Another China bashing article

China Business Mar 12, 2010 China lassoes its neighbors By Walden Bello Asia Times With the Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization in limbo, the heavy hitters of international trade have been engaged in a race to sew up trade agreements with smaller partners. China has been among the most aggressive in this game, a fact underlined on January 1, when the China-ASEAN Free-Trade Area (CAFTA) went into effect. Touted as the world's biggest free-trade area, CAFTA will bring together 1.7 million consumers with a combined gross domestic product of US$5.9 trillion and total trade of $1.3 trillion. Under the agreement, trade between China and Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore has become duty-free for more than 7,000 products. By 2015, the newer members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar - will join the zero-tariff arrangement. The propaganda mills, especially in Beijing, have been trumpeting the free-trade agreement as bringing "mutual benefits" to China and ASEAN. In contrast, there has been an absence of triumphal rhetoric from ASEAN. In 2002, the year the agreement was signed, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed the emergence of a "formidable regional grouping" that would rival the United States and the European Union. ASEAN's leaders, it seems, have probably begun to realize the consequences of what they agreed to: that in this FTA, most of the advantages will probably flow to China.... The above are the opening paras of Walden's article. The writer took the position that the Asean leaders were all dummies and did not know what they were going into, and the peasant Chinamen were first class conmen. I think the Chinamen cannot beat the conmen that caused the SWFs to lose hundreds of billions within a few months. Those, in my view, were either real first class conmen or the victims were really dumb asses. If one were to remember the early years when the empires put a gun at the heads of native headmen and forced them to sign away their countries and national wealth, perfectly fair deals. Today all the trade agreements signed between China and any country, no matter how small, were negotiated by the countries best brains on a willing buyer willing seller basis. No guns on their heads for sure. The western propaganda machine is still in full swin to attack and discredit China in all ways, but how many would believe in them today?


Wally Buffet said...

Err...hello, I think it's not cricket to look at the issue this way.

The China Asean Free trade agreement is most definitely going to benefit China the most because it is the producer of most of the 7000 plus items, more even than all the Asean countries combined. Anyone who reads cannot miss this point unless one choose to be in self denial. It is an unequal agreement skewed in favour of the Chinese. That said, when big brother of the East says he wants an agreement, who are we little dots or big small dogs to say "No"?

Matilah_Singapura said...

I think there's another way to look at the article.

I tend to ignore any emotional-bias in the writer and look at the facts. Anyway, it is healthy to criticise. The reader can make up his own mind whether the writer has at least some objectivity and therefore worthy of credit or just plain wrong and probably a whacko.

China is definitely going to give the world a lesson in market capitalism. Whatever it is doing, is working -- wages, especially professional wages are on the rise. A Chinese engineer can comman USD3k + these days.

Professional wages in India are also rising. That might partly explain why the Bangalore management grads can command such salaries outside India (see redbeans previous article)

People can like it or loath it -- China and India are on the move. They don't always "play by the book", but then again the (so-called) "developed world" is not whistle-clean either when it comes to govt's interfering with economics, society and politics.

One of the potential dangers is China's rise in M1 -- a massive 38% per annum. But, can you blame them?

The hold US debt -- lots of it. The US have been printing to "inflate away the debt" thereby cheating China by paying less in terms of purchasing power. China's only recourse might be to itself inflate and "track" the falling USD with a falling renembi. Who knows?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

My apologies for highlighting such articles repeatedly in my blog. I just feel that it is necessary to do it as the western media have had a monopoly for misinformation and spreading anti China and anti Asian views for several centuries, without Asians having the right to respond. The media used to be their domain and playground to convert, distort and brainwash the readers. They control the media and the minds of their readers.

Today, internet has given the right of reply and the breaking down of this monopoly from the west. The Asian and alternative views should also be heard. No longer should Asians be under the spell of misinformation at their own expense, against their own people, propagated by the west.

The unfortunate thing is that many Asian media still help to spread such misinformation in their pages and columns, to slap their own faces.