Pubblicato in: Cina, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Russia. Un gigantesco rompighiaccio per Lng. – Bloomberg.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-17.

Yamal 001

I giacimenti di gas naturale nella zona di Yamal sono tra i più vasti del mondo, ma il loro sfruttamento è condizionato dalla situazione climatica al limite della vivibilità.

Russi e cinesi stanno facendo ogni possibile sforzo sia nel perfezionare le tecniche estrattive, sia nel trovare soluzioni idonee al trasporto a destinazione di quanto estratto.

La Russia ha intanto costruito una prima centrale atomica a bassa potenza galleggiante

Russia. Akademik Lomonosov. Prima centrale atomica mobile e galleggiante.

Questa enorme chiatta permette di disporre delle grandi quantità di energia necessarie alle trivellazioni, estrazioni e costruzione degli impianti estrattivi.  Poi, durante la notte artica si può lavorare soltanto con luce artificiale, e le maestranze hanno bisogno di un efficiente sistema di riscaldamento.

Resta il grande problema del trasporto a destinazione del gas. La costruzione di un gasdotto sarebbe al momento tecnicamente impossibile. La Russia ha optato per la liquefazione del gas estratto, per cui serve sicuramente l’impianto idoneo, ma altrettanto sicuramente delle navi Lng in grado di navigare nell’Artico anche in situazioni climatiche avverse: dei rompighiaccio.

Artico. 50% delle riserve minerarie.

Yamal. Gli Usa hanno perso, la Russia ha vinto e raddoppia. – Bloomberg

Russia. Yamal. Francia e Germania con il muso nella greppia delle sanzioni.

Cina, Groenlandia e ‘Polar Silk Road’.

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«The 1,000-foot-long vessels for hauling liquefied natural gas can cut through ice up to 7 feet thick.»

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«Until factories open on the moon or Mars, there’s no less hospitable an industrial workplace than Yamal LNG, a $27 billion liquid natural gas plant that lies in Russian territory 375 miles north of the Arctic Circle. In the winter, when there’s zero sun for more than two months, temperatures reach -13F on land and -58F in the blinding fog out at sea. But there’s a lot of fossil fuel in this wasteland—44 trillion cubic feet, the equivalent of about 8 billion barrels of oil. »

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«The tankers are the widest gas carriers ever built, at about 164 feet. Fully loaded, each carries the same volume as about 1 million barrels of oil. Together, the 15 will be able to carry 16.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas a year—enough to supply half of South Korea’s annual consumption, and close to the eventual output of Yamal LNG. They’ll travel west to Europe in the winter and east to Asia in the summer, moving through ice that’s up to 7 feet thick»

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Lo sfruttamento su larga scala dei giacimenti artici è iniziato.

Paesi ex-emergenti quali Cina ed India sono affamati di energetici. Nel volgere di una decina di anni dovrebbero decuplicare le propri richieste sul mercato.

Dimenticate Russia, Arabia, Iran, Opec. È la Cina che fa i prezzi del petrolio.

Cina. Arabia Saudita accetta i petro-yuan

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

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Si prospettano diversi decenni di grandi tensioni per l’accaparramento dei giacimenti ed il relativo trasporto dell’estratto.


Bloomberg. 2018-07-10. Russia Is Building $320 Million Icebreakers to Carve New Arctic Routes

The 1,000-foot-long vessels for hauling liquefied natural gas can cut through ice up to 7 feet thick.

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Until factories open on the moon or Mars, there’s no less hospitable an industrial workplace than Yamal LNG, a $27 billion liquid natural gas plant that lies in Russian territory 375 miles north of the Arctic Circle. In the winter, when there’s zero sun for more than two months, temperatures reach -13F on land and -58F in the blinding fog out at sea. But there’s a lot of fossil fuel in this wasteland—44 trillion cubic feet, the equivalent of about 8 billion barrels of oil. So Yamal LNG, controlled by Russian natural gas producer Novatek, has brought together partners to spend an unprecedented sum on a new kind of transportation that will be here much faster than self-driving cars or a casual afternoon spaceflight.

Conventional tankers still can’t handle the ice in the Arctic’s Kara Sea—even though it’s slowly but surely melting because of global warming. It would be extremely costly and time-consuming to provide smaller icebreaking ships as escorts for the tankers. That’s why an international collaboration of ship designers, engineers, builders, and owners is creating a minimum of fifteen 1,000-foot-long, $320 million tankers to break the ice themselves. “The vessel has to be able to perform her tasks in extremely harsh conditions,” says Mika Hovilainen, an icebreaker specialist at Aker Arctic Technology Inc., the Helsinki company that designed the ships. “Systems have to work properly in a very wide range of temperatures.”

The tankers are the widest gas carriers ever built, at about 164 feet. Fully loaded, each carries the same volume as about 1 million barrels of oil. Together, the 15 will be able to carry 16.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas a year—enough to supply half of South Korea’s annual consumption, and close to the eventual output of Yamal LNG. They’ll travel west to Europe in the winter and east to Asia in the summer, moving through ice that’s up to 7 feet thick.

Icebreakers don’t break ice like a barbecue host crushing up a bag from the local convenience store. The ships’ hulls are designed to bend the edge of the ice sheet downward, snapping the sheet with pressure distributed across its surface. In 7-foot-thick ice, the tanker’s stern, which is the end of the ship designed to break heavy ice, faces forward. The first tanker, which began operating in December, can move at 7.2 knots (8.3 mph) stern-forward in thick ice. It was the first vessel to sail the Northern Sea Route from Siberia to the Bering Strait, setting a time to beat of 6½ days.

The ship is part of a much bigger game. “This is perhaps the largest step forward in our developing of the Arctic,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December at the opening of the Yamal LNG facility. Citing the 18th century poet Mikhail Lomonosov’s prediction that Russia would expand through Siberia, Putin said, “Now we can safely say that Russia will expand through the Arctic this and next century. This is where the largest mineral reserves are located. This is the site of a future transport artery that I am sure will be very good and efficient: the Northern Sea Route.”

Along the routes the carriers will be traveling, the wildly varying ice conditions and depths require a hull that’s both durable and designed specifically to sweep broken ice out of the way. Aker’s engineers meticulously tested their design through simulations and then scale models in a 250-foot-long, 26-foot-deep test basin, crashing model ships into dummy ice to see which parts of the hull needed more or less reinforcement. They also took care not to overarmor the tankers, so as not to slow them down unnecessarily on open water.

Bending ice into submission requires enormous power. The tankers are propelled by three 15-megawatt, natural gas-powered generators—any one of the vessels could power as many as 35,000 U.S. homes. To avoid working the generators too hard, the ships’ massive thrusters, produced by Swedish-Swiss engineering giant ABB Ltd., decouple the engines from the propellers. That is to say, the propellers can spin faster or slower without making the engine “roar up and down,” says Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s industrial automation division. Separating the engine and the propeller workload improves fuel efficiency by 20 percent, according to ABB. As a bonus, “you get much better maneuverability,” Terwiesch says. Turning a supertanker has never been easier.

Although LNG tankers have been around for half a century, ferrying fuel from the arid Middle East, there’d been no need for ice-rated models until the past decade, when Norway’s Snohvit and Russia’s Sakhalin-2 projects pioneered gas production in colder climes. Yamal LNG’s port, Sabetta, was designed and built in tandem with the ships that would serve it.

The other trend making the massive icebreakers feasible is humanity’s prodigious climate-warming pollution. The Russian half of the Arctic is becoming passable much more quickly than the U.S.-Canadian side. The carriers chartered to Yamal LNG are supposed to have a life span of 40 years, so they’ll likely still be at sea in the 2040s, when climate scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer. “Further development of the Arctic and its resources is inevitable,” says Keith Haines, a meteorology professor at the University of Reading who studies Arctic shipping. “The commitment is there.”

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Cina, Terrorismo Islamico

Cinesi, gente pratica. Risolto il problema dell’integralismo islamico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-17.

Cina

Se non avessero ancora un qualche peso politico ed economico, professando per di più un’ideologia balzana e bislacca, i liberal sarebbero davvero gente da baraccone.

Quando la Catalogna fece un referendum per staccarsi dal resto della Spagna, insorsero come un sol uomo per difendere il sacro suolo spagnolo dalle mire secessioniste dei populisti sovranisti. Avvallarono con gioia il fatto che l’allora Premier Rajoy avesse fatto intervenire l’esercito e che avesse fatto arrestare gli esponenti secessionisti. Ancora adesso la Catalogna è tenuta come un dominio spagnolo: i catalani lavorano e producono, gli spagnoli li tassano e si spartiscono il maltolto.

Quando il Regno Unito si stancò di essere preso a calci nei denti dall’Unione Europea e votò la Brexit. I liberal strillarono come tacchini spennati vivi: l’Unione Europea è una ed indivisibile, ed è a reggenza liberal.

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Quando però si parla dei movimenti separatisti nella Cina la musica cambia.

I cinesi sono ‘illiberali’, autoritari per non dire totalitari: non consentono alla minoranza di Hong Kong di separarsi dalla madrepatria, mettono fuori legge i separatisti (come hanno fatto peraltro gli spangoli), e guardano con forte sospetto il separatismo islamico, che ospita tra l’altro nuclei terroristici.

