News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

China Hype, Part 4: All this, you heard from me and others before. Now comes the assessment to which I would like everyone to pay a great deal of attention: "China sells little to the United States that Americans couldn’t buy for comparable prices and quality from India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. China, however, could not find a market anywhere near the size of that in America. Privately and candidly, Chinese scholars acknowledge this." ...Despite protectionist concerns in the U.S. that the manufacturing base is relocating to China, the fact is that the U.S. as the largest, richest buyer holds the leverage in the relationship, not China. China isn’t the only low-cost manufacturer available (in fact, even Chinese businessmen are moving to Vietnam for lower cost labor).
This is no rah-rah revolt: There is something refreshingly old-fashioned taking place in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal: a genuine revolution. Biff- since when has a revolution not ended in massacre? The exception which proves that rule of thumb is the US revolution, which did not uproot the wealthy and instead preserved the spirit of the existing political and judicial structures. Revolutions typically throw out the existing wealthy class (and the political and judicial structures) and replace it with another more earthy class, closer to the spirit of the people and thus better equipped for demagoguery and slaughter. Nepal's upper-caste Hindu rulers have institutionalised ancient customs to preserve their own privileges. Only last year was the custom of locking up menstruating women in cowsheds declared illegal. Biff- Down in the comments I was happy to find the following: Being a good Pakistani Muslim Tariq Ali sees upper caste Hindu conspiracies too easily. The King of Nepal and the very small circle supporting his autocratic rule do not constitute Nepal's entire upper castes. Most of them, especially the highest caste, the Brahmins, are out on the street demonstrating against him. This includes most of the leaders of the three main parliamentary political parties. This is the kind of small detail that Mr. Ali, the putative author of fiction, might wish to take on board when pretending to write political comment.
Solomons MP faces riot charge The court heard that Mr Dausabea, 46, told a crowd outside parliament last Tuesday, when Snyder Rini was elected prime minister: "We lost, you people go do what you like now." Later that same day, Mr Dausabea allegedly told a security guard at the Honiara Hotel, which is owned by Thomas Chan, the Chinese president of Mr Rini's political party: "You wait for me, I'm coming back to burn the Honiara Hotel." ...State media in China say more than 300 Chinese nationals have now arrived back in the south of the country after being evacuated from Honiara after the riots.
World Bank accused over malaria: They quote the bank saying that it reduced deaths from malaria in the Indian states of Gujarat by 58%, Maharashtra by 98% and Rajasthan by 79%. The authors say they doubted malaria could be reduced so markedly in such a short time and requested and obtained official statistics from India's own national malaria programme. According to India's Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, deaths from malaria rose in all three states in the 2002-3 period in question. "Because we were refused access to the original data sources, we cannot discern the cause of the bank's many statistical errors and particularly whether those errors arise from unintentional mistakes or from intentional data falsification or fabrication," the authors say.
In pictures: Tibetan nomads - Jigme is the head of an ethnic Tibetan family based in Sichuan province, western China. He and his family move camp throughout the year, in order to take advantage of the changing resources. They spend up to two months in one place. Approximately 40% of the ethnic Tibetan population is nomadic or semi-nomadic. ..."We offer butter and yoghurt to the lama. He hasn't gone to town for years so doesn't have much use for paper money."

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