Friday, March 16, 2012

More Hypocricy From Obama Who Accuses China Over Rare Earths And Solar Energy
According to the US Geological Survey ( deposits of REE-bearing ore exist in California, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, New York, Wyoming, and Alaska. Substantial reserves also exist in Australia, Canada, South Africa, Greenland, Brazil, and Vietnam. In spite of having 36% of the world’s identified reserves, China accounts for 95 % of global REE production.
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Even as the U.S. mounts a legal challenge to China's stranglehold on the global market for a class of key minerals, the U.S. Defense Department is playing down the impact on the U.S. military of the Chinese export limits.

The minerals, known as rare earths, are critical to military applications—including smart bombs, laser guidance systems and night-vision equipment—but in a new report, the Defense Department said such uses represent only a "small fraction" of U.S. demand and that military needs can largely be met domestically.

"The growing U.S. supply of these materials is increasingly capable of meeting the consumption of the defense industrial base," says the report, which has been circulated to selected members of Congress in recent days and has been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Whatever the eventual implications for world supplies of rare earths, in some ways a recent Western victory on a somewhat related trade case may have strengthened China’s hand.

The World Trade Organization ordered China last July to dismantle export duties and quotas on nine other industrial raw materials, including bauxite. An appeals tribunal upheld the ruling and added details in late January.

China has been able to study those orders as it has redesigned its export restrictions on rare earths. The new quotas are as stringent as the old ones, making it harder for Western manufacturers to obtain rare earths in the quantities and with the timeliness their factories require. But the revamped quota rules could be easier for China to defend in front of a W.T.O. tribunal, than its earlier policies would have been.

China, for example, has begun requiring its rare earth exporters to obtain a certificate of environmental compliance before they are allowed to make any overseas shipments. That could strengthen China’s claim that export quotas on rare earths are environmentally necessary. Without dispute, the mining and processing of rare earths have many toxic and even radioactive byproducts — which is one reason the West and Japan for decades were reluctant to produce them.

A Malaysian group representing villagers and civil groups will file a legal challenge to the government's decision to approve a massive rare earths plant by Lynas, the Australian mining company .

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board announced late on Wednesday it would grant Lynas a license to operate the first rare earths plant outside China in years, despite public protests over fears of radioactive pollution.

It said Lynas must submit plans for a permanent disposal facility within 10 months and make a $50mn financial guarantee.

Malaysia hopes the Lynas plant will spur growth. But the project has been the subject of heated protests over health and environmental risks posed by potential leaks of radioactive waste.

Florence Looi reports from the eastern Malaysian city of Kuantan.

Although it decreased in the past few years, the export quotas are still higher than the demand of the world market. Besides setting quotas for rare earth exports, China also takes measures to manage rare earth's exploitation, production and other activities. China complies with the rules of WTO environmental exceptions by treating domestic and foreign industries without discrimination, rather than "protects the domestic industries in a distorting way" as the western countries speculate.

In fact, it is not China that is selfish but the United States, the EU, and Japan that are aggressive. They know deeply the importance of protecting the rare earth resources and had already banned or restricted the exploitation of their own rare earth. China has done nothing more than reversing the long-standing, out-of-order mining conditions, focusing on domestic economic and environmental development, international trade balance as well as sustainable development

However, advertised as the "human rights" and "green" defenders, the United States, together with Europe and Japan, has several times pressed China "to comply with the rules of the WTO”, castigating the "unfair" trade. We cannot help but want to ask, whether the restrictions over high tech products export is a violation of free trade rules, and whether it should be punished.

It has existed for a long time that western countries deliberately abuse WTO rules for the benefit of themselves. They arm themselves with rules which are good for themselves, bypassing the rules what are bad.

Conflict, friction is not terrible. As long as we respond positively, make use of relevant rules of trade, and actively promote the perfect trade rules, China will be able to grasp more of the initiative in international trades and maintain good economic interests of the country.

Western hypocrisy in full bloom - Columnist - New Straits Times

This week, the US, European Union and Japan have brought the matter up to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and accused China of unfair trading practices.

