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Posts Tagged ‘china’

The Sources of Chinese Conduct

Posted by hkarner - 24. August 2019

Date: 22-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs by Odd Arne Westad

Are Washington and Beijing Fighting a New Cold War?

In February 1946, as the Cold War was coming into being, George Kennan, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, sent the State Department a 5,000-word cable in which he tried to explain Soviet behavior and outline a response to it. A year later, the text of his famous “Long Telegram” was expanded into a Foreign Affairs article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” Writing under the byline “X,” Kennan argued that the Soviets’ Marxist-Leninist ideology was for real and that this worldview, plus a deep sense of insecurity, was what drove Soviet expansionism. But this didn’t mean that outright confrontation was inevitable, he pointed out, since “the Kremlin has no compunction about retreating in the face of superior force.” What the United States had to do to ensure its own long-term security, then, was contain the Soviet threat. If it did, then Soviet power would ultimately crumble. Containment, in other words, was both necessary and sufficient.

Kennan’s message became the canonical text for those who tried to understand the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Always controversial and often revised (not least by the author himself), the containment strategy that Kennan laid out would define U.S. policy until the end of the Cold War. And as Kennan predicted, when the end did come, it came not just because of the strength and steadfastness of the United States and its allies but even more because of weaknesses and contradictions in the Soviet system itself. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Manufacturers Want to Quit China for Vietnam. They’re Finding It Impossible.

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2019

Date: 21-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Global companies are rushing to seek alternative bases, only to find even promising countries like Vietnam don’t match up

Vo Quoc Thanh and Nguyen The Do, engineers from Omnidex Manufacturing Vietnam, monitor production at a partner factory in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam.

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam—With the U.S. and China tangled in a nasty trade fight, this should be Vietnam’s time to shine. Instead, it is becoming increasingly clear that it will be years, if ever, before this Southeast Asian nation and other aspiring manufacturing destinations are ready to replace China as the world’s factory floor.

The specialized supply chains that made China a production powerhouse for smartphones and aluminum ladders and vacuum cleaners and dining tables are nowhere near as developed in Vietnam. Factories with U.S.-focused safety certifications and capital-intensive machinery aren’t as easy to find.

And Vietnam, with less than one-tenth China’s population, is already running into labor shortages as global manufacturers rush to set up shop here to avoid U.S. tariffs.

“China has a 15-year head start—whatever you want, someone’s doing it,” said Wing Xu, the operations director for Omnidex Group, which helps make large pumps for Pennsylvania-based industrial equipment manufacturer McLanahan Corp.

Omnidex has shifted some production to Vietnam, but out of more than 80 parts of a pump used in mining operations, factories here have been able to begin work on only 20 so far because molds must be created from scratch.

“You can’t just shift your business to Vietnam and expect to find what you’re looking for,” she said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Old World and the Middle Kingdom

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Julianne Smith And Torrey Taussig

Europe Wakes Up to China’s Rise

Europe is beginning to face up to the challenges posed by a rising China. From the political debates roiling European capitals over the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s involvement in building 5G mobile networks to the tense EU-China summit earlier this year, recent events have shown that European leaders are growing uneasy in a relationship that until recently both sides saw as immensely beneficial. They worry about the political influence China has gained, especially over the EU’s smaller members, and its growing economic clout and technological prowess. They are starting, tentatively, to push back.

To better promote its interests, Europe should use its economic, political, and diplomatic power to level the economic playing field with China, guard against Chinese political influence, and defend democratic values at home. Yet two things stand in the way of such a strategy. First, Europe remains divided over how seriously to take the Chinese challenge. In contrast to the strategic shifts happening in Berlin, Paris, and the EU capital, in Brussels, the leaders of many smaller states still see only the economic benefits of deeper engagement with China. Second, Europe finds itself caught in the middle of a growing U.S.-Chinese rivalry. It cannot abandon its long-standing ties to the United States (even as it squabbles with the Trump administration over everything from tariffs to defense spending), but it also cannot afford to weaken a trade relationship with China worth well over $1 billion a day. Europe is walking a fine line by nominally resisting China’s predatory trade and investment practices but not issuing any meaningful threats. So far, playing it safe has failed to persuade China to change course.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Is Losing the Trade War With China

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Jason Furman

The markets doubt tariffs will bring about any major concessions. The U.S. needs a multilateral approach.

President Trump’s China strategy is failing. His tougher approach has yielded no meaningful Chinese concessions but is increasingly damaging the U.S. economy. Today China is more integrated with the rest of the world while the U.S. is more isolated. To combat China’s unfair, statist economic practices effectively, the U.S. must change its approach, enlisting allies and international institutions to advance a more focused set of demands.

Tariffs on China have caused clear harm to the U.S. economy in the short run. In the second quarter of this year they contributed to the decline in business fixed investment, and they’re likely subtracting about half a percentage point from growth in gross domestic product this year. This isn’t necessarily an indictment of Mr. Trump’s policy. When workers go on strike, they do so knowing they will lose wages in the short run, but they expect to recoup those losses through larger long-run wage increases. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Has Xi Jinping Stirred a Backlash?

Posted by hkarner - 18. August 2019

Date: 17-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Yaroslav Trofimov

China’s leader is using his country’s new might to challenge the Western-led global order—spurring an argument at home and risking pushback around the world

When relations between China and the West frayed in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping gave guidance that set Beijing’s course for several decades. “Hide our capacities and bide our time, be good at maintaining a low profile and never claim leadership,” he urged. As Deng and his successors opened China up to the world and avoided international conflicts, they sparked an economic miracle that propelled hundreds of millions out of poverty.

