Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Google vs China: stalemate continues...

Google applies to keep Chinese license, but censorship stalemate remains
By Ellen Nakashima and Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Google's move Tuesday to assuage China by severing a direct Internet link to an uncensored companion search site in Hong Kong could buy the company a reprieve from losing its operating license, but in the long run, Chinese officials will not tolerate efforts to expand Internet freedom if that threatens the regime, analysts said.

"At the end of the day, they'll do what they have to do to stay in power," said James A. Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "If that means smite Google, they'll do it."

Google submitted a license-renewal application Tuesday spelling out its intention to redirect Chinese users from to a page with Google's Hong Kong address, which users can click on. That site is uncensored, and China has made it clear that it is unacceptable.

Google began redirecting users to the Hong Kong site in March after it announced it would no longer abide by China's censorship rules. At the time, the Internet giant said it had been subjected to sophisticated and repeated cyberattacks launched from China, aimed at hacking the e-mail accounts of human rights activists.

It is not clear when China will decide whether to renew the license, but at least in the short run, Lewis said, it is not in Beijing officials' interest to offend Washington by rebuffing Google. With Chinese President Hu Jintao coming to Washington in November to meet with President Obama, Lewis said, "the last thing they want is a big fight."

China is facing increasing pressure from Web-savvy citizens, or "netizens," to allow a free Internet. But the government's distrust of dissidents and distaste for open political speech have led it to insist on censorship, despite the dampening effect on innovation and scientific development.

Rao Yi, dean of life sciences at Peking University, said he thinks China will not shut down Google Scholar, a search engine for academic articles. "There would be no replacement," Rao said. Such a move would be "extremely stupid," he said.

But Cong Cao, a senior research associate at the State University of New York's Levin Institute, said: "Political stability always takes priority. Everything else is secondary."

Google had expressed the hope that by redirecting Chinese users to Hong Kong it could abide by Chinese law and keep its toehold in the lucrative mainland market while still making good on its pledge to no longer practice self-censorship at Beijing's behest. But company officials said it had become clear that if they continued with the practice, the license would not be renewed.

Without an Internet content provider license, "we can't operate a commercial website like -- so Google would effectively go dark in China," David Drummond, Google's senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer, wrote on the company's official blog. "That's a prospect dreaded by many of our Chinese users, who have been vocal about their desire to keep alive."

"We obviously hope that is not the outcome," said a Google official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "But we've been very clear on our commitment not to self-censor."

Rebecca MacKinnon, a visiting fellow at the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy, said China has several options, including to renew the license but block Google's Hong Kong site, forcing users to find ways around the firewall. In a "worst-case scenario," she said, it could withhold the license and also block the Hong Kong site, making it very difficult for users to access it without special tools.

Rao criticized Google for acceding to China's demands that it censor results when it first entered the country in 2006.

"Google should never have backed off in the first place," he said.

Richburg reported from Beijing.

FILE - In April 12, 2006, Chinese poke their heads through a Google logo shortly after Google debuts its Chinese Language brand name in the Beijing Hotel in Beijing. Google Inc. said Tuesday, June 29, 2010, it will stop automatically rerouting users of its China search site to its Hong Kong site after Beijing said the company would lose its mainland Internet license if the tactic continued.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

China turns inside: "Go West, Young Man..."

China's push to develop its west hasn't closed income gap with east, critics say
By Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 29, 2010; A11

BEIJING -- Ten years ago, China's leadership launched its "Go West" campaign, an ambitious plan to develop and modernize the country's poor western hinterlands. The aim was simple: to close the region's yawning income gap with the more prosperous east and assuage restive minority populations, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet.

China's economic boom had largely left the west behind. Spreading the wealth was as important politically as economically -- it was a way of increasing domestic stability and cementing the government's control.

Chinese officials rattle off all the statistical measures of the program's success: Highways were constructed. Houses were built. Nomads were resettled in "model" villages. Millions of people have electricity and clean drinking water. A rail line links Beijing in the east to Lhasa on the Tibetan plateau. And annual economic growth in the west is about 12 percent, higher than the national average.

But beneath the barrage of official statistics lies another reality. China's west -- defined as the dozen provinces and "autonomous regions" stretching from Inner Mongolia to Xinjiang and Tibet -- remains the poorest, least-developed and least-educated part of the country.

The massive investment, critics say, has mainly benefited state-owned companies that build the roads and railways and mine the minerals. There is little indigenous industry and scant foreign investment. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes, and nomads have been resettled into villages where they have no livelihood. Locals complain that China is primarily interested in extracting minerals to keep the factories back east running.

The decade of development spending still has not bought the loyalty of China's ethnic minorities. Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang rioted last year, and Tibetans rose up in March 2008. Beijing has responded by severely tightening control in both places.

"The government has talked for years about this and that benefit they have brought to Tibetans," said Tsering Woeser, an outspoken Tibetan poet and blogger in Beijing. "But they never explained why, if the people are so happy, such a big riot happened."

Woeser added: "In recent years, there have been improvements in housing, electricity and water supplies. But these improvements cannot compare with the price Tibetans pay."

The sentiment is not confined to Tibet. Most agree that China's decade-long building spree has led to tangible improvements. "The economic development of the western region has made huge strides," Premier Wen Jiabao said late last year, announcing China's plans to continue the Go West campaign "unswervingly" for another decade.
Who actually benefits?

But the question is: At what cost to indigenous populations and the environment? "Nobody disputes that there are now many miles of roads and many airports and people coming in on planes," said Robert Barnett, a Tibet expert at Columbia University. "It's misleading to just ask if there's been economic progress. Who benefits from it? What is the cost locally, culturally and politically?"

Nicholas Bequelin, a China expert with the Asian division of Human Rights Watch, said: "It's not a people-centered modernization program. It's a top-down program that has mostly benefited state enterprises and the party-controlled institutions."

Xinjiang is China's largest region, making up one-sixth of its landmass, and Tibet is the second-largest, twice the size of Texas and accounting for one-eighth the area of the country.

The west, as China defines it, includes coal mining areas such as Shanxi; tiny, dirt-poor Ningxia; and relatively better-off provinces such as Sichuan. The west borders 14 countries, makes up 70 percent of China's landmass and is home to 27 percent of the population.

Timothy Oakes, a geography professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has worked regularly in Guizhou, in southwestern China, for more than 20 years. "The basic infrastructure improvements have actually been quite stunning," he said, adding that new highways have "changed the whole way of life in a whole lot of places."

But Oakes also said the development has been uneven and has failed to help Guizhou catch up with more prosperous areas: "The numbers mask the fact that you probably have the same degree of inequality in those regions as before, and probably worse. I still see large amounts of the countryside that are not being affected."
Small-scale business

Chinese officials mention handicrafts and pharmaceuticals as two growing local industries. But economists said those are extremely small-scale. "They can't be the local economy's backbone," said Yi Peng, a finance and economics commentator in Beijing.

