Hk cosmopolitan population – SMS 461 http://sms461.com/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 16:02:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://sms461.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/sms-150x150.png Hk cosmopolitan population – SMS 461 http://sms461.com/ 32 32 Jane Hutcheon gets lost in the Shanghai of her mother’s childhood https://sms461.com/2022/01/01/jane-hutcheon-gets-lost-in-the-shanghai-of-her-mothers-childhood/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 04:34:27 +0000 https://sms461.com/2022/01/01/jane-hutcheon-gets-lost-in-the-shanghai-of-her-mothers-childhood/ Beatrice was born in the heyday of Shanghai. It was a time when the city’s status as an autonomous international enclave flourished in the economic boom following the end of the Great War. Beatrice Greaves (far right) and her siblings (left to right) Stanley, Hilda and John in Shanghai.Credit:Courtesy of the Greaves / Hutcheon Archives […]]]>

Beatrice was born in the heyday of Shanghai. It was a time when the city’s status as an autonomous international enclave flourished in the economic boom following the end of the Great War.

Beatrice Greaves (far right) and her siblings (left to right) Stanley, Hilda and John in Shanghai.Credit:Courtesy of the Greaves / Hutcheon Archives

In 1928, Shanghai was the fifth largest city in the world with a population of three million Chinese. There were also 50,000 foreign residents, of whom about a tenth were British.

Most of the expatriates lived either in the international colony or in the adjacent French concession. The enclaves were surrounded by the much larger old town, where most Chinese lived.

My mother’s early childhood Shanghai was flashy and cosmopolitan, but also known for its squalid corners and seedy underbelly. It was a city where one could find fortune or just as easily lose one.

Bea was the youngest of four children born to Elsie Mackenzie and Cecil Keat Greaves, though everyone knows him by his middle name. Elsie and Keat were both Eurasians, from Sino-European relations.

Keat’s father, Alexander Greaves, was from Liverpool, but he didn’t stay in China long enough to watch his children grow up. At that time, “hybrid” children weren’t exactly seen as an exotic mix of East and West. They were, as author Vicky Lee has described, a sort of “unwanted by-product of a colonial encounter.”

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Other comments described the growing number of Eurasians as a social problem that needed special attention. In Shanghai, Eurasians like mom’s family attended different schools for British children and went to separate hospitals. Early in her life, the stigma of being Eurasian persisted.

The expatriates called themselves Shanghainese. They didn’t have to follow Chinese law, they obeyed the laws of their own country. The people of Shanghai lived comfortably in premises that appeared to have been transplanted from a fashionable Parisian arrondissement.

Wealthy Chinese and Eurasians could take advantage of some of these attributes, but the Greaves were not in that league – although they were placed in the orbit of another Eurasian family who managed to break through that bamboo ceiling. .

Bea’s father, Keat, was an accountant for the AS Watson & Company dispensary – a pretty respectable white collar job, but one that was never going to get him very far.

The Greaves and Cumine families in Shanghai, October 1923, with baby Bea in her mother's lap (middle row, fourth from left).

The Greaves and Cumine families in Shanghai, October 1923, with baby Bea in her mother’s lap (middle row, fourth from left).Credit:Courtesy of the Greaves / Cumine / Hutcheon Archives)

But his friend, and later his brother-in-law, was another Eurasian called Henry Monsul Cumine who, although from a similar background, was able to build the dream in pre-war Shanghai.

Uncle Henry de Bea became a real estate mogul, seizing plots of land within the French concession. He designed and built properties that he sold or rented to foreigners and wealthy Chinese.

For his wife Winifred and their seven children, he built a 16-room mansion which he named Ferryhill House. It was hidden at the end of a street formerly known as Route de Grouchy. Today it is called Yanqing Road. Despite the construction craze in Shanghai, Uncle Henry’s house still stands, though it is now divided into apartments and is home to around 10 Chinese families.

Lost in Shanghai is built around an amazing collection of family photographs, some of which I only recently unearthed.

The 16-room Shanghai mansion named Ferryhill House, where Bea grew up.

The 16-room Shanghai mansion named Ferryhill House, where Bea grew up.Credit:courtesy of the Greaves / Cumine / Hutcheon Archives

One is from 1923 and shows Bea’s extended Eurasian clan: the Greaves and Cumine families together. Beatrice is the baby in the photo. She is sitting on her mother’s lap.

This image is special to me because it’s the only photo we have of Bea and her mom together. Four years later, Elsie was dead after contracting dysentery from her youngest son, who survived.

Elsie’s death was a blow from which the family would never recover. It left Keat heartbroken and with four children ranging in age from five to 14.

Bea's parents, Elsie Mackenzie and Keat Greaves.

Bea’s parents, Elsie Mackenzie and Keat Greaves.Credit:(courtesy Greaves / Hutcheon Archives)

Bea was sent to live at Cumine Mansion and while surrounded by many cousins, she remembers that miserable time when she was frequently ill. She longed for her family as they lived in the same town.

Four years later, Bea’s father made another life-changing decision. One day, he boarded his then nine-year-old daughter in one of Cumine’s chauffeur-driven cars and took her to the passenger dock on the Shanghai waterfront.

Keat gave his daughter a gift: a miniature teddy bear with a perfume bottle hidden in the bear’s chest cavity. Then he left his distraught child in the arms of parents waiting for him aboard the liner Empress of Canada.

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The Empress was bound for Hong Kong. It had been decided that Bea would move to the British Colony to live with Keat’s brother, Alfred, and his family.

Bea never knew why her father made the decision to fire her, twice. She still bears the scars of this forced separation and she doesn’t like to talk about it.

The story does not end there.

As my mom nears her 100th birthday, I marvel at the life she has lived and the setbacks she has overcome. I wanted to tell her story because she is no longer able to do it on her own.

I wanted to give voice to my ancestors and especially to the women of my family who have overcome so much and whose heritage has helped make me what I am today.

Lost in Shanghai premieres at the Seymour Center January 12-16. The performance was developed by Contemporary Asian Australian Performance under the direction of William Yang and Tasnim Hossain. The original score was written by Dr Terumi Narushima.

A cultural guide to get out and love your city. Sign up for our Culture Fix newsletter here.