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Due pesi e due misure, come di abitudine per i liberal.

Adesso il Governo centrale cinese ha perso la pazienza.

«Chinese authorities in the far-northwestern region of Xinjiang on Wednesday revised legislation to permit the use of “education and training centers” to combat religious extremism.»

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«In practice, the centers are internment camps in which as many as 1 million minority Muslims have been placed in the past 12 months»

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«The amended legislation states that Chinese regional governments “can set up vocational education and training centers … to educate and transform those who have been influenced by extremism.”»

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«However, besides teaching the Mandarin language and providing vocational skills, the centers are now directed to provide “ideological education, psychological rehabilitation and behavior correction” under the new clause.»

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«The Chinese government has for decades tried to suppress pro-independence movements among Xinjiang’s Muslim community, spurred largely by frustration over the influx of migrants from China’s Han majority»

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«Chinese authorities say that extremists in the region have ties to terror groups»

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«The European Union’s top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, expressed similar concerns last week»

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I cinesi sono persone pratiche.

Gli islamici uiguri a kazaki non ne vogliono sapere di imparare il cinese?

Gli islamici non ne vogliono sapere di imparare un lavoro?

Gli islamici si baloccano con l’integralismo e si allevano i loro terroristi?

Nessun problema.

Tutti assieme in campo di concentramento, ed il problema è risolto.

È un metodo che potrebbe anche essere valutato nei confronti degli immigrati clandestini illegali nel nostro continente.


Deutsche Welle. 2018-10-11. China’s Xinjiang region legalizes Muslim internment camps

China’s regional government in Xinjiang has amended its laws to effectively legalize internment camps targeting Muslim minorities. Some 1 million Muslims are currently thought to be held in such centers.

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Chinese authorities in the far-northwestern region of Xinjiang on Wednesday revised legislation to permit the use of “education and training centers” to combat religious extremism.

In practice, the centers are internment camps in which as many as 1 million minority Muslims have been placed in the past 12 months, according to rights groups and NGO reports.

The amended legislation states that Chinese regional governments “can set up vocational education and training centers … to educate and transform those who have been influenced by extremism.”

However, besides teaching the Mandarin language and providing vocational skills, the centers are now directed to provide “ideological education, psychological rehabilitation and behavior correction” under the new clause.

Beijing denies that the centers serve as internment camps but has admitted that even petty criminals have been sent to such centers. Former detainees have told rights groups that they were forced to denounce Islam and made to profess their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

“It’s a retrospective justification for the mass detainment of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang,” James Leibold, a scholar of Chinese ethnic policies at Melbourne’s La Trobe University, told the AP news agency. “It’s a new form of re-education that’s unprecedented and doesn’t really have a legal basis, and I see them scrambling to try to create a legal basis for this policy.”

Members of the Uighur, Kazakh and other Muslim minorities who live abroad have indicated they have been unable to contact their relatives in China.

The Chinese government has for decades tried to suppress pro-independence movements among Xinjiang’s Muslim community, spurred largely by frustration over the influx of migrants from China’s Han majority.

Chinese authorities say that extremists in the region have ties to terror groups, but have given little evidence to support that claim.

The latest legislation comes after the regional government launched a crackdown on halal products and banned the wearing of veils.

China faces international condemnation over camps

Following the Xinjiang region’s law change, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers proposed legislation on Wednesday urging President Donald Trump to condemn the “gross violations” of human rights in the northwestern Chinese region.

The proposal put forward by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China calls on Trump to press his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to immediately shut down what it described as “political re-education camps.”

It also proposes imposing sanctions against Xinjiang’s Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo under the Magnitsky Act, which would prevent him from entering the US and freeze any assets he has in US banks.

“China’s authoritarianism at home directly threatens our freedoms as well as our most deeply held values and national interests,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Representative Chris Smith, both Republicans, said in a joint statement.

The European Union’s top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, expressed similar concerns last week.

The measures proposed by US lawmakers come as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate over tariff disputes and American complaints about China’s technology policy.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Ideologia liberal

Cinesi, gente strana. Si incazzano se gli si sputa negli occhi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-08.

Cina

La domanda è estremamente semplice:

Ma chi si crede di essere Mr Victor Mallet?

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«Hong Kong has refused to renew a work visa for the Asia news editor of the Financial Times»

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«Victor Mallet is also vice-president of the city’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC), which upset local and Chinese authorities by hosting a separatist speaker in August»

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«China is highly sensitive about the territory’s sovereignty»

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«Mr Mallet was acting president at the FCC when the event featuring young independence activist Andy Chan was held.»

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«China’s ministry of foreign affairs urged the club to cancel it and Hong Kong’s top official, Carrie Lam, criticised the talk as “regrettable and inappropriate”.»

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«In August, Hong Kong’s former leader CY Leung addressed an open Facebook letter to Mr Mallet, saying the FCC talk had “nothing to do with press freedom”»

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«He expressed concerns that after Mr Chan’s talk the club could also invite Taiwanese separatist speakers»

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Andiamo al sodo.

Mr Victor Mallet, editor of the Financial Times for the Asia news, sparla ad ugula dispiegata contro la Repubblica Popolare Cinese, invita dissidenti che propugnano la secessione di Honk Kong dalla Cina ed infine vorrebbe invitare personaggi di Taiwan. E vorrebbe anche che i cinesi se fossero felici e contenti.

Benissimo!

Se lo faccia a casa sua e non cerchi di farlo in Cina.

È il Financial Times che ha bisogno della Cina, non la Cina del Financial Times.

Vada a farsi consolare dalla proprietà del Financial Times.


Bbc. 2018-10-06. Hong Kong rejects visa for FT editor Victor Mallet

Hong Kong has refused to renew a work visa for the Asia news editor of the Financial Times, sparking concerns from the UK government.

Victor Mallet is also vice-president of the city’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC), which upset local and Chinese authorities by hosting a separatist speaker in August.

Hong Kong did not explain its visa decision.

China is highly sensitive about the territory’s sovereignty.

The former British colony was handed back in 1997 on condition it would retain “a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” for 50 years.

China’s ire puts Hong Kong activist in spotlight

China operates a “one country, two system” agreement, with freedom of speech and press freedom among the key liberties that set Hong Kong apart from the mainland.

The UK Foreign Office says it has asked Hong Kong’s authorities for an “urgent explanation” of the visa rejection.

Mr Mallet was acting president at the FCC when the event featuring young independence activist Andy Chan was held.

China’s ministry of foreign affairs urged the club to cancel it and Hong Kong’s top official, Carrie Lam, criticised the talk as “regrettable and inappropriate”.

Pro-Beijing groups rallied outside the FCC, calling for the organisation to “get out of Hong Kong”.

However, the club defended its decision and the talk went ahead.

What is the media like in Hong Kong?

How Chinese authorities censor your thoughts

Mr Mallet has been running the Financial Times’ Asia operations for almost two years.

“This is the first time we have encountered this situation in Hong Kong. We have not been given a reason for the rejection,” the news organisation said in a statement.

The FCC said: “Hong Kong rightly prides itself on its reputation as a place where the rule of law applies and where freedom of speech is protected by law. In the absence of any reasonable explanation, the FCC calls on the Hong Kong authorities to rescind their decision.”

In August, Hong Kong’s former leader CY Leung addressed an open Facebook letter to Mr Mallet, saying the FCC talk had “nothing to do with press freedom”

What’s behind the China-Taiwan divide?

How a coffee in LA sparked a diplomatic row

“Press freedom is a core value that Hong Kong treasures so much that the government of Hong Kong leased the Club [the FFC] at a token rent the building on Ice House Street in Central,” he wrote.

He expressed concerns that after Mr Chan’s talk the club could also invite Taiwanese separatist speakers.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and will not accept talk about its independence.

Last month, Hong Kong banned the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), saying that it posed a threat to national security.

It was the first time that the territory has banned a political party since Hong Kong was returned to China from the UK.

Pubblicato in: Amministrazione, Cina, Devoluzione socialismo

Servizi sanitari. Valutazione mondiale dei benefici/costi. – Bloomberg

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-08.

2018-09-25__Health Care 001

Bloomberg è uscito con una ponderoso articolo che compara i servizi sanitari di 56 differenti nazioni, assumendo come criteri uno score di efficienza ed il costo assoluto riportato in Usd.

L’articolo, di grande interesse per i cultori del tema specifico, si presta però ad una considerazione ben più generale ed importante: la valutazione del rapporto beneficio / costo.

Sotto questa ottica importa relativamente poco come siano stati ottenuti gli score di efficienza ed il costo.

«The U.S. had the second-highest per-capita spending on health care at $9,536. Switzerland’s average based on gross domestic product was $9,818. But that $282 supplement helped deliver an extra 4.2 years of life — with the average Swiss lifespan of almost 83»

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«Compared to residents of the Czech Republic — which had an average life expectancy almost at parity with the U.S. — Americans spent more than double on health care relative to GDP, 16.8 percent versus 7.3 percent»

Consideriamo la seguente Tabella estratta da quelle fornite da Bloomberg.

2018-09-25__Health Care 002

Gli Stati Uniti spendono 9,536 Usd per ottenere un’efficienza del 29.6, mentre la Svizzera ne spende 9,818 Usd contro un’efficienza del 58.4.

