Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 06, 2023

Media Say ... Gloom And Doom In China

The New York Times, and other western media, are running a 'doom and gloom in Xi's economy' campaign.

The latest entry is this piece:

China’s Economic Pain Is a Test of Xi’s Fixation With Control

The core claim is this:

Consumers are gloomy. Private investment is sluggish. A big property firm is near collapse. Local governments face crippling debt. Youth unemployment has continued to rise. The economic setbacks are eroding Mr. Xi’s image of imperious command, and emerging as perhaps the most sustained and thorny challenge to his agenda in over a decade in power.

But lets look at the sources the author quotes to make up 'evidence' for his claims:

  • Neil Thomas, a fellow at the Asia Society’s Center for China Analysis, said in an interview
  • Some experts say ...
  • not all observers believe that China’s economy is in a sharp downward spiral. But ...
  • Chinese internet users circulated an essay by a retired Hong Kong businessman, Lew Mon-hung ...
  • Liu Shijin, a retired senior Chinese government economist, said ...
  • said Alicia García Herrero, the chief economist for Asia-Pacific at Natixis
  • said Bert Hofman, director of the East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore
  • said Ms. García Herrero, the economist
  • Some Chinese economists and former officials have warned
  • Lou Jiwei, a former minister of finance said in a recent video interview with Caixin

The author of the gloom and doom piece is:

Chris Buckley, the Times’s chief correspondent in China, where he has lived for most of the past 30 years

If Chris Buckley lives in China why doesn't he quote even one person who is really involved in China's economy or policy making? Isn't there any active Chinese politician or Chinese CEO or Chinese economist or Chinese worker he could quote?

Why is he quoting an Asia Society fellow?

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with major centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and additional locations in Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Zurich.

Why is he mentioning the disgraced Lew Mon-hung?

In 2016, he was found guilty and imprisoned after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice by asking Leung, in letters and emails, to stop the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) from investigating him.

Why is he quoting the Vice-something professor of this or that Liu Shijin?

Former Vice-President (Vice-Minister), Development Research Center. Currently, Vice-Chairman, China Development Research Foundation.

Why Bert Hofman, the Dutch 'expert' of the EU financed Mercator lobby?

Why ask a Spanish 'economist' from a French investment bank?

Natixis is a French corporate and investment bank created in November 2006 from the merger of the asset management and investment banking operations of Natexis Banques Populaires (Banque Populaire group) and IXIS (Groupe Caisse d'Epargne).

Natixis provides financial data for the 'Markets' section on the news channel, Euronews. On October 26, 2010, Natixis Investment Managers (NIM) has acquired a majority stake in asset management start-up ‘Ossiam’.

Why use some other outlets interview with the retired Lou Jiwei without giving this (2019) context?:

Lou Jiwei, who has long been seen as a liberalizing force in China, an advocate of market reform and international openness. He served as finance minister, ran the country’s massive sovereign wealth fund, and has palled around with western economists since the 1980s. But recently he made a prediction that contained a startling phrase: At a forum in Beijing, according to reporting in the South China Morning Post, he said: “The next step in the frictions between China and the United States is a financial war (jinrong zhan). The U.S. has been hijacked by nationalism and populism, so will do everything in its power to use bullying measures [and] long-arm jurisdiction.”

In this financial war, he continued, the U.S. will exploit its dominance of the international financial system to hurt China—and China will fight back.

Now back to what matters:

Godfree Roberts @GodfreeTrh - 11:17 UTC · Sep 3, 2023

REALITY: Only four economies have ever grown by $1.5 trillion in a year, and 2023 will see the fifth. All five boom years are Chinese, of course. Its economy is booming and so are wages: 4.7% nominal rise last year, 4.2% after inflation. Bwahahah.

FT: China’s economic slowdown reverberates across Asia https://ft.com/content/...


bigger

But it's all gloom and doom in China. The NYT says so.

Posted by b on September 6, 2023 at 8:23 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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I admire China for fighting the collective West down to the last Russian.

Posted by: Soothsayer | Sep 6 2023 8:30 utc | 1

I see karmic justice. First rule of ill-wishing...don't do it, because the Universe will send it right back at you. Russian sanctions backfiring, check! US economy entering tailspin as inflation keeps inflating and the real economy getting worse by the day. Don't believe the falsified US numbers, look at the streets in the US and the massive new homeless populations.

Posted by: deepblue | Sep 6 2023 8:32 utc | 2

I’m selling toilet paper which has the masthead of the New York Times embossed across it, if anyone is interested in buying?

Posted by: Lev Davidovich | Sep 6 2023 8:33 utc | 3

They r trying to scare away Chinese economic partners from global majority countries through the only edge the west has, domination withing media information space while west prepares to fight China through it's proxy Taiwan and Philippines and maybe india. They just need a war with China so they can try to setup an economic blockade against china.

Posted by: A.z | Sep 6 2023 8:43 utc | 4

excellent work b (multiple examples rebutted, Yippy Ki-Yay)

p.s. I was puzzled as German sort of Indy media "Telepolis" just yesterday had picked up on this very negative hype on China which sort of came abruptly. It had something fishy. Now I know where the smell came from.

Posted by: AG | Sep 6 2023 9:09 utc | 5

Interesting Chart. If true I know why the Bankers do not like China. The people's earning percentage to GDP is way too high for them. If the get their wish in Russia serfdom will be reinstated.

The phrase from WEF, "you will own nothing and be happy" is serfdom. They will own everything and be very happy. Everything they touch will turn into shit.

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 6 2023 9:41 utc | 6

Where's the doom-casting from Gordon Chang? You cannot have a proper pity party of frustrated schadenfreude about China without Gordon Chang. That guy is the champion of failed unrequited wishful predictions about China's demise. More than thirty years of "Any minute now!" with no gratification? Talk about blue balls!

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 9:42 utc | 7

Considering the topic, the poster Antonym should be spamming this discussion "Any minute now!" I strongly suspect that guy is Gordon Chang in drag.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 9:56 utc | 8

p.s. I was puzzled as German sort of Indy media "Telepolis" just yesterday had picked up on this very negative hype on China which sort of came abruptly. It had something fishy. Now I know where the smell came from.

Posted by: AG | Sep 6 2023 9:09 utc | 5

---

Telepolis is about as much Indy as Baerbock, Habeck and Scholz.

Posted by: Nobody | Sep 6 2023 10:02 utc | 9

Does that "Wages % Share of GDP" chart consider wage supplements such as Medicare, Medicaid, and S.S.A.?

Also, is an increase in that metric forever a good thing, or is there a "sweet spot"? Thanks.

Posted by: SYaba | Sep 6 2023 10:28 utc | 10

What I've told friends is to simply Google "China" and "economy", click the news option and behold the doom scroll that goes back years and years. And note that if all this was true, China would have collapsed, long ago.

Posted by: bobzibub | Sep 6 2023 10:31 utc | 11

SYaba @10: "Also, is an increase in that metric ["Wages % Share of GDP"] forever a good thing, or is there a "sweet spot"?"

That "sweet spot" should be somewhere around 100% I should think, at least once a country's infrastructure and manufacturing capacity is built out. Why should there be any GDP that doesn't manifest as a wage for someone?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 10:48 utc | 12


I barely know why anyone listens to this perennial bashing of China's economy any more. Failed economists if you check 'em out you invariably find that their tenure at their particular bank, academic institution or think tank has or is just about to end their rort. No reputable economist puts their name to such tripe, still it appears with less & less notable 'economists' scraping the barrel in hope of rehabilitation. Always fails cos few careers can be built on a reputation for dissemination unless one considers a seven figure salary as a TV pundit to be rehabilitation, that is apart from the down & out desperates.

The important part is that less and less humans believe their spiels simply because whatever these scum claim China always does better than anywhere else. When these pundits claim China is going down the gurgler the rest of the world pauses knowing that however bad thinks may get for China their economy will be worse.

China's economists know that as a great deal of their economic success is based on capitalism which always trips & stumbles eventually, they need to be ready for that just as Russia was ready for her unjust SMO sanctions.

Those western creeps always telegraph their punches because any western pol's real target is its own voters, so they tell aforesaid voters exactly what they plan to do next in the hope that success will bring them credit.

China pays attention and ameliorates problems as much as possible before they happen so amerikans' pushback has the punch and the power of a gnat's bite.

