BBC NEWS | 2009/11/16 | 10:29:50 GMT
US President Barack Obama has told China that individual rights and freedoms should be available to all. He told an audience of Chinese students that certain freedoms were universal – and not just limited to Americans. Speaking at a question and answer session in Shanghai, Mr. Obama added that China and the US were not destined to be adversaries. He has now arrived in the Chinese capital, Beijing, where he is to meet President Hu Jintao.
Freedom of expression
In his speech at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the US president praised China’s efforts in lifting millions of people out of poverty, saying it was “unparalleled” in human history. But according to a BBC correspondent in Beijing, Michael Bristow, Mr. Obama also made comments that his hosts would have been less pleased to hear. Although he was careful not to attack the Chinese government directly, he declared that certain rights and freedoms were universal. China is an authoritarian country in which there are no elections for the country’s national leaders. Media outlets and the internet are heavily censored, and those who speak out against the government are often imprisoned. “We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation, but we also don’t believe that the principles we stand for are unique to our nation,” he said. “These freedoms of expression and worship, of access to information and political participation – we believe are universal rights.” Mr. Obama added: “They should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the Continue reading
11/11/2009 | 22:31 GMT+5:30 | nvs
U.S. stocks extended a global advance, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to near a 13- month high, as China’s industrial production surged and policy makers signaled interest rates will remain at a record low. Gold jumped to a record. Bank of America Corp. and Home Depot Inc. led the Dow Jones Industrial Average above its highest close since October 2008. Toll Brothers Inc. led homebuilders higher after saying orders surged and cancellations slowed. Barrick Gold Corp., the largest producer of bullion, and Alcoa Inc. climbed with metals prices. The ‘MSCI Emerging Markets Index’ rose 0.8 percent, lifting its six-day rally to 7.5 percent.
The S&P 500, which tumbled 38 percent last year, has rebounded by 62% from a 12-year low in March as government fiscal measures and lowest ever interest rates helped end a four-quarter contraction in the U.S. economy. Eighty percent of S&P 500 companies that released results have exceeded the average analyst estimate for third quarter earnings, a record in Bloomberg data going back to 1993.
It seems the Fed continues to believe that the biggest economy in the world can’t handle rates above 0.25 percent. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said yesterday that U.S. economic growth and inflation might persist below ideal levels into 2011, making the central bank’s current interest-rate stance “appropriate.” Fed officials after a meeting last week reiterated a pledge to keep the benchmark interest rate near zero for an “extended period.”
BBC News | Shanghai | 06:33 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The latest economic data from China suggests that industrial production grew year on year at a level faster than expected. Retail sales also rose by more than analysts had predicted, while consumer prices continued to fall. China’s National Bureau of Statistics says the country’s latest economic data shows it is well on track to meet its target of 8% growth this year. The government’s huge economic stimulus package is likely to have helped a lot. The data indicates that activity in factories and workshops increased by 16.1% in October compared to a year ago.
Increase in Optimism
That is the highest level of growth since March last year. China’s statisticians are starting to sound more optimistic than they have done in a while. Importantly, they see evidence in this latest data that Chinese consumers are starting to make more of a contribution to economic growth here. Retail sales were higher in October than September. China needs consumers to spend more to spur domestic demand for the goods its factories produce, as it is unlikely to be able to rely on US consumers in the years ahead in the same way that it could before the financial crisis. The growth in activity in the country’s factories and workshops beat analysts’ forecasts too. There was better news in October’s trade figures though – the rate of decline in exports last month as the smallest in 10 months, supporting anecdotal evidence from producers that orders from customers abroad have been picking up for several weeks now. China has been trying to boost domestic demand for the goods its factories make, as exports have been declining for 12 months now. The supply of new loans was markedly lower than many analysts had expected suggesting that banks had listened to concerns that the easy access to credit here was creating the risk of asset bubbles and put in place more stringent conditions for those trying to borrow money.
MNS via IANS | 03/11/2009
China’s commerce ministry has voiced concern over New Delhi’s reported insistence that only those with employment visa can work in India, a move a newspaper said had hurt Chinese workers badly. China Daily reported that the government had received several complaints from Chinese companies in India. “We hope India will be considerate of the circumstances of Chinese firms there and provide more convenience for Chinese labourers and firms,” an official was quoted as saying. The foreign ministry Monday also warned Chinese citizens heading to work in India to acquire employment visas first. “Citizens can’t be engaged in works that doesn’t match with their visa category,” said a notice posted on the ministry’s website. China Daily said that the India visa policy, issued in mid-July, mainly affected expatriates working in India on business visa. Jiang, a manager with Huaxia Outbound Labour Service in Jiangsu province, where the largest numbers of workers go abroad for work, told the daily that about 20 native workers to India were on their way back. “We are confident of their skills, but they had to return as they were not able to get a visa,” he said. Pan Xiaoyong, a technician with Huawei Technologies, a major Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier based in Shenzhen, said the firm was currently staging an urgent hunt for technicians holding India business visas to fill up the vacancies created by the new visa policy.
