September 19, 2014
“It is clear that China is not simply interested in controlling pollution. Officials have already made it clear, according to a 2012 McKinsey report, that interest in EVs is aimed primarily at building a car industry “that could leapfrog its global competitors in this emerging sector.” However, the same report noted that car makers “have produced only a fraction of the vehicles once expected. Ownership has fallen far short of projections, and the needed infrastructure has failed to materialize. Notwithstanding massive investment in battery R&D by automakers and suppliers, few vendors are qualified to provide batteries to the industry.”
“China has been making economic inroads into the former Soviet satellite state in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Bilateral trade has sky-rocketed from a mere $324m in 2002 to $6bn in 2013. Mongolia’s vast reserves of gold, coal, and other minerals, along with its sparse population of 2.8m in a territory of 1.5m sq kms (and therefore limited local demand for raw materials) make it an ideal trading partner for China. More than half of Mongolia’s foreign trade is with the Chinese.”
“This projected rise can be seen from sales to the Greater China region (mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao) in recent years, with Hong Kong-based aviation consultancy firm Asian Sky Group stating in its year-end report for 2013 that the region’s business jet fleet has risen from 203 jets in 2011 to 371 in 2013 – a growth of 82%. This stands as a stark comparison to the US – home to more than 15,000 business jets.”
“China is currently working on a wide array of UAV systems and already has man-portable and tactical systems in service. A new medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV (MALE), suspiciously similar to the US-made Predator and Reaper, is in development. In the future, China plans to manufacture more systems similar to the RQ-4 Global Hawk – already the Soaring Dragon or Xianglong UAV appears to be a close copy – as well as an unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV). The Chinese UCAVs, appear similar to the X-47 the US is working on and which is due to enter service in 2019.”
While communist legacies remain part of today’s Chinese government in the Leninist organization of the Party-state, it’s fair to say the country has moved on from Mao. What it hasn’t moved on from is nationalism.
In modern China, nationalism is a potent political force that the government willingly deploys and manipulates for its own ends. The Communist Party’s claim to having unified China in 1949 and kept the state intact ever since is one key source of its legitimacy, alongside its track record on economic growth.
“From 1978 to 2013 the total number of outbound migrants was 9.342m, compared to a mere 849,000 inbound migrants, according to the Annual Report on Chinese International Immigration 2014 (CII). The migration deficit measured up to 8.49m in 2013, compared to 3.71m in 1990. By 2013 China had become the fourth largest exporter of migrants in the world, behind only India, Mexico and Russia; while it ranked 7th in 1990 based on the Report on Overseas Chinese Professionals (OCP) published in 2014. “
“According to China’s 2013 Census 53% of China’s 1.3bn population are urban residents, of which 245m come from the rural areas, living and working as migrant workers. About 80% of these migrants are work as unskilled labourers and only 20% of them are able to bring their families with them. As a result, 61m children – one in five in China – are left behind in rural China, staying with grandparents or other relatives. Their education suffers, as elderly relatives are often uneducated and cannot help with homework.”
“As an increasingly commonplace trend that allows young women to explore their sexual attraction to male celebrities without the intimidating presence of direct personal involvement in the story, the culture of writing danmei is also an indicator of the remarkable level of emotional investment that Chinese fans dedicate towards the consumption of foreign cultural products like pop groups, television series and movies – as well as a testament to the burgeoning size and power of the Chinese market for international entertainment companies looking to expand their reach.”
“The perpetrators of almost all these attacks were male, poor and paying for their medical treatment. None had a criminal record or a diagnosis of mental illness, but all seem to have had a grievance against the hospital for problems associated with their treatment. The killings are all the more surprising given that the murder rate in China is amongst the lowest in the world.”
“Written Chinese has confronted some unique hurdles in the modern era. The first of these is the immense number of individual Chinese characters. Chinese is a logographic language, meaning each character represents a word or a part of a word. Thus 电 in Chinese means electric or lightning, and 脑 means brain, leading to the word 电脑 for computer. This is in obvious and stark contrast to most written languages such as Arabic, Hindi, or English, in which each character represents a sound. There are tens of thousands of Chinese characters, and reasonably well-educated people are expected to know at least 6,000 or so.”