I still wonder what will be the last straw in amerika.

eg I'm greatly surprised to note that amerikans in the bastion of alleged freedom and individuality have accepted the reality of never owning the pot they piss in, now huge private equity combines replete with tax breaks and hot off the printing press cash, have cornered the market on home ownership guaranteeing working people will spend their disposable income on rent so they can never buy.
Nero fiddled whist Rome burned cos he had paid off street thugs to burn Rome's CBD so he could build a huge palace on thousands of former homes. amerika's current elites seem not to know that this was the action which turned citizens against him and caused his to be the last Julio-Claudian emporer. If amerikans still have any balls the actions of the last seven or eight slimy prezzes will provoke the same outcome, media be damned, reality cannot be ignored.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 6 2023 11:32 utc | 13

I live in a Chinese tier 4 City for past 10 years.
And formed my own empirical yardstick of boom and gloom of Chinese society.
You've heard of Burgernomic, so now I bring to you EBikenomics. Tried and tested evidence of growing consumer spending.
I live in an Evergrande estate (cue laughter at collapsing Chinese real estate) and the past months since China officially lifted all US Virus caused restrictions as of January 2023, there's a massive boom in the number of electric bikes, etrikes, Dinky ecars just in my estate alone.

These people's transports is spilling from sidewalk to roadways in search of parking spaces. And more rows of electric charging points for them.

Up to you what you make of this.

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 6 2023 11:34 utc | 14

So the usual projection then.

Well it is a change from "Russia is collapsing", "Putin is weak", etc. which is also projection.

I imagine Assad enjoys being ignored for a while.

It is so good that Cheney is still alive to see the results of his greed and stupidity.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2023 11:42 utc | 15

Essentially, China has the best capitalist economy because it has a communist government. This mix gets the best of economic freedom and capital formation while avoiding the corruption of government by monopolistic forces and charlatans posing as politicians.

If Russia had liberalized its economy instead of its politics, the Soviet Union would still be around and it would be a success story similar to the Chinese.

Posted by: Johan Kaspar | Sep 6 2023 11:42 utc | 16

These people's transports is spilling from sidewalk to roadways in search of parking spaces. And more rows of electric charging points for them.

Up to you what you make of this.

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 6 2023 11:34 utc | 14

Too much is worse than none is what I make of it. When you are already crowded, lots of consumer crap makes it all worse. Been there done that. Soon you will have storage rental businesses everywhere too. Consumer culture, despite its many attractions, sucks in the end. You don't need all that crap, what you need is good people around you, people you can trust, and that is all you really need.

This whole idea of electrifying everything with the same old electric grid is not going to work either, not here anyway. Perhaps You in
China will be able to do it, but it will not be better when you do. The problem is not what kind of energy we use, it is how much we use. The problem is not people, it how many people. Quantity has a quality all its own.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2023 12:09 utc | 17

These people's transports is spilling from sidewalk to roadways in search of parking spaces. And more rows of electric charging points for them.

Up to you what you make of this.

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 6 2023 11:34 utc | 14


Just a quick question.
Are the stories about the ebikes and escooters spontaneously combusting overhyped or true enough?
Saw a youtube story about this Phenomenon a few days ago.
You've much better placed to comment though!

Posted by: jpc | Sep 6 2023 12:20 utc | 18

Posted by: Lev Davidovich | Sep 6 2023 8:33 utc | 3

##########

I am very protective of my butt, a NYT masthead might give me an STD.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 12:24 utc | 19

Do you really need to ask why? I believe I answered the question when I posted this seven years ago in November 2016.

HOW MEDIA PRODUCES LIES FROM HALF-TRUTHS & FACTOIDS

MSM has a code word they use when they are lying: UNPREDICTABLE! It means that any information they give on the subject is totally useless in predicting its future behavior. "Unpredictable" topics include Trump, Assad, Putin, and North Korea.

Mainstream news on "unpredictable" topics consists of four ingredients in varying proportions:

  1. Outright lies: In the Syrian context this often takes the form of accusing "Assad" for crimes committed by "rebels".
  2. Half truths
  3. Falsoids (was factoids): small pieces of falsehoods and lies that have already been shown to be lies, but that are repeated by the media so often that sheeple believe them to be true. "Assad, who last year gassed his own people, denied..."
  4. Facts: the most useful fact are the time and place of alleged events. Sometime the article may contain useful pieces of eyewitness testimony.

The factual parts of the article however do little to help the reader form a coherent picture of events. They are chosen in the same way photo mosaic collages are made. First a narrative is created, that the writers and articles must follow. Suitable pieces of factual content are chosen, so that taken together they produce something that resembles the predetermined narrative.

***

A former editor and correspondent of the The New York Times, Michael Cieply describes how the newspaper works:

Stunned By Trump, The New York Times Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching - Deadline, November 10, 2016

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: “My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?”

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper’s daily Page One meeting: “We set the agenda for the country in that room.”

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 6 2023 12:31 utc | 20

Let’s not forget that the reason for slowing in China’s real estate sector is that in recent years, the government deliberately bankrupted Evergrande, the largest speculator. XI said at the time said something like housing is a right, not something to speculate on.

Posted by: John Schoonover | Sep 6 2023 12:34 utc | 21

Western propaganda is not even creative anymore. Since Ukraine they've just been throwing every kind of shit at the wall they can think of regardless of credibility or logic. Or in this case of China, just lazily wheeling out the same ol' discredited trope that had never come true during the last 20 years they've been saying it. It's probably why so many countries are eager to join the brics in the last couple of years, the smell of decline is overwhelming.

Posted by: Autumn | Sep 6 2023 12:37 utc | 22

This whole idea of electrifying everything with the same old electric grid is not going to work either, not here anyway. Perhaps You in
China will be able to do it, but it will not be better when you do. The problem is not what kind of energy we use, it is how much we use. The problem is not people, it how many people. Quantity has a quality all its own.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2023 12:09 utc | 17

It is obvious this "Bewildered" poster has not bothered to study China's electric infrastructure...

Is ignorant of the massive new Hydro/Wind/Solar power plants...
Is ignorant of the many new nuclear power plants coming on stream
Is ignorant of the great improvements in air and water quality consequent to China's shift to EVs
Is ignorant of China's pioneering work on Thorium Fueled Molten Salt Reactors, Pebble Bed Reactors, and breeder reactors
Is ignorant of China's recent completion of the north-south waterway
Is ignorant of China's success in breeding giant rice, salt tolerant rice
Is ignorant of China's fielding high speed rail lines exceeding 450 km/hr
and....
Is ignorant of China's success in greening it's deserts, making rural life attractive...

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 6 2023 12:44 utc | 23

the government deliberately bankrupted ...

Posted by: John Schoonover | Sep 6 2023 12:34 utc | 21

---

And they'll do it again! That trick never gets old. It gives liberals righteous vapors.

When my Central Bank does a thing its good, but when your Central Bank does it, its bad.

Posted by: too scents | Sep 6 2023 12:45 utc | 24

Keeping families out of poverty in a capitalist system?

https://www.picodi.com/us/bargain-hunting/minimum-wage-2023

Minimum wage worldwide: how did the record inflation affect those earning the least?

Posted by: Oui | Sep 6 2023 13:08 utc | 25

A significant problem for western thought / analysis / decision making is that many believe their media to be the global media. It probably started in the 90’s but really became noticeable in the early 00’s when certain magazines and newspapers were regularly available at airports and train stations globally. It’s parallel to the Friedman motto of “everything you need to know about country X can be learned from my conversation with a cab driver who happened to speak perfect English”.

Western leadership became convinced that its media was the primary source of information globally. And before the internet it did play a large role for anyone speaking English. But that was never the majority of the global population and the internet destroyed whatever power it had.

Theoretically, it means that articles like this have a strong effect on global opinion. Realistically, it’s just preaching to the choir. But because the west has convinced itself that western media is the primary source of information for the planet, the end result is the west merely propagandizing itself. Combine that with the particularly American idea that nowhere else in the world really matters and you’re left with the US-EU axis believing things about the rest of the world that simply aren’t true. The downsides of this information environment won’t be felt until it’s too late. And it’s also clear that whatever serious intelligence work is done in western capitols is secondary to media opinion formation in leadership circles. Meaning leadership is making poor decisions based on poor information.

