Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cyprus Selling Out On Friends

Russia is getting military bases in an EU state

russia navy

A Russian sailor watches amphibious vehicles move during a naval parade rehearsal in the far eastern port of Vladivostok, July 25, 2014.

Cyprus has offered Russia to have air and navy bases on its territory.

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades announced that the country is ready to host Russian aviation and naval bases. The official agreement on military cooperation between the two nations is expedcted be signed on February 25, 2015, according to

“There is an old [defense] agreement, which should be renewed as is. At the same time, some additional services will be provided in the same way as we do with other countries, such as, for example, with France and Germany,” Nicos Anastasiades said. “Cyprus and Russia have traditionally had good relations, and this is not subject to change.”

Cyprus’ announcement comes after Russia expressed interest in having a military base in Cyprus in late January, according to the Global Post and Greek Reporter.

Notably, Cyprus is one of the 28-member states in the EU, which have been imposing sanctions on Russia over the past year in response to the actions in Ukraine. 

And just like Greece has recently caused a stir by complicating the process of extending sanctions on Russia, Cyprus, too, just voiced some opposition to the additional sanctions on Russia, adding that many EU members share that opinion.

“We want to avoid further deterioration of relations between Russia and the European Union,” the Cypriot president reportedly said.

So military cooperation between Cyprus and Russia is yet another red flag for the EU.

Presumably, the Russian Air Force will use the airbase “Andreas Papandreou,” along with the international airport of Paphos in the southwest of the island, approximately 50 kilometers from the air base of the British Royal Air Force “Akrotiri.” Additionally, the Russian navy will be able to permanently use the base of Limassol, according to Lenta.Ru.

“The Limassol port borders on the British air base of Akrotiri which serves NATO operations and is also an important hub in the electronic military surveillance system of the alliance,” according to the Global Post.


Given Russia and Cyprus’ shady economic relationship over the last wo decades (ever since the fall of the USSR), perhaps this isn’t all that surprising.

In 2013, during the Cypriot financial crisis, analysts estimated that over a third of bank deposits in Cyprus may have had Russian origin, and reportedly, many Russian companies are registered on the island. Some reports even went as far as saying that Cyprus has become “a major money laundering machine for Russian criminals” back in 2013.

Even today, Russia’s current economic problems are reportedly further dragging down Cyprus.
“Russia’s presence in the economy has been a huge supporting factor. Its footprint is everywhere from tourism to real estate, so it is worth monitoring the impact,” said Michael Florentiades, chief economist and head of investment research at, an online financial services company in Limassol.

Naturally, Russia’s heavy-duty financial involvement in a EU state “raised concerns among the island country’s Western allies” over the past few years, according to Euractiv.
But the most alarming Russia-Cyprus dalliance came during the height of the Cypriot financial crisis when Cyprus was reportedly negotiating with Russia for a bailout in 2013. The EU was particularly nervous about this because there was speculation that Russia might ask for a naval port and access to the country’s gas reserves in return.

Ultimately, however, Cyprus opted for a “€10 billion bailout agreed with the troika, in return for closing the country’s second largest bank Laiki, and imposing a one-time levy on all uninsured deposits, including those held by foreign citizens.”

Russian signs in Limassol cyprus

On top of all of that, it’s notable that Russia made some major moves in the Mediterranean recently.
In mid-January, Russia announced that it will shift all its natural gas flows to Europe via Turkey, instead of Ukraine.

“Our European partners have been informed of this and now their task is to create the necessary gas transport infrastructure from the Greek and Turkish border,” the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller said in a statement.

europe gas

Additionally, Russia and Greece’s new government have taken initiatives to explore their military and economic relationship .

In fact, the new Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras even stated in early February: “Greece and Cyprus can become a bridge of peace and cooperation between the EU and Russia.”

So this part of the world could soon become very interesting — and a huge pain for Europe.



 彭博新闻刊载专栏评论指出,中共对手机晶片大厂高通祭天价重罚9.75亿美元,创其反垄断调查最高罚金纪录,却会使中国经济付出更高代价。真 正的输家是中国经济。在经济放缓的时刻,中国尤其需要外国投资。中共法律敲诈的方式只会赶走外 国企业。

彭博专栏作家皮赛克(William Pesek)2月11日评论说,高通的劫难是中共针对外国公司尤其是美国公司打压的一部份。在过去七个月,美国标志性企业微软看到它在北京、上海等四个城 市的办公室因为模糊的“垄断行为”指控遭到突袭。克莱斯勒、强生和非美国公司如葛兰素史克和三星因为随心所欲的理由受到数百万美元罚款的打击

北京的民族主义冲动根深蒂固。在过去两年,北京瞄准一系列跨国公司。对高通持续14个月的反竞争行为调查断定该公司的芯片专利费太高,以及高 管利用他们的优势地位迫使顾客付钱。然而按照这种定义,中共整个经济制度不是反竞争的吗?共产党也在经济当中持有主导地位,并且没有对使用不 公平规则欺负外国公司表示出一点点内疚,迫使它们面对官员的索取乖乖掏腰包。

跟高通的和解协议对本土新贵企业如小米、联想和华为来说是一个福音,因为它们将支付更便宜的专利费。但是中共本身则遭遇截然不同的声誉打击。 中共仍然不满足它对合资计划的规定——外国企业必须跟本地公司合作而且本地公司要持有51%的股份——它现在寻求使用非常接近法律敲诈的方式 来控制那些在它日益增长的市场里挣大钱的外国公司。

这种看法可能在一个非常不妙的时刻损害大陆经济。中国经济现在面临重大逆风:不 温不火的全球需求,另一轮欧元危机,疲软的日元和上升的通缩风险。在一月份,消费者价格指数仅仅上升0.8%,这是五年来最虚弱的水平。生产 者通缩加深,下跌4.3%,这是连续35个月的下滑。为了稳定增长,中共需要外国直接投资稳定的流入。相反,FDI 已经在下滑。天罗地网的诱捕外国人令中国更加失去投资目的地的吸引力。

这些天,跨国公司在亚洲寻找工厂厂址方面有越来越多的选择他们不能完全放弃中 国14亿人的市场,但是它们可以把赌注扩大到迅速提高制造业能力的国家,包括印度。在2013年,五大东南亚经济体——新加坡、马来西亚、印 尼、菲律宾和泰国——在获得的FDI上超过了中国。这个趋势在2014年加速,部份原因是中国缺乏可预测性。

驱赶外国公司也将跟习近平更大的改革野心相悖,后者包括利用竞争和市场纪律来迫使中国企业更有效地运作。通过宠溺和偏爱国家大企业,中共有风 险损害中小私营企业的发展,后者对于经济重点从出口转向服务业至关重要。而且,通过限制或赶走外国企业,中国在放慢思想、人才和技术的流动, 而这些是创造一个更加充满活力和繁荣的国内市场所需要的。

问题的关键不是像高通这样的外国公司需要按照中国规则行事:它们已经这样做了。关键是那些规则本身必须改变,变得更加公平更加透明,如果中国 想要茁壮成长。是时候让中共政府遵循它自己的建议,允许市场在中国发挥主要作用了。

FCPO -  Pay Attention To New Buy Signal - 2/16/2015

Displaying Oriental FCPO D.png 

After the previous week's glorious up move, the market took a breather last week. Instead of breaking above the top band, price lingered between the top and middle band. I have now moved up my stop to the middle band. The MACD stays positive and remains above its zero signal line. The Stochastic remains positive and rising. The DMI stays positive with the D+ falling back toward the 30's signal line. This means the buyers are taking a rest. But the D- has also been falling, this means the sellers have no intention to stand their ground and fight. The ADX remains flat, so there is still no new trend in this market.

