Posts tagged ‘commodities’

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Some Porridge, some Rice: China’s New Normal?


Xi Jinping’s new year address for 2023 has been flowery as usual, but it also comes with some frugal characteristics. If it is such great news that China has maintained its position as the world’s second-largest economy, times must be tough indeed, especially when you take into consideration that (according to China’s propaganda) the world’s biggest economy, i. e. America, has gone to hell in a basket. If they are still bigger than China now, where is China?

According to the great helmsman, China has “blown the trumpet to signal the brave beginning of a new journey” (吹响了奋进新征程的时代号角), with “stable and steady economic development” (stable and steady probably referring to the lowest growth numbers since the last years of Mao Zedong’s reign), a 19th consecutive bumper harvest this year (十九连丰), and “the consolidation of achievements made in shedding poverty”  (我们巩固脱贫攻坚成果). —Corrections, Jan 27*)

Near Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, according to Beijing News

How green is our motherland? (Source: Beijing News, Dec 31, 2022)

With the Scarce Resources always on your Mind

Generally, Chinese propaganda points out that its 19th bumper harvest in a row has been achieved while the world had been facing a food crisis. That’s not a big deal when you consider that Russia hasn’t blocked China’s northeastern provinces from the rest of the country, but it may be considered an invitation to the Chinese public to cherish self-sufficiency.

As for the “new phase of pandemic prevention and control now entered” by China, Xi doesn’t wade into the details, and just sees the light – or the dawn of a new era – ahead (目前,疫情防控进入新阶段,仍是吃劲的时候,大家都在坚忍不拔努力,曙光就在前头).
The lines closest to Xi’s heart – if the communist faith he’s wearing on his sleeves is real – are probably these:

After the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party I and other colleagues went to Yan’an together, to renew what we had learned about the magnificent years when the Party’s Central Committee prevailed over difficulties rarely seen over generations and to appreciate the spiritual strength of the old generation of communists. I frequently say that difficulties and deprivation only perfect the jade. The Communist Party of China’s past one-hundred years have been hard work in the open regardless of the weather, cutting their way through thistles and thorns,  – how difficult and great the journey has been. We want to advance further, keep struggling, and make tomorrow’s China even better.
党的二十大后我和同事们一起去了延安,重温党中央在延安时期战胜世所罕见困难的光辉岁月,感悟老一辈共产党人的精神力量。我常说,艰难困苦,玉汝于成。中国共产党百年栉风沐雨、披荆斩棘,历程何其艰辛又何其伟大。我们要一往无前、顽强拼搏,让明天的中国更美好。

Both China’s economic plans and its “great-power diplomacy” appear to be in some trouble. As for China’s economy, it would take a real lot of innovation to catch up with the ageing of society. And China’s “great-power diplomacy” (大国外交), although re-iterated by Xi in another new-year address one day ealier, to a meeting of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference on December 30th, appears to have fed its wolf-warriors some chalk. For now, that is.

There is no reason to believe that China has given up on “replacing” America, or on other major goals, “core interests” and what have you. But the CPC leaders are revisiting and reassessing the foundations of their power. The emphasis on food security suggests that self-sufficiency in that field will always be a priority – China doesn’t only distrust the sealanes, it also distrusts its immediate neighbors. And if America’s restrictions on chip and chip-manufacturing equipment supplies to China find international support and cooperation, China’s growth plans will probably need to be postponed.

When enumerating China’s moderate successes to Chinese People’s Consultative Conference members, Xi emphasized that those successes hadn’t been “easy to achieve” or “easy to come by” (来之不易). That term is linked to a proverb about man’s most basic needs, i. e. food and clothing. My try at a translation:

Some porridge and rice aren’t easy to come by,half a silk or cotton thread, permanently bear in mind how scarce are your resources.
一粥一饭,当思来处不易;半丝半缕,恒念物力维艰

That’s also where China’s grassroot propaganda – in the shape of newspapers more prominent than, say, “People’s Daily” – is taking us as it picks up Xi’s reference to the latest bumper harvest: to the countryside. Here, too, none of the bumper harvests has been “easy to come by”. The proverb didn’t feature prominently in politics articles before the end of December, while it was popular in all other kinds of (less basic-need-related) online articles or comments. Now, it is represents the flavor of the new era.

To help the readers understand the significance of this year’s output, his attention is drawn to a number of natural disasters.

