The status of the US dollar as the world reserve currency gives the US a number of advantages over other countries. The world’s most important commodities are priced and traded in dollars, even if most of these commodities are not produced in the US. The fact that the world’s financial system is based on the dollar allows the Federal Reserve to export inflation to other countries, while the Federal Government [...]
BEIJING — Chinese state media say two girls have died after eating poisoned yogurt placed outside their kindergarten at the direction of the head of a rival school.
The Xinhua News Agency says police believe the poisoning was motivated by competition for students between the schools.
Whether this is just a ‘misunderstanding’ or a land-grab to make up for Japan’s Senkaku actions, the Indians are claiming that a platoon of Chinese soldiers have crossed the so-called ‘Line of Actual Control’ in the Indian-held Ladakh region. They have remained there for two weeks and even as India complains, the Chinese deny, saying that they are “firmly opposed to any acts that involve crossing the Line of Actual Control [...]
Academics from China’s war-favoring hawk faction have emphasised that China will not take orders from the US on how to deal with N Korea
Wu Dawei, China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, visited Washington last week
Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation — a conservative Washington-based think tank — said… Americans are beginning to suspect that China may have an interest in allowing the neighboring [...]
WHO says new bird strain is “one of most lethal” flu viruses
BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – A new bird flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday.
Taiwan confirms first H7N9 bird flu case outside China
Taiwan on Wednesday reported [...]
With apologies to nostalgic cold war views about Russia, or unmet dreams of a united Europe with a single foreign policy, the world’s most important bilateral relationship is the one between the US and China. For that relationship to succeed, it must be embedded in a larger framework of US diplomacy in Asia, stretching from Japan to India, but certainly the US-China piece will be central for the 21st century. [...]
HONG KONG — The American film “Django Unchained” was abruptly pulled from theaters in China on Thursday, its opening day, a surprising move that underscored the fragility of Hollywood’s evolving relationship with the Chinese movie industry.
No reason was given for the decision to suspend “Django Unchained,” which was written and directed byQuentin Tarantino and won two Oscars in February. The move comes after some scenes were reported to have been [...]
Secretary of State John Kerry told the press in Beijing that he discussed with Chinese government officials investing in America’s infrastructure. Kerry called the security concerns “very, very few; very, very little.”
“We welcome Chinese investment in the United States. And a very, very small percentage of investment is subject to a process where we have a security evaluation because of the nature of the business or the particular location. But [...]
China recently moved an Army corps close to the North Korean border and staged a live-fire exercise with tanks and self-propelled guns.
Experts believe Beijing is taking no chances in case a North Korean provocation leads to an emergency.
The official Global Times on Monday reported that an armored brigade from a Shenyang mechanized infantry unit carried out live-fire maneuvers near the border on April 1.
Gordon G. Chang
Beijing rethinks its North Korea policy priorities
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Beijing would “not allow trouble on China’s doorstep.” and “expressed severe concern over the current tensions on the Korea Peninsula”.
Land prices in China have reached such heights that some cities are using financial incentives to encourage families to bury their loved ones at sea, William Wan of The Washington Post reports.
Wan notes that Guangzhou recently offered a $160 bonus for families that scatter ashes at sea. This figure is dwarfed by reports from other cities however — $320 in Shanghai, $800 in Shaoxing and $1,290 in Wenzhou. Families get a government-funded boat journey too.
from The Daily Bell:
News Release – People’s Bank of China swap line … Governor Zhou Xiaochuan met Governor Mervyn King today during Governor King’s visit to Beijing. They agreed to facilitate discussions on the establishment of a reciprocal 3-year, renminbi (RMB)/sterling currency swap arrangement. The arrangement would be used to finance trade and direct investment between the two countries and to support domestic financial stability should market conditions warrant. They have agreed that the Bank of [...]
ABOUT 28,000 rivers have disappeared from China’s state maps, an absence seized upon by environmentalists as evidence of the irreversible natural cost of developmental excesses.
More than half of the rivers previously thought to exist in China appear to be missing, according to the 800,000 surveyors who compiled the first national water census, leaving Beijing fumbling to explain the cause.
Only 22,909 rivers covering an area of 100sq km were located by [...]
The saga of Liu Han—a Sichuan mining billionaire who has gone missing, leaving a trail of uncompleted global financing deals in his wake—illustrates the extreme risks of doing business with Chinese tycoons who may suddenly find themselves out of favor with Beijing.
International commodities companies who had partnered with Liu are scrambling to find out what on earth has happened to him, amid reports by state-owned media that he was detained for protecting his brother [...]
In 2005 Robert Zoellick, as US deputy secretary of state, proposed that China might play the role of a “responsible stakeholder” in helping to shape the international agenda. But despite its meteoric rise, most observers now do not see Beijing playing this role. China is often seen as uncooperative on issues ranging from trade and investment flows to intellectual property rights, climate change and the acquisition of natural resources. This has [...]
Twelve armed North Korean soldiers apparently defected across the border to China’s Jilin Province earlier this month but were captured by Chinese troops and sent back to the North.
Late last month, two North Korean soldiers shot and killed their senior officer and fled to Jilin Province, prompting experts to suspect something unusual is going on in army units stationed along the border with China.
The 12 North Korean soldiers stationed with [...]
China and Pakistan reached a formal agreement last month to construct a third nuclear reactor at Chashma that the Obama administration says will violate Beijing’s promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord.
According to U.S. intelligence and diplomatic officials, the secret agreement for the Chashma 3 reactor was signed in Beijing during the visit by a delegation from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from Feb. 15 to 18.
The agreement calls for the state-run China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) to construct a 1,000-megawatt [...]
Li Keqiang said he would open the economy to market forces and strip power from the state in an effort to help China grow by 7.5pc a year until 2020.
“It’s about cutting power, it’s a self-imposed revolution,” he said. “It will be very painful and even feel like cutting one’s wrist.”
Mr Li on Friday replaced Wen Jiabao as the man in charge of the superpower’s day-to-day running for the next [...]
HONG KONG — China congratulated Pope Francis on Thursday on his ascension to the papacy, but also warned the Vatican not to interfere in what China deems to be its internal affairs.
The reaction underscored the tensions between the Vatican and China’s government, which has been accused of suppressing Catholicism under Communist rule.
Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that Beijing hoped the pope, who was elected on Wednesday, would work with Chinese [...]
Moscow has the greatest number of billionaires of any city in the world, according to a global rich list, with London in fifth place.
The Russian capital – known for its oligarch ghettos and glitzy boutiques – can boast 76 dollar billionaires, compared to New York’s 70 and Hong Kong’s 54. London comes fifth with 40, just behind Beijing with 41.
The list, compiled by Chinese luxury publishing group Hurun Report, found the United [...]
As always, we take their numbers with a grain of salt, but a new report by the Beijing-based World Luxury Association holds that Chinese consumers spent a relatively spare US$830 million on luxury items domestically from January 20 – February 20, a 53 percent drop from last year’s spending spree, but a whopping $8.5 billion overseas, an 18 percent increase year-on-year.
Price considerations remain the key driver of overseas luxury spending, with 93 percent of [...]