Wednesday, October 21, 2009


After over one year of ups and downs with Google's blogger, my loyalty to the tech giant is slowly fading as its service remains blocked in The People's Republic of China.

Adding insult to injury is this new limit on the number of tags / labels you can use when posting.

Please visit to access all the content you see here on ChinaSouthAmerica and for future updates.

Thank you,


Sunday, October 11, 2009

China and rare earth metals

The Economist has just published a new article about China’s abundant and ever more precious rare earth metals. This adds to a flurry or articles, which have recently made it into major English language publications here in the US and Canada—including the Wall Street Journal, Market Watch and Business Week-Canada.

The value of global rare-earth trade last year was just $1.25 billion, and it is projected to grow to about $3 billion by 2015—not much by most accords. However, the metals in question are absolutely essential for many high tech industries because of their phosphorescent and magnetic properties.

Rare earth metals include terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, lutetium, neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum. These metals, as described by The Columbia Encyclopedia usually occur together in minerals as their oxides ( rare earths ) and are somewhat difficult to separate because of their chemical similarity.

The state-controlled Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Company dominates production of “rare earth metals” in China. Alistair Stephens of Arafura Resources in Australia, explains, “the Chinese realized the strategic importance of rare earths decades before the West.”

Producing the latest flat screen TV’s, smart phones, wine turbines, solar panels and even electric batteries which power America’s new Chevy Volt (battery powered car), are all simply not possible without these rare earth metals.

I am not one to doubt the incredible potential of the free market system, but in this particular situation, Deng Xiaoping was wise not to trust in the free market to dictate his “rare earth metals” policy in the 80’s.

As commodity prices fell in the mid 80’s, rare earth producers in the United States and Canada were priced out of the market. Deng Xiaoping, the man associated with introducing markets in China, instead encouraged the development of mines in the mid-1980s as prices fell dramatically.

Rare earth metals may not generate as much revenue as oil does for Saudi Arabia or Russia, but it is clear if China chokes off supply and begins consuming more of their rare earth metals domestically, the developed world will need to find new sources.

Additional articles on rare earth metals:

Will China Tighten 'Rare Earth' Grip? - The Wall Street Journal

Rare earths are vital; and China owns them all - Market Watch

Rare-earth metals: The new China syndrome - The Canadian Business Week

Saturday, October 10, 2009

China South America is moving ---

After over one year of ups and downs with Google's blogger, my loyalty to the tech giant is slowly fading as its service remains blocked in The People's Republic of China.

Adding insult to injury is this new limit on the number of tags / labels you can use when posting.

Please visit to access all the content you see here on ChinaSouthAmerica and for future updates.

Thank you,


Peruvian Micro-Entrepreneurs head to China

It’s been awhile since CSA last ventured into the world of MicroFinance. Well today some news caught my attention.

About sixteen Peruvian Micro-Entrepreneurs (if that’s the correct term to call them) from various sectors will travel to Guangzhou, China to participate in the 106th Guangzhou Import and Export fair. With a total of 209 countries in attendance, and thousands of exhibitors, this is a big deal for these small Peruvian businesses.

I question if these business are truly worthy of being called the products of micro-finance. I hope that they are, but my gut is telling me it’s quite possible corruption and classic South American favoritism probably led the Peruvian government to carefully handpick a few to send to China.

Ministra de la Producción, Mercedes Aráoz, inauguró Feria de Beneficios
y Oportunidades de Foncopés en IPAE. Foto: ANDINA/Norman Córdova.

On the other hand, if they are truly small micro-enterprises which earned this trip to China through participating in a micro-finance program of some sort, this would be a case and point example of the potential of micro-finance institutions to empower the poor with the tools they need to succeed.

If you can read Spanish please click here to access the article which served the basis for this post.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Al-Qaeda declares holy war on China over repression of Uighurs

According to this Bloomberg article, Abu Yahya al-Libi, the alleged successor to Osama Bin Laden has declared a holy war against the Chinese state for its repression of its Uighur.

Abu Yahya al-Libi has been quoted saying:

"The state of atheism is heading to its fall.”

"China will suffer the same fate as the “Russian bear.”

How China is going to deal with this new threat remains to be seen. Also, how Abu Yahya al-Libi plans to wage this holy war is far from clear. Foreign policy buffs describe some obvious concerns such as the growth of the Xinjiang-based East Turkistan Islamic Movement, which is based in the Taliban-rules areas of Pakistan.

This declaration of sorts comes on the heels of The July riots in the capital of Xinjiang which were the deadliest in China in decades. Bloomberg writes, "Al-Libi’s speech, entitled 'East Turkistan, the Forgotten Wound,' echoed complaints of the Uighurs that decades of government-sponsored migration to the province is making them a minority in their homeland."

Personally, this blogger feels a threat such as a Pakistan based, anti-Chinese (Han) movement is not a major problem in the short-term, but it will no less force China to become more involved over the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

All eyes will be watching next week when members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Shanghai to discuss regional issues. This group includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Xinjiang, or East Turkistan, as many in the Muslim world refer to it lies at the heart of this grouping of Central Asian countries.

Click here to access Bloomberg's article on this topic


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Everyone wants a piece of Uruguay

Hot off the presses… “Investors from Brazil, Argentina, Basque Province of Spain AND China flock to Uruguay.” So hot in fact, the article seems to be running on “Future Standard Time,” because despite the fact it is still October 7th in the US (where I’m writing from) and in Uruguay, its quite curious how the article was published at 12:39am UTC on October 8th…

You can click the highlighted article title above to access the article directly and read all the juicy details about how Uruguay seems to be the place to be.

