec Corp topped the list of the Top 500 with an operating revenue of 823 billion yuan (US$102.9 billion) and a profit of 21.9 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion), up about 30 per cent and 108 per cent over 2004. The company also led the table the previous year.

The State Grid, China National Petroleum Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Mobile were ranked second to fifth.

Of the top 500, 23 qualify for the Fortune Global 500 in terms of revenues, said Feng Bing, CEC's executive vice-chairman, at a high-profile forum in the capital of Central China's Henan Province. Nineteen of them applied and were listed in Fortune magazine's ranking for 2006.

The Top 500 are mainly in the petroleum, petrochemical, automobile, banking, telecom and metallurgy sectors. On average, they have 16,074 employees.

However, major indices such as size, productivity, profitability, management ability and competitiveness show a significant gap between Corporate China and Fortune 500 companies, experts said.

The combined business income of China's top 500 accounts for only 9.3 per cent of the Fortune Global 500, and 19.4 per cent of the top 500 US firms, according to Feng.

According to the report, petrochemical, natural gas extraction, banking and ferrous metal industries reaped profits of 31.4 billion yuan (US$3.9 billion) in 2005, accounting for nearly half of the total profits of the Top 500.

Most of the global top 500 companies are in competitive sectors like the automobile industry and services, experts said.

"If China does not change the current pattern of economic development, which is dominated by energy-consuming and polluting heavy industries, it would have to compete with other nations for scarce natural resources," said Liu Jisheng, a professor at Tsinghua University's school of economics.

Ma Kai, minister of the State Development and Reform Commission, said that low energy efficiency continues to bedevil Chinese companies, limiting their competitiveness and returns.

Investment in R&D by 411 of China's top 500 enterprises accounts for only 1.45 per cent of their gross sales revenue, much lower than the 5 per cent international standard, Liu said.

Unlike global majors, which make profits through technology and IPR licensing, Chinese firms mainly rely on sales of products, resources and services, said Yang Du, a professor from Renmin University of China.

Liao Xiaoqi, vice-minister of commerce, urged companies to adopt innovation as the key component of their development.

Another strategy to become more powerful is to compete internationally, said Liao.

14:36 04.09.2006

China should transform its foreign trade growth perspectives

Vice Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo says there is still great potential for China to expand her foreign trade because her trade with developing countries is still very low, however China still needs to speed up her growth of foreign trade.

In an interview with Economic Daily, Wei Jianguo said that by 2010 China's per capita income would reach US$ 2000 predicted that China would become the world's first or second greatest trade power by 2020. However currently, China's trade quality and efficiency are still not good enough, readjustments still needs to be made to growth perspectives.

Wei Jianguo says that there are fewer brand products in China's export which results in lower profit. 55% of export products come from processing and foreign enterprises. China still lacks her own core technology and sales network which can reap abundant profits. China is a big exporter of DVD players, but among the 57 key technologies in DVD, China only controls 9. Only less than 20% of export enterprises have their own trade marks and less than 10% of the enterprises have their own brands. China is strong in production capacity, but weak in exchange capability. Therefore China is a manufacturing center, but the big profit lies in circulation field for which China only occupies a small proportion and lies in the lower end of the international division of labor.

In import, China is a big buyer, but doesn't have the appropriate price setting. Due to this situation, the cost of resources and energy import becomes higher and higher. By November 2005, China had spent an extra US$ 30 billion on 42 types of resources and energy products such as crude oil, steel, plastic and iron ore which are under key supervision by China.

Under such circumstances, China must speed up her means for transforming foreign trade growth. Firstly, core competitiveness should be improved. There must also be independent innovation and international marketing capability. Chinese enterprises must develop their own brand and have their own intellectual property products in order to increase profit. China should develop her own multinational companies. Secondly, China's processing trade should further develop into deep processing and finish machining and change China's position in the international division of labor.

Thirdly, China should develop green trade by restricting export of resources and high energy consuming products in order to protect strategic resources and natural environment while importing resources, energy and technology.

Fourthly, China should strengthen resources import and export coordination mechanism in order to expand the long term trade proportion and complete the future market.

Fifthly, service trade should be developed. China has to adapt to the new trend of the international service trade to contract international service project and improve the domestic service level.

