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India to tell US no role for China in South Asia

ANI | Sun, Nov 22 | 10:45 AM

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is likely to use his four-day visit to Washington commencing from today, to firmly and emphatically reiterate and re-emphasise to the American leadership, that New Delhi does not see a role for China in South Asia, nor will it tolerate attempted third party guardianship initiatives in the region by Beijing. Placing its strong objection to the reference made to South Asia in the joint statement issued by Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao in Beijing this week, the Indian Government has ensured that both the United States and China retreat from their proposed mediating efforts on ties between India and Pakistan. According to sources, China has indicated its appreciation and respect for the Indian position for only having bilateral and direct talks with Pakistan and brooking no interference from outside. “On China, we have a bilateral relationship with countries and we are not interested in a guardianship role with any, and nor will we accept a guardianship role by any country,” said a source. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said: “The Chinese have said that they respect our position and support direct talks between India and Pakistan.” The Chinese establishment seems to have been told that India will not accept any “guardianship role” by any country.                 Continue reading

China Helps the Powerful in Namibia

NYT | SHARON LaFRANIERE |November 20, 2009

Like parents everywhere, mothers and fathers in Namibia, an impoverished southern African nation, worry about college costs and opportunities for their children. The Chinese government has stepped forward to help — for a select and powerful few. So far this year, the Beijing government has secretly awarded scholarships to study in China to the offspring of nine top officials, including to the daughter of Namibia’s president, Hifikepunye Pohamba. Two young relatives of Namibia’s former president and national patriarch, Sam Nujoma, also received grants. The disclosure of the scholarships, first revealed by a feisty Namibian newspaper, has unleashed a wave of fury from the nation’s civil society groups and youth organizations. In a country where five in six high school graduates do not go on to college, many find it unconscionable for well-paid government leaders to accept overseas university scholarships for their children. “Only senior people in government knew about the scholarships,” said Norman Tjombe, director of the nonprofit Legal Assistance Center. “No chance was given at all to the general public.”

The controversy has reignited a simmering debate in Namibia over deals with the Chinese government, already under scrutiny by Namibian prosecutors. Inquiries there and in other developing countries in Africa and Asia have cast a fresh light on how China sometimes uses its treasure chest of foreign loans and aid to create elite alliances and ease the approval of no-bid contracts. Even some within Namibia’s governing Swapo party are asking whether China is trying to buy influence with their nation’s political leadership to gain access to mineral      Continue reading

World economies rebound but China set for best growth

BBC NEWS | 2009/11/19 | 11:55:56 GMT

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says growth and recovery are expected in 2010 in just about all world regions. For its 30 member countries, rich nations including the US and UK, it has more than doubled its growth forecast to 1.9% for next year, from 0.7%. But the OECD warns developed nations not to expect a smooth ride. It said growth was being “held back by still substantial headwinds” and would be “modest” for some time. The very measures that are helping richer nations to recover pose risks to that recovery, the OECD says. The UK, for example, needed to come up with a concrete plan to ease concerns about the stability of the public finances, it added. The OECD said the effectiveness of the UK’s asset purchase programme – the so-called quantitative easing programme – was uncertain.

Jobless recovery?

The main danger for rich countries is unemployment, according to the OECD’s economic outlook. In the US, people are expected to continue to lose their jobs at a faster rate than new ones are created until sometime in the first part of next year. For the European Union, the picture is even worse. Unemployment may continue to rise in that region until 2011. A very different economic outlook is forecast for key emerging nations. China can expect to grow by 10%, India by more than 7%. The other two stand-out nations are Brazil and Russia. The OECD expects Brazil’s economy to rebound and expand by almost 5% after stagnating this year. Russia is also predicted to see that kind of economic improvement next year. But its turnaround will be even more dramatic. This year, it has experienced one of the worst economic slumps in the world – contracting by almost 9%. But those four so-called Bric countries are not part of the 30-strong OECD club. The one member nation whose economy should perform vigorously in 2010 is also an eastern one: South Korea should rebound to grow by 4.5% in both 2010 and 2011, after ending this year with almost no growth.

Bankers poised to help China’s richest invest $7.6 trillion – group

Reuters | Yahoo News | Thursday November 19 | 02:00 PM

Bankers poised to help China's richest invest $7.6 trln - group

The number of U.S.-dollar millionaires in China is expected to nearly double in five years, luring private bankers eager to help them invest an expected combined wealth over $7.6 trillion by 2013, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said on Thursday. Global wealth declined last year for the first time since 2001, the consultancy said, but the number of Chinese individuals with household financial wealth of more than $1 million may grow to 788,000 by 2013 from 417,000 in 2008.

