«Sina Weibo (新浪微博S, Xīnlàng Wēibó) è un sito di microblogging cinese. È un ibrido fra Twitter e Facebook, è uno dei siti più frequentati della Cina, si calcola che più del 30% delle persone che hanno accesso a internet in Cina usi Sina Weibo, quasi come la penetrazione di mercato di Twitter negli Stati Uniti. Nel 2012 contava più di 500 milioni di iscritti e 100 milioni di pubblicazioni giornaliere. Verso il terzo trimestre del 2015, Sina Weibo aveva 222 milioni di abbonati e 100 milioni di utenti giornalieri. Circa 100 milioni di messaggi sono postati ogni giorno su Sina Weibo.» [Fonte]
Il fatto che Weibo sia poco o punto noto in Occidente non toglie minimamente che in Cina sia estremamente diffuso: è il più frequentato sito di microblogging.
La fonte citata incorre in una svista. Peccato veniale, si intende, ma pur sempre peccato.
«Nel 2012 contava più di 500 milioni di iscritti»
«più del 30% delle persone che hanno accesso a internet in Cina usi Sina Weibo».
Ma se 500 milioni di iscritti sono il 30% degli utenti internet, il totale degli utenti dovrebbe essere circa 1,666 milioni: in pratica ci sarebbero più utenti internet che popolazione.
Accontentiamoci quindi di dire come Weibo sia estremamente diffuso in Cina.
«Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, is a powerful digital communications and marketing channel. Use of this real-time microblogging social technology in China has been unprecedented, and companies have a unique opportunity to use Weibo to reach and engage new audiences in China. Weibo has an estimated 300 million registered users in China. Users cover a broad swath of China’s internet population, including youth, domestic and international celebrities, CEOs, professionals, and media personalities. First developed as China’s answer to Twitter, Weibo has developed its own features that some would argue make it a unique marketing and communications proposition in China, and in many ways a more diverse and dynamic platform than Twitter. Because of these differences, international brands and companies cannot necessarily assume that their Twitter strategy will work for Weibo. Weibo requires its own strategy. For example, 140 Chinese written characters on Weibo can tell a full story, but the same number of characters in English on Twitter gets a sender only as far as a teaser message or a one-liner with a link» [China Business Reiew]
Questo passaggio è di importanza fondamentale: centoquaranta caratteri in cinese possono esprimere una esposizione completa, mentre in inglese consentono al massimo una sola piccola frase, di un succinto enunciato. Il fattore linguistico differenzia in modo sostanziale Weibo dagli analoghi occidentali.
L’ideologia liberal e quella socialista è condivisa da circa un trenta per cento della popolazione elettorale occidentale, ossia grosso modo dal 30% di un settimo della popolazione mondiale. In alcuni paesi dell’ovest essa è ancora saldamente al potere, ma in molti stati ha subito un consistente allontanamento dell’elettorato.
Uno dei metri più efficienti per misurare il potere residuo dei liberal è quello di andare a vedere quanto riescono ad imporre la propria ideologia, per esempio l’utilizzo delle ngo (ong) oppure il patrocinio dell’omosessualità e di tutto ciò che concerne questo argomento.
Ci si domanda: per quale strano motivo un ufficio statale cinese non dovrebbe utilizzare la propria lingua madre ed usare invece l’inglese? Forse che la White House dovrebbe scrivere le sue note in cinese invece che in americano?
In questo contesto è facile comprendere ciò che è accaduto.
«Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging platform, has announced it is banning content related to homosexuality»
«Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo appeared on Saturday to censor a series of online protests decrying the platform’s decision to remove “illegal” content related to homosexuality»
* * * * * * *
«Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in China face social and legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in China since 1997. Additionally, in 2001, homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness. However, China possesses no laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. Same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. ….
Federal ban on any display of “abnormal sexual behaviors” — including homosexuality — in online video and audio content ….
Banned regardless of gender and sexual orientation» [Fonte]
Il problema è semplicissimo.
A partire dagli anni novanta la Cina ricevette forti pressioni ad accogliere le ngo ed ad adottare una politica pro – gay. Erano tempi nei quali l’Occidente aveva la forza di imporsi.
La Cina, composta di persone sostanzialmente pragmatiche, si adattò cercando di fare il meno possibile. Vedeva infatti le ngo come emanazioni finanziate da potenze straniere e l’omosessualità era aliena dalla mentalità del popolo.
Ma adesso le cose stanno cambiando, ed anche molto velocemente.
Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging platform, has announced it is banning content related to homosexuality. A rallying cry by users saw the hashtag “I am gay” also blocked by Chinese internet censors.
Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo appeared on Saturday to censor a series of online protests decrying the platform’s decision to remove “illegal” content related to homosexuality.
Outraged Weibo users rallied under the hashtag “I am gay” early on Saturday to protest the company’s announcement. By midday, it had reportedly gathered over 130 million views and generated some 153,000 comments. However, by the afternoon, Weibo appeared to have also banned the hashtag and deleted most of the related comments.
Weibo announced its latest censorship drive — or “clean-up campaign” — on Friday, saying it would be removing “illegal” content, including “manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality.”
The new bans would “create a sunny and harmonious community environment,” the platform added.
Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, boasts some 400 million active monthly users — roughly 25 percent more than Twitter itself.
Users voice their outrage under the “I am gay” banner
Weibo’s announcement, however, provoked a flood of stunned and angry responses from Chinese users.
“You want to shut my mouth, but you can only delete my account,” one user posted using the “I am gay” hashtag.
Another said: “As a member of this group, I am proud, I am glorious … I refuse to be discriminated and misunderstood.”
Lu Pin, a prominent Chinese feminist and women’s rights activist, said some brands and influential users had already begun boycotting microblogging site.
According to What’s on Weibo, a site monitoring Chinese social media trends, some users also combined the “I am gay” with the hashtag “I am illegal.”
Weibo’s content ban is the latest attempt by the Chinese government to purge the internet of content it alleges deviates from socialism’s “core values” or criticizes the country’s established policies.
A 2013 Pew study found that only around 20 percent of Chinese respondents said the believed homosexuality should be accepted by society.
“There can be no homosexuality under socialism? It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas,” one outraged Weibo commenter said.
China’s censorship laws not only allow authorities to closely monitor online user activity and purge the internet of any content it deems offensive. It also requires the websites themselves to hire their own censors to monitor content on their pages.
This week, Toutiao, one of China’s most popular news aggregator apps, was reprimanded by the government for allowing users to share lewd jokes and videos. The site subsequently promised to increase censorship to some 10,000 people.
Ma esistono anche forme ibride di lavoro forzato e schiavitù: dipende solo dal punto di vista da cui le si esamina. Un caso da manuale sono i Mini Arbeit tedeschi.
«Mini-jobs are a form of marginal employment offering a maximum monthly salary of €450. They are a particular form of dependent employment characterised by exemption from social security contributions and income tax; however, employers have to pay a flat-rate charge of approximately 30% on top of the 450 €. Since the same labour legislation applies to mini-jobs as it does to all other paid employment (such as dismissal protection, paid holiday, sick pay, etc.), mini-jobs are technically more expensive per hour than socially insured part-time employment, for which the employers’ contributions are around 20%. ….
Since mid-2003, the number of mini-jobs has increased by a good 1.7 million to 7.3 million (mid-2015), which represents a rise of 30.3%. This increase is due primarily to a sharp rise in the number of mini-jobs taken as second jobs (up almost 1.6 million or 159.4%). Mini-jobs are particularly common in the service sector. In December 2015, the retail industry, with more than 1.2 million mini-jobbers, had the most employees on marginal pay. Various business services, which includes temporary agency work and security and cleaning services came in second place, followed by the hospitality industry with 819,000 mini-jobs and then health and social services with around 703,000. Over 60% of mini-jobbers are women, with pensioners and school and university students making up the next biggest group.»
Se da un punto di vista i Mini Arbeit offrono una opportunità a quanti vogliano arrotondarsi le entrate e per periodi a termine, da un altro punto di vista diventano lavoro forzato e schiavitù quando surrogano e vicariano il normale rapporto di lavoro. Che nella Germania contemporanea il trenta per cento degli occupati lavori con Mini Arbeit dovrebbe dare ampi motivi di ripensamento. Da opportunità di lavoro occasionale e temporaneo, il Mini Arbeit è diventato l’unico modo di poter lavorare: ma quando si è esposti ai capricci del mercato e con una remunerazione di nemmeno cinquecento euro mensili di diventa totalmente dipendenti ed indifesi. Anche senza averne la denominazione giuridica, si è diventati schiavi addetti a lavori forzati. Che il sistema ospedaliero tedesco necessiti per funzionare di 819,000 Mini Arbeit la conta davvero lunga sulla sua solidità strutturale e sulla sua sostenibilità economica.