Valutiamo gli estremi.

La Cina spende 426 Usd per una dignitosa efficienza al 54.6. La Svezia ha un’efficienza del 53.2, quasi eguale a quella cinese, ma spende 5,800 Usd. Hong Kong spende 2,222 Usd ed ottiene un’efficienza di 87.3

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Questi dati consentirebbero di trarne alcune considerazioni della massima importanza.

Se sicuramente senza investimenti nulla può essere ottenuto, se altrettanto sicuramente i risultati perseguiti dipendano anche in parte dal volume di risorse rese disponibili, contemporaneamente si dovrebbe constatare come sia più importante la corretta gestione della spesa rispetto a tutte le altre variabili di interesse.

Il caso paramount è la comparazione tra Stati Uniti e Svizzera: con investimenti quasi eguali i primi hanno una efficienza del 29.6 ed i secondi del 58.4, ossia quasi il doppio.

Ragionando su scala così grossolanamente macroscopica, oltre alla struttura organizzativa entra anche in gioco la mentalità nazionale.

Un secondo elemento che emerge è la considerazione di quanto possa costare il miglioramento della efficienza.

Dai dati riportati dovrebbe essere chiaro come maggiori investimenti producano ben poco, se non punto, incremento di efficienza.

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Questi dati sono di una semplicità disarmante, ma nella vita servirebbe anche avere il coraggio e l’acume di guardare e considerare le cose semplici. La troppa complessità troppo spesso racchiude interessi che molti non vorrebbero emergessero alla luce.


Bloomberg. 2018-09-23. These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care

– Americans’ life expectancy of 79 years lags behind 25 nations’

– Bloomberg Health-Efficiency Index tracks medical costs, value

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Want medical care without quickly draining your fortune? Try Singapore or Hong Kong as your healthy havens.

The U.S. will cost you the most for treatment, both in absolute terms and relative to average incomes, while life expectancy of Americans — about 79 years — was exceeded by more than 25 countries and territories, according to an annual Bloomberg analysis in almost 200 economies.

A health-efficiency index was then created to rank those with average lifespans of at least 70 years, GDP per-capita exceeding $5,000 and a minimum population of 5 million.

Americans aren’t getting their medical money’s worth, according to each of the categories.

The U.S. had the second-highest per-capita spending on health care at $9,536. Switzerland’s average based on gross domestic product was $9,818. But that $282 supplement helped deliver an extra 4.2 years of life — with the average Swiss lifespan of almost 83.

READ MORE: U.S. Health system ranked among the least efficient in the world, before and during first year of Obamacare HERE, and HERE and HERE.

Compared to residents of the Czech Republic — which had an average life expectancy almost at parity with the U.S. — Americans spent more than double on health care relative to GDP, 16.8 percent versus 7.3 percent. Health spending is the U.S. is estimated to increase to 18 percent of GDP in the U.S., according to estimates from the Altarum Institute.

The latest reading of the Bloomberg index reflects the second full year of “Obamacare,” the short name for the U.S. Affordable Care Act, which expanded access to health insurance and provided payment subsidies starting on Jan. 1, 2014. The latest health-efficiency gauge used 2015 data, as that’s the most-recent for most economies from the World Health Organization.

That lag time also puts the spotlight on the U.K., which fell out of Europe’s top 10 in the health ranking based on 2015 data. The nation voted in favor of Brexit the following year, with costs and efficiency of the National Health Service a key issue for British voters.

Spain’s health system efficiency ranked third behind Hong Kong and Singapore, followed by that of Italy, which moved up two spots from a year earlier. Italy ranked as the world’s healthiest country in a separate Bloomberg gauge.

Thailand moved up 14 places to No. 27, the biggest annual improvement, as per-capita spending declined 40 percent to only $219, while life expectancy advanced to 75.1 years. Medical tourism industry is among Thailand’s fastest-growing industries.

Chile, highest-ranked from Latin America last year, tumbled 23 positions, out of the top 10 to 31st, well behind Mexico and Costa Rica. The Chilean government spent 28 basis points more on health expenditure relative to annual GDP, while longevity of its citizens fell more than two years.

Israel and the U.A.E. ranked highest among Middle East economies, with both remaining in the top 10 from last year’s survey.

Costa Rica, Ireland, Lebanon and New Zealand were added to the final index this year, having reached the population threshold — all now ranking among the top 25.

Rankings can change substantially year-over-year because of such things as recession, currency fluctuations and volatile spending patterns relative to the slow pace of improvement in life expectancy.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina

Cina. Mica solo armamenti nuovi di zecca.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-04.

Cina

«The Chinese military has made dramatic

improvements in its military capabilities.»


Progettare e costruire armamenti allo stato dell’arte è cosa difficile, che richiede non solo centri di ricerca ed industrie specializzate nel campo, ma anche e soprattutto un amplissimo tessuto scientifico ed industriale a corolla della produzione militare.

Vi è un aspetto però che eleva la capacità produttiva bellica a vera arte: progettare armi, sistemi di arma, che siano facilmente manutenibili e che possano accomodare tutti i miglioramenti che via via possano essere diventati utili o necessari.

È un concetto facile da esprimersi ma molto difficile da interiorizzare. Attuarlo poi è ancor più improbo.

Aver progettato un device in modo tale da renderne possibile gli upgrade non solo consente risparmi consistenti, ma permette anche di rendere meno facilmente obsoleti gli armamenti.

Così, una nave vecchiotta ma rammodernata a dovere ritorna ad essere non meno temibile di quelle di ultima generazione.

«Buoyed by a rapidly growing economy and increasing defense industrial capabilities, China’s military continues to field large numbers of increasingly sophisticated and capable military equipment.»

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«Impressive as China’s defense industrial output has been, the annual flow of new equipment constitutes just a small fraction of the total inventory and military equipment generally remains in service for 20-40 years.»

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«After all, two decades of increasingly intense and comprehensive Chinese military modernization make clear that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not only interested in fielding as much equipment as possible or even the largest possible numbers of the latest equipment. Instead, it prioritizes resources, buying new equipment where and when necessary while upgrading older in-service systems to make the most out of their service life»

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«In the naval and aviation realms, this has included upgrades of existing equipment, which, although less visible, have important implications for Chinese military power»

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«Since 2011, just as production at Chinese shipyards was reaching its ongoing period of high intensity, China began upgrading some of its existing warships. The first were the two Type 052-class destroyers, the first modern destroyers built by China. At the time that they were upgraded, the youngest of the Type 052s was 17 years old, meaning that this was a mid-life upgrade. New air defense systems were added, improving survivability against cruise missiles while also reducing manpower requirements. To improve the detection of aerial targets, a Type 517M radar was installed.»

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«To facilitate longer-range deployments, a satellite communications (SATCOM) system was also added»

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«Whereas these changes are visible, changes, if any, to internal systems cannot be discerned from imagery. That said, it can be reasonably assumed that the combat management system (CMS) was modified to integrate the new sensors and armaments.»

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«the upgraded Type 052-class destroyers are not very impressive. In many respects, however, this is largely a function of them being relatively obsolete even they were built. Old and obsolescent warships are difficult to upgrade comprehensively, and the cost is rarely worthwhile, particularly given ongoing production of much more advanced warships.»

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I cinesi hanno la grande dote di essere persone pratiche, di buon senso. Amano il presentarsi sottotono, il cercare di sembrare sempre più deboli di quanto non siano in realtà.

Al momento almeno, sono solo preoccupati di consolidare il loro ruolo locoregionale, e le forze armate sono commensurate e queste mansioni. Per il momento hanno militarizzato il mare Cinese del Sud, e per far ciò la loro marina a la loro aviazione è sufficiente. Poi, gradualmente, cercheranno di affacciarsi sull’Oceano Pacifico e su quello Indiano, se non altro per proteggere le proprie rotte commerciali. Ma questo è un capitolo futuro.


The Diplomat. 2018-09-24. Less Visible Aspects of Chinese Military Modernization

Besides new equipment, we need to pay attention to how China is upgrading old systems.

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Buoyed by a rapidly growing economy and increasing defense industrial capabilities, China’s military continues to field large numbers of increasingly sophisticated and capable military equipment. Every year, photos of new ships, planes, and missiles emerge, providing analysts with important datapoints to assess Chinese military capabilities. Although the quality of analyses of material aspects of Chinese military power has been very good and continues to improve, there has been something of bias toward emphasizing new pieces of equipment over upgrades of existing equipment. This is unfortunate for it leads to an underestimation of Chinese military power and a misunderstanding of possible future trajectories.

Impressive as China’s defense industrial output has been, the annual flow of new equipment constitutes just a small fraction of the total inventory and military equipment generally remains in service for 20-40 years. Hence, it is important that analysts keep track of what China does with its existing equipment. After all, two decades of increasingly intense and comprehensive Chinese military modernization make clear that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not only interested in fielding as much equipment as possible or even the largest possible numbers of the latest equipment. Instead, it prioritizes resources, buying new equipment where and when necessary while upgrading older in-service systems to make the most out of their service life. In the naval and aviation realms, this has included upgrades of existing equipment, which, although less visible, have important implications for Chinese military power.

