Tag: China

May 26

US Terrorizes China; China Pulls the Golden Trigger.

by Pluto

All week I’ve been seeing references to this headline:

“China could announce that it holds 30,000 tons of gold to back the Yuan/Renminbi.”

As a Forex trader, the story took me by surprise, even though China has been stockpiling for years, and is the world’s largest gold producer. Also, it’s not like China to pull this trigger so fast. However, in the South China Sea last week, the US started militarily terrorizing China with war ships and fighter jets – and China warned (in so many polite words) that the US planted the seeds of its own doom.

So, maybe that’s what this is all about.

Nov 16

The China Connection and Other Travails of a TBTF Bank

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

JP Morgan Chase is once again under investigation by the Department of Justice. This time for possibly bribing the daughter of the Chinese prime minister with a lucrative business deal to gain preferential treatment on the Chinese markets.

To promote its standing in China, JPMorgan Chase turned to a seemingly obscure consulting firm run by a 32-year-old executive named Lily Chang.

Ms. Chang’s firm, which received a $75,000-a-month contract from JPMorgan, appeared to have only two employees. And on the surface, Ms. Chang lacked the influence and public name recognition needed to unlock business for the bank.

But what was known to JPMorgan executives in Hong Kong, and some executives at other major companies, was that “Lily Chang” was not her real name. It was an alias for Wen Ruchun, the only daughter of Wen Jiabao, who at the time was China’s prime minister, with oversight of the economy and its financial institutions.

While the bank emerged from the financial crisis stronger than it ever was, Moody’s Investors Service cut its ratings of the JPMC and three other banks after deciding the government would be less likely to help them repay creditors in a crisis. JPMorgan was cut to A3 from A2. According to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the yield on JPMorgan’s $2 billion of 3.375 percent subordinated notes due May 2023 slipped 10 basis points to 4.3 percent.

Moody’s said that there was less likelihood of a widespread bailout of banks by the United States government as there was during the financial crisis five years ago and that bank debt holders would be forced to shoulder more of the losses in the future.

But the rating agency said it expected banks would be required by regulators in the United States to hold a higher level of capital, which was likely to result in higher recoveries for creditors in any future bank default. [..]

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Reserve has been limited in its ability to provide taxpayer money to individual banks, and failing banks would be wound down in a so-called orderly liquidation, in which creditors would bear the bulk of the burden of the losses.

However, some critics have expressed doubts that regulators could handle the liquidation of one or more of the nation’s largest banks in a severe financial crisis.

In the midst of this, somebody at JPMC thought it would be a great idea to hold a Twitter Q&A with the public using the hashtag #AskJPM. The results were extremely amusing but a major PR #FAIL for the bank. Award winning actor Stacy Keech, the voice of American Greed, reads some of the best tweets verbatim.

If you’re a poet and good at writing haiku, Rolling Stone‘s contributing editor Matt Taibbi is offering a Jaime Dimon tee shirt for the best “J.P. Morgan Chase Q&A Fiasco” haiku. Matt will announce the winner Monday.

Sep 03

We are winning the race to the bottom!

  You are starting to see a lot of news articles talking about “reshoring”.

 “There is evidence here of reshoring because of transportation costs and lead times,” Mr Bergmann said. “The global supply chain allows you to chase lower cost of labour, but the total costs are reflected in the decision on where you produce for a given geography.”

 The decline of the American middle class have finally reached the point that American workers can compete against Chinese peasants. Victory is in sight!

 With any luck our corporate masters will soon be installing suicide nets outside our factories.

Jun 18

NOT TO BE MISSED!

I have just finished reading questions and answers that were put forth to Edward Snowden.  Snowden’s answers are intelligent, most articulate and totally understandable/logical.

I urge you to do a read, as well.

Edward Snowden Q and A: “The US Government Destroyed Any Possibility of a Fair Trial at Home”

The whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history answered questions about the NSA surveillance revelations.