That the Chinese are apprehensive about the move is hardly a surprise, for it marks a significant shift in the tone and tenor of its trade relations with other developed nations. That the Chinese may be somewhat annoyed by all this talk of unfair trading practices is also understandable if we were to look at how the concept of fair trade has been applied to China over the past two centuries.

In the 19th century, "free trade" meant that China was forced to open its markets to the import of opium, which led to widespread opium addiction among the population, debilitating its economy and people, and was the catalyst to the so-called "opium wars" of the 19th century.

Today, in the name of "free trade" China is being compelled to open up its economy again -- so that it may sell its rare earth to other more powerful trading nations. Which brings us to the question of politics or, specifically, the politics of free trade and the environment.


The same hypocricy is present in the attack on China over solar energy.,0,6619187.story

"If some politicians have their way, there won't be any more public investments in solar energy," Obama said of his Republican critics. "If these guys were around when Columbus set sail, they'd be charter members of the Flat Earth Society."

The WTO rules, a single set of comprehensive world-wide trade rules, require member countries commit to the fundamental obligations of non-discrimination, lowering trade barriers, non-quantitative restrictions and transparency in the administration of their trade related economic system. But the WTO rules also respect the sovereignty of member states in certain prescribed circumstances.

The WTO rules guarantee member countries a balance between their international obligations and national sovereignty by permitting the adoption or enforcement of measures in certain instances. In particular, Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade allows measures "necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health" or "relating to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources".

This judgment erodes China's sovereign right to protect the health of its people and conserve its natural resources. A right retained by all member states when they subject themselves to WTO trade rules. The dispute settlement body denied China the right to use Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to justify its export duties on raw materials, simply because the export duty section of China's WTO accession protocol does not explicitly mention this article.

The ruling of the dispute settlement body needs further discussion. It's obvious that the core clauses in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade for countries' obligations regarding non-discrimination and non-quantitative restrictions don't mention Article XX either, and yet member states don't lose the rights contained in this Article.

The treatment that China has received begs the question as to why the protective umbrella the WTO gives to all the member states in Article XX does not apply to China.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Wen Given Award For US Job Creation

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked China's trade practices recently, he probably didn't expect that the Chinese premier he met in 2003 - when Romney praised trade between the two countries - would later be granted the "Best Friend of American Worker" award.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was given the award on Friday in Boston by the International Longshoremen's Association in appreciation of China's strong support of job growth for US workers.

Romney, who was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, accompanied Wen on a visit to the Port of Boston at the end of 2003, and said that trade with China brought practical interests to the state he served.

ILA Vice-President William McNamara said that his association was honored to give Wen the award and thanked China for its great contributions in creating more job opportunities for US workers.

The award ceremony coincided with the 10th anniversary of the first direct vessel call to the Port of Boston by the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company in February 2002.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Zhang Yesui received the award on behalf of the Chinese premier, and said that it represents a unique recognition of Wen's support of the COSCO-Massport (the Massachusetts Port Authority of the US) partnership, which reflects the win-win nature of China-US business relations.

"I think today's event is a good example of how the US and China are cooperating in a full range of areas, and how Chinese business and trade can contribute to American jobs and communities in the six states of the New England region of the US, particularly in the city of Boston," he said.

Amid stubbornly high unemployment and a persistent economic recession, the GOP presidential candidates have often assailed China's intellectual property and currency policies as they seek to convince voters they can create jobs and turn the economy around.

Romney said China's currency manipulation has cost "millions of jobs" in the US, and if elected president, he would immediately label China as a currency manipulator.

However, US government statistics showed that it only added about 60,000 jobs in September, not enough to change the August unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, while rising Chinese labor costs could contribute 3 million jobs in the US by 2020, Financial Times quoted a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group released in October.

More and more jobs are being generated by rising US exports to China, as the increasing cost of labor in China undermines the advantages of its exported goods, said Wang Zihong, director of the Economics Office of the Institute of American Studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

According to the US-China Business Council, US exports to China rose from $16.2 billion to $91.9 billion from 2000 to 2010, up 468 percent.

Exports to China are a vital part of the US economic growth recovery - and of sustained economic health. China is the third-largest US export market, and it continues to expand rapidly, said a statement released by the council in 2011.