The reasons include economics and geography. In China's export-driven economy, factories need to be close to the ports, and that means on the east coast or in the southeast. "Inland areas are bound to fall behind," Yi said.

The bulk of the economic activity in the western provinces is in mining. But local areas get little economic benefit. The biggest impacts, many critics say, are that people are relocated and that fragile ecosystems are threatened.

Tibet was recently discovered to be a treasure trove of mineral deposits -- iron ore, copper, lead and zinc that could reduce China's reliance on minerals from abroad. But activists, academics and others are worried that Tibet's delicate ecology will come under assault from an influx of Chinese mining concerns.

"Is it really necessary to develop the west?" Yi asked. "In my opinion, the living environment and the people's feeling are the most important."

Staff researcher Liu Liu contributed to this report.

China-Taiwan: Trade Liberalization Agreement

Taiwan and China sign landmark trade agreement
BBC News, Tuesday, 29 June 2010

China and Taiwan have signed a historic trade pact, seen as the most significant agreement since civil war split the two governments 60 years ago.

The Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement (ECFA) removes tariffs on hundreds of products.

It could boost bilateral trade that already totals $110bn (£73bn) a year.

Correspondents say that, economically, the deal favours Taiwan but that Beijing hopes for political gains in its long-standing unification campaign.

The deal is seen as the culmination of efforts by Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, elected two years ago with a vow to reduce tension with the mainland.
Service sectors

The deal was signed in the mainland city of Chongqing and was carried live on state television.

Chris Hogg
BBC News, Shanghai

Taiwanese officials have described this new trade deal as one of the most important developments in six decades of often testy relations.

For the Chinese it's an opportunity to move beyond the threatening rhetoric used frequently against the previous Taiwanese administration which lost power two years ago. Relations between Beijing and Taipei have improved markedly since then.

Some analysts regard the deal as an effort to bind Taiwan closer to China - to achieve by economic means what Beijing has long failed to do militarily. But Taiwan's government says the alternative to the deal was continued economic isolation. And the island's president has insisted the agreement won't lead Taiwan to drop its guard.

Taiwan's envoy Chiang Pin-kung said the agreement was "a critical moment in the development of long-term relations".

His Beijing counterpart, Chen Yunlin, said the pact was an agreement of "equal consultation and mutual benefits".

The pair exchanged gifts and joined in a toast at the ceremony.

The deal is seen as being most economically beneficial to export-reliant Taiwan.

At the moment $80bn in goods flows to China, and $30bn to Taiwan.

Almost $14bn worth of Taiwanese goods exported to China will have their tariffs reduced or removed.

Taiwanese companies will also gain access to a number of mainland service sectors, including banking and insurance.

Chinese exports worth just under $3bn will see their tariffs lowered.

The BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei says this is clearly a good economic deal for Taiwan but there remains genuine concern among many that the agreement will make Taiwan too economically dependent on China and therefore politically vulnerable.

Wen Jiabao Chinese Premier: [We] can give up our profits because Taiwanese compatriots are our brothers

Historic deal divides Taiwan

There have been some street protests in Taiwan against the deal but opinion polls suggest the majority on the island are in favour.

Taiwanese critics say the deal could leave the island's economy open to a flood of cheap imports.

They also worry about China's motives, arguing that Beijing is hoping to use it to win the political support of big business on the island for its own agenda.
Continue reading the main story Map Taiwan flashpoint

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has previously said that his country "can give up our profits because Taiwanese compatriots are our brothers".

For decades, relations between the two sides have been strained.

Taiwan and China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.

The site of the signing, Chongqing, has historical resonance. Communist leader Mao Zedong and Nationalist President Chiang Kai-shek tried but failed to sign a truce there.

Chiang was forced to Taiwan in 1949.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Currency manipulation: the case of China

China, Currency Manipulation and Globalism: The Big Backstory
Eric Ehrmann
The Hunfington Post, June 23, 2010

During the Cold War diplomats called US-China relations peaceful coexistence. Now, as G-20 nations again gather to sort out the flotsam and jetsam of the Bretton Woods system and mediate globalist greed, that coexistence has shape shifted into economic warfare.

While US treasury secretary Tim Geithner and his minions were buzzing up Chinese "currency manipulation" and linking it to AFL-CIO leader Rich Trumka's too little too late fulminations about loss of American jobs, Beijing orchestrated a two percent swing in the renminbi-dollar rate that has justifiably dampened profit taking by speculators and replicates renminbi market spreads against the Euro, the Japanese yen and the Brazilian real.

For those whose attention spans reside in the Tweetstream this classic, big government quick-fix sets up a back to the future paradigm for a failed post World War II economic order that was created largely by agents of Soviet -- not Chinese -- communism operating inside the US government like Harry Dexter White and his communist sympathizer counterpart John Maynard Keynes who was a consultant to the Bank of England which was still privately operated at that time. Ironically China was living in the era of the "backyard blast furnace" when Bretton Woods was rolled out and it is no secret that Chairman Mao's organization received US funding to conduct anti-Japanese operations during World War II .

The fact that business-to-business solutions alone can't fix the current set of monetary problems linked to sovereign debt flies in the face of the Capitalism 4.0 paradigm being floated by key members of the Davos-based World Economic Forum, projects ideological ambiguity among its leadership and invites irredentist critics to continue to propagate notions of a hidden world government that appeal to American nativists and some on the European right.

If the solution to this globalist red herring known as "currency manipulation" actually succeeds at placing the renminbi in a currency spread basket with the euro, the yen, the real and possibly other currencies, it harkens back to the mother of all "currency manipulations" orchestrated by Washington, the ill-fated Plaza Accords of 1985 during the free-market "Reagan revolution" by then US secretary of state James Baker, with his close ties to globalist oil interests.

What followed was an epidemic of protectionist policy some thought would reduce the huge current account surpluses held by major US trading partners -- notably Japan and West Germany. Like China today, they were buying US government bonds and other instruments to help finance the burgeoning US trade deficit.

While America's great communicator was telling Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear that wall down" nations holding big US paper were propping the US economy up and American's who vote like Joe the Plumber were the last to know about it. The strategy helped bring the downfall of the "evil empire" and the Soviet command economy. But while Plaza helped enhance the euphoria surrounding the end of the Cold War it created problems for Washington's major trading partners and hurt the purchasing power of working American families long before Rich Trumka got on his virtual soapbox.

The resulting economic downturn provided opportunities for free-market globalists to reduce the size of programs associated with democracies built on the social contract model. And it damaged the structural integrity of the US economy, creating that giant sucking sound Ross Perot identified with US jobs being outsourced to low wage nations, setting the stage for peak oil, scandals like Enron and the lack of sound regulatory mechanisms that helped spark the current economic crisis.

