ìInexpensive Chinese cars on way soon? Hurdles remain to importing vehicles as cheap as $9,000,î by Earle Eldridge, USA, 1 June, p. 3B.
ìChinas Opens Retail to Foreign Investors,î by Leslie Change, Wall Street Journal, 1 June, p. A2.
ìU.S. Firm to Control Chinese Bank: Newbridge Buys 18% Of Shenzhen Shares,î by Peter S. Goodman, Washington Post, 1 June, p. E1.
ìChina Sees Success in Taming Growth: Senior Official Says Prices Of Commodities Are Easing. Investment in Toning Down,î by Kathy Chen and Constance Mitchell-Ford, Wall Street Journal, 1 June, p. A15.
ìThe Most Populous Nation Faces a Population Crisis,î by Joseph Kahn, New York Times, 30 May, p. WK1.
ìAsiaís Tigers Are Back, With More Muscle,î by George Melloan, WSJ, 1 June, p. A17.
The next threat from China? The Great Wall Deer pickup and the Great Wall Safe SUV. Itís chin-ching at a mere 9 to 18k per unit.
But whatís this? China opening up its retail sector big time. Out go the old rules, such as all ventures must be joint ventures, and in come the new, such as Walmart can start its own stores and set them up anywhere.
Damn those tricky communists! Every time I think I have a handle on them, they confuse me yet again.
Iíd call them inscrutable if they were issuing so many new rules in direct compliance with WTO regsócurse their growing transparency!
Whatís worse is that theyíre beginning to let Western firms own banks in China. More connectivity. More rules. More transparency.
Why submit to our bankersí tyranny? Could it be $500 billion in bad loans in the system? So the infusion of cash at the price of ownership means we get to buy distressed banks.
Hmmm. How very capitalist of us . . ..
Latest news from China says its efforts to cool down the economy is showing signs of working in certain key raw materials like steel and aluminum. Good news. Too much of the global economy is tied to China already, and China needs that foreign direct investment to flow for years and years.
Why? China is aging faster than any major country in human history. All this nonsense about China somehow blowing past the U.S. economically and posing a huge military threat completely ignores the huge demographic shifts already in play and inescapable to all: China will get old before it becomes rich. Add this race to the many China is running with itself.
Yes, yes, I know. All those pissed-off young men without wives (thanks to the one-baby policy) will get angry at their lot and decide to invade the world, displaying an overseas aggression that China has yet to display in about 5,000 years of history (but those damn tricky communists will unveil it any minute now!).
The hardest thing for so many experts in my field to accept about China is that it is destined to disappoint the Pentagon greatly as a ìrising near-peer competitor.î Instead of seeing Chinaís development for what it isóa huge opportunity for strategic partnership, the Pentagon prefers to dream of distant wars full of high-tech platforms.
As usual, the Wall Street Journal puts it all in perspective:
ìThe emergence of growth-oriented free-market policies in India and China has produced a happy synergy. The developed world supplies them with investment, capital goods and know-how. They supply the developed world with low-cost consumer items that help hold inflation in check even in a period, particularly in the U.S., of monetary stimulation. Both sides benefit.îOh no they donít! The Pentagon is losing its dream date. A country old and fat and waddling around Walmarts just wonít do . . ..