If price can break above the top band, it would mean a more powerful up move has arrived. 

Displaying Busy FCPO W.png 

The weekly chart did not carry on the previous week's monstrous move, instead it has retraced a bit. But fortunately it has not damaged the setup yet as price still managed to close above the top band. The MACD is still climbing toward the zero signal line and it is almost getting above it. The Stochastic has turned negative again, so we are now having a pair of contradicting indicators. With the falling ADX, I would still call the market as in a listless mode. For the last, the market would need to close higher than 2357 in order for the bull to return in a grand manner.

The crude oil chart is getting more and more interesting. I remain a strong advocate that crude oil should rack rally back upward soon and it would do it in a shock and awe manner. And its rally would bring along FCPO to have fun.
FKLI - The Market Goes  Holidaying - 2/16/2015

Displaying Oriental FKLI D.png 

The market continued to drift sideway with a false break on last Thursday when price broke down below its recent fractal low of 1770.50.  Though price recovered back upward with a following up action on the next day. It has triggered an initial sell signal with the Stochastic crossing down below its 80's signal line. So I would get ready to sell if price goes below 1766 again. I mentioned of a double tops formation in the previous week's essay, so the emphasis is still on the sell side over the buy.

Though the MACD has been turning around but it still remain positive. The Stochastic has turned negative and fallen below its 80's level. The DMI stays positive with the ADX falling to 20. So with the contradicting indicators and low and falling ADX, this is still a listless market. It is also due to oncoming Chinese New Year long holiday , most traders would have taken leave.

Displaying Oriental FKLI W.png 

The weekly chart is almost as per the previous week. Both the MACD and the Stochastic are still climbing. The MACD is relatively "far" from its zero signal line, so there is nothing to get too excited about yet. The Stochastic has just crossed above its 50's signal line which is usually interpreted as a more bullish sign than it crossing above the 20's line. So I would pay a bit more attention on this item. The DMI remains negative with the D- crossing above the 30's, this would mean the sellers are getting brave again. The D+ is still falling, so it would mean the buyers have been leaving.  The Japanese Candlestick has formed the 3rd black candlestick but their real body are not big enough to call it a "3 Black Crows" pattern, nevertheless it is still a bearish sign. So as like in the daily chart, more emphasis should be on the sell signal over the buy.

Due to the long holiday ahead, the market most probably would not do anything drastic yet.
中国影子银行扭曲大豆 交易

国际农产品交易巨头邦吉(Bunge)表示,中国的大豆交易因“金融玩家”而被扭曲,导致这家交易商业绩受到影响。中国是全球最大的大豆进口 国。

邦吉的言论凸显出中国影子银行的壮大对大宗商品市场产生的颠覆性影响。中国影子银行业正日益使用大宗商品做抵押换取贷款。此前青岛港的一宗丑 闻曾震惊全球大宗商品交易界,其中青岛码头仓库里的成堆金属就在被抵押后换取贷款。

农产品交易商也受到了这一趋势的影响。邦吉表示,由于大豆被视为“战略物资”,中国的“金融玩家”能以十分有利的利率,以购买大豆的名义获取 融资,接着他们会把这些资金在股市兑现,并以更高利率再次出借给散户借款人。

邦吉首席执行官索伦•施罗德(Soren Schroder)在一次访谈时表示:“他们在市场中的行为并不始终合乎逻辑。”他补充说,“他们进入这个市场的目的是金融套利,而不是出于(交易大宗商 品的)基本理性”。


邦吉在华运营四家工厂,业务是将大豆压成家畜饲料,并榨取植物油。压榨行业正面对产能过剩困境。根美国农业部(Department of Agriculture)驻北京专员表示,到去年底,中国这一产业闲置了一半产能。

邦吉通过遍布南北美的筒仓和港口网络收购大豆,供应了中国每年7000万大豆进口量的5%到10%。目前国际上交易的大豆中,每5吨中就有3 吨流向中国。

 施罗德承认,邦吉在2014年下半年向中国出口大豆的交易中录得3000万美元亏损,因为其交易员“误读了(中国国内对大豆的)潜在需 求”。在谈到中国的消费状况时,他说:“感觉波动性确实有些大。




A third of China’s $2.5 trillion corporate bond market is going to be hung out to dry

It’s becoming clear that China’s local governments — for years accustomed to easy and no-risk financing — are about to be left to fend for themselves.

That means one third of China’s  $2.5 trillion corporate bond market may not have the backstop of the government, which means it’s under threat of collapse.

To understand how this works, you’ve got to understand how local governments get financed in China: Bonds are issued by corporations set up by local governments called local government financing vehicles (LGFV). They allow local governments to raise money without having to go through banks, and these bonds have become an $820 billion market.

Up until now, the LGFVs have been a pretty safe investment with an unspoken government guarantee.
China tightened the screws.

Enter Directive 43 — a vague government order made back in October that bars local governments from paying down debt issued by companies (like LGFVs). They’re also not allowed to raise debt through LGFVs, and must restructure existing debt.

Additionally, in a separate directive, Beijing said that these bonds can no longer be used as collateral in China’s two stock markets.

So LGFVs aren’t illegal, they’re just incredibly risky now. As a result, only 11 LGFVs have sold bonds this year. Usually 45 LGFVs sell bonds per month.

So this is basically game over for this bottom-less well of no-risk debt.
And Beijing is serious this time.

After a meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo this week, the government issued a statement reiterating its commitment to economic reform — “we need to give higher priority to improving the structure of the economy,” it said.

In the past that has meant that the free-wheeling debt issuance of old is about to disappear some more, and in a somewhat dramatic fashion.

“While this policy is positive for the long run, we see rising risks of a mini-hardlanding in 2015,” wrote Deutsche Bank in a recent note. “We define a mini-hardlanding as GDP growth dropping below 6% in one or two quarters… The press release suggests the government will push for reforms on financing for investment, price liberalization, fiscal and financial sectors.”
But local governments think they still hear music.