A very different attitude increasingly prevails in Beijing. With China’s economy already larger than America’s by some measures, President Xi Jinping has moved away from his predecessors’ caution. While stifling dissent at home, he has harnessed China’s new might to pose challenges to the Western-led international order—an effort that is generating both a global pushback against Chinese influence and a policy debate inside China and abroad. The protests in Hong Kong that shut down its airport this week—spurred, in part, by local frustration over Beijing’s eroding of the “one country, two systems” pledge made by Deng in the 1980s—add a fresh threat to China’s economy and prestige. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Assault on the Global Trading System

Posted by hkarner - 17. August 2019

Date: 16-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Chad P. Bown And Douglas A. Irwin

And Why Decoupling From China Will Change Everything 

Donald Trump has been true to his word. After excoriating free trade while campaigning for the U.S. presidency, he has made economic nationalism a centerpiece of his agenda in office. His administration has pulled out of some trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and renegotiated others, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Many of Trump’s actions, such as the tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum, amount to overt protectionism and have hurt the U.S. economy. Others have had less obvious, but no less damaging, effects. By flouting international trade rules, the administration has diminished the country’s standing in the world and led other governments to consider using the same tools to limit trade arbitrarily. It has taken deliberate steps to weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO)—some of which will permanently damage the multilateral trading system. And in its boldest move, it is trying to use trade policy to decouple the U.S. and Chinese economies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Party Man: Xi Jinping’s Quest to Dominate China

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2019

Date: 15-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Richard McGregor

China’s President Xi Jinping.

When Joe Biden met Xi Jinping in 2011, China’s leader in waiting hit the U.S. vice president with a volley of questions about U.S. politics. How did the system work? What was the relationship between the White House and Congress? How should Beijing interpret the political signals coming out of Washington? For Biden and his advisers, these were welcome questions after nearly a decade of frustration in dealing with Xi’s predecessor, the colorless, impenetrable Hu Jintao.

But over meetings and meals in Beijing and Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, the American visitors were struck by Xi’s animation on another topic. Chinese leaders are generally cautious about straying too deeply into their own biographies. Recounting their personal stories in front of Chinese officials, let alone foreigners, involves traversing recent Chinese political history, a minefield of purges, betrayals, and ideological about-faces.

Xi, however, talked unprompted about his father, Xi Zhongxun, a revolutionary from the early days of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and about Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China, who had turned the country upside down to keep his rivals at bay. Xi’s father, once seen as a loyal party member, had risen to be vice premier in the late 1950s but was purged from the leadership by Mao in 1962, after he backed leadership rivals. Soon thereafter, he was jailed and left to suffer public humiliation at the hands of the Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution. Radicals harassed his son and banished him to the countryside. The father was not rehabilitated until the late 1970s, after Mao had died. But as Xi made clear to his visitors, he would not repudiate Mao. He revered him. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Last Exit Before a Cold War?

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2019

Date: 14-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

What China would say if it really understood President Trump’s ideas about trade.

For the eyes of Donald Trump only, a secret letter from China’s worried maximum leader, Xi Jinping :

Dear Donald,

As the mice and men in your country would have predicted, our little trade negotiation has gone awry. If I am forced to take measures in Hong Kong, it may be a long time before we can talk again. So let us settle things now.

Your negotiators keep bringing me demands that I cannot fulfill. They want me to reorganize the Chinese economy. They want me to relinquish many kinds of control necessary to the Communist Party.

Donald, who are these proposals even aimed at? If I understand how American bureaucracy works, I think maybe they are aimed at you. Your assistants want you to adopt the bureaucracy’s trade policy instead of your own. Your trade officer Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can’t even guarantee you will withdraw your tariffs, which should be the starting point of any negotiation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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German Economy Contracts as Global Trade Battle Bites

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2019

Date: 14-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Decline in GDP indicates that Europe’s largest economy has now become a drag on the region

Germany’s economy shrank slightly in the second quarter, rekindling fears of a recession and underscoring how Europe’s industrial core is suffering from the uncertainty caused by the U.S.-China trade dispute.

Economists and the government have cited the tensions between Beijing and Washington and the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union without a negotiated settlement as the main reasons for the cooling of Germany’s export-driven economy.

Analysts said the downturn should be a wake-up call for European policy makers to consider measures to stimulate activity in the region. Berlin, which has generated a budget surplus for the past five years, has been under pressure for months to loosen its strict fiscal policy to energize demand at home and in neighboring countries. The government has resisted any bold move so far, though is planning modest tax cuts and is working on its version of the Green New Deal, to be unveiled this fall. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Chinese Auto Makers Go Global as Sales Slow at Home

Posted by hkarner - 13. August 2019

Date: 12-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

China’s leading brands are building major factories overseas, realizing Beijing’s ambition for them to become global players

China’s car makers have matured domestically and now want to expand overseas. An electric-vehicle assembly line in Qingdao owned by a joint venture including SAIC and General Motors.

Chinese auto makers are investing billions of dollars to establish footholds in foreign markets, from India to Africa and Europe.

China’s car manufacturers once struggled to sell their cars at home, let alone abroad. Now, the cars they are producing are much improved, analysts say, matching foreign rivals on quality and outflanking them on price. Leading Chinese brands are aiming to capitalize by building their first major factories overseas, realizing Beijing’s long-held strategic ambition for homegrown car makers to become globally competitive players.

SAIC Motor Corp., China’s biggest auto maker, in June began testing the Indian market with a new sport-utility vehicle called the MG Hector, releasing 21,000 vehicles it expected to sell over six months; the SUVs sold out in four weeks. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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