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The Washington Post is so insightful.


. The fact that China’s citizens and the world were left to wonder is yet more evidence that the country’s creaky Stalinist political system is entirely unprepared to meet the challenges it faces — from a slowing economy to a booming social Internet.


Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The Washington Post is so insightful.


. The fact that China’s citizens and the world were left to wonder is yet more evidence that the country’s creaky Stalinist political system is entirely unprepared to meet the challenges it faces — from a slowing economy to a booming social Internet.


Here's proof... 8-D


China's naval show of strength raises stakes in island dispute with Japan



Globe and Mail wrote:

The Communist Party, usually quick to stamp out all politicized gatherings, seemed Friday to be encouraging more anti-Japanese demonstrations.

Daily imperialist propaganda fed to an audience that laps it up.  In the meantime the truth is that the Chinese population is engaged in far more protests than in any western democracy and many actually result in the government changing its policies.


One of the most interesting parts of China’s current social and political scene is the remarkable frequency of local protests, upwards of 100,000 per year and rising, according to official estimates. Protests occur in China today in a variety of settings and in response to a variety of causes: labor conditions and missing wages, land seizures, environmental disasters, building collapses, official corruption, and treatment of people with illnesses and disabilities, for example. The protests in the village of Wukan in the fall of 2011 brought the world’s attention to land seizure protests in China. As observers have pointed out, these protests often have a striking resemblance to patterns of protest at earlier times in China’s history, with appeals to higher officials to remedy the bad behavior of local officials or other local power holders.


Japan is US Pawn in Campaign to Encircle China

"Behind the farce of 'buying' the Diaoyu Islands, Japan has a much bigger plan. Since the US announced its strategy of returning to Asia, Japan has been acting as 'a pawn of the US' to encircle China.."


China's Economic Destiny in Doubt After Leadership Shock   -  by Ambrose Pritchard Evans

"If reports from the Hong Kong press and China's blogosphere are correct, a remarkable upset has occurred on the eve of the ten year power shift next week - the greatest turn over of top cadres since Mao's revolution. This power struggle going into the 18th Party Congress matters more in the sweep of history than the run-off two days earlier between a centrist Barak Obama or the centrist Mitt Romney, though the stage drama is less compelling.

Stuart Patrick from the US Council on Foreign Relations likens East Asia to Europe just before the First World War. The omens have suddenly darkened,"


That article NDPP like all Western media articles about China does not acknowledge a single whiff of the Chinese people having any agency.  The style of writing totally ignores the actual process of elections that led up to the Congress and the main issues involved in those often policy driven elections and instead boils it down to one old man controlling everything. 

It seems that the "conservatives" might actually be conservationists who want to put the brakes on unbridled and poorly regulated capitalism.  If that were the case it would hardly be a disaster for the people or the planet.


You are right and I posted it largely simply for the information on the historical changes of the 18th Party Congress itself. I will keep my eyes open for better and if you come across something before I do please post.


All That Pivots is Gold   -  by Pepe Escobar

"What Beijing actually wants is to get rid of the US dollar peg. For that to happen it needs vast gold reserves..."


Canada's NDP Denounces China, Signals Support for Obama's 'Asian Pivot'  -  by Graham Beverley

"...By adopting such anti-Chinese rhetoric, the NDp, signaling that should it form Canada's government, it can be counted upon to provide staunch support to the Obama admistration's pivot to Asia."


This is better than the badgers:

Users of China’s most popular microblogging site, Sina Weibo, have been blocked from typing in variants of phrases like “June 4″, “Today”, “candle”, and “in memory of.” Also included in the banned list is “big yellow duck” — a reference to a photoshopped image where tanks were replaced with rubber ducks in the iconic photograph of a lone protester standing before a row of tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Read more here about China's campaign to stop commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre:


China launches fifth manned space flight.


China’s fifth-ever manned mission has successfully blasted off from a location in the Gobi Desert and will now head to the country’s prototype orbital station, where the crew will spend 14 days – a Chinese space record.

