To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure:
Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
Golden Buddha, Hidden Copper.
"Twelve years after the Taliban blew up the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas, a Chinese mining firm -- developing one of the world's largest copper deposits -- threatens to destroy
another of Afghanistan's archeological treasures
." Campaign to Save Mes Aynak
"Dwarfing even the $2 trillion borrowed for the Railway Ministry’s high-speed networks since 2008, and the thousands of kilometres of 4–6 lane toll roads with barely a vehicle on them, China’s building binge is the most striking example of what Prime Minister Wen Jiabao famously, but impotently, denounced in 2007 as the country’s “unbalanced, unstable, uncoordinated and unsustainable” model of economic development. Now, with house prices and sales sagging in response to government restrictions aimed at deflating history’s biggest ever property bubble, and with local governments as deep in bad debt as the developers, I asked the businessman what was to prevent the bubble actually bursting
, in a spectacular financial explosion? "
"The world's most important story"
– A decade of environmental journalism in China, by Guardian environment reporter Jonathan Watts.
We're All State Capitalists Now
'No, according to some commentators, the contest between the two Asian superpowers is also fundamentally a contest between economic models: market capitalism vs. state capitalism.' [more inside]
The Secret Document That Transformed China.
Planet Money story about Xiaogang village
in China that was hungry and desperate
in 1978, and how the risk the farmers took
ended up influencing the transformation of China.
China's economy poised to join the rest of us in the toilet.
I certainly hope one of you smart people can prove this article wrong.
Twilight Of The Autocrats
: Will the global economic downturn usher in a new era of democracy
, or will things only get worse
? [first link via
The FT's Davos blog
offers a range of informed comment as our leaders gather in Switzerland
to consider the economic mess we're in. But will the ongoing spat between the US and China over the renminbi exchange rate
overshadow all else at the World Economic Forum?
Can China Adjust to the US Adjustment?
Prof. Michael Pettis
of Beijing University on the macroeconomic parallels between the present crisis and that of the 1930s, with China playing the role today that the US played back then.
The Rise of the Rest
. Fareed Zakaria's Newsweek
article about a "post-American" world.
Corruption Threatens China's Future
In a new report for the Carnegie Foundation, Pei Minxin
offers an estimate that official corruption in China may cost as much as USD86bln each year - 0.65 percent of GDP and more than the education budget. He calls for economic and political reform; his critics might say no surprise there
"The model of economic development that we are currently pursuing is unsustainable. Our energy consumption per unit of GDP is seven times that of Japan, six times that of America, and even 2.8 times that of India. China’s labour productivity is less than 10 per cent of the world total, and yet our emissions are over 10 times higher than the global average.
" ~ Pan Yue - deputy director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). Part of a new generation of outspoken Chinese senior officials, Pan has given rise to a tide of environmental debate, attracting enormous attention and controversy.
Read his articles here : -
China: economic powerhouse, environmentally unsustainable
- part one
and part two
Power, corruption and lies.
An article in which one Will Hutton discusses China's weakness.
China. Abandons Communism.
May be about to lose its shirt.
While everybody on the pink side of Ebenezer Scrooge is pissing and moaning about the state of America, here's one American who thinks the state of the Middle Kingdom is at least equally interesting (as in ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times.")