Interestingly enough it is not because the country is swimming in resource wealth, a cheap labor sector or any of the cliché niches of a “developing country.” Rather because of its excellent record of political stability, the existence of a judicial system which is fair and honors the law and in my opinion… also because of its unique position next door to Brazil—Uruguay’s major economic partner at the moment.

Major investments highlighted in the article include:

Argentina: No particular companies mentioned, but the article describes how Argentina’s investment community has become “disenchanted with the unorthodox policies and uncertainties of their country they have crossed to Uruguay looking for investment opportunities.”

Brazil: In Sept 2009 Brazilian food processing giant, Marfrig acquired a 51% in the Uruguayan Tannery Zenda. Zenda produces upholstery for some of the most prestigious German car brands

Spain (Basque Province): Cultural heritage links many Uruguayans to “la madre patria” aka, the mother country of Spain, and specifically to the Basque region. Finance minister Alvaro García met with Basque entrepreneurs who expressed “a firm interest to invest in different sectors.”

China: In Sept 2009, a delegation of Uruguayan entrepreneurs attended China’s International Investment and Trade Fair and returned with news Chinese investors were interested in investing in Uruguay’s infrastructure sector; including its ports, energy sector and water treatment facilities.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October fire sale! Russian credit & Rubles accepted

Rigzone reported today that a Russian oil consortium would not have the pay the $1 billion usd Venezuela had previously requested as a down payment in order to partake in tapping Venezuela's Orinoco oil fields.

Instead, the Russian consortium will only have to pay $600 million usd. Sounds like a nice 40% bargain to this blogger. It's a nice deal if you ask me, which coincidentally comes on the heels of Venezuela's securing a large credit line from Russia to buy military equipment.

Orinoco Belt Regions - [Rigzone, 10-6-09]

According to this Dow Jones Newswire published by Rigzone,

The Chavez-led government has talked about plans for nearly $70 billion in oil investments over the coming years as this oil-rich nation seeks to ramp up dwindling production numbers and boost its sagging economy.

But so far, nearly all those plans are based only on memorandums of understanding, with no solid investment commitments from foreign oil companies.

Sounds like Venezuela is becoming increasingly hungry not only for foreign investment, but also to cement its relations with a geopolitical power like the Russian Federation.

Click here to read the newswire article from Rigzone, which I must admit does a far better job at detailing the situation than the
concise, and slightly cynical analysis published here at China South America (CSA).


Strike continues at Shougang in Peru (update)

Reuters released their latest update on the ongoing strike occurring at Chinese owned iron ore mine, Shougang.

LIMA (Reuters) - Shougang Peru operations stopped by strike

Shougang Hierro Peru, the country's only iron ore producer, said on Monday a week-old strike at its mine had halted production and slowed mineral shipments.

The company's comments were its first since some 1,200 workers walked off the job more than a week ago in a bid to pressure Shougang (SHP.LM: Quote) to raise wages.

"Workers are on strike, therefore (the mine) is not producing," Raul Vera, Shougang's chief executive, told Reuters.

Click here to access the complete update on the situation, courtesy of Reuters


Chile, Copper and BHP Billiton

Newswire / CSA Commentary --


Chile copper output rises 7.8%

Copper output in Chile, the world's biggest producer, rose 7.8% in August from a year earlier after state-owned Codelco and BHP Billiton boosted production, the government said.

Output increased to 459,823t from 426,689t a year earlier, the country's national statistics agency said in a statement distributed in Santiago today.

Click here to access the complete article


Likewise, as this next article exhibits, BHP’s full year profit forecast may be substantially larger than previously thought…


BHPB profit forecast raised 22% on copper, RBS says

BHPB's profit after tax may be US$10.68 billion in the year ending June 30, analysts led by Warren Edney said in a report dated yesterday. Profit may be US$14.9 billion in the year ending June 30, 2011, up 11% on an earlier forecast, he said.

Click here to access the complete article


However, we’ll see how this all plays out when BHP’s workers meet next week to vote a potential strike


BHPB Chile copper workers to vote on strike next week

BHP Billiton workers at the Spence copper mine in Chile will vote whether to go on strike next week after rejecting the company's latest pay offer, a union official said...

Workers may start a strike on October 3 for an indefinite period if they fail to get more of a pay increase, Mr Ramirez said yesterday...

Click here to access the complete article


All while yet another big player in the copper sector ups their 2010 forecast of avg copper prices


Chile's Sonami sees 2010 avg copper price $2.50/lb

Chile's second biggest mining association, Sonami, expects the average price of copper to rise by up to 19 percent next year, which might encourage the continuation of more copper projects in the South American nation, its president told Reuters on Monday.

The average copper price may rise to $2.50 per lb in 2010 from an average of $2.10 to $2.30 this year, Sonami's Alfredo Ovalle said in an interview at a forum in Santiago.

Click here to access the complete article



Sunday, October 4, 2009

RBS forecasts copper prices may hit a new record by 2013

Copper is likely to reach a new high by 2013 as the market moves into a deficit and further tightens in the coming years, RBS Global Banking & Markets said on Thursday.

"Copper remains our most favoured base metal," RBS said in a research note, in which it forecast an average cash copper price of $9,000 a tonne by 2013, a rise of more than 46% from the current cash MCU0 price on the London Metal Exchange. Benchmark three-month copper price MCU3 hit a record high of $8,940 a tonne in July 2008 and traded at $6,115 a tonne on Thursday.

"Copper's demand prospects are not among the best but we believe copper producers will have the most difficulty in keeping up with growing demand. We forecast an underlying market deficit by 2011 and that by 2013 it will be fast approaching pre-recession tightness," the bank said.

Copper, used extensively in construction, has doubled in price since the beginning of the year on the back of restocking from China, the world's top consumer of the metal and on expectations of a recovery in the global growth.