Upgrades of Existing Warships

For over a decade, Chinese shipyards have not only cranked out large numbers of new warships, they have also fielded entirely new designs. Since 2010, for example, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has fielded three progressively more capable destroyer classes. Although production rates have been impressive, modernizing a fleet the size of China’s is a decades-long process, the end of which heralds the replacement of the first wave of modern vessels. In the interim, when facing adversaries, the PLAN will go to war with both very modern and older vessels. Therefore, the scope and effects of upgrades to existing ships, if any, is an important and underexamined part of assessing China’s naval capabilities. Analysts are fortunate in that pictures of individual warships are more readily available than those of individual aircraft and that major improvement in the capabilities of a warship are generally visible.

Since 2011, just as production at Chinese shipyards was reaching its ongoing period of high intensity, China began upgrading some of its existing warships. The first were the two Type 052-class destroyers, the first modern destroyers built by China. At the time that they were upgraded, the youngest of the Type 052s was 17 years old, meaning that this was a mid-life upgrade. New air defense systems were added, improving survivability against cruise missiles while also reducing manpower requirements. To improve the detection of aerial targets, a Type 517M radar was installed. To facilitate longer-range deployments, a satellite communications (SATCOM) system was also added. None of these upgrades required major structural changes as would happen if the limited capability HQ-7 surface to air missile (SAM) system was replaced with a more capable system using a vertical launch system (VLS). Whereas these changes are visible, changes, if any, to internal systems cannot be discerned from imagery. That said, it can be reasonably assumed that the combat management system (CMS) was modified to integrate the new sensors and armaments.

On balance, the upgraded Type 052-class destroyers are not very impressive. In many respects, however, this is largely a function of them being relatively obsolete even they were built. Old and obsolescent warships are difficult to upgrade comprehensively, and the cost is rarely worthwhile, particularly given ongoing production of much more advanced warships. In other cases, however, China appears to have judged the cost and complexity of upgrading small classes of warships worthwhile and has invested in more comprehensive upgrades.

In 2014, China began upgrading the two oldest of the four-strong Russian built Sovremennyy-class destroyers. Although these were very capable warships relative to China’s fleet circa 2000, there is a very large gap between their capabilities and those of the latest Chinese warships. The upgrades help address such deficiencies for the second half of their service lives. Compared to the changes made to the Type 052-class, the upgrades to the Sovremenny have been far more impactful. The 48 Russian VLS cells for the Russian Shtil SAM have reportedly been replaced with 32 Chinese VLS cells. Although fewer in number, the PLAN’s logistical requirements are eased by not longer having to support this aging foreign system. Moreover, the new VLS can launch both Chinese HQ-16 SAMs as well as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile. Other major changes include the installation of a new air search radar and the reported replacement of the supersonic Russian Moskit anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) with the analogous Chinese YJ-12. Overall, open source imagery analysis indicates that there are over a dozen identifiable changes to the armaments and sensors carried by the two upgraded Sovremennyy-class destroyers.

In 2015, China began upgrading the single Type 051B destroyer, underscoring the PLAN’s desire to not let even a single hull go to waste. After 16 years of service, the ship’s limited air defense capability received a dramatic improvement. The HQ-7 SAM system, with a dozen or so kilometers range, was been replaced with the HQ-16 SAM with a range of around 50 kilometers. More importantly, whereas the ship previously only carried 16 HQ-7 SAMs (eight ready to fire), it is now equipped with 32 VLS cells (all ready to fire) equipped with longer-ranged HQ-16 SAMs. To guide these missiles and improve aerial coverage, a more advanced Type 382 radar was installed. Other changes were made to the helicopter hangar, air defense guns, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. All things considered, these upgrades have made the Type 051B destroyer a much more capable warship, one warranting consideration in military assessments for the next 10 or so years that it is expected to remain in service.

                         Upgrading Existing Aircraft

Every year, China adds dozens of new combat aircraft as well as large numbers of supporting platforms, such as airborne early warning aircraft (AEW). Over the past decade or so, the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) and the PLAN have fielded 11 KJ-200 AEW aircraft. Although a decent complement to the five larger and more capable KJ-2000 AEW aircraft that China fielded in the same period, the KJ-200’s design did not allow for 360-degree radar coverage, a major limitation. At the same time, observers of the Chinese military had evidence by 2013 that a new AEW aircraft was under development. More or less based on the same airframe as the KJ-200, the new KJ-500 used a different radar design which, amongst other things, allowed for 360-degree coverage.

Although this new platform heralded a coming improvement in Chinese AEW capabilities, it did not change the limited capabilities of the 11 existing KJ-200 aircraft, which had decades of service ahead of them. In 2016, observers caught their first glimpse of an upgraded KJ-200 airframe, reportedly designated the KJ-200A. The most obvious change was the addition of rather large new forward-looking radar to improve radar coverage. Whether changes were made to the internal components is unclear but not unlikely given China’s rapid advances in defense electronics. In late 2017, evidence emerged of a further upgrade for the KJ-200 fleet, one adding a SATCOM system and passive electronic sensors to complement the radar picture. Overall, then, although the number of KJ-200 aircraft remains fixed at 11 and even though they have been complemented by growing numbers of the newer KJ-500 aircraft, upgrades to the KJ-200 result in the continued improvement of China’s AEW without gaining the attention that new designs and new airframes do.

Chinese combat aircraft have also become progressively more capable, with existing aircraft receiving upgrades and subsequent batches of production also improved. In some cases, such as the J-10 fighter jet, changes are very visible. Observers comparing a picture of the first variant of the J-10 and a J-10B can identify a different radome, air intake design, and the addition of an infrared search & track (IRIST) sensor, for example. These, however, are differences between new-build aircraft and many of these changes, such as the different air intake design, cannot be backfitted to existing airframes.

Other developments, however, can be backfitted and analysts have photographic evidence that PLAAF and PLANAF aircraft receive upgrades, showing that these services do not commit all their resources to new construction. Combat aircraft have been upgraded with new radio antennae and the integration of new, more capable munitions. Some aircraft, such as J-11A fighter jets, have received missile approach warning system (MAWS) years after entering service. Others, such as the J-11B, have received electronic countermeasures (ECM) pods. Although not likely to elicit headlines in the manner of new aircraft designs or even new munitions, these small developments herald important advances in capabilities. In these cases, the result is that Chinese fighter aircraft have better defenses against adversary missiles and radar.

Although the underlying technologies can be integrated across all Chinese aircraft, these are platform specific upgrades. In contrast, munitions can be integrated onto a wide range of aircraft, as the case of the new PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile indicates. Other important Chinese munitions, such as the supersonic YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missile, have been integrated onto older aircraft, including the PLANAF’s H-6G bomber. ECM pods have also been integrated onto multiple designs, including several variants of the H-6 bomber family and the JH-7 fighter-bomber. Without such relatively unglamorous equipment, Chinese strike aircraft are likely to struggle against adversary air defenses. With these and their new munitions and supported by other PLAAF and PLANAF capabilities, however, they are increasingly capable of successfully completing their missions.

What to Look Out for in the Naval Realm

It remains to be seen how many in-service warships and aircraft will receive major upgrades and mid-life modernizations. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that China will start midlife upgrades for its two Type 052B-class destroyers in the next few years and the two Type 051C-class and the two newer Sovremennyy-class destroyers a few years later. If extant upgrade projects are a good indicator, then it is likely that these ships will have their Russian VLS systems replaced with multirole Chinese VLS systems. Sensors and communications are also likely to be upgraded, bringing them in line with the rest of the fleet.

Other things to look for are upgrade programs to backfit design alterations to ships well in advance of their midlife upgrade. For example, by the time construction of the class wraps up in 2019, just under half of the 30 strong Type 054A-class frigate fleet will be equipped with variable depth sonars (VDS). Although it is not essential for all large PLAN warships to be equipped with such a potent ASW sensor, the PLAN may want more VDS-equipped ships and may upgrade some of these recently commissioned frigates. Similarly, as advanced ASCMs, particularly those capable of hypersonic speeds, proliferate in the region, the PLAN may have to make heavy investment into upgrading radars, electronic countermeasures, and air defenses of even relatively new vessels. Today, China has just six destroyers needing upgrade in the next few years. In a decade, however, it may have to upgrade some two dozen currently very new destroyers to keep up with qualitative advances in the ASCM threat.

The secrecy veiling China’s submarine fleet and the contained nature of a submarine’s equipment make it difficult to discern if Chinese submarines are being upgraded and what the effects of these upgrades are. Although unconfirmed, stills from a recent Chinese news broadcast may indicate that China has lengthened one of its Russian-built Kilo-class submarines, presumably to install an air independent propulsion (AIP) system. Such an effort would not be without parallel, as Sweden demonstrated with the insertion of a hull section containing AIP onto its Västergötland-class submarines. Assuming that China has undertaken such an effort, then it may equip its 11 other Kilo-class and 13 Song-class submarines with AIP, complementing its 17 or so AIP-equipped Yuan-class submarines. This would give the PLAN over 40 AIP submarines even without major new construction and, more importantly, greatly improve the capabilities of its submarine force. Similarly, it remains to be seen if the munitions used by the PLAN submarine fleet are standardized and whether highly capable munitions, such as the new YJ-18 supersonic ASCM, are integrated onto all existing submarines.

