Sunday, February 28, 2010

297) China Financial Reform - OECD Paper

China Financial Reform
Richard Herd, Charles Pigott and Sam Hill

The document China's Financial Sector Reform, prepared by Richard Herd, Charles Pigott and Sam Hill presents reforms to modernise and strengthen the financial sector have continued in recent years that have given rise to stronger Chinese banks. Concludes that "although the bond market has continued to grow, corporate bond issuance remains relatively small and this segment will need to be further developed in order to address the over-reliance on the banking system".

Full text:$FILE/JT03277812.PDF

China’s financial sector reforms
Reforms to modernise and strengthen the financial sector have continued in recent years. The cleaning-up of the stock of non-performing loans is largely completed and considerable progress has been made in improving commercial banks’ corporate governance structures and risk management systems. These reforms have given rise to stronger Chinese banks which have so far weathered the global slowdown well. Reform of capital markets has focused on phasing out trading prohibitions on non-traded shares and modernising securities market institutions. Efforts have also been made to improve credit access to underserved segments, notably small and medium-sized enterprises and rural China. Despite progress in opening up the financial sector to international investors and in allowing domestic investors to invest abroad, liberalisation has been slow and in most market segments the foreign share remains very small.
Ownership of financial institutions remains dominated by the State, raising issues concerning the financial system’s ability to serve the private sector as well as the extent to which banks lending decisions are based purely on commercial considerations. Although the bond market has continued to grow, corporate bond issuance remains relatively small and this segment will need to be further developed in order to address the over-reliance on the banking system.
This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Survey of China (

JEL classification: G00; H81
Keywords: China; liberalisation; financial sector; capital market; non-performing loans; commercial banks; risk management; non-traded shares; SMEs; international capital movements.

Les réformes financières en Chine

Les réformes visant à moderniser et à renforcer le secteur financier ont continué dans les années récentes. L’assainissement des bilans a beaucoup avancé et on a assisté à une nette amélioration des systèmes de gouvernance et de gestion des risques dans les banques commerciales. Ces changements ont abouti à une consolidation des banques chinoises, qui jusqu’ici ont bien résisté au ralentissement mondial.
La réforme des marchés de capitaux a privilégié la suppression progressive des restrictions concernant les actions non négociables et la modernisation des institutions opérant sur les marchés de titres. On a aussi pris des mesures pour faciliter l’accès au crédit des secteurs mal desservis, notamment les PME et le milieu
rural. Malgré l’ouverture progressive du secteur financier aux investisseurs tnternationaux et l’autorisation postérieure donnée aux investisseurs nationaux d’opérer à l’étranger, la libéralisation a été lente et la part étrangère reste très réduite dans la plupart des compartiments du marché. L’État demeure le principal
propriétaire des institutions financières, ce qui amène à s’interroger sur leur capacité à servir le secteur privé et sur le degré auquel les décisions de prêt des banques sont guidées par des considérations commerciales. Bien que le marché obligataire continue à se développer, l’émission de titres de sociétés est encore relativement limitée et devra s’accroître pour réduire le recours excessif au système bancaire.
Ce Document de travail a trait à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Chine, 2010 (
Classification JEL: G00; H81

Mots clés: Chine; libéralisation; secteur financier; marchés des capitaux; prêts non productifs; banques commerciales; gestion des risques; actions non-négociables; PME; mouvements de capitaux internationaux.

© OECD 2010 Application for permission to reproduce or translate all, or part of, this material should be made to: Head of Publications Service, OECD, 2 rue André-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

296) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 14

Chapter Thirteen: Using Spies
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, raising an army of a hundred thousand and advancing it a thousand li, the expenses to the people and the nation's resources are one thousand gold pieces a day. ?

Those in commotion internally and externally, those exhausted on the roads, and those unable to do their daily work are seven hundred thousand families. ?

Two sides remain in standoff for several years in order to do battle for a decisive victory on a single day. ?

Yet one refusing to outlay a hundred pieces of gold and thereby does not know the enemy's situation is the height of inhumanity. ?

This one is not the general of the people, a help to the ruler, or the master of victory. ?

What enables the enlightened rulers and good generals to conquer the enemy at every move and achieve extraordinary success is foreknowledge. ?

Foreknowledge cannot be elicited from ghosts and spirits;

it cannot be inferred from comparison of previous events, or from the calculations of the heavens, but must be obtained from people who have knowledge of the enemy's situation. ?

Therefore there are five kinds of spies used:

Local spies, internal spies, double spies, dead spies, and living spies. ?

When all five are used, and no one knows their Way, it is called the divine organization, and is the ruler's treasure. ?

For local spies, we use the enemy's people.

For internal spies we use the enemy's officials.

For double spies we use the enemy's spies.

For dead spies we use agents to spread misinformation to the enemy. For living spies, we use agents to return with reports. ?

Therefore, of those close to the army, none is closer than spies, no reward more generously given, and no matter in greater secrecy. ?

Only the wisest ruler can use spies;

only the most benevolent and upright general can use spies, and only the most alert and observant person can get the truth using spies.

It is subtle, subtle! ?

There is nowhere that spies cannot be used. ?

If a spy's activities are leaked before they are to begin, the spy and those who know should be put to death. ?

Generally, if you want to attack an army, besiege a walled city, assassinate individuals, you must know the identities of the defending generals, assistants, associates, gate guards, and officers. ?

You must have spies seek and learn them.

You must seek enemy spies.

Bribe them, and instruct and retain them.

Therefore, double spies can be obtained and used. ?

From their knowledge, you can obtain local and internal spies.

From their knowledge, the dead spies can spread misinformation to the enemy.

From their knowledge, our living spies can be used as planned.

The ruler must know these five kinds of espionage. ?

This knowledge depends on the double spies.

Therefore, you must treat them with the utmost generosity. ?

In ancient times, the rise of the Yin dynasty was due to I Chih, who served the house of Hsia;

the rise of the Chou dynasty was due to Lu Ya, who served the house of Yin. ?

Therefore, enlightened rulers and good generals who are able to obtain intelligent agents as spies are certain for great achievements. ?

This is essential for warfare, and what the army depends on to move. ?


Our translation is now in book form with insightful commentary: The Art of War.Spirituality for Conflict: Annotated & Explained.

295) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 13

Chapter Twelve: Fire Attacks
Sun Tzu said:

There are five kinds of fire attacks:

One, burning personnel;

two, burning provisions;

three, burning equipment;

four, burning stores;

five, burning weapons. ?

Using fire attacks depends on proper conditions.

Equipment for fire attacks must be available beforehand. ?

There are appropriate seasons for using fire attacks, and appropriate days for raising fires.

The appropriate season is when the weather is dry;

the appropriate day is when the moon is at Chi, Pi, I, or Chen.

These four days are when there are rising winds. ?

Generally, in fire attacks, you must respond according to the five changes of fire:

If the fires are set inside enemy camp, you must respond quickly outside the enemy camp;

if the fires are set but the enemy is calm, then wait, do not attack.

Let the fire reach its height, and follow up if you can, stay if you cannot;?

If the fire attack can be set outside, without relying on the inside, set it when the time is right.

If the fire is set upwind, do not attack downwind.

If it is windy all during the day, the wind will stop at night.

The army must know the five changes of fire, to be able to calculate the appropriate days. ?

Those who use fire to assist in attacks are intelligent, those who use water to assist in attacks are powerful.

Water can be used to cut off the enemy, but cannot be used to plunder.?

If one gains victory in battle and is successful in attacks, but does not exploit those achievements, it is disastrous.

This is called waste and delay. ?

Therefore, I say the wise general thinks about it, and the good general executes it. ?

If it is not advantageous, do not move;

if there is no gain, do not use troops;

if there is no danger, do not do battle. ?

The ruler may not move his army out of anger;

the general may not do battle out of wrath. ?

If it is advantageous, move;

if it is not advantageous, stop. ?

Those angry will be happy again, and those wrathful will be cheerful again, but a destroyed nation cannot exist again, the dead cannot be brought back to life. ?

Therefore, the enlightened ruler is prudent, the good general is cautious.

This is the Way of securing the nation, and preserving the army. ?

294) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 12

Chapter Eleven: Formation
Sun Tzu said:

The principles of warfare are:

There are dispersive ground, marginal ground, contentious ground, open ground, intersecting ground, critical ground, difficult ground, surrounded ground, and deadly ground. ?

Where the rulers do battle in their own ground, this is called dispersive ground.

Where one enters the other's ground but not deep, this is called marginal ground.

Where it is advantageous if you occupy it and it is advantageous if the enemy occupies it, this is called contentious ground.

Where one can come and go, this is called open ground. ?

Where ground is surrounded by others, and the first one to reach it will gain the support of the masses, this is called intersecting ground.

Where one enters deep into enemy ground, with many walled cities and towns to his back, this is called critical ground.

Where there are mountains and forests, defiles and ravines, swamps and wetlands, and places difficult to pass, this is called difficult ground. ?

Where the entrance is narrow, the exit circuitous, allowing the enemy to attack his few to our many, this is called surrounded ground.

Where if one who does battle with full force survives, and one who does not do battle with full force perishes, this is called deadly ground. ?

Therefore, on dispersive ground, do not do battle. ?

On marginal ground, do not stop. ?

On contentious ground, do not attack. ?

On open ground, do not become separated. ?

On intersecting ground, form alliances. ?

On critical ground, plunder. ?

On difficult ground, press on. ?

On surrounded ground, be prepared. ?

On deadly ground, do battle. ?

In ancient times, those skilled in warfare were able to prevent the unity of the enemy's front and back, the many and the few, the noble and the peasants, and the superiors and the subordinates. ?