The Shenzhou-10 craft, carrying two male astronauts, and the second Chinese woman to go to space, will dock with the Tiangong-1 space lab 40 hours after lift-off.

The crew will spend their time on-board conducting scientific studies and technical tests, as well as giving a satellite lecture to Chinese students, before returning in the re-entry module that brought them to space.


The China Fixation  -  by John Pilger

"More than jihadism or Iran, China is now Washington's obsession in Africa and beyond. This is a 'policy' known as the 'pivot to Asia', whose threat of world war may be as great as any in the modern era."


Here we go again, and probably one of the main reasons the USA wants to reduce their military in the Middle East:

US warplanes defy Chinese air defence rules with B-52 flyover of disputed area

• B-52 bombers 'not armed' over Senkaku Islands, US says
• US previously rejected expansion as 'provocative'



Playing chicken in the East China Sea over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands

The disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are northwest of Taiwan.

Moreover, ADIZs usually require only aircraft that intend to enter the country’s national airspace to notify the controllers, not all aircraft transiting the ADIZ.

Just how does China intend to enforce its new ADIZ? By shooting down a Japan Airlines 787 and a U.S. Air Force B-52?

If not that, then how? National pride and the personal reputation of new President Xi Jinping are both seriously committed to this game now, and if the foreigners ignore the zone, China cannot just shrug its shoulders and forget about it.

Which brings us to the key question: did Beijing really game out this move before it decided to set the zone up? Did it set up teams to play the Japanese and the Americans realistically, look at what they might do to challenge the zone, and consider its own countermoves?

That’s what most great powers would do before launching a challenge like this, and maybe China did that too. But maybe it didn’t.

When you put yourself in the shoes of a Chinese navy or air force commander trying to enforce the new ADIZ, you can’t help feeling sorry for him. He can shoot something down, of course, but even his own government would quail at the possible consequences of that. Quite apart from the grave danger of escalation into a full-scale military confrontation with Japan and the United States, the economic damage to China would be huge.

On the other hand, if he doesn’t compel aircraft transiting the zone to accept China’s new rules, both he and his political superiors will be open to the charge of failing to defend national sovereignty. This is a lose/lose situation, and I suspect that the Chinese government and military really didn’t game it through before they proclaimed the ADIZ.

The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are not worth a war, or even a single ship or aircraft. They are uninhabited, and their alleged connection with the seabed rights to a natural gas field around 300 kilometres away is extremely tenuous. This move is a deliberate escalation of an existing dispute, made with the intention of forcing the other side to back down and lose face.

It’s quite common in games of chicken to block off your own escape routes from the confrontation, in order to show that you are not bluffing. And in almost all games of chicken, each side underestimates the other’s will to risk disaster rather than accept humiliation. This could end quite badly.


Biden to press Beijing on air defence zone in bid to ease China-Japan dispute• Vice-president to meet Chinese leadership on Beijing visit
• Washington steps up diplomatic efforts a day after B-52 flyover



Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperialism?

The escalating standoff in the Pacific is seen by Beijing and Seoul as proof that Japan is reviving its military mindset


U.S. affirms support for Japan in islands dispute with China


What is really going on here as the Chinese are not usually stupid.

Embarrassment for Beijing as South Korea, Japan join international defiance over China’s air defence zones


I suppose they felt they had no choice otherwise they would lose face at home. Who knows where this is headed.


China sends warplanes into disputed airspace over East China Sea


A Japanese patrol plane flies over the disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea A Japanese patrol plane flies over the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in 2011. Photograph: Japan Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Air force spokesman says fighter jets have been sent after Japanese and South Korean aircraft flew through disputed area

"America is not our direct enemy, and South Korea is our friend. But Japanese armed aircraft would be a different story. If they dare to come into China's declared zone, the Chinese air force will take action."


China is sounding more than a bit outnumbered. When is Russia going to enter the fray or are they smart enough to keep out of this.