What to Look Out for in the Aviation Realm

As production of fourth-generation fighter aircraft such as the J-10 and J-11 family eventually draws down and as the number of fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft in service approaches the PLA’s force structure requirements, counting the number of aircraft produced and tabulating the inventory will become increasingly limited in terms of analytic utility. Instead, analysts will have to pay greater attention to what the PLA does with its fielded hardware and assess the implications of upgrades. In some cases, these upgrades will be visible and can be identified through careful imagery analysis. For example, it is not enough to know that China has apparently developed and fielded a very capable air-to-air missile, such as the PL-15. The important questions are how many missiles are produced and how many aircraft are capable of fielding them. Unfortunately, the PLA’s secrecy renders impossible the answering of the first question. The second question, however, can be answered by observing and tracking which aircraft types fly with a given munition.

Similarly, although the radars mounted on Chinese fighter jets are becoming increasingly capable, China currently fields hundreds of competitive fourth generation aircraft with older, less capable radar designs. It remains to be seen whether China will mount the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars found on its latest J-10 and J-11 fighter jet variants on older variants of these aircraft. Similarly, with so many variants of each of these aircraft in service, the logistical burden of sustaining such a diverse fleet will grow until a standardization upgrade of avionics and electronics takes place, a process similar to the Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP) which the U.S. Air Force undertook to standardize its disparate F-16 fighter jet inventory. In other cases, however, the development of capabilities in fielded forces will be less visible. To understand advances in defense electronics, including those installed on upgraded airframes, analysts will have to examine Chinese technical journals and follow the activities of China’s electronics industry.

More Than Meets the Eye

The Chinese military has made dramatic improvements in its military capabilities. Many of these developments are both visible and measurable. Analysts know, for example, that the PLAN has commissioned dozens of new warships in the past few years. Similarly, they can discern that these warships are increasingly capable, featuring more advanced munitions and sensors. But improvements in Chinese military capabilities do not only come from the continued production and fielding of new hardware. Older systems – even those fielded over a decade ago – constitute the bulk of the inventory and are likely to remain in service for decades to come. Even with high rates of production, the annual flow of new equipment is just a small fraction of the total inventory that can be used in conflict at any given time.

Rather than devoting all of its resources into new production, the Chinese military is making greater investment into upgrades of its existing hardware. In the naval and aerial realms, this has considerably improved Chinese capabilities without getting the attention that newly built hardware receives upon entering service. With upgrades to the same existing platforms, China’s military is more capable than it was just a few years ago. As China’s force structure stabilizes and as the inventory of modern equipment matures, identifying and assessing upgrades of existing equipment will become ever more important to understanding Chinese military capabilities. Analysts would do well to pay more attention to these less visible aspects of Chinese military modernization.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Tedeschi cacciati dalla Cina. I cinesi sono davvero permalosi, ‘illiberali’.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-09-18.

Pechino-Città-Proibita-da-Piazza-Tiananmen

Il Kurfürstendamm è un viale lungo tre kilometri e mezzo che unisce Breitscheidplatz a Rathenauplatz: è una delle strade più lussuose e quindi costose di Berlino.

Lì, al numero 163, ha sede lo Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, un gigantesco complesso teatrale gestito dallo Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer. Spettattori pochini, paganti ancor meno, ma da che mondo è mondo un teatro vive di sussidi pubblici, che Governo locale e federale elargiscono con una particolare dovizia. Non avendo problemi di budget né di chiudere in attivo, questo teatro è ovviamente feudo liberal socialista, che rappresentava, e rappresenta, copioni socialmente avanzati.

Berlino non è nuova a fatti del genere.

Berlin Rejects Funding for Chris Dercon’s Latest Project

«Now he’s been dealt another setback after the German capital’s senate rejected a €500,000 ($559,000) funding request for a cultural project. …. In its third meeting of 2016 the charitable committee of Berlin’s Lottery Foundation chaired by Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller distributed €18.5 million ($20 million) to 35 projects promoting society, sports education, integration, and culture. ….

His replacement of popular outgoing director of 25 years Frank Castorf provoked criticism from all quarters, with local media questioning Dercon’s suitability for the role (he’s never directed a theater), and the hefty €4.25 million ($4.7 million) budget associated with his appointment. Much of the anger was directed towards the €138,000 ($154,000) set aside for Dercon and program director Marietta Piekenbrock’s salaries and travel expenses for 2016, a year before officially taking up the position. ….

Projects that were granted funding include Berlin’s Bauhaus Archive, which received €1.1 million ($1.2 million) for the acquisition of the estate of the artist couple Hinnerk and Lou Scheper, and the Schaubühne theater, which received €600,000 ($670,000) towards it’s three-year “theater without borders” project, among others»

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Come si constata, fare teatro in Germania ha i suoi lati positivi. Fiumi di milioni di euro pubblici si riversano sui teatranti che ne traggono equa guiderdone, quel tanto da poter vivere di Acipenser oxyrinchus e champagne millesimato, il tutto ovviamente secondo le regole dettate dal Codex Alimentarius della Fao, scaturite dal Fondo Fiduciario del Codex, finanziato sempre anche esso dal denaro dei Contribuenti.

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Questa premessa inquadra la situazione.

Per rimanere al recente, nel 2017 i teatranti son dovuti fuggire più veloci della luce dalla Turkia, ove erano andati a portare il loro credo ideologico. Si sa che i turki non siano gente di spirito e non gradiscano essere insultati a casa loro: gente di dura cervice.

Adesso è la volta della Cina.

«Berlin’s famous Schaubühne theater troupe has been barred from continuing to perform a play by Norwegian master Henrik Ibsen in China»

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«The Schaubühne team was told that the stages they were meant to perform on in the city of Nanjing are broken»

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«”An Enemy of the People,” written by Ibsen in 1882, deals with how truths and ideas of morality are manipulated for public consumption. The troupe was meant to conduct a discussion about the play’s themes after the performances.»

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Manco a dirlo gran parte, se non tutto il pubblico erano membri del Guojia Anquan Bu. Gente a modo, che non ha gradito che dei tedeschi sberleffassero la Cina ed il suo Governo. Gente invero strana questi cinesi: i tedeschi si umiliano a portar loro il credo politico liberal e questi non ne vogliono sapere.

«After the Schaubühne’s outings in Beijing, members of the audience openly criticized the Chinese government»

I cinesi non gradiscono che teatranti si conferiscano il diritto di far loro la lezione: non son mica come i tedeschi, che possono benissimo strillare davanti al Reichstag che Frau Merkel è un tiranno e che Mr Orban sia un galantuomo.

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«The Chinese government is well-known for its censorship of art, news, and websites that are critical of the ruling Communist party»

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I tedeschi sono proprio i nuovi catari dell’ideologia liberal: che alla fine finiscano proprio come finirono i catari?


Deutsche Welle. 2018-09-13. China: German theater group barred from staging Ibsen play

The Berlin-based troupe has been stopped from performing a Henrik Ibsen play about the manipulation of truth. At Beijing performances of “An Enemy of the People,” audience members openly criticized government censorship.

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Berlin’s famous Schaubühne theater troupe has been barred from continuing to perform a play by Norwegian master Henrik Ibsen in China, German public broadcaster ARD reported on Wednesday.

The Schaubühne team was told that the stages they were meant to perform on in the city of Nanjing are broken, but the theatre is suspicious that it has something to do with the content of the play.

“An Enemy of the People,” written by Ibsen in 1882, deals with how truths and ideas of morality are manipulated for public consumption. The troupe was meant to conduct a discussion about the play’s themes after the performances.

After the Schaubühne’s outings in Beijing, members of the audience openly criticized the Chinese government, and reportedly complained about state censorship. Audience members described their experience of the play as “emotional,” and began to write about it in social media posts.

Ibsen censored?

The Chinese government is well-known for its censorship of art, news, and websites that are critical of the ruling Communist party.

The theater in Nanjing told the Schaubühne troupe that it would have to cancel its engagements due to “technical problems,” but the German actors have made clear their plans to remain in Nanjing until they get an official written explanation of why their performances have been scrapped.

Schaubühne is no stranger to political controversy. In 2017, it pulled out of an international theater festival in Istanbul due to “the arrests of many journalists, scientists and human rights activists” by Turkey.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Militare, Geopolitica Mondiale

Cina. Il piano strategico di costruzioni navali la conta lunga.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-28.

Pechino-Cina

«Without firing any shots, aircraft carriers would help rebuild regional order with China in a leading position.»


Il piano strategico navale cinese potrebbe essere facilmente comprensibile considerando i loro programmi cantieristici. Infatti, tra progettazione, costruzione ed armamento delle moderne navi da guerra, massimamente le portaerei, intercorrono tra gli otto ed i dodici anni di tempo. Questo fattore implica per necessità la esigenza di avere un ben preciso progetto strategico nella mente.

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China’s New Aircraft Carrier Shows All the Signs of a Killer. Here Is What We Know.

«China’s next aircraft carrier is likely to boast a lot more combat power.

According to the aforementioned SCMP article, Chinese engineers believe they solved this problem by developing an integrated propulsion system (IPS), which would generate enough power to use EMALS. “The obstacle … was whether a conventionally powered carrier would be able to support EMALS,” a source whom SCMP said was close the PLA’s equipment department told the paper. “Now that problem has been solved.”

