Arise！ You who refuse to be bound slaves！ Let's stand up and fight for Liberty and true democracy！ All the world is facing The change of tyranny， Everyone who wants freedom is now crying： Arise！ Arise！ Arise！ All of us in one heart， With the torch of freedom， March on！ With the torch of freedom， March on！ March on！ March on and on！
The Chinese National Anthem: March of the Volunteers
The official anthem of China is March of the Volunteers 义勇军进行曲 (Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ). It was written in 1935 by the poet and playwright Tian Han, and the composer Nie Er.
The song honored soldiers and revolutionaries who were fighting the Japanese in northeast China in the 1930s. It was originally written as a theme song to a popular propaganda play and movie that encouraged the Chinese people to resist the Japanese invasion.
Both Tian Han and Nie Er were active in the resistance. Nie Er was influenced by popular revolutionary songs at the time, including the Internationale. He was drowned in 1935.
Following the Chinese Communist Party's victory in the civil war in 1949, a committee was set up to decide on a national anthem. There were nearly 7,000 entries, but an early favorite was March of the Volunteers. It was adopted as the provisional national anthem on September 27, 1949.
Years later, during the political turmoil of the Cultural Revolution Tian Han was jailed and subsequently died in 1968. As a result, March of the Volunteers was banned. In its place, many used "The East is Red" a popular Communist song.
March of the Volunteers was eventually restored as the Chinese anthem in 1978 but with different lyrics that specifically praised the Communist Party and Mao Zedong.
After the death of Mao and the liberalization of the Chinese economy, Tian Han's original version was restored by the National People's Congress in 1982.
The Chinese anthem was played in Hong Kong for the first time in the 1997 handover of British control of Hong Kong to China, and in the 1999 handover of Portuguese control of Macao to China. They were subsequently adopted as the national anthems in Hong Kong and Macao. For many years until the 1990s, the song was banned in Taiwan.
In 2004, the Chinese constitution was officially amended to include March of the Volunteers as its official anthem.
Don’t let Li Ka Shing run away: “Everyone understands that, in China, the real estate business is closely entwined with power, and it has no way to succeed without the backing of political connections. Therefore, wealth generated from real estate is not wealth generated completely from the market economy. [He] can’t exit just because he wants to.”
4. When Deng Xiaoping came to power in the late 1970s, he introduced his economic reforms with the slogan "to get rich is glorious." To achieve that end, he had to move China onto the international markets. The isolationism of the former regime, however, handicapped the Chinese leadership. It therefore turned to the richest Chinese business people of Hong Kong, including, among many others, Li Ka-Shing, Henry Fok Ying-Tung, Wang Foon-Shing, Stanley Ho and the man who would eventually be chosen by Beijing to head Hong Kong after the departure of the British, Tung Chee-Wa (C.H. Tung).On 23 May 1982, Li Ka-Shing and Henry Fok met with Deng Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang in Beijing to discuss the future of the peninsula. Their task would be to advise and educate the Chinese authorities about the basic rules of capitalism. In return, Beijing gave them privileged access to the vast Chinese economic basin. These powerful international financiers played an important role in the preparations for the transfer of Hong Kong. ~ 19 May 2003
"What we have is something perilously close to a dictatorship of the Fed and the Treasury, acting in the interests of Wall Street." ~ Robert Kuttner
Washington’s moves, in other words, represent something old, even if on a previously unimaginable scale. But the rise of China as the world’s largest economy, inconceivable a century ago, represents something new and so threatens to overturn the maritime geopolitics that have shaped world power for the past 400 years. Instead of focusing purely on building a blue-water navy like the British or a global aerospace armada akin to America’s, China is reaching deep within the world island in an attempt to thoroughly reshape the geopolitical fundamentals of global power. It is using a subtle strategy that has so far eluded Washington’s power elites.
After decades of quiet preparation, Beijing has recently begun revealing its grand strategy for global power, move by careful move. Its two-step plan is designed to build a transcontinental infrastructure for the economic integration of the world island from within, while mobilizing military forces to surgically slice through Washington’s encircling containment.