Tony Abbott refuses to back down over China comments


After Challenges, China Appears to Backpedal on Air Zone


Maybe China would do well to abandon their silly war games, and focus on what is surely to escalate into social unrest for them which could become a much more pressing issue, as more and more guys cannot find gals due to the killing of females resulting from the one-child rule.


Well there is this:

China has aready warned India against doing deals with Vietnam over oil in the South China Sea.

And it has been mentioned in this or another thread, that the sea is a major shipping lane.

Not to say I think China is right in claming the lion's share of that sea, nor in refusing to deal with other nations there as a group.

And China just announced that the one child policy is being amended.



Viewpoints: China air zone tensionsMap of east china sea and declared air defence zone

A row about disputed islands between China and Japan has raised tensions in East Asia. In the latest development, China has demarcated an air defence identification zone which includes the islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, prompting protests from Japan and the US. Five experts give their views.


China scrambles fighter jets towards US and Japan aircraft in disputed air zone

Escalation of response in South China Sea is the first time China is known to have sent military jets in zone alongside foreign craft

  • China Air Force

China has scrambled military jets in an escalation of response to incursion by US and Japanese aircraft in the disputed zone


Senkaku islands row reflects broader tensions between China and JapanExperts say chances of head-on collision between the world's second and third biggest economies are growing

A Japanese surveillance plane flies over the disputed islands in the East China seaA Japanese surveillance plane flies over the disputed islands in the East China sea. Photograph: Uncredited/AP


Good on Joe Biden, but should students do that in the good ole USA too? Wink

Joe Biden urges Chinese students to challenge 'the status quo'


George Galloway MP COMMENT: US-China Tensions Over New Air Zone (and vid)

"China says it has monitored American B52 bomber flights in its newly declared territorial air defense identification zone in the East China Sea..."

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

What nobody in the media, left, right or whatever, will tell you is that the bombers only flew into the part of the zone where China and Japan's ADIZs overlap... See picture below.

 I just love how little facts like that get left out. It's not like they flew into the Chinese only ADIZ and thumbed thier noses at them. Dispite what you may think there is a big difference beteen the two.

Pogo Pogo's picture

To me it looks like a high stakes game being played by both sides using tactics learned in grade 3.  Obviously neither side wants to have a serious confrontation and escalate matters, but using fighter pilots as pawns to test the resolve of the other side is a recipe for disaster.


NorthReport wrote:

China scrambles fighter jets towards US and Japan aircraft in disputed air zone

Escalation of response in South China Sea is the first time China is known to have sent military jets in zone alongside foreign craft

In that zone, perhaps. Not the first time, though.



Dollar Survival Behind US-China Tensions

"The escalating military tensions between Washington and Beijing in the East China Sea is superficially over China's unilateral declaration of an air defense zone.

But the real reason for Washington's ire is the recent Chinese announcement that it is planning to reduce its holdings of the US dollar."


George Galloway MP: China Raps US Over China Sea Meddling (and vid)

"China has warned the US to be cautious in its words and actions with regard to territorial disputes involving China and its neighbors.."


US Promises To Defend Japan From China as Territory Dispute Lingers

"Kerry this week hammered home the notion that the US won't abandon Japan should an attack from China emerge.

In the meantime though, both the US and Japan are interested in other endeavors - like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP."


China's toxic air pollution resembles nuclear winter, say scientists

Air pollution now impeding photosynthesis and potentially wreaking havoc on country's food supply, experts warn


I wonder what China will have to say about this. 

Chinese passenger jet carrying 220 people in near miss with North Korean missile

China Southern Airlines jet passed through rocket's trajectory

  • northmissile_southernairline_close.jpg

A China Southern Airlines airplane carrying 220 passengers passed through the trajectory of a North Korean rocket (seen on the news in Seoul above). Photos: AP, Reuters


From last week's edition of The Economist which contained an assessment on democracy in the world: (IMHO, interesting analysis, weak prescription). 