Chinese businesses in South Asia generated $18 billion in 2008, mostly in India, according to Chinese experts. Hu Shisheng, scholar on South Asia Studies from China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the financial crisis that affected India’s labour-intensive industries was what compelled New Delhi to tighten its labour policy. “India has a huge population of young illiterates. They can depend on nothing but their labour to earn a living. So it’s conceivable that the Indian government would want to protect its own labour force,” Hu was quoted as saying. Those who fail to meet the government’s new criteria for the business visa had a deadline of Oct 31 to leave the country. Many Chinese workers in India hold six-month visas called “Multiple Entry Business Visa”. About 25,000 Chinese workers in sectors such as power generation, communication and petroleum in India will be affected by the clampdown. Under the amended rules, foreign clerical, secretarial and unskilled workers will not be given work visas in India.
2009-10-22 | 10:05:00 | xinhuanet.com
China’s retail sales in the first three quarters rose 15.1 percent year on year, or 17 percent after deducting price factors, to top 8.97 trillion Yuan (1.31 trillion U.S. dollars), the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The volume of retail sales topped 6.10 billion Yuan in urban areas, up 14.8 percent year on year, and 2.87 trillion Yuan in rural areas, up 16.0 percent. In terms of sectors, sales in wholesale and retail rose 15 percent in the first three quarters, and expanded 17.4 percent in accommodation and catering. Among consumer goods, furniture sales rose 32.3 percent and automobile sales climbed 24.5 percent in the first three quarters from the same period last year.
xinhuanet.com | 2009-10-23 | 21:30:46
BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) — China would like to enhance its friendly military cooperation with Uzbekistan, a senior Chinese military official said here Friday. The years since China and Uzbekistan forged diplomatic ties in 1992 has witnessed the smooth development of bilateral relations with frequent high-level exchanges, increasingly deepened political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in different areas, said Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission in meeting with Kabul Berdiev, defense minister of Uzbekistan Friday. China and Uzbekistan understood, supported and worked closely with each other in the international affairs, said Guo, adding that China highly appreciated Uzbekistan’s firm adherence to the one-China policy and its consistent support to China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet, Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2009/10/22 | 11:00:05 GMT
China has said it is on track to hit its growth target of 8% this year, after the economy grew 8.9% from a year ago in the third quarter. The figure is up from the 7.9% rate seen in the previous quarter and is the country’s fastest GDP growth since the third quarter of last year. Separate reports show that industrial production and retail sales also accelerated in September. The economy grew by 7.7% in the nine months to September. Retail sales growth was 15.1% in the first three quarters of the year, the National Statistics Bureau said. China’s car market has become the world’s largest, with sales up 34% to 9.66 million vehicles in the first nine months of the year.
At the end of 2008 the Chinese government announced a 4 trillion Yuan ($586bn; £354bn) stimulus plan involving increased spending on infrastructure, such as rail and roads, to boost the domestic economy as Continue reading
October 12 2009 14:59 | October 12 2009 18:56
Oilman John Paul Getty’s quip that “the meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights” clearly translates well into Mandarin. While China’s outsized thirst for global energy resources is nothing new, it had largely trolled waters off limits to US super majors since China National Offshore Oil Corporation was rebuffed in a politically charged bid for Unocal in 2005 in favour of Chevron. The recession appears to have changed that. The latest flashpoint is in Ghana, where ExxonMobil signed a $4bn deal to buy a stake in a massive offshore field. CNOOC may try to top the bid and, while Exxon is no weakling, it cannot compete with a buyer that is implicitly backed by $2,000bn in foreign reserves. More importantly, Exxon will not compete on the basis of geopolitical concerns, only financial return. The same goes for an even more audacious Chinese plan, worth up to 10 times as much, to buy minority stakes in several offshore blocks in Nigeria.
Tallying Chinese oil reserves must go well beyond the books of its already large oil companies. More than $40bn in loans to Brazil, Russia and Venezuela in exchange for future supplies, direct state purchases of other producers and pledges of infrastructure to countries such as Angola give China a claim to billions of barrels of future production. Add to that huge sums spent or pledged in pariah states such as Iran and Sudan, where US companies cannot compete, and China’s political edge in securing supplies is clear. Now it has an economic one too. The more China’s leaders perceive their pile of greenbacks to be a wasting asset the more it makes sense to pledge or spend them today. Overpaying is in the eye of the beholder if such dollar anxieties are vindicated. Like a giddy M&A banker during the boom, aggressive assumptions can justify nosebleed prices, but the sums add up differently in Dallas or New York. No matter how optimistic US oil major’s financial assumptions might be, it is a safe bet they will never arrive at a negative cost of capital.