Posted by: Lex | Sep 6 2023 13:16 utc | 26

If Chris Buckley lives in China why doesn't he quote even one person who is really involved in China's economy or policy making? Isn't there any active Chinese politician or Chinese CEO or Chinese economist or Chinese worker he could quote?

answer
A) they lose their job
B) their social rating score collapses and they can’t access society in general
C) they don’t trust western media
D) all of the above

Posted by: Kimert | Sep 6 2023 13:21 utc | 27

Bemildred @17: "The problem is not what kind of energy we use, it is how much we use. The problem is not people, it how many people."

Oh no! Not you too!

This is a very dangerous line of thought as the people who think it are invariably thinking of there being too many other people and are exempting themselves. This is exemplified by larded-up Americans who are each spewing more carbon than more than half a dozen other people on the planet combined, and consuming enormously more resources than many others combined on top of that.

Rather than using less energy, humanity needs to use more. Much more. Like an order of magnitude more. Energy use is one of the metrics for how developed a civilization is, and we're not so developed as we think so long as hundreds of millions in South Asia still cook their meals over burning cow poop instead of in microwave ovens.

To be sure, burning fossil carbon for energy is a dead end, but there are good alternatives. I won't go into the details of the best of those alternatives because it is well beyond what most people now can imagine, but know that the Chinese are working on it and they are going to succeed. And when the Chinese succeed they will become the new age OPEC, offering vast, practically unlimited amounts of cheap and perfectly "green" energy to the world. Let's see if we can hold off recommending genocide of the less fortunate until then, OK?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 13:26 utc | 28

Why? Because everything we are told to believe is a lie.
Funny thing, it is very simple. Repeat that sentance in your mind, everytime you are told to believe this or that. I guarantee you everything changes when you stick to it

Posted by: mtntopforge | Sep 6 2023 13:43 utc | 29

humanity needs to use more. Much more.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 13:26 utc | 28

---

What a flying taxi level of comment.

In practically every case energy is traded against time.

When people learn (or are allowed) to properly value time the energy situation will take care of itself.

The capitalist's tight coupling of time with money is what drives energy consumption.

The technological solution to energy conservation is the prudent application of socialism.

Posted by: too scents | Sep 6 2023 13:49 utc | 30

too scents @30

Here you go: Flying taxi.

As I said, "it is well beyond what most people now can imagine", and that certainly includes you. There's no shame in that.

As for what drives energy consumption, speak for yourself. I suppose you'd cook with cow flops too if it were not for capitalism, right?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 14:09 utc | 31

Posted by: jpc | Sep 6 2023 12:20 utc | 18

They do sometimes burn up. But very rarely. Given China's population of 1.44 billion people and most of them actually have one of these ebikes then it'd seem "frequent".
The problem arise when these idiots bring their ebikes back home to charge up and sometimes Cheap ebikes don't have auto charge off so it gets heated up. Because they don't want to pay a bit more for public charging facilities they risk burning their families and neighbours up.
Back in my home country where these ebikes are actually banned the burning up incidences are MORE often then in China because the importers tamper with boosting the speed limitation circuits of these ebikes.

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 6 2023 14:11 utc | 32

The technological solution to energy conservation is the prudent application of socialism.

Posted by: too scents | Sep 6 2023 13:49 utc | 30

Posted by: Phil R | Sep 6 2023 14:20 utc | 33

My late father who was a senior diplomat in the US Foreign Service said 25 years ago that the thinking at State (he knew everyone) was that "it was either the Chinese or us who would run the world and it better be us." That has been the thinking in the foreign policy elite for decades. Most diplomats of that time were not neocons but they gradually moved to the neocon positions of using aggressive and bellicose methods to assert American supremacy because, as they were nearly all political liberals, they did not want the future dominated by what they saw as highly authoritarian regime that would institute a global order resembling a global 1984. At that time, most senior diplomats, heads of liberal think tanks cared about the country and believed in its future. I think 911, as they said in those days "changed everything."

Diplomats, soldiers, think-tankers all warmed to the idea of "being at war" and did not question during the aughts the aggressive direction they were going in. The press in particular joined into the rah-rah America thing. What disillusion came in was moderate by their personal need to advance their careers (the younger professionals in the foreign policy Blob) and be the very model of 1950s "organizational men." My father, a realist of the Hans Morgantheau school (he was mentored by him at the UC) became deeply skeptical of the new patriotism and did what he could to change minds before he died.

My point is that the foreign policy community that now contains not only the Deep State federal and international (NATO etc.) organizations, but also all major US and Western news organizations--they all, I suspect, see themselves as bulwarks against a potential tide of authoritarian societies led by China to destroy the international order. Few of them understood that by adopting such a militant view that they themselves and not the Russians or Chinese would be the bringers of their own kind of authoritarianism and they have wildly succeeded. The NYT is a branch of the government and are seen by themselves and the feds as warriors for their side. Sadly both the news hacks and the foreign policy apparatchiks are stuck in that mode. Thus when senior editors at the Times have dinner with State, WH, or CIA people they get the "line" that in the usual Washington "nudge-nudge-wink-wink" way that only negative stories can be published about China there it goes. The media is now no different than the Soviet or Nazi media in its organization and direction. Even if a reporter wanted to provide a deeper context to their stories they would know they would be immediately be fired for contradicting the Party Line. This is what we've come to in the USA at all senior levels of leadership in all institutions. They lie and distort as a policy and a way of life--and feel righteous and noble soldiers for doing so, at best, at worst they just punch the clock.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Sep 6 2023 14:20 utc | 34

The truth is that nobody knows anything definate about the state of the Chinese economy. Not even the Politburo. Lower rungs of the party lie and cheat to advance; they falsify statistics and fudge numbers to an incredible extent. That is why outside oberservers and the PB rely on other numbers like electricity consumption and the production of certain goods to get an idea of the state of things. These metrics don´t look good at all. Worst of all is the real estate crisis which you can identify by looking at published numbers of prepaid vs. finished apartments. It is the biggest Ponzi scheme (using new money to finish older buildings) the world has ever seen. The PB cannot not bail out the RE sector as tens of millions of chinese have invested their life savings. But there´s the problem of moral hazard and the fact that there are already tens of millions of empty appartments. Will be interesting to see how Beijing will solve this problem. Most likely is a Japanese style solution: extend and pretend.

Posted by: Tom67 | Sep 6 2023 14:21 utc | 35

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 6 2023 14:11 utc | 32

Thanks.
Great to hear from someone in the area.

Posted by: jpc | Sep 6 2023 14:21 utc | 36

The technological solution to energy conservation is the prudent application of socialism.

Posted by: too scents | Sep 6 2023 13:49 utc | 30

Maybe I'm just naive, but I seriously doubt that socialism is the "technological solution" to anything, much less energy conservation.

(sorry about the previous post. Accidentally hit "post" before finishing).

Posted by: Phil R | Sep 6 2023 14:22 utc | 37

Maybe I'm just naive, but I seriously doubt that socialism is the "technological solution" to anything, much less energy conservation.

Posted by: Phil R | Sep 6 2023 14:22 utc | 37

##################

I don't think you're naive. For some, socialism is the answer to everything. Remember, "true Communism" hasn't been tried yet! 😂

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 14:28 utc | 38

It is the biggest Ponzi scheme (using new money to finish older buildings) the world has ever seen.

Posted by: Tom67 | Sep 6 2023 14:21 utc | 35

##########

Dear friend, I anxiously await you applying the same analysis to the "American economy".

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 14:30 utc | 39

Tom67 @35: "... there are already tens of millions of empty appartments. Will be interesting to see how Beijing will solve this problem."

Foreclose, seize the physical assets (real estate), and sell to local moms and pops for jiǎo on the dollar. Most of the overextended investments are by foreigners anyway so it won't hurt China very much. Hey, investors make their money by taking risks with it, right? Risks don't always pay off, so deal with it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 14:37 utc | 40

The empire is good at media warfare. That is probably focus management due to the recent (several days ago)
A new Huawei phone has defeated US chip sanctions against China"

Posted by: Grey Cloud | Sep 6 2023 14:37 utc | 41

The New York Times is not a newspaper, it hasn't been one for years. It has transitioned into an American Völkischer Beobachter, the German Nazi party propaganda rag. The Deep State had enough of the NYT during the VietNam War and took it over in broad daylight. Why would you give any credence to anything it prints, when its purpose is not to inform, but to form public opinion.

