Sunday, December 05, 2004

Konka in Iraq

I've been on a blog drought, as my other life as a doctoral student has overwhelmed my time. But I did see on CNN this morning a shot of a billboard in Iraq for Konka mobile phones.

What's a company from Shenzhen doing in Iraq? Wasn't the "liberation" supposed to mean great opportunities for US companies doing reconstruction. Either the Chinese companies aren't being targeted by terrorists or they just don't care. In any case, this is a little thing I saw in the background of a news story on something else.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Chinese tech companies pulling out of US trade fair

The Financial Times has just reported that Chinese tech companies are withdrawing from this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas because their reps can't get visas.

One of these days, the economic impact will be felt enough that action will happen, or will it?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Goodbye Zhou Enlai, Hello Jiang Qing

With the Bush administration's only "moderate" vacating and being replaced by an ideologue, it seems most appropriate to compare the situation to the Cultural Revolution in China (late 1960s and early 1970s). Premiere Zhou Enlai was revered by many as a "moderate force" within Mao's government, but historians consider his true role to be one of a coward that survived only because he refused to directly challenge Mao. Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, was the head of the Gang of Four and used her status to attack anyone that didn't follow her radical agenda. Secretly, every act she did was backed up by Mao, but she led the group that did the dirty work.

Condoleeza Rice earned her credentials as a scholar on the Soviet Union and was known for having an entirely hawkish view towards the cold war. Its ironic that now the United States government is solid red (albeit a different shade of red) and radical politics in cultural revolution form has come to the U S of A.

But part of me wonders whether the radical Jiang was really worse than the "moderate face of the party" of Zhou. At least in Jiang's case, the Chinese people finally had enough and put her and the rest of the Gang of Four in jail.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

What's going on with these Chinese subs?

As mentioned several times before, I don't think the Chinese government makes decisions in isolation. As we can see right now, the US is caught up in the Middle East, China is critical for North Korea, and yet the US aggressive posture in the Middle East causes concerns.

Is the submarine move (which I'm still can't figure out what it would mean for getting information on Japan) is probably more a message aimed at the US than on Japan. It says: "don't forget us right now".

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Most Democrats just don't get it on China's economy

It is amazing to read the Democratic blog responses to the rumors of a change in the valuation of the Chinese yuan. They immediately wanted to discuss it in relationship to the depreciation of the dollar against other currencies (especially the euro). And talk about it in terms of the beginning of the end of the US economy.

The reality is actually good and bad for the US and for Democrats. The results will be a lowering of artificial incentives to emphasize export-led manufacturing. US manufacturers will be more competitive (albeit only in the areas where China is the competition), prices of goods in the US will go up, incomes in China will go up, and rural Chinese will have better markets for their agricultural or small batch manufacturing goods.

Bottom line:

Good for US manufacturing = good for swing state economic conditions, making it difficult for Dems to use this as a campaign issue

Bad for US consumers at the low end = inflation of cheaper consumer products, thus real income will go down for working poor considerably (and to a lesser extent, the middle class)

Good for Chinese rural population = good for the overall global environment (as it reduces the pressure for urban migration)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

And some more expected news....

Foreign Student Graduate Applicants drop for third straight year

As I had warned....

http://www.cato.org/dailys/11-04-04.html

Just one day after the election was decided, those on the Far Right have decided to hunt down Collin Powell for doing nothing more than reiterating US policy towards China that has been consistent for thirty years.

Those who are in the business community, the Chinese community, or anybody else that doesn't want a head-on collision with China, we must push for a moderate Secretary of State.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Does the CCP want Bush to win?

Qian Qichen attacks Bush

Everytime the CCP actively goes against a candidate, the candidate wins. Luckily, this came late enough to hopefully not be noticed.