This is the eighteenth episode in our ongoing Saturday series on eight+ things to read about China and a lot more. We constantly get emails from readers asking what to read on China and all sorts of things related and even barely related to China and this series is intended to constantly and consistently answer these questions.
As we said in our initial post on this, our plan is to list out eight (or so) articles we benefitted from reading and think you our readers would also benefit from reading, along with a very brief explanation as to why the particular article was included. More specifically:
The articles will likely include many on China and on Asia and a few on international trade, international politics, Spain and Latin America, economics and really just anything else we believe might benefit our readers or even that we just want people to read. We do not plan to choose articles that push our or any other political agenda or any other agenda for that matter, but having said that, we are not objective and our views may creep through. Our goal though is to focus on articles that are important or helpful or — most importantly — that make you think. Our posting of an article will NOT mean we agree with all of it or even any of it. Most of the articles will be from the week preceding the post but we will also sometimes throw in older articles (classics if you will) as well.
Please do not hesitate to comment at the end of this or any other post. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your comments, good, bad and indifferent.
Here we go, in absolutely no particular order.
1. Uncle Ho’s minders: The protectors of Vietnam’s embalmed leader. AFP. Because I’ve seen it and it is amazing. Because word is that Ho Chi Minh never wanted to be venerated like this. Because it embodies (pun sort of intended) so many different things, including religion, communism, and a desire to weave the past in with the present. Because my eldest daughter did her foreign study in Ho Chin Minh city and she reports her fellow students from Vietnam generally just want to get on with their lives.
2. China Says Growth Is Fine. Private Data Show a Sharper Slowdown. Wall Street Journal. Because “beneath China’s stable headline numbers, there is a growing belief that the real picture is much worse.” Because everything our China lawyers are seeing and hearing says things are indeed a lot worse in China than the official numbers would indicate. Because who are you going to believe, the Wall Street Journal or the CCP?
3. Humans and Neanderthals Kept Breeding—and Breeding—for Ages. Wired. Because where we come from is just so damn interesting.
4. The coming death of just about every rock legend. The Week. Because I’ve made it my mission to see as many of these legends one last time. Because Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Carole King, Brian Wilson, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Ray Davies, and Roger Daltrey are all 75 or older and because Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Debbie Harry, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry, Elton John, Don Henley, James Taylor, Jackson Brown, Billy Joel, Mark Knopfler and Bruce Springsteen are all 70 or older. And because only Keith Richards will live forever. Because I have quoted Bob Dylan 20 times on here and Bruce Springsteen 9 times.
5. Eastern Europeans are more likely to regard their culture as superior to others. Pew Research. Because I think this belief is a bad thing, but at the same time, there is something to be said for national unity. Because Greece ranks as the most culturally chauvinistic country in Europe and Spain ranks as the least.
6. Bankers’ exits and zombie accounts: China’s Shanghai free trade zone sputters. Reuters. Because this is just further proof of how almost everything China announces or does to allegedly help foreign companies virtually never comes off. Because the reality is that China is one tough place for foreign businesses and those that do not recognize this and act accordingly tend not to survive long. Because with China’s new company tracking system things are only going to get tougher. See China’s New Company Tracking System: Comply, Comply, Comply.
7. China’s Giant $400 Billion Iran Investment Complicates U.S. Options. Because this further evidences and hastens the decoupling between China and the West. Because in The Top 14 China Wild Cards/Future Risk, China Law Blog’s own Steve Dickinson, listed China’s cozying up to Iran as one of the top six risks with China:
China has started importing oil from Iran in direct defiance of U.S. sanctions. Violation of Iran sanctions is the reason for the U.S. banning sales to Huawei and detaining Meng Wanzhou in Canada. The U.S. might impose sanctions on the companies importing Iranian oil. More significantly, the U.S. might impose sanctions on the China banks financing these oil trades. Some in the U.S. have even proposed a “nuclear” option where the entities and banks involved would be cut out of the CHIPS and SWIFT systems.
8. What if we Stopped Pretending the Climate Apocalypse Can be Stopped? New Yorker. Because what if we are too late to stop the climate apocalypse? Because what if we will never get enough of the world on board even to try? See also Rolling Stone Magazine’s Can We Survive Extreme Heat? Because “humans have never lived on a planet this hot, and we’re totally unprepared for what’s to come.”
9. The Once and Future Imran Khan. Vanity Fair. Because Pakistan is always on the edge of becoming a failed state and its leader, Imran Khan, has the potential to stop that. Because many of our clothing manufacturing clients have moved or are looking to move their manufacturing to Pakistan.
10. China Sourcing: Does Your Sales Contact Really Work At The Factory? Quality Inspection Blog. Because as more companies move their manufacturing out of China our international manufacturing lawyers are getting more calls from companies that thought they were contracting directly with the factory but are actually working through a middleperson who has surreptitiously pocketed anywhere from 25 to 50%.