“So, what conclusions can we draw? A fire in a migrant-occupied building was taken as an opportunity to accelerate the reduction in migrant numbers in Beijing – with no clear thought as to the economic and social implications of such action. The Beijing party secretary seems to have been unaware of the consequences of conducting such forcible house-clearing and evictions without warning and in freezing weather.
It would appear that Xi Jinping’s prioritizing the alleviation of poverty is not a priority for his close colleagues.”
” It is difficult to see how Beijing could balance a budget of soaring welfare demand and at the same time be able to fund growing military and domestic security requirements. However, using the latest data we now have from China this month gives an estimate for the size of the elderly community in 2040 anywhere from 450 to 480 million, which raises the prospect of a yet further swollen welfare need.”
“Shoals of micro-states appear to be biddable at low consideration and represent votes at the UN and often access to enormous resources, whether sea, land or minerals. Should the non-authoritarian world try to offer non-contentious alternative transactions where possible to avoid webs of alliance being woven to its disadvantage? It may mean swallowing non-democratic governments’ behavior, but in the interest of a larger strategy.”
“As the number of women in the high fertility and likely marriage age group of 22-30 is estimated to fall 40 per cent from 2010 to 2025, there is national clock ticking. If children are not born in large numbers in the first few years of liberalization, there will be far fewer women to shoulder the responsibility in coming decades.”
“False data is abundant in China. The causes are various. There is incompetence, corruption and also political motivation. They do not always err in the same direction. However, the overall effect makes it clear that in China the data are always frail and knowing that it is difficult to draw too many firm conclusions from it.”
“It is difficult to apply demanding US-style corporate checks in countries with deficient data, minimal transparency, uninterested governments and different ethics. To say in retrospect that one should not have acted without credible confirmations in such cultures is effectively to say that one should not act.”
“The fallout stretches much further afield than Malaysia. For example, a former senior finance official from Abu Dhabi has been arrested and accused of receiving $473 million. Moreover, US prosecutors say Singapore’s financial system “played a key role in the alleged theft of billions of dollars”. This is seriously damaging to Singapore’s ambitions to be a global finance centre.”
One result of this announcement is that the Australian media referred to China’s work in quantum mechanics as “well ahead of the pack” and the Indian press stated that it underlined the “erosion of Western science dominance”. The American scientific media took refuge in the questionable view that the US has kept its work quiet and was bound to be still ahead.
The story of Ling Jihua and his brother is providing an illuminating and possibly quite extraordinary insight into contemporary China. Ling Jihua was the head of the General Office of the Communist Party until 2012 – broadly equivalent to being the chief of staff to previous President Hu Jintao. This is one of the most […]
“While environmentalists trumpet the benefits of going to a green economy, it cannot be denied that the costs of a more environmentally-friendly economic policy include moderating many forms of manufacturing output, increasing production costs and the almost unquantifiable cost of cleaning the air, soil and water of China after decades of ignoring any rational restraints. This doesn’t mean it should not be done, but it inevitably takes its toll on growth.”