One problem with all of this in terms of the LGFVs (aside from a massive hole in the market) is that the Chinese media doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. According to Wei Yao, an analyst at Societe Generale, news reports are still touting a bunch of ambitious local government infrastructure projects. They’re being approved by the planning agency, but she’s “skeptical” that Beijing will allow them to come to fruition.

“More importantly, if the central government is still serious about its fiscal reform, funding will get in the way of local infrastructure spending, be it modest or ambitious,” Wei wrote in a recent note. “To achieve the same 20% growth in infrastructure investment as in 2014, at least CNY12tn will be needed in 2015. Even maintaining the same amount of investment (CNY10tn) will be a battle, with 40% of the funding (previously sourced from local governments’ off-budget borrowing) potentially affected by the reform.

“The planning agency’s approvals are carrying less weight, as infrastructure funding is expected to rely more on private investors. Policymakers are clearly working towards a smaller role of the government in the business world. In our view, the acceleration of approvals is merely part of this general trend.”

So it sounds like the party is over, even if local governments still think they hear music.
‘港独’连续第 二个周日出现反水货客游行



大約200名香港巿民周日(15日)聚集到沙田港铁站附近商场参加反水货客游行,这 也是连续第二个周日出席类似游行。

据香港媒体报道,在游行现场附近的商店纷纷放下铁闸暂时停业,也有一些内地游客被人喝骂“返回大陆”。有内地游客认为示威者态度恶劣,但表示 仍会继续来港。

在游行期间,部分示威者与在场戒备的警员曾与发生推撞,多人被推倒在地。后来大批警 员到场增援,还向示威者施放了胡椒喷雾,并带走了其中一人。



游行人士先后到屯门前往深圳湾的巴士站及附近出售奶粉等日用品的药房,再到屯门的商 场抗议,并向乘坐巴士的大陆游客高喊“爱祖国、用国货”。




亲北京香港报章《大公报》的社评称,上周末发生在屯门区的抗议行动“四处流窜、企图 纵火,就是他们计划中的‘城市游击战’,“港人社会必须如防癌般严防‘港独’毒瘤形成和扩散”。

而中共党媒《人民日报》海外版与旗下的《环球时报》也接连刊发评论,批评反水客示威 让“规规矩矩买年货的内地游客也成了靶子”,叫喊“爱祖国、用国货”口号更是“侮 辱游客”。


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


香港《明报》总编钟天祥撤换头条的事件扩大。2月3日,近百名《明报》员工在报社门外“搁笔”示威, 捍卫新闻自由。有《明报》员工对海外媒体透露,钟天祥至今未对此事作出回应,并缺席多个会议,疑在躲避员工。
近 百名《明报》员工在报社门外“搁笔”示威,捍卫新闻自由。(明报职工协会facebook)

明报》员工在报 社门外“搁笔”示威,捍卫新闻自由。有《明报》员工对海外媒体透露,钟天祥至今未对此事作出回应,并缺席多个会议,疑在躲避员工。
  约80位《明报》职工3日傍晚身穿黑衣,在报社门外举行“搁笔1小时行动”,抗议钟天祥临时更改头条的行为。员工先在《明报》报业大厦 门外举笔1分 钟,以示明报员工捍卫新闻自由,之后将笔放到地上1小时。员工还在大厦外墙贴上原定的头条“加国密件记录学生目击六四开枪”报道。

《明报》原计划以有关“六四密件”的消息作为2月2日头条。但1日晚深夜11时,总编钟天祥突然要求将该头条撤下,换成阿里巴巴创设专 项基金支持香港青年创业的消息。当时,虽多名编辑部同事力争保留“六四密件”头条,但钟天祥并不接纳。

更 换头条事件后,钟天祥一直未对此事作出解释。《明报》职工会理事覃纯健向“自由亚洲电台”表示,钟天祥已缺席多个会议,“不知他是为了躲 避,或是 本身有公务比较繁忙。总之,我们一见到他回来,便第一时间要求他解答这个问题。希望他尽快解答,因为问题摆在眼前,不能永远不解答。”覃 纯健表示,钟天祥 改变编辑部的集体决定,破坏双方互信,以及报社一直以来的编采制度,恐会影响日后的编采自主。
事件也引起外界关注,香港支联会发表声明,指责钟天祥更换头条的做法“严重干预 新闻自由和编采自主”。声明并质疑,钟天祥执意要求撤下“六四”真相报道,疑有“幕后黑手”操纵。 此次,《明报》撤换的头条是有关日前曝光的揭露最新六四真相的加国密件。消息由前驻北京南华早报记者Tom Korski在加拿大国家档案馆中发现。其中最具颠覆性的内容是,在1989年6月4日北京镇压学运前,掌握了社会大量资金的共产党的最高领导人却在探讨 如何把巨款转到瑞士。

尊重历史。 如果自己不这么做,有要求别人(日本)尊重历史,那真是徒劳和可笑




台湾国防部发言人罗绍和表示,“念过历史的人都很清楚,对日 抗战是中华民国国军在打,不容改变或抹煞”




对于日前有中国现役和退役将领在媒体撰文,抨击国共内战中阵亡的张灵甫不是“名将”、“是解放军手下败将”,罗绍和指责说这是中国官方媒体 “无视历史真相、歪曲历史”,形容这是“一种不负责任的态度”。


回答提问的时候,罗绍和还强调,在中国不断要求正确对待和深刻反省日本 军国主义侵略历史之际,他诚挚地呼吁中共从本身做起,“诚实面对历史,才不会羞辱为国奉献的军民同胞”。






尊重历史。 如果自己不这么做,有要求别人(日本)尊重历史,那真是徒劳和可笑。

katasiwa, cjt


辛亥革命並沒有真正成功 倒是日本侵華 國民黨苦戰八年 因為國力懸殊 一味挨打 其中雖有幾個慘烈戰況 也曾有過重創日本侵略軍戰役 但畢竟是節節敗退居多 蔣介石的苦撐 我們從日本飛機天天狂轟濫炸 重慶陪都一天響幾十次警報可見一斑 為什麼抗日如此悽厲 有計多因素存在 自辛亥革命所謂成功開始論 滿清皇朝是結束了 中華民國成立了 但沒有真實的統一 國家還是四分五裂 軍閥割據 北京幾次復辟 以袁世凱為首 孫中山讓位也未能達至真正的共和國 蔣介石北伐大功未竟 另一股新思維--共產主義在壯大演變成一股勢力 1937年七七事變 日本正式對中國侵略開戰 蔣介石在那段時間 既要面對日本的侵略 又深感共產黨勢力坐大構成威脅 所以他認定要解決本國本身內在問題 要清剿共產黨 喊出攘外必須先安內 幾次圍剿 共產黨軍四處逃竄 最終經歷�

