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EU declares hybrid war, South America gets it right and China’s ‘megamergers’

Summary

FFT (Food for Thought) from www.eesrilanka.wordpress.com

“The Delegation of the EU and the Embassies of France, Germany, Italy Netherlands, and Romania… statement slamming the government’s trade policy, with an obligatory non-sequitur to human rights… is a declaration of hybrid war. If any sleepwalking human rightist needed one last wakeup call as to the true agenda of white devils feigning concern for human rights: this is it.”

‘The manner how Leftwing and Centre-Left governments elected in South America in the recent past handled their relations with China is illustrative of this new possibility. Countries like Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil under Lula de Silva successfully struck deals with China in order to finance their industrial and welfare schemes. These resources were of immense importance especially for countries like Venezuela and Bolivia that were under the sanctions of the US. This does not mean Chinese investments in foreign countries are flawless and perfect. Activists have raised issues regarding the impact of Chinese investments on local environmental and labour conditions. However, instead of becoming Sinophobic and siding with the west uncritically, what is preferable for 3rd world countries is to use the space created by the collapse of unipolarity to their benefit – and to engage and bargain with China in a collective fashion regarding issues and lapses associated with Chinese overseas economic activities.’

“In Dec 2006, the head of China’s SASAC [State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission] announced SOEs would maintain ‘absolute control’ over 7 strategic industries (military industry, electrical power generation and grids, petroleum and petrochemicals, telecommunications, coal, civil aviation, shipping) while keeping strong influence over other pillar industries (machinery, automobiles, information technology, construction, steel, nonferrous metals). Through a series of government-directed mergers, a handful of large-scale enterprises came to dominate these key industries, protected from private and foreign competition and investment. As a result, the scale of total SOE assets increased rapidly; between 1999-2008, the average total assets of industrial SOEs – including those at the local, provincial, central level – increased 589% to more than $135mn per enterprise, while the average assets of industrial non-SOEs in China increased by only 67% to under $9mn per enterprise.”

 – Sean O’Connor, SOE Megamergers Signal New Direction in China’s Economic Policy

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