Click here to access the full article from Mineweb

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Congratulations Rio de Janeiro; let the party begin

China parade marks anniversary

A nice show of retro-decadence if you ask this blogger. Pretty impressive nonetheless and indicative of China's emergence as a global power. Although, as many articles here in the West have pointed out, this type of parade was not meant to scare Western observers. Rather it was meant to dazzle and impress the 1.4 billion Chinese, and that it did...

Oct 1 - China puts up a spectacularly choreographed show of military might to mark the 60th anniversary of the birth of the People's Republic of China.

Puja Bharwani of Reuters reports.

Reuters Update: Strike at Shougang Peru mine enters fifth day

A strike of some 1,200 workers at Shougang Hierro Peru (SHP.LM), a unit of China's Shougang Group, entered its fifth day on Friday with no end in sight, union leaders said.

"We don't see a solution, there's no dialogue with the company," said Julian Sulca, a union official.

Click here to access the full article from Reuters

Monday, September 28, 2009

Protests erupt in Peru at Chinese owned miner Shougang

Reuters reported a few days back that workers at the Chinese owned Shougang Hierro Peru (SHP.LM), which happens to the only iron producer in the country of Peru, were planning a strike.

Well today the workers took action. A leader of the workers union told Reuters reporters "that all 1,200 workers at the mine had joined the labor action."

More updates to come in the days to come. Click here to access the Reuters wire on this story directly.

Back in action after 10 day hyades

Apologies to readers who check this site on a frequent basis for the lack of recent updates. I've been traveling and preparing for some big changes. Updates to resume this afternoon. For now, feast your eyes on China's preparation for its 60 year celebrations of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Sep 28 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities expect 200 million people to be on the move over this year's October National holiday and China's 60th anniversary.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Japan; a look at the growth strategy of the world's 2nd largest economy

Sep 17 (Reuters) - Japan's new government is crawling out of the worst post-War recession ever, but its ability to spend is growing more limited.

Sino-Brazilian Cooperation

Loro Horta presents a good analysis of the growth and future direction of Sino-Brazilian Cooperation.

The dragon and anaconda: China, Brazil and power balance in Americas

By Loro Horta
Published on September 16, 2009

The Sino-Brazilian strategic partnership signed nearly two decades ago has, in recent years, begun to produce some impressive results. In 2007 trade between the two giants reached US$29 billion and grew to an impressive $43 billion by the end of 2008. This expanding economic relationship is being complemented with a corresponding growth in their political and diplomatic partnership.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
after signing the joint communique at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China,
May 19, 2009. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Both countries have cooperated in very sensitive areas such as space technology, aviation and military-related technologies. Since the early 1990s the two countries have launched three jointly-developed satellites and are co-producing a medium-range commercial jetliner. American defence and intelligence officials have expressed concern over such ties, claiming that Brazil was passing to China sensitive satellite and remote sensing technology in exchange for Chinese ballistic missile know-how.

Brazil is indeed a very important source of technology for a China that has been restricted by arms sanctions by the West following Tiananmen. Brazilian weapons have reached as far as Southeast Asia, when Malaysia acquired 18 Astros multiple rocket launchers (MRLS), causing concern in Singapore in the early years of the current decade.

Brazil is not just a major military technology provider, but also a supplier of civilian products. This was clearly demonstrated in August 2007 when it signed a $1.3 billion contract to sell commercial jetliners to Lufthansa and Japan Airlines.

An example of the closeness of Sino-Brazilian military ties came in May this year when Brazilian defence minister Nelson Jobim announced that Chinese fighter pilots would be trained on the Brazilian aircraft carrier Sao Paulo. Jobim's announcement came shortly after a senior Chinese military official publicly stated Beijing's intention to acquire an aircraft carrier in the near future. Bearing in mind that very few countries in the world possess an aircraft carrier and that they are all close US allies, the Brazilian gesture no doubt attests to the importance of Brazil as a source of military technology and know-how.

The energy sector is fast emerging as one of the most important areas of cooperation between the two nations. Brazilian national oil company Petrobras and China have signed several agreements for the construction of various sections of a massive $6 billion pipeline to transport Brazil's growing energy exports to China. In May this year the Chinese government signed a loan of $10 billion to Petrobras to assist it in developing the newly discovered Tupi oil fields.

In exchange, Brazil is to supply Chinese state-owned Sinopec with 200,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 10 years - nearly 7 per cent of China's oil needs. Petrobras is also reported to be transferring deep-water drilling technology to Chinese state-owned companies - an area where China has been rather unsuccessful. Most of its oil activities in China and throughout the world are on shore or in relatively shallow waters.

Click here to read the full analysis


Studies to Eliminate Dollar in Brazil-China Trade Going Slow

China and Brazil have created a work group to study the possibility of implementation of a bilateral trade program in their respective currencies, in replacement of the North American dollar, said a source in the Central Bank of Brazil.

"The negotiations are still in an initial phase, with a work group having been created with representatives of Brazil and China, who also met during the G-20 summit, in London," explained a source.

The next step should be the visit of a Central Bank of Brazil delegation to China, "despite there being no forecast as to when it may come true," said the source.

The work group should analyze the "results to be reached through an agreement that China recently established with Argentina" - the first country in South America to benefit from trade exchanges in the same currency with the Asian giant and with whom Brazil has also been developing the same program since September 2008.

The Central Banks of China and Brazil are also going to develop a "study of the potential bilateral trade volume to analyze the possibility of an agreement."

Click here to read the full article

Written by Newsroom
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
[Source] -


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jim Rogers Investment strategy in time of crisis CNBC

Words of wisdom, as usual, from my man Jim Rogers.