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Islands in a Storm – Telegraph India https://sms461.com/2021/12/24/islands-in-a-storm-telegraph-india/ Fri, 24 Dec 2021 18:32:06 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/24/islands-in-a-storm-telegraph-india/ The end of the honeymoon with the liberal arts in Asia Saikat Majumdar | Posted on 12/25/21, 12:02 AM On August 27 of this year, Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore, announced its closure and merger into a new interdisciplinary specialist college within NUS called New College. From […]]]>

The end of the honeymoon with the liberal arts in Asia



Saikat Majumdar

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Posted on 12/25/21, 12:02 AM


On August 27 of this year, Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore, announced its closure and merger into a new interdisciplinary specialist college within NUS called New College. From 2025, Yale will only have an “advisory” role.

The announcement brought a hint of historic irony. In 2015, I had heard Peter Salovey, then president of Yale, talk about liberal arts education in Asia. At the time, I was in the process of moving from California to Delhi, to be part of the first cohort of professors at Ashoka University and to establish a creative writing department at the new university. After Salovey’s lecture, hosted in Delhi by Ashoka, I asked him why Singapore, a state little known for free thought, was collaborating on the American model of liberal education. His response had struck me as prescient: that the Singapore government knew that some sort of messy democracy was coming to the country soon, and that liberal arts education was the best way to prepare its citizens for it.

There was a new enthusiasm for innovative liberal arts education across the Pacific, and I myself felt part of it. Specifically, I recognized a culture of interdisciplinary creativity as I saw it at my previous institution, Stanford, translated into a new Asian demand for innovative multidisciplinary education. At the heart of this strongly felt demand were the business needs of rapidly evolving knowledge economies. It was the kind of interdisciplinarity that went beyond the narrowly technocratic or financial aptitude that was the main mandate of specialized schools of business or technology. This liberal arts model, with a corporate enthusiasm evident behind it, was inevitably elitist and expensive. It has been generously supported by philanthropic entrepreneurs in the new digital economy. It was pretty clear why an economically ambitious and technologically progressive state like Singapore cared about it – and why it also appealed to the forms of private philanthropic higher education emerging around some of India’s major cities.

But soon enough, and embarrassing enough for these early champions, it turned out that the word “liberal” has far more nuances of meaning than can easily be contained in the brilliant enthusiasm for multidisciplinary flexibility. Instead of being contained within an apolitically designed disciplinary framework, liberal education aspires to greater freedom – from the hierarchies and bureaucracies of the past, from the burdens of colonial traditions and, more importantly, the freedom to speak out. truth to power. But the relationship between these different imaginaries of education – in particular between disciplinary innovation and political freedom – has always been difficult in Asia.

The most striking achievement has come from South Korea, where, as Martha Nussbaum argued, liberal arts education in the United States has helped modernize and democratize an ancient tradition of Confucian humanism, including opening up to women and the working classes. The revitalization of the old humanist model occurred primarily as an act of decolonization in the wake of Japanese rule over Korea, where American missionaries ended up playing a key role in reclaiming the nation’s identity. through education. This, however, has been a rare example of creative synergy; nothing like this has happened in other major Asian countries. The global significance of traditional Chinese culture and thought in the Confucian tradition has also been the goal behind the Chinese government’s investment in liberal arts education, but the formation of active citizens or independent critical thinkers in the Western sense of the term has never been part of this goal.

Hong Kong has been caught in a historic tension – between an abandonment of the British colonial model of single-subject degrees and a broader liberal education that has been criticized as dissenting by pro-China leaders. While supporters of this education in Hong Kong have hailed his departure from mainland rote learning programs, others have blamed him as an instigator of student unrest – especially since the protests of 2014. It is a a familiar sight to us in India where debates over the meaning of free speech and the right to dissent on college campuses exploded just as the disciplines opened up to another form of freedom in elitist spaces, private, higher education.

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American liberal arts education has developed as humble, local and provincial. Although closely linked to the church, he was free from the larger structures of government. Without the cosmopolitan ambitions of the medieval European university, “the American college in the 19th century was a local entity,” writes education historian David Labaree. In a land of competing churches, founding a quorum was an effective way to “plant the flag and promote the faith.” A college was a strong claim for a sleepy country town to be on the map so that it could demand a railroad stop, a county seat, or even the state capital, and in turn, increase the value of local real estate – which perhaps explains the remote and provincial locations of so many liberal arts colleges in the United States.

The liberal arts model requires significant freedom and decentralization – institutions and faculty must have the freedom to choose their own programs and adapt them to local needs. But with freedom comes responsibility, which is often felt unwelcome. And many Asian governments remain keen to centralize higher education and are unwilling to grant significant freedoms to institutions.

It seems that the honeymoon period for the liberal arts in Asia is now over. With a growing youth population, significant student talents honed by traditional Asian attention to education, the expanding middle class and increasingly ambitious vision for higher education, this new educational model should continue to do well. function. But it is also clear that the new liberal arts institutions will inhabit like islands in a thorny mixture of admiration, suspicion and hostility in their local communities and experience inflammatory relationships with their governments. If the distrust between these islands and the oceans around them continues beyond a certain point, the pact, whether tacit or explicit, will be broken, as with the unforeseen disintegration of Yale-NUS.

(Saikat Majumdar is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Ashoka University)


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Elon Musk, personality of the year? Naftali Bennett visits United Arab Emirates https://sms461.com/2021/12/14/elon-musk-personality-of-the-year-naftali-bennett-visits-united-arab-emirates/ Tue, 14 Dec 2021 20:34:18 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/14/elon-musk-personality-of-the-year-naftali-bennett-visits-united-arab-emirates/ The first major issue is with more COVID variants and how countries are responding to them. Everyone is now panicking over omicron, which so far appears to be more contagious and potent for vaccines than previous variants. It also appears, at least for now, to be less deadly – although if it spreads widely it […]]]>

The first major issue is with more COVID variants and how countries are responding to them.

Everyone is now panicking over omicron, which so far appears to be more contagious and potent for vaccines than previous variants. It also appears, at least for now, to be less deadly – although if it spreads widely it could still mean a lot of deaths. Travel bans are back. Containment could follow. The mandates of vaccines are likely to expand.

It’s all starting to look like the darker days of 2020 again – although vaccines can prevent equally high death rates.

