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Beyond Sino-American Rivalry: Whose Global Narrative? The People’s Republic of China’s celebration of its 70th anniversary reached its climax in a symbolic parade this past Monday.

Beyond Sino-American Rivalry: Whose Global Narrative?

Not many Communist states have reached such an august age. No wonder then that China’s leaders exuded great confidence and people were genuinely happy. To document the pride, new intercontinental ballistic missiles DF-41 rolled in front of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, which were later followed by dancing grannies and food delivery drivers on electric scooters. The latter got some of the most heartfelt ovations on China’s social networks, “Here comes my daily savior!” Behind all the jubilation scenes on October 1, 2019, a narrative with global reach is coming together. China Couldn’t Dominate Asia if It Wanted to.

It is now widely accepted that China aspires to displace the United States as the world’s sole superpower by 2049, the 100th anniversary of its modern founding.

China Couldn’t Dominate Asia if It Wanted to

Amid a trade war and military escalations, an atmosphere many describe as “Cold War 2.0” has set in. But whatever happens between the United States and China, the outcome will not be a unipolar world, neither under American or Chinese tutelage. The United States neither wants nor can afford to re-extend itself globally—nor do most countries want a return to American hegemony. The same applies to China. In fact, far from displacing the United States globally, it is not even likely that China will unilaterally dominate its own region of Asia. To understand why, we need to quickly examine a pair of interrelated theoretical and historical falsehoods. But to understand Asia, it makes more sense to look at Asia’s geography and history. China’s cities are shaping China and impacting the World – Technological innovation will boost Belt and Road initiative: experts. An aerial view of Colombo Port City construction site in Sri Lanka in August.

Technological innovation will boost Belt and Road initiative: experts

Photo: VCG Big data showed that the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has made solid progress in increasing connectivity among member countries and regions, and officials and experts noted that technological innovation will take the initiative to the next stage. According to the 2018 Big Data Report under the BRI, the initiative's influence has further increased, its cooperation range has been expanded and connectivity levels among B&R members have improved significantly.

Why China is strengthening its trade ties with the Middle East. China was doing business with Iran long before sanctions were lifted in 2016 and then re-imposed in 2018 by the Trump administration.

Why China is strengthening its trade ties with the Middle East

While the United States has retreated, China has entered and stayed. China and Iran’s relationship isn’t new. The two countries established diplomatic relations in the 1970s; Hua Guofeng, then Chinese chairman, paid a state visit to Tehran in 1978 — a year before the Shah was deposed. Although then-United Stated president George W. New Silk Roads define brand China. By Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Belt and Road Initiative is a strategic axis embodying the organizing Chinese foreign policy concept for the next three decades The New Silk Roads symbolize way more than high-speed rail lines crisscrossing Eurasia, or a maze of highways, pipelines and port connectivity.

New Silk Roads define brand China

China Will Use Trade War with US to Replace Imports: State Media. A worker inspects imported cars at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, May 23, 2018. / Stringer / Reuters By Reuters 19 September 2018 SHANGHAI — China is not afraid of “extreme measures” the United States is taking in their trade war and will use it as an opportunity to replace imports, promote localization and accelerate the development of high-tech products, state media said.

China Will Use Trade War with US to Replace Imports: State Media

Mega Financing Rounds Affirm China Is the Center of the Electric Vehicle World. There are hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles on the roads across the U.S. and the European Union, and endless news of American EV maker Tesla's latest moves.

Mega Financing Rounds Affirm China Is the Center of the Electric Vehicle World

But the truth is that China is the center of the battery and electric transportation universe. This is borne out by the sheer volume of capital being deployed in the largest EV market in the world, a market that saw 579,000 electric passenger cars sold last year. With the caveat that battery and EV claims require some healthy skepticism, here are a few recent billion-dollar EV financial events in China.

Black hair extensions: China overtakes India in Africa market — Quartz Africa. Whether it is braiding tresses, sewing on hair fillers or attaching extensions, the coiffeuses of Chez Aida, in Dakar’s popular neighborhood of Grand Yoff, have been doing it all for years.

