Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo

Cina. La visita di Frau Merkel. È stata ricevuta da Mr Li Keqiang, non da Mr Xi.

Sandro Mela.

2019-09-07.

2019-09-06__Merkel__Pechino__001

Frau Merkel è in visita in Cina.

Ma a riceverla ed a parlarle è stato Mr Li Keqiang, Primo Ministro cinese. Con il Segretario Generale Xi Jinping Frau Merkel ha avuto solo un breve incontro durante una colazione di lavoro.

La posizione di Frau Merkel è ambigua, e di questo Pechino se ne rende perfettamente conto.

Cerchiamo di riassumere, anche se gli argomenti sarebbero molti.

«The protracted trade dispute between the US and China is affecting other countries as well, Merkel has told the Chinese premier. The German chancellor also stressed that a peaceful solution is needed for Hong Kong»

«At the start of her meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ongoing trade spat between China and the US, and the ensuing tit for tat tariffs, has had an adverse effect on other countries as well»

«The German economy is on the brink of recession after contracting in the second quarter of the year due to weakened exports»

«At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing at the slowest pace in almost three decades, as it reels from US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods»

«Over the past year, Germany and the European Union have both tightened their rules for screening foreign investment, leading to accusations of protectionism by Beijing»

«Trade between Germany and China stood at around €199 billion ($218 billion) in 2018. China has been Germany’s biggest trading partner for the past three years»

«She is meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner before continuing on to Wuhan on Saturday to meet with business representatives and students from Huazhong University»

«But increasingly China is seen not only as Germany’s most important trade partner but also as an economic rival. At the beginning of the year, the Association of German Industry warned of systematic competition with China’s economic model. Fear of an economic downturn could affect Germany’s efforts to improve trade relations with China»

«Some EU member countries, such as Greece, have already agreed to cooperate in the project. There are fears that through this initiative China will increase not only its economic influence in the region but also its political sway.»

«While the EU Commission describes China as a “systemic rival,” Germany and China prefer to label each other as “global economic partners.” Alongside regular German-Sino consultations, the two sides held their first-ever joint military drill in Bavaria in July. Still, the ambivalent nature of their relationship remains a cause for concern both at home and abroad.»

*

«Besides trade, human rights and the current protests in Hong Kong  also feature prominently on her agenda»

«Merkel said she discussed Hong Kong with Premier Li and that there needed to be a peaceful solution for the city»

«”I indicated during the talks that the rights and freedoms agreed upon in Hong Kong’s Basic Law should be safeguarded,” she said.»

«But relations with the People’s Republic are more complex than ever before, with Merkel under pressure to confront China over the controversy surrounding Chinese involvement in Hong Kong and Xinjiang»

«Shortly before Merkel’s visit, she received a plea for help in an open letter from Joshua Wong, a leader of the protest movement in Hong Kong»

«During her last visit to China, Merkel managed to help secure the safe passage of Liu Xia, widow of the late dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo»

* * * * * * *

In sintesi, facendosi portavoce delle opposizioni al Governo cinese – Liu Xiaobo, questione di Hong Kong, ed islamici cinesi – Frau Merkel ha assunto in passato ed anche oggi posizioni non gradite a Pechino. Per simili evenienza, ricordiamo come Mr Macron abbia ritirato l’Ambasciatore da Roma.

Similmente, Pechino trova grandi difficoltà a comprendere come la Germania di Frau Merkel si posizioni nella diatriba in corso su valute e dazi con gli Stati Uniti.

Se è vero che l’interscambio tra Cina e Germania si aggira attorno ai 218 miliardi di dollari americani, sarebbe altrettanto vero ricordare come l’import cinese dalla Germania non sia per essa strategico.

*

Non è solo problema di rapporti tra governi, ma anche tra popoli.

Basterebbe ricordare la presa di posizione cinese alla gaffe di Versace.

Polemica per t-shirt Versace in Cina, scuse dell’azienda

«I media cinesi hanno denunciato che su una t-shirt venduta da Versace nel Paese apparivano nomi di città con la nazione di appartenenza sbagliata, in particolare non venivano elencate Hong Kong e Macao come parte della Cina. Sui social Versace è stata accusata di attentare alla sovranità nazionale. “Mi dispiace profondamente per lo sfortunato errore – scrive Donatella Versace su Fb -. Non ho mai voluto mancare di rispetto alla sovranità Nazionale della Cina”.»

*

«Over the past year, Germany and the European Union have both tightened their rules for screening foreign investment, leading to accusations of protectionism by Beijing»

Andando al sodo, i cinesi gradirebbero che Frau Merkel si facesse gli affari suoi, senza ingerirsi negli affari interni cinesi: tutti sono utili ma nessuno è inidpsensabile. Il messaggio dovrebbe essere ben chiaro.


Angela Merkel in China: A trip fraught with difficulties

The German chancellor is a regular visitor to China. But amid economic and political unrest, her upcoming talks with the Chinese leadership are expected to be far from straightforward.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was welcomed with military honors in China on Friday with a business delegation in tow, hoping to secure an economic agreement. During the state visit, in addition to conferences with China’s political leadership, Merkel also has meetings planned with Chinese students.

But relations with the People’s Republic are more complex than ever before, with Merkel under pressure to confront China over the controversy surrounding Chinese involvement in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Human rights: Hong Kong

Shortly before Merkel’s visit, she received a plea for help in an open letter from Joshua Wong, a leader of the protest movement in Hong Kong. There are notable, but isolated cases, where Germany got involved in human rights issues in China. During her last visit to China, Merkel managed to help secure the safe passage of Liu Xia, widow of the late dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. 

The German foreign minister has also been critical of China’s actions in the western province of Xinjiang, where an estimated one million Muslim Uyghurs have been detained against their will. But discussions with Chinese authorities about human rights abuses are becoming more difficult and infrequent.

Threat of an economic slump

“China is a strategic partner, but also a competitor,” Merkel said of their relationship. China is Germany’s largest import market and, after the USA and France, and also its most important export market. In 2018 the two countries traded goods worth almost €200 billion ($221 billion).

But increasingly China is seen not only as Germany’s most important trade partner but also as an economic rival. At the beginning of the year, the Association of German Industry warned of systematic competition with China’s economic model. Fear of an economic downturn could affect Germany’s efforts to improve trade relations with China.

China’s new global infrastructure project, the so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is their attempt to build trade relations with Africa and Europe. Some EU member countries, such as Greece, have already agreed to cooperate in the project. There are fears that through this initiative China will increase not only its economic influence in the region but also its political sway.

Concerns are also mounting that the ongoing trade dispute between the USA and China could negatively affect Germany’s relations with both countries. Following the US’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, China has offered economic incentives to Iran to come back into the agreement. Donald Trump has put pressure on Germany to act as a mediator between China, Iran and the US. Security concerns surrounding Chinese production of Huawei 5G technology is a further point of tension about which, for now, Germany remains ambivalent.

‘Systemic rivals’

The visit would likely be billed as a success if Merkel manages to secure Chinese confirmation of participation in the planned trade agreement between the EU and China. To that end, Berlin wants to arrange an EU-China summit in Germany during its EU presidency in 2020. 

While the EU Commission describes China as a “systemic rival,” Germany and China prefer to label each other as “global economic partners.” Alongside regular German-Sino consultations, the two sides held their first-ever joint military drill in Bavaria in July. Still, the ambivalent nature of their relationship remains a cause for concern both at home and abroad.

*


Angela Merkel calls for peaceful resolution in Hong Kong

The protracted trade dispute between the US and China is affecting other countries as well, Merkel has told the Chinese premier. The German chancellor also stressed that a peaceful solution is needed for Hong Kong.

At the start of her meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ongoing trade spat between China and the US, and the ensuing tit for tat tariffs, has had an adverse effect on other countries as well.

The German economy is on the brink of recession after contracting in the second quarter of the year due to weakened exports. At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing at the slowest pace in almost three decades, as it reels from US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

Merkel, who is leading a large business delegation to Beijing, also said she hoped an EU-China investment agreement would be finalized soon. This is Merkel’s 12th visit to China as chancellor. 

Besides trade, human rights and the current protests in Hong Kong  also feature prominently on her agenda. 

Merkel said she discussed Hong Kong with Premier Li and that there needed to be a peaceful solution for the city. “I indicated during the talks that the rights and freedoms agreed upon in Hong Kong’s Basic Law should be safeguarded,” she said. 

Li said Beijing wanted to prevent unrest in the former British colony, which has been convulsed by protests in the past few weeks.

Investment issues

Over the past year, Germany and the European Union have both tightened their rules for screening foreign investment, leading to accusations of protectionism by Beijing. 

An EU-China investment deal would remove some of the hurdles and is sought by both Europe and China.

China hopes Germany will accept more Chinese companies and loosen export rules for certain goods, said Chinese Premier Li. He also stressed that China will open up its economy even more.

Merkel said Germany is open for Chinese investment and welcomed all Chinese firms to invest in the country. But the chancellor said Berlin scrutinizes investments in certain strategic sectors and critical infrastructure.

Trade between Germany and China stood at around €199 billion ($218 billion) in 2018. China has been Germany’s biggest trading partner for the past three years. 

Merkel and Li signed a total of 11 agreements to expand cooperation in areas such as aviation, automotive, clean energy, finance and education.

Talking human rights

Earlier on Friday, Merkel was received with military honors by Li at the Great Hall of the People. The two leaders sat during the ceremony after Merkel earlier this year experienced repeated bouts of shaking in similar instances. Li stood during the Chinese anthem. 

Later in the day, Merkel is set to take part in talks at the China-Germany Economic Advisory Committee, a platform for business leaders and politicians.

She is meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner before continuing on to Wuhan on Saturday to meet with business representatives and students from Huazhong University. 

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina, Problemi militari, Stati Uniti

Cina alla conquista dell’Oceano Pacifico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-30.

2019-08-26-_ Cina Pacifico

Mr Deng Xiaoping aveva dato chiarissime direttive ed ordini di priorità.

– Prima costruire un solido sistema produttivo che alimenti l’export.

– Poi, allestire delle forze armate in grado di garantire almeno i confini della nazione.

– Indi allacciare a livello mondiale rapporti paritetici bilaterali volti alla costruzione e controllo delle infrastrutture.

– Solo alla fine, con quel che avanzasse, generare un welfare.

Questo indirizzo strategico è semplicemente l’opposto della Weltanschauung occidentale ed è per questo motivo che l’Occidente inizia solo ora a prenderne atto.

«US pre-eminence in the Pacific is no more»

«For a long time experts have been speaking about China’s rapid military modernisation referring to it as “a rising power”. …. But this analysis may be out of date. China is not so much a rising power; it has risen; and in many ways it now challenges the US across a number of military domains.»

«US defence strategy in the Indo-Pacific region “is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis” and that Washington might struggle to defend its allies against China.»

«America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific»

«The report points to Beijing’s extraordinary arsenal of missiles that threaten the key bases of the US and its allies. These installations, it asserts, “could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict”»

«China lacks the “proselytising zeal” – the sense of over-seas mission, that over the twentieth century saw the US strive for global dominance.»

«China is already a superpower to rival the US»

«Dubbed in military-speak, an “anti-access and area denial” approach, China has single-mindedly focused on a range of sensors and weapons systems that it hopes will compel US forces to operate as far away from its own shores as possible»

«China’s goal is in a time of crisis is to deny the US access to the area within the “first island chain” (the South China Sea bounded by a line running from the bottom of Japan, encompassing Taiwan, and passing to the west of the Philippines)»

«President Xi Jinping has decided not just to stand up to President Trump in the ongoing trade war but to take a much more assertive position, whether it be towards the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong or to China’s long-standing claims over Taiwan»

* * * * * * *

La relazione dell’US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney in Australia ad una prima lettura sembrerebbe essere impietoso: poi, quando la materia sia sedimentata, appare financo troppo blando.

Se poi si cercasse di integrare queste informazioni con le altre disponibili, il quadro che ne emergerebbe sarebbe quello di un netto ridimensionamento dell’influenza militare americana.

Banche Mondiali. Senza potenza finanziaria non si fa politica estera.

Cina. Controllo strategico del Mar Giallo e del Mare Cinese Orientale.

Dal punto di vista strategico la Cina può contare su solidissimi alleati. Se si considerasse il tasso di fertilità, il Giappone ha 1.42, la Kore del Sud 1.27, Taiwan 1.13 ed Hong Kong 1.2: una generazioni e questi paesi saranno spopolati, e la Cina potrà occuparli serenamente.


Bbc. 201908-25. Is the US still Asia’s only military superpower?

US pre-eminence in the Pacific is no more.

For a long time experts have been speaking about China’s rapid military modernisation referring to it as “a rising power”.

But this analysis may be out of date. China is not so much a rising power; it has risen; and in many ways it now challenges the US across a number of military domains.

This is the conclusion of a new report from the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney in Australia.

It warns that US defence strategy in the Indo-Pacific region “is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis” and that Washington might struggle to defend its allies against China.

“America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific”, it notes, “and its capacity to uphold a favourable balance of power is increasingly uncertain.”

The report points to Beijing’s extraordinary arsenal of missiles that threaten the key bases of the US and its allies. These installations, it asserts, “could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict”.

China is not a global superpower like the United States. Indeed it is doubtful if its military ambitions extend that far (though this too may be changing as it slowly develops a network of ports and bases abroad).

For now its global reach depends much more on the power of its economy. China lacks the “proselytising zeal” – the sense of over-seas mission, that over the twentieth century saw the US strive for global dominance.

It also has nothing like the soft-power pull of the United States – no equivalent to blue jeans, Hollywood or burgers – to encourage people to share its values.

Indeed according to many indices Washington’s raw military punch still greatly out-weighs that of Beijing. Washington’s nuclear arsenal (and indeed Moscow’s) is significantly larger than that available to Beijing.

The US still retains a technological edge in key areas like intelligence collection; ballistic missile defence; and the latest generation warplanes. The US can also rely upon a deeply entrenched network of alliances both in Asia and through Nato in Europe.

China has nothing like this kind of alliance system. But it is fast eroding Washington’s technical edge. And in any case what matters to China is Asia and what it sees in expansive terms as its own back-yard. Two key factors – focus and proximity – mean that in Asia, China is already a superpower to rival the US.

China has studied US capabilities and warfighting and has come up with an effective strategy to mitigate the traditional sources of US military power, not least the US Navy’s powerful carrier battle groups, the central element of Washington’s ability to project military force.

Dubbed in military-speak, an “anti-access and area denial” approach, China has single-mindedly focused on a range of sensors and weapons systems that it hopes will compel US forces to operate as far away from its own shores as possible.

At the outset this was inherently a defensive posture. But increasingly analysts see China’s capabilities as enabling it to seize the initiative, confident that it can deter and cope with any likely US response.

“Chinese counter-intervention systems,” the Australian study notes, “have undermined America’s ability to project power into the Indo-pacific, raising the risk that China could use limited force to achieve a fait accompli victory before America can respond, challenging US security guarantees in the process.”

China’s goal is in a time of crisis is to deny the US access to the area within the “first island chain” (the South China Sea bounded by a line running from the bottom of Japan, encompassing Taiwan, and passing to the west of the Philippines).

But it also seeks to restrict access to the outer “second island chain” with weapons that can reach as far as the US bases on Guam. This overall strategy can be bolstered by Chinese land-based aircraft and missiles.

Of course, it is not as if the Pentagon is unaware of the China challenge. After decades of counter-insurgency warfare the US military is being re-structured and re-equipped for renewed big-power competition. In the Cold War the focus was the Soviet Union. Today it is largely China.

However the Sydney University report questions whether Washington is sufficiently focused on the task in hand. It says that “an outdated superpower mindset in the (US) foreign policy establishment is likely to limit Washington’s ability to scale back other global commitments or to make the strategic trade-offs required to succeed in the Indo-Pacific.”

Money is going into new weaponry and research. But the task is huge.

“America has an atrophying force that is not sufficiently ready, equipped or postured for great power competition” and the report warns that a back-log of simultaneous modernisation priorities “will likely outstrip its budget capacity.”

It is a sobering document written by a prestigious institution from one of Washington’s closest allies in the region.

China clearly feels empowered – you can see this from the tone of its recently published defence white paper.

President Xi Jinping has decided not just to stand up to President Trump in the ongoing trade war but to take a much more assertive position, whether it be towards the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong or to China’s long-standing claims over Taiwan.

China’s military rise to match its growing economic muscle was inevitable. But some analysts fear that President Trump has made a difficult situation worse.

Many in the US feel it was time to stand-up to China on trade – but the way the US is going about it leads several experts to fear that Washington may simply lose the trade war.

Overall the Trump Administration’s foreign policy often lacks a clear strategic aspect and is prone to the whims of the Presidential twitter feed and bizarre distractions like his apparent desire to purchase Greenland.

In contrast China knows exactly where it wants to go and it has the strategy and the means to get there. Indeed, for all intents and purposes, it may have already arrived.

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

Accordo sinoitaliano. Di Maio e Li Hongzhong. Valore 500 milioni circa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-07-18.

2019-07-17__Cina Italia 001

Il Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, Mise, ha rilasciato la seguente nota.

Italia-Cina, Di Maio incontra Li Hongzhong

«Firmate sette intese commerciali nei settori industriale, culturale e sportivo, per un valore potenziale di 500 milioni .

Il Vice Presidente del Consiglio e Ministro Luigi Di Maio ha incontrato oggi, a Palazzo Chigi, il Segretario del partito comunista della città di Tianjin, Li Hongzhong, per un colloquio bilaterale che testimonia, ancora una volta, l’intensa collaborazione e amicizia tra Italia e Cina.

La visita di Li Hongzhong – il cui ruolo in Cina è equiparabile a quello di Vice Primo Ministro –  segue quella in Italia del Presidente cinese Xi Jinping avvenuta lo scorso marzo, nel corso della quale furono firmate dai due Governi importanti accordi, come quello sulla ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), e la successiva visita del Presidente del Consiglio Giuseppe Conte, che nel mese di aprile ha partecipato a Pechino al secondo Forum sulla Nuova Via della seta.

Al termine dell’incontro sono state firmate, alla presenza del Vice Presidente del Consiglio e Ministro Di Maio e del Segretario Li, sette intese commerciali da parte di enti ed aziende italiane e cinesi nell’ambito dei settori industriale, culturale e sportivo, per un valore potenziale di 500 milioni di euro.

L’obiettivo è quello di valorizzare e potenziare gli scambi commerciali con la Cina e in particolare con aree diverse da quelle tradizionali di Pechino e Shanghai, come la città di Tianjin. A tal riguardo è in programma, dal 25 al 27 settembre 2019 a Tianjin, una missione di imprese italiane, che avrà l’obiettivo di promuovere l’export delle nostre eccellenze in un mercato molto attento al Made in Italy.

Nei prossimi mesi sono, inoltre, in programma numerose missioni di enti provinciali cinesi in Italia per intensificare la collaborazione tra le istituzioni dei due Paesi che consentirà, in vista del 50esimo anniversario delle relazioni tra Italia e Cina nel 2020, di proseguire nel rafforzamento dei rapporti diplomatici e commerciali tra Italia e Cina.»

* * * * * * *

Tutto deve ben iniziare, né ci si potrebbe aspettare che gli inizi siano di portata equivalente a quelli intravedibili a situazione avviata.

Dei sette accordi firmati due sembrerebbero essere di rilevanza strategica.

L’accordo di Sira Group, intesa commerciale per aumento di capitale del partner cinese nell’attività di Sira Tianjin, avente come obiettivo: sviluppo di componenti nel comparto della pressofusione di alluminio come per esempio radiatori e componenti del settore automotive, sembrerebbe essere quello più rilevante.  Se sicuramente la pressofusione dell’alluminio ha applicazioni civili di largo impiego, il testo ricorda per esempio i radiatori caloriferi, altrettanto sicuramente avrebbe anche grandi risvolti militari.

L’accordo invece della Magna Steyr Italia per la realizzazione nel settore della componentistica Automotive riguarda un settore ove un tempo le tecnologie italiane erano tra quelle alla avanguardia.

* * * * * * *

Tuttavia il significato dell’accordo va ben oltre il suo mero aspetto economico.

Né la Russia né gli Stati Uniti hanno gradito gli approcci italiani alla Cina, soprattutto perché non concordati prima.

Prudentemente, infatti, la Cina ha scelto di iniziare con un basso profilo.

Se concordiamo sulla opportunità che l’Italia si apra a maggiori rapporti con la Cina, anche politici e non solo economici, sarebbe sembrato essere più prudente il parlarne prima con Stati Uniti e Russia, se non altro da informarli sulle reali aspettative italiane.


Cina/ Di Maio firma 7 intese con Li Hongzhong, il potente capo Pcc di Tianjin

Il vice presidente del Consiglio e Ministro Luigi Di Maio ha incontrato oggi, a Palazzo Chigi, il segretario del partito comunista della citta’ di Tianjin, Li Hongzhong, per un colloquio bilaterale che testimonia, ancora una volta, l’intensa collaborazione e amicizia tra Italia e Cina. La visita di Li Hongzhong – il cui ruolo in Cina e’ equiparabile a quello di Vice Primo Ministro – informa una nota del Mise, segue quella in Italia del Presidente cinese Xi Jinping avvenuta lo scorso marzo, nel corso della quale furono firmate dai due Governi importanti accordi, come quello sulla ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), e la successiva visita del Presidente del Consiglio Giuseppe Conte, che nel mese di aprile ha partecipato a Pechino al secondo Forum sulla Nuova Via della seta. Al termine dell’incontro sono state firmate, alla presenza del Vice Presidente del Consiglio e Ministro Di Maio e del Segretario Li, sette intese commerciali da parte di enti ed aziende italiane e cinesi nell’ambito dei settori industriale, culturale e sportivo, per un valore potenziale di 500 milioni di euro.

L’obiettivo, prosegue la nota del Mise, e’ quello di valorizzare e potenziare gli scambi commerciali con la Cina e in particolare con aree diverse da quelle tradizionali di Pechino e Shanghai, come la citta’ di Tianjin. A tal riguardo e’ in programma, dal 25 al 27 settembre 2019 a Tianjin, una missione di imprese italiane, che avra’ l’obiettivo di promuovere l’export delle nostre eccellenze in un mercato molto attento al Made in Italy. Nei prossimi mesi sono, inoltre, in programma numerose missioni di enti provinciali cinesi in Italia per intensificare la collaborazione tra le istituzioni dei due Paesi che consentira’, in vista del 50esimo anniversario delle relazioni tra Italia e Cina nel 2020, di proseguire nel rafforzamento dei rapporti diplomatici e commerciali tra Italia e Cina.

Italia-Cina: Li Hongzhong, il potente capo del Pcc di Tianjin.

I rapporti tra Italia e Cina tornano di scena, oggi, con l’arrivo a Roma del segretario del partito di Tianjin, Li Hongzhong, che viene ricevuto a palazzo Chigi dal vice presidente del Consiglio, Luigi Di Maio. Massima carica politica della citta’, una delle quattro (assieme a Pechino, Shanghai e Chongqing) ad avere status di provincia, Li e’ anche uno dei venticinque uomini piu’ potenti in Cinadallo scorso Congresso del Pcc: nell’ottobre 2017, e’ infatti entrato nel Politburo, il vertice decisionale del Partito Comunista Cinese, composto da 25 dirigenti politici di livello nazionale.

Li ha preso il posto di Huang Xingguo, espulso dal partito con l’accusa di corruzione, che era al vertice della citta’ durante la maxi-esplosione dell’agosto 2015 nell’area di Binhai, in cui persero la vita circa 170 persone, e che provoco’ danni stimati in centinaia di milioni di yuan. Tianjin, alle porte di Pechino, conta circa 15 milioni di abitanti. Un tempo tra le aree a maggiore crescita del Paese, oggi risente di un forte rallentamento: nel 2018 e’ cresciuta del 3,6%, e per il 2019 le autorita’ locali hanno fissato come obiettivo quello di raggiungere una crescita del 4,5%, al di sotto dell’obiettivo fissato a livello nazionale, tra il 6% e il 6,5%.

Per il ritorno di una sostenuta crescita economica nella citta’ provincia di cui e’ al vertice, Li chiede ai quadri politici “spirito battagliero”, diligenza morale, e di promuovere nuovi motori dello sviluppo economico. Nato nel 1956 a Shenyang, nel nord-est della Cina, Li e’ uno dei dirigenti in cui la leadership nazionale ripone maggiore fiducia: nel 2013, fu tra i pochi leader provinciali a contribuire alla stesura di una bozza sulle riforme complessive del sistema cinese. Prima di ascendere alle alte sfere, l’alto funzionario del partito era stato segretario politico della provincia dello Hubei, dove ha scalato posizioni nella gerarchia del potere cinese. Proprio mentre era al vertice dello Hubei, si tennero nella provincia cinese diversi processi ad alleati politici dell’ex zar degli apparati di sicurezza, Zhou Yongkang, la grande “tigre” della corruzione in Cina, condannato all’ergastolo nel giugno 2015, al termine di un processo segreto. Noto per la sua affiliazione politica alla corrente che fa capo all’ex presidente Jiang Zemin,

Li e’ generalmente considerato un leader accettato da tutte le fazioni all’interno del partito, e ha piu’ volte ribadito la sua lealta’ al presidente cinese, Xi Jinping: nel 2016 e’ stato tra i primi a spingere per l’elezione di Xi a “core leader” del Pcc, avvenuta al termine della sesta sessione plenaria del Comitato Centrale del partito. La vicinanza con il presidente e segretario generale del Pcc si traduce, a livello locale, in rigore nelle campagne contro l’inquinamento (“tolleranza zero” a Tianjin) e contro la corruzione. Le sue frequenti dichiarazioni di lealta’ al leader -nota pero’ chi conosce le liturgie della politica cinese- sarebbero anche un segnale che Li non e’ nel cerchio magico del presidente cinese.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Russia

Relazioni sino – russe. Analisi. – The Diplomat.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-06.

 Accordo 001

«The pomp and circumstance that accompanied Putin’s recent visit to China obscure the real significance of the bilateral deals and statements it yielded»

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«While in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded Putin the first-ever “Order of Friendship” for his role in guiding and shaping Sino-Russian relations»

*

«While the G7 summit proved a fantastic show of disunity and petty division due to U.S. President Donald Trump, two of the world’s leading authoritarian states managed to display unity.»

*

«Putin’s coterie ambled into town ready to discuss a framework trade agreement that would ideally lead to a bilateral trade deal in about two-and-a-half years»

*

«Sources at the Ministry of Economic Development (MinEkonomiki) called the future deal an analogue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)»

*

«Chinese investors want Russia to better protect their investments, their property rights, and let Chinese firms compete for market share»

*

«The first is unlikely since the Kremlin’s political constituencies of rich businessmen and state firms crucial to the budget enrich themselves at the expense of efficiency, sustainable growth, and partners when possible»

*

«The second is even less likely for a similar reason: the power to seize assets is vital to the contract governing Russia’s politics»

*

«The third is simply impossible because Russia’s manufacturers employ over 14 percent of Russia’s workforce, often in less populated regions that form a core political constituency for Putin»

*

«Regarding high-speed rail, the proposed Moscow-Kazan route is estimated to cost $20.1 billion thanks to Russia’s inflated construction costs»

* * * * * * * * * * *

Riassumendo, in estrema sintesi.

Russia e Cina sono al momento in una particolare sintonia di obiettivi comuni, facilitate in questo anche, e forse soprattutto, dalla scomposta politica occidentale.

Ma non è certo detto che le contingenze delle situazioni attuali si perpetuino nel tempo, né, tanto meno, che il quadro geopolitico mondiale non vari anche esso.


The Diplomat. 2018-06-20. Putin on the Ritz in China.

Over the last few years it’s become commonplace for Russia watchers and political scientists to compare Vladimir Putin to Leonid Brezhnev. Both leaders held power over the course of an entire generation and, now for Putin, share the misfortune of having overseen deepening economic and social stagnation. After Putin issued decrees naming his new presidential administration, Carnegie Moscow fellow Alexander Gabuev quipped on Twitter that since 80 percent of the team wasn’t changing, “it’s brezhnevization, but with more advanced medical services for the top leadership.”

The parallels between the two are strong, but Putin faces a different geopolitical and economic environment. Russia is politically isolated from the West and under financial and economic sanctions due to its war in eastern Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea. Russia’s lackluster economic growth and development has rendered it increasingly dependent on China for natural resource demand and financing, a situation Brezhnev never faced. But as Brezhnev’s doctors might have joked, different strokes for different folks.

The pomp and circumstance that accompanied Putin’s recent visit to China obscure the real significance of the bilateral deals and statements it yielded. The asymmetries in the relationship are by some turns accelerating and others, stagnating.

Xi and Kasha

While in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded Putin the first-ever “Order of Friendship” for his role in guiding and shaping Sino-Russian relations. The visual was somewhat reminiscent of Brezhnev, known for his love of medals, but was a valuable symbol for domestic and international audiences. While the G7 summit proved a fantastic show of disunity and petty division due to U.S. President Donald Trump, two of the world’s leading authoritarian states managed to display unity. Though significant news emerged from the Beijing visit, details don’t suggest relations are necessarily improving.

Putin’s coterie ambled into town ready to discuss a framework trade agreement that would ideally lead to a bilateral trade deal in about two-and-a-half years. Sources at the Ministry of Economic Development (MinEkonomiki) called the future deal an analogue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That’s a far cry from reality. Certain agreements will likely be reached, but Chinese investors want Russia to better protect their investments, their property rights, and let Chinese firms compete for market share.

The first is unlikely since the Kremlin’s political constituencies of rich businessmen and state firms crucial to the budget enrich themselves at the expense of efficiency, sustainable growth, and partners when possible. The second is even less likely for a similar reason: the power to seize assets is vital to the contract governing Russia’s politics. The third is simply impossible because Russia’s manufacturers employ over 14 percent of Russia’s workforce, often in less populated regions that form a core political constituency for Putin. Introducing competition may threaten the Kremlin’s strategy of maintaining higher employment at the expense of efficiency to prevent protests and dissent from spreading.

The best that can be hoped for is improving market access for sectors in a manner that won’t threaten support. Things like consumer services and e-commerce come to mind.

Invested Interests

In big financial news, China Development Bank (CDB) loaned Vneshekonombank (VEB) more than 600 billion rubles ($9.6 billion). The agreement for the loan was predicated on providing financing for projects linked to Eurasian integration initiatives. VEB mentioned Arctic infrastructure for the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in its press release. Some have perked up at the thought that the money could finance the Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line that’s been kicked around for several years now.

But there are few concrete projects in the pipeline to develop the NSR, nor is legislation regarding legal responsibility for the NSR even finalized. The route has been given to nuclear giant Rosatom, but many questions remain as to what its powers actually are. Regarding high-speed rail, the proposed Moscow-Kazan route is estimated to cost $20.1 billion thanks to Russia’s inflated construction costs. The money likely has a different purpose despite naming 70 potential projects for joint investment.

Igor Shuvalov, first deputy minister in Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s cabinet until May, now heads VEB. The bank has been tasked with becoming a driver of development meant to help realize Putin’s May decrees concerning various socioeconomic development goals. The reality is that most of the relevant investments into infrastructure do not qualify as pertinent to Eurasian integration. Further, Shuvalov is expected to oversee laying off 40-50 percent of the bank’s employees to improve its efficiency.

Efficiency has become a pressing priority given that VEB has been a clearinghouse for insider deals aimed at maximizing costs to transfer money to friends of the Kremlin. China knows this, which is why VEB is only being given five years to service the loans. Such terms should force VEB to spend on projects, particularly as it’s stipulated by the agreement that they won’t invest more than 30-40 percent of the financing needed for each project to encourage bringing in partners.

But the likeliest scenario is that the bank will funnel the money toward projects whose costs will spiral, thus creating a loop where more money will be loaned via VEB to contractors who should then service that debt to make it appear as though the bank is generating profits. With those profits, they can then argue that efficiency is rising regardless of what gets built or which foreign partners, if any, are involved. Odds are low, particularly with higher oil prices providing more revenues to finance domestic contractors.

By the terms of the loan agreement, it’s clear CDB doesn’t trust Russia to build what it says it will. VEB will have to get creative so it can take the money and run. That’s a template Rosneft – Russia’s largest oil producer – had, until recently, mastered with China.

You’re SOE Vain

Before Putin arrived in Beijing, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin met with China’s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan. Although Rosneft’s press release stated that China would “give full support to mutually beneficial investment projects,” the meeting was proof of Rosneft’s declining political stock. The Ministry of Commerce oversees China’s foreign investments. That means the ministry was involved in scuttling CEFC China Energy’s deal to acquire 14.2 percent of Rosneft’s shares last year. No other Chinese firms expressed interest in Rosneft; likely any acquisition of shares in Rosneft was a poor investment. No oil and gas delegations met with Sechin. Rosneft is too politicized, unprofitable, and unwilling to allow large-scale investments into Russian oil and gas fields.

Rosneft’s corporate approach to China may have served the Kremlin’s interests in increasing Russia’s share of China’s oil market, but working with a private sector actor reliant on bad credit without improving its own profitability for shareholders worked at cross purposes to political relations between Moscow and Beijing. China will likely now demand more guarantees of profitability and access to fields, evidenced by reported interest from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in an LNG project with Novatek – a privately-owned natural gas producer in Russia.

Hairsplitting the Atom

Russian nuclear monopoly Rosatom reached deals with China National Nuclear Power Co. Ltd (CNNPC) to build four reactor units worth an estimated $3.62 billion. The announcement was heralded as Rosatom had successfully beaten out U.S. firm Westinghouse for the contracts. However, the agreement likely came due to pressures facing Rosatom.

In February, the company requested a trillion rubles ($16 billion) to fund the modernization of existing plants and transmission systems. Rosatom aims to match or exceed Gazprom and Rosneft’s investment programs’ annual expenditures by 2023, a pressing priority to position itself to build abroad to advance Russia’s foreign policy aims.

However, the company’s international projects are frequently unprofitable. Oil and gas companies provide real tax revenues, meaning they’re frequently likelier to get what they ask for from Moscow. These deals would likely provide Rosatom a quick cash infusion while providing China another avenue to steal Russian intellectual property and replace Russian expertise and technology domestically over time.

Bilateral Damage

Putin’s visit to Qingdao for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit offered virtually nothing of substance to assess. Russia’s bilateral agenda with China dwarfs any of the other considerations from the summit. The Qingdao Declaration – the summit’s closing communique – is largely a puff piece filled with hypocritical teeth-gnashing. The tartuffery on display in Qingdao reflected the large gap between Russia’s multilateral rhetoric and the reality of its bilateral relationship with China.

Addressing the summit, Putin noted that “Russia and China are also preparing an agreement on the Eurasian Economic Partnership, which, of course, will be open to all the SCO countries.” Talk of trade multilateralism is farcical for now. Russia lacks proper institutional capacity to carry out trade negotiations with China, let alone the entire bloc simultaneously.

There are no notable China hands within Putin’s presidential administration, there’s no clear organization to the China policy community in Moscow, nor is MinEkonomiki well suited to the task. The ministry has been gutted of much of its institutional heft, likely being handed trade talks so as to hang a sword of Damocles over Minister Maxim Oreshkin’s head. Any trade deal involving the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) only adds yet more lobbying considerations and threats to Russian firms’ competitiveness.

A mix of growing dependence on financing, status quo stagnation in energy relations, and stale rhetoric is all Putin could deliver in Beijing and Qingdao. In June of 1978, Brezhnev excoriated Jimmy Carter and the United States for trying to “play the China card” against the Soviet Union. “Its architects may bitterly regret it,” Brezhnev declared. Putin faces no such pressure today but seems happy to play the China card himself. The question remains when he’ll regret it.

Pubblicato in: Cina

Cina. Mandarinato e democrazia. – Handelsblatt

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-30.

Pechino-Cina

La mente umana è pronta a recepire una realtà oppure un ragionamento verso i quali sia già predisposta: in caso contrario ignora oppure non riesce a comprendere.

Milioni e milioni di persone avevano visto oggetti penzolare, ma solo la mente di Galileo Galilei ha saputo cogliere questa realtà e quindi ragionarci sopra.

È esattamente quello che sta accadendo ai tempi nostri nei confronti della realtà cinese.

Handelsblatt ci propone un lungo articolo sul modo di governo della Cina e giunge alla conclusione che

«The world needs a democratic China».

*

«This is in both China’s and the world’s interest.»

*

Si noti l’uso dell’indicativo presente, segno di certezza assoluta di quanto enunciato. Non è stato usato il tempo condizionale né, tanto meno, un verso ausiliare di potenzialità.

Eppure l’articolista non manca di percezione sensoriale, quando dice che

«The reforms propagated by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s and 1990s were intended to pull back the state from society and the economy. He pushed back the work units that controlled the life of every Chinese citizen – where they were allowed to travel, who they were allowed to marry and what their healthcare looked like. Never before had the Chinese so many freedoms, so much prosperity and so much rapid growth under Communist leadership as they did after Mr. Deng’s reforms»

*

A nostro sommesso avviso, l’articolista incorre in numerosi errori fondamentali.

In primo luogo, nessuno su questa terra è depositario di verità assolute. La prima domanda avrebbe potuto vedersi rovesciata:

«La Cina ha bisogno di un mondo cinesizzato».

E la domanda posta in questi termini avrebbe riscosso il plauso di un miliardo e mezzo di cinesi.

In secondo luogo, l’articolista enuncia un grande dato di fatto:

«Never before had the Chinese so many freedoms, so much prosperity and so much rapid growth under Communist leadership as they did after Mr. Deng’s reforms».

Se dunque i cinesi sono liberi, si sono arricchiti e riescono a crescere con un ritmo impensato ed impensabile per gli occidentali “democratici”, per quale strano motivo dovrebbero cambiare il loro modo di reggere la nazione?

In terzo luogo, la democrazia. Sarebbe un discorso ben lungo. Intanto, è solo nell’ultimo secolo che questo modo di reggimento dei popoli si è affermato, e soltanto nel mondo occidentale. Ma un secolo a confronto della storia è un’inezia, l’Occidente rappresenta solo un sesto della popolazione mondiale ed in termini economici assomma grosso modo un terzo del pil ppa mondiale. Davvero un po’ troppo poco per definirsi “il mondo“. Che poi il suffragio universale sia così bello andiamolo a dire ai liberal democratici trombati alle elezioni presidenziali americane oppure ai socialisti europei, che gli Elettori hanno scacciato dai governi europei. Tutta gente che non si è rassegnata alla sconfitta e che cerca di sovvertirla con la piazza. Il vero problema non è tanto il modo con sui un popolo decide di governarsi, bensì il raggiungimento di una ragionevole felicità, prosperità e pace, tutte realtà raggiunte dai cinesi con il loro sistema di governo. E questo articolo compare proprio quando Mr Macron ha pronunciato la sua fatidica frase:

«I believe in the sovereignty of states, and therefore, just as I don’t accept being lectured on how to govern my country, I don’t lecture others»

In quarto luogo, ogni popolo ha le sue tradizioni, non solo religiose, culturali e storiche, ma anche quelle politiche ed amministrative. Questi retaggi sono da comprendersi e rispettare. Con quale diritto l’articolista, l’Occidente, si arroga il diritto di suggerire, od anche cercare di imporre, alla Cina di mutare le proprie tradizioni di reggimento della cosa pubblica?

Deng Xiaoping nacque in un paesetto contadino del Guang’an, provincia di Sichuan, e divenne il capo della Cina, Xi nacque da un veterano combattente, ma di origine ben umili, eppure anche lui è emerso ai vertici del governo.

Forse dunque che in Cina non sia possibile scalare il potere anche se si proviene da origini modeste?

* * * * * * *

In un recente articolo si è cercato di spiegare cosa sia la Cina nell’attuale realtà dei fatti.

La ‘casa’ di Shanghai. Capire cosa sia la Cina di oggi.

Sicuramente, si può anche vivere in Cina da occidentali e non riuscire quindi a comprenderla.

Ma sono oramai molti gli attenti osservatori di questa realtà.

Cosa vuol dire per la Cina abbandonare Marx per tornare a Confucio.

Il Partito Comunista Cinese altro non è che la rediviva scuola mandarinica.

*

Un’ultima considerazione, lessicologica ma sostanziale.

I cinesi danno ai termini “comunismo” e “capitalismo” significati e contenuti totalmente differenti da quelli intesi in Occidente.

Cercheremo di spiegarci con un esempio, che potrebbe anche aiutare a comprendere la attuale teoria economica cinese.

Consideriamo una nazione ed il suo sistema bancario.

Un ‘comunista‘ lo nazionalizzerebbe, perché così gli imporrebbe l’ideologia che professa.

Un ‘capitalista‘ lo liberalizzerebbe in modo pieno e totale, perché così gli suggerirebbe la teoria socio-economica che segue.

Ambedue sono però azioni coatte, sradicate ed avulse dal contesto reale.

Il cinese invece osserva la realtà e quindi opta per la scelta che sia più conveniente.

È questo il motivo essenziale per il quale in Cina non solo convivono ma sono addirittura sinergiche azioni che gli occidentali designerebbero alcune “comuniste” ed altre “capitaliste“: azione per loro contraddittorie ed antitetiche perché viste pregne di contenuti ideologici alieni ai cinesi. I cinesi sono empiristi che scelgono ciò che più è opportuno e loro conviene: poi gli Occidentali denominino pure a piacer loro quelle azioni.  Ai cinesi ciò non interesa nulla.

Non solo. Mentre il politico occidentale è coatto entro i limiti temporali del mandato elettorale, quattro o cinque anni, il cinese ragiona quasi invariabilmente sul lungo termine, e fa così perché è espressione della scuola di pensiero mandarinica. È indifferente chi sia l’essere umano che materialmente firma gli ordini: è la scuola mandarinica che agisce tramite le persone. Così può su base euristica sceglliere anche un qualcosa al momento poco conveniente, ma verosimilmente fruttifero nel futuro.

*

Concetto questo di ben difficile comprensione da parte dell’occidentale contemporaneo.

In effetti è lo stesso motivo per cui l’occidentale medio non riesce a comprendere la Chiesa Cattolica, per fortuna di questa santa istituzione.

La Chiesa ha duemila anni di storia alle spalle, ed è viva e vegeta nonostante sia stata quasi sempre perseguitata. La sua gerarchia ascende il cursus honorum per cooptazione su base strettamente meritocratica. Solo per l’elezione del papa si ricorre a votazioni, ma il Sacro Collegio è formato da personale accuratamente scelto e selezionato. Sicuramente nella storia vi sono stati cardinali chiacchierabili, ma imbecilli mai.

* * * * * * *

Poniamoci allora la domanda finale.

Riuscirà il sistema ‘democratico’ così come oggi è concepito in Occidente a resistere alla forza ascendente del mandarinato cinese e sopravvivere, diciamo, almeno altri cinquanta anni?


Handelsblatt. 2017-10-26. A Dangerous Concentration of Power

The world needs a democratic China, but Xi Jinping is leading the country in the opposite direction, writes Handelsblatt’s China correspondent.

*

Communist China has had two outstanding leadership figures in its history: one was revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, who became the founding father of the People’s Republic of China; the other was Deng Xiaoping, the architect of major reforms who opened up the giant country to the world and initiated its economic ascendency. Now President Xi Jinping has elevated himself to same level as these historic figures.

The ruler had his ideology placed on the same footing as Mao’s by the most powerful cadres at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It was incorporated into the party constitution under the unwieldy name “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” But what is meant to be a symbol of strength is actually a weakness: Mr. Xi’s supremacy allows almost no contradiction, which makes the aspiring superpower vulnerable.

Communist China has experienced an impressive ascent. The nation worked its way up from a developing country to become the world’s second-largest economy. The reforms propagated by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s and 1990s were intended to pull back the state from society and the economy. He pushed back the work units that controlled the life of every Chinese citizen – where they were allowed to travel, who they were allowed to marry and what their healthcare looked like. Never before had the Chinese so many freedoms, so much prosperity and so much rapid growth under Communist leadership as they did after Mr. Deng’s reforms.

«It was not for nothing that The Economist named Xi Jinping the world’s most powerful man, ahead of US President Donald Trump.»

But a contrary approach is emerging under Xi Jinping’s dominance. Although his ideology is not yet clearly formulated, there is no doubt that the absolute superiority of the Communist Party is paramount. The functionaries once made intra-party democracy a guiding principle. But since Mr. Xi has been in power, critical discussions have become increasingly difficult, even within the party.

The party police have punished more than one million cadres for corruption offences. At the same time, the cadres’ adherence to party ideology has become a decisive criterion. Today, party members are expected to be able to mechanically recite the autocratic ruler’s current slogans. Public contradiction is unwelcome. It was not for nothing that The Economist named Xi Jinping the world’s most powerful man, ahead of US President Donald Trump. This was not only an investiture, it was a warning, too.

Mr. Xi’s claim to omnipotence is not only limited to PRC officials. Chinese research institutes are developing strategies to allow ideology to be anchored in all areas of life. Even small children are introduced to the Communist Party’s world view at an early age. From a European perspective, this may sound frightening. But from the point of view of party strategists, it is, above all, efficient. The country works under the party’s leadership. Opposition takes time, debates drag on and obedience is just faster.

The entire country is being oriented toward these goals. Business owners and their employees too are busy memorizing the slogans of the country’s “paramount leader.” Being loyal to party principles becomes the key to success, not only in state-owned enterprises, but also in private companies. Those who excel receive a red telephone, which they can use to call other highly respected cadres.

State-of-the-art technology comes into play when the classical approach is not enough. The country’s internet companies are helping to make the party and its control more efficient. More than 5 million people are no longer allowed to fly, and almost 2 million are not allowed to take trains. They were banned from travelling because they failed to meet the requirements of a new credit rating system. However, these drastic measures are only the beginning, with a nationwide system expected to be in place by 2020. The Chinese central bank is evaluating the payment data of more than 600 million people.

But the surveillance goes even further than that. High-resolution cameras monitor traffic, scan license plates and, in pilot projects, capture the faces of pedestrians. Voice-recognition systems are being developed to make it easier for the government to monitor conversations with computer-guided equipment in the future. These tools can do enormous damage if placed in the wrong hands.

Europe and Germany need a robust China. Its huge market has become a key growth driver for European companies. No problem, from climate change to globalization, can be solved without Beijing’s involvement. But to ensure that China can play a positive role as a major global power, the country also needs free discussion and open criticism. This is in both China’s and the world’s interest.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Putin, Russia

Cina. Xiamen. Discorsi introduttivi dei capi di stato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-09-03.

Pechino-Cina

È davvero interessante leggersi le dichiarazioni preliminari rilasciate dai capi di stato prima di raggiungere Xiamen.

Sono tutte rilasciate in linguaggio diplomatico, per cui sarebbe opportuno leggersele tra le righe ed estrapolarle ben oltre la stringata sintesi delle frasi. Questo vale soprattutto per la dichiarazione rilasciata dal Presidente Putin.

L’arte di saper leggere aiuta a capire meglio. – Science.

Fonti di informazione e difficoltà di tenersi informati.

È significativo come la pagina Reuters dedicata alla Cina non riporti nulla a tutt’oggi.

^ ^ ^

«Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday BRICS countries should uphold global peace and stability, stressing a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security»

*

«We BRICS countries are committed to upholding global peace and contributing to the international security order»

*

«We should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, firmly support multilateralism, work for greater democracy in international relations, and oppose hegemonism and power politics»

*

«I am convinced that as long as we take a holistic approach to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and address both its symptoms and root causes, terrorists will have no place to hide»

^ ^ ^

«Egypt’s participation in the BRICS summit will open new horizons for Egypt’s economy as it will boost its economic cooperation with the bloc»

*

«I hope one day Egypt becomes a BRICS member, not just a guest of honor, because this will open massive horizons for cooperation with the group’s members, which will surely be very beneficial to the Egyptian economy»

*

«We appreciate China’s support for the Egyptian economy, which was clearly shown when Egypt suffered a shortage of foreign currency and China made a currency swap deal with Egypt to carry out trade exchange in their local currencies»

^ ^ ^

«Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia highly values the multifaceted cooperation with BRICS to create a fair multipolar world and equal development conditions for all»

*

«Putin said he appreciated China’s significant contribution as this year’s chair of the organization, “which has allowed the BRICS countries as a group to move forward in all key areas of our partnership, including politics, the economy and culture.”»

*

«It is important that our group’s activities are based on the principles of equality, respect for one another’s opinions and consensus.Within BRICS, nothing is ever forced on anyone»

*

«This open and trust-based atmosphere is conducive to the successful implementation of our tasks»

*

«Putin said Russia stands for closer coordination of the BRICS countries’ foreign policies, primarily at the United Nations and Group of 20, as well as other international organizations»

*

«Only the combined efforts of all countries can help bring about global stability and find solutions to many acute conflicts»

*

«Putin said the region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. …. Provocations, pressure, and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road»

* * * * * * * *

Ricordiamo alcuni elementi utili.

-> Da un punto di vista meramente economico, se si considera il pil per potere di acquisto, il mondo genera 108,036,500 milioni Usd, la Cina 17,617,300 (16.31%) e gli Stati Uniti 17,418,00 (16.12%). L’Eurozona rende conto di 11,249,482 (10.41%) ed il Gruppo dei G7 di 31.825,293 (29.46%). Però i Brics conteggiano un pil ppa di 32,379,625 Usd, ossia il 29.97% del pil ppa mondiale. I Brics valgono come i paesi del G7.

Di conseguenza, la voce dell’Occidente vale nel mondo al massimo per il 29.46%, ma quella degli Stati Uniti vale solo il 16.12% e quella dell’Eurozona uno scarno 10.41%.

*

-> I Brics allargati hanno la maggioranza in seno all’Assemblea delle Nazioni Unite. Ci si ricordi che:

Egypt blocks U.N. call to respect ‘democratically elected’ government in Turkey


Xinhua. 2017-09-03. Xi stresses world peace, security at BRICS Business Forum

XIAMEN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday BRICS countries should uphold global peace and stability, stressing a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

“We BRICS countries are committed to upholding global peace and contributing to the international security order,” he said while delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum scheduled for Sept. 3-4 in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen.

This year, the BRICS countries have held the Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues and the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations. The countries have put in place the regular meeting mechanism for permanent representatives to the multilateral institutions, and convened the Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue, the Meeting of Counter-Terrorism Working Group, the Meeting of Cybersecurity Working Group, and the Consultation on Peacekeeping Operations.

These efforts aim to strengthen consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues and build synergy among BRICS countries, Xi said.

“We should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, firmly support multilateralism, work for greater democracy in international relations, and oppose hegemonism and power politics,” he said.

He also called on BRICS countries to take a constructive part in the process of resolving geopolitical hotspot issues and make due contributions.

“I am convinced that as long as we take a holistic approach to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and address both its symptoms and root causes, terrorists will have no place to hide,” he said.

When dialogue, consultation and negotiation are conducted to create conditions for achieving political settlement of issues such as Syria, Libya and the PalestineIsrael conflict, the flame of war can be put out, and displaced refugees will eventually return to their homes, he said.


Xinhua. 2017-08-31. Interview: Joining BRICS summit opens new horizons for Egypt’s economy: veteran journalist

CAIRO, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Egypt’s participation in the BRICS summit will open new horizons for Egypt’s economy as it will boost its economic cooperation with the bloc, the head of Egypt’s largest state-run newspaper Al-Ahram told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

“I hope one day Egypt becomes a BRICS member, not just a guest of honor, because this will open massive horizons for cooperation with the group’s members, which will surely be very beneficial to the Egyptian economy,” said Abdel-Mohsen Salama, chief executive officer of Al-Ahram Foundation and head of Egypt’s Syndicate of Journalists.

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will soon fly to the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen to attend the ninth summit of the large economic bloc scheduled for Sept. 3-5.

The BRICS summit was first launched by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2006 and expanded to include South Africa in 2010.

“We appreciate China’s support for the Egyptian economy, which was clearly shown when Egypt suffered a shortage of foreign currency and China made a currency swap deal with Egypt to carry out trade exchange in their local currencies,” Salama told Xinhua.

“That move positively affected the Egyptian economic conditions then,” he added.

The economic cooperation between Egypt and China is a “win-win situation” as China could help boost the Egyptian economy while Egypt can be China’s commercial portal in the Arab and African worlds, Salama noted.

Under the leadership of Sisi and Xi, the Sino-Egyptian ties have been elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership, while the bilateral trade volume increased to 11.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, making Egypt China’s third largest trade partner in Africa.

Salama, who will be part of the Sisi-led delegation to Xiamen, expects his first visit to China to be a chance for learning more about the Chinese experience which has turned the country into the second largest economy in the world in a few decades.

“The Chinese experience needs to be well examined. I would like to learn more about the details of the Chinese experience as it is important to my personal knowledge and to my career as a chief journalist in Egypt,” the veteran journalist said.

Egypt sees its participation in the BRICS summit as a good opportunity to continue consultation with China on various issues of mutual interest and to follow up on their joint projects in many fields, given that several Chinese companies are promoting infrastructure projects in Egypt.

In a recent interview with Chinese media, Sisi said the BRICS Business Forum, a major side-event of the BRICS summit, is a good opportunity to present the economic reform by the Egyptian government and its measures to attract foreign investment.”Egypt needs technical aid from China to learn how to copy the Chinese industrial experience in Egypt, so that Egypt can change from an interest-based economy to a production-based one,” said Salama.

The Al-Ahram chief expressed the hope that China can help Egypt by exporting its expertise to the Arab country, “especially in the industrial fields where China has achieved a lot of progress.”

Egypt is also a focal point in China’s Belt and Road Initiative launched by Xi four years ago. The initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, designed to revive ancient trade routes to link China with a number of countries in Asia, Africa and Europe through trade and infrastructure networks.

Salama hailed the initiative as a “very important and active springboard” for further economic cooperation through sustainable development projects among the states along the Belt and Road routes.

“Egypt attaches importance to this initiative and takes part in it, as it comes within the framework of fast-growing economic relations between Egypt and China,” Salama said.


Xinhua. 2017-08-31. UNDP chief: BRICS sends promising signal

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Achim Steiner, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator told Xinhua here Wednesday that the BRICS countries together are sending a promising signal to the world in peace and development.

Steiner said “I hope that through the BRICS summit, to be held next week in China’s harbor city of Xiamen, these emerging economy countries could play their role in meeting the big challenges humanity is facing.”

He said that the economic transformation in the past decades have elevated these countries not only in economic term, but also provided them a platform to influence the outcomes of global significance.

Steiner said that counties should look after not only their own interests, but also collective interests, which is the core idea of UN system.

The UN official said in 2015, the General Assembly, or the parliament of the world, adopted the agenda for 2030, the 17 goals for sustainable development goals (SDGs) were based on lessons learned through decades of development in the world that climate change, population, poverty, refugees, economic and financial instability, and inequality could become the risks to world economy, peace and stability.

The SDGs are an expression the goals of interdependence. Nations poor or rich, small or large, depend on one another for our future, he said, adding that fast economies will be at risk if they do not dress the problem of inequality.

The future of our future generations will be compromised if pollution and climate changes are not collectively handled. In this perspective, climate change and pollution is a sustainable issue which might otherwise be an inter-generation problem.

Above all, SDGs is a commitment to collaboration, we must act together to face all the challenges which go back to the core idea of UN which is multilateralism, Steiner said.

China, which has helped hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the past decades and contributed enormously to the world, is trying to address the problem of inequality which are often found in fast economies, Steiner said.

No one should be left behind, either geographically or in terms of their income levels, he said.

In the past few years, China has been taking its economic growth path and lessons learned into a broader international context, as the country depends on the rest of the world for relations, market, resources and partners.

In its Belt and Road Initiative, and China-Africa Summit, we have seen that China embraces the notion of being partners to other countries of the world and addresses sharing its success with other countries, the UN official said.

China, with its economic size and development priories, is leading the world in south-south cooperation, which is very important for UNDP in accomplishing its goals, he said.

Through its ecological civilization policies and policies its government is still mapping out, China’s development is benefiting the world, he said.

China’s renewable energy technology and mass production ability have lowered threshold for many African countries in getting their cleaner energy. This, again is a good example of what China has been doing in south-south cooperation, Steiner said.

The coming BRICS summit is expected to offer another platform for emerging countries to share their lessons in development and bring them closer in facing challenges ahead, he said.

BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is recognized as an important force in global governance. China holds the BRICS presidency this year.


Xinhua. 2017-09-01. Putin says looking forward to developing strategic partnerships with BRICS

MOSCOW, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia highly values the multifaceted cooperation with BRICS to create a fair multipolar world and equal development conditions for all, in a signed article published on Friday.

In the article for the 9th BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen, China on Sept. 3-5, Putin said he appreciated China’s significant contribution as this year’s chair of the organization, “which has allowed the BRICS countries as a group to move forward in all key areas of our partnership, including politics, the economy and culture.”

The BRICS is the acronym for a group of five emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. Since 2009, the BRICS countries have met annually at formal summits.

“It is important that our group’s activities are based on the principles of equality, respect for one another’s opinions and consensus. Within BRICS, nothing is ever forced on anyone,” Putin added, “This open and trust-based atmosphere is conducive to the successful implementation of our tasks”.

Putin said Russia stands for closer coordination of the BRICS countries’ foreign policies, primarily at the United Nations and Group of 20, as well as other international organizations. “Only the combined efforts of all countries can help bring about global stability and find solutions to many acute conflicts,” he wrote in the article.

As for the situation on the Korean Peninsula where tensions have grown recently, Putin said the region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. “Provocations, pressure, and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road,” he wrote.

“Russia and China have created a roadmap for a settlement on the Korean Peninsula that is designed to promote the gradual easing of tensions and the creation of a mechanism for lasting peace and security,” Putin said in the article.

Putin also called for promoting the interaction of the BRICS countries in the area of global information security. He proposed that the five countries should come together to draft and adopt universal rules of responsible behavior in this sphere.

In the article, Putin pointed out that though Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, he felt confident that “the BRICS countries will continue to act in a consolidated manner against protectionism and new barriers in global trade.”

“We hope to be able to discuss new large-scale cooperation tasks in trade and investment and industrial cooperation at the Xiamen Summit,” Putin said.

“I am convinced that the Xiamen Summit will help invigorate our countries’ efforts towards finding solutions to the challenges of the 21st century and will propel cooperation within BRICS to a higher level,” he said.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Militare

Cina. Nuova superpotenza atomica. Prima non c’era, ora c’è.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-08-04.

2017-05-14__Obor__170514164356-xi-jinping-vladimir-putin-belt-and-road-forum-0514-exlarge-169

Il termine “superpotenza” non ha una definizione universalmente accettata, anche se si tratta più di sfumature che di motivazioni sostanziali.

Treccani definisce come “superpotenza

«nazione che, per potenziale economico, sviluppo tecnologico e armamento, ha una particolare influenza in campo internazionale e un forte peso sugli eventi mondiali»

Se il potenziale economico è di grande importanza nel connotare una superpotenza, indubbiamente il peso maggiore gravita sulle capacità militari.

Molto spesso si assume che la capacità di produrre bombe termonucleari sia sinonimo di potenza atomica: ciò è solo parzialmente vero.

Se è ovvio che la disponibilità di bombe termonucleari è di fondamentale importanza, è altrettanto vero che senza vettori efficienti a portata globale le armi atomiche sarebbero del tutto inutili: ciò che conta è la reale capacità di distruggere eventuali obiettivi nemici in qualunque parte del mondo essi siano situati.

Questa capacità è ottenuta con l’uso di basi di lancio mobili per ridurne la possibilità di localizzazione e neutralizzazione: missili quindi lanciabili da motrici terrestri, da aerei, da sommergibili. Come si vede, il tutto richiede un insieme di conoscenze e di tecnologie allo stato dell’arte.

* * *

È interessante il modo con cui il Center for Strategic & International Studies porge la notizia:

«On July 30, Chinese president Xi Jinping presided over a large military parade celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). China unveiled its new DF-31AG ICBM. The DF-31AG is an upgrade to the DF-31A missile that was introduced in 2009. The DF-31AG was mounted on an all-terrain vehicle, demonstrating better mobility. The missile possesses a longer range, and carries multiple warheads. The DF-31A only carries a single warhead. While the DF-31AG shows improved survivability and longer range, China has yet to release details of the missile.

Unlike previous displays held in Beijing, this was held at Zhurihe base in Inner Mongolia. More than 100 planes flew overhead, and nearly 600 different types of weaponry were on display, including the J-20 stealth fighter, DF-21D antiship ballistic missiles, and DF-31AG ballistic missile.»

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Molte le novità tecniche, alcune esplicite ed altre implicite.

– Il sistema DF-31AG Icbm è un prodotto allo stato dell’arte per mobilità, gittata, e capacità di gestire testate multiple. In altri termini, la Cina ha adesso un sistema di lancio terrestre che la annovera nel club delle superpotenze atomiche.

– Non potendo sfilare per intuibili motivi, la Cina ha anche sviluppato una nuova tipologia si sottomarini atomici della classe 093, in grado di lanciare sia missili Icbm, sia missili anti-nave Yj-18, sia infine missili da crociera a lungo raggio DF-10.

– Il Csis annovera solo da qualche tempo negli armamenti strategici i missili anti-nave, in questo caso i DF-21D. Questo è un missile di medio raggio a testata atomica, usabile come missile antinave. Sembrerebbe essere alquanto datato, ma corrono voci che la Cina stia sviluppando un qualcosa di simile ai sistemi anti – nave russi P-800 Onyx, P-1000 Basalt oppure i Bastion, denominandoli CM-302. Sono considerati essere armi strategiche perché potenzialmente in grado di affondare le portaerei.

* * * * * * *

Tuttavia le maggiori novità sembrerebbero essere insiste nella scelta della base in cui tenere la sfilata, Zhurihe, e nel discorso tenuto da Mr Xi.

«The world is not peaceful»

*

«Today we are closer than any other period in history to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and we need more than any period in history to build a strong people’s military»

*

«Wherever the party points, march there»

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Il fatto che la Cina sia prepotentemente entrata nel novero delle superpotenze è evento critico dopo oltre settanta anni di oligopolio americano e russo.

La politica strategica mondiale non è più pensabile in termini di accordi russo-americani, ed anche gli accordi solamente bilaterali sembrerebbero essere destinati all’oblio. Non solo: i rapporti sino-russi sono molto migliori di quelli con gli americani.

Solo che, a differenza della Russia, la Cina nutre grandi ambizioni marittime, per il momento ancora vagamente inespresse, ma destinate a realizzarsi. Si pensi soltanto alla costruzione delle isole artificiali nel Mare Cinese del Sud, isole che hanno conferito alla Cina il predominio assoluto locoregionale. Tutte le proteste del mondo occidentale sono restate lettera morta.

Si voglia o meno, è cambiata un’era. L’epoca in cui l’Occidente poteva fare e disfare a proprio piacere il mondo è terminata e, si direbbe, in modo definitivo.

In questo contesto l’Unione Europea è semplicemente esclusa dalla geopolitica militare mondiale.

Eppure la somma delle spese militari degli stati afferenti l’Unione è quasi doppia di quella cinese e cinque volte tanto di quella russa. Ma a fronte di simile livello di spesa, la forza militare europea è virtualmente nulla: di conseguenza, l’Unione non può pretendere di fare politica mondiale.


The Wall Street Journal. 2017-07-30. China Parades New Missile in Warning to Rivals Abroad—and at Home

Military display is latest effort by President Xi Jinping to improve standing as party leadership shuffle looms.

*

BEIJING—China unveiled a new, more mobile intercontinental ballistic missile at a parade of advanced weaponry and combat troops, in President Xi Jinping’s latest display of military—and political—muscle.

State television showed at least 16 DF-31AG missiles in Sunday’s parade at the Zhurihe combat-training base in northern China, marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the force that is now known as the People’s Liberation Army.

The DF-31AG is mounted on an all-terrain vehicle so it is harder to track and can be fired from multiple locations, and it could have a longer range than the older DF-31A, which was also displayed and is carried by a vehicle designed mainly for roads, military experts say.

Mr. Xi, wearing combat fatigues and a peaked cap, inspected the troops from an open-top military vehicle before the parade, which featured tanks, helicopters, stealth jet fighters and some 12,000 personnel.

“The world is not peaceful,” Mr. Xi in a speech afterward that invoked his signature political idea of a “China Dream” to build the country into a global economic and military power. “Today we are closer than any other period in history to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and we need more than any period in history to build a strong people’s military.”

Mr. Xi also ordered troops to obey the Communist Party leadership, saying: “Wherever the party points, march there.”

It is the first time a parade has been held to mark the anniversary since 1949, according to state media, and is the latest in a series of moves that analysts say are designed to boost Mr. Xi’s political standing in the run-up to a reshuffle of the party’s leadership this year.

The parade also came amid escalating military tensions in the region, with North Korea accelerating its nuclear-weapons program since January through a series of tests, including the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned repeatedly that he is weighing military action to halt North Korea’s nuclear program, and in recent weeks has become increasingly critical of China, accusing them of failing to rein in Pyongyang. The U.S. Air Force flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Saturday in direct response to North Korea’s latest missile test.

“I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk,” Mr. Trump wrote in a pair of posts on his Twitter account. “We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

China’s parade would have been planned months in advance, analysts said, and wasn’t a direct response to Pyongyang or Washington, but it demonstrated Mr. Xi’s efforts to build a military that can respond to external challenges—including on the Korean Peninsula.

Last year, the Chinese leader launched sweeping military reforms—including cutting 300,000 troops—that are designed to overhaul Soviet-modeled command structures and better prepare the armed forces for combat, at home and abroad if needed.

The PLA is training for scenarios that include a conflict over the disputed South China Sea, a blockade of China’s oil supplies through the Indian Ocean, and operations to protect its citizens and investments in Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Xi has also sought to assert his authority over the PLA through an anticorruption campaign that ensnared several current and retired generals, and by assuming the new title of “commander-in-chief” last year.

In June, he inspected PLA troops stationed in Hong Kong in another move to boost his political stature ahead of this fall’s 19th Party Congress, where he’s expected to try to promote allies to the top leadership.

“By presiding over a landmark parade for a party-loyal PLA growing leaner and meaner by his orders, Xi shows that he is large and in charge in the run-up to the 19th Congress,” said Andrew Erickson, an expert on China’s military at the U.S. Naval War College. “Debuting publicly such a powerful, penetrating deterrent weapon as the DF-31AG ICBM seeks to demonstrate that China commands heightened respect abroad even as it maintains order at home—both central components of Xi’s China Dream.”

China hasn’t provided any details about the DF-31AG, but a model was displayed for the first time this month in an exhibition at Beijing’s Military Museum. Analysts say the missile’s design and name suggest it is an improved version of the DF-31A, but beyond its improved survivability and possibly longer range, it remains unclear what the enhancements are.

China has an estimated 75 to 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles, including the solid-fueled DF-31A, which has a range of more than 7000 miles and can reach most locations in the continental U.S., according to the Pentagon.

Other equipment in the parade included five J-20 stealth jet fighters and several DF-21D antiship ballistic missiles, which experts say are designed to hit approaching U.S. aircraft carriers in a potential conflict.

Chinese state television said more than 40 percent of the equipment in the parade was being displayed for the first time, but didn’t provide details of every piece of new weaponry.

Troops in the parade came from the army, navy and air force but also from two new services created about 18 months ago—the rocket force, which controls conventional and nuclear missiles, and the strategic support force, which handles electronic warfare.

Electronic weaponry on display included equipment designed for electromagnetic countermeasures and aerial drones that can be used for radar-jamming, state television said, without providing details.