Ever since Chairman Mao and Zhou Enlai sat down with Henry Kissinger Beijing has placed more emphasis on growing its economy than on helping Washington contain Kremlin ambitions, one of the cards Kissinger dealt China during his breakthrough visit; the world will know the rest of them when his archives open five years after his death.

Just months after the 1971 meet-up Kissinger's boss on the line and block chart, US president Richard M. Nixon, announced an agreement to end the war in Vietnam, and shortly after that Iraq, Syria and Egypt ganged up on Israel in the Yom Kippur War that touched off a costly OPEC oil embargo.

As oil prices went up, jobs in the US moved from the unionized north to the Sun Belt, where most unions were viewed with disdain. After that many Sun Belt jobs moved south of the border courtesy of NAFTA. Globalists started importing inexpensive Chinese and Japanese goods to subsidize decades of decapitalization-investing outside the US, not in it- and outsourcing, effectively masking declining real wages and loss of purchasing power among working Americans.

US media assets have attempted to magnify the impact of the global crisis in China by characterizing Beijing's sale of $34.2 billion in US Treasury bonds last December as a sign of economic weakness. But according to US Treasury reports, that sale represented just 4.3 percent of China's total dollar bond holdings of about $754.5 billion. Over the past 12 months, meanwhile, China has maintained the economic wherewithal to invest $33 billion in projects to promote sustainable energy with president Lula's government in Brazil, and with the new government of Christian president Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria. Not quite the economy on the ropes that CNN's resident globalist Fareed Zakaria says it is.

But while Washington puts the negative public diplomacy spotlight on China, Japan, with a current portfolio of about $769 billion, is the largest long term holder of US Treasury bonds. Thanks to US trade imbalances linked to its globalist induced dependence on foreign goods China and Japan hold more than $1.52 trillion in US Treasury instruments. That's about ten times the total amount of gold (148 million ounces) believed to be held at the US gold depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. If Stan McChrystal wants to make the cover of Rolling Stone as often as Generalissimo Chaing Kai-Shek was on the cover of Time, he ought to start talking about that.

Former Kissinger aide Dr. Fred Bergsten, who has advised the government of China, says that a 20% upward revaluation of the the renminbi is not unreasonable. But Bergsten's construct would drive investors away from banking on China's economy and create the most disastrous global currency swings since Treasury secretary John Connally unilaterally took the US off the gold standard in 1972 on behalf of Richard Nixon.

After decades of playing supermarket sweepstakes with cheap Chinese goods American globalists are engaging in Cold War style brinkmanship that could broaden the income gap between developed regions in China and non-Mandarin speaking rural districts, creating political instability and presenting new risks for the crisis facing US economy. Such an inconvenient and risky strategy playing out in a neighboring nation would not be welcomed by Russian president Vladimir Putin and others in the Kremlin nor those heavily invested in the oil business in the region.

In today's information economy the globalist media place nations in economic groups like the Asian Tigers and the BRIC's and the CIVETS and play them off against each other. China is on the verge of becoming tagged as one of America's public diplomacy scapegoats. Mexico and Japan, who have been there before, can give Beijing lots of advice on how to deal with that problem.

Acordo comercial China-Taiwan

China y Taiwan ultiman un acuerdo comercial histórico
El Pais, 24/06/2010

Pekín y Taipei pactan un recorte de aranceles sobre 800 productos por un valor de más de 13.000 millones de euros

Pekín - China está decida a ganarse a Taiwan por el estómago. Pekín y Taipei prevén firmar el martes que viene un histórico acuerdo, que dará un fuerte impulso a los intercambios comerciales entre ambas partes, que ascienden a unos 82.000 millones de euros anuales. El llamado Acuerdo Marco de Cooperación Económica (ECFA en sus siglas en inglés) reducirá los aranceles a la exportación de 539 categorías de productos taiwaneses y a la importación de 267 categorías chinas.

Se trata del pacto económico más importante que suscriben China y Taiwan en sus 60 años de encuentros y desencuentros. Pekín considera la isla -donde se refugiaron los nacionalistas de Chiang Kai-shek tras perder la guerra con los comunistas de Mao Zedong en 1949- parte de su territorio y su objetivo es recuperarla por persuasión o, si es necesario, por las armas.

Taipei estima que el acuerdo podría aportar 11.200 millones de euros de ventas adicionales al año con China, mientras sólo sumaría 2.300 millones en sentido contrario. Algunos expertos calculan que la alianza creará alrededor de 260.000 puestos de trabajo en Taiwan y añadirá 1,7 puntos porcentuales de crecimiento anual al producto interior bruto.

El presidente taiwanés, Ma Ying-jeou, y la comunidad empresarial consideran el pacto la única forma de salvar el territorio del aislamiento, en un entorno de rápida creación de bloques comerciales. Pero los críticos y la oposición pro independentista han puesto en duda sus beneficios y han advertido sobre las posibles implicaciones negativas. Creen que traerá una marea de productos baratos chinos a la isla, con la consiguiente pérdida de empleos, y conducirá a una progresiva absorción política de Taiwan por China.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brasil e China podem ampliar cooperação em CTeI - José Monserrat Filho

Brasil e China podem ampliar muito mais sua cooperação em CT&I
José Monserrat Filho
Jornal da Ciência e-mail, 21 junho 2010

"Brasil e China já têm breve mas produtiva história. Hoje, vislumbram larga e rica perspectiva de cooperação diversificada. Seu potencial vai bem além do que se vê em nossos dias"
José Monserrat Filho é chefe da Assessoria de Assuntos Internacionais do Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia. Artigo enviado pelo autor ao "JC e-mail":

O Brasil decidiu reatar relações diplomáticas com a China apenas em 1975 - depois que os Estados Unidos já o tinham feito. Mas, nestes 35 anos, aconteceu algo incrível e irônico ao mesmo tempo. A China ultrapassou os Estados Unidos como principal parceiro comercial do Brasil.

Hoje, Brasil e China mantêm um regime de "parceria estratégica", aprovado de comum acordo em 1993 e motivo de orgulho para ambos. Cabe lembrar: eles assumiram este status especial em momento decisivo, buscando superar a primeira grande crise de seu relacionamento.

Em 1993, urgia salvar o programa espacial sino-brasileiro, adotado em 1988 e bem-sucedido nos primeiros anos - como primeiro acordo entre países em desenvolvimento envolvendo alta tecnologia -, mas quase cancelado no período de 1990 e 1991, por inadimplência do Brasil, sobretudo.

Restaurada a cooperação espacial, foram lançados, em período relativamente curto, três satélites da série Cbers - China-Brasil Earth Resources Satellite (Satélite Sino-Brasileiro de Observação de Recursos Naturais da Terra): o Cbers-1, em 1999; o Cbers-2, em 2002, e o Cbers-2B, em 2007.