Delicious Meat then, Tough Bones now

How planned are China’s readjustments? The new “cold war” China keeps warning us of may not have been intended by Beijing, but it was provoked by Beijing.

Either way, tough times have occasionally been predicted by China’s propaganda before, and by its supreme mouth not least. In February 2014, Xi Jinping told Russian television that

After 30 years of reform, China has entered the deep water [or blue water], and all the pleasant reforms have been completed. The delicious meat has been eaten, and what is still on the dishes are rather tough bones. This requires our courage, and steady moves. Courage means to push reform even when it is difficult, and to prove worthy, to tackle the hard bones, and to enter dangerous shoals. Steadiness is about keeping to the accurate direction, driving steadily, and, above all, to avoid disruptive mistakes.

The Russians must have been an understanding audience. Now, eight years later, Xi needs to find out how understanding the Chinese are.
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Notes

*) Corrected – previous text:
… and “the consolidation of hard-earned achievements made in previous difficult missions” (我们巩固脱贫攻坚成果)
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Friday, April 8, 2022

SARS-Covid Outbreak: a Meeting with Experts and Entrepreneurs

While the Shanghai lockdown (which must not be called a lockdown) continued, China’s state council held a meeting “with experts and entrepreneurs” on Thursday, to “analyse economic conditions and hear ideas and suggestions about the next steps”, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. Li Keqiang chaired the meeting in his capacities as member of the CPC politburo standing committee and as chief state councillor.

Main Link

Also attending were people representing China Railway Materials and Qingdao AInnovation  Technology company, stating their opinions about economic operation, company situations etc., and making suggestions about safeguarding logistics and rural capital provisions, and about promoting entrepreneurial innovation.

Mentioned as participants were deputy chief state councillor Han Zheng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Yang Zhiyong, Bank of China researcher Guan Tao, and, as party of state officials, Hu Chunhua (politburo member and deputy chief state councillor), Liu He (same functions as Hu), Wang Yong (former SASAC chairman, now a member of the state council in charge of issues faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Xiao Jie (member of the state council and Secretary General of the State Council), Zhao Kezhi (Party Committee Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security and heading the ministry as member of the state council), and He Lifeng (member of the state council in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, NDRC).

Xinwen Lianbo, April 8, 2022, evening broadcast

Xinwen Lianbo, April 8, 2022, evening broadcast

You can probably imagine the importance of Zhao Kezhi’s attendance in the context of the meeting’s hardly-mentioned real topic – but it makes sense to take note of every participant mentioned in communiqués like this one by Xinhua. Their tasks may speak greater volumes than the description of the agenda.

It needs to be said that the article doesn’t exactly emphasize China’s current SARS-Covid outbreak – it is only “casually” mentioned, as one of a number of suddenly emerging factors in international and domestic environment that are confronting the economy with greater uncertainties and challenges.

The obligatory reference to Comrade Xi Jinping is made at the beginning,  although it is technically meaningless. It may, however, indicate the limits of what participants may describe or suggest during such a meeting, and also, you have to mention Xi anyway. With reference to the “sudden domestic Covid outbreak situation” (国内疫情近期多发), a need both  to keep up the faith and to face up to the difficulties is emphasized. More generally, “high-quality development” is restated, and so is a need to deepen reform and individual initiative, and “a flexibility in accepting the challenges” (应变克难). Focus is also given to stable growth, stable employment and stable prices (稳就业, 稳物价).

Li pointed out problems faced particularly by SMEs and self-employed workers & business people. Help and support them pass through the crisis is mentioned, some concrete measures too, but without detailed outlines. Concrete measures are an utmost pace by which to handle VAT rebates, and to make funds arrive at the accounts of those in need.

The primary sector is required to provide ample harvests (farming) and advanced coal production capacities (energy), and “marketization, rule of law and internationalization” are also given a mention.

The meeting ranked fourth as a news item in China’s main evening news broadcast of Xinwen Lianbo” today, after an “important speech” given by Xi Jinping at the end of the Paralympics, a reference to an editorial about the “spirit of the Beijing Olympics”, and news about a telephone conversation between Xi Jinping and the president of the Philippines.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Food Security: Dmytro Kuleba addresses Asia

The following is an excerpt from Radio Ukraine’s early-morning news in English at 01:00 UTC on 1278 kHz medium wave.
Reception was patchy, and my transcription therefore contains a few gaps. Comments and corrections are welcome.

