China is pursuing a very dangerous policy.
Please revisit my P.O. on China including M.P.O. The exhaustion of the Chinese Model:
On China, the anti-corruption drive, and the latest developments.
The World was surprised by the sudden disappearance and the following reappearance of Mr Guo Guangchang the Chairman of Fosun, China’s self styled Warren Buffett.
Fosun has been on an acquisition spree abroad, and owns quite a number of very well known companies in the West, and has substantial investments in Portugal.
The official explanation for the four days absence , and a face saving one, was ” four days out of sight while assisting a judicial investigation” (Financial Times).
Even if it is not uncommon in China for public and private officials to assist an investigation, no one is buying that version of the events.
Because Mr Guangchan was not charged of any wrongdoing, and Fosun said that the investigations had nothing to do with the Company.
This bizarre situation comes after Mr Guangchang having been advised, more than a year ago, to get a second, and of different Country, passport.
But he said he did not need one because he had been “behaving well”…
A lot of private entrepreneurs have been “pested” by the various authorities since the Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping announced his anti-corruption campaign following the 18th National Congress which was held in November 2012.
And recently, in another article in this site, Mr Xu Ming, a former business ally of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has died in prison of illness, months before he was due to be released.
Probably he knew too much…
From The FT:
“The death of Xu Ming, founder of property conglomerate Dalian Shide Group, who testified against Bo’s wife Gu Kailai in 2013, is the second high-profile death in recent months of a person involved in the downfall of Bo and Gu, the biggest political scandal in China since the trial of the Gang of Four more than three decades ago.”
Then you have the military confrontation with the US, clearly provocative, the interference in Taiwan’s elections, with the “meeting of two gentlemen, the admission, (finally), that there is a serious pollution problem, the trial of lawyers including the famous and prominent Mr Pu Zhiqiang , the massive capital flight, the persecution of financial market players, blaming them because he market went down, etc, etc, etc.
The statement by Fosun saying that from now on , the Company was going to focus on China, clearly is in response to pressure by the authorities, that have been trying to control the massive capital flight.
And that have been pesting the companies that try to list abroad, because it is an obvious way to expatriate capital.
President Xi Jinping is a very astute person, and reportedly the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Tse Tung.
Or even more powerful,some people say.
He knows that the growth model based on exports with cheap labour and highly polluting factories is no more.
He also knows that the clean up is going to take decades.
He also knows that China , traditionally, has been a corrupt society, in part due to the very low wages.
He knows that his currency is devaluating and that he can do very little about it.
He wants to keep the power in the Communist Party.
And in consequence, and as usual in these kind of Countries (vidé Russia), he has to crackdown on anything that resembles power, and promote everything else that distracts the people’s attention from the fact that China is not growing what it used to in the past.
And that past growth was the people’s excuse to tolerate the system.
Which is under more and more scrutiny.
This is what all this is about, in my opinion.
Let’s hope it stays peaceful.»
And also +++ P.O. V.V.I. (FT) China deploys missiles on disputed island:
This issue is has important as it gets.
To understand on what we are talking about, I refer you to my P.O. on China.
To start with, I call your attention to this M.P.O. that lays out the “scenery” for it all.
But please use the link and go to the M.P.O. itself , and use the links provided there.
And then please visit the older P.O. on the military confrontation itself.
Please go through the articles and P.O. with the links below.
This issue is as important as it gets.
Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira
+++ P.O. and V.V.I. (FT) China must learn how to be a great power
+++ V.V.I. (FT) Chinese activity on disputed islands raises doubt over halt claim
+++ (BBG) Slimmed Down Chinese Military to Help Xi Counter U.S. Dominance
+++ M.P.O./V.V.I. (FT) US warships to challenge Chinese claims in South China Sea
+++ P.O./ V.V.I. (FT) Pomp, circumstance and combat vehicles at Beijing parade
+++ P.O./V.V.I. (FT) Chinese navy sails off Alaska coast as Obama visits Arctic
+++ P.O./V.V.I. (FT) China parades ‘carrier-killer’ missile through Beijing
+++ V.I. (FT) China set to parade its ‘carrier-killer’ missile through Beijing
+++ (BBG) China Military Parade Sets Spin Machine Into Overdrive
+++ V.I. (FT) Militarism is a risky temptation for Beijing»
What do the governments of Belarus, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Russia have in common, apart from their lack of enthusiasm for participatory democracy?