O Brasil converteu-se em país sensoriador, perito em sensoriamento remoto por satélite - essencial para monitorar toda Amazônia. Mais ainda: tornou-se o maior distribuidor de imagens de satélite do mundo, abrindo acesso gratuito e fácil a todos os dados do Cbers. Basta baixar pela internet. Ao mesmo tempo, sistemas especiais de distribuição de imagens Cbers estão sendo montados para a América Latina e Caribe, e para a África.

Mas surgiu um problema: o Cbers-2B - lançado para impedir qualquer interrupção da cobertura entre o fim do Cbers-2, ocorrido este ano, e o início de funcionamento do Cbers-3 - acabou concluindo sua vida útil sem que o Cbers-3 tivesse sido lançado. Hoje não há nenhum Cbers ativo em órbita. O Cbers-3, que está sendo montado no Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Inpe), em São José dos Campos, SP, deve ser lançado só em 2011. E o Cbers-4, em 2014.

O lançamento do Cbers-3 atrasou-se, principalmente porque o Brasil teve dificuldades de comprar no mercado mundial componentes para esse satélite, bloqueados pelos Estados Unidos por se tratar de satélite construído junto com a China. Washington estabelece restrições no comércio com a China de matérias consideradas sensíveis (uso duplo, para fins pacíficos e militares).

Não obstante, a cooperação espacial segue em frente. Mas o que ela mais precisa hoje é ganhar novos espaços. Avanço significativo seria a construção conjunta de um satélite radar, que pode observar a terra em condições bem melhores, varando barreiras climáticas. Este parece ser o maior desafio nas negociações atuais na área espacial entre os dois países. O acordo em torno de um satélite radar sinalizaria mudança qualitativa de patamar no programa sino-brasileiro.

Entretanto, já há clara consciência de que a colaboração Brasil-China não pode se limitar ao programa espacial. Nessa linha, em 2004, os dois países criaram o Comitê de Coordenação e Cooperação de Alto Nível (Cosban), de ampla abrangência. Em 2009, durante a visita à China do presidente Lula, aprovou-se o primeiro Plano de Trabalho em Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação.

E, em abril deste ano, quando da visita ao Brasil do presidente da China, Hu Jintao, adotou-se ambicioso Plano de Ação Conjunta para cinco anos (2010-2014), visando diversificar e intensificar o trabalho conjunto dos dois países.

O Plano de Ação fixa sete objetivos gerais, dos quais destaco quatro: 1) "Ampliar e aprofundar as relações bilaterais em todas as áreas"; 2) "Coordenar melhor as iniciativas de cooperação em todas as áreas da Parceria Estratégica Brasil-China, bem como todos os seus instrumentos institucionais"; 3) "Estabelecer metas precisas e objetivas em cada uma das áreas de cooperação, baseadas em iniciativas específicas"; e 4) "Adotar visão estratégica sobre as relações bilaterais, a médio e longo prazo, diante dos desenvolvimentos na arena internacional".

Traduzido em miúdos, este último objetivo significa reconhecer que as relações Brasil-China podem ter implicações estratégicas na arena internacional. Isso não é nada trivial em matéria de presença ativa e protagonismo no mundo complexo do século XXI.

O Plano de Ação, além do mais, valoriza o papel do Subcomitê de Ciência e Tecnologia do Cosban, logo renomeado como "Subcomitê de Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação". Afinal, a inovação no setor produtivo - e em toda a sociedade humana - é o grande desafio do nosso tempo.

Eis as áreas prioritárias do Plano de Ação: bioenergia e biocombustíveis, nanotecnologia e ciências da agricultura. O compromisso, aí, é de fortalecer a transferência de tecnologia e a realização de projetos conjuntos de pesquisa. No futuro, já se admite acrescentar as áreas de pesquisa e desenvolvimento na indústria têxtil, e de ensino e popularização da ciência.

Cabe salientar cinco importantes projetos de cooperação em curso hoje:

1) Programa de Bioenergia e Biocombustíveis, implementado pela Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro através do Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-graduação e Pesquisa de Engenharia (Coppe/UFRJ); Universidade de Tsinghua; Academia de Ciências da Agricultura de Guangxi; e Academia Chinesa de Ciências da Agricultura Tropical (Catas);

2) Centro Brasil-China de Inovação Tecnológica para a Mudança de Clima e Novas Energias, em criação pela UFRJ e Universidade de Tsinghua para realizar projetos de pesquisa destinados a reduzir as emissões de gás estufa e a identificar novas fontes para biodiesel. O Brasil está investindo nesta iniciativa cerca de R$ 1,4 milhão, como ajuda inicial;

3) Centro Bilateral de Pesquisa e Inovação em Nanotecnologia, criado em 2009, com início de funcionamento marcado para este ano, devendo estudar, entre outras, as áreas de nanometrologia, encapsulação de medicamentos e nanomateriais;

4) Programa da Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa) e da Academia Chinesa de Ciências da Agricultura (CAAS) para criar laboratórios especializados em ambos os países, com pessoal próprio e com a missão de promover pesquisas básicas e aplicadas em biocombustíveis, biotecnologia e genética de plantas; e

5) Intercâmbio Acadêmico entre a Universidade Federal de Viçosa (Minas Gerais) e a Universidade de Agricultura de Pequim, a ser firmado em breve, para fomentar a cooperação nos campos de ensino e pesquisa em ciência, tecnologia e inovação em áreas agrícolas. Como parte do programa, as duas instituições planejam criar o Instituto Internacional de Segurança Alimentar e Redução da Pobreza, com a ativa participação de organizações intergovernamentais internacionais.

Assim, Brasil e China já têm breve mas produtiva história. Hoje, vislumbram larga e rica perspectiva de cooperação diversificada. Seu potencial vai bem além do que se vê em nossos dias. Brasileiros e chineses podem fazer muito mais do que fizeram até agora. E tudo para seu próprio bem e, tomara, em benefício também de um mundo mais inteligente, mais justo e mais próspero para toda a comunidade mundial, que disso precisa como o ar que respiramos.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Book on the Chinese Communist Party

The Chinese Communist Party
The permanent party
An entertaining and insightful portrait of China’s secretive rulers

The Economist, Jun 17th 2010

The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers
By Richard McGregor. Harper; 302 pages; $27.99.
Allen Lane; £25. Buy from,

ANY study of the Chinese Communist Party today will soon confront two jarring questions. The first is how a party responsible for such horrors—the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, the death of some 35m-40m people in the worst-ever man-made famine from 1958-1960—has stayed in power without facing any serious threat, the 1989 Tiananmen protests aside. The second is why it still calls itself “communist”, when China today seems closer to the cut-throat capitalism of Victorian England than to any egalitarian dream.