Radio Ukraine International QSL card, around 2016*)

Radio Ukraine International QSL card, around 2016*)

Russia’s war against Ukraine has already led to unprecedented price increase and …. for the word’s food trade. Russia’s invasion will not only affect prices, but also future harvests. It applies not just to wheat but to other grains as well. For the last couple of years, the Ukrainian export of corn has significantly grown. The country is the fourth-largest exporter and … for sixteen percent of the world corn trade. Ukraine is also the world’s largest exporter of [seed] oil. Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba comments:

“You will see the repercussions of this war because of the interrupted chains of supply of agricultural products from Ukraine. I may recall that 55 percent of sunflower oil on the global market is supplied from Ukraine. Every tenth loaf of bread in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa is made with use of Ukrainian wheat. We didn’t want this war. We want peace, we want to trade, we want to be a food guarantor for Asia, for all other parts of the world. We have but to achieve that to get back to the mountain – we have to stop Putin. And therefore I call all Asian nations to demand from Russia to stop this crazy war.”

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*) South East Asia DXing, March 5, 2016

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Taiwan: COA Relief Efforts for Pork Industry

The following is a translation of a news item published by Fishery Radio Station (渔业广播电台, FRS), in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on March 17, 2020. Links within blockquotes added during translation. FSR operates a medium transmitter in Baisha, Penghu main island (the Penghu Islands are also known as Pescadores Islands). FSR reportedly also retransmits programs from Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) Indonesian service.  As of 2019, 22,000 Indonesians reportedly worked on Taiwanese fishing boats, often under violations of their rights as employees.

Main link: In response to pneumonia situation, Council of Agriculture will help pork producers with financial relief (因應肺炎疫情,農委會多管齊下助養豬業紓困)

Affected by the Wuhan pneumonia virus, demand for pork in the market has recently fallen, and pork prices have been sliding. The Council of Agriculture pointed out on a press conference on the topic of providing financial relief in the epidemic situation that the weekly supply quantity on the live pig market was 143,000 heads, an increase of 11,000 heads compared with the same seasons of the past five years, and an auction price of 5,886 Yuan [New Taiwan dollars], a decline of 14.5 percent compared with the same season of the past five years. The Council of Agriculture said that in connection with the factors of live pig prices’ drops, it is speculated that besides the rise in production of live pigs compared with the same season last year, the epidemic situation has created a situation where the populace ate out less frequently, making pork prices drop. Toward this, the Council of Agriculture suggested more financial relief measures, hoping pig farmers to get through the difficulties. Deputy commissioner Chen Junne-jih said that in the current situation of overproduction, the elimination of low-reproducing sows will speed up, and then spur the entire structural industrial adjustment. The Council of Agriculture will also subsidize livestock farmers with low-interest loans, and encourage industrial organizations to promote the sales of home-made pork. The Council of Agriculture will also follow the example of short-term sales of leafed vegetables in the domestic market, popularize the use of home-grown pork in rural schools’ lunches, and increase unscheduled supplies of home-grown pork to the army, starting on March 16. Deputy commissioner Chen also pointed out that currently, the Council of Agriculture was also coordinating a reduction in pigs supplies by Taiwan Sugar Corporation, and a stop in supplies to the meat market*), to let prices rise again. He also hoped for the current epidemic situation crisis to take a turn for the better, so that the industrial structure would be able to consolidate and to rise again. (Chin Ching)

受武漢肺炎疫情影響,近期市場豬肉需求量下降、豬價下滑。農委會在13日的肺炎紓困疫情記者會上指出,目前毛豬市場每周供應量14.3萬頭,較近5年同期增加1.1萬頭;拍賣價格5,886元,較近5年同期下跌14.5%。農委會表示,針對毛豬價格下滑的因素,目前推測除了因為毛豬較去年同期增養外,也可能是受疫情影響造成民眾外食減少、豬肉需求下降。對此,農委會也提出多項紓困措施,期盼幫助豬農度過難關。副主委陳駿季表示,針對目前超養的現況,會加速低產種母豬淘汰,進而帶動整體產業結構調整。農委會也會補助畜牧業者低利貸款,並獎勵產業團體辦理推廣國產豬肉促銷活動。另外,農委會也會比照短期葉菜類內銷方式,推廣偏鄉學校營養午餐使用國產豬肉,並自16日起不定期對國軍增加供應國產豬肉。陳副主委指出,目前農委會也協調台糖公司做豬隻減供,自16日起至3月底停供肉品市場,讓價格能逐漸回升。他也期許這次疫情能化危機為轉機,讓產業結構能調整並再升級。(秦晴)

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Note

*) Can’t tell if this applies only to Taiwan Sugar Corporation or to the entire industry.