Have the enemy be separated and unable to assemble;

if the enemy is assembled, it should not be organized. ?

Move when advantageous, stop when not advantageous. ?


If the enemy is large in number and advances, what should be the response?

I say:

Seize what he values, and he will do what you wish. ?

The essential factor in warfare is speed. ?

To take advantage of the enemy's lack of preparation, take unexpected routes to attack where the enemy is not prepared. ?

Generally, the Way of invading is when one has penetrated deep into enemy ground, the troops are united;

the defender will not be able to prevail. ?

If you plunder the fertile fields, the army will have enough provisions. ?

If you take care of your health, avoid fatigue, you will be united, and will build strength. ?

When moving troops and calculating plans, be formless. ?

Throw your troops into situations where there is no escape, where they will die before escaping.

When they are about to die, what can they not do?

They will exert their full strength. ?

When the troops are in desperate situations, they fear nothing;

having penetrated deep in enemy ground, they are united. ?

When there are no other alternatives, they will fight. ?

Therefore, though not disciplined, they are alert;

though not asked, they are devoted;

though without promises, they are faithful;

and though not commanded, they are trustworthy. ?

Prohibit omens, and get rid of doubts, and they will die without any other thoughts. ?

The soldiers do not have wealth, but not because they dislike material goods;

they do not live long, but not because they dislike longevity. ?

On the day the men are issued orders to do battle, the sitting soldiers' tears will soak their sleeves, and the lying soldiers' tears will roll down their cheeks. ?

However, if you throw them into a desperate situation, they will have the courage of Chuan Chu or Ts'ao Kuei. ?

Therefore, those skilled in warfare are like the shuaijan.

The shuaijan is a serpent on Mount Chang. ?

If you strike its head, its tail attacks;

if you strike its tail, its head attacks;

if you strike its middle, both the head and tail attack. ?


Can forces be made like the shuaijan?

I say:

They can.

The men of Wu and Yueh hated each other, however, encountering severe winds when crossing a river on the same boat, they assisted each other like left and right hands. ?

Therefore, hobbling horses and burying chariot wheels are not enough.

The Way of organization is uniting their courage, making the best of the strong and the weak through the principles of Ground. ?

Therefore, one who is skilled in warfare leads them by the hand like they are one person;

they cannot but follow. ?

293) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 11

Chapter Ten: Ground Formation
Sun Tzu said:

The grounds are accessible, entrapping, stalemated, narrow, steep, and expansive.

If you can go through but the enemy cannot, it is called accessible. ?

For accessible ground, first take the high and the sunny side, and convenient supply routes.

You then do battle with the advantage. ?

If you can go through but difficult to go back, it is called entrapping.

For entrapping ground, if the enemy is unprepared, advance and defeat him. ?

If the enemy is prepared, and you advance and are not victorious, it will be difficult to go back;

this is disadvantageous. ?

If it is not advantageous to advance or for the enemy to advance, it is called stalemated.

For stalemated ground, though the enemy offers you advantage, do not advance.

Withdraw. ?

If you strike them when half has advanced, this is advantageous. ?

For narrow ground, we must occupy it first;

be prepared and wait for the enemy.

If the enemy occupies it first, and is prepared, do not follow him.

If he is not prepared, follow him. ?

For steep ground, if you occupy it first, occupy the high on the sunny side and wait for the enemy.

If the enemy occupies it first, withdraw;

do not follow him. ?

For expansive ground, if the forces are equal, it will be difficult to do battle.

Doing battle will not be advantageous.

These are the six Ways of ground.

They are the general's responsibility, and must be examined. ?

In warfare, there are flight, insubordination, deterioration, collapse, chaos, and setback.

These six situations are not caused by Heaven or Ground, but by the general. ?

If the forces are equal, and one attacks ten, this is called flight.

If the troops are strong but the officers weak, this is called insubordination.

If the officers are strong but the troops weak, this is called deterioration. ?

If the officers are angry and insubordinate, doing battle with the enemy under anger and insubordination, and the general does not know their abilities, this is called collapse. ?

If the general is weak and not disciplined, his instructions not clear, the officers and troops lack discipline and their formation in disarray, this is called chaos. ?

If the general cannot calculate his enemy, and uses a small number against a large number, his weak attacking the strong, and has no selected vanguard, this is called setback. ?

These are the six Ways of defeat.

They are the general's responsibility, and must be examined.

Formations of the ground assist the army. ?

To calculate the enemy, create conditions leading to victory, calculating the dangers and distances.

They are the Ways of the superior general. ?

Those who do battle and know these are certain for victory.

Those who do battle and do not know these are certain for defeat. ?

Therefore, if the Way of warfare indicates certain victory, though the ruler does not want to do battle, the general may do battle.

If the Way of warfare indicates defeat, though the ruler wants to do battle, the general may not do battle. ?

Therefore, the general who does not advance to seek glory, or does not withdraw to avoid punishment, but cares for only the people's security and promotes the people's interests, is the nation's treasure. ?

He looks upon his troops as children, and they will advance to the deepest valleys.

He looks upon his troops as his own children, and they will die with him. ?

If the general is kind to the troops, but cannot use them, or if the general loves the troops, but cannot command them, or if the general does not discipline the troops, but cannot establish order, the troops are like spoiled children and are useless. ?

If I know the troops can attack, but do not know the enemy cannot attack, my victory is half. ?

If I know the enemy can be attacked, but do not know the troops cannot attack, my victory is half. ?

If I know the enemy can be attacked, and know the troops can attack, but do not know the ground in battle, my victory is half. ?

Therefore, one who knows how to advance the army is limitless when taking action. ?

Therefore I say, if you know the enemy and know yourself, the victory is not at risk.

If you know the Heaven and you know the Ground, the victory is complete. ?

292) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 10

Chapter Nine: Army Maneuvers
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, on positioning the army and observing the enemy:

To cross mountains, stay close to the valleys;

observe on high ground and face the sunny side.

If the enemy holds the high ground, do not ascend and do battle with him.

This is positioning the army in the mountains. ?

After crossing a river, you must stay far away from it.

If the enemy crosses a river, do not meet him in the water.

When half of his forces has crossed, it will then be advantageous to strike. ?

If you want to do battle with the enemy, do not position your forces near the water facing the enemy;

take high ground facing the sunny side, and do not position downstream.

This is positioning the army near rivers. ?

After crossing swamps and wetlands, strive to quickly get through them, and do not linger.

If you do battle in swamps and wetlands, you must position close to grass, with the trees to your back.

This is positioning the army in swamps and wetlands. ?

On level ground, position on places that are easy to maneuver with your right backed by high ground, with the dangerous ground in front, and safe ground to the back.

This is positioning the army on level ground. ?

These are the four positions advantageous to the army, which enabled the Yellow Emperor to conquer four rulers. ?

Generally, the army prefers high ground and dislikes low ground, values the sunny side and despises the shady side, nourishes its health and occupies places with resources, and avoids numerous sicknesses.

These factors mean certain victory. ?

Where there are hills and embankments, you must position on the sunny side, with the hills and embankments to your right back.

These are advantages to the army. ?

Use the ground for assistance. ?

When the rainwater rises and descends down to where you want to cross, wait until it settles. ?

Where there is ground with impassable ravines, Heaven's Wells, Heaven's Prisons, Heaven's Nets, Heaven's Pits, and Heaven's Fissures, you must march quickly away from them.

Do not approach them. ?

When we distance from them, draw the enemy to approach them.

When we move to face the enemy, he will have them at his back. ?

When the army is flanked by high ground, wetlands, tall reeds and grass, mountain forests, or areas with thick undergrowth, you must search carefully and thoroughly, because these are places where men lie in ambush or where spies hide. ?

If the enemy is close and remains quiet, he occupies a natural stronghold. ?

If the enemy is far away and challenges you to do battle, he wants you to advance, because he occupies level ground that is to his advantage. ?

291) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 9

Chapter Eight: Nine Changes
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, the principles of warfare are:

The general receives his commands from the ruler, assembles the armies, and mobilizes the masses. ?

Do not camp on difficult ground.

Unite with your allies on intersecting ground.

Do not stay on open ground.

Be prepared on surrounded ground.

Do battle on deadly ground. ?

There are routes not to be taken;

there are armies not to be attacked;

there are walled cities not to be besieged;

there are grounds not to be penetrated;

there are commands not to be obeyed. ?

Therefore, the general who knows the advantages of the nine changes knows how to use the troops. ?

If the general does not know the advantages of the nine changes, even if he knows the lay of the land, he will not be able to take advantage of the ground. ?

He who commands an army but does not know the principles of the nine changes, even if he is familiar with the five advantages, will not be able to best use his troops. ?

Therefore, the intelligent general contemplates both the advantages and disadvantages. ?

Contemplating the advantages, he fulfills his calculations;

contemplating the disadvantages, he removes his difficulties. ?

Therefore, subjugate the neighboring rulers with potential disadvantages, labor the neighboring rulers with constant matters, and have the neighboring rulers rush after advantages. ?

So the principles of warfare are:

Do not depend on the enemy not coming, but depend on our readiness against him.

Do not depend on the enemy not attacking, but depend on our position that cannot be attacked. ?

Therefore, there are five dangerous traits of a general:

He who is reckless can be killed. ?

He who is cowardly can be captured. ?

He who is quick tempered can be insulted. ?

He who is moral can be shamed. ?

He who is fond of the people can be worried. ?

These five traits are faults in a general, and are disastrous in warfare.

The army's destruction, and the death of the general are due to these five dangerous traits.

They must be examined. ?

290) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 8

Chapter Seven: Armed Struggle
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, the principles of warfare are:

The general receives his commands from the ruler, assembles the troops, mobilizes the army, and sets up camp. ?

