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    A Slap of Reality in the South China Sea

    Two weeks ago the Obama Administration celebrated the first successful U.S.-China military-to-military talks of the new administration. Then this past Sunday, they found out relations with China were not always going to be so easy. Five Chinese ships harassed the USNS Impeccable in international waters off the cost of Hainan … More

    Trade Protectionism: The Chinese Pot and the US Kettle

    Chinese trade minister Chen Deming’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today chides the rest of the world on turning toward protectionism. This is remarkable on two counts: (i) that the PRC should lecture any country on protectionism and (ii) that the US has opened itself to being lectured by … More

    China Not About to Dump American Bonds

    The Financial Times makes a valiant effort to curb wild talk about China dumping U.S. Treasury bonds. Luo Ping of the China Bank Regulatory Commission may use strong language – “we hate you guys” — but he has a better grip on the PRC’s options than much of the American … More

    First Rain From Trade Storm

    Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a front-page story on soaring unemployment among China’s rural migrants. While official Chinese employment statistics are spotty, the gigantic figures being thrown around are no surprise. The Journal and other outlets emphasize the Communist Party’s overwhelming fear of political instability caused by job loss. This … More

    Skies Darken Over U.S.-China Trade

    The Sino-American trade conflict I wrote on last month has just become more likely. Chinese trade numbers show exports declining and imports collapsing at the end of 2008, the latter plunging 21% in December. The grave weakness in imports puts paid to the once-popular but unfounded notion that China could … More

    Chinese Growth Underpowered

    In a few weeks, China will claim to have completed its economic survey and announce a growth rate for 2008. The only thing we know for certain is that figure won’t be accurate. Today, the People’s Bank tipped growth of 9.3% for the year. The final official figure could be … More

    Our First Amendment Rights Online

    China has been rightly criticized for censoring speech on the Internet. It is the one major economy in which the government has denied free speech and free access online. But this could change if the Orwellian-sounding “Minister of Culture” in Britain gets his way. The Minister, Andy Burnham, would like … More

    Has the Chinese Investment Wave Begun?

    The wire services have seized on a comment by a Chinese official that the PRC’s official foreign reserves actually fell in October. This is the first drop in almost five years, during which time China’s reserves went from $400 billion to $1.9 trillion. The decline hasn’t been confirmed, much less … More

    What will $10 billion Get You? A Lot of Nuclear Energy

    From Reuters: China has started building a new nuclear power plant in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, the second of three Beijing aimed to begin constructing in the final two months of the year. The 70 billion yuan ($10.2 billion) Yangjiang plant, in Yangjiang City, will have six units … More

    No China Life Line Coming

    The realization that China is in no position to be especially helpful in coping with the financial crisis is finally beginning to sink in with the mainstream media. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times today ran front-page stories that Chinese exports and imports contracted in November. This … More