Wei Jianguo says that from this year onwards, trade surplus, frictions and foreign trade relations will be key issues that influence the healthy development of China's international market. China has entered into an area of trade frictions with Europe and America. The main sources of friction are various kinds of international trade protectionism. To deal with the frictions, China should take it as normal but also take it seriously. Chinese enterprises should consolidate their self-discipline, protect workers' and farmers' interests, avoid waging a price war, and when there is a case, they should actively respond to protect their own interests.

Wei Jianguo says China should readjust her relations with major trade partners and international organizations. The basic principle for dealing with such relations is peace, development and cooperation while taking big trade powers as key partners, putting surrounding countries first, taking developing countries as basis and multilateral trade as important platform. "China should be flexible, but also practical".

From now on, trade relations between China and other trade powers including the US, Europe and Japan will continue to be of strategic importance in China's foreign trade, the mainstream of common development will not change and the framework of co-existence of cooperation and competition will not change.

"The relations with developing countries need new adjustment. China and other developing countries will inevitably have a competitive relationship with each other for example in the textile industry. China's development will bring about some pressure for other developing countries. Therefore, we must continue to keep and develop friendly relations with them and promote common development", says Wei Jianguo.

The vice minister says that China will actively expand the integrated effect of policies in foreign aid, resource development, expanding import and debt reduction or cancellation. Trade frictions with developing countries need more attention and trade barriers should be eliminated in order to achieve a win-win situation.

Wei Jianguo says that China needs to have new cooperation with bordering countries. The economic and trade relations should be strengthened and mutual trust be improved.

"In the long run, we should deal properly with relations between economic and political benefit, national and regional benefit, competition and cooperation, bordering countries and other trade partners."

China should also readjust relations with international organizations. With the improvement of China's economic strength, China needs to participate in making the international rules. China should change her passive role of accepting international rules into active participation in order to promote the establishment of a new just and rational international political and economic order.
13:37 07.09.2006

Foreign investors send back profits of 57.94 bln USD from China in five years

Since China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, foreign investors remitted abroad profits of 57.94 billion U.S. dollars from China. Vice Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun made the remarks in Shanghai Wednesday at an international symposium on China's entry into the WTO.

During the past five years, China imported goods worth 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars from other trade partners, he said. The figures show that China's economic growth provided a good opportunity for foreign investors and gave an impetus to the world economy, Yi said.

By the end of last June, 71 overseas banks had built branches in China, and they were allowed to provide Renminbi services for institutional clients in 25 cities, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce. Meanwhile, 23 joint-venture fund management companies and seven joint-venture securities companies had been established in the country.

According to China's commitment to the WTO, it will fully open its financial market by the end of this year. Figures from the World Bank show that since China's accession to the WTO, its economy has contributed 13 percent to the global economic growth.
13:38 07.09.2006

China, engine of world economic growth

The world economy is expected to log solid growth, which will be likely to clock in approximately five percent increase in 2006 and 2007, said Rodrigo Rato, chairman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) while addressing the Brookings Institution, a leading think-tank, on Sept. 5. He also referred to China and India in his speech as important "engines" of world economic growth.

A host of growth points have emerged in the world economy, Rato acknowledged, despite a cool-down in the of the U.S. economy. Apart from the "engines" of China and India, Europe and Japan are recovering economically and the areas south of the Sahara Desert in Africa will maintain an economic growth momentum these two years.

IMF projected the world economic growth at 4.9 percent this year and at 4.7 percent in 2007 in its original April report. Rato's September 5 speech, however, has revised the IMF previous prediction with an optimistic outlook for global economic growth.

Meanwhile, Rato warned in his speech that the global economy is facing more challenges than a year ago, resulting mainly from, among other factors, still higher oil prices, greater possibility of inflation pickup and the imbalance between trade and investment. Consequently, Rato prompted all the nations around the world to get prepared to address these challenges.
14:40 07.09.2006

China intervenes in Zambian election

The Chinese government has intervened in Zambias upcoming presidential election in a forceful sign of the commodity-hungry countrys growing economic and political clout in Africa.

