Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?

November 30, 2008

“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan at Princeton.

Chong-pin engaged Princeton University students and professors in a lively discussion Nov. 18 that focused on China’s relationship with Taiwan and China’s growing importance in world affairs.

A professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, Chong-pin was brought to Princeton by the East Asian Studies department. His lecture was titled, “More carrot than stick: Beijing’s adjusted Taiwan policy.”

Chong-pin mentioned beauty pageants and high-visibility sporting events as examples of China’s emerging emphasis on culture.

“Now I think it’s generally agreed that Beijing is using economic and cultural influence to establish its international status,” he said. “The idea is to make the rest of the world look to Beijing unconsciously or subconsciously as the future mecca of the world.”

By Megan DeMarco
The Times (Trenton, NJ)

Read about China’s “Grand Strategy” to ease the U.S. out of East Asia:
http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/
news-15/12280215089560.xml&coll=5

Russia and The West: How To Reverse Escalation of Tension and Confrontation?

November 18, 2008

Barely one hour after Barack Obama’s victory speech, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to deploy missiles in Russia’s westernmost region of Kaliningrad that could attack U.S. military targets in Poland. The targets are limited, small in number and do not yet really exist: They will exist if and when the United States completes the ballistic missile defense system it plans to place in Poland, along with a sophisticated radar component in the Czech Republic.

The reaction in Europe and the United States ranged from outrage in Poland to serious concern at NATO headquarters and disappointment in the White House. Russia claims it has been backed into a corner by U.S. erosion of key cornerstones of European and global security and by aggressive moves to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into areas that affect Russia’s vital security interests.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Chinese President ... 
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Chinese President Hu Jintao shake hands during a bilateral meeting after the G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington November 15, 2008.REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Vladimir Rodionov

How did we arrive at this point? Russia sees new threats from NATO and the United States, and they see new threats from Russia. And even where they see common dangers — as in the case of potential and actual missile threats from Asia and the Middle East — they cannot find common ground on how to deal with them. How do we reverse this steady escalation of tension and confrontation?

By Greg Austin
UPI

Related:
Russia’s Medvedev Learned PR Skills from Hitler, Chavez, Khrushchev and Putin?

Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception

Read the rest:
http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2008/11/17/
Outside_View_Russias_new_start_–_Part_1/UPI-371
11226965683/#top

Japan Slides Into Recession; Obama Presidency Seen as No Help

November 17, 2008

Japan’s economy slid into a recession for the first time since 2001, the government said Monday, as companies sharply cut back on spending in the third quarter amid the unfolding global financial crisis.

The world’s second-largest economy contracted at an annual pace of 0.4 percent in the July-September period after a declining an annualized 3.7 percent in the second quarter. That means Japan, along with the 15-nation euro-zone, is now technically in a recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction.

The result was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Kyodo News agency had predicted gross domestic product would gain an annualized 0.1 percent.

Japan’s Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano said following the data’s release that “the economy is in a recessionary phase.”

But the worst may be yet to come, especially with dramatic declines in demand from consumers overseas for Japan’s autos and electronics gadgets. Hurt also by a strengthening yen, a growing number of exporters big and small are slashing their profit, sales and spending projections for the full fiscal year through March.

Toyota Motor Corp., for example, has cut net profit full-year profit forecast to 550 billion yen ($5.5 billion) — about a third of last year’s earnings. And Sony Corp., whose July-September profit plunged 72 percent, expects to make 59 percent less this fiscal year than last year.

“What we’re starting to see is the extent of deterioration in external demand start to weigh more heavily on the Japanese economy,” said Glen Maguire, chief Asia economist at Societe Generale. “And I think looking forward, there’s every indication that dynamic is going to continue.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_bi_ge/as_jap
an_economy;_ylt=ApHIyzOiyEFeB_wFtelfrris0NUE

***********************

For Japan, Obama Signals A Shift Closer to China, Away From “Traditional” Asian Allies
.
The Japanese do not share the jubilation seen almost everywhere following the election of Barack Obama. 

Economically, Japan sees an Obama White House funding the American Big Three Automakers: GM, Chrysler and Ford.  And that’s bad for Japan’s automakers.

Japan, for one nation, prefers to allow the “system” to work without more government intervention.

On the foreign policy level, Japan fears North Korea’s erratic behavior and nuclear capability.  It also fears China as a tradition enemy of immense wealth, population and size which can easily overwhelm the economy of Japan.

Japan fears the presidency of Barack Obama.  “So far, no good,” one senior diplomat told Peace and Freedom.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapal, Virginia

Related:
Obama Not Such A Hero In Japan

How Old is Too Old? You Make Your Case and You Stay Or Go….

