Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

China in pictures: From black and white to colour

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By Emma Graham-Harrison

“Long live Chairman Mao Zedong” is scrawled on a thin strip of wood stuck into the ground where a peasant in tattered clothes is urging on a weary-looking ox. Near “Ploughing with Mao” are beautifully composed shots of young, fanatical Red Guards smashing antiques, and another group roughly tormenting a “counter-revolutionary” old man. 

Even though I know they are coming, it is still a shock to move on and see pictures of flawless models lounging on a bench in Beijing, rich young kids drinking in a bar and a group of smiling old women in a technicolour riot of outfits holding pictures of their younger, sterner, revolutionary selves.

The pictures lining the walls of the “China: Portrait of a Country” exhibition are a sharp visual reminder of the changes that have taken place in just one generation, almost unimaginable to those who didn’t live through them, even those like me who have tried to study China and made their home here for years.

In little over three decades, it has gone from an isolated, poor, ideologically rigid backwater to an international powerhouse with the world’s fourth-largest economy.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan, India and the United Nations

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India has asked the United Nations Security Council to blacklist the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Pakistani charity which it says is a front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed by New Delhi for the attacks on Mumbai. But how far is India prepared to go in engaging the Security Council, given that it has resisted for decades UN invention over Kashmir?

Indian newspapers have suggested that India invoke UN Security Council Resolution 1373, passed after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and requiring member countries to take steps to curb terrorism.  The latest of these calls came from N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of Indian newspaper The Hindu, who said India must respond to the Mumbai attacks "in an intelligent and peaceful way".  

Shenzhen: Gateway to China’s roaring economy

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By Nick Macfie

I first arrived in Hong Kong in 1982 and stayed, on and off,  for 14 years. One of the most exciting day trips for tourists to the British colony back in those days was to the border, by clattering, non-air-conditioned train and then a short taxi drive to a vantage point, close to the fancy Fanling Golf Club, where you could look across the paddy fields at the stange goings-on in Communist China.

Old Hakka women in their broad-rimmed hats would pester you to buy postcards and Mao badges as you peered by telescope at what was once the tiny fishing village of Shenzhen to watch the villagers in their Mao suits go about their business — leading ducks down narrow paths between the rice fields, or carting vegetables on baskets hung over shoulders on bouncing, bamboo poles. Hong Kong farmers were doing the same thing in the New Territories, but this was fascinating, Communist China!

from Global Investing:

Top Gun economics

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It's not often that economists turn their attention to military hardware, but Deutsche Bank has done just that in its latest world outlook. The subject is aircraft carriers and what it sees as the strange desire among a number of countries to build them.

Russia has suggested it may build up to six carriers, DB notes, while China plans one and Britain and France three between them. Like the true economists they are, DB first questions the need, saying such boats are vulnerable, make no sense for coastal defence and are for projecting offensive power over long distances. Then comes the cost:
  

Beijing: My home away from home

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By Ben Blanchard

I never thought I’d ever go to China. This may not sound strange, except that from the age of 16 I knew I wanted to study Chinese at university.

It was the early 1990s, and memories of what happened around Tiananmen Square a few years ago were still fresh in everybody’s minds.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

The riddle of India, China military exercises

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India and China are holding joint troop exercises this weekend in southern India.  As exercises between nations go nowadays these games named “Hand-in Hand 2008" are fairly low level and limited in scope. Certainly not on the scale of the naval, air and ground exercises that India and the United States have embarked upon in recent years.

But this is a difficult time in South Asia following the attacks in Mumbai which New Delhi says were orchestrated from Pakistan and for which it is seeking decisive action. So, for China, - Pakistan’s all weather ally -  to be sending a bunch of  troops to India at this fraught moment is certainly worthy of note, if nothing else.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Zardari says ready to commit to no first use of nuclear weapons

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Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari says he would be ready to commit to a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, in what would be a dramatic overturning of Pakistan's nuclear policy. Pakistan has traditionally seen its nuclear weapons as neutralising Indian superiority in conventional warfare, and refused to follow India's example of declaring a no first use policy after both countries conducted nuclear tests in 1998.

Zardari was speaking via satellite from Islamabad to a conference organised by the Hindustan Times when he was asked whether he was willing to make an assurance that Pakistan would not be the first to use nuclear weapons.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

“Plan C” – Pakistan turns to the IMF.

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Pakistan has agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $7.6 billion emergency loan to stave off a balance of payments crisis. 

Shaukat Tarin, economic adviser to the prime minister, said the IMF had endorsed Pakistan's own strategy to bring about structural adjustments. The agreement is expected to encourage other potential donors, who are gathering in Abu Dhabi on Monday for a "Friends of Pakistan" conference.

Does crisis give China new opportunity in Africa?

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chinese-workers-in-kenya.jpgWith the West reeling from the financial crisis and pulling back some of its investment in Africa, could China step into the breach and expand its footprint on the continent - a presence that already worries Western powers?

On the face of it, China, which is relatively unscathed by the crisis, has a golden opportunity to exploit Western disarray and increase its financial and political penetration of the continent. Already there are signs that Africans are starting to look away from the West and towards other emerging markets, especially China, as they watch the banking chaos in the traditional capitalist markets.

U.S. Economic Crisis a Hot Topic on Chinese Blogs

By Oiwan Lam

Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the content of this post – the views are the author’s alone.

According to a New York Times report in early September, the Chinese Central Bank has invested over $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury bills, bonds and debt securities. Of that, $376.3 billion has been put into the mortgage backed securities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 21% of the Chinese government’s foreign currency reserve.

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