"Protectionism is getting worse and worse. I'm terribly worried about because protectionism lead to the Great Depression... I'm worried about a lot of things. A 50% rise in 6-9 months is something to worry about. You usually have corrections after that.

The rise of the Yuan

Yuan Inflows to Rise as Dollar Loses Luster, WisdomTree Says -- Bloomberg

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Investors are putting more money into the yuan
on bets China will allow appreciation in the exchange rate to make it
more accepted as an international currency, according to WisdomTree
Investments Inc.

A weak dollar, linked to concern about record amounts of debt in the
U.S., will drive more funds into China and emerging markets given
prospects growth rates will exceed those in developed countries, Bruce
Lavine, president of investment firm WisdomTree, said in an interview.

Lavine said in each of the last three months there was an inflow of
$25 million into his $142 million Chinese Yuan Exchange-Traded Fund,
which was started in May 2008 and invests mostly in yuan
non-deliverable forwards. ETFs are listed on an exchange where they
are bought and sold daily like stocks.

"Five years from now you will see a thoroughly different landscape in
terms of internationalization of the yuan," said New York-based
Lavine, whose funds oversee $5.1 billion in assets. "When the dam
finally breaks, it happens faster than you think."

To access the full article please visit --

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, September 14, 2009

China, Costa Rica make progress in free trade talks - AFP

SAN JOSE — China and Costa Rica concluded the fourth round of negotiations in Beijing aimed at reaching a free trade agreement, according to the foreign trade ministry.

Costa Rica -- which gave up six decades of ties with Taiwan in favor of China two years ago -- is the third Latin American country to negotiate a free trade deal with China, after Chile and Peru.

In the round of talks that ended Thursday agreements were reached for more than 90 percent of each country's exports, the trade ministry said.

Costa Rican exports include coffee, bananas, fruit juices, cigars, pork, beef and chicken, said Costa Rican chief negotiator Fernando Ocampo...

Click here to access the full article from AFP


Use it or lose it!

BEIJING, Sept 14 (Reuters) - China's finance ministry on Monday ordered local governments to use money allotted to them under a 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package quickly and efficiently, or else risk losing out on future spending.

The central government could "delay or cut" further allocations of money to those provincial governments that do not use their existing stimulus funds appropriately or do not raise enough of their own funds to complete the projects, the ministry said in a statement on its website (

The move aimed to "ensure that projects backed by the central government get started in time and that budgeting for them is accelerated, in order to achieve our strategic goal of expanding domestic demand and promoting economic growth," it said.

Click here to access the full article from Reuters


Sunday, September 13, 2009

China Unicom and Spain's Telefonica team up

"China Unicom (NYSE: CHU) gains after the mainland's No.2 wireless player reaches a deal with Spain's Telefonica (NYSE: TEF)."

[Source] - Reuters


Newswire: China and Mongolia

1) Wen Signals Unprecedented Spending Will Drive Chinese Rebound - Bloomberg

China's Premier Wen Jiabao signaled he will maintain unprecedented
government spending to drive a recovery from the slowest expansion in
almost a decade.

"China's economic rebound is unstable, unbalanced and not yet solid,"
Wen said yesterday in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Dalian,
a city in northeastern China. "We cannot and will not change the
direction of our policies when the conditions aren't appropriate."

To read the full article please visit -

2) Standard Bank Borrows $1 Billion From Chinese Banks

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa's largest lender, said the $1 billion
loan facility it signed with four Chinese banks will be mainly used
for clients developing projects on the continent.

"The money will be used mainly to support our Africa business, for
clients wanting to do business in Africa and this would include
Chinese clients," said Chief Executive Officer Jacko Maree, after
signing the five-year facility in Macau. It will be used mainly to
fund projects, he added.

To read the full article please visit -

3) Mongolia Fund to Manage $30 Billion Mining Jackpot

The Mongolian government will set up a sovereign wealth fund using
mining royalties and tax revenue, and distribute part of the income to
citizens to alleviate poverty, said Finance Minister Sangajav

The fund, to be run by professional managers from 2013, will disburse
part of its annual income to every Mongolian in cash or non-cash
securities to let them own stakes in the country's mining wealth,
Bayartsogt said. Initial capital will be drawn from Ivanhoe Mines
Ltd.'s $4 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper- gold mine project, estimated to
generate $30 billion in tax revenue over 50 years, he said.

"We're drafting the idea to implement the proposal, and we're
studying examples like the Alaskan Permanent Fund," Bayartsogt said in
a Sept. 9 interview in the capital Ulaanbaatar, declining to specify
the size of the proposed fund.

To read the full article please visit -

Sent from my mobile device


Ideology vs profit; Colombia and Venezuela's trade dispute gets nasty

Economist Article --

Venezuela and Colombia -- Politics versus trade

From The Economist print edition
Hugo Chávez stamps out regional economic integration

BUSINESS is slack at José Nelson Uribe’s tiny grocery store in San Antonio del Táchira, just a stone’s throw from Venezuela’s border with Colombia. “I’m not selling even a quarter of what I sold before,” says Mr Uribe. His woes are a result of the political conflict between his namesake, Colombia’s president, Álvaro Uribe, and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. “Before” means before July 28th, when Mr Chávez declared a “freeze” on diplomatic ties and said he would seek alternatives to Colombian goods. This was officially a response to an agreement formalising American use of seven Colombian bases for anti-drug operations, but it also coincided with questions as to how anti-tank rocket-launchers sold by Sweden to the Venezuelan army ended up in a camp belonging to the FARC guerrillas in Colombia. It is not the first time that Mr Chávez has threatened trade sanctions, but this time he seems serious.