China’s next aircraft carrier is likely to boast a lot more combat power.

On June 20, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the firm that makes China’s aircraft carriers, posted an image on its social media accounts showing three aircraft carriers. On the right and left were the Liaoning—China’s first carrier, which was built by Ukraine—as well as China’s first domestically-built carrier.

Unlike those carriers, which have a ski-jump launch systems, the mysterious third carrier in the middle of the image had a flat flight deck with three catapult-like devices. This suggests it relies on a catapult launch system.

Nonetheless, Chinese state-run media outlets, including the People’s Liberation Army Daily (the military’s newspaper), ran stories about the photo. This suggests that Beijing’s third carrier is almost certain to have a catapult launch system.

If China’s third carrier uses a catapult launch system—making it a Catapult Assisted Take-Off, Barrier Assisted Recovery (CATOBAR) carrier— it will boast far more combat power than Beijing’s current vessels. This type of launch system allows the carrier to launch and recover larger and much heavier aircraft.»

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Will China have aircraft carrier that can match US Navy’s?

«The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is regarded as the world’s most-advanced warship — but for how much longer?

A story published Thursday on the English website of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army said the country’s top shipbuilding company is working on an aircraft carrier with an electromagnetic catapult aircraft launch system, something featured exclusively aboard the US Navy’s most expensive carrier ever, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

Aircraft launched by electromagnetic catapults can get airborne quicker and with greater quantities of fuel and ammunition, giving them an advantage over planes launched by standard steam catapult.

For decades, US carriers have used steam catapult systems, where steam explodes into a piston attached to the plane’s landing gear, powering it off the deck. Besides the Ford, the other 10 carriers in the US fleet use steam catapults.

Currently, Chinese carriers launch planes using a use a different, less advanced system, known as the ski-jump, meaning planes rely on their own power when lifting off.»

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China unveils its newest aircraft carriers – and they’ve left experts shocked at how advanced they are

«It could use the 70,000-tonne CV-17 aircraft carrier to assert its dominant in the disputed South China Sea»

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«There are unconfirmed reports of a J-15A catapult compatible fighter being tested on an Electromagnetic (EMALS type) catapult. This is thought to likely have occurred at the Huangdicun facility»

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China is working on a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s

«China is developing a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s after a series of mechanical failures and crashes, as it tries to build up a blue-water navy that can operate globally, military experts and sources said.

The J-15 was based on a prototype of the fourth-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-33 twin-engined air superiority fighter, a design that is more than 30 years old. It was developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, a unit of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

With a maximum take-off weight of 33 tonnes, the aircraft is the heaviest active carrier-based fighter jet in the world, used on China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.»

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How China could move closer to nuclear-powered aircraft carriers – with Russia’s help

«Beijing is expected to use its first home-produced nuclear-powered icebreaker to develop its own nuclear reactors for future aircraft carriers, and its relationship with Russia may help its progress, military experts have said. ….

On June 8, China and Russia signed a deal worth more than 100 billion yuan (US$15 billion) to build four Russian reactor units during a ceremony in Beijing attended by presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, in what was the biggest ever nuclear pact between the two countries.»

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Cerchiamo di fare il punto della situazione.

– Ad oggi la principale preoccupazione cinese consiste nel rendere saldo il controllo sul Mare Cinese del Sud, per evidenti motivi di difesa. In questa ottica, le portaerei di attacco servirebbero ben poco.

– In un futuro prossimo, l’obbiettivo strategico è il controllo dell’Oceano Indiano. Per questo oceano passano ogni anno quasi quattro trilioni di dollari di merci cinesi: è una linea di comunicazione marittima di somma importanza per la Cina. In questo scacchiere allora saranno necessarie le portaerei di attacco, dotate anche di aerei ben più efficienti dell’attuale J-15. Ma questo obbiettivo sarebbe irraggiungibile senza aver sviluppato un efficiente sistema di catapulte per il lancio degli aerei e di adeguati reattori atomici.

– Lo sviluppo di una flotta oceanica presuppone però il contemporaneo progetto di tutte le navi a corollario della portaerei, nonché dei sistemi di comunicazione e sorveglianza dallo spazio.

– Nel prossimo decennio la Cina sembrerebbe non essere interessata al controllo globale dei mari. Di conseguenza, i paragoni con la flotta americana sarebbero impropri, avendo queste due forze navali obbiettivi differenti.


The Diplomat. 2018-08-18. How China’s New Aircraft Carriers Will Shape Regional Order

Rather than confronting other major navies, these big new ships will go to work boosting China’s prestige.

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The sea trials of China’s first domestically-constructed aircraft carrier have sparked a fresh debate about Chinese naval power. Some have argued that the carriers, while still vulnerable in a clash of major powers, would cement Chinese leadership if the United States withdraws from the region. Others have pointed to growing Chinese amphibious capabilities as being the naval point to watch.

It would be better to expect that China’s new aircraft-carrying fleet need not await a major conflict to be valuable – indeed it may be most valuable in the absence of war. Rather than confronting other major navies, these big new ships will go to work instead boosting China’s prestige and standing in the Indo-Pacific regional order. This may happen in two ways: as the peacetime deployment of such a fleet lets China, without direct conflict, dilute U.S. influence in the region; and as the signals sent by aircraft carriers allow a clean break in regional perceptions of China’s status.

China’s 2015 Defense White Paper embraced a combination of “near seas defense” and “far seas protection,” likely giving China by 2030 a “limited expeditionary” capability encompassing natural disasters, evacuations, counterterrorism, and the security of sea lanes. As a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) officer stated: “The second carrier will mainly do what a genuine aircraft carrier is supposed to do: running combat patrols and delivering humanitarian aid.” The key is that the humanitarian role is much more than mere rhetoric and deserves close attention.

Humanitarian activities are important because China, along with all the major states of the region, is competing for relative status. This ranking in the regional order is adjusted through competition, including contestation in regional institutions, assertion of responsibilities, and, if not armed conflict, then potentially diplomatic coercion and the threat of force. This process is important because it lets states establish common beliefs about each other’s rights, responsibilities, and the hierarchy of deferense. Using naval power for humanitarian assistance is ideal for this, because it lets states demonstrate raw strength, establish practical international links, and show off moral leadership.

A major instance of this status-building in action was the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which was met by a multinational relief effort led by the U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Scholars such as Robert Ross argue that the disaster helped set off the popular mood in China in favor of an aircraft carrier. Meanwhile, Andrew Erickson and A.R. Wilson see the incident as a key turning point in the Chinese leadership’s assessment of aircraft carriers’ value. They have pointed to Chinese military publications enviously describing Japan as a “great power of disaster relief,” while the political implications of the disaster response showed the importance of navies not just in conflict, but in “national construction, disaster relief, and rebuilding.”

Beijing is likely to see humanitarian operations in a ruthlessly pragmatic light for at least three reasons. First, humanitarian operations reinforce China’s regional status claims because they are an excellent demonstration of real operational capability. As an adjunct to this, as the United States, Japan, and Australia have found, humanitarian assistance is an excellent avenue for “defense diplomacy.” The need to prepare for such contingencies provides a versatile pretext for gaining access and bilateral cooperation with local partners, irrespective of traditional alliances, while a track record of humanitarian assistance can also justify establishing access rights or even bases overseas.

Second, humanitarian assistance yields quantifiable soft-power dividends. Pew Research Center figures show a measurable improvement in attitudes toward the United States after natural disasters such the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Similarly, Japan gained diplomatic kudos in ASEAN after it made its largest postwar naval deployment after the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines, while China suffered media criticism for its meager donation.

A third aspect of humanitarian assistance of specific importance to China is the scope for expeditionary naval forces to assist in the evacuation of Chinese nationals from crises abroad. This has long been seen as a key point on which Beijing demonstrates the legitimacy of the Communist Party regime. One study has noted that while there would be practical benefits to air cover, Beijing is also keenly aware of the diplomatic potential of stationing a carrier group near a country where Chinese citizens are under threat.

These strategic motivations indicate the way humanitarian assistance by a rising power can erode the role of established actors, and allow China increased status in the regional order. On the other hand, it will take sustained effort, ongoing funding streams, and the diversion of considerable technical and professional expertise to develop a fully operational carrier force.

Additional factors might for Beijing justify the immense expense – estimated at around $10 billion – of constructing a carrier group.

One of these is the fact that the very expense of aircraft carriers reflects makes them a form of conspicuous consumption. This status symbol argument holds that aircraft carrier construction, like China’s space program and hosting of the Olympic Games, shows off not only a wealthy country, but one with leading technical and organizational capacities.

In addition to this, there is growing research in international relations scholarly circles about the importance of sending clear and dramatic messages in order to boost status. Unlike other status symbols, aircraft carrier deployments carry greater potential to shift observers’ attitudes. As Jonathan Renshon argues, events that are highly visible to all, that are relevant enough to attract the concern of decision-makers, and that convey unambiguous information, are more likely to shift established beliefs about national status. Aircraft carriers are such a widely accepted symbol that they generate immediate mutual awareness – if Beijing deploys one overseas, it can expect that not only will everyone pay attention, but everyone will understand the kind of power being displayed.