The second question is easier. In 1979 Deng Xiaoping, the pragmatic founder of the new China, answered it in “four basic principles”, the most important being “the leading role of the Communist Party”. Richard McGregor’s masterful depiction of the party today cites a less pompous tautology, from Chen Yuan, the son of a Long March veteran and hero of central planning, who is himself a leading state-banker: “We are the Communist Party and we will decide what communism means.”

This willingness to jettison ideological baggage while clinging to Leninist first principles also helps answer the first question, about the party’s surprising durability. Flexibility has been essential as the party has both led and adapted to wrenching change since 1978. It has had, as Mao Zedong, a less pragmatic communist, might have put it, to “manage contradictions”. In the process, Chinese people have learnt to enjoy freedoms and prosperity unimaginable under Mao. The system, Mr McGregor rightly points out, still relies, ultimately, on terror. But no longer are party rule and terror absolutely synonymous.

Through anecdote and example, Mr McGregor, a longtime correspondent in China for the Financial Times, illuminates the most important of the contradictions and paradoxes. There is the obvious one, for example, between the demands of the market and party control. Mr McGregor describes one almost comical battlefield—the overseas stockmarket listings of Chinese state-controlled companies.

Wall Street bankers scratched their heads over how to describe the role of a firm’s party committee. John Thornton, a former boss of Goldman Sachs, describes an “eye-opening” lecture he received as a member of a Chinese board: the committee was responsible for six functions “and they were the ones that mattered.” Prospectuses tend to solve the conundrum by avoiding mention of the party’s role.

A more stomach-churning example of this contradiction was the discovery in 2008 by Sanlu, a dairy firm, that some of its products had been contaminated and were harming and killing children. Commercial logic, not to mention basic humanity, demanded an instant recall. But the boss’s first loyalty was to the party, which had demanded that bad news be suppressed so as not to spoil the atmosphere at that year’s Beijing Olympics.

Then there is the tension arising from the party’s dependence—shown most graphically in Beijing in 1989—on the army to keep it in power. This has led to booming army budgets, as the generals acquire high-tech kit. But this in turn leads them to think of themselves as professional soldiers defending China when their job is to serve the Communist Party. Tensions surface in the mysterious occasional harangues in the press against those calling (though not in public) for the “depoliticisation” and “nationalisation” of the armed forces.

Third, there is the paradox that China’s leaders recognise that the main threat to their authority is corruption, yet their power rests on a system that makes it almost inevitable. Indeed, as Mr McGregor puts it, corruption has become a sort of “transaction tax that distributes ill-gotten gains among the ruling class…It becomes the glue that keeps the system together.” No outside body is allowed to have authority over the party. An independent anti-corruption campaign, as Mr McGregor notes, “could bring the whole edifice tumbling down”.

This is part of what the author calls the “fundamental paradox”: “That a strong, all-powerful party makes for a weak government and compromised institutions.” This leaves it ill-equipped to cope with the next change, as China “rebalances” its economy to stimulate domestic consumption, provide a decent social-security net and “take on the vested interests now profiting from the distortions”.

Mr McGregor seems to think that the party’s record suggests it will find a way to manage this next transition, too. But he also notes that the triumphalism of China’s leaders in recent months seems “brittle”. Party rule has always made it hard to picture the future as very different from the present. But in China it usually is.

Partido Comunista Chines: uma analise critica

Livro analisa Partido Comunista Chinês
Opinião e Notícia, 19/06/2010

Corrupção e dependência do exército geram tensões no governo do país

The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Leaders”, de Richard McGregor, se propõe a debater duas importantes questões sobre o Partido Comunista Chinês. A primeira é como um partido responsável pela morte de cerca de 40 milhões de pessoas no período da Grande Fome conseguiu se manter no poder sem enfrentar nenhuma ameaça – com exceção dos protestos na Praça da Paz Celestial, em 1989. A segunda é porque ainda se considera um regime comunista, quando a China dos dias atuais se assemelha mais ao capitalismo selvagem da Inglaterra da era vitoriana do que a qualquer utopia igualitária.

A resposta da segunda questão é mais fácil. McGregor cita uma frase do administrador do Banco de Desenvolvimento da China, Chen Yuan: “Nós somos o Partido Comunista e nós decidimos o que o comunismo significa”. A determinação em se livrar da bagagem ideológica enquanto se mantém fiel aos princípios leninistas pode explicar a primeira questão. Mao-Tsé Tung, um comunista menos pragmático, ressaltava a missão do partido de “controlar contradições”. De acordo com McGregor, o sistema ainda depende do terror, mas esse terror já não é mais sinônimo do Partido.

O Partido Comunista sofre com a constante tensão de depender do exército para permanecer no poder. Isso levou a um aumento desenfreado nos salários dos generais e fez com que muitos se vissem como soldados profissionais, divididos entre a obrigação de defender o país e a de defender o partido. Protestos ocasionais surgem na imprensa, pedindo a despolitização e a nacionalização das forças armadas chinesas.

Há também um paradoxo no fato de os líderes chineses reconhecerem que a corrupção é a maior ameaça à sua autoridade, mas ao mesmo tempo apoiarem seu poder num sistema que a torna praticamente inevitável. De acordo com McGregor, uma campanha independente anticorrupção seria capaz de fazer toda a estrutura do partido desmoronar.

Fontes: Economist - The permanent party

China to G20: stay away from the yuan

China tells world stay out of yuan
Simon Rabinovitch and Jeff Mason
Shanghai Daily, June 19, 2010

CHINA yesterday told the rest of the world not to meddle with the way it manages the yuan, setting the stage for a clash with its biggest trading partners at next week's G20 summit.

United States President Barack Obama released a letter to his Group of 20 colleagues that zeroed in on prickly policy differences over China's currency stance and debt-wary Europe's rush to rein in bulging budget deficits.

World leaders gathering in Toronto next week are struggling to maintain the crisis-forged unity that has been credited with preventing another Great Depression. Now that the global economy is on the mend, divisions are beginning to show.

Cui Tiankai, a vice foreign minister who is China's official in charge of preparing for the G20 summit, said the yuan was "China's currency, so I don't think it is an issue that should be discussed internationally."

China has kept the yuan at around 6.83 per US dollar for almost two years amid the global financial crisis.

Obama, under pressure from some lawmakers who accuse his administration of soft-pedaling on China, said free-floating currencies were "essential" to global economic activity, a thinly veiled reference to the yuan.

His administration has stopped short of accusing China of manipulating its currency to give it a trade advantage, something that some members of Congress have urged.

US Treasury Department delayed its regular currency report to Congress, which was due in April, angering some lawmakers who think the administration is dragging its feet.