The initial step has involved a breathtaking project to put in place an infrastructure for the continent’s economic integration. By laying down an elaborate and enormously expensive network of high-speed, high-volume railroads as well as oil and natural gas pipelines across the vast breadth of Eurasia, China may realize Mackinder’s vision in a new way. For the first time in history, the rapid transcontinental movement of critical cargo — oil, minerals, and manufactured goods — will be possible on a massive scale, thereby potentially unifying that vast landmass into a single economic zone stretching 6,500 miles from Shanghai to Madrid. In this way, the leadership in Beijing hopes to shift the locus of geopolitical power away from the maritime periphery and deep into the continent’s heartland.
“Trans-continental railways are now transmuting the conditions of land power,” wrote Mackinder back in 1904 as the “precarious” single track of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the world’s longest, reached across the continent for 5,700 miles from Moscow toward Vladivostok. “But the century will not be old before all Asia is covered with railways,” he added. “The spaces within the Russian Empire and Mongolia are so vast, and their potentialities in… fuel and metals so incalculably great that a vast economic world, more or less apart, will there develop inaccessible to oceanic commerce.”
Mackinder was a bit premature in his prediction. The Russian revolution of 1917, the Chinese revolution of 1949, and the subsequent 40 years of the Cold War slowed any real development for decades. In this way, the Euro-Asian “heartland” was denied economic growth and integration, thanks in part to artificial ideological barriers — the Iron Curtain and then the Sino-Soviet split — that stalled any infrastructure construction across the vast Eurasian land mass. No longer.
Only a few years after the Cold War ended, former National Security Adviser Brzezinski, by then a contrarian sharply critical of the global views of both Republican and Democratic policy elites, began raising warning flags about Washington’s inept style of geopolitics. “Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago,” he wrote in 1998, essentially paraphrasing Mackinder, “Eurasia has been the center of world power. A power that dominates ‘Eurasia’ would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions… rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.”
While such a geopolitical logic has eluded Washington, it’s been well understood in Beijing. Indeed, in the last decade China has launched the world’s largest burst of infrastructure investment, already a trillion dollars and counting, since Washington started the U.S. Interstate Highway System back in the 1950s. The numbers for the rails and pipelines it’s been building are mind numbing. Between 2007 and 2014, China criss-crossed its countryside with 9,000 miles of new high-speed rail, more than the rest of the world combined. The system now carries 2.5 million passengers daily at top speeds of 240 miles per hour. By the time the system is complete in 2030, it will have added up to 16,000 miles of high-speed track at a cost of $300 billion, linking all of China’s major cities.
A slowdown in food prices pulled China's consumer price index back from a 13-month high, while producer prices continued to deflate at their quickest rate since 2009.
China's consumer price index fell from 2 per cent in August to 1.6 per cent in September. Food inflation pulled back 0.1 per cent month-to-month. On a year-to-year basis food prices were up 2.7 per cent, shaving an entire percentage point off the rate in August.
In August, pork prices were an outlier to the disinflationary trend, rising nearly one-fifth over the year. That pushed CPI to 2 per cent, a 13-month high. The risk of runaway pork prices likely diminished last month, but full details aren't out yet to confirm this.
Low inflation should allow Beijing, whose target for inflation is "around 3 per cent" this year, to enact stimulus should it seek to support the economy.
"The inflation environment in China is on the soft side, but higher food prices have boosted consumer prices lately," said Moody's Analytics before the release. "The reduced pork supply will keep food inflation elevated, but this masks the underlying disinflation dynamics. Overcapacity remains a problem and firms are pushing prices lower to drive demand."
Meanwhile, producer prices deflated for a 43rd consecutive month, reflecting excess supply of housing materials and raw materials, and overcapacity in heavy industry. Producer prices remained 5.9 per cent below year-ago levels, its deepest since 2009.
"Imported commodity costs and overcapacity among domestic producers are leading to lower prices of energy, iron ore and other inputs," Moody's Analytics said. "Recent stock market volatility also appears to have caused a downtick in investment and production, which could lead to further deflation pressures. The recent yuan devaluation likely did not affect import costs to a great extent."
Growth in services like movies and travel give a truer picture of the changing nature of China’s economy.