Li Baodong, Chinas ambassador in Lusaka, said Beijing might cut diplomatic relations with Zambia if voters elected Michael Sata, an opposition candidate, as president, Zambian media reported on Tuesday. His remarks are the first sign of overt political. interference by China in African affairs in decades, reflecting Beijings rapidly expanding role as an investor on the continent and as a client for long-term supplies of raw materials. China is a leading investor in Zambian copper, the countrys biggest export product by value.

China has invested billions of dollars in Africa in recent years, rivalling the US as it does so, and Chinese trade with the continent has quadrupled since the start of the decade, mainly through purchases of crude oil.

In Zambia alone Chinese companies are believed to have ploughed more than $300m into copper and other industries.

Mr Sata is challenging Levy Mwanawasa, the incumbent president, in the September 28 election. Mr Sata has been quoted calling Taiwan a sovereign state, angering China, and has also spoken out against Chinese labour practices in Zambia. Recognition of Taiwan would mean turning away from the countrys ties with Beijing.

Most African countries have thrown in their lot with China, leaving only a handful of governments maintaining official relations with Taiwan. Zambian media also reported that Mr Sata, currently running second to Mr Mwanawasa in opinion polls, had met Taiwanese businessmen.

The Times of Zambia on Tuesday quoted Mr Li saying Chinese investors were scared to come to Zambia because of Mr Satas unfortunate remarks. If Mr Sata won and established relations with Taiwan, Beijing might think of cutting its relations, the newspaper reported.

Chinese investors in mining, construction and tourism have put on hold further investments in Zambia until the uncertainty surrounding our bilateral relations with Zambia is cleared, the state-owned Zambia Daily Mail quoted Mr Li as saying.

In Zambia several mineworkers were shot and injured in July after a violent protest at Chinese-owned Chambishi Mining. There are conflicting reports on whether Chinese managers or Zambian police shot the workers.
13:19 08.09.2006

After years of short-term speculation in the financial markets, Chinese are starting to shift toward long-term investment, promising growth for the fledgling fund management industry, the head of a major foreign-invested fund house in China said on Friday.

A bear market in Chinese equities early this decade deterred many people from putting their money in stocks for long periods, said Steve Lee, Chief Executive of HSBC Jintrust Fund Management Co. Ltd.

But he said fund managers see opportunities flowing from the recovery in the the benchmark Shanghai stock index <.SSEC>, which is up 44 percent so far this year, as some investors take a longer view.

"More and more people are now relying on expertise (that) fund managers have, as they start to have a new conception of risk and investment," Lee said.
Authorities' efforts to list some of China's top companies in Shanghai this year, such as financial giant Bank of China (601988.SS: )(3988.HK: ), are helping to attract long-term money to stocks, Lee said.

So is a programme to clear a $250 billion backlog of state-held, non-tradeable shares in listed companies. That backlog is expected to be largely gone by the end of this year.

China, with some $2 trillion in personal savings -- much of it now parked in low-yielding bank deposits -- holds vast potential for the fund management industry. Official data show that funds under management have ballooned to about $65 billion from virtually zero six years ago.
10:07 09.09.2006

Selv om det slakker litt av på ettersommeren, er bilmarkedet i Kina fortsatt relativt hett. Større konkurranse er med og sørger for det.

Vi har kunnet lese at Kina satser tungt på utbygging av motorveinett, slik Tyskland gjorde for 70 år siden og USA for over 50 år siden. I alle disse case'ene er infrastrukturutbygging motoren i boom'en.

Om 15-20 år har Kina lengre motorveinett enn USA.

Fortsatt er bilparken i Kina relativt beskjeden (25-30 mill. enheter), og årlig salg kun 30% av USA's.

Hvis veksten fortsetter med si 20%/år, vil Kina ta igjen USA om 7 år (årlig salg), mens det vil ta 25-30 år før de tar de igjen i totalt antall (>200 mill.)

Av de 7 mill. fpd råolje Kina bruker, går kun en mindre del til drivstoff, mens i USA går 45% av de 21 mill. fpd de bruker til bensin (ca. 55-60% til drivstoff totalt).

Car sales jump 23.4%

Jin Jing, ShanghaiDaily.com

CHINA'S car sales picked up 23.4 percent in August year on year after July's slowdown, leading to talk of a possible sales boom in the second half.

Carmakers sold 361,294 units - cars, sports utility vehicles, multipurpose vehicles and mini buses - last month, according to the Union of National Passenger Car Market Information yesterday.