November 15, 2008

College football coach Steve Spurrier said today on the ESPN pre-game show that he would stop coaching before he was in his 70s.  He said he could never be a “figurehead” football coach like Joe Paterno at Penn State or Bobby Bowden at Florida State who both “let their assistant coaches do everything.”

Spurrier in March 2007
Spurrier, head coach of the University of South Carolina football team.

I was taken aback by what, to me, seemed an insult from Spurrier to the older men.  But I am not a rabid football fan any longer and somewhat detached from the sports news.

Apparently Bowden and Paterno have taken a lot of heat and grief for their age, longevity and fading football glory.

Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post wrote on September 26, “Bowden should have been escorted out the door a few years ago surrounded by garnet-and-gold pomp and circumstance for all the glory he has brought the Seminoles. Instead, he’s wandering in the wilderness in his 33rd season at Florida State after warm-up acts at Samford and West Virginia.”

Joe Paterno has suffered similar attacks.

I say if the coach is breathing, enjoys his work and can convince a school that he is important to have in their program then that is between the coach and the school.  Oldster John McCain couldn’t convince voters to elect him but apparently Paterno and Bowden have made their cases successfully so far.

It should be all about performace and never about age.

But we do seem to live in an American culture that dismisses older people quickly; and often too quickly.  My Asian relatives and friends respect, hold close and love their elders much better and longer than many Americans and would never think of sending Mom or dad to a nursing home.  My 90 year old Grandmother makes the food, shops, does laundry and has a bunch of household jobs she would never surrender.

An Ethiopian friend said when he gets older he’ll return to Ethiopia where the older men are respected and not rejected…..

Asia stocks lackluster, China stimulus hopes wane

November 11, 2008

Most Asian stock markets retreated Tuesday after weakness on Wall Street, as concerns about the global economy sapped enthusiasm over China‘s nearly $600 billion package to boost growth.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index was down 272.13 points, or 3 percent, to 8,809.30 as the yen strengthened against the dollar. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng benchmark was 2.2 percent lower at 14,407.45 points.

Australia’s benchmark fell 3.6 percent. Markets in Singapore, South Korea and India also declined.

The Shanghai Composite index, up earlier in the session, fell 1.5 percent despite figures showing the country’s inflation rate eased further last month.

By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, AP Business Writer

In this Feb. 16, 2008 file photo provided by China's Xinhua ...
In this Feb. 16, 2008 file photo provided by China’s Xinhua News Agency, workers prepare for construction of a new project Shanghai Center at the building site in Pudong District of Shanghai, east China. China’s economy is still growing at an enviable rate: It expanded 9 percent in the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2008. But that was the slowest in 5 years and down from 11.9 percent last year. Forecasts for next year range as low as 7.5 percent.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Niu Yixin, File)

Regional equities were up sharply Monday on hopes that China’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package, announced Sunday, would keep its economic growth from falling too fast and help fuel demand for exports from other Asian countries.

But the rally proved short lived amid fresh evidence of more economic troubles.

In the U.S., major electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection. Investors also speculated about the fate of General Motors Corp., Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. after the automakers met with lawmakers last week in hopes of securing financial help.

In Asia, Japan’s government reported the country’s current account surplus in September plunged almost 50 percent from a year earlier as export growth waned in the face of a global slowdown.

“It’s what I’d term a ‘fally:’ a rally based on fallacy,” Kirby Daley, senior strategist at Newedge Group in Hong Kong, said of Monday’s advance. “The fallacy being that the China stimulus package is the answer to all of Asia’s problems. While it will help and is a step in the right direction, it will not fully insulate Asia from feeling the impact of the global downturn.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/a
p_on_bi_ge/world_markets_22

China condemns sacked Japan general’s war comments

November 1, 2008

China was strongly critical on Saturday of an essay by a Japanese air force chief of staff who said Japan was not an aggressor in Asia in World War Two and was later dismissed for airing those views.

“We are shocked by and express our strong indignation over the senior Japanese military officer’s denial of Japan’s aggression and overtly glorifying its history of invasion,” the Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying.

General Toshio Tamogami, in an essay posted on the website of a Japanese hotel and apartment developer, said Japan was ensnared into World War Two by the United States and that Japan’s military actions in China were based on treaties.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said on Friday he would dismiss Tamogami, adding it was improper for the general to publicly state a view clearly different from that of the government.

Japan expressed remorse for its wartime actions in 1995, and followed with another apology a decade later.

Disputes over wartime history often stir tensions between Tokyo and Beijing, though relations have warmed in the past two years as both put priority on deepening trade and investment.

“We have taken notice of the attitude and measures taken by the Japanese government,” Jiang said, calling on the two nations to work together to safeguard bilateral relations.