June 17, 2013  

It is the interview the world’s media organisations have been chasing for more than a week, but instead  Edward Snowden is giving Guardian readers the exclusive.

The 29-year-old former NSA contractor and  source of the Guardian’s NSA files coverage will – with the help of Glenn Greenwald – take your questions today on why he revealed the NSA’s top-secret surveillance of US citizens, the international storm that has ensued, and the uncertain future he now faces. Ask him anything.

Snowden, who has fled the US, told the Guardian he “does not expect to see home again”, but where he’ll end up has yet to be determined.

He will be online today from  11am ET/4pm BST today. An important caveat: the live chat is subject to Snowden’s security concerns and also his access to a secure internet connection. It is possible that he will appear and disappear intermittently, so if it takes him a while to get through the questions, please be patient.

To participate, post your question below and recommend your favorites. As he makes his way through the thread, we’ll embed his replies as posts in the live blog. You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag # AskSnowden.

We expect the site to experience high demand so we’ll re-publish the Q&A in full after the live chat has finished.

11.07am ET

Question:

GlennGreenwald

17 June 2013 2:11pm

Let’s begin with these:

1) Why did you choose Hong Kong to go to and then tell them about US hacking on their research facilities and universities?

2) How many sets of the documents you disclosed did you make, and how many different people have them? If anything happens to you, do they still exist?

Answer:

   1) First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That’s not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it. . . .

I cannot see Snowden as anything but a man with a “nagging conscience,” such that steered him to his decision to reveal certain of his knowledges concerning the NSA activities.    

Jul 07

China and Transgender People

Qian Jinfan felt she should be a girl at the age of 3.  But she never had a chance to be one until she reached the age of 80.

In June Qian became the oldest Chinese citizen to come out to the media about being transgender…at the age of 84.  Despite the efforts of her wife and son to “ground” her, she snuck out of their home to speak to China Daily.

People may ask why I come out as a transgender person when I’m so old, but I ask, why can’t I?  Chinese stereotype the elderly as people who can’t do anything but wait for death.  But I’ve just entered the best time of my life.  I can finally be myself.

–Qian

While some Chinese admire her courage, others have called her “a nasty old man” and “attention-seeker”.  Children playing near her house have called her a “monster.”  Her family members object to her transition, claiming that she has made the a “laughing stock”.

I won’t reach out to media but won’t hide from them either if they approach me.

I haven’t done anything wrong.  My life as a transgender person doesn’t harm anyone.  Why should I hide?

–Qian Jingfan

Dec 03

On The Emergence Of China, Or, Zhou Knew This Was Coming

After doing a bit of mountain hiking a few days back, I had a chance to get involved in a great afternoon conversation with the Alliance for American Manufacturing’s Mike Wessel, who also serves as a Commissioner with the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; the conversation was about how we’re doing when it comes to our relationship with China.

As it turns out, the two events went well together, because what I’m hearing from these guys is that we have a great big ol’ mountain to climb if we hope to get back to a level playing field in our interactions with this most important country.

There’s news to report across a variety of issues; that’s why today we’ll be talking about trade, human rights, cybersecurity, poverty and development, and the methods by which you can apply “soft power” to achieve hard results.

The entirely unanticipated result: all of this will reveal the naïveté of Ron Paul when it comes to foreign policy; we’ll discuss that at the end.  

Feb 01

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Comedy Central Presents… Michele Bachmann

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

Trying to watch her taped response is worse than annoying, and the woman makes up her own facts as she goes, which has come to define her.

In short, if this is the best that the Tea Pot party has to offer, then there’s really nothing to see or hear that has not been offered time and again.  I really don’t care for parrots.

Michele Bachmann is also defined by her presumptive beliefs, obtained God only knows where.

