Lisbon China File 1 (0.2), 26 April 2009
Editor: Daniel Alvarenga
Analysis – How Jackie Chan captured China’s characteristics as an Emerging Power
The week started with the polemic revolving around Jackie Chan’s comments where he wondered whether in fact Chinese people have the need “to be controlled”. Although it is hard to sympathise with anyone’s doubts over if it is good to have freedom or not, Jackie Chan’s comments, albeit not very sophisticated or academic in nature, do shed light with its crudeness on some of China’s strengths and weaknesses as an emerging power.
It has been government’s control, bureaucratic centralization in key sectors and protective assistance to its “global champions” that have helped boost China’s growth in the last few years. These global champions is the expression used to describe China’s “dearest” top companies to whom government has provided all different incentives and measures to facilitate their expansion abroad and their rise as top global multinationals.
China’s attractiveness as a political and economic model lies precisely in its obsession for control, coordination and slow, progressive change. This is easily noticeable in the recent debates regarding the rising influence of a so-called Beijing Consensus. The Beijing Consensus contrasts with the Washington consensus when it comes to privileging the domain of public ownership as the dominant and guiding force in the political economy of a state. It also prefers steady reforms and slower change to what Cheng Enfy from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences calls “shock therapy” of more traditional neoliberal economic policy. There is one last fundamental difference between the Beijing Consensus and the Washington Consensus. Beijing believes that while countries’ cannot escape a progressive march towards an open globalized economy and easier integrated trade across nations, states should still thread carefully and attempt to be self-reliant in their economic growth strategies. This trend in the behaviour of China in its business and foreign affairs is likely to continue to be its trademark in the near future
At the same time that China and other BRIC countries are now pushing extremely hard for greater say in a revamped IMF which has come out very strong out of the G20 meeting and out of the financial crisis an extremely relevant phenomenon unfolds. Developing countries, particularly those with stronger ties to China are increasingly distancing themselves from the US dollar. Clearly further evidence of the global power shift in finance and political influence. Take the Indonesian Energy giant for example, Perusahaan Listrik Negara. In a telling example of how the dollar is slowly losing its weight and influence, the state electricity company is planning to swap its $2.36 billion in foreign currency needs into Chinese yuan this year with the objective of protecting itself from US dollar volatility and reduce foreign exchange transaction fees.
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Russia, China ink Energy Pact
Jiang Yu – China and Russia have agreed to a package of deals on oil pipeline construction, crude-oil trade and financing and other projects pertaining to oil cooperation.
China car companies upstage leaders
Elaine Kurtenbach – Sales hit a monthly high of 1.1 million in March, outpacing US sales for the third straight month despite double-digit declines in other markets
Crisis Giving China a chance to assert itself
Ariana Eunjung Cha – As the global economic crisis has eroded faith in US-style capitalism, there is growing talk that a new “Beijing Consensus” will replace the long-dominant Washington Consensus on how developing countries should manage their economis.
BRIC nations want more power in IMF
Reuters- BRIC countries, including China, are insisting that the IMF consider issuing bonds as a way to raise capital. The countries would buy the IMF bonds, rather than extend support in loans.
China at Home
Chinese Company plans year’s top Initial Public Offering
Tina Wang – China’s biggest maker of extruded aluminium products by capacity is offering 1.4 billion new shares in Hong Kong at between 6.80 and 8.80 Hong Kong dollars each.
Macau’s Q1 Casino Revenue Rises, Suggesting Rebound
Bloomberg – Macau’s casino revenues rose in the first three months of 2009, signalling a recovery from the global economic slowdown and visa controls imposed on mainland Chinese visitors.
China recovering, Government says
Yi Gang – The economy is going forward as the stimulus package started working, the second quarter and remainder of this year will continue this recovery trend.
One way to boost US-China military cooperation
Kent Butts & Geoffrey Dabelko – Environmental security issues – and climate change in particular – could be among the most productive avenues for US-China military cooperation. The world's largest per capita emitter (the United States) and its largest total emitter (China) of greenhouse gases should identify specific areas for cooperation before the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark.
China disavows nuke energy co-op with North Korea
Wang Yiren – China has never had any cooperation with the DPRK in nuclear energy development
China and CPLP
China to Finance Angola’s Housing, Agriculture
Xinhua – Angolan Prime Minister Antonio Paulo Kassoma and the Chinese ambassador in Luanda on Wednesday discussed China's financial aid to Angola's housing and agricultural projects.
China File Extra
The China Blog
Time Magazine – A varied collection of daily blog cuts from Time Magazine political and economic China contributors. The themes range from China’s economic and political affairs to its social issues and daily life affairs including art and lifestyle.