“The war of aggression launched by the Japanese militarists brought untold suffering to the Asian people including the Chinese people, which is an undeniable historic fact,” she said.

She added that having a correct understanding of, and properly dealing with, that period was the political basis for the development of friendly and cooperative Sino-Japanese ties.

(Reporting by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Michael Roddy, Reuters)

Related:
Fired: Air Force Chief Said Japan Was Not an Aggressor in WWII

IwaneRidesIn.jpg
Above: Troops from Japan in Nanking, China

Fired: Air Force Chief Said Japan Was Not an Aggressor in WWII

October 31, 2008

The head of the Japanese air force is to be sacked after saying the country was not an aggressor in World War II, Japan’s defence minister said.

Yasukazu Hamada said Gen Toshio Tamogami’s views, written in an essay, ran counter to the government’s position on the war.

“Therefore it is inappropriate for him to remain in this position and I will swiftly dismiss him,” he said.

From the BBC

Gen Toshio Tamogami - Pic Australian Defence Department
Gen Toshio Tamogami’s essay was published on a website

The general’s views are likely to anger many of Japan’s neighbours.

China, North and South Korea and other Asian nations still have traumatic memories of Japan’s aggression and colonial rule.

Japan expressed remorse for its wartime actions in 1995, and then gave another apology 10 years later.

Acting swiftly

Mr Hamada said that by acting swiftly against the general, the Japanese government was making it clear that it did not share his views which, he said, could stir controversy in Asian nations.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7702374.stm
*******************************

From the New York Times
By Norimitsu Onishi  

A high-ranking Japanese military official was dismissed Friday for writing an essay stating that the United States had ensnared Japan into World War II, denying that Japan had waged wars of aggression in Asia and justifying Japanese colonialism.

The Defense Ministry fired Gen. Toshio Tamogami, chief of staff of Japan’s air force, late on Friday night, only hours after his essay was posted on a private company’s Web site. The quick dismissal seemed intended to head off criticism from China, South Korea and other Asian nations that have reacted angrily to previous Japanese denials of its militarist past.

The Defense Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said the essay included an “inappropriate” assessment of the war, adding, “It was improper for a person in his capacity as air force chief of staff to publicly state a view clearly different from the government’s.”

In the essay, General Tamogami, 60, elaborated a rightist view of Japan’s wartime history shared by many nationalist politicians. But it was a rare formulation from inside Japan’s military, which, as Japan has been shedding its postwar pacifism in recent years, has gained a more prominent role.

Japan’s military — whose operations are restricted by the nation’s war-renouncing Constitution — should be allowed to possess “offensive weaponry” and widen its defense activities with allies, the general also wrote.

The article was posted on the Web site of a real estate developer called Apa Group after taking the $30,000 first prize in an essay-writing contest sponsored by the company.

General Tamogami wrote that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and thereby drew the United States into World War II after being caught in “a trap” set by President Roosevelt.

“Roosevelt had become president on his public pledge not to go to war, so in order to start a war between the United States and Japan, it had to appear that Japan took the first shot,” he wrote.

He denied that Japan had invaded China and the Korean Peninsula, arguing that Japanese forces became embroiled in domestic conflicts on the Asian continent.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/01/world/asia/01tokyo.html?em

Related:
China condemns sacked Japan general’s war comments

Asian, International Stocks Slip as Global Recession Fears Rise

October 15, 2008

By Kevin Plumberg

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Most Asian stock markets fell 1-3 percent while gold rose on Wednesday on investor worries of lower corporate earnings in a weakening global economy, even as money markets continued to heal gradually.

Major European share markets were expected to open as much as 2 percent down , according to financial bookmakers, after the FTSEurofirst 300 index rose nearly 14 percent in the last two days.

A stock trader negotiates in the iBovespa future index pit in ... 
A stock trader negotiates in the iBovespa future index pit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Across the world, leading central banks have slashed interest rates in a coordinated effort to bring calm to global financial markets, amid dire warnings of economic pain ahead.(AFP/Mauricio Lima)

Oil prices were not far from a 12-month low hit on Friday while the yen and U.S. Treasuries climbed, reflecting fears the damage that the financial crisis inflicted on the global economy is still working its way through the system.

Quarterly reports have begun to trickle in, with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Merrill Lynch set to post their results this week. Investors will be focused on the outlook and whether most expectations for a rebound in 2009 will have to be reined in.

“While the financial system crisis appears to be heading in a positive direction, the economy appears to be increasingly bad, and this is raising worries about company earnings. We still don’t know how much these might be hit,” said Hiroaki Osakabe, a fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management in Tokyo.