Sales advanced 11 percent over July, which has been the worst month for car purchases thus far this year. With a total of 280,000 units, sales for July dropped 12.3 percent from June.

Total passenger car sales for the first eight months rose 25 percent to 3.05 million from a year earlier, the union said. The increase was 3 percentage points lower than that of the first seven months.

"The sales increase didn't meet carmakers' expectations, and the market continues to see flat sales after a spurt before June," said Rao Da, secretary of the union.

Sales in August were lower than the average monthly sales of about 400,000 units for this year.

"Since sales rebounded at the end of August, we are still optimistic they will increase starting in September before the National Day holiday."

Rao predicted that September sales will jump 10 percent from August and estimated a year-on-year 20 percent sales jump for the month.

Joint ventures grabbed a bigger market share last month with large price reductions.

Price discounts also contributed to the increase during the traditionally weak sales period, Rao said. The prices of Honda's Accord, Passat Ling Yu from Volkswagen, Ford's Mondeo and Nissan's Teana has dropped between 5,000 yuan (US$625) and 15,000 yuan since July.
14:55 09.09.2006

Roughly samme nyheten som over - noe annerledes tall:

China's auto production, sales up 25 pct in first 8 months

China's automobile production and sales both shot up 25 percent in the first eight months of the year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Friday.

The country produced 4.64 million vehicles between January and August, an increase of 25.37 percent. Sales surged by 24.58 percent in the same period to hit 4.53 million units. The strong growth is mainly driven by dynamic growth in the passenger vehicle market, particularly sedans, the association said.

In the first eight months of the year, China produced 3.33 million passenger vehicles and sold 3.23 million units, rising 33 percent and 32 percent, respectively. The production and sale of sedans grew over 40 percent. The top 10 manufacturers are the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, FAW, the Dongfeng Motor Corp, Chang'an, Beijing Automotive Industry Corp, Cherry, Harbin Aircraft, the Guangzhou Automotive Industry Corp, Geely and Brilliance.

They sold a total of 3.80 million units, accounting for 83.83 percent of the market share.
13:57 11.09.2006

Matforsyningen i India og Kina er interessant å holde et øye til. De vil ikke klare å være selvforsynte på alle områder.

India Buys $382 Million of Wheat, to Be Biggest Buyer

India bought $382 million of wheat to plug a domestic shortage, its fifth purchase since February, setting it on course to become the world's biggest buyer of the grain this year.

``Strong demand and thin supplies are expected to keep spot wheat markets bullish,'' Man Financial Commodities India Ltd. said in a note to clients today. ``Most traders indicate that domestic supply is close to over. There will be strong reliance on wheat imports to meet domestic requirement going forward.''

Cargill Inc., the largest U.S. agricultural company, Agrico Trade & Finance SA, Louis Dreyfus Corp. and India's Adani Global were among suppliers that bid for the 1.67 million ton contract. The bidders offered to sell at between $223.75 a ton and $270 a ton, the government official said Sept. 5.

20:18 11.09.2006

Noen interessante linker som belyser Mao og hans arv i Kina:

11:23 12.09.2006

China pledges concrete measures for sustainable water use

Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said on Sunday that the government will make greater efforts to promote water efficiency and control widespread water pollution.

He made the remarks at the opening of the Fifth World Water Congress that attracted over 3,000 policy makers, experts and business leaders from across the world.

Saving and protecting the water resources is particularly important to a nation like China, which holds less water resources per capita than the world average and faces a rising demand from accelerating industrialization and urbanization, the vice-premier said.

Zeng said China needs to step up its water-saving efforts, including widening the use of water-saving irrigation technologies, compulsory promotion of water-saving equipment and utensils and use of recycled water.

Priority will be given to the supply of safe drinking water to China's rural residents, one third of whom are still struggling with water shortages or polluted water sources, he said.

Concrete measures will be taken to tackle water pollution. The vice-premier said China aims to cut its water pollutant discharges as defined by chemical oxygen demand (COD) by at least 10 percent within five years.

By 2010, 70 percent of the waste water in Chinese cities will be treated before being discharged into the environment, he said.

Zeng also pledged further reforms to the water supply systems, a key part of which is to introduce competition in the sector and allow private capital, including foreign capital, to invest in the water supply and sewage treatment facilities.