There is nothing more difficult than armed struggle. ?

In armed struggle, the difficulty is turning the circuitous into the direct, and turning adversity into advantage. ?

Therefore, if you make the enemy's route circuitous and bait him with advantages, though you start out behind him, you will arrive before him.

This is to know the calculations of the circuitous and of the direct. ?

Therefore, armed struggle has advantages, and armed struggle has risks.

If the entire army mobilizes for an advantage, you will not arrive on time. ?

If a reduced army mobilizes for an advantage, your stores and equipment will be lost. ?

For this reason, by rolling up your armor, rushing forward without stopping day or night, covering twice the usual distance for an advantage a hundred li away, the general will be captured.

The strong will arrive first, the weak will lag behind, and as a rule, only one-tenth will arrive. ?

If one struggles for an advantage fifty li away, the general of the front forces will be thwarted, and as a rule only one half will arrive.

If one struggles for an advantage thirty li away, then two-thirds of the army will arrive. ?

For this reason, if an army is without its equipment will lose;

if an army is without its provisions will lose;

if the army is without its stores will lose. ?

Therefore, one who does not know the intentions of the rulers of the neighboring states cannot secure alliances. ?

One who does not know the mountains and forests, gorges and defiles, swamps and wetlands cannot advance the army.

One who does not use local guides cannot take advantage of the ground. ?

Therefore, the army is established on deception, mobilized by advantage, and changed through dividing up and consolidating the troops. ?

Therefore, it advances like the wind;

it marches like the forest;

it invades and plunders like fire;

it stands like the mountain;

it is formless like the dark;

it strikes like thunder. ?

When you plunder the countryside, divide the wealth among your troops;

when you expand your territory, divide up and hold places of advantage. ?

Calculate the situation, and then move.

Those who know the principles of the circuitous and direct will be victorious.

This is armed struggle. ?

The Book of Military Administration says:

It is because words cannot be clearly heard in battle, drums and gongs are used;

it is because troops cannot see each other clearly in battle, flags and pennants are used. ?

Therefore, in night battles use torches and drums;

in day battles use flags and pennants.

Drums, gongs, flags, and pennants are used to unite men's eyes and ears. ?

When the men are united, the brave cannot advance alone, the cowardly cannot retreat alone. ?

These are the principles for employing a large number of troops.

Therefore, in night battles, use many torches and drums, and in day battles, use many flags and pennants in order to influence men's eyes and ears. ?

The energy of the army can be dampened, and the general's mind can be dampened.

Therefore, in the morning, energy is high, but during the day energy begins to flag;

and in the evening, energy is exhausted. ?

Therefore, those skilled in the use of force avoid high energy, and strike when energy is exhausted.

This is the way to manage energy. ?

Disciplined, wait for disorder;

calm, wait for clamor.

This is the way to manage the mind. ?

Near, wait for the distant;

rested, wait for the fatigued;

full, wait for the hungry.

This is the way to manage strength. ?

Do not do battle with well-ordered flags;

do not do battle with well-regulated formations.

This is the way to manage adaptation. ?

Therefore, the principles of warfare are:

Do not attack an enemy that has the high ground;

do not attack an enemy that has his back to a hill;

do not pursue feigned retreats;

do not attack elite troops;

do not swallow the enemy's bait; ?

do not thwart an enemy retreating home.

If you surround the enemy, leave an outlet;

do not press an enemy that is cornered.

These are the principles of warfare. ?

289) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 7

Chapter Six: Weakness and Strength
Sun Tzu said:

Generally the one who first occupies the battlefield awaiting the enemy is at ease;

the one who comes later and rushes into battle is fatigued. ?

Therefore those skilled in warfare move the enemy, and are not moved by the enemy. ?

Getting the enemy to approach on his own accord is a matter of showing him advantage;

stopping him from approaching is a matter of showing him harm. ?

Therefore, if the enemy is at ease, be able to exhaust him;

if the enemy is well fed, be able to starve him;

if the enemy is settled, be able to move him;

appear at places where he must rush to defend, and rush to places where he least expects. ?

To march over a thousand li without becoming distressed, march over where the enemy is not present. ?

To be certain to take what you attack, attack where the enemy cannot defend. ?

To be certain of safety when defending, defend where the enemy cannot attack. ?

Therefore, against those skilled in attack, the enemy does not know where to defend; ?

against those skilled in defense, the enemy does not know where to attack. ?

Subtle! Subtle!

They become formless.

Mysterious! Mysterious!

They become soundless.

Therefore, they are the masters of the enemy's fate. ?

To achieve an advance that cannot be hampered, rush to his weak points.

To achieve a withdrawal that cannot be pursued, depart with superior speed. ?

Therefore, if we want to do battle, even if the enemy is protected by high walls and deep moats, he cannot but do battle, because we attack what he must rescue.

If we do not want to do battle, even if we merely draw a line on the ground, he will not do battle, because we divert his movements. ?

Therefore, if we can make the enemy show his position while we are formless, we will be at full force while the enemy is divided. ?

If our army is at full force and the enemy is divided, then we will attack him at ten times his strength. ?

Therefore, we are many and the enemy few.

If we attack our many against his few, the enemy will be in dire straits. ?

The place of battle must not be made known to the enemy.

If it is not known, then the enemy must prepare to defend many places. ?

If he prepares to defend many places, then the forces will be few in number. ?

Therefore, if he prepares to defend the front, the back will be weak.

If he prepares to defend the back, the front will be weak.

If he prepares to defend the left, the right will be weak.

If he prepares to defend the right, the left will be weak.

If he prepares to defend everywhere, everywhere will be weak. ?

The few are those preparing to defend against others, the many are those who make others prepare to defend against them. ?

Therefore, if one knows the place of battle and the day of battle, he can march a thousand li and do battle. ?

If one does not know the place of battle and the day of battle, then his left cannot aid his right, and his right cannot aid his left;

his front cannot aid his back, and his back cannot aid his front. ?

How much less so if he is separated by tens of li, or even a few li. ?

Based on my calculations, though Yueh's troops were many, what advantage was this to them in respect to victory?

Therefore I say, victory can be achieved. ?

Though the enemy is many, he can be prevented from doing battle.

Therefore, know the enemy's plans and calculate their strengths and weaknesses. ?

Provoke him, to know his patterns of movement. ?

Determine his position, to know the ground of death and of life. ?

Probe him, to know where he is strong and where he is weak. ?

The ultimate skill is to take up a position where you are formless. ?

If you are formless, the most penetrating spies will not be able to discern you, or the wisest counsels will not be able to do calculations against you. ?

With formation, the army achieves victories yet they do not understand how.

Everyone knows the formation by which you achieved victory, yet no one knows the formations by which you were able to create victory. ?

Therefore, your strategy for victories in battle is not repetitious, and your formations in response to the enemy are endless. ?

The army's formation is like water.

The water's formation avoids the high and rushes to the low. ?

So an army's formation avoids the strong and rushes to the weak. ?

Water's formation adapts to the ground when flowing.

So then an army's formation adapts to the enemy to achieve victory. ?

Therefore, an army does not have constant force, or have constant formation.

Those who are able to adapt and change in accord with the enemy and achieve victory are called divine. ?

Therefore, of the five elements, none a constant victor, of the four seasons, none has constant position;

the sun has short and long spans, and the moon waxes and wanes. ?

288) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 6

Chapter Five: Force
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, commanding of many is like commanding of a few.

It is a matter of dividing them into groups.

Doing battle with a large army is like doing battle with a small army.

It is a matter of communications through flags and pennants. ?

What enable an army to withstand the enemy's attack and not be defeated are uncommon and common maneuvers. ?

The army will be like throwing a stone against an egg;

it is a matter of weakness and strength. ?

Generally, in battle, use the common to engage the enemy and the uncommon to gain victory.

Those skilled at uncommon maneuvers are as endless as the heavens and earth, and as inexhaustible as the rivers and seas. ?

Like the sun and the moon, they set and rise again.

Like the four seasons, they pass and return again.

There are no more than five musical notes, yet the variations in the five notes cannot all be heard.

There are no more than five basic colors, yet the variations in the five colors cannot all be seen.

There are no more than five basic flavors, yet the variations in the five flavors cannot all be tasted. ?

In battle, there are no more than two types of attacks:

Uncommon and common, yet the variations of the uncommon and common cannot all be comprehended. ?

The uncommon and the common produce each other, like an endless circle.

Who can comprehend them? ?

The rush of torrential waters tossing boulders illustrates force.

The strike of a bird of prey breaking the body of its target illustrates timing. ?

Therefore, the force of those skilled in warfare is overwhelming, and their timing precise. ?

Their force is like a drawn crossbow and their timing is like the release of the trigger. ?

Even in the midst of the turbulence of battle, the fighting seemingly chaotic, they are not confused.

Even in the midst of the turmoil of battle, the troops seemingly going around in circles, they cannot be defeated. ?

Disorder came from order, fear came from courage, weakness came from strength. ?

Disorder coming from order is a matter of organization, fear coming from courage is a matter of force, weakness coming from strength is a matter of formation. ?

Therefore, those skilled in moving the enemy use formation that which the enemy must respond. ?

They offer bait that which the enemy must take, manipulating the enemy to move while they wait in ambush. ?

Those skilled in warfare seek victory through force and do not require too much from individuals.

Therefore, they are able to select the right men and exploit force. ?

One who exploits force commands men into battle like rolling logs and boulders.

Logs and boulders are still when on flat ground, but roll when on steep ground.

Square shapes are still, but round shapes roll. ?

Therefore, those skilled in warfare use force where the troops in battle are like boulders rolling down a steep mountain.

This is force. ?

287) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 5

Chapter Four: Formation
Sun Tzu said:

In ancient times, those skilled in warfare make themselves invincible and then wait for the enemy to become vulnerable.

Being invincible depends on oneself, but the enemy becoming vulnerable depends on himself. ?

Therefore, those skilled in warfare can make themselves invincible, but cannot necessarily cause the enemy to be vulnerable.

Therefore it is said one may know how to win but cannot necessarily do it. ?

One takes on invincibility defending, one takes on vulnerability attacking. ?

One takes on sufficiency defending, one takes on deficiency attacking. ?

Those skilled in defense conceal themselves in the lowest depths of the Earth, Those skilled in attack move in the highest reaches of the Heavens.

Therefore, they are able to protect themselves and achieve complete victory. ?

Perceiving a victory when it is perceived by all is not the highest excellence. ?

Winning battles such that the whole world says "excellent" is not the highest excellence. ?

For lifting an autumn down is not considered great strength, seeing the sun and the moon is not considered a sign of sharp vision, hearing thunder is not considered a sign of sensitive hearing. ?

In ancient times, those who are skilled in warfare gained victory where victory was easily gained.

Therefore, the victories from those skilled in warfare are not considered of great wisdom or courage, because their victories have no miscalculations. ?

No miscalculations mean the victories are certain, achieving victory over those who have already lost. ?

Therefore, those skilled in warfare establish positions that make them invincible and do not miss opportunities to attack the enemy. ?

Therefore, a victorious army first obtains conditions for victory, then seeks to do battle.

A defeated army first seeks to do battle, then obtains conditions for victory. ?

Those skilled in warfare cultivate the Way, and preserve the Law, therefore, they govern victory and defeat. ?

The factors in warfare are:

First, measurement, second, quantity, third, calculation, fourth, comparison, and fifth, victory. ?

Measurements are derived from Ground,

quantities are derived from measurement,

calculations are derived from quantities,

comparisons are derived from calculations,

and victories are derived from comparisons. ?

A victorious army is like a ton against an ounce;

a defeated army is like an ounce against a ton!

The victorious army is like pent up waters released, bursting through a deep gorge.

This is formation. ?

286) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 4

Chapter Three: Planning Attacks
Sun Tzu said:

Generally in warfare, keeping a nation intact is best, destroying a nation second best;

keeping an army intact is best, destroying an army second best;

keeping a battalion intact is best, destroying a battalion second best;

keeping a company intact is best, destroying a company second best;

keeping a squad intact is best, destroying a squad second best. ?

Therefore, to gain a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the highest excellence;

to subjugate the enemy's army without doing battle is the highest of excellence. ?

Therefore, the best warfare strategy is to attack the enemy's plans, next is to attack alliances, next is to attack the army, and the worst is to attack a walled city. ?

Laying siege to a city is only done when other options are not available. ?

To build large protective shields, armored wagons, and make ready the necessary arms and equipment will require at least three months. ?

To build earthen mounds against the walls will require another three months. ?

If the general cannot control his temper and sends troops to swarm the walls, one third of them will be killed, and the city will still not be taken.

This is the kind of calamity when laying siege to a walled city. ?

Therefore, one who is skilled in warfare principles subdues the enemy without doing battle, takes the enemy's walled city without attacking, and overthrows the enemy quickly, without protracted warfare. ?

His aim must be to take All-Under-Heaven intact. ?

Therefore, weapons will not be blunted, and gains will be intact.

These are the principles of planning attacks. ?

Generally in warfare:

If ten times the enemy's strength, surround them;

if five times, attack them;

if double, divide them;

if equal, be able to fight them;

if fewer, be able to evade them;

if weaker, be able to avoid them. ?

Therefore, a smaller army that is inflexible will be captured by a larger one. ?

A general is the safeguard of the nation.

When this support is in place, the nation will certainly be strong.

When this support is not in place, the nation will certainly not be strong. ?

There are three ways the ruler can bring difficulty to the army:

To order an advance when not realizing the army is in no position to advance, or to order a withdrawal when not realizing the army is in no position to withdraw.

This is called entangling the army. ?

By not knowing the army's matters, and administering the army the same as administering civil matters, the officers and troops will be confused. ?

By not knowing the army's calculations, and taking command of the army, the officers and troops will be hesitant. ?

When the army is confused and hesitant, the neighboring rulers will take advantage.

This is called a confused and hesitant army leading another to victory. ?

Therefore, there are five factors of knowing who will win:

One who knows when he can fight, and when he cannot fight, will be victorious; ?

one who knows how to use both large and small forces will be victorious; ?

one who knows how to unite upper and lower ranks in purpose will be victorious; ?

one who is prepared and waits for the unprepared will be victorious; ?

one whose general is able and is not interfered by the ruler will be victorious.

These five factors are the way to know who will win.

Therefore I say: ?

One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be in danger in a hundred battles. ?

One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes win, sometimes lose.

One who does not know the enemy and does not know himself will be in danger in every battle. ?

285) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 3

Chapter Two: Doing Battle
Sun Tzu said:

Generally, the requirements of warfare are this way:

One thousand quick four-horse chariots,

one thousand leather rideable chariots,

one hundred thousand belted armor,

transporting provisions one thousand li,

the distribution of internal and on the field spending,

the efforts of having guests, materials such as glue and lacquer,

tributes in chariots and armor,

will amount to expenses of a thousand gold pieces a day. ?

Only then can one hundred thousand troops be raised. ?

When doing battle, seek a quick victory.

A protracted battle will blunt weapons and dampen ardor. ?

If troops lay siege to a walled city, their strength will be exhausted. ?

If the army is exposed to a prolonged campaign, the nation's resources will not suffice. ?

When weapons are blunted, and ardor dampened, strength exhausted, and resources depleted, the neighboring rulers will take advantage of these complications. ?

Then even the wisest of counsels would not be able to avert the consequences that must ensue. ?

Therefore, I have heard of military campaigns that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen military campaigns that were skilled but protracted.

No nation has ever benefited from protracted warfare. ?

Therefore, if one is not fully cognizant of the dangers inherent in doing battle, one cannot fully know the benefits of doing battle. ?

Those skilled in doing battle do not raise troops twice, or transport provisions three times. ?

Take equipment from home but take provisions from the enemy.

Then the army will be sufficient in both equipment and provisions. ?

A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.

When provisions are transported at great distances, the citizens will be impoverished. ?

Those in proximity to the army will sell goods at high prices.

When goods are expensive, the citizens' wealth will be exhausted.

When their wealth is exhausted, the peasantry will be afflicted with increased taxes. ?

When all strength has been exhausted and resources depleted, all houses in the central plains utterly impoverished, seven-tenths of the citizens' wealth dissipated,

the government's expenses from damaged chariots, worn-out horses, armor, helmets, arrows and crossbows, halberds and shields, draft oxen, and heavy supply wagons,

will be six-tenths of its reserves. ?

Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy.

One bushel of the enemy's provisions is worth twenty of our own, one picul of fodder is worth twenty of our own. ?

Killing the enemy is a matter of arousing anger in men;

taking the enemy's wealth is a matter of reward.

Therefore, in chariot battles, reward the first to capture at least ten chariots. ?

Replace the enemy's flags and standards with our own.

Mix the captured chariots with our own, treat the captured soldiers well.

This is called defeating the enemy and increasing our strength. ?

Therefore, the important thing in doing battle is victory, not protracted warfare. ?

Therefore, a general who understands warfare is the guardian of people's lives, and the ruler of the nation's security.

284) Sun Tzu: The Art of War, 2

Chapter One: Calculation
Sun Tzu said:

Warfare is a great matter to a nation;

it is the ground of death and of life;

it is the way of survival and of destruction, and must be examined. ?

Therefore, go through it by means of five factors;

compare them by means of calculation, and determine their statuses:

One, Way, two, Heaven, three, Ground, four, General, five, Law. ?

The Way is what causes the people to have the same thinking as their superiors;

they may be given death, or they may be given life, but there is no fear of danger and betrayal. ?

Heaven is dark and light, cold and hot, and the seasonal constraints.

Ground is high and low, far and near, obstructed and easy, wide and narrow, and dangerous and safe. ?

General is wisdom, credibility, benevolence, courage, and discipline. ?

Law is organization, the chain of command, logistics, and the control of expenses. ?

All these five no general has not heard;

one who knows them is victorious, one who does not know them is not victorious. ?

Therefore, compare them by means of calculation, and determine their statuses. ?


Which ruler has the Way,

which general has the ability,

which has gained Heaven and Ground,

which carried out Law and commands,

which army is strong,

which officers and soldiers are trained,

which reward and punish clearly,

by means of these, I know victory and defeat! ?

A general who listens to my calculations, and uses them, will surely be victorious, keep him;

a general who does not listen to my calculations, and does not use them, will surely be defeated, remove him. ?

Calculate advantages by means of what was heard, then create force in order to assist outside missions. ?

Force is the control of the balance of power, in accordance with advantages. ?

Warfare is the Way of deception. ?

Therefore, if able, appear unable,

if active, appear not active,

if near, appear far,

if far, appear near. ?

If they have advantage, entice them;

if they are confused, take them,

if they are substantial, prepare for them,

if they are strong, avoid them,

if they are angry, disturb them,

if they are humble, make them haughty,

if they are relaxed, toil them,

if they are united, separate them. ?

Attack where they are not prepared, go out to where they do not expect. ?

This specialized warfare leads to victory, and may not be transmitted beforehand. ?

Before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will win, because many calculations were made;

before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will not win, because few calculations were made; ?

many calculations, victory, few calculations, no victory, then how much less so when no calculations?

By means of these, I can observe them, beholding victory or defeat!