Ci si pensi bene, a mente fredda. Se è vero che un sistema ospedaliero necessiti di ottimi medici, è altrettanto vero che necessiti di infermieri/e professionali specializzati/e, ed è anche vero che necessiti del personale di appoggio per pulizie e casermaggio, tipologia lavorativa che rende conto di una larga quota del personale.
Ma il problema è ancor più sottile.
Come in molti altri paesi, in Germania le persone che lavorano con un Mini Arbeit sono classificate da Destatis, l’Istituto tedesco di statistica, come “occupati“. Si faccia grande attenzione. Una persona normale potrebbe considerare
“occupato” colui/ei che guadagna almeno quanto basti a sopravvivere: ma con cinquecento euro al mese è impossibile anche la mera sopravvivenza.
Orbene, se togliessimo i Mini Arbeit dalla voce degli “occupati” e li portassimo ove buon senso suggerirebbe, il tasso dei disoccupati tedeschi sarebbe 3.6 % + 30.3% = 33.9%: un po’ meno considerando i secondi lavori.. Cifra non certo lusinghiera per i pregressi governi tedeschi.
Vi è poi una forma di lavoro forzato e di schiavitù ancor meno appariscente, ma non per questo meno spietato.
Nei paesi così detti sviluppati si gode di un discreto tenore di vita perché molte materie prime e moltissimi manufatti sono di provenienza estera. Ma quando si prende in mano un cellulare di ultima generazione ci si dovrebbe ricordare di quei poveraccia che hanno estratto il litio, il cobalto, le terre rare per una ciotola di zuppa la giorno, lavorando come automi da mane a sera. Nessuno intende fare la morale a nessun altro, sia ben chiaro, ma la cosa in sé sembrerebbe non essere poi così virtuosa.
* * *
Né si pensi che la Cina sia immune da un problema del genere.
Non a caso nel suo discorso ala Congresso del Partito Comunista Cinese il premier Xi si è focalizzato sulla lotta alla povertà.
Forced labor in China receives remarkably little attention despite decades as the world’s factory floor.
In China, forced labor is sensitive topic. Years pass between the odd case of forced labor that sees the light of day in local media. Local labor NGOs rarely approach incidents of serious coercion in forced labor terms. Nobody knows the real extent, and surprisingly few, from China as well as abroad, prioritize exploring this issue. Within the last decade, a handful of cases amounting to forced labor in China have been brought to light, all with certain characteristics in common pointing to a need for closer scrutiny.
Brick Kiln Slavery
The first, and worst, was the incident of enslaved young and elderly people as well as adults with disabilities in brick kilns. Over a decade ago, during the summer of 2007, it became publicly known that people – many people – from rural areas were being kidnapped and forced to work in kilns in Shanxi province. The affair was, uniquely, kicked off by parents mobilizing together in search for their missing children. These parents scoured the countryside and, sometimes, found their children working in the kilns.
Chinese media covered the events unfolding and extensively documented the regular, traditional slavery conditions in the kilns, the organized trafficking and how local communities and authorities knew about it — and sometimes were directly involved. Eventually, the national government launched an investigation into the kilns of Shanxi, resulting in inspections of almost 5,000 kilns and rescues of hundreds of enslaved workers, who spoke about abductions, captivity, beatings, and inhumane conditions. In the following years the practice was documented in several other provinces. The practice of forced labor in brick kilns has never been fully eradicated.
”Even if today the archipelago of ’black kilns’ that came to light in 2007 does not exist anymore, that kind of extreme situation periodically resurfaces on the Chinese media,” says Ivan Franceschini, a fellow at the Australian National University who authored a book about the kiln slavery. “In particular, people with mental problems often fall victim to human traffickers and are sold as slave labor to kilns and other harsh realities that rely on a cheap, pliable slave workforce to make a profit.”
Forced Electronics Internships
Other industries also rely on a cheap and pliable workforce amounting to forced labor by the exploitation of a large numbers of student interns from vocational schools. While company-based learning is supposed to be a crucial component of vocational educations, students are forced to accept internships in manufacturing industries — irrespective of the relevance of the industry for the students’ education — under the threat of failing to graduate if they decline.
Whereas such company-school partnerships have been practiced for many years, international attention was raised only in 2012, when forced internships were linked to global electronics supply chains.
“Vocational school students are sent to electronics factories, such as Foxconn and Quanta, to work as ordinary production line workers in the name of compulsory internship. Many, we met, were studying subjects irrelevant to electronics and told about threats by schools that they will not graduate from schools, if they refuse the internships,” says Michael Ma, project manager for Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong Kong based nonprofit behind several investigations.
New cases continue to be documented in electronics factories supplying brands like Apple, Sony, Dell, HP, and Acer. The practice seems unchanged by schools and electronics manufacturers, while brands dodge the issue.
Withheld Wages in Construction
In recent months, because of Chinese New Year on February 16, annual wage arrear protests have peaked because of withheld payments. Especially in construction, wages are withheld for up to a year and together with widespread lack of employment contracts, excessive and illegal overtime, and the dependency on employers for housing and food for many of the unpaid workers could amount to forced labor, I recently argued in an article for openDemocracy. Most construction workers caught up in this practice are rural migrants systematically discriminated because of China’s household registration system (hukou).
“Withholding wages contains a substantial coercive element by itself. In other industries, and countries, such conditions combined are debated as potential indicators of forced labor,” says Matt Friedman, a former UN regional manager of anti-trafficking in Asia.
Half of all construction workers are estimated to have been deprived of payment at least once in their lifetime, according to Chinese scholars and labor groups. Workers rarely protest while construction is ongoing. Easy to replace, they stick to the promise of payment at New Year or at the end of the project.
“What can you do? If you complain while work is ongoing, you get fired and never see any money,” says Chang, a former construction worker-turned activist.
The practice of withholding wages has been going on for decades and is acknowledged by the government. Each year authorities campaign to collect overdue pay. In Zhejiang province alone, $460 million was recovered for distribution among 258,000 workers in 2016. Yet, many more workers are left without assistance. New measures and deadlines are regularly put forward, but enforcement is lacking. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced in 2017 that wage arrears would be eradicated in 2020. Recently, in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a settlement was reached for four China-based construction firms to pay nearly $14 million in back wages and damages to over 2,400 workers.
Forced Domestic Work
In recent years, media and local NGOs have focused increasingly on the abuse of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, a city with one of the world’s highest densities of foreign domestic workers, comprising 10 percent of its labor market and enjoying some statutory labor rights. The abuses have been addressed mainly through the lenses of trafficking, especially of Indonesian and Philippine women, despite research documenting that as many as one in six foreign domestic workers experience forced labor — of which 14 percent were trafficked.
“The growing momentum of the anti-trafficking movement in Hong Kong must not disregard the importance of forced labor. Trafficking is often the means to forced labor, but forced labor does often exist independently of trafficking. We must consider a response to forced labor alongside a response to trafficking so as to not cause more damage than good in the long term,” says Archana Kotecha, head of legal in Liberty Asia, an anti-slavery organization.
Debt bondage because of illegal and excessive recruitment fees is a main driver. The threat of getting fired, which gives a worker only two weeks to find alternative employment or else leave the country, is a contributing factor.
Profiting on Vulnerability
Despite immense differences in professions, industries, employment relations, and worker backgrounds, the above cases of forced labor have some common features: Workers are vulnerable in their local contexts (youth, elderly, disabled, foreigners, rural migrants). Workers are strongly tied to employers, in the sense that there is a substantial menace of leaving or trying (losing up to a year’s wage, failing to graduate, risking physical abuse or worse). The coercion is persistent and widespread within the respective industries, despite years of awareness raising by NGOs and media.
Given the general sensitivity of labor protests and organizing workers and the clampdowns in recent years on labor NGOs and activists, one might legitimately ask how far such coercive practices penetrate other parts of China’s labor market.
Even though wage arrears in the construction sector account for over one-third of all protests in China registered and published online by China Labor Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based organization, many other sectors also face annual protests because of delayed or lack of payments. Though not itself a proof of forced labor, it is a relevant indicator to explore, according to ILO, the UN labor agency.