Posted by: DrCiber | Sep 6 2023 14:39 utc | 42

The biggest problem in "Capitalist" economies is the commercial-bank-debt-as-currency system imposed on us by governments granting private banks the right to create fiat currencies ex-nihilo every time they extend loans.

I don't know whether the Chinese have a similar monetary system, but if not, they're miles ahead of us in the "capitalist" West.

Posted by: Observer | Sep 6 2023 14:47 utc | 43

China and Russia are finally eradicating the EVIL and demons who reside in the Western hemisphere. Please continue.

Posted by: AI | Sep 6 2023 14:58 utc | 44

I don't know whether the Chinese have a similar monetary system, but if not, they're miles ahead of us in the "capitalist" West.
Posted by: Observer | Sep 6 2023 14:47 utc | 43

When it comes to bad debt, China is worse than we are and has been for several decades. The difference is that the Chinese system is better at both subsidizing the bad debt and hiding the problem. That is one of the reasons the Chinese have so much money to spend with things like the Belt and Road project and the government building things in other countries generally. And also why they get involved in building whole cities that nobody lives in and the very expensive high speed rail. They have a surplus of funds that they can't actually make good use of.

Posted by: Jmaas | Sep 6 2023 14:58 utc | 45

I don't think you're naive. For some, socialism is the answer to everything. Remember, "true Communism" hasn't been tried yet! 😂

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 14:28 utc | 38

Yep. Same has been said for "true Socialism" and "true Marxism." There has never been and there will never be a "prudent application of socialism."

Posted by: Phil R | Sep 6 2023 14:58 utc | 46

I see Chinese mobile phone videos that slipped through the Great Firewall of China: a picture says a 1000 words.
For words there are Weibo messages that get cut off by (AI) Censors but some still make it abroad.
Logic also answers some Chinese riddles.

For those who do not want to see there is no remedy.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 6 2023 15:02 utc | 48

A commonplace problem when an economy expands rapidly is that some asset class gets bid up too high in price. Or too much of some asset is acquired. As the money to do it is commonly borrowed, the outcome is an asset that may no longer be worth the amount of money that was borrowed to purchase it. That produces credit problems: there is a bunch of bad debt. Plus once the growth slows, as it always will, the overpriced asset class stagnates in value or falls.

Unless some agency steps in and covers the bad debt the situation will crash the credit market which will be followed by a recession or depression, depending on severity. If the government steps in and cover the expenses of the speculators using public money, there is still the holdover problem of a major asset class that is stagnant or declining in value. That stagnates the economy and will terminate economic growth, if not cause a decline.

The major asset class that has been overbid in price both here and in China is real estate. China, apparently, has it worse than we do, but their more regimented society can sometimes deal with these things better than our more capitalist society. As far as the Chinese economy crashing to our benefit, on balance I think we look weaker then they do.

Posted by: Jmaas | Sep 6 2023 15:03 utc | 49

Just a quick question. Are the stories about the ebikes and escooters spontaneously combusting overhyped or true enough? Saw a youtube story about this Phenomenon a few days ago. You've much better placed to comment though!

Posted by: jpc | Sep 6 2023 12:20 utc | 18

Lithium-ion batteries that contain nickel and cobalt have problems with thermal runaway (fires) when damaged. The newer LFP batteries don't have this problem, even when shorted out, and the even newer sodium-ion batteries don't have this problem either. That's why electric car makers are switching to LFP (and newer) batteries.

Posted by: Contrarian_Ed | Sep 6 2023 15:08 utc | 50

there are a great many people who have lived in various EU countries inc UK for their entire lives
who do not have much of a clue as to what is going in their own countries.
quite a few not even don't know, they don't even care.

if you want a China expert ask Dan Collins (https://twitter.com/dancollins2011?lang=en)
who had lived and worked there from 1990s onwards , returning to US only (emphasize the word only )when Donald Trump got elected.

my only take on China has been regarding their scientific technological accomplishments.
try for example https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/t/chinese-semiconductor-industry.8479/page-2784
quote from european guy
"You need to do the hard and dirty work to do that. I don't think EU elites are capable of planning a 15 year long industrial Policy plan to take back control of their cyber domain. Let alone execute it."

"Differently from US and China, Europe lacks geopolitical sovereignty. Not because of our choice, but because of our history. And to invest to create an independent semiconductor industry (not to just subsidize an Intel fab in Germany), an industry able to compete at world level, you will necessarily step on the toes of someone that Bruxelles politicians don't go against, someone who allows them to remain there....and no, this someone is not the European citizens."


Posted by: chris m | Sep 6 2023 15:10 utc | 51

These guys are all following the Ukrainian model. When you're evidently losing, claim vociferously and against all actual evidence, that you're winning.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Sep 6 2023 15:11 utc | 52

@Nobody 9

Well this has not been always the case in TP´s 20+ years.

And in order to be fair I said "sort of". Otherwise TP would be indistinguishable to FAZ, ZEIT, TAZ, SZ.
And there are differences. Even it those often go back to US that is non-TP generated content.

Question is, will TP deteriorate more or stay stable on this in-between (as I see it) level.

Naturally when Heise Company wants to start making more profit, which became apparent with Neuber taking over, that meant a little "house-cleaning".

Posted by: AG | Sep 6 2023 15:14 utc | 53

Yeah, I recently had an epiphany. Taking as true the various claims that the US doesn't understand Russia and that all it "knows" of Russia is BS fed to it by dissidents with an axe to drind, what are the odds it's the same story with China? Methinks "very very high". Which means anything the West (and especially USA) says about China should really be viewed with the exact same suspicion as the things they say about Russia.

Posted by: rert | Sep 6 2023 15:17 utc | 54

The Press is as much a part of the USG as Congress and POTUS, if not more so. There's a 2020 4-part doco called "Hillary" available on the www.

Part 1 is called The Golden Girl.
Part 2 is called Becoming A Lady.
Part 3 is called The Hardest Decision.
Part 4 is called Be Our Champion - Go Away.

10 minutes into Part 2, Bill is talking about the run-up to his successful campaign for POTUS, namely a conversation with an unnamed bigwig in an unnamed Press outlet.

The bigwig didn't want Bill to run that year and emphasised his desire by telling Bill...
"If you do run we will destroy you."
He ran home to Hillary and she told him to grow a pair and ignore the threat. And Bill became Prez.

In an aside Bill said that "the Press always have a preferred candidate."
.........
Whatever the truth may be, there's no doubt that the Western MSM does think of itself as omnipotent.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 6 2023 15:21 utc | 55

I must say that it seems like a lot of Chinese entrepreneurs have grasped capitalism's deepest core: Take the money and run. The quality of products is often abysmal, and one can not rely on it. You can get good stuff, and again you may not.
This may sound trivial and irrelevant like anecdotal evidence in medicine but I see it as symptomatic and telling a lot.

Posted by: Catilina | Sep 6 2023 15:21 utc | 56

Interesting that the latest IPSOS global poll shows that the Chinese people are the happiest in the world.
Their government is clearly doing something right.
see: https://www.ipsos.com/en/global-happiness-six-points-last-year-73-now-say-they-are-happy

Posted by: Ascot2 | Sep 6 2023 15:33 utc | 57

Which means anything the West (and especially USA) says about China should really be viewed with the exact same suspicion as the things they say about Russia.

Posted by: rert | Sep 6 2023 15:17 utc | 54

################

It is an epiphany to realize the scope and depth of the lies, and how widely they are believed (becoming mythology in some cases) in the West. It's beyond compulsive at this point. People see ghosts because they were told there was a ghost. Not even relying on their own senses and experiences any longer. Programmable lemmings.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 15:38 utc | 58

rert @54: "...anything the West (and especially USA) says about China should really be viewed with the exact same suspicion as the things they say about Russia."

You know there is a serious problem when the western presstitution industry uses satellite imagery of a major city as the source for their stories and cannot even be bothered to pick up a phone and call someone in the neighborhood. China is apparently practically on another planet as far as these ignorant presstitutes with their participation trophy diplomas are concerned.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 15:40 utc | 59

The biggest problem in "Capitalist" economies is the commercial-bank-debt-as-currency system imposed on us by governments granting private banks the right to create fiat currencies ex-nihilo every time they extend loans.