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 2.2 percent and is down 12.5 percent so far in October.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index…

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081015/ts_nm/us_mar
kets_global;_ylt=Ap9Ao2IQwtYON9r_wAfVKNas0NUE

U.S. Investing $250 Billion in Banks: Financial ‘Bailout’ Continues to Intill Hope

October 14, 2008

By Mark Landler
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department, in its boldest move yet, is expected to announce a plan on Tuesday to invest up to $250 billion in banks, according to officials. The United States is also expected to guarantee new debt issued by banks for three years — a measure meant to encourage the banks to resume lending to one another and to customers, officials said.

A euro coin and one US dollar bill. The dollar has dipped against ... 

And the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will offer an unlimited guarantee on bank deposits in accounts that do not bear interest — typically those of businesses — bringing the United States in line with several European countries, which have adopted such blanket guarantees.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 936 points, or 11 percent, the largest single-day gain in the American stock market since the 1930s. The surge stretched around the globe: in Paris and Frankfurt, stocks had their biggest one-day gains ever, responding to news of similar multibillion-dollar rescue packages by the French and German governments.

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. outlined the plan to nine of the nation’s leading bankers at an afternoon meeting, officials said. He essentially told the participants that they would have to accept government investment for the good of the American financial system.

Of the $250 billion, which will come from the $700 billion bailout approved by Congress, half is to be injected into nine big banks, including Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, officials said. The other half is to go to smaller banks and thrifts. The investments will be structured so that the government can benefit from a rebound in the banks’ fortunes.

President Bush plans to announce….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/business
/economy/14treasury.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

******************

Asian Markets Soar On Signs of Renewed Hope

By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, AP Business Writer 18 minutes ago

HONG KONG – Asian markets soared for a second day Tuesday, led by a record 14 percent jump in Tokyo, after Wall Street rallied from its worst week ever on optimism that government rescue efforts will heal the crippled global financial system.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081014/ap_on_bi_ge/world_
markets;_ylt=AhU9ssfZ2fvgiOjAnyoc0oSs0NUE

A businessman walks past an electonic board showing the Hang ...
A businessman walks past an electonic board showing the Hang Seng Index. Global stock markets staged spectacular gains Monday as governments pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into banks crippled by the credit crunch, coaxing newly confident investors to buy shares.(AFP/Mike Clarke)

A South Korean woman passes a foreign exchange facility in Seoul. ... 
A South Korean woman passes a foreign exchange facility in Seoul.(AFP/File/Jung Yeon-Je)

Gridlock On U.S. Financial Crisis Rattles Asian Markets

September 26, 2008

By Danny McCord

HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian stock markets fell Friday as political wrangling held up a 700-billion-dollar bailout package for the US financial system despite earlier hopes that a deal was near.

Talks over the rescue proposal were gridlocked Thursday as lawmakers were at loggerheads over the way forward, with Democrats accusing the Republicans of dragging their feet.

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed down 0.94 percent, Hong Kong was off 2.0 percent at the break, Sydney ended the day 0.5 percent down and Taiwan shares shed 2.2 percent.

Some stocks had risen earlier, taking a cue from Wall Street, which closed 1.82 percent up on prospects that an agreement could be reached.

US Democrats said Republican White House contender John McCain had sabotaged the rescue package, which they said had largely been agreed upon.

“John McCain did nothing to help, he only hurt the process,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a joint news conference with Senate banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd.

Under the proposal the government would buy 700 billion dollars of toxic mortgage-related assets at the heart of the global credit crisis. The move would be the biggest government bailout since the 1930s Great Depression.

Read the rest:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080926/
tbs-stocks-world-65f2640.html

***************
Bloomberg
.
Woori Finance fell 4.5pc on concern the credit crisis is deepening after Republicans splintered over the proposed $700bn bailout and WaMu was seized by regulators. Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan’s largest operator of dry-bulk ships, lost 3.8 pc.

“The assumption is that the bailout will take longer than expected, which is negative,” said Tsuyoshi Shimizu, a senior fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co., which oversees $26bn.

“As with Washington Mutual, the longer it takes to pass something, the more victims we’re going to see.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1pc to 113.52 by lunchtime in Tokyo, erasing an earlier 0.9pc advance. The index has declined 0.6pc this week, a fourth weekly retreat.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.4pc to 11,843.98. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 0.9pc after government data showed the economy contracted in the second quarter, driving the nation into its first recession in a decade.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slid 1.7pc after a group of House Republicans led by Eric Cantor of Virginia said they wouldn’t back a plan based on the approach outlined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and backed by President George W. Bush and Democratic leaders.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/3083761
/Asian-shares-fall-as-doubt-cast-on-US-bailout.html