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Related

Penghu mass media, Wiki, acc March 18

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Monday, October 31, 2016

German FM Vietnam Visit: Counter-Balancing China?

“Vietnam is Germany’s important strategic partner”, Nhan Dan‘s Chinese edition quoted German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, in one of its headlines on October 29. Nhan Dan is the organ of Vietnam’s Communist Party central committee.

German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier left Berlin on October 29 to begin a trip intended to strengthen the two countries’ strategic partnership.

德国外交部长弗兰克-瓦尔特·施泰因迈尔10月29离开柏林,开始启程对越南进行访问,旨在加强两国战略伙伴关系。

German foreign minister Steinmeier is leading a delegation with members in charge of economic and cultural affairs.

德国外长施泰因迈尔率领负责经济和文化事务代表团对越南进行为期三天的访问。

The German foreign minister sees Vietnam as Germany’s important economic, political, cultural and strategic partner. The head of Germany’s federal parliament, Norbert Lammert, visited Vietnam in March 2015, and Vietnam [then] state chairman Trưong Tan Sang’s visit to Germany in November 2015 strengthened the two countries’ relations further.

德国外交部将越南是为德国重要的经济、政治、文化战略伙伴。德国联邦议院议长诺贝特·拉默特2015年3月对越南进行访问和越南国家主席张晋创2015年11月对德国进行访问为两国关系增添了新动力。

In the framework of the two countries’ strategic-partnership action plan, Germany’s and Vietnam’s cooperation activities are developing further, in a variety of fields, with new projects being added every year. One of these important projects is the “German House”, under construction in Ho Chi Minh City, which is going to be a headquarter for German organizations and companies in Ho Chi Minh City.

在两国战略伙伴行动计划框架内,德国与越南合作活动在各领域上继续向前发展,每年都有新的合作项目。两国重要合作项目之一是在胡志明市兴建 “德国屋”,这里将成为在胡志明市德国组织和企业的总部。

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Germany amounted to 10.3 billion USD in 2015, with German imports from Vietnam at eight bn, and exports to Vietnam at 2.3 bn USD. Major export products from Vietnam are footwear, textiles, farming and seafood products, electronic components, wooden furniture, etc.. Major import products from Germany are machinery, transport, vehicles, chemical products, and measurement instruments, etc..

越德两国2015年双边贸易金额达103亿美元,德国自越南进口80亿美元、对越南出口23亿美元。越南对德国主要出口产品是鞋类、纺织品、农海产品、电子零件和木家具等;越南自德国进口主要产品是机械、运输车辆、化学物品和化学仪器等。

On Sunday, Nhan Dan reported a visit by Steinmeier to a German company’s investment site in Haiphong. According to the newsarticle, the gypsum production site, built by German gypsum producer Knauf, is one of the biggest investment projects in Haiphong.

Vietnam’s foreign broadcaster Voice of Vietnam‘s (VoV) German service adds a short description of the Phu Lac wind farm.

Betram Lang, a MERICS researcher, wrote earlier this month that

[i]n times of rising diplomatic tensions in the South China Sea, the European Union (EU) tries to bolster the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a counterweight to China in the region. To this end, the EU has offered generous financial support to foster the regional integration process and sponsor the still politically toothless ASEAN secretariat. It almost tripled previous financial commitments to 196 million EUR between 2014 and 2020.

That however was proving difficult: While Cambodia has been positioning itself as China’s closest ally in South East Asia since at least 2001, other ASEAN countries have recently sought their own kind of ‘privileged relationship’ with the PRC as well.

China’s online media apparently don’t report Steinmeier’s Vietnam visit – most of the Chinese-language coverage appears to be from Vietnamese sources.

Before heading for Vietnam, Steinmeier reportedly called on Vietnam’s leadership for political reforms in Vietnam, an issue that Vietnam’s state-controlled media didn’t cover (not in Chinese, anyway).

In a speech at the opening ceremony for a German and European Law program of study at Hanoi Law University, Steinmeier came back to the topic of political reforms. Successful modernization required the rule of law, and a strong civil society, he said.