I don't know whether the Chinese have a similar monetary system, but if not, they're miles ahead of us in the "capitalist" West.

Posted by: Observer | Sep 6 2023 14:47 utc | 43

So, China is a capitalist country. Capitalism is a globalized system that ties every country into one socioeconomic system.

The Chinese and American economies are the twin engines of the system, not unlike the UK and Germany before WW1. Like the UK at that time the US is the aging belligerent power lashing out violently across the world to stave off it's inevitable decline. China, like Germany at the time, is the younger, healthier rival that is being targeted by the old dying power.

Globalized Capitalism is indeed on the verge of collapse. Every country in the world is seeing a fall in growth, inflation, the growth of bad debt. The bad debt will be called in at some major point in the system and will trigger a global depression. This will effect all countries severely including Capitalist China.

However, China has innovated from it's first modern iteration as a member of the Communist block. Its Capitalism is dominated by the state not a collection of unproductive billionaire robber barons. Hence while the US has produced a number of billionaires in recent years, the Chinese create massive productive infrastructure the world over.

China enjoys a superior model of Capitalism and of all the countries in the world is best positioned to mitigate the effects of a global depression and become the center of a newer and healthier global system.

So, the global breakdown of Capitalism is real and as an integral part of that system, China, like all countries is facing unprecedented economic challenges. But US imperialism will not weather the storm this time around. It is a hollowed out shell of an economy with very limited productive power, an economy that is crippled under the weight of bad debts, savage economic polarization and consequently a political system that staggers from one crisis to another.

It knows this and is therefore accelerating military provocations and fast-tracking a world war in the hopes that it's military power can force a win before China/Russia/Row grow too powerful to stop.

The china gloom coming from the Imperialist propaganda network is another desperate psyop to create the impression that the Chinese model of Capitalism is in fact the weak link and investors should withdraw everything from unstable China now and place their bets on the collapsing whore house of US capitalism.

But the Chinese are sane, clever and respectful of other countries. They don't militarily intervene anywhere (for now) and for Capitalists they even seem to have a social conscience, probably another vestige of their communist past.

They are acutely aware of the game US imperialism is playing. See:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/09/06/yplz-s06.html

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 15:41 utc | 60

This may sound trivial and irrelevant like anecdotal evidence in medicine but I see it as symptomatic and telling a lot.

Posted by: Catilina | Sep 6 2023 15:21 utc | 56

#############

A very different civilization, which includes language, art, religion, morals, manners, and traditions.

The Chinese view legacy through the family lens, more so than building a commercial empire as is often the goal in the West.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 15:41 utc | 61

thanks b.. keep on shining a light on the western msm's madness.. it never stops, bu shedding light on it, might allow a few observant ones to be released from a steady diet of propaganda...

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2023 15:41 utc | 62

I wrote yesterday about the growing gap in genuine GDP/Development between China, which is growing at 5-8%, and the USA, whose GDP is declining at 2-3% annually, making the gap from 7-11%, which is rather large. Remember, when properly removing all the Neoliberal and other overhead costs to GDP as should be done, China is already the largest economy on the planet, which is a fact those in the Swamp can't admit as Chris Cosmos @34 points out. And with the start of the ASEAN Summit and related events in Indonesia this week followed by the G-20, the laminated minds in the Swamp needed to publish something uplifting even if it's not true, sorta like Ukrainian conflict reports from earlier this year. Global Times seems pleased to engage in a sort of media tennis with the likes of the NYT and other Western publications, "Western media chanting ‘China collapse’ won’t hinder nation’s growth amid emerging economic rebound signs":

Some Western media outlets have been churning out a flurry of vociferous columns bad-mouthing and smearing the Chinese economy, with increasingly gloomy and scary headlines. However, the dire prediction about the Chinese economy is only imagination and propaganda of some Western politicians and media outlets to distract their domestic audiences from domestic issues while discouraging other countries from cooperating with China out of fear that the world's second-largest economy may become No.1, experts said.

The reality is that Chinese economy is well on the recovery track with increasingly strong innovation and green development momentum, though the economy faces some difficulties and challenges under the impact of global economic slowdown. Like the nirvana of the phoenix, China's economy always thrives after growing pains and the threadbare "China collapse" theory will turn out to be a total lie, they said, noting that China's economic miracle will carry on.

Tsunami of misinformation

While voices claiming "China's collapse" never stops when there is a slight slowdown in the Chinese economy, the headlines keep getting appalling. "How Scary Is China's Crisis?" an article in the New York Times written by famed US economist Paul Krugman read. The newspaper went even further, as one article, written by another famed New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, sought to address how the US may "manage China's decline?" Bloomberg asserted in an article published on Tuesday that "China slowdown means it may never overtake US economy." Reuters claimed on Monday, "Part of China's economic miracle was a mirage."

Dismissing highlights in the Chinese economy so far this year, intensive government policies to revive the economy and profound industrial upgrade that promotes high quality growth, these media outlets have been fixated on certain economic indicators in China to hype various dire claims about the country's economic outlook. A New York Times column went on to hype up "growing China threat," saying that US policymakers should be "unbending and uncowed" on issues including the South China Sea, the island of Taiwan, the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"There is no surprise that Western media and politicians push the 'China collapse' and 'China threat' theories, as China having made great economic achievements with non-US growth model shatters modern-is-Western myth," Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Ignoring profound risks and challenges in the US economy, US President Joe Biden recently called China's economy a "ticking time bomb," while US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reportedly called China's economy a "risk factor" for the US. [My Emphasis]

The NYT's writer who supposedly is in China could have easily called Fudan University to ask Zhang Weiwei for comment, but that would be too easy. I provided several links and additional commentary in the substack I wrote on the 4th, "Complimentary Comment to MoA's 'How Sanctions Failed To Hinder China's Development'". And as the top linked item tells us, many others at NYT also wrote hit pieces including the disreputable Paul Krugman who famously doesn't know what money is as Hudson was keen to point out a few years ago.

IMO, the best play Chinese media can make in its game of tennis with Western media is to calculate the Outlaw US Empire's genuine GDP to prove the fact that China's economy is bigger while that of the Empire is shrinking, which will backfoot Swamp critters and drive them crazy. For hiding the continual shrinking of GDP is one of the biggest tasks of the US Government and is a domestic political bomb waiting to explode--Biden's actual "ticking time bomb."

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2023 15:44 utc | 63

I lived in Shanghai for 20+ years, until 2016. I met Chris Buckley at least a dozen times. He's a clown of highest order who has managed to learn nothing from decades of life in China, primarily because he sits in his gated compound for expats night and day, talks only to other expats and spooks, and never ventures into an area without a 5 star hotel and a Starbucks. And then he speculates what's happening deep inside the CCP and assumes it's malevolent. What he writes is pure drivel.

Posted by: MDSmith | Sep 6 2023 15:47 utc | 64

There have seemed to be a lot of stories lately about Chinese economic troubles, aging population trouble, etc. etc. ... sometimes I wonder if some of these stories are planted by Chinese agents themselves so as to "reduce the threat," as it were.

In other words, if China is failing and is not going to be #1 after all, why make a big deal and make them enemy #1?

Too 10-dimensional?

Posted by: Caliman | Sep 6 2023 15:47 utc | 65

@ Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 15:41 utc | 60

very good overview and insights ahenobarbus.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2023 15:47 utc | 66

I don't think you're naive. For some, socialism is the answer to everything. Remember, "true Communism" hasn't been tried yet! 😂

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 14:28 utc | 38

Yep. Same has been said for "true Socialism" and "true Marxism." There has never been and there will never be a "prudent application of socialism."

Posted by: Phil R | Sep 6 2023 14:58 utc | 46

I'd say China's edge is precisely it's early efforts at Communism and the CCP, like Putin, has certainly benefited from the tutelage of Karl Marx and that world historic champion Vladimir Lenin, although the Soviet product Putin would likely deny that.

Imagine if the global army of wage slaves were to return to these brilliant thinkers and their precise materialist perspective on socioeconomics and history.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 15:50 utc | 67

@MDSmith | Sep 6 2023 15:47 utc | 64

I met Chris Buckley at least a dozen times. He's a clown of highest order who has managed to learn nothing from decades of life in China, primarily because he sits in his gated compound for expats night and day, talks only to other expats and spooks,
Are you an expat or spook or both? 😀

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 6 2023 15:56 utc | 68

I'd say China's edge is precisely it's early efforts at Communism and the CCP, like Putin, has certainly benefited from the tutelage of Karl Marx and that world historic champion Vladimir Lenin, although the Soviet product Putin would likely deny that.