The impact on the border region was swift. For each country, the other is the second-biggest trading partner (after the United States in both cases). Bilateral trade totalled $7.2 billion last year, of which $6 billion consisted of Colombian exports, mainly of food, live animals, clothing and cars. Four-fifths of that trade passed along the twisting mountain road that links San Antonio with the state capital, San Cristóbal. “That represents 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect [ones],” says José Rozo, a local business leader. Many of these are in transport firms and customs agencies. “Before, the local lorry drivers were doing around 500 trips a day,” Mr Rozo says. “Now it’s down to about 80.” Industry in Táchira has been hit too, since many companies depended on imports from Colombia.

The border is not closed. But few of the 30,000 Colombians who used to cross each day to shop do so now, because Venezuela’s National Guard confiscates their goods when they recross the border, says Mr Uribe, the shopkeeper. Venezuela’s government has stopped issuing import permits, nor is it providing dollars at the official exchange rate for imports from Colombia (a dollar costs almost three times more on the parallel market)...

Click here to read the complete article from the Economist


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A few words of wisdom from Confucius

Happy b-lated Labor Day to all my fellow US-Americans out there in cyberspace. I hope you spent it with friends and family and made it to work this morning without a hangover.

CSA (China South America) is going to begin the US work week with some rather enlightening words of wisdom from one of the wise men of the ancient world -- Confucius.

Confucius on Self-Cultivation --
"The man of virtue only practices what hes practiced."

Confucius on Humanity and Morality --
"A man who has faith in humanity always puts a lot of hard work before he is duly rewarded. Such a man may be regarded as a bearer of the virtue of humanity."

Confucius on Education --
"When you know a thing, say that you know it; when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is wisdom."

Confucius on State Governing --
"Incorrect wording of status will lead to an irrational stream of speech; irrational stream of speech will lead to failure in handling affairs; failure in handling affairs will lead to impossibility to promote the rites and music; impossibility to promote the rites and music will lead to improperness in enacting penalty; improperness in enacting the penalty will lead to panic among the people."

Confucius on Family --
"A son should keep in mind the age of his parents, for he should feel joyful for their healthiness and at the same time fearful for their aging."

Confucius on Philosophy --
"If one fails in making friends with those who are well established in the doctrine of the mean, one should associate with those are are ambitious and those who adhere to moral principles. Those who are ambitious tend to be enterprising and those are adhere to moral principles seldom do evil deeds."

~ Confucius 551 BC – 479 BC


Thursday, September 3, 2009

World Bank discusses investing in Africa with China Investment Fund

BEIJING -- World Bank President Robert Zoellick said he is talking to Chinese government officials about cooperating on investments in Africa, which he said could help boost the continent's economic growth.

Mr. Zoellick told reporters Wednesday during a visit to the Chinese capital that China Investment Corp., the nation's sovereign-wealth fund, has expressed interest in investing in the World Bank's recently launched asset management company, which invests private-sector funds into places like sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick
On Wed, stated he will press Group of 20
for more aid to developing countries [WSJ]

"CIC expressed interest in this as a commercial investment vehicle, but obviously there is no decision yet on their part," Mr. Zoellick said. Other sovereign-wealth funds and pension funds are also interested in the new investment vehicle, he said, which manages some $4 billion in funds.

Click here to read J.R. Wu and Andrew Batson's complete article at the WSJ


Brazil, India, South Africa to Broaden "Voice of the South"

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sep 1 (IPS) - The sixth ministerial meeting of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) forum agreed Tuesday in Brasilia to strengthen the dialogue between the three emerging powers in order to establish common positions on regional and international matters and boost South-South cooperation.

The IBSA forum was created in 2003 as a mechanism for political consultation and coordination and to bolster economic relations between India, Brazil and South Africa.

IBSA provides a platform for the three large multicultural and multiracial democracies from three different continents to engage in discussions on cooperation in areas like agriculture, trade, defence and culture.

The three countries have a total combined population of nearly 1.4 million people and a combined GDP of more than 3.2 trillion dollars.

At their meeting in the Brazilian capital, foreign ministers Celso Amorin of Brazil, S.M. Krishna of India and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa said they hoped trade among the three countries would climb from 10 billion dollars last year to 25 billion by 2015.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, the ministers said the channel of dialogue that has been established should serve to broaden the collective voice of the South. They also called for regional cooperation mechanisms based on common experiences and complementarities.

Click here to read the complete article by Fabiana Frayssinet

[Source] -- Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Newswire: China and friends! From all around the world

"Chinese officials size up long-term potential in Sino-African
economic collaborations" --

Although Sino-African trade had weakened during the global financial
crisis, Chinese and African enterprises could strengthen their
collaboration and emerge from the downturn together, Chinese trade
officials said at a trade fair Wednesday. Huang Xiwen, chief of Jilin
Province's Commerce bureau, said at the 2009 China Africa Economic and
Trade Cooperation Seminar that local enterprises had been vigorously
developing business with African companies. He said 19 local companies
had invested ..

China and France seeking to develop bilateral ties --

"China and France seeking to develop bilateral ties"Vice Premier Wang
Qishan said Wednesday China had always valued its relationship with
France, and said he hoped the two countries could work together to
promote bilateral ties. Wang met Jean-David Levitte, a diplomatic
adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy Wednesday. Relations had
developed smoothly on the whole since the two countries forged
diplomatic ties 45 years ago, he said. Wang said he hoped the two
countries could handle the relationship from a strategic and long-term

"China, Laos vow to reinforce friendly ties" --

China and Laos reaffirmed their determination to further advance their
traditional friendly relations as senior leaders of the ruling parties
of the two countries met in Beijing Wednesday. He Guoqiang, member of
the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met Sisavath
Keobounphanh, chairman of the Central Committee of the Lao Front for
National Reconstruction. Sisavath Keobounphanh, 81, has visited China
many times over t ...