And even after the passage of omicron, we don’t know what the next letter of the Greek alphabet will do. It is possible that the omicron will spread enough for it to become the last great wave of the pandemic. But with nearly half of the world still unvaccinated – and clear evidence that the disease can infect even the vaccinated – it’s also possible that new variants will emerge that pose new threats to the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

This will raise, once again, the thorny political questions about lockdowns, border closures, warrants and distance learning. But after two years of initial blockages, then vaccination campaigns, followed by intermittent returns to normalcy, later jeopardized by new variants, the political backlash against the new restrictions will certainly be even higher. How do you deal with another year of this?

The second big problem, resulting from the first, is that the economic disruption associated with COVID will continue.

The pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, which continue to struggle to meet high demand. Delivery delays, higher shipping costs and shortages of approximately all have become a huge headache for consumers and governments alike, who can do little to solve the problem.

Supply chain disruptions are the main factor behind the spike in inflation around the world. Rising prices will force leaders in soaring inflationary countries, such as Brazil or Turkey, to walk a tightrope between encouraging economic recovery and taking unpopular measures – like spending cuts or price hikes. interest rate – to fight inflation.

This economic frustration could, in turn, lead to anti-conformist and anti-establishment rage at the polls. There are several big elections coming up next year where those in power will not be able to say to the voters: “you are better off than before you elected me”.

Finally, there are two long-simmering geopolitical conflicts that have escalated this year and could spill over in 2022.

First, Ukraine. Vladimir Putin has amassed 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border because he does not want NATO to expand further into former Soviet territory. Putin has little to gain and a lot to lose from an actual invasion, but the risk of an invasion is higher than it has been for at least seven years, that is, since the last time. that Putin invaded Ukraine.

Russia, the United States and Europe are playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse. If Putin overshadows, America could exclude Russia from SWIFT, the cross-border payments network used by most banks around the world. Europeans, for their part, could cancel Russia’s Nordstream 2 pipeline, which would carry Russian gas that Europe depends on to keep homes warm.

Second, Taiwan. Xi Jinping has long aimed to “reintegrate” the autonomous island into the People’s Republic, but throughout 2021 China has stepped up the pressure by poking fun at Taiwanese by air and sea. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has signaled that after decades of deliberate ambiguity, it may in fact be ready to defend Taiwan.

So, will China invade Taiwan next year? Almost certainly not. Despite China’s growing military might, it would be a risky and extremely expensive endeavor, especially if the United States intervened, and it would almost certainly lead to crippling economic sanctions.

However, Xi wants to play the nationalist card by speaking grandly of Taiwan. With Sino-US relations quite icy these days, and Americans snooping around Taiwan as well, there is always the risk of a miscalculation that explodes quickly.


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Hong Kong as the epicenter of Cantonese https://sms461.com/2021/12/10/hong-kong-as-the-epicenter-of-cantonese/ Fri, 10 Dec 2021 03:30:00 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/10/hong-kong-as-the-epicenter-of-cantonese/ The density and dialectal diversity of Chinese is something that has escaped the attention of many people, because, unlike the widespread (bad) popular ideas of Chinese as bidialectal (Mandarin vs Cantonese), it actually consists of hundreds thousands of regional dialects that are spread all over the world. the Chinese speaking world. In addition to the […]]]>

The density and dialectal diversity of Chinese is something that has escaped the attention of many people, because, unlike the widespread (bad) popular ideas of Chinese as bidialectal (Mandarin vs Cantonese), it actually consists of hundreds thousands of regional dialects that are spread all over the world. the Chinese speaking world.

In addition to the wide range of variation among the seven major dialect families – Mandarin, Yue (Cantonese), Hakka, Wu, Min, Xiang, and Gan – there is a significant amount of micro-variation among the different subvarieties of the same dialect groups. .

This has been noted for Cantonese, which, as mentioned earlier, is not only a major dialect spoken in Southeast China, but also a heritage language in the West, with several generations of speakers in North America.


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AP News Digest 3:20 https://sms461.com/2021/12/07/ap-news-digest-320/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 07:06:26 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/07/ap-news-digest-320/ Here are the AP’s latest cover plans, top stories, and promotional content. Hourly EST. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit the coverage plan at https://newsroom.ap.org. —————————- BEST STORIES —————————- UNITED STATES-RUSSIA – President Joe Biden is expected to warn Vladimir Putin during the video call planned by the leaders that Russia will face economic […]]]>

Here are the AP’s latest cover plans, top stories, and promotional content. Hourly EST. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit the coverage plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.

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BEST STORIES

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UNITED STATES-RUSSIA – President Joe Biden is expected to warn Vladimir Putin during the video call planned by the leaders that Russia will face economic sanctions if it invades neighboring Ukraine, urging a diplomatic solution as dozens thousands of Russian soldiers gathered near the Ukrainian border. By Aamer Madhani and Daria Litnova. SUBMITTED: 1,040 words, photos, video. COMING SOON: 1,200 words after 10:00 am call. With US-RUSSIA-PROBLEMS – Lots of thorny issues for Biden and Putin; RUSSIA-UKRAINE-EXPLAINER – What is behind the Russian-Ukrainian tensions?

AFGHANISTAN-STREAMING OUT – Afghans are crossing the Iranian border in increasing numbers, driven by desperation. Since the Taliban took power in mid-August, Afghanistan’s economic collapse has accelerated, depriving millions of jobs and leaving them too poor to feed their families. In the past three months, more than 300,000 people have entered Iran illegally and more are arriving. The European Union is now preparing for a possible increase in the number of Afghans trying to reach its shores, and Iran is struggling to close its doors. By Lee Keath and Mstyslav Chernov. SENT: 1,210 words, photos.

OFFICER DAUNTE WRIGHT TRIAL – Former officer Kim Potter is on trial for the murder of Daunte Wright, but the trial in the same Minneapolis courtroom earlier this year of ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd casts a shadow over the proceedings. By Steve Karnowski and Amy Forliti. SENT: 630 words, photos.

GERMANY-MERKEL – Angela Merkel is credited with raising the profile and influence of Germany, helping to maintain a fractured European Union, handling a series of crises and being a role model for women in a near record tenure which ends with his departure from office amid accolades from abroad and lasting popularity at home. By Geir Moulson. SUBMITTED: 1,230 words, photos.

