"While the Chinese economy continues its rapid ascent,
few outside the country are questioning how long it can last.
There are some who laud the birth of a “Beijing consensus”
to rival the previously omnipotent “Washington consensus”."
Transport Project on Flickr
Some laud? Whoever might they be?
The "Beijing Consensus" was coined by Joshua Cooper Ramo, a Jew, who speaks Mandarin and lives between NYC and Beijing, and is the youngest managing director ever at Kissinger Associates, and before that the youngest senior editor ever at TIME Magazine. A summary of his Beijing Consensus paper says:
"A new Beijing Consensus is emerging with new attitudes to politics, development and the global balance of power. It is driven, argues Joshua Ramo, by a ruthless willingness to innovate, a strong belief in sovereignty and multilateralism, and a desire to accumulate the tools of 'asymmetric power projection'. Though it is often misunderstood as a nascent superpower, China has no intention of entering an arms race. Instead, it is intent on projecting enough 'asymmetric power' to limit US political and military action in its region. Through fostering good international relations, it is safeguarding the peaceful environment needed to secure its prosperity, and deterring the attempts of some on the fringes of US politics to turn it into a pariah.
Ramo argues that China offers hope to developing countries after the collapse of the Washington consensus. It provides a more equitable paradigm of development that countries from Malaysia to Korea are following. Based on more than a hundred off the record discussions, the Beijing Consensus captures the excitement of a country where change, newness and innovation are rebounding around journal articles, dinner conversations and policy-debates with mantra-like regularity." (http://fpc.org.uk/publications/TheBeijingConsensus)
Unfortunately the US will be on the trash heap. Not everyone gets to move forward you know. Note that these plans have been made off the record. It's important not to appear too smug while you're rubbing your hands together with glee about your upcoming starring role as masters of the universe.
And what is the Washington consensus?
Shorter: Destroy the middle class while building a police state. Check. Turns out the Washington consensus can only be used once per country, like toilet paper.
The Washington Consensus is a term long used for the harsh austerity imposed by the International Monetary Fund and other lenders on troubled third world economies. Under its dictates, unemployment and lowered incomes, rather than being the problems of insufficient economic growth, are its solutions. After several decades of failure, the Washington Consensus is now widely discredited around the world. But in Washington, it's back in fashion.
Fifteen million Americans are out of work....The basic economic problem is not very complicated: if no one spends, no one works.
...So, by default (or design - depending how you think economic policy is made), the American governing class has implicitly adopted the Washington Consensus formula for recovery through export-led growth -- lower your costs. Inasmuch as most costs are more or less fixed, this means lowering the cost of labor. High levels of joblessness together with cuts in government social safety nets will force workers to accept lower wages. Their lower incomes will also reduce your imports. Eventually, trade will be balanced and growth will return, justifying all the suffering and pain. In the meantime, to preserve social order, exempt the military from your budget cuts.
You can thank the "American governing class" for this. All you need to know is who runs America.
The people who have run America into the ground are now going to take their party balloons and go to China.
Agricultural agreement between Israel and China's Heilongjiang Province signed today - September 13, 2010
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met today (Monday, 13 September 2010) with the governor of China's Heilongjiang Province, Mr. Du Jiahao.
Israel has extensive agricultural cooperation with the province, and during the meeting an agricultural cooperation agreement between MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation and Heilongjiang province was signed. The agreement relates primarily to assistance in constructing demonstration dairy farms.
Heilongjiang is an important province in northern China. Its capital, Harbin, provided refuge to tens of thousands of Jews fleeing from Russia at the time of the White Revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century.
At the start of the meeting, DFM Ayalon stressed the special relationship between Israel and China, and stated that "The friendly relationship between the two countries, and the mutual appreciation of the two nations, is based on the fact that they are both ancient cultures with historic awareness."
DFM Ayalon related to China's economic development and said that "The economies of the two nations complement each other. Israel has advanced technology suited to the developing Chinese market and experience in fields that top the Chinese national agenda, such as agriculture and technology." The Deputy Foreign Minister also mentioned Israel's participation in the Shanghai Expo on an unparalleled scale, which included the construction of an independent pavilion for the first time in its history.
Governor Du Jiahao thanked DFM Ayalon for the warm hospitality, and said that he was very impressed by Israel. The Governor added that during his visit to Emek Hefer he met a group of Israeli children singing in Chinese. This moved him so much that he decided to invite them to visit China. The Governor added that it was his intention to erect a monument of Jerusalem stone in memory of the Jews who found refuge in Heilongjiang Province during the White Revolution.
