After a paragraph like this, the rest of the article loses its purpose, in my view. But, it has lots of links. So, useful:
The point, again, is that “Chinese intentions” are very hard to be sure about, and (as with Under the Dome) may still be contested inside the leadership. A five-year-old book like Liu Mingfu’s is one sign, to be weighed against others. China’s recent fortification of new islands is a more ominous sign, as these ChinaFile essays discuss. But is this a deliberate, frontal challenge to the United States and the existing Pacific order? Is it a feint, which the government will back away from as it has some others? Is it mainly a chest-beating gesture aimed at an audience inside China, to demonstrate that the country’s leaders are strong, strong, strong? I contend that no one knows for sure. The United States has to prepare for the possibility that this is a deliberate challenge—while remaining aware of the other possibilities, and gaming out its own reactions accordingly. That means being ready for a confrontation with China if it comes, but not acting as if one is inevitable and thereby insuring that it becomes so. [Link]
Not that this is news but worth noting from James Fallows’ article here:
Most of the moves Xi Jinping has made since taking power have been disappointing at best, alarming at worst from the international point of view. While saying that he is committed to reform, so far he has mainly seemed repressive internally and aggressive externally. [Link]
“When political discipline is firm, then the ruling Party prospers; when political discipline is weak, the ruling Party falls… Liberalism has always been the great enemy of strictly maintaining political discipline,” said the paper, citing a 1937 warning by the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong. [Link]
The story of Italian Police trying to trace booming profits of businesses in China towns in Italy that evade Italian taxes makes for interesting reading:
The answer, after a four-year investigation by Italy’s financial police, was no. They discovered that more than 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) – the proceeds of counterfeiting, prostitution, labor exploitation and tax evasion – had been smuggled out of Italy to China in less than four years using a money-transfer service. Nearly half that money was funneled through one of China’s largest state banks, the Bank of China, which earned more than 758,000 euros in commissions on the transfers, according to Italian investigative documents obtained by The Associated Press. Italian officials said that when they tried to appeal to Chinese authorities for help, they got nowhere. [Link]
SOE reforms but with party in tight control [Link]
Ian Bremmer says that China is at virtual war with the United States. Every one stirs the pot.
Patrick Chovanec correctly highlights the important information in the paragraph below (see BOLD)
“As banks rush to sell troubled assets, the supply of bad loans on the market is outpacing demand, leading to a fall in prices, according to Victor Jong, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s business recovery services practice in Shanghai. Compared with the 30 to 40 cents on the dollar banks got for their bad debt between 2001 and 2007, prices have dropped to less than 10 cents in some cases, Jong said.” [Link]
Maserati showroom shuts down in Beijing citing lack of demand and high rents. Article quotes someone saying that this is not an isolated incident [Link].
A journalist in State-owned Global Times newspaper in China helpfully suggests that China should shoot down Australia and US planes (military, I suppose) flying over South China Sea.
Bill Gross has his sights on Shenzhen stock market for a big short as per this Bloomberg article. It has great charts. Will put up a blog post separately with tweets by Patrick Chovanec on China stock market madness.
Agree with Patrick Chovanec here: China selling US Treasuries will do zilch to US Treasury yields.
WoW! Philippines willing to allow Japan to use its military bases. China is helping other States bond together. Edward Luttwak calls this behaivour (of China) ‘Great Power Autism’ in his book, ‘The rise of China and the logic of strategy’ (halfway through with it)
Foreigners lack basic understanding of Chinese culture [Link]. I suppose it is mutual.
Finally, I do not think I blogged on this but this is a very provocative work by two people identified as Indophiles; they advocate America confronting and containing China. [Link]. I had skim-read it.