October 9th 2006

China Shakes the World. James Kynge

China Shakes the World. James Kynge. The Rise of A Hungry Nation. 2006.
ISBN 0297852450. The author is a journalist (Economist, BBC, PBS) who
has lived in China since 1985. He traveled all over the country and is
fluent in Mandarin. For this book he also looked at the impact of China
on Italian, German, English and US businesses though visits and
interviews. It is a great read that flows like a novel. The Chinese
juggernaut is driven by the need to create 24 million jobs a year.
Manufacture at all costs ( and loses of which there are legion) is the
creed. Consider that 700 million Chinese live on under $2 per day yet
the EU subsidizes every cow in Europe $2 per day. Lots of nuggets and
criticisms of China are in this book. Due to Mao’s hatred of “nature”
the countries resources have been wasted or destroyed to great measure,
thus the overwhelming need for China to lock up offshore resources. Thus
every time the US ” isolates’ a country for “bad ” behavior, China sees
this as an opportunity to get resources. Thus Iran, the Sudan, Zimbabwe
etc will always have a “friend” in China. US businesses criticism abound
and are based on truths it appears. The Renminbi is fixed at a very low
rate, the govt bans independent unions for migrant workers, the domestic
prices for power, water, and oil are fixed below cost of production,
capital flow is heavily restricted to support Chinese “banks”, many
industries have restrictions on foreign investment, pollution is
exported to neighbors as the govt fails to enforce its own rules, and
illegal felling of overseas rainforests by China-based syndicates.
Worth the read, especially the detailing of all the small to medium
businesses being devastated in the US. It appears that the
multinationals are the ones making the big profits from China. The China
advantage appears to carry some heavy weights with it that may catch up
to all of us.

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