Forced internships take place in many other industries besides electronics. An intern studying fashion design told SACOM during its recent investigation that “after leaving Quanta [an electronics manufacturer] we’ll be sent to a factory for repairing automobiles.”
And then there is the question of coercive practices in global supply chains. Auditors of multinational companies say, anonymously, that efforts beyond direct suppliers are lacking. The same holds often true for corporate watchdogs trying to shed light on labor conditions among suppliers of Western brands. The risks and difficulties digging into such issues in China entail most often a focus on first-tier suppliers only.
Root causes of forced labor have been debated for years. Poverty is often referred to as a main driver from the “push perspective,” meaning factors that motivate workers, sometimes into far from ideal employment circumstances. However, this was recently expanded by an openDemocracy report stressing four prominent root characteristics of workers: Poverty, understood as the “working poor,” was discussed first but discrimination, limited labor protection, and restrictive mobility are also notable characteristics of workers. The report focuses on global supply chains in general, but its conclusions seem strikingly relevant to explore in a Chinese labor force context, where over 250 million have migrated to work outside their rural districts, are systematically discriminated against because of the hukou system in accessing housing, social, educational, and health support, and are restricted in terms of labor protection and collective bargaining rights.
Protecting the Working Poor
What explains the lack of attention to coercive labor practices in China, the world’s factory floor?
Forced labor is illegal in China, but local authorities such as labor departments and courts rarely have adequate understanding of forced labor indicators, including and especially the aspects of psychological coercion. While local experts note improved labor laws and improved interdepartmental cooperation within authorities, they still are looking for adequate enforcement of existing laws.
Most labor NGOs have limited capacity. Issues are addressed individually and always after the damage has been done — such as lack of pay, compensation for overtime, compensation for workplace injuries — instead of combined as cases of forced labor. Within the dominating, authoritative discourse such issues are addressed as simply labor disputes.
Outside China, there is not much attention either. International attention is scarce. Many human rights organizations do not prioritize modern slavery in terms of forced labor in China because of the challenges of doing investigations on the ground and the long list of other human rights issues in the Chinese context. Anti-slavery organizations mainly focus on trafficking, instead of forced labor, for similar reasons.
“The difficulties investigating such issues in China make it hard to document the extent and forms of forced labor there, so opening up for scrutiny has to be the first step to addressing these problems,” says Jakub Sobik, spokesperson for Anti-Slavery International.
Closer scrutiny of serious coercion in China’s labor market is not only justified because of the seeming lack of attention. More important is the apparent lack of adequate protection of the most-exposed workers, because of a lack of capacity among local authorities. A better understanding of forced labor indicators and especially its invisible psychological mechanisms in local contexts would help. Authorities are already taking action, but clearly not enough.
In many Asian countries, and around the world, the concept of psychological coercion is far from effectively understood, since human trafficking has been the most prominent form of exploitation. This has resulted in legislation, policies, and a growing jurisprudence on the subject. Forced labor, along the same continuum of exploitation, has remained undefined in many jurisdictions and is often considered by courts to be a difficult concept to grapple with.
“The concept of psychological coercion is really about those invisible but nevertheless very powerful constraints that limit the ability of a vulnerable worker to seek redress,” says Archana Kotecha of Liberty Asia, referring to constraints such as nonpayment of wages or significant wage deductions, payment of broker fees and the resulting debt bondage, the retention of identity documents and the lack of written terms or existence of terms that are not respected.
“These traits, compounded by the worker’s commitments to his family and the cost of finding new employment, often serve to bind an employee to a particular employer, as the cost of walking away is unaffordable to the worker,” she says.
«As the German government is trying to prevent German companies in strategic industries from being acquired by foreign investors, especially from China, we take a look at some prominent takeovers from recent years.»
«Germany continues to be a favorite destination for Chinese investors. According to Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Germany started soaring in 2015 and hit a record of 11 billion euros ($12.6 billion) of completed deals last year. This makes Germany the largest recipient of Chinese FDI in Europe.»
«Chinese appliance manufacturer Midea’s purchase of German robot manufacturer Kuka for 4.4 billion euros was by far the largest transaction last year. As German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, the German government’s plan to veto the sale of critical technology is a direct response to the Kuka takeover.»
«In October of last year, China’ sovereign wealth fund CIC invested one billion euros in German property group BGP. The transaction was the first major Chinese investment in German homes. According to Reuters, CIC and its co-investors beat out German property groups Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen in the auction for BGP»
«However, Audretsch also said that Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel would seek to initiate a public debate about how “Europe’s open societies” would deal with unfair competition in future.»
«Chinese appliance giant Midea has secured a stake of more than 90 percent in the German industrial robotics supplier Kuka, with a multi-billion-euro offer that stoked controversy in Europe.»
Ma il problema non è solo economico: è anche politico.
«The report deals primarily with political issues but it also urges EU action on some economic fronts, notably on how the bloc deals with Chinese investment.»
«It says that the EU “needs to continue providing alternatives to the promises of Chinese investments in European countries” and needs to avoid scenarios where falls in its own structural funding opens the door for Chinese investment.»
«The report also says that the EU should employ a “screening” mechanism which prevents any Chinese investment that is deemed to “run against European interests”.»
«”While the EU should welcome foreign investment in general, it must be able to stop any state-driven takeover of companies in systemically important sectors,”»
* * *
Toh!! L’Unione Europea inizia ad adottare il protezionismo.
In 2016, Chinese investors took over more companies in Europe than in the previous four years combined, most of them in Germany. The trend did not continue in 2017 but that was not due to any tightening of Chinese belts.
That year, Germany was the most popular investment destination for Chinese companies in Europe, hosting 68 acquisitions. As Sun Yi explains, that number fell last year, as did the overall volume of transactions.
By her account, there is one clear reason for all of this. “In November 2016, the Chinese government agreed to strictly control the flow of capital abroad,” she tells DW. Since then, German sellers have demanded higher sums as collateral than previously. “Money now has to be deposited into an account in Germany, or else a bank has to give a guarantee,” she says. “Some planned deals have failed since.”
“We are seeing the growing influence of the Chinese Communist Party on individual companies, exactly the opposite of what we heard in Davos last year. That’s what annoys us,” Dieter Kempf of the Federation of German Industry (BDI) told DW, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s championing of free trade at the 2017 World Economic Forum annual meeting.
Aerospace is one. That might explain why the German Ministry of Economics wants to probe the planned takeover of German aerospace supplier Cotesa by a Chines state-owned company.
“Since the introduction of investment auditing in Germany in 2004, no acquisition has been prohibited,” the Ministry says. But last year the rules were tightened. “Since July 2017, around 30 acquisitions have been audited — equivalent to around half the revenue for the whole year,” the Ministry confirmed to DW.
The report deals primarily with political issues but it also urges EU action on some economic fronts, notably on how the bloc deals with Chinese investment.
It says that the EU “needs to continue providing alternatives to the promises of Chinese investments in European countries” and needs to avoid scenarios where falls in its own structural funding opens the door for Chinese investment.
The report also says that the EU should employ a “screening” mechanism which prevents any Chinese investment that is deemed to “run against European interests”.
“While the EU should welcome foreign investment in general, it must be able to stop any state-driven takeover of companies in systemically important sectors,” it says.
“KUKA is a key player in industry 4.0,” says Oliver Emons of the Hans Böckler Foundation, a research body of the German Trade Union Confederation.
To see such a respected, high-tech company fall into Chinese hands hurts. On the other hand, it was just the rule of the market in action — KUKA needed money, Midea needed the tech and in a form of economic OK-Cupid, they found each other.
As well as this kind of natural coupling, Chinese companies have in recent years cultivated an image of being seen to genuinely care about the long-term well-being of the German companies they invest in.
A study by the Hans Böckler Foundation found Chinese investment, on the whole, to be a positive thing. “If you look at the investments, we see that a large proportion of companies remain committed to their investments and to the staff,” Emons, author of the study, told DW.
China’s investment image takes a hit
There is another side to this though. When that study was being written, the first cases of job cuts were not yet known. For example, the former Osram subsidiary Ledvance, now in Chinese hands, cut 1,300 jobs recently.
KUKA also reportedly wants to cut around 250 jobs at its Augsburg headquarters, around a third of the workforce. Midea has given a jobs guarantee and KUKA boss Til Reuter says any job losses are unrelated to the Chinese presence.
Emons has his doubts. “Would he have done that were the Chinese not there?” he wonders. He believes that these kinds of cases will harm the image of Chinese investors and will fuel the already latent fear that exists over selling German technology to the Chinese.
