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Showing posts from November 25, 2018

Why Congress may win yet again

Dilip Apte Someone's interesting take: Read carefully again and again, and understand! ... Reasons why Congress is winning for the past 65 years and why it will win in the future: (A view Point) Currently, on an average (over states) there are: 15% Muslims, 8% Christians, 7% Others and 70% Hindus. That means: out of 100 people, there are 70 Hindus, 8 Christians, 15 Muslims and 7 others. Voter registration is as follows: 90% of Muslims, 90% of Christians and 60% of Hindus and 90% of Others. This means: out of 100 people, 42 Hindus, 14 Muslims, 7 Christians and 6 'Others' will register for vote. Now, interesting point Out of the registered voters having voter ID or at least having interest in selecting their representative. Have a look at the number of turnouts: 50% Hindus will vote, 90% Muslims will vote, 90% Christians will vote and 90% others will vote. This means: Ultimately 21 Hindus will vote, 13 Muslims will vote, 6 Christians and 5 'Oth

Wealth and debt for Gen Xers

AXIOS FUTURE Steve Levine Data:  Kurz et al. 2018 ; Chart: Naema Ahmed and Harry Stevens/Axios When Generation X was as old as millennials are now, they had significantly more financial assets — more even than the Boomer generation before them, according to a new report by the  Federal Reserve  Bank. Axios' Stef Kight writes : If any generation could be called "entitled," it might have been Gen Xers — if it weren't for the typically large debt that ultimately crushed their chances of wealth. The economic environment in the years immediately before the financial crash made it easy for young adults at the time — members of Generation X, born from 1965 to 1980 — to buy homes, cars and other properties, and to invest in stocks.But when you subtract the average Gen Xer's debt — mostly the easy-to-obtain mortgages — they weren't much better off than young Boomers before them, Bill Emmons, assistant vice president at the Fed in St. Louis, tells Axios. By the nu

Over 300 policemen deployed along border with Balochistan after Chinese consulate attack

Imran Ayub Updated November 30, 2018 63 posts have been set up in Jacobabad, Kashmore and Qambar. — AFP/File KARACHI: Sindh has deployed more than 300 police personnel along its border with Balochistan after investigators found that the suspects involved in last week’s foiled attack on the Chinese consulate here had come from the neighbouring province, a senior official said on Thursday. The move, he said, was a follow-up to the decision taken at a meeting presided over by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and attended by Chinese Consul General Wang Yu, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Inspector General Dr Kaleem Imam and other senior officials of the provincial government. He agreed that the available resources and manpower of the Sindh police did not allow the law enforcement agency to properly man all the 63 Balochistan border posts and it was incidents like the consulate attack which pushed the authorities towards adopting temporary measures. “A total of 323 policemen hav

China excerpts from "Insane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil"

AXIOS Bill Bishop Dec 1 Public post Hi everyone, this is another in the irregular series of book excerpts for Sinocism readers. Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil  is by Hamish McKenzie, a New Zealander in San Francisco who has worked as a journalist and in communications for Tesla. In the interest of full disclosure, Hamish is an old friend of Sinocism, having done a profile of me ( Bill Bishop: The Invisible China Hand ) for Pando Daily back in 2012. He is also a cofounder and senior executive of Substack, the platform that powers this newsletter and in which I am an investor. But those are not the reasons I am excerpting some of the parts about China and the development of electronic vehicles in the country. Hamish’s work gives some interesting and useful context to the booming EV industry in China. Before we get to the excerpt I have a couple of housekeeping announcements: Sinocism now offers a 70% discount to current

Podcast: China's Belt and Road Initiative, and the Rise of National Populism   Ben speaks with China expert Yu Jie about the country's flagship economic project, and Agnes discusses the concept of national populism with Matthew Goodwin. 22 November 2018 Speakers Dr Yu Jie (Cherry),  Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House Professor Matthew Goodwin,  Visiting Senior Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House Agnes Frimston,  Deputy Editor,  The World Today Ben Horton,  Communications Manager,  International Affairs Share     In 2013 China launched its flagship economic project, the 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI). In the five years since the initiative has rapidly expanded trade and infrastructure relationships between China and 88 countries in Eurasia and Africa, covering over 60% of global GDP. Ben speaks to the Asia-Pacific Programme's Yu Jie to find out more. The rise of populism is a phenomenon affect

'Spy' Dispute Highlights Shifting Balance of Power Between the UK and the UAE

27 November 2018 Britain's diplomatic weight prevailed this time, but the old relationship is changing. Dr Neil Quilliam Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme @NeilQuilliam1 2018-11-27-UKUAE2.jpg Daniela Tejada, wife of Matthew Hedges, speaks outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after meeting with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on 22 November. Photo: Getty Images. Share     The pardoning of a British student sentenced to life imprisonment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for spying has been welcomed by the UK government. But the balance of power between the countries is changing. The imprisonment of Matthew Hedges posed a real dilemma for the UK. It had to decide whether to stand up to the UAE, a country with which it does £15 billion of trade, or cave in and risk the perception that it is now the junior partner in the relationship. Its strong response - and the fact Hedges can now return home - is testament to the UK's diplomatic w

