The Obama administration’s vain attempt to prevent allies from joining China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is feeding a growing perception that U.S. influence in Asia is declining and America is losing its 70-year grip on global economic institutions…
The administration’s campaign against China’s new investment bank stands in contrast to its push for greater regional leadership to battle Islamic extremists, remedy climate change and address other global issues. And while administration officials argue that domestic economic realities limit America’s ability to police the world, they’re trying to resist the reality of China’s growing economic clout, said a U.S. official who requested anonymity to speak frankly.
The U.S. “knows only too well that China is rising and that it wants to reshape the global order, and it is trying to prevent this from happening.” said Tom Miller, senior Asia analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics…
That’s leaving the U.S. increasingly isolated.
Although the administration has refused to join the $100 billion AIIB and urged others to follow suit, allies such as Australia, the U.K., South Korea, Germany and France are among the more than 40 countries that have joined the new bank, which will fund infrastructure in Asia and be fully established by year’s end…
“The most damaging part of this at the moment is the reaction of the allies; it’s a real snubbing,” said Mathew Burrows, a former U.S. intelligence analyst who’s now director of the Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council, a Washington policy group. “I think we fumbled badly, but I’m not convinced that there was any way to get the Chinese to back down on this institution.”
RTFA for lots more fact and forecasting – though it tag ends with shortsighted foolishness from a White House flunky.
The body of the article takes you all the way back to the end of World war 2 and US assumption of the mantle of Imperial Superpower. For all the factors involved in the end of the Cold War – our military-industrial complex presumed nothing else in the world was changing. And that was a critical financial mistake. For the fact remains that bodies like the IMF so long dominated by American political capital can’t even get minimal reforms past Congressional reactionaries – with or without Obama’s leadership. And probably would have been too late, anyway.
The rest of the world has already noted the change even if our tame media won’t say so without permission.
Solar Impulse, the fuel-free aeroplane, has completed the fifth leg of its round-the-world flight.
The vehicle, with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, touched down in Chongqing in China just after 17:30 GMT.
It had left Mandalay in Myanmar (Burma) some 20 hours previously.
The intention had been to make the briefest of stops in Chongqing before pushing on to Nanjing in the east of the country, but that strategy has been abandoned because of weather concerns.
The team will now lay over in southwest China until a good window opens up on the east coast…
Getting to the city of Nanjing would set up Solar Impulse to make its first big ocean crossing – a five-day, five-night flight to Hawaii…
The team will use the time in Chongqing to promote renewable energy as part of its “future is clean” campaign…
It is almost three weeks since the venture got under way from Abu Dhabi.
The project expects the circumnavigation of the globe to be completed in a total of 12 legs, with a return to the Emirate in a few months’ time…
No solar-powered plane has ever flown around the world.
Humans always want to fly. Doing it without pumping carbon into the atmosphere makes it all the better.
The White House has issued a pointed statement declaring it hopes and expects the UK will use its influence to ensure that high standards of governance are upheld in a new Chinese-led investment bank that Britain is to join.
In a rare public breach in the special relationship, the White House signalled its unease at Britain’s decision to become a founder member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) by raising concerns about whether the new body would meet the standards of the World Bank.
Obama is so pissed off you can see his face turn red from here.
The $50 billion bank, which is designed to provide infrastructure funds to the Asia-Pacific region, is viewed with great suspicion by Washington officials, who see it as a rival to the World Bank. They believe Beijing will use the bank to extend its soft power in the region…
George Osborne – who has discussed the decision to become a founder member of the investment bank with his US counterpart, Jack Lew – has been the driving force behind developing closer economic ties between Britain and China. The chancellor has led the way in encouraging Chinese investment in the next generation of civil nuclear power plants in the UK and he ensured that the City of London would become the base for the first clearing house for the yuan outside Asia.
The US administration made clear in no uncertain terms its displeasure about Osborne’s decision to join the AIIB. A US official told the Financial Times: “We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power…”
“…I think [the US] should have been more willing to engage in discussion with China and others about the institution. There’s a big infrastructure gap in Asia, existing institutions are not filling it and China has the wherewithal to contribute on the right terms,” said Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Some surmised that the US was responsible when Australia backed away from signing up to the bank at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing last autumn, after widespread speculation a deal was on the cards.
“The US did reach out to Australia, Koreans and others to consult about questions and concerns, and that’s been interpreted as leaning on allies not to join the bank,” said Goodman.
Uncle Sugar expected obedience and got it.
If you’ve spent time studying the interrelationship between the World Bank, the IMF, any number of subsidiary forms dedicated to “keeping folks in their place” – you know this is a real slap in the face to the policied of Imperial America. It’s directly counter to Obama’s version of the stock American policy of negotiating by shoving large chunks of military in your face, threatening to cut you off from access to foreign exchange and liquidity.
