As China’s unprecedented crackdown on dissent continues unabated, an Australian-Chinese, Yang Hengjun, considered to be “the most influential blogger in Chinese,” has disappeared in Guangzhou after telling friends by phone that he was “having tea with old friends” – a prearranged signal that he had been arrested by Chinese secret police. The Australian Embassy is seeking information, but a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman only says “I have not heard of that person.”
Further evidence of Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe’s special relationship with China came Monday as he announced that all foreign miners must sell out to Zimbabwe owners – except China. China, it is said, is carrying out special “national projects.” Do we all recall the mysterious Chinese container ship that tried to deliver several tons of heavy weapons and small arms to Mugabe's secret police via South Africa - and, then that didn't work, via Angola - in 2008 just as Mugabe needed them to suppress his political opposition.
A Japanese factory that produces polyvinylidene fluoride substrate for 70% of the lithium-ion batteries on earth – and all the batteries for Apple’s iPad – was destroyed in the March 11 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami. Kureha Corp. says it was “already thinking about shifting some of our production to the States and China. We will now accelerate these plans." A move will be a loss to Japan -- and ideally, the plant should remain there -- but if it must move, let's hope most of the operations come to the U.S. -- not to China.
US Naval War College professor James R. Holmes, sees China’s “build-up of maritime strength—manifest in a powerful fleet supported by shore-based aircraft and missiles” as aimed at establishing a “Monroe Doctrine” in East Asian waters.
Washington POst columnist Michael Gerson - reporting from Malawi - sees little but Chinese construction across the skyline of Lilongwe, the Malawian capital. He muses that China is amassing far more 'soft power' than the U.S.
China’s African investments: Who benefits? http://www.washingtonpost.com/2011/03/28/AF8G7mqB_story.html
A Chinese resident of Washington state pled guilty in federal court to charges he attempted to ship 300 Xilinx radiation-hardened programmable semiconductor devices to an unnamed Chinese purchaser. In return for his guilty plea, Yang will remain free on his own recognizance until his sentencing June 30. Possible flight risk, eh?
“Woodinville man pleads guilty to attempted sale of banned technology to China,” (Seattle Times) March 26 at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014590785_yangplea26m.html
Chinese Yuan among Asia’s least-appreciating currencies: Although China’s renminbi has appreciated 4.3 percent in the last year, it was among the five least-performing currencies in Asia, and the only currency in Asia to appreciate less than half its GDP growth. “Renminbi: ‘Redback’ puts the brakes on,” (Financial Times) March 28, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1c6a98d4-58ef-11e0-9b8a-00144feab49a.html
Zippo Lighters last a lifetime and have a lifetime guarantee, so it’s not surprising that Zippo repairs 100,000 ancient lighters a year. But China makes 12 million fake “Rippos” a year, most bearing counterfeit Zippo trademarks, which find their ways to Zippo’s repair shops. This front page "A-head" in the WSJ is a parable about the metastization of China's galactic counterfeit industry across the global economy.
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