The Fifth World Water Congress is co-hosted by China's Ministry of Construction and the International Water Association (IWA), the most authoritative association in the world water industry.

The theme of this year's congress is "sustainable management of water resources". It closes on Thursday.
12:56 13.09.2006

Som nevnt tidligere på denne topic'en så er det vondt å se med egne øyne hvordan naturen raseres i Kina. (I Los Angeles, USA, har målinger stadfestet at 25 % av forurensingen i byen kommer fra Kina!)

China faces $136bn pollution clean-up

China has announced the first results of a long-term project to quantify the impact of growing pollution on the economy, estimating that environmental damage cost the equivalent of 3 per cent of economic output in 2004.

The announcement also said on Thursday it would cost China about Rmb1,080bn ($136bn, 106bn, 72bn) to clean up the deteriorating environment, equal to about 7 per cent of gross domestic product that year.

As Chinas GDP per capita reaches the range of $1,000-$3,000, society has experienced frequent conflicts and can no longer bear the social problems caused by environmental pollution, said the joint statement announcing the first results of the long-term project.

Although [Chinas] brand of high consumption, high pollution and high-risk development has had a certain historical use, our economy has now hit a bottleneck for resource and energy use.

21:04 15.09.2006

New Chinese tax rules aim to reduce trade surplus

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China has modified its tax system to promote a transition from simple manufactured exports to more sophisticated ones, according to a media report.
The changes, which go into effect Friday, are intended to "promote balanced development of imports and exports," according to a Finance Ministry statement quoted in a story in The Wall Street Journal's Asian online edition.

The policy appears to be aimed at reducing China's massive trade surplus, which is a source of friction with trading partners including the U.S. and the European Union., and has also been blamed for contributing to excess liquidity in the Chinese economy.
In August, China reported a record trade surplus of $18.8 billion. The 2006 trade surplus is expected to surpass last year's mark of $101.9 billion.
The government aims to encourage higher value-added export industries by changing the way it allocates rebates from a 17% value-added tax which applies to most goods produced in China. Rebates for sectors including textiles, furniture and steel will be slashed, while those for makers of IT products, pharmaceuticals and biotech goods will be raised, the Journal reported.
Under the new rules, steel makers will only be rebated 8% of the 17% levy, compared to 11% before. Textile and furniture makers' rebates will be cut to 11%, from 13%.
Producers of IT products, on the other hand, will now have their entire 17% returned, compared to 13% before. Heavy equipment makers will also receive a full refund.
But experts are skeptical about the effectiveness of the new tax rules. "It won't fundamentally change the issue [of China's trade surplus]," the Journal quoted Frank F.X. Gong, chief China economist at J.P. Morgan Securities, as saying.
21:21 15.09.2006

Paulson: Prosperity of US and China tied together

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration will oppose efforts in Congress to penalize China for a trade surplus with the United States, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stressed here on Wednesday.

"Protectionist policies do not work and the collateral damage from these policies is high," said Paulson while delivering his first speech on the international economy since he took up the post in July.

"By closing off competition and blocking the forces of change, protectionism reduces the losses of the present by sacrificing the opportunities of the future," he said. "We will not heed the siren songs of protectionism and isolationism."

Paulson said that the prosperity of the United States and China is tied together in the global economy, and "how we work together on a host of bilateral and multilateral issues will have a significant impact on the health of the global economy."

He said that the United States must take a strategic view of its relationship with China.

"Both in China and in the United States, we must not allow ourselves to be captured by harmful political rhetoric or those who engage in political demagoguery," Paulson stated.

"Instead, we must realize that the US-Chinese relationship is truly generational and demands a long-term strategic economic engagement on our common issues of interest," he concluded.

The United States is China's largest export market and the second-largest trade partner. Sino-US trade volume reached US$211.6 billion in 2005 with China registering a surplus of US$114.2 billion.

In his speech, Paulson also said that the United States has nothing to fear from China's emergence as a global economic power.

"The tasks faced by Beijing are so daunting that the biggest risk we face is not that China will overtake the US, but that China won't move ahead with the reforms necessary to sustain its growth and to address the very serious problems facing the nation," he said.

The secretary will visit China next week after attending the September 19-20 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Singapore.