China now invests more abroad than foreign money invests inside China. For all the blather – well, lies – about the United States seeking commercial engagement with state or private investors from China, the White House blocks as many deals for phony reasons as do numbnut Congressional Republicans. Companies and jobs grown in the US through Chinese investment are policy only for election-speak. China ends up with three-quarters of their overseas investment going into Europe because they simply aren’t jerked around the way they are when trying to invest in the United States.
The United States talks about carrots and sticks but only relies on varying sizes of sticks. China has lots of carrots.
China is to adopt a deposit insurance scheme to better protect savers and free up interest rates.
The Legislative Affairs Office of China’s State Council published a set of draft regulations containing 23 articles on its website on Sunday to solicit public opinion…
Financial institutions will be required to pay insurance premiums to a special fund and an agency will be set up to manage the money. Domestic banks’ overseas branches and foreign banks’ China branches are exempt.
The fund will pay maximum compensation of 500,000 yuan ($81,500) per depositor if a bank suffers insolvency or bankruptcy.
Banks will cover losses more than 500,000 yuan with their own assets, according to the regulations.
The scheme will significantly improve the competitiveness of medium and small-sized banks as the insurance will assure depositors of the safety of their savings, according to the central bank…
Deposit insurance is implemented in 112 economies to protect depositors, in full or in part, from losses caused by a bank’s inability to pay its debts when due…
“With the scheme in place, the government will retreat and leave banks to bear their own risks,” said Guo Tianyong, a banking researcher with the Central University of Finance and Economics.
The deposit insurance scheme is considered a precondition for China to free up deposit rates — the last and most important step of interest rate liberalization, according to Lian Ping, chief economist with the Bank of Communications.
The important paragraph in this post is next-to-last above. The way this proposal is being promulgated – there will not be any possibility of banks treated as Too Big To Fail.
Hmmm. Didn’t we used to have a similar style of management in the United States? Before George W. Bush’s second term, anyway.
Chinese President Xi Jinping agreement last week with President Barack Obama requires a radical environmental and economic makeover. Xi’s commitment to cap carbon emissions by 2030 and turn to renewable sources for 20 percent of the country’s energy comes with a price tag of $2 trillion.
The pledge would require China to produce either 67 times more nuclear energy than the country is forecast to have at the end of 2014, 30 times more solar or nine times more wind power. That almost equals the non-fossil fuel energy of the entire U.S. generating capacity today. China’s program holds the potential of producing vast riches for nuclear, solar and wind companies that get in on the action.
“China is in the midst of a period of transition, and that calls for a revolution in energy production and consumption, which will to a large extent depend on new energy,” Liang Zhipeng, deputy director of the new energy and renewable energy department under the National Energy Administration, said at a conference in Wuxi outside of Shanghai this month. “Our environment is facing pressure and we must develop clean energy…”
By last year, China had already become the world’s largest producer of wind and solar power. Now, with an emerging middle class increasingly outspoken about living in sooty cities reminiscent of Europe’s industrial revolution, China is looking at radical changes in how its economy operates…
Meeting the challenge is anything but assured. China has already run into difficulty managing its renewables. About 11 percent of wind capacity sat unused last year because of grid constraints, with the rate rising to more than 20 percent in the northern provinces of Jilin and Gansu, according to the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute.
I wonder if paragraphs like this are deliberately constructed to satisfy editorial jingoism or are the product of reporters who know nothing about alternative energy. Grid tie constraints is the single biggest problem – after flat earth politicians – facing all wind and solar installations, invariably built away from existing power transmission grids.
Xi sees no alternative to going big. “Letting children live in a good ecological environment is a very important part of the Chinese dream,” he said last week as he welcomed Asian leaders to a summit in Beijing. His words aren’t just lip service — pressure is building…
The targets Xi announced alongside Obama have been hailed as a boost for negotiations at a United Nations conference beginning Dec. 1 in Lima, Peru. Envoys from more than 190 nations are seeking to craft a global pact that world leaders will sign next year in Paris…
“The fact is the Chinese government know they need to clean things up,” Martijn Wilder, head of the global environmental markets practice at law firm Baker & McKenzie, said by phone from Sydney. “China is a developing country. There are challenges, but those are rapidly being addressed.”
RTFA for the useful bits scattered and there. The article isn’t the sort of State Department puppetry the NY TIMES has been famous for – since the start of the Cold War – but, it’s still a crap shoot which Bloomberg editor ends up providing “guidance”.
There is no mention that Congress will be controlled by dillweeds who not only won’t back up President Obama’s pledge to China and the world – they will actively work to promote the very opposite since they’re uniformly a clot of bought-and-paid-for climate change deniers.
