Monthly Archives: February 2008

Quinlan

CHINA IS NOT YET ABLE TO BREATHE EASY OVER OLYMPICS While global financial markets remain focused on the credit crunch in the US, another market-rattling problem could be brewing thousands of miles away – in China. Many investors expect a … Continue reading

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CHINESE CONSIDER ‘ONE-CHILD’ POLICY SHIFT

China is considering a gradual raising of its limits on the number of children a couple can have, according to a senior official of the National Population and Family Planning Commission. The comments by Zhao Baige, family planning vice-minister, highlight … Continue reading

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Tom Mitchell in Dongguan

FACTORIES FACE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST At its height, the Changdeng Shoe Company employed 7,000 workers in the eastern district of Dongguan, a manufacturing centre in China’s southern Guangdong province. Today the company’s factory compound is a ghost town, populated … Continue reading

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Martin Wolf

AMERICA’S ECONOMY RISKS THE MOTHER OF ALL MELTDOWNS “I would tell audiences that we were facing not a bubble but a froth – lots of small, local bubbles that never grew to a scale that could threaten the health of … Continue reading

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Nigel Andrews

Decadent visions and swirling smog It wasn’t a dream, but it felt like one. I was on an unknown yet eerily familiar street in a foreign land. Around me stood an army of motionless human beings, dressed as if for … Continue reading

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Joe Leahy, Amy Yee, Mure Dickie and Geoff Dyer

BIDDING FOR BRANDS Hotel managers, particularly those in the luxury business, are generally polite folk. But last month, when India’s Taj Hotels chain made what it said was a friendly approach to Orient Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises, the luxury … Continue reading

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Geoff Dyer Richard Lapper

当中国国家主席胡锦涛2004年访问拉丁美洲时,中国似乎正将其日益增长的经济实力转化为全球政治影响力。 双方之间的经济关系似乎是一种完美的结合:中国如火如荼的城市化进程,吸取着拉美丰富的铜、铁矿石和大豆资源。这个新崛起充满信心的强国领导人,在被视为美国“后院”的拉美待了12天。 在访问行程结束时,当地报纸报道称,胡锦涛留下了价值1000亿美元的投资承诺——不过后来中国官员表示该数字有所夸大。 中国与拉美地区的贸易流动确实呈爆炸式增长,从1999年的82亿美元增至2006年的700亿美元。不过,尽管拉美眼睁睁地看着中国企业大举向非洲投资,但他们所期待的如潮水般的中国投资并未成为现实。 “人们的期望值的确很高,”经合组织(OECD)发展中心驻巴黎的首席经济学家哈维尔•桑蒂索(Javier Santiso)表示。“但一直存在许多障碍。” 中国对拉美的总体直接投资从2004年的17.6亿美元,猛增至2006年的84.7亿美元,这相当于中国对外直接投资总额的近一半。然而,90%以上的投资流向了开曼群岛,许多经济学家质疑这是不是真正的直接投资。 去年,实实在在的(投资)活动有所增加,其中包括秘鲁3个不同的铜项目。不过,人们并没看到期待的中国对新基础设施领域的投资,而对一些拉美国家来说,印度的投资已变得更为重要。例如,印度金达来钢铁电力公司(Jindal Steel and Power)去年已同意向玻利维亚一个铁矿石和钢铁项目投资21亿美元,这是玻利维亚有史以来最大的一笔外国投资。 桑蒂索表示:“当每个人都在期待着中国龙的时候,却出现了印度象。” 尽管对于中国企业来说,拉美应该是一片沃土,但它们在该地区面临着一系列难题。 一个问题是中国企业喜欢在海外运用的模式,特别是在建筑领域。在非洲,中国集团通常会带工人来修建公路或港口。但在多数拉美国家,这种方案倍受争议。“最大的问题是,中国企业往往希望完全控制项目,”巴西前经济部长若泽•罗伯托•门东萨•德巴罗斯(Jose Roberto Mendonca de Barros)表示。“带来大量工人在政治上是不可接受的。” 民意调查显示,中国企业在该地区的形象不佳;一项早期投资——首钢1993年收购铁矿石商秘鲁铁矿公司(Hierro Peru)——就曾因为工作条件引发的罢工和抗议活动而陷入困境。 拉美驻北京的一位外交官表示:“中国人完全没有与公民社会接触,没有与工会及其它组织沟通,说服他们相信中国的投资没有威胁。” 中国与许多拉美国家的关系不如与那些非洲国家的关系那么成熟。中国从上世纪60年代就开始在非洲建立强大的外交地位。 许多外交官认为,地缘政治因素在一定程度上是这背后的原因。“在非洲,由于该地区太被人忽视,因此中国建立强大的政治影响力相对较为容易,”前巴西大使鲁宾斯•巴尔博萨(Rubens Barbosa)表示。“而中方仍将拉美视为美国的势力范围。”巴尔博萨目前在圣保罗运营一家咨询公司。 外交官们表示,上述考虑影响了中国与委内瑞拉之间的关系。考虑到未来的石油交易,中国已同意在该国基础设施领域投资40亿美元,并帮助委内瑞拉发射一颗卫星,不过中国政府也很谨慎,不愿因为与委内瑞拉总统乌戈•查韦斯(Hugo Chavez)交往过密而得罪美国。 由于贸易紧张局势不断升级,中国与拉美的关系也受到影响。本世纪初,拉美对华贸易顺差一直较大,但近来由于来自中国的制造品进口额飙升,去年拉美对华贸易将出现逆差,从而促使拉美采取大量反倾销行动。 该地区最近的政治趋势波动较大,也遏制了中国方面的兴趣——即使是可能对华态度友好的左翼政府国家也如此。 中国在该地区最大的投资之一,是中石化(Sinopec)和中石油(PetroChina)于2005年以14.2亿美元收购厄瓜多尔的安第斯石油公司(Andes Petroleum)。但安第斯石油公司并未能免缴最近新左派政府开征的暴利税,该公司正考虑将此事提交国际仲裁。 华盛顿美国国家战争学院(National War College)的辛西亚•沃森(Cynthia Watson)表示:“与所有其他人一样,(中国正)试图弄清楚情况。”相比之下,非洲各国政府在与中国敲定交易方面动作要快得多。“非洲的需求更为紧迫,那里的民族主义情绪也远没有(拉美)这么严重。”