During his stay in China, Paulson said that he will urge the Chinese Government to move more quickly to adopt economic reforms, including a more flexible currency.

Paulson, 60, was nominated in May to replace John Snow, who resigned on June 29. The former Goldman Sachs CEO, who was sworn in on July 10, has made more than 70 trips to China as head of the investment giant.

21:21 15.09.2006

EU replaces U.S. as biggest trading partner of China: CFIE chief

The EU replaced the United States as China's biggest trading partner last year, said Xu Kuangding, Chairman of the China Federation of Industrial Economics (CFIE) on Thursday.

As one of the keynote speakers at the opening of a Sino- European economic summit, Xu said Sino-European trade, with a volume of 217.3 billion U.S. dollars, has exceeded the Sino-U.S. trade volume by some 5.7 billion dollars.

European companies such as Airbus, Siemens, Nokia and Volkswagen, made the EU the fourth largest investor in China and China's most important supplier of technology, Xu said in a speech at the second Hamburg Summit -- "China meets Europe."

Speaking of EU's concern over intellectual property rights protection in China, Xu asked European business leaders to show a little more patience on this issue.

"Until fairly recently, China had a long history of having a largely agrarian-based economy where it was customary to try and learn from one's neighbors. The concept of intellectual property was therefore quite new to China's burgeoning industrial sector. " he said.

The Chamber of Commerce Hamburg, which initiated the summit, expected more than 350 economic, political and scientific leaders from both China and Europe to attend the event which will run until Friday.
21:50 15.09.2006

U.S. odd man out in China-Latin business

HAVANA (AFX) - China hopes to expand its growing economic and political clout at the Nonaligned Movement summit, influence that analysts say will come at the expense of the United States, which passed up a similar invitation to attend as an observer.

Led by China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi, the Chinese delegation plans to hold bilateral meetings with a number of Latin American countries and strengthen China's ties to the region where its trade has soared. China's imports from Latin America quintupled to $20.3 billion and exports to the region tripled to $15.4 billion from 2000 to 2004, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The administration of President George W. Bush has declined to attend the summit, and a press officer at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana said it wouldn't comment on the Nonaligned Movement.

That's a mistake, according to Latin America analysts who have tracked declining U.S. influence in a region where it can no longer count on the unconditional support of political leaders, even though U.S. trade remains the most powerful engine for their economies.

"Bush likes to use the saying 'You're either with us or against us' and they are writing off the summit because they are non-aligned, which to them means they are not with the U.S.," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.

The United States is wary of the region's more leftist governments, some of which have openly opposed Washington's economic prescriptions of economic growth through austerity measures, free trade deals and privatization. The region's economies have largely stabilized -- hyperinflation and crippling debts are mostly history. But poverty and unemployment remain huge problems, and many Latin Americans feel the Washington model failed to improve their lives.

Some analysts say the U.S. is out of touch, still trying to impose trade agreements that will make life even more difficult for the poor while raising the rhetoric about the dangers of populism in Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries.

Earlier this year, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld compared Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Adolf Hitler, and Bush worried publicly about the leadership of Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Chavez's response was telling: At an event with Fidel Castro in Havana in February, he noted the waning U.S. influence in the region and echoed Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong's idea that capitalist countries were "paper tigers" to be challenged.

China paid little attention to Latin America until recently, and its commerce with the region still represents less than one percent of its collosal foreign trade, according to a Harvard University study commissioned by Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington research center. But now China is booming and looking to Latin America for the raw materials it needs to support its growth, and for new markets to sell to.

And unlike the United States, which often uses trade deals as political leverage, China has avoided political meddling, said Weisbrot, who predicts that U.S. commerce may have already peaked as a share of Latin America's economies, while their trade with China will grow substantially.

China, whose domestic consumption is expected to grow by $1.3 trillion in the next decade, is increasingly seen by the world's developing nations as both a source of investment and a mammoth emerging market.

China mainly exports machinery, televisions, computers and automobiles to Latin America. In exchange, it buys about 30 percent of its agricultural imports (mostly soy beans) from Argentina and Brazil, China's largest trading partner in the region, and is one of the top buyers of Chilean copper.