The implication is that we could expect Chinese aircraft carriers to appear as soon as possible in nontraditional security roles around the region. This could still be compatible with Beijing reducing expenses by stretching the carrier construction program out to 2050 or beyond. The big unknown is how operational the carrier (or indeed, large amphibious ship) will be, as its role may well be largely symbolic at first. The key is to be aware that the aircraft carrier is there to construct the image that China is a major power. Without firing any shots, aircraft carriers would help rebuild regional order with China in a leading position.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina, Russia

Cina. Dispiegati nel sud-est asiatico gli S-400 russi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-26.

Si-vis-pacem-para-bellum

«They will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.»


«It is critical to note when assessing its capabilities that the S-400 was designed largely in response to the United States’ development of advanced stealth aircraft, with the cash-strapped Russia forced to cancel Soviet era programs to develop stealth fighters of its own and instead rely on asymmetric surface-to-air batteries to ensure its continued ability to threaten the new American aircraft»

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«Entering service just months after the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the lethal new American jet held the S-400 to extremely high standards. This implies that the missile platform is well within its limits to target non-stealthy older aircraft such as the F-15. Taiwanese jets today, considerably lighter, slower, lower flying than the F-15 and operating with high radar and heat signatures by the standards of modern combat jets, have an extremely poor level of survivability against the S-400 even at extreme ranges.»

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«Taiwan’s fleet of unspecialized light multirole aircraft — six wings comprised of Mirage 2000 jets and F-5E Freedom Fighters (one wings each) as well as F-16A Fighting Falcons and indigenous F-CK Ching Kuo jets (two each) — lack even basic stealth technologies and use designs dating back to the 1970s or earlier. They will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.»

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«Other than fighters, support aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye, while potentially highly effective force multipliers when operating at safe distances, will be extremely vulnerable as soon as they leave the ground, due to their poor maneuverability and bulky airframes . With the S-400’s missiles incoming at speeds of Mach 8.2, in the case of the 48N6E2, and Mach 14 in the case of the 48N6E3 and 40N6, the missiles can be launched from command posts on the Chinese mainland and will reach their targets over Taiwan in a matter of seconds.»

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«While Chinese air defense capabilities were negligible until the early 1990s, the acquisition of advanced Russian technologies, including several variants of the S-300, was key to building up an advanced network capable of protecting the country’s airspace from a potential air or missile attacks — shifting the balance of forces in the air strongly in Beijing’s favor»

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«The S-400 today is set to complement existing air defense platforms such as the HQ-16 and HQ-17, while fielding a number of game-changing capabilities, including new surface-to-air missiles and anti-stealth technologies»

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«Even without the support of other air defense and aerial assets, the S-400 alone poses a major threat not only to hostile aircraft operating within Chinese airspace, but also, due to its extreme range, to aircraft to well beyond Chinese shores.»

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“Si vis pacem, para bellum”.

Trenta anni or sono la Cina era politicamente, economicamente e militarmente un paese trascurabile.

Poi venne Deng Xiao Ping che mise in soffitta le ideologie ed instaurò un sano pragmatismo empirico.

Adesso è diventata una grande potenza e le sue forze armate iniziano a diventare davvero temibili.

L’acquisizione dei sistemi S-400 rende il suo spazio aereo ben difficilmente penetrabile, se non al costo di perdite intollerabili. Nessuna intenzione di sopravvalutare la potenza di fuoco degli S-400: solo che gli equilibri di forze hanno spostato significativamente le proprie frontiere.


The Diplomat. 2018-08-15. What China’s Newly Inducted S-400 Means for the Balance of Power in the Taiwan Strait

Taiwan’s fighter jets will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.

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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) recent acquisition of Russian-made S-400 missile systems has considerably augmented what has already long been one of the world’s most formidable air defense networks, with wide-ranging implications for the balance of power in East Asia.

While Chinese air defense capabilities were negligible until the early 1990s, the acquisition of advanced Russian technologies, including several variants of the S-300, was key to building up an advanced network capable of protecting the country’s airspace from a potential air or missile attacks — shifting the balance of forces in the air strongly in Beijing’s favor. The S-400 today is set to complement existing air defense platforms such as the HQ-16 and HQ-17, while fielding a number of game-changing capabilities, including new surface-to-air missiles and anti-stealth technologies. Even without the support of other air defense and aerial assets, the S-400 alone poses a major threat not only to hostile aircraft operating within Chinese airspace, but also, due to its extreme range, to aircraft to well beyond Chinese shores.

While China’s acquisition of the S-400 is set to have considerable implications for a number of potential conflict zones, including the country’s ongoing disputes with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and with India over the border region, it is in the Taiwan Strait where the weapon’s deployment may well have the greatest impact. The S-400 is able to engage a phenomenal 80 aircraft simultaneously, equivalent to approximately one-third of Taiwan’s fighting fleet, allocating two missiles per target. In addition, the missile system’s 48N6E2, 48N6DM/48N6E3, and 40N6 missiles retain ranges of 200 km, 250 km and 400 km respectively, all giving extensive coverage over Taiwanese airspace. Thus the PLA’s acquisition of the S-400 allows it to enforce an effective no fly zone over the territories under Taipei’s control in the event of cross-strait war.

It is critical to note when assessing its capabilities that the S-400 was designed largely in response to the United States’ development of advanced stealth aircraft, with the cash-strapped Russia forced to cancel Soviet era programs to develop stealth fighters of its own and instead rely on asymmetric surface-to-air batteries to ensure its continued ability to threaten the new American aircraft. Entering service just months after the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the lethal new American jet held the S-400 to extremely high standards. This implies that the missile platform is well within its limits to target non-stealthy older aircraft such as the F-15. Taiwanese jets today, considerably lighter, slower, lower flying than the F-15 and operating with high radar and heat signatures by the standards of modern combat jets, have an extremely poor level of survivability against the S-400 even at extreme ranges.

Taiwan’s fleet of unspecialized light multirole aircraft — six wings comprised of Mirage 2000 jets and F-5E Freedom Fighters (one wings each) as well as F-16A Fighting Falcons and indigenous F-CK Ching Kuo jets (two each) — lack even basic stealth technologies and use designs dating back to the 1970s or earlier. They will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.

Other than fighters, support aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye, while potentially highly effective force multipliers when operating at safe distances, will be extremely vulnerable as soon as they leave the ground, due to their poor maneuverability and bulky airframes . With the S-400’s missiles incoming at speeds of Mach 8.2, in the case of the 48N6E2, and Mach 14 in the case of the 48N6E3 and 40N6, the missiles can be launched from command posts on the Chinese mainland and will reach their targets over Taiwan in a matter of seconds.

While Taiwan’s air fleet already faced a considerable challenge operating against China’s existing air defense batteries such as the HQ-9B and elite air superiority fighters such as the J-11B and Su-35, the emergence of the S-400 not only eliminates an offensive or retaliatory strike role for Taiwan’s air fleet but it also seriously hinders its ability to undertake even very basic defensive operations. As Taiwan continues to invest heavily in costly but seemingly inconsequential modernizations for its aging fighters, from new cruise missiles to stronger radars, the armed forces would do well to consider the threat the S-400 poses to the continued viability of their fleet.

Possible counters to the new weapons system could include heavy investments in electronic warfare and potentially the acquisition of stealth fighters which, at least at extreme ranges, should retain a degree of survivability against the S-400. With the situation for Taiwan’s air force looking increasingly bleak, the military may well move to concentrate more heavily on acquiring and modernizing its own ground based surface-to-air missile systems as an asymmetric response – an effective means of denying the PLA Air Force access to its airspace even if its own fighter fleet remains grounded.

Pubblicato in: Cina

Cina. Xi dichiara guerra alla povertà.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-24.

Pechino-Cina

Il Consiglio di Stato cinese ha emesse le linee guida per una lotta alla povertà che consenta di fare emergere la popolazione ancora in tale fascia entro il 2020.

Come costumanza, l’obiettivo è sobrio

«to build a moderately prosperous society»

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«It is an arduous task to lift a further 30 million people out of poverty in the next three years»

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Uno degli obiettivi dichiarati è:

«Poor population should be guaranteed food and clothing and children from poor families should be guaranteed nine-year compulsory education. Basic medical needs and living conditions of poor population should also be guaranteed, according to the guideline»

Ma gli aiuti sotto forma di sovvenzioni a ben poco servirebbero senza il rimedio che pone l’ascia alla radice.

«Targeted poverty relief work»

Dare un lavoro dignitoso a trenta milioni di persone non sarà certo cosa facile e, verosimilmente, non si potrà andar troppo per il sottile.

Tutto richiede i suoi propri tempi. Questo i cinesi lo sanno bene, anzi, ne sono maestri.


The State Council. The People of China. 2018-08-19. China releases guideline on winning battle against poverty

BEIJING — China released a guideline on Aug 19 on winning the battle against poverty in the next three years to prepare the nation for eradicating poverty by 2020.

It is an arduous task to lift a further 30 million people out of poverty in the next three years, said the guideline released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

The guideline reiterates the country’s target of lifting all rural poor and impoverished counties out of poverty and eliminating absolute poverty by 2020 to build a moderately prosperous society.

Poor population should be guaranteed food and clothing and children from poor families should be guaranteed nine-year compulsory education. Basic medical needs and living conditions of poor population should also be guaranteed, according to the guideline.