283) Sun Tzu: Art of War, 1


Sun-tzu ping-fa (Sun Tzu The Art of War) is one of those rare texts that transcends time. Though it was written more than 2,000 years ago, it is arguably still the most important work on the subject of strategy today

Written by a brilliant and experienced Chinese general named Sun Wu, The Art of War was intended only for the military elite of his time period. However, this treatise would later be absorbed by others of influence -- from the fearless samurai in feudal Japan to the shrewd business leaders of the 21st century.

The book is even more fascinating than its background. Only reading it will one see the principles are timeless and true, the words pragmatic and universally applicable to any situation that requires absolute victory. Equally important, a person can learn to avoid disasters.

Thus enter's Sun Tzu "The Art of War." Get ready to experience the most accurate and complete Sun Tzu ever presented to the public. Each sentence is to be read slowly lest one misses its full meaning. We hope you enjoy our translation as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Atlanta, Georgia

* Introduction by
* Chapter One: Calculations
* Chapter Two: Doing Battle
* Chapter Three: Planning Attacks
* Chapter Four: Formation
* Chapter Five: Force
* Chapter Six: Weakness and Strength
* Chapter Seven: Armed Struggle
* Chapter Eight: Nine Changes
* Chapter Nine: Army Maneuvers
Chapter Nine: Army Maneuvers (continued)
* Chapter Ten: Ground Formation
* Chapter Eleven: Nine Grounds
Chapter Eleven: Nine Grounds (continued)
* Chapter Twelve: Fire Attacks
* Chapter Thirteen: Using Spies

282) Tratado de Nanquim (1842)

Tratado de Nanquim
Origem: Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre.

Assinatura do Tratado de Nanquim

O Tratado de Nanquim foi um tratado firmado entre a China da Dinastia Manchu e a Grã-Bretanha em Agosto de 1842, que encerrou a primeira das Guerras do Ópio.

É considerado o primeiro dos "Tratados Desiguais" ou "Tratados Iníquos", firmados entre a China Qing, o Japão Tokugawa e a Coréia Chosun com as potências industrializadas ocidentais, entre meados do século XIX e o início do século XX.

O diploma continha doze artigos, entre os quais destacam-se:

* Artigo 2º - Determinava a abertura de cinco cidades chinesas - Cantão, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo e Xangai - para a moradia de súditos britânicos, além da abertura de consulados nessas mesmas cidades.

* Artigo 3º - A possessão de Hong Kong por tempo indeterminado pela rainha Vitória e seus sucessores.

* Artigo 6º - Indenização pelos custos da guerra em um valor de 21 milhões de dólares.

[editar] Legado

As cláusulas do tratado foram analisadas por outras potências ocidentais, entre elas a França e os Estados Unidos da América. Este último assinou, posteriormente, o Tratado de Wanghia, seguindo o modelo britânico.

Um dos maiores legados do tratado foi o estabelecimento da colônia britânica de Hong Kong, que, apenas em 1997 voltou a ser território da República Popular da China.
[editar] Bibliografia

* MAGNOLI, Demetrio. História da Paz. São Paulo: Editora Contexto, 2008. 448p. ISBN 8572443967
* SPENCE, Jonathan. Em busca da China moderna. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1990.

O Wikisource tem material relacionado com este artigo: Tratado de Nanquim

Treaty of Nanking
Nanking, August 29, 1842
Peace Treaty between the Queen of Great Britain and the Emperor of China
Ratifications exchanged at Hongkong, 26th June 1843

HER MAJESTY the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, being desirous of putting an end to the misunderstandings and consequent hostilities which have arisen between the two countries, have resolved to conclude a Treaty for that purpose, and have therefore named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, HENRY POTTINGER, Bart., a Major General in the Service of the East India Company, etc., etc.; And His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of China, the High Commissioners KEYING, a Member of the Imperial House, a Guardian of the Crown Prince and General of the Garrison of Canton; and ELEPOO, of Imperial Kindred, graciously permitted to wear the insignia of the first rank, and the distinction of Peacock's feather, lately Minister and Governor General etc., and now Lieutenant-General Commanding at Chapoo: Who, after having communicated to each other their respective Full Powers, and found them to be in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following [selected] Articles:
Article I.

There shall henceforward be peace and friendship between Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and His Majesty the Emperor of China, and between their respective subjects, who shall enjoy full security and protection for their persons and property within the dominions of the other.
Article II.

His Majesty the Emperor of China agrees, that British subjects, with their families and establishments, shall be allowed to reside, for the purposes of carrying on their mercantile pursuits, without molestation or restraint, at the cities and towns of Canton, Amoy, Foochowfoo, Ningpo, and Shanghai; and Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., will appoint Superintendents, or Consular officers, to reside at each of the above-named cities or towns, to be the medium of communication between the Chinese authorities and the said merchants, and to see that the just duties and other dues of the Chinese Government, as hereafter provided for, are duly discharged by Her Britannic Majesty's subjects.
Article III.

It being obviously necessary and desirable that British subjects should have some port whereat they may [maintain] and refit their ships when required, and keep stores for that purpose, His Majesty the Emperor of China cedes to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., the Island of Hong-Kong, to be possessed in perpetuity by Her Britannic Majesty, her heirs and successors, and to be governed by such laws and regulations as Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., shall see fit to direct.
Article IV.

The Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of Six Millions of dollars, as the value of the opium which was delivered up at Canton in the month of March, 1839, as a ransom for the lives of Her Britannic Majesty's Superintendent and subjects, who had been imprisoned and threatened with death by the Chinese High Officers
Article V.

The Government of China having compelled the British merchants trading at Canton to deal exclusively with certain Chinese merchants, called Hong merchants (or Cohong), who had been licensed by the Chinese Government for that purpose, the Emperor of China agrees to abolish that practice in future at all ports where British merchants may reside, and to permit them to carry on their mercantile transactions with whatever persons they please; and His Imperial Majesty further agrees to pay to the British Government the sum of Three Millions of dollars, on account of debts due to British subjects by some of the said Hong merchants (or Cohong), who have become insolvent, and who owe very large sums of money to subjects of Her Britannic Majesty.
Article VI.

The Government of Her Britannic Majesty having been obliged to send out an expedition to demand and obtain redress for the violent and unjust proceedings of the Chinese High Authorities towards Her Britannic Majesty's officer and subjects, the Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of Twelve Millions of dollars, on account of the expenses incurred; and Her Britannic Majesty's Plenipotentiary voluntarily agrees, on behalf of Her Majesty, to deduct from the said amount of Twelve Millions of dollars, any sums which may have been received by Her Majesty's combined forces, as ransom for cities and towns in China, subsequent to the 1st day of August, 1841.
Article VII.

It is agreed, that the total amount of Twenty-One Millions of dollars, described in the three preceding Articles, shall be paid as follows:-

Six Millions immediately.

Six Millions in 1843. That is:- Three Millions on or before the 30th of the month of June, and 3,000,000 on or before the 31st of December.

Five Millions in 1844. That is:- Two Millions and a half on or before the 30th of June, and 2,500,000 on or before the 31st of December.

Four Millions in 1845. That is:- Two Millions on or before the 30th of June, and Two Millions on or before the 31st of December; and it is further stipulated, that Interest, at the rate of 5 per cent per annum, shall be paid by the Government of China on any portion of the above sums that are not punctually discharged at the periods fixed.
Article VIII.

The Emperor of China agrees to release, unconditionally, all subjects of Her Britannic Majesty (whether Natives of Europe or India), who may be in confinement at this moment in any part of the Chinese empire.
Article IX.

The Emperor of China agrees to publish and promulgate, under his Imperial sign manual and seal, a full and entire amnesty and act of indemnity to all subjects of China, on account of their having resided under, or having had dealings and intercourse with, or having entered the service of Her Britannic Majesty, or of Her Majesty's officers; and His Imperial Majesty further engages to release all Chinese subjects who may be at this moment in confinement for similar reasons.
Article X.

His Majesty the Emperor of China agrees to establish at all the ports which are, by the 2nd Article of this Treaty, to be thrown open for the resort of British merchants, a fair and regular tariff of export and import customs and other dues, which tariff shall be publicly notified and promulgated for general information; and the Emperor further engages, that when British merchandise shall have once paid at any of the said ports the regulated customs and dues, agreeable to the tariff to be hereafter fixed, such merchandise may be conveyed by Chinese merchants to any province or city in the interior of the Empire of China, on paying a further amount as transit duties, which shall not exceed [see Declaration respecting Transit Duties below] on the tariff value of such goods.
Article XI.

It is agreed that Her Britannic Majesty's Chief High Officer in China shall correspond with the Chinese High Officers, both at the Capital and in the Provinces, under the term "Communication" 照會. The Subordinate British Officers and Chinese High Officers in the Provinces under the terms "Statement" 申陳 on the part of the former, and on the part of the latter "Declaration" 劄行, and the Subordinates of both Countries on a footing of perfect equality. Merchants and others not holding official situations and, therefore, not included in the above, on both sides, to use the term "Representation" 稟明 in all Papers addressed to, or intended for the notice of the respective Governments.
Article XII.

On the assent of the Emperor of China to this Treaty being received, and the discharge of the first instalment of money, Her Britannic Majesty's forces will retire from Nanking and the Grand Canal, and will no longer molest or stop the trade of China. The military post at Chinhai will also be withdrawn, but the Islands of Koolangsoo, and that of Chusan, will continue to be held by Her Majesty's forces until the money payments, and the arrangements for opening the ports to British merchants, be completed.
Article XIII.

The ratification of this Treaty by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., and His Majesty the Emperor of China, shall be exchanged as soon as the great distance which separates England from China will admit; but in the meantime, counterpart copies of it, signed and sealed by the.Plenipotentiaries on behalf of their respective Sovereigns, shall be mutually delivered, and all its provisions and arrangements shall take effect.