BEIJING-CHINA-US – China accuses the United States of violating the Olympic spirit by announcing a US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games in February. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian promised China would respond with “firm countermeasures,” but gave no details. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the United States has a “fundamental commitment to promoting human rights” and the United States “will not contribute to the gaming fanfare” . SENT: 380 words, photo. With HOW-BEIJING-LANDED-OLYMPICS-EXPLAINER – Why does Beijing have the Olympics again?

PEARL HARBOR BIRTHDAY – Veterans of one of the deadliest attacks in American history return to Pearl Harbor to pay homage to the men and women lost 80 years ago. Survivors of the surprise attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 were invited to attend the remembrance ceremony in person after the pandemic forced a mostly virtual ceremony last year. By Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 380 words, photos.

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NEW TRENDS

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FALLON-HOLIDAY – Jimmy Fallon teams up with Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion for the holidays. SENT: 540 words, photos.

Worst pronunciation words – “Cheugy”, “omicron” among the worst pronounced words in 2021. SUBMITTED: 580 words, photo.

TRUMP-SOCIAL-MEDIA – Media company Trump watched by regulators; appoints Devin Nunes CEO. SENT: 940 words, photo.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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NIGERIA-RURAL VACCINATIONS – As Nigeria strives to meet an ambitious goal of fully immunizing 55 million of its 206 million people over the next two months, health workers in parts of the country are risking their lives to reach the rural population. COMING SOON: 1,090 words, photos by 5 a.m.

HONG KONG QUARANTINE-RESTRICTIONS – Hong Kong’s bustling and cosmopolitan business hub could lose its luster among foreign businesses and expats with its strict anti-pandemic rules requiring up to 21 days of quarantine for newcomers . SUBMITTED: 1,070 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON

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ELECTION 2022-GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA – With a favorite candidate for governor suddenly in the race, Donald Trump now has a full list of loyalists vying for a statewide post in Georgia, going to the against the wishes of the GOP leaders in Washington and ensuring months of intense and costly Republican struggles. in one of the country’s main political battlefields. SUBMITTED: 1,120 words, photos, video.

CAPITOL BREACH-PENCE AID – Former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff is working with the House panel investigating the Capitol uprising. SENT: 500 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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NON-CITIZEN VOTERS-NYC – New York City, long a beacon for immigrants, is poised to become the largest place in the United States to empower non-citizens to vote. SENT: 890 words, photos.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT-TRIAL – Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett returns to the witness stand for further cross-examination after denying mounting an anti-gay racist attack on himself. SENT: 890 words, photos. UPCOMING: The trial is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. With JUSSIE-SMOLLETT-TRIAL-REPUTATION – In court and outside, Smollett is fighting for his reputation, his career.

SEVERE WEATHER IN HAWAII – From the deserted shores of Waikiki Beach in Oahu to the snow-capped peak of the Big Island’s highest peak, an unusually strong winter storm is hitting the Hawaiian Islands and increasing the threat of dangerous flash floods, landslides and of crashing tree branches. SENT: 1000 words, photos.

FEDERAL PRISONS – INMATES KILLED – A federal prisoner in a Colorado high security penitentiary has died in an altercation with another inmate, marking the third time an inmate has been killed in a US federal prison in the past month . SENT: 360 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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VOLCANO INDONESIA – The Indonesian president visited areas devastated by a powerful volcanic eruption that killed at least 22 people and left thousands homeless and promised communities would be quickly rebuilt. SENT: 410 words, photos.

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BUSINESS / ECONOMY

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CHINA-TRADE – China’s exports rose to double digits in November, but growth declined, while imports accelerated, a sign of stronger domestic demand. By business writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 270 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS – Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher as anxiety over the latest variant of the coronavirus eased. By business writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 360 words, photos.

TRADE GAP – The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. trade gap for the month of October. By economics writer Martin Crutsinger. COMING SOON: 130 words after 8h30 of exit, then enlarged, photo.

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SPORTS

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PATRIOTS-BILLS – Damien Harris scored on a 64-yard run in windy conditions in which Mac Jones only attempted three passes, and the New England Patriots solidified their familiar place atop the AFC with a victory of 14-10 on the Buffalo Bills. By sports writer John Wawrow. SENT: 1000 words, photos.

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CULTURE & LEISURE

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DONATION OF ART FROM BOSTON COLLEGE – The works of Pablo Picasso, Mary Cassatt and Winslow Homer are among 30 works of art valued at over $ 20 million that former student and legendary investment manager Peter Lynch donates to the Boston College Museum of Art. SENT: 330 words, photo.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerf Center, Jérôme Minerva can be contacted at 800-845-8450 (extension 1600). For the photos, Wally Santana (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. The extended content of the AP can be obtained at http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 844-777-2006.


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10 most expensive cities in the world https://sms461.com/2021/12/03/10-most-expensive-cities-in-the-world/ Fri, 03 Dec 2021 00:47:45 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/03/10-most-expensive-cities-in-the-world/ I’m sure many of you have moved in the recent past so why are you moving to a new city. We are sure that the “cost of living” is invariably mentioned among the reasons why goods and services have a cost. The coronavirus pandemic has made us all think, to move forward with the project […]]]>

I’m sure many of you have moved in the recent past so why are you moving to a new city. We are sure that the “cost of living” is invariably mentioned among the reasons why goods and services have a cost.

The coronavirus pandemic has made us all think, to move forward with the project of living our dreams, to start from scratch, to move. As you expect, below is the list of expensive cities covered in our article which will be helpful in your decision making process.

The latest list of the world’s most expensive cities was compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) comparing US dollars for goods and services in 173 cities. Shekel, the Israeli currency has skyrocketed, which has helped Tel Aviv from fifth place last year to first place this year.

The 10 most expensive cities in the world to live; Tel Aviv tops the list

Tel Aviv is Israel’s technology hub. It has beaches, museums, vibrant nightlife, skyscrapers, diverse culture, and food to die for. A small apartment in the city will cost you up to $ 1,200 per month, lunch will cost you $ 15, and beer can cost around $ 3. No wonder Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the world.

“Although most of the world’s economies are now recovering as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, many major cities are still experiencing spikes in cases, resulting in social restrictions. These have disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices, ”said Upasana Dutt, Global Cost of Living Manager at EIU.

The biannual Global Cost of Living Survey is conducted by EIU in which they compare over 400 individual prices ranging from around 200 goods and services in 173 cities.