"Japan-China ties to be further promoted following DPJ takes reins:
senior DPJ official" --

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Katsuya Okada
said Wednesday that the DPJ will continue to advance Japan-China
relations after taking the reins of government. Okada made the remarks
at a symposium to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the
People's Republic of China following the DPJ's landslide victory over
the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the lower house election
Sunday. "The DPJ has, as always, attached great importance to
Japan-China relations and ...

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

China's Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean - MercoPress Analysis

[Source] -- MercroPress

On November 5, 2008, the Chinese government released a policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean, as it had previously done so for Europe in 2003 and for Africa in 2006.

Although it may not come as a huge surprise that Latin America is the most recent region for which China has formally spelled out its foreign policy position, the region has been historically perceived as being under the United States’ sphere of influence. Perhaps the importance of the Chinese policy paper lies in the timing of its release. The release of the paper deliberately coincided with the unfolding of the current financial crisis; this congruence of events has allowed China to expand its influence in this somewhat neglected region without attracting any lasting venom from the U.S. China’s policy paper formally evidences the importance of Latin America and the Caribbean as part of China’s growth plan for its long-term strategic interests. Most of all, this includes access to raw materials as well as a plethora of natural resources, the infiltration of new foreign markets, the reduction of diplomatic support for the Republic of Taiwan, and the strengthening of Beijing political standing on the global stage through strong alliances cemented with the developing world.
The policy paper’s general context

The policy paper explicitly states its main objective is to “clarify the goals of China’s policy in this region, outline the guiding principles for future cooperation […] and sustain the sound, steady and all-around growth of China’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.” In the economic realm, China expresses an interest in investing in energy, mineral resources, forestry, fishing and agriculture, areas important to expanding China’s productivity. Additionally, the Chinese government seems to show interest in infrastructure projects not directly related to its economy, albeit essential in the transportation of natural resources, and proposes to fund these projects in order to be perceived as a partner in development. Furthermore, China expresses its desire to increase military diplomacy and sale of equipment to the region. Although many of the report’s statements are merely rhetoric and general in scope, the paper helps formalize China’s economic, diplomatic and military ties with Latin America, which were first proposed by then President of China Jiang Zemin in 2001.

The policy paper was released against the backdrop of the current financial crisis and the corresponding economic hardships that have severely hit the U.S. and Europe. Its publication deliberately coincided with the emergency G-20 meeting to discuss the economic crisis that was about to take place in Washington. More importantly, it preceded Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Peru for the November 2008 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, at which he presented China’s foreign policy towards Latin America. This timing of the paper’s release was especially important for the countries seeking to diversify their export markets and decrease their dependence on declining Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the US and Europe. With the vast foreign reserves accumulated by China –which totalled US $1.95 trillion in December 2008– the region had valid reasons to closely follow the summit’s developments.

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Newswire: South America

[Brazil] -- Brazil strengthens state control over offshore oil reserves -- Xinhua
Brazil announced on Monday new oil exploration rules to increase state control over its recently discovered offshore oil reserves.

Under the plan, the state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras will be the sole operator of the new oil reserves. It will also have a minimum 30-percent stake in all future projects in the pre-salt layer fields.

Brazil Tries to Maximize Offshore Oil Bonanza-- Latin America Herald Tribine
Brazilian President Lula revealed the government's plans to make Brazil one of the top 10 oil producers in the world and develop what he believes are the world's 9th largest oil reserves, but his announcement of increased state control and further equity sales shook markets, causing Petrobras to lose $7 billion in value in one day.

Petrobras Loses $7 Billion Value as Lula Seeks Stake -- Bloomberg
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s plans for the development of the country’s offshore oil fields stripped Petroleo Brasileiro SA investors of $7 billion in a day.

The proposal, announced yesterday, may allow the state to boost its stake in the company and ensure most income from oil exploration “stays in the hands of our people,” Lula said at a press conference in Brasilia. Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro- based company is known, led the Bovespa stock index to the biggest drop in the Americas yesterday after the announcement.

[Venezuela] -- Chavez Says Venezuela Will Continue Oil Exports to U.S. -- Latin America Herald Tribine
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that his country will continue exporting oil to the United States because it is in the Andean nation’s interest.

Chavez said in a statement published in the Lima daily El Comercio that “many people don’t know” that Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA, through its Citgo subsidiary, has seven large refineries and more than 10,000 service stations on U.S. soil.

“Venezuela can’t take a decision against ourselves. We send the oil to our refineries and to our distribution systems in the United States,” he said.

Caracas Stock Market Up 3% for the Week -- Up 41% for the Year -- Latin America Herald Tribine
The Caracas Stock Index rose 3.16% for the week to close at 49,507 mostly on the back on the continued rise of Sivensa shares on continued optimism over the buyback of its shares to be considered at its shareholders meeting next week. Sivensa shares rose sharply, closing at Bs. 16.5 for a 37.5% rise.

[Peru] -- Two Wounded in Rebel Attack, Peruvian TV Reports -- Latin American Herald Tribine
At least two soldiers were wounded in an attack apparently mounted by Shining Path guerrillas Monday against a counterinsurgency base in central Peru’s Junin province, Canal N television reported.

The guerrillas opened fire around 3:30 a.m. on the Jose Olaya base in the strife-torn Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, known as the VRAE region, Canal N said.

[Bolivia] -- Morales Named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by UN General Assembly-- Latin America Herald Tribine
The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Rev. Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, on Saturday declared Bolivian President Evo Morales as “World Hero of Mother Earth” in a ceremony at the presidential palace in this capital.