Black hair extensions: China overtakes India in Africa market — Quartz Africa

Wigs have entered their repertoire, too, as fashionable Senegalese are increasingly tempted by the ease of changing their style with a wig (link in French) made of human hair. “It’s extensions and tresses for big events and festivities. Otherwise, even the most chic ladies will have a few wigs,” said Aboubakar Diop, who runs the salon. At Chez Aida, wigs or extensions are made in loco with remy, prime quality natural human hair,produced in India and purchased in bulk from Indian traders who travel to Senegal. China-Africa summit: Xi Jinping cautions against "vanity projects" — Quartz Africa. Chinese president Xi Jinping has affirmed his country’s commitment to its “win-win” cooperation policy with Africa, noting China won’t interfere in the political and development paths of African states.

China-Africa summit: Xi Jinping cautions against "vanity projects" — Quartz Africa

Xi was speaking at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation where he announced $60 billion for development projects in Africa over the next three years. During his keynote speech on Monday (Sept. 3), Xi said Beijing won’t impose its will on African countries, and seek no selfish gains in investment and financing cooperation, according to state-run press agency Xinhua. China’s “win-win” economic policy stipulates foreign relations as business partnerships, ensuring that Chinese companies get lucrative deals overseas while host nations receive much-needed infrastructure, jobs, skills, and technological transfer. “China follows the principle of giving more and taking less, giving before taking and giving without asking for return,” Xi said. China Is Quickly Becoming an AI Superpower.

Google's devil bargain with China is a gateway to bureaucratic hell. The Belt and Road Bubble Is Starting to Burst – Foreign Policy. In a sense, the Sicomines resources-for-infrastructure agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been just another underperforming deal in a country with no shortage of them.

The Belt and Road Bubble Is Starting to Burst – Foreign Policy

But it is also more than that — namely, a window into the flaws at the heart of Chinese international economic policy, which is already costing its economy dearly. At the turn of the century, the Chinese government started implementing its “Go Out” policy, which sought to incentivize domestic firms to look for business overseas. Chinese firms would invest and seek contracts abroad, which would make them more competitive globally while alleviating some of the pressures of a domestic market that was starting to saturate. At the same time, the move would allow Chinese firms to secure new markets for their exports. The policy was supported by cheap and easy credit from China’s policy banks.

Chinese firms responded to these incentives. US Trade War: China not honoring US intellectual property rights - more powerful than tariffs. After a relatively tranquil month in US-China relations, the two nations are going tit for tat with tariff threats once again.

But simply musing on the possibility sheds some useful insight into the US-China trade dynamic. For one, while the Trump administration condemns Chinese trade barriers in high-technology sectors, US-headquartered corporations also profit from protectionism. Patents on things like software and pharmaceuticals are effectively monopolies enforced by governments that prevent competition—allowing companies to charge consumers as much as they want. And so while China subverting US copyright law would be catastrophic for shareholders of companies like Apple, Pfizer, and Microsoft, it would “mean massive savings on drugs and other items for billions of people,” as Baker explains. That goes for Americans too. Consider that only about half of US households hold any stocks at all. And they spend vastly more on prescription drugs than residents of other developed countries. In other words, if China were to go for the nuclear option in the trade war, it might paradoxically fulfill Trump’s big promise to middle-class Americans—to rejigger the economy so that they actually start winning again. – creationalvehicles

On Friday (June 15), China announced tariffs on $34 billion of US goods in retaliation against the US’s barriers on $50 billion of Chinese goods. Then, late Monday (June 18), the Trump administration threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China can’t match Trump’s latest threat, simply because it doesn’t actually import $200 billion worth of US goods.

(In 2017, China imported $130.4 billion in US goods, according to US data, though China’s customs agency puts the figure at $154.8 billion.) But the Chinese government has pledged to “issue strong countermeasures” (link in Chinese). Russia, China and the Geopolitics of the Silk Road. The most prominent feature of the geopolitics of Russia and the West pivots upon a relatively obscure feature of the geopolitics of Russia and China.