The guideline said poverty relief work should be focused on areas in deep poverty, such as Tibet, mountainous Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture in Sichuan province and Nujiang Lisu autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province.

Targeted poverty relief work is stressed in the guideline with emphasis on fostering distinctive industries, supporting employment, advancing relocation, ecological restoration and strengthening education.

The guideline also lists other poverty alleviation measures, including accelerating infrastructure construction in poor areas, increasing fiscal and financial support, social mobilization, and strengthening and improving Party leadership in poverty reduction.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Unione Europea

La Germania svenduta. Après moi le déluge!- Bloomberg

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-23.

Berlino Porta Brandemburgo

Un classico errore dei governanti è quello di inseguire un qualcosa di lucroso nell’immediato, ma altamente controproducente del futuro. Non che i privati siano da meno, la storia economica dimostra una serie impressionante di episodi del genere.

Il problema si potrebbe porre in modo molto accattivante, argomentando sul concetto di futuro.

Chi viva l’immanente nella convinzione che tutto in esso si estingua è incapace per definizione di concepire il concetto stesso di futuro. Ma senza il concetto di futuro sarebbe impossibile nutrire sentimenti di speranza.

In campo politico e militare è la differenza che intercorre tra la tattica e la strategia. Ma sempre la storia insegnerebbe come senza una chiara visione strategica sia impossibile perseguire i propri fini. Quanti invece riescono a ragionare il tali termini mettono in pratica azione dopo azione, magari anche apparentemente scollegate, ma che in realtà altro non sono che tasselli di un puzzle che quando alla fine si evidenzia nella sua pienezza e rende consolidati i fini perseguiti.

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La Germania degli ultimi decenni ha evidenziato una carenza impressionante di pensiero strategico.

Il più vistoso errore strategico è stato quelle relativo ad una politica familiare al limite del demenziale, che sta portando la Germania all’estinzione della popolazione autoctona per carenza di nascite.

Germania. La demografia che stritola. Mancano tre milioni di lavoratori. – Vbw.

Germania. Incidenza economica del calo demografico. – Bloomberg.

Germania. Realtà geografica, non più umana, politica ed economica.

Ma a questo errore si sono associate due tendenze altrettanto perverse.

La prima tendenza è stata quella di delocalizzare la produzione industriale, invece di renderla competitiva in patria. Se in un primo tempo si ha l’impressione di guadagnare, ed anche molto, alla fine si perde il know-how produttivo e le maestranze specializzate. In caso poi di tensioni, mica che si possa andare a riprendersi gli stabilimenti delocalizzati, che resteranno per sempre in territori stranieri, ossia con altre politiche produttive. Non è detto che gli stranieri debbano per forza di cose essere “nemici” ma resta il fatto che gli stabilimenti sono fuori dal controllo politico del paese delocalizzante.

La seconda tendenza è stata quella di vendere, lasciar vendere, in molti casi anche svendere, realtà produttive quasi sempre in buona salute, produttrici spesso di prodotti strategici. In linea generale non ci sarebbe stato nulla di male in tali operazioni, se a queste fossero corrisposte acquisizioni tedesche di realtà produttive straniere, cosa che non è avvenuta.

Non solo. La maggior parte di queste acquisizioni era volta a trasferire nel paese acquirente il know-how produttivo. Ottimo sistema per passare tecnologica ai concorrenti.

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«It’s not particularly logical that, after years of permissiveness toward Chinese investors buying up German industrial jewels, Berlin has decided to ban the acquisition of Leifeld Metal Spinning – a technologically advanced but small firm from the town of Ahlen in North Rhine-Westphalia»

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«Leifeld, a closely held company, makes machines and tools used in the production of extra strong metal parts that are inputs, for example, in the automotive, aerospace and nuclear industries»

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«That may sound important for national security, which was the reason cited when the government made its decision»

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«But Leifeld reported revenue of 28.5 million euros ($33.1 million) in 2014, the last year for which Bloomberg has financial data; the government has allowed much bigger companies playing an important role in strategic industries to be sold to Chinese investors. The most memorable example is Kuka, one of the global robotics leaders, acquired by Chinese appliance maker Midea for 4.5 billion euros in 2016»

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«When those acquisitions took place, Germany looked feckless at times. In recent months, however, the government has been determined to look after national interests a little more like the U.S. does, subjecting potential deals to more scrutiny and getting a state-controlled bank to preempt a Chinese investment in power grid operator 50Hertz, part of Germany’s critical infrastructure.»

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«This massive Chinese investment in Europe – at a cumulative 131.9 billion euros, it caught up last year with European investment in China, according to Rhodium Group –  isn’t always a problem»

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«the Chinese government using every opportunity to raise domestic companies’ competitiveness, technology transfers can end up going further than just the acquiring firm, whether public or private.»

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«Last year, Chinese direct investment in the EU approached 30 billion euros, compared with a reverse flow of about 7 billion»

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Bene. La Germania si avvia adesso a chiudere la stalla: peccato che i buoi se la siano già data a gambe.

Ci si domanda lecitamente cosa mai abbiano fatto di male i tedeschi ai loro governanti.


Bloomberg. 2018-08-08. Germany Is Getting Tougher on Chinese Money

Even if there’s not much logic to the toughness, it should help the EU negotiate a stalled investment deal with China.

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It’s not particularly logical that, after years of permissiveness toward Chinese investors buying up German industrial jewels, Berlin has decided to ban the acquisition of Leifeld Metal Spinning – a technologically advanced but small firm from the town of Ahlen in North Rhine-Westphalia. While it sends a clear signal that the anything-goes era is over, it’s also a worrying consequence of a dearth of clear rules.

Leifeld, a closely held company, makes machines and tools used in the production of extra strong metal parts that are inputs, for example, in the automotive, aerospace and nuclear industries. That may sound important for national security, which was the reason cited when the government made its decision. But Leifeld reported revenue of 28.5 million euros ($33.1 million) in 2014, the last year for which Bloomberg has financial data; the government has allowed much bigger companies playing an important role in strategic industries to be sold to Chinese investors. The most memorable example is Kuka, one of the global robotics leaders, acquired by Chinese appliance maker Midea for 4.5 billion euros in 2016. KraussMaffei, an industrial equipment manufacturer sold to a consortium led by ChemChina for about $1 billion, is another.

When those acquisitions took place, Germany looked feckless at times. In recent months, however, the government has been determined to look after national interests a little more like the U.S. does, subjecting potential deals to more scrutiny and getting a state-controlled bank to preempt a Chinese investment in power grid operator 50Hertz, part of Germany’s critical infrastructure.

This massive Chinese investment in Europe – at a cumulative 131.9 billion euros, it caught up last year with European investment in China, according to Rhodium Group –  isn’t always a problem. Automotive giant Zhejiang Geely saved Swedish carmaker Volvo by acquiring it in 2010. There’s no question European firms have benefited from the depth of Chinese investors’ pockets. But China is a country where the state plays an outsize role in the economy. So when state-controlled firms take part in acquisitions (in Germany, for example, they bought into KraussMaffei, energy producer EEW and other large companies), concerns about subsidies and unfair competition can be justified. Besides, with the Chinese government using every opportunity to raise domestic companies’ competitiveness, technology transfers can end up going further than just the acquiring firm, whether public or private.

The biggest concern, however, is reciprocity. Last year, Chinese direct investment in the EU approached 30 billion euros, compared with a reverse flow of about 7 billion. Some of the biggest Chinese acquisitions in Europe deals would have been impossible or at least highly unlikely for European companies in China. According to Rhodium Group, the equivalents of the Kuka and KraussMaffei deals wouldn’t have been allowed. 

It’s telling that analysts have a pretty good idea of how China would treat one investment or another, but it’s not easy to figure out what European countries might do in any specific case. Why is the Kuka deal OK, but not the Leifeld deal?

Last year, the German, French and Italian governments asked the European Commission to come up with an EU-wide mechanism for screening foreign investment. By September, the Commission came up with a proposal to assess investments according to their effect on critical infrastructure and technology, the security of important supplies and information and the investors’ government affiliations. Yet the proposal hasn’t become EU law yet because some member countries are hungry for Chinese investment and reluctant to submit to a common review process.

Perhaps that’s for the best. The EU proposal addresses security and competition concerns but not reciprocity ones. That could be justified on idealistic grounds: The EU, after all, is not Communist-run, and restrictions symmetrical to the Chinese ones wouldn’t make sense from the point of view of European values. From a practical point of view, however, any lack of reciprocity creates leverage in trade talks – something the Trump trade wars are making abundantly clear.

Both investors and targets need clarity about what can work and what can’t. The best way to deliver it would be for the EU to sign a bilateral investment treaty with China. Negotiations have been under way since 2013, but there’s no end in sight. In this context, there is perhaps some logic to the Leifeld acquisition ban. Germany has absorbed about a fifth of the total Chinese direct investment in the EU; after the U.K. leaves the bloc, it will be the number one destination for Chinese money within it. If Germany gets tough on acquisitions, it won’t be easy for Chinese firms to find equivalent targets elsewhere. So perhaps it’ll lend some new vigor to investment deal talks, especially as China and the EU find themselves allied in defending free trade from an increasingly protectionist U.S.