For Sun Yi over at EY, such fears are unfounded. “First of all, the Chinese are not the biggest investors in Germany. The USA, Britain and the Swiss are all ahead of them,” she explains.
“Secondly, with a few exceptions, the companies in Germany and Europe that Chinese firms have invested in generally have had nowhere left to grow within their own markets.”
Si è oramai abituati che quando i media parlano della Cina ci si domanda di chi stiano parlando: sembrerebbero essere del tutto scollati dalla realtà dei fatti, imprigionati in un idealistico universo onirico pregno di bucoliche rimembranze.
Eppure la realtà dovrebbe essere estremamente semplice: la si può capire ricordandosi le operazioni che si sarebbero dovute imparare in prima elementare.
È un fatto stupefacente, che forse potrebbe essere meglio spiegabile ammettendo che i media scrivano in perfetta malafede.
Cerchiamo di ragionare.
Se è vero che nel 1960 il pil procapite cinese era 90 Usd, è altrettanto vero che negli ultimi trenta anni l’economia cinese si è espansa ad incredibile velocità, e ad oggi il pil ppa cinese ammonta a 23,122.027 miliardi Usd contro i 19,362.129 americani.
La Repubblica Popolare Cinese ha circa cinque volte gli abitanti degli Stati Uniti: nulla da stupirsi quindi se la Cina abbia bisogno di risorse energetiche cinque volte maggiori quelle statunitensi.
Reperire una simile quantità di prodotti energetici nel breve volgere di trenta anni è stata impresa degna di menzione: non era assolutamente detto che la Cina ce la avrebbe fatta.
The World Bank riporta come nel 2007 l’80.95% dell’energia fosse prodotta da centrali alimentate a carbone.
Ovvio quindi il tentativo di diversificazione rafforzando il nucleare
In questo ultimo novembre, il gas importato via pipelines è incrementato del 27.4%, mentre quello liquefatto del 53%.
Dovrebbe essere cosa evidente come la Cina non sia al momento nella condizione di ristrutturare il proprio comparto energetico. Con un pil in crescita al ritmo del 7% annuo la Cina ha non solo un disperato bisogno di energetici, ma soprattutto di poterli ottenere a prezzi più bassi il possibile. In pochissime parole: deve utilizzare ciò che ha e che può acquisire.
Sotto questa ottica di lettura, l’ultimo articolo di Bloomberg in materia è surreale al limite del patetico. Sembrerebbero essersi dimenticati quanto poco sia ecologica l’estrazione del gas naturale.
«The world’s largest energy user is facing a winter supply crunch after demand surged this year amid President Xi Jinping’s fight against smog, which has focused on cutting the use of coal in favor of cleaner-burning gas»
«Parts of the country started facing shortages just two weeks into winter, with Hebei and Shandong provinces in the north and central Hubei reporting supply shortfalls last month and curtailing supplies to businesses and factories in order to keep homes warm.»
«China’s surging winter heating needs will create larger summer-winter splits in the global LNG market and exacerbate price swings»
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Il furor ‘ecologico‘, il tarlo liberal di energie ‘pulite‘ spinge alla demonizzazione delle centrali a carbone che peraltro restano al momento essenziali per vivere. Gli inverni cinesi non sono per nulla miti, e le persone assiderate ben poco se ne fanno dell’aria pulita. I morti non necessitano del riscaldamento.
Viene alla mente il dialogo tra Babieca e Ronzinante:
– LNG imports rise 53% y/y to record 4.06 million tons: GAC
– November Pipeline supplies up 27.4% y/y to 2.5 million tons
China’s imports of liquefied natural gas in November surged 53 percent to a record as the nation scrambles to meet fuel shortages amid peak winter demand and government’s drive to cut coal use.
– LNG imports rose 53 percent from the same month last year to 4.06 million metric tons, according to data posted Saturday on the website of the General Administration of Customs. Shipments in the first 11 months of the year are up 48.4 percent.
– Pipeline gas imports advanced 27.4 percent to 2.5 million tons
“Terminal operators have been maximizing their capacities to import as much as they can,” Liu Guangbin, an analyst with SCI International, said before the data release.
The world’s largest energy user is facing a winter supply crunch after demand surged this year amid President Xi Jinping’s fight against smog, which has focused on cutting the use of coal in favor of cleaner-burning gas. Parts of the country started facing shortages just two weeks into winter, with Hebei and Shandong provinces in the north and central Hubei reporting supply shortfalls last month and curtailing supplies to businesses and factories in order to keep homes warm.
Spot LNG prices in Northeast Asia rose this week to $10.90 per million British thermal units, the highest in three years, according to industry publication World Gas Intelligence.
The National Development & Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, last week reiterated its call for gas suppliers including China National Petroleum Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp. should speed up LNG imports to meet winter demand.
– Market to swing from tight winters to loose summers: WoodMac
– China’s LNG imports are up 48% this year through October
China’s self-inflicted heating crisis this winter signals deeper seasonal price swings that may be a boon for liquefied natural gas traders.
The arrival of a price-depressing glut of the fuel is no longer seen as inevitable. Instead, China’s surging winter heating needs will create larger summer-winter splits in the global LNG market and exacerbate price swings. That’s what has happened this year, as the cost of spot cargoes has nearly doubled since June.
It’s yet another ripple effect of China’s quest for cleaner skies, as policies forcing homes and factories to switch from burning coal to natural gas have reduced smog in Beijing while also creating shortages of the heating fuel in frigid northern cities. Traders and energy companies with access to tankers and uncommitted supply are positioned to benefit, Kerry-Anne Shanks, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said in an interview in Singapore.
“We see a market developing that’s quite strong in the winter, and in the summer is loose,” Shanks said. “It plays to the strengths of portfolio players who have the flexibility to deliver supplies to the premium markets.”
Spot LNG in Singapore was priced at $10.26 per million British thermal units on Monday, according to a Singapore Exchange Ltd. assessment, almost double the $5.141 it cost in early June.
Until this year, market consensus was that a flood of new gas export projects coming online in Australia, Russia and the U.S. would engulf a market marked by tepid demand growth.
Then China’s President Xi Jinping decided to make clearing smoggy skies a key part of his agenda. Government agencies converted millions of homes and tens of thousands of factories from coal to gas this year. LNG imports jumped by 48 percent over the first 10 months of the year, putting China on the verge of passing South Korea to become the world’s second-largest importer after Japan.
At the same time, construction problems have delayed some new production projects, such as Inpex Corp.’s Ichthys and Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Prelude in Australia, said Graeme Bethune, chief executive officer of consultant EnergyQuest. Several LNG developments in the U.S. have also been pushed back to 2019 from next year, he said.
“Conventional wisdom said there would be a tsunami of new LNG coming that will force down LNG prices,” Bethune said. “Instead, moves by China are boosting prices. The question going forward is how much of these elevated prices are due to secular reasons and how much is due to seasonal demand.”
China’s rising need for gas, as well as new demand from emerging markets spurred by lower prices, mean that a forecast glut of the fuel next year may be smaller and end sooner than earlier forecast. That’s an incentive for exporters from Australia to Qatar to reconsider projects that have been delayed or canceled.
“The strength of global LNG demand growth has surprised in 2017, and that could happen again in 2018,” Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said in a statement. “That indicates that both LNG suppliers and LNG buyers are going to have to get to work to underpin new LNG supply projects, perhaps sooner than some expected.”
Most LNG demand is either from power and industrial use that is relatively flat through the year, or residential use that peaks in the winter when homes need to be heated. Many of the world’s largest LNG importers are in the northern hemisphere, so the peaks tend to arrive at the same time. Less storage space in China compared to countries like the U.S. limits its winter supply buffer and has contributed to the need for more imports.
Natural gas demand in China will be driven by coal-to-gas switching by industrial users, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report earlier this month, forecasting that the country’s heating challenges will keep markets tight for the next two to three winters.
All that adds up to a market that will be over-supplied in summer months and tight in winter, said Kittithat Promthaveepong, a gas analyst with industry consultant FGE in Singapore. In the summer, spot prices could drop low enough that some plants have to curtail production.
“The moment you reach the winter periods, there will be a lot of demand pull again,” he said. “We definitely think we’re going to see tight winters again in 2018 and 2019. The prices will spike up again in the winter months, but the extent should be lower due to the new U.S. and Australian supplies.”