�二萬五千里的所謂長征在延安喘定 那時蔣介石仍然對共產黨耿耿於懷 適當時種種原因 如西安事變等 蔣介石躲在重慶專心抗日 唯種種因素難涉其鋒 艱苦堅持傷亡慘重 多少將領軍兵在各戰場慘烈中犧牲 其中將領級死亡超過二千餘 官兵就不計其數了 共產黨今天經國共內戰奪得政權 把抗日功勞都擺在自身 抗日期間只知日本飛機天天轟炸重慶 未聞炸延安 國民黨跟日本鬼子打到不可開交 延安卻不斷擴軍 養精蓄銳以待天時 廣島長崎原子彈的轟炸 令日本無條件宣佈投降 結束了八年苦不堪言的戰爭 但跟下來國共爭奪 共產黨得天下 雖說成王敗寇 但抹煞中華民國國軍在八年抗戰的犧牲與奉獻 是對逝去者為國捐軀者的不尊重

蘇源, Sydney Australia

党报上的立场早已不足为大众所信,只是一种政治主张或政治信号而已。抗日战争多少国军先烈为国牺牲,共产党能忘,我们老百姓不会忘,丹青铁卷 不会忘。






当年的中共军队都被整编成“国军第八军”和“国军新编第四军”--即“八路军”和“新四军”,也是国军的一部分,且总量只占国军的十分之一不 到,怎么成了抗日的主力?虽然也有功劳,但功劳不是最大的。



中國共產黨所說的歴史萬萬【不能當真】,當【奇情小說】來看倒可以。【八年抗戰】絕對不是中國 共產黨領導打的。【二萬五千里長征】究竟征什麼?目標為 何?說穿了,只不過是二萬五千里的閃躲流竄罷了。這個黨的 【無恥】,就是說起謊話上來,眼睛總不眨一下。它深信謊話說過一千遍就會變成真理。它信奉的是權力,堅信【絕對的權力】才掌有【絕對的真 理】。歷史真相對它來說,全都是編造出來的屁話,惡意刻毒中傷它這個偉大光榮正確無私的黨。

孟光, Hong Kong

中国 的“太多”困扰

在中国上次成为世界最大经济体的时候,北京大约有 70万人 口,如今的望京地区在当时只不过是一堆光秃秃的人造山坡——建造这些山坡的目的是为了防止北方蛮族的入侵。那是1890年。现在,北京人口超 过2100 万,在地处北京5环以内的望京,四处可见半闲置或者建了一半的写字楼和居民楼。

按购买力平价计算,中国如今已经超过美国,再次成为全球最大的经济体,这是125年来的首次,但不断发展的望京地区提供 了一个鲜明的例子,彰显出中国日益累积的问题。在恢复显赫地位之际,中国正要步入所谓的“中等收入”陷阱,过去几年累积的巨大压力可能达到顶 点。

在望京地区,破旧的公寓楼群和熠熠生辉却空无一人的未来派写字楼交织在一起,典型地体现了中国在过去十年由信贷刺激的房 地产建设热潮。这种建设推动了经济增长,但付出了高昂的代价。

中国官方数据显示,去年经济增长7.4%,是自1990年以来的最低水平——当时中国刚刚经历了1989年的天安门事 件,仍然受 到西方国家的制裁。国际货币基金组织(IMF)将中国今年经济增长预测从7.1%下调至6.8%,并预计中国明年的国内生产总值(GDP)增 速将低于印 度,这将是数十年来的首次。

房地产市场评论员艾经纬表示,望京等地区代表着“巨大的房地产存量、潜在的地方政府债务危机以及人口状况的不利变化,这 些将导致房地产市场低迷至少再持续3年”。

尽管7.4%(抑或6.8%)的经济增速依然让西方增长缓慢的发达经济体羡慕,但这远远不及中国内地从上世纪70年代末 开始的30年里平均每年两位数的增速。

就在2010年初,随着中国政府大力释放信贷和推动建设以抵御2008年全球金融危机的冲击,中国经济增速还达到12% 左右。


尽管像望京这样的北京郊区是这种过度借贷和过度建设的代表,但中小城市的问题更为严重——在这些城市将永远看不到北京那 种房地产需求最终应会赶上供应的局面。
如果考虑相关行业,房地产建设占到中国整体经济规模(10万亿美元)的四分之一左右,比过去十年中美国、爱尔兰或西班牙 房地产泡沫最严重时期的比例还要高。近十年的狂热建设导致严重产能过剩,大片的空置公寓楼群环绕在中国大多数城市的边缘。
去年,中国房价在过去十年脱离地心引力式的疯狂上涨——主要城市的房价上涨了3倍——终于停了下来。去年12月全国平均 房价同比下跌4.3%。

该数据表明,中国房地产行业的调整甚至还没有真正开始。经济学家警告称,当该行业开始收缩时——最早可能发生在今年—— 整体经济增长率的下跌可能还会猛烈得多,中国可能迎来一波破产潮,而且很可能爆发债务危机。
世界银行(World Bank)本月警告称,“中国经济放缓可能演变成金融脆弱性的无序释放(disorderly unwinding),将对全球经济产生重要影响”。

包括石油在内的全球大宗商品价格已经感受到这种影响,同时巴西、德国、澳大利亚以及许多亚洲国家经济增长乏力也是这种影 响的体现——这些国家的经济发展日益依赖中国需求。
如今铁矿石和铜等大宗商品的价格已经下跌至接近全球金融危机时的水平——铁矿石和铜是所有建筑热潮中的关键原材料——而 现在中国建筑活动还没有真正开始调整。



截止中国政府上次发布相关数据的2013年年中,地方政府未偿债务余额为18万亿人民币,短短两年内增长了80%。这还 是在中央政府禁止地方官员过度举债之后的增长。

但就在去年经济放缓,官员们被要求加大基础设施投资以支持增长之际,地方政府借贷似乎再次飙升。关于地方政府融资的部分 统计数据表明,它们在2014年销售了1.66万亿元人民币的债券,而在此前两年每年的债券销售额只有9000亿元人民币。
和房地产投资仍然继续增长一样,中国政府宣布的去杠杆化目标迄今仍未开始付诸实施,这意味着当它开始去杠杆化时,经济放 缓可能更为剧烈。

德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)的研究显示,地方政府收入的35%依赖土地销售。同时,地方政府几乎所有的未偿债务都以政府所有的、往往被大幅高估的土地做抵押。

德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)中国区首席经济学家张智威在最近的一份研究中发现,在过去几年里,地方政府成为主要的土地买家。该研究让人们担忧当前经济增长率的可持续性。为 了规避不准列赤字的禁令,地方政府设立了数千个全资所有的“融资工具”——这些工具可以代表它们从国有银行、债券市场和监管宽松的地下钱庄借 钱。

随着房地产销售暴跌和商业地产开发商对土地需求锐减,地方官员开始使用这些融资工具,通过向国有银行和影子银行贷款,向 自己购买土地。官员们和分析师担心,这种旨在推动短期增长和提振疲软财政收入的努力不可持续。

张智威在其报告中写道:“在2015年,中国很可能会面临自1981年(增长加速以前)以来最严峻的财政挑战。我们相 信,财政下滑(收入下降)是中国经济的最大风险,而市场没有充分认识到这一点。”