Beijing claims they have all recently come out in support of its position on the South China Sea. It says they back its arguments, either that maritime disputes should be resolved bilaterally or that the arbitration case brought by the Philippines against Beijing’s claims is illegitimate.
This is no accident. A judgment on the Philippines case is expected within months. Beijing is working hard to persuade other countries that the court of arbitration in The Hague has no right to adjudicate on its claims.
During recent weeks, Wang Yi, the wily Chinese foreign minister, has been courting counterparts with renewed vigour, with visits to Brunei, Cambodia and Laos designed to keep Southeast Asia divided in its approach to China.
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, last week became the latest senior diplomat to side with China’s opposition to external interference — read the US — in the South China Sea.
China has drawn huge attention — and criticism — for its construction of islands and military facilities on contested reefs. But diplomacy is an equally important part of its strategy for dominating these waters, which contain rich fisheries, vast oil and gas reserves and key global trade routes.
The unfolding public relations battle over the Philippines arbitration case shows that policymakers in Beijing are worried China will look like a rogue international rule-breaker because of its defiance of The Hague tribunal.
The Philippines contends that China’s claim to “historic rights” over almost the entire South China Sea — based on its “nine-dash line” map — has no basis in international law. Manila also claims large parts of these waters, as does Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Although the judges are not considering overt questions of sovereignty, if they rule in the Philippines’ favour on this issue, it would significantly undermine China’s claims.
The US and the EU, which are concerned about China’s increasingly strident behaviour, have thrown their weight behind Manila, arguing that Beijing should respect the outcome of the case.
China is lining up its own team of supporters and is neutralising potential opponents with the promise of big infrastructure investments for those who play ball.
Beijing wants to ensure that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the only regional body that regularly discusses security issues, remains divided and weak when it comes to the South China Sea.
Regional diplomats fear that it is succeeding.
Mr Wang claimed after the visit to Brunei, Laos and Cambodia that Beijing had reached a “consensus” with these nations to oppose “unilateral” actions, a euphemism for the Philippines case.
Laos and Cambodia, which rely heavily on Chinese investment, have long done Beijing’s bidding by preventing Asean from taking a harder line on the maritime disputes. But oil-rich Brunei, which is feeling the pressure of lower crude prices, has not previously sided so openly with China.
Meanwhile, Southeast Asia’s biggest nation, Indonesia, is trying hard to stay out of the disputes, insisting that a recent clash with China’s coastguard over illegal fishing has nothing to do with China’s geostrategic ambitions.
This is music to Beijing’s ears.
Donald Weatherbee, a visiting fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, says that “Indonesia and the other four targets of China’s South China Sea policy are in the same boat, but there is no captain or sailing directions”.
Divisions among China’s Southeast Asian neighbours have left the way open for it to alter the “facts on the water” by building military installations from runways to radar stations in the South China Sea.
Ashley Townshend, a research fellow at the University of Sydney, compares Beijing’s actions to those of a rebel group trying to amass as much bargaining power as possible before being forced eventually to agree a ceasefire.
The next test of Beijing’s appetite for risk could come at the Scarborough Shoal, which it snatched from Philippines control in 2012. It is rumoured to be the next destination for China’s island-building barges.
If China does try to build up a reef that lies not far from Manila, the US would come under pressure to respond with more freedom of navigation operations or some other show of military force.
But Beijing is hoping it can continue to get away with incrementally changing the status quo and neutralising opposition.ddbntyuiohgf