Sunday, September 5, 2010
Small contentious issues in history are harbingers that tend to shape the larger power plays between nations. The naked truth in international affairs as articulated by strategist Paul Kennedy, is that India and China are two rising military and economic powers who will cooperate with each other for trade, and in competition for the same markets and influence, in the coming decades. Such countries are dubbed ‘competitive friendly enemies’. China is India’s largest trading partner, and has entered the Indian Ocean region with its PLA Navy via anti piracy patrols. It has also planted its footprint in India’s neighbourhood and Africa, with its chequebook diplomacy. Pakistan and China are proclaimed all weather friends, and China has built the deep-water port at Gwadar, and plans to transfer military supplies and nuclear plants to Pakistan.
Hundreds of Chinese residents, deported to Japan during the World War II, will sue Japan's Mitsubishi motor corporation, the Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
Some 40,000 people were deported from China to Japan during the World War II, the majority of them worked at the Japanese heavy industries. At least 7,000 of those deported died, China says.
It is not the first time that a panel made up of private government-nominated Japanese citizens (this time headed by Keihan Electric Railway chief executive Shigetaka Sato, someone not exactly known for his expertise in defense and security matters) has sought to shoot down Japan’s constitutionally prescribed pacifism.
Similar reports have been drafted in the past, and given the radical nature of the proposals featuring in the August report, one cannot avoid the suspicion that Tokyo again charged others with saying what itself is afraid to. It would seem that Tokyo is testing the waters to see exactly how much belligerence Japan’s pacifist public is ready to take in employing a group of ‘useful idiots.’
You find yourself day dreaming at your workplace or wherever you are! Talking about
I make it a habit to subscribe to as many various email distribution lists as possible — not because I like having my inbox full, but because I like to see what type of new, interesting, groundbreaking content people are using in their email programs. Unfortunately, I’m rarely impressed. One of the most solid email [...]
Napoleon was uncommonly prescient more than 200 years ago when he described China as “a sleeping giant.” He added, “When it awakens, it will astonish the world.” As we all know, the Chinese, after a couple of bad centuries, are again wide awake.
The tale of China’s recent “rise” is laced with dazzling statistics. In more than 30 years China has increased its GDP at a rate of roughly 10 percent per year, recently surpassing Japan as the world’s second largest economy.
As a global manufacturing hub, China is an exceptionally efficient producer of steel, ships, chemicals, and an amazing array of consumer goods. Its share of global trade has increased ten fold since 1978, and this year it supplanted Germany as the world’s largest exporter of goods.
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If there was one group that was hit the hardest by the economic downturn was college graduates, and as I have managed to time both of my graduating dates in the middle of bad economic times, I can attest that it sucks to be looking at a bad job market 6 months away from graduation.
For China, the problem is particularly acute due to the fact that China is putting out more than 6 million college graduates a year (everything is about numbers in China), and while the economy has posted more than 10% growth, the fact is that the economy is not producing jobs for them in the numbers needed. Sure, there are “labor shortages” occuring on the East coast (perhaps a 30% bump in pay would cure that), and no doubt there are plenty of bridges needing on-site engineers, but graduates are far more likely to stick it out in the big city for a high value jobs… banking, PR, accounting, logistics, etc… and were more interested in jobs that would offer more potential opportunity than a hard hat.
A plot that the above 6 minute clip offers a bit of perspective on.
Officially word came down with the Japanese Cabinet’s announced their economy put out 1.288 trillion USD, a few points below the 1.337 trillion China had reported earlier. Never mind that Japan is 10x as productive, or that the Japanese economy has essentially been limping along since the early 90s, or that this is not a annual figure (yet)… the law of numbers (and China’s 1.4 billion people) sealed the deal.
What does all this mean, and what should we make of this milestone? It was something I was asked a few hours back by hometown (St Louis) radio and TV reporter Charles Jaco as part of his roundup of the event where he asked my thoughts on the following issues:
- Everyone looks @ the Chinese economy as this thundering monolith. But do they have the same problems we do, i.e.–high unemployment, social dislocation, etc?.
- Everyone often
Risk. Everyone in China is exposed to it. Some recognize it, and act on it, better than others
This was the topic of several conversations between myself and Neal Beatty (Regional Director, Global Client Services for Control Risks). In some ways it was a followup to the interview I did of Dane Chamorro, his colleague, but this time it was over lunch and encompassed a much larger set of issues…. and given the importance nature of risk, I asked Neal if he would do All Roads readers the favor of answering a few questions about risk in China, if risks here are different than in other regions, and how good firms are at planning for and managing risk.