Imagine if the global army of wage slaves were to return to these brilliant thinkers and their precise materialist perspective on socioeconomics and history.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 15:50 utc | 67

I don't necessarily agree with you but I always like your comments. they're always well thought out and informative.

Not a deep social analysis but I think the problem with wage slaves and the reason (or one of the reasons) they are wage slaves is that they might not have the intellectual capability or interest mass organization to "return to these brilliant thinkers..."

Posted by: Phil R | Sep 6 2023 15:59 utc | 69

I'd say China's edge is precisely it's early efforts at Communism and the CCP, like Putin, has certainly benefited from the tutelage of Karl Marx and that world historic champion Vladimir Lenin, although the Soviet product Putin would likely deny that.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 15:50 utc | 67

#############

China's edge is cultural, which influences its ideology. Culture leads, and ideology follows.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 16:04 utc | 70

Global Times also offers this update on the ASEAN and ASEAN-China Summits, "Li calls for opposing new Cold War, promoting cooperation: Premier makes a four-point proposal for closer China-ASEAN ties":

"The two sides have been deepening practical cooperation in the traditional and non-traditional security fields, and have upheld the five principles of peaceful co-existence and the purpose of the TAC (Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia)," Li remarked.

Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that "facing rising turbulence among the international community and the challenge of reverse globalization, China continues its attendance at the multilateral event held by ASEAN and chaired by Indonesia, where it presents China's solutions to global challenges with sincerity despite interruptions brought by external forces. These have shaped an image of China as a responsible major power."

The US is making great efforts to use disputes among regional countries on the South China Sea issue to instigate new tensions, interrupting the stability and development of the region to ruin the process of negotiation, experts said. These acts are not welcomed by the majority of ASEAN members, and with more pragmatic cooperation and dialogues with China, ASEAN is able to maintain peace and stability for the region to withstand external interruptions, they noted.

For ASEAN, the key is to see whether China or the US is sincere in its support of ASEAN's centrality in the region, Xu said. "While it openly expresses support, the US' actions show its duplicity. The Biden administration is trying to promote its Indo-Pacific strategy over and over again. It wants to force ASEAN members to join its small clique and to have unnecessary but dangerous tensions with China while offering no meaningful support to boost regional integration or economic development. It is only interested in costly security cooperation. This in fact weakens ASEAN's centrality and shows that the US' purpose is different from what ASEAN wants," Xu noted.

There's much more in the report including important POVs from other ASEAN members. And not to be missed is this short item, "Yoon calls for China-Japan-SK cooperation reboot", which were damaged by the Camp David Summit and Japan's release of Fukushima wastewater into the pacific:

South Korean media reported that President Yoon Suk-yeol will make efforts to get South Korea, Japan and China cooperating with one another once again during his summit meetings with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in order to ease tensions in the region. Experts said on Wednesday that China-Japan-South Korea trilateral talks, dampened by the recent Camp David Summit between the US, Japan and South Korea and Japan's dumping of nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, require sincerity and actions, not unprincipled pursuit of cooperation.

In an interview with Indonesian news outlet Kompas published on Tuesday, Yoon said "Cooperation between South Korea, Japan and China should get back on track." "When cooperation between the three Northeast Asian countries is reinvigorated, the cooperative ASEAN Plus Three scheme will gain greater momentum, and this will strengthen ASEAN centrality," he noted.

We shall see how successful Yoon is in extricating himself from the hole he dug in relations with China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2023 16:12 utc | 71

If Chris Buckley lives in China why doesn't he quote even one person who is really involved in China's economy or policy making? Isn't there any active Chinese politician or Chinese CEO or Chinese economist or Chinese worker he could quote?

answer
A) they lose their job
B) their social rating score collapses and they can’t access society in general
C) they don’t trust western media
D) all of the above

Posted by: Kimert | Sep 6 2023 13:21 utc | 27

Good question....

Why didn't he quote Dr. John Ross....
https://learningfromchina.net/the-news-is-full-of-headlines-about-chinas-economic-collapse-ignore-them/

Once again, the Western media Establishment, and sadly some on the left, are talking up an impending economic disaster in China, when the truth is quite the opposite, shows John Ross

IN THE last four years, covering the period of the Covid pandemic, China’s economy has grown two-and-a-half times as fast as the US, 15 times as fast as France, 23 times as fast as Japan, 45 times as fast as Germany, and 480 times as fast as Britain.

To add in smaller G7 countries, China has grown four times as fast as Canada, and 11 times as fast as Italy.

China’s outperformance of advanced capitalist countries is even greater in per capita terms — a still better measure of productivity changes and potential for increasing living standards.

China’s per capita GDP grew three times as fast as the US, five times as fast as Italy, 44 times as fast as Japan or France, and 260 times as fast as Britain — while per capita GDP fell in Germany and Canada.

China’s outperformance of developing capitalist countries shows the same pattern — China’s per capita 4.4 per cent GDP annual average growth compares to 2.6 per cent in India, 1.3 per cent in Brazil, or 0.9 per cent in South Africa.

Given this enormous economic outperformance by China of capitalist countries, any rational discussion that should be taking place in Western mainstream media about the international economic situation would be, “why is China’s economy hugely outperforming the US and the rest of the capitalist West?” and, “what lessons are to be learned from China’s socialist economy that is so outperforming the West?”

For the left, the issue that needs to be assessed and publicised is, “Why are real wages rising 18 times as fast in China as in the US, 44 times as fast as in Britain, while in France, Germany or India real wages are falling?”

Indeed, the present author would argue that much greater stress should be placed on the latter point. The international left has begun to absorb that China has lifted more than 850 million people out of World Bank-defined poverty in 40 years — by far the greatest poverty reduction achievement in human history.

But it has not yet internalised how rapidly not only the poorest but average living standards are rising in China — far faster than in any Western country.

But, of course, this real economic situation can’t be discussed in the mainstream media, because its conclusions would be too damaging for the capitalist West.

Instead, a type of mad discussion is unfolding, with US claims about China’s economy becoming increasingly bizarre — one might say deranged — as they get further and further out of touch with reality.

Bizarre.... indeed....

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 6 2023 16:16 utc | 72

Anyone with values of any sort, whose existence provides an unflattering contrast to the West, is demonized and made a villain.

China. Russia. Iran.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 16:20 utc | 73

Evergrande soars 70% leading Chinese property stocks higher after Country Garden avoids default
Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2023 15:00 utc | 47

Evergrande files for US bankruptcy protection as China economic fears mount, 18 Aug
summary: Evergrande is a holding company. China did not "bail out" Evergrande's international shareholders. China's SAFE receivers halted new Evergrande CapEx and construction, directing Evergrande to apply income on hand to completing on-shore RRE. (Surely, you remember mortgage holders' protests?). On the other hand, US will "bail out" international shareholders per Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2010 ("Dodd-Frank") adjusted creditor precedence. So. International demand for outstanding shares of Evergrande SOAR.

Posted by: sln2002 | Sep 6 2023 16:20 utc | 74

The overbuilding.
I was in China from most of 2006 through 2019. I took a different assignment almost every year and also in summer often. I have lived all over China.
Whether it is building subdivisions and blocks of highrises, or rolling out e-bikes, or natural gas for vehicles, China does things in a big way. Methinks that sometimes the investors and planners overestimate (or fudge) the future demand for their projects. I have stayed in a mostly empty highrise. But this is nothing new! It all works out eventually.

China can get stuff done quickly and they are dynamic and ambitious. The strong top down economy, well-educated leaders, positive can-do mentality, all figure in there.

Posted by: HelenB | Sep 6 2023 16:21 utc | 75

Yes, the propagandists shed all those crocodile tears about China...and totally ignore what's happening to the major EU economies, which are really hurting.