Obama also directed stern words at Europe. In the letter to G20 colleagues dated Wednesday, he pointed out the highest priority at next week's meeting must be to safeguard the recovery and not succumb too quickly to demands to reduce government debt.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

To be a billionaire in China: Soho story

Billionaires List
China Developer's Lament
Gady Epstein
Forbes Magazine, March 29, 2010

Zhang Xin and her husband are the most familiar faces of a real estate boom in China. That doesn't make them a popular couple.

Chinese property prices were soaring to record highs late last year, defying gloomy predictions, when the alarm about a real estate bubble sounded from a most unlikely source: developer Zhang Xin, the 44-year-old chief executive of Soho China."If you look at the central areas of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, prices have doubled," Zhang says. People rush to build and sell more property to speculators, though there is no apparent need for more buildings, and the bubble keeps growing, she says: "For the country, I think it's very dangerous."

The irony, not lost on Zhang, is that few private citizens could serve as better symbols of the China bubble than she and her husband, Soho Chairman Pan Shiyi. (He transferred his shares to her in 2005.) Last year they made the biggest land purchase in Beijing by a non-state-owned company, at $586 million for 12 acres, and also broke ground on their most ambitious architectural effort yet, the Zaha Hadid-designed Soho Galaxy. They are, if not speculators, certainly enablers of those folk.

Declares Zhang: "My role as a producer is to produce. I happen to know that they don't need it so much. But it still doesn't stop me from producing so long as they are queuing up outside and want the product."

This is the Chinese economy in a nutshell--sellers selling a product for which there's no natural demand, buyers buying whether they need it or not. In a market boosted by government-directed lending, both sellers and buyers have been getting only more ambitious and frenzied.

For the seller, at least, this is perfectly rational. To not get in while the economy is hot means missing easy profits. Even as Zhang the Cambridge-educated leftist argues the real estate bubble is disserving the nation, Zhang the Wall Street-trained executive can argue reasonably that not participating in it would be disserving her shareholders. Sales at Soho China nearly doubled last year to $2 billion.

As Zhang wonders where her country is heading, the tycoon is at the peak of her capitalist career, 15 years after she cofounded the company that became Soho. Fifteen years from now, will Soho China's many skyscrapers in the Beijing's skyline be admired? Or will they be scorned as icons of short-cut capitalism, built cheaply and sold for piles of cash to mining magnates and corrupt officials?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two Koreas: on the brink of war

The Two Koreas Step Back From the Brink
STRATFOR.COM Diary Archives
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

HE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL MET behind closed doors Monday to see South Korean Ambassador Park In Kook and a team of investigators present their case on the ChonAn, the South Korean corvette that was sunk in March, which they claim was caused by a surprise North Korean submarine attack. The North Koreans were given the chance to respond and reportedly called the claims a “fabrication.” They are expected to deliver a fuller response on Tuesday.

Aside from the fire and brimstone that can be expected from Pyongyang’s rhetorical response, the meeting served to highlight the fact that the two Koreas have stepped back from the brink. There is no longer the sudden scare felt in the immediate aftermath of the ship’s sinking or the heightened sense of danger that was pervasive after the South made its allegations official in late May. The geopolitical maneuvering that characterizes the region will continue, but there is no longer a crisis to handle.

The reasons lie in the region’s current geopolitical configuration. From the first few days after the ship’s sinking, Seoul knew it would have to build a meticulous case, based on painstakingly acquired evidence from the seafloor and the wreckage, if it were to have a chance to corral the international community into supporting tough countermeasures against the North. This process lasted through April and half of May. Of course, winning support would be complicated, since in this context, the “international community” consists of the members of the six-party grouping (the Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States) that makes on-again, off-again attempts to convince Pyongyang to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. When the results were announced, the two states that were not included in the fact-finding mission — Russia and China — predictably resisted lending support to Seoul’s charges. Russia reviewed the facts and deemed them inconclusive, while China avoided reviewing them to prevent the need to make a decision.

The United States and Japan did lend support to Korea’s formal accusations in May, but even here South Korea ran up against constraints rather than enablers. It immediately became clear that even these two allies were not willing to endorse Seoul, to the point that it had no restraints in how far it went with its punitive actions. The Japanese decided not to present jointly at the United Nations a plan for punishing Pyongyang. Instead, it suggested tightening unilateral sanctions on the North, which amounted to little more than increasing controls on remittances from North Koreans living in Japan back to North Korea.

Meanwhile, the United States, which had allegedly held Seoul back in the immediate aftermath of the event, pledged enhanced military-to-military ties with South Korea and new anti-submarine warfare coordination and exercises in the Yellow Sea. This robust response gave the Chinese jitters, but also distanced the United States from a hard line. Washington rejected rumors that it would dispatch an aircraft carrier to the sea, and took other more subtle steps to calm the South down and avoid escalating the situation further.

“South Korea is not pursuing the ChonAn incident, but knows full well it was not North Korea’s last provocation.”

By June it had become apparent that the South Koreans were no longer even seeking new United Nations sanctions against the North. Given the resistance South Korea received from China and Russia, it instead sought merely a strongly worded statement. Further punishment would have to be meted out by Seoul and Washington alone.

The South is well aware of the limitations of its own unilateral sanctions against the North, since the North had, previous to the incident, revoked several points of cooperation in the relationship that the South theoretically could have used as leverage to exert pressure. For instance, the Kaesong joint economic zone between the two states remains intact, however often it has become a pawn of tensions on the peninsula. In addition, personnel changes in the upper echelons of both the North’s and the South’s militaries in recent weeks have enabled both states to claim to have rectified past wrongs.

None of this is to say that South Korea will not continue to seek retribution, only that most of that retribution from now on will come in the form of rhetoric, and the substantial parts will be carefully managed by the United States so as not to risk triggering an inter-Korean crisis, or a crisis with a suspicious China. Seoul’s actions, and those of the other players, reflect the bad options inherent in the Korean predicament. Neither Korea wants to ignite an internecine war; Beijing does not want a disastrous collapse on its border, or to give the United States and its allies an excuse to push up directly against it; and Japan does not wish to see its security undermined by any of the various possibilities. The United States, the one player with the most room for maneuver and the most distance from the fallout of any catastrophe on the peninsula, has far too many concerns (including its domestic economy and foreign engagements), to be willing to open itself to another.

Despite what was in all likelihood an unprovoked torpedo from the North, the major pieces remain in the same place on the chessboard. The players have refrained from bigger moves partly because the region’s security situation inherently verges on instability, and partly because the North has managed superbly to frighten everyone involved with its alternating displays of irrationality, aggression and desperation. Also, North Korea has managed to prevent a unified front against it with occasional offers of cooperation. There is even greater fear among outsiders as the country approaches a leadership transition and rumors spread of deepening rivalries between powerful factions. For these reasons Korea is not pursuing the ChonAn incident with vindictiveness, though it knows full well that it was by no means the last provocation it will face from the North.

