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Posts Tagged ‘People’s Republic of China’

India’s gift to PoK!

November 22, 2010 5 comments
(.Cartoonist - Shyam Jagota; Courtesy - http://virup.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

(Cartoonist - Shyam Jagota; Courtesy - http://virup.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

Azaad Kashmir – Take Arundhati Roy

Would Arundhati Roy live in Azaad Kashmir-PoK? Will Azaad Kashmir be, is it better, than India?

If the answer is yes, she is welcome to go there. If not, why does she want others to be part of that hell? Remember, many Communists from Britain and USA actually migrated to the ‘Promised Paradise’ of Soviet Russia. Arundhati should follow her own advice!

Go to Azaad Kashmir in PoK.

The looming Yuan-Dollar currency crisis

No dearth of pretenders - EU, Japan ... and now China!

No dearth of pretenders - EU, Japan ... and now China!

There are three separate reasons for this … The reasons refer to the broad determinants of economic growth — capital, labour and productivity.

On the first, India is investing at the same rate as China (approximately 40 per cent of GDP), on the second, India’s labour force growth is about 1.8 per cent per year faster than China, and on the third, China has outpaced India by about 2 per cent per annum (for the last five years).

Most of this outpacing has had to do with the deep and deeper currency undervaluation practised by the Chinese authorities which led to two unsatisfactory outcomes: the great financial crisis of 2008, and now the largest and fastest growing polluter of the world.

For how long will the international community stand idly by? Not very, and this is the first big forecast for the ensuing decade: China’s exchange rate will appreciate significantly starting 2010. How significantly? A first year appreciation to about 6 yuan per dollar from the present 6.8 level. (via Surjit S Bhalla: India’s Shining Decade).

Plausible! Probable … Possible?

'Get to heaven by climbing the terraced fields'. Great Leap Forward poster, Artist - Yang Wenxiu, Published - 1958, September, © Stefan R. Landsberger

'Get to heaven by climbing the terraced fields'. Great Leap Forward poster, Artist - Yang Wenxiu, Published - 1958, September, © Stefan R. Landsberger

Surjit Bhalla outlines a plausible scenario – with China needing to adjusting their exchange rate upwards – much like other US client-states had to! Europe had to in the 70s, Japan in the 90s, Asian Tigers in last 10 years. As examined earlier in some detail by 2ndlook. One question is settled. There will be economic mayhem.

However, Bhalla assumes that the Dollar-Yuan revaluation will happen smoothly – without any significant disruption. And that is one, big, huge assumption – which is based on really, really slippery slope.

Bhalla would do well to remember that last time when China had a problem, it resulted in the India China War of 1962. Just after the disastrous Great Leap Forward and before the equally disastrous Cultural Revolution.

The Great Leap Forward began in 1957-58, saw famine and hunger across China. After the Communist takeover of China, land seized from land owners, was given to peasants in 1949. Ten years later, in 1959, the Chinese State took away the same land from the same peasant. Food shortages, starvation followed. Western (questionable) estimates are that 30 million people died during this period. War with India followed in 1962 – a diversion from the domestic Chinese catastrophe.

What will it be this time?

The approaching mayhem

The next few years will be tumultuous for China.

Much like, when Europe was weaned off the low exchange rate crutch in 1967-1974 period. Stagflation, oil shock, the Nixon Chop followed. How Japan had to live with endaka, the Plaza accord, with S&L crisis in the US.  Or the Asian Tigers had to reset to a higher exchange rate and higher foreign reserves, that accompanied the 1997 (Asian Crisis) to 2000 (The Tech meltdown).

What will follow the Chinese moment in the sun? What will set off economic mayhem in China?

Crime in China (a simmering threat), terrorism in Xinjiang (remote possibility), real estate bubble (a real scenario), dollar-yuan exchange ratio (significant risk)?

Will the Chinese Government be able to ride this storm? Without a war with India? Which side of the fence will China fall? Answers to these questions will be worth waiting for! And prepared with!

Signs of coming troubles?

Great Leap Forward © Stefan R. Landsberger; Source - Zhongguo meishuguan (ed.), 中国美术年鉴 1949-1989 (Guilin: Guangxi meishu chubanshe, 1993). Designer: Zhang Xin'guo (张辛国); Liu Duan (刘端); 1958, October; Put organizations on a military footing, put actions on a war footing, put life on a collective footing; Zuzhi junshihua, xingdong zhandouhua, shenghuo jitihua (组织军事化,行动战斗化,生活集体化); Publisher: Hebei renmin meishu chubanshe (河北人民美术出版社).