Done at Nanking, and signed and sealed by the Plenipotentiaries on board Her Britannic Majesty's ship Cornwallis, this 29th day of August, 1842, corresponding with the Chinese date, twenty-fourth day of the seventh month in the twenty-second Year of TAOU KWANG.
Retrieved from ""
←Wikisource:Bilateral documents

Thursday, February 25, 2010

281) American influence wanes as China's grows

Poll shows concern about American influence waning as China's grows
By John Pomfret and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 25, 2010; A11

Facing high unemployment and a difficult economy, most Americans think the United States will have a smaller role in the world economy in the coming years, and many believe that while the 20th century may have been the "American Century," the 21st century will belong to China.

These results come from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted during a time of significant tension between Washington and Beijing.

"China's on the rise," said Wayne Nunnery, 56, a retired U.S. Air Force employee from Bexar, Tex., who was one of 1,004 randomly selected adults polled. "I don't worry about a Chinese century, but I do wonder how it's going to be for my three sons."

Asked whether this century would be more of an "American Century" or more of a "Chinese Century," Americans divide evenly in terms of the economy (41 percent say Chinese, 40 percent American) and tilt toward the Chinese in terms of world affairs (43 percent say Chinese, 38 percent American). A slim majority say the United States will play a diminished role in the world's economy this century, and nearly half see the country's position shrinking in world affairs more generally.

The results are consistent with recent polls by Gallup, the Pew Research Center and others that have tracked a significant public concern about China's growing prominence on the world stage, as its economy has expanded into what is arguably the second-biggest in the world. In 2000, for example, when the U.S. economy was booming, 65 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said the United States had the world's strongest economy. By last year, the United States and China ran neck-and-neck on the question.

Analysts say the bubbling anti-China sentiment in the United States could constitute a problem for U.S. policy toward that country if the polls also coincide, as they seem to, with growing support for trade protectionism.

Annetta Jordan, another poll participant, said in a follow-up interview that she has witnessed the shifting economic strength firsthand. Jordan, a mother of two from Sandoval, N.M., was working at a cellular telephone plant in the early 1990s as production and hiring were ramped up. By 1992, the plant had 3,200 workers. "Then this whole China thing started and we were very quickly training Chinese to take our jobs," she said. Now the plant has 100 people left.

"We're transferring our wealth to China," she said. "I see that as a very negative thing. When I was younger, a lot of corporations had a lot of pride and patriotism toward America. But corporations have changed. If we in the U.S. go down, that's okay; they'll just move their offices to Beijing."

Carla Hills, the former U.S. trade representative who negotiated China's entry into the World Trade Organization in the late 1990s, said any shift in American public opinion away from China is a concern.

"I really worry about public opinion in both countries getting ahead of where we want to be," she said. "I worry about the public discourse here that 'it's all China's fault,' and the reverse in China that says we're trying to push China around."

In a poll last year in urban areas of China done by the Lowy Institute, Australia's premier think tank, Chinese respondents picked the United States as the No. 1 threat to China's rise by a factor of two over Japan and India, which were tied for second place.

Despite the mutual wariness, most Americans in the Post-ABC News poll say a diminished U.S. role in the world's economy or affairs would be positive or "neither good nor bad."

For Andrew Kohut, the president of the Pew Research Center, increasing public concerns with China remind him of America's reaction to another rising Asian nation three decades ago: Japan.

"This is déjà vu all over again, to quote Yogi," he said. "When a Japanese company bought Rockefeller Center, Americans went nuts. We asked questions about whether Japan was going to become No. 1 and people said yes. These two sentiments are very similar."

Kohut said he doesn't necessarily agree with the answers.

"Anyone who would say that China has eclipsed the United States hasn't been in a Chinese house," he said. But, he added, an "inflated view of what China is today" could have ramifications.

"When Americans are unhappy with themselves, they are unhappy with others, which can translate into protectionist pressure and security anxieties, both of which make it hard to manage U.S.-China relations," said David M. Lampton, a professor of China studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. "People tend to be anxious about big, rapidly changing, nontransparent things -- China is all three."

In recent weeks, U.S. relations with Beijing have taken a nose dive as President Obama met the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who is considered a separatist by China, and the administration moved to sell $6.4 billion in weapons to Taiwan. Although both Washington and Beijing have signaled that they don't want the relationship to be damaged, other issues -- most notably trade and a U.S. belief that China's currency needs to rise against the dollar -- could conspire to keep tension high.

Other analysts say the polling may foreshadow something bigger and more complicated than just a potential rise in protectionist sentiment.

"If we face perceptions around the world that China's rise is inexorable and the U.S. is on the decline," said Bonnie S. Glaser, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "this will hamper U.S. diplomacy and negatively affect U.S. interests."

This explains why, for example, Asian countries near China routinely raise concerns with U.S. officials about America's commitment to Asia.

"All of us want to hedge against China," said a senior official in the region, "but we need to know that the U.S. government will be here for the long haul.

"But even if you do stick around," he said, "there is no doubt that all of us now factor in how China will react to what America wants."

The Post-ABC News poll was conducted Feb. 4-8 by conventional and cellular telephone. The questions reported here were asked of half-samples of respondents; the results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.

Polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

280) Dalai Lama a Washington: editorial do Le Monde

Le Tibet, encore
Editorial du Le Monde, 21.02.2010

Le président américain a reçu le dalaï-lama, jeudi 18 février, à Washington. La Chine a protesté le lendemain. Elle a assuré que cette première rencontre entre le chef spirituel des Tibétains et Barack Obama ne manquerait pas de porter "gravement préjudice" aux relations entre la Chine et les Etats-Unis.

A priori, rien de très grave. Les relations entre ces deux puissances sont si importantes, leurs intérêts si interdépendants, qu'elles ne sauraient être durablement affectées par la visite que le dalaï-lama a faite à la Maison Blanche. Il y a beau temps que les présidents américains reçoivent régulièrement ce chef bouddhiste aussi sage que réfléchi. Et, à chaque fois, cela suscite l'ire des dirigeants chinois. Mais il était particulièrement important que M. Obama reçoive cette année, en ce moment précis, le dalaï-lama. Pourquoi ?

Parce que le traitement réservé à cet homme en Europe et aux Etats-Unis est un marqueur de l'attachement que les Occidentaux éprouvent encore à l'égard des droits de l'homme. Or, en la matière, la Chine flirte avec la provocation. Qu'il s'agisse de l'exécution d'un arriéré mental britannique, il y a quelques semaines, piégé par des trafiquants de drogue ; qu'il s'agisse des attaques de hackers chinois contre les sites des défenseurs des libertés publiques ; qu'il s'agisse du traitement réservé à quelques-uns des dissidents les plus légalistes, Pékin paraît n'avoir qu'un message à adresser à l'extérieur : pas d'ingérence dans ses affaires intérieures.

Le dalaï-lama ne remet pas en cause la souveraineté chinoise sur le Tibet. Il réclame plus d'autonomie pour cette région. Il revendique plus de respect pour les droits culturels des Tibétains - leur langue, leurs pratiques religieuses. Il le fait en prônant la non-violence. Où est donc le crime de l'homme à la tunique safran que la propagande chinoise continue à présenter comme un chef de clique malfaisant ? Il pointe du doigt la situation au Tibet : nul doute que la Chine y a apporté un incontestable développement économique ; mais nul doute non plus qu'elle cherche à submerger la région sous une vague de peuplement han - l'ethnie majoritaire en Chine -, destinée à faire des Tibétains une minorité chez eux.

La Chine manifeste un remarquable dynamisme. Elle compte plus que jamais. Mais, trop sûre de son importance économique pour le reste du monde, serait-elle en proie ces jours-ci à une crise d'hubris, cette bouffée d'orgueil qui affecte les forts ? Il fallait lui signaler que tout ne sera pas sacrifié sur l'autel des relations économiques.

Article paru dans l'édition du 21.02.10

Sur le même sujet
Le dalaï lama, devant la Maison Blanche, le 18 février 2010.
Les faits Pékin proteste contre la rencontre entre Obama et le dalaï lama
Les faits Barack Obama a reçu le dalaï lama et lui a manifesté son soutien
Zoom Le porte-avions américain "Nimitz" autorisé à faire escale à Hongkong
Les faits Le dalaï-lama pris dans le "grand marchandage" entre Pékin et Washington
Les faits Pékin exhorte Washington d'annuler l'entrevue d'Obama avec le dalaï lama
Edition abonnés Thématique : Chine-Etats-Unis : des relations aux différends persistants

279) China: entrando no clube das potências

Desenvolvimento pacífico da China, ou como a China pretende entrar para o clube das potências
Marcelo dos Santos Netto
Mundorama: 19 Feb 2010

A ascensão econômica da China gera uma esperada inquietação por parte de vizinhos como Índia, Japão e Rússia. Acredita-se que potências ascendentes fatalmente aspirem à hegemonia, gerando atritos com as potências já consolidadas e ameaçando a estabilidade das relações internacionais. A China parece consciente disto, como demonstraria o teor do “China’s Peaceful Development Road”. Publicado em 2005 pelo Conselho de Estado, este documento anuncia a forma como a China pretende se tornar uma potência: em termos benévolos e cooperativos, baseados para isso em uma “tradição pacifista” elaborada com este fim. O “China’s Peaceful…” seria assim o cartão de apresentação chinês diante do clube das potências, na qual se incluem não apenas os países centrais, como também os que possuem interesse no status quo. Logo, uma análise sobre este documento poderia revelar o discurso pelo qual a China compreende a si mesma no pós-Guerra Fria, indício relevante de como pretende conduzir suas ações políticas e diplomáticas neste ambiente.