除了出现25年来的最低增长率,2014年还标志着中国自1998年亚洲金融危机最严重时期以来首次未能实现其年度增长 目标。
官员和一些分析师辩称,去年并非没有实现“7.5%左右”的增长目标,因为中国政府预计增长将会放缓,于是首次使用“左 右”一词来设定一个较为灵活的目标。中国政府很可能将今年的增长目标定为“7%左右”。

但即便是中国财政部长楼继伟也向来访的外国政要表示,北京将在今后几年满足于6%的增长率。他在私下里警告称,仅仅为了 保持这样的增长率,就需要将政府主导的基础设施投资保持在非常高的水平。

鉴于国内问题日益加剧,无怪乎中国领导人将全球最大经济体的桂冠视为一种负担,认为它会吸引其不想要的注意力。实际上, 中国政府迄今拒绝承认这些新的估计,这些计算方法试图根据不同经济体中非贸易商品和服务的相对价值估算经济规模。


“最近一些学者和媒体估计,中国GDP按购买力平价(PPP)方法计算已经超过美国。但对于这个说法,国家统计局是不认 同的,”中国国家统计局局长最近披露最新增长数据时表示。
“但难点在于,一个篮子里的商品并不总是完全一样的,我们的消费篮子里装的消费品,食品主要是馒头和大米,欧洲的朋友可 能装的更多的是面包,篮子的商品做不到完全一致。”
抛开关于碳水化合物食物相对价值的争论不谈,官员们相当理智地指出,在更能衡量国民财富的指标——人均GDP方面,中国 排在世界第89位,与马尔代夫或秘鲁相当。他们还认为,最近的估算严重高估了中国市场上所提供商品的质量。

“中国只不过刚刚跨进中等收入经济体行列,目前面临着各种各样的阻力,所以中国真的不想接受全球性责任……作为世界第一 大经济体的责任,”一位参与了新估算结果所引起热烈讨论的人士表示。
使用政府的现行汇率计算,正在放慢的中国经济,其规模去年首次超过了10万亿美元,而正在加速的美国经济总量高于 17.5万亿美元。

根据英国经济学家安格斯•麦迪森(Angus Maddison)的研究结果,中国在近两千年里一直是世界最大经济体,1820年占世界GDP总和的33%,与美国在2000年的占比大致相当。但到 1890年,经过几十年的内部叛乱和外族入侵,按购买力平价计算,中国已把世界第一的位置让给了美国。

那时,中国的出口仅占GDP的0.6%,基本上没有进口机器等任何现代生产要素,而鸦片占到中国进口总量的四分之一以 上。
如今,中国是全球最大的商品贸易国,是从铁矿石到奶粉等多种商品的最大消费国。所以,在十九世纪90年代,中国经济还主 要是自给自足型经济,对全球几乎没有影响,如今世界其他国家需要密切关注北京郊区那些建了一半的写字楼。
谷禹(Gu Yu) 补充报道



在有关中国经济增速的所有讨论中,部分经济学家认为,作为新的世界最大经济体,中国的经济增速已比北京方面愿意承认的低 得多。

据1994年至2000年担任索罗斯基金管理公司(Soros Fund Management)香港研究部主管的罗德尼•琼斯(Rodney Jones)估计,去年中国经济增速的官方数据为7.6%,实际上应在5.6%。琼斯因预测到亚洲金融危机而闻名。

他提出,整体增长数据受到了政府计算工业与加工业增加值方法的扭曲。他使用政府自己的未经调整的工业产值数据,重新计算 了中国的GDP。

“5.6%的增长率,更符合我们观察到的全球大宗商品市场行情,以及发电量等其他指标,”如今掌管自己的咨询公司 Wigram Capital的琼斯表示,“这也契合连续困扰中国34个月之久的生产者物价指数(PPI)下跌,这是中国历史上PPI下跌最长的一次。”

中国高层官员表示,他们计划继续向经济体系注入巨额信贷和基建投资,以支持经济发展。但他们将此视为一种权宜之计,让他 们获得时间,转变过时的经济增长模式,更多地通过消费、服务和创新去推动增长。

问题在于,执政的中共在中期内能否维持足够高的增速,以保障就业并避免出现社会不安定局面,同时对30多年来行之有效的 增长模式实施改革。

Venezuela Surrenders But 

Will God Saves Them ?

Venezuela seeks mediation with US

        President Nicolas Maduro (R) welcomes Unasur Secretary General
        Ernesto Samper in Caracas, February 4, 2015 President Maduro (R) has asked Ernesto Samper (L) to mediate between Venezuela and the US

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for a relationship with the United States based on diplomacy and an end to what he claims is a US plan to destabilise his government.
Mr Maduro was speaking to supporters in Caracas before meeting the Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper.

He later asked Mr Samper to mediate between Venezuela and the US.

The US imposed sanctions against Venezuelan officials in December.

They were aimed at those allegedly involved in suppressing the anti-government protests that shook Venezuela in the first six months of 2014.

On Monday, the US also imposed visa restrictions on unnamed Venezuelan officials it accuses of human rights violations and corruption.

'New tone'
Addressing crowds of supporters in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, Mr Maduro called on the US president to "rectify and stop in time the coup plan (that would see) the destruction of Venezuela.
"President Obama, I say this with goodwill: We hope that you set a new and different tone with Venezuela."

Relations between the US and Venezuela have been tense for many years. The two countries last had ambassadors in each other's capitals in 2010.

Mr Maduro later told a news conference he had asked Unasur to "support the South American country" by mediating with the US.

For his part, Ernesto Samper said he would take Mr Maduro's concerns to Unasur member states, adding that it was them who could decide on whether to take any action.
The South American union is based in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, and is made up of 12 countries, including Venezuela.

Mr Maduro's comments come days after he accused US Vice-President Joe Biden of plotting a coup against his left-wing government, an allegation that Mr Biden's office called "baseless and patently false".
Joe Biden
        and Nicolas Maduro, 1 Jan 15, Brasilia Mr Biden (left) and Mr Maduro (right) had an unexpected meeting in Brazil last month

Too Little, Too Late For Venezuela?

Rapidly declining world oil prices, a lack of basic goods in supermarkets, insecurity, and a more united opposition look set to make 2015 the most difficult year yet for Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and the late Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution.
Venezuela is in recession and experiencing one of the highest rates of inflation in the world. Its economy contracted by 2.8 percent in 2014, with inflation now running at 64 percent. World oil prices have fallen to below $50 a barrel, with Venezuela hit especially hard due to the lower price its heavy-oil trades at on the world market.
These economic factors, combined with fixed exchange have resulted in shortages of most basic goods. Queues stretching for blocks outside the state-run supermarkets are now a daily (and nightly) occurrence throughout the country.

Those most affected happen to be the poor – the core constituency of Maduro and the ruling socialist party (PSUV) – explaining the president’s 22 percent approval rating.

In an effort to boost falling oil prices Maduro recently embarked on a whirlwind tour of OPEC countries, although there is little evidence so far that he managed to secure any benefits for the country’s economy, and the price of oil has continued to plummet.
With the national budget built on the strength of oil exports, which account for 96 percent of export revenues, the falling price of commodities is particularly devastating. For every $10 decline in oil prices, Venezuela’s trade balance worsens by 3.5 percent of GDP. Economists have argued that oil needs to be trading at $120 for Venezuela to balance its budget and the IMF has predicted a 7 percent contraction of the economy in 2015.

The difficulty for Maduro is that the economic decision-making of the Bolivarian Revolution has been based on policy and for short term electoral gain. Any macro-economic restructuring would come at a significant social cost and would likely further alienate Maduro’s core supporters who have benefitted from social programmes funded by oil revenues.

With legislative elections scheduled later in 2015, it is unlikely that Maduro will implement drastic economic reforms and veer from Chavez’s time-honored tradition of winning over support with massive subsidies and government spending.

The high social costs of adjusting macro-imbalances combined with legislative elections later in 2015 will make a meaningful economic reform both difficult and unlikely.

“God will provide”

In his annual State of the Nation address on 21 January, Maduro confirmed that no cuts would be made to social programs. He did however hint that gas prices — for years the lowest in the world at $0.02 a liter, thanks to large government subsidies — would have to be raised, calling them a “distortion.”

This is not without risk as it could lead to further disillusionment against the government, with gas prices long considered a politically charged policy area. Similar increases in the price of gas in 1989 led to higher bus fares, which kicked off violent protests in Caracas. The “Caracazo” as it came to be known, was a pivotal moment in the gradual collapse of Venezuela’s then two-party system.

Maduro’s vague rhetoric – blaming the financial troubles on the political opposition and currency speculators and declaring “God will provide” – does not suggest that any major economic reform is likely.

The artificially fixed exchange rate of 6.3 Bolivars to the dollar for basic goods such as food and medicine will be kept, although two other rates (SICAD I and SICAD II) will be combined, with another third rate created to allow private sector participation. It is still unclear what the exchange rate will be and whether it will have an effect on diminishing the rampant black market.

Some commentators have seen this as an undercover devaluation of the bolivar, forcing companies to pay more for their dollars. This would avoid a full-blown devaluation and the inevitable social unrest that would follow in the wake of further inflation

The announcement that the minimum wage increase by 15 percent is unlikely to have a significant effect. Increasing inflation combined with the unlikely prospect of buying goods at the official exchange rate will ensure life remains difficult for the people queuing for goods in Venezuela.

Lack of basic goods

The dollar is currently trading at above 180 bolivars on the black market and has been part of the reason for the chronic shortage of basic goods in Venezuelan supermarkets.

Queues outside grocery stores have reached lengths unseen before in Venezuela, with shoppers waiting hours at a time to buy flour, milk, toilet paper and nappies among other essential goods that are in short supply.

Police and National Guard units have been deployed to maintain order, whilst more units have been deployed since 2014 on the border with Colombia to quell the rampant smuggling of cheap goods from Venezuela to its neighbor.

This prompts the question – what resources are left to combat the rapidly surging crime rate in the country? Venezuela, and specifically Caracas, is experiencing some of the highest levels of violent crime in the world. Any reductions in social spending are likely to further complicate the situation in 2015, leading to higher levels of insecurity.

Finally, a united opposition?

In the wake of Maduro’s annual address, crowds gathered in Caracas to protest the government on January 24 in scenes similar to the early days of the 2014 protests, albeit on a smaller scale.
What could be a defining factor in 2015 is a more united opposition. Henrique Capriles did not give his backing to the protests in 2014, instead demanding that the people wait until the economic effects of bad macro-economic policy are felt amongst the wider population.
It appears that Capriles believes that time is now, and there is a possibility that the opposition will be more united come the legislative elections later in the year.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether there is a repeat of the social unrest that rocked Venezuela in early 2014. Even if Maduro attempts macro-economic reforms, it may be a case of ‘too little, too late’, with oil prices now so low that further economic hardship is almost inevitable.

中国债务GDP占比超美国 要吃吃药咯

中国债务GDP占 比超美国

一份报告显示,眼下世界负债水平高于全球 金融危机爆发前的2007年,其中中国的债务与经济规模之比超过美国。

根据咨询机构麦肯锡(McKinsey & Co)的计算结果,自2007年至今,全球债务已从57万亿美元增至近200万亿美元,增速远超经济增速。债务与国内生产总值(GDP)之比已从270% 增至286%。
英国《金融时报》的交互式图表示,麦肯锡对47个国家债务情况所做的调查凸显出,指望过去8年的动荡将推动普遍 的“去杠杆”操作(使债务降至更安全的水平)是幼稚的。报告呼吁有关方面采取“新措施”来防止债务危机未来重演。

“眼下大多数国家的总体债务与GDP之比高于危机前水平,”麦肯锡报告称,“债务水平提高给金融稳定带来变 数。”
总体而言,全球自2007年以来新增的债务近一半出现在发展中经济体,但也有三分之 一是发达经济体政府债务水平提高的结果。全球家庭债务水平也提高了,明显的例外是爱尔兰、美国等受到危机冲击的国家。
“没有多少迹象显示,目前这种债务水平不断升高的趋势会发生改变,”报告称,“这对一些基本假设提出质疑——关 于债务、去杠杆化、以及有没有足够的工具来管理债务和避免未来危机。”
麦肯锡指出,因家庭债务过高而面临“潜在脆弱 性”的国家包括:荷兰、韩国、加拿大、瑞典、澳大利亚、马来西亚和泰国。报告作者之 一理查德•多布斯(Richard Dobbs)表示:“这就好像气球一样。如果你挤一个地方的债务,它会在系统内另外某个地方冒出来。”

麦肯锡表示,一个“亮点”是,有证据显示银行业进行了去杠杆。在美国和其他几个受到危机冲击的国家,金融业债务 相对于GDP的比例下降了,在其他发达经济体,这一比例也已企稳。
中国的总债务水平(包括金融业债务)自2007 年至今增加了近3倍,目前水平相当于GDP的282%。这个比率比美国还高,尽管 在剔除金融业债务(以避免重复计算)之后,中国的债务比例更低。麦肯锡就中国房地产业、地方政府融资、以及快速扩张的“影子”银行体 系存在的风险发出了警 告。

麦肯锡表示,中国的总体债务“看上去可控”,但这种债务水平,将制约其对发达经济体长期较低增长进行补偿的能 力。
“在(2007年后)那场危机爆发前,有一个地方的债务水平极低并且非常稳定,那就是中国。”对冲基金“布勒旺 霍华德” (Brevan Howard)全球策略主管、去年9月一份关于全球债务情况的报告作者之一路易吉•布蒂廖内(Luigi Buttiglione)表示,“过去,当西方爆发危机时,中国可以加大杠杆率(作为补偿)。如今情况不再如此。”

最新报告可能助燃经济学家们围绕一个经济体合理债务水平的辩论。麦肯锡认为,发展中国家的相当大部分债务扩张反 映了金融市场的健康发展,但在发达经济体,高昂的债务可能阻碍增长、制造新的金融风险。

 Saudi royals funding Global Terrorism

Zacarias Moussaoui
Sherburne County, Minn., Sheriff’s Office/AP

Zacarias Moussaoui is shown. Moussaoui, known as the “20th hijacker” in the 9/11 terror attacks.

A convicted al-Qaeda operative has claimed that members of the terrorist network received extensive financial support from members of the Saudi royal family throughout the late 1990′s and into 2000, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Zacarias Moussaou, a 46-year-old French native serving life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks, said he was instructed by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a database of all of the donors to the group.

Among those who donated, Moussaou alleges, were the Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal and the longtime Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.

Moussaou also claims that he discussed plans to shoot down Air Force One with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
In the wake of Moussaou’s testimony, the Saudi Embassy released a statement calling Moussaou a “deranged criminal” and denying that the Saudi government had ever funded Al Qaeda. 

Though Moussaou was diagnosed as mentally ill by a court psychologist, he was deemed competent to stand trial on terrorism charges and was described by the Times as seeming “calm and largely coherent” throughout his 100-page testimony. 

King Salman Reuters
Saudi King Salman, who took over after King Abdullah’s death in January.

“Moussaoui describes meeting in Saudi Arabia with Salman, then the crown prince, and other Saudi royals while delivering them letters from Osama bin Laden,” according to the Times.
Whether or not Saudi Arabia was involved in planning and financing the 9/11 attacks has long been a subject of dispute. The relationship between the 19 hijackers — 15 of them Saudi nationals — and the Saudi government remains unclear.
Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who served as the co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, believes the answer lies in 28 pages of the congressional report on the attacks that explore Saudi Arabia’s connections to the 9/11 plot. 

These pages were originally classified by President George W. Bush, who said that releasing the documents could risk national security. 
Mr. Graham has said that “the real threat to national security is non-disclosure,” and has called the classification of the documents “a sustained and effective campaign to keep the American public from knowing the truth” — which he says involves the Saudis gave substantial financial assistance to at least two of the hijackers, and possibly all 19, prior to the 9/11 attacks. 

In 2013, Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., were given access to the redacted 28 pages. They have since urged President Obama to declassify them. 

“I was absolutely shocked by what I read,” Jones told International Business Times. “What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me.”

Earlier this month, former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham joined Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), as well as 9/11 families, in a press conference calling for the complete release of the 2002 report, the Daily Beast reported. 

Saudi Arabia has been fending off lawsuits connecting its government to the 9/11 attacks for more than a decade. Families of Sept. 11 victims allege that Saudi Arabia and a government-affiliated charity knowingly provided funding and other material support to al Qaeda that helped it carry out the attacks, Reuters reported. 
Initially filed in 2002, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2005 on the grounds that Saudi Arabia enjoyed “sovereign immunity,” but has since been reinstated. Saudi lawyers have insisted that the 9/11 Commission exonerated the Saudi government of all charges, but Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, who served on the commission, said that the Saudis’ argument is “fundamentally inaccurate and misleading.”

中国负债增加4倍, 相当于GDP的282%


麦 肯锡咨询机构报告:中国债务增长惊人



但是咨询机构麦肯锡全球研究院(McKinsey Global Institute)的调查显示,自2007年以来全球债务增加了57万亿美元,达到199万亿美元。

其中,中国债务增加83%葡萄牙债务增加100%希 腊债务增加103%新加坡债务增加129%爱尔兰债务增加172%。


如果包括金融业债务在内,中国2007年以来负债增加将近4 倍,从7.4万亿美元增加为28.2万亿美元,相当于GDP的282%。

在短短几年之内,房地产开发、地方政府举债投资、以及快速扩张的“影子银行”,已经让中 国从负债最少的国家之一,变成负债较多的国家之一。

中国负债现在比澳大利亚、美国和德国还多,开发中 国家通常负债比发达国家少,但中国却非如此,令人惊讶。

最让人担忧的是中国快速增长的负债中,有很大的一笔将无法获得偿还,因为 房地产开发商和投机者将会破产。



按照该研究机构的计算,即使有一半的房地产债务发生债务违约,损失五分之四的价值,中国只要将政府债务提高到GDP的 79%就能挽救金融危机。(providing China statistics are real)

但毫无疑问的是,这样的一场金融危机仍然会给中国经济带来灾难,经济增长几乎肯定会消失, 中国会步上日本后尘,家庭和企业推迟消费,经济停滞不前也将成为常态。
如果伊斯兰国抓走了我 们一名中国人呢?  
Chinese Ask:What If the Islamic State Captured One of Us?

“今天我和一位朋友在讨论如果伊斯兰国抓走的是一个中国人,会发生什么。”2月3日发布的一段视频显示落入“伊斯兰国”恐怖组织手中的约旦飞 行员 Moaz al-Kasasbeh 被活活烧死。这是中国社交媒体上就该视频的众多评论之一。该视频展示了令人作呕的镜头,在中国广传开来,并重燃了一些争议:关于伊斯兰国的发迹应该指责 谁,以及中国对此应该做什么。

在微博上,中国网民就这一最新视频应该指责谁意见分歧。许多人继续呼应中国主流媒体长期以来对美国的批评。一位网民写道:奥巴马“继续虚张声 势,嘴上开火”,另一位网民认为问题的根源是西方的“干涉”及美国在中东宁愿“为了经济利益而流血”。一位网民评论道,“今天是一个法国人, 或是日本人,或是约旦人,明天呢?是人命重要,还是让美国‘头疼’重要?如果我们也想要保护世界和平的话,那么这也是让我们头疼的问题。”另 一个问道:“如果有一天,伊斯兰国绑架了我们的一个人,我们会做什么?除了在网上愤怒的 谩骂,我们只是在这里坐等悲剧。”

极少有评论如此直接地敦促(中共)采取行动。许多网民不是呼吁中共政府去帮助,而 是反复呼吁联合国或国际社会采取行动。

很难确切地知道中共政府认为其下一步该采取什么行动。在最近这一视频发布后,中共当局很快就对伊斯兰国进行了谴责。在2月4日的一个新闻发布 会上,中共外交部发言人洪磊表示中国“反对一切形式的恐怖主义”,该措辞与中共外交部2月2日对日本记者后藤健二被(伊斯兰国)斩首的回应实 质相同。中共国家主席习近平对此没有公开讲过话。

中共政府的立场可以通过2月4日国营央视网站上一篇刺耳的社论看到迹象。这篇由中国研究中东的学者李绍先写的文章,藐视美国总统奥巴马对全球 “必须团结起来”反对伊斯兰国的声明。文章说“国际社会在打击和消灭类似极端组织的问题上早已空前团结、高度共识,并不会因为约旦飞行员卡萨 斯贝被杀害或其他国家的无辜平民还将被杀害而更加‘强硬和团结’。现在的问题并不是团结和共识,而是有效的行动。”

李继续写道:“有人说,伊斯兰国是世界最强大的恐怖组织,拥有3万多兵力和20亿美元,但这和美国的军事力量相比没有任何意义,因此问题并不 在实力……而在行动的决心。”

李补充道:美国没有下定决心“不得不让人深思”,并总结说“可以肯定的是,在美国下定决心消灭伊斯兰国之前,类似日本人质和约旦飞行员被杀害 的情形还会出现。”这篇文章中没有一次提到中共

中共不大可能最终会参与(对抗伊斯兰国)。2014年8月,中共媒体开始埋怨说伊斯兰国可能会针对中国的领土,尤其是有众多穆斯林的新疆。 2014年7月,声称是伊斯兰国领导人的Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 点名中国是“强行剥夺穆斯林权利”的其中一个地方。但是北京总体上是避免涉及海外的武装冲突,并继续小心地煽动反穆斯林的紧张局势。美国没有发布官方公开 声明呼吁中国加入该联盟,可能是希望避免给北京幌子来进一步侵害新疆的人权,因为北京常常是在反恐的旗帜下进行的。

如果伊斯兰国的录像中涉及一名中国人,并进入中国活跃的社交媒体,那么就可能完全改变这一脆弱的公式。如果出现后者的话,要求中国采取更多行 动抗击伊斯兰国的公众压力会势不可挡,其中夹杂着悲哀、民族主义以及长期以来内部的无奈。毕竟,中共政府和外国对手是中国网民喜爱的攻击目 标。一位网民写道“让我们期望他们抓到一名中国人时,那是一名贪官!”那些官员如此富有,该网 民写道,他能够支付得起任何赎金“救出他自己”。

原文Chinese Ask:What If the Islamic State Captured One of Us?

Chinese Ask: What If the Islamic State Captured One of Us?

Inside the world's No. 2 power, grassroots calls to fight the terrorist group are growing.

“I was talking with my friend today about what would happen if the Islamic State caught a Chinese person.” Provocative though the notion may be, that comment is one of many in Chinese social media discussing the Feb. 3 release of a video showing the death-by-burning of downed Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh at the hands of the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State (IS). And it shows how the sickening footage, widely shared and broadly reviled in China, has re-ignited controversy about who’s to blame for the rise of IS, and what — if anything — China should do about it.

On Weibo, China’s massive microblogging platform, users are proving divided about whom to blame in the wake of the latest video. Many continued to echo longstanding mainstream media criticism of the United States; Obama “continues to swagger and fire off his mouth,” wrote one user, while another saw Western “meddling” and U.S. willingness to “spill blood to benefit economically” in the Middle East at the root of the problem. But many pushed back. One commenter wrote, “Today it’s a French person, or a Japanese person, or a Jordanian person; and tomorrow? Is it human life that matters, or giving the U.S. a ‘headache?’ If we too are to protect world peace, this is also a headache for us.” Another asked, “If one day ISIS kidnaps one of our own, what will we do? Besides angry online diatribes, we’re just sitting here waiting for a tragedy.”

Few comments urged action so directly. Rather than calling on China’s government to help, many web users repeatedly called on the U.N. or the world community to mobilize. In some popular comments, like the statement that “we must work together to lay siege” to IS, or the insistence that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (which include China) “strike hard,” the critique of government inaction was thinly veiled. Others seemed ignorant of ongoing efforts; one popular statement called on “the world to organize a coalition army” to attack IS, when in fact such a coalition was already organized in September 2014, comprising dozens of countries, with the U.S. at the helm. (China has offered help, but independent of that coalition, and it’s not clear whether it has followed up.)

It’s hard to know exactly what China’s government thinks its next move should be. Authorities there were quick to condemn IS after the recent revelation: At a Feb. 4 press conference, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei said China “opposes terrorism in all its forms,” language substantively identical to what the ministry proffered on Feb. 2 in response to the recorded beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. A statement by the U.N. Security Council, of which China again is a permanent member, likewise condemned the violence. China’s president, Xi Jinping, has said nothing publicly.

One indication of the Chinese government’s stance comes via a strident Feb. 4 editorial on the website of powerful, state-run China Central Television. Written by a Chinese Middle East scholar named Li Shaoxing on the network’s behalf, the piece makes light of U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement that the world “must stand united” against IS, writing, “The world has already been united without precedent in its consensus to strike at and eliminate the organization. It’s not going to become even more ‘firmly united’ after al-Kasasbeh or another country’s innocent is killed. The problem now isn’t unity or consensus, it’s effective action.” Li continued, “Some have said that ISIS is the most powerful terrorist organization in the world, with 30,000 soldiers and $2 billion, but this means nothing compared to U.S. military power. So the problem isn’t power [either] … it’s the resolve.” Li added that the U.S. lack of will “inevitably causes one to think,” concluding darkly, “it’s certain that before the United States truly determines to eliminate ISIS, the circumstances of another Japanese hostage or another Jordanian pilot being killed will occur again.” The article did not mention China once.

    Thenotion that China could eventuallybecome involved, either by dint of its rising-power status or a tragic run-in with IS, is unlikely, but not outlandish.

The notion that China could eventually become involved, either by dint of its rising-power status or a tragic run-in with IS, is unlikely, but not outlandish. In August 2014, Chinese media began to murmur about the possibility that IS might target Chinese territory, particularly the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang. In July 2014, purported IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi named China as one of those places where “Muslims’ rights are forcibly seized.” But Chinese authorities generally seek to avoid more than token involvement in armed conflicts abroad, and remain chary of inflaming anti-Muslim tensions given regular violence between Uighurs, a majority Muslim ethnic group that mostly live in Xinjiang, and the majority Han. The United States, which has not issued an official public statement calling on China to join the coalition, likely wishes to avoid lending China cover for further human rights infringements in Xinjiang, often carried out under the banner of anti-terrorism.

That delicate equation could change entirely were an IS video involving a Chinese person to enter the country’s hyperactive social media. It could be an assailant — some reports estimate that 300 Chinese citizens have already gone abroad to fight with IS — or a victim. In the latter case, public pressure for China to do more to combat IS could become overwhelming, combining sorrow, nationalism, and longstanding internal frustration that China’s military isn’t more assertive. China’s government, after all, is a favorite target of Internet users along with foreign foes. One user darkly took aim at both: “Let’s hope when they catch a Chinese person, it’s a corrupt official!” The bureaucrat would be so rich, the user wrote, he could afford any ransom and “save himself.”

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Yiqin Fu, and Shujie Leng contributed research.