With a medal and a parchment scroll, the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization named Morales “the maximum exponent and paradigm of love for Mother Earth” in the resolution for his decoration that was read during the ceremony.

Bolivia Cries Foul Over Peru Plans for Drilling in Titicaca -- Latin America Herald Tribine
Bolivian President Evo Morales’ government will present a formal complaint to Peru over its plans to drill for oil in Lake Titicaca without consulting La Paz, state-run news agency ABI reported.

Hydrocarbons Minister Oscar Coca sent Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry a note requesting that a formal complaint be made since the body of water straddles the border between the two nations, ABI said.

“Since Lake Titicaca is a bi-national area, it’s obvious that there can’t be unilateral actions” and therefore the matter requires a diplomatic solution, Coca said.

[Cuba] -- Cuba endeavors to raise farm output amid economic downturn -- Xinhua
Pressured by a global economic crisis and a stern U.S. economic blockade that has lasted nearly half a century, Cuba is actively seeking ways to boost its agricultural production.

The measures include turning over land close to cities to residents to plow, replacing fuel-burning tractors with oxen, redistributing fallow land and raising the prices of state-regulated farm products.


Monday, August 31, 2009

China Mobile's OPhone debuts in Beijing

Can anyone else catch that intense aroma of bootleg in the air? I don't mean to point fingers at China because hey... all the major mobile company's around the world have made Iphone / smart phones that are comparable to the Iphone.

These phones are China's homegrown challenge to the Iphone which has finally reached a "non-exclusive" agreement with China Unicom, which will be the initial carrier Apple works with in the mainland.

Employees of China Mobile show off different designs of OPhone
handsets at the first-issuing ceremony in Beijing, China, August 31, 2009.
(Xinhua/Yuan Zhou)

(Xinhua/Yuan Zhou)

I say... Let the competition begin. I just wonder if something shady is going going on behind the scenes because China Mobile and China Unicom are more like reflections of one another in terms of their company structure and place in the Chinese economy. Yes, China Mobile is bigger and has far great market share, and yes both company's have separate management and are traded on different tickers on various stock exchanges.

Nonetheless, the government has a heavy hand in both and I wonder how Apple is dealing. A friend of mine who is quite observant and logical once told me

"Government wants two big company's to make illusion of real competition, but read story is two company's mean more important jobs for people with connections and image of fair market."

I personally own shares of China Unicom ADR here in the states. Meaning... despite what people tell me about the real situation with telecoms in China, officially, I buy into the hype.

China Unicom (CHU) -
Year to date performance Aug 31, 2009


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Japan DPJ Election Win Brings ‘Bloodless Revolution’ -- Bloomberg

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Democratic Party of Japan swept to power
for the first time as the nation's voters turned their backs on half a
century of single-party government that failed to reverse economic
stagnation and spiraling welfare costs.

The DPJ, led by 62-year-old Yukio Hatoyama, captured at least 306 of
480 lower-house seats, public broadcaster NHK said. Prime Minister
Taro Aso indicated he would resign as head of the Liberal Democratic
Party, which lost almost two-thirds of its lawmakers in a complete
reversal of the last election in 2005.

"This is a bloodless revolution, the first transfer of power from one
party to another in postwar Japan," said Tomoaki Iwai, a political
science professor at Nihon University in Tokyo. "The DPJ now faces the
tough task of delivering on its promises and showing the Japanese
public it can change the system."

Hatoyama, who quit the LDP in 1993, has pledged to revive an economy
emerging from its deepest recession since World War II by boosting
child-care spending, cutting taxes and curtailing the power of
bureaucrats. His grandfather founded the LDP in 1955 and became the
first of that party's 22 prime ministers.

"This election has been all about changing the government," Hatoyama
said in a nationally televised press conference. "Everything starts


To acess the full Bloomberg article please visit:

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Argentina could potentially attract $10 billion to its stock market if restrictions are lifted, reports Bloomberg

Argentina’s stock exchange called on the government to lift capital controls that caused it to become the only major Latin America market classified as “frontier,” adding the move may help lure $10 billion in foreign investment.

A requirement for international investors to deposit 30 percent of what they put in Argentina with the central bank for a year “have stopped making sense,” Adelmo Gabbi, the Buenos Aires stock exchange’s chairman, said yesterday in a speech.

Capital controls prompted MSCI Inc. to remove Argentina from its benchmark emerging-market index in June, assigning it the so-called frontier status along with the world’s least developed markets. The controls have helped Argentina avoid volatility, said President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Argentina's stock exchange, Buenos Aires
Image courtesy of Business Week

“We have to seek a rule so that the inflow of funds won’t be speculative,” she said, without elaborating.


“The deposit requirement was imposed in 2005 and was one of the forces that allowed us to confront the brutal volatility of the markets during the crisis,” Fernandez responded yesterday in a speech at the Buenos Aires stock exchange.

Fernandez’s husband and predecessor Nestor Kirchner imposed deposit requirement in order to discourage speculators from investing in local markets after the country restructured about $104 billion in bonds...

Click here to access the full article from Bloomberg


Thursday, August 27, 2009

China becomes L America's privileged partner: ECLAC official

Xinhua news reports,

China has become a "privileged partner of Latin America," and the region needs to define a joint strategy to develop its ties with China, an official of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Wednesday.

The "post- (economic) crisis will find a bigger and more important China than the one it has been in the world economy," said Osvaldo Rosales, ECLAC's director for international trade and integration.

Citing the World Trade Organization's report on Tuesday that China had displaced Germany in the first half of 2009 as a leading exporter, Rosales observed that "this has been reflected in its (China's) growing relative presence in the world's trade, mainly in Latin America."
"The numbers of destinations and exporters show that China has become a privileged partner of Latin America," Rosales told Xinhua in an interview.