Steinmeier also addressed the South China Sea conflict – in a diplomatic way -, plus ASEAN:

For us, but for Vietnam with its important and further growing role in ASEAN and the United Nations, one thing is clear: Peace can only be secured when international law and politics work together. International law aims at guide power within tracks, and the powerful in politics must accept these tracks. The latest decision, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, was an important legal step. What matters now is that the groundbreaking elements of the decision will gradually be turned into practice of international law.

Für uns, aber auch für Vietnam mit seiner wichtigen und weiter wachsenden Rolle in ASEAN und in den Vereinten Nationen ist jedenfalls eines klar: Frieden wird nur gesichert, wenn Völkerrecht und Politik zusammenspielen. Das Völkerrecht zielt darauf ab, Macht in Bahnen zu lenken, und die Mächtigen in der Politik müssen diese Bahnen akzeptieren. Der jüngste Schiedsspruch, basierend auf der Seerechtskonvention der Vereinten Nationen, war ein wichtiger rechtlicher Schritt. Jetzt kommt es darauf an, dass die wegweisenden Elemente des Schiedsspruches Schritt für Schritt auch völkerrechtliche Praxis werden.

Vietnam’s opposition to China’s naval strategy in the South China Sea has been stronger than that of other ASEAN nations. But geostrategic considerations are only one aspect of Germany’s Vietnam policy. Vietnam’s economy keeps growing fast, and East Germany and Vietnam in particular share a history of economic cooperation.

Deutsche Welle, once Germany’s foreign radio station, in a March 2015 report, commemorating fourty years of German-Vietnamese ties:

When that country [East Germany] collapsed, almost all its Vietnamese workers suddenly lost their jobs. They did not want to return to Vietnam because the employment prospects in their home country were very poor. The Vietnamese economic boom was yet to come.

Even so, the majority of these Vietnamese were still repatriated because they did not have a residence permit.

The conflict over contract workers and the regulation of old debts strained the German-Vietnamese ties for several years, according to Gerhard Will. “Only during the course of negotiations, it became clear to both countries what they could offer a lot to each other,” writes Will, who has been a Vietnam expert and worked at the German Institute of International and Security Affairs in Berlin.

[…]

In 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed the “Hanoi Declaration” to establish a “strategic partnership” between the two countries. The two leaders expressed the desire to continue economic partnership and cooperate in the areas of development policy, environment, education and science. The German-Vietnamese University in the city of Ho Chi Minh, founded in 2008, is considered a model project in terms of bilateral cooperation.

There is also a West German-Vietnamese history. 33,000 immigrants may not sound like a big number these days, but it did in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Greek Cargo Ship collides with Chinese Fishing Boat near Senkakus

A Chinese fishing boat and a Greek cargo ship collided Thursday morning in high seas near Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea,

reports Radio Japan:

A Japanese patrol boat rescued six of the fishing boat crewmembers, and is searching for the missing eight. The boat is believed to have sunk. No one on board the cargo ship was hurt.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Maritime Powers – Argentina and Indonesia arrest Chinese Fishing Crews

1. China, Taiwan vs. Indonesia

Chinese fishing trawlers have been involved in two rather strongly publicized disputes this month.

One of the two disputes occurred on March 19 local time, in a location called a traditional Chinese fishing ground by the Chinese embassy in Jakarta. This was, reportedly, a bit south of the South China Sea, and well inside Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone, according to Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesian minister of fisheries and maritime affairs (and, according to this announcement on “Facebook”, previously an entrepreneur in the seafood distribution and fisheries industry). The Indonesian coastguard reportedly arrested eight fishermen from a Chinese fishing ship before a Chinese coast guard ship intervened and rammed the fishing ship back into the South China Sea, according to the English-language Jakarta Globe. Beijing has since demanded the release of the eight fishermen, but Indonesia appears determined to prosecute them.

Chinese foreign-ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, just as the Chinese embassy in Jakarta, referred to the incident location as “traditional Chinese fishing grounds”. She also said that Natuna Islands belong to Indonesia, and there is no objection from China on that. The Jakarta Globa quoted Pudjiastuti as saying that the incident occurred occurred just 4.34 kilometers off Indonesia’s Natuna islands, adding her conclusion that this was inside Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone. On another press conference two days later, Hua answered even more questions concerning the incident.