The 2013 Pew Survey of Global Attitudes showed that 85% of Chinese were “very satisfied” with their country’s direction, compared with 31% of Americans....Yet China’s stunning advances conceal deeper problems. The elite is becoming a self-perpetuating and self-serving clique. The 50 richest members of the China’s National People’s Congress are collectively worth $94.7 billion—60 times as much as the 50 richest members of America’s Congress.

So maybe The American Dream is now The Chinese Dream? As in, - the rich may be getting richer, but one day I can be like them, too!


Obama, Asia, and the elephant in the room

The Chinese regime insists that it has no expansionist ambitions, but it has alienated most of its neighbours by pushing hard on its extensive claims to islands in the East China Sea (the dispute with Japan over the Senkaku/Diayoyu Islands) and to seabed rights in the South China Sea (where it has disputes with Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines). They all want to nail down U.S. support, including military backing, if those disputes flare into open conflict.

The U.S. is willing to oblige. Even before leaving on his trip, President Obama publicly assured Japan that the U.S. military commitment to defend Japan included the islands claimed by China. He will doubtless give his hosts in South-East Asia comparable assurances in private about American support in their seabed disputes with China. The TPP is not a military alliance, but it definitely has military implications.

That is not to say that a great-power military confrontation in Asia is imminent, let alone that China is really expansionist. What drives the process, as usual, is more likely to be the threat that each side sees in the power of the other.

Asked in a recent BBC interview about President Obama’s decision to shift U.S. naval forces from an equal division between Atlantic and Pacific to a 60:40 ratio in favour of the Pacific, retired Major-General Xu Guangyu, former vice-president of the People’s Liberation Army Defense Institute, replied: “How would (the Americans) like it if we took 60 percent of our forces and sailed up and down in front of their doorstep?”

Then Xu added: “We want to achieve parity because we don't want to be bullied. It will take us another 30 years.” That’s no more than anybody else wants, and it’s hardly imminent.

Former U.S. assistant secretary of state Philip J. Crowley was expressing essentially the same sentiment when, commenting on Obama’s trip, he said that “Many traditional allies...value a strong U.S. presence in the region to balance against an assertive China.”

In other words, it doesn’t take evil intentions to produce a tragedy. In any case, it’s not likely to happen soon. The point for the moment is that the strategic balance in Asia is what the U.S. cares about most, not the Middle East or even Russia.

The United States still drops drones on the heads of various bearded fanatics in the greater Middle East, but they are just a nuisance, not a real strategic threat.

Washington has just sent 600 American troops (600!) to reassure allies in eastern NATO countries that are worried about Russian intentions, but it doesn’t really anticipate a new Cold War with Moscow, nor would it feel really threatened if that happened. Russia is not the old Soviet Union, and the U.S. defence budget is ten times Russia’s.

The real strategic game is now in the Asia-Pacific region. Which doesn’t mean that it’s any less futile and dangerous than it was in the old days.

Wilf Day

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
We have to recognize that wealth distribution is more delicate in China given that its per capita income is so much lower than the West. Its progress comes with expectations for more people to share in it.

I remain convinced that the answer for China in many respects relates to the need for workers there to be able to retain more value for the work they provide. This is what the government needs in order to be more secure in the short term, it is what those who want progress and political change there needs and it is what the workers need.

But it's interesting that so many of the successful strikes and/or demands for big wage increases have been against employers based in Japan.

Not surprising, given Chinese history.

I remain convinced that most Canadians cannot grasp what is happening in China, because it is simply a different world. At least it was six years ago, as it has been for five thousand years, so I expect it still is.

ilha formosa

NorthReport wrote:

Washington has just sent 600 American troops (600!) to reassure allies in eastern NATO countries that are worried about Russian intentions, but it doesn’t really anticipate a new Cold War with Moscow, nor would it feel really threatened if that happened. Russia is not the old Soviet Union, and the U.S. defence budget is ten times Russia’s. The real strategic game is now in the Asia-Pacific region. Which doesn’t mean that it’s any less futile and dangerous than it was in the old days.

