…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
That iconic Chinese animal, an aggressive, merciless dragon, is being pushed to the meme background for the benefit of myopic sinophiles and replaced by seemingly benign panda. The animal was originally omnivore, but now is a politically correct, cute vegetarian. Naturally, the incident when about-to-cuddle-panda Westerner had his balls torn off, is hardly ever mentioned.
The “experts” don’t make living by saying ‘I have no idea’. Thus the “capacity reduction” announced by the Chinese politburo produced the usual plethora of “erudite” guesses and prophesies. In coal and steel Communist China is about equal to the rest of the world; in aluminium and cement leaving the world behind. The directive, wishful thinking or deliberate deception talks about reduction of steel production by 20% ,coal by 25% and aluminium by 30% of what it was in 2016. However, according to the World Steel Association “almost half of the steel policies announced by China from 1990 to 2016 were focused on limiting capacity”. Already in 2016 the government decreed that mines work only 276 days a year, but this year it was quietly raised to 330 days. Governments have long practice in deception and communists governments are the masters. Compared to them, count Potemkin was a benighted amateur.
Is China replacing obsolete plants with more economical, modern ones? Deceiving western investors and the markets? Hoping to extract more interest free “development” loans from the World Bank? Anything is possible. One ought to realise that the command, or semi command economies never work in black and white, as the economists believe or pretend to believe. Both Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, not to mention Soviet Union’s vassal states, ran significant grey economies. China has a long history of paying only lip service to distant rulers.
There is a lesson – if you treasure your testicles do not cuddle pandas. Though a recent example shows that many have nothing to lose:
“ A leading publisher in Australia, Allen & Unwin, has dropped a book about the influence of China’s Communist Party in Australia’s domestic affairs, citing fears of retaliation by Beijing.
In a decision likened to the recent decision by Cambridge University Press to restrict access to sensitive China-related articles, the release of the forthcoming book Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State was shelved by the publisher over concerns about potential legal action by China.”