Two days (local time) after the arrests, two Taiwanese fishing boats were fired at by what they believed to be an official Indonesian vessel while in the Strait of Malacca, according to the English-language Taipei Times. According to the report, a spokesman for the Indonesian Navy Headquarters said that there had been no report by the Indonesian coast guard or navy vessels of chasing Taiwanese fishing boats, but on Thursday, the Straits Times quoted an Indonesian government taskforce against illegal fishing as saying that there had been an incident involving two Taiwanese tuna longliners, and that the shots had been fired in self-defense as the Taiwanese vessels had tried to ram it.

2. China vs. Argentina

On March 14, Argentina’s coast guard sunk a Chinese trawler off the Patagonian coast. The BBC’s Mandarin service reported in an online newsarticle quoted the Argentine coastguard as saying that

The Chinese trawler Luyan Yuanyu 010 was detected while conducting illegal activities in the [Argentine] economic exclusive zone on Monday (March 14). When trying to stop [the Chinese trawler], the coast guard was surprised by  a counter-attack and then sank this trawler.

来自中国的拖网渔船“鲁烟远渔010”周一(14日)被发现在其专属经济水域(EEZ)非法作业,警备队在阻挡时遭反击,随后击沉这艘渔船。

The speaker of the Chinese foreign ministry, Lu Kang, said on March 16 that the trawler in question had been “chased for several hours during its work in Argentine fishing grounds. The statement said nothing about “illegal fishing”, nor about whether or not the trawler had put up a counter attack [or counter attacks].

中国外交部发言人陆慷周三(16日)表示,有关渔船“在阿根廷渔场作业时,被阿海警船追赶数小时”。声明并未提及任何关于“非法捕鱼”的字句,也没有提及中方渔船有否反抗。

Lu Kang emphasized that all 32 crew members had been saved, that the Chinese side had made urgent representations to the Argentine side, that it had demanded an investigation and a report as well as safeguarding the safety and legal rights of the crew, as well as avoiding similar incidents from happening in the future.

陆慷指出,32名船员全部获救,中方已和阿方展开紧急交涉,要求阿根廷彻查详情并向中国报告,保障中国船员的安全及合法权益,避免类似事件再发生。

The official news agency Xinhua said that while a debate about whether one side had trespassed or whether the other had acted out of proportions while enforcing the law, the Chinese embassy in Argentina had reminded the Chinese fishing companies busy in the South Atlantic to pay attention to safety.

The BBC report reproduces the Argentine coast guards account as saying that the Chinese trawler, after its detection, had tried to escape into international waters. In the process, it had rammed the coast guard vessel several times, thus putting not only the Chinese crewmen at risk, but the Argentinians, too. While 28 crew members were apparently saved by another Chinese vessel, four were picked from the water by the Argentine coast guard and will reportedly be prosecuted in Argentina.

According to the online trade publication SeafoodSource.com, the Luyan Yuanyu 010 trawler was operated by Shandong Yantai Marine Fisheries Co., […] a subsidiary of the China National Fisheries Corporation (CNFC), which ultimately, across some shareholding, makes this a state-owned operation.

A possibly similar incident, but in politically-charged waters, occured four and a half years ago, in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands which are controlled by Japan, and considered Chinese by Beijing and Taipei. Japan released the crew and the captain of the Chinese fishing vessel about a fortnight after his arrest, and China gave the captain, Zhan Qixiong, a hero’s welcome.

During the two weeks of the crisis, China, according to the Economist,

apparently suspended its export of rare-earth minerals, which are vital to making electronics components used in everything from handheld gadgets to cars. On September 23rd China emphatically denied that it is blocking exports. And this may be true: there probably isn’t a formal directive. But in a country where informal rules abound, exporters know that it can pay to withhold shipments—in solidarity with a government that is angry at its neighbour.

The Japanese government in office at the time was largely seen as roundly defeated by Beijing, and efforts have since been made to make Japan less dependent on business with China in general, and on “rare earth minerals” in particular.

Probably, neither Argentina nor China are interested in escalating the conflict, and the Ji Lu Evening Post (齐鲁晚报) from Jinan, Shandong Province, quoted Xinhua as, in turn, quoting the Argentinian foreign minister Susana Malcorra as saying in a televised interview on March 18 that Argentina hoped the sinking of the trawler wouldn’t greatly affect the bilateral relations with Beijing.

The Chinese service of Argentina’s foreign broadcaster Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior (RAE) quoted Malcorra correspondingly.

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Related

» No bit of Humanity, July 22, 2012

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How Logical, Mr. Palmer!

When business is going fine, CCP cadres are partners. When it’s going less well, they are mongrels [who] shoot their own people.

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