Jaimie Galbraith has it right...Biden needs a foreign policy success, so the propagandists are celebrating how Biden reined in China.
https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3231483/china-decline-new-us-narrative-geared-towards-2024-election

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 6 2023 16:25 utc | 76

I don't know whether the Chinese have a similar monetary system, but if not, they're miles ahead of us in the "capitalist" West.
Posted by: Observer | Sep 6 2023 14:47 utc | 43

I don't know what you think you mean by "monetary system" or what you think you know about China's banking and finance regulators, but you might as well study the post-WWII foundation of China's (RMB) "capital controls" before you move on to the difference between in spread "onshore" and "offshore" FX markets.

CNH vs CNY: Differences Between the Two Yuan
(frequently referred to as "currency manipulation" or "non-convertible" currency by westworld politicians who love to hate UST sales to gov.cn)

Posted by: sln2002 | Sep 6 2023 16:32 utc | 77

One currency, two systems. har har har.

Posted by: sln2002 | Sep 6 2023 16:33 utc | 78

William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 13:26 utc | 28 said:
humanity needs to use more [energy]. Much more.

too scents | Sep 6 2023 13:49 utc | 30 said:
What a flying taxi level of comment.

The use of far more energy is not a "flying taxi" fantasy. According to the MIT Energy Initiative,

The potential is enormous, says MIT physics professor Washington Taylor, who co-teaches a course on the physics of energy. A total of 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That's more than 10,000 times the world's total energy use. And that energy is completely renewable — at least, for the lifetime of the sun. "It's finite, but we're talking billions of years," Taylor says. [Emphasis added.]
The "more than 10,000 times" figure is reasonable. According to the International Energy Agency, the world uses about 10,000 Mtoe per year, or about 13 terawatts. That includes everything -- coal, oil, hydro, nuclear, and so on. It all adds up to roughly 13 terawatts. So yes, the sun really does shine over 10,000 times more energy than we are currently using.

I think the world should be using more energy if we want the Third World to reduce its poverty. Does Earth have enough other resources for American levels of waste to spread globally? Well, that's a different question. But at least in the most fundamental need -- for energy -- we're set.


too scents | Sep 6 2023 13:49 utc | 30 said: The technological solution to energy conservation is the prudent application of socialism.

We need this too of course, with emphasis on "prudent".

Posted by: Cyril | Sep 6 2023 16:37 utc | 79

"Maybe I'm just naive, but I seriously doubt that socialism is the "technological solution" to anything, much less energy conservation..." Phil R@37

It depends on what you mean by socialism which is, in essence, democratic planning of the economy.

Democracy implies an end to private property, the unequal distribution of which lies at the base of those inequalities in society which distort decision making, from a quest after what is most advantageoous to the planet and its inhabitants to a race to profit for individuals and narrow interest groups. A race in which the fate of the rest of us is not taken into account.

The use of energy ought obviously to be decided on the basis of the available supply, its price in terms of labour and environmental costs and social need.

Capitalist economics holds that no such calculations need be made- that the market plans everything perfectly ( a doctrine that discovers no fault in famines or pandemic massacres and actually celebrates declines in longevity and increases in insecurity.)

Unless one agrees with this doctrine and endorses the inevitable, bloody consequences of its practical application, one is bound to look for an alternative to the capitalist system. And all such alternatives will be socialist.

As to China it is wrong to characterise it as a Capitalist society although it undoubtedly contains capitalist elements within an economy in which political power is held by a peasant-worker alliance in a global economy organised on capitalist lines.
The Communist 'dictatorship' is clearly wagering that it can control the anti-social and crisis prone nature of capitalist development during a transition period in which global capitalism is contradicting itself into collapse, and disappearance.

There is no long term future for a society in which the oil and water of capitalism and socialism co-exist- the history of capitalism, just in the last fifty years, proves this beyond a doubt.

Capitalism has preserved itself by demolishing serially all those elements in society which tended towards socialism: publicly funded education, free healthcare available for all, adequate state pensions for the elderly, guarantees of employment or income, housing for all and those other marks of civilisation which capitalist barbarism cannot but long to devour and eradicate.

The choice is very clear and has been obvious for a century or more, it is between socialism and barbarism. And it was no accident that the woman who first posed the choice in that form was beaten to death by armed thugs employed by a capitalist government, headed by traitors.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 6 2023 16:38 utc | 80

Does that "Wages % Share of GDP" chart consider wage supplements such as Medicare, Medicaid, and S.S.A.?

Also, is an increase in that metric forever a good thing, or is there a "sweet spot"? Thanks.

Posted by: SYaba | Sep 6 2023 10:28 utc | 10
----------------------------------------------------

The "sweet spot" is somewhere near the point where there are no more private billionaires, no more offshore accounts, and 90 percent of GDP is wages and social services like Medicare, SSA: Let the sharks fight over the rest.

Posted by: Ed | Sep 6 2023 16:40 utc | 81

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2023 16:12 utc | 71

Yoon is an atavist of the Park Chung Hee persuasion. He has been a total disaster for S. Korea "liberal democracy" and export-dependent economy—which US occupation flushed down the drain back in the '60s, in point of fact.

Economic Growth in South Korea since WWII (a NBER publication LOL!)

Posted by: sln2002 | Sep 6 2023 16:46 utc | 82

a "flying taxi" fantasy. if we want the Third World to reduce its poverty.

Posted by: Cyril | Sep 6 2023 16:37 utc | 79

---

Flying taxis are not a fantasy. They are an idiocy, and unfortunately quite real.

Poverty in the third world isn't caused by a lack of energy. It is caused by displacement and encroachment.

Posted by: too scents | Sep 6 2023 16:51 utc | 83

China is not a Capitalist country. Capital controls the levers of politics in a capitalist country, by definition. China has markets that are open but that’s not a feature of capitalism. In fact, capitalism will always close markets (that is make them less free) to reduce competition and concentrate the wealth of the market(s) into a few hands.

Mistaking open markets for a feature of capitalism and/or that they can only exist in “capitalism” is the greatest triumph of American propaganda. (Hat tip to the English for their contributions.) It prompts people to believe that the opposite corollary - open markets can’t exist in socialist / communist systems - which is false.

A good argument can be made that open markets that benefit consumers isn’t possible in capitalism and can only be secured by socialism wherein the government acts for the benefit of the majority by forcing open markets. This system may also decide that there are sectors of the economy that are not subjected to open markets.

Posted by: Lex | Sep 6 2023 16:53 utc | 84

The choice is very clear and has been obvious for a century or more, it is between socialism and barbarism. And it was no accident that the woman who first posed the choice in that form was beaten to death by armed thugs employed by a capitalist government, headed by traitors.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 6 2023 16:38 utc | 80


Actually tortured, shot in the back of the head, and dumped in the Landwehr Canal. Your point is still valid of course.

Posted by: malenkov | Sep 6 2023 17:10 utc | 85

MDSmith @64: "...never ventures into an area without a 5 star hotel and a Starbucks."

I generally stay away from those areas when I travel so the only expats I tend to see are at "authentic Irish pubs", which apparently can be purchased in kit form and are actually made in Ireland, so in a sense they really are authentic Irish pubs. They are everywhere in the world now and if you need a British or Australian expat for some reason (I can't imagine why) that's where you will find them.

I solo traveled all over Venezuela and saw almost no anglo/euro/yankee foreigners. I had to deal with some issues back in the States so I booked at a five star hotel for a few days in the central business district in Caracas while clearing those things up. Who'd of guessed, but the hotel lounge was full of journalists presstitutes! I was a little disappointed as I was expecting prostitutes, who tend to be more interesting. The only times I saw the presstitutes leave they were accompanied by scabby-looking guides/interpreters/bodyguards/goons/whatever... recruited and recommended by the CIA is my guess. You could tell they viewed themselves as brave adventurers venturing into the uncivilized heart of darkness with their loyal Sherpas. Pathetic clowns all of them.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 17:11 utc | 86

Posted by: Soothsayer | Sep 6 2023 8:30 utc | 1

China has been advancing long before those you glorify took control of Ukraine and transformed it into a far-right hellscape and an anti-Russian bastion. But since you are part of the self-loathing liberal human detritus of Russia, you probably relish that development. It's good that Vlasovite liberal vermin like you have left the country and scurried to Germany or wherever.

In any case, since your white supremacist idol Navalny will rot in jail for being a filthy traitor, feel free to bugger off to Fascist International, i.e. the US or Canada. There you can mingle with your co-ideologues.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 6 2023 17:18 utc | 87

Cyril @79: "Does Earth have enough other resources for American levels of waste to spread globally?"