European Foreign Relations Council - Memo on China - François Godement

Dear friends,

The European Council on Foreign Relations is pleased to announce the publication of a new policy brief: "A Global China Policy" by ECFR Senior Policy Fellow Francois Godement.

The paper outlines the recent assertive turn in Chinese diplomacy and recommends the EU to reframe its China policy in global terms. It urges Europe to consider the role of China in all foreign policy issues and world regions, whilst stressing the need for more effective EU cooperation in dealing with Beijing. The brief also calls upon the EU to build coalitions with others affected by China's rise and suggests that it should reach out to those new actors within the Chinese system that may share European interests.

According to Francois Godement, the EU should take advantage of the few areas where it has real leverage, and focus its relationship with China around the following five issues: trade and investment policy, industry and technology, climate change, nuclear proliferation, and human rights. Ahead of September's European Council discussions on relations with strategic partners such as China, Francois Godement advises Europe's leaders to waste no time in understanding how to get the most out of relations with Beijing.

We hope that you will find the paper interesting and stimulating. Comments can be addressed to the author directly at:

Link to full memo:

China feels more powerful than ever. Chinese foreign policy experts saw the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 not as a one-off crisis but as a structural change in the global distribution of power. Since then, China has become assertive across a range of foreign policy issues. China has repeatedly snubbed Europeans in response to their support for the Dalai Lama and Tibet. At the same time, it has become even less apologetic about its own human rights violations.
China has deepened economic ties with North Korea and put minimal pressure on Pyongyang after it crossed the nuclear threshold and even after it torpedoed a South Korean navy
vessel in May. China has also slowed down progress on international efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran while benefitting from a burgeoning economic relationship with
Tehran. Finally, at the Copenhagen climate conference– a wake-up call for many in the West in general and in Europe in particular – China used tough tactics to achieve its objective of preventing an agreement on a binding commitment for developing countries (although, in this case, it may have overplayed its hand). In short, China has frustrated hopes for increased global responsibility sharing while pursuing its own economic and strategic interests through international institutions and stalling when such institutions challenge its own positions.
See the full report here.

Tibet and water resources

Tibet's watershed challenge
By Uttam Kumar Sinha
The Washington Post, Monday, June 14, 2010; p. A17

While Tibet raises a number of controversial questions, one dimension will assume increasing political significance: its water resources. The Tibetan Plateau, known to many as the "Third Pole," is an enormous storehouse of freshwater, believed by some to be the world's largest. It is the headwaters of many of Asia's mighty rivers, including the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Brahmaputra, Indus and Sutlej. These vast water resources are of course vulnerable to environmental challenges, including climate change, but they are subject to an array of political issues as well.

Should China be the lone stakeholder to the fate of the waters in Tibet? What happens in the downstream nations that depend heavily on these rivers? China has exploited all but two rivers from the Tibetan Plateau; an exception is the Nujiang River, which flows through Yunnan province and enters Burma, where it is known as the Salween. China's north-south diversion plans on the Yarlung Zangbo (known in India as Brahamaputra), the other untouched river, are bound to worry India, a downstream state.

China's rise in recent years has been displayed in military capability, economic pace and, now, water diversions. By 2030, China is expected to fall short of its water demands by 25 percent. Its increasingly aggressive hydrobehavior is intended to secure its massive water requirements in its northern and western regions. But control over such a valuable natural resource gives Beijing enormous strategic latitude with its neighbors; when one of those countries is a rival, such as India, it becomes an effective bargaining tool and potential weapon.

Chinese nationalism is based on its aspiration of great-power status and its historic territorial claims. Such claims, for example, over Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh, a state in northeast India, are being driven by China's water needs. Mao Zedong observed in 1952, "The south has a lot of water, the north little. . . . If possible, it is ok to lend a little water." China is looking to exploit the water resources of Tibet and its hardening position on Arunachal -- Beijing considers the northeast Indian state part of its territory and made frequent military forays there this year -- is not merely rhetoric. In laying claims to Arunachal, it is claiming almost 200 million cubic feet per second of water resources in the state.

China, well-accustomed to brinkmanship, is likely to maintain a strategic silence on its river diversion plans, to keep downstream states guessing. (China denies any activity on the Yarlung Zangbo, but publicly reported satellite imagery shows otherwise.) And with no legally binding international treaty on such water-sharing, there is nothing to stop China from manipulating river flows and increasing downstream dependency.

More than 2 billion people in South and Southeast Asia depend on the waters flowing out of Tibet. Building a lower riparian coalition of, say, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam would help cement recognition of Tibet's water as a common resource. India has a diplomatic opportunity here and, given its downriver position, needs to take the initiative. One plus is that India has experience dealing with river treaties. But Tibet's unresolved political status will affect any proposals on how to sustainably manage its water resources and ensure its rivers' natural flow are not disturbed by Chinese diversion plans.

China's moves to encroach on Tibet's water need to be countered by downriver solidarity that includes agreement on multipurpose beneficial use of these resources. Downriver states need to work through legal norms of equitable utilization, "no-harm" policies and restricted Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. This pressure and international attention to defining such vital resources as common would go a long way toward preserving and sharing the waters of Tibet. While such redefinition is politically sensitive, as it clashes with national jurisdiction, it merits attention now given the current and future water requirements of South and Southeast Asia. Collective political and diplomatic pressure over a sustained period will be needed to draw in China to regional arrangements on "reasonable share of water" and frame treaties accordingly.

The concerned downstream states need to raise the issue internationally while also supporting local Tibetans and Chinese environmental lobbies' efforts to highlight the rampant ecological destruction of Tibet brought by dams and artificial diversion plans. A larger debate on basin resource management is needed; it is increasingly clear that rivers are not merely for water provisions but also have ecological functions. One need only look at China's Yangtze and Yellow rivers, both unfit for human use, to understand how important it is to follow the laws of nature regarding Tibet's waters rather than force economic development.

The writer is a research fellow at the nonpartisan Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

China as first polluter

Emissões globais de CO2 caem, mas disparam na China
O Estado de S.Paulo, 09 de junho de 2010

Liberação de dióxido de carbono na China subiu 9% em 2009, chegando a 7,52 bilhões de toneladas

LONDRES - Dados divulgados nesta quarta-feira, 9, mostraram que as emissões chinesas de dióxido de carbono pelo uso de combustíveis fósseis subiram 9% em 2009, contrariando a tendência global de queda, o que deve aumentar a pressão sobre Pequim nas negociações climáticas da ONU.

As emissões chinesas de CO2 derivados de combustíveis fósseis chegaram a 7,52 bilhões de toneladas no ano passado. Já o total global registrou a primeira queda desde 1998, por causa da contração na produção industrial e no consumo de combustíveis, causada pela recessão mundial, segundo dados da empresa BP.