Below is part 1 of the interview, and with its focus on identifying the risks, and how firms work with “China” risk, there are lessons for everyone.
Strenger than Fiction / To a Martian, Zionism can be confusing - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
“Because the so-called anti-Zionists seem to be so obviously right, the so-called Zionists must be making a sophisticated joke when they say: ‘If you want a country that is Jewish and democratic, even though it doesn’t have a Jewish majority, it is not a dream.’ That would make a lot of sense, because Jews are supposed to be smart and to have a special sense of humor”. Aren't they?
Fascism is already here
If protesters didn't exist, Netanyahu, Livnat and Sa'ar would have to invent them. After all, these figures are the last living proof of a democratic regime in Israel.By Yossi Sarid
This weekend an important Israeli will celebrate his 87th birthday. Although he is the same age as Israel's president, and his influence on Israel's history has not been much smaller than the latter's.By Gideon Levy
Day 6 - Scotland (15 June 2009)
Loch Lomond is at the beginning of the Scottish highlands and is the largest expanse of fresh water in Britain. If you've only got limited time here, climb up into the hills where you'll get panoramic views of the deep, islanded-studded loch. We had the bonus of Mac the bagpipe player to add atmosphere.
After our easy half hour stroll, it was time to warm the cockles at a whisky distillery. Glengoyne is located just inside the boundary of the highlands and it stores its product across the road which is officially in the lowlands. Whisky-making in Scotland has a checkered past. It has been used as a currency and was once a method of paying rent. The brew has been made legally at Glengoyne since 1833 but there's not much talk about what went on before that!
I'm actually not a whisky drinker, but took part in a master blenders' class, experimenting with different combinations of the amber liquid including types classified as smoky, oaky, apple-tasting and dry. I reckon my concoction was pretty good and I'm taking it home to be sampled by more connoisseur whisky drinkers.
Lunch was at a country pub before heading to Stirling Castle where many a bloody battle has taken place, then to our own castle for the night.
Dalhousie Castle is situated around 20 minutes out of Edinburgh. The 700 year old fortress is now a hotel. Edward I stayed there before defeating William Wallace at the battle of Falkirk. Henry IV besieged it unsuccessfully for six months and Oliver Cromwell took it in 1648. Queen Victoria drank tea at the castle in 1840 and singer Sir Cliff Richards is the only recent celebrity staff will admit has been a resident there.
The castle is reputed to have its own ghost, Lady Catherine, who, according to legend, starved herself to death in the tower when she was forbidden from marrying her beloved laddie. Oddly enough, my allocated room was the Lady Catherine room, but I can report no untoward ghostly encounters. However, a colleague with a video camera went down into the dungeon in the wee hours of the morning and swears a chair next to her rose and crashed to the ground when she challenged the ghost to come forth. The video reveals a very frightened reporter running out of the dark room!
The next morning, I wandered up to the Dalhousie family grave yard, situated in the crumbling remains of what looks like an ancient chapel. The cemetery was located about 20 minutes walking distance from the castle and is surrounded by woods. No ghostly encounters there for me. Perhaps any spirits still roaming the earth know I'm too cynical to bother with.
The trip was virtually over at this point. I spent the next few hours in Edinburgh, racing around the castle then marching down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyrood House at the other end of the city to have a quick look around the place the Queen spends some of her time at during the summer.
Britain has been a great experience. Tea with Prince Philip, a walk around the Britannia, finding out British cuisine is really quite exciting, art galleries and museums galore all free of charge and a night in a 13th century castle. Competitive airfares and one of the best exchange rates in a very long time make traveling to the UK more affordable. Although I've seen a lot, my travels have created another list of things I want to see next time and here's hoping that won't be too far away!
Minneapolis, MN – This Thursday, August 26 from 12 to 2 PM join the band Lynhurst as they welcome Jeff Pulver’s #140conf Road Trip to The Mall of America with a special acoustic performance. (more…)
We live in violent times. Each day’s newspapers bring us news of more killings: encounters in Kashmir, honour murders in North India, terrorist groups who plant bombs in the name of Hinduism, violent Naxalite attacks and jehadi terrorism from across
Some weeks ago I wrote about the menace of unsolicited calls and text messages from telemarketers. I wrote that even though I had enrolled in the do-not-call register that should prevent the telemarketers from phoning or texting me, I got innumerable (around 15 a day) text messages advertising
No one quite knows what drives China's policies towards its neighbour India. Here are four theories on what Beijing thinks when it contemplates what the ancient Chinese called 'the land of Buddhist kingdoms'. In May, India's ambassador to China had said that while the two Asian giants had