 

Dec 23

China, France, USA, Your Food, GMO’s and Wikileaks

Dr. Olivier De Shutter, United Nations Envoy, warns that China’s ability to feed its population is waning:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…

He told the Guardian his main concern was the decline of soil quality in China because of excessive use of fertilisers, pollution and drought. He noted that 37% of the nation’s territory was degraded and 8.2m hectares (20.7m acres) of arable land has been lost since 1997 to cities, industrial parks, natural disasters and forestry programmes.

With climate change expected to increase price volatility and cut agricultural productivity by 5% to 10% by 2030, De Schutter said it was essential for China to wean itself off fossil-fuel intensive farming and adopt more sustainable agricultural techniques, including organic production, and to make even better use of its two great strengths: a huge strategic grain reserve and a large rural population.

He also cautioned against a shift towards industrial-scale farming, which increases economic competitiveness at the cost of natural productivity. “Small-scale farming is more efficient in its use of natural resources. I believe China can show that it is successful in feeding a very large population. ” However, he acknowledged that this may prove difficult in the future as more of China’s 200million farmers move to the cities.

Unfortunately the article in the Guardian UK did not mention the fact that China’s mega- hydro power projects like the Three Gorges Dam are also contributing to massive amounts of loss of the best farmland in the now flooded valleys above the dam site –  62,000 acres – which also forced the resettlement of over a million rural people. http://www.arch.mcgill.ca/prof…

People who buck the Chinese government and organize protesters over deadly food don’t do so well in authoritarian regimes.  Zhao Lianhai, who complained about melamine contaminated milk formulas, that made 300,000 sick and killed at least 6 babies, was thrown in jail in 2009, convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison in November for “inciting social disorder.”  see HuffPo  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… Zhao’s son was one of the toddlers who became ill with kidney stones after drinking the bad milk.   Melamine was the same chemical that was implicated in the 2006 – 2007 American pet food safety scandal and recall, which sickened and killed thousands of cats,  when it was used to adulterate imported wheat gluten, and spread from an importer – distributor in Las Vegas, ChemNutra,  to all over the country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…   Ground up melamine powder, a by product of coal processing normally used in plastics like laminated flooring,  was added not only to increase the volume but to fool the tests done for “protein” content.  

What did Zhao do to warrant Chinese jail time while trying to save sick babies ?


he organized a gathering of a dozen parents of sick children at a restaurant, held a paper sign in front of a court and factory involved in the scandal as a protest, and gave media interviews in a public place.

Schutter:


“I’m concerned this will have a chilling effect on consumers who want to complain,” he said. “You cannot protect the right to food without the right to freedom of expression and organisation.”

Dec 21

How to Win Friends and Influence Nations

Reading the news of this past week, it is easy to see why the U.S. strategy in Pakistan is failing. Over the weekend, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China was in Islamabad praising Pakistan’s efforts fighting terrorism and pledged to increase trade between the two countries, the NY Times reported.

China has not uncovered any new secret in diplomacy that is allow it such breakthroughs. Really, it almost seems as if Wen is following the advice found in the book 人性的弱点 (The Weakness of Human Nature) or as it is better know, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Consider three of Carnegie’s key principles:

  1. 不要批評,責怪或抱怨 or don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

  2. 獻出你真實,誠懇的讚賞 or give honest and sincere appreciation.

  3. 引起別人的渴望 or arouse in the other person an eager want.

Nov 22

U.S Foreign Policy & The End Of Empire

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky talks with Real News CEO Paul Jay about the history and current state of US foreign policy debunking various myths – including the myth that republicans are the warmongers and that democrats are more “peace” oriented, from FDR’s and Roosevelt’s vision for world domination by the U.S. after the second world war, through the current situation of U.S. toothless sanctions and delusional attempts at threats and references to a U.S led  “international community” that much of the rest of the world simply shrugs off and laughs at.

So by now, you know, the traditional backyard, the Western Hemisphere, a big piece of it, South America, it has become much more independent. They’re throwing out all US military bases. They’re moving towards some degree of integration. They’re not following the US orders. We just saw that when Brazil joined with Turkey to arrange for a mechanism for Iran to enrich substantial parts of its uranium outside of Iran.