The mainstream media in the U.S. has covered minimally and only rather incidentally the estimated $900 billion construction of a complex matrix of strategic transport routes known generally as the “New Silk Road” or the “Belt Road Initiative” (BRI) project initiated by Beijing in 2013. It is one of the largest infrastructure and investment mega-projects in history, covering more than 68 countries, equivalent to 65% of the world's population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017. The project has been the central factor in Moscow’s intensified relations with Beijing despite the fact that, at the outset, Russia hesitated out of concern over China’s territorial objectives. China’s alignment with Russia is a fait accompli - Modern Diplomacy.

The US dollar is so important in today’s economy for three main reasons: the huge amount of petrodollars; the use of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the decision taken by US President Nixon in 1971 to end the dollar convertibility into gold. The US currency is still a large part of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), the IMF’s “paper money”. A share ranging between 41% and 46% depending on the periods.

Petrodollarsemerged when Henry Kissinger dealt with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, after “Black September” in Jordan. The agreement was simple. Saudi Arabia had to accept only dollars as payments for the oil it sold, but was forced to invest that huge amount of US currency only in the US financial channels while, in return, the United States placed Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC neighbouring countries under its own military protection. China's anti-pollution war- tree planting by the army, carpet bombing tree planting and artillery for cloud seeded rain. Nobody Knows Anything About China.

As a foreigner in China, you get used to hearing the retort “You don’t know China!” Spat at you by locals. It’s usually a knee-jerk reaction to some uncomfortable modern issue or in defense of one of the many historical myths children in the mainland are taught as unshakeable facts about the world. But it’s also true. We don’t know China. Nor, however, do the Chinese — not even the government. We don’t know China because, in ways that have generally not been acknowledged, virtually every piece of information issued from or about the country is unreliable, partial, or distorted. Visualizing China's Most Ambitious Megaproject.

Xi Jinping's government reshuffle: Here are the names in China you need to know. I recently asked a business acquaintance how long it took to travel by road between DR Congo’s two biggest cities, Kinshasa to Lubumbashi. There was a long sigh, a pained look, then a helpless shrug. “It could take a week or two.” DRC is Sub Saharan Africa’s largest country but this seemed remarkable. A Google Maps search tells you the 1,451 miles (2,335 kilometers) between both cities should take 36 hours, but as my contact noted, it’s not quite that straightforward. A similar distance in the US, from New York to Oklahoma City, (2,373 km), would take take 22 hours, says Google. The DRC conversation came to mind while reading a report (pdf) from London School of Economics’ International Growth Centre, which argues that despite years of trade liberalization and tariff reductions across Africa, the impact has been significantly limited by the internal costs of moving goods within African countries and between neighbors.

China bans people with bad 'social credit' from air travel, trains. IN a move taken straight out of a Black Mirror episode, China said it will now ban people from flights and trains if they do not have enough “social credit.” Enjoy being slow: Why Chinese tech companies are embracing a slower culture · TechNode. In a movie with Chinese kungfu star Jet Li, Alibaba Group co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma defeats eight celebrity martial artists in just 20 minutes.

The Double Helix of Chinese History by Denise Y. Ho. How is China developing AI technology so much faster than the US? Chinese women a dominating force in video games: PUBG, Honor of Kings, Love and Producer, Travel Frog. What games do women play? In China, it really depends on who you ask. Some women are obsessed with dating four fake boyfriends, while others are busy feeding an adventurous frog.

Some enjoy chopping off their enemies’ heads in battle arenas, while others like shooting everyone else to death on an abandoned island. Mobile games designed especially for women have proven to be huge hits in China in recent months, while violence-laden games also have record numbers of female players competing alongside men. How underground club music in China is thriving against the odds.

Underground club music in China is faced with a number of unique challenges, from internet censorship to police crackdowns and rising rents. But thanks to a dedicated and diverse range of artists, promoters, broadcasters and DJs, alternative culture is thriving in 2018. Here’s why China wants to dominate the world’s green energy markets. China’s 36-page official report on its goals for 2018, in four charts – Quartz.