CHINA: Legislature starts using AI

TRIVIUM CHINA  Legislature starts using AI China’s legislature is not just studying AI (see October 30 Tip Sheet) and formulating laws for AI (See November 26 Tip Sheet) –  they're also  using  AI.     First, the body is building a huge database  of legislation, regulations, government rules, and administrative measures from across the country. Officials are then using a set of algorithms to identify rules and regulations that are in conflict with more authoritative laws. 📌A case in point from Tianjin (Procuratorial Daily): The Tianjin municipal legislature screened all regulations for the phrase “fiscal guarantee.” The search found more than 151 lower-level resolutions related to fiscal guarantees. Of those 151, four were found to be in violation of higher-level rules; all four were rescinded. It gets better:  The legislatures are building ever-larger keyword screening pools, to have a robust review process in place to check the consistency of regulations and rules acro

Democracy defeated the coup

Commentary José Ignacio Torreblanca  23rd November, 2018 Generalitat de Catalunya  (cropped) -  CC BY 2.0 A year on, it is clear that the Catalan parliamentary coup d’état of 2017 has strengthened the Spanish political nation It is just over a year since the attempt to overturn the constitution – by bypassing the Catalan parliament, stepping on the rights of the representatives of the majority of Catalans, and disregarding the will of all Spanish people to coexist in peace and freedom – was defeated. Undoubtedly this was the most delicate moment that Spanish democracy has passed through since the coup d’état in 1981. It was not, as some still claim today, a peaceful democratic effort to consult Catalan citizens about their future, but an illegal referendum on self-determination. A referendum based on an express law passed in defiance of the Constitutional Court, with neither mandatory reports of the Counsel of Statutory Guarantees or participation by the opposition. A law disgui

Strategic autonomy: towards ‘European sovereignty’ in defence?

30 November 2018 Daniel Fiott Briefs Security and Defence Defence cooperation Defence industry Strategic autonomy. Two familiar words that are yet again in vogue in Europe but which cause confusion and, in some quarters, even alarm. The last time strategic autonomy stirred controversy was in 2003 during the run-up to the Iraq War, but perhaps the most well-known instance followed the Balkan crisis of the 1990s. The objective of this Brief is to better comprehend how the EU conceives of strategic autonomy, rather than dwell on a broader focus on ‘Europe’ or ‘NATO Europe’. To this end, the Brief compares the range of defence initiatives that have been developed by the EU since 2016 against three different conceptual visions of strategic autonomy: autonomy as  responsibility , autonomy as  hedging  and autonomy as  emancipation . Each of these forms of autonomy have implications for transatlantic burden sharing and the EU’s level of ambition on security and defence. Download docu

Guns, engines and turbines – The EU’s hard power in Asia

Guns, engines and turbines – The EU’s hard power in Asia 27 November 2018 Edited by Eva Pejsova With contributions from Mathieu Duchâtel ,  Felix Heiduk ,  Bruno Hellendorff ,  Chantal Lavallée ,  Liselotte Odgaard ,  Gareth Price ,  Zoe Stanley-Lockman Chaillot Papers Asia Security and Defence Defence industry East Asia South-East Asia Considering arms trade an integral part of the EU’s foreign policy toolbox, what is the status of security cooperation between Europe and Asia? Who exactly benefits from European military technology and know-how and how does that affect the overall strategic balance in the region? And how might the EU coordinate its policies to best secure its strategic interests in Asia? This Chaillot Paper sheds light on the new security dynamics in EU-Asia relations from the ‘hard security’ perspective. By looking at the burgeoning arms trade, dual-use technology transfers, and the emerging connections between new defence markets, it challenges the conven

How the German Economy is Connected to Eastern Europe Part 3 of our mini-series on Global Value Chains 16 November 2018 Photo by Hannes Egler on Unsplash In our mini-series on Global Value Chains (GVCs) we look how three German key industries – motor vehicles, chemicals and machinery – are  part of complex international production  networks that illustrate the key role of comparative advantage.  This week: the relevance of economic ties between Central and Eastern European Countries and Germany. Germany’s integration  with  Eastern Europe  has been a modern success story. The value chains with Eastern Europe have helped Germany to retain a competitive edge and have helped the Eastern European economies grow quickly and converge gradually to the levels of Western Europe. For the purpose of this post, we understand Eastern Europe as the countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. While individually, most of these econ

Money and Muscle Pave China’s Way to Global Power

Home WORLD China Rules They didn’t like the West’s playbook. So they wrote their own. PART 3 阅读简体中文版 閱讀繁體中文版  Liu Ping, center, president of China’s state-owned Bright Food Group, sampling local yogurt at a dairy farm near Momchilovtsi. A Bright Food yogurt brand is named for the village. Beijing is leveraging its commercial and military might to redraw the terms of trade, diplomacy and security, challenging the liberal democratic order. By PETER S. GOODMAN and JANE PERLEZPhotographs by BRYAN DENTONNOV. 25, 2018 Under a merciless sun, a dozen Chinese construction workers survey an empty expanse of desert, preparing to transform it into the heart of a new Egyptian capital. The workers are employed by China’s largest construction conglomerate through a $3 billion contract from an Egyptian company, with financing from Chinese banks. They are erecting a thicket of 21 skyscrapers, one as tall as the Empire State Building. The presence of Chinese labor and largess on the sands