This was because the Chinese government had "already defined the strategy for Latin America in its white book," Rosales explained, adding that the region needed to do the same.

Regarding bilateral trade relations, Rosales worried about Latin America's export structure, which focused on a few products and natural resources. He called for a diversification of the export basket.

"Latin America is in some ways linked with China, the world economy's engine of the 21st century, but it is doing that with an export structure from the 20th century," Rosales observed.

Click here to read the full story from Xinhua


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Fear grips Chinese students in Australia" -- Xinhua

Chinese students in Australia are scared for their safety following a
string of disappearances and murders involving Asians in the country.
Jia Li, 29, a University of Sydney student, said young Chinese were
staying away from late-night events and avoiding walking alone. "I
don't go out at night and ask friends to accompany me after night
courses. I avoid the back seats in buses. I tell my boyfriend before I
go somewhere and my classmates also tell friends about their
whereabouts ...

Read the full story @

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Monday, August 24, 2009

China's ethnic regions also home to abundant mineral wealth

Two articles grabbed my attention from this morning. They both relate to the fact China's ethnic regions also happen to be home to a great proportion of the countries commodity and energy wealth.

You can click on the titles of each respective article to access the stories in full from

--> Tibet has copper ore reserves of 30 mln t, half of China's total

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has geological copper ore reserves of more than 30 million tons, accounting for over a half of the country's total, according to the region's geological prospecting bureau.

The bureau director said that Tibet is the largest region in China by its copper resources reserves. By 2008, 329 copper ore deposits had been found in the region, including 11 large deposits and six mid-size ones. Its Qulong copper ore mine, the largest one in Asia, is estimated to possess copper reserves of more than 10 million tons.

Tibet - Potala Palace
[Photo I personally took
during a trip I made to
the region in December 2006,
Bennett A. Reiss]

--> 1st Kunming Mining & Cooperation Forum (Sept 2-4, 2009)

Entering the 21st century, the global mining industry is writing a new chapter. It is an era of resource economy. Mining market becomes more open and capitalized. Mineral exploring as well as financing becomes more diversified.

Yunnan is rich in natural resources, known as "the Kingdom of non-ferrous metals". More than 150 kinds of minerals have been proved there, accounting for 92.6% of Chinese total. Among the proved 92 minerals, 9 of them have the largest reserves in China and 21 of them are listed within top three. Mining as one of the five pillar industries in Yunnan plays an important role in the development of the local economy.

Earlier this summer another ethnic region grabbed world headlines. Does the region of Xinjiang ring any bells? Xinjiang is home to a large number of China's ethnic Muslims, is culturally quite similar to other republics in central Asia and is often referred to as East Turkestan. Xinjiang is also on track to become China's most important oil and gas producing region.

This article, "Xinjiang's oil and gas equivalent ranks first in China" is from little over a year ago (July 2008), asserts that Xinjiang has already passed Daqing (China's other oil producing region) as the number region in oil and gas output.

As one hand seizes development, the other taps into the potential to allow Xinjiang's oil output to soar. The latest statistics show that Xinjiang's annual oil and gas equivalent output has already exceeded that in Daqing and ranks the first in the country.

The third national resources evaluation shows that: Xinjiang's total oil and natural gas resource reserves exceeded 30 billion tons. Although it is rich in resources, Xinjiang still requires development and a reduction in consumption. Recently, Xinjiang has been producing 75,000 tons of crude oil daily, occupying 14.4 percent of the country's daily crude oil output. In 2007, Xinjiang's oil and gas equivalent reached 44.94 million tons, and ranked at the top.

In all likelihood, the development of commodity sectors in these regions will be controlled by Beijing...not locals. What industries can these regions develop as to diversify their economic development from commodity sector led growth?

Yunnan and Tibet have great potential for becoming tourist meccas in China. Yunnan, the less politically sensitive of the two, has already emerged as one of China's most popular tourist destinations.

Furthermore, Yunnan's strategic location in SE Asia put it in a good place to be at the center of the future growth of trade and exchange between China and the countries of Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos.

[Map courtesy of]

Tibetan tourism is growing as well, but remains inhibited by the sporadic changing of restrictions and the need to acquire a special internal visa or permission to visit.

When analyzing this situation from a the perspective of the people in the Chinese government determining domestic policy, China can not and will not simply let three of its most resource rich regions control the development their natural resource industries.

Sad as it may be for some members of the minority groups in these regions,
one thing is sure--Xinjiang, Tibet and Yunnan are all going to remain integral pieces of China for a long time and be subject to increased inflows of ethnic Han Chinese seeking economic opportunities.

Let me clearly state, the opinions expressed in this analysis not reflect how I the author, (Bennett A. Reiss) feel on a personal level. Allow me to try to put things into perspective with two analogies which I feel help explain the Chinese point of view.

Canada is full of resources from top to bottom. I am by no means an expert, but I highly doubt the Eskimo and Native American populations have much say about development of Canadian mining and energy companies in their ancestral territories.

Likewise, a more mainstream analogy might be the US in Iraq. To the "logic" driven Chinese bureaucrat, China is far more justified in their domestic policy towards these resource rich regions than the United States is in Iraq. On the surface the US is subjugating a foreign population in a country half way across the globe from its own territory. China in its own official opinion is not subjecting anyone, and to further add to the Chinese argument, these regions have been a part of China for centuries if not thousands of years.

Even if your feelings on the war in Iraq produce other rationalizations for the US invasion (outside of oil), try to justify this to a country with over 1.4 billion people to feed and improve the lives of.

I welcome debate in this area to any readers who would like to discuss this topic further.