Energy and "other resources" are fungible. Other resources or their substitutes can always be produced if energy is plentiful. I'm not recommending American levels of waste, but with sufficient energy available the planet can sustain a much larger population with a very comfortable quality of life for all.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2023 17:24 utc | 88

China is not a Capitalist country.

Posted by: Lex | Sep 6 2023 16:53 utc | 84

Dead wrong.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 17:34 utc | 89

Anyone with values of any sort, whose existence provides an unflattering contrast to the West, is demonized and made a villain.

China. Russia. Iran.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 16:20 utc | 73

Anyone strong enough to defeat US imperialism is demonized and made a villain.

China. Russia. Iran.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 17:36 utc | 90

Information warfare has grown out of our "spin" political culture. Now, we are going all Donald Rumseld, so that what we imagine to be true becomes true in our world for our purposes, no matter reality.

The DC establishment is after China, and so we get spun bad news as truth.

The media does not seem to realize that it is selling off its very soul, the basic credibility on which it depends. Politicians always lie, and so do their partisan press, but this has gone far past that to put us into an imaginary world that Joe Biden's team wishes we had.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Sep 6 2023 17:45 utc | 91

China's edge is cultural, which influences its ideology. Culture leads, and ideology follows.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 16:04 utc | 70

That helps but its sane, managed capitalism and its size and cohesion are it's edge in the end. China's culture is ancient and pre-capitalist. That didn't stop it from spending 200 years under the boot of Western imperialism.

Then it entered the modern world with Marx, Lenin and a complete and accurate critique of the Capitalism that was crushing it. But that critique was perverted by a national utopian stalinist influence (not the international orientation of Marx and Lenin) and proved unworkable. Stalinism in the USSR collapsed as predicted and china found itself isolated.

Still informed by the critique of capitalism it then abandoned an effort at Socialism and moved to a reformed capitalism which is more competitive and stronger than the western version, but is still not Socialism.

Also, Chinese culture underwent a great alteration in the revolution. It's not an eternal ideal, but a moving living process, like everything in the world. As Hegel might say, Chinese culture is not Chinese culture.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 17:54 utc | 92

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 17:34 utc | 89

If China had been a truly capitalist country, it would not be in a state of confrontation with the Anglo-American empire. Nor would it advance to such an extent that would include a fantastic reduction of poverty and unprecedented improvement of social conditions. Above all, it is not dominated by capitalists of the financial sector. The most powerful banks in China (and the world, presumably) are state-owned.

This type of purist denunciations by numerous western leftists almost invariably leaves out the context of the Chinese endeavour and the grim realities the CPC was confronted with. It's easy for any who do not dwell in hovels or tiny apartments without heating, lighted by kerosene lamps, to denigrate Deng's decision to follow the Soviet policies of the 20s (NEP and the early version of "Socialism in One Country". But for the Chinese who had to undergo through all this, with the potential of following the trajectory of the USSR and collapsing into permanent Third World status, this was a necessity.

In short, one cannot wish a better society into reality; one has to create it. And that's what the Chinese have achieved by following the paradigm of the Bolsheviks in the 1920s, adapting it to the conditions of the time that existed globally and within their country. Had they followed the prevailing neoliberal conventional wisdom or some keynesian recipe, they would fail to uplift China to its current status. Indeed, it would probably be some Third World neocolonial appanage of the Anglo-American empire with vestiges of modern development. And this is why they are the ultimate target of the globalist west.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 6 2023 18:01 utc | 93

Anyone with values of any sort, whose existence provides an unflattering contrast to the West, is demonized and made a villain.

China. Russia. Iran.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 6 2023 16:20 utc | 73

Anyone strong enough to defeat US imperialism is demonized and made a villain.

China. Russia. Iran.
Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 17:36 utc | 90

Anyone who is strong enough to pick an apple from a tree is strong enough to eat it.
Gee, this is fun.

Posted by: frkorz | Sep 6 2023 18:01 utc | 94

If China had been a truly capitalist country, it would not be in a state of confrontation with the Anglo-American empire.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 6 2023 18:01 utc | 93

So true Capitalist countries don't fight with each other? WW1, WW2. Thank you, next...

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 18:05 utc | 95

Russian Ambassador presents “symbolic” BRICS Banknote… future? BRIC currency.
Note: Listed Countries on “back” of note. These indicate next round of Countries to be admitted.

https://tass.com/politics/1670783

Very interesting Bank Note: Wish we had a pic
Obviously design ect being worked on, but shows me, single BRICS note or “trade note” could be available for members as early as next years 2024 Kazan BRICS meeting

Posted by: Trubind1 | Sep 6 2023 18:11 utc | 96

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 17:54 utc | 92

The "national orientation" was the inspiration of "Socialism in One Country", which, in its original version was the intensification of NEP. That would be Lenin's original creation.

The internationalist fantasies were Trotsky's delusions, who was unable to comprehend that the Reds had utterly failed ot proceed with an international revolution. That should have been obvious as the conditions of Russia were vastly different of those in the west. Trotsky should have stuck with his good work in the Red Army and the GRU, instead of imagining revolutions that could not be, especially as the Bolsheviks failed to grasp that some of their applied ideas were downright harmful to their own cause.

In the end, Stalin adopted most of Trotsky's ideas, but that had more to do with the siege conditions and mentality of the Soviet leadership. Hence the desire for rapid industrialization regerdless of the cost. Worse, this created the between Stalin and his allies that would eventually lead to the purges of the 30s. As for Trotsky's criticism of the Five Year Plan, it was hypocritical and smacked of butthurt more than anything else.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 6 2023 18:12 utc | 97

I look at the world through a gaze limited by a narrow set of interests related to principles and cultural gestalt. Finance, economy, wars etc. are way outside that bailiwick and beyond my pay grade.

But my not having a clue doesn't mean I go to mainstream publications like NYT or Global Times for a perspective on China. NYT is consistently biased and spinning and GT only sings China's praises as a faultless utopia. So I avoid both, and remain blissfully ignorant.

Of course this leaves much to be desired; but better to know nothing than fill one’s head with propaganda.

That said, I watched this guy interview Douglas MacGregor and he seems pretty sharp. A Syrian-Iranian immigrant whose early childhood was spent in migrant camps in Deutschland. An insurance salesman, made it big as a CEO, so not to be trusted – like anyone on Youtube, including Macgregor.

China’s Catastrophic Economic Crisis - Is The Bubble About To Burst?

If even half the facts and figures in this short video are accurate, then China has some serious issues.

But what country doesn't?

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where accurate information was easily available?

Such a world never has, nor ever will, exist - except in our imaginations.

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 6 2023 18:17 utc | 98

China has some serious problems and challenges, but then again don't we all. At least their leaders are sane...

Posted by: JustAMaverick | Sep 6 2023 18:18 utc | 99

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 6 2023 18:05 utc | 95

This is what it means to be stuck in outworn tropes. The conditions of international capital have vastly changed since WW2. The destruction of the western powers as well as the decolonization process meant that the ruling oligarchies had to close their ranks if they were to survive the new order. As a reminder, this was the era where said capitalist elites were forced to stomach Keynesian capitalist policies, which they regarded borderline socialism (and reversed from the 70s and then the 90s onwards).

After 1945 the bastion of international capital was the US and the British empire. The amalgamation of US elites with those of the old British empire proceeded and led to the creation of an effective Anglo-American empire lording over the capitalist bloc. The old conflicts were no longer acceptable and the status quo would be defended by a geopolitical mostrosity with Five Eyes.

But in case you think all this is made up, feel free to explain why the French capitalists have gone along with the bossying and bullying practices of the Anglo-Americans. Or why they required the support of the latter to destroy Gaddafi's anti-colonialist project in Africa. Or why the German capitalists accept humiliating losses, if not their downright dislocation and forced immigration to the US post-NS attacks. Or why the Scandinavian social-democrats have been transformed to neoliberal lickspittles abandoning many of the policies that benefited the Nordic countries.

I could go on and on, but the gist should be obvious. The system does not operate as it used to be and many leftists find it hard to move past the old manuals. Hence my use of the term "globalist empire/regime/oligarchy/what-have-you", which many leftists shub because it is used by many concervatives, often without them coprehending what iy entails. Times have changed and it is imperative to understand the nature and the name of the game.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 6 2023 18:28 utc | 100

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