Upasana added, “In the coming year, we expect the cost of living to rise further in many cities as wages rise in many industries. However, we also expect central banks to cautiously raise interest rates to contain inflation. Price increases should therefore start to moderate from this year’s level.

Here is the full list of the 10 most expensive cities in the world.

1. Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel, is the most expensive city in the world. Compared to last year, Tel Aviv has jumped 4 places this year due to the phenomenal strength of the national currency, the shekel, and rising prices for transportation and groceries. . Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country with a population of over 460,000.

2. Paris (second spouse), France

Paris, the capital of France, lost its number one rank last year and slipped to second place in the list of the most expensive cities in the world. Paris is the most populous city in France with an estimated population of 2.1 million. Paris is known for its museums as well as for its architectural monuments.

2. Singapore (second spouse)

Singapore is ranked second on the list this year along with Paris. The homeownership rate in this city is around 91% and it ranks high in various key social indicators such as education, health care, quality of life and personal safety.

4. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich occupies fourth place in the list of the most expensive cities in the world. It is the financial capital of Switzerland, home to international organizations such as the WTO, WHO, ILO, FIFA headquarters, the second largest UN office and the Bank for International Settlements.

5. Hong-Kong

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China that regularly appears on the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in every year. It is one of the most densely populated places on planet Earth. This year, it was in fifth place as prices for clothing and personal care declined.

6. New York, United States of America

New York, which is America’s most expensive city, ranks sixth in the list of the most expensive cities in the world. New York serves as a barometer for the cost of living index. New York, often used as NYC for short, is the most populous city in the United States with a population of 8.8 million.

New York plays an important role in international diplomacy, which is why it is often called the capital of the world.

7. Geneva, Switzerland

The city of Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland after Zürich which ranks seventh on our list of the most expensive cities in the world. Geneva was ranked world first in 2018 by global wealth management firm UBS in terms of gross profits and fourth in terms of purchasing power.

8. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and it is one of the most populous Danish cities in Europe. The city has about 800,000 inhabitants. Copenhagen is considered one of the most cycling cities in the world.

9. Los Angeles, United States of America

Los Angeles is America’s second largest city, famous for its cultural and ethnic diversity. It is the ninth most expensive city in the world with a population of 3.9 million. The Port of LA is the busiest container port in the United States.

10. Osaka, Japan

Osaka is a large port city which is also a commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu. It is the only city in Japan to appear in the list of the most expensive cities in the world. Osaka has a population of 2.7 million as of 2020 which is considered to be one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in Japan. The city is famous for its captivating architecture, nightlife and lip-smacking street food.

On the other hand, the city of Damascus, the capital of Syria, is ranked as the cheapest city in the world, followed by Tripoli in Libya and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Well, if you are from one of these more expensive cities, share your thoughts by checking out our comments section!



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The WTA abandons China at the expense of Peng. Is an Olympic boycott next? https://sms461.com/2021/12/02/the-wta-abandons-china-at-the-expense-of-peng-is-an-olympic-boycott-next/ Thu, 02 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/02/the-wta-abandons-china-at-the-expense-of-peng-is-an-olympic-boycott-next/ What actions did Biden take? First, the Biden administration announced that it would release up to 50 million barrels of oil, or roughly three days of U.S. consumption, from the Strategic Oil Reserve stockpile over the next few months to help meet demand. growing world. Although former US presidents have done so before, what is […]]]>

What actions did Biden take?

First, the Biden administration announced that it would release up to 50 million barrels of oil, or roughly three days of U.S. consumption, from the Strategic Oil Reserve stockpile over the next few months to help meet demand. growing world. Although former US presidents have done so before, what is different this time is that the Biden administration intervened in the oil markets with the explicit intention of driving down the prices of crude and oil. gasoline. The SPR was established in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo with the aim of protecting the United States from disruptions in oil imports. Traditionally, it was only exploited in case of an oil supply emergency, such as during the 1991 Gulf War and when Libyan production fell to almost zero in 2011 after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. In recent years, as the volume of petroleum in the SPR has accumulated over the 90 days of importation that it is supposed to maintain, the United States Congress has periodically mandated certain sales of excess crude to help pay for federal spending – not to curb oil prices.

Second, the Biden administration stepped up pressure on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which accounts for 40% of global oil production, ahead of its December meeting to ensure that the club of oil producers has put in is implementing its plans to increase production, despite a drop in oil prices that has hurt these countries. This type of action is not new; past administrations regularly pressured OPEC when prices were high. But the lobbying on this occasion was particularly intense. Perhaps most concerning from OPEC’s point of view, the United States has reportedly threatened new SPR releases if OPEC does not approve its plan, which could undermine OPEC’s role in management. global oil markets and provoke more confrontations with the United States and other major producers.

What has been the impact so far?

Oil prices fell only a few dollars a barrel in the days leading up to the SPR release announcement, which the Biden administration telegraphed in advance. But the volumes that the United States intends to publish each month are not large enough to significantly change the supply / demand dynamic. This suggests that Biden’s political perspective being seen as taking action was as important as releasing the barrels themselves. Prices have fallen further after OPEC’s subsequent production announcement on increasing production from their end, but what has really affected oil markets in recent weeks are fears that the variant omicron COVID won’t affect demand for oil over the next few months.

On the gasoline side, while crude prices have the greatest impact on the overall price, refinery and distribution costs are also significant, these have not fallen. In addition, it takes time for lower crude oil prices to impact retail gasoline prices. As a result, the average retail price fell less than 10 cents per gallon from its November high, to around $ 3.34 per gallon.

What are the risks ?

From a political point of view, the biggest risk is that the prices of oil and gasoline will not drop significantly despite the publication of the SPR. This would leave the Biden administration powerless and force it to consider more drastic measures, such as a ban on U.S. exports of crude or petroleum products, both of which would cause lasting damage to investments by companies operating in the United States.

The press release and the pressure tactics used against OPEC also raised the specter of additional and more regular US intervention in the oil markets to influence prices. If that happens, it could lead to very disruptive competition between the United States and other large consumers on the one hand, and OPEC producers on the other. This, in turn, would lead to sharp price fluctuations and the risk of supply shortages.

Why did OPEC decide to follow the overtures of the Biden administration?

OPEC has put politics at the top of its agenda since the SPR’s publication was announced. The U.S. move certainly complicates the group’s efforts to ensure markets don’t run a crude oil surplus as the global economy recovers from COVID. OPEC now faces the prospect of a global production surplus in the first quarter of next year.