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Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma looks back at a giant electronic screen showing real-time sales figures of the company’s Taobao.com and Tmall.com, on the “Singles’ Day” online shopping festival, at the company headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Watching the sidebar on Bloomberg TV, they reported over $9.3 billion in the 24-hour sale. The first billion$ took 12 minutes. During peak hours, Alibaba was processing 19,000 sales per second.
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Anonymity for lottery winners is respected in China. But, regulations require winners to show up publicly to claim their winnings. So, a tradition has grown of winners arriving in disguise, in costume.
This week – the largest win in history happened – half a billion yuan/ab’t 80 million US dollars.
The winner chose to be a comic book bear.
Dutch law now dictates that meat and fish markets must be covered for hygiene purposes. Rotterdam’s Markthal (literally, Market Hall) has undergone a redesign to accommodate the requirements. The new market is housed under a huge arch from which apartments look down upon it.
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Waking up with the rising sun is one thing, but waking up inside the rising sun is quite another. Visitors to the recently completed Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel in China can do just that, though. The hotel has been designed to look like the sun rising over the Yanqi Lake.
Surely a couple of spots worth visiting, staying in, shopping – and just taking the time to marvel at what architectural design cen do with modern materials.
Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea.
They are wind turbines, standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, stretching as high as 60-story buildings and costing up to $30 million apiece. On some of these giant machines, a single blade roughly equals the wingspan of the largest airliner in the sky, the Airbus A380. By year’s end, scores of new turbines will be sending low-emission electricity to German cities hundreds of miles to the south.
It will be another milestone in Germany’s costly attempt to remake its electricity system, an ambitious project that has already produced striking results: Germans will soon be getting 30 percent of their power from renewable energy sources. Many smaller countries are beating that, but Germany is by far the largest industrial power to reach that level in the modern era. It is more than twice the percentage in the United States.
Germany’s relentless push into renewable energy has implications far beyond its shores. By creating huge demand for wind turbines and especially for solar panels, it has helped lure big Chinese manufacturers into the market, and that combination is driving down costs faster than almost anyone thought possible just a few years ago.
Electric utility executives all over the world are watching nervously as technologies they once dismissed as irrelevant begin to threaten their long-established business plans. Fights are erupting across the United States over the future rules for renewable power. Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset.
A reckoning is at hand, and nowhere is that clearer than in Germany. Even as the country sets records nearly every month for renewable power production, the changes have devastated its utility companies, whose profits from power generation have collapsed.
Professional naysayers, bought-and-paid-for skeptics, conservative ideologues rooted to political failures like Ayn Rand see the fruit of their labors rejected by economic reality – as usual. Solid facts, real advances are beginning to progress as predicted – or better. That won’t shut them up. The money tap remains wide open. But, ordinary folks, working class, middle class, however you slice and dice your class analysis, are starting to reap the benefits of the new means of renewable energy production.
No one is more tradition-bound than public utilities. They function like constipated manure machines. They’ve been producing cowshit for research and analysis for so many generations they are incapable of changing their business model to match a dynamic economic landscape.
Meanwhile, globalized competition encouraged by the group of nations acting responsibly to counter climate change are affecting the cash flow and profits of corporations sitting around like children in a temper tantrum – demanding the people who recognized the need for change now spend tax dollars to bail them out of their self-generated disaster.
They should be replaced by common sense, scientific, economic solutions. Send them away. Build them a leaky rest home next to one of the Koch Brothers coal heaps.
China is considering providing as much as $16 billion in government funding to build electric-vehicle charging facilities and spur demand for clean cars, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The policy will be announced soon, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The people declined to provide further details of the plan such as how long the program would last or whether the chargers would be compatible with cars made by Tesla Motors…
Increased state funding would be a tailwind for carmakers coping with consumer concerns over the price, reliability and convenience of electric vehicles. It would also build on the tax breaks announced by China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, to fight pollution and cultivate its local EV industry, which includes BYD Co. and Kandi Technologies Group…
Among recent government initiatives, China will exempt new-energy vehicles — defined as electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles — from a purchase tax starting next month, and has ordered government departments to buy such vehicles for their official fleets.
Supporting a strategic and emerging industry like new-energy vehicles is a “win-win” for industrial development and environmental protection, the central government said last month in the statement announcing the waiver of the purchase tax. Developing new-energy autos is important for spurring innovation, promoting energy savings and reductions in emissions, and will help to drive domestic demand and nurture new avenues of growth, according to the notice.
Chinese governmental departments target a minimum of plug-in vehicles to 30% over the near term.
Let’s see. I’ll go peek at what the United States target is. Golly – a million EV’s on the road in another decade. Based on federal tax breaks for consumers.
There is a grouping of eight Democrat-dominated state legislatures collectively aiming for over three million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the road in the same sort of timeframe. Triple the federal goal!
Oh, that’s right. There’s a clot of bought-and-sold politicians in the way of any such national spending. It’s called Congress. Stuffed full of cowards and decrepit ideologues.