Currently, Nepal is at the helm of a parliamentary election, the first of its kind after the new constitution. As the nation is gripped by the election fever, an alliance of two major communist parties — CPN (Maoist Centre) and CPN (UML) — has generated heated debates on infrastructure developments. The first and second phases of polling are over, and the preliminary results have clearly shown landslide victory of the communist parties.
During the nationwide campaigns, two top leaders of Nepal’s major communist parties Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and KP Sharma Oli have repeatedly promised to link Nepal and China via rail services. Excited after the polls suggest the possibility of a landslide victory for the communist parties, the two former communist prime ministers have received warm applauds from the general public and the private sector for vowing to bring in more Chinese investments to Nepal.
Following the election alliance, the two communist parties have also issued a joint election commitment paper where they have promised to connect the eastern part of Nepal to the western belt and Rasuwa-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini via electronic rail services in the coming five years.
Railway services are a long-awaited yet unfulfilled dream for the Nepalis. This is a serious issue since if Nepal were to use China’s existing high-speed train of 300 km per hour, Nepal’s east to west could be covered in about three hours while the journey from Kerung to Kathmandu, Kathmandu to Pokhara, and Pokhara to Lumbini could take only half an hour each.
Currently, the development of railway infrastructure has become a hot issue in discussions among scholars, university teachers and students, journalists and politicians too. In its editorial titled “A Rail to China” on November 12, Nepal’s popular vernacular newspaper NayaPatrika daily stated that railway in Nepal has become an image; an opportunity and an impression of strangeness among folks. But recently, the possibility of railway services has emerged as a tangible and achievable reality, ending decades-long gossip, further states the editorial.
At a news conference in Kathmandu on November 17, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said China is willing to become connected to Nepal via road and rail services. In the press brief organized after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China to familiarize the Nepali media about the concept of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Chinese ambassador also said China was committed to developing road and railways for deeper integration in economic, social, cultural and trade issues between the two countries.
Constructing the railways from China to Nepal is obviously an arduous task given the adverse geographic terrain. But, the Nepali dream for the railway is expected to materialize due to Nepal’s participation in BRI, age-old close ties with China, Nepal’s political commitment to development followed by an upcoming stable communist government and, most importantly, Nepalese citizens’ deep rooted psyche to end the Indian high-handedness in Nepal that manifested in the economic blockade in 2015.
To quote the statements of Nepal’s former Prime Minister, who is also a renowned architect, seems relevant here. “The extreme geography cannot limit us. Modern infrastructure technologies have offered many things for us. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway has already shown how modern railway technologies can link the most remote and difficult to reach places. So, linking China’s Tibet autonomous region and Nepal is possible both through technical and economic means,” Dr Bhattarai said in his speech made in the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo” in China’s Guangdong Province.
Likewise, the dream for China’s train to Nepal has come further closer after a high-level 35-member Chinese team visited Rasuwa, Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini, to carry out the preliminary feasibility study of a railway in Nepal in the second week of November.
China’s National Railway Administration Deputy Chief Zheng Jian and other high-ranking officials visited Nepal and had interactions with top-level bureaucrats of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport in Kathmandu. As the alignment of the railways was an issue of discussions among others, the team shall prepare estimates for the total cost after working on the feasibility study. However, based on the preliminary survey, the construction is forecast to cost NPR 270 billion for the 100 km railway from the Chinese border town of Kerung to Kathmandu.
China is expected to construct a railway to Kerung, a small town along the Nepal-China border, by 2020 which will then stretch to connect to Nepal, given Nepal’s political commitment. So, enhancing road links between Nepal and China is not only related to reducing transportation costs or trade promotion, rather it should be viewed in a bigger framework to overhaul the economies of the peoples in both the countries. The railway shall create a huge market and this in turn would yield productivity growth and cultural connectivity. And, China’s role in railway development would be a landmark support for Nepal’s stability and prosperity. This is what the Nepalis are expecting from their northern neighbor.
Fare paragoni è sempre cosa antipatica, ma alla fine si è obbligati a farlo.
Mentre non passa giorno che non si legga come la Cina abbia ampliato il proprio programma One Belt One Road, investendo oltre 1,500 miliardi Usd in infrastrutture in Asia, in Africa ed adesso anche nei paesi dell’est europeo, sembrerebbe lecito domandarsi cosa abbia mai fatto l’Unione Europea per i paesi confluiti nell’Unione dopo l’implosione del comunismo.
La figura dovrebbe essere esplicativa.
L’Unione Europea ha esportato solo la sua Weltanschauung liberal e socialista ideologica: tutti omosessuali oppure nessuno aiuto; accettare le ngo (ong) oppure nessun aiuto; accettare la Corte di Strasburgo oppure nessun aiuto. Fondi in gran parte per personale, molto scarsi per gli investimenti, specie nelle infrastrutture.
Alla resa dei conti, ad oggi la Cina ha investito nelle infrastrutture nei paesi ex-est europeo una cifra quattro volte maggiore di quella erogata dall’Unione Europea.
«Around half of Romanians say they have problems such as affording heat or food»
«Romania may have the European Union’s fastest-growing economy, but it’s also unrivaled in a less flattering indicator: social deprivation»
«inability to keep their homes warm or afford a meal with meat or fish every other day»
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È troppo facile ripetere che la colpa è dei Rumeni.
È troppo facile dare sempre la colpa agli altri.
Ad oggi, investe in Romania, in infrastrutture, più la Cina che non l’Unione Europea.
Around half of Romanians say they have problems such as affording heat or food.
Romania may have the European Union’s fastest-growing economy, but it’s also unrivaled in a less flattering indicator: social deprivation.
One in two Romanians cited problems including an inability to keep their homes warm or afford a meal with meat or fish every other day, according to a Eurostat report this week. That’s more than three times the EU average. Romania’s economy grew 8.8 percent in the third quarter, the most in almost a decade.
Despite Bulgaria being the bloc’s poorest country in terms of gross domestic product per capita, Romania fared worse than its neighbor in the annual deprivation survey. The data show some ex-communist EU members will need to maintain their recent economic outperformance to significantly narrow the wealth gap with the continent’s richer west. That may not be easy.
Romania’s government “cut investment to the lowest level on record, failed to absorb EU funds and stoked uncertainty in the private sector by changing taxation,” said Dan Bucsa, a London-based economist at UniCredit Bank AG. “All these will weigh on potential growth and will prevent a faster convergence in living standards.”
It wasn’t all bad news for eastern Europe. Levels of deprivation in the Czech Republic and Poland dropped below those of France and the U.K. That may provide hope for Romania and others still struggling.
Klyuchevskoye è un paese posto a 50.75 latitudine nord, posto al confine tra Russia e Mongolia.
Dire che sia un posto freddo di inverno sarebbe riduttivo: ci si gela. Facilmente il termometro scende sotto i -50°C.
Però questa zona dispone di giacimenti auriferi, non troppo ricchi, ma degni di essere utilizzati. I costi di estrazione sono alquanto elevati in comparazione con quelli delle miniere del South Africa, ma con le attuali quotazioni dell’oro lo sfruttamento inizierebbe ad essere remunerativo.
Ma il discorso non si estingue nel mero aspetto economico.
Gran ruolo svolge quello politico.
«The purpose of the agreement is to implement the investment project to develop the Klyuchevsky gold deposit in the Trans-Baikal Territory»
«Concluding the agreement will facilitate the formation and development on an integrated complex for mining and processing minerals and help create about 3,000 jobs in the region»
«By signing the directive, Russia approved the draft Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation to Implement the Project to Develop the Klyuchevskoye Gold Deposit (hereinafter referred to as the Agreement).»
«The Agreement consolidates the terms allowing the company China National Gold Group Hong Kong Limited (Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China) or any other company it fully controls (either directly or indirectly) to acquire no less than 60 percent and no more than 70 percent of the voting shares of the Rudnik Zapadnaya-Klyuchi joint stock company»
«including the formation and development on an integrated complex on mining and processing minerals»
«The Agreement provides for the production of precious metals on Russian territory. It also includes measures to support Russian producers of mining and other auxiliary equipment»
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La Cina controllerebbe il pacchetto di maggioranza, ma ad agire sarebbe un consorzio.
«A consortium made up of the Chinese state-owned mining firm China National Gold Corporation, India’s SUN Mining Group and the Russian Far East Development Fund, as well as funds from South Africa and Brazil is prepared to invest up to $500 million in the development of the Klyuchevskoye gold field in the Transbaikal region (over 4,000 miles east of Moscow).»
Al di là degli aspetti su citati, sarebbe da mettere in evidenza il rapporto collaborativo che si sta instaurando tra i paesi afferenti il Brics.