A ideia de um “desenvolvimento pacífico” surgiu nos meios acadêmicos chineses a partir do “novo conceito de segurança”. Lançado ao fim dos anos de 1990, este conceito sugere que a segurança internacional deveria abandonar as divergências ideológicas, descartar a mentalidade da Guerra Fria e recusar as suspeitas e hostilidades mútuas, facilitando assim a cooperação (Liping, 2010). Dessa forma, o “China’s Peaceful…” seria o esforço de tranquilizar o clube das potências quanto à ascensão chinesa, que preferem definir modestamente como “desenvolvimento”; porém, longe de submissão, o documento é uma autoafirmação que a China realiza de maneira ambivalente, pretendendo condescender para assim obter voz. Vislumbrar estes fatos demanda analisar o tanto sentido direto quanto o indireto do “China’s Peaceful…”. Isto tornaria possível entender como a China busca se inserir no mundo, bem como o que reclama para si diante deste mesmo mundo (sobre esta estratégia, cf. para mais detalhes Todorov, 1985; 1988; 1996).

A abordagem proposta demanda começar pelo sentido direto. Este se revela pelo vocabulário do pensamento institucionalista, aos quais o “China’s Peaceful…” recorre para se expressar. No primeiro capítulo, o documento anuncia que “peace, opening-up,cooperation, harmony and win-win are our policy, our idea, our principle and our pursuit” (2005 – grifos nossos). Com isso, parece revelar a intenção de se adequar às tendências globais, apelando para isso à racionalidade que acreditam conduzir a arquitetura institucional das relações internacionais. O maoísmo revolucionário é substituído assim por uma adaptação ao discurso institucionalista que acreditam ser vigente, fato que sinalizaria inclinações cooperativas. Se não isso, ao menos indicaria que a China reconhece que a boa vizinhança internacional deverá ocorrer nestes termos, supostamente universalizados com a queda do contraponto soviético, a ascensão do Consenso de Washington e o advento da globalização.

No entanto, estes termos institucionalistas ainda suscitariam intranquilidade. Afinal, só existe necessidade de cooperação onde há conflito. Eis por que o documento prossegue seu argumento explicando que a paz seria o caminho inevitável do desenvolvimento chinês. Edifica para isso uma suposta “tradição pacífica”, sobre a qual baseia a identidade internacional chinesa. O documento lembra inicialmente que a China sofrera humilhações na Guerra do Ópio nos anos de 1840, fato que a inclinou assiduamente à eliminação da guerra. Então prossegue demonstrando a índole pacífica chinesa com o exemplo do navegador chinês Zheng He, que alcançou outros países asiáticos e africanos ainda no século XIV, dos quais levou apenas porcelana, sedas e tecnologias, sem jamais conquistar territórios. E finalmente conclui lembrando que Deng Xiaoping declarou em 1970, por ocasião da entrada na ONU, que a China não busca, nunca buscou e jamais buscará a hegemonia (ibid).

Esta tradição é reveladora, por ser construída de forma comparada e ao mesmo tempo constrastada com a tradição ocidental. A história das grandes potências serve tanto de molde como de contraponto à identidade pacifista chinesa, revelando ambivalência que exige interpretação discursiva. Há inicialmente uma aproximação entre ambas as histórias, realizada nos mesmos termos ocidentais: experiência de guerras, passado de navegações, participação relevante em organismos internacionais. Em seguida há um afastamento: na China as guerras causaram derrota e gosto pela paz; as navegações foram pacíficas; e a política mundial tem sido respeitosa.

Ou seja, em termos diretos, a China exige ser percebida como potência porque teria história, racionalidade e relevância que lhes atesta esta condição. No entanto, o tom procura contornar a agressividade através de um discurso cooperativo, apoiado por uma tradição pacifista. Os termos diretos do “China’s Peaceful…” seriam assim de afeição, uma vez que o status de potência precisaria ser concedido pelas potências estabelecidas. Para ingressar no clube das potências, não basta apenas possuir recursos para tal: é preciso ser reconhecido pelos integrantes deste clube.

A contradição surge na medida em que a China propõe se desenvolver em termos institucionalistas. Neste sentido, o documento revela indiretamente que a China pretende se impor, porque o clube das potências ainda é percebido como disputa de poder. As relações internacionais talvez soem mais inclusivas e cooperativas nestes termos, porque evocam multilateralismo; mas nem por isso seriam menos propensas aos jogos de política, como indiciam as esperadas assimetrias que se revelam na teoria institucional, sem as quais esta nem mesmo poderia ser rotulada como “institucional”. Entrar no clube das potências seria assim uma questão de ser temido. Como dito acima, só há cooperação porque há atrito – e haverá atrito porque a China é potência o bastante para causá-lo, como insinua pelo uso deste vocabulário.

Dessa forma, o “China’s Peaceful…” condescende por um lado com o clube das potências, buscando o reconhecimento deste através da adaptação; por outro reconhece novamente os termos deste clube, cujo acesso é percebido como uma questão de se impor; e ainda repudia as condições do clube, porque a história e relevância chinesas são dignas de potência, mas constituíram uma (con)tradição pacifista, diferente do que houve aos demais países do clube. Não que estes contrastes representem dificuldades: na verdade é possível que o desenvolvimento pacífico dependa justamente deste conjunto de incongruências – aliás, como a própria realidade humana.

Assim, o “China’s Peaceful…” torna possível entender o impacto do discurso sobre a identidade internacional. A “invenção” desta tradição pacifista caracteriza a história como narrativa, permitindo vislumbrar como a coerência dos fatos dependeria mais de interpretação do que de racionalização, dificilmente havendo objetividade neste processo. Desde quando a China de Zheng He, das Guerras do Ópio e mesmo de Deng Xiaoping seriam a mesma do “China’s Peaceful…”? Ora, a partir do momento em que estes fatos são concatenados em uma tradição histórica, como pretende o documento. Não que isto constitua uma retórica insincera, como faria supor a ideia de história como “invenção tradicionalista”. Em verdade, a vida social exige estas representações, porque depende destas para que faça sentido. A análise de discurso aqui realizada não ignora as batalhas de Gêngis Khan, a Revolução Cultural e outros episódios semelhantes; antes, prefere ressaltar a importância das tradições e identidades no estudo das relações internacionais, que também seriam sujeitas ao discurso e à ideologia.


CHU, Shulong; REN, Xiao. China’s Peaceful Development Doctrine: visions from China. Beijing: The National Bureau of Asian Research, 2009.
LIPING, Xia. The New Security Concept In China’s New Thinking Of International Strategy. Disponível em: []. Acesso em: 23 de janeiro de 2010.
Partido Comunista da China. China’s Peaceful Development Way. Disponível em: []. Acesso em: 25 de janeiro de 2010.
__________. China’s New Strategic Concept. Disponível em: []. Acesso em: 26 de Janeiro de 2010
TODOROV, Tzvetan. Simbolismo e Interpretação. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1988.
__________. Teorias do Símbolo. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1985.
__________. A Vida em Comum: ensaios de antropologia geral. Campinas: Papirus, l996.
Marcelo dos Santos Netto é mestrando em Relações Internacionais da Pontifícia Universdade Católica de Minas Gerais – PUC-MInas (

Thursday, February 18, 2010

278) Is the renminbi the next global currency?

Is the renminbi the next global currency?
McKinsey report
February 18, 2010

In this video interview, Geng Xiao, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy, discusses how divergent growth rates of the Chinese and US economies will erode the hegemony of dollar—but not right away.

277) China's Rise in Historical Perspective

China’s Rise in the Medium Term Perspective: an Interpretation of Differences in Economic Performance of China and Russia since 1949
Vladimir Popov - New Economic School, Moscow / Carleton University, Ottawa
Revista Interdisciplinar História e Economia
Vol. 3 - 2º semestre de 2007

article in pdf

This paper is an attempt to interpret recent rapid Chinese growth in a longer term perspective and in comparison with Russian economic performance. First, it is argued that recent economic liberalization produced spectacular results (1979-onwards) because the reform strategy was very different from the Washington consensus package (gradual rather than instant deregulation of prices, no mass privatization, strong industrial policy, undervaluation of the exchange rate via accumulation of reserves). Second, recent Chinese success (1979-onwards) is based on the achievements of the Mao period (1949-76) – strong state institutions, efficient government and an increased pool of human capital. Unlike in the former Soviet Union, these achievements were not squandered in China due to gradual rather than shock-therapy type liberalization.

Comment PRA: The author is incredibly naif: he does not see that the whole process of China's reform and adaptaption to a modern economy is due entirely to its acceptance of the main tenets of Washington Consensus, that are: market liberalization, property rights, competition, private investment, regulation mostly by the market than by the State, privatization (extensive and intensive), and some measure of liberalization of capital flows.
It is correct that China still keeps a tight control of the currency, interest rates (like many other Central Banks) and exchange operations, but that is due to the fact that the financial sector in China, and most of its national banks are not yet prepared to confront a totally open market economy. But the trend is there.
Contrary to what the author say, the whole package of Chinese reform is capitalist, or at least, market-led, not State-led, and the comprehensive process in entirely in line with mainstream economics, that is, Washington Consensus, not an anti-Western model, that he conceives erroneously.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida (18.02.2010)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

276) Book: Last Days of Beijing - Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer
Last Days of Beijing
Walker & Company, 2008, Hardcover, 355 pages
ISBN: 0802716520 (isbn13: 9780802716521)

A fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, facing destruction as the city, and China, relentlessly modernizes.
“The epitaph for old Beijing will read: born in 1280, died in 2008…
what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn’t eradicate, the market economy is,” writes Michael Meyer.
A longtime resident, Meyer has, for the past two years, lived as no Westerner ever has—completely immersed in Beijing’s oldest neighborhood, living on one of its famed hutongs and recording the drama as century-old houses and ways of life are increasingly destroyed around him to make way for shopping malls, the capital’s first Wal-Mart, high-rise buildings, widened streets for cars instead of bicycles, and other symbols of today’s urban life.
Beijing has gone through this cycle many times, as Meyer reveals, but never with the kind of dislocation and overturning of its storied culture as is now occurring. The Last Days of Old Beijing is, at once, an invaluable witness to history, a parable about what is lost and gained when a city restructures, and a human portrait of ordinary lives in the balance, as only someone on the inside could relate.
With uncommon insight into Beijing’s past and present, with crystal prose, and at a climactic moment when the world’s attention is on Beijing during the Olympic year, Meyer brings the ebb and flow of daily lives on the other side of the planet into shining focus.