A China se tornou, assim, o primeiro país na história a emitir mais de 7 bilhões de toneladas de CO2 em um só ano, e se consolidou como maior emissor do mundo, depois de ultrapassar os EUA em 2008, segundo a Revisão Estatística da Energia Mundial, documento divulgado anualmente pela BP.

A China emitiu quase 1,6 bilhão de toneladas a mais que os EUA, cujas emissões caíram 6,5% e ficaram em 5,94 bilhões de toneladas, o menor volume desde 1995.

Em termos globais, as emissões caíram 1,1% em relação ao recorde de 2008. Isso significa que o volume de CO2 caiu de 31,55 para 31,13 bilhões de toneladas.

As economias emergentes aumentaram sua participação em relação aos países da OCDE. Nos emergentes, as emissões subiram 5,3% e chegaram a 15,25 bilhões de toneladas, ou 49% do total global.

Entre os países da OCDE, houve queda de 6,2%, levando a um total de 13,52 bilhões de toneladas. Na União Europeia, a queda foi de 6,4%, com um volume total de 4,07 bilhões de toneladas.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Houkou to be modified - China Daily

Farmers accumulate points for hukou
New plan to attract 1.8 million migrants to the city
By Zheng Caixiong
China Daily, 8 June 2010, p. 3

Guangzhou - South China Guangdong province has taken the lead in the country by introducing a new accumulating points system to grant urban hukou, or household registration, to migrant workers.
The province plans to attract 1.8 million migrant workers to become urban residents via the points accumulation system before the end of 2012... (...)
Guangdong aims to achieve an urbanization target of 67.5 percent by the end of 2012. (...)
Currently, farmers and migrant workers cannot enjoy the same treatment as their urban counterparts in employment, education, medical treatment, social security and related fields in the society. (...)
Farmers-turned workers who graduated from junior high school will have only five points while university graduates will have 80 points.
Those who violate the country's family-planning policy, or have criminal records, will have their points deducted...

Um aniversario controverso: 21 anos de Paz Celestial (no irony...)

Activists subtly mark anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown
By Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times, 3 de junho de 2010

BEIJING — It was a simple cartoon published Tuesday to mark a day that honors the world's children. It showed a boy drawing three tanks on a blackboard and — uh-oh — a small stick figure standing in front of them.

To some, the cartoon in Southern Metropolis Daily was evocative of a certain, unmentionable something that happened in Beijing's Tiananmen Square 21 years ago. The little stick figure resembled the lone, unarmed man who famously faced down a column of tanks — the iconic image of the bloody June 4, 1989, crackdown on student-led demonstrations.

It is the time of year for a ritualized cat-and-mouse game performed by pro-democracy activists, who try to commemorate the crackdown, and Chinese censors, who try to block any allusion to it. Often, the references are oblique plays on the date: One ad that slipped into a newspaper last year showed two groups of people — six on one side and four on the other — looking philosophically toward the sky.

"Until there comes a time that the Chinese government acknowledges what really happened, people will continue to try different ways to express their feelings," said Wen Yunchao, a Guangzhou-based blogger known as Bei Feng, who has campaigned to abolish Internet censorship.

In Hong Kong, where public discussion of Tiananmen has usually been allowed, police today arrested activists who were erecting a replica of a statue called the "Goddess of Democracy".

Friday, June 4, 2010

Brasil exporta celulose para a China

China se torna maior mercado para celulose brasileira
Cláudia Trevisan, de O Estado de S. Paulo
quinta-feira, 3 de junho de 2010

País asiático produz 90 milhões de toneladas de papel por ano e quer se tornar um dos líderes mundiais do setor

XANGAI - Depois de se transformar no maior destino das exportações brasileiras de minério de ferro e soja, a China assumiu o primeiro lugar nas vendas de outra commodity, a celulose, com 34% dos embarques no primeiro quadrimestre deste ano. O porcentual é o dobro da participação que o país asiático tinha nas exportações do produto até o ano passado, quando sua demanda deu um salto de 135%, para 1,5 milhão de toneladas, uma participação de 33% no total.

Elizabeth de Carvalhaes, presidente da Associação Brasileira de Papel e Celulose (Bracelpa), disse que os chineses começaram a aumentar suas compras no começo do ano passado, quando o preço internacional caiu em razão da crise mundial. Em junho de 2009 a cotação ficou em menos de US$ 400 a tonelada, comparada a US$ 840 do ano anterior. Atualmente já está em torno de US$ 920.

Segundo ela, a demanda chinesa assumiu natureza "estrutural" no segundo semestre, quando o país anunciou a instalação das três maiores máquinas de papel do mundo, uma das quais com capacidade de fabricar 1 milhão de tonelada por ano.

Em 2009, o Brasil respondeu por 50% das importações de celulose da China, que anualmente produz 90 milhões de toneladas de papel e quer se tornar um dos líderes mundiais do setor.

Para atender ao aumento da demanda chinesa e de outros países emergentes, as indústrias brasileiras de celulose planejam investir US$ 22 bilhões no período 2010-2016, o que poderá levar o Brasil da quarta para a terceira posição no ranking global, à frente da China.

O CEO da Suzano Papel e Celulose, Antonio Maciel Neto, disse anteontem em Xangai que a empresa investiu R$ 8 bilhões em duas novas fábricas, no Maranhão e no Piauí, que terão 50% de sua produção destinada à China.

A companhia produz 1,7 milhão de toneladas de celulose por ano e vai elevar o volume para 4,3 milhões de tonelas quando as duas plantas estiverem em operação, no fim de 2014. "A produção de papel na China cresce 4 milhões de toneladas por ano, o que é quase metade da produção total do Brasil, de 10 milhões de toneladas de papel", disse Maciel depois de encontro do Conselho Empresarial Brasil-China. Atualmente, 35% do que a Suzano produz de celulose é destinado à China.

Com os investimentos previstos para o período 2010-2016, Carvalhaes estima que a produção brasileira de papel poderá subir para 14 milhões de toneladas. A presidente da Bracelpa lembrou que o Brasil tem a maior floresta plantada do mundo, com 7 milhões de hectares, certificada por organismos internacionais.

Carvalhaes afirma que a produção brasileira atende à crescente exigência chinesa de usar processos industriais sustentáveis, em resposta à pressão internacional. "A China joga na atmosfera 12 bilhões de toneladas de dióxido de carbono por ano, o que faz com que o crescimento do país custe muito à humanidade em termos ambientais".

Além de ser certificada, a floresta plantada brasileira é formada basicamente por eucalipto, que é a árvore que mais absorve carbono, diz Carvalhaes. "Os 7 milhões de hectares de floresta retiram da atmosfera 1 bilhão de toneladas de carbono por ano", declarou.