While some Chinese products such as textiles and electronics have made it difficult for some Latin American industries to compete, Chinese investments have made it easier for Argentina, Brazil and other countries to buy political independence with early payoffs of their national debts. "(The U.S. is) refusing to acknowledge the changes that are taking place in Latin America," Weisbrot said. "That's why they are losing influence so rapidly."

While the relationship is purely economic for most developing countries, Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela see China as a counterweight to U.S. hegemony.

Relations between Cuba and China were tense during the Cold War, when the Caribbean island was strongly allied with the Soviet Union, but warmed after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and Cuba lost its preferential trade and aid deals with the Soviet bloc. China is now Cuba's third-largest trading partner, with a trade exchange of $985 million in 2005. China invests primarly in Cuba's nickel industry as well as tourism, transportation and telecommunications.

"Without a doubt these relations have developed in the framework of our shared political ideology," Cuba's Economics Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez told reporters at the Nonaligned summit this week.

But Communist Cuba has a unique relationship with China -- which so far seems unwilling to raise political quarrels with the United States over Latin America, said Javier Corrales, a Latin America expert at Ahmerst College in Massachussetts.

"At the moment," he said, "what China is doing is not costly in its relations with the U.S."
21:14 16.09.2006

Et av de viktigste elementer i utviklingen av Kina som en økonomisk kjempe er noe jeg opplevde da jeg reiste rundt i Kina.

En intens opplæring i engelsk, både rettet mot O.L i Beijing
(funksjonærer,politi,drosjesjåfører og forretningsmenn,skole osv.)

Ca 100 000 kinesiske studenter(utvalgte) som studerer i engelsktalende land.

Kommunistpartiet er ikke lenger et kommunistisk, men et pragmatisk parti med velutdannede teknokrater som må "levere" !!!

Maotiden er over.

Mye henger igjen.

I en båttur i det store Kanalsystemet sør for Shanghai møtte jeg tusener av elvebåter lastet med Kull,kull og atter kull samt sand,murstein osv.

21:18 16.09.2006

Et selskap som hadde IPO på Nasdaq forrige uke spesialiserer seg på å lære kinesere engelsk. Tror den steg 50% første dagen.:-)

Forøvrig har Japanere og Sør Koreanere klart seg bra til tross for at de er håpløse i engelsk, det samme kan vi si om enkelte land i Europa.

[Endret 16.09.06 21:22 av dow]
11:39 17.09.2006

Denne kan sees opp i mot Dow's artikkel fra The Economist postet på Olje topic'en:

Foreign trade in E. China province grows 24.7 percent in Jan.-Aug.

The economically booming Shandong Province in east China recorded 74.83 billion U.S. dollars in foreign trade in the first eight months of this year, representing a year-on-year growth of 24.7 percent.

In August alone, Shandong's foreign trade hit 10.55 billion U.S. dollars, up 28.9 percent. This was the first time for the province's external trade volume to exceed the 10-billion-U.S.-dollars mark, local customs sources said.

The fast growing local economy drove up demand for raw materials. Between January and August, Shandong's arrivals of raw materials, including crude oil, iron ore, cotton and soy bean, went up 40.9 percent year-on-year to 15.37 billion U.S. dollars worth, accounting for 42.3 percent of the province's total imports for the eight-month period.
12:37 17.09.2006

Kina får mer makt i IMF

Kina, Sør-Korea, Mexico og Tyrkia skal få økt innflytelse i Det internasjonale pengefondet (IMF), mener IMFs finanskomité.
Alle er lavinntektsland med sterk økonomisk vekst.

Reformen ble vedtatt av finanskomiteen på et møte i Singapore søndag. Ifølge Storbritannias finansminister Gordon Brown er det den største reformen i IMF på 60 år.

Reformen må nå godkjennes av IMFs 184 medlemsland før den kan iverksettes. En endelig avgjørelse er ventet tirsdag.

Enkelte europeiske land og utviklingsland har uttrykt misnøye med reformforslaget. Lørdag varslet også Argentina, Brasil, India og Egypt at de vil ha en utsettelse slik at det kan utarbeides en reform som «virkelig gjenspeiler medlemslandenes økonomiske ståsted».

Til nå har maktfordelingen i IMF vært preget av det økonomiske landskapet som rådet etter annen verdenskrig.

Publisert: 17.09.2006 - 11:20
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