The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Bet on small firms to lead China global foray

Wei Gu--Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own--

Chairman Mao used to say the truth is always kept by the minority.

A little-known private Chinese machinery company's bid for a GM marque has been sneered at by even the patriotic Chinese media, but the deal could succeed where mightier plays like Chinalco's for Rio Tinto have failed.

True that private sector firms face an uphill battle in China against more dominant state-backed firms, but it seems like double standards when Western observers, who extol the virtues of the private sector taking the driver's seat, praise Chinalco's deal but dismiss Tengzhong's bid for Hummer.

Chinese media's disapproval of Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery's move has tempered concerns about technology and job transfers to China, as well as questions whether China's military was behind the bid.

This could give Tengzhong more bargaining power with bankrupt General Motors. Underestimation of Tengzhong could prove beneficial to the buyer in an environment where there are worries about Chinese deals not being completely driven by commercial interests.

from The Great Debate:

China’s U.S. debt overhang needs Chinese cure

Wei Gu -- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own. --

When U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told students at Peking University that China's holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds were safe, his answer drew loud laughter from the audience.

Even economist and columnist Paul Krugman, who is often critical of U.S. economic policy, found himself defending America when he was repeatedly asked the same questions in China recently: Will you (U.S.) underwrite the value of China's holdings of U.S. government debt? Will you be prepared to pay a much higher rate of interest against the risk of high inflation and dollar depreciation?

from The Great Debate:

Time for China to act on foreign listings

wei_gu_debate-- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

China has talked about plans to allow foreign companies to float on its domestic stock markets for at least a decade, but that's all there has been: talk.

Now would be a good time to convert some of that talk into action. Beijing has been struggling with its own investment strategies: the state gets feeble returns on the U.S. Treasury bonds it owns, and its equity stakes in foreign financial firms are well under water.

China economic forecasts: go herbal or Western?

(Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own)

Which would you believe when it comes to diagnosing the health of China’s economy — the pulse-taking of the herbal doctor or the lab tests of Western medicine?

Beijing’s leaders are like the herbal doctors, using creative metrics such as power output and shipping indexes that can give a relatively accurate snapshot of manufacturing activity.

from The Great Debate:

Economic stimulus Beijing-style: I treat, you pay

wei_gu_debate-- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own. --

Beijing may criticize American consumers for spending money they do not have, but the truth is Chinese leaders do the same, they just make sure it doesn't end up on their account.

In its $585 billion economic stimulus package, the central government is contributing just a quarter of the funds needed, leaving the rest of the tab to banks, local governments and the private sector.

from The Great Debate:

China Inc. takes stock after overseas buying spree

wei_gu_debate-- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

Abundant liquidity, government support and a strong yuan fueled Chinese companies' overseas buying spree.

But since they went out at the peak of the market and did not have a clear strategy for acquisitions, it should come as no surprise that most of those deals have turned sour. Once bitten, twice shy.

from The Great Debate:

China’s growth obsession may spawn jobless upturn

Wei Gu -- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

China is pulling all the stops to keep the economy growing by at least 8 percent, a pace considered necessary to absorb millions of migrant workers and graduates that hit the job market every year.

Ironically, with all its attention focused on the vigorous "defense of the eight", Beijing risks losing sight of its ultimate goal -- creating enough jobs to preserve social peace -- and may end up engineering a jobless recovery.

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