By Wayne Arnold 14 October 2015
China released its latest trade data yesterday and it appears its biggest export may now be deflation.
Exports dropped almost 6% on year in the third quarter, to roughly $598 billion, according to CEIC. Imports fell even faster, falling 14.4% to $145 billion and thereby pulling China’s trade surplus with the rest of the world up 28%, to $164 billion.
What’s troubling is that even though exports dropped when calculated in dollars, the volume of China’s exports jumped by 23%. The data also show what a little devaluation can do: thanks to the People’s Bank of China’s move to devalue the yuan in August, the trade surplus grew 28% in dollars, but swelled 31% in yuan. Had the yuan stayed at its pre-Aug. 11 rate, the surplus would have grown by about 29%. Not a big difference, but every little bit helps when like China you’re struggling to reflate economic growth.
China’s weak trade data helped drive stocks down on Wall Street. Investors are increasingly confident the U.S. Federal Reserve has been cowed into submission by the International Monetary Fund and Beijing and won’t raise interest rates until March at the earliest. But all that cheap global money will count for naught if China drags the global economy into recession.
After years of blithely ignoring China’s growing problems, investors are now paranoid about them. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global economist Ethan Harris advises investors to bear two things in mind: “First, China’s slowdown is damaging to China’s closest trading partners and to commodity producers, but the shock fades markedly for the rest of the world. Second, China has been slowing for some time and hence a lot of the damage to trading partners has already happened.”
Indeed, among analysts closer to China – and whose livelihoods depend on continued interest in Asia’s markets – it is increasingly fashionable to recommend focusing not on the dying state-dominated manufacturing sector, but rather the new, vibrant domestic service-oriented sector sprouting up in its shadow.
Perhaps the most novel take on this so far comes from the analysts at Jefferies in Hong Kong. In a report last week, they argued that investors should stop focusing on data that only reflects old China’s gloomy demise. This data is encapsulated in what’s known as the Li Keqiang index – named because it’s the data Premier Li Keqiang once reputedly admitted that he focuses on after conceding that China’s suspiciously perky GDP data is “man-made.” What’s in it? Electricity demand, rail cargo volumes and bank loans – all things that tend to measure industrial output, Jefferies argues, rather than consumption of services.
THE LI KEQIANG INDEX, JEFFERIES ASSERTS, IS “DEFUNCT.” So Jefferies concocted an alternative set of indicators that includes, among other things, demand for gasoline, box office receipts, logistics sales, and air travel. As you’d expect, it reveals a much more encouraging snapshot: Air travel in China grew 13% on year in August, while box office receipts more than doubled in September.
As alluring as these kind of bright-spot analyses may be, however, investors should take them with a grain of salt. While parts of any economy can remain robust as the whole suffers, they can’t obscure the larger picture of slowing overall growth. Nor can the services sector absorb the kind of investment that has gone into manufacturing and industry.
Worse, the services sector is vulnerable to knock-on effects of the wider slowdown and not just because consumers will cut back if big companies start going bust. The enthusiasm for China’s services sector recalls a similar fad for small, service-oriented companies in Japan during the first of its two “lost” decades of deflation. Time and time again, analysts in the 1990s heralded “green shoots” of growth in Japan. And time and time again, Japan’s petrified giants smothered those green shoots, sucking up available credit and depriving new entrants of market share. For its own forest to rejuvenate, China’s old growth conifers need to rot and feed the fungi and ferns of the services sector. Otherwise they will suffocate the saplings struggling for sunlight below.
Jefferies is confident, however, that even as China’s old economy withers, its services economy will -- like kudzu -- gradually take over and revive growth. Jefferies says services already account for 52.5% of China’s GDP, up from 44.3% in 2011.
Even as China’s population ages and overall growth slows, Jefferies argues this consumer economy will flourish, driven by rising incomes and the continued shift of people from rural areas into cities. Government plans to provide more comprehensive healthcare and pensions, moreover, will free consumers to save less and spend more. Chinese will devote less of their cash to worrying about the future and more to enjoying life – a trend analysts have to hope means less fear and more fun for them as well.