Archive for October 29th, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Putin calls on China to use Rubles and Yuan for mutual Trade

Russia’s prime minister Putin calls on China to abandon the US Dollar in its trade, according to He pointed out that with the global economy based on the Dollar, serious problems had emerged. According to the same article, Putin and president Medvedev are promoting the Ruble as a reserve currency and have called on domestic oil and gas businesses to use the Ruble.

Meantime, China’s trade with Russia has dropped in the third quarter, for the first time since 2000.

Russia’s business newspaper Kommersant also reports on the advertising campaign for the Ruble. According to Kommersant, Putin suggested the increased use of both Ruble and Yuan for mutual trade, after similar suggestions to Belarus and Vietnam. Komersant also states that oil is already traded in rubles on the St. Petersburg International Commodities and Raw Materials Exchange, and that international contracts with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and, to a lesser degree, Armenia, are already frequently made in rubles.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dalai Lama: (not) throwing in the Towel

On Oct. 27th, the Dalai Lama announced to his followers that he no longer believed successful progress in discussions with China on autonomy for his homeland were possible – that’s what reports, and the BBC’s message was much the same last night. Yesterday, the Dalai Lama’s official website posted clarifications. They refer to remarks made on October 25 rather than 27, but seem to refer to what is still in the news:

“Since the Chinese Government has accused His Holiness of orchestrating these protests in Tibet, he called for a thorough investigation to examine these allegations, even offering access to Central Tibetan Administration files and records here in India. So far, this offer has not been taken up, but the situation in Tibet becomes graver by the day. Therefore, His Holiness said that it is difficult for him to continue to shoulder such a heavy responsibility when the present Chinese leadership does not seem to appreciate simple truth, reason and common sense. In the absence of any positive reciprocal response from the Chinese leadership, His Holiness feels that if he cannot help find a solution, he would rather not hinder it in any way. His Holiness feels he cannot afford to pretend that his persistent efforts to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the Tibetan problem are bearing fruit.”

Will this jackal treasure the opportunity?

Will this jackal treasure the opportunity?

According to Xinhua today, Chinese authorities are to arrange fresh talks with envoys of the Dalai Lama “in the near future” at the request of the Dalai Lama side, and the government hoped the Dalai Lama’s delegation would “treasure this opportunity and make a positive response to the requirements set forth by the central authorities”.

Maybe the Chinese Communist Party should cherish the time that the Dalai Lama will still be around – the Tibetan Youth Congress is somewhat younger than Tibet’s spiritual leader. The TYC wouldn’t free Tibet at all, but it could cause Beijing a lot of trouble. The Dalai Lama statements of October 25 or 28 are “requests”?

One of the silliest common Chinese accusation against some foreign media is that they are condescending. But look at the kind of note Beijing is trying to strike when addressing the Dalai Lama. Power negotiation would be one thing. But to talk to a globally respected leader just like a cop would talk to an offender caught in the act is another. The “cop” approach is silly, and foreign coverage could  hardly make the Chinese leadership look as stupid as its communiques right there from Xinhua do.


BBC Profile (May 20): The Dalai Lama »

Daily Telegraph (March 18): Controversial Middle Way »

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chinese Researcher on Rural Land Rights posted a translation of a Souther Metropolis Weekly interview with Yu Jianrong, director of the Rural Development Institute’s Social Issues Research Center at CASS (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). He sees little new in resolution passed by the Central Committee’s third session of the 17th Party Congress. “The importance of this as a symbol lies in the fact that it and related statements from the Third Session are a confirmation and development of an already-existing system for land transfers.”

Details here »

Zheng Yongnian, head of the Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, takes a much more skeptical view on the status quo. New rules – once enacted – would only benefit China’s countryside if the farmers were also given the right to organize politically, Zheng said in an interview with the BBC’s Chinese Service earlier this month.

Related: Hermit’s Scientific History Lesson, October 18

Related: Farmland Reform, October 8

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