PLA, Russian Navy to conduct joint naval drill near Diaoyutai

The exercise will take place between May and June this year and involve a total 20 vessels, a Russian naval officer told the Voice of Russia...The drill will involve the East Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy and the Russian Pacific Fleet and will be held in the international waters off the disputed islands...


Yue Yuen: wildcat strikes and labor struggles in China

The mass strike at the Yue Yuen factory shows how China’s workers are increasingly relying on autonomous and horizontal structures of labor resistance.

In China, the Communist Party (CCP) and the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) promote and protect workers’ rights. In reality, however, elite interests most often prevail, submerging workers’ rights in the tide of global capitalism. The response has been increasing civil resistance. According to one study, there were 1.171 strikes and labor protests between June 2011 and the end of 2013, and much of April 2014 was marked by one of the largest episodes of resistance in modern Chinese labor history.

On Monday, April 14, 2014, 10.000 workers at the Yue Yuen Dongguan shoe factory took to the streets in protest of the company’s ongoing failure to pay its 70.000 employees their full social security and housing allowance. Worker grievances also included the thousands of fraudulent contracts they had been forced to sign, which prevented their children from enrolling in local schools, forcing them to pay for migrant worker children’s schools. These are common grievances among China’s some 250 million migrant workers.

The strikes, which had been intermittent since April 5, came to their first crescendo that Monday as hundreds of riot police swarmed the crowd. Despite the show of force and minimal arrests, the workers were undaunted, and by the following week the demonstrators numbered around 40.000. Government censors instructed domestic media to delete content related to the incident....


Stephen Harper Raises Human Rights Concerns With Chinese President Xi Jinping [or so he says...]

"Harper's third official visit to China has been heavy on trade and economics. The two countries signed a flurry of trade and currency deals on Saturday worth as much as $2.5 billion.

A hotly anticipated reciprocal currency deal between Canada and China was also linked. The agreement will foster far easier trade between the Canadian dollar and the Chinese currency and makes Canada the first country in the Americas to have a deal to trade in the yuan, also known as the renminbi."


Putin, Xi Jinping Sign Mega Gas Deal on Second Gas Supply Route (and vid)

"President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a memorandum of understanding on the so-called 'Western' gas supply route to China. The agreement paves the way for a contract that would make China the biggest consumer of Russian gas..."


Harper's Beijing Trip Highlights Canadian Chinese Tensions

"...Far more importantly, Canada, totally unbeknownst to the Canadian population, has become deeply implicated in Washington's 'Pivot to Asia' - that is, the US drive to strategically isolate and encircle China.

In November 2013 the Harper government signed an agreement to enhance military-security cooperation with the US in the Asia-Pacific region, the 'Asia Defence Policy Cooperation Framework.' The Framework's details have not been publicly divulged but it is clearly aimed at more closely integrating Canada's military into the US's war plans.

As it is, no military in the world is more closely integrated with the Pentagon  than Canada's..."


China's Silky Road to Glory  -  by Pepe Escobar

"The Russia-China symbiosis/strategic partnership is developing on multiple levels..."

ilha formosa
ilha formosa

Why Beijing’s [economic] Troubles Could Get a Lot Worse

...China, for all its talk about economic reform, is in big trouble. The old model of relying on export growth and heavy investment to power the economy isn’t working anymore.

...Sure, the nation has been hugely successful over recent decades in providing its people with literacy, a decent life, basic health care, shelter, and safe cities. But starting in 2008, China sought to counter global recession with huge amounts of ill-advised investment in redundant industrial capacity and vanity infrastructure projects—you know, airports with no commercial flights, highways to nowhere, and stadiums with no teams. The country is now submerged by the tsunami of bad debt that begets further unhealthy credit growth to service this debt.

