Monday, March 27, 2017

Everybody Hates Beijing, Episode 32,761

Voter dissatisfaction can be expressed many ways, even in a sham election.
Also, It Gets Worse

China doesn't hold the economic leverage over Australia that most people think
Rory Metcalf in the Australian Financial Review 270300MAR17

...the perception that China could deliberately wreak major economic harm can have an outsized effect on domestic interests, creating pressures for rapid political compromise. 
The risk is that Australia will over-react to possible future Chinese economic threats and self-censor on issues perceived to be problematic for Beijing. Succumbing to pressure won't protect Australia from further pressure, as it will signal that such pressure works. 
These are vulnerabilities Australia can do more to address. One way is to strengthen transparency around the channels China – and other countries – use to build influence in Australia. Public awareness also needs to be improved about the true diversity and depth of Australia's economic relationships and the prospect that our prosperity will not depend comprehensively on China.

Very cheap, shameful China
Park Moojong in the Korea Times 231650MAR17

Not only South Koreans but many people around the world must have been lost for words when about 4,000 Chinese tourists on board a cruise ship "refused" to disembark at the harbor of Busan of their "own free will" to protest Seoul's refusal to give into Chinese pressure to give up THAAD. 
What ridiculous behavior! Why did their cruise ship call at the South Korean port. As a result, about 80 Busan tour buses waiting for the "patriotic" Chinese tourists helplessly left the pier... 
These are examples of Chinese retaliatory measures, which absolutely show that China is not big, but small, compared to such countries as the Netherlands and Singapore, which are small, but big ...

Why are Chinese moving to Malaysia by the thousands?
Tashny Sukumaran and Coco Liu in the SCMP 250000MAR17

Malaysia is experiencing a “third wave” of Chinese migration – after a 15th century influx and a tin mining boom in the 19th century – these days that isn’t at all limited to just MM2H participants, but also includes foreign workers, some of whom are undocumented. A fair number of these migrant workers are usually employed in low-skilled sectors such as construction or factory lines. Recently, 127 Chinese nationals were rounded up by the Sarawak Immigration Department and 16 of them lacked valid travel documents. 
This influx of Chinese migration comes at a time when Malaysia’s often fraught race relations are more complicated than ever, with a general election – always a good time for race to be made a political football – looming. In 2015, a pro-Malay protest with anti-Chinese sentiments drew the ire of Ambassador Huang Huikang, who said China would not ignore “infringement on China’s national interests or violations of legal rights and interests of Chinese citizens and businesses”, reported the media.

A Sea in Peril
Dan Southerland in Asia Times 251353MAR17

Chinese fishermen in search of valuable giant clams have destroyed vital coral reefs on a vast scale, although that practice now appears to be slowing. 
Rachael Bale of National Geographic, who has written extensively on the South China Sea, aptly summed up the situation early this year, saying that “While politicians argue over which country controls the region, the fishery … is on the brink of collapse.”

New Delhi's CPEC Conundrum
Harsh Pant in Eurasia Review 240000MAR17

The advantages of joining China’s multi-billion dollar One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative are quite apparent and the economic logic is very compelling. But it remains far from evident how India can join the project without challenging the very foundations of its foreign policy. China’s objective in promoting the $46 billion CPEC, which links China’s Muslim dominated Xinjiang province to the Gwadar deep sea port in Pakistan, is clear and the rationale behind Beijing’s desire to pump in huge sums into a highly volatile Pakistani territory is also understandable. Beijing is not doing this from the goodness of its heart to promote regional economic cooperation. The challenges to the project are huge as underscored by its militarisation. Even as Pakistan has deployed more than 15,000 troops to protect the CPEC, and is raising a naval contingent for the protection of Gwadar, China will also be stationing part of its growing marine forces at Gwadar.

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