The Daily Twit – 10/22/12: Had Enough U.S.-China News Yet?

October 23, 2012

I had an Intertube emergency last night, so this is coming out about 12 hours later than usual. Just as well. After an extremely long day/night, I was so tired after finally getting home that I would have been an easy choice for an extra on The Walking Dead. I took my Net outage as fate’s way of telling me to go to sleep early. It’s important to pick up on the few little signals life throws our way now and again.

So anyway, that means that I’m writing this just a short time before the last U.S. presidential debate, which is about foreign policy. Everyone expects that Obamney will be engaging in some serious China bashing, so I figure I’ll be putting together a post on the subject later today once I get ahold of the transcript. You don’t want me to actually watch those losers live, do you? That would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Then again, I’m not so sure there is anything either of them have to say that will warrant commentary, since they’ve covered China bashing fairly well during the campaign thus far. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what hijinks ensue. Aren’t you excited? Nauseated? Bored? It will all be over in a couple weeks.

Let me start off with some U.S.-China news, then we’ll move on to other flotsam and jetsam from yesterday:

NPR: Five Debate-Worthy Facts About China — Decent introduction to some of the top issues, mostly for folks who don’t usually pay attention to this stuff. Certainly not appropriate for my high-end readership!

Fox News: Obama, Romney talk tough on China — but could it hurt the US economy? — Yeah, I linked to something from Fox. You got a problem with that? The article throws out some U.S.-China trade stories, reminding everyone what it means when we say that these two economies are intertwined.

China Daily: Investment from China in US reaches record high — Despite all the campaign rhetoric, business still goes on. That’s somehow comforting, I think. Interesting, though, that at the same time we see these numbers, the flip side isn’t so encouraging: China Daily: FDI drops ‘due to rising costs’.

New York Times: Obama Could Be Buoyed by Latest W.T.O. Victory Over China — Could the recent victory in the steel anti-dumping case help Obama in the election? Uh, I rather doubt it. Yes, some of the union folks who instigated the dispute in the first place are happy, but I assume they are already working on Obama’s behalf in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Will this make a difference to your average voter, who doesn’t exactly pay attention to WTO disputes? Not likely.

Business Insider: Once Again, The US Has Become China’s #1 Export Market — Not a headline anyone in Washington or Beijing wants to see. So much for that whole decoupling thing.

Economist: Currency manipulation - The plan worked — If you agree that the value of the RMB is not really much of a problem anymore, what does this say about U.S. strategy in this area? That’s a discussion worth having.

Forbes: Hawker Beechcraft’s failed sale latest victim — More problems with Chinese inward investment and national security concerns. Have you noticed a trend yet? I’m not so sure this sort of thing will end with the election.

OK, a few additional items for you to read as you watch the presidential debate. Because, you know, it’ll be really boring.

The Diplomat: Tensions in the East China Sea: Here To Stay — Just in case you thought this issue had gone away. Guess again. If that’s too depressing, stay with the same publication and try this one: Sorry World: What Happens in Beijing, WON’T Stay in Beijing, a discussion of how China’s domestic problems will effect it’s foreign policy.

Associated Press: China’s new leaders facing tough economic choices — Speaking of domestic policy, here’s a look at the near-term situation on the eve of leadership change. Not exactly happy news.

Seeking Alpha: China’s Slowdown: Why The Analysts Keep Getting It Wrong — And we can’t avoid some econ commentary either, like this one whose thesis seems to be that China’s slowdown is the result of/will be worse because of China’s reliance on the State. Not exactly a revelation there, chief.

BBC: What kind of superpower could China be? — I missed this Martin Jacques column from over the weekend. Jacques sees a future China as powerful, but not as aggressive as one might think, a superpower throwing its weight around economically and culturally as opposed to militarily. He doesn’t really account for China’s military buildup, but other than that, a good read.

Forbes: Go Public, Take Private, Make A Deal: The Big Debate in China — The problem with Chinese listed companies in the U.S. and what it means for exit strategies. This is indeed a big debate in some circles, with a great deal of hand wringing by many in the VC/PE/China startup crowd.

Guardian: Chinese protesters clash with police over power plant — Yet another enviromental NIMBY protest in China? Yeah, you heard me. This one’s down in the tropical paradise of Hainan, and it involves the construction of a coal-fired power plant. Considering that China opens one of these things every picosecond, NIMBY protests are a potential problem. We’ll keep our eyes on this one.