OPEC de facto leader Saudi Arabia knows how important political issues are to the Biden administration at this time. The kingdom’s reluctance to add to bilateral tensions with the United States, which took a tougher approach with the Saudis, particularly on human rights, under Biden. This change created security concerns for Saudi Arabia, which has long been the United States’ main ally in the Persian Gulf and depended on the United States for its protection. For Riyadh, strengthening relations with the United States is more important than pricing and market management, especially as the full impact of omicron remains uncertain.

Raad Alkadiri is Managing Director of Energy, Climate and Resources at Eurasia Group.


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Taiwan, SL are “unsinkable aircraft carriers” in the Sino-American rivalry: Pr Patrick Mendis https://sms461.com/2021/12/01/taiwan-sl-are-unsinkable-aircraft-carriers-in-the-sino-american-rivalry-pr-patrick-mendis/ Wed, 01 Dec 2021 20:11:52 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/12/01/taiwan-sl-are-unsinkable-aircraft-carriers-in-the-sino-american-rivalry-pr-patrick-mendis/ Professor Patrick Mendis in discussion with political experts and university professors at the University of Warsaw By Jakub Knopp and Nikita Bogdanovich Warsaw, Poland: Professor Patrick Mendis, born in Sri Lanka and educated at Harvard and Minnesota, described the island nations of Taiwan and Sri Lanka as the two “unsinkable aircraft carriers” in the evolving […]]]>

Professor Patrick Mendis in discussion with political experts and university professors at the University of Warsaw


By Jakub Knopp and Nikita Bogdanovich


Warsaw, Poland: Professor Patrick Mendis, born in Sri Lanka and educated at Harvard and Minnesota, described the island nations of Taiwan and Sri Lanka as the two “unsinkable aircraft carriers” in the evolving rivalry between China and the United States. United States. He made the remarks during a series of lectures at the University of Warsaw in Poland.

In his lecture on “The American Vision, the Chinese Mission: Will There Be a War Against Taiwan?” At the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, the former US diplomat presented a historical analysis of Sino-US relations. He focused on Taiwan, Sri Lanka and other strategic and global issues.

Professor Mendis first presented the evolution of the geostrategic situation and the changing nature of bilateral relations between China and the United States. Thinking back to the history of the world, he highlighted how international relations between and among countries have known the different stages of change and engagement. He then highlighted the periods of “hostility and cooperation” while giving examples of the United States’ War of Independence (against the British) and the recently signed AUKUS Defense Pact with the United Kingdom, the United States. United and Australia.

Strategic competition

With the continued economic growth and the global power of China, Beijing and Washington are increasingly involved in various types of political, economic, military and even technological conflicts, explained Professor Mendis. Today, the United States and China are vying for the control and implementation of new technologies around the world, such as 5G technology, artificial intelligence, space exploration and cybersecurity.

The increase in Chinese military power and influence in the Indo-Pacific region and other countries is of great concern to the United States. US leaders are now mainly alarmed by China’s strategic position in East and Southeast Asia as well as South Asia, where Beijing has undermined Washington’s traditional position in economic, political, diplomatic capacity. and military. This is most important in the South China Sea, where Beijing has built man-made islands projecting military and naval power.

To understand how the United States and China became the most powerful countries in the world, one needs to delve deeper into history. Professor Mendis said that since its inception, the United States has evolved into two traditions of politics and foreign policy. With the “experience” of pilgrims and settlers, the Founding Fathers began to have a new American “experience” in the new nation.

Settlers versus pilgrims

Along with the settlers, who landed in Virginia, the nascent nation pursued a strategy of centralized economic development while harnessing natural resources for greater wealth and capital formation through a federal banking system. The colonial experience influenced Alexander Hamilton to formulate manufacturing and industrial policy as first Secretary of the Treasury in the administration of President George Washington.

The Pilgrims, who arrived on the American coast near Boston in Massachusetts, focused more on religious freedom and popular democracy, which were later championed by Thomas Jefferson, Washington’s first secretary of state. Naturally, these motivations caused subtle but “creative” conflicts throughout the “American experience”. These conflicting motivations between wealth creation and religious sentiment have led to the development of a new American policy and an innovative business that is even visible in the current political environment, explained Professor Mendis.

Throughout the American Experiment, the United States pursued what is now dubbed “the Empire of Freedom,” which was invented by Thomas Jefferson, who became America’s third president. Influenced by the legacy of the Pilgrims, Jefferson promoted ideas of democracy and religious freedom that are still championed by the US State Department, the diplomat added.

china trade

Continuing the other traditions of the settlers, the young United States officially started and promoted its trade with China for economic development. Admiring Chinese culture and the economic prosperity of the Middle Empire, the new nation dispatched its merchant ship, “The Empress of China,” from New York Harbor in 1784 on President George Washington’s birthday to Canton (now Guangzhou near Hong Kong). He stressed the importance of China for the new republic.

These historical traditions have been revived in the recent past, especially after Deng Xiaoping introduced open economic and reform policies after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong. Hoping that Beijing would essentially follow the path of the American Experience, US President Bill Clinton and other congressional leaders supported China for its integration into the world market. Thus, the Clinton administration was a strong supporter of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

US and world leaders have now started to realize that China has other intentions as leaders in Beijing have taken a more assertive and confrontational path, in defiance of religious freedom and human rights than the United States expected China as a global player.

In addition, Professor Mendis noted that once the economic reforms were carried out, the Chinese people were no longer as poor as before; thus, a new form of nationalism has emerged with authoritarian and communist characteristics since President Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Therefore, when the people were finally given the opportunity to prosper and development began to gain ground thanks to the BIS, the desire for political freedoms and democratic values ​​is no longer a sensitive chord among the Chinese leadership.

China’s manifest fate

In his lecture, Professor Mendis drew an appropriate parallel between the historic American push to the west and the “manifest destiny” with that of the ancient Silk Road and the Chinese attempts to gain influence over the Eurasian landmass. , as evidenced by the ongoing expansion of BRI projects. and activities in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

This latest example of the Chinese desire to venture west into Eurasia was presented by the evolution of the Earth’s centuries-old Silk Road from the Han Dynasty to the height of cosmopolitan China under the Tang dynasty. The famous 15th-century voyages of Admiral Zheng He during the Ming Dynasty are the other part of the BRI’s Silk Sea Route through Sri Lanka, Professor Mendis explained.