275) Chinggis Khan: an hero for Mongolians, perhaps only for them...

From Chinggis Khan to Prayer Wheels, Mongolians Reclaim What’s Theirs
By Daisy Sindelar
Radio Free Europe, February 13, 2010

See the video

TSONJIN BOLDOG, Mongolia -- There are ordinary equestrian statues. And then there's Chinggis Khan, the monument so tall that visitors need to ride an elevator and climb several flights of stairs just to reach his waistline.

At 50 meters, the Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan) statue in Tsonjin Boldog is the largest equestrian statue in the world.
Located on a windswept plateau an hour's drive from the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, the massive stainless-steel monument reaches 50 meters high, including its 10-meter base. That's more than twice the size of the world's next-tallest equestrian statue. But as many Mongolians would argue, Chinggis Khan -- or Genghis Khan, as he's better known in the West -- was more than twice the warrior and twice the statesman of anyone else in history.

Standing on a narrow observation platform atop the head of the great khan's horse, a young tour guide dressed in traditional nomadic wear extols the virtues of the 13th-century ruler. A clutch of Japanese tourists gaze happily up at the stern but sparkling visage of the khan. A German visitor treats himself to a surreptitious shot of vodka. And a group of Mongolian men gaze contemplatively out over the steppes where Chinggis Khan is said to have found the golden whip that aided him in conquering half of what was then the known world.

The massive statue is at the center of a $4 million complex that includes gift shops and restaurants and will eventually grow to include a resort comprising 200 gers, the mobile felt tents that have been home to Chinggis Khan and generations of nomads since.

The complex is part of Mongolia's efforts to reclaim its national heritage after years of Soviet subjugation. In the 20 years since the fall of Mongolia's Moscow-controlled communist regime, the country has seen a rich resurrection of its native traditions and heroes. First and foremost, this means Chinggis Khan, whose conquests eventually built the world's single largest contiguous empire and brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, trade, and freedom of religion.

They also permanently altered the world's genetic makeup. The reach of the Mongol Empire grew so wide that scientists estimate that Chinggis Khan can count at least 32 million people among his current descendants. Meaning that many countries and cultures -- from China to Central Asia to Russia and beyond -- also claim the great khan as their own. That's not a problem, says archaeologist Khugulbuu Lkhagvasuren, as long as Mongolians themselves are free to celebrate the legacy of a native son they see as a "living god."

"We should believe in him and love him," says Lkhagvasuren, the founder and director of Chinggis Khan University, a bustling Ulan Bator institution launched in 1999. "I don't care about other countries trying to claim that Chinggis Khan is theirs. All I care about is how much we love the name, and how much we love him."

Lkhagvasuren's university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in archaeology, tourism, and of course, the study of Chinggis Khan. Portraits of dozens of khans line the walls of school, along with maps of the Mongol Empire, which at its height stretched from the Sea of Japan to the Danube River.

Lkhagvasuren says the aim of his university is to burnish the legacy of Mongolia's greatest leader and correct misperceptions of the khan -- propagated by the Soviets and many historians in the West -- as a poorly educated, bloodthirsty warrior.

But Mongolian attempts to return nuance and honor to Chinggis Khan's heretofore fearsome reputation have gained traction in recent years, thanks in large part to studies like "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by U.S. anthropology professor Jack Weatherford, who worked with Lkhagvasuren while researching his book.

Among other achievements, Weatherford credits Chinggis Khan and his descendants with creating the first postal system, eliminating torture and feudal systems, and supporting crossculture intellectual interactions that brought everything from gunpowder to paper money to the wider world. In a word, he and Lkhagvasuren argue, Chinggis Khan was the world's first global citizen.

Elsewhere in Ulan Bator, evidence of Mongolia's Chinggis Khan devotion can be decidedly more pedestrian. The khan's likeness can be found everywhere from decorative carpets to myriad brands of vodka, and on all but the smallest of the denominations of the local currency, the tugrik. (The smaller banknotes, all worth seven U.S. cents or less, feature military leader Damdin Sukhbaatar, the "Mongolian Lenin" who spurred the country's 1921 communist revolution.)

Khan-mania has become so commercial that one lawmaker famously worried there was nothing to prevent an overeager entrepreneur from producing Genghis Khan toilet paper if he so chose. (Mongolian marketers appear to have exercised restraint in this particular regard -- for now.) The issue sparks a flash of anger in Lkhagvasuren, who says, "I don't want to see his name on some alcohol or cigarette boxes. We should believe in Chinggis Khan even more than Americans believe in their constitution."

Cultural Revolution
Mongolia’s resurrection of its native culture isn’t limited to Chinggis Khan. Theaters proudly offer nightly programs of folk dancing, contortionists, mask dancing, throat singing, and a wide range of music featuring native instruments like the wistful-sounding morin khuur, or horse-head fiddle, with strings made from hairs plucked from the tails of stallions and mares.

In other areas, Mongols have shown a bit of the old khan spirit by invading another culture and conquering it. Nowhere is this more true than with sumo wrestling. Japan’s national sport, practiced for 1,500 years, was closed to foreigners until the 1960s. Now, Mongolians make up 11 of the world’s 42 top-ranked sumo wrestlers – including Asashoryu, last autumn’s Grand Sumo champion and the first Mongolian to reach the sport’s highest rank.

Fans attribute the success of Asashoryu and others to their early training in Mongolian-style wrestling, which they say requires greater agility. Others are more blunt. One Ulan Bator sumo fan says simply, “Ours are less fat, more muscle.”

The resurgence of Buddhism -- and, to a quieter degree, shamanism – has also typified Mongolia's post-Soviet transition. Tibetan Buddhism was adopted by the early descendants of Chinggis Khan and became widespread in Mongolia in the 16th century. But as Mongolia moved to accept communist rule in the early 20th century, the country’s elite, at the urging of Moscow, moved to eradicate the religion’s influence. Hundreds of Buddhist lamas were executed and hundreds of monasteries destroyed in the 1930s under Soviet rule. Now, restrictions on religion have been lifted, and Mongolians are returning to Buddhist traditions.

One of the few monasteries to be spared wholesale destruction was the Gandan Khiid monastery in Ulan Bator. Even there, however, Soviet troops dismantled a massive bronze statue of a bodhisattva, or Buddhist deity, and shipped the pieces to Moscow.

"It was built in 1911, and taken down in 1937," says one of the Gandan monks, a cherubic man dressed in mustard-yellow robes. "Some say that it disappeared and went to Russia, and some parts were brought back to rebuild it."

The monk, who asked that his name not be used, arrived at the Gandan monastery as an 11-year-old in 1989, one year before mass demonstrations forced the ouster of one-party, pro-Moscow rule in Mongolia. He remembers the early days as short on material comforts, but a rich opportunity for his country to return to its roots.

"Religion was huge in our country," before the communist era, he says. "In 1990, when the socialist era ended, I was happy at all the freedom I had."

Once Forbidden, Now Commonplace
The monastery's bodhisattva has since been restored, and hundreds of visitors regularly crowd inside the dusky monastery to gently spin the rows of copper prayer wheels or pay their respects before framed portraits of the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist teachers. Outside, newlyweds pose for photographs in their wedding finery before moving on to other city sites. Much of ordinary life in Mongolia circulates around auspicious days on Mongolia's Buddhist calendar, which can help determine when everything from horse-branding to haircuts are scheduled.

Last year, nearly 150 couples in Ulan Bator waited to wed until October 6, considered the most auspicious day of the year. (The Mongolian government also chose that day to finally sign a long-stalled $4-billion mining agreement, a deal many in the country hope will usher in a new period of karmic prosperity.) Observers say such gestures show the degree to which once-forbidden traditions have infused day-to-day life and become an important part of Mongolia's independent emergence.

Tumursukh Undarya, a political scientist based in Ulan Bator, says the restoration of Mongolian nationalism -- reflected in the resurrection of Buddhism and Chinggis Khan -- began in earnest 20 years ago, as the country's young dissidents, struggling against the Soviet system, "realized that it's not OK for us to be treated like this in our own country, that it's not OK to be controlled by Moscow."

"The repressions of the 1930s during the Stalinist regime basically decimated the independent intelligentsia, the intellectual class. Nationalism really became anti-imperialist, and the imperialists were the Soviets," she says.

Pausing, she cites a line scrolled by Mongolia's current president, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, during his days as a young pro-democracy activist: "Do not forget. If you forget, then you will disappear from the face of the Earth as Mongolians."

It's a sentiment that Chinggis Khan would endorse. "Every Mongol can conquer the world when he takes his whip in his hand," the legend of Tsonjin Boldog reads.

For modern-day Mongolians, perhaps, the equivalent of the golden whip is the opportunity to enjoy a fresh appreciation of the country’s native traditions and heroes.