Great Leap Forward © Stefan R. Landsberger; Source - Zhongguo meishuguan (ed.), 中国美术年鉴 1949-1989 (Guilin: Guangxi meishu chubanshe, 1993). Designer: Zhang Xin'guo (张辛国); Liu Duan (刘端); 1958, October; Put organizations on a military footing, put actions on a war footing, put life on a collective footing; Zuzhi junshihua, xingdong zhandouhua, shenghuo jitihua (组织军事化,行动战斗化,生活集体化); Publisher: Hebei renmin meishu chubanshe (河北人民美术出版社).

When the Soviet Union imploded, one of the unexpected fall out was the Russian mafia. Recent troubles in China, with the underworld creates a spectre of yet another mafia creating global disturbances. One more element in global trouble spots. To understand this better, turn to Chinese cinema.

Most films that have any Chinese element in it, (actors, directors, characters, locations) end up having the Chinese underworld as an important part of the storyline. Is it that the Chinese are morbidly fascinated by criminals and the underworld – much like Europe was with English pirates and murdering Spanish Conquistadors.

Ranging from Jet Li in Kiss of the Dragon, (Jet Li takes on the French mafia) or Chow Yun-Fat in The Corrupter (exposing police-underworld nexus and corruption in the USA), or Jackie Chan in Rush Hour series or the Chinese Ric Young in The Transporter, Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4.

All have two elements in common.One is the pervasive Chinese underworld. Across Europe, in the USA. In drugs, fake currency, in smuggling boat people, the Chinese are there – everywhere. Many of these movies have Chinese stars, directed by Chinese directors or even partly funded by Chinese studios .

The second is the absence of the Buddhist monk.

India – the loose cannon!

What kind of ending will we see ...?

What kind of ending will we see ...?

Now, India is one box which defies description. By any global and historical standards, the country should not even exist – much less prosper, or be a significant global player. Too many languages, too much poverty, too much freedom, too many political parties, too many languages, too many religions, too many racial types are the common factors going against India (so goes the Desert Bloc narrative).

In such a situation, even in India, for the Westernized types or the remnants of the Desert Bloc admirers, India remains a failure waiting to happen.

Unfortunately, for these doubting Cassandra’s, India has proven them wrong for more than 5000 years now!

equally

Long-haired women fascinate China

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment
Culture wars (Cartoon By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 9/14/2008 12.00.00 AM; Cole's Caption - McCain and culture war; cartoon courtesy - politicalcartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Culture wars (Cartoon By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 9/14/2008 12.00.00 AM; Cole's Caption - McCain and culture war; cartoon courtesy - politicalcartoons.com). Click for larger image.

our guide, who was a mine of information about the Middle Kingdom. She took us sightseeing and on passing trees from which cotton-like flowers fell, she proudly told us that this would soon be a thing of the past because the government had decided to replace these ‘female’ trees with male ones to avoid inconvenience to tourists. We were in the land where anything is possible.

The Great wall, like any tourist spot in India, was very crowded. The Forbidden City, right in the middle of Beijing, was spread over a vast area. But it paled in comparison with the grandeur of our palaces. The pace of sightseeing was hindered by numerous requests from locals for photo shoots with my wife and daughter, unusual women as far as the Chinese are concerned.

At Xian, the Terracotta army complex is a must-see but the big surprise was the Wild Goose Pagoda. It is associated with Hiuen Tsang, who famously travelled to India in the seventh century. The museum has a collection of articles he carried back from India. Every Chinese seemed to know one of their most famous stories, ‘Journey to the West’, and the “West” in this case means India. Stone tablets bearing Sanskrit verses, along with their Chinese translations, can be seen in the Stone Steles Museum. Clearly, they were intelligently copying back then as well. (via Long-haired women fascinate China).

The lost art of travel writing

I thought this was a very fresh piece of travel writing. For one it was not a regurgitated piece of propaganda. For another, he is a typical, English-educated, Indian who is surprised to see how far and how widely India is spread. He is also pleasantly surprised by the lack of simple freedoms that Indians assume are available to all – but a rare commodity.

Lastly, he seems to take significant pride, like much of Desert Bloc, in monuments built by rulers, in ‘glory’ of their reign! He does seems to think that “The Forbidden City … paled in comparison with the grandeur of our palaces”. When it comes to monuments, I would have preferred India to be at the bottom of the table.

Like Africa.

Failed Westernizations

For instance – in Russia, Peter the Great, asked all the boyars to cut their beards – and become modern like Western Europeans. Russia never recovered from that. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk ordered Turks to stop wearing the fez – and a society with a 3000 year old history, suddenly started getting jolted from one crisis to another. In China, it was the queue.

In their great hurry to Westernize, these leaders cast their countries and cultures into a loop of self-doubt and loss of self-esteem. To all those who want to rush into Western (or anyone else’s) arms, Russia, Turkey and China are excellent examples. India is not far behind.

I liked this piece of simple writing. Utkarsh has his tongue in place – firmly in the ‘cheek.’

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