“We believe that China’s wealth market offers an attractive window of opportunity for banks,” Frankie Leung, a BCG partner in Hong Kong, told reporters in Beijing. “How banks should act to capture the opportunities and establish competitive positions would be a key strategic issue to explore.” Foreign banks, including HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc and Bank of East Asia, have all started private banking businesses in China, competing for affluent clients with local rivals such as Bank of China. According to the consultancy’s definition, financial wealth includes cash, equities and bonds but excludes real estate and privately owned enterprises.

Globally, total assets of rich individuals declined by 11.7 percent to $92.4 trillion in 2008 due to the global financial crisis, the first decline since 2001, but BCG expects growth to resume over the next few years. “It will take roughly five years for the wealth pools to recover from the crisis and to reach a level that is comparable to wealth growth in 2007,” said Holger Michaelis, a partner and managing director of the firm. He added that the financial crisis has made rich people abandon complex products in favor of simple, less risky investments to protect, rather than grow their wealth.

Trade talks end Obama China trip

BBC NEWS | 2009/11/18 | 10:10:44 GMT

CHINA AND US TIES

  • Veto holders on five-member UN Security Council
  • China is the biggest foreign investor in US treasury bonds, owning about $770bn (£457bn)
  • China is the world’s biggest greenhouse gas producer at 20.7% of global emissions, followed by the US with 15.5%
  • US imports from China dwarf its exports, stoking trade tensions

US President Barack Obama has met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the last day of his much-watched visit to the rising Asian house. Trade disputes were expected to be on the agenda during Mr.. Obama’s lunch with China’s third-highest leader, who is responsible for the economy. Reports quoted the Chinese premier as having urged a “steady balancing” of trade with the US during the talks. Mr.. Obama later visited China’s Great Wall, before heading to South Korea. The US president, who is on a week-long tour of East Asia, is expected to focus on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions during talks in Seoul.

Protectionism

Before Wednesday’s meeting with the Chinese prime minister, Mr.. Obama said the Washington-Beijing relationship was now about more than trade and economics. He said it also covered climate, security and other matters of international concern, the Associated Press news agency   Continue reading

Highlights of Obama-Hu joint news conference in Beijing

Reuters | Tue Nov 17, 2009 | 1:01pm IST

Following are key quotes by U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao, from their joint statement to the media in Beijing on Tuesday.

ECONOMY

HU JINTAO: “We reiterated that we will continue to increase dialogue and cooperation on macroeconomic and financial policies and continue to consult, on an equal footing, to properly resolve and address economic and trade frictions, in a joint effort to uphold the sound and steady growth of our business ties and trade. I stressed to President Obama that under the current circumstances our two countries need to oppose all kinds of trade protectionism even more strongly.”

BARACK OBAMA: “Going forward we agreed to advance the pledge made at the G20 summit in Pittsburg and pursue a strategy of more balanced economic growth. A strategy where America saves more spends less, reduces our long-term debt and where China makes adjustments across a broad range of policies to rebalance its economy and spur domestic demand. “I was pleased to note the Chinese commitment made in past statements to move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate over time.”

CLIMATE CHANGE

OBAMA: “We’ve agreed to a series of important new initiatives in this area. As President Hu indicated, we are creating a joint clean energy research centre and have achieved agreements on energy efficiency, renewable energy and cleaner uses of coal, electric vehicles and shale     Continue reading

China and US ‘to work together’

BBC NEWS | 2009/11/17 | 08:42:04 GMT

US Trade Deficit with China for Sep '09

The presidents of China and the US have agreed to work together to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. On climate change, Barack Obama said both sides agreed on the need for a comprehensive global deal in Copenhagen next month, not a political statement. Mr. Obama and Hu Jintao also agreed to push for North Korea to re-enter stalled talks on its nuclear programme. But underlying tensions were referred to, with Hu Jintao calling for joint opposition to trade protectionism. The two leaders held two hours of talks in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, on the edge of Tiananmen Square. Both leaders then held a joint media event at which they read out statements, but took no questions from listening journalists.

Mr. Obama came to China for his first visit as president emphasising that China was now a major player on the world stage – and he turned to that point again in Beijing. “The major challenges of the 21st Century from climate change to nuclear proliferation to economic recovery are challenges that touch both our nations, and challenges that neither of our nations can solve by acting alone,” he said. With world leaders, meeting in Copenhagen next month to discuss how to tackle global warming, climate change is perhaps the most pressing issue to resolve. Mr. Obama appeared to raise hopes that a deal could be struck in Copenhagen. “Our aim there is not a partial accord or a political declaration, but   Continue reading