...People are crazy if they believe any government statistics, which, of course, are largely fabricated...For a time we started to look at numbers like electric-power production and freight traffic to get a line on actual economic growth because no one believed the gross- domestic-product figures. It didn’t take long for Beijing to figure this out and start doctoring those numbers, too.

...actual Chinese GDP is probably a third lower than is officially reported...I’d be shocked if China is currently growing at a rate above, say, 4%...Property sales are in decline, steel production is falling, commercial long-and short-haul vehicle sales are continuing to implode, and much of the growth in GDP is coming from huge rises in inventories across the economy.

...There’s even an outside possibility that China’s economic miracle could end up in a fiery crash landing, if a surge in banking-system loan defaults outruns government regulators’ attempt to contain such a credit crisis and restore financial confidence.

...What are some of the other signs of economic malaise? A big one is increasing capital flight from China on the part of wealthy Chinese...Rampant capital flight could turn into a rout given the ridiculous concentration of wealth in China, cutting the seemingly impregnable foreign reserves dramatically.

...Much of the money has been squandered in money-losing industrial projects and vanity infrastructure spending that make no economic sense beyond supplying temporary bump-ups in GDP growth...Government price data, such as its 70-city report, aren’t all that helpful since the numbers are cherry-picked and manipulated. 

...As for Xi’s much-ballyhooed anticorruption campaign inside China, it offends me that international media depict it as a good-governance effort. What’s really going on is an old-style party purge reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s with quota-driven arrests, summary trials, mysterious disappearances, and suicides, which has already entrapped, by our calculations, 100,000 party operatives and others. The intent is not moral purification by the Xi administration but instead the elimination of political enemies and other claimants to the economy’s spoils.


China Pledges to Help Russia Overcome Financial Hardship

"Russia has the capability and the wisdom to overcome the existing hardship of the economic situation,' Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists, China Daily reported Monday. 'If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary asssistance within our capacity..."


Vineyard of the Saker White Paper: The China-Russia Double Helix

"What we are seeing is the mutual agreement to establish a full spectrum geostrategic symbiosis between two civilizational realms...Make no mistake, what we are seeing is something unprecedented in history and it is much more than just an 'alliance'..."


Michael Hudson: Europe Tilts Towards China (and vid)

"The sudden rush of countries joining China's infrastructure bank, including supposed US allies like the UK, Germany and France, demonstrates the desire of not just emerging but also advanced economies to have access to international institutions that are not dominated by the US..."

ilha formosa

The Great Chinese Lie About Taiwan

As a left-of-center and proud liberal Canadian who vehemently opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and once shared a page with Fidel Castro in CounterPunch magazine, it is fascinating how often I have been accused over the years of being a “right-winger,” a “warmonger,” or an instrument of Western intelligence for arguing that the international community has an interest in and the responsibility to help Taiwan defend itself against Chinese aggression. The systematic use of such allegations, which have been used to discredit supporters of Taiwan, demonstrates the extent of the Chinese propaganda apparatus’ success…

The plot is actually rather simple: A nation of 23 million people that bloodlessly transitioned from authoritarian rule to democracy in the 1980s faces the prospect of being taken over — perhaps by military force — by an authoritarian country of 1.4 billion people with an atrocious human rights record and increasingly expansionist tendencies…

The great majority of Taiwanese are not “anti-China” and in fact are in favor of normalizing ties and hope to see China prosper, though this should not be confused with support for political union with the PRC...

And yet, whoever argues that Taiwan should receive support — political and military — to ensure that its people are not forced into submission are immediately accused of conspiring to spark World War III or of serving the interests of a coterie of intelligence agencies and arms dealers. Chinese propagandists have their own reasons for making such claims (it’s their job), but they are not alone, as many Western publications (usually on the left) have leveled similar accusations against the pro-Taiwan “militarists.” This is odd, as we’d expect such publications to be in favor of defending democracies against tyranny.



CrossTalk: China's South Sea (and vid)

"Beijing and Washington vying to play the commanding role in Asia."

Pepe Escobar, Zachary Keck and James Bradley