Developing this historical backdrop, he stressed the importance of the BRI and the psychological warfare waged by Chinese “Wolf Warrior” diplomats. In the light of growing Chinese dominance in the realms of space and cyberspace, this could prove vital in a struggle whose ultimate goal is to control the minds of the people in China and countries associated with it. the BIS. Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party would end up realizing the “Chinese Dream” to revive “the Heavenly Empire”, predicted Professor Mendis.

The difference between the “Chinese Dream” and the “American Dream” is the idea that the former is formulated as a national dream with nationalism in mind, as opposed to an individual dream with “life, freedom and The pursuit of happiness “. in the USA. Thomas Jefferson is credited with the American phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Taiwan, Sri Lanka and AUKUS

In addition, Professor Mendis also touched on geopolitical and geoeconomic issues with a focus on Taiwan and Sri Lanka, which he dubbed these island nations as the two “unsinkable aircraft carriers” that would supply China or United States indispensable bridgeheads. to mount additional attacks or to defend their spheres of influence and main supply routes. He applied the idea of ​​an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” to Sri Lanka which was originally referred to Taiwan (then Formosa) by General Douglas MacArthur of the United States.

Additionally, the professor said Taiwanese millennials born into a free and democratic society lack the “cold war” mindset that prevails in their ancestral circles. Importantly, he added that the recently signed AUKUS defense pact by Australia, the UK and the US identified itself as a “deterrent from China,” but not so much. as a step for another cold war mentality.

However, the military pact would serve as a catalyst to establish a block of democratic, like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific as well as a force multiplier. The US-led defense agreement would also allow for a greater degree of military interoperability beyond the trilateral partnership to include French, German and Japanese naval and air forces operating in Indo-Pacific waters.

History matters

Overall, the conference was insightful and innovative about China’s hidden motivations and the founding vision of the United States, as Professor Mendis stressed the importance of looking back to try and get a feel for what that could happen to us.

A sobering statement by Prof. Mendis was that “Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean all roads” and “Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean” sum up the historical Chinese sentiment emanating from the “century of humiliation” and the injustice felt by the Chinese people since the First World War.

Prof. Patrick Mendis presenting US-China-EU relations for political experts and university professors at Warsaw University


(The two authors who wrote this report are postgraduate students at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw in Poland.)



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What are the symptoms to watch out for? https://sms461.com/2021/11/29/what-are-the-symptoms-to-watch-out-for/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 10:25:40 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/11/29/what-are-the-symptoms-to-watch-out-for/ Over the past week, discussions over the new variant of COVID-19 Omicron have grown stronger, since they were first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by scientists from South Africa on November 24. Since then, cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in the UK, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Israel and more, […]]]>

Over the past week, discussions over the new variant of COVID-19 Omicron have grown stronger, since they were first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by scientists from South Africa on November 24. Since then, cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in the UK, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Israel and more, leading the WHO to classify it as a ‘variant of concern’. .

Some experts have raised concerns about the transmissibility of Omicron and questioned whether it was able to evade vaccines. However, with such limited data on the variant, these concerns have yet to be proven. Despite this, many governments have imposed increased travel restrictions and reintroduced mandatory mask wearing and social distancing. In the UK, Boris Johnson announced this weekend that wearing a mask will be mandatory in shops and on public transport from today (November 29).

But, depending on the doctor who discovered the variant, these increased measures might not be necessary. Speaking on the BBC André Marr show, Dr Angelique Coetzee pointed out that patients had “extremely mild” symptoms in South Africa. AlthHowever, it should be noted that the population there is significantly younger than in the UK.

Dr Coetzee revealed that his department first encountered a patient’s Omicron variant in his early 30s. He was not showing any of the usual symptoms of coronavirus, but he was suffering from fatigue and a mild headache. “What we’re seeing clinically in South Africa, and remember I’m at the epicenter – this is where I practice – it’s extremely gentle,” she said.

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As to whether or not she thought the UK was’ needlessly panicking ‘, she replied:’ I think you already have it out there in your country and you don’t know, and I would say, yes, at this point I would definitely say. In two weeks we may say something different. “

Clarifying the actual symptoms of the Omicron variant, Dr Coetzee said we should be careful with extreme fatigue, headaches, and an irritated cough. She did not cite loss of smell or taste as a symptom, pointing out that because of it, some doctors may fail to diagnose patients.

“Your doctors might be more focused on the Delta symptoms and miss this because it’s easy to miss this,” she added.

But not everyone in the medical industry agrees with his claims that Omicron is a milder version of COVID. Moderna chief medical officer Dr Paul Burton described the Omicron as a “dangerous-looking” variant, although he believes we know enough about the virus to defeat it.

omicron what symptoms to look out for

Getty Images

“I think we have reason to be hopeful, we have learned a lot about this virus in general,” he said. [via The Guardian]. “You know, we also learned a lot about how to deal with COVID, through simple measures and, of course, through vaccines, but until we saw how this virus now behaves in populations of people. elderly, people with other comorbidities. We really want to get a feel for the exact severity of the disease I think. “

He added: “It’s a dangerous looking virus, but I think we now have a lot of tools in our arsenal to combat it, so I’m optimistic.”

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Will China be number one? https://sms461.com/2021/11/23/will-china-be-number-one/ Tue, 23 Nov 2021 16:10:24 +0000 https://sms461.com/2021/11/23/will-china-be-number-one/ Foreign Affairs China’s path to international preeminence is not inevitable – it could be limited by four key factors, writes Stephen Hoadley Will China soon be the number one, the most powerful and influential state on the planet? This Big Question has already received an affirmative response from some commentators… but not all. By some […]]]>

Foreign Affairs

China’s path to international preeminence is not inevitable – it could be limited by four key factors, writes Stephen Hoadley

Will China soon be the number one, the most powerful and influential state on the planet? This Big Question has already received an affirmative response from some commentators… but not all.

By some economic measures, China is already number one. While the United States still leads the way in conventional measures of GDP based on market exchange rates, other measures tell a different story. The purchasing power parity index takes into account not only China’s net GDP and GDP per capita, but also the average prices that Chinese consumers have to pay, which are lower than those faced by American consumers. . The PPP index put China ahead of the United States several years ago.

