Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Caucus Brief: Libyan Rebel Leader Visits China, Bolstering Ties

LIBYAN REBEL LEADER VISITS CHINA, BOLSTERING TIES.  China has announced that a top leader from Libya's rebel National Transitional Council will begin a two-day visit today, the second publicly announced meeting between Chinese officials and Libya's main rebel group.  According to the WSJ, analysts say this trip signals deepening ties between anti-Gadhafi forces and China, even as Beijing opposes NATO operations in the country.  From the piece: "Analysts described that meeting as part of an effort by China to appear neutral in the conflict even as it shored up relations with rebel leaders in anticipation of Mr. Gadhafi's fall."  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303936704576396673135829028.html

SORTING AMERICAN PRIORITIES IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.  A new piece from the Heritage Foundation outlines U.S. interests in the South China Sea in light of the deteriorating security situation.  From the piece: "The security situation in the South China Sea is deteriorating in a way unseen since the mid-1990s.  And given the growth of China's military power and global influence since then, it is a much bigger problem for the United States.  China's challenge in the South China Sea – its expansive extralegal claims to maritime territory – demands a strong, clear, interest-based response."  http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/06/Sorting-American-Priorities-in-the-South-China-Sea

SINGAPORE URGES CHINA TO CLARIFY S. CHINA SEAS CLAIM.  The British Broadcasting Company reports that Singapore has called on China to clarify its territorial claims to the South China Sea.  Singapore's foreign ministry said: "We…think it is in China's own interests to clarify its claims to the South China Sea with more precision as the current ambiguity as to their extent has caused serious concerns in the international maritime community."  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13838462

CHINA URGING MIGRANTS TO INFORM ON THEIR COLLEAGUES.  China has begun offering rewards to migrant workers willing to inform on colleagues involved in recent mass riots in south-east China.  The regional paper has published a notice offering $1,500 cash rewards in exchange for information towards tracking down riot suspects.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13838669

DISUNITY AMONG THE BRICS NATIONS.  http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/06/imf-succession

RISING PRICES IN CHINA HIT U.S. PURSE.  The WSJ is reporting that as China develops, allows the yuan to appreciate, and experiences a scarcity of cheap labor, the cost of products in the U.S. is rising.  U.S. import prices, excluding oil, rose 8% over the past two years, a historic shift from their downward drift for two decades.  From the piece: "For years, U.S. consumers feasted on cheap imported goods – cheap partly because the Chinese currency was kept undervalued.  This bred large U.S. trade deficits."  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303499204576387774214424658.html

CHINA'S MODERN DAY PHILOSOPHY.  http://www.economist.com/node/18836024

TRADES REVEAL CHINA'S SHIFT FROM DOLLAR.  According to estimates from Standard Chartered Bank, China has been diversifying away from the U.S. dollar in the first four months of this year, most likely by buying far more European government debt than U.S. dollar assets.  However, the bank's chief China economist Stephen Green warns that it is possible that China is disguising its purchases of U.S. government debt – or could be buying riskier U.S. assets that don't show up in monthly data.  http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2285148c-9b6c-11e0-bbc6-00144feabdc0.html

THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN BEIJING AND CHINA'S LOCAL GOVERNANCE.  An op-ed from the WSJ describes China's critical disconnect between national policies and local government implementation.  From the piece: "Underfunded local governments frequently dilute and undercut implementation of national laws and policies in their effort to sustain growth and increase local revenues.  Some examples of the consequences of this practice include not only illegal expropriation of land, but also tolerance of violations of laws on product safety, intellectual property rights and the protection of the environment."  http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/06/21/chinas-critical-disconnect/

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email Reed.Eckhold@mail.house.gov with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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