There is still great potential for China's direct investment in the US, which brings more jobs, said Wang, adding that Chinese enterprises need to become more involved in the US market.

"None of the big economies are perfect, and neither are the Chinese and the US, but China is improving its market economy and intellectual rights to make the bilateral economic cooperation more mutually beneficial," he said.

Updated: 2012-03-06 07:06By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Zhung Tse Tong and The Shanghai Communique

The Shanghai Communique, issued 40 years ago, was the official public announcement of US China relations. However, there were several events that paved the way for this historic change in US foreign policy. Ping Pong Diplomacy enthralls all.

In Beijing, after a careful study of the reports from Nagoya, the Foreign Ministry held that in inviting Americans to China, first consideration should be given to influential journalists and politicians. In a report written jointly by the Foreign Ministry and the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports on April 4, it was suggested that the Chinese table tennis delegation in Nagoya tell the American team that the time was not yet ripe for it to visit China. The report was sent to Zhou and Mao.

By then the Chinese and American table tennis players had come into contact on more than one occasion and exchanged souvenirs, which had made a sensation in the world press. The American players had expressed their wish to visit China.

Mao was well informed of what had happened in Nagoya. He decided to invite the American players immediately. On April 7, the Chinese delegation received a directive from home: "considering that the American team has made the request many times with friendly enthusiasm, it has been approved to invite it, including its leaders, to visit our country."

Upon receiving the invitation, Steenhoven immediately reported to the American ambassador to Japan. After reading the cable from Tokyo, Nixon decided at once that the American team should go to China, taking the invitation for the beginning of a long-awaited major diplomatic action.

On April 14, Zhou received the guest teams from the United States, Canada, Colombia and Nigeria at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. When talking with the American players, he said, "The Chinese and American people used to have frequent exchanges. Then came a long period of severance. Your visit has opened the door to friendship between the peoples of the two countries."

Richard Nixon's visit to China in February 1972 changed the course of history — reshaping the global balance of power and opening the door to the establishment of relations between the People's Republic and the United States.
1972年2月理查德•尼克松对中国的访问改变了历史的轨迹 - 它重新调整了全球势力的均衡,为中华人民共和国和美国两国间关系的建立打开了大门。

It was also a milestone in the history of journalism. Since the Communist revolution of 1949, a suspicious regime in Beijing had barred virtually all U.S. reporters from China. For the Nixon trip, however, the Chinese agreed to accept nearly 100 journalists, and to allow the most dramatic events — Nixon's arrival in Beijing, Zhou Enlai'swelcoming banquet, visits to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City — to be televised live.
这次访问同时也是新闻史上的一个里程碑。自1949年共产革命以来,对外界充满怀疑的北京政府将所有美国新闻记者拒之门外。然而为了尼克松中国之行,中方同意并接纳了10­0名新闻记者,并且允许电视现场直播尼克松中国之行中发生的重大事件 - 例如尼克松抵京,周恩来总理欢迎晚宴,总统参观长城和故宫。

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The coverage was arguably as important as the details of the diplomacy. It profoundly transformed American and international perceptions of a long-isolated China, generated the public support Nixon needed to change U.S. policy, and laid the groundwork for Beijing's gradual move to open China to greater international media coverage.

While the outlines of the Nixon trip are familiar, the behind-the-scenes story of how that momentous event was covered is much less well-known. This segment of Assignment: China focuses on journalists who went with Nixon and includes interviews with those officials who sought to shape the coverage. The Week that Changed the World contains previously unreleased footage of the Nixon visit, as well as interviews with journalistic luminaries such as Dan Rather and Bernard Kalb of CBS, Ted Koppel and Tom Jarriel of ABC, Barbara Walters of NBC, Max Frankel of the New York Times, Stanley Karnow of the Washington Post, and many others.

Reported and narrated by U.S.-China Institute Senior Fellow Mike Chinoy, formerly CNN's Senior Asia Correspondent and Beijing Bureau Chief, and edited by USCI Multimedia Editor Craig Stubing, the film offers a fascinating and previously untold perspective on one of the most important historical moments of the 20th century. Clayton Dube conceived of the Assignment: China project and supervises it.

Friendship First, Competition Second