Going forward, China’s higher growth rate of around 6% per year will exceed that of the United States, whose growth rate is closer to 3% per year. China’s industrial workforce is second to none. It is already the world’s leading exporter and the leading importer in aggregate value. It is the main trading partner of more than half of the other 200 economies in the world, including New Zealand’s. It is an active member of the WTO and APEC and has applied to join the CPTPP. China has used its vast foreign exchange reserves to create an alternative to the World Bank, called the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and to distribute capital to more than 50 third world countries through the Belt and Road Initiative. Road”.

In addition, Beijing deploys the largest armed forces in terms of uniformed personnel, warships and fighter jets, and deploys the largest diplomatic corps. Chinese businessmen and tourists can be found (before Covid) in all corners of the world, and Chinese students have been the largest contingent of foreign students at Western educational institutions for much of the 21st century. .

A glance at history suggests that China’s current dominance is not an anomaly. The China of the Qing Dynasty in 1700, before Europeans advanced through colonial exploitation, the industrial revolution, good governance and the benefits of liberalized trade and investment, was clearly the richest country in its time. Previous Chinese dynasties could claim the same world primacy after the fragmentation of the Roman Empire and the entry of Europe into the Dark Ages. China under President Xi Jinping has now transcended the century of humiliation imposed by Western imperialism. He is now undergoing the Great Rejuvenation to fulfill China’s Dream of reclaiming his historic place as Number One on the planet.

However, there is an alternate narrative for the future. This narrative focuses on the growing constraints to China’s continued rise, especially its economic boom. These could be called “headwinds” to indicate that they will not stop China’s progress but slow it down, perhaps allowing other states, primarily the United States and its like-minded partners, to to keep pace with China, and perhaps overtake it.

Headwinds fall into four categories: demography, energy, governance and diplomacy.

First of all, China’s population growth is slowing. The number of urban workers will level off in a decade and begin to decline. Despite the end of the one-child policy, Chinese parents are opting for smaller families in order to take advantage of the freedoms and opportunities that growing prosperity brings. This corresponds to similar trends in Japan, Russia, and Western countries. The consequences are a shortage of skilled labor, demands for higher wages and greater burdens on social protection and health systems as the profile of the population ages. This in turn will lead to an increase in production costs and social costs and make Chinese products less competitive in world markets, leading to a slowdown in export earnings and a consequent reduction in national income. And it will further exacerbate indebtedness and the over-construction of provinces and cities, already at alarming levels, fueled by cheap credit from the Bank of China.

Second, energy costs are skyrocketing in China as manufacturing and distribution surges after Covid and demand for oil, gas and coal grows everywhere. Many power generation facilities in China face financial insolvency, and some have rationed power, intermittently shutting down or raising prices for industrial consumers, disrupting previously transparent production and distribution chains.

The pledge made by China at the COP26 summit in Glasgow to reduce dependence on coal to slow greenhouse gas emissions, if implemented, will exacerbate the energy shortage and further disrupt manufacturing, supply chains and distribution around the world. Foreign consumers faced with rising prices for Chinese products, especially due to high fuel and container costs and interrupted shipping schedules, will turn to local products and services, to the detriment of China.

Third, governance in China is centered on one man: President Xi Jinping. Xi heads not only the executive institutions, but also the army and the Communist Party, and therefore dominates the legislative and judicial institutions. Xi imposes an authoritarian leadership style that some qualify as Stalinist. A personality cult reminiscent of Mao Zedong’s has emerged. Xi has systematically restricted freedoms in Hong Kong, intimidated billionaire Chinese entrepreneurs, media stars, mass educators and electronic gamers, and imposed Communist orthodoxy on all school curricula.

While difficult to measure, in my opinion, this uncompromising political atmosphere seems incompatible with the energy, innovation, adaptation and openness that spurred China’s rapid rise under Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Ordinary Chinese might benefit from Xi Jinping’s new doctrine on “common prosperity,” but extraordinary innovators and entrepreneurs will be constrained by the policies imposed by Xi Jinping’s thought. China’s goals for technological supremacy by 2035 may not be met.

Fourth, Chinese diplomacy is extensive and vigorous… but it is not attractive. The phrase “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” is widely cited because it sums up the skepticism of many who deal with China. Beijing spokespersons have become increasingly aggressive in asserting China’s prerogatives. They vehemently accused the United States of increasing tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, for example by denying China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea, supporting Taiwan’s autonomy, exposing violations. rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and causing a ‘new cold war’.

The Belt and Road Initiative turns out to be a blind fast lending program that creates debt dependency and obligations, produces projects modeled and executed by China that often fail to improve the development needs of people. host countries and generates resentment. China’s massive and heavily subsidized fishing fleet is depopulating seas of fish as far as the Southern Ocean, much to the dismay of coastal and island states. In short, China is failing to project “soft power” and attract loyal partners.

Other headwinds include the resurgence and lockdowns of Covid, microchip shortages, rampant pollution, drought and desertification, and rural poverty.

As China battles these headwinds, the democratic states of Europe and Asia, led by the United States under the relatively cosmopolitan Biden administration, are rallying at home and pushing back abroad. They protect their scientific and technological innovations from Chinese espionage and disengage from networks and supply chains dominated by China. They are reaffirming traditional alliances such as NATO and establishing new security agreements such as The Quad and AUKUS to challenge China’s influence and counterbalance China’s economic and military growth. And they are rejuvenating their post-Covid economies and negotiating trade liberalization agreements among themselves.

I am optimistic, and cautiously optimistic, that the United States and its democratic partners will prevail over China and its authoritarian partners, Russia, North Korea and Cambodia. To be sure, political polarization and the possible resurgence of Trump-led nationalism and protectionism could rob democracies of the American leadership they need. The greed of Western hypermillionaires and giant multinationals could tarnish the capitalist model and give credit to “socialism with Chinese characteristics” and “Confucian capitalism” by default. If so, China could still become number one.

If I could make a political recommendation to democratic governments, it would be to support international organizations, especially those that promote economic liberalism. Specifically, the US, UK and EU should join the CPTPP and revitalize the WTO, lest China become the trade lawmaker by default. By innovating and reforming at home, cooperating with each other, and balancing firmly against China’s international initiatives, U.S.-led democracies can keep up with China-led autocracies, and collectively, stay number one.


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