[snip]

The issue of sanctions on Iran is a very striking illustration of the increasing limitations of US power. I mean, that’s kind of like-you read the foreign policy literature and, you know, government statements, this is the big problem. This is in fact called the year of Iran, and Iran is described as the greatest threat to world order. I’ll come back in a moment to what the threat is. But part of this is the US effort to try to get the world to accept the harsh US sanctions, not the UN sanctions. UN sanctions are pretty much toothless, so China and Russia and others go along with them willingly. The US sanctions are much harsher. They have no international legitimacy other than the force that lies behind them, and the US is getting desperate about the fact that the rest of the world isn’t following them.

So Brazil has-and Turkey, neighboring power and leading power in the Third World, have just essentially rejected them. Turkey’s announced it’s going to triple its growing trade with Iran, establish a new pipeline.

Brazil says, look, we go along with the Non-Aligned countries and most of the world in supporting Iran’s right to enrich uranium. But the big one is China. That they can’t push around, and they’re very upset about it. A couple of weeks ago, the State Department issued a warning to China and said that if you want to join the international community-meaning, what we run-you have to meet your international responsibilities, namely, follow US orders, follow our sanctions.

It probably elicited laughter in the Chinese foreign office. They cannot force them to do it. And this is indication of an erosion of the ability to coerce. You can have 800 military bases and spend as much as the rest of the world combined on the military, but you can’t force China, or even Turkey or even Brazil, to follow your orders.



Real News Network –  November 21, 2010

Chomsky on U.S. Global Policy

U.S. still wants to dominate but cannot order other big powers as it pleases;

Iran war threat is real


..full transcript below..

Nov 18

China Can Hijack ALL US Internet Traffic

 From Computer World…

A report submitted to Congress on Wednesday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission expressed concerns over what the commission claims is China’s growing ability to control and manipulate Internet traffic.

The report points to two specific incidents earlier this year where actions taken inside China had a direct impact on Internet traffic in the U.S. and other regions of the world.

The traffic hijacking affected U.S. government and military networks, including those belonging to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of Commerce, NASA and the U.S. Senate.

Commercial sites including those belonging to Microsoft, Dell and Yahoo were also affected.

It’s unclear if Chinese telecommunications firms did anything with the hijacked data, the commission said in its report. But the kind of access that Chinese authorities had to the data could enable surveillance of specific users or sites, disrupt transactions, prevent a user from establishing connections to specific sites or divert them to other spoofed sites, the report noted.

“Incidents of this nature could have a number of serious implications,” the report said.

“Incidents of this nature could have a number of serious implications.”

That’s sort of an understatement, isn’t it?

Oct 21

Garbage-Art in the Times, and the Real China

Nadav Kander is the darling of photo-editors at the New York Times, which is currently devoting a whole issue front-to-back of the New York Times Magazine to “Obama’s People,” a long, long, long series of trendy snapshots by the egregious Mr. Kander, and as usual his photos impart a sense of “formalness and unease,” because “formalness and unease” is Nadav Kander’s gimmick.  

For example, Kander has imbued his photo of Valerie Jarrett with the signature “formalness” of surrounding her with a big empty frame, and his signature “unease” is introduced by super-saturating her magenta suit and de-saturating her face.  

Valerie Jarrett

And so what? “Formalness and unease” would be a more appropriate attitude around the Obama White House than Obama’s repulsive self-righteousness, but in Kander’s snapshots it’s nothing but aesthetic posturing, and most of his subjects are perfectly relaxed and informal.

And so what again? As Jay Leno once said, politics is show-business for ugly people, and although the ultra-telegenic Mr. Obama has made a career out of contravening that principle, there probably isn’t much that anybody could show in posed portraits of “Obama’s people,” and…

This diary is just a pointless rant!

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