Sono solitamente accordi nei quali tutte le componenti devono poter godere di una propria parte.
The purpose of the agreement is to implement the investment project to develop the Klyuchevsky gold deposit in the Trans-Baikal Territory. Concluding the agreement will facilitate the formation and development on an integrated complex for mining and processing minerals and help create about 3,000 jobs in the region.
Submitted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
By signing the directive, Russia approved the draft Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation to Implement the Project to Develop the Klyuchevskoye Gold Deposit (hereinafter referred to as the Agreement).
The Agreement consolidates the terms allowing the company China National Gold Group Hong Kong Limited (Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China) or any other company it fully controls (either directly or indirectly) to acquire no less than 60 percent and no more than 70 percent of the voting shares of the Rudnik Zapadnaya-Klyuchi joint stock company with a view to creating favourable terms for investment cooperation in developing the Klyuchevskoye gold field.
Implementation of the investment project to develop the Klyuchevskoye gold deposit will support the deposit’s geological exploration and mining, including the formation and development on an integrated complex on mining and processing minerals. The Agreement provides for the production of precious metals on Russian territory. It also includes measures to support Russian producers of mining and other auxiliary equipment.
The Agreement will facilitate the creation of jobs in the Trans-Baikal Territory (about 1,000 direct jobs and about 2,000 related jobs), higher tax revenues for the budgets of the Russian Federation, and the development of the region’s infrastructure.
In accordance with the federal law On International Treaties of the Russian Federation, after it is signed the Agreement must be ratified because it establishes rules that differ from those stipulated by Russian law.
A new agreement to restart exploration and extraction at a mine in Siberia marks a milestone in the development of economic ties among the BRICS nations.
A consortium made up of the Chinese state-owned mining firm China National Gold Corporation, India’s SUN Mining Group and the Russian Far East Development Fund, as well as funds from South Africa and Brazil is prepared to invest up to $500 million in the development of the Klyuchevskoye gold field in the Transbaikal region (over 4,000 miles east of Moscow). The agreement was signed during the most recent BRICS summit, which that took place in the Indian resort of Goa on Oct. 15-16. According to plans for the site, Klyuchevskoye will become operational three years after investment becomes available and will yield some 6.5 tons of gold per year.
This is the first mining deal in the history of BRICS that involves all five member states, which makes it particularly significant, says Wiktor Bielski, global head of commodities research at VTB Capital. Bielski adds that the agreement paves the way for bigger projects in the future that can benefit a wide range of BRICS investors.
Benefits for the partners
The Klyuchevskoye gold deposit was explored a long time ago, however, the bulk of the gold was not extracted because of the costly development process that was halted some 20 years back,according to Alexei Kalachev, an expert analyst with FINAM investment firm in Moscow. The China National Gold Corporation, however, has the relevant technological experience to extract and process the gold, Kalachev said.
The deposit is currently owned by India’s SUN Gold, Ltd., part of the SUN Mining Group, which has not begun to develop it. In August 2016, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service said that the China National Gold Group intended to buy 70 percent in the deposit from SUN Gold. According to Kalachev, the idea of a consortium may have evolved from an attempt to speed up the deal at the highest levels.
The Klyuchevskoye gold deposit is not especially rich; at its stated production volumes and reserves, it will have a life cycle of 11-12 years, while the average life cycle of gold mines worldwide is 15-16 years, says Artem Kalinin, a portfolio manager at Leon Family Office. Additionally, the cost of production at Klyuchevskoye is being forecast at the average global level. “That said, the Chinese are used to operating in this mode: the country’s steel and coal industries have very weak production costs, but they have so far been feeling quite alright thanks to cheap financing and state support,” Kalinin said.
Russian gold mining companies are currently not taking part in developing Klyuchevskoye, but according to Kalinin, Russia stands to gain regardless of who develops the site. “The Russians will get an opportunity to borrow new technologies and to get an infrastructure that the Chinese will build,” he said.
Alexei Kalachev notes that other obvious upsides for Russia include a rise in tax revenues, new jobs and an inflow of foreign investment.
What’s in it for China?
Despite the fact that China is the world’s leader in gold mining and one of the world’s largest consumers of the precious metal, its resource base is rather weak, says Kalinin. The CIS countries host the majority of the world’s gold reserves — 28 percent. Another 20 percent of the reserves are located in North America while Asian reserves make up just 11 percent.
Oleg Remyga, head of China studies at the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, notes that China’s gold production is falling — it was down 0.4 percent in 2015 — while consumption is rising — up + 3.7 percent in 2015. “Hence, the clear ambition of Chinese companies to enter international markets,” Remyga explained.
According to Remyga, the China National Gold Group’s investment in the Klyuchevskoye deposit is part of this bigger drive for resources. Chinese companies have already purchased shares in Canada’s Pinnacle Mines, Ltd. as well as 50 percent of shares in a deposit in Papua New Guinea owned by Barrick Gold Corp. “I am convinced that it is just the beginning of acquisitions of Russian gold-mining assets by Chinese companies, such as Zijin Mining, China Gold, Zhaojin Mining Industry, and Shandong Gold,” Remyga said, adding that negotiations with them have been going on already for five years.
The project to be presented at the Eastern Economic Forum in September
The Kamchatka Terrotiry will boost gold mining fourfold from 4.2 tons in 2015 to 18 tons by 2025, with the bulk of it provided by a concentration mill at the Ozernovskoe goldfield. This project will be presented at the second Eastern Economic Forum, Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin said on Aug. 29.
“The Ozernovskoe goldfield is the largest among those explored in Kamchatka. Its area is 100 square km and its gold volume is around 10 tonnes yearly. We plan to attain gold mining levels of around 15-18 tons yearly,” the governor stated.
Apart from the Ozernovskoe goldfield concentration plant, Kamchatka will also present its air terminal, battery farm and greenhouse projects at the EEF.
The second Eastern Economic Forum is scheduled to take place on Sept. 2-3 in Vladivostok.
Tutte le notizie possono essere commentate da differenti punti di vista, ciascuno dei quali mette in particolare risalto uno dei tanti aspetti.
Tra di questi, uno è costantemente sorvolato e sottotaciuto dai media occidentali: argomento particolarmente scomodo, ma non per questo inesistente.
Mentre l’Occidente sta dibattendosi in una crisi politica di severa portata, che raggiunge il suo massimo espressivo nella impossibilità di formare governi coesi e determinati, con movimenti e partiti minoritari che si rifiutano di accettare il ruolo di essere minoranze, mentre l’Occidente disperde l’opinione pubblica su temi etici e morali di dubbia consistenza ed utilità, mentre l’Occidente constata la evanescenza delle proprie teorie economiche non più, e vistosamente, in grado di gestire i tempi correnti, la Cina e la Russia stanno sviluppando un piano politico ed economico volto a formare un nuovo baricentro euroasiatico.
Molte quindi le possibili considerazioni.
In primo luogo, mentre in passato l’Occidente rendeva conto di gran parte dell’economia mondiale, al momento attuale le nazioni del G-7 generano circa il trenta per cento del pil mondiale. Il sistema economico occidentale non ha quindi dimensioni e forza per condizionare il resto del mondo, mentre questo ultimo ha dimensioni e forza per condizionare l’Occidente. La conseguenza è lapalissiana: l’Occidente non è più libero di scegliersi le strade da percorrere e le modalità di azione: o si adegua, oppure soccombe.
In secondo luogo, l’Unione Europea ha iniziato a frantumarsi. Se i partiti bollati come ‘populisti’ non hanno ancora conquistato dei governi europei, con la loro stessa presenza ne condizionano indirizzi ed azioni. La crisi politica francese ed austriaca, spagnola ed italiana, nonché quella tedesca paralizzano l’Unione Europea. Paralisi politica che si riverbera severamente sulla attività della Banca Centrale, proprio nel momento di inizio del tapering.
In terzo luogo, fino a quando aveva un qualche potere, Frau Merkel ed i suoi alleati europei si erano posti per motivazioni ideologiche in posizioni conflittuali con i paesi del Visegrad e, più generalmente parlando, con quelli dell’est europeo, Russia compresa. In alcune dichiarazioni, la dirigenza dell’Unione si era anche sbilanciata al punto di voler imporre al Visegrad sanzioni. Alla luce dell’attuale crisi queste posizioni sembrerebbero essere non più a lungo sostenibili.
In quarto luogo, come prima ricordato, l’Unione Europea non è più libera di decidere ciò che vuole. La Cina, assieme alla Russia, ha sviluppato il Ceec, China and Central and Eastern European Countries, nel cui ambito si muove con saggi criteri paritetici, senza esercitare la minima pressione sulle situazioni interne dei paesi membri. Una unione economica di sedici paesi. Molto significativo l’esame del sito di questa nuova organizzazione. Le fotografie prese ad icona dei singoli stati, per Bosnia Erzegovina, Bulgaria, Repubblica Ceka, Estonia, Ungheria, Lettonia, Macedonia, Polonia, Serbia, e Slovenia sono chiese, fatto del tutto impensabile invece nell’Unione Europea.
In quinto luogo, appaiono evidenti almeno due aspetti dell’interna questione. Come detto prima, la Cina non interferisce in nulla nei problemi interni dei paesi partner, ma investe cifre colossali in infrastrutture di trasporti ed utilities che nell’ambito del progetto Belt and Road superano abbondantemente i millecinquecento miliardi di dollari. Queste due considerazioni evidenziano il netto contrasto con il modo di agire dell’Unione Europea, che devolve la quasi totalità del proprio bilancio in welfare oppure in imprese ideologiche avulse dalle esigenze correnti dei mercati.
In sesto luogo, i numeri parlano chiaro. I paesi dell’est europeo stanno ricevendo più fondi dalla Cina che non dall’Unione Europea, che, anzi, fa persino pesare quel poco che concede. È evidente che alla fine queste nazioni saranno anche costrette a rivedere il proprio schieramento in seno alla Nato, con tutte le sequenziali conseguenze.
Dazi doganali ridotti dal 17.3% al 7.7%?
Sicuramente questa manovra faciliterà le esportazioni verso la Cina, anche se nel contempo ne consoliderà la leadership. Ma altrettanto sequenzialmente evidenzia come un miglioramento del sistema economico occidentale dipenda più dalla Cina e dalla Russia che non dall’Occidente.
BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — China will further reduce tariffs on consumer goods, including food and infant formula, in the third cut since 2015.
Effective next month, the average import tax on some food, health products, medicine, daily chemicals, clothing, footwear, and other products will drop to 7.7 percent from 17.3 percent, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Friday in an online statement.
Some types of baby milk powder and diapers will have zero tariffs, according to an MOF list.
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) — China collected 409 billion yuan (59.3 billion U.S. dollars) in taxes in four major free trade zones (FTZs) last year, data from the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) showed.
The tax revenue growth was driven by fast development, reasonable industrial structure and strong innovation in the Shanghai, Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong FTZs.
Nearly 90 percent of the tax revenue came from the modern services sector, while high-end manufacturing witnessed strong growth in tax revenue, SAT data showed.
SAT data showed tax receipts from car manufacturing had annual growth of 44 percent last year, 34 percentage points higher than the national average.
Internet, software and information technology services posted stellar growth in tax revenues. The Guangdong FTZ, supported by tech-hub Shenzhen, saw tax revenues from the two sectors increase 470 percent and 390 percent respectively year on year.
FTZs are part of government efforts to test reform policies, including interest rate liberalization and fewer investment restrictions to better integrate the economy with international practice.
China launched its first FTZ in Shanghai in 2013. In late 2014, Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong were allowed to set up a second group of FTZs. Another seven were approved in August 2016 in a bid to replicate the success of previous trials.
«BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing on Sunday morning for an official visit to Hungary and the sixth meeting of heads of government of China-Central and Eastern European Countries in Budapest.
Li will also attend the 16th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Russian city of Sochi from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.»
«BUDAPEST, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has vowed to bring cooperation between China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) and relations between China and Hungary to a higher level.
Li made the statement in an article published on the newspaper The Hungarian Times before attending the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and the CEEC on Nov. 26-29 in Budapest and paying an official visit to Hungary. Full Story»
BUDAPEST, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has vowed to bring cooperation between China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) and relations between China and Hungary to a higher level.
Li made the statement in an article published on the newspaper The Hungarian Times before attending the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and the CEEC on Nov. 26-29 in Budapest and paying an official visit to Hungary.
“This is an important meeting held at the fifth anniversary of the launching of China-CEEC cooperation (16+1 cooperation). I’m looking forward to the meeting and the visit,” Li said.
Noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in May the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, Li said he is full of confidence about China-Hungary relations and the prospect of China-CEEC cooperation.
The premier recalled that the first China-CEEC economic and trade forum was held in Budapest in 2011 and, a year later, the 17 countries established a new trans-regional cooperation platform, called the 16+1 cooperation.
Over the five years, the 16+1 cooperation has been growing and the mechanism improving, bringing about remarkable progress to cooperation in all fields, Li said.
Political mutual trust between China and the CEEC countries has been deepened, with the two sides having established cooperation mechanisms in about 20 areas, he said.
Economic cooperation has been growing steadily, with bilateral trade increasing to 58.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 from 43.9 billion dollars in 2010 and the completion of a number of landmark infrastructure projects, said the premier.
People-to-people exchanges have been strengthened in the fields of education, culture, health, tourism, media, think tank, political party and youth, and at local levels, he said.
After a great start, the 16+1 cooperation demands a new direction and new momentum, the premier said, adding that he will work with CEEC leaders to review what the two sides have achieved in the five years and draw a blueprint for the future.
On China-Hungary ties, Li said both countries are beneficiaries and supporters of economic globalization, and it is in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries to stick to trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
Speaking highly of the strategic alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with Hungary’s Eastern Opening policy, Li said the Belt and Road Initiative and 16+1 cooperation have put the two countries’ economic and trade cooperation on a fast lane, with progress made in the areas of investment, finance, agriculture, scientific and technological innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises.
China and Hungary have also made strides in people-to-people exchange and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, sports, tourism and traditional Chinese medicine, he said.
Both sides hold that China-Hungary ties have entered the best period in history, Li said.
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has set out a grand blueprint and action guideline for future development of China, said Li, adding that a more open and prosperous China will surely bring more and greater opportunities to all countries in the world including Hungary.
«BUDAPEST, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang heads to Budapest on Sunday for the sixth meeting of heads of government of China-Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries, the once lagging behind part of Europe gets another chance to showcase its new title — the fastest growing region in Europe.
Data from the European Union (EU) lists Romania (8.6 percent in Q3, 2017), Latvia (6.2 percent), Poland and Czech Republic (both 5.0 percent) as top four fastest growing economies in the Union, which happen to be members of the China-CEE cooperation framework and take the lion’s share of China’s investment in the region.»
WARSAW, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) — Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Wednesday said transport is “one of the most promising fields of cooperation between Poland, the whole Central and Eastern Europe, and China.”
She made the statement as ministers of transport from China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) met here on Wednesday for the second CEEC-China Transport Ministers’ Meeting, which aims to improve cooperation in the area of transport.
During the opening ceremony, Szydlo said Poland has plans to develop the country’s transport infrastructure, including road, rail, air, sea links and inland waterways.
He Jianzhong, vice-minister of transport of China, said that China is willing to work with CEEC to promote the integration of Eurasian transport, accelerate interconnection of infrastructure and work together for a new chapter in China-CEEC transport cooperation.
La situazione spagnola si è risolta come da copione.
Un referendum velleitario portato avanti da velleitari.
Una cosa è organizzare manifestazioni di piazza, un’altra pubblicare vignette su Facebook, un’altra ancora fomentare sentimenti irrazionali: in fondo questo è uno dei segni del decadimento di questa società dei videogiochi.
La libertà, quella vera, la si conquista con il sangue e sempre con il sangue la si mantiene.
La storia non usa mezze misure: la storia non è agone per gli eunuchi.
Restano sul tavolino, irrisolti, tutti i problemi di una Europa nella quale gli spiriti nazionali e le tradizioni locoregionali stanno pigliando sempre più vigore e pongono il problema politico e diplomatico di come ricomporre la civile convivenza.
Problemi che sembrerebbero suggerire più un sistema confederato che un stato europeo.
Ma non ci si illuda.
Proprio ieri, quarantamila baschi sono scesi in strada, nonostante la pioggia battente, a dimostrare per la Catalogna.
Catalogna oppure Scozia, Veneto oppure kurdi, questi problemi di identità nazionale e storica sono aspetti reali e concreti, che i governi non possono eludere più a lungo. Nel contempo sono solo parzialmente locali: in realtà sono di interesse globale. Occorre essere ben equilibrati.
Come l’unità di Italia non fu certo decisa a Torino, bensì a Parigi ed a Londra, allora egemoni in Europa, così ogi per la Catalogna è stato fattore fondamentale la voce del paese emerso verso l’egemonia mondiale.
«Catalonia attracted 40 percent of China’s total investment in Spain as 29 Chinese companies chose to base themselves in Catalonia»
«China’s position on this issue has been consistent and unequivocal…We understand and support the Spanish government’s effort to uphold national unity, ethnic solidarity, and territorial integrity, oppose the act of splitting the country and undermining the rule of law, and believe Spain is capable of upholding the social order and safeguarding the rights and interests of its citizens»
«La Cosco, azienda leader del settore navale cinese e perno della Nuova Via della Seta nel mar Mediterraneo, porta a termine l’acquisizione dei maggiori porti spagnoli da JP Morgan e nomina il cinese Kai Sun, già noto per aver gestito l’acquisizione del Pireo, come amministratore delegato del consorzio Noatum Ports. Insieme a lui è stato nominato come presidente di Noatum sempre il cinese Wei Zhang e nel c.d.A. arriva anche un altro cinese, Ken Chan. Una triade cinese che oggi sa di avere in mano una buona parte del commercio navale spagnolo»
Piaccia o meno, questa è solo una constatazione di Realpolitik.
Amid the escalating Catalonia crisis, China offered the Spanish government its “consistent and clear” support.
On October 27, Catalonia declared independence from Spain after a disputed referendum. Minutes later, Madrid announced it would resume direct rule of Catalonia. On October 30, Spain’s state prosecutor called for charges of rebellion, sedition, fraud, and misuse of funds against the former Catalan leaders, while the former regional president has already left for Belgium with other members of his administration, according to Reuters.
Faced with a round of questions related to the Catalonia crisis at the regular press briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chuying offered the Spanish government strong support, despite noting that the issue actually “ falls within Spain’s internal affairs.” Hua said:
«China’s position on this issue has been consistent and unequivocal…We understand and support the Spanish government’s effort to uphold national unity, ethnic solidarity, and territorial integrity, oppose the act of splitting the country and undermining the rule of law, and believe Spain is capable of upholding the social order and safeguarding the rights and interests of its citizens.»
Regarding relations between China and Spain, Hua said, “We will continue to develop friendly cooperation in various fields with Spain following the principle of mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. ”
Generally speaking, China tends to oppose most independence or secessionist movements around the world, since China itself is struggling with advocacy for independence in various regions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken a particularly strong stance toward any independent movements within China’s territory. During the recent 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi said in his opening speech that China will “resolutely safeguard the national sovereignty and territorial integrity and will absolutely not tolerate the tragedy of the country’s split.”
Against this backdrop, China’s position on Catalonia crisis is in line with its domestic policy.
Meanwhile, China has been strengthening ties with Spain in recent years. Particularly, Chinese investment in Spain has been increasing in a remarkable pace. According to a report from Baker McKenzie, a multinational law firm, in 2016, China’s investment in Spain quadrupled compared to the previous year, reaching €1.7 billion ($1.98 billion). Catalonia, in particular, received the most attention from Chinese investors. According to the government of Catalonia, in 2015, Catalonia attracted 40 percent of China’s total investment in Spain as 29 Chinese companies chose to base themselves in Catalonia. The government of Catalonia also said it “aims to attract Chinese and other Asian companies and facilitate the implementation and distribution of their goods in Europe.”
At the recent press briefing, Hua mentioned that China is “paying great attention” to the situation in Catalonia.
La regola aurea per diventare, e rimanere, ricchi è quella di evitare i suggerimenti dei consulenti economici e finanziari poveri.
Sarebbe una pia illusione che un funzionario a 1,400 euro al mese possa dare i suggerimenti necessari all’arricchimento. Se avesse saputo darli, sarebbe divento lui stesso ricco.
Una banca taccagna e piangiolenta, tutta tesa ad ossequiare leggi, normative e regolamenti è tale perché non sa proprio come fare a regolarsi. Si dovrebbe poi pretendere che usi buon senso con i clienti?
Oppure, come si potrebbe pretendere che una banca con i conti in dissesto possa rendere fiorenti i nostri conti?
Ma il mondo è diventato piccolo, molto piccolo. Hong Kong è una simpaticissima città: vi si trova tutto e di tutto. Ivi comprese delle signore banche.
Che godono un’ottima salute, accolgono a braccia aperte e, soprattutto, stanno pazientemente a sentire le esigenze dei clienti, che seguono con la cura di una nutrice. Non taglieggiano i clienti con commissioni esose, e ben si guardano da cambiare unilateralmente le condizioni del conto.
Non esiste esigenza alla quale rispondano: non è possibile. E questo anche per chi avesse un conto talmente piccolo da fare tenerezza. Sanno che è compito loro farlo diventare un conto di tutto rispetto.
«Tight cost control along with better asset quality has allowed Hong Kong’s biggest banks to offer shareholders the highest returns in the region»
«The large banks in Hong Kong are some of the most profitable in the world»
«In this regard, HSBC Hong Kong, Bank of China Hong Kong and Hang Seng Bank have performed much better than Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia»
«Morgan Stanley analysts calculated that Hong Kong banks’ have offered returns with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 14 per cent over the past five years, the strongest performance among all the Asia Pacific ex Japan MSCI country bank indices for the period»
* * * * * * * *
Negli ultimi cinque anni le banche di Hong Kong hanno fruttato mediamente il 14% ogni anno.
È un biglietto da visita degno di essere preso in attenta considerazione.
Tight cost control along with better asset quality has allowed Hong Kong’s biggest banks to offer shareholders the highest returns in the region.
The large banks in Hong Kong are some of the most profitable in the world, partly due to their low costs, according to industry experts.
Banking analysts say this is partly a result of market fundamentals, but also comes down to cost control decisions taken by the banks themselves. In this regard, HSBC Hong Kong, Bank of China Hong Kong and Hang Seng Bank have performed much better than Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia.
Other factors driving the sector’s profitability include high loan growth and few substantial problems with asset quality.
Morgan Stanley analysts calculated that Hong Kong banks’ have offered returns with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 14 per cent over the past five years, the strongest performance among all the Asia Pacific ex Japan MSCI country bank indices for the period.
Their performance can also be seen in Hong Kong’s contribution to the results of the large global banks with a presence in the city.
“[This] offers a reminder of the dominance of Hong Kong, despite the fact that Standard Chartered’s recent growth in Hong Kong has been ‘soft’ relative to peers,” Ian Gordon, head of bank research at Investec, said in a report.
Anil Agarwal, head of Asia ex Japan banks research at Morgan Stanley, said profitability of the largest banks in Hong Kong was “partly the nature of the beast”.
“For banks the largest cost is on the liability side, actually raising the assets to lend. But in Hong Kong, if you have consolidated market share, you need a lot fewer branches to raise a deposit base,” he said.
In Hong Kong, deposits per capita are over US$200,000, the highest in Asia. To take an example at the opposite end of the spectrum, in India they are 80,000 rupees (US$1,200).
Consequently, large banks in Hong Kong can raise a lot of money more cheaply than their competitors overseas, and gain greater returns when they lend it out.
However, Agarwal said the low cost base of the largest Hong Kong banks was also a result of actions taken by the banks themselves.
Morgan Stanley analysts, including Agarwal, said in a report that of the top five banks in Hong Kong, the three largest (HSBC Hong Kong, Bank of China Hong Kong and Hang Seng) were much more efficient from a cost perspective than the other two (Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia).
The first three had a cost to income ratio of under 40 per cent in 2016, as opposed to one of about 60 per cent for BEA and Standard Chartered.
“The three largest banks are absolutely great in terms of cost control,” said Agarwal.
“It is easy for banks to fritter away cost advantage by spending more on staff costs or expansion, but the largest Hong Kong banks have been very disciplined in keeping a tight leash on cost income ratios.”
As for profits, loan growth has been strong in Hong Kong, and across the sector loans in the first six months of this year were up 15 per cent compared to the same period last year.
However, even loans for use in Hong Kong were up 14 per cent year on year, as the economy has performed well.
As for asset quality, analysts have two major concerns for Hong Kong banks – mainland lending, and mortgages – but neither offer a major threat at this stage.
“China-related lending, undoubtedly, will remain the biggest concentration risk for Hong Kong banks. However, the way it is managed and supervised is evolving and we have been seeing corrective actions from some banks or in other cases just a sensible slow-down which supports their loan quality,” said Sabine Bauer, senior director at ratings agency Fitch.