Israel eyes China as US, EU markets flounder - September 14, 2010
Isreal is starting to lean toward Asian economies, particularly China, as the demand in the US and Europe has gone down over the past two years, said an economic advisor to the Israeli government said in an interview with the Global Times Monday at the Summer Davos in Tianjin. Israel also looks to boost ties with China to diversify trade destinations, Eugene Kandel, head of the National Economic Council at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. Bilateral trade has increased more than 100 times as of 2008, since 1992 when the two countries formally established diplomatic relationship. Trade between the two sides totaled $6.02 billion in 2008, with China' exports to Israel growing 15.7 percent to $4.23 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The global economic crisis, however, hit trade going both ways. Trade between the two countries dipped 14.4 percent to $5.17 billion last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in May. Bilateral trade will recovery to the level of 2008 this year, said Kandel. Trade between Israel and the US and EU for over 70 percent of the country's total foreign trade.
There's just one little potential wrinkle with the new "special relationship."
Israel will begin deporting families of illegal migrants in coming weeks, officials say, as an emotional debate rages over the ballooning numbers of foreign workers that some fear could threaten the country's Jewish identity. A decade ago, Israel began bringing in foreign workers in an effort to reduce its dependence on cheap Palestinian laborers. Now tens of thousands of migrants from Asia and Africa who entered the country legally but have since overstayed their visas have developed strong ties to Israel and have no intention of returning home.
How to deal with the migrants hits on two of the most charged issues in Israel. On one hand the fear is that their growing numbers will dilute Israel's Jewish majority, while others warn that deporting them from a country born partly as a refuge for Jewish victims of the Holocaust is immoral.
"What about the Jewish heart and Jewish compassion and Jewish morality?"
pleaded Elie Wiesel,
the Nobel winning Holocaust survivor, speaking out against the deportations.
Yeah, there's that, and also...um... who will do the manual labor?
Israel was founded as an agricultural society
but as it has industrialized
and abandoned its one-time commitment to "Jewish labor,"
it has increasingly relied on workers from outside.
But it's really not a problem, because the only people who will get screwed are the people who actually do the work. Probably part of the Beijing Consensus.
July 4, 2010, NYT, Israel Grows Uneasy Over Reliance on Migrant Labor
"Chinese construction workers at their camp on Tel Aviv’s outskirts this month. Their presence has increasingly clashed with Israel’s Zionist ideology." NYT photo
At least 250,000 foreign laborers, about half of them illegal, are living in the country, according to the Israeli government. They include Chinese construction workers, Filipino home health care aides and Thai farmhands, as well as other Asians, and Africans and Eastern Europeans, working as maids, cooks and nannies. “Israelis won’t do this work, so they bring us,” said Wang Yingzhong, 40, a construction worker from Jiangsu Province in China who arrived in 2006.
...The government has lurched through a series of contradictory policies that encourage the temporary employment of migrants while seeking to impose tight visa and labor restrictions that can leave them vulnerable to abusive employers, advocates for the workers say....The No. 1 target is the Chinese, who in recent years have received nearly all of the construction work permits. Chinese accounted for a quarter of all deportations from 2003 to 2008, more than any other foreign group. The rate was expected to soar as 3,000 of those permits lapsed at the end of June.\The Chinese end up in the most desperate straits here partly because they are recruited through a murky network of manpower companies that rights groups say operate like human trafficking rings. Chinese pay up to $31,000 in illegal recruitment fees, the highest fees of all foreign workers, according to Kav LaOved, which says the money ends up in the pockets of go-betweens and government agencies in both countries.
Worker advocates say the Chinese Embassy has long been indifferent or even hostile to the workers’ plight. When 170 construction workers went on strike in 2001 seeking back pay, embassy officials warned them that they would be imprisoned upon their return to China for breaching their contracts and breaking Chinese labor law. The men who protested on the crane did so after the embassy ignored their pleas, they told Kav LaOved. Yang Jianchu, the Chinese consul for immigration affairs, says his staff does all it can to help those in trouble. He also dismissed accusations by worker advocates that the Chinese government profits from the exorbitant recruitment fees. “We don’t know where the money goes,” Mr. Yang said. “This is the truth.”
Oh, Chinese people. All those off the record discussions in Beijing, the fancy dinner parties, the bubbly excitement....
Don't get too excited. In this game, even when you win, you lose.