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France 法兰西1

一丝倦怠,斜倚轩窗,TGV奔驰在美丽的田野上,午后的阳光融合着百万种绿,背衬着千万种蓝,从里昂到戴高乐。A little tired, leaning by the window of TGV, beautiful contryside: Lyon part-dieu to Areaport CDG 2. Soleil aprez-midi, fondre millions of greeness, thousands of bleuness backgrounding. 回程浸沐在止人休憩的迤逦回忆中,法国郊外的苍翠和思绪的昏黄色彩交相辉映。17天是如此短暂。Leadback-home, taking the shower of fantasia breathtaking memory, verdoyant in the fields of … Continue reading

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Spring Festival in France

I love Alpes et Ski.   Soleil   et Business future. PS: if you want to go to France by air from Shanghai, I’d like to give some tips about the procedure. Never hesitate to contact me, s’il vous plaît. … Continue reading

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Richard McGregor in Beijing and Tom Mitchell in Guangzhou

In Guangdong, the southern Chinese manufacturing heartland that is home to about 19m migrant workers, radio talk show hosts this week began broadcasting a surprising commentary. Only days before, hundreds of thousands of workers had began massing at transport hubs … Continue reading

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Minxin Pei and Wayne Chen

A CRASH IS CHINA’S CHANCE FOR FINANCIAL REFORMS The spectacular run-up in equity prices in China in the past two years has created a classic asset bubble. The likelihood that the stock market will crash in the not-too-distant future has … Continue reading

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Samuel Brittan

A theme heard among financial analysts is that governments and central banks are running out of “ammunition” to fight a setback in economic